Shaking, I got out of bed. I showered, and put on my pyjamas when I had dried myself off. I fished out my wand from my handbag, and set out to work on the apartment. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there in time. Victoire and Dominique were in the kitchen, looking aghast.
It looked even worse today than it had yesterday.
We crashed in the door, still kissing.
“Woah,” Will laughed. “This place looks like a bomb hit.”
I giggled, clinging on to the wine bottles we had stolen from the restaurant. I set them down on a small space that was clear on our counter, before waving my wand and uncorking both. I handed one to Will, with a kiss.
I summoned some of the party food we hadn’t eaten from the fridge. We roared laughing as everything fell on the floor. I continued to giggle hysterically. Tipsy again, on the way to being drunk.
“How about we just finish the job?” Will said wickedly.
Holding hands we jumped in the food, flinging bits of it everywhere.
“I was just about to clean up,” I said, lamely.
“Did you have another party or something?” Victoire asked, quietly.
“No! No, I mean I went out.”
“And just wrecked the place more?” She asked, a dangerous edge appearing in her voice.
“I felt awful about everything and Will wrote to me asking if I would meet him – “
“So, you felt awful, but you didn’t think of doing anything to make it up to us? Like clean, or make it to the Burrow?”
I bit my lip. She was right.
“Look, I’m going to clean up now.” I said, just wishing they’d leave. Didn’t Victoire have work? I did, but I wasn’t sure I was going to make it in this morning.
“And miss work?” Victoire asked. “Lucy, there’s only so many chances you can be given.”
“Oh bugger off Vic,” I said crossly. There it was again, her trying to baby me.
Victoire drew herself to her full height. “I told you,” she said coldly. “When you first started hanging around with us that no matter what you don’t sacrifice your career. But you didn’t listen, did you? It just shows you aren’t mature enough to live away from home!”
I noticed Dominique wasn’t saying anything, unusually for her. She just picked at a strand of hair.
“Merlin, Victoire, just leave me alone!” I said desperately. I did not need this, I needed to clean the place up, and get to work when I could. I had to keep going so I wouldn’t think about the night before.
I climbed on to Will’s lap. I was halfway through my bottle of wine; he too was racing through his. I couldn’t stop giggling.
“I should have gotten you drunk a long time ago,” he muttered, smiling as he put his arm around my waist, kissing my neck.
I let my head stretch back, enjoying the feeling… or at least, I tried. I couldn’t fight a nervous feeling in my stomach that no wine could quell.
How long was I supposed to let this go on for?
I turned around and walked into my room. I would just get changed and go to work. If she was going to be like that, she could clean up.
“Maybe we should try living apart,” she said quietly, so quiet I barely heard her.
“You’re kicking me out?” I said, walking back into the room.
“Not kicking you out, Lucy, just –“
“I made one mistake!” I pleaded.
“No, not one,” she said calmly. “We’re obviously just too different. I live here because I work in London. You live here because you get to be away from your parents, which is fine – but what are you even doing?”
I just stared at her.
“You told me you wanted to find yourself, but all you did was go out and drink and dance all the time. Did you ever look into other jobs and things? Did you talk to your parents about a year travelling? Did you do anything about it?”
I had to agree, I hadn’t done anything about it.
“Mum and Dad helped me find this apartment, and helped me with the rent until I was earning enough. When the last girl who lived here moved out, Dom was to move in but she got onto a French team. When your Dad asked me if you could live here, I was delighted because I knew you’d be here so that you could work hard… or so I thought.”
I couldn’t believe it. My nice apartment with my nice roommate was gone. I had taken that for granted.
“We don’t have to decide anything now, but maybe we should think about it?” Her voice was kind, but I couldn’t listen to her anymore.
I left wordlessly, throwing my robes on and leaving without a backwards glance.
I was later than I thought, but still didn’t Apparate. I needed to get my head clear before I went to work.
What had I done? I felt cold suddenly, despite the fine day, and hugged myself as I walked. The party should have taught me my lesson, but it didn’t. I had made it all worse.
Mrs Flourish was outside the shop when I reached work. She looked up, startled.
“Oh, Lucy. We weren’t expecting you to come in today.”
I frowned. “I am supposed to be working today, aren’t I?”
“Oh yes,” she said nervously. “It’s just you’re quite late, and it is a Monday… We know you don’t like Mondays…”
I closed my eyes. She was too nice to say what she was really feeling.
“Really Lucy, now that all the children are back in school I’m not sure we’re going to need any more help. Mr Blott was going to send out a formal letter tonight.”
She looked at me pityingly. “Maybe this isn’t the best fit for you after all, is it?”
“So I’m just supposed to go home?” I asked, hollowly.
She gave me a little hug. “We hired you because you seemed like a good girl, Lucy. Maybe if you go back to that you’ll get on better. We won’t tell your parents about the illnesses, don’t worry, pet.”
I nodded, and turned away, mumbling about sorting things out.
I got a few steps down the street before I had to sit down in the doorstep of a shop. I placed my head in my hands.
I had lost my job? I had lost my job? I had lost my job?
I had lost my job.
