Chapter 17 : Exploding Snaps and Glitter x 9999
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You know how those really big natural disasters, like tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, leaves an epic amount of damage, and the civilians are left to marvel at the path of destruction and clean up after its mess? That’s basically how the next week went down.
Dom and Tyler’s split — even though they were not officially a couple — affected the entire bloody Gryffindor house. I know. It was unbelievable. Each time the two somehow stepped within a twenty foot vicinity of one another, volcanoes erupted, and the poor, innocent bystanders of Gryffindor Tower — and practically the rest of the castle that just happened to be unlucky enough to witness It — would be sucked into a very, very large bubble called discomfort. Tyler and Dom should have worn signs that said ‘WARNING: Come near me, and you will be forced to feel uncomfortable for the next ten minutes!’
I might be exaggerating just a tad bit.
But that was certainly the way I saw it.
The next day, instead of doing it herself, Dom forced Rhiannon — Rhi was practically crying on her knees once Dom was through with her — to tell Freddie the truth.
And Freddie… Merlin, Freddie. This boy — it was almost heartbreaking to see the effect Rhiannon had on him. I mean, he was head over heels crazy about her. There was no doubt about it. He, surprisingly enough, looked and treated her as if she was the most valuable thing on Earth.
When she told him, it happened to be in the middle of the common room. Luckily, everyone was in the Great Hall having dinner, while Potter, Des, Lily, Al, Roxy and I were stuck to watch Rhiannon who practically took Freddie’s heart, threw it on the ground, and unforgivingly left marks of her designer shoes all over the surface.
For days, Dominique refused to look at me. She would sleep in the dorm with Layla, while I took refuge in Desmond’s bed.
Layla, who was completely caught in the middle of it without prior notice, refused to allow herself to get sucked in any further. She spent a great deal of time away from Dominique. She indulged in nonexistent schoolwork, knowing that it would temporarily be enough to excuse herself from choosing between Dominique, or me.
“You think she’s okay?” Layla asked, four days after the incident. We were in back corner of the library, lounging against the hardwood table. She was flipping through a charms book, in search for a spell to adjust the length of her hair, while I had an untouched copy of A Brave New World opened in front of me. “She’s been in the dorm all day. She skived classes.”
I scoffed bitterly, completely fed up with Dominique’s attitude. “It’s been almost a week, how much longer does she needs?”
Layla sighed heavily. “She’s been betrayed, Vic. You know how Dom copes. She breaks a pair of heels and she mourns for a good two weeks before she goes out and buys another pair.” She bit her lip thoughtfully. “Fred is furious. Not at her, but he’s not making the situation any better by staying away from her. The only person he really talks to these now are Albus and Roxanne.”
“I suppose she’ll come around soon.” I whispered, silently hoping that it was true.
“Tyler tried apologizing.” Layla said, biting her lip as she turned her gaze in my direction. Her brilliant eyes sparked with worry. “Dom was furious. She wouldn’t let him say anything more after he uttered a simple ‘I’m sorry.’ She sent him straight off, and James found her in the closed off girls lavatory in the dungeons.”
“Have you spoken to Tyler?” I questioned.
She shakes her head. “Not since two days ago. It’s almost impossible to be around either of them. I still can’t believe he shagged Rhiannon.”
“Neither can I.” I agreed, letting out a short breath.
A muggle watch beeped on Layla’s wrist, and she cursed under her breath. “Sorry, babe, but I need to go.” She apologized with a grimace. “That bitch of a Head Girl is forcing a couple of us to go to Hogsmeade and shop for the decorations for the Masquerade Ball. If you ask me,” she continued, standing up and picking up her bag from the chair beside her. “She just wants a group of people to call her minions for the day.”
I snorted, flipping an unread page. “She’ll be enjoying today, won’t she?”
“I assure you that by the time I return to the dormitory later tonight, my shoes will be filled with my own blood.” She turned to leave, but after taking a second thought, she turned around again to face me. “By the way, you do know that we won’t be needing dates for the ball this weekend, right?” she asked.
“Well, of course.” I answered. “What kind of masquerade ball would it be if we showed up with dates? The air of mysteriousness would be totally shattered!”
“Just wondering. Stay in this Saturday! I want to get ready together.”
“Yes, you’ve told me many times.”
Layla rolled her eyes with a hint of a grin on her face. “Don’t have too much fun without me, princess.”
“Don’t hate too much, Layla.” I called after her with a playful smile on my face while she swerved and headed for the exit.
“See you later!”
Classes were finally over. It was a long, long day. The tension between my best friend and my (favorite) cousin could not be any more obvious. They practically had it printed on their foreheads.
I was still pretty pissed at Tyler, but what could I do after he made an incredibly good point last night. It would be hypocritical of me to stay angry.
“You’re going to have to apologize to her.” I reminded him as we stepped through the threshold of the portrait hole. “I don’t care how, or when, but mate, you’re going to apologize to her until she forgives you.”
Tyler fell silent behind me.
Upon seeing a pack of my family settled on the couch in front of the fireplace, I decided to join them. I wasn’t in the mood to join Tyler in an uncomfortable silence in our dormitory.
“Hey Jamesie.” Lily greeted once I plopped down beside her. “Have you seen Fred at all today?”
I shook my head and forced it down to rest on her shoulder.
