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Chapter 17 : XVII.
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You rip out all I have,
Just to say that you've won.
Well, now you've won.
I probably should have known that they would have found me eventually; regardless of how little people seemed to care about me and the invisibility I half-believed that I could put on whenever I wanted to disappear from the world I had come to loathe so much.
I probably should have known that I would have been in trouble, that there would be consequences for running away from the care of people who wanted to help me, for the second time.
But I didn’t know that, for I never assumed anything.
I should have expected to see Dennis, restraining my mother in his comforting arms, as I was dragged, kicking and screaming at the top of my lungs, back into the room I considered to be a prison.
I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was forced into a drugged slumber or that when I woke, I would see my mother sobbing into the arms of my Healer, and my father, Dennis Creevey.
Perhaps, even, I shouldn’t have been alarmed when I heard my mother say that she could take better care of me back at our home in Somerset.
All that I know is that I shouldn’t have cried out Albus’s name until I was, once again, rudely made to sleep and there, in sleep, visit the boy who would never love me ever again.
I overheard strangers whisper that I was catatonic, that I was suffering from depression and that I needed professional help. I listened, emotionlessly, whilst my mother and Dennis snapped at them, silencing their concerns, and said that I was in shock over my attack, and nothing more.
Perhaps, someone had said, I was insane.
Maybe I was. Or maybe I wasn’t.
I was so skilled in lying to myself, that I was hardly the right person to ask if a truthful answer was being sought.
After I gave up the idea that Albus would appear before my eyes if I called out his name long enough, I simply stopped talking. I was silent as my mother dressed me like a child in my favourite jeans, with their accidently fashionable rips and cigarette burns, and lovingly wrapped me up with a scarf around my bandaged neck and a jumper concealing the thick wrappings around my splinched area.
I didn’t say a word as I was led out of my room by Dennis, my mother and three other Healers and spoke only when to announce the name of my home as I was helped into a large fireplace. I didn’t say goodbye to Dennis or my mother when we arrived, instead, I silently moved upstairs. I went into my room, which no longer felt like it belonged to me, and retreated into it. I did not leave for a fortnight, not even when my mother announced that I was meant to be going back to school.
I was too busy for reality; I was too busy trying to forget.
What could I possibly say to him that would make him change his mind? Was there something that I could do to make him stop feeling so strongly about his little motto so I could find out what it was like to be really kissed by him?
Was it selfish of me to want that so badly?
My eyes followed him as he walked away, watching the way his hands kept balling into fists. A longing I had never experienced before overpowered me, and before I had any comprehension of what I was doing, I was running. Running after him, chasing him down and stopping him before it was too late.
“Wait!” I cried frantically as I stumbled over tree roots and as brambles cut through my gloves. I was pathetic, tripping over my own feet to stop the person who had, only minutes ago, rejected me – but I didn’t care.
“Emmanuelle – don’t.” He sighed, looking down at me as though he was disappointed in me. As though I were some silly little child, whose attention he did not want. “It’s for the best if we don’t –”
But he never got the chance; I had scrambled to my feet and had shaken my head so wildly, it made my head spin. I saw him hesitate, and took in his bleak expression sadly. I shouldn’t have stopped him, I knew that. I was being the terrible person he had, not long ago, said that I wasn’t.
But I was. I really was.
I was a bad person, far from being perfect, but he could never find that out.
I reached out, and took hold of his arm. It was a wordless way of reassuring myself that I had gotten him. He was mine, and he wasn’t going anywhere until I said so.
“I can’t let you go without telling you this – I care about you, so much. I don’t know since when, but not seeing you – it’s made it so obvious how much I need you in my life, and how important you are to me. I know you think that you have to do this, but you don’t. You and me – we could make it work. We could – we could keep it a secret.”
“Could you live a lie? Could you really live like that?” He whispered, his grey eyes flashing with an emotion that took a long moment for me to recognise. It hit me painfully.
He was suffering.
“For you – yes, I think I could.” I replied, ignoring the part of me that whispered in my head that I was lying. That I lied all the time, without shame. “I want to be with you, and that’s all I care about.”
