Chapter 11 : Iím Going To Take My Fat-Arsed Glasses Off And Take That As A Compliment
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Dixie Pruitt and James Potter
I dug my hands into my pockets and grinned as a group of teenage girls walked in to the clothes shop on the street corner. Even from the fountain wall I could see their excited faces as they went in to spend their Christmas money.
Today was the three day mark; it was three days until I went back to Hogwarts. I had three days to get back my flare. I could do it. I can do anything. I watched a loved up kid follow his mother in to the local café, his arms covered in shopping bags, anymore and he would topple over.
As I watched the snow on the streets melt so slowly, I couldn’t help but compare it to something else.
A deep voice cut through my negative comparison and threw a wet snow ball towards my upper back, soaking through my thick red coat. Through the avalanche of people, celebrating the last of their holidays, it was his smile that stood out to me the most.
James Potter’s black hair fell carelessly in to his eyes as he marched up the street, his padded black raincoat made him look somewhat threatening when he didn’t wear his glasses. A dark red scarf was wrapped around his neck, the opposite to my black one. My scarf was loose, my coat undone so that the wool of the scarf draped around the top of my wellies. James’s was done up tight. His march turned in to a jog and I threw my arms around his shoulders.
He made a manly pirate sound before throwing his arm around my shoulders and pulling me in to Gabe’s Dixie-Special. I smacked him silly when he let go. Trust James Potter to get the first true smile of the season out of me.
He linked his arm through mine. “Have I ever told you how much I love your brothers for living in a town with two pubs?!”
“Frequently,” I deadpanned, grabbing hold of his wrist and pulling him down towards ‘The Helena’s Arms’. It was the smaller of the two pubs, and had a significance to the Hufflepuff house. It was great to be there on Holidays; people from other houses came in, dressed in appropriate colours of course, and wrecked the place. Sad if you’re a Hufflepuff, but I’m a Gryffindor, sadly, I marvel in their pain.
James raised his eyebrows as we entered but simply took a seat near to the bar. It was a shocking resemblance of ‘The Three Broomsticks’, both places that I greatly appreciate. They both have magnificent tastes in alcohol.
I laughed as James tripped over the chair leg and but caught himself before he fell.
“If only,” I teased, resulting in a menu to the face.
The pub was shockingly full. Wizards and Witches laughed loudly and chatted amongst themselves at their respective tables. The eyes of the odd witch (and the odd wizard) lingered on James a little too long to be normal. But James was used to it. He was the son of Harry Potter; he also had the finest butt cheeks in all the land. Charisma was a lucky lady.
“How have you been, Pixie?” James asked me as I began to unravel my scarf.
“I swear you just came here to taunt me, don’t call me Pixie.” I rounded. “I pretty much hung out with the lads, the twins woke me up on Christmas morning dressed in superhero suits.”
“And they got you a cat.” He finished. I raised a brow. “Nick owled me.”
“Oh,” My eyes stopped scanning the crowd and locked with James’. “Was this a casual owl, you know, as you do owl my brother at every available opportunity, or are you taking special consideration as its Christmas?”
“He told me that you were feeling a little down,” James snapped. “I can see that you haven’t lost your sarcasm.”
“Just got it back actually,” I replied. “Took a lot of guts, the sword of Godric Gryffindor and three tiny german children.”
James shook his head. “I’ve known you too long, is that actually sarcasm or are you telling the truth.”
“It’s sarcasm, Jimmy-jams.” I rectified. “Although that would have made a compelling story.”
“Your life would make a compelling story.” He muttered.
Laughing slightly again I caught sight of a waitress. “Two coffee’s please.”
“How did you know what I wanted to order?”
“Its noon, on a Friday morning, I was going to ask the reason for your wanting to meet, but it seems that you have just answered that yourself, but you should still be sleeping. You’re James Potter, alike me, you don’t get up willingly.”
He nodded. “I swear you are my long lost twin.”
With a smile, I looked around the crowd that surrounded us. I wanted to see if I could spot one of the twins, out for lunch – a break from the shop. But there was no such luck. A girl tore her gaze away from James as I noticed her staring.
“If that’s an invitation, then I instantly decline; I couldn’t be related to Lily. There’s only room for one quick witted bitch in a family.”
“And do you think you have that role down, Dixie?” he questioned, leaning forward on the table, resting his elbows on the wood. “Are you feeling rebilish this morning?” He didn’t give me the chance to retaliate. “I think that you’re lying, I think that you’re sweet, that you want a big bear hug and a mug of hot chocolate. I don’t think that there is a bad bone in your body, not at the moment.”
I sighed a fell back in my chair. “At the moment?” I echoed. “You certainly know how to make me feel special, Potter. I would throw the hot chocolate back in your face, I will take your sweet and ram it down your throat, but as for the hug – I would take that.” I finished with a shrug. “I’m still me, just a little quieter.”
James nodded agreeing, as if to let me win. “So tell me, what’s with the hair?”
“What about it?”
“Why is it brown?” He asked. “Why have you taken the dye out? Why are your lovely glasses back instead of contacts?”
“I guess I just fancied being a little more original,” I exclaimed. “What’s it to you?!”
“To me,” he began, signaling to a waitress. “It matters a lot. I love the way that you look, naturally. But when you have it, something is wrong.”