It was a lie. In fact, I had seen Fred. I, however, did not want to disclose to our entire family that he had been shagging a Slytherin in the dungeons since lunchtime.
“McGonagall set me aside today.” Roxy piped up. “She pulled me out of Charms and started questioning me about Freddie’s behavior.”
“What did you say?” Al asked.
Roxy shrugged. “I told her that I didn’t know what was going on with him. I think McGonagall came close to indirectly warning me that she’d call mum and dad if Freddie didn’t straighten himself out soon. He skived half of his classes today.”
Al sighed heavily. “I never did like Rhiannon.” He muttered darkly.
“It’s not only Rhiannon’s fault.” Hugo added. “Tyler knew exactly what he was doing.”
“How’s Dominique?” Roxy questioned. “I haven’t seen her all day either. It’s like the two of them fell off the face of the earth.”
“Dom’s a mess.” My darling sister answered. “I went to see how she was this morning, and… I’ve never seen her in this state.”
Her words hit me hard in the chest. It was as if her words weighed a ton, and she threw it straight into that gaping hole in my body, knocking the wind right out of me.
“You’re no different from me.”
Tyler’s words haunted me like a ghoul waiting to be saved. They pierced through my brain and rattled my skull like there was no fucking tomorrow. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was simply there, beating at my insides.
“You okay, brother?” Al broke through my thoughts with a punch against my shoulder. He was staring at me with his piercing green eyes — the same green eyes that we had both inherited from our father. But there was something different — something that I could not put my finger on. “You look a bit troubled there.”
I continued staring at my brother, wondering what he could possibly have that I don’t.
“James, you okay?” Lily asked, placing a hand on my shoulder.
And that’s when I clicked.
My brother — the nicer Potter, had something that I didn’t: a mother-fucking soul.
I noticed a pattern in the Wotter family. When said Wotter gets dumped, cheated on, or has their heart broken in any way possible, they, having some natural, indescribable charm that I am completely jealous of, indulge themselves in as much sexual activity with the opposite sex as possible.
It’s crazy, I know.
But it was their coping methods.
If Dom were to break a pair of her heels, after she’s gone through her little grieving process, she’ll buy about ten more before she’s completely satisfied.
When Freddie’s pranks go wrong, he sulks all around the bloody castle until he finally decides to think of an even cleverer plan. Not the best example, but you get the basic gist of it.
The next week, or so, Dominique and Freddie got around. When I say they got around, I mean, they really got around. There were times when Dominique stumbled into the dormitory, as loud as she bloody could, at four in the morning. She’d always reek of dungeons and sex.
Which meant one thing.
Freddie — well — the boy didn’t even try to hide it. Everywhere he went there was a new chick hanging off his arm. His lips would be permanently attached to any part of her exposed skin, which usually turned out to be her neck.
Layla actually found Dominique’s ordeal rather interesting. For years, Dominique has been talking about her insatiable desires to hook up with a Slytherin — just for kicks of course — and finally, her wish had come true.
Lycan Smith, the ‘sex god’ of the Slytherin house. Or at least that’s what’s been spreading around the past year. Dominique wanted her taste, and she had it.
I, however, did not get to hear the details. Not that I would want to. I had absolutely no interest in fucking a man-whore.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the aftermaths of the monstrous disaster that was Dominique and Tyler’s’ break up, there stood Potter and I. Or should I say, the growing relationship between Austin and I, the growing friendship between Greyson and I, and the crumbling relationship (if you could even call it that) between Potter and I, which, by the way, he seems to not even give a damn about.
Austin was … he was sweet. It’s impossible to deny his sweetness.
Greyson was hilarious. I could genuinely say that I enjoyed his company, especially at times like these. For a while, I can almost forget the distance keeping me from my broken-hearted best friend.
And then there was Potter, the man-whore, slut-faced, prat, who had recently shagged Joy Lovegood. Rumors were, Amelie — bloody fucking Amelie — came next in line. I would be lying if I said that finding out that Potter had slept with another girl didn’t hurt. Because it did. It hurt like hell. But I had too much pride to admit it, much less, to show Potter just how much it had hurt.
He on the other hand, did not seem the least bit moved by the sudden change in our lives. He walked the corridors as if he did not have a care in the fucking world. He played around with Desmond and Tyler as if it was a sunny, Sunday afternoon. He walked by me like I was completely invisible — like I was a fucking painting on the wall. Watching Potter stroll by so nonchalantly irritated me to no end.
I didn’t even know how it had come down to this.
But it had.
I honestly… Missed Pott —
Well speak of the mother-fucking devil.
“Potter.” I turned to face him, my voice equally as hard and cold.
The corridor was empty. I had just noticed.
Potter was wearing a cashmere sweater on top of his white school shirt. A very weird choice of clothing for Potter… Nonetheless, he looked undeniably handsome.
Snap out of it Vicky.
“Why are you lurking around the castle looking like you’re about to push yourself off the Astronomy Tower?” he asked bluntly, sticking both his hands into his trousers.
I narrowed my eyes at him with confusion. “Why are you… why are you interrupting my lurking?”
He scoffed at my stupidity. I would have too, if only I wasn’t facing Potter at the moment. My pride was larger than that, thank you very much. “Have you seen Desmond?”
