Chapter 1 : Paper Hearts
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chapter image made by Lady Malfoy @ TDA
I use to be a dreamer. I was living in a world of fantasy that I had created in my mind. I realize now how childish and naïve I had been to actually believe that real life ended with a happily ever after just like they did in fairytales. I was waiting for my prince charming to come in and sweep me off my feet to his castle where we would have our happy ending. I didn’t know that my prince charming would stomp all over my fairytale world and leave the pieces behind for me to clean up. I didn’t know that my prince charming would stab me in the back just when I thought that I was finally going to get my fairytale ending. I had been so young and blinded by teenage love. It’s my own fault. It was foolish to believe that the love I imagined that he felt for me was real. My little world came crumbling down when I fell in love with James Potter.
“Anna!” my best friend Izzy yelled at me but it was too late.
I looked up just in time to slam against someone making me fall to the floor. My bag burst open and all of my books scattered through the corridor. The army of students shoving their way through the crowded corridor trampled my books without a second thought.
“Watch where you’re-”
I looked up at the person I had run into while I had been lost in my own little world and just as my eyes collided with his, he trailed off. I couldn’t help it, my eyes widened when I realized that I had run into James Potter. I had never been so close to him before. He was a year older than me so I rarely saw him.
He eyes looked me up and down. I quickly looked down at the floor so that my hair would hide my burning cheeks. I couldn’t believe it. I had actually run into James Potter, the James Potter, son of the most famous wizard that ever lived.
“I’m sorry,” I choked out feebly when I had found my voice, “I should have watched where I was going.”
I stayed sitting on the floor and watched my books being kicked around by the other students.
“You should have, but it’s okay. I forgive you.”
I glanced at him quickly and flashed him a small smile. He smiled back and I noticed that he had a dimple in his right cheek.
“We’re going to be late,” Izzy complained impatiently while she shifted back and forth. She glared at me when I shrugged up at her.
“Go on.” I commanded her. “I’ll catch up.”
Izzy glanced back and forth between James and me for a moment before nodding stiffly and marching off, Izzy hates being late to anything.
“Aren’t you going to pick up your books,” James asked me. I looked up at him and smiled at his crooked grin. Amusement danced in his brown eyes.
I shook my head slowly. “I’ll wait.”
“Wait for what?” he asked. I couldn’t help but stare at that cute little dimple. I felt butterflies fluttering in my stomach.
I nodded to the pack of people. “For them to be gone.”
He chuckled lightly at me and I smiled at his chuckle. It sounded like I imaged a dog would sound like if a dog could chuckle.
“What’s your name?” he asked me.
“Annalee Murray,” I answered as I nervously tucked a strand of my brown hair behind my ear, “but you can call me Anna.”
He grinned. “I like Annalee better.”
My cheeks turned a deep crimson color and a broad smile slid on my face. I like Annalee better too but everyone called me Anna.
He was going to be late to class if he didn’t leave but he didn’t seem to care. He just stared at me with that crooked grin. He looked like a little kid at a carnival that had just won a prize.
As soon as the corridor was cleared of everyone but James and me, I crawled around collected my scattered books. It was then that I noticed that my ink bottle had shattered and my robes and hands were covered in dark ink. I stared at my ink covered hands and laughed at my luck. I ignored the ink and continued to crawl around gathering my books. James just stood there and watched me. I could feel his eyes on me following my every move but I refused to look at him, I didn’t want him to know that I was blushing like crazy.
“You’re books are ruined.” James stated. I could hear the amusement laced in his words.
I nodded and smiled. “That’s what magic is for.” I replied. I was surprised how calmly the words flowed from my lips when my mind a spinning in a million different directions.
He laughed at me as I blushed and shoved the last of my books into the bag, I would fix them later.
He tilted his head slightly to the side and his wildly messy black hair fell into his eyes. “I like you, Annalee, you’re very,” he searched for the right word, “interesting.”
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t force the oxygen to flow into my lungs. James Potter thought I was interesting! My heart thumped wildly in my chest and I prayed that he couldn’t hear it.
He grinned at me one last time. “I’ll see you later, Annalee,” he turned around slowly and rounded the corner.
I didn’t breathe again until he was out of my sight.
Did that really just happen? It was the beginning of something, that much I knew, but I wouldn’t find out until much later that it wasn’t the beginning that I had hoped it would be. My little world of innocence was about to be destroyed beyond the point of repair and all because I was foolish enough to believe in happy endings.
After that day I couldn’t stop thinking about James. He had invaded my mind and I couldn’t get rid of him. Then, I noticed how he would smirk when he caught me staring at him and I would turn as red as a tomato before quickly letting my dark brown hair cover my face.
Izzy thought I was crazy. She didn’t trust James but I ignored her. I should have listened to what she had to say but I didn’t want to hear it. James had me under a spell and he knew it. He knew the power he had over me and he enjoyed every minute of it.
He would wait for me after my classes and walk me to my next class even if it meant that he would be late to his own class. He was perfect, or so I thought. He was everything I had ever hoped for in my prince charming. I fell for him, hard and fast, just like so many other girls had. He was charming. He knows exactly what to do to win a girl’s heart and I was no different from any of the other girl’s he had charmed.
My heart would thump in my chest like a drum whenever he was near me. My cheeks would turn pink more than usual and I followed him like a lost puppy. I was thrilled when he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was finally getting my fairytale. I was going to get my happy ending but Izzy wasn’t as blind as I was. She tried to talk some sense into me but I wouldn’t listen.
“Anna, you barely know him.” she said with wide worried eyes. “He’s not good for you, Anna.”
