I jumped slightly, but then sighed and settled back into Louis’s lap.
“You get to go home and see your brother tomorrow!” he went on.
I squeezed my eyes shut tighter.
Jacob tried to make the holidays fun, really, he did.
But the fact remained that they were the anniversary of my parents’ death and he hadn’t so much as had confirmation of his twin sister’s remaining existence in a full two years.
Because of me.
Because it’s what I do; I rip families apart.
Ever since the beginning when I took up all of dad’s attention and Julianne began to resent him for it. Ever since Jacob realized he liked having a younger sister and gave me some of Julianne’s attention.
And now Albus won’t talk to James and Lily won’t talk to either of them and Fred fights with James everyday and Roxanne and Molly are always yelling at them all and Louis is always glaring at James and Rose can’t stand the sight of him and Hugo informs James he’s a prat every day and Lucy can’t stand any of it and the Weasleys’ rock solid bond has ripped apart.
Because of me.
“Bet Jacob can’t wait to see you,” Austin was still talking.
I snorted at that. “Sure.”
“He loves you, Rina,” Callie spoke softly. “You’re his sister.”
I lifted my head to meet her gaze. “I’m his half-sister,” I reminded. “Julianne is his real sister, his twin sister. He hasn’t spoken to her in two years. Because of me.”
“Rina it isn’t because –“
“Yes it is!” I suddenly shrieked, rounding on Rose. “Yes it is! It’s what I do!”
“I rip families apart and ruin everyone’s lives because I’m a cold, selfish bitch!”
Rose just stared at me, wide-eyed. She looked shocked.
I hadn’t yelled in a while.
“Rina, you aren’t –“
“Yes, I am!” I shouted to Louis, leaping away from him and gathering myself at the other end of the sofa. “I am! I’m horrendous!”
“No one thinks that, Rina,” Allison spoke sternly, as if she were right.
“Julianne thinks so and James thinks so and as a result, I’ve taken their families from them!” I cried. “There’s a reason people can’t stand me!”
Scorpius pulled me down into his lap, tightening his hold on me as I tried to get up.
What was his problem?
I closed my eyes. They used my real name, my full name, on me like they were my parents.
“Shut up,” I spoke weakly, suddenly realizing I didn’t have any energy.
Callie pulled me from Scorpius’s grip and grabbed his and Austin’s arms, pulling them up. “It’s bed time,” she said her eyes on Allison.
I heard them get up and leave, but my face remained buried in my knees, my arms wrapped tightly around my legs. It was a few minutes before I realized I was alone with three Weasley’s whose lives I’d ruined.
Rose crawled over to me, setting a gentle hand on my arm.
I shrunk away from her.
It was probably his voice, the way he said my name, that made me look up at Albus. His expression was as if everything had suddenly fallen into place.
Except it hadn’t. Everything was completely fucked.
“Rina, you know I love you,” Albus spoke again as if he meant it. “You’re one of my best friends, and ever since first and second year when I missed Lily and you reminded me so much of her, you’ve been like my sister. I love you and it’s not your fault. It’s because I love you, Rina.”
I couldn’t look at him.
“Siblings sometimes take sides,” Rose explained softly, “when one of us is wrong and the other one needs us.”
Louis had climbed down to sit next to me and put his arms around me again.
“James was your brother first,” I whispered.
“He’s also stupid,” Albus reminded. “You wouldn’t expect me to take James’s side over Lily’s if he hurt her because I knew him first.”
“You couldn’t possibly think we hate you, Rina,” Louis pulled me closer again. “It couldn’t happen.”
“But I’m terrible,” I glanced around to Albus, almost hoping to see agreement. It would make me feel better.
“Not even close, Rina,” he said, however.
I didn’t believe him.
“Forget me, Rina,” Rose smiled slightly, “but these two would still think you’re their sweet baby sister if you went and slit their throats.”
“I’m not sweet,” I said softly.
“Oh, please, Rina,” Louis snorted. “James is an absolute arse and managed to successfully break you and we idiots can’t keep off our broomsticks while everyone else is behaving childishly as if you didn’t have the right to make your own decisions, and here you are feeling guilty about our fight with James.”