“But Dominique –”
“I know you don’t want to hurt her – but she doesn’t have to know anything. No one does.” I was a bad person, and I was letting it take control over me. I was corrupting a person so much better than I was – but there was no choice to it. I had to. Letting him go would be the biggest mistake in my entire life.
I saw the conflict, I saw the internal suffering and I knew I could not let the choice be his. I had to be the one.
I moved forwards without grace, without certainty, and came to a halt when I stood only a foot away from him. I squinted against the rain, and felt the cold droplets of water splash upon my face as I tilted it up towards him.
“We can’t, Emmanuelle.” His lower lip trembled, and his brows drew together. I had planted the seed of doubt in his mind, and he was weakened by it. “I’m not that guy. I’m not my brother. I don’t mess around. I’m not unfaithful.”
He sighed heavily and pressed his forehead against mine. I felt his hands at the small of my back, pulling me closer. I took comfort in his touch, knowing it could be the last, and twined my arms around his neck loosely.
“It’s alright. You don’t have to do anything. I’ll stay away.”
“No.” Was all he said, and with such assurance, that it made me look up at him in surprise. His hands were cold as they cupped my cheeks, but I wasn’t going to complain, and so were his lips as they pressed to mine. He was shivering, even more than I was, and perhaps I should have been worried – but I wasn’t.
His lips against mine felt so right, that it scared me.
My hands twisted in his thick hair, as I had always wanted to do, and his hands pressed me closer to him. I didn’t care that the rain tasted like salt water in my mouth, or that he laughed at me when he scratched the mud off of my cheek, or even when lightning lit the sky above us.
It was the perfect kiss, it truly was. In the future, I’d consider it to be my first. Hurried, hungry kisses in broom closets and awkward snogs under mistletoe meant nothing in comparison to what he and I shared on the stormy afternoon. Absolutely nothing.
I never wanted it to end – ever. I wanted to stay there forever, despite the damp and the cold and the dangers of the forest. I would have risked it all just to stay in his arms until the day I died, or perhaps, less dramatically, until my jaw started to hurt.
But, alas, I never got what I wanted. That was just the way my life seemed to work.
His hands, which had never been still – whether they were in my hair or at the small of my back – shifted to grip me by the shoulders, and for the second time, he pushed me away. However, this time, at least, he did it gently and with a touch of affection.
My lips stung, and his were bright red.
I stared up into his eyes, uncomprehending of what had just happened, and felt my own eyebrows rise. Sighing quietly, he kissed me on the forehead lingeringly.
“Are you going to go back to her now?” I murmured, gripping the front of his jacket tightly in my fisted hands. “After you kissed me like that, you’re going to go back to someone else?”
I shouldn’t have been jealous, after all the things I have said to him – promised him – it felt wrong. Like I was breaking my word, and turning my back on it.
“I didn’t say – it’s fine. If this is what it takes to be with you – then I don’t care. Go be with your girlfriend, I’m – I’m going to Hogsmeade.” I wasn’t breathing properly, and I couldn’t stay still. His hands were in my shoulders, weighing me down and tethering me to the earth.
“Emmanuelle – it’s a Tuesday. You can’t go to Hogsmeade.” He mumbled quietly, with such sadness in his eyes that it weakened the lie I was trying to spin for myself. I wasn’t okay. He wasn’t okay. What we were trying to do was not okay. But it had to happen, I depended upon it. I felt something for him that was so different, and so wonderful, that it was taking control over me.
“What else am I supposed to do?”
“Come with me.”
“What? So I can sit around and watch some other girl kiss you? No – no, thank you.” I snapped in rebuttal, angrily pushing him away from me. I whirled around on my heel and would have attempted to march away with a sexy sort of strut, which commanded respect and dignity, if he had not have tightly grabbed me by the wrist.
He pulled me back to him easily, as though I were a weightless ragdoll, and into his chest. His jacket was thick, and I sunk into it like a plush duvet. One of his arms wrapped around me, and his lips met my open mouth with such a feverence that caught me off guard.
