They’d been fighting for over a month, and Callie reported that Quidditch practices were a nightmare, even before factoring in my idiot replacement, seventh year Ericson Lawrence.
James was furious when he realized that he was the best the house could do in terms of Chasers; Ericson was already a self-assured idiot that James did his best to avoid, and now he had to captain him.
Apparently, he was alright with following James’s plays and direction, but he always messed up. And when he messed up, he claimed that he’d done it on purpose, because “I think this way will work better.”
If this way worked better, why’d you drop the Quaffle, you dolt?
This attitude made it impossible for James to captain him, and he seemed just as furious after a practice as he did when I was on the team.
Actually, I figured he may even prefer me returning because, despite the fact that I was insanely difficult (yes, I admitted it), at least I knew what I was doing and made the goal in the end.
Currently, however, the team was in shambles. James, Fred, and Allison were always screaming at each other or ignoring each other with Allison refusing to pass to James and Fred repeatedly attempting to Bludger him. As a result, Austin was having the bust his butt trying to keep Fred from actually getting a hold of a Bludger, leaving Louis alone to try and control the shouting and completely distracted from defending the hoops. Then there was Callie, who didn’t know what to do with herself, unable to concentrate on the Snitch and always returning from practice near tears. And, just to top it off, there was Ericson, being a general prat amongst the anarchy.
And did I mention that the Slytherin match is in a week?
Yeah, we’re screwed.
And everyone knows it, too, which is why the entire house hates me. In their opinion, no matter what the problem is, I should just suck it up and rejoin the team for the sake of my house.
I snorted at the thought. Yeah right.
I was hiding up in my dorm, as per usual as of late, while Callie and Allison were suffering through another practice and Rose was off with Scorpius trying to get a break from the madness that had become our lives.
I scowled at my Charms essay, suddenly pissed at Rose for getting to be off snogging her hot boyfriend while I was stuck doing Professor Greyson’s stupid essay.
The annoyance didn’t last too long, however, because I could barely handle any emotion as of late. So, instead, I sighed and returned to mindlessly writing about Memory Charms.
I’d just finished the conclusion when the door was thrown open and Allison burst in, oddly ecstatic after practice.
“We’re not playing Slytherin!” she announced.
I blinked. “Why not?”
“Hufflepuff asked for a switch!” she went on as Callie appeared behind her, “Their Keeper is the Maid of Honor in her sister’s wedding on the day of their match, so they practically begged to switch with Slytherin. We’re playing them instead next week and Slytherin in May.”
I sighed, charming my essay dry before rolling it up. The date for the Hufflepuff match had been announced just a few days ago. Well, now it’s the Slytherin match, I suppose.
I put my essay, Charms book and quill away before looking back up to Allison. “You know, there’s always the possibility that Hufflepuff is just trying to take advantage of the fact that you suck,” I pointed out.
She narrowed her eyes at me as she dropped her broom. “Shut it.”
I shrugged. “I’m just saying, do you honestly think that you have a chance, even against Hufflepuff? They’re not bad, you know.”
“Stupid Puffers suck balls,” she grumbled, looking away.
I rolled my eyes. “They were massacring Slytherin and neck-and-neck with Ravenclaw before the opposing Seeker caught the Snitch.”
“Yeah, and we have Callie, the best damn Seeker since Harry Potter himself, so we have nothing to worry about,” Allison snapped back.
“Maybe if you lot would cool your tempers and let go of your stupid grudges,” I conceded, “but how the hell is she supposed to concentrate on the Snitch if she’s worrying about her own team killing each other?”
“She got it the last time we were all being knocked off our brooms,” she reminded. “She’ll be fine.”
I glanced over to the Seeker in question, who was at the opposite end of the room and blatantly ignoring the fact that we were talking about her.
I snorted shaking my head. Yeah, sure, they’d be fine.
I was right.
They were fine. In the sarcastic sense I’d meant it in, of course.
Gryffindor lost the match 210-20. In twenty minutes.
Yes, I know; I just about threw something when I found out.
I hadn’t gone to the match (actually watch my idiot friends doing stupid things on broomsticks?), but the moment Callie stepped into the dormitory, it was blatantly obvious.
