chapter thirteen? yay?
“I’m fine.” I assured Dom as we made our way to breakfast.
She opened her mouth, looking concerned, but I gave her an exasperated look and she quickly closed it.
“Artemis…” Ella said, laying her hand on my other arm.
I sighed and turned around to look at her. “I’m fine.” I repeated.
“Missy, I really –” Fred started.
“I’m FINE!” I insisted, glaring at the lot of them. “Seriously, people!”
“Guys, give it a rest. She says she’s fine. Let it go.” Scorpius said tiredly, running a hand through his hair as he sneaked another look at Rose. She was currently talking to Jeremy Thomas about Arithmancy, though judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t paying attention to a single word that was coming out of her mouth. Paying attention to her, sure. Just not anything she was saying, which, if it was about bloody numbers, wasn’t the slightest bit interesting.
“Just go over there, Scor.” Jason said, following his line of sight.
“What?” Scorpius asked distractedly.
“Just go over there and show him not to mess with your girl.” Fred nudged Scorp’s shoulder with his fist.
“What – no, no! It’s not like that. I just…uh…” He trailed off at our incredulous faces.
“Alright, fine, it is.” He grumbled, looking disgruntled as he shot them another look. “But –”
“Go, Scorpius. You have my permission.” Al patted his arm solemnly.
“Oh, good!” Scorpius shot back sarcastically, rolling his eyes. “That was the only thing holding me back. I’m so relived.”
“What’re you so afraid of, anyway? Just go over there.” Ella suggested.
“She doesn’t feel that way about me, guys!” Scorpius said exasperatedly, running another distracted hand through his hair as he glanced at Rose and Jeremy again. Jeremy was now staring very intently at her mouth, inching a bit closer.
We looked at Scorpius.
“You’re an idiot.” I told him promptly.
“Hey!” He said indignantly. “Why am I an –”
“Because the girl’s been in love with you since first bloody year, you fucking imbecile!” Dom said, shoving his arm.
“Okay, jeez, no need to get pushy, woman!” Scorpius rubbed his arm, scowling at her. “And how do you know?”
Dom groaned. “I just do! Go over there!”
“I don’t know…” Scorpius said, shooting them another furtive glance. Jeremy was now really close to Rose, and she trailed off what she was saying.
“It’s now or never, mate.” Fred advised, clapping him on the back. “She’s his or yours. You pick.”
We watched Scorpius as he continued to stare at Rose and Jeremy. She had backed away nervously, trying to get back to the conversation, but he leaned forward and cupped her cheek. She trailed off unsurely again.
Scorpius’ jaw locked. “Yeah, not a chance. She’s mine.” He growled, cracking his knuckles as he strode quickly towards Rose and Jeremy.
I grinned. “Our little Scorpy’s growing up!” I said fondly. “And now he’s going to get himself a little girlfrie – oh, dear.”
Fred sucked in a sharp breath of pity as Rose quickly hid behind Scorpius, thanking him profusely as he sent Jeremy packing. One sentence stuck out to us, a sentence that made Scorpius wince.
“Oh, thank god I’ve got so many brothers! You guys are always there to protect me. Thanks for that, Scorp.”
“Fuck, that blows.” Al shook his head, shrugging helplessly as Scorpius shot him a look.
“Way to be sensitive, Al.” Ella deadpanned.
“It’s my specialty.” Al sent her a winning smile, and she affectionately rolled her eyes.
“Oi! Potter!” We all turned around at the sound of the voice, and Noah marched up to Al.
“Hey there, Longbo – mmph!”
I felt my jaw drop open as Noah grabbed his tie, jerked him forward, and crashed her lips onto his. Ella was gaping at the two of them like a fish out of water, and Al’s eyes were wide and surprised. Slowly, he let them close, but before he could even fully begin to enjoy the kiss, Noah pulled away, breathing heavily, her face flushed.
“I win.” She declared, smirking at his flabbergasted expression. “How’s that for timid, huh Potter?”