I sighed in annoyance at her. She didn’t know him but I did. “He is good for me, Izzy. I’m happy so why can’t you be happy for me?” I asked her. I didn’t understand why she didn’t like James when he was so perfect.
“Anna,” she said slowly and sadly as she placed her hands on my shoulders, “he’s going to hurt you. He doesn’t care about you. This is what he does,” she shook me slightly and her voice contained an edge of hysteria, “he makes girls fall for him and then breaks their hearts. You’re nothing to him. You deserve so much better.” I couldn’t speak, I just stared at her. “I don’t want to see you get hurt.” She added. Her eyes pleaded with me to listen to her but I just shook my head.
“You’re wrong,” I whispered softly, “you’re wrong,” I repeated with more conviction to convince myself. “He would never hurt me. He loves me.” I nodded to myself. “He loves me.”
Izzy shook her head. “No, he doesn’t.”
I pushed her arms away from me and ran out of our dorm and out of the Hufflepuff common room. I refused to believe it. James was my prince charming. Izzy was lying. She was jealous. James loved me, I really believed that. I wanted it to be true so badly.
I ignored Izzy for two months after that. I spent every second I could with James and I fell harder for him with each passing day. I was so blind and stupid. I told him all of my dreams and my secrets. I though he truly cared about me but I was deceiving myself. I had built up a fairytale world for just the two of us and it all came crumbling down on Valentine’s Day.
I was so excited. James and I were going to spend the whole day together. He said he knew a way for us to go to Hogsmeade and I couldn’t wait. He said he would meet me outside the Hufflepuff common room at ten o’clock. I spent all morning getting ready. I even wore makeup which I never do. I wanted to look my best for him.
I was late. I rushed out to meet him but he wasn’t there yet. He was just running late, I thought. I waited ten minutes with my back against the rough stone wall before sliding down to sit on the ground. He was just running late, I told myself over and over again.
An hour passed before I stood up, brushed off my dress, and went to look for him. Maybe he over slept. Maybe he got sidetracked. Maybe he lost track of time. Maybe he forgot.
I searched everywhere before I finally found him in a secluded corner of the almost deserted library. He was with Cassie O’Neil, a quiet bookworm. He pushed one of her blonde curls behind her ear and my breath caught in my throat. She giggled as he gave her a beautiful red rose that should have been mine. I put my hand over my mouth to keep me from screaming. I could feel my heart slowly cracking before it finally broke. I did the only thing I could think of, I ran. I ran as fast and as far as I could.
How could he do that to me? I didn’t understand. I thought he loved me. He was supposed to be my prince charming. He wasn’t supposed to do this to me. I eventually couldn’t run anymore. I could feel the walls falling down around me. I could feel the shards of my heart in my chest. How could I have been so foolish? I should have listened to Izzy, my best friend. She was right, she was always right and she just wanted to help me.
I ended up in front of the portrait leading to the kitchen. I reached up to tickle the pear and pulled the portrait open when the handle appeared. I was immediately attacked by a swarm of house elves eager to help me. I smiled slightly and asked for some hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies before taking a seat at one of the tables.
I ran a hand through my hair and wiped the tears that I didn’t know I had shed off of my cheeks. I then took out my wand and removed all of the makeup that was running down my face from my tears. A smiling house elf put a huge mug of hot chocolate and a giant plate full of chocolate chip cookies in front of me. I smiled and thanked the house elf.
I slowly sipped my hot chocolate and took little bites out of a cookie.
I was so stupid. I should have known that I wouldn’t get a happy ending. Why didn’t I listen to Izzy? How could I have been so blind and naïve? I should have realized sooner that James didn’t care about me. I felt a tear slide slowly down my cheek and I didn’t even bother to wipe it away. There was a hole in my chest where my heart use to be and it ached. It hurt so bad that I could barely breathe.
Faintly I heard the door being pulled open and someone sit down across from me. I glanced up and burst into tears. Sitting across from me was Albus Potter, James’s little brother. They looked so much alike.
He didn’t say anything while I cried my eyes out in front of him because of his brother. He just sat there in silence and ate half of the cookies on my plate. A house elf brought him his own giant mug of hot chocolate.
I stared at the table and wiped off my wet cheeks with my sleeve when I finally calmed down. I hid my face behind my curtain of hair so Albus couldn’t see my face.
“Hearts are like paper,” he told me. I glanced slowly up at him through my hair to see him staring thoughtfully at his hot chocolate, “at first, they are beautiful and perfect but then real life happens. Our paper hearts get torn and crumpled. We can smooth them out and we can try to tape them back together but it will never be perfect again.” he smiled sadly.
“Who broke your paper heart?” I asked almost inaudibly.
He looked up to stare straight into my eyes. “Emma Rae.” He looked back at his hot chocolate. “My paper heart will never be the same but I’m putting the pieces back together. Sometimes we need to have our hearts broken to learn what not to do.” He said and I couldn’t help but agree with him.
“Maybe it wasn’t a mistake.” I whispered. “Maybe it was a lesson.”
He smiled and looked up at me. He had a dimple in his right cheek, just like James did. But unlike James, Albus didn’t stare at me in amusement as though I was a toy. I saw a broken dream trying to heal in his eyes as I’m sure he saw in my eyes too.
My paper heart had been broken but I was going to tape it back together. I know that I will never be that stupid again. Maybe fairytales don’t exist in real life but that’s okay. Maybe our paper hearts get broken so we can find what we are really looking for.
Albus smiled at me and I knew that my paper heart was going to be just fine.