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Chapter Fourteen –
The One Where Pippa And Damien Talk
Amazing chapter image by Rollerblades@TDA
“And that’s what makes everything worse.” - Damien Nott
I stood there being suffocated by the silence. The fact that I was about to be faced with the truth and that was daunting to me. Damien looked completely the same yet I didn’t know who he was anymore but my heart recognized him as someone familiar and I felt a rush of warmth towards the boy. I scolded myself as I destroyed whatever I was feeling and returned back to my numbness. My numbness was just as familiar but my heart said nothing.
I had so many things I wanted to say and I didn’t know where to even begin. I opened my mouth and the words that fall out of my mouth were completely unrestrained. “You only bother with me when you want something.” Damien fell defeated into the corner of the settee and I smirked. I needed more time to prepare myself as I analysed the situation and I tried to think about all the outcomes that might happen but I couldn’t create a plan for anything that might happen because Damien always managed to take me off guard. The whole thing with Emilie managed to floor me completely that I didn’t understand whether I was coming or going. It messed up my whole outlook on life. I still didn’t feel right. Everything still felt wrong and tainted. “So what do you want Damien? Because I’m tired and-” I couldn’t help but go on full frontal attack. I knew I shouldn’t because this was a huge step for Damien. He was putting someone else first. He cared enough about our broken relationship that he decided to seek me out to fix it. The world suddenly wasn’t about him anymore but I couldn’t help.
tired.” He interrupted harshly. “I’m
He was going to turn it all back on him so I played my winning card. “That makes two of us.” I curled up in the opposite corner of the settee with my knees pressed against my chest. “I saw him
today.” I whispered softly because saying it out loud meant he still existed in the real world and that he wasn’t part of my imagination that I secretly hoped he was. Being mad and living in pretend sounded great. I was inching closer to it every single day. I could almost touch the madness with my fingertips. I felt I was going crazy with every single second that passed. I couldn’t wait until the madness would take over and I would finally be free. Madness has no time for worrying about the past, present and future. Madness simply created their perfect world and lived inside it. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t real. I was stupidly stuck in the horrifying real world right now. Where I couldn’t live in the world of my delusions and the pain I felt was all very real.
Damien stared at me with shock. He expected me to start breaking down at the mere mention of him like I used to. I was now better than that. I refused to cry anymore. I refused to cry at anything now. Crying was a sign of weakness and I was strong. I had to be strong as I walked with the weight of my past on my shoulders. I pretended I was made of stone because I wanted people to think I couldn’t be crushed but I’m actually crafted from fragile glass that could be easily shattered in the palm of your hand if you applied too much pressure. I stared at my shoes and awed at the perfection staring back at me.
“I lied before.” He told me and I looked up. His Gryffindor pride had already started taking a beating tonight. “I didn’t mean what I said in the hospital room.” I tried to hide my smirk but I failed because I didn’t really
want to hide it. “I know you didn’t do it for attention. You hate people staring at you.” It made me feel like I was on display. It was one of the reasons I was not looking forward to the wedding amongst others. “You were just hurting and I was petty.” It seemed me and my brother finally agreed on something. It seemed wonders would never cease. Still though, it didn’t erase the hurt I had felt when he uttered all those things or the humiliation I felt because he had caused me to show my human side. “I’m sorry.” He told me and I shrugged. Sorry was just another word in the dictionary. It didn’t have more meaning than any other word in there. “When did you see him? What happened?”
Lately all we had distance between us and I didn’t know how to step closer. Damien was trying but it wasn’t enough. It was never enough. It should have made a difference but it wasn’t. I still felt like I was a ghost. I was too afraid to step an inch closer to him because I was afraid of him hurting me again. This thing with Emilie hit me like a hurricane. He had betrayed me and I knew I would never forget that. I knew myself enough to know I would never fully forgive him and let it go. I knew I would use it as a weapon in future fights. It would be my trump card that would make him feel bad every time. He hopefully would be part of my life still but now I knew I would always see him with my cold adult eyes and not my childhood ones that held so much innocence. I had always seen him as a person who would never ever hurt me but he had. He could explain everything until he had no words left and it wouldn’t change anything.
Damien couldn’t understand the way it felt to be hurt like I was because I had never hurt him like he had hurt me. The disappointment with him lay like a heavy weight in the bottom of my stomach. I tried to make myself seem as small as possible in the corner of the settee. The incident of today had already turned into something I wanted to forget.
“I was walking towards the common room and I saw him.” I bit my lip. “I hid behind a statue.” I laughed. “That’s pathetic isn’t it?” I was the epitome of pathetic when it came to him
. I turned into a giant mess. I was struggling because he wasn’t part of my past as he was still such a huge part of my present. “He didn’t even see me, I wonder what would happen if he came up to me one day and actually spoke to me?” I pulled a little on the worn thread that tied us together to bring me closer him with my confession. The thread was delicate and frayed. It was close to breaking but something kept it whole. I wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was because at the end of the day, we were siblings. We were bound by law to love each other. Even if we were no longer part of each others lives.