“Um.” He responded brilliantly, his eyes still wide.
She smirked wider. “Thought so. I’ll see you around.” With that, she waved and walked away, Al staring after her, looking both bemused and surprised as he ran a hand distractedly through his hair.
He seems to do that a lot around her…
…oh. OH. OH. WHOA!
“What. The. Fuck. Was. That?” Jason asked, eyes wide.
“Dare.” I sighed, since Al seemed to be rendered incapable of speech.
“Was that my sister?!” Ella finally screeched, snapping out of her surprise-induced haze.
“Clearly.” Dom shot her a stony look.
“Why was my little sister kissing you?” Ella demanded, turning to Al.
“Erm – I sort of dared her to.” He said.
“Last night.” He muttered.
“Why were you with her last night?” Merlin, Ella sounds like a mother.
“She was with Artemis!” Al put his hands up and backed away. “I just came across them, I swear.”
“I’ll vouch for him.” I said, when Ella looked at me for confirmation. “Your sister’s the reason I’m feeling better.”
“Hmmph.” Ella said. Then, turning to Al, “Why did you dare her to kiss you?”
“Well, not me, specifically, I just dared her to prove that she wasn’t –”
“Do you like her?”
“I – what? No!”
“You’re not going to kiss her again, are you?”
“Merlin, Ella, she kissed me!”
“You’d better not play around with her, Al.” Ella warned. She had him backed up against the wall at this point, and he looked as though he was fearing for his life.
“What? Since when have I ‘played around’ with girls, Ella?!” Al asked indignantly. “Plus, she doesn’t seem like the type that would be easily played.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ella’s eyes narrowed.
Al shrugged. “I dunno – she’s different.”
Ella glared at him once more. “Are you sure you don’t like her?”
“No! I mean, she’s hot – but I respect her as a female and everything!” He backtracked quickly when Ella’s eyes narrowed further. “And I might find her a little attractive –”
“Are you attracted to her?” Ella demanded.
“Yes – wait, I meant no! Not at all! Not in the slightest!” Al’s eyes were wide.
“You are not to kiss her again. Unless you’re dating her first.” She said sternly.
“SHE kissed ME!” Al yelled, waving his arms about. “I didn’t kiss her, Ella! SHE KISSED ME!”
“Who kissed him?” Rose asked, finally arriving on the scene. Scorpius was standing next to her, looking thoroughly upset.
“Noah.” Dom said.
“The very same.”
“As in, Ella’s little sister?” Scorpius’ eyebrows shot up.
“Yep.” Fred said. “Which brings us to…here.” He gestured at Al and Ella. Al was gaping at her incredulously while she went into a furious rant, involving much hand-waving and accused pointing.
“Um, what’s going on?” Noah appeared next to me.
“You came back!” I said, relieved.
“I didn’t ever leave. I just went in to get some breakfast – why is Ella yelling at him?” Noah asked.
“You kissed him?” Scorpius her blankly.
She shrugged. “Yeah.”
“And she left him speechless.” I smirked proudly. “Twice.”
“So?” She shrugged again. “Not a big deal.”
“Are you kidding?” Fred was looking almost reverently at her. “No one’s been able to do that. Ever. Al is the most unaffected guy ever. He’s never been left speechless by a girl before.”
“You’re my new hero.” Rose breathed, and Noah grinned.
“Welcome to the Freak Circus, little Noah.” Jason patted her on the shoulder. “There’s no turning back now.”
She laughed. “Should I be afraid?”
I nodded gravely. “Extremely.”
“I’m gonna need introductions.” Noah said, looking around at everyone. “There’s a lot of you guys.”
“Aren’t you going to save Al first?” I asked, and we turned around to look at him. He was propped up against the wall, arms crossed, expression bemused as he watched Ella rant furiously at him. It seemed as though he wasn’t listening to a word she was saying.
“He seems to be doing okay on his own.” Noah shrugged.