“What am I, his keeper?” I snapped irritably, trying my best to seem annoyed.
I was, though.
I might have been enjoying it too.
“Oh, sorry, I forgot it’s the other way around.” He bit back sourly as he rolled his eyes, clearly exasperated.
I take it back.
I take it all back.
My eyes narrowed into a glare, and I huffed angrily. “Well… if you’ll excuse me, Potter.” I scowled, before turning around and continuing my ‘lurking’ around the castle.
Ugh, I hated Potter. I can’t believe that for a moment there, I actually thought I missed him. What the bloody hell was I thinking? I must have been drugged. Yeah, definitely. I was definitely drugged.
“Oi, Victoria!” Potter called loudly. “I’m not done with you yet!”
“Well I’m done with you, Potter!” I shouted back without turning around. “I’m so fucking done with you,” I muttered under my breath and quickened my pace.
However, before I could get any further, Potter reached out his hand and grabbed my arm, keeping me in place. “So quick to run off to Willow now, aren’t you?” his gorgeous, kiss-able lips curled into a disgusted sneer. “I’m sure your boyfriend can wait a little longer, don’t you think so?”
“Last time I checked, the entire castle thinks you’re my boyfriend.” I shot back, my eyes narrowing. “Don’t go assuming things without knowing anything.”
Surprisingly, he smirked. “Are you insinuating that I don’t know anything about you, Vicky?” he teased. “Because I seriously, beg to differ.”
Scoffing, I rolled my eyes. “Please, Potter. You know absolutely nothing about me.”
“There you go again.” He withdrew his hand and sneered. “Thinking you’re so high and mighty, like you’re too fucking good for everyone.” He spat each and every single word at my feet with viciousness, causing me to take a step back. “When are you going to stop the act?”
“Fuck you, you insufferable prat!” I cried. “You know absolutely nothing about me Potter. Not one single thing. Don’t even think for a second that just because we’ve been around each other for six years, that it suddenly means you’re a master in all things Victoria.”
“Oh but I do, Vic.” He jeered with a good amount of anger. “You’re seriously underestimating my knowledge.”
“Just st —”
Before I could utter another word, the scowl on Potters’ face hardened significantly, and he took a step back with blazing eyes. “It’s completely impossible to have a normal conversation with you.” He remarked in a low, exasperated voice. “I sought you out to offer my sympathy concerning Dominique. You looked like you weren’t doing so well this week.” In other words, pity. “She’s a little hardheaded — we both know that. Give her some time, and she’ll c —”
I felt my hands balling into fists at my sides. I couldn’t believe Potter came to find me because he fucking pitied me. “I don’t need your sympathy.” I said through gritted teeth. “No — I don’t need your pity.”
He stopped in his tracks and stared at me with disbelief. “I specifically said sympathy.”
“But you mean pity.” I continued, quite furious. “Don’t even dare denying it, you bloody git. I don’t need your fucking pity. I don’t need anyone’s pity, and especially not yours. So go find another witch to screw and get the fuck out of my sight.” I spat viciously.
Potters eyes were glued to the ground as the corner of his lip quirked in a bitter, hollow smile. He was tonguing the inside of his cheek, exposing a sliver of his sharp fang-looking tooth — something imperfect that I’ve always found quite attractive. After a few moments, he looked as though he was about to say something, but he simply looked up, locked our eyes together and nodded.
“Alright, Vic.” He said, still nodding. He dropped his head, breaking our locked gazes. “Alright.”
And then he was gone.
Later that night, Greyson and I were hanging around an empty corridor deep in the dungeons. It was around midnight — at least it was the last time I checked — and way past curfew. We were playing a game of exploding snap, and I was winning. Insert cheeky grin here.
“Since when did you get so good at this game?” he asked as I collected the deck of cards in my hand. “The last time we played, you literally sucked to the point where I felt horrible for beating you.”
I grinned and shrugged nonchalantly. “I guess I was just hustling you.” I replied.
“Last time I checked,” he began as the cards began shuffling. “Hustling is a form of cheating.”
I laughed loudly as the card exploded in his face. “To be honest, I was rusty the first time we played.” Another card exploded I his face. “After growing up playing with Desmond, Potter and Tyler, you sort of become an expert. We used to play this all the time just to pass time.”
“Used to?” he asked, and chuckled as the next set exploded in my face. “You’re talking in the past tense.”
Shrugging, I slammed the top of my wand down on the card. “Things change when you grow up.”
“You’re talking as if you’ve just turned thirty.”
“We changed as we grew up.” I corrected, giving him a mildly irritated look. “After a while, we didn’t have time for games anymore. We grew apart slightly, to be honest.”
“I don’t understand.” Greyson frowned, but then soon broke out into a smile after he beat me to the card. “You six look as close as ever — as if you’re all glued together.”
I laughed bitterly. “We barely have time for each other now. I suppose we still eat breakfast together, we fool around during Quidditch practices, but it’s not the same as the past couple of years. Desmond and I barely see each other. These days, it’s all Potter, Potter, Potter. Layla is too immersed in her schoolwork, and when she’s not, she’s just a plain grouch. And Dom… don’t even get me started on Dom.” After taking a breath, I suddenly realized that I had been speaking too much. “Sorry, I was talking too much.”
“No, it’s fine.” He said as he turned back to the game. “For once, it’s nice to see that you’re still human.”
“Forgive me, Victoria, but sometimes, you come off as a robot with no feelings.”
He chuckled as a card spontaneously exploded. “You know sometimes, I’m more than convinced that you belong in Slytherin, instead of Gryffindor.”
I laughed. “Desmond has said this to me countless of times.”
“It’s true. You’re clever, witty, incredibly lazy, and you’re a — excuse me for saying this — bitch.” My face softened. His words sounded incredibly similar to Potters’. “You were probably only placed in Gryffindor because of your ridiculously large heart that just so happens to be stowed away in an ice box.”
“You talk as if you know me, Greyson.”
He chuckled. “I’ve learned enough over the past couple of days. You’ve been spending more time with me than with your own friends.”
“I needed a breather.” I responded. “You can’t blame me, can you?”
“I suppose I can’t.” Another card exploded.
“Why don’t you have any friends?” I asked rather bluntly. I looked up at him, only to find him staring at me with amusement. “Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that I —”
“I like to be alone.” He answered. “Aside from Elena during my fourth year, I liked being alone.”
I nodded and said, “Ah, the infamous Elena Briggs. She had quite the reputation.”
Greyson laughed softly, looking rather nostalgic.. “I assure you, none of them were true.”
“What happened to her?” I asked curiously.
The game ended. I won again.
“She grew up.” He said with a shrug. “She was three years older than I was.”
“So growing up entails breaking up with your long-term boyfriend?”
He shrugged again as he gathered up the cards. “She was all set for Salem Witches Academy to continue her studies, and I guess she wanted to leave this life behind.”
“I suppose having a boyfriend three years her junior didn’t go well with the whole Salem scene?”
Greyson cracked a smile. “I suppose so.” He answered.
For a while, we continued playing Exploding Snaps. I was winning, and he was starting to feel the painful sting of losing twelve times in a row.
“It’s past one.” He said, glancing at his wristwatch. “Aren’t your friends wondering where you are?”
I shrugged, even though I knew Desmond would have probably been scouring the castle by now.
“Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy your company and all, but I really do not want to have to deal with Pierce and Potters’ temper.”
Laughing, I rolled my eyes. “Don’t tell me that you’re threatened by a couple of Gryffindors. I thought Slytherins aren’t allowed to show weakness in front of their house rivals.”
“That is why you will tell neither Pierce nor Potter that I just said that.”
Smiling at him, I said, “You know for a Slytherin, you’re not so bad.” I commented humorously.
He returned my smile, but I could tell that it was not as genuine as it looked. “Let me tell you something, Vic.” He began, shuffling the cards in his hands. “Don’t ever trust a Slytherin.”
I didn’t understand what he meant behind his words. Nevertheless, I let it go.
The next hour was a blur. Greyson and I continued talking, laughing, and joking as random cards spontaneously exploded in our faces. For once, the dungeon’s eerie atmosphere did not faze me, and the coldness did not send chills through my bones. I almost forgot that I was even in the dungeon’s, playing exploding snaps with a Slytherin. For the first time in a while, I felt at home, and I was going to milk it for all it was worth.
It was around three in the morning when I finally decided to return to the common room. The portrait of the Fat Lady protested loudly as I practically shouted the password fifteen times in a row. The fat-fart was bloody sleeping like a rock. When she finally allowed me entrance, I crept in through the hole, and was surprised to find firelight flickering against the walls.
Someone was still awake.
I kicked off my shoes, in hopes that it would make my entrance quieter. I tiptoed along the carpet, and made my way deeper into the common room. Taking a breath, I glanced towards the fireplace, and found Potter slumped against the couch with a textbook opened on his lap.
A large part of me wanted to keep walking, scurry up the stairs, walk straight into my warm bed, and forget that I ever saw Potter that night. But another part of me — the more dominant part of me — was drawn to Potter more than I would have liked. I found my legs acting on their own accord as they brought me to the left arm of the couch.
“Potter.” I practically whispered after losing a silent debate in my own head. I would have felt stupid if I had just stood there, not saying a word.
He looked up, startled, as if he hadn’t heard my entrance at all. For a small fragment of a second, there was a strange look in his eyes. I couldn’t tell what it was. Perhaps it might have been because it was the first time in my life that I’ve seen Potter show something more than pure emptiness. “Victoria.” He returned coldly. The flicker of emotion was gone, and was replaced by the usual hollowness. “Desmond’s pretty pissed at you, I hope you know. And he did a good job pissing Layla off while he was at it.”
I sighed exasperatedly. “I wasn’t really expecting anything different.”
Emotionless, he turned away and looked back down at his lap.
My eyes flickered to the thick parchment sitting on the couch behind him. His wand was carelessly draped over the crinkled paper. I squinted, trying to catch the words printed on the page.
Potter, who followed my eyes, immediately snatched the paper from beside him and folded it up.
Once I realized what it was, my eyes returned to his face. “Were you watching me?” I asked curiously, unable to stop myself.
“No.” he answered stiffly as his eyes rapidly flickered down. “Mischief manage.” He quickly muttered under his breath, pointing his wand to the surface of the parchment.
