once upon a time, i sucked at making graphics.
this is one of those times.
“Hey, Artemis.” James plopped down across from me at the table I was currently occupying in the library. I ignored him and continued writing my potions essay.
The beozar, a stone taken from the stomach of a goat –
“So, what’s up?”
– has many magical qualities to it, mainly the power to –
“What are you working on?”
– serve as a powerful antidote to any poison. However –
“Why are you ignoring me?”
– it is very rare, so that is why people must learn to –
“Artemis! What’s wrong?”
– brew antidotes for potions.
“Potter! Give me my essay back!” I grabbed for it, but Ja – Potter held it high above his head. Ugh. Curse his super tallness.
“Fine. What do you want?” I finally snapped at him, giving up my fruitless attempts to grab the piece of parchment that held the efforts of basically my whole afternoon.
“I want to know what’s wrong.” He said, looking closely into my face, his other hand still extended high above his head.
I rolled my eyes. “Nothing’s wrong. I want my essay back.”
“No. Something is wrong.” He insisted, still peering at me. “I can see it in your eyes.”
I immediately averted my gaze. Gah. How does he do that? “Everything’s fine. Now give it back. I spent three hours of my life on that, you know.”
“Artemis, don’t lie to me. What’s wrong?”
“NOTHING. IS. WRONG.” I said slowly, clearly. I looked right at him, widening my eyes in innocence. He looked at me for a little while longer, his gaze searching.
I felt like in that moment, he could see right inside me. Like he could read every single one of my secrets, like he knew what I was doing.
And that, my friends, is extremely uncomfortable.
“Potter!” I snapped, after a couple minutes of intense staring. “Give me my essay back, god damn it!”
“NO! I don’t want to hear it! I just want my fucking essay! Give it.” I held my hand out.
“No, look, we…we need to talk. About that other night, when we were having an icing fight –”
“What, when you tickled me with icing? It’s nothing, Potter.” I said coldly.
“No. After that.” He said quietly, still gazing at me. “When I almost kissed you.”
My heart jumped a beat at that.
Stupid heart. Shut up and keep beating! No one asked you, anyway!
“It was nothing.” I repeated, still in my cold, detached voice.
“It was definitely something and we both know it, Artemis.” He shot back.
“No, it wasn’t. It was nothing, Potter. Just you trying to be your annoying self and me managing to escape before you did something stupid.” My tone was scathing, cold, and for a moment I marveled at how well I was able to act.
He winced at that. I glared at him, and finally, he sighed.
“I don’t understand.” He said in frustration.
“Don’t understand what, Potter? There isn’t anything to understand.” I crossed my arms over my chest, still glowering at him.
“I don’t understand you, Artemis. You’re hiding something, I can tell. You just refuse to say it. And I can tell that you actually do like me, and you’re doing this…all of this, for some reason. And I don’t understand why.”
He’s got me completely figured out. Damn.
“Potter, it’s just a figment of your deranged imagination.” I rolled my eyes. “And if I do have a secret, you’ll be the last person I tell.”
He looked confused. “What—”
“And also, don’t flatter yourself, Potter.” I scoffed. “I don’t like you. At all. The only reason I put up with you is because you’re my brother’s best friend and my best friend’s cousin.”
Hurt flashed through his eyes, and seeing it made me hurt, too.
Get a grip on yourself, Artemis.
You’ve decided what you’re going to do. Stand by it.
My brain is going to end up killing me one day. Just saying.
It’ll be like this:
Artemis: I don’t know. It seems sort of stupid, you know, jumping off this cliff.
Brain: No, of course it’s not stupid! Go on, do it!
Artemis: But I’ll die! There’s no way I’ll be able to survive a fall like that.
Brain: Yes you will! You’ll be fine! Just do it. Seriously.
Artemis: I don’t know…
Brain: Do you trust me?
Artemis: Well, duh.
Brain: Good. Then, do it.
Artemis: Alright, here goes nothing…
And then I die.
“I don’t understand.” Potter repeated uncomprehendingly.
“What don’t you understand, Potter?” I said in an irritated way. “I don’t like you. I never will. So just leave me alone, okay?”
“NO! Just give me back my essay, and we can both go on blissfully ignoring each other. That’s the way it should be, okay? You stay out of my way, and I’ll stay out of yours. Capiche?”
He stared at me for a little while longer, and then let out a hollow, humorless laugh, shaking his head. “I can’t ignore you, Artemis. There’s no way I’d be able to do that.”
“Try.” I shot at him.
“No.” He responded stubbornly. I threw my head back in annoyance.