“Okay.” I grinned. “I’m Artemis –”
I glared at Noah before continuing. “As I was saying, I’m Artemis, this is Rose, Scorpius, Freddie, Jason and Dom. Plus there’s Alex, James and Apollo, but as of now, they’re M.I.A. Let’s see…Rose and Scorpius are in love but too afraid to admit it –”
Rose and Scorpius both sputtered indignantly at me, but I ignored them.
“ – Freddie just broke up with his slag of a girlfriend, Mallory Something-or-Other –”
“Finnegan.” Fred inserted.
“Does it look like I care? And Alex, you’ll see her soon, used to be in love with Freddie-boy, but then she gave up on him because he didn’t love her back and now she’s going out with Matt Connery.”
Noah’s nose crinkled slightly.
“Yeah, we don’t like him either.” Jason said. “I hate the fact that the little sleazebag is running his hands all over my cousin.” He scowled angrily.
“They’re best friends.” Rose affirmed for Noah.
“Yes. Uh, I have a twin brother…” Here I faltered slightly. “Erm, Apollo Jones.”
“I’m pregnant with his baby.” Dom inserted brightly.
“Then he ran out on her –” Scorpius added oh-so-caringly.
“– and we have no clue where he might be.” Fred finished.
“We really hate him right now.” I said. “But he was sort of my everything, so I’m understandably distraught.”
“I know.” Noah said, smiling slightly at me.
“Moving on…” I said. “Erm, there’s James, but he’s got a new girlfriend, who I haven’t quite had the pleasure to meet yet.”
Something in Noah’s eyes tightened, and she looked at me in concern.
“Jesus Christ!” I said exasperatedly. “For the last time, I’m fine!”
“Right.” Fred said hurriedly, before I got into a furious tirade. “So…yeah, basically that’s pretty much it. Oh, and Jason’s dating your older sister.”
“Hurt her and you’re dead.” Noah said right away, smiling angelically at Jason. He took an involuntary step back.
“Got it.” He said, nodding furiously. “I would never hurt her anyway –”
“ – he’s sort of hopelessly in love with her.” Rose finished, smirking slightly at him.
“Don’t say that so loud!” Jason hissed, casting a furtive look towards Ella, who was, thankfully, still berating Al.
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Dom slapped her forehead. “Artemis is in love with James but too stubborn and stupid to admit it.”
My jaw dropped open. “I AM NOT –” I began hotly.
“She also has denial issues.” Scorpius said.
“Oi, I do not have denial issues!”
“We rest our case.” Jason said, after a minute of them staring at me. I huffed angrily.
“Ella, are you done yet?” Al asked exasperatedly, finally getting tired of Ella’s screaming.
“NO, I AM NOT DONE YET!” She screamed. “If you so much as touch her –”
“Hey, sis.” Noah cut across, looking at Ella with an eyebrow raised.
“Noah!” Ella turned around and launched herself at Noah, who caught her and mouthed ‘you’re welcome’ to Al. He rolled his eyes, straightening himself off the wall and stretching languorously.
“So, I hear you’re freaking out at Potter?” Noah asked her, eyebrow raised.
Ella rolled her eyes. “Well, yeah –”
“Ella, I can take care of myself.” Noah reminded her. “I know you get worried or whatever, but seriously–”
“Plus, she’s got all of us to protect her now!” Al said cheerfully, slinging his arm around Noah. “She’s officially part of our Freak Circus.”
“That’s nice.” Ella said tiredly. “Al, please don’t make me yell at you again, I’m already tired from the last time.”
“What’d I do wrong this time?” Al asked, his brow furrowing.
Ella raised her eyebrow at his arm, which was still slung carelessly around Noah’s shoulders. Al raised his own eyebrow back at her, keeping his arm there. With an irritated huff, Noah shook him off.
“Honestly, what are you playing at? You’re just trying to piss her off.” She said, narrowing her eyes at him.
He smirked. “Is it working?”
“Yes.” Ella inserted tightly.