“Because it’s my fault,” I reminded.
“It’s James’s fault, actually,” Rose corrected. “He won’t listen. He’s got a bloody stick up his arse and can’t get over his huge head long enough to realize he doesn’t know shit and it’s all his fault.”
I shuddered, shrinking closer to Louis. “Please make up with him.”
As my eyes landed on Albus, I noticed that his green eyes were hard and focused beyond me. I knew who he was looking at. For the first time in two weeks.
“He’s your brother,” I said softly.
“He’s an arse.” Albus formed the words slowly, clearly, and I knew James had been able to make out the formations of his lips when I saw the hint of satisfaction in Albus’s eyes.
“You have to make up with him,” I repeated.
“No,” he said, “I don’t.”
“It’s Christmas!” I was shouting again. “You can’t fight with your brother during Christmas!”
Albus’s eyes had narrowed furiously, but then they returned to me. “Sure I can,” he told me simply before climbing to his feet and marching off to his dorm.
I stared hopelessly after him, suddenly feeling a strange sense of déjà vu.
It was just like Jacob.
Julianne refused to see me, and Jacob refused to see her unless she spoke to me.
And she wouldn’t, so Jacob didn’t invite her to Christmas, and I begged him to make up with her. I told him he couldn’t have Christmas dinner without her. They’d done Christmas together since before they were born! They were always together, ever since the bloody womb! He couldn’t have Christmas without his sister.
“Sure I can.”
He never saw her again.
She was gone.
I was crying. I only realized when I saw Rose’s red hair as she marched by as a blur.
“This is getting ridiculous,” she stated.
I blinked, clearing my eyes of tears slightly as Louis held me closer. I watched Rose as she swiped a single tear from her check and narrowed her eyes the same way Albus had.
I didn’t watch as she walked away, and I closed my eyes, dropping my head back onto Louis’s shoulder as I heard her voice a few minutes later.
“You will not glare, Albus Potter,” she scolded sternly. “And neither will you,” she added.
Louis’s hand moved up and down my arm soothingly as I pulled myself closer to him.
“What do you want, Rose?” James’s voice sighed exasperatedly.
“Albus would like to say something to you, and so would I,” she answered simply.
“I have nothing to say,” Albus grumbled.
“Oh, for the love of God, Al!” Rose cried, “Or at least for Rina will you stop it? You’re only helping to reinforce that ridiculous idea in her head!”
Now they’re fighting.
Just because I’m pathetic.
“We’re Weasleys, Bells,” Louis assured me softly, “We always make up.”
I wasn’t so sure.
“Shut up you lot!” Louis shouted suddenly.
“I forgive you, James, for pissing me off, and I’m sorry if you disagree with me. You can think whatever the hell you want; it isn’t really all that important anymore.”
“Yes, it is!” Albus argued.
I held my breath.
“No, it isn’t Al,” Louis sighed. “What’s important is that we don’t make anything worse. Can you take her to bed, Rose?”
I hugged Louis tight as Rose took my arm gently.
“Thank you,” I told him.
He just smiled and winked as Rose led me away.
“Did he mean it?” I asked her as we made our way up the stairs.
“Louis doesn’t hold grudges,” she answered. “He still isn’t happy with James, but he won’t bother to be mad at him if it hurts you.”
I looked over to her as we stepped into our dormitory, and she followed me to my bed, sitting down next to me.
“He misses her,” I told her. “Julie was never a bad person, and Jake loves her and he misses having her around. She always made him laugh, and he always ran to her when he needed help with Sophie. Did you know she helping him pick out the engagement ring?” I smiled slightly at the memory of him raving about it. “He was completely frantic and clueless. Julie and Sophie planned the entire wedding because Jake was an incompetent guy and knew shit and Sophie needed help. She wanted to name their daughter Christy, and she was supposed to be her Godmother, but she disappeared a month before she was born, and Jake missed her and named her Julie after his sister who he never saw again. And now he resents me because he thought she’d come back and she didn’t.”