Damien was just so easily to talk to because he was the first person I had uttered my first words to. He was my only friend other than Scorpius until I was eleven. I didn’t mix well with people. I was the weird child. I was awkward and I had already developed my distaste for people. My mother once took me to meet the daughter of a pureblood family she respected in my doll like dress. She dressed me up to be the perfect little girl and five year old me tried to play the part. It went wrong of course, I found the girl a little too whingey so I ended up pulling on her long dark hair. She also had this doll. This doll was perfection. It was a china doll with ruby red lips, wide bright blue eyes, the longest eye lashes I had ever seen and the curliest red hair. I fell in love with it and I wanted it more than anything so I stole it. I managed to smuggle it out under the skirt of my puffy dress. It still sits proudly upon a shelf in my bedroom like a prized possession with all my other perfect dolls and I never saw the whingey girl again.
Damien smiled at me. “I’m sure when you finally do; you’ll be strong enough to deal with it. I know you can do it.” I didn’t believe him. I didn’t think I would ever be strong enough. Damien actually sounded like he believed in me and it was nice to know I had someone in my corner. It didn’t matter that the person in my corner was as fickle as the weather. “I’ve hated being mad at you.” He whispered. “I’ve hated not being able to talk to you.” I didn’t know whether he was talking about these past weeks or the past couple of years. I never questioned it. I just let it hang there like I did with everything. I thought he didn’t need me anymore because he never showed that he needed anybody but himself. It was different seeing a vulnerable side to Damien. I hadn’t even imagined that he felt anything less than confident everyday. Whatever this thing was with Emile, it had completely messed him up. I knew it was time to find out the truth; whatever it was.
“So,” I started. “Are you ever going to tell me about you and…her?” I couldn’t say her name out loud. “How long has this been going on?” I asked. I wanted to know how long I had been stupid.
“It began in summer.”
“Well that’s a bloody cliché isn’t it?” I laughed bitterly.
“I know.” Damien sighed. “I met her in the village.” I nodded, our house was set in the countryside but if you walked a few miles down the road, you would stumble upon a small muggle village. At the top of this village is its crowning beauty; Zabini Manor. The house had a colourful history much like its residents that lived there. “It was all innocent at first. She asked me if you were alright.” I snorted. She wanted Damien to turn around and say I was falling apart. It was true but I didn’t want her to know that. I hope he said I was fine. “I really liked her company. She made me laugh.” I frowned at him. “I ended up going to meet her everyday. No one noticed. You had locked yourself on room determined to give up on everything.” My self destruction was in full force in the summer. “Mum and Dad were so worried about you. You always seemed to have it so together and suddenly you didn’t.” I nodded. “So they poured all their attention to try to make you happy again that I was forgotten about.”
I could only shrug because I didn’t feel any sympathy. Damien usually took up so much of their time that there was never any left for me so it was all fair in my eyes.
“I met her everyday and slowly these massive feelings for her built and they started to crush me.” I knew that feeling well. “I kissed her and it was the most amazing thing ever.” He smiled at the memories as I felt disgusted. “But now everything is messed up and now I understand where you were coming from all summer because this love thing is shit.”
“…You love her?” I asked shocked as I had never heard Damien say he loved anything except crumpets and cheese sandwiches.
“I think so.” He nodded. “And that’s what makes everything worse.” I understood because I had also fallen in love with someone I shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Someone’s whose path I had accidentally stumbled on. Emilie was the option that he shouldn’t have chosen. People like Damien should not be with people like Emile. I knew my brother wasn’t perfect but she was queen of the devils. Damien had needed comfort but he had sought it in all the wrong places. I suppose it could have been worse, he could have found it in the bottom of the bottle.
“Because she doesn’t love me.” There was raw pain in his voice that I struggled with hearing. “She doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me. I am nothing to her while she is becoming my everything. She doesn’t acknowledge me in the halls…it kills something inside of me every time.”
“That’s what love is Damien. It's something that kills something inside of you everyday.”
“Then it’s overrated in my opinion then.” He shrugged before laughing and I couldn’t help but join in. I loved my brother. The love lurked in the deepest crevice on my heart surrounded by the shadows. Occasionally it crept out to breathe in the light whenever I allowed it to which wasn’t very often. I needed Damien to be in my life to be happy. Whenever I got back to happy that is. I was still a far away from that but I knew Damien was part of my future. He had to be. Even though I disliked a lot of things about him, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He had to be part of it. Enchanting my life or messing it up; he just had
to be a part of it. One day I was going to be happy. I just didn’t know how eventually I was going to get there. One day, he too would also be happy. He just needed to escape Emilie’s clutches first.
Damien and I sat in silence for a while.