He shrugged. “Alright, then. Come on, I’ll walk you to class.”
“No, I can walk myself to class, thank you very – oi, put my books down, you tosser!”
Al slung her back over his shoulder and started walking away, ignoring her as she continued her fruitless attempts to get her bag back.
“Later, guys!” Al called over his shoulder. “Oh, and Ella?” He added. She glared at him, and he smirked lazily back. “I lied.”
“About what?” Ella yelled back furiously. But he just waved a hand without looking back and adjusted the bag on his shoulder.
“About liking her.” I said, rolling my eyes. “I should have known that he would turn into James Potter Senior when he fell in love. What a prat.”
“Why would he lie to me about that?” Ella moaned. “I just yelled at him for nothing!”
“I think he enjoys pissing you off, love.” Jason told her, shrugging in a ‘what-can-you-do’ sort of way.
“It’s official.” Al announced as he clambered into the Gryffindor Common room after lunch. “I am in love.”
Scorpius rolled his eyes and muttered something that sounded vaguely like ‘romantic fool’, while Rose just sat there, looking at him as though he had gone utterly wacko.
The rest of us seemed to share her sentiments, as we were currently gaping in disbelief at Al.
“In love…with my sister?” Ella confirmed, and Al nodded, beaming.
“Albus, you barely know her.” Dom said patiently, and Al shot her a look.
“So, you don’t know enough about her to ‘love’ her.” Dom stressed.
“I know enough.” Al sat down on the couch.
“Like how she smells like flowers and cinnamon. Like how when she smiles, everything seems a bit brighter. How she makes me all nervous and sweaty. How I love her laugh. Like how I just can’t seem to get her out of my head –”
“Dude,” Scorpius inserted, looking at his best friend with genuine concern. “Are you gay?”
Al smacked him upside the head. “Did I not just make it clear that I’m in love with a girl, you moronic prick?!”
“Al, you still barely know her.” Ella said blankly. “You can’t possibly be in love with –”
“Do you believe in love at first sight?” Al asked her abruptly.
“Or should I walk by you again?” I added enthusiastically, grinning at my genius pick-up line.
I was ignored. Thanks, guys. Love you, too.
“No.” Ella scoffed.
“Well, I do. So did my grandpa.” Al said. “And him and grandma produced the savior of the wizarding world, so I wouldn’t be scoffing if I were you, Ells.”
“Yes, but that stuff only happens in –”
“So, you’re insinuating that my grandparents were in some sort of twisted fairy tale?” Al raised an eyebrow at her, and she huffed exasperatedly.
“Alright, it may happen once in a while, but honestly Al –”
“Look, I really do feel something for her. So I would appreciate it if you didn’t try and bite my head off for just thinking about her.”
“Will you stop cutting me off?”
Al just looked at her, and she sighed again.
“Fine.” She said in a tight voice. “You can date her – if you get her to say yes. But don’t bring up any of this ‘love’ nonsense. Otherwise I swear I’m going to set my crazy grandmother on you.”
A vivid mental movie of an old lady (wearing a ratty old nightgown, fluffy faded bunny slippers and a hairnet) beating Al up with a bag of cat food flashed through my mind, and I hastily suppressed the resulting giggle with the back of my hand.
Of course, now they choose to pay attention to me.
“What?” I shrugged innocently. “It’s a funny mental image.”
Dom looked to the sky. “I am surrounded by a bunch of loons. How could you do this to me, Merlin?” She moaned dramatically.
“So, where is Noah, anyway?” Jason asked, turning to Al.
“Class.” He said immediately. “She’s got Ancient Runes. Hey, do you think McGonagall would let me take the class if I asked nicely enough?” He asked, brightening.
“No.” I said hastily, before Al started officially stalking the poor girl.
“Damn.” He muttered, sitting back. “Would it look really creepy if I went back to pick her up?” He asked again, his green eyes anxious.
“Honestly, Al?” Fred sighed. “Yes.”
“Damnit.” Al said.