He raised a brow. “Dix, the last time that you wore your glasses your mother left to live in Peru without so much as a goodbye.”
“Truthfully, I was glad to see her go.” I admitted, parting my hair.
“Dixie you’re my best friend, you’re feisty, loud and a pretty dangerous person to be around, but you’re not quiet. You hate your glasses, you dislike having honey colored hair, and you despise letting things go. So what happened?”
I clicked my tongue. “Nothing.”
“Nothing is wrong, James.” The waitress he called seemed to fumble around and grab the coffees in each hand. Her fingers shakily wrapped around the cup. “I just didn’t finish the end of 2022 on the best of terms with everyone, and I regret that.”
“You regret not talking to Freddy?” He said, jumping to a conclusion that I was happy to end with. He took the coffee from the approaching waitress and smiled. “Definitely a Hufflepuff,” he muttered after her departure. “I don’t believe you by the way.”
“You don’t have to.”
“But I want to.” He demanded. It was loud enough to attract the attention of the odd witch sat near by. They turned their heads and gave a pathetic display of desperation before returning to their own company. He lowered his voice. “I want to Dixie.”
A light colour of pink ran across my cheeks. “It wasn’t just Freddy. I did something really stupid, James – and I don’t know if I can say it out loud.”
“Halleluiah!” He exclaimed. “We’re getting somewhere! You don’t have to say it, just hint at it.”
“No, James.” I said. Somehow, he had the ability to make me smile wider than I had done in weeks. Even at this horrible situation.
“Yes, Dixie.” He lowered his voice.
I took a sip from my coffee and smiled as it burnt my throat on its decent. “I don’t want to say it, or hint at it, or even think about it. At all.”
James stopped moving, his arms held the coffee still. “And why would that be?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“Do you want to hear my theory?” he questioned. I waved a hand airily. I knew that I was going to hear it anyway, whether I said ‘yes’, ‘no’ or something about flobberworms. “I believe that you don’t want to think about it, that you just want to forget about it. You have pushed what ever the hell happened to the back of your mind now, and you don’t want to think about it again. If you don’t think about it, you can pretend that it didn’t happen. But if you take another glimpse, even for a second then it call comes flooding back and becomes oh so very, very real.”
A pause of silence.
“I never knew that James Potter could be so insightful.”
“And I never knew that Dixie Pruitt could be so blind.” James shook his head and turned his full attention to me. “Freddy misses you like crazy, at Christmas; he hardly came out of his room. Dix, it’s killing him.”
“He’s the one that told me that he didn’t want me, that he regretted everything.” The bitterness in my voice could be detected even by the most ignorant of man.
James stared straight at me. “You know as well as I do that he didn’t mean it like that, Freddy isn’t good with words.”
“If you’re here to defend him then you should just go, because I don’t want to hear it.” I swirled a stirrer through the blackness of my coffee. “Besides, my silence isn’t because of Fred.”
The dark haired boy let his spoon fall in to the liquid. “Then tell me, let me help.”
I let my hands fall back down to the table.
James and I had been friends through it all. He knew everything that I had ever thought, alike I knew him. We had met in first year and been out as partners in Arithmacy, it’s been that way ever since.
Under the dark night of the winter sky, last year on a cold late January night, I admitted my ‘encounter’ with Freddy to James. The Astronomy Tower seemed oddly baron that night. I clutched my telescope like it was my lifeline, since that night, and many nights before, they had been an object that I could rely on. People couldn’t always be trustworthy, but you look through a telescope and it will always show you what you want it to see – the almost, always opposite result to a mirror.
I looked up in to the boys green eyes. I wished for my telescope, it would show me what I should say. “You told me, at the last party, that when you want to get over someone, you sleep with someone else.” He nodded in agreement. “You said it was a boys’ thing, but you all seem to have a good handle on life, so I took that advice – and to a new level.”
“Dixie!” he breathed in a shout. “Dix, that wasn’t for you! That was to explain what Freddy would do, what Drew would do – not you!”
“Well, you always say that Fred and I are always too alike for our own good.”
His body almost shook with anger and disbelief. “Dixe, I can’t belive-“
“You see!” I hissed back. “I knew that you would react like this.”
“It’s because I care that I act like this.”
I snorted and pushed my dark honey coloured hair form my face. “James, you don’t have the time to worry about me right now. The moon is coming up and Charisma’s Wolfsbane isn’t ready yet – she told me yesterday.”
“I still have time to worry about you, love.” He clapped his hands together. “I always have time to worry about you, if anything, I make time.”
I let my hands fall back down to my lap. “Am I really that bad?”
“You’re you,” he said. “And I wouldn’t change you for the world. But you are a massive handful.”
My famous grin spread widely, my dimples pushed up my cheeks.
“And that’s the grin that I missed so much.” James resumed. “So be cheeky, be loud and be rude, but don’t take my advice, ever again.”
I inwardly smiled. “Are you going to tell anyone?”
He shook his head. “Not unless you want me to.”
“No,” I said in a bored tone. “I don’t want anyone to know. I don’t want them to call me names and stuff.”
“They wouldn’t do,” he assured. “But push your glasses up your nose, they’re slipping.”
