Chapter 15 : How It All Ends
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How It All Ends
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep, because reality is finally better than your dreams." Dr Seuss
(The end of fifth year)
The corridor seems perfectly empty and still. The stone walls look more gray than usually. I lean onto one of them and concentrate to summon a pile of papers.
Leaving them on the ground, I point my wand at them. "Incendio."
The fire starts to eat the papers up slowly, creating a pleasant warmth.
It's early April and a snug evening, considering the time of the year. Still, I kinda have a slight coldness-phobia. So that explains the fire.
You also have to count in my natural weirdness. That should help, too.
"You know, Filch is going to send Mrs Norris the fifth after you if you don't Finite Incantatum the hell out of that spell."
I turn around, a wide smile already on my face.
Faldo is leaning against the adjoining wall, his arms crossed. He had a haircut sometime in March and it fits him quite nicely. His eyes are more visible now. Sometimes the levity of my falling into them isn't the most suitable. Especially if I'm supposed to write a Potions essay sitting across from him. But other times, say like now, it's the most delightsome occurrence.
"You know, you should shut up and do something more fun with that mouth of yours."
"Blue, you're becoming very inappropriate." He smirks.
"I learned from the best." I return playfully.
Faldo finally strolls to me and grabs my waist. Our bodies press tightly against each other. I put my arms around his neck, smiling. He leans in and our lips touch slowly, creating a soft sensation.
"I have a surprise." Faldo mutters into my lips.
I chuckle. "Faldo, you know I hate surprises."
He nods. "I know. But I thought you might wanna make an exception with this one."
I raise my eyebrows, curious. "Well, you've certainly got me intrigued. Where to?"
Faldo holds my hand and pulls me down the dark corridor. "I can't tell you. What kind of surprise would it be, then? Actually, wait..."
He walks around me and covers my eyes with his palm.
"Shh, just go with it. Trust me. You'll love it."
"If you say so." I try to roll my eyes but find it to be quite difficult with Faldo's hand over them.
He pushes me lightly and I make my first steps slowly. His closeness suddenly becomes very apparent to me. Faldo smells like a winter day, like the snow, like cold air. But not in a depressing way. After all, I think winter is my favourite season.
He leans further into me, his mouth next to my ear. "Besides, Blue, you don't even know what hate is. You're too nice for that."
"I hated you, remember." I mock him.
Faldo laughs. "I approve of that kind of hate. It led to some pretty non hateful moments between us, after all."
I blush. "Faldo!"
"What?" He plays innocent.
It doesn't suit him.
But then, suddenly, a wave of a deep familiarity hits me. I stop walking. The corridor, the dark, the warm evening, Faldo's surprise, me making an exception, him telling me I don't know what hate is...
Heavens! It's him! I'm even wearing a blue jacket!
"What is it, Blue?"
Should I tell him? He'll think I'm insane. And besides, this can't really be it, right? I mean, we're not even in Paris, but at Hogwarts. And we can't really apparate from here. To anywhere.
Ok, now I'm confused. I guess that's what I get for believing in dreams coming true.
"Nothing. Keep going."
"Are you sure?"
I nod my head and make another step. Faldo follows me. We continue for a while, reviving some fun moments from the past along the way. Like the time I accidentally hit Faldo's nose. Or when I stabbed him with my wand. Also accidentally.
Man, I was very violent with him, wasn't I?
I take a deep breath as Faldo lowers his hand.
I open my eyes and a loud gasp escapes me.
We're in the Owlery. But it doesn't look much like it. The room is filled with dozens of candles flying in mid air. Their lights create a vision of a well lit city. A very familiar city, by that. But that's not really what catches my attention. By the wall hatch which offers a beautiful view of Hogwarts' grounds stands... Actually, the right term is levitates, a medium sized model of the Eiffel Tower, in all of its glory. I walk over to it, hesitant in my desire to touch it.
Faldo strolls to my side, smiling.
"Can I?" I ask him, out of breath.
I reach out and touch the firm model. It actually feels like real metal, too, cold and stable.
I turn to Faldo. "How did you-"
He puts his finger over my mouth, which only enkindles my imagination even more.
I smile and glance at the mini Tower again. "I assume this required some seriously wicked magic."
"Oh, so you think I couldn't have done it on my own." He smiles, teasing me.
"Well, if I ever doubted your skills, which I didn't because, between us, I was always a little jealous of your abilities-I certainly never will again."
Faldo's lips stretch into a self satisfied smirk.
Suddenly he puts his arms around my waist and I get a little lost in those icy blue eyes. "I know you want to go to Paris. The real one. But, for now... I hope this is enough."
"It's brilliant." I smile. "And I can't believe you remembered."
"Well, you did offer me to go with you, after all. I don't know if you still want-"
I interrupt him with a deep, breathless kiss.
When we part, Faldo blinks frantically. "Well, I guess I should take that as a yes?"
"Hell yes!" I assure him. "Thank you. You know, for being a not so bad boyfriend."
"You're welcome. You're a not so bad girlfriend, yourself."
"Well then, we match." I giggle.
I then take an inquisitive look at the floor beside the Tower. Curiously, there's a red blanked outspread on it. I raise an eyebrow at Faldo.
He blushes. "I thought... I mean... Maybe..."
I kiss him again, instead of saying anything.
