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Chapter 5 : Dreams Only Last For A Night
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Chapter Five: Dreams Only Last For A Night
I felt the heat rise in my cheeks as I blushed profusely. This is just great. I can not believe Jay Soares just heard my pathetic confession of how sad and alone I am. Oh Merlin, kill me now.
“Jay,” Dom said when she realized her boyfriend was in the room. She gave me an apologetic look before standing on her tip toes to kiss him. Jay snaked his arms around her waist, and then they both looked at each other, and then looked at me.
What followed was probably the most awkward silence I’ve ever been a part of. Usually, silences aren’t awkward until someone goes and says something like “well this is awkward”. Not this one. The awkwardness of this silence was so strong you could practically touch it.
I tried to think of something say to clear the obvious awkwardness in the air, but I’ve never really been a conversation starter, so it was no surprise to me that I couldn’t think of a single thing to say in this situation. Jay and Dom didn’t appear to have any conversational ideas either, because they remained quiet and the three of us continued to look at each other. The awkward silence was getting to be so unbearable, that I found myself wishing that someone would fart or something just to ease the tension.
Jeez Jay, could you have picked a worse time to find your girlfriend?
Thankfully, James and Fred decided to stumble into the kitchen, diverting our attention away from the previous awkward silence. On first inspection, it was obvious my cousins were drunk. No, they weren’t just drunk, they were completely wasted. Fred had tripped over the flat surface of the wooden floor, and James was walking so crookedly it was amazing he could stay on his own two feet.
“Riley!” James said gleefully with a big smile on his face. He took another drink from the bottle of Firewhiskey clutched in his hands, but missed his mouth so it dribbled down his front and onto his red plaid shirt. He clumsily threw an arm over my shoulders and I was the only thing keeping him from falling onto the floor. “Y’ know, you’ve always been my favorite cousin.” He slurred. “Like a sister to me.”
“James, how much have you had to drink?” I asked gently as I put an arm around his waist to keep him up. I glanced over at Dom, who raised a questioning eyebrow at me. Jay was kneeling over Fred, who was passed out on the floor, his bottle of Firewhiskey spilling out beside him.
“Drink?” James said. He shoved his bottle in my face. “D’ you want some?”
I took the bottle from him and spilled its contents down the drain. James didn’t seem to notice because he was currently doubled over laughing at something. “Riley! Your sister’s name is Rose! That’s not a name, it’s a flower!” I rolled my eyes. Why did alcohol make people act so stupid?
“We should put these two in James’ room.” Jay said. He had hoisted Fred up and had him slung over his back in a fireman lift. Dom crossed the room to help me with James, who was still laughing silently to himself, when Louis, Dom’s younger brother, walked into the kitchen clutching a red plastic cup. His eyes grew wide when he realized Dom was already in the kitchen.
“Louis,” Dom said in her ‘you better not be drinking alcohol or I will kill you’ voice. “What are you drinking?”
“N-nothing.” Louis said fearfully as he backed out of the kitchen. Dom didn’t hesitate to chase after him shouting “I’m going to kill you!’
So now I’m left to carry James and his drunk self on my own. But I could understand Dom’s anger. I know that if Louis, the really quiet, go with the crowd kid, was drinking, then Hugo was probably drinking too. I would sort him out after I got James in his room.
I followed Jay as he carried Fred out of the kitchen and down the hallway. Music was blaring from the living room, where the party was mainly being held. I recognized a song from the Weird Sisters. They were a really old band from back when my parents were teenagers, but they were Aunt Ginny’s favorites so she always insisted on playing their music. I preferred to listen to Wiz Kudi, D.A. Dre, and this new rap group Al got me into, the Pure Blood Thugs. But you know adults, they are so old fashioned.
I never go into James’ room if I don’t absolutely have to. There’s always clothes thrown all over the place, and I don’t particularly like seeing my cousin’s blue-and-yellow-striped boxers hanging on his bedpost, and it always smells like something died in there. I wouldn’t be surprised if something actually did.
I dragged James, who had fallen asleep between the time we had left the kitchen and now, over to his bed. He flopped down with his tongue hanging out and I pulled the covers over him so that he wouldn’t be cold. James looked peaceful in his sleep, with his black hair sticking up everywhere. Almost every girl in Hogwarts, who wasn’t a relative, would kill to see James Potter sleeping in his bedroom. Honestly, what did they see in him?
I helped Jay make a makeshift bed on the floor for Fred. There were some spare blankets in James’ closet, so I placed those on the floor along with some pillows off of the bed. Jay set Fred down, and then with a last look at the drunken idiots, we left the room and closed the door behind us with a soft click.
It was only now, as we stood side by side in the hallway with the Weird Sisters music blaring from the living room, that I realized I was completely alone with Jay. He seemed to have realized the same fact, but instead of wandering off to find his girlfriend as I expected, he stuffed his hands into the pockets of his gray jacket and leaned back against the wall.
“Listen Riley,” He said, “I’ve been meaning to talk to you.”
My stomach flipped uncomfortably at his words and my fingertips tingled. “What about?” I asked in what I hoped was a clear, even voice, but was actually a little squeaky.