I did as he advised. “I guess they’ll take some getting used to.”
He smiled. “You’re going to keep them.”
I crinkled my nose and bit down lightly on my lip. “James, do you like them?”
“I love them,” he said and poked his own with his index finger. “I always have.”
“You couldn’t have told me four years ago,” I chuckled and he joined in.
“It wouldn’t have been a bumpy ride if I did.” He dipped his head and let his grin spread across his face.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The air tasted of coffee and nuts. “Why is everything so hard?”
He shrugged. “The hardest thing in life is to live in it.”
I pulled my glasses off and put them on the table, next to my white mug and free biscuit. “Ok, seriously, since when did you become so insightful?”
“I always have been,” he said modestly. “I’ve just never bothered to show it.”
I grinned and looked about the pub. I hoped that Freddy would pop up somewhere; I wanted to see him more than anything else in the world. I will repeat the constantly said, Freddy and I are too alike. In this case, we are both too stubborn to be the first to say sorry. I admit, I overreacted. And it felt great. I got it out of my system, and now I need safety. Now I need him back.
I just need to figure out how to do it.
I just need to figure out how to say sorry.
How to be nicer.
Otherwise, I’ll need to learn how to be without him.
And that is something that I don’t think I can achieve.
James laughed quietly and ran his fingers through his hair. A tall girl that I recognized to be a Hufflepuff glance over quickly before giggling with her friend. I rolled my eyes. Yes, he is the offspring of a hero. Get over it.
He poked my nose. “So are you going to tell me?”
I looked up. “Tell you what?”
“You said that you took my advice to another level, what did you do?” Thank you for the reminder, stupid. “Or, to be more precise, who did you do?”
“It has to be bad, it had to be someone that Freddy hates, so that would be Avery, but then you wouldn’t sink that low. The other option would be a friend, so Kyle or Drew, I doubt that you would hurt Ellie like that – however that may be the thing that made it so bad. So who was it, Kyle or Drew. Oh fuck, it was Fred wasn’t it, that’s the twist. You two actually-“
“It was Gabe.”
His grin broke. “Gabe?”
“Gabe,” I repeated. “Our Astromony partner, your friend of about four years, dry wit, hilarious, floppy blonde hair, unforgettable.”
He grinned again and took a sip of coffee. James looked back once he had returned the mug to its small plate. He noticed my expression. “You’re not kidding are you?”
I shook my head. “It was a bad way of going about it. I asked and he declined, said that it was a bad idea, that sex messes stuff up, that it wasn’t a very manly thing to do. But then came the countless bottles of firewhiskey.”
James tapped his foot against the table leg. “I can’t believe it, I mean Gabe is a gentleman, a kind one at that so it doesn’t surprise me that he said no, and the whole firewhiskey mishap is understandable. But he’s a ladies man, similar to Fred, but less of course, and nicer. He has really cool hair too.”
“Then you have sex with him.”
A glare. “I just, can’t believe it. You’re … you.”
“I’m going to take that as a compliment.” I said with an eye roll.
“I’m just shocked is all,” he added, a little annoyed. “I mean, I can’t believe that I didn’t see this, I’m usually good at seeing this stuff. Plus you two were unusually close before the holidays, like you couldn’t be without each other, close.”
I licked my lips. “For possibly the first time in history, sex with your best friend didn’t tear apart the friendship.”
“Maybe that’s a good thing,” James said thoughtfully. “As in, it’s a sign.”
“A sign for what?” I questioned. “Good sex?”
“That not everything is over,” he deadpanned. “And you’re not funny.”
I thought that it was. “Who said that I was joking?” I grumbled, looking at my bitten nails. “I’m pining for Freddy, it’s what I do. I wouldn’t be good with Gabe. I am Dixie Pruitt, professional Freddy-piner. I am reasonably happy doing it. I’m going for a more original look for my final few terms of Hogwarts; maybe it will put a different outlook on things.”
“Are you serious, Dix?” he asked in disbelief. “How can you brush off shagging Gabe so easily? He’s a really nice bloke; you two would actually be a pretty good match. Do you really want to be with Freddy or do you just want to see if the rumors that go around the changing rooms are true?”
My eyes widened. I was wordless.
How dare he.
He has no right.
I simply glared and spoke sharply. “You know better than anyone what it feels like to love someone and to not know whether or not they reciprocate your feelings.” I wondered how he saw me, uncombed hair, bags under my eyes or did he see me simply as who I am, because from his words he surly didn’t show it. “What I did with Gabe was a mistake, and I know that. My silence and crying on over Christmas, locking myself in to my room and not eating was me proving to myself just quite how horrible I am. Don’t you dare tell me that I brushed it off easily.”
He looked out of the window and I shook my head.
He wasn’t going to apologise. I know James; he is stubborn, not as much as I, but still a fair amount. He was blunt, again similar to me. But he has always lacked the ability to think before he speaks, he says the most hurtful of things without realizing. But he knew this was hurtful, and yet he still said it. And that’s what hurt the most.
I grabbed my scarf from behind me and stood up straight, sharply. I didn’t finish my coffee; I simply looked at the mug and then left the pub. I didn’t look back, but I knew that James till sat at the table, looking out of the window.