Half lifting me off of my feet, I made a murmuring noise of pleasure, and threw my arms around his neck.
“The only person I’ll be kissing,” He murmured against my lips, “is you.”
His confidence was new and surprising, but I didn’t mind it at all. As much as I liked my serious, studious tutor, I would have never imagined him kissing me like that. It was only natural that another side came out when such things happened...
“We’ll catch our death out here, Emmanuelle.” He suddenly said, pushing me away, “We should go back to the castle...”
I hated the way that he so easily ceased from kissing me, as though it didn’t seem like a huge effort, and I took that frustration out on him. I was petty, and so childishly petulant, that I ignored the hand he held out for me, and took off in the direction of the castle without a single word.
He caught up with me eventually, and took hold of my arm. Stubbornly, I did not allow him to stop me from walking.
He asked me if I was angry with him, and it made me laugh.
“No.” I said. “I’m not angry. I’m upset.”
He inquired as to why I felt that way with such gentleness, that it made me sigh and wish I had never said anything in the first place. I was temperamental, or perhaps I was just mental.
I had to ruin everything in my life – although, I could hardly say that to him, he wouldn’t understand and would say something nice to make me feel better.
“I’m a girl, Scamander. I get upset easily over little, insignificant things that, in ten minutes time, will be seemingly forgotten however locked away within my mind for future reference.” I snapped, expecting him to laugh at me. Most people did. Everyone seemed to think that when I was at my most delirious, that I was constantly making jokes.
“Did I do something wrong?” He asked, seemingly oblivious to the last five minutes of our lives. “Will you just tell me what I did so I don’t have to stand here like an idiot and guess?”
His frowning face was difficult to stay angry at. Turning to him with a heavy sigh, I shook my head.
“I have issues.” I said, trying my hardest to state it simply so he would not press me or try to convince me otherwise. “I never say the right thing and I never feel what I should. I ruin everything and I’m sorry, but you’ll have to get used it to. I’ve tried changing and it’s only made things worse. I lost my best friend because of it.”
With a sharp pang of pain, I was forcefully reminded of Rose. Of the way she had looked at me when she walked into that room to find me with the person I had no idea was her boyfriend. I remembered the way she hadn’t looked angry, but instead the way her breaking heart seemed to shine through in her tear-filled eyes. I had tried to go after her, pushing that dreadful boy away from me, but hadn’t been able to follow.
The way she told me she hated me had stopped me in my tracks, and broken the heart I had had no idea was there. Losing Rose was my tipping point. Without her, I had nothing and therefore nothing to hold me back. I had no one to disappoint, or anyone’s expectations to live up to.
“I don’t know how to let people into... you know. Into my heart.” I whispered. My cheeks flushed red at the way that he looked up at me quickly, and I regretted saying anything instantly. I looked away from him, ashamed of myself, and stared at the ground with penitence.
“It’s okay.” He murmured, “I understand.”
His hands moved to wrap around my shoulders, and as he pulled me into his arms, I felt but a single tear run down my cheek. Perhaps that was what love was, that agony mixed in with a happiness I had never experienced. Whatever it was, I never wanted it to end, yet knew, with every single fibre of my being, that it would.
His good nature and affection for my cousin, in the end, would triumph. What we had – our stolen moments, they would count for nothing in the long run. It couldn’t last, and I knew that somewhere along the line, the witty boy who had tried to tutor me would end up breaking my heart.
“Let’s go back to the castle. It’s almost time for dinner.”
And with a sigh, I reluctantly removed myself from his arms and nodded my head.
With a slight smile, he took my hand, and together we returned to the castle where, somewhere, the girl who loved him was waiting and along with all the friends and family who would miss him if he was gone for too long.
I wondered, unhappily, that if I were to go away, if any single person would notice and mourn my absence.
I could not think of anyone, and it tore at my suddenly fragile heart.
My mother was treating me as though I was suddenly a child again.