“Potter! Just…leave me alone! Trust me, it’s for the best. I really don’t want to deal with you. Not now, not ever. So, from now on, we keep minimal contact. That’s it. I’m dealing with a lot right now, and dealing with you just adds to the stress. I have NEWTS, and you’re just going to mess me up by bothering me all day long, and I don’t have time for that! Yeah, we had fun harassing each other when we were younger, but it’s done, okay? Just leave. Me. Alone.”
I’m so heartless. I hate this.
“You can tell me what’s bothering you, you know.” He said softly, setting my essay back on the table and taking step closer to me.
Tears pricked in my eyes and I looked away from him. “You wouldn’t understand. No one does.”
“I’m going through the same thing, Artemis. I love both of them, too.” The truth was clear in his eyes – he was suffering. Just like me.
“You still wouldn’t understand.”
A tear rolled down my cheek and I wiped it away angrily. “I don’t have time for this! Why can’t you just stop bothering me for once in your life?”
“I’m not bothering you. I just want to talk to you.” He said calmly.
“I. Don’t. Want. To. Talk.” I hissed.
His eyes hardened. “Fine.” He said. I gave an inaudible sigh of relief, glad that he was finally going to leave.
And then he took a step closer to me, grabbed my face, and pressed his lips firmly to mine, ignoring my startled squeak when he did so.
I was shocked. Frozen. He did not just…oh, god. He did. And I’m just standing here, letting him kiss me like this.
My brain yelled at me to break away, but my body, as if on its own accord, stayed frozen to the spot, not sure what to do.
James’ lips were gentle and soft against mine, and I…almost…didn’t…I didn’t want him to stop.
There. I said it. This feels nice. No, this feels more than nice, it feels right. I’ve never been kissed like this before, and it’s amazing. I’m flying. Soaring. And it’s so perfect and…right.
So my body, flooded with the feeling of rightness, responded to the kiss.
Without bothering to ask me if it was okay.
Mutiny, I tell you! MUTINY!
My lips molded themselves around his, kissing him just as gently as he was kissing me. My hands reached up around his neck and my fingers threaded through his hair, the surprisingly soft strands feeling like satin against my skin.
He smiled into the kiss and pulled me closer to him, sliding his hands around my back and tilting his head to the side. My eyes fluttered shut.
We kissed for…it felt like ages, honestly, when my brain caught up with my actions and I realized that I was standing in the library, a public place, kissing James Freaking Potter. Voluntarily.
Why does this always happen to me?! WHY ME?!?
I pulled away, eyes wide, and stumbled a couple of steps backwards, the shock showing clearly on my face.
“Artemis—” He started, reaching towards me, but I shook my head and staggered back some more.
“No,” I choked out, tears streaming down my face again. “I didn’t just—no. No.”
What have I done? How could I be so stupid?!
I decided to stay away from him. I DECIDED IT!
So why am I doing the exact opposite of that?! Huh?! What’s wrong with me?!?
“Artemis—” He took another step forward, looking pained.
“No! Just….just stay away from me!” I sobbed, backing away. “Just leave me alone!”
“Artemis, just listen –”
“NO!” I childishly covered up my ears. “Go away, Potter. Leave. Stay away from me.”
He looked at me for a second longer, sadness etched upon his face, and then turned around, picked up his bag, and headed for the exit. I hugged myself around the middle and watched as he stopped at the door, glanced back at me, and then walked quickly out of the library.
Clutching at my hair, I collapsed into the chair, sobbing.
What do I do?
What’s happening to me?
I just – this is too much for me! I can’t do this. I can’t.
I’m just so tired of this…all of this. I can’t do it anymore.
Merlin, what I would give just to be a normal girl.
After that lovely sob-fest in the library, I did my best to avoid James as much as possible. Everywhere I went, I could feel his eyes on me, but I never made eye-contact with him, scared of what I would see if I looked. I was scared because, well…I was scared because I knew he loved me. And if he looked at me like that, I just wouldn’t be able to do this anymore.
Because no one has ever looked at me with pure, complete love before. And I’m scared of what I’ll feel if it’s him doing it for the first time.
I can’t fall in love with him. I just can’t. It’ll screw everything up. Everything. All of my efforts, all of my energy…wasted. And I decided I’m not going to fall for him, so I stay by it. End of. I’m NOT going to end up marrying him. I won’t.
I’m not so sure that I don’t want to anymore. I just…won’t.
Don’t ask me why I won’t. I don’t know why. I thought I did, but now I don’t. I’m just…so confused and tired and sick of everything right now.
I want it all to end.
