“I think I did alright!” Halley said happily as we exited the Transfiguration testing room. “Did you understand question forty three? I wasn’t sure of what it meant at first, but once I read it over a few times it clicked.”
“Could we not discuss this?” Dom whined, looking thoroughly put out. It was her fault, she was the one who refused to study practically until the minute before the exam started.
I myself hadn’t thought it was that bad. Or at least I’d thought it would be worse. Last year all of the seventh years raved on and on about how the NEWTs would destroy our lives. I’m with them on the studying aspect of it, but the test itself was just hard; not impossible.
“What’s next?” Caitlin grumbled from next to me, whipping the sleep out of her eyes.
“Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Halley rambled off, pulling out the thick schedule as she talked. “And then I have Arithmancy, you have Care of Magical Creatures, and Dom and Kiersten have Charms.”
“Do you seriously have all our schedules written down?!” Dom peered over to Halley’s clipboard, but she pulled it away blushing fiercely.
“Don’t come near it! I’ve got it color coded and don’t want fingerprints smudging the ink!”
I sniggered along with the rest of them as we made our way to Goode’s classroom. Halley muttered under her breath about underachievers the whole way there. By the time we actually arrived, the entire class was practically there. Potter, Fred, and Drew were huddled in the far corner pouring over their notes. Farrah from Ravenclaw was whipping notecards so fast that it seemed impossible that she was actually reading them. Even Vivacia Parkinson and her gang of Slytherin girls had their notes out and were sitting in silence.
“I’m going to fail,” Dom moaned as she clang to my shoulder. “And then no one will hire me. I’ll have to marry rich, Keri. That or I’ll just shack up with you and Jamzie. But I don’t really want to do that. Because then when you have kids I’ll have to be the ruddy nanny.”
“Uh-huh…” I muttered, not really paying any attention to what she was going on about now. Instead I was trying to memorize the three dwellings of Knappas. All of this studying was making me want to blow my brains out. I hadn’t slept properly in ages.
“Alright everyone,” Goode’s voice drifted lazily over to us. I looked up and saw that he was carrying the exams. “Please put your notes and books away—don’t bother writing whatever it is you’re writing down on your desk Miss. Weasley, they have been charmed to be cheat-proof—we’re ready to begin.”
I gulped, slowly sliding my notes back into my bag. Dom was trying to catch my eye but I ignored her on purpose. She no doubt was going to ask me to cheat with her. I was slightly more nervous for this one then I had been for Transfiguration, but it didn’t compare at all to Potions. Just ask anyone how green my face was before and after. It was not a pretty sight.
“Good luck to all of you.”
“Horrible.” Was all Potter said.
“C’mon, it wasn’t that bad,” I said as I squeezed his hand. His facial expression didn’t change. It was set in a state of no emotion. “Well, so maybe it was hard…”
“Hard? Jesus McCabe, it was impossible. Thank god I’m going with Quiddich. I’ve got no chance in the academic world.”
Secretly I agreed, but he didn’t need to know that. Let’s just say that James’s strong point isn’t in the educational realm of the world. He’s better in the air.
“It’s all over now though! No more exams!” I said happily as we caught up with Dom and Drew in the entrance hall. Dom’s expression was drained looking, but happy. Drew looked normal. Surprise surprise.
“Keri, we need to have a party.” Dom said as soon as we came up to them.
“We’re having one after the dance on Saturday. I don’t want two in one week, what’s the point?”
“What's the—what’s the point?” She stared at me as if I was suggesting that she jump off of the astronomy tower. “God, have you not lived with me for seven fucking years?”
She reached over to slap me, but I hid behind Potter who chuckled. Dom glared at the pair of us, but eventually started back up. “Anyways,” She gave me one last look. “I’m just suggesting that we have some fun with our last few days here. You know, live a little? I’d prefer to go out in style if you know what I mean.”
“What d’you want to do?” Drew asked.
“Well, I was thinking that we should have a dance dance revolution party!”
I raised my eyebrows and looked to Potter. He was staring at Dom like the time back in fourth year that she attempted to burglar a unicorn off of the black market. Needless to say, it landed her in the improper use of magic office at the ministry. That was the last time she’s spoken of unicorns.
“Dom,” Drew looked like he was trying not to laugh. “That’s a girl thing. My sister does that.”
“It is not!” She said indignantly. “Louis is amazing at it!”
“Yeah, but Dom, Louis has already been infected by Victoire and you. He’s a helpless case.” Potter said shaking his head.
“Why’s Louis a helpless case?” Fred asked, appearing on the other side of James.
“He plays Dance Dance Revolution and is amazing at it.”
Fred grimaced and shook his head. “Poor kid, he’s got no shot in hell.”
“That’s not true!” Dom reached over me to strangle Fred. Potter and I held her back. “He’s had girlfriends!”
“Calm down, you crazy bitch!” Fred called, stepping away from the group.
“I—well yeah I am a bitch—but I’m not crazy!” She hissed, pointing a finger at Fred manically. “Slightly erotic from time to time, but not crazy!”
“Of course you’re not.” I said consolingly as we sat down at Gryffindor table with everyone else for dinner.
“I can’t believe it’s all over.” Halley said with a frown. She seriously looked put out about it. “I feel like it all went too fast.”
I stared at her incredulously as she pushed around her food. “You’re kidding, aren’t you?”
“Well don’t look so surprised!” She rolled her eyes at me. “It’s not like I’m upset because they’re over. I just think it went fast.”
“She’s upset.” Caitlin commented with a smirk.
“Fine! Just a little.”
“Oh all of you shut up,” Dom said with a wave of her hand. “Who wants to come to my Dance Dance Revolution party?”
“Ew, that’s for like twelve year olds.” Caitlin said with a grimace. “Why do you want to have one of them?”
“They’re fun, Goddamnit!”
“Alright, calm down Dom. I’ll come.” Halley said patting her shoulder.
“Good, Keri, you’ll be coming to right?” She snapped her head over to me. I looked around for a savior for a moment before gulping and meeting her eyes with a quicknod. “Brilliant! So it’s you me and Halley, seeing as Cait’s too much of a big girl to ever play something so babyish…”
“I never said that!” Caitlin said indignantly. “I just said I didn’t know anyone over the age of twelve who still played it!”
“Which is insinuating that I’m immature! And I think we can all agree that I am the most mature person at this table right now.”
Everyone who had been listening in on the argument roared with laughter. I couldn’t help it, I joined in with them. Dom just huffed and folded her arms across her chest. She was quiet for the rest of dinner, muttering to herself about how bloody inexperienced we all were.
By the time Saturday night had come around, the teachers had given up completely on trying to control us. Rumor had it that Liam Hilburn and a couple other Ravenclaw guys had thrown a party at two in the morning in the middle of the black lake, and Professor Burns from the Astronomy department had joined in. Even Deerey wasn’t being his usual wretched self. He ended class early for the first time in ever on Friday, and promptly burst into tears telling us all that he had never quite had a class like us. I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not, but it was still somewhat sweet regardless. Professor Steuber had let us all go outside during her class and just sit in the grass. It wasn’t the way that Hogwarts usually worked, but I wasn’t complaining. In fact, I could get used to the whole idea of doing practically nothing.
“Where the fuck is my eyeliner!” Dom screeched from her perch at the bathroom sink.
“I think you left it in Missy’s food bowl…” Halley trailed off, apprehensively picking up what looked to be said eyeliner. “Yeah, this is it.”
“Bring it here.” Dom beckoned her over as she twisted her hair around her wand, creating loose curls. She looked beautiful, as always, but tonight she was trying extra hard. Like she said earlier in the week, she was gonna go down in style.
I looked at myself in the mirror, unsure of what to do. I had already been forced into wearing more makeup than I ever had before in my life. I had to admit, I did look really good. The only problem was, well the only problem for me
was that I looked too perfect. It was unsettling, actually. The scar above my eyebrow from when I got hit with a bludger was gone, and so was the feint sprinkle of freckles that I had running across my nose. But no way in hell was I going to tell a manic Dominique that I was anything less than thrilled with her makeup job. That would just end with broken glass, tears and god knows what else.
“Down, or up?” Halley asked me, looking at herself in the mirror while hoisting her hair up and down for me to get the full effect.
“Halfway.” I said, grabbing her hair from behind her and pulling her bangs back like Dom and Victoire had done for me at the New Year’s Ball at the Potters’.
“Brilliant!” Halley exclaimed.
I smiled, and nervously tucked my hair behind my ear. Dom huffed at me and made eye contact through the mirror. “Do you have to look so god damned chill? You aren’t going to the supermarket, Keri, you’re going to a dance!”
“I know where I’m going!” I said back, feeling a little bit undervalued.
“Well then do something with that boring hair of yours! Curl it, do a fancy up due—here—” She let go of her wand and grabbed an old looking witches hair magazine. “—Look in here for a style you like and then do it to yourself.”
“I don’t want a style though!” I exclaimed, throwing my hands in the air. “I just want to be comfortable.”
“Comfortable is overrated.” Halley added in.
“Yeah, well so is playing Quiddich, but she still does that doesn’t she?” She paused for a second to raise her eyebrows at me. “Exactly. See? Listen to Dominique. She knows what she’s doing here.”
“Quiddich is—completely irrelevant…”
“Oh god Keri, it was the first thing I could think of!” She snapped, turning her head to me sharply. She had finally finished curling her hair and was now spraying it withsome sort of magical holding spray. “I swear, sometimes you might as well just go live in a forest or something. That way you wouldn’t have to get dressed every day, seeing as you hate it so much…”
“I don’t want to run around naked!”
“Well it seems like you do!”
“Shut up, both of you.” Caitlin said from back inside the room. I glared at Dom before turning to look at Caitlin. My mouth dropped when I did.
Caitlin’s always been pretty, but she’s never been gorgeous if you know what I mean. She’s more of the cute sporty one, but now—now she looked like some model. Her coppery brown hair was down for a change, and waved loosely. She was also wearing makeup, but not to the extremes that Dom had plastered on me. It was a subtle kind of beautiful.
“Cait!” Dom said, pulling me back to the dormitory. “You look wonderful! Why the hell didn’t you do that ages ago?”
Caitlin rolled her eyes at Dom and patted down on her dress nervously. She hadn’t got her dress with us that one day in Hogsmeade, but she was right in going with the one she had on. It was a strapless royal blue color the whole way down. It was plain, but plain was okay. It made her look even more pretty.
“Fred’s gonna die.” Halley commented, slipping into that bright orange dress that Dom had pushed her into getting at the store. “You’d better be careful…” She shared a knowing look with Caitlin. I looked back and forth between them, confused, but Dom changed the subject.
“Oh, don’t I look so banging?” She gushed, looking at herself in the floor length mirror. She had decided to go with a silvery white dress that sparkled all the way down. It was perfect for her, she just loved it because it made her boobs look bigger than they actually were.
“Let’s take a picture.” Halley said suddenly. She left the bathroom and came back a minute later with a wizard camera. “C’mon, all of us!” She exclaimed, forcing Caitlin and I next to each other. I for one didn’t really like pictures, but what the hell, it’s the dance. Might as well live a little.
“On the count of three! One, two, three!”
The camera flashed as Caitlin and I smiled, Halley laughed, and Dom struck some sort of a model pose. No doubt it would describe our friendship perfectly. I looked to the clock to see that it was ten minutes to eight before looking at myself in the mirror nervously again. The green dress that I’d picked was simple, but it got the job done. I honestly really didn’t care. I knew that I should, but I didn’t. At this point I just wanted to have fun.
“We should go.” Halley said, following my gaze over to the clock.
“Halley, darling,” Dom sighed and put an arm around her shoulder. “Do you know nothing? We take as long as we want. The boys will wait.”
“But I’m ready.” I grumbled, slipping on my heels that would make me only a couple inches shorter than Potter.
“Well, that might be the case, but still I want to keep them waiting! It’ll unsettle them, you know?”
“C’mon.” I said, rolling my eyes and leading the way out of the dormitory. Halley and Caitlin followed behind me, and Dom brought up the rear huffing and mumbling the whole way down.
The common room was packed with people. This was partially because it was the end of school and no one had anything to do, and partially because people wanted to see what we all looked like. I remembered being younger and watching the seventh years go off to the dance, it was just what you did. Now I kind of regret it. I don’t want all these freaking people staring at me. Dom was opposite. She was beaming at everyone who caught her eye. Boys were practically drooling over her.
“Dom, Kiersten!” Lily called, coming up to us. “You both look great!”
“We look banging.” Dom corrected.
“Thanks Lily.” I said, smiling slightly at Dom. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh.
We all stared at each other for a moment before breaking out into smiles. Drew had brushed through his shaggy hair for the first time in ever, and apparently me with makeup made more of a difference than I’d originally thought. Caitlin was easily the most shocking though. Fred was gaping at her, mouth wide open and all.
“You—er—you look beautiful.” Fred finally managed to say. To my surprise Caitlin blushed.
Okay, what the hell is up with those two?
“Drewy!” Dom squealed, hugging him. “You look lovely, but your jacket, mess it up a little, would you?”
“You look so fit Dommy!” Drew said in a loud whisper.
I sniggered and made eye contact with Potter. He nodded a little to me and I rolled my eyes. “You know it wouldn’t kill me if you told me that I looked good.”
“You look wonderful.” He said, his face breaking out into a smile. I went over to him and kissed him, putting my hands on his shoulders.
“So do you, love.” I whispered back.
“Could the two of you keep it to yourselves at least until we leave the fucking common room?” Dom asked, causing me to let go of Potter’s shoulders and take his hand instead.
“C’mon, let’s go. I have to meet up with Joey in the entrance hall.” Halley said.
There was few people in the hallway as we made our way down. It wasn’t that many kids, just the thirty or so seventh years plus the sixth year prefects and their partners. So probably forty to fifty something in all. Most people would be down there already, we were late. As usual.
“I’ll catch up with you all later!” Halley said as she spotted Joey and made her way over to him.
“Oh, Keri look!” Dom squealed, pointing up at the sky of the great hall. It was so clear outside that almost every star was visible. Everyone around me was oohing and aahing at the decorations. It really was amazing, better than last year’s even. Jenny Bones had outdone herself.
There was a band that I’m not sure the name of playing in the far left hand corner. I’m guessing they’re a famous Wizarding band though, because several people were crowding up around them to get a better look. There was a long table where the Slytherin table usually was that was being used as a snack table. Around it on the sides were smaller circular tables with balloons tied to every chair, flashing the words ‘Congratulations!’ and then ‘Good Luck Graduates!’. The entire middle of the great hall where the other three tables normally were had been transformed into a very large dance floor.
“Well, I’m hungry.” Drew said, starting to make his way over to the snack table before Dom caught his arm.
“No, no way in fucking hell is that going to be happening.” She said, suddenly looking very scary.
“But Dommy! I’m—”
“You aren’t going to be eating all night! We have to enjoy this, dance, have fun!”
“Eating makes me happy…”
“And it makes me look like I’m alone, because I am not
eating yet.” With this she grabbed his hand and started to drag him onto the dance floor. Then she beamed and said, “C’mon Drewy pooey, let’s dance!”
“She will do great things.” Fred said, staring after Dom with some sort of amazement.
“C’mon, let’s dance.” Potter said, leading me in the direction of the dance floor.
“Don’t you want to eat or something?” I asked him hopefully.
“C’mon McCabe, you nervous?” He smirked at me while I put my hands on my hips.
“I am not
nervous! I just—thought you would be hungry!”
“You don’t believe me?”
“No, not really love.”
“Let’s go then,” This time I took his hand and was the one dragging him onto the dance floor. I made my way with Potter in hand over to where Dom and Drew were doing some weird little jig to the song that was playing. “See?”
“Impressive, but you still dance like shit.”
I blushed a little and wacked him in the arm. “What can I say? I’m just more talented in the air.”
“Well, not just the air…”
For the next two hours we danced, ate, and sat around the circular tables. Although I don’t remotely like dances, I wasn’t completely dying inside. It was hard to make yourself be miserable when the Great Hall was so pretty and everybody was so happy. Someone had spiked the punch bowl (surprise surprise), so about one hour in it was considerably louder than normal. I guess no one warned Jenny though, because she was giggling like a thirteen year old and her cheeks were a tad bit pinker than usual. I doubt that it was the makeup, if you catch my drift.
“Are people saving nothing for later?” Dom asked in a disgusted voice, sipping the punch like the hypocrite that she is. “I mean, c’mon. Get smashed in the common room, not where all the teachers are breathing down your neck for gods sakes.”
“Well you’re drinking it too you know.” Caitlin said, pointing out the obvious that the rest of us didn’t say aloud.
“I have a high tolerance for alcohol. Duh.”
“Oh really?” Fred asked, tearing his eyes off of Caitlin for a moment to smirk at Dom. “Then what about that time last Quiddich final?”
“And the time when Gryffindor lost the match?” Halley added in.
“And the New Year’s party.” Joey added, obviously trying to feel part of the group.
Dom rounded on him at first angry, but then puzzled. “How do you know that I got drunk on New Year’s?”
“My mum works at the ministry, my family was invited…” He trailed off looking at Dom somewhat embarrassed.
“Well it’s not my fault that I don’t know you.” She said haughtily, pouring a little of Fred’s punch into her own glass. “I think I’ve talked to you once in seven years. And you know what you said to me? What’s the Transfiguration homework.” She paused to shake her head. “How the fuck would I know the transfiguration homework?”
“Well you were in the class…”
“No shit Sherlock, of course I was in the class. But do you actually think I was paying attention to any word Steuber said? That was back in Hogwarts young days. I was busy doing—er—other things back then.”
I sniggered a little, but didn’t comment. Dom would kill me if I talked about that
. Potter, Fred, and Drew all knew because they were doing it with her, but if Halley got wind that Dom had certain leaves in the dormitory, just feet away from where she slept, there would be no mercy.
“Don’t start on him now,” Halley said. “It wouldn’t kill you to be nice you know.”
“Oh, but it would. And it does.”
“You want to get out of here?” Potter said lowly so that only I could hear him. I nodded, only too happy to leave them at it.
“We’re going to go for a walk.” Potter said as I stood up next to him.
“Ooooh! Can I come?” Dom asked.
“Damnit. Go and get me some more punch would you Johnny?”
I shook my head one last time before leaving the table, not hearing how Dom responded. We weren’t the only ones who were heading for the outside, the grounds were open to roam as long as we were back by eleven when it ended. I spotted Vivacia Parkinson and Evan Rosier just coming back in, and Clair Connelly and some unknown person were already outside by the looks of it.
“It’s actually warm!” I said joyfully as we stepped outside. It was dark other than the light that was shining from the school, but still, it felt like summer.
“It feels like summer.” James said, voicing my thoughts.
I smiled sadly, unsure of how to respond. That meant that it was all closer to being over. Hell, it practically was over. Finals were done, classes (although still ‘in session’) were a joke, and no one really cared anymore. It was a beautiful and upsetting thing all at the same time.
“It’s still going to be the same, McCabe.” Potter voiced my thoughts.
“No it’s not.” I forced a smile. “It can’t be. The worlds not school anymore, James. It’s the real world.”
“But I’ll still be here. And you’ll be living with Dom by the end of this month. Doesn’t Halley have healing school with you too?”
“And Drew isn’t going anywhere—as far as I know that is, and if Caitlin and Fred hit it off then I think we’ll all still be together.”
“Cait and Fred hit it off?” I asked, pretty surprised. “What do you mean by that? They’re just friends Potter.”
He let out a laugh as we sat down on a bench farther away from the school.“Bullshit. I know that look in Fred’s eye. He doesn’t pass up the opportunity either.”
“What are you on about!”
“C’mon McCabe, you’re not that dumb…put it together. Caitlin’s always liked Fred like that. He’s just never really taken any interest in her. Tonight he is.”
I didn’t know what to say. Why hadn’t I caught onto this? Hell, how had Potter caught onto this and not me?
“Well she shouldn’t.” I said, folding my arms across my chest and leaning into him.
“What d’you mean?”
“She shouldn’t be his girlfriend. Caitlin’s worth more than that.”
“Hey, he’s my mate.” Potter said. “And he is a good person. You know, he’s your mate too.”
“Yeah, but so is Cait. More than yours and more than I am with Freddy. Don’t deny it Potter, the guys a manwhore. He has a different girl every other week—and if he doesn’t then he’s got a couple girls that don’t mean anything every single week!”
“But who cares! The girls he gets with should know that he’s like that! They shouldn’t be upset when he ends it if they know he will.”
“You’re just defending him because you used to be like that.”
Potter stopped short, rubbing his hand along his chin as if to think. Finally he said, “No, no I was never like that. I mean, I was a little, but never to that extent. But you’re one to talk Kiersten, you had plenty of guys a couple years back.”
“I had three.” I smiled a little to ease the mood. “And one was Timmy Gerick back in third year. I hardly think that classifies me as getting around.”
“Well four counting me.”
“Yes, and you made sure that I didn’t if I remember correctly.”
He smiled a little and turned to face me. “You caught onto that?”
“Now I know! At the time I was very confused though…”
“I couldn’t let you do anything with Kieran Steward,” He made a face. “That would just be nauseating.”
I chuckled and nudged him playfully. “He wasn’t that bad!”
“He was disgusting!”
“Was not! And how about Jocelyn? Or Georgie? Or Brenna? Or Danielle?!”
“They weren’t gross though! They were just all—well—you know what I mean.”
“I do, you, James Sirius Potter, got around.”
“Take it back!” He said playfully, moving to grab me. I got up and started to run back in the direction of the castle. Too bad the heels kind of stopped me from making any real progress. Within ten seconds Potter had caught up to me and was holding my entire body against his. “I won’t let you go until you take it back!”
I laughed, only half attempting to get away. “No!” I said through laughter. “You are what you are!”
“Kiersten darling, I can stay like this all night. Or you could take it back and we could relocate to somewhere more private…” He trailed off and I laughed again, managing to turn around and kiss him. After a minute he had let go considerably and was kissing me back. Right as I was dragging him over to the largest nearby bush a voice scared the living shit out of me.
“Good evening Miss. McCabe, Mr. Potter.” Good said, looking torn between amusement and disgust. “I’m sorry to interrupt what appeared to be a very—never mind. All students are needed inside for the Head Girl and Head Boy speeches.”
“Oh—er—right!” I said, straightening my dress out and smoothing my hair. “One second.”
“Holy shit,” Potter breathed as we made our way back inside, Goode only a couple strides ahead. “I didn’t even see him.”
“Neither did I!” I whispered back, thoroughly embarrassed. Goode didn’t say a word to us when we all entered the great hall again. I’m thinking that that’s a good thing.
“Nice of you to join again.” Dom said, her eyes unfocused. So much for a high tolerance of alcohol.
“How much has she had?” I asked Drew, but he just giggled.
Yes, that’s right. He giggled.
“You can’t leave these people alone for more than ten minutes.” I grumbled to Potter. He snorted at Dom and Drew, who were both trying to hold back laughter but failing miserably at it. Jenny was making her speech now, but no one was really listening. Due to the alcohol currently in her system, I don’t think she really noticed.
By the time ten till eleven hit everyone was anxious to leave the dance and head up to The Room of Requirement where we were having the after party. Word had gotten around that Dom and I had done the planning, and when a Gryffindor does the planning it’s bound to be a good party. When a Weasley is involved in planning it? It’s gonna be a damn incredible party.
“…And with that last note, I turn it over to Headmistress McGonagall!” Jenny said, the few that were listening clapped, and eventually the rest of us joined in.
“Thank you all for your good behavior tonight,” She started, thank god she doesn’t know how wrong she is. “I hope that you all had a good evening, and thank you for coming. I will see you all at Graduation on Thursday. Thank you.”
“Wahoo!” Dom twirled around and fell into Joey. “Now the real party begins Johnny!”
“It’s Joey!” He tried, but I doubt she heard.
“I want a pet dragon.” She told me as we led the way up to the room of requirement.
“Oh, well that’s not going to be happening. You already have Missy to look after, and half the time she has to resort to eating drywall because you forget to feed her.” I said.
“Ah, who cares! She still gets potassium or some shit from the drywall!”
I stopped right there. That comment had just proved that she was past the point in her drunkenness to carry on a normal conversation without it becoming weird as shit.Granted, conversations with Dom usually were weird as shit when she wasn’t drunk or high or overly hyped on caffeine.
“Okay Dom, think of the room.” I said once we got there. She closed her eyes and screwed up her face into a look of concentration. I smiled a little and shook my head, pulling her along so we could walk past it three times. Finally a large old door appeared, and I opened it to find just what I needed.
Because we were having the party in the room of requirement, it was more or less just guesswork to how the room would look. Dom had focused more on the food and drinks, while I had focused on size compared to how many people would be coming. When I went in I was really happy with how it looked. Dom had out thought herself (amazing, I know) when it came to the décor and the snacks. I hadn’t really done that much. Like I said, there wasn’t much to do.
“Wow!” A sixth year girl gushed as she came in holding the hand of Aaron Doyle. “This is great, I didn’t even know this was here!”
I smiled at her and made my way over to the snack table. Most people were here by now, some were dancing, but most were just drinking and sitting around tables. It was like a normal common room party, except we were all dressed up and drinking more expensive alcohol than firewhiskey.
“Fatty.” Caitlin said, bumping her hip to mine in the food line.
“Hey now,” I said sarcastically. “You got to watch yourself too. We wouldn’t want Freddy getting disappointed.”
She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “It’s not like that.”
I would have said the same thing two hours ago, but I had thought about what Potter said.
“Let me think—right, I conclude that you are definitely full of shit.”
Cait snorted as we made our way back to the table. Dom was over by the drinks, surprise surprise, chatting up some guy I didn’t know. I looked around for Drew and found him flirting with the same girl who had come in with Aaron Doyle. I shook my head, deciding that they were a lost cause. They’re both lucky that the other’s too blind to see straightly. If I did that to Potter…?
No, I don’t even want to think about that reaction.
“Where’s Halley?” Caitlin asked when we sat down.
“Dunno, her and that Joey kid went off a minute or two ago.” Potter said, taking a large gulp out of his red cup and grimacing. “This is gross.” He then proceeded to draining the cup in two more gulps.
“Oh my god,” Dom flopped down in the seat next to Potter. “What an arsehole. Jamzie, I need you to go and beat someone up for me, okay?”
“Dom, you’re drunk.” Potter said firmly shaking his head.
“God Damnit, I swear to drunk that I’m not—wait—ha, I forget.” The same glazed look came over her eyes as she jumped up again, this time wobbling as she did so. “Where’s my Drewy-pokey?”
“With that ridiculously dressed fake blonde bimbo in the push up?”
“That would be the one.”
“Ah, fuck that.” And then she sat down and banged her head against the table.
“Dom!” I said, looking around at the other three for support, but I don’t think that they were exactly there either. Potter was on his third cup of whatever the hell he was drinking, and Fred and Caitlin were on their second. I swear, I’m the only one who doesn’t get drunk around here. But I do have reason, I’ve seen what it can look like.
“Hello, Dom can’t come to the table right now. She’s busy implanting her head into the table. Haha Haha, geddit Keri?”
“I don’t think you should drink any more tonight…”
“Don’t be such a killjoy!” Caitlin said, drowning the last of hers.
“Yeah, Keri! Don’t be a—a—Killer joy!”
“Let’s go dance.” Fred said close to Caitlin’s ear. She nodded and the two of them got up and made their way towards the small amount of people who were dancing.
“Keri, Ooooh Keri…” Dom said in a sing song voice.
“Would you like to dance?”
“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be moving—and what did I say? No more Dom!”
“It’s not moving silly willy,” She paused to sigh and make a move for the vodka. “It’s thrusting.”
“Oh, wow, thrusting.” I said as she got up and haphazardly started to make her way to the dance floor.
“I’ll be back.” I muttered to Potter as I followed after her.
“Woo!” She screamed. “This is so liberating!”
“No, it’s really not. It’s smelly. People need to remember their deodorant.”
“Oh for fucks sake, live a little would you?!”
I just shook my head. There was no point in arguing with her, and I personally was past the point of arguing. So for about ten minutes I attempted to control her outrageous ‘thrusting’ as the people around me got smellier and smellier. Finally I gave up and left her in the hands of Drew who had apparently ditched his new friend.
“Have a drink, love!” Potter said, putting his arm around me as I came to sit down. He was surrounded by a few people I knew, Justin Farrell, Lucas Spine, and Richie Schmidt all played Quiddich. The other one I wasn’t too sure about. I didn’t have time to figure it out either, because suddenly a red cup was being forced into my hand and Potter was pouring some sort of amber liquid into it.
“Don’t worry about it.” He said before turning back to the people at the table. I realized that this was the first time he had been really drunk since we’d started to go out. Of course I had seen him drunk plenty before, but not recently, and not this bad.
“I don’t want any.” I said, putting the cup down and shoving it away from me.
“Ooh, McCabe’s too good to drink is she?” Richie taunted, grabbing my cup for himself.
“I heard that you’re kind of like the mother of your group or something,” Justin said. I stared him down coldly as he continued to talk, this time turning to James. “Tell me, Potter. Is this why you’re still with her? She’s never been drunk enough for you to go all the way?”
James didn’t say anything. I turned to him, knowing that he would speak up. He had to—if he weren’t drunk he would have ages ago…right?
“Guys, c’mon. Leave her alone.” Lucas said.
“Shut up Spine,” Justin said, laughing. “So, tell us Kiersten McCabe, how the fuck are you two still together if you don’t fuck?”
“Really I don’t think it’s any of your business.” I said coldly, looking at both of them in turn. “And I think it’s time for you to mind the fuck out of it.”
“Oh, did I cross a line? No harm was meant. I just don’t get it. How are you, Potter, practically a god of the female population, with her? I mean you’re sexy McCabe, but more things are needed then that.”
“So you don’t drink, you don’t fuck, what do you do McCabe?” Richie asked with a snigger.
“What do I do? I’ll tell you what I do.” I slowly was letting my voice rise. “But I actually wont, because it’s none of your god damned business. Just because you pig heads are all drunk doesn’t give you permission to be dicks. Granted, Justin, you’ve always been a dick.” I paused to glare at him. “So take it from the goody guys, and enjoy tonight. Because if this is how you want to spend your life; then your future looks pretty fucking bleak.”
With that I got up from the table, refusing to meet Potter’s eyes. How could he just sit there? Why didn’t he say anything? He knew why I didn’t drink! Why didn’t he feel the need to protect me?
I ignored him and continued to make my way through the crowd. I saw Fred and Caitlin near the door just ahead of me. Fred was leaning in and smiling slightly. Caitlin was clutching her red cup harder than normal. Suddenly Fred kissed her. I stopped dead, just staring. For a minute or two she kissed him back, and then she saw me. She broke apart from him, looked at Fred, looked at me, and then slapped him across the face and fled the room.
“McCabe, hold on one second. They’re all drunk.” Potter grabbed my arm in attempts to hold me back but I rounded on him angrily.
“Don’t touch me!” I said, pointing my finger at his chest. “You—you should have said something. Why didn’t you say something?”
“Christ, I dunno I wasn’t thinking.”
“Well that’s obvious, now leave me alone. I’ve got to go find Caitlin.” I attempted to break free of his hold and make it to the door, but he wouldn’t let go. “Let me go Potter.”
“No, I’m not going to.”
“Why? Obviously you’re drunk, and I don’t like being around drunk people. So go away.”
“This isn’t funny!”
“And I’m not laughing.”
I stomped my foot in frustration, hoping that Caitlin went back to the common room. She’d be too far away to find now.
“Oi, what the fuck was that?” Fred said coming up to us.
“Mate, could you go talk to someone else right now?” Potter asked in an annoyed voice.
“I think that this is—”
“Now Fred.” James didn’t have to raise his voice for Freddy to get the message. He looked at the two of us strangely for a moment before shrugging and leaving.
“Listen, I’m sorry.” He said to me. “Can’t we just dance or something?”
“No, sorry but it doesn’t work like that.” I said angrily.
“Jesus Kiersten, can’t you just get the fuck over things? It’s graduation. Have fun!”
“No! I don’t want to dance with you Potter!”
“Fine! Then don’t!”
“Then let GO of me!”
“THAT’S NOT AN ANSWER!”
He gripped the wall next to us in frustration. People all around were listening in, we had gotten pretty loud.
“Let’s go outside to continue this, shall we?”
“What? Afraid that your buddies would hear that we actually fuck? Or, god forbid, that you actually care?”
“Kiersten, shut up. Let’s just go out.”
“No, no way in hell. I’m staying here and you can’t make me move!”
“Well, I can…”
“No you can—ARGH! POTTER PUT ME DOWN!” I beat on his back with my fists and attempted to kick him in the front, but that only made him hold onto my waist tighter. People were laughing, but all traces of noise disappeared when we were outside in the corridor. He continued to carry me even then. “SO HELP ME I’LL SHOUT FIRE!”
“Shut up, would you!” He staggered a little as he continued on. He really was in no shape to be carrying someone. I didn’t know where we were going, but he stopped randomly at what appeared to be a broom closet and pulled him with me in tow in it. Then, finally he put me down. I made a move for the door but he was in the way.
“I’m so not in the mood for this right now Potter.” I seethed. “Move out.”
