Chapter 14 : Friendship
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The next morning, I woke up late.
In the short amount of time that we were here, I had become used to Leighton’s early shouting at me, but today it didn’t happen.
Hell, when I finally woke up she wasn’t even in the room. And neither was Fiona or Jenna.
Merlin, what time was it?
I glanced at the alarm clock on top of Leighton’s bedside table and saw that it was half past eight.
Shit! I immediately thought to myself, suddenly fully awake. I only had a half hour to shower and dress and possibly even grab a muffin before classes started! This is not good!
I quickly bolted out of bed and ran into the bathroom.
I hopped in the shower for a quickie and then hopped back out and rushed around as I sloppily adorned my ghastly uniform and then ran back into the bathroom to finish up. I didn’t have time to do everything the slow way so I grabbed my wand and casted a few spells; one to apply the black eyeliner, another for mascara, a third to dry my hair, and a fourth to pull it up into two short French braids.
Okay. There. I’m ready.
I took a deep breath and then hurried back out of the bathroom, grabbed my bag as I quickly picked up the books I’d be needing before shoving them all into the bag as I headed out the door.
Once in the common room, I looked at the big clock on the wall above the mantle to see that I still had five minutes.
I rushed into the Great Hall, hurrying over to the end of the Slytherin table where I quickly found an empty, unused cup and filled it with orange juice as I grabbed the last muffin in the bowl. I quickly took a bite out of it, thankful for the few seconds I had to do this, and then noticed that the hall had already started to clear out as people headed off to their classes. I didn’t see Leighton anywhere. Or Kenny. I did see Tybalt and Talon but I wasn’t really worried about either of them at the moment.
Ty nodded at me as the two boys passed me by. I nodded back in greeting as I took another bite of my muffin.
Then suddenly, an unfamiliar owl swooped down out of nowhere and circled around me twice before plopping down on the table in front of me and sticking out its leg, looking up at me patiently to remove it.
The owl was gorgeous and rather large in size with pure white feathers and glittering black eyes.
I continued to look down at it for a moment, confused and a little curious as I stood there with my banana nut muffin in one hand and my cup of juice in the other. Quickly I put both items down before reaching for the letter attached to the owl’s leg. I examined the front of the envelope. My first and last name was written on it in neat letters. It appeared to be a boy’s handwriting but I couldn’t fathom as to why any boy would be writing to me. I turned the envelope over to see that more had been written on the back; just underneath the seal, in the same handwriting, it read “Please wait until you’re alone to read this.”
Hmm… that was strange.
Who the hell was sending me letters? And why did I have to be alone to open it?
Oh, whatever. I don’t have time for this right now.
I shoved the letter into my bag and quietly thanked the owl, giving her a small chunk of my muffin as a treat, which she ate greedily before quickly taking off and flying away.
To where though, I have no idea.
Right now, I couldn’t really worry about it because I had to get to class—-and fast.
Quickly, I downed the rest of my juice and finished my muffin on the way out of the hall.
The mystery letter would have to wait and so would my apology to Leighton.
I’d just have to catch her at another time. Like lunch! Lunch was a good time to talk to Leighton and apologize. As long as I wasn’t late for that, too.
I watched her carefully as I saw my owl fly around her in a couple of circles, which she was accustomed to doing sometimes, and land in front of the blonde girl.
She looked confused as she stared at the owl, and then surprised as she removed the letter and inspected the outside of it. I saw her confusion increase as she flipped the envelope over and looked at the back, reading my handwriting with curiosity. Finally, she seemed to shrug to herself, giving up, and then crammed the letter into her bag.
I was disappointed that she wasn’t going to read it now, but then again I had specifically written, as Leighton had instructed me to, not to open it until she was alone.
I wish that I could see her reaction when she finally does read it but that seemed highly unlikely.
I only hope it works so that she will eventually begin to forgive me. It would be even better if she just so happened to write back.
If they were nice words written back anyway. If she yells at me in letter format then I really don’t know how I will ever make her see the truth. And if she doesn’t reply at all… well, that’s all I can really expect at the moment. Maybe if I keep writing letters… once a week though so I don’t overwhelm her… maybe one day she’ll actually answer…
“What?” I suddenly asked, looking up to see Regan and Shane sitting in front of me, looking confused.
“Dude, we’ve been calling your name for over a minute now. What’s with you?” Shane asked, looking at me as if I were ill.
“Nothing,” I lied. “I’m sorry I’m just tired that’s all. I haven’t been sleeping well.”