Each morning, afternoon and evening she would hurriedly enter my room, without knocking, and bring me in what she believed was ‘food’.
At first, she had at least attempted to cook for me; she made me something that involved pasta, then some pancakes, then some sort of meal on a fancy piece of bread. But she had stopped after she had realized that I hadn’t touched a single one of the meals she had so ‘lovingly’ prepared.
After almost a week of barely eating, she had had enough, seemingly. She called Dennis, and like lightning, he appeared. It was as though he wasn’t a top St Mungo’s Healer, who worked all day every day, but just a man. A man who cared.
He entered my room, as bold as brass, and behind him, my mother hovered worriedly.
She offered him tea, which he refused, and then, awkwardly, retreated to my window seat. She plonked herself down and stared at me with wide doe eyes, full of the maternal concern she had never had when I had been growing up.
She sickened me.
“Emmanuelle, look at me.” Dennis calmly said, touching my chin with his thumb and index finger. He turned my face towards his, and I glared into his softly coloured brown eyes with a newfangled fury.
“Go away.” I whispered slowly, cruelly emphasising each syllable.
Dennis frowned and he exchanged a glance with my mother that made my skin prickle angrily. I wanted them both gone, and they were refusing to do as I wished. I wanted to be hurt, I wanted to be angry – and most of all, I wanted to be left alone as I did it.
“I can’t do that, you see. You are a patient of mine, still, and I am obligated to make sure that you are at the best of health before I deem you alright enough to be left alone.”
‘“Alright enough?’” I snapped derisively, “What kind of Healer are you? You sound like a fucking twat.”
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. But that doesn’t matter. All that matters right now is you, Emmanuelle.” He said as he looked me in the eye, and as he touched the much smaller bandage on my neck and as his hands slid to my waist. I stopped him there by grabbing them, and roughly forcing them away.
“Stop touching me. And don’t you dare call me that. I don’t care who you are, no one calls me that.” I hadn’t meant to sit up, or to push him away from me. But I did. I wanted to scream, and I wanted to cry. I wanted to go insane, and they weren’t letting me. They were keeping me sane. “I don’t want to get better.”
My mother, sinking to the floor, burst into tears. I saw it in Dennis’s eyes that he wanted to go to her, and to comfort her with his arms or with his lips. I looked away from him, to her, and felt another wave of anger hit me. I should have run my fingers through my tangled hair and kept my mouth shut, but I didn’t.
“Look at yourself.” I harshly said to her, icily. “You call yourself my mother. But you’re not. You were never there for me – ever – all because you never got the perfect ending with the person you loved. So what? I have been alone my whole life and whenever someone comes into my life I lose them. All because you were too damn selfish to raise me right. I don’t hate, I love you – but you make me sick. I can’t –”
“That’s enough.” Dennis had moved away from my bed, away from me, and was crouched stiffly beside my mother. He tried to pull her into his arms, but she pushed him away and sobbed some more.
“No, it’s not. I’ve just started.” I couldn’t help the words from falling from my lips, and after they had, I couldn’t bring myself to be sorry for saying them.
“She loves you, even after all these years. Even after what you did to her – and, equally, what she did to you. You’re my father. And she has kept you from me my entire life. Now do you understand why I am so bitter? Why I am so fucking twisted? I’ve been waiting for you for ever, and you’ve turned out to be just another disappointment.”
His face was a picture, I’ll give him that. He actually looked surprised.
My mother raised her faintly pink, tearful eyes and met mine for the tiniest of moments. She mouthed my name pleadingly, and I glared.
“I’ve had enough, mother. I’m not lying for you – or anyone else - any more.”
I wasn’t sorry. I couldn’t bring myself to be. I was too tired for it. I was sick of pretending to be someone I wasn’t, and worn-out with all the lies and games I purposely brought on myself. My web of deception was thick, and I was tired of drowning in it
Dennis, slowly, rose to his feet and quietly, he cleared his throat. I could see that the situation was too much for him, and knew I shouldn’t have been so hard on him. I should have sugar coated the dilemma and made it look attractive to him. Made it look like my being his daughter was actually a good thing. Like fatherhood was something he could enjoy.