"I could get used to this kind of responses, you know."
I hit him in the arm. Faldo smirks.
"You're such an idiot, Faldo." I stand on my toes to reach his ear and whisper. "Don't ever change."
And we lay on the blanket looking at each other and... ok, maybe doing some other things, too. What? It's been months since we started dating. And frankly, I mean, have you seen Faldo? The bloke's hot. And I'm only human. Plus, hormones, man. Fucking hormones.
After this night, I know one thing. I'm glad I picked Paris, 'cause now, I'll get to see it with, wait for it, my boyfriend.
I only have to convince mum... No, forget that. I need to convince dad. It won't be easy.
Well, for now, I think I'll just enjoy my boyfriend. That's right! Dora Demelza Dursley has a boyfriend. And is not a kiss virgin anymore. In fact, is not a virgin, at all!
Dad won't let me go with Faldo, will he?
* * *
I sit on the couch, sobbing like there's no tomorrow. Alice pats my back gently.
"It just came around so soon, you know."
"I know." She nods.
"Oh, Heavens, I'm so insensitive. Come here." I spread my arms out, inviting her into my embrace. I hug her tightly, in spite of her clear hesitation.
"I'm fine, Dora." She laughs.
"No, you're not. Don't lie to me, Alice Longbottom. It's the last party." I say those words like I suppose the generations before us would whisper Voldemort's name. With fear and rigor.
"Yeah, and people are staring at us, by the way." Alice tries to wiggle her way out of my arms.
"I don't caaaaare." I whine out, still not loosening my grip.
"Faldo's shaking his head at you."
"In a 'You're such an idiot, but I still love you.' kind of way or..." I turn around.
Faldo, though, is actually busy talking to Al.
I frown at Alice who's now at a safe distance from me, laughing.
"You're a mess." She says.
"I don't get why you aren't. I mean, you two..."
"Dora, it'll be fine. I'm fine. Al's fine. It's all fine."
"Maybe I'd believe you if you didn't use that word so much." I smile, finally brushing my tears away.
We stay quiet for a while just looking at all of our friends.
"James did great with the party." Alice says finally.
"Wait... James did this?" I raise an eyebrow.
"You didn't know?" Alice looks at me in surprise.
And then, she apparently remembers something. "Oh, right. I saw it in a vision. I tend to mix them with reality these days. He probably told Al to keep it a secret."
My heart aches in a pleasant pain. "Heavens, I love him."
Alice smiles at me, nodding her head.
I blink. "I love him. I love James."
"No, I love James. I love my cousin."
Alice starts to frown, clearly confused. "I don't-"
"Where is he?"
I get up. "I'll be back soon, ok?"
With that, I run up to Albus. He's wearing a black pair of jeans and a deep green shirt. Suits him well. It goes with his eyes. His sneakers are glaringly yellow, though. I stare at them. It's kind of hard to look away now.
"Scorp gave them to me. As a parting gift." Al explains in a dim voice.
I suppress a laugh.
" I see how it is, Blue." Faldo smirks at me. "You can't stand to be separated-"
"I actually wanted to ask Al where James is." I jump in.
"Oh." Faldo blushes slightly.
How so human of him. But it's nothing surprising these days. I love how open and vulnerable he has become. Especially with me.
"Just... forget what I said." He mutters.
I giggle and kiss him.
Al rolls his eyes at us. "I'm glad I'll leave just so I don't have to look at you two every day."
"Al! You're such a bad cousin."
"No. You are. You're very insensitive."
I shallow awkwardly and glance back at Alice. "Oh, I'm sorry-"
"I was joking, Dee." He smiles.
But I can sense a trace of tension in his voice. It usually means he's lying.
"James is drinking something Lucy mixed up for him and Ayesha. I think she wants to get them drunk and hook them up." He informs.
"I know she's your cousin." I take a look at the curly redhead standing at the bar, that she herself set up, with her boyfriend whose name is always so hard to remember. Or is it just me?
"But, Lucy is a little-"
"Insane. I know."
I chuckle and hug him tightly, pressing my lips to his ear. "Dance with her. Just once. I know you both want to. And, please, don't forget her."
"Couldn't even if I tried." He whispers back in a sweet voice.
I look at him and kiss his cheek affectionately before running to the bar.
Indeed, I find James drunkenly laughing his arse off at something Ayesha said. I presume it was her, since Lucy is busy dancing with her boyfriend nearby. Also, drunkenly. Why is there always alcohol involved in these parties (The Potters would not approve if they knew what was happening in their own house. Sometimes, they just have too much faith in their children.)? Can't we enjoy ourselves without it?!
Ok, since I cried for almost the entire night, maybe I'm not the best example. But still!
He doesn't answer.
"James fucking Potter!" I shriek.
Thankfully, he does hear me this time.
"Dora? Why is your head so big?"
"Because of my enormous brain, of course. What kind of question is that?"
James and Ayesha burst into laughter again. I wait for a while until they calm down a bit.
"James, I'm not sure if you'll remember this tomorrow. If you don't I'll do it again. Just so you know it's not a crazy moment thing."
James just stares at me.
"James, I-I love you. I do. And, seeing what you did for Al, getting over your pride, being a better man, I just... I can't stay mad at you. And I guess I wasn't even angry after all. I think I wanted to tell you that almost immediately after you apologized that day in summer. And... what I'm really trying to say is... I forgive you."
