Chapter 10 : In Which Izzy Attempts to Atone...
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I woke up in the hospital wing. Everything hurt. Al wasn’t there. Neither was Rue. Or James. I was all alone. The events of the day came rushing back to me. The game. James. Al. My See. Oh, God.
The See. I was wrong. I had been wrong. So wrong.
I flipped through mental images in my mind. How had I mistaken James for Al for five years? I thought about that day on the train. I’d seen James first. My mind had locked on that hair and seen nothing else. I’d seen James grow up and look more like the man in my vision, without ever paying attention to what Al really looked like.
I closed my eyes, and tried to picture exactly what my friend looked like. He had a scar on his hand, from when we were twelve and he burnt his hand on a cauldron. He’d been too afraid of the potions teacher, Professor Martin, to ask for the hospital wing. When it healed, it looked like a smiley face, so he didn’t let him mum fix it that summer.
I combed through my carefully filed memories of my Sees. There. A See of us, when we chose our first house. I could see the scar perfectly. Al hadn’t been missing from my future; James was. How had I missed this? I must have been glazing over the details that made James not fit them. Why?
I sat there, in the bed, surrounded by no one. It scared me. What had I done?
I tried to curl up, but all of my bones hurt. Everything hurt. But I think my heart hurt the most.
I was cleared to go a few days later. I hadn’t had one visitor the whole time. I didn’t want to leave. Leaving the peacefulness of the hospital wing meant that I’d have to face my team, and Al and Rue.
I got my things and put my Quidditch robes on, since that is what I’d came in, and then wandered back to Ravenclaw Tower. It was just after dinner, which meant that the common room would be stuffed with people.
I walked up to the brass eagle knocker and knocked on it lightly, twice.
“What rhymes with ‘dove’, but doesn’t always bring peace?”
I chewed my bottom lip. The door had a sense of humor.
“Love.” I said in a monotone.
“If you say so.” It said, swinging open. I walked in and headed for the staircase. The room fell silent as I walked. I tried not to, but I looked back anyway. The various bunches of students, scattered about in the tall blue and gold armchairs were staring at me; watching as I made my way across the room.
“What?” I said, yelling as I hit the staircase. “Shouldn’t you all be studying?” I asked.
They all flinched a little when I yelled. Then, they all slowly turned back to their books and conversations. I caught Rue’s eye and tried to soften my face, but she turned away.
“Rue.” I called to her. “Why are you mad?” I asked. “You don’t even care about Qudditch.
“James told everyone about you and Al.” she said.
“What do you mean?”
Rue bit her lip, and then burst out. “Why didn’t you tell me you were cheating on James? What kind of person does that with someone’s brother?” she asked.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I asked.
Rue spoke again, using the voice someone might use with a five year old. “James. Told us. That you cheated on him with Al.”
“No effing way.” I said, running my hands through my hair.
“You got what was coming to you.” Rue said. “Falling off your broom and all.”
“What?” I said.
“You hurt James. You hurt Al. You lost the match.” Rue said.
“Why would you believe James?” I asked.
Rue grimaced. “You came back to the room late on Saturday. We knew you’d been out with Al. And then at the game, James looked all upset and you yelled at him. And then you yelled at Al. We heard you tell Al he was ‘screwing up’ yours and James’ relationship. You look pretty guilty right now.”
“Rue.” I said. “I’ve had rough week. Don’t listen to what a prick,” I said, raising my voice so the whole room could hear, “like James Potter says. He was cheating on me with Trisha Greenwood.”
I looked around the room for a face, any face that looked like they were understanding. “And Al and don’t have a relationship. Never have, never will.” I said, my voice cracking and my eyes filling with tears as I turned and hurried up the staircase.
I fell onto my bed and kept crying. I’d messed up everything. I closed my eyes and all I could see was Al’s stony face as he let me fall into my See and to the ground. I began to throw things into my trunk, and threw the lock on. I whipped out my wand and applied a feather light charm to it, and made it follow me back out, down the stairs, into the suddenly hushed (again) common room, and out the door.
I marched down the winding stairs and then back to the hospital wing.
“I don’t feel very well.” I said to the nurse. “Can I stay here until the train leaves for break tomorrow?”