“Then do you enjoy watching people on the map at three in the morning?” I questioned with amusement. “Is this a secret hobby of yours, Pot —”
“Would you shut it?” he snapped irritably. “Go upstairs and get some sleep. Hasn’t Greyson drained you of your energy yet, or is he simply incapable of doing so?”
My eyes suddenly narrowed into slits. “Is this your ridiculously stupid attempt at getting a sexual innuendo in at three in the morning?” I seethed. “If so, you’re not funny, Potter.”
“Clearly I entertain you somehow because you’re still standing here talking to me.” He retorted.
“Fine.” I snapped angrily. “Goodnight.”
Potters scowl was the last thing I saw before I stomped up the stairs and straight into my dormitory.
Saturday came fairly quickly. It was the first dance/social gathering we’ve had in two years, and everyone was ecstatic. I suppose it was the idea of being able to pretend to be someone else for just one night. I was positive that I wasn’t the only one in the castle who was sick and tired of being herself.
While the lot of us were lounging in the common room on a rainy Saturday afternoon — when I say the lot of us, I mean the Potter/Weasley clan plus Desmond, Scorpius, and I (Dominique was off doing Merlin knows what, and Tyler was out avoiding the people who were after his throat) — Layla rushed in through the portrait hole and ushered each and every one of us off our arses to help with decorations.
“There are only ten people downstairs!” Layla informed me as she shoved me down the stairs. “Stop complaining you lazy bums! The Great Hall will turn out a lot nicer with more people helping out!”
“But it’s not the same!” Lily cried, hopping down the steps with a pout on her lips. “It’s not as… magical, the first moment we step into the Great Hall, I mean, if we’re going to be the ones decorating it!”
“Lils,” Layla sighed as she slung her arm around the younger girl. “Did you ever manage to work off those detentions McGonagall gave you when term started?”
Lily frowned and sourly said, “No.”
“Well then, how about you get everyone to cooperate with me today, and I erase an entire week’s worth?”
I watched with amusement as her lips suddenly spread into a large, toothy smile. Lily’s steps became more rhythmic and lively as she practically sashayed down the stairs.
“Oh, yeah, now she’s excited.” I turned my head at the sound of Potters muttering. He quickly passed me, stepping down two steps at once.
He didn’t even bother looking in my direction.
Congrats, Vic. Congrats on falling in love with the biggest asshole of the entire century.
Layla was right. I thought she was over exaggerating. I mean — the prefects seemed to have their responsibilities covered for the most part. But as I looked around, I noticed that more than half of the prefects were not even present. When we entered, there must have been, at most, only eight kids bustling around the Great Hall.
The four long benches were reduced to two, which were pushed up against either side of the Great Hall. Piles and piles of boxes with their contents pouring out from the opening covered most of the surface of the wooden tables.
“What the bloody hell…” Roxy muttered from beside me. Curious, I followed her gaze, and my mouth dropped with disbelief.
There, smack in the middle of the Great Hall, were enormous piles of gold, silver, yellow, blue, and white glitter.
Glitter — sparking, magical, glitter.
It was my worst fucking nightmare.
“Don’t ask.” Layla muttered as she strode right past me and into the hall. “I don’t even know how — no, I don’t even know where they managed to find so much glitter…”
From beside Ginger, who was standing behind Albus, Hugo shrugged. “It’s pretty cool.”
The entire mob simultaneously turned their heads to stare at Hugo with uncertainty.
Sensing that all eyes were on him, Hugo turned to us with a look of pure indignation. “What?” he cried resentfully after taking a small step back. “There are giant piles of glitter in the middle of the Great Hall! Who wouldn’t find it cool?”
“Anyway…” Lily turned away from her deranged cousin. “Let’s get this over with, guys. We have about six and a half hours before we must return upstairs to get ready.”
And so we got to work. For the first thirty minutes, none of us knew where to start. We tried our best avoiding the Head Girl, who was practically rolling around in her endless piles of glitter.
She seriously was. For a second there, I thought I saw her eating a couple of handfuls.
When she wasn’t obnoxiously shoving handfuls of glitter in her mouth, she was too busy standing on her throne of glitter, giving orders to anyone her eyes landed on.
Sylvia and, surprisingly enough, Georgie Brendle (Amelie’s right hand woman), were helping out as well. They were both — just kidding — Sylvia was bustling around with boxes of decorations, while Georgie lounged on the only available surface of the long table, as she studied her nails.
Once Desmond caught sight of Sylvia, he immediately elbowed Potter.
“Whut?” Potter muttered quietly.
“It’s your time to step up, mate.” Desmond answered cheekily.
Potter groaned when he realized what Desmond was talking about. “You owe me so big.” Without another word, Potter strayed from the group and made his way towards Sylvia. I distastefully watched Potter stride across the hall and approach Sylvia. Unknowingly, a low growl rumbled in the base of my throat.
“Easy, girl.” Des muttered in my ear. “Remember, he’s taking one for the team.”
I mercilessly elbowed his stomach, causing Desmond to double over in pain. “Shut it, Cupid.” I growled irritably before entering the hall and approaching the long table opposite of Potter and Sylvia.
“They seem to be getting along great…” he remarked while walking to the table.
“I said shut it.”
“Are you, by any chance, jealous, Vicky?” The idiot, Cupid, taunted.
“No.” I grumbled.
“I think you ar —”
“Hullo, Des.” A very, very rude voice interrupted.
