“RUN.” Potter thundered after us. I would have retorted, but he was running alongside the rest of the team.
“GOD DAMN IT JAMES!” Lily shrieked. “THIS ISN’T GOING TO CHANGE THE FACT THAT WE LOST!”
Potter shouted a few lovely little words back to her as I plowed on. I really was in no place to be argumentative. I was one of the reasons that we were here in the first place.
So I ran on, breathing rhythmically along with my pace. I don’t mind running. Whenever I’m home for excessive periods of time it’s a nice escape. Sure, I knew that we had just lost. But I didn’t really have to think about that. I could think about other things! Like how Potter might never talk to me again!
After another thirty minutes he called us to a stop. We were covered in mud, our uniforms looking like they were brown instead of maroon. Potter himself was even out of breath as he started to speak. “Alright. Go shower. Practice tomorrow at three.” Was all he said.
I started to walk with a silent Caitlin over to the girl changing rooms when he called out to me. “McCabe—another five laps for being late.”
I groaned, turning around to face him. “I can’t just do them tomorrow or something?”
“No,” His voice sounded annoyed. “No way in hell. Now.”
I gave him the dirtiest look I could muster and started to run again, my muscles ached in response. Stupid Potter. I really hated his guts. He knew I was sorry, this was payback for other shit. He was doing what he really couldn’t do. He was making Quiddich personal.
After the first lap I slowed down when I reached him. “Potter! I’m stopping!"
“Fine, but you’ll be suspended from the team.” He shouted back.
I screamed in a frustrated voice, but kept going. I don’t know what I’d do without Quiddich. It keeps me so busy that I don’t have to think about anything else
Third lap and the rest of the team was beginning to trudge up the walk back to the castle. I didn’t say anything to him this time, instead just keeping my eyes glued to the Whomping Willow in the distance.
This was so different from running back home. It was always hot and sticky. Right now it was cold and rainy. I’m beginning to prefer home. The running aspect only of course.
Fourth lap and I began to lose feeling in my legs. At least it was better than pains being shot up my body. I only had one left too. Then I could be done—then he wouldn’t be my ‘captain’ and I could give him a piece of my bloody mind. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled.
Once I finished the fifth lap I collapsed onto the ground and breathed heavily. My heart was the only thing that I could feel in my entire body. The rest was numb from the cold and rain. He walked towards me, “Get up.”
“No! I-am-done!” I breathed back.
“Kiersten—” I was surprised that he used my first name. “You have to walk it off stupid.”
“No!” I shouted back to him. “You—aren’t my coach-right now Potter!”
“Then what am I?” He was surveying me, looking a mixture between annoyed and interested.
“Me? I’m the ass?”
“Well at least I’m not heartless!”
I stopped, looking directly into his eyes. “What is that-supposed to mean?”
“I think you know exactly what it means, McCabe!” He paused. “You don’t care about anyone, and no one cares about you! Everyone knows!”
I just sat there, stunned to silence. I knew I shouldn’t let his words get to me, but umm—ouch? Finally I spoke, knowing that I had to. “Wow, all right then.” My voice sounded smaller than usual.
“You’re fucked up.”
“What happened to you?” I asked him as my eyes started to burn. My voice had cracked. I wouldn’t cry in front of Potter. I wouldn’t. “Why are you being like this?”
He was silent for a moment before speaking.
“Shit—McCabe—I didn’t actually mean it.” He put his hand to the bridge of his nose and sighed. He started to make his way towards me be I got up to move away.
“No,” I shook my head. “Leave me alone!”
“I didn’t mean it Kiersten—I was—angry! I don’t actually think you’re—”
I ran away before he could finish the rest of the sentence.
“I’m SORRY Dom!” I screeched as soon as I entered our dorm.
She looked up from her magazine and gave me a weird look before noticing that I was crying. She put it down and cautiously came over. “For what..?”
“God, I’m sorry for being so heartless all of the time!” I sat down on the wood floor and kicked the dresser. This only caused a sharp pain to run through my toe. “And for yesterday! And every other day I’m a horrible person!”
“Oh my god…” Dom murmured more to herself then me. “Who’d you talk to?”
