Chapter 5 : Hold On
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Rachel Elizabeth Levitt
I remember when I first found out how many free periods I would have my seventh year. It was a blissful, blissful day. But when I actually got here I realized that there was nothing blissful about it. Every minute I’m not in class I spend; planning programs for the school, making prefect schedules, finishing my mountains of homework, Quidditch training and everything else I can cram into my free time. Lauren’s actually specified one day a week to let me bitch about how stressed I am. Apparently if she didn’t do then I would simply rant forever.
Normally, I would have this session on Monday’s during breakfast, but today Lauren was sick. So instead of taking my frustrations out on helpless bystanders, I ate quickly and dashed off to the library. No matter what was going on in my social life, there was always one place of total salvation: the library.
See my way of achieving the glory of isolation is different than everyone else’s. Most people sit in front of the history of magic section, thinking that no one would go there. The problem with that is it’s extremely visible and if you are trying to achieve solitude that privacy can be easily breached. Now my method is, I sit in the back behind the shelves on ancient runes in the farthest corner, because no one who takes that class ever bothers coming back there.
I pulled out my books, ink, parchment and planner irritably. Stupid Lauren and her stupid runny nose. Who am I supposed to vent with now? Kelly?! Kelly’s worthless when it comes to ranting. She wants to see the good in everybody and honestly at the end of the day who really wants to do hear that shit? You want someone in your corner, understanding your arguments and hating the person/place/subject/situation just as hard as you are. Not someone who is trying to be reasonable and see both sides! No! They are supposed to be completely loyal to you and utterly devoted to your bitter opinion. And if you run out of words to say they are supposed to pull out some ridiculous metaphor about a walrus or humpback whale to make you feel better. That’s a good rant buddy. That’s someone to keep in your all star line up. Fuck Lauren’s cold. Who the hell gets a cold in January anyway? That’s so overdone.
Sighing, overdramatically I snapped open my planner to see what hell I had to deal with today.
+Finish ministry application
+Write Defense essay
+Talk to Headmaster about Eliza Bennett
+Ask Albus when the next practice is
+Talk to Eleanor about Kelly’s birthday party
+Finish supply of sugar quills, so I will have excuse to get more next weekend at Hogsmede.
Lowering my head down on the table, I drummed my head on the surface a few times before pausing. A hand lightly tapped my shoulder, forcing me to roll sideways and see who could have interrupted my pre-studying. Of course it was just Malfoy.
“What?” I groaned, my voice cracking attractively.
He of course was fully awake and on top of his shit. Jack ass. “Well good morning to you too Weasley.”
“What do you want Malfoy?” I snapped instantly. “I’m not really in the mood to school your ass in a battle of wits today. So kindly slink back into the hole you crawled out of.”
“Fine.” He twisted around and stepped away.
I rolled my eyes and grabbed his arm. “What do you want?” I repeated more softly this time.
“One, your boyfriend Logan is looking for you. Two,” He smirked, “It’s your week to watch over detentions.”
“What?! That is complete bullshit,” I ripped my planner of the table and shoved it in his face. “Look what it says!”
He pretentiously pretended to read it. “You need to get your legs waxed?”
“No you wanker! The one across the whole thing!”
“’No detentions this week.’ And? You miswrote the week.”
My eyes narrowed up at him with venom I reserved only for his Aryan ass. “No. I didn’t. We scheduled this months ago you demented ferret.”
His face tightened with a hint of annoyance. “Yes, we did, but last month you agreed to switch weeks with me.”
I wanted him to be wrong. In the deepest pit of my bones I wanted him to be wrong, but as usual he wasn’t. I vaguely remembered the conversation and there was no way in hell I was going to admit it.
“Isn’t there some other place you should be? Like …anywhere else.”
“Good come back Weasley. You know, your resemblance to a saber tooth tiger right now is startling.” He grinned, snobbishly leaning back against the bookshelf behind him.