“About me and Dom.” I sighed. I was hoping he’d tell me that he loves me and wants to be with me instead of my part Veela cousin, but I seemed to be a little off.
“What about you and Dom?”
Jay shrugged. “I don’t know, I just thought I should make sure you’re okay with us dating.”
“Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” My voice was like ice, but I could care less.
“Well, she is your best friend. I didn’t know if you would feel awkward with us being a couple.” I am. “Apparently not though. I’m so sorry I wanted to make sure you were okay with this.”
We stared at each other for a moment, our eyes locking, but I couldn’t read his face. It was completely emotionless, and for the first time, I wondered whether I knew Jay at all. I had thought I knew everything about him; the way his eyes sparkle when he laughs, the way his tongue sticks out when he’s concentrating, the way he furrows his eyebrows when he’s confused, the way he narrows his eyes when he’s playing Quidditch, the way he smiles when he’s genuinely happy about something.
But right now, as I stared into his icy blue eyes, I realized I knew next to nothing about Jay Soares.
Because I did not know what the frown on his face meant.
“Look,” Jay finally said, “You’re a good friend Riley, and I just don’t want to mess things up. I know if, er, for example, Jessica Spinnet and Al started dating, it would be a little weird for me.” Jessica Spinnet was a friendly girl in our year and played on the Gryffindor Quidditch team with us. She and Jay were close friends, so I could understand what he was saying.
“If Dom’s happy, I’m happy.” Maybe I’m not as bad a liar as I thought.
“What about Al? Have you asked him if he’s all right with you dating Dom?” I asked him in a rather harsh way.
“Seeing as Al isn’t practically her best friend, I didn’t find it necessary.” Jay said calmly.
“I didn’t even know you liked Dom. Usually you tell me stuff like this before you ask my cousins out.” I know I was being a bitch, but that much was true. Jay and I would talk about everything during the long walks from the Quidditch pitch to the castle after practice. Dom had always rushed off to meet with whoever she as seeing at the time leaving me alone. Not once, on any occasion, had Jay ever mentioned any feelings for Dom. I actually had been deluded into thinking he fancied me a bit, but now the fact that he was with Dom was like a slap in the face.
The count down to the New Year had started. I hadn’t realized how late it was.
“I’m so sorry I don’t tell you all my secrets.” He was clearly getting annoyed.
“No need to be so sarcastic.” I spat. I was usually the sarcastic one. It was quite a turn of events to be the one being mocked.
“No need to be such a bitch.”
Why did I like this guy again?
“If I’m such a bitch, then why are you still here?” Oh why must I always make things worse?
Jay took a deep breath to try and calm himself. “I’m going to go now before either of us says something we might regret.”
“Oh so you won’t regret calling me a bitch?” Again I must say something to make things worse. What is wrong with me?
Shouts of ‘Happy New Year’ echoed around the house louder than the Weird Sister’s music, but I had no desire to join in with the festivities. Jay and I were staring at each other again, and I still couldn’t read his face. He looked like he was struggling to say something, but all he did was sigh and shake his head.
“G’night Riley,” He then turned around and walked away, pausing only momentarily to look over his shoulder and add “Oh, and Happy New Year.”
And I was left kissing good-bye any chance I had with him.
* * * *
I know I said I couldn’t wait to go back to Hogwarts, but after the New Year’s party, I really wasn’t ready to leave my home. It will be a lot harder to avoid Dom and Jay (yes, I am going to avoid them both) when we share the same common room and have classes and Quidditch together. At least at home I could stay locked in my bedroom for all hours of the day.
I was still fuming a week later after my-er-argument with Jay. I just couldn’t get what he said out of my head. I mean, sure I was a bitch, but he didn’t have to actually say that! I didn’t go and call him an arsehole, which in fact he was! I thought Jay was a nice person, someone who always keeps a cool head. Maybe I’m just the type of person to push him over the top.
It’s not like I meant to be cruel, but I had been looking to give out to someone since break first started. Jay just happened to set me off.
“Do you have everything? Your wand and school work?” Dad asked me as I stepped into the kitchen pulling my trunk behind me. Rose and Hugo were sitting at the kitchen table with their trunks by them as they waited for Uncle Harry. He always drove us to the platform. Mum was already at work. She worked at the Ministry in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
“Of course I have everything. What do you think I am a bloody first year?” I snapped. Then I remembered I left my broomstick in my room. Damn sodding parents for always being right. Dad looked a little afraid after my outburst. I don’t blame him, I felt like I was about to explode.
Uncle Harry picked us up at around ten and helped us put our things into the magically expanded trunk of his car. We had to drive since none of us, except for James, who was coming along anyway, could apparate yet. I said a quick good-bye to my dad and he gave me the normal ‘have a good term, get good grades, stay safe, and don’t get into too much trouble talk’, and then I slid into the backseat of Uncle Harry’s car with Al, Scorpius, and Rose. James, Lily, and Hugo were in the front with Uncle Harry
King’s Cross was about a half hour away, and for the whole trip I barely spoke two words. I responded to James’ usually greeting of ‘all’ right Riley?’ with a mumbled ‘fine’. I wanted to ask him how bad his hangover was after New Years, but I didn’t want any one else mad at me right now. One person was enough for the moment.