“Is this true?” He whispered, so softly I might have imagined it. “She’s – she’s mine?”
“Oui.” My mother murmured quietly, her shaking voice thick with tears. “I mean – yes. She’s your daughter, Dennis.”
“I suppose I should have seen this coming – but – just – I need a moment to process this. It’s a lot to take in, if you know what I mean.” Dennis attempted a light hearted laugh, which sounded more like a hoarse cough, and scratched the back of his neck. I watched with drawn brows and my mother did the same with quivering lips.
I had wanted to hurt him. I hadn’t wanted him to try to accept it.
I had wanted them both to be as hurt as I was, as I had been when I found Albus’s empty bed and the two burly Healers in white uniforms had dragged me away.
I closed my eyes with a small sigh, and found tears in them when they flickered open again. I felt the anger leave me in an abrupt rush, and suddenly, I was cold. I hadn’t realized that I was shaking, and I shivered as I pulled my duvet cover up to my shoulders.
“I’m sorry. I was angry.” I murmured, my eyes locked with my mother’s. She would forgive me eventually, but Dennis – well, I didn’t know about him. “I wasn’t angry with you, either of you – and I shouldn’t have let it out so undeservedly. You were just trying to help me and I’m – well, I’m just an asshole.”
“You’re a teenager, you’re meant to be an asshole ninety eight percent of the time. But – no, don’t say that. You have been through a hell of a lot, Emmanuelle. If you weren’t angry, then I’d be concerned.” Dennis gently stated, moving so that he could touch my shoulder comfortingly. “All of my patients, I’m glad that it’s you who is my daughter and not the half-Goblin who was next door to you.”
“I don’t really know what to say but – thank you?”
“You’re – um - welcome?”
He was trying to lighten the tension in the room, but it wasn’t working.
My mother hadn’t forgiven me, and probably never would considering the look on her face, and had gotten to her feet. She wiped her cheeks like a small child, and pointedly did not look at me. She sniffed once, then again softly, and left the room. The door banged, making me jump.
“I – I’ll talk to her.” Dennis said, smiling at me almost apologetically.
He left the room, calling my mother’s name softly, and I fell back onto my pillows. My head was spinning and my eyes were still full of unshed tears. I may have lost my mother, but it seemed, however, that I had somehow gained a father.
I sighed heavily, and as I closed my eyes I decided something: that I truly hated life, and all of its bizarre occurrences and unexpected surprises.
I watched them, adoring him and despising her, with jealous eyes.
I did not enjoy the meal in front of me, not when I had to behold such a sight. I watched as she fed him a piece of chicken and giggled when he moved his head and it smeared across his cheek. I glared as she wiped the gravy off of his face and drew her finger to her lips in a supposedly seductive manner.
I gripped my fork tightly, angrily, and ignored the stares Veronica was giving me. I didn’t care if she thought I was insane. I probably was for all I knew. I mean, I was getting jealous over my stupid cousin’s boyfriend. Who was, after all, just a nerdy Ravenclaw with prudish mannerisms and no sense of humour, surely?
He didn’t understand my jokes; he hated when I tried to procrastinate and would rather teach me Transfiguration than kiss me. He didn’t know what to do with his hair, and badly needed a haircut.
He wore his uniform too correctly and was a goody-two-shoe. He was a terrible swot, and I was most likely half in love with him.
I was obsessed with him. It was driving me mad.
He distracted me with whatever he did, and made me adore it.
I actually like it when he got excited over something that was in a book, or when he proved that he knew all of the rules off by heart, or when he could recount each and every word of the oath our stupid professors had made us swear to when entering N.E.W.Ts level.
He was slowly, and surely, becoming my whole world and yet – there he was, with another girl.
I sighed, wanting me to be angry with him, but found it impossible. I just kept picturing him and the way he smiled whenever I arrived for our tutoring sessions ten minutes late, or the way he kicked me lightly under the table when he knew I wasn’t paying attention.