“POTTER!” I sobbed leaning into her shoulder. She gave a repulsed look at all the mud, but didn’t say anything.
“That little jerk.” She said shaking her head. “Now you need to forget everything he said. He didn’t mean it Keri.”
“But that IS what he said!”
“Well—still forget it! And you aren’t heartless, you’re far from it! You know that, don’t you?” She asked me in a surprisingly gentle voice.
I nodded, slightly sniffing. It really wasn’t the fact that those things had been said, it was the fact that Potter said them. He was the one person who I truly believed didn’t lie—negatively. That whole thing with him being a wolf didn’t end well.
“Kiersten—to guys, love is only like a chapter. But to us? It’s different. It’s the whole book.” Dom leaned her head against the wall as I stared, for the first time I realized how much she really did care. Dominique often came off as inhuman, but she had feelings.
“I’m sorry for siding with Drew.” I finally muttered.
She waved her hand as if to throw my statement off. “You were right, as much as I hate to say it. I think I’ll talk to him tonight.”
“When? The entire house is going to be in depression mode.”
She smirked at me a little. “Just because we were third years last time Slytherin beat Gryffindor doesn’t mean I don’t remember the party.”
“Party?” I brought my legs up to my chest.
“Yeah, and you know, Albus is related to half of our freaking house and all, so everyone’s going to be there.” She stood up, dusting imaginary dirt off of her. “Now get in the shower, you look like shit.”
So glad Dominique’s back.
“I’m not going.” I told her firmly as she grabbed my arm.
“But why?” Dom whined as Halley looked down at her watch impatiently. “Keri, tonight will be exciting!”
I shrugged. “It’s fine, I just kind of want to stay here.”
“You’re no fun.”
“C’mon Dom!” Halley said to her. “We’re going to be late.”
Dom sighed overdramatically looking at me one more time. “Fine then, hide why don’t you.” With that she left.
I groaned into my pillow, knowing that she had just said this to egg me on. That’s how she played her games. She knew that I hated to be viewed as a coward, and this was a very cowardly act.
Yes, I am hiding from Potter. It’s going to be my new long-term goal!
Missy started to eat the wall as I sighed, petting his cat ears absentmindedly. Dom’s thinking about taking him to a plastic surgeon to reverse the effects of our pathetic charms over the summer. Knowing Missy it’ll just make him look even more screwed up. Dog’s aren’t meant to see Muggle doctors with Botox needles.
I rolled over, imagining Potter’s face when he saw that I wasn’t there. Would he look for me? Would he be angry that I was avoiding him? Would he care?
I moaned a little to no one in particular. Missy looked at me momentarily before going back to gnawing away at our drywall. The dog’s bound to hit rock soon. “You’ve got it so easy Miss.” I glared at him.
He didn’t bother looking, instead he just chewed away. I wonder what the kids who have our room next year will think? We were werewolf’s or something, probably. It’s weird thinking of new first years taking this room. It’s been mine for seven years. The thought of my bed being another scared little girl’s bed is terrifying. It’s all terrifying.
Seven years. Seven bloody years I’ve been here, and it feels like just yesterday I laid down in this bed for the first time. At the moment I didn’t think about who’s it had been three months prior. No one ever does, except for the person who left that is. Soon I’d just be another name on the inner closet wall, along with the other Gryffindor girls who’ve had this room.
“Stupid Potter!” I growled to Missy. His eyes seemed to smile at me as he came over. I patted his head. “He had to go and ruin everything. I am—or was I guess—his girlfriend! Shouldn’t I have the right to know what the hell he’s going to do when he graduates?”
Missy wagged his tail.
“And I’m not heartless!” My voice got a little bit louder. It felt good. “I care about a lot of people! Take you, for instance. I clean your shit off of the floor every day so that Dominique doesn’t step in it! I could just walk over it, but I take the time out to fix it!”
“God! I wish I’d saved all the tears I’d ever cried over Potter and fucking drowned him in them!”
Missy bounded off to the door, looking back at me excited. Was he trying to imply something…?
“You’re right! I should be having fun tonight!” I jumped off the bed as Missy barked his approval.