I want something, something that will numb the pain, even if it’s just for a little while. Something that will help me forget everything that’s going on right now. Something. Someone to talk to, something. Ella’s always busy with Jason (doing…actually, I don’t even want to know what they’re up to), or Dom, or school, or Quidditch; Alex is busy being the perfect little girlfriend for her precious Matt, which, if you ask me, is completely fucked up; and Dom is just…completely overwhelmed with everything.
I miss Apollo.
I miss him. I miss my brother, my best friend, my shelter, my protector. I miss my twin brother. We’re – we were – really close. It’s hard not to be close after sharing a uterus with a guy for nine months. And now he’s gone. Everything we had, that bond that we shared…gone. I feel like part of me is missing, like my right arm has been chopped off. Like a chunk of my heart has just…disappeared, gone with Apollo when he left.
I never realized how much he meant to me until I lost him. I mean, I did, but it just…hurts.
I want my brother back. I miss him.
How did everything turn out like this? When did this all go wrong? One minute, we’re have nice, normal lives, and the next thing I know, my world is crashing down around me.
Everything is wrong. Just…everything. Everything is completely, totally, absolutely screwed up. And the scary part…I don’t know how to fix it.
I don’t know how to fix it. Do you know how terrifying that feeling is? I feel completely helpless, like all I’m able to do right now is stand there and watch everything get ruined, but not be able to do anything about it. I’m stuck.
The future is a complete mess, and everything is just wrong.
And I’m scared, because I think it’s my fault. It’s my fault, because I’m trying to change the future. But I don’t want the other alternative. I don’t. Is that selfish of me? I don’t know.
Or maybe everything is meant to happen this way. Maybe this is supposed to happen, little puzzle pieces that fit into a big picture. I just don’t know what the big picture is yet. And, truth be told, I’m scared to know. What if the big picture is the destruction of all of our lives? What if we all end up completely screwed over?
I don’t know. The world is confusing. All I know right now is that my life is a mess, and I have no idea how to fix it.
And I’m absolutely, positively, utterly scared.
Of course, that’s no excuse for hiding in this little niche. I should know that it’s not possible to hide from your problems. And yet…here I am, tucked into this little corner, staring at the wall and wondering what the hell is wrong with me.
I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore.
Yeah, I know that’s my name, Sherlock. That’s not what I meant. I meant, like, my – wait. That didn’t come from inside my head.
“Artemis…what are you doing here?”
Oh, lovely. Potter. I bet he used the Map to find me. Cheater.
“Go find your own hiding place,” I said morosely, blowing a piece of hair out of my face and crossing my arms.
“Why are you hiding from me?” He said it flatly, with no inflections. Monotone. Cold. Dead.
“I’m not hiding from you.”
“Don’t lie to me.”
“Then what are you hiding from?”
“I’m not hiding. I’m thinking.”
“Mmm-hmm.” He said skeptically, still sounding hollow, like his life had been sucked out of him. “Budge over. I want to talk to you.”
“No.” I said obstinately. “I don’t want to talk.”
He sighed in exasperation and I saw him shove a hand through his stubbornly messy hair, which I now know is actually really soft. Like satin. Or velvet. Or silk.
Not that I care, or anything. I’m just saying.
“Artemis…just hear me out. I’ve been absolutely miserable these past few days. I just want to talk to you.” He definitely sounded miserable.
You’re not the only one who’s been absolutely miserable, James. I’ve been miserable, too. We’ve all been miserable. There’s just a whole lot of misery travelling around right now. It’s like a misery-fest. It’s a misery extravaganza, a misery –
Okay. I think you get the point. People are generally extremely miserable right now.
But his misery…well, that’s partly my fault.
And…the guilt floods in. Nice to see you again, guilt. How have you been? Busy? I thought so.
“Fine. Let’s talk.” I sighed, squeezing myself into the niche so he could also slide in. For a second we just stood there, staring at each other. James’ eyes were neutral right now, covered in a mask of indifference. But I could see something brewing underneath the mask, something that was just about ready to burst out. I was glad for that mask. It meant that I couldn’t read his eyes, couldn’t read the emotions that I was so scared of knowing.
“I—” He started, then paused, looked down at me, and sighed. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Well. That’s unhelpful. I’ll just go then…bye – whoa!” I gasped as he suddenly pushed me against the wall, trapping me there with his body.
“You’re not going anywhere.” He growled. “Don’t you dare walk away from me.”
“Or what?” I challenged, squirming around, trying to get some distance between our bodies. Having him this close, completely pressed up against me, did really weird fluttery things to my stomach.
Damn rancid oatmeal. I’m never eating the stuff again.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. “Stop doing that.” He said in a strained voice.
“Stop doing what?” I was completely bewildered.
“Stop…moving…around.” He ordered, teeth clenched together.