“Georgie.” I greeted bitterly.
“How have you been lately?” Thanks bitch. Way to completely ignore my presence.
“Fine.” Desmond, who looked bewildered, answered. “Er.. how have you been, Georgie?”
A flirtatious smile appeared on her face, and I immediately knew where this was going. “I’ve been fantastic.” She answered. “How sweet of you to ask, Desmond.”
He let out a nervous chuckle. I rolled my eyes and snorted loudly.
“Say, I could really use some help with the decorations… I’m… well I’m a bit hopeless when it comes to levitating things…” She slipped her bottom lip through her teeth and bit it with an earnest look on her hideously gorgeous face.
“That’s not the only thing you’re hopeless at.” Hugo muttered darkly, passing by Desmond and I.
I snorted again, and this time, it was out of amusement.
Surprisingly — and mind you, I have never felt more betrayed in my life — Desmond shrugged and nodded before he followed Georgie down the hall, and towards the giant pile of glitter.
My mouth dropped open.
“Stupid, idiotic, cupid…” I cursed darkly. “... bloody leaving his own best friend for a skank.”
“Did you know that talking to yourself is one of the firsts signs of insanity?” A voice behind me rang in my ears, causing me to jump out of my shoes and swivel around to face the perpetrator.
It was Al Potter, standing before a large box while holding a thick roll of wrapping paper. He looked oddly suspicious…
Was he going to wrap the boxes of decorations?
I was confused..
Even he, himself, looked confused.
“You look like you’re not too far from that neighborhood as well, Al.” I replied, eyeing him carefully.
“Why are you holding wrapping paper?” Lily asked Albus curiously, cutting him off. She had skipped across the hall to her older brothers’ side, leaving Roxy’s company and replacing it with Al’s.
Finally tearing his eyes away from the wrapping paper in his hands, Al turned to his sister and frowned distastefully. “Why are you here again, Lillers?” He asked with a hint of sourness.
As a response to Al’s sour attitude, Lily cocked an eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest, giving Albus that you-really-dare-to-mess-with-me look. At this angle, she resembled Ginny Potter so much, that it was almost scary. “Why are you avoiding the question, Lé Bus?”
Lé Bus. It was Lily’s stupid childhood nickname for her older brother. When she was two — or so I’ve heard — she couldn’t pronounce ‘Albus’, even if the life of her favorite ragdoll depended on it. Trust me, Potter and Al have tried. Or so I’ve — you know — heard. It sounded French, and it sounded stupid. I almost smacked my hand to my forehead at the sound of the name resurfacing.
“Why are you still calling me that stupid name?” Al asked with a scowl. His lips curled, reminding me of Potters’ lips. They were so similar, but so different all at once.
“Would you just answer the question?” Lily snapped impatiently.
“If you must know, little sister, I was going to go wrap James in it while Desmond holds him down.”
I snorted inwardly. No matter how much I hoped it was true, there was no way that James would allow Albus to get away with something so hilariously embarrassing (for Potter).
Lily stared at Albus with a plain face for a good eight seconds. She then dropped her gaze and nodded approvingly. “Carry on.” And then she stalked off, heading back towards Roxy’s direction.
I laughed at her departure. As I turned back to Albus, he put the wrapping paper down before reaching over and picking up a large box labeled ‘curtains’. I noticed how he picked it up with ease. I thought these drapes were rather heavy; they were velvet after all.
“You’re not really going to wrap Potter with that, are you?” I asked him as he peered inside the box. “Without Fred here, I don’t think you would dare to take him on your own.”
Albus scoffed, and puffed his chest out. “I can take James any day.” He said in a deep, manly, but all-too-fake voice.
I gave him a simple look, and his ‘manly’ exterior immediately crumbled around him. He sighed and then shook his head in a defeated manner. “It’s Lil’s birthday soon.” He answered with a whisper. “The first Friday of November.”
I completely forgot about the littlest Potters’ birthday. “Is that her present?”
He nodded. “It’s from Ginger and I.”
I grinned at the words ‘Ginger and I.’
“You two are so bloody cute!” I squealed, punching Albus’ arm.
“Ow!” He cried like a little girl, and rubbed where I had punched him. “Every year for as long as I can remember, Lily, being the little brat that she is, always manages to find out what she’s getting weeks before her actual birthday. This year, she will never find out!” he grinned proudly.
“So you’re convinced that doing this right under her nose would work, instead of sneaking around and doing it behind her back.” I summarized.
He thought for a while, and then nodded with a grin. “Yup.”
I clapped a hand to his shoulder and smiled. I knew how conniving and sneaky Lily could be. She was smarter and cleverer compared to her two older brothers, and she, unlike Albus, knew how to sneak around. “Good luck with that, Al.”
“So, I spoke with Tyler today.” I turned around at the sound of Layla’s voice.
She was walking towards Albus and I, struggling with two large boxes cradled in her arms.
Al, being the ridiculously cute gentleman he was, took the boxes out of her arms and effortlessly completed their journey to the table.
Layla smiled affectionately at Albus as she put her arm around his shoulders and began running her hand across the side of his face. “Aw, look at Albus being the little gentleman.” She cooed with a grin. “He’s so cute!”
