Chapter 15 : Damn You, Seamus - Revisited
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But please, read and enjoy first!
Stop smirking and just keep reading. [I know her well… hang on… I know her well enough] Now, there is a small package that you and I both know about. I want you to remove said package – while not smirking – and forward it to me at Hogwarts.
Now there is a specific reason I wrote to you. I don’t want mum knowing about this. This is not me confiding in you – please, don’t think this – but I just don’t want mum knowing that I’ve succumbed to it. We women in the Walters family have a reputation as headstrong females to uphold, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint her. So you are to never speak of this.
In fact, never speak of it with me. This is very embarrassing. And don’t be so happy about it, the fact that I’m embarrassed to ask a favour of you is nothing to be proud of.
So yes, if you could.
Anne, your life partner’s legitimate daughter. Just to make it clear that this is definitely not a step-daughter/step-mother moment.
Right, well I don’t see how she can disagree with that. It’s direct, and keeps the essence of our relationship. And, oddly enough, I think Leslie will go with it, regardless of any offence. Because like she didn’t want to know what was in that letter just about as much as I did. Saying all of this, I did have to make one quick revision:
P.S. Though I use the word 'succumbed', I am stressing that this is merely towards the letter, not the writer.
It was almost perfect.
P.P.S I mean it, stop smirking.
And there we had it.
Now completely alone, I looked quietly around and sat in a corner. Right now, I really didn’t want to go back. There’s hardly any point in me having a room, I seem to want to avoid it so much these days. But why would I want to go back to a girl who hates me and a girl who I hate? No point, whatsoever. Therefore, I thought I’d wait a while, at least until I figured out what to do next.
It had been a long time since I was fully on my own. I had never actually been on my own for a long time. I had made a habit of at least seeming social for so long. Then again, I suppose that’s something that we all do in our lives. But now that I actually was alone, there was something very serene about the whole atmosphere. Despite the fact that the owls were twerping away, but it wasn’t nearly as annoying as the voices I had recently been forced to listen to. Everyone telling me what I’m doing wrong, or what I should or shouldn’t be acting like.
Who are they to talk, anyway? At our age, nobody’s exactly the wisest of creatures. Everyone has made mistakes, and some much worse than I ever did. I guess it’s part of our mentality, in that we judge other people. I certainly enjoy doing it. But there are some people who are worth judging.
Stupid Magda and her elephant-like memory. She actually thinks that perhaps I’ll forgive her. If that’s the case, she can forget it. I have no intention of forgiving Magda. The girl just has a habit of saying the wrong thing. And like I need more reminders of Oliver. Surely she would understand that I knew Oliver well enough. And I doubt she even likes him anymore; she just feels like she’s lost territory, or something.
Why in Merlin’s name was this taking so long? I mean, how is it fair that Oliver can just waltz into my life and hey, all the drama comes back. The swooping sensations, the numbing feeling in my legs, that all has to stop. Because I have a boyfriend.
Oh, dear Lord, I have a boyfriend, thus leading to the fact that I’m a girlfriend.
Oh, I’m an awful girlfriend. I’m an awful girlfriend. And he’s so kind. My boyfriend, George Weasley...
Who can’t be my boyfriend anymore.
My heart just sunk down, even though it just wasn't in it. And, to be honest, I don’t think it ever was. He was a nice guy to have around, to comfort me, while I was secretly breaking down. I didn’t realise that I was, but I was. I was on the brink of despair, and I needed to be held. And George was that one to hold him. I liked kissing him, but I also liked kissing Pucey. There wasn’t that same loathing, so I must not have noticed. Because, I’ve never had the great kiss. I’ve had nothing to compare it to, to see if it was real or not. I should have just gone with my gut instinct the moment that he asked me out and turned away completely.
He’d probably hate me. But if he’s angry at me, then he must know what this is about already. We both see this coming, and it’s the right thing to do. If I make it quick, painless and to the point, then we can move on with our lives. Because I had a lot that I needed to do. A lot that I just couldn’t do with him in my life in this way. Feelings needed exploring, emotional discoveries needed to be made.
Man, this is a complicated epiphany.
I hauled myself up from the ground, which momentarily disturbed some of the owls around me. Turning on my heel, I was prepared to move towards the common room, taking deep breaths as I did. What I was about to do was not going to be easy, and it certainly wasn't something that I was going to like, but it had to be done. Part of me must have known this, since my legs were striding at a steady pace, even if my hands were shivering by my side.
Oh great. Turning cold, I just rose up my nerve to speak and said, "Now's not a great time, Seamus. I'm not really a big fan of yours right now."
"I know, I heard." He took a step. That’s right, buddy, you should fear me. He tentatively took a step closer. “I wanted to talk to you earlier, but you…”
“Yeah, well I would quite like to talk to you. It involves leaving Amy alone.”
“Problem is: you aren’t.”
Seamus shook his head. “I’m not here to talk about that.”
“Then what are you here to talk about?”