I turn around to leave, but then I feel his hand taking mine. James walks to me so that our eyes are piercing each other.
Then, he hugs me. So tight, yet gentle at the same time.
"Thank you, Dora." James smiles. "But, I hope you don't get mad 'cause... I was not the one who organized the party."
I stare at him.
"I still came. I hope... that means... something... Oh, Merlin, you're going to take it back, aren't you?" His eyes grow big from panic.
"No, James, of course not." He jumps with joy. "But then, who..."
I turn around just as the new Saimon Reese song starts to play. In the crowd overruled by redheads, dancing together, embracing lightly, are Albus and Alice. I see the content smile on Alice's face and a sad, broken look in Al's eyes.
"That little minx." I shake my head.
"What?" James seems confused.
"Alice. Why didn't she want us to know that she organized the party?"
James casts a curious look at their dancing forms in the middle of the Potters' living room.
"Well..." He stays quiet for a moment, observing them carefully. "I think I get it. She wanted to do something special. And remember, Al was too depressed because of them and he didn't want to throw a party? I think this was her way of telling him to move on and be happy."
I turn to James, impressed. "You can be very wise, James. You know that?"
He dons a smug look.
And then, leans over to puke on my shoes.
Oh, bollocs. Aunt Ginny won't like this in the slightest.
Well, I guess you can't break tradition, right?
* * *
I put my copy of Marilyn's papers down on the table. My eye is twitching.
"She's doing this on purpose."
"Dee, calm down." Charlie tries to reason with me.
Unfortunately for her, I had a very bad day and I just don't want to calm down.
I grip my wand with all my strength, aiming at the annoying reporter-wanna-be.
The Great Hall turns quiet for a moment. Then, everyone burst into laughter. Even professor Aeldra. I didn't know I would see the day. But professor Neville is not so amused by the fact that in the place where Marilyn's head is supposed to be there is, in fact, a quite large pumpkin. He comes around, crossing his arms.
"To the office?"
"To the office."
"Well, at least I can tell that you're progressing with Transfiguration." Professor Neville concludes.
"Wait, does this mean I won't get punished?" I smile in hope.
"Oh, no, you will. I was just taking a moment to compliment you."
I cross my arms and huff. "Thanks."
"What was it about this time?"
"She wrote an article about Faldo. It said that a source saw him with a pretty redheaded girl in Leaky Cauldron the other day. They apparently seemed very close."
Professor Neville nods his head. "I understand you, Dora. But you do know that Marilyn, bless her black soul, does all of this just to annoy you?"
I sigh. "I know. I just can't get it. Why me?"
"If it wasn't you, it would be someone else. And it will be, eventually, when you finish school. She'll have bigger fish to fry. No offense." The professor entwines his fingers casually.
"Non taken. 'Cause, Heavens, I hope you're actually right."
"I am." He smiles.
I smile back.
"So, everything is alright, then? Beside Marilyn, of course." He gazes at me with soft interest.
"Yup. I just can't wait to get out of here."
"So you can be with your boyfriend?" He looks at me subtly beneath his dark eyebrows.
I blush. "Well..."
"I know you're in love, Dora. But don't forget about your other passion. Promise me that."
"I won't." I grin.
He does the same. "Good. You can go now. I will be expecting you in my class tomorrow."
I'm not taking his class, or that's what I remember, at least.
"You still hope I'll forget your punishment? Every time, I swear." He smirks. "You'll pose as my assistant."
"Oh, right." I laugh. "You do know that I'm not so good with plants, right?"
He shakes his head, suppressing a laugh.
I finally leave his office.
Alice will be amused that her father mentioned Transfiguration as my passion again. He doesn't know I won't be a teacher at Hogwarts. Ever. Even though I already said that to him in fifth year. He still acts profane.
I think I'll train dragons with Lee. Yeah, she's still kinda obsessed with them.
I will figure out what I'll do eventually. I mean, I'd love for my job to have something to do with Transfiguration. But when I rule out teaching... what else is there left?
I really do need to think about this more.
* * *
"Dora, look, it's Drake's owl!" Lee points at one beautiful gray owl flying directly to me.
As soon as she lands, I take the letter (In a blue envelope again, of course.), my heart beating in madness.
It always is.
I was sitting on my porch the other day (Yes, finally, I can call it mine!). And it was perfect. The sun was gentle, no clouds. Just a clear, indigo sky. It was so still, I could hear the wind and my heart having an argument about something I will probably never know. But I know someone my heart misses on this big, lonely porch. Yes, I know I'm cheesy, as you've been pointing out all year. But, you should know, cheesy can be nice sometimes. For example, I love your cheesy smile whenever you read my letter. I know, I can't see it. But I just know it's there, lingering on your soft lips. You do have a quite soft pair of lips, you know that? And I miss those, too. I miss everything on you. About you.
Yesterday, my dad appeared at my door (Yes, my door! I never get tired of saying that. Thank Merlin for making me a published author!). Oh, how I wished you could be there. So I could hold your hand. Maybe then I wouldn't have been shaking in such a measure. Or mumbling. The man could hardly understand me. Why? He actually apologized, Blue. But what's more important... he said he loved me.
If there are any stains on the paper, I'm sorry. I cried a little, ok? I hope you don't think I'm a loser now. No, seriously, I'm happy. I always did think, if ever one of them was to come around, it would be dad. Mum is a whole different world. But, I'm not going to talk about things you already know. Ok, maybe except the fact that I love you. I love, love, love you and don't you ever forget that.
And if Roxy is nowhere to be found, as I expect, then turn Owen into a slug or something. Maybe that will keep them apart for an hour. I'm sure Charlie would gladly assist you. I'm kidding, of course. Those two can never break up. I think the world would end. As mine would if you ever dared to do something similar to us. But, you know, no pressure.
P.S. I got a cat.
To spite you.
Because you're a dog person.
And I love when you get angry. Your eyes get this sexy dark shade and... I don't even know. I just miss you. The porch and I (And Blue. Yes, I named the cat after you. Just in case I ever start calling you by your actual name... Ok, maybe I should change it. I love calling you Blue way too much. Sorry.) are patiently waiting for you.
I sit back into the stool, giggling.
Sometimes I wondered why I ever fell in love with Faldo. He can be very annoying, a natural know-it-all and too wise for my taste. But today is not one of those days. Today, I wonder how I wasn't in love with him from the moment we met.
Heavens, his cheesy is clearly contagious.
* * *
Faldo is squeezing my hand so hard that I don't think any blood is left in it. I look up at him. He's biting his lips. Which makes him look quite sexy. And... I totally shouldn't be thinking about that right now. I can't help it, though.
"Are you sure this tie doesn't make me look pretentious?" He pulls on it nervously.
"Faldo, you're pretentious by your own nature. It isn't something you can help, anyway."
He gives me a dirty look. I smile innocently.
It's hilarious just how fussy he is.
I ring on the bell. I imagine it sounds too loud and too long in Faldo's head. He gives me another look, a more panicked one, like he's asking me to support him through this whole thing. I squeeze his hand in return to let him know I will.
The door opens loudly. And a scream is heard. I feel myself being pulled into a tight hug.
"Mum, let me breath!"
She lets go for a moment, just to take a good look at Faldo.
"Sweetheart, where have you been hiding this hunk?" She winks.
I roll my eyes. "Mum, don't be embarrassing."
"I'm just saying..." She kisses Faldo on the cheek. "He's cute."
"Mum, he's standing right in front of you." I remind her.
"Oh, hush." She smiles. "Well, come in, you two."
"Sorry." I whisper to Faldo. "I did warn you, didn't I?"
"So far, so... not so bad." He mumbles back which makes me chuckle.
We step inside and are immediately met with a pleasant smell of food.
It's strange being back home now that Faldo and I are living together. It almost feels like I'm cheating on our house. Yeah, I'm weird like that. Move along.
"Dudley, they're here!" Mum calls out.
At the same time, Faldo squeezes my hand tightly yet again.
They met last year around this same time. Faldo and I were together for a little more than half a year and it was almost in passing. Like-hey, by the way, this guy's my boyfriend now, ok, buy.
Faldo says he was frightened by my dad even then. Dad says he can't really judge Faldo on that brief encounter. I think dad hoped it was only a school fling. And since Faldo was officially out of Hogwarts anyway, I would move on and forget him. That didn't quite happen. More like, Faldo asked me to move in with him even before he had a place of his own. And I accepted. The moment I got back, I told mum and dad to not bother waiting for me at the station. I said I'd visit them after. So, Faldo and I celebrated my moving in with style... something I'm sure dad wasn't too happy about. And maybe when I called them the next day to announce our visit, he sounded a bit...strained. But that doesn't mean Faldo has a reason to be scared, right?
Finally, dad walks out of the living room to great us. The first thing I notice is that he's thin. It's like someone ate half of his body and left all the good stuff behind. It's fascinating! He has never looked better. The second thing I notice, though, is his grim look. And I may start to worry for Faldo just a little bit now.
"Hi, dad." I hug him. "I missed you."
"I missed you too, honey."
"You look great!" I smile.
"All my doing, you know!" Mum yells from the kitchen. "Oh, but don't think anything perverted! I'm only feeding him healthy."
Faldo blushes furiously and I yelp. "Mum!"
"Oh, fine, it had a little to do with that, too."
"What?!" She yells back.
Dad coughs and focuses on Faldo then. "So, is this-"
"Drake Faldo, sir. Nice to meet you." Faldo offers his hand.
Dad looks at it for a moment, suspicious.
Finally, he takes it with force. Maybe a tad too much force. I eye him. Dad lets go.
"Dudley Dursley. But we already met, if I remember correctly."
Faldo nods slowly.
"We should eat!" I exclaim and pull them both to the kitchen.
Mum is a loony but at least they are less awkward silences with her.
I help her serve lunch, fried chicken and my favourite desert, pumpkin pie. I blackmailed the house elves at Hogwarts into giving me their secret recipe for the pie. I know, not one of my brightest moments. I was sad that I'd never eat a pie as glorious as theirs again, ok!? I needed to make drastic moves.
"So, Drake, is it?" Mum smiles at him.
"That's correct." He answers.
Heavens, he's so proper. Why am I in love with him again?
"That's an interesting name."
"My... my mum picked it." Faldo hesitates.
I take his hand under the table gently.
"Ah, your mum?"
"Yeah, she, um, she liked it, I guess. That's the only nice thing she did for me, I think. She picked a great name."
"Oh, did something bad happen there?" Mum insists, even though it's obvious from Faldo's tone it's not a subject dear to his heart.
And that's the underestimation of the century.
But mum can be just that blind sometimes. I glare at her.
"Vicky, drop it." Dad warns her, also.
"It's fine... " Faldo defends her, though. "She, um, she left my dad a while ago. I mean, it was doomed from the beginning and I don't blame her for that. What I do resent is the fact that she didn't even bother to say goodbye to me."
"Oh, I'm so sorry." Mum whispers in regret.
"Parents are bloody idiots." Dad suddenly says.
I look at him in surprise.
"Not all of them, of course. But mine were, too. Having bad parents can mark you for life. But... You can also refuse to let it get to you. I suggest you do the later." He gazes at Faldo, that stern look from before completely gone.
Faldo glances at me puzzled. I smile at him and then at dad, too. He just winks in response.
And that's when I know... Faldo is already a part of the family.
No matter that dad later accidentally stabs him with his fork. And I need to take him to St Mungo's since Faldo kinda loses blood freakishly fast.
I mean, it is incidental, I'm sure.
Dad won't me let go to Paris with Faldo, will he?
* * *
"I hate him!"
"No, you don't. And you know it." Charlie's gently rubbing my back as I cry hysterically.
I stop just to cast a glance at our perfectly lovely fucking picture on my night stand.
"I know." I sob out. "And that's the worst part."
I roll around and press my back into the bad. Lee lays beside me. She picks up the framed photo in which Faldo and I are trying and failing to act serious for a moment. It all ends in laughter.
"Why did he do this?" I whisper.
"You know that, also. Even though I too think he's out of his mind."
I nod. "I mean, we survived my seventh year. Why can't we do that again?"
Lee glances at me, biting her lip. I can tell that she's not entirely sure whether to tell me the following. "Maybe because this is forever? I mean, it's your job and gah... I don't know. It would be hard, indeed. Just imagine him waiting for you to come home for Christmas and summer holidays every year."
"I can visit over the year, too. Times have changed at Hogwarts. They're not so strict anymore."
"Still... You can't be with him every night. And I guess, right now, he can't handle that. Besides, I don't know, maybe this isn't about him, after all. Maybe he thinks you wouldn't really commit to your job if you always wanted to sneak out to see him. And he fears that you'll come to hate Hogwarts because of that? 'Cause it'll always stand between you. And he doesn't want you to feel miserable... he just wants you to be happy. Or, you know, what he believes will make you happy."
I gaze at her, amazed. "Since when have you become so rational?"
"Since stupid Dan decided to give me a lecture about heartache, I think."
"I'm sorry." I hug her. "I'm so selfish."
"No, you're not. I know I won't make things better with what I'm about to say but..." Lee brushes my locks away affectionately. "Dan and I are not you. You guys... You're Drake and Dora. I always thought the world would end if you ever broke up."
I smile. "Funny thing. Last year, Faldo thought the same."
Lee sighs and embraces me.
And I curse my bad luck. And I curse Hogwarts. I never wanted to work there anyway. But, what can I do? I need the money. I mean, Faldo is a published (and a very successful) author, but that's barely enough. Besides, it makes me feel like an opportunist, just sitting around, doing nothing, the girlfriend of a genius. And I, for once, don't seem to have any other abilities other than being a Transfiguration freak. And, yeah, in conclusion-life's a bitch.
And Faldo's an idiot for letting me go.
Charlie and I both fall asleep on my bed, wet from tears.
* * *
The city is just how I imagined it too be. Full of lights and life. I sit on my usual spot in the small cafe near my room. The waiter has put a single red rose in the vase, like always.
"Merci." I try to say it without an accent.
The man smiles knowingly and lets me enjoy the view.
The Eiffel Tower.
Wow. I always dreamed of being right here. But I never thought it would happen.
Ok, I lie. But, the thing is... I was supposed to go with... Well, you know.
After everything, I kinda lost interest for a while.
Thankfully, I came to my senses this year. Otherwise, I would be spending my vacation planning Roxy's wedding with Lee. Even though it's in a whole year. Some people never change. Charlie and weddings are always gonna be a thing. A very annoying thing, if you ask the bride to be. Who is peculiarly calm about the whole charade, may I add. I always thought Roxy would be the type to freak out if marriage was even in sight. I guess Owen truly is the one. Yeah, like we all didn't know that the minute they started dating.
But I can't help it. This whole city... it reminds me of Faldo. Along with other million silly things.
I tried. I really did. To forget him, I mean. I dated four guys in the three years that passed since our break up. Not one of them succeeded to hold my attention.
And it was hard being the lonely, sad one. Especially when I was visiting Al in Madrid. He already met his future wife. Alice confirmed it was her (Ok, I kind of forced her to tell me. I know, I'm an insensitive idiot.). And even if she didn't, I could tell myself. It was written all over his face. Al adores Roberta. He calls her Rob 'cause he loves to tell strangers the name of his significant other and watch their reactions (Since they would always assume Al was gay after that. Which still amuses him highly. What a freak... I adore him.).
Alice hasn't been hung up on him for a long time now. I envied her ability to move on. And I finally understand what she was trying to say back then. They truly were meant to be friends. Otherwise, they would seek each other out.
Maybe that's what's happening with me and Faldo. Maybe we're supposed to be friends, in spite of everything.
We just don't want to accept it.
Maybe we should stop being mad at each other.
Ok, it's more me not wanting to talk to him. Or be in the same room as him. Which is hard now that I don't work at Hogwarts anymore. I have more free time and the same friends as Faldo. It's really oppressive, staying away.
Especially now that he's single.
Ok, he's been single for a year.
I don't keep track! ...Lee told me.
In that moment, my phone starts ringing.
Al got me one. Well, he didn't actually get it for me. It was his. But since he couldn't figure it out, like all things muggle, he gave it to me. How surprising.
"Have you climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower yet?"
My heart races up wildly. "Faldo?"
"You know you want to."
My hands are becoming sweaty and I fear I might drop the phone. "Faldo, why are you calling me again? I told you-"
"Paris is your dream, Blue. But the Tower is special and you know it. Come on, climb it."
Fuck this. "I'm hanging up now."
"Thanks to the Ministry you finally have the chance. So I guess they're not so bad, after all. Well, Harry, Ron and Hermione work there, too. It can't be anything but stellar, anyway. How's it going over there, by the way?"
"Faldo?" I swallow hard, not so sure how to shut him up.
Not so sure if I want to, either.
"I hear you're giving those Auror wanna be's a hell."
"Not more than my students at Hogwarts, really."
"You sound so fond of those children. What happened? Why did you quit?"
Oh, ok. I see what he's aiming at. But is he sure he wants to go down that path again?
"I am not fond of them. After two years, I realized that what I thought so long ago was indeed true. I can't work with children."
"But aren't the Aurors children, too?"
"No. They are talented individuals on the brink of adulthood. There's a huge difference."
There's a small silence in which my heart starts to race again loudly. Can he hear it?
"Are you sure you didn't quit because of some other reason?" Faldo asks quietly.
My throat goes dry.
What does he want me to say? The truth? I'm not sure he can handle such a thing.
It's not that I left Hogwarts entirely for him. But I can't say it wasn't at least part of the reason. Maybe not consciously. Still, it was there. And maybe I hoped that, after two years, he would've realized that what he did was beyond stupid. And maybe I was mad when he didn't.
No. He can't handle it.
"Maybe I wanted to at the beginning. But, no, not really." I lie.
I really don't see what other choice I have. I mean, surely if it hasn't crossed his mind that he made a mistake in these past three years, it won't happen now, either.
Another short silence.
His voice sounds more shaky this time around. "So you're happy? Doing your job, I mean?"
"Yes! Now, if you'll let me, please, I'm going to enjoy my tea."
"I haven't showed you my surprise yet, though."
I sigh, frustrated. "What is it, Faldo? I hate surprises."
"I know. But make an exception for an old friend, will you?"
"Climb the Eiffel Tower, Blue."
Then, the call cuts off. I stare at my phone for a moment. Then I cast a glance at the Tower.
Is it possible... No, he couldn't. But he would, wouldn't he? I bite my lip.
"Gardez la monnaie." I tell the waiter on my way out, after giving him the money.
"You know, we understand English, too." He giggles.
"Oh, Heavens, and you let me talk nonsense for days now?"
"You were too charming. I'm sorry." He smiles.
"You own me a free cup of tea."
"Ok. You also rhyme well."
"Sorry. Two cups of tea?" He offers.
I run out on the street blindly, almost getting hit by a car. Heavens, what am I doing? I've gone completely crazy.
Fuck you, Faldo.
Fuck you and your blue eyes. And you smile. And your lips. And the way you make me laugh, like no one else. The way you know when I'm really angry and when I'm just pretending so you would kiss me. The way you hold my hand like nothing can hurt us. Fuck you for lying and letting me hurt. And fuck you for trying to make it right. Fuck you because I already know I'll forgive you.
And the worst part is, I'm not even having second thoughts.
I get to the final level, only to find Faldo standing by a blanket outspread on the floor.
I want to be furious. I really do. The thing is, though, he has never looked hotter. And it's really hard concentrating on trying to be mad.
"If you think I'm going to have sex with you on that thing, you're very, very wrong."
"Ok, you look hot, but that doesn't mean I feel nostalgic all of a sudden."
"Too bad. I was single for quite some time. The sex would come in handy." He says, sarcasm dropping from his voice. But I'm pretty sure it's the fake sarcasm this time.
"I know, a year. That's not so long, so stop complaining."
"Why do you know?"
I swallow nervously. What kind of question is that?
"Lee told me."
"I didn't ask how. But why?"
"You're a friend. I care... In a sense."
"Blue, stop. Just... stop. This is ridiculous." He shakes his head. "Why do we always do this?"
"Play games? Why can't anything with us be simple?"
"You let me go, Faldo. Stop trying to turn back time."
"I was an idiot, I know. But it isn't a coincidence I'm alone for exactly a year."
I stare at him. "You mean-"
"I mean, the moment you came back, I couldn't even pretend that I was fine being with someone else anymore." He confirms.
"But why did you just stand by for a year, then?!"
Oh. Well that slipped away against my will.
"You think I didn't try? Fuck, Blue, you must've been blind or something..."