I pushed myself up to my feet and crossed my arms furiously. “One of these days, I’m going to use that olive and silver tie to strangle you.”
“With what? Your little t-rex arms?”
“Yep.” I retorted firmly.
He surveyed the situation but eventually decided to move along. I didn’t see him again for another three days when I was heading to defense.
A lot and nothing at all had changed in those three days. It started out awkwardly, with me just trying to get used to Logan. He assumed the role of male-friend-man quickly. If I didn’t know any better I would think that we’d been dating for a while. You know if I wasn’t actually involved in the situation.
I was just so tired of caring and trying. Fuck it. There were so many other things that I could spend my time worrying about. And more importantly I’d grown to see there’s no point in dating someone or being with someone in general. I’m not even being bitter. I just honestly don’t see what the point is anymore. If you need sex go have a one-night stand. If you want a date ask a friend. If you want love read a romance novel. Anything else is just not worth it.
Logan was adorable with his wistful black hair and dimpled smile. He caught up with me and was talking to me about this band he had heard about. He was so easygoing and effortlessly happy. It was just so simple and undemanding.
“Do you like Fusion Patronum?”
No. I didn’t. “They’re alright.” I shrugged noncommittally.
“Well…” He continued excitedly, his brown eyes lit up with intensity.
I felt bad, but honestly I did not listen. My whole existence was worn out. I was just plain sick of this. Logan was holding my hand. Logan was talking to me about his interests. Logan was there, but I honestly could care less. He was attractive. He was smart. He was funny. But you know what I wasn’t missing. Logan didn’t truly want to date me. Sure once a bottom feeder suggested it he was all on board but let’s think about before that. Back when he was in most of my classes and sat a few people away from me at lunch. The great thing was no one really noticed and …they all stopped caring.
For weeks all I heard was my own names coming out of other peoples mouths and this was all it really took. Some guy, holding my hand for people to leave me alone. It was so simple. I never had to talk, think or even do anything. I finally get what it’s like to be 1950’s housewife and you know what? I see the appeal. You just do your job. You get up every morning, look pretty, do the laundry, make the dinner, do the dishes and call it a day. There’s no drama. There’s just a purpose.
Kelly was waiting for me patiently. So I turned, let Logan kiss me and sat down. “Hey.”
“You look weird...like sort of deranged. Your face as no emotion.”
“Isn’t it great?” I smiled weakly. “I can just nod and let him hold my hand and I receive peace.”
Her long eyelashes fluttered confusedly. “So you just…exist?”
“Well,” Kelly frowned, “Explain that.”
I leaned against the table thoughtfully. “What do you mean?”
“How can you merely exist? You are one of the most passionate people I know how can you just not care?”
“It quite straightforward really.” I started hollowly, my voice dropping in sound. “I can’t stand caring anymore. I have a million things going on with my life, but when I’m alone. I don’t think about any of it. All I can do is be…heartbroken. And I’m just…tired. I’m tired of letting it bother me so much okay?”
Kelly eyed me sensitively. “Have you stopped crying yourself to sleep?”
I looked up at her stunned. “How did you-?”
“Rose, I’ve been best friends with you since we were five.”
Sometimes, I hated how well she knew me. I gave in a little. “They leave me alone. So I can mourn in peace. No one talks about me. No one bothers me. I can just rot in-“
“If you say peace one more time, I’m going to shoot you in the face.” Lauren interjected nasally from the seat next to Kelly.
I let out a choked laugh. “Glad to hear you’re living Lauren.”
Kelly frowned. “Way to detract from the point.”
“Let’s move on.” I mumbled as our teacher began to hand out our mind terms.
Halfway through class I began to notice Malfoy. He was in all of my classes, but normally the classes were so crowded I didn’t come across him. Today, he stood out to me for some reason. It was funny, but when he wasn’t sneering or insulting me he looked quite proper. His uniform was always neat as if he took a ruler to all of his clothes to make sure it lined up straight. He was absentmindedly fiddling with his paper in his right hand while taking notes with his left. The paper he was playing with was delicately folded into this perfect little shape before I could stop myself a little smile came on my lips.