“I still can’t believe this is happening.” Ella muttered, pressing her fingers to her temples. “You’ve had one conversation with her, Al! Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
“Hey, when’s her birthday?” Al asked instead, ignoring Ella’s question.
Ella sighed deeply, burying her face in her hands. “It’s next week.” Her muffled voice said. “I think I’m going to go for a walk. This is so weird.”
“I’ll come with you.” Jason stood up immediately, his expression eager.
How much do you want to bet that they’ll soon be in an abandoned broom cupboard, snogging each other’s brains out?
Yeah, I wouldn’t bet, either. It’s inevitable, really.
“No, Ella, I need to know her favorite color! Come back!” Al called after her desperately.
“I’m leaving!” Ella called over her shoulder.
“Is it pink? Blue? Green? ELLA, I NEED YOU!”
“Go to hell!”
Al scowled, resting his chin on the palm of his hand.
“How am I supposed to woo her if I don’t even know what her favorite color is?” He pouted.
“Albus, please tell me you didn’t just say the word ‘woo’ in normal conversation.” I said disbelievingly.
“That’s it.” Rose stood up. “I’m getting him a bed at Mungo’s.”
“Make sure there’s a nice view.” Al said absently as she walked out of the portrait hole. She turned around and shot him one last wary look before shaking her head and continuing on her way.
“It’s official.” Scorpius said with a resigned sigh. “My best friend has gone loony.”
“Sorry, Scorp.” I said, patting his arm consolingly. “You can always find another one.”
“Maybe I should make signs.” Scorpius brightened. “ ‘WANTED: New best friend. Sixth year. Male. Preferably not insane. Owl Scorpius Malfoy if interested.’ Good, right?”
“Erm – sure.” I said. “You’re not actually going to go and make those signs, though, are –”
“I better get going!” He said enthusiastically, getting up. “I’ve got about fifty signs to make!”
“Okay, that makes you just as loony.” Fred reached out and snagged Scorp’s arm as he made to get past, shoving him back onto the sofa. “How about acting like a real best friend and helping him through it?”
We stared at Fred.
“Gosh, Fred, whose brain did you steal?” Dom asked admiringly. “That was actually sort of smart.”
Fred flipped her off. She smirked. I grinned.
I love my friends.
“Hey, guys!” Alex breezed through the portrait hole, a large smile on her face. She stopped at the sight of us – me, Dom and Fred looking slightly lost, Scorpius sulking with his arms crossed while muttering indignantly about us ruining a perfectly good idea, and Al gazing off into space with a dreamy expression on his face.
“What did I miss?” She asked warily, and I sat back with a laugh.
“You explain, Freddie.”
Fred looked up at her, and swallowed quickly before addressing the wall right next to her ear. “Er – Al fell in love with Ella’s sister Noah after Noah kissed him this morning and left him speechless, Scorp tried to win Rosie over but failed miserably since she sees him as a brother and James has a new girlfriend.”
Alex looked annoyed as she turned to the rest of us. “Why do you always do interesting stuff when I’m gone?” She demanded. “Can’t you just…make it wait till I’m also there to see?”
“We can’t control these things.” Dom shrugged tiredly. “Scorpius, give it up, the signs were stupid anyway.”
He sighed resignedly. “Guess I’ll be stuck listening to Al rant about the color of her eyes or something.”
“They’re a deep, bright brown.” Al rattled off immediately. “Sort of like melted cho –” His mouth continued to move, but no sound came out. He glared indignantly at us.
“He was already starting to annoy me.” Alex shrugged, putting her wand away as we all gaped at her.
Al shot her a couple of very obscene hand gestures and pointed furiously at his mouth. She raised an eyebrow.
“Sorry, Al, I can’t seem to understand what you’re trying to tell me.” She said casually, kicking off her shoes and swinging onto the couch. Al sulked, arms crossed as he glared petulantly at Alex. She cheerfully ignored him.
“So, what’s this about James’ new girlfriend?” She asked.