Back to Hogwarts. It was the train ride. Drew had picked up the end of my trunk and carried it on to the scarlet train for me, pushing me in to the compartment and trying to throw my jacket out of the window. At least one lump had, had a good Christmas.
It was two hours and three quarters of an hour in. I dealt my third card to Kyle.
Blackjack. Twenty One.
He was a champion.
I was not.
Charisma and James were not to be found. I hadn’t seen them at the station either. I assumed that James didn’t want to see me, who could blame him? I had left him in the pub, to pay for my coffee, and trudged home in the snow. He didn’t knock on my door that night to apologise, on the other hand, I didn’t knock on his.
But for the first time, I didn’t actually have anything to apologise for.
My argument with Freddy began on pathetic terms, him believing what he shouldn’t and me not being able to listen. Avery was an idiot, I always knew that, so why did I allow his words to hurt me? But with James, I hadn’t said anything out of line.
Drew sat in the corner, staring out of the window, his eyes moved quickly as we passed the scenery. His lips were set with a small smile, an odd occurrence for him. He was one of the ‘smirk paraders’. He was one of those guys that you wanted to punch, despite being good at school work, to be stereotypical.
With a glace in his direction “twist” I said to Kyle, but still my eyes were focused on Drew. Elle sat beside me, her hands twisting through my hair. She stroked Hannibal, who was tucked up in her lap.
“I just still can’t believe it,” she said. “You’re honey coloured again. It’s odd, beautiful but just odd.”
“What made you do it?” Kyle asked with a grin. “Go un-native.”
“My brothers,” I lied. “We were talking about it, and I thought, why not?”
I don’t know why I lied to Elle, I actually have no idea. It felt odd, bitter falling from my mouth, yet still it came. It was an acid taste that I couldn’t seem to evade. I pushed my glasses back up my nose and put a lock of hair behind my ear.
“And I was expecting a story,” Kyle huffed. “Twenty one again, I win.”
I threw my lousy 18 down on to the carriage seat and smiled at the boy in the corned. “Drew, are you alright?”
He nodded after a moment of recognition. “I’m fine, yeah. Just tired.”
“You were a happy chappy only an hour ago.”
“Yeah, Elle’s right.”
As much as I hated to admit it, when Drew was quiet something’s wrong.
“Come on, mate.” Kyle pressed. “Fess up.”
Elle laughed. “We won’t tell on you, what did you do?”
“What did you say?” His roommate asked. “Who did you shag in the loo’s? Come on, we won’t judge”
“It’s nothing like that. And Dixie, can I just say that your fat-arsed glasses make you look like a model.”
“I’m going to take my fat-arsed glasses off and take that as a compliment.” I complied to my own words. “ But really, Drew-ie? What’s wrong?” I asked nicely. Well, as nice as I could be. “If you don’t want to say, then you don’t have to.”
Three heads turned in my direction.
Elle was the first to speak. “Did you, like, fall off of a cliff over Christmas or something?”
“Nope,” I popped the ‘p’. “Just went through a little self improvement.”
“So you’re not going to be stabbing teachers this term, then?” I shook my head. “Damn.” Kyle finished. “That’s my source of entertainment gone. Wha-“
“I’ve got a girlfriend!” Drew announced, cutting of any rude comment that Kyle was going to say.
Kyle jerked in surprise. “Huh?”
“Aww,” Ellie chorused on her own. She threw her arms around Drew’s neck. “We knew it was only a matter of time, didn’t we Dix? I mean, you’re adorable.”
“So go on,” I pressed. “What amazing girl to we have to thank for taming the shrew, or boy, we’re not judgmental.”
Dew’s eyes narrowed. “Girl. And I’m a shrew?”
“A big, fat, ugly, shrew.” Ellie chimed, her arms still not leaving the Beater.
“Love, do you want to let go of him?” Kyle asked. “I’m sure that he would like to breathe again.”
She retracted instantly, a sheepish smile on her face.
I smiled to myself. What girl couldn’t love Drew? If you get past the hard demeanor and the harsh brown eyes, he really was a sweetie. His eye suddenly became warm and pouty and his short sandy hair was ‘in need of a cut’ instead of just ‘uncared for’. The achievement was if the girl got that hat off of his head. I had considered surgically removing it last year. It failed.
With another glance over my shoulder I smiled at Kyle and then back to our source of entertainment. “Drew, come on, who is she? Is it a muggle, because that would be very sweet.”
“She’s not a muggle.” He said. “Do you remember the party ending last term?” All to well, Drew, all to well. “Do you remember the girl sitting next to me at the strip-monopoly booth?”
“Yeah!” Kyle replied breathlessly, maybe just a little too quickly. Insert incredibly piercing glare from overprotective girlfriend. “Erm, I mean … I think so, blonde?”
“Brunette,” Drew grinned knowingly.
“Lacy white bra and top-hat?” I recalled. “Nice choice, bro.”
He nodded and high fived my offering hand with a wink. “She’s a Hufflepuff, Harriet Lochleigh, straight ‘O’ student, isn’t afraid to party and despises Quidditch.” Kyle’s draw dropped. “It’s not all bad; she can stand on the side with Dixie.”
“Another to join my lonesome club.” I acknowledged in a monotone.
“What about Gabe,” Ellie said with a smile. “It’s always been you and Gabe on the side.”