I rummaged through my stuff, deciding on wearing a shorter blue dress. I quickly put it on, grabbing a pair of Dom’s new (but disguised to look beaten up and vintage) boots pointing my wand to make them bigger and let my hair out of the ponytail it was in. I even bothered to put on some makeup.
Potter wouldn’t know what hit him.
“Missy, I know I say you’re stupid and all…but you’re really awesome!” I kissed the dog on the top of his head as he waddled back to his drywall. I didn’t even yell at him for getting closer to my side of the wall before shutting the door.
No noise could be heard from the common room. I guess Dom was right, even though we’d lost the Gryffindors were still partying. Here I thought we were supposed to be basking in humiliation or something. Or maybe that was just me.
I knew my way to the Slytherin common room, having pulled a few nifty pranks in it over the years. Some of which I’m very proud of, if you wanted to know. I’m so good at that. I really should have considered going into a career as an unspeakable. I’m good at doing a mission and then leaving as if I’d never been there. It’s a nice talent to have when McGonagall knows it’s you, but has no psychical proof on the subject other than your smug look.
There were more people around the halls when I made it to the outside of their common room. Some were already completely wasted. It’s funny, when you think about it. The party only started an hour ago.
“What's the password?” I asked a kid that looked to be laughing so hard he was crying as he stumbled around the corner.
“Gryffindor sucks!” He bellowed to me.
“Oh, hey thanks. But I actually was asking for the password, dimwit.” I said to him coolly, putting my hands on my hips.
“That is the password, dumbass!” He shouted back before running off with his mates to god only knows were.
“Of course that’s the password.” I muttered darkly towards the stone wall. “Gryffindor—sucks?” I asked it as more of a question, but the wall slid open for me. As I stepped inside I found myself in the middle of what seemed to be over a hundred people. My eyes (which were conveniently above most) scanned the crowd for a familiar face.
I saw Caitlin at what appeared to be the drink table, and started to make my way through the mass of bodies surrounding mine. Here I thought everyone hated Slytherin. Even my own house was traitors. Hell, I was a traitor.
“Kiersten!” Albus came up to me and clapped me on the back. He looked as happy as if he’d just won the cup. “Have a drink!”
“Er—what is it?” I asked him as I smelled the Amber concoction. Surprisingly it smelled like apple juice.
“Don’t worry about it!” Albus said before disappearing behind a group of bodies.
Well, I might as well have some fun, correct? So I took a large gulp of the apple juice tasting drink. By the time I finally reached Caitlin I had almost finished the cup. She turned to me, her face looked surprised. “Kiersten? I thought you said you weren’t coming!”
I shrugged my shoulders, taking another sip of the stuff. Caitlin looked in my cup and up to my face with a worried expression. “You know that’s alcohol, right?”
“Mmmhmm.” I said, pointing my wand into my glass and replenishing it. Cait was staring at me as if she’d never seen me before. “What?”
“You don’t drink. Like ever.”
“I’m just not in the mood to be uptight tonight I guess!” I flashed her a smile and scanned the room again for Dom. Before I saw her I heard her.
“HEY, YOU!” Her voice screeched from somewhere in the common room. It got considerably quieter as people parted the way for Dom. She was quickly making her way to Drew. He looked a mixture of relieved and terrified. “TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY!”
“But I already—” He stopped at the murderous look on her face. “I’m sorry!”
And then they started to snog the shit out of each other. I laughed along with the people around me, raising my glass with Caitlin and taking a long sip.
As the night went on the tense atmosphere around me started to dissipate. I wasn’t technically thinking of Potter—well, he was always in the back of my mind—but I was dancing with other people! Such as—er—this guy!
“You’re beautiful.” He whispered in my ear. I forced a smile uncomfortably, leaning on him more than I’d have liked to. I guess the apple juice was getting to me…maybe I should have stopped after the third glass?
“Thanks?” I responded, attempting to pull myself up a little bit.
“No problem sweetheart.” His voice sounded familiar, but I didn’t recognize the face. “You want to get out of here?” The growl in his tone unsettled me.
“I—I’ve got to go!” I said pulling away from him abruptly, tripping over my own feet. I was about to get up and back away when a hand held out to me. I looked up, hoping that it was him—but no. It was just Liam Hilburn.