Even before I looked at her face, it was obvious, because when we win (which we always do), there’s a party raging on the roof at least an hour before the team returns. Today, however, I hadn’t heard a single shout of victory or announcement of the score; there were no discussions about food or alcohol or music; there were no debates on outfits or James and Louis in the girls’ dormitories; there was no nothing.
Instead Callie had just walked in, looked at me, and then dropped her broom next to her bed before climbing in and pulling the hangings shut.
She was upset. I knew she was; of course she would be after losing, but there was something else.
I didn’t know if I wanted to question her, though, so I instead watched her bed in contemplation again for a while. I hated to break Callie, and she was already so close to it; I didn’t want to make her tell me, but I needed to know.
I’d been worrying about it for only a moment before Allison banged into the room and slammed the door behind her.
“Callie Alexandria Mena!” she shouted, glaring furiously at the hangings and throwing her broom at the bed.
“Allison!” I sent her a look.
She ignored me. “Get out here right now!” she instead demanded.
I looked back to Callie’s bed and saw the hangings shift slightly before she pushed them aside and stepped out.
“Just do something for me,” she asked Allison in a small, broken voice before the blonde could open her mouth again. “Stop fighting.”
Allison blinked at her, closed her mouth, and then opened it again. “I don’t think so.”
Callie’s eyes filled with tears.
“Allison,” I repeated, rounding on her. “Stop it. You’re all getting ridiculous.”
“But he –“
I sighed and closed my eyes, sitting back on my bed. “What?”
“The tower was furious at her for not getting the Snitch, and when Austin shut ‘em all up, James, felt the need to add that, once again, it was your fault! You didn’t even play!”
“Which is why it’s my fault,” I nodded, “Obviously.”
“The mature ones of us were even willing to ignore the fact that James is an idiot, but the others,” Callie sent Allison a look to which she responded by crossing her arms with a humph. “The others started another fight.”
“Allison,” I started once again.
“Oh, relax,” she rolled her eyes, stepping further into the room, “I shut them up for Callie’s sake. They’ll just brood at each other for another month.”
“And you’ll be joining them,” I added obviously.
“James is an illogical idiot!” she exploded again.
“I know,” I nodded, running my fingers through my hair and closing my eyes. “But I don’t want him to be unhappy. He misses his friends, and this isn’t worth it.”
“Oh, right,” she rolled her eyes, “It’s alright if he’s a git to you now because you’re in love with him.”
I opened my eyes again and looked at the back of her head as she returned her broom to her trunk and slammed it shut.
Maybe that was why I was so sick of everyone fighting with him; I cared about him.
Well, I always had; I knew that. James and I had been good friends for a long while, until our personalities began to clash ferociously.
I wasn’t in love with James though. I knew that much because it was ridiculous, especially considering how much we’d both changed since we’d been friends. I knew that I didn’t know him as well as I used to; not anymore. The James I’d known had always been carefree and fun-loving. He’d still been logical and the voice of reason, but not as often. But I figured that, at least for those who he didn’t hate, he was still that guy.
I suppose it wouldn’t make sense to be in love with a guy that hated me. Perhaps I’m just almost in love with the idea of the James I’d known and cared about. Back then, I’d always thought that maybe I liked him as more than a friend. And then I lost him as a friend and I began to really fall for the guy I’d known.
I am sure, however, that the James here and now that is just barely still exactly the James I’d known, that James, I like. I don’t love him, because that’d be stupid, but I have those illogical feelings for him where I want him to stop glaring at me and just smile for once. I want that look in his eyes every time he glances at Albus or Fred to go away. I want him to be happy and okay, and I want to fix whatever changed the James I’d known that liked to have a good time without a care in the world. I’m falling in like with him.
It’s probably still illogical to like a guy as much I like James when he hates me, but I can’t seem to help it.
Clearly, I’m screwed.
“What’s screwing you over?” Callie’s voice asked me.
I jumped and looked around at her. So I guess I was making that face again.
“Liking James,” I told her.
She sighed, looking down at her fingers in her lap. “At least you’re not in love with an oblivious idiot.”
I joined her on her bed and shrugged. “At least Austin doesn’t hate you.”