“I think I’m going to throw myself off the astronomy tower.” Lauren declared carelessly as we left class. Her face was full of bitterness. “I can’t believe I studied for twenty minutes for that damn exam and only got an E!”
Kelly turned, her face tight and her eyebrows crunched together in resentment. “Sometimes…I just want to just slap you in the throat.”
I howled with laughter as they began bickering in the hallway. This was only interrupted when a new strand of gossip hit their ears in the great hall. Kelly nudged me gently. “Rose, look.”
“I really don’t care if Olive has her shirt tucked into her skirt. Someone will eventually tell her.” I shook her off but just as I was about to return to my grilled cheese
Lauren yanked my arm and forced me turn. “No, seriously look.”
The instant my eyes saw what she was dragging me to see a reluctant smile planted itself on my face. Rachel was sitting next to Malfoy, and he seemed to be trying to ignore her. Trying being the operative word since she was about six inches from his face with her claws digging into his sleeve. I spun around and went back to my food.
Across the table Lily gave me a speculative look. “You okay?”
“Yep.” I replied in a monotone. “I’m fine.”
For the rest of lunch Lily and everyone else left me alone. Though I still saw her giving me looks, but she didn’t say anything. I was glad. Upon leaving the great hall I shifted in the direction of the library became aware that Malfoy was tailing me. My eyebrows rose as I starred at his irritated face.
“Is there a reason you are following me Malfoy?”
His hand seized my upper arm as he dragged me into an empty classroom. “I need to talk to you.”
“About what? We already went over the schedule for next week.” I blinked up at him confusedly. “So what could you possibly have to talk to me about?”
“Rachel is driving me insane.”
“That sounds like a personal problem Malfoy.”
He set me with a hateful glower. “Weasley, she is stalking me! Everywhere I go, she’s there! I checked to see if she stuck a tracking device on me or something. She didn’t she’s just creepy!”
I leaned back on the table behind me. “Well how do you expect me to help you? I can’t do anything about it unless she threatens you and even then all I can do is get a teacher to talk to her.”
“I need you…” Malfoy’s gaze starred away from me before he mumbled something incoherent.
“I honestly have no idea what you just said.”
His grey eyes turned onto me bluntly. “I said, I need you to date me.”
“I would love to,” I began to dryly, “But I’m sort of dating someone.”
“I think he’ll get over it since the only reason he’s doing it is for the gallons.”
“Oh? And your intentions are what? Noble?”
Malfoy shrugged, “At least you know I’m not lying to you.”
“Why me?” I snorted rudely, “There are hundreds of sad souls here who would love to be your fake girlfriend.”
“She’s afraid of you.”
He gave an exasperated sigh. “Come on Weasley. I’m asking nicely here.”
“I understand that Malfoy, but I really can’t help you. I already have a fake boyfriend.”
“You can’t get out of it?”
“No and why would I want to? Honestly when I date Logan no one cares and they leave me alone. When went on one phony date with you I was propelled in a lake of mud. Notice the difference?”
His mouth opened to respond, but I shook my head.
“I’m sorry Scorpius, but I can’t help you.”
I’d thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. Not even close. After I got through most of my work I stumbled to defense hours later. Every other day Albus sat next to me, but he seemed to still a little annoyed from our spat last week so he sat next to Tony Lee in the back. Leaving the seat next to me open for Malfoy to sit next to me.
“What are you-?”
His face was positively calm. “I’m going to wear you down.”
I banged my head on my desk repeatedly. “Malfoy, bugger off. No means no.”
“I don’t think you quite understand the seriousness of the situation.”
“I don’t think you understand how close I am to killing you!”
He frowned. “Weasley…I found her sniffing my underwear.”
“I went into my room to get my books…and I found her in there going through my drawers and smelling them.”