“Kier, I can’t. You’ll be all pissy forever if I do.”
“You’re only making it worse!”
“I’m trying to fix something!”
“Well this is fixing nothing!”
“I KNOW!” He thundered, causing me to step back a little in shock. “NOW, I SAID I WAS SORRY, DIDN’T I?”
“IT DOESN’T MATTER!” I shouted back, finding my voice again.
“BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T THERE FOR ME! YOU KNEW THAT I WAS HURTING, AND YOU DID NOTHING! YOU LET THEM CARRY ON AND STOOD THERE LIKE A COWARD!” I stopped dead, realizing that I had just said that out loud. He looked at me for a moment before shaking his head.
“I can’t deal with this right now.”
I still didn’t say anything. I couldn’t. My chest was heaving up and down as if I had run five miles. My heart was racing; my head was about ready to explode.
“You should probably go now.”
I didn’t say anything more. I pushed past him and practically ran all the way back to the common room, erupting into tears as soon as I shut the dormitory door. Why tonight? Why did we have to fight tonight? Tonight was supposed to be all good memories. Now it was ruined.
“Kiersten?” Caitlin called in a small voice from the floor next to her bed. “Kiersten are you crying
I nodded, shrinking next to the door and putting my head in my hands. I could hear her making her way over to me but I didn’t look up. I couldn’t.
“Boys are stupid.” She said before melting down to tears with me. I don’t know how the hell it happened, but the next second we were positively bawling over each other, saying things that didn’t really make sense through all the tears. We stayed like that for god only knows how long, and about halfway through Missy came up to us to comfort. I don’t think he really knew what was going on.
“I hate him.” Caitlin sniffed after we had been quiet for a little. “I hate him so much Kiersten.”
“Yeah, I understand.” I said in a hollow voice. “Potter hasn’t exactly been the most lovable person tonight.”
“But god, I love him too.”
“Was it bad?”
I just shrugged.
“So it was bad.”
“Why’d you hit him?”
She just shrugged.
“He deserved it. It was a learning experience for him. He can’t always get what he wants.” I said.
“And James needs to stop being such an unemotional prick as well.”
“That’s impossible; I’ll be surprised if he ever wants to speak to me again.”
“No, he won’t.”
“I know James, Kiersten. He loves you.”
“Yeah, well he has a pretty fucked up way of showing it.”
“Kiersten! Caitlin!” Halley bounded into the room and took sight of us. “What—what’s happened?!”
“Oh, you know, we’re just discussing our miserable lives. Cheers.” I said in the same hollow voice.
“Fuck Fred. You were right Hal.” Caitlin said.
“Well that’s a first.” She mumbled before turning to me. “Kiersten, James is down in the common room, and he looks really upset, just devastated. I really think that you should go down and talk with him.”
“I’m not going anywhere.” I said stubbornly.
“Please? He looks terrible.”
I thought about it for a minute. I wanted to be numb to all the pointless drama. Iwished that tonight had never happened.
“Fine as in you’ll go?”
I got up as Halley praised me, but I didn’t really listen to her. I started to make my way down slowly, and by the time I got to the common room my legs felt like jelly. I saw Potter before he saw me. He was sitting in the squishy chair by the fireplace, staring dead into it. There really wasn’t anyone else in the common room. I guess Dom and Drew hadn’t come back from the party yet.
“Hi.” I said, causing him to jump. He just stared at me. “I overreacted.” Still with the staring. “And I’m sorry.”
He was like stone, saying absolutely nothing. I knew that I looked like shit, and I just longed for my own bed at this point. “So I guess I’ll go now.” I said, starting to walk back around when he finally said something.
“I’m sorry too.”
“I said I’m sorry too. I let you down.”
I turned to face him again, and he continued. “I let you down, and I didn’t see that till after. I’m sorry.”
“I shouldn’t have let you go.”
He wouldn’t meet my eyes, so I sat down across from him. “Why not?”
“Because I gave up.”
“No you didn’t, you’re making it up now.”
“Kiersten, can I promise you something?” He asked, for the first time looking up. His blazing eyes bore into mine, and I inhaled quickly.
“I’ll never leave you alone.”
This time I didn’t say anything. I knew that if I did I would probably burst into another set of tears. Instead I just moved over to sit in the chair with him, closing my eyes on his chest, inhaling his smell, and running over his words over and over again in my head. For some reason I believed him. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or if it was just the feeling, but I was putting my faith in him, all of it. I was taking the chance and letting myself go.
And god, did it feel good.
Holy mama this is long! It wasn't supposed to be this long, but I'm sure with the wait it makes it better. I'm sorry about the wait, but I was on vacation for two weeks of it, not that it's much of an excuse. Props to all of you who caught onto the whole Cait/Fred thing way back when :) I appologise if the spacings weird, it was adding spaces uncontrollably. Now I'm going to bed because I'm exhausted. Thanks all for reading, please review!