Allison glanced over at us and shook her head. “You like a guy that thinks he hates you, and you’re in love with a guy that thinks you’re just friends.” She shook her head at me and Callie respectively before pocketing her wand and heading for the door. “This is why I just leave it at shagging the guy and being done with it. So much easier.”
I blinked at the door as she left before turning back to meet Callie’s eyes, which seemed to share my sentiment.
Something needs to be done.
The thing with Allison is that she’s a bit of a whore.
Yes, I know she’s my best friend, but it’s true. (I’ll murder anyone else that dares to call her that, though).
At first, we didn’t even know what to think when she started sleeping around, and then we thought it was just a faze, but it’s been going on for over an year now. The sad thing is that she knows she has a reputation, and she just doesn’t care.
Austin may not seem like it, but he can put up with it, and so can Scorpius, but it makes Albus and Louis furious. Like, Louis can put up with a lot, but when it comes to Allison’s whorishness, he can’t stand it.
And Allison is oblivious, or likes to think she’s oblivious, to the fact that we actually care for her to stop sleeping around. I mean, it can’t be healthy.
Actually, Fred hadn’t always had this reputation as the guy who beats people up, but he gets pretty upset when it comes to Allison as well. Her reputation is even on the extremely tiny list of things that set James off (I’m the only other occupant of that list).
So, this would be why, when Allison, Albus, Austin and I had been sitting around the common room with Charms homework and Marcus Carrington had come by and asked Allison if she wanted to shag and she said yes, Albus snapped his quill and threw his homework into the fire.
Oblivious as always, Allison was already long gone, leaving Austin and I to glance at each other before quickly removing all other objects from Albus’s vicinity.
“You know what?” he glared at the fire before getting to his feet, “Never mind. I don’t even care anymore!”
“No, of course not,” I rolled my eyes.
“It’s perfectly cool if our Allie sets herself up for hurt,” Austin went on, grabbing Al’s arm and yanking him back down.
“She deserves so much better than that,” he glared furiously at the back of the portrait that Allison and Carrington had disappeared through.
He was completely right there, seeing as Marcus had simply sauntered up, glanced at Allison, and asked, “Shag?” before she shrugged and stood, responding with a “Sure.”
I felt the sudden urge to throw something in the fire as well. Or just throw Marcus Carrington into the fire.
“Throwing things at fires won’t resolve anything,” Austin reminded.
“Unless it’s Carrington that we’re throwing,” I pointed out.
“Rina,” Austin sent me a look.
Well, just look at who’s trying to be the voice of reason.
“Do you even care?” Albus glared furiously at Austin.
Austin’s eyes narrowed at that.
“Yes, of course I bloody well care! It’s Allison! She was my first ever friend!”
This was true; Allison and Austin had ridden in the Hogwarts Express together for the first time. And she’d always been so small and relatively innocent those first couple of years that Austin had a tendency to be ridiculously protective of her. He was just a lot cooler about it, probably because he knew her so well. He’d thrown a fit when he first learned she’d lost her virginity, but he claimed he knew how to handle it.
I suppose he was able to keep her out of trouble, at least. Albus, Louis, and Fred’s approach had a tendency to push her towards the trouble.
“Then do something about it!” Albus cried in exasperation at Austin.
“If you piss her off, she’s just going to go shag someone else,” Austin pointed out. “If that’s what you want to do about it –“
“Fuck off,” Albus snapped, getting to his feet again and stalking off towards the dormitories.
“Breathe,” I turned to Austin.
He blinked for a moment, and then sighed, running his fingers through his hair. “I’m afraid she’s going to get hurt.”
“That makes all of us, then,” I nodded with a sigh.
“Do you really not know why she’s so –“
“No,” I shook my head. “She just stepped into the dormitory one day and announced she’d shagged a Ravenclaw, ‘can’t remember his name.’”
Austin closed his eyes and threw his head back against the sofa. “What are we going to do?”
I shrugged. “Throw her in a fire?”
He opened his eyes and raised an eyebrow at me, so I responded with another shrug.
“At least not another burden,” I pointed out.
He rolled his eyes before closing them again.
“It’s times like these when I wonder about the human race,” he spoke again after a moment.
“Seriously,” he opened his eyes and sat up to look back at me, “We’re kind of terrible.”