My jaw dropped in horror. “You must be joking…She isn’t…that…Oh god.”
“You have to help me.”
“I would if I could Malfoy, but I already explained the problem to you!”
Professor Smith strutted in, her prominent thick glasses high up on her nose as she moved like a duck with swag. She silenced the class with a withering stare.
“Today you shall break into the pairs you sit with and quiz each other on the study guides that are on your desks. After you finish everything on the list you may leave, but be warned I will know if you haven’t completed all the spells.”
Then with a swish of her indigo cloak she sat behind her desk. I glanced at Malfoy and saw that obnoxious smirk of his practically embedded on his face. Sometimes…I think he just needs a high five, in the face, with a tree.
“What spell would you like to start with?”
I let out a loud sigh. “Agglomero.” A blast of wind sprouted out of my wand knocking him across the row and on his ass.
He dusted himself off and strutted arrogantly back over to his seat. “Nice, Weasley.”
For the rest of class he said nothing about Rachel, but it was clear that he wasn’t letting the subject drop. My mind was other places. I really didn’t want to give in to Malfoy. His concern was understandable, Rachel was a freak, but why was I always the one that has to fix this? This wasn’t my problem. I had my own problem. As soon as Smith dismissed us I bolted out of the room. I ran so fast I nearly ran Logan over.
“Can I talk to you?”
I paused, “Yeah.”
His face looked pained and I frowned. He wanted to date somebody else. It was written all over his face and I couldn’t even get mad. It was reasonable for him to want something else, but I didn’t want him to leave. This was so easy. This was simple.
“So…I’m really sorry, but-“
“You want to break up.”
Shock flew onto his face. “How did you… Are you mad?”
I shook my head. “No. Who do you want to date though?”
A deep blush crept onto his face. “Taylor Phillips.”
“Aw, you two would look cute together.” I smiled sincerely.
“Thanks Rose. I really appreciate it.”
We hugged and I smiled at him. “What are you going to do about Rachel though?”
“Since we didn’t ever spend the money…I’ll just give it back to her.”
“Can you do me a favor and wait till tomorrow to do everything?” I asked sadly. “I want one last night of solitude before she comes after me.”
He grinned. “I get it…I have to think of how to ask Taylor out anyway.”
“Well if you need any help…”
“Would like to go to dinner and discuss it?”
I linked arms with him. “Sure!”
“So,” I declared a half hour later as I polished off my milk. “You will first send her a cutesy note and then you will see her response and act on it.”
He cackled under his breath. “You would be a good match maker Rose.”
“Thanks, but I just have fantastic problem solving skills.”
“I just can see why you were picked as Head Girl.”
I nodded at him gratefully. “Thank you! I often feel overwhelmed like I’m fucking up all the time.”
“You aren’t…Is it weird that I’m nervous?”
He gave a sheepish nod. “I’ve like girls and I didn’t mind snogging you…She just is different.”
“Aww!” I faked swooned.
“Sod off Weasley. What are you going to do about Rachel? She’s going to be after you as soon as she finds out you’re off the leash.”
I snorted with laughter. “Off the leash? Don’t mean off the hook?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Yeah I do and I’m just going to let it hit me like a sunburn.” I grabbed my stuff as we stood up to leave. “I’ve tried sun block, I’ve tried using one of those damn hats and nothing works. At the end of the day I’m still going to be welting in pain.”
Logan gave me a pitiful look as we moved into the hallway. “You are a strange little ginger.”
We stopped outside my door and shared a brief hug. “Good luck tomorrow.” I told him with a smile.
Crawling up the stairs to my room I felt my eyes get heavier and heavier. I didn’t even bother to change. Dropping my bag to the floor, I collapsed onto my mattresses and instantly fell unconscious.
Thank you for reading! The song in the title and summary is Hold On By: Jet. PLEASE REVIEW! I really appreciate those of you who have taken the trouble of reviewing!
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