Beneath Albus’ scowl, I could tell that he was secretly enjoying Layla’s attention. What guy wouldn’t? Layla was fucking gorgeous.
“Anyway.” She continued, keeping her arm wrapped around Al’s shoulders, even though he was more than a head taller than her. “As I was saying,” I leaned back against the edge of the table for support as story-telling time began. “Before I went to get you guys, Tyler stopped by to see me, and we got to talking. He actually helped move some of these boxes out of storage, and move the new ones in from the carriages outside.”
“Ugh, I sense girl talk coming…” Albus grumbled as he tried to pry himself from Layla’s grasp.
“Stop being such a baby, Albus.” Layla snapped quickly before turning back to me. She refused to let Albus go. “He wants to apologize to Dom. I can tell he feels terrible for everything.”
I sighed heavily upon arriving at the topic of Dominique and Tyler once more. “We can’t just forget that he hurt her.” I said.
“But we can’t just forget that he’s our friend too.” She pointed out. “He’s not completely at fault either.” She said with a sympathetic voice. “Des shot him with an arrow. He had no choice but to try to pursue her.”
“She won’t accept it easily.” I reminded Layla.
“This is all a very large mess that I rather not be involved in…” Al trailed off while his eyes rolled towards the other side of the hall. A look of longing sparked in his eyes, as if it was his greatest desire to be as far as the conversation as possible.
“I need to talk to you too.” Layla snapped impatiently, growing tired of Al’s evasiveness. “Do you think I like having you here? No. I know you’re into Ginger and everything, Al, and I can tell by her looks that she would rather not have you standing here with me, but you’re here for a reason, you little turd.”
Albus stared at Layla with disbelief. “Since when did you become so mean?” he asked with mock disbelief. “You were so sweet once before…”
“And life came to bite me in the arse.” She answered, sounding detached. “But that’s besides the point. “I need you to try and talk to Dominique for me. You and James. Take her out for the day — better day than night. Don’t give her any alcohol, but just… take her out. I’m sure it will make her feel better. You two have always been her favorite, and Victoire isn’t here for that special sisterly bond that inevitably fixes anything.”
“Dom is… very snappish these days.” Albus commented. “But! —” He interjected before Layla could say another word. “James and I accept. Everything is too weird when Dom acts like she’s PMSing every single day.”
“You are so lucky that she did not hear you say that.” I commented. “She would have probably bitten your head off by now and left you on the ground to bleed your arteries out.”
“Maybe after Dom is given time to short her feelings out and to cool off, Tyler can try setting things right.”
“Oi!” at the sound of Desmond’s loud call, Layla, Albus and I whipped our heads around towards the left-hand wall. He was levitating as he fixed the heavy, red velvet drapes around the large windows. “Would either one of you mind getting off your arses and helping me? There are sixteen windows, take your pick!”
I rolled me eyes. Nevertheless, I turned around and picked up my wand from the table where I placed it earlier. “Come levitate me Layla. Let’s leave Albus to wrap his little gift right under Lily’s nose.”
Layla laughed before releasing her hold on Albus. “You’ve gotten so tall, Al.” She commented.
“That’s generally what happens when boys go through puberty.” Al remarked sarcastically.
“Hush up, Potter.” Layla snapped before sending Al a grin, and following me across the Great Hall.
Suddenly, when I reached the second long table on the left side of the room, I stopped in my tracks. “Shit.” I cursed at the sudden reminder that I had forgotten my task all the way on the other side of the hall. “I forgot the bloody drapes. Would you get the poles set up? I’ll get the boxes. In less than five seconds flat, I went from skipping to the left, to turning around and skipping to the right.
I didn’t get very far. I immediately collided into something hard, resulting in me losing my footing, tripping on my own two feet, and becoming acquainted with the nice, cold, floor.
“You are so clumsy, that it’s unfathomable.” I heard a deep voice penetrate my thoughts from the ground.
“You’re such an asshole, that it’s unfathomable.” I barked back, unsure of whom it was that I bumped into.
I heard an exasperated sigh, and I suddenly felt hands wrapping around my elbows, hoisting me to my feet.
“Thanks.” I muttered, looking away from him.
“Yeah…” he nodded coldly with a scowl. “Don’t mention it.” He shoved his hands into his pockets, dropped his gaze and stalked off.
I hated him.
I shook my head, determined to shake away all thoughts of Potter.
“Here.” Al, who suddenly came into view, dropped a heavy box in my arms. “You forgot something.”
I looked at him thankfully and shifted the weight of the box against my left hip. “Thanks.” I smiled.
“Excuse my brother. He didn’t mean to bump into you like that.” He said, stuffing his hands into his pockets, in the very same manner that Potter had not more than a minute or two ago. As I was about to open my mouth to say something, Al’s expression suddenly turned thoughtful before he said, “Well... actually yeah he did mean to do that.” He chuckled, almost as if he was embarrassed, and lifted his hand to rub the back of his neck.
I rolled my eyes and laughed hollowly. “I didn’t really expect any different.”
“He’s practically begging for your attention, you know that?” Al asked with a grin. “I know you two aren’t on best terms at the moment, but this seems to be one of the times that my brother is actually trying, even if it’s only a little.”
Unsure of what more to say, I gave Albus a small smile. “Thanks, Al.” And then I returned to Layla, who was waiting for me by the fourth window down. She was leaning against the tabletop, examining a snitch that she probably borrowed from Potter.