“Not all of us, though,” I reminded.
“Most of us,” he countered.
I raised an eyebrow before speaking again in a pretty damn clever kickass fashion. “You’re a pretty good guy. An oblivious idiot, but a pretty good person. Opposite end of the spectrum when compared to Carrington, at least.”
Austin’s eyes narrowed. “I’d prefer to not be referred to as being the same species as him.”
I rolled my eyes but went on with being subtly clever. “And you know sweet innocence still exists in Callie.”
Austin’s eyes softened as he grinned. “She doesn’t count; she’s out of everyone’s league exceptional.”
“You just say that because you like her,” I pointed out.
“And because it’s true,” he nodded. “And, seriously, who doesn’t like her? She’s bloody fantastic.”
“How did you reach that assessment?” I questioned.
“She cares about everyone, whether they deserves it or not, and that makes her better than everyone else,” he answered simply.
I snorted again and shook my head. “You should date her,” I told him only almost not teasingly.
He raised an eyebrow and scoffed at that. “Right, because I’m good enough for the likes of Callie Mena.” Score.
“Well, she does have a relatively high tolerance for idiots,” I pointed out, “And she does generally like you.”
“You generally like me, Rina, but you’d hex me into next week if I tried to kiss you,” he said.
“Have you considered trying to kiss Callie, then?” I inquired, only slightly acting the part of a nosy and annoying friend.
He only shook his head. “Go to bed, Rina.”
“Is that a yes?”
“Goodnight, Bells,” he waved and headed for his dormitory.
“That’s a yes, Donald!” I shouted after him before settling back with a smirk.
I just outcunninged a Slytherin.
I should get a medal.
Turns out Austin’s stupider than I thought he was (and I’ve made it pretty clear that I think Austin’s an idiot). He still has no idea that he likes Callie. Like, seriously, who doesn’t realize it when they like someone (don’t call me a hypocrite)?
I mean, sure, Callie’s the center of his world, but that doesn’t mean he likes her.
“You alright?” Louis raised an eyebrow at me as he sat down in the chair across from me in the library.
“I’d always wondered how Callie could like Austin for so long without him realizing, but now I realize that it’s because he’s an idiot,” I answered.
Louis snorted. “Now you realize?”
I narrowed my eyes briefly before glancing down at the Arithmancy essay I was supposed to be working on.
“What’s the plan?” he inquired.
I sighed, running my fingers through my hair. “I don’t know yet. How are you supposed to explain something to an idiot?”
“Have you tried ‘Austin, you like Callie?’”
I threw my quill at him. “No need to be a prick. I’m serious; they need to be together and happy already.”
Louis raised an eyebrow, a smirk creeping onto his face. “Whatever happened to good friends keeping out of their friends’ lives?”
“Hey, I’m a selfish bitch, remember?” I reminded, “I’m doing this for me. I’m getting sick of her making eyes at him. And his obliviousness is also getting to me. You know how I can’t stand it when people are stupid.”
“Right,” Louis rolled his eyes.
“What do you want?” I snapped back. “I’m busy,” I gestured to my half finished essay.
“Clearly,” Louis nodded very seriously, handing my quill back to me.
I snatched it back, sending him an annoyed look.
“I was wondering, actually,” Louis suddenly took on an actually serious expression, “Have you actually seriously considered telling James.”
I blinked, my annoyance disappearing to be replaced by dread at the mention of James. I hated to talk about him; the topic always brought up everything that’s screwed up in my life.
“Telling him what?” I asked carefully.
“About Leap of Faith,” Louis expanded.
“Why,” I frowned slightly, “I thought that everyone –“
“You know, as Weasley’s we have a tendency to blow things way out of proportion.”
I snorted at that. No kidding.
“What I mean,” he rolling his eyes, “is that maybe if James would just understand, they wouldn’t all be at each other’s throats all the time.”
I sighed, running my fingers through my hair. “Do you know why he was drunk?”
I’d been wondering for so long, and I wanted to know.
“Stress, I think,” Louis answered. “We went through hell that match, and we have so much farther to go. We proved he was right thinking we might fail, considering the last match…”
I shook my head, but didn’t comment. It had been two weeks since the Hufflepuff match, and our house still hated me for being the reason for our failure.