Rose was unusually quiet as well. Normally she’s always going on about school or Scorpius, but today she just stared out the window. In fact, we’ve barley talked at all in the last week. Either something was going on with her or I was just that unapproachable. Scorpius seemed a little put out by her behavior, but he didn’t say anything.
We arrived at King’s Cross with plenty of time to spare, which is a very rare occurrence for our family. Usually we only have about five minutes to get onto the train. It was nice to be able to take our time for once.
I passed inconspicuously through the barrier at Platform 9 ¾ by leaning casually against it so that the muggles crowding the train station wouldn’t notice anything. It was easy to spot my family on the platform; the red Weasley hair made us stand out. I didn’t really want to see my family, but once Teddy spotted me and waved me over, I couldn’t really ignore them.
Uncle Bill was here with his children, though Dom was nowhere to be seen (she was with Jay most likely) and Uncle George and Aunt Angelina were here too saying good bye to Fred and Roxanne, who both looked like they wanted to be anywhere but here. There was no sign of Percy or Audrey (which was actually a good thing, but I wasn’t supposed to say that out loud) or Molly and Lucy, so I guessed they were already on the train.
I went around saying good bye to everyone as they all basically told me to have a good term and behave myself (as if I never do). Uncle Harry pulled me into one last hug, and at last I was able to board the Hogwarts’ Express. So, with a little help from Teddy, I got my trunk onto the train. “Later Riley, see you in April!”
I didn’t really know where else to go, so I followed James and Al to an empty compartment and heaved my trunk onto the luggage rack and sat down in a seat next to the window. Kids were streaming by our compartment, all stopping for a quick glance at Harry Potter’s children before continuing to wherever they were headed. James seemed to bask in the attention.
We were soon joined by Gaby, who was looking for Al, and to my great delight Dom and Jay showed up and decided to sit with us. Fred and Lily turned up and Rose and Scorpius squeezed in as well.
There were many conversations progressing at the same time. James, Fred, and Lily were arguing over who the favorites were for next year’s Quidditch World Cup, while Al and Gaby were setting up a double date with Dom and Jay for the next Hogsmeade trip. Scorpius was trying to talk to Rose about something, but she didn’t seem too interested. Actually, Rose looked almost as miserable as I felt.
Come to think of it, Rose hasn’t been her self lately. She’s been sort of quiet, and less annoying. I watched my sister closely as the train moved out from the station, but despite the fact that she wasn’t all over her boyfriend, there didn’t appear to be anything wrong with her, at least not on the outside.
I spent the majority of the train ride staring out the window and keeping my eyes averted from Jay’s. I could tell he was trying to look anywhere but at me. Lily kept giving me suspicious looks, so I started to avoid her gaze too. That girl was too nosy sometimes.
“All right James, would you do…Danielle Walker?” Fred asked with a mischievous glint in his eyes. I rolled my eyes. Every train ride someone had to start the game ‘Who would you do?’ Usually only the single people played, so it was basically a game between James, Fred, Lily, and me, unfortunately.
“Danielle Walker,” James drawled referring to a Hufflepuff seventh year. There were more rumors about that girl then there were about who was running for the next Minister of Magic election. If that girl wasn’t a whore, I’d eat a flobberworm.
“I hear she’s a slut.” Al laughed. He was sitting back in his seat with his arm around Gaby’s waist. I must admit, they looked very cute together.
James smiled and he put his hands behind his head. “What if I already did her?” Al and Scorpius roared with laughter and Fred looked like a fish with his mouth open. Lily, however, clapped her hands over her ears.
“Oh Merlin I did not need to know that!”
“What about you Ry,” James said once everything had calmed down after he admitted sleeping with the Hufflepuff slut. “Who would you do?”
Jay Soares, I thought to myself and had to work extra hard to keep my gaze from sliding over to him. Everyone was staring at me and I felt my cheeks redden as I shrugged my shoulders.
“Would you do…Tony Brown?” Al asked grinning at James. Tony Brown was a seventh year Gryffindor, a beater on the Quidditch team, and James’ best friend. This would be awkward to answer.
“I know I would.” Lily said before I got the chance to speak. “He’s gorgeous.” James’ face paled.
“I never want to hear you talk like that about my best friend again.” He snapped at his sister. Lily rolled her eyes at her over protective brother.
“It’s not like I actually would.” She muttered, but only so that I could hear.
The attention was then turned back to me. “So Riley, would you?” Dom asked from where she was holding hands with Jay across from me. There was this look in her eyes I didn’t really understand.
“Eh, yeah I guess.” I finally said. Al and Fred snickered, though James was looking at me suspiciously. I was glad when the attention was away from me and Fred was asked if he would do Jessica Spinnet.
Honestly, the only person I’ve ever imagined being with is Jay, so actually doing it with Tony Brown was completely out of the question. Sure he was good looking, but when it came down to being with another guy, I wouldn’t want to. If I couldn’t have Jay, I wouldn’t want anyone else.
I’m going to be alone forever, aren’t I?
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