He looked at me skeptically for a moment and then finally nodded. “Okay, whatever. So, what Regan and I were trying to ask you, while you were stuck in a daze, was if you wanted to go out onto the pitch tonight and play a fun game of Quidditch? It’ll just be us and the rest of the current team.”
I nodded, “Sure, that sounds good.”
I looked back to the Slytherin table only to find that Sirrah had left.
“Come on, what are you staring at? We have to get to class!” Shane yelled.
“Right,” I said. “Class.”
Shane rolled his eyes, “Yes, James, class, as in Pierce is gonna give us detention if we’re not down in the dungeons now!” With that, he quickly grabbed my arm as Regan grabbed the other and they basically dragged me all the way down to the Potions classroom.
“Hey Leighton,” I said as I sat down beside her at the Slytherin table.
So far, we were the first ones here.
I hated not being able to talk to her after deciding to forgive her, but during our classes she always made sure she was between two other people and I was stuck sitting with Ty, who would give me that look with his eyebrows raised that asked ’have you apologized to her yet?’ every single time we made eye contact.
How was I supposed to apologize to her when she wouldn’t even let me get close to her!?
So, needless to say, I was very thankful to find her alone at the Slytherin table.
Even Kenny wasn’t here yet.
She glanced sideways at me as I sat down next to her and then glanced back at her food as if she wasn’t surprised by my appearance. “Hey,” she replied, her tone dull and detached. I watched her in shock as she picked up a carrot stick and made a loud crunch as she took a bite of it.
“Look, Leighton, I’m sorry for treating you the way I did. I was really upset after my meeting with James and I took it out on you, because if it weren’t for you I never would have even gone up to the Astronomy Tower in the first place. But it’s not your fault he took advantage of my showing up and our lack of witnesses up there. I should have stopped him before he even had a chance to try anything. I should have left sooner…”
“Then why didn’t you?” she asked, looking at me coldly.
I shrugged, “I don’t know. It’s like I my feet were frozen to the floor. I couldn’t seem to force myself to move…”
“Sounds like you wanted him to try something,” she stated thoughtfully, her words cutting through me like ice. “Who knows, maybe you really did want him to try something and your body couldn’t help but keep your feet glued to the floor because, if he did try something, he wouldn’t be able to prove it. This time the two of you were completely alone and, as you said, there weren’t any witnesses to discredit you, meaning you could deny it all you wanted afterward, yet still secretly enjoy it while you two were alone together.”
“That’s not true,” I quickly cut in. “I didn’t enjoy a single moment of my time up there. I wanted to leave the moment I arrived but he wouldn’t let me.”
“Don’t lie to me, Sirrah,” she replied icily. “You said so yourself that his kiss was perfect and, like I said, you don’t find a guy like that every day. The two of you obviously have chemistry and you know it. And you know you enjoyed kissing him. You’re just too afraid to admit it; too afraid to disappoint your dear old dad who already refuses to show you any fatherly affection as it is.”
“Stop it,” I hissed. I could feel the tears threatening to fall and I would not cry. Not here. Not in front of everyone. “I told you everything in pure confidence, believing you when you said that you wouldn’t use those facts to hurt me. Because I trusted you. Because I really thought you meant it when you said you would always be there for me.”
She turned on me, her eyes flaring, “Yeah? Well, now you know how it feels. When I said those things I had hoped that you felt the same way, but obviously I was wrong because real friends don’t just turn on each other because of some stupid boy!”
“I said I was sorry!” I countered; the tears were practically spilling out of my eyes now.
She looked at me coldly, and then finally her expression softened. She shook her head lightly at me, “I’m sorry, too.”
I stared at her, mouth agape, tears frozen against my flushed cheeks.
Was the whole thing a hoax?
Did she only say those things to make me cry?
She looked at me sadly then, probably realizing that I’d caught on. “You know I didn’t mean any of it, Sirrah. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt to watch you turn your back on me like you did…”
“So, you break me down in front of everyone?” I stated angrily, wiping away my tears before anyone else caught sight of me in this state.
“I never thought you’d actually cry,” she chastised. “You really hurt me the other day. The way you treated me the night it happened I could handle, but the morning after? I had no idea how long you were going to stay mad at me and when you said those words and walked away, I felt like I had really lost my best friend.”
“Well, I’m still here,” I replied scathingly. “I came back, didn’t I? I just needed some time to cool off; to put James Sirius Potter out of my mind for good.”