“There has to be more to it, though,” I insisted, pulling my thoughts from that depressing subject. Not that this one was much better…But still.
Louis sighed, shrugging. “Maybe Turner, too. What he said about you and Allison pissed him off; you know how he gets when it comes to Allie.”
I nodded, but tried to avoid that subject as well.
“Maybe he just got tired of being the responsible one,” Louis suggested. “Pressure and stuff. It’s been sucking the James out of him for a while.”
I nodded again. This was true. Ever since professional Quidditch became an option, James had been losing his mind trying to pull his life together into some semblance of control. He’d decided that he needed to control everything, or else things would get screwed up and it’d be his fault. That was a flaw he seemed to have inherited from his dad; when things went wrong, he had a tendency to blame himself.
The only time he didn’t blame himself was when I was involved; then, it was my fault.
I figured, then, that telling James what had happened that night would prove to him that things went wrong when he lost control of them. And that would give him a reason to yank everything back into a stricter order.
And for the love of Merlin, that was the last thing anyone needed.
I met Louis’s eyes again and shook my head. “It would just make things worse.”
“But everyone hates him and he’s making everyone hate you!” he cried in disagreement. “I don’t want my family fighting; I want to fix this.”
I sighed, shaking my head again and looking away from him. “So do I.”
“But then –“
“Telling him won’t do anything, Louis,” I sighed again, forcing myself to look back at him. Looking at Louis made me feel guilty. He hated to see his family fighting, and it was still somewhat my fault.
Jacob may have been right that it wasn’t my doing, but the fact remained that I hadn’t fixed things yet.
I used to be able to figure these things out. I used to be really good at mediating my friends, with help from Scorpius or Rose, of course, but we could handle things. Any of us could handle things, actually, as long as we weren’t being the problem; we did it in our own ways, but we did do it. Lately, however, I’d been losing my touch. No one wanted to listen to me anymore.
“We’ll figure it out though, right?” Louis insisted.
I met his bright blue eyes again, through the blond hair falling into them. His eyes were anxious, and his jaw was no longer set in the determination that usually fixed things.
Louis was good at getting things done, but sometimes, even he’d lose it. This was one of those times.
I almost wanted to lie to him. Telling him the truth would feel like kicking a lost puppy.
But I didn’t lie.
“I think we have to let this run its course.”
Louis’s eyes were almost begging me to take it back.
“But they’ll be okay,” I went on, trying to rid him of that look, “They have to be. You’re Weasleys.”
Louis reached across the table and took my hand with a sigh. “Thanks.”
I attempted a smile.
A/N: I know, this is short! The next few will be though, since they serve as transition. there is plot, though! You got intor to Allison, which plays out with drama, and hinting at Callie, which is a bit of fluff. The next few were interesting to write, albiet a bit difficult. I just finished chapter fourteen, though, so I'm excited for the next phase. having finished the winter, I should have everything worked out with at least through thirteen to post quickly (fingers crossed!)
Okay, so, what do we think? This chapter is told more through Rina's clear eyes a bit objectively. it gets really interesting with the next one though, to see how her mind preceives the events of this one. She's getting melodramatic, but i find it a bit sad and angsty to actually hear what's going through her mind. It's just time, I think, that causes her to develop the thoughts wiht the ideas just festering. I like the juxtaposition, though.
But, sticking with this chapter, how do we feel? I loved the end with Louis; the chapter just didn't seem quite complete without it. That was my explanation to everyone who couldn't understand why James couldn't know. I figured it was good insight into his character too, Rina revealing something that she knows about him without a foul attitude skewing things. Like I've said, he's not a bad person; he's just James. I really like him, and I'm excited to write more of him. We get a little of him in the next chapter, but than he's entirely MIA until chapter fourten, which turned out to be fun.
As fo the rest of your reviews, thanks for the character insight. I was more worried about Albus, Louis, and Scorpius, so I wrote good bits of them into the next part of hte story to distinguish them a bit. You guys, however, seemed more worried about Allison, Callie, and Austin. Since the next part is about them, however, I don't think they should be an issue, though, so that's good. Keep me posted on how you feel about hte characters, though! If anyone starts falling flat, I want to know write away!