"I was not!" I cross my arms over my chest grimly.
"Or maybe you were just too focused on fucking me off to notice. Yeah, that's about right." He nods his head.
I fucking hate him! How could I forget that after his call? I shouldn't have come here.
Faldo's looking at me with those stupid blue eyes. With that stupid sad, gorgeous smile. With that stupid, angelic face. Oh, Heavens, why does he have to be so, so...
"Did you read 'I'll Wait For You'?" He asks in a low, almost hesitant voice.
I mean, the man wrote an entire fucking book about me. I wasn't going to just stand by and pretend like I wasn't dying to know what was in there.
FYI, it was amazing.
Also, I cried.
Still, I was too angry and proud to admit it. Then, that he was still the same guy I fell in love with. Now, that I really never thought anything less.
"Ok, I did."
"Then you know."
"What? Tell me." I dared him.
"I'm sorry." He says it with all the sincerity in the world.
And I know it. I know he's honest. And, yeah, I really don't hate him. It's like impossible for me to do that or something.
I keep quiet for a moment. This is what I wanted to hear, all along. Still, what do I do? I know what I want to.
"You once told me that I'm an idiot. And to never change. So... Here I am... being an idiot." He shrugs.
"It's not that simple, Faldo. It can't be. You couldn't compromise. How do I know you'll fight for us in the future?"
He walks closer to me. I can sense his breath on my face, tickling me. I'm starting to shake.
Personal space, Faldo. Whatever happened to that?
Right. I don't really mind when it's him. Bollocs.
"I won't make the mistake of letting you go ever again 'cause... It hurt so much the first time, I'm sure I wouldn't handle it for yet another one."
I bite my lip. He's just staring at me at this point. Why is he doing that? He's making it hard for me to continue giving him hell for everything. At least for a little longer.
"Blue... you know why I call you like that?"
I perk up, intrigued. In all these years, he never told me. No matter how annoying I got about it. And I was really, really annoying.
What? It really bugged me, ok?!
He smiles. "After we met and the feast was over, you vanished somewhere. I wanted to ask Al about you. I hope you don't hold this crucial knowledge against me in the future, but... I kinda liked you."
I try not to smirk.
"But, then I realized... I forgot your name."
"I know." He giggles. "And trust me, I was embarrassed. I asked Al where you went. Actually, it was something along the lines of… 'So where did Blue go?' He said 'Who?' 'Your cousin?' He asked me why I called you Blue. And..."
He smiles softly. "I answered... 'She has the most blue eyes I've ever seen.'"
Faldo stops for a moment as I chuckle. "I know. I wasn’t very articulate back then. Thank Merlin that trend stopped. Or else, I wouldn’t be a very good writer. But I think you know what it really meant. And… it's true."
He stares into my eyes affectionately. "You do."
I try not to laugh. "That's so..."
I nod. "You know I broke up with Louis because of that? Because he was too cheesy? Why didn't I do that with you?"
I lie, of course. I broke up with Louis 'cause he wasn't Faldo.
"Because me, you loved."
I sigh."Sadly, it's true."
"And sadly, it still is?"
"Fuck you, Faldo."
And I stand on my toes and kiss him.
It feels different than before. Like I can taste all those years that have passed. All the heartache and pain. But also, all the experiences, the fictive distance that never truly existed, the bond that now, somehow, presses my whole body even harder. And it's almost unbearable. Yet perfectly...
Yup, Faldo sums it up brilliantly.
"I'm still not having sex with you on that blanket."
And then we laugh.
(And kiss some more.)
* * *
The night is cold and starry and the grounds are covered in thin snow. I don't mind. Besides, I love winter. I love the beautiful grizzled color scheme it has.
And its smell.
"A galleon for your thought."
I turn around to see Faldo smiling at me. He has never looked more handsome. The black suit is perfect for his slender figure. And Alice was right, it goes well with my dress.
I turn around again and he hugs me from behind, his hands going around my waist and resting on my stomach.
"More like a muddle of thoughts."
He snuggles into my hair.
"Just... I'm a little scared."
"Why?" I can hear the wonderment in his deep voice.
"I don't sleep so well these days. I don't know if you've noticed. Sometimes I still dream all the nasty things children would say to me when I was younger. And their hateful looks. Just because I'm a Dursley. And then... I wake up and you're there, sleeping next to me. And for a moment I'd fear that what happened in that nightmare was reality and you... you're just a dream. And I don't want to wake up. But then when I realize you are real, I get scared. I'm scared that... everything will fall apart at some point. And I'll just be alone and hated again."
Faldo lowers his hand only to take mine and turn me around to face him.
"You're so stupid, Blue."
I smile at the memory those words awake. Faldo does the same. He remembers. That's why he said it in the first place. And for that, out of many reasons, I love him.
"You know what I do? I sometimes just pretend that I've fallen asleep before you so you don't think I'm a creep all the time. But, truth be told, I'd just watch you breath. I don't ever want to sleep. 'Cause reality is so much better than my dreams could ever be."
I laugh. "First of all, you are a creep. And thanks to your own self, now I'll think that all the time. And second, isn't that like a quote from Dr Seuss or something?"
"He's a brilliant writer!" Faldo defends himself.
I chuckle and kiss him.
"Thanks." I whisper.