I stood up. “I’m going to get some air.” I said automatically. I turned around to walk out of portrait hole before anyone could stop me, nearly running to get away from the conversation. A hand grabbed my shoulder as soon as I got outside and I turned around, ready to tell the person off.
But I was met with Al, his green eyes worried as he pulled me into a brotherly hug. It seemed to say ‘I’m sorry. I know this sucks.’ I sighed, putting my head against his shoulder and letting him pat my head a bit.
My body was pulled back to a couple of weeks ago, when James had done the same thing, and I found myself fighting against a lump in my throat.
“I’m the biggest fuckup in the entire world, Al.” I said, tears welling up in my eyes. He tapped my shoulder, then pointed at his mouth beseechingly when I looked up at him.
I let out a watery chuckle. “Promise not to talk about her eyes?”
He drew an ‘X’ above his heart with his finger, looking solemnly at me. With a sigh, I pointed my wand at his throat.
“Thank Merlin.” He muttered, putting one arm around my shoulders so that we could walk. “Let’s go. You talk and I listen, okay?”
“Noah.” I said, shaking my head as I looked at him through water-filled eyes. “I need to talk to Noah.”
“Okay, we can wait until her class is over. How about you cry and I hug while then?” He said immediately.
“Okay.” I whispered, letting him pull me down the hallway.
I cried and he hugged for a long time.
I looked up and saw that Noah was standing there, looking down at me and Al.
“How’d you find us?” He asked, standing up and running a hand through his hair.
She grinned. “A little birdie told me.”
“Let me guess: the little birdie was Lily and she stole the Marauder’s Map.” Al predicted.
“Funnily enough, yes.”
“Little wench.” He muttered. “Now I’ll have to find it and steal it back from her.”
“Hey, you alright?” Noah asked caringly, sitting down in front of me. I laughed disbelievingly and sniffed oh-so-attractively.
“Does it look like I’m alright?”
“Okay, okay. No need to get snarky with me, woman.” Noah put her hands up and I couldn’t help but grin a little.
“I screwed up.” I sighed, looking down at my hands.
“Everyone screws up.” Noah said immediately.
“But I screwed up big time.” I countered.
“Should I, er…leave or something?” Al asked unsurely, looking thoroughly awkward standing there.
“No, stay.” I sighed, pulling him down. “I cried all over your shirt anyway; I don’t want to ruin another one.”
“Oh, jeez.” Al said disgustedly, noticing the mess for the first time. “No wonder this feels so sticky. Merlin, Missy, you sure do cry a lot.”
“Thanks.” I said dryly. “Can I just have the shirt for now, then? I’ll wash it and give it back later.”
“It’s all yours.” He said fervently, unbuttoning it hastily and throwing it at me. I caught it and sneezed into it, groaning.
“I always get all sick-like after I cry.” I croaked.
“You know what?” Al looked like he was going to be sick right along with me. “On second thought, just keep the shirt.”
“You look ridiculous.” I informed him, blowing my nose into the shirt.
“Hey! I look fine. Sure, maybe my muscles aren’t as amazing as Jamesie’s, but that’s only because all I have to do is catch the bloody sni –”
“You’re still wearing your tie.” Noah told him, looking very carefully at everything but his defined abs. I smirked into the shirt.
“I don’t have anywhere else to put it, anyway.” He shrugged. With a sigh, I reached over and pulled it off myself, wadding it up and sticking it in my pocket.
“There we go.” I said. “Al no longer looks ridiculous, I get to snot on this shirt as much as I desire, and Noah can stare at Al’s abs all she wants. Can we talk about how I’m a major screwup now?”
Noah rolled her eyes at my outburst, but still blushed a bit. Al was positively beaming. “Alright, talk.” She said.
I sighed. “James probably hates me right now.”
Al opened his mouth, most likely to agree, but Noah glared at him once and he shut up.
“You did sort of break his heart, Artemis. He’s not going to love you for it.” Noah said carefully.