I felt an odd chill come over me at the mention of his name.
Kyle snorted. “I actually think that you two should date.” Bad timing, Kyle. “I mean, he is one of the only ones that puts up with you, infact, he actually seems to like your pissy attitude.”
“Oh wise one, how these ladies love you.” I practically spat.
He didn’t step back. “Come on, he’s the reason that you go to the Quidditch Matches, you want to see Freddy and all, but if Gabe didn’t sit with you, you wouldn’t go. Plus, Fred’s being a dick.”
“That’s true,” Ellie said. “I realise that he’s your lad, and shit. But really, Dixie, I wish that you two would make up, without you, he’s not cute anymore. He’s just scary and moody.”
“Speak of the devil.” Drew added with a gesture to the door.
The carriage door slid open and revealed a cheery blonde. “DP, chat?”
I stood up and gave a brief goodbye to my friends, slipping my glasses back on as I stood up, without them, I saw double.
Gabe and I had written letters over the Christmas holiday, acting as if nothing had happened. I jumped up and threw my arms around his neck in a greeting of hello. He returned it joyfully.
“Gabe, Gabe, Gabe.” I bounced happily. “I missed you.”
“You too, love.” He said with a cheeky grin. “I was actually just coming to ask you a favor.”
“Who do I have to ruffle up?” I asked, curling my hands in to fists and throwing mock punches.
He grabbed my hands and held them tightly within his own. “No one, at this point.” I grinned like a child. “I need you to – oh god, how do I say this?”
My smiled dropped a little. “Gabe, just say it.”
“It’s not,” he stammered. “It’s not tactful.”
“Gabriel, I have the same amount of tact as Voldermort, just say it.”
“DP,” he shook his head. “I need you to give me the okay.”
I knotted a brow and couldn’t help but notice the slight coldness to his tone. “The okay?”
“Yeah, you know,” he bit down on his lip. “The okay.”
“You want to shag the brunette Ravenclaw from the party that wanted to eat your face, don’t you?”
“Merlin, yes.” He exclaimed loudly, speaking as if he were busting for the toilet.
“Gabe,” I said quietly, pulling him away from the compartment and down the corridor. “You don’t need to ask me, of course its okay.” I clasped his forearm tightly. “What we did was a mistake, you said it yourself. It was the side-affect of firewhisky.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t want it to not mean anything.” He said automatically, before clapping his hand to his head. “Not like that, I love you DP, but not like that. I just mean that, you’re like my best friend and if it didn’t mean anything, it would just be bad, and I cant-“
“Gabe, I get it.”
He stopped to take a breath. I laughed.
“What?” he asked. “What’s so funny?”
“I thought that we were over this period of awkwardness.”
“That stopped about half an hour after it,” he said softly. He gave me a small smile and returned to normal. “So, short-arse. You want to raid the sweet trolley?”
He stepped aside and I joined him. “Gabe, wait.”
I pulled on his robes and yanked him in to a hug. One that he happily returned. One that didn’t happen to be a Dixie-special. But a proper, old, Gabe-special, bear hug. It was a bear hug, one I loved, but not my favorite. I hadn’t had one of them in a long time.
Gabe’s hand poked my bottom, I slapped it away.
“What?!” he demanded, throwing his arms to a surrender. “It’s nothing that I haven’t done before – oh.”
My heart stopped the moment I heard it. As his ‘oh’ made its way in to my brain, every possibility of what could be behind me travelled through. I had imagined the lot, from Malfoy to dragons. Not too much difference.
“What?” I asked. “What is i-?”
I looked straight in to his dark eyes.
A ghost of humiliation and slight horror sketched itself on to my face, I didn’t dare look away. I couldn’t seem to. I couldn’t even seem to make myself breathe. This could be the reason for my gradually growing headache and reddening face. Gabe elbows me in the back. I still stayed frozen.
I had seen many expressions on Freddy’s face; it wasn’t until this year that I realized just how much I would miss them. His mouth was curved, his eyes were slits. I had seen this face when his mother first grounded him, when he fell from the top of Hagrid’s hut in third year. I had laughed at his expression when he was first rejected, yet, none of it compared to this. His mouth retracted the letters it was about to say.
I wished that he would retreat from his position and act like he had seen nor heard anything. I wished that I could hug him, like I had stayed at his house over Christmas – like usual. But I couldn’t. Because I hadn’t been with him at the last party, like usual, I had been with Gabe.
Gabe, the boy stood infront of me now, a twisted expression on his face. He knew not to mess with another mans girl, yet he wasn’t. So why was this, the expression that he wore? I knew both of the boys all too well, and neither knew what to do with themselves.
I let out the first breath. “How much did you hear?”
“Enough,” he replied.
In less than a second I had found movement. “Freddy.”
“Him, Dix?” He clamped his jaw shut several times. “You and him?”
“What’s so wrong with me, Weasley?”
I sent Gabe a subtle elbow to the gut. This wasn’t the time for personal wars.
He ignored me and watched me with close intent. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. “It didn’t mean anything.”
“But King just said-“
“I’m a liar,” Gabe retracted. I knew he was doing this for me, and that meant much more than anything else in the world. “Dixie and I were mucking around and we were drunk.”
“And you didn’t stop it?!” Fred growled. Practically roaring – minus the volume. I’m not sure if he could manage it.
A look of pure disbelief came over my features. Gabe’s seemed to react the same way as he spoke “What like you do?”
It was at that moment that time seemed to freeze. Fred looked to me in disgust. I had never uttered a word to Gabe about what happened, but I’m sure that he had guessed. The only person that I had never told was James, no one else. I was sure that Freddy had too, but apparently not. Gabe wasn’t the type to use it against a person.
I felt my lungs drop in to my gut, a heavy heart. But what did Freddy have to be angry about?
“-Every girl that you meet, you don’t stop it. It’s all fun and games for you.”
Freddy almost died with relief, as did I. The Ravenclaw hadn’t meant what we thought. It was an embarrassing time for us both.
“You think its fun, King?” Freddy asked, his jaw still clenched. “I don’t need to justify myself to you – why do you do it? Eh? You’re no better than me.”
“I’m not better than you?” he echoed. “If I’m not better than you, then why was it me that was with her when Avery made her cry?”
“I didn’t cry!”
“Yes you did,” he pressed. “It was after the fifth bottle of firewhiskey, he was being a twat all night and finally James came over and pulled you away.”
“James was involved in this?” Freddy asked. If anything he sounded hurt.
The air stilled slightly as the train turned a bend. I held on to the wall. “Not in the actual deed, no.”
“It had nothing to do with Potter,” Gabe lied. I was unable to utter anything. “It was my idea, we just got carried away. If you’re going to be mad, be mad at me. But I don’t really see why.” Christ Gabe! I wanted to shut him up, to tell him to end it, but I couldn’t. “You’ve been nothing but a prat for a long time now, Dixie doesn’t deserve that, lord knows why she has it set in her mind that you’re some kind of hero, because you’re not. A hero doesn’t make his best friend cry.”
Freddy took this opportunity to leave. He turned, without another word and left. I had images of me, pounding on the door to the seventh year’s boys’ dorm for hours that night. Again. I wasn’t going to let it happen. With an apologetic smile to Gabe, I chased after Fred.
Dodging a small band of third years, I grabbed hold of his arm. He pulled it from my grip, as if I were fire. His hat was coming off of his head, he didn’t’ stop to pull it back down. I looked in to his dark, chocolate eyes, but he didn’t return it. He desperately tried to look anywhere but mine.
“I didn’t cry,” I repeated. Why, of all things just mentioned, it was that I felt the need to justify myself on, I have no idea. “I really didn’t.”
He pulled his hat back down. “I don’t care if you cried, Dix. Actually I would be proud if you did.”
“Well, I didn’t. I don’t cry.”
“Alright then,” he finalized. “Can I go now?”
He gestured down to his arm. My fingers were gripped so tightly my nails were making indents. When I released my grip a little, he didn’t flinch as my fingers revealed little half-moon indents from my nails.
I shook my head. “No.”
“No.” I repeated. “We need to talk about this?”
“There is nothing to talk about,” his voice began to rise. “You and Gabe decided to go at it like bunnies, why should I care?”
I met him eye to eye. “I don’t know. Why do you?”
“I don’t.” I insisted.
He looked as if he wanted to be anywhere but here, as if he wanted to pick up a speed and run from the train.
I knocked my glasses back up my nose with my elbow and pulled on his arm. “That’s not what that display just showed.”
“Oh, lay off, Dixie.”
I clamped my jaw shut and we fell silent.
I felt a hollowness in my body as I tried to look at him. What if that mistake made me loose Freddy? It was something that I didn’t regret, not really, but Fred didn’t’ seem to like it. I knew that he loves me, cares for me, so why doesn’t he just admit it.
As the train gave an unexpected jerk, I fell forward a little, catching my balance on the nearest door handle. Freddy didn’t budge. I looked up another time to finally meet his eyes. He was staring at me with the most odd expression.
He looked like he had all year, red tie hung loosely from his neck, sweater vest pullover, pulled over his crinkled oxford shirt. His black hair was cropped short, invisible under his red beanie. There was no smirk on his lips.
“I miss you,” the words left my lips before I had control to stop them. He had been the only person that was at my backend call, selfish, I know. But I love him. I always have, ever since he pushed me in that damned lake when we were eleven and charmed the creatures to chase after me. “You’re my guy, Fred.”
I could feel my heart beat wildly as I said my second line. Freddy was possibly the last person that I wanted to se me like this, vulnerable, apologetic and exposed. It felt unreasonable for me to apologize to him, yes I could, but it didn’t feel right; I had nothing to justify.
I prepared myself for a smirk, a smile or something. I didn’t get one.
“What about Gabe?”
“He’s my best-boy friend.” I admitted, he took a step back and glared at me. “Oh come on Freddy. You mean more to me than that, you know it.”
“I don’t like it.”
“You don’t like what?” I asked. “Shall I get a quill and parchment and make a list?”
His jaw seems to lock again. “Him, Dixie. I don’t like him, or anything about ‘him’.”
“You don’t like me beings friends with him?” my lips involuntarily twitched with disbelief. “That’s crazy Fred; next you’ll be telling me that you don’t want me to be friends with Kyle, or James.”