The woman smiled kindly and led me back to the bed I’d just vacated. I slept hard and boarded the train first thing the next morning, sealing my compartment and pulling down the blinds.
My mother met me outside King’s Cross, with her arms open wide. It was such a wonderful feeling to have someone love you, even if they had to because they were your mum.
“How are you, darling?” she asked.
“Not great.” I said, my eyes full of tears again.
“Oh. What’s wrong?” she asked, leading me to a cab.
I sat in our flat for two weeks straight, sleeping in, and taking long showers and cleaning the house for my mum. I even decorated the place all Christmassy.
“Oh, it’s beautiful!” she exclaimed when she walked in on the 23rd. I smiled. “We haven’t had this many decorations since…” she trailed off. “Well, since your father died.” She finished simply.
I chewed my lip. “Mum?” I asked.
“When did you realize that you were going to marry Da?” I asked.
She looked thoughtful. “Oh, right after he told me he was a wizard.” She said.
“He told you before you got married?” I asked.
“Yeah. He wasn’t really supposed to, but I sort of figured it out.” She said, with a wink.
“Yeah. He was so impressed that I believed so easily that he asked me to move in with him. Said that his da didn’t know until he married his mum. ‘Bit of a nasty shock’, I think, is what he said. ” She paused. “I told him that I was only going to live with my husband. So he proposed.” She said, smiling at the memory. “We were friends long before. Even before he went to Hogwarts.” She said.
“Yeah. He and his parents lived next door when we were little. His da, like I told you, was a muggle. His mum was a witch.”
“Did you ever really muck it up with him?” I asked.
“Well, yeah.” She said. “But that doesn’t matter, honey. If you mucked it up with Al, then you’ve got to let him cool down and then just apologize.”
I was speechless. “How do you know it was Albus and not James?” I asked.
“You and James aren’t serious.” She said.
“How do you know?” I asked, sticking my chin out.
“I know my daughter.” She said.” And I know that you and Al are going to be together as soon as you figure out that James is not the one for you.” she said, shrugging her shoulders and going to make some coffee.
I returned to Hogwarts under the same gray, foggy sky that I had left it with. I unpacked my things and left Rue’s gift on her bed. I’d bought it way in advance, and couldn’t throw it away. It was a creamy gold scarf that I knew would look great with her soft brown skin.
She came in a few minutes later and smiled a half a smile.
“I’m sorry.” She said. “I should have asked you first. But you were so mean that night…” she said.
“I should have told you. I was just upset because I’d just seen James and Trisha on the floor of that closet.” I said.
“No. We weren’t fair to you. Ravenclaws stick together. And we let you get eaten alive by that gossip.” She said.
A few long minutes later, Rue sat cross legged on her bed, wearing her new scarf, and throwing questions at me.
“Can you win the lottery?” she asked.
“Why does everyone ask that? And no.” I added. “But I didn’t tell you this just so you could bombard me with questions. I’ve got to explain the complicated part.”
“Oooh. What?” she asked.
“Okay. So I’ve been seeing my wedding day since I was five. The older I get, the further I see. And I thought I was seeing James in all those Sees.” I explained.
“And so I kept dating James, even though I see now that he was a pretty big arse. It was just after I totally embarrassed Al in front of the whole school that I had a See- while falling off my broom, no less- that made it clear that I’d been seeing Al the whole time. I hadn’t realized how grown up he’d gotten because I’d been paying attention to James.”
“Okay.” Rue said, taking it all in. “So let me get this straight. You liked James because you thought you were going to marry him. But really, you’re going to marry Al. Except Al hates you.”
“Well, hell.” Rue said. “You really don’t do anything halfway, do you?”
“So what do I do?” I asked
Rue bit her lip. “I don’t know.” Then she smiled. “Oh!”
“Yeah?” I asked
“I have your Christmas present, too.”
“Damn.” I said. “I thought you had an idea.”
“Oh. No. But you can have a pretty present.” She said, holding out a box. Inside was a soft v-neck shirt in a dark purple color.
“It’s really pretty, Rue.” I said.
“Thanks. Thought it would look good on you. You can wear it when you apologize to Al.” she said.
“Is that what I should do?” I asked.
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