“Back off.” He said with a cheery smile to the shady guy. Shady guy gave me a look before sulking off into the crowd. I sighed in relief turning to Liam.
“I owe you my life.” I said to him, smiling.
He just shrugged, pulling me up and guiding me over to the side. “You don’t normally come to these things, do you?”
“I do!” I said to him indignantly. Why does everyone think I’m so damned good?
He put his hands in the air as if he was surrendering. We’d somehow wound up in an alcove of the common room. “Okay, I guess I just don’t see you then.”
“Yes.” I told him curtly, sitting down and holding my head in my hands. Everything was blurry, and the darkness felt great. “I really don’t come to these sorts of things.”
He laughed a little, sitting down next to me. “You played well.”
I looked up giving him a sarcastic smile. “Just fucking fabulous!"
“I’m serious, you really did. It’s just the Potter on the Slytherin team’s better than your seeker, that’s all.” He was a little closer to me then I liked.
“I know,” I mumbled, subconsciously scooting away. “And the ref was an arse.”
“Yeah, where is Potter anyways?”
I was a little shocked by the abrupt change of subject, but I just shrugged my shoulders nonchalantly. “Who knows.”
“Shouldn’t you know?” He challenged.
“Fighting eh?” He seemed a bit too happy for my liking.
“You could say that…” I wouldn’t meet his eyes.
“He’s not good enough for you anyways.” Liam was wHispering now. I felt a shiver go down my spine as I continued to sit there uncomfortably.
“Don’t—don’t say that.” I managed to say, attempting to move over farther.
“It’s the truth.”
“No, it’s not. Potter’s a really good guy, even if he doesn’t always show it.”
He sighed, grabbing a strand of my hair. “You’re really very pretty.”
I ran a hand through my hair, making the strand he was holding come out of his fingertips. “Thank you.”
“I don’t like Potter.”
“You don’t really like him either. You just want his security. He’s famous, I know you’ve seen him in all the magazines.”
At this statement I stood up, flashing my eyes dangerously at his face. “That—is not true!”
He laughed humorlessly. “Yes it is.”
“For your bloody information, I hated James Potter with every freaking fiber in my body up until this year. His ‘popularity’ has nothing to do with what we have—or had.” I stared him straight in the eye.
“Okay, fine then. But you’re in denial.”
“Don’t tell me what I am!”
“Forget I said anything then!” He grabbed my shoulders as if he was steadying me. “Just forget it.”
“Forget it? I’m not really good at forgetting.” I tried to pull away from his hold, but I was stuck in it. “Let me go.”
“Don’t be like this.” He still held on. “I know you feel something."
“I don’t feel anything other than an uncomfortable pair of hands on my shoulder.” I responded icily.
“That’s not true.” He was so full of himself! Why hadn’t I noticed this beforehand? “You’ve got to feel something.”
“No. I don’t.”
“Let’s just get out of here, alright?” He pulled me closer.
“No! Let go of me!” I was starting to go into panic mode now.
“I think you know what I want…” He whispered in my ear.
“I have no fucking idea!” I was on the verge of hysterics. Why had I let him take me into a bloody alcove? Why don’t I ever learn from my mistakes?
“Yes you do, I’m not being cryptic Kristen.”
“I don’t feel anything for you! Not one blessed thing!”
“You’re lying to yourself.”
“No, I don’t think she is.” A voice said clearly from behind me. I felt a wave of relief rush through my body. Thank god. “And I really think you should let her go, before things get complicated.”
“What will you do, Potter?” Liam spat at James.
“Oh, I’ve got quite a few ideas, some of which you really don’t want to experience.” He got closer from behind me, close enough that I could feel him even without touching.
They both stared at each other straight for what seemed to be minutes before Liam finally let go, shoving me into James as he did so. He stalked off back into the crowd as I let out a sigh of relief. I looked up to Potter, but by the time my eyes made it upwards, he had already steadied me onto my own feet and was walking away. I started to walk after him, entering the crowd of people once more. “Potter!” I yelled.
“Hello Keri!” Dom yelled drunkenly in my ear. I didn’t bother to stop, instead I started to push people out of the way. He was already almost out of my sight.