His eyes were filled with a mist of childlike innocence. And that ticked me off. “Well, now we’re actually on the subject, I’d rather that you stayed away from James.” My jaw dropped. “He went to see you over the holidays-“
“Yes, I recall.” I interrupted bitterly.
He rolled his eyes. “And he came back angry, he was so upset. You seem to leave happy people sad.”
“Thank you, Fred.” I mocked. “You’ve just given me a tag line, shall I get badges made?”
“See, this is what I mean?”
“What exactly are we arguing about here?” I hissed, ignoring the whispers that came from the carriages either side of us.
“We’re not arguing,” he replied.
I let go of his arm and felt a sudden sense of abandonment. “Funny way of showing it.”
I snorted. “Say’s the guy who won’t take the beanie off of his head.”
I couldn’t believe that there was a point in my life I felt that he was sweet.
“Dixie you always blow up at me, no, not just at me, at everyone!”
I felt ready to explode, but I didn’t want to give him a reason to back his theory’s. Instead I a took a deep breath. “No one is ‘blowing up’,” I mimicked his voice. “I am merely expressing how much I think that James needed to get knocked off of his pedestal.”
“Oh, yeah.” He challenged. “Then what did he say?”
I wished that I had bit my tongue. “He told me that I was only friends with you for the idea of sex privileges.”
I clamped my hand up over his mouth. “Don’t blow up at me Fred.” His eyes got darker. “I was merely answering your question. I didn’t shout, I merely defended myself – which let’s face it, is an insult of its own.”
“And you really said nothing to him? Nothing that was horrid?”
“Horrid?” I echoed. “Oh, yeah, that’s a charm. Thanks Freddo.”
“You called me Freddo.”
I nodded. “It’s your name, would you rather I called you Billy, or Jude?”
“Enough with the sarcasm.” I raised a brow in apology.
He made a scoffing noise in the back of his throat. I was ready to turn on my heel and storm away from him. I had been doing that too much. I stood my ground.
“Look, Dixie.” He seemed lost for words. He settled for four words. Four words that made my heart stop for a moment. “I missed you too.”
I waited for a reply to come from my mouth but nothing came.
He resumed. “James had no right saying that to you. None of it is true. I don’t like not seeing you; I don’t like seeing you with brown hair and glasses – which makes you look beautiful, by the way – and not knowing the reason behind it.” He took a deep breath. “I don’t like, not being near you.”
My hands fell down to my sides. “If it’s any consolation, I don’t like it either.” I said fittingly.
I wondered what would happen from here. Would we go back to normal, me being the best friend and ignoring my feelings, having to watch him parade around with a girl on his arm each day. I wasn’t sure if I could handle it.
Charisma watched James for almost a year before she got him to realize that she loved him. She also managed to do it while he still had a girlfriend. For me, it has been almost a seven year attempt, each year not getting any closer, if anything, this year I got further away. This year, my plan went to pot. Notice I refer to a ‘plan’. I don’t have one. My plan is to wing it.
Look where that’s got me.
I took this, most inappropriate of times, to, for the first time, to think of one. A three step one, it’s what they always do in the films, three steps to get what you want.
1) Befriend Freddy, get him to forgive me.
2) Make Gabe and Freddy tolerate each other, not friends, just tolerative.
3) Buy a cupcake
So my third step wasn’t all that important, but a cake-ie mixture seemed incredibly appealing to me in this state of mind frame, threatening to be permanent. It wasn’t full proof; I didn’t even know how to achieve them, yet still it seemed like two impossible tasks. For the third, I could just find the trolley.
“Dixie,” he asked, it seemed we were in the middle of a conversation. “You just spaced out.”
I looked up. “Sorry.”
“Don’t be,” he replied. “I miss your spacy-ness.”
“Is that even a word?”
He shrugged. “Probably not. But does it really matter; I believe you’re the queen of inventing random words.”
“Well, maybe not the queen,” I said abashed and waved it airily away. “Just second in line to the throne.”
Freddy snorted. “So modest.”
“So kind.” I bit down hard on the inside of my cheek, hoping that he couldn’t see my inner heart-deprived pain. “Freddy. I’m really sorry.”
“Sorry,” he raised a brow. “For what?”
A shrug. “Everything. I should have listened to you, I should have heard you out – that way, we could have been gallivanting around like a couple of idiots instead of arguing all this time.”
He raised a brow and looked somewhat excited. “I don’t know what’s better, the fact that you just said gallivanting or the fact that you apologized.”
“Someone, get me a tape recorder!” he shouted. He then raised and pointed a finger to a small first year. “You! Get me something to record on! I don’t care what!”
“Fred, I’m warning you!”
“Give me one minute, really.” He reassured. “This will never happen again; I just need to – oomph. Was there really a need to punch me?”
I nodded and pulled my arm back from his gut. “A great, dire, desperate need. What, too dramatic?”
I fought the urge to push over a third year as he ran past me and looked back to a smiling Freddy.
The grin quickly dropped. “Are you going to go back to Gabe?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Gabriel Harris. Are you and him…” he trailed off.
“Fredrick, lord no!” He looked a little astonished at my outburst. “I thought that I had just covered this with you. Gabe is like my best friend. I couldn’t come to your Quidditch matches without his company. Hell, I probably wouldn’t pass my classes without him. I would never date him.”