I sat back against the wall, letting tears leak down my face. “I should have just agreed when he asked me if I felt something. I shouldn’t have lied about it.”
“What’s done is done, Artemis. You just have to keep looking ahead.” Noah said gently, and I nearly smiled at the double meaning behind her words.
“A couple of weeks ago, James told me something. He said, ‘It’s true that you never realize how important something is until you lose it, but you also don’t realize how important something else is until it arrives’.” I said, two more tears crawling down my face.
“How do you remember stuff like that?” Al asked admiringly after a short silence.
“I just do.” I sighed. “That’s not important. What is important is that I just realized what he was talking about.”
“So did I.” Noah said quietly.
I took a shuddering breath. “I lost it before it even arrived.” Four tears dripped their way to the floor. “How could I be so stupid?”
I was sobbing now, hating myself for not seeing this sooner. Hating myself for being so stubborn and refusing to see the truth when it was glaring right at me.
Al pulled me into a hug, looking concerned. “Shh.” He said, rubbing my back. “Artemis, what do you mean?”
“I love him, Al.” I wailed, groping around for the shirt so I could bury my face into it. Al’s hand froze on it’s path down my hair.
“What?” He whispered.
“I’m in love with James.” I sobbed. “And I was too stupid. I let it go. I lost him.”
“Well, fuck.” Al muttered, shocked. I let out a very watery chuckle.
“Well, fuck is right.” I hiccupped and took a steadying breath. “What should I do?”
“I don’t know.” Noah shrugged when I turned to her.
“How could you not know?! You know everything!” I moaned, throwing my head into my hands. Great. I’m done for. I’ll become an aging cat-lady instead of ever getting married, worshiping some creeper shrine featuring James while he’s off, growing gracefully old and playing with his fifty beautiful grandchildren alongside his beautiful wife.
It’s just waiting to happen. I’ll probably see it in a vision soon.
“Merlin, Artemis, I’m only bloody sixteen!” She cried indignantly, and I sighed.
“Dom.” Al said suddenly. “You need to talk to Dom, Artemis.”
Dom always knows what to do when it comes to situations like these.
If not, we could always sneak down to the kitchens and eat about a ton of chocolate ice cream.
“Okay, I am officially stumped.”
I groaned and threw my head back. “Dom!”
“Artemis, I’m sorry, I just…okay, can I be blunt here?” Dom asked me. I nodded resignedly.
“It’s your fault.” She stated, and I winced. “You’re the one who broke his heart over and over again; it’s perfectly normal for him to move on. In fact, if I was him, I’d probably hate you more than anything else right now. You can’t just hate someone one day and then…decide to love him the next. It just doesn’t work that way, Missy.”
I sighed, fighting against the large lump in my throat. “I guess I sort of needed that.”
“Sorry I had to say it.” Dom pulled on a lock of her hair. “You’re not mad at me, are you?”
“No, Dom, I’m not.” I said. “I really did need to hear that. The thing is, I didn’t just ‘suddenly decide’ to fall in love with him. I’ve been falling in love with him all along. I just sort of realized my mistake.”
“Don’t you think it’s a little too late for that?” A voice asked tentatively from behind me.
“Come on in, Ella.” I sighed, reaching behind me to pull open the curtain of my bed. She climbed in, immediately snuggling up to me.
“Oi, you are not having another interesting meeting without me; budge over!” Alex also barreled in, closing the curtain behind her. “Now, what’re we talking about?”
“We’re discussing ways to break up you and Matt!” Dom said enthusiastically. “I said we should turn him into a frog, but Artemis thinks we should cut him up into little pieces and feed him to the Giant Squid.”
I nodded fervently. “One at a time, so it’s more satisfying for us.”
“Castration.” Ella put in, nodding wisely. “It’s the best way to go.”
We burst out laughing, but then I sighed again. “I just realized that I’m in love with James.”
Alex looked concerned. “Um, isn’t it a bit too late for that?”