“He doesn’t hate you,” Rose attempted to assure me softly.
“James will be hurt and upset that you picked that selfish brat over him, and he’ll go away and you’ll think he’s coming back, but he won’t, and you’ll hate me too.”
“We couldn’t hate you, Rina,” Rose repeated, running her fingers through my hair. “And James isn’t a complete idiot.”
“That’s what he thought,” I reminded her.
“I promise you, Rina.”
I looked at her.
They would break that promise.
I felt helpless as I stared.
Albus and James were blatantly ignoring each other, Lily was glaring furiously at the both of them, Ginny Potter appeared shocked, and Harry Potter seemed so…lost. I knew that, more than anything, his kids’ friendship was so important to him; it was his family.
I am such a terrible person.
Rose was sending me a sympathetic look, shaking her head as Hugo, rather tactlessly, informed his mother, when she asked about his term, that James was a prat and he would not be speaking with him again.
“Come on,” Austin gently pulled me through the barrier to the muggle world. “They’ll be fine,” he insisted as he continued to drag me along.
I didn’t respond.
They probably wouldn’t be.
“There’s your brother,” Austin spoke again, guiding me towards him.
I didn’t look up.
Jacob sounded confused.
After all, last time, I’d greeted him with cynical sarcasm.
Now I had tears on my face.
Damn it all.
“What happened?” Sophia seemed to feel the need to sound concerned.
“It’s…uh, a bit of a story,” Austin answered rather uncomfortably. He knew that Jacob generally didn’t like it when I was upset.
“Is it now?”
“Yeah,” Austin was nodding now. “She’s being a tad bit dramatic maybe…”
“You are Rina,” he sent me a look. “It’s James and Albus; they’ll be fine.”
“They’re not just brothers, Rina; they’re best friends.”
Jake and Julie were best friends.
“Just go home, Austin!” I snapped at him. I was sick and tired of people ignoring the blatant truth.
He crossed his arms at me. “Well, merry Christmas then,” he rolled his eyes at me, “I know I’ll just be having a jolly good time.”
The cold sarcasm in his voice made even the usage of the word “jolly” sound hateful.
“You know, it’s just what I wanted for Christmas, Rina,” he went on in the same tone, “a best friend in tears.”
“And all I wanted for Christmas was a best friend and a brother that refused to talk to their siblings and for my parents to die,” I snapped back.
Perhaps if I’d looked around to Jacob, I would’ve realized exactly what a bitch I was being, but I figured I had a pretty good idea all the same.
I couldn’t exactly bring myself to care, either.
I guess some things never change, then.
Jacob spent holiday break being upset with me.
He seemed to find my living in my bedroom to be ridiculous and immature.
I saw no problem with distancing myself from people whose moods I would otherwise ruin.
He’s just an idiot that didn’t realize my level of consideration.
It was Christmas morning when Julie managed to escape her parents and came bouncing into my room.
“Ri-ri!” she squealed, bouncing on my bed. “Chis’mas!”
I blinked as I sat up, looking at her face.
She was small, blonde and adorable. She had little dimples showing as she smiled hugely at me, tiny little teeth sparkling. Her candy cane pajamas were askew, her messy hair even worse, and she appeared ecstatic to be beaming up at me as she bounced on my legs.
“Pancake!” she added to me delightedly.
“Pancakes?” I raised an eyebrow.
Damn, this little girl knew me better than anyone else.
She squealed again as I suddenly grinned at her and scooped her up in my arms, carrying her out of the room as she giggled loudly and shrieked when I threw her onto the couch.
“Where are they?” I demanded.
Julie giggled a bit more as she bounced on the couch and pointed towards the kitchen.
“Would you look at that?” Sophie raised a curious eyebrow at her daughter as she emerged from the kitchen, “She actually doesn’t dislike you. Imagine that.”
I blinked at her. And then I was suddenly scowling again.
Imagine a Weasley Christmas with them all hating each other.
“Maybe you should try to keep out of their lives and enjoy yours instead,” Sophie suggest, observing me carefully. “Everyone has some level of idiocy in them, but the only way to work it out is for them to get over it themselves.”
Even when you’re the cause?
“Chocolate chips, right?” Sophia checked, turning back to the kitchen.
“Choc’ate!” Julie screeched, hopping off the sofa and racing after her mother.
I couldn’t help it.
It was chocolate, after all.
I sat at the table and watched Sophie flip a pancake, Julie sat across from me, fork in hand and syrup within reach; she was practically drooling as she stared at the pancake.
“Rina,” Sophie spoke after a moment. She placed the pancake on a plate and set the plate in front of Julie (who attacked it with syrup), before looking up at me. “You wanna know what I think?”
“I think,” she ignored me, causing me to scowl, “that you’re a hypocrite.”
I raised an eyebrow.
“What gives you the right to even offer to sacrifice a friend or your happiness if you won’t allow anyone to do the same for you?” she questioned. “You know the whole thing works both ways; you’re supposed to let people love you back.”
“Unless you’re so epically selfish that you don’t deserve it,” I found myself mumbling to the table.
“Anyone that loves deserves to be loved back times ten,” Sophie said, turning back to the stove and picking her spatula back up. “Will you get her some milk?”
I blinked at the back of her head for a moment, and then turned my gaze to Julie, who now had syrup on her face. I sighed and stood, pouring a glass of milk and setting it down in front of the little blonde, who yanked it up and gulped it down.
“Mo’!” she held the empty cup out to me.
I offered her a dramatic sigh before refilling it, and then pouring myself one as well.
By the time I’d sat back down at the table, Sophie was setting pancakes in front of me, and I found myself suddenly not caring that she was pissing me off; she made me chocolate chip pancakes.
I turned, fork in my mouth, as Jacob walked into the kitchen. I blinked at him until he raised an eyebrow at me.
“You pulling that thing out of your mouth anytime soon?” he inquired, lips twitching in amusement.
He was Jacob and I was a hypocritical freak, so that’s all it took, and I abandoned my fork and pancakes and instead leapt at him, wrapping my arms tightly around his neck.
He laughed in my ear as he held me tight. “Clearly, I’ve passed my gift on to my daughter.”
I looked down at her, now tugging on her father’s pants in hope of a hug of her own, as Jake set me down. He was right; I couldn’t be in a bad mood with the two of them around, even if Jake had epically pissed me off.
But it was Christmas and he’d been right; I’m not forcing myself on anyone if they actually want me around. That’s the thing thought; sometimes, with people so obviously wanting me to go away, the distinctions blur together. It was a problem, I suppose.
“Where’s my food?” he questioned, setting Julie back in her chair and handing her fork back to her.
She giggled and pointed to Sophie’s back before shoving more pancake into her mouth.
Jake raised an eyebrow as he sat next to her. “Do you want to share while I wait.”
“No!” she shook her head, voice mumbled as she tried to talk with her mouth full.
“Swallow before you speak please,” Sophie sent her a look as she handed Jake his plate.
I handed him the syrup as she turned back to the stove, exchange looks with him as I did so. He grinned, and I grinned back, rolling my eyes at the smirk he was sending me.
Alright, so fine, maybe improving my attitude, for the time being, wasn’t so difficult.
We’d see about his smirk if my attitude remained improved.
Jacob is a prick.
A real huge prick.
He was still smirking at me by New Year’s.
But come on, seriously, how was I supposed to not improve my attitude around little Julie? I couldn’t help it.
Just because I managed to smile and laugh with the little girl for a week didn’t mean that my attitude was going to stay like that.
I mean, sure, Austin’s letters were funny and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at Scorpius’s detailing of his father’s behavior, but the two of them would be annoying prats as soon as we got back to school as well, and that would mean that my attitude would, once again, take a dip.
Especially if the Weasleys were still fighting.
And I knew they were because every time they wrote, they neglected to mention anyone they were upset with. Albus wouldn’t even mention Louis anymore because he was annoyed at him for forgiving James, which consequently led to Rose becoming annoyed at him.
Only Louis was alright with dealing with everyone, but even though he did mention them all, he was careful not to mention anything involving the arguing parties, which was a direct contrast to previous years when he would be writing me about Fred and James’s pranks or Albus and Rose fighting over Scorpius as if he were a plaything. Louis’s letters made it more obvious than anything else did that things still weren’t right.
And that would probably impact my attitude a bit when I was no longer around Julie.
“You know, I don’t even know what you’re friends are fighting about that has you so upset.”
I looked away from the window and turned to Jake instead as he sat down next to me on the sofa. Sophie had just taken Julie away to put her down for her nap, leaving me to contemplate how bad the situation with the Weasleys could be. We were going back to Hogwarts in three days, and then I’d get to see for myself.
I looked up to Jake as he looked back down at me inquiringly.
“Well,” I sighed, “Like Austin said, it’s a bit of a story.”
“Yeah?” Jake raised an eyebrow.
I nodded, and he stood, disappearing into the kitchen. He returned a moment later with the leftover New Year’s cake and two forks. “Tell me,” he handed me a fork.
I took it and dug it into the cake before replying.
“Last year, Austin invented a game,” I began, “when he was drunk.”
“Oh, God, I did that once,” Jake began shaking his head.
“Did it involve jumping off a tower?”
Jake raised an eyebrow.
“They jump and then they see who can go the longest before they summon their brooms,” I explained. “Summoning Charms are difficult, and they require precision and memory and visualization and a whole lot of mental capabilities. You have to know what you’re summoning and where it is and how far it is and where you are and everything has to be exact. How much mental capability do you have when you’re drunk?”
“None,” he answered immediately. “They can manage this?”
I nodded. “Just barely. Magic is insanely difficult when you’re sober; I don’t even like thinking of people attempting it drunk. Things can go wrong if it’s not done right.”
“So, where does the fighting come in?” Jake asked after a moment of silent eating.
I pulled my fork out of my mouth and sighed, looking up at him. “It’s just really scary to watch them, but I’m never that drunk, and I have my wand, and James never drank and he always had his wand ready in case something went wrong. There were never any incidents before, except for the last time.”
“Did someone get hurt?”
I nodded. “We won our Quidditch match, so we had a party, but I was sick, so I stayed in bed. I’m still not exactly sure what made me get up and go out to the roof, but when I got there, they were all playing, all lined up on the ledge and jumping off. It would’ve been the same as usual and I would’ve counted on James to act if anything went wrong, because I trusted him, and he’s great at magic, except he wasn’t standing there with his wand. He was drunk and he was playing. I think he was trying to get his mind off of the other team’s captain who managed to rile him up, but I didn’t even have my wand and everyone else was either drunk and egging them on or hysterical and not as magically capable.
“In the end, I just had that feeling that something wasn’t right when James didn’t summon his broom, so I went jumping off after him. He’d passed out, and he has this terrible scar on him face, and I just barely got him,” my voice grew quiet as I looked back at Jake. “It was scary,” I admitted. “I never really considered heights before, but…” I trailed off with a shudder, looking back at the cake.
“So they’re fighting because…”
“I quit Quidditch,” I admitted, looking back up at him.
Jake frowned slightly. “I thought you loved Quidditch.”
“We fly around on broomsticks hundreds of feet in the air!” I shrieked, turning back to him.
Jake looked at me for a moment and then sighed. “Heights.”
I nodded, digging my fork back into the cake dejectedly.
“James was so drunk that he didn’t remember his experience,” I went on after a moment, “And no one told him because his reaction probably wouldn’t have been too great. When I quit, he thought it was because I was trying to prove a point against him or something, like it was a protest against his captaining skills and I was being selfish and bitchy. We always fight about Quidditch because he doesn’t like some of my maneuvers, and that makes me mad. I do something tricky, he punishes me, and we yell about it; in the end, he says I’m stupid and arrogant, and I say he’s stupid and arrogant. So, obviously, when I quit, he assumed that’s what it was about; me being prideful and trying to screw him over. He doesn’t realize I’m scared.”
“So then it isn’t really his fault,” Jake pointed out carefully.
I nodded, taking another bite of cake. “Everyone else thinks I should try listening to what James has to say and he should stop being mean. When I quit the team, James came into the common room and announced that I was prideful and selfish and unable to be a team player, so I quit, and that set them all off. James thinks they’re just taking my side and that hurts him, the team thinks James should accept that he’s wrong and my quitting has nothing to do with him, and everyone else is mad at them for fighting and upset with each other for how they’re treating me or James or everyone else. They all hate each other.”
I felt Jake’s eyes on me for a moment but didn’t look up from the cake.
“The guilt?” he finally questioned.
I looked us and shrugged. “It’s sort of my fault,” I admitted.
“How?” Jake sat back and crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow at him.
“If I’d just improved my attitude in the first place about James’s method, he wouldn’t think I’m out to get him!” I cried. “In the end, he’s just hurt, and I’m such a crappy friend in the first place, it’s not fair that I have to take his family away from him!”
Jake just looked at me for a moment before he set his fork down and turned back to me with a sigh. “Rina. You know, the definition of friendship is getting yourself involved in and messing with their lives the most when they least want you there.”
I looked away from him.
“You’re not the cause of the fight; you’re simply the subject,” he went on.
I turned back to raise an incredulous eyebrow in his direction.
“You didn’t tell them to fight; actually, you tried to stop them.”
“If I wasn’t a baby quitting Quidditch, they’d have no reason to fight,” I mumbled, keeping my eyes on the fork I was twirling between my fingers.
“Look,” Jake turned me back to him, “You quit for a logical reason; James is simply jumping to conclusions. Obviously, your friends’ decision is also an obvious one.”
“Obviously?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Obviously,” he nodded affirmatively.
“Jake,” I sighed.
He stopped me with a determined look as I met his eyes. “You never did anything to Julianne; she was just being bitter. So, obviously, my decision was an obvious one.”
I looked back down at my hands.
“I wasn’t about to hand you over to Grandmother and Grandfather,” he made a face (they’d always insisted they be addressed “properly,” which Jake and I found ridiculous; he actually just hated having to be forced to learn such long words at the age of one). “They’re just bitter that their set up eventually failed and you exist to prove it.”
“But it –“
“And besides,” he spoke over me, “I love you, so that’s that.”
“You love Julianne, too,” I reminded softly, looking back up to him.
“Yes,” he nodded with the same stubborn look in his eyes, “I love both my sisters, but one of them is being an illogical moron. I don’t even have anything to apologize for in the first place, so when she wants to get over it, she can apologize, and I’ll forgive her.”
“That’s a terrible attitude, Jake,” I pointed out carefully, unable to meet his eyes again.
“It isn’t actually,” he disagreed.
It was, actually.
“There’s a difference between hating someone and simply not forgiving them,” Jake said. “I’ll always love Julianne, no matter how much of an idiot she’s being, and I’ll forgive her for her idiocy when she apologizes to you.”
I looked back at my fork and couldn’t help a small smile. “You’d love me even if I went and slit your throat?”
“Still my baby sister,” he assured, pulling me into a hug.
I sighed, closing my eyes as I laid my head on his chest.
He was right, of course; the definition of friendship was pissing them off and driving them insane.
Al was proving to be a fantastic friend. So was Fred, actually.
I was about ready to chop their heads off.
That’s how pissed I was at them, and I was going so insane, I was about to scream just screw it all and jump into the Black Lake to live with the drama-free Giant Squid.
(The marks of a good friend).
I’d only been watching them glare at James for twenty seconds before they had proved themselves to be such good friends.
Only Louis was being sympathetic.
Allison was being almost as good of a friend, Rose was too busy being mad at them, Scorpius was equally busy rolling his eyes at them, Austin was still a little upset with me, and Callie was just too busy being upset.
Maybe I should just rejoin the Quidditch team; that would fix everything.
I shuddered at that and looked away, turning my attention back to dragging my trunk along. I stumbled, however, nearly fell over, and realized that I was upset again. (For the love of God, I said goodbye to Julie not even a minute ago!).