A silence ensued, and I was very willing to call it a victory. He could reflect on the stupid things he’s done all he wants, but I’m certainly not prepared to forgive him. After all, now I was in deep shit because of this boy. So far as I’m concerned, he can drown with me.
“We’re not friends, anymore, are we?”
Well that was a heavy blow. “What?”
“Well, obviously Amy’s told you something, and now you’re mad. So does that mean we’re not friends. Because, I may like Amy, and all, but,” He paused to look up at me, “but you were always my best friend out of the lot.”
No, no, no, no, no. Don’t you do this to me, Seamus Finnegan. “Well… I - of course we’re still friends,” I finally said, resenting every word. “Friendships don’t just end because you’re a moron. Everyone…”
Seamus looked up at me. “What?”
Hating myself even more, I managed to get out, “Everyone deserves a second chance,” before rushing out on the verge of tears.
How many times have I been crying already? How many times am I going to go through this dreaded cycle again and again?
I could hear Seamus’ footsteps behind me. Damn this is the last thing that I wanted.
Turning around, I immediately burst into tears and flung my arms around him, sobbing hysterically into his shirt. I couldn’t see his face at the time, but I could tell that he was shocked.
“Anne, what –”
“I’m sorry I’m such a - a- an unforgiving bitch!”
Seamus' eyes widened and he rocked forwards and backwards indecisively. I don't blame him, it's hardly something you could predict. “Don’t be stupid, Anne.”
“No.” I pulled back a bit, hoping that he didn’t notice how red my eyes were now. “I never seem to be able to get over things, and… Cedric died, and I never even got a chance to thank him for anything. Because he did good things. He looked after Amy for me at moments when I couldn’t be there for her; he even tried talking to my sister for me. But I was so caught up in where he went wrong that I, that I…”
“It’s OK,” said Seamus faintly. Or am I getting faint this time? For real? “Anne, it’s just you. You find it hard to get over things. But… that’s not always a bad thing. You’re not weak.”
“Don’t be stupid, Seamus.” Merlin, this was something I was going deny tomorrow. “I’m weaker than most people think.”
“Well, you don’t look it… usually.”
We both laughed at my sullen complexion. When we stopped laughing I said, “What are we going to do, eh?”
“You can put in a good word –”
“Fair enough. Hey, let’s get out of here.”
We began walking away, and found ourselves in the grounds. Part of me knew there was no prolonging the breakup with George, but part of me was very happy to do so. He sat back, and gave me the gracious honour of resting myself on his torso. We began talking about various topics. I think he was softening up about the Harry Potter issue, so that made us being friends easier.
“The shove?” he repeated.
“It’s a technique invented by women eons ago,” I explained. “It’s when the girls shove - hence the title – the girl into the guy she likes. And presto – conversation is initiated.”
“But isn’t that painful?”
“It can be,” I said darkly. “I got knocked out.”
“Thank you. It’s not normal, is it? But that’s what friends do to each other. And,” Today’s just full for confessions isn’t it? I smiled and I said, “I don’t actually think I regret it.
“Good, there’s no use spending your life wanting to take things back.”
“Suppose not.” I spent a lot of doing that, regardless. “Come on, let’s get back.”
“I thought you said you were going back to a bloodbath?”
I did say that, didn’t I? “I’m expecting that things should be cleared up by now.”
“Why is it so complicated?”
I paused. Oddly enough, I knew exactly what he was talking about. “It just is. I suppose if we make it on the other side unscathed then… then…”
“We deserve it?”
I grinned. “Something like that, most likely.”
I got up, and then turned to pull him up. I must have put a bit too much strength into it, because he leapt up and found himself near to me. As the silence went on, I started to expect that it was too close. I didn’t move because, well, I was in shock. I didn’t move as he stroked my face, as he moved closer to me, as he pressed his lips to mine.
But when the shock sunk in and changed into panic, I was all about sorting it out. I pushed him back as far as I could. There was some silence and then I barked, “What?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to -” His eyes were wide, and something told me that he meant every word. “I just. We’re both so… and you… and we… it won’t happen again. You’re my friend – and you have a –”
“Stop it. Stop it. Look, as long as we shut up about it and it doesn’t happen again, we should be fine.” I began to walk ahead.
He soon followed me, but we didn’t talk for the entire trip back. What was this fuckery? What twisted being put this together? It was like Pucey all over again. Actually, it was nothing like Pucey. In some ways it was better, and some ways it was much worse. In fact, it was much worse.
"I didn't mean to -"
"I like Amy."
"I'm over you."
"Do you want to know?"
"It was a couple of years back, for a couple of months in second year -"
"You were funny -"
"I said stop."
"Now I just think you're goofy."
I stopped to look at him, my eyebrows knitting together. Then, I laughed uncontrollably. "That's the best thing I've heard all day, Seamus."
Making it to the common room, me and Seamus looked at each other before entering. The odd thing was, I really believed what he said earlier. Perhaps it was that we were both just so let down and confused that we actually ended up doing what we did. Plus, it would take a lot of stupidity to do what he did, rather than any malice.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward.
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