“That’s what I said.” Ella said, looking at me and biting her lip. “Missy, he probably doesn’t want to hear that right now. He sort of just gave up on you.”
“Yeah, after you ripped out his heart and stomped on it.” Alex added.
I scowled. “Thanks, guys. I feel loads better.”
“Look, what I’m trying to say is…” Dom started.
“…you’ve got to let him go.” Alex finished. “Because, trust me, no one’s big enough to give you another chance after what you did. Artemis, the bloke didn’t just like you a little; he was madly in love with you. And you just…”
“Threw it back in his face.” I completed, tears dropping down my face. “I’m such a fucking imbecile. I felt it, Alex. I felt it all along. I was just so scared of it. I didn’t know what to do. So I just did what I do best – I pushed it all away and…and…”
“Artemis.” Ella said gently. “You can’t do this to him.”
“I know.” I wailed. “I know I can’t. It’s not fair to him. I just…Merlin, why did I do that?”
“Everyone makes mistakes.” Dom put in helpfully. Alex shot her a look that plainly said ‘really?!’
“Not as big as this.” I choked. “I can’t do this to him. I have to just let him be happy…without me.”
“It’s for the best, Missy.” Ella said, putting her hand on my knee and biting her lip. “I wish I could tell you that it’s going to be okay, that James still loves you, but…”
“I was a bitch.” I let out a cold, callous laugh. “I got what I deserved. I…you can’t believe just exactly how much I despise myself right now.”
“I’m sorry, Artemis.” Dom said, her own eyes filling up with tears. “I’m really sorry.”
I shook my head. “You don’t have to be. This is all my fault; I have to deal with the consequences. I can’t do that to him. I’ve got to just let him go.”
There was a short silence as everyone let that sink in.
“So, this blows.” Alex said morosely.
I sighed deeply again. “This time I know I’m doing the right thing.” But my voice was still uncertain. “I am, right?”
“I hate to say this, but…you are.” Dom said. “You can’t do that to James, Artemis.”
“I won’t.” I promised. “After all, loving someone is about putting their needs in front of your own. I guess as long as he’s happy…I will be, too. It’s the most I can do for him.” I shrugged, then let out a sob, tears started to drip down my cheeks. “If I really love him, I’ll just leave him alone. He’s too…too good for me anyway.”
“Oh, Artemis…” Ella whispered, tears dropping down her face as well. “I wish it didn’t have to be this way, love.”
I nodded, still sobbing, not able to speak, and leaned forward to put my head against Ella’s shoulder. Dom gently stroked my hair and Alex hugged me from behind, their arms forming a cage of protection, of support for me.
I was safe in their arms.
But their three sets of arms had nothing on that one set. Without his arms around me, I would never be completely safe again.
I still can’t even begin to describe how much of an idiot I am.
“Alright, girls.” Dom sighed, untangling herself from us. “It’s chocolate ice-cream time.”
“To the kitchens?” Alex asked.
“TO THE KITCHENS!” Ella cried, pointing dramatically towards the staircase.
“To my chocolate ice-cream!” I choke-cry-laughed, letting Ella take my hand and pull me through the door.
I might just be able to pull through this. I have my girls. That’s all I need.
presenting....QUESTION TIMEEEEE :D
1) WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN NEXT?! i do love those predictions!
2) Favorite quotes? TELL ME!
3) Who thinks Al is adorable? Who thinks he's creepy?
4) Who really hates me for that whole Rose/Scorpius thing? Mwah ha ha.
5) Favorite character in the story as of now?
6) Least favorite character in the story as of now?
7) What do you think about the summary (like, the main one...the one with the banner?) ?Do you like the old one better? Any suggestions for a new one?
8) Anyone getting sick of these obscenely long author's notes? because i, i mean...i'll stop if they're annoying or something...
send me your reviews, my loviess :D you know that i adore them. they totally make my life.
that's it for now :D
PEACE OUT, HOMIEZZ
(dude, i could totally be a gangsta)