“Here we go.” I said, setting the box at her feet. She looked up from the snitch and glanced at the box. “Get rid of the snitch, Layla. You’re going to get distracted, and I promise to Merlin, if you drop me, I’m going to personally shove my wand up your nose.”
She rolled her eyes in a playful manner, and opened her hand freely. The wings of the snitch fluttered freely from its restraints and immediately took off.
“You’ve got my full attention.” She promised.
I took a deep breath, and nodded in her direction. I positioned myself in front of her, and waited until I felt the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach from being levitated. She started out slow, refusing to stop until I’ve reached the first row of roof-supports.
“Are you okay?” Layla shouted from the ground, holding me in place.
“Yeah!” I shouted back.
I flicked my wand towards the box, and the velvet drapes flew out, and waited.
“Hang on Vic, I can’t handle both you and this stupid rod at the same time. Oi, Rose!” Layla barked at Rose, who happened to be walking by at the perfect moment.
“What?” Rose asked, walking towards Layla.
“Do you mind slipping the drapes into the rod? I can’t concentrate on levitating both Vic and the drapes at the sa —”
I suddenly felt myself losing altitude, and my heart immediately leaped out of my chest and my stomach did summersaults. “And you obviously can’t handle having a conversation and levitating someone at the same time, either!” I cried.
Layla’s head immediately snapped back in my direction, and she bit her lip apologetically. “Sorry!” she shouted.
Soon, Layla’s head was back into the levicorpus charm, and I was back, face to face with the top arch of the extremely large window. There were already hooks placed on either side for occasions such as these, which made my task slightly easier.
From the ground, Rose fluently levitated the heavy drapes upward, and steadied them until I took the reigns. The rod was bloody fucking heavy, even with magic. The strain my wand was creating on my arm was more than I could bear, and I could feel my own weight pushing down against Layla’s charm.
“Hurry the fuck up, Vic!” Layla screeched. “My arm is cramping!”
It’s not an easy feat, trying to get a fifty-ton rod with attached ten-ton-drapes, on a hook that’s about five bloody stories from the ground. “Isn’t there some kind of charm for this?” I called, glancing towards the ground. “Something that could possibly make these fucking drapes weight any less?”
“There is, but to be honest, I don’t remember it all that well!” Rose replied.
A frustrated growl rumbled at the base of my throat before I turned my attention back to the left end of the rod that was in my hand. However, a glint of gold hovering in the air caught my attention. I couldn’t make it out, since it was too small to see. But it was moving. It went from fluttering around Rose’s hair, to fluttering in front of Layla’s face.
“Oi, Layla! Give me back my snitch will you? I’m bloody bored, and Scorpius took the only job suitable for a man around here.” I heard Potter say while he approached Layla.
“Hey James, if you haven’t noticed, there are three girls struggling over here, and we could really use some of your — you know — manly assistance.” I heard Rose say.
“Let me get the snitch back first. I knicked that from my dad’s trophy room myself!”
“James, stop distracting her!” Rose barked.
But it was too late. Layla’s attention diverted from me, to the snitch that was fluttering animatedly around her neck. Her hand reached out to grabbed it, but she underestimated the snitch’s closeness. With a frown, her mind strayed further away from me — from magic — and slowly began to solely focus on the little gold ball Potter sent her to fetch..
“Layla!” I yelped, feeling myself losing altitude, yet again. “Layla!” I repeated, but she didn’t hear me.
Abruptly, I felt myself falling. A sudden force pushed against me, throwing my hair around my face. The force was strong, and I could tell that it was the remnants of Layla’s charm, but it was no use. Gravity had already taken its hold over the situation.
Let me tell you something about Gravity. It did not like me.
Then, as abrupt as anything can get, it all stopped — the falling, my hair flittering around my face, and the weightless feeling settling in the pit of my stomach. I was still hovering in mid air, my hair falling like a curtain beneath my head. My breath caught in my throat, and I found myself unable to breathe.
As slowly and as carefully as possible, I turned my head, praying to Merlin that I was still alive. A small, very paranoid, part of me wasn’t sure whether or not this heart-jumping, weightless feeling was because I was now a plasmic replica of my old self.
But I wasn’t. There was no lifeless body lying beneath me. All I saw was Layla and Rose, standing with both their hands clasped over their mouths, and Potter, standing beside her, with his wand raised and pointed in my direction.
That’s when it all went to hell, and I fell into a bottomless pit of my own pile of dung. Potter, who has made it his life’s goal to cause me as much pain and irritation as possible, made a complete turn around and ran in as my knight and shining armor for about the thirtieth time since we first met.
“Are you okay?” Rose shouted loudly, pulling her hands from her lips.
“Yeah,” I breathed, turning my head back to fix my eyes at the ceiling — anywhere but at Potter. “I’m fine.”
But I wasn’t fine. I was fucking confused. I couldn’t tell what he was doing. Was he saving me for his own future entertainment, or because Potter, surprisingly enough, genuinely had a heart?
A/N: sorry! i know it's been so long since i've updated ): i'm super sorry bu i've just been loaded with test, and i encountered writers block again.
anyway, what do you guys thinkkkk? any questions, comments, etc, leave a review! :)
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