“So, you’re still determined to ignore him?” she asked, looking slightly surprised.
“Duh!” I stated as if it were obvious. “I want nothing to do with him. Ever. Again. It’s over. No more meetings, no more allowing him to try and change my mind. I’m through with everything that is Gryffindor and that is final.”
She stared at me, her face somber.
“What?” I asked her, confused by her new expression.
She quickly shook her head, “Nothing. I just feel kind of bad for the guy.”
“Well don’t,” I stated, coldly. “He’s not worth your time or mine. We’re Slytherins; the crème of the crop. La crème de la crème. We’re better than lowlifes like the Potters and the Weasleys.”
She nodded slowly and then looked back at me cautiously, “So, does this mean I’m forgiven?”
I looked her over carefully, “Only as long I’m forgiven.”
She smiled, “It’s a deal.”
I smirked; glad to have my best friend back, “Good.”
We both happily turned back to the food in front of us just as the boys suddenly appeared.
“Hello ladies,” Tybalt greeted us as he sat down across from us. Scorpius and Talon sat down on either side of him as Kenny appeared next to me.
“Hey,” we both greeted him and the others in unison.
Ty made a point to look at me again in that same way he’d been looking at me all freaking day and I was finally able to nod at him affirmatively. He grinned happily and then dug into the food with the rest of the boys.
Kenny leaned closer to me and asked in a quiet whisper, “So, does this mean everything is alright between you and Leighton again?”
I smiled at him and nodded, “Everything is just fine.”
Kenny smiled back at me before quickly wrapping an arm around my shoulders and giving me a small squeeze of a hug, “Good, because I was really starting to miss you.”
My smile became a little more solemn at that. “I missed you, too,” I whispered back.
“Promise me you won’t start another fight?” he asked, seriously.
I nodded, “I promise. No more fights… at least not with Leighton anyway.”
He grinned and side-hugged me again, “That’s my girl.”
I smiled and returned back to the food. I was practically starving after missing breakfast. A miniscule muffin could only hold me over for so long, which turned out to be just until the end of Transfiguration.
“So,” Talon started, after a few minutes of silence as we all filled our empty stomachs. “The team is scheduled for practice tonight out at the pitch, starting right after dinner. You girls should come out and watch,” Talon offered, notably making a point to make eye contact with me first and then Leighton, his eyes practically pleading for us to accept.
“Yeah,” Kenny agreed happily from the seat next to me, looking at both of Leighton and me equally. “You really should.”
“I don’t know,” I stated, shaking my head a bit. “We have a lot of homework to do… What do you think, Ty?” I asked, switching my attention to him.
Ty shrugged, followed by a grin as he brought his cup of pumpkin juice to him mouth, “I think it’s a good idea. I’m not lying when I boast to everyone that we are gonna be better than ever this year.”
I laughed lightly and then focused my attention on my brother, “Scorpius?”
My brother was the captain of the team so really his opinion was the only one that mattered in this situation, but the real reason why I was calling him out was because I could see that he wasn’t eating as his eyes had glazed over, due to staring at something I couldn’t see… and I could only guess as to what (or should I say who) that was.
“Yeah, sure, I don’t mind,” he said as he quickly looked up at all of us before looking downward as he began to poke at his food.
I looked behind me casually to see Rose a table away, surrounded by Gryffindors. I quickly looked back to my friends so as not to risk laying eyes on the one person I did not want to see and angering myself further.
“What do you think, Leighton? Should we go and watch the boys?” I asked playfully, looking from her to the boys in front of me.
She shrugged, “Sure, I guess. We can always take our books out there and study. Who knows, maybe the fresh air will help us retain information better.”
I saw her smirk at her own joke. The more likely scenario was that the fresh air and the boys up in the air on their brooms would distract us from our studies much more than sitting in the library or the common room would do.
“Okay, after dinner we’ll head down to the pitch with you guys,” I stated.
“Cool,” Kenny replied next to me.
“Awesome,” Talon commented a second later, making eye contact with me.
I could tell he was excited about my agreement.
“Great,” Leighton stated, settling our plans.
“Great,” I mocked quietly.
Just what I needed.
Another boy desperate to impress me.
At least this one I was used to.
And don’t forget: at least this one is a Slytherin. Someone who’s actually worth my time… even if I still don’t want to give him any of it.
I looked back up at Talon for a split second and smiled at him before I quickly returned to my lunch.
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