“Why? Is it bothering you?” I smirked, squirming again.
He groaned. “Stop it, Artemis.”
“Because. Stop it.”
“No—mppf!” His lips suddenly crashed down on mine, kissing me with a fierce, needy hunger. His mouth was bruising as it moved forcefully over my lips, intense and strong.
Why am I such an oblivious idiot?
I stood there once again, frozen as he kissed me, my lips reacting instinctively to his without thinking. He suddenly stopped and pulled back, leaving barely any distance between our mouths.
“Sorry.” He whispered, his warm breath washing over my face. The feeling of it left my skin tingling. Slowly, he moved his lips back onto mine, kissing me with a slow, deliberate gentleness. Despite my efforts, my eyes drifted shut and my lips, on their own accord, kissed slowly back.
Sparks seemed to flow from his mouth to mine, sending zaps all down my body. I felt like I was electrified, like my every nerve was alive, the warmth spreading all the way down to my toes. Oh, I felt it. Right to the core. He pulled back suddenly, as if he felt it, too.
“Did you feel that?” He asked in a wondering voice.
And I sealed my heart, closing it with a cold, hard shell. Like ice.
“Feel what?” I asked flatly.
“I didn’t feel anything, Potter, except you forcibly kissing me.”
He pressed his lips to mine once again, without warning. The spark zinged through me again, and I gasped, pulling back.
“You felt it, too.” He whispered, looking triumphant. “You felt it, too, Artemis.”
I just looked at him. I couldn’t open my mouth to say no. I just couldn’t.
“Tell me you felt it too, Artemis. Tell me you felt something.” He took my face in his hands, his voice pleading.
I want to, so bad.
But I can’t. I can’t.
“Artemis…tell me you didn’t feel anything and I’ll leave you alone. Just…I have to know.” He begged.
This changes everything. My heart ached, but I kept the ice there, letting the cold shell numb the pain. It’s for the best.
I don’t want this. I just want everything to go back to normal. I can’t fall in love. Love is for normal people, people with happy lives and loving families.
I’m not normal. I’ll never be normal. I don’t deserve to fall in love.
James doesn’t need to deal with me. No one should have to.
“No.” I said in a cold, detached voice, closing my eyes so I wouldn’t have to read his expression. “I didn’t feel anything.”
He released my face and stepped back, as if I had slapped him instead of saying those five words.
“You…didn’t?” He whispered, his voice breaking in agony.
“No.” But my voice wavered. A crack formed through the ice, cutting deep into the tender part of my heart. I didn’t have any ice left to cover it, so I left it there, letting it throb.
Sometimes it’s better to hurt than to feel nothing at all. Then at least you know you’re alive.
He looked at me for a long moment, the mask carefully covering his eyes again. Then, without another word, he abruptly turned around, stepped out of the niche, and walked away.
He didn’t look back.
Silent sobs wracked through my body as I slid down the wall, tears streaming down my face in torrents. My heart felt like it had been shattered in a million pieces, and I didn’t know if I would be able to find all the parts and mend them. I didn’t know how I could mend them. I didn’t know if I wanted to.
This was what I wanted all along, wasn’t it? I’d achieved my goal. I’d gotten what I wanted. I should be thrilled. Elated.
Then why does this hurt so badly?
wow, what an angst-fest!
who wants to hate me right now? (PUT YOUR HAND DOWN, KID.)
let me rephrase: who wants to hate artemis right now?
jesus. look at all those hands.
it had to happen. it's called a plot-mover-on-er.
wow, i think i need a new word for that.
anyway. i know you're all probably beyond pissed at me - AHEM, ARTEMIS - right now, but do you want to make me extremely happy and leave reviews? that would be awesome!
QuEsTiOn TiMe :
1) Classic: what do you think is going to happen next? (i know we can't all be artemis, but i do love predictions. some of you come very close)
2) would you like to yell at Artemis? rant right here. i'll pass it on.
3) hmm...wow. i'm trying to think of questions... FAVORITE QUOTES?! i love favorite quotes! please leave favorite quotes!
4) check out my author's page?
aaaaand, that's about it for now. i'm wracking my brains, but am coming up with a fat, large blank because i just dont know what else to ask you.
you could just rant at me. that's okay, too. really, anything goes.
thank you so much for those super-long-reviewers! i love you guys!
i love ALL OF YOU for reviewing :D
you make my day whenever you leave a happy little review for me to read.
reviews are candy. i like candy.
HIT ME WITH SOME SKITTLES, YO. XD
peace out, homiesss !!
ps - guess who makes her first entrance next chapter?? NOAH! be excited! i adore her :D