I pushed the carrot around my plate with my fork, sighing softly once again, and looked away from him and Dominique almost reluctantly. I looked down at my meal, my stomach churning, and dropped my fork. I couldn’t eat, not with my mind in such a state of confusion.
“Did you just have amazing sex or something, Emmie?” Veronica whispered, though when Veronica ‘whispered’ half the table seemed to hear. Every goddamn time. “You look really spaced out.”
“Yeah, I did. With three guys. It was incredible.” I said, so sarcastically, that it made me actually question Veronica’s sanity when her mouth fell open and she bent closer to me.
“Really? Merlin’s beard! Who were the other guys? Or don’t you know? I’m not judging if you don’t know – I’m totally not. And if you don’t kiss and tell – well, it’s hardly kissing when you are having sex with them, is it? So is it like ‘don’t fuck and tell’?” The way she manically laughed, and sprayed me with spit made me want to hit her over the head. “I wish I was you, Emmie! You are so lucky! I haven’t even kissed a guy yet.”
“You told me you kissed Denny Thompson.” Samantha hissed, with her brown eyes, surrounded by electric blue eyeliner – which looked so tacky it was painful -, narrowing to slits in suspicion. “You said you kissed him at the Halloween party!”
“That doesn’t count. I was a little bit drunk so it doesn’t count. If you have been drinking then nothing physical you do matters. It’s only when you are aware of what is happening that it counts. Duh.” Veronica rolled her eyes at me, as though she were making perfect sense, and I smirked faintly.
“With that logic then, Emmie is a virgin.” Tracey leered, trying her hardest to look at me smugly. Instead, she looked like a sort of animal with a disease, which needed to be put down. And then burned. “And not a filthy little slag.”
“Fuck off, you fucking ugly bitch.” I muttered, mostly out of frustration, causing Tracey and all her friends to gasp loudly and in a manner which suggested that foul language shocked them. As though they were above it, or something.
“You should be nicer to us, Delacour. If we weren’t so generous, then you’d have no friends at all. You’d no one, with nothing but yourself and used condoms for company.”
I found it funny how much of a ‘slag’ they thought me to be.
Especially considering I was a virgin, who had only ever allowed a boy to touch beneath her bra. That was all. They just assumed because of the way blokes looked at me – and I looked back- and the way I didn’t stop the wild, ridiculous rumours from spreading.
Standing up, I briefly pulled the finger to Tracey and left the dining hall without looking back. I must have spoken aloud when I thought ‘fuck!’ because the words echoed around the entrance hall.
“Do you mind keeping your profanities to yourself, Delacour?” Rose snapped hotly, appearing, seemingly, out of no where. She glared at me, and pointedly glanced down at her gleaming prefect badge. “I could give you detention, you know!”
“Leave me alone, Rose. I can’t handle a lecture from you right now.” I said wearily, trying my best not to snap at her. I didn’t want a repeat of the last time we had spoken – when she had slapped me and told me she could never be friends with someone like me ever again.
“Well – you’re getting one!” She exclaimed, her hands flying to her small hips. “You cannot swear in front of the whole school – someone could have heard you! Do you want to be in trouble all the time? Do you really want to be hated?”
“Why not? I’d rather be hated then have to conform to what other people want me to be, Rose.”
“Just look at yourself, Em – who are you?”
“I’m the person you hate, remember?” I snapped, and without waiting for her response, pushed past her forcefully and left. I left before she could actually say the words, knowing that if she did, my heart would break. Just as they had done the first time.
If this chapter is horrible, I am so sorry. I rushed it. Really rushed it, and wasn’t sure where it was going/what was happening. I’ve- sort of - got the beginnings of the flu, and oddly, it’s made me full of angst in my writing. But, beside that, happy Easter, and happy St. George’s day and go Manchester United for the Man U vs Everton game on the 23rd. Haha.
As always, thanks for reading and leave a review! I always love hearing from you guys.
French translations: ‘Oui’ – yes.
Lyrics: Gave you all – Mumford & Sons.
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