“Come on, you prats!” Lily and Roxanne dragged Albus and Fred towards the train respectively, Lily taking the time to send James a look to follow.
Molly shoved him a bit when he didn’t move, however, and Hugo led Lucy away before her quivering lip gave away to more tears.
This left Teddy, Victoire and Dominique staring after them in helpless confusion.
Dear God, I’ve literally broken the Weasleys.
“They tried to get all of us together at Teddy and Tori’s for the weekend to fix things, but it didn’t work,” Louis told me as he noticed me watching the three eldest Weasleys (Teddy was honorary, poor bastard).
“Actually, they announced their wedding and tried to make Fred, James, Albus, Louis and Hugo groomsmen together,” Rose corrected, rolling her eyes after the two Potter brothers stalking towards opposite sides of the train and blatantly ignoring Lily and Molly. “It didn’t work,” she added, turning back to me with a sigh.
“Teddy and Victoire are getting married?” my eyes widened.
Rose nodded, smiling slightly. “And it’s about time, too.”
“It’s a shame the wedding party refuses to cooperate,” Louis added as Albus stalked up to us.
“I’ll cooperate when they kick the prat out,” he stated stubbornly.
“That’s fine, Al,” Rose nodded to him, “I’m sure Teddy can get married without you.”
Albus’s eyes narrowed. “I meant –“
“Fuck off,” Rose snapped, glaring at him.
And he did leave with Allison to join Fred in a compartment where they could curse James’s very name without interference from the redhead.
I closed my eyes and pressed my finger tips to my temples. I am not going to make it through this term.
I took a deep breath and opened my eyes again to meet Louis’s sympathetic gaze.
“Come on,” he took my hand and led me towards the train, the rest following after us.
I let him lead me into a compartment before collapsing on a seat and closing my eyes again, already exhausted at the thought of the coming months.
I had to fix this.
A/N: First of all, how do we feel about the drama at the start? For a long while, I thought Rina was too dramatic, but I eventually convinced myself that it was fine. I know that the Holidays went ridiculously fast (I got through them in one chapter), but they're really not that big of a deal for Rina's family. I mean, her parents died, so Christmas is a quiet affair.
Julie and Sophie though? I like them, and I loved writing Jacob, too. I think his conversation with Rina was huge, sort of the beginning of her sorting things out. His last words are one of my favorite themes of this story;) The best friends are the ones that you hate.
I've been really iffy about the next few chapters, but I've finally come to a realization that kind of puts my mind to rest, at least for now.... I really want this story to flow right, and I don't know how it's going from here. I think the chapters represent the state of Rina's life, though, which is why I couldn't figure out how to write the same things differently. But this is just rambling.
I know the AN's kind of long, but this is actually a bit important. I need help. I think I'm being overwhelmed with the amount of characters in this story. I know very well who they all are, but I'm not sure how well they've been portrayed so far in the story. I prefer indirect characterization to direct, but with so many characters, I can't keep up and still move to story along. What I need is help to decide which course of action to take. Out of the sixth years I'm focusing on, which characters do you feel are the most underdeveloped? Which ones do you get, and which one's do you not know at all? All their individual characters are essential to the plot of the story, so I need to make sure you get them all. I'm afraid some of them seem too similar or too flat, but they're all very different. I got to a point in chapter eleven, I think, where Rina sort of defines them, but I think it might help to get it indirectly as well. I've worked on it, but I think it would help to know exactly what you get out of all the characters so that I can see where I need to focus. I suppose what I'm asking is exactly what you know and how you feel about the sixth years. I'm not too worried anb Rina, but how about Allison, Rose, Callie, Albus, Scorpius, Louis, and Austin? I split the peices of Rina's life into too many people, and we need to keep them straight before I can move on in the plot.
I would really appreciate your help in figuring this out!
You know I'm desperate considering the epicness of this AN. After all, you are the readers, so you need to be able to get the story. I've sort of developed them all in my head, but I don't know how well I've done with defining them with words, so tell me!
Thanks so much in advance! I'm counting on you!