No nice apartment. No nice roommate. No nice job.
“Sorry, miss, could you move please? You’re putting customers off.”
I looked up. I was at the Apothecary’s. Great.
Recognition dawned on the man’s beareded face. “Oh, you’re Marks friend!”
I stood up quickly. “Um, yeah. Don’t bother getting him, I’m just going. I didn’t come here to talk – “
I broke off awkwardly, hurrying away.
I didn’t know what to do. First things first, if the worst thing I could imagine happened last night, I needed to get to St. Mungo’s - I certainly wasn’t going to ask the Apothecary about emergency contraception, and didn’t feel like facing Molly or the rest.
I was a wreck. Leaving Mungo’s it all finally hit me. I had gotten my new life, but at what cost? I was an idiot; I thought pursuing Will would fix things, but really it just made things worse.
“Seriously,” I slurred. I was lying on the floor beside Will, amid all the bottles and food. It came to my attention we may have fallen off the couch.
“What’s it all about anyway? Life?”
“Merlin if I know!” He exclaimed. “You’re not one of those worriers are you?”
I shook my head, though I bit my lip. Mark wouldn’t have said that. I felt tears spring to my eyes.
Merlin, had I cried in front of Will? It didn’t bear thinking about.
I thought he would make it all go away, but where was he now? I was the problem. It was my fault I couldn’t just appreciate what was a lovely life, it was my fault I had messed it up. I had been given so many chances.
What was wrong with me?
I needed help, but I wasn’t sure who I really could get it from. I was too proud to apologise just yet. I needed to show everyone I was sorry.
I stopped dead on the way home.
“Mark.” I said, quietly.
He was stopped too, opposite me, about two shop lengths away.
Thankfully he didn’t move. I wasn’t prepared to talk to him yet, but I had to. I walked towards him, not taking my eyes off his face.
“Hello Lucy,” he said, not unpleasantly. “How are you?”
“I don’t know,” I stammered, bewildered at his neutral expression. “I should be asking you.”
“I stopped by yours last night, after a band practice. I’d seen you a few hours before”
Mark said, in that eerily calm voice, his words measured and precise. “I wanted to make sure you were ok, once I stopped being angry at you. I knocked at the door. You didn’t answer, but I heard you speaking.”
My jaw dropped. What had he heard?
“Someone asked me who I was. You said I was no one, some guy who had gotten the wrong idea.”
“Mark, seriously – “
“Did I get the wrong idea, Lucy? Because I thought it had all been very straightforward.”
“It was! It’s just – “
“I’m not exciting enough for you? Or you just like to hurt people?”
I winced as he kept talking in this manner, getting another flashback as he spoke. It had been just after we arrived at the apartment.
“Who was that guy, last night? Dominique was dancing with him? Tall, darkish hair?”
“That’s Mark,” I giggled, then faltered. “I don’t know if we’re going to be friends anymore.”
“He looked kind of keen.”
“Yeah, don’t worry about that. It’s so over. It wasn’t even a thing.”
He smiled mischievously. “Don’t play with your food, Lucy.”
I rolled my eyes. “Old me would have gone for him. New me isn’t interested.”
He kissed me then, and I forgot all about Mark Seton.
“I told myself I wouldn’t over react, but how can I not? You asked me to the party, Lucy! You treated me as if you wanted me there, and then forgot all about me. And kissing some guy in front of me was an excellent way of letting me down gently, but the way.”
“Just leave me alone, Mark,” I snapped, hurrying past. I couldn’t deal with his disappointment, too.
“Will we move this into the bedroom?” He asked, half whispering.
I could barely see, gripping onto him for support.
“I don’t know, Will.” I said, sleepily.
“Don’t worry, I don’t bite,” he joked.
I wavered. Ainsley had done it. Molly probably had, too. Why shouldn’t I?
We were at the bedroom of my door. Kick him out or let him in? It was decision time.
And then, there was no more memory.
I had wanted a life, but didn’t like what I had been given. I knew one thing for sure though. I had started something I couldn’t finish. I wanted to be me again, if not a slightly improved version of me.
There would be no more complaining, no more feeling sorry for myself. Everything I had ever gotten, it had been earned by hard work; my father always made sure we knew that.
I wasn’t going back to the bored little girl who whined all the time, or the girl who cut off her friends and family. I’d finally find out who I was supposed to be.
I had always wondered why I had been sorted into Gryffindor. It’s not as if I had any political battle to prove myself in. Was it because I’d always do the right thing, would always be loyal and brave and true? I had messed that up.
Or maybe I was a Gryffindor because I was brave enough to find my way back again.
Slowly, but surely, I would make it alright. I would be Lucy Weasley, at last.
Hi! The second last chapter! Not a rollercoaster of events, but it ties up everything so we can move onto Chapter 11, “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want”. The last chapter will take place almost a year after she started working in Flourish and Blotts, and we’ll see her come full circle from there. Readers will be happy to see her come out of this funk, I’m sure! I promise the next chapter (I'm halfway through it) is a lot less mopey! As usual, please tell me what you think, and thanks to everyone who’s been reading so far.
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