“I better go.” Damien said as he stood up. “I still have to talk to James.” From the look on his face, he was dreading it. I stood up yawning. My brother stared at me for a little while before coming over and he cupped my chin in his hands and he forced me to look at him. I stared into those dark blue eyes that were exactly the same shade as my own. For two people who came from the same parents, we truly shared nothing alike except for our eye colour. He was my opposite. He sought adventure and I needed stability but both of us managed to turn into hurricanes that wrecked things and both of us were just trying to find our way through life. I stared at Damien blankly. “You don’t smile anymore, Pippa.” I tried to think of the last time I smiled and I couldn’t. I usually never felt like smiling or when I wanted to smile, I would stop myself in fear of cracking into tiny little pieces and that the mask that I was hiding behind would fall to the ground and break. I could see myself inside his eyes and I hardly recognized the person.
“If you don’t give up then I won’t give up.” He smiled at me sadly. “It will eventually get better.” I could only hope that he was right. I thought he didn’t notice anything that I was going through but he noticed. He just didn’t do anything to help. I could either hate him for that or I could just accept it. In the end, I decided to accept it. “I’ve got to go now.” He kissed my forehead before strolling out of the common room and never looked back. If he did, he would have seen that I had already given up a long time ago.
I didn’t know how I felt about Damien now. I didn’t even know where we stood. Were we playing pretend okay now? Should I forgive him? I had no idea anymore and this annoyed me. I needed to know where things were heading. I was never a fan of the unknown. I hated anything I couldn’t anticipate. I crawled back into the corner of the sofa and closed my eyes for a moment, hoping that when I opened them, everything would feel normal again.
Albus threw himself into the opposite corner of the sofa and I opened my eyes with a jolt as I had been expecting no one. I hadn’t even realized he was anywhere near. “That was a lovely chat wasn’t it?” He smirked. He had been listening. I should have known really. The boy’s power is in his knowledge of everything that goes on.
“Oh crap. It’s you
.” I spat. “Why is it always you? If I had a choice between you and Voldemort, I’d pick him every time.” I glared at him before looking away. I was hoping that if I paid no attention to him, he would leave me alone because that’s what I wanted more than anything. I just needed to be alone. I only wanted to be tormented by my own thoughts; I didn’t want to be tormented by Albus.
Albus made himself comfortable.
“I really wish you’d go away.”
“I wish for better nights sleep. We don’t all get what we want, Nott.”
“Isn’t that a pity?” I shrugged. There were a lot of things I felt for him that I had never felt so strongly for someone else. I felt revulsion, hatred that made me physically angry, disgust and worst of all, I felt understood. He made me feel and for someone who dragged themselves through life numbly, it was terrifying. I was trying so hard to push these feelings away, but I had no chance. I never really did. I had to hold on whatever kept me floating and my hatred was that. It kept me warm when everything else had no effect. “I honestly don’t care what you do anymore. Sit there if you want. Don’t sit there. It’s all the same thing to me.”
“I’ll be blunt. I didn’t come here to discuss how the world goes around.” I rolled my eyes. “I want you to get to Lily to break up with Emmett.” Albus didn’t mess around.
“I’d love to but I have no desire to help you.” I smirked.
“I know who’s been sending you those weird notes. I’ll tell you who it is if you help me.” He offered and suddenly I was interested. I needed to know who was threatening me so I could destroy them. “What do you say Nott?” Whatever souls are made up of, it seemed that ours were from the same tree. The thorns that grew around my poisoned heart also surrounded his tainted heart of stone. “Are you game?”
I wanted to say no and run away, but I heard my mouth open and the word yes tumbled out.
I was so screwed because I may
have just agreed to team up with the enemy. One day I might learn, it was just obviously today wasn’t that day. I was an idiot but I said nothing as I returned Albus’ smirk.
“I’m always game.”
I had a feeling that things were going to get very ugly.
Very ugly indeed.
The next time on The Human Factor
“I don’t want to go.” I looked around, trying to find something that gave me an idea for an excuse. I had pretended to be ill in bed. It didn’t work because Cassie just pushed me out of the bed and poked me until I was irritated so I snapped that I wasn’t ill and I was going to kick her ass. I had also tried playing dead but I can only hold my breath for ten seconds until my lungs feel like they’re going to explode. I was running out of options and I just may have to go. This is a disaster. I picked up one my school books. “Look, Cassie!” I pointed to my book. “I have homework to do! There are a billion of essays I have to write! I have spells to practise! I don’t have time to go to the sleepovers.” I hugged the book. “I guess I can’t go then…” I pulled my sad face. “I’m so disappointed.”
Cassie snorted. “You’ve never cared about school work so don’t pretend you do now.” She snatched the book out of my hand and chucked it across the room. My book smashed against the wall like my dream of not going to this sleepover. She pinched my cheeks again. “I can see the fake in your eyes.”