"No, Dora. Thank you." He says seriously.
"That's like the only time you called me Dora." I tease him.
"Yeah... It didn't roll so well on my tongue." He frowns.
"Lose it." I agree, laughing.
"There you are!" Charlie bursts in on our moment on the balcony.
She pulls my hand. "Come on! It's toast time!"
"Oh, Heavens, do I want to hear this?"
"You bet!" She assures us.
Faldo shakes his head in amusement.
The room is full of people I more or less recognize. There are some guys I don't know at all, though, mostly Lee's colleagues from work. They came here from all different sides of the world.
Charlie's the only female dragon trainer around. And a quite fabulous one, too. I never thought that her dream job would become her real one. And that she would excel at it. She would hate me if she knew how little fate I had in her with that. But I mean, come on. Training dragons! It's terrifying! But I admit my mistake. And now I'm beyond happy for her.
As I am that she's marrying one of her colleagues, Oak Wilson. Yeah, his name really is Oak. Apparently, his parents are good friends with the Scamanders. Go figure. But, he's great. No, perfect for Lee. Honestly, I couldn't have picked a better guy for her myself.
Somewhere in the corner, Al and Rob are snogging. And he was making eyes on us. That boy.
I love him.
Even though he's so in demand right now, what with being so close to finishing his potion for Seers, he hasn't changed. And that's the best thing about him.
He didn't forget Alice, ever. He told me that she'll always have a special place in his heart.
Ok, that sounded like she died or something. Er, awkward. No, Alice is actually here, too. And is flirting, quite obviously, too, with... Is that... Tate from Hogwarts?! Wow, he looks great!
Well, then... That's interesting, I guess. They would make a cute couple.
Wait, wait... Is he her future husband?! Oh, I have to ask her-
"Ok, everyone! I'd like to say a few things." Charlie steps forward and ruins my investigation mode.
"First, thank you, everyone for coming. Especially Roxy." She shows to our friend, who's standing by her right side with Owen. "I know that your ankles hurt 'cause of the pregnancy. And I know that you're only in the mood to eat. So, thank you, for making an effort to get here."
Roxy does not look pleased. Oh, well, nothing new with these two and their relationship.
Owen is hiding a smile, though.
"Also, my made of honor, Dora Dursley." She turns to me and I raise my glass. "Thanks for putting up with me all these years. You're the best. And I hope you'll survive my bridezilla mode, too. If anyone can, it's you."
I laugh. A decade ago, I was very sure I would never be anywhere near Lee in her bridezilla mode. Now? I'm just too happy to be scared. But you should ask me again after the wedding. I'll probably change my mind.
"And finally, Oak." Charlie turns to her husband to be. "I love you. You are seriously a dream come true. I mean, the way you touch me-ouch!"
Lee turns around to see that Roxy is glaring at her after hitting her in the head.
She rolls her dark eyes and looks at Oak again. "What I mean is... You're an amazing lover! There, I said it! What? Well, he is!"
The room is filled with laughter. I didn't expect anything less from Lee, honestly.
Somewhere in the other end of the room, standing alone, is Marilyn Gold with her camera.
Yeah, it's weird, about her. She couldn't make it as a reporter. So she's a photographer for Witch Weekly now. And, as soon as she switched careers, she also switched personalities. She's actually kind of... Nice, I guess. Maybe it's because she never really was happy writing all those bad things. She just needed time to realize it.
Of course, we're not friends. We'll never be. She's just following Al around. Which can be disturbing at times. But, eh, nothing's ever perfect in life.
A loud sound interrupts the party, as James and Ayesha appear in front of us from thin air.
"We're sorry that we're late! I hope you didn't drink everything away."
"You can always ask me for alcohol, you know." I can hear Lucy Weasley from somewhere.
Roxy glares at them. "You're late. Again. You've been banging, haven't you?!"
"Roxy!" Lee hushes her. "Don't talk like that. It's not nice."
"Well, what do you want me to say? It's pretty obvious." She crosses her arms.
"Man, Roxy, you're like the worst pregnant woman ever." James scoffs.
"Speak for yourself!"
"What?! That doesn't even make sense!"
"They were making love, Roxy. See how nice that sounds? You should try it."
"Roxanne Weasley Wood!"
"Oh Merlin, if sex can result in Ayesha being like that, I don't think I like it that much anymore."
"I'm just kidding, Ash. You know I'll always love our sex so, so much."
Faldo takes my hand then and looks me in the eyes sweetly, smiling. I nod, squeezing his palm.
And so we apparate, leaving the mess behind (I know, I'm the worst made of honor, ever.).
Well, that's a story I'd like to keep to myself, if you don't mind.
A/N: The end! :D
Oh, gosh, it's crazy, I actually finished this story. I'm sad and happy and the same time. Thank you all for being such great readers! I hope you like the end, even if it was cheesy (Dora does not approve, lol.). I regret nothing, though, haha.
I think I'll start a new story which will have a similar basis as this one, meaning it will be about the next generation, but post Hogwarts. Yeah, way into the future, lol. If anyone's interested, stay tuned. For you other guys, thanks for being a part of this! You are all brilliant!
I'll shut up now. :D
P.S. I'll probably be going back to some older chapters to correct the mistakes. So if the story gets updated, you should know it's only because of that. ;)