I raised a brow. “I don’t know why I’m the one reassuring you; you’re the one of our pairing who is more likely to run off with a little blonde. You’d leave me standing for a pair of great legs.”
“You have absolutely no idea just how wrong you are, Dixie.”
My eyes fluttered back up to his. “So you wouldn’t leave me right now, if a bombshell strolled past.”
“Not for the world.” His arms crossed against the cabin.
As if to demonstrate my point, a perfect specimen of woman casually passed, a little too much swing in her hips, bounce in her step. Her brunette locks were pulled over her shoulder and clipped with little diamonds. Damn rich people.
Freddy just watched her go.
“Good timing.” I muttered.
His nonchalant glance turned back to me. “Come here,” He muttered, back still against the carriage window (curtained). His arm reached out.
“Come here,” he ordered, grabbing my hand and pulling me towards him.
His arms came hard around my shoulders, clenching me momentarily from oxygen. I clicked my tongue to my teeth and smiled at the feeling. I missed everything about him, a lot. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized just how much.
I pulled away slowly, waiting for his arms to release me, they never did. Instead he grabbed hold of my wrists and pulled me close.
I shook my head. “Freddy, what are you-?”
Confusion wasn’t the word that I could use to describe my freelance emotions as his lips pressed ever so feverishly upon mine. He made no pressure, only the touch.
It was only the one, the one movement before he pulled away once more.
“I can’t,” I shook my head. “I can’t do it.”
Why could I not just accept it? Anyone else would have. I ignored that little voice in my head that reminded me that ‘I’m not just anyone’, I’m different, a hot-head, sarcastic imbecile with a passion for causing trouble.
“I can’t piss around with you,” I breathed, trying to pull away. It was a no-go. “I can’t just kiss you like that, for it not to mean anything, it hurts me too much. You know that. It was unfair of you to do that. You don’t kiss your friends like that. It’s not righ-“
“I didn’t want it to mean nothing.” he interjected. “I guess it took the both of us to break before I realized just how much I need you.”
I shook my head in disbelief. “What are you saying?”
“I see it when you look at me, the care. It’s the same way that Charisma looked at James.” Oh fuck. “I may be dim and stuff, but I’m good at reading people, I always have been. I know that after last Christmas, you never stopped liking me. I never stopped liking you.”
“Then why didn’t you say anything?” I asked. It was a struggle.
He shrugged. “I didn’t know what to say. I don’t know how to do the whole dating lark; I am not a good boyfriend. I’m not good for you.”
I knew that he wasn’t. He was impolite at the best of times, a complete idiot and a trouble maker. That’s not including being known as possibly the biggest player in Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But then again, he was caring, sweet – and he had a dimple. I love him because of all those things, not because of his name.
“What if I don’t care?” I asked. “What if I’ve never cared.”
He licked him bottom lip quickly in thought. “Then I would say that you have officially lost the plot.”
I felt drunk with happiness. I whispered, “Then call me crazy.”
His hands trailed fire on my bare skin as his grip held me lightly and my heart pounded through my chest as his lips fought against mine.
An; Another chapter? :L Wow, these updates seem to be flying past – only two chapters left after this one, and then the entire thing is done. It means to completion of Wolfsbane and of Seven :( but thank you all for staying with me for this long!
What are you opinions on James, was in right? Was he wrong? Was he out of line, or in it? :L Well, that made no sense but hopefully you know where I’m going with it!
And Freddy. Lovely, lovely Fred. He’s back, and he’s here to stay! Can I get a ‘Whoop Whoop’?!
What’s that? You want Avery, not Fred. Oh. Sorry. :(
:D But still, for those of you that still hold your banners high for Dixie and Fred, there it was, the big moment that you’ve (hopefully) been waiting for.
And Gabe?! Freddy found out! :O But he’s not really an angry guy, so he didn’t’ really shout.
And Drew! :O He’s finally got a girlfriend, I’m sorry to those of you that are upset with this – but think of it this way … he needs someone to love him! He’s a lovable guy!
I will update soon with the next chapter! It’s the return of the wonderful St Barnabus!
“Gabe, you’re eye, is black.”
“Now that’s not very nice,” he cooed. “The other eye is jealous. Besides, the best medicine is to not mention it, you don’t have to point I out every ti-“
“Gabe, for Merlins sake, what happened?”
He sighed. “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t concern you.”
I raised a brow. “Gabriel, I can make your other one match.”
“Oh bloody hell,” he sighed. “Just because I know that you will actually hit me, and it will hurt more than this one I received, I will tell you. I got in to a fight. But, before you get yourself all sick with worry – don’t deny it, love, I know that you will – you should see the other guy.”
“Why?” I asked crossly. “What does he look like?”
“Oh he’s fine,” he answered quickly, a teasing flash in his irises. “There isn’t a spot on him. I didn’t hit him – that’s what I meant, you should see the other guy. I am a pathetic excuse for a man against a Quidditch Player.”
A long preview there. Whoopsy.
I love Gabe, and I couldn’t not write this scene.
It seemed that Kellan, Archie and Nick were a hit – you’ll love the last chapter then I hope, they’re all featured.
I hope you like the rest (and leave me a little review :L)
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