“Potter!” I yelled a little louder, stumbling into some Hufflepuff sixth year. He was nowhere in sight. I ran a hand through my hair, looking all around. Had he left? I didn’t know. Looking towards the wall out I saw it shut abruptly. It might have been him, and he wasn’t anywhere in sight, so given the circumstances I decided to try leaving.
When I had finally made it to the door and left, no one was in the deserted hallway outside of their common room. I threw my head back in frustration, deciding to just go back to the common room. I didn’t want to deal with anyone tonight. Except Potter that is. I really wanted to talk to him—to thank him.
I took off Dom’s boots and slowly boarded a staircase. Just as I’d almost reached the top it started to move in the opposite direction. Of course, just my luck. I got off, not really sure of where I was. I knew it was the ninth floor, but I didn’t know where in the ninth floor. I’d never really had a reason to come here seeing as we’ve never had any classes on this side of it. Strangely enough, there’s still so much of Hogwarts I didn’t know. You’d think that after seven years one would.
The hallway seemed as if it hadn’t been cleaned in years. I guess Filch missed quite a few spots last trip around the school. Letting curiosity get the better of me, I began to walk down the hall. At the end, there was a large door. It was locked—why had I left my wand in my room again?
I just sighed, turning away from the door to make my way back to the common room when it opened.
“What are you—”
Potter and I stared at each other for a minute before he spoke. “This is my spot.”
I rolled my eyes, “Oh, really? What are we, first years again?”
He didn’t say anything, instead walking back up the hall. I turned around and started to chase after him. “Potter—Potter wait!” He didn’t stop for me. “James! Please!”
He stopped, but he didn’t turn around. I slowed and stopped myself right behind him. “What?” His voice sounded tired and worn.
“I—I just wanted to say thanks.” My voice was small
“Okay.” He started to walk again, his voice turning hard.
“No—James wait! I want to say more than that!”
“What then?” He turned to face me, his eyes flashing.
“Sorry.” I looked to the ground.
“Why are you sorry?”
“For the game. I pushed the ref, I didn’t mean for it to happen Potter I swear.”
“Forget about it.” He said, his voice still stiff. He started to turn around when I blurted out what was really on my mind.
“Why’d you do it?”
He sighed deeply, I could hear it from where I was. “You should go to bed, it’s late.”
“You’re not my mother.” I grumbled. “Why Potter?"
“Because, it seemed like the right thing to do.”
“Well, thanks. I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t come.”
He didn’t respond this time, he just continued to walk.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I yelled at his retreating back. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were going to go pro? I wouldn’t have cared, I would have been happy for gods sakes!” He still didn’t answer. “James! I really need you to talk to me right now!”
“Kiersten—everything isn’t as simple as you see it.” He turned around, grabbing my shoulders lightly. “You’ve got to understand that."
“But nothings ever simple! I understand that!”
“No, no you don’t.”
“What is it with everyone tonight? I know how I feel God Damnit!”
“How do you feel then?” His voice went harsh. I looked into his eyes slowly.
“It’s complicated.” I muttered.
“Did you mean what you said to Hilburn?” He asked abruptly.
“When you told him that you didn’t care who I was.” His voice sounded urgent. For once he was showing some emotion.
“I—well of course I do Potter.” I was shocked. Had he really thought otherwise
“You really are different than the rest…” He muttered more to himself then me.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m sorry for not telling you about the Quiddich thing.” He looked down. I pulled him closer into what became an awkward hug. “And for after the game.”
“No, I deserved that.” I muttered into his shoulder. He nodded into my hair and I chuckled. For the first time in a while I felt really happy again.
I still don’t know where Potter and I stand, but strangely enough that’s okay. Because right now none of that mattered. For once I wasn’t thinking about the future, or the past, I was just thinking about right now. And that’s the beauty of this moment.
Are you proud of me? I gave you a happy ending chapter! Yaaaay! This doesn't mean that they are technically back together, but I promise that it won't regress back to where they were. Baby steps people! I'm hoping that updates will come quicker now, because I'm planning on having this story done by summer. I don't know when in summer, but by the time September's here it should be completed! I know, it's sad :(
Please review! Motivation is a good thing :) Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed!