Chapter 13 : Resolution
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So why did I feel like I had just made the worst decision in my life?
All night and all day that moment haunted me; that moment where he glanced away and I knew it was over. That moment, made worse when I passed him in the halls and he looked through me as if I didn’t exist.
Twenty-four hours later and I gave up pretending I had made the right choice.
Forty-eight hours later and I longed for him to talk to me again, to force me to tell the truth. Don’t give up on me, I pleaded in my mind every time I saw his gaze slide past me.
The next evening was the final DA lesson before Christmas, where Harry got everyone to recap all the stuff they had learnt. I buried myself in helping Neville and Hannah, glad for the distraction as Harry made goo-goo eyes at Cho and Fred chatted cheerfully with Lydia.
He had given up on me.
I had given him up.
I knew now how bloody stupid that was.
He was first out the door of the Room after Harry dismissed us, and I was second.
“I don’t like you,” I muttered as I walked swiftly past him. “I love you.”
Then it was my turn to walk away without looking back.
A nervous-looking first year entered the common room, glancing around the room as if searching for someone. His eyes alighted on my and Nathaniel’s Prefect badges, and he crossed over to us.
“There’s someone trying to get into the tower,” he told us, shooting a look down towards the door. “A senior, Gryffindor I think. I would have told him to go away, but he’s like, this much bigger than me, and I’m a nerd.”
“Everyone in this house is a nerd,” I said dismissively, “Whether they admit to it or not. Did this guy say anything?”
“He swore at the knocker a lot.”
I chuckled. “What was it asking?”
“‘How can one travel through time without use of a Time Turner?’”
“What a bitch of a question.”
The boy nodded. “So, will you go down and sort it out?”
“Sure will,” I replied, jerking my head at Nathaniel and descending the stairs.
“Ah, such responsibility,” Nathaniel commented. “Scaring away scary Gryffindor seniors.”
“Since when do Gryffindors ever want access to Ravenclaw Tower anyway?” I asked. “Excluding Hermione when she’s looking for study buddies, that is.”
Nathaniel shrugged, and as we neared the door I could hear the person on the other end.
“What else do you expect me to come up with?” the voice demanded of the bronze knocker. “The fucking Tardis?”
I pulled open the door to reveal Fred standing there, looking surprised that his answer had been ‘accepted’—what the heck was a Tardis anyway?
“Just the person I wanted to see,” he noted, grabbing my wrist and pulling me through the door. “Nathaniel, cuz, good to see you.”
“Fred or George?” Nathaniel asked, narrowing his eyes slightly.
“George,” he replied without hesitation. “Excuse me, must dash.”
He spun around and set off down the corridor at a pace that had me trotting to catch up with him.
“So,” he began as I fell into step beside him, “Explanation?”
“What’s a Tardis?” I asked, ignoring the question.
He waved his hand dismissively. “It’s from a Muggle TV show, travels through time. The main character looks a bit like Barty Crouch Jr, actually. Anyway, we need to talk.”
“We’re talking now.”
“…About Doctor Who.”
“Don’t worry,” he said quickly, waving his hand again. “My point is this. On Saturday night, you kiss me, then run away, which George assures me is because I smell like a troll. Early hours of Sunday morning, you tell me you don’t like me. Tuesday evening—aka an hour ago—you mutter something I think was along the lines of ‘I don’t like you, I love you,’ and continue on your merry way. Something concrete to work from would be great.”
“You don’t smell like a troll,” I said at length. “And you certainly got the version of events correct.”
“Reason eighteen not to get involved with Ravenclaws,” he muttered. “They’re needlessly cryptic.”
“You’ve gone backwards.”
“You were up to thirty-seven the other night.”
“I wrote them out a long time ago,” he replied. “I just refer to them as the need arises.”
“You have a list?”
“I also have one for Slytherin,” he assured me. “It’s about two hundred reasons long.”
“And what other lists do you have?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Let’s see. I have Reasons Not to Get Involved With Ravenclaws, Slytherins, Prefects, Other Quidditch Players…”
“Wow. So I fucked up your system about as much as you fucked up mine.”
“What’s your system?”
“Reasons To Avoid Relationships Like the Bubonic Plague.”
He snorted. “Comparing me to the bubonic plague? How flattering.”
“No worse than yours,” I pointed out swiftly. “Ravenclaws, prefects, other Quidditch players, there is not a single girl at Hogwarts who that applies to more than me. Out of curiousity, why the Quidditch players?”
“Practicality,” he replied. “I mean, if they were on my team that would be awkward, especially if we broke up. Other houses are even worse, I’d feel terrible if I knocked my girlfriend off her broom.”
“Take more than you to knock me off my broom.”
“Generically speaking. Not that I’ll be playing again anytime soon.” A dark look crossed his face, and I decided a change of subject would be prudent.
“So,” I said pointedly. “You were wanting your explanation.”
“You’re going to give me one?”
“If you give me something specific to explain.”
“Haven’t I already done that?” he asked frustratedly. “I asked you to explain how you feel about me, where to from here—”
“Actually, you didn’t.”
“That’s what I meant. So, how do you feel about me, and where to from here? And an explanation for the…confusion would be great as well.”
“I’ve already told you how I feel,” I reply, “And I’m not in the habit of expressing such sentimentalities often, so you can live without me repeating it. As for the confusion, your priority wouldn’t be ensuring absolute clarity about everything you do when you’re questioning the beliefs that form the basis of your life philosophy, so why would you expect it to be mine? And following that explanation, are you still interested in sorting something out for the future?”
“You have more tolerance than I thought,” I observe. “Unfortunately.”
“What do you mean, unfortunately?”
“I was rather hoping you’d realise now how difficult it would be to maintain a relationship with me, rather than several days, weeks or months into this hypothetical relationship.”
“And why, exactly, would it be difficult?”
“Because I loathe dependence, I loathe weakness, I loathe sentimentality. I’m arrogant, guarded and a control freak. All of which seem to be factors that would make a relationship difficult.”
“But you’re willing to try. For me.”
“I’m giving you full disclosure, and the option to back out.”
“I’m not taking it.”
He was watching me, and I turned to him, meeting his gaze as he stepped forward, closing the gap between us.
“So be it,” I whispered, and my lips met his.
A/N: Wow. That's the end, folks. Finished. *wipes tear* Let me know what you think in a review, even if it's just a few words, it will be much appreciated :D If you're wanting more of Athena, look out for my next fic Blurring the Lines, which should be posted in the archive in a few weeks :) Thanks so much for reading!
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