Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognize as usual it still belongs to JKR. (: Now enjoy!
So maybe I should have just told James quietly that the ‘relationship’ was over. After my little outburst James and I had become the talk of the school. I also had no clue how I was supposed to explain to Laney and Garrett why I broke up with him.
The day after the word had gotten out that we had broken up. Laney ripped the blankets off my bed and forced me to wake up. “What the hell! Why didn’t you tell me?” she demanded right then and there. I groggily opened my eyes and looked at her in confusion.
Across the room Emily yelled, “Shut. Up.” I nodded along with her and then let my head fall back on my pillow.
“Get up,” Laney ordered from me. I really didn’t understand her right then. If she had heard about James why was she acting so angry?
“In a minute,” I mumbled and then buried my head under my pillow. The top of my head became cold as Laney wrenched my pillow away from me.
“Candice get up!” she yelled at me angrily. I opened my eyes tired and looked at the clock for the time. Six am. You have got to be kidding me! I had only managed to get to bed at one with all my stupid thoughts last night.
I pushed myself into a seating position and rubbed my tired eyes. “I’m up,” I announced unnecessarily.
Laney grabbed my arm and dragged me to the dormitory hallway. Everything looked strange, clouded and unfocused and my head hurt. I let out a loud yawn as Laney forced both of us to sit on the cold floor.
“What happened?” she simply asked and I was about to yell at her for waking me up until I saw her face.
I swallowed as guilt flooded my stomach. My best friend looked hurt and worried. I had been wrong she wasn’t angry at all. “I-I …” I trailed off without even starting. How did I explain to her? Did I tell her about the deal?
I bit my lip as contemplated my thoughts. It was way too early for me to be making important decisions and Laney knew that. “We had a deal,” I began but wasn’t quite sure where I was going with it. I stopped as I try to get everything together. What would Laney think of me?
“Alright? Continue,” she urged me softly.
I glanced around the cold corridor for inspiration but nothing came. “We were sort of helping each other out. We said when we didn’t need each other’s help anymore we would ‘break up’ and end our deal. We didn’t need each other’s help anymore,” I finished off lamely. I didn’t know why I couldn’t tell her about the whole deal. It just felt too early and the deal seemed so stupid now.
“How were you guys helping each other?” she pressed with a tiny smile.
“James wanted people to get off his back so we started dating and I needed to have fun so he helped me with that,” I explained reluctantly and looked anywhere but at her. The whole thing seemed so stupid now. I had been scared of Luke finding out I liked him so I asked James a favour that ended up in us fake dating and in the end I had still been hurt because of Luke.
Laney stayed silent. I wanted so badly to know what she thought. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she finally asked so quietly I almost didn’t hear her.
“It was part of the rules that me and James made when we made our deal,” I explained and looked up at her. Laney seemed hurt all over again and I felt horrible. I should have just shut up. Let her think that we had dated for real.
“Do you like him though? You seemed sad yesterday,” she finally asked.
“No.” I couldn’t answer anything else. Yes I liked him but I had to get over him and the best way to that was to convince everyone that I was over him, including myself.
At my words Laney smiled and leaned back on the wall next to me. “Good at least now I understand how you could date a guy like that.” I wanted to ask her what she meant but I already knew. She easily fell into a hundred other questions she had and we finally caught up on everything that had been going on.
The rest of the week hadn’t gone so well. I just couldn’t avoid people. It wasn’t just the rumours flying around the school and trust me there were some really ridiculous ones but it was the guys coming up to me in the hallway and asking me out.
I’d probably be stuck awkwardly fumbling for an excuse if it hadn’t been for Ettie. I was shocked. She was just talking to Reagan next to me when Jake Carter from Slytherin came up to me and quite bluntly said, “I’m taking you to Hogsmeade this weekend.” I stood there with my mouth agape and eyes wide. Sure Jake was good looking but I barely knew the kid and I most certainly didn’t want to go to Hogsmeade with him.
Next to me Ettie looked up and then walked over to us. Jake had given her a dirty look. Ettie had smirked and shook her head and answered for me, “Actually you aren’t. She, Lucy and I are going shopping together.”
Jake scrunched up his face in confusion. “What?” he asked. I thought the same as I watched Ettie. Why did she want to go shopping with me?
“How do I say this nicely? You’re a creep keep you creepy hands and creepy ideas away from my friend,” Ettie ordered fiercely. She made it really hard to dislike her when she stuck up for me like that.
“I think Candice can decide for herself. So Candice, are you coming with me or the girl who stole your boyfriend?” Jake asked me with his arms crossed and a cocky expression.
At his words Ettie sucked in a breath. Hurt filtered across her face but she shook it off a moment later.
I took a deep breath. How about neither? No. Oh well it was worth a try. “Sorry Jake I’m busy this weekend,” I apologized weakly and glanced at Ettie who nodded along with me. She turned to me and literally beamed.
Jake shook his head in defeat. “Fine I have to get going anyway.” Then he started forward and brushed past me and so softly whispered, “How about next weekend?” I wasn’t even sure I had heard him right.
If only it had stopped there. It seemed that everyone thought I was … easy. I shuddered at the idea. I had sixth year boys making lewd jokes and snickering girls wherever I went. If I hadn’t had Ettie’s excuse I might have taken cover in my dormitory all week.
Last class on Friday I collapsed onto my chair in Charms. I caught my breath slowly as I had taken the long way to Charms just to avoid people. I was tired of being gossiped about or guys making stupid jokes at me.
Somebody pulled the chair out next to me. My eyes widened as I saw who it was. “Oh hell no. Find somewhere else to sit,” I demanded and crossed my arms for emphasis.
Luke smirked at me. “Sorry but everywhere else is full love,” he answered smugly. I glanced around the room only to notice he was right. Laney and Garrett were together. James and Ettie sat together. Vera and Jordan were together, Fred was sitting with his dorm mate and Will sat with a Gryffindor friend.
“Well then sit on the floor I don’t want to be near you,” I shot at him. I glanced around desperately all week people had been paying attention on me and then when King of the Jerks sits down next to me no one’s looking.
Merlin must really hate me. I was about to call out to Laney when Professor Millick walked in the class immediately silenced. I silently prayed that Professor Millick would realize that we weren’t in our assigned seats. I tried to silently pass my message to him through my eyes.
Professor Millick glanced across the room with a frown and opened his mouth to say something when his eyes focused on me. They widened in comprehension. He smiled slightly and closed his mouth. “Get your books out everyone we’ll be learning a new spell today,” he announced almost gleefully.
That bastard. I dug my nails into the desk in frustration. Merlin didn’t just hate me, he wanted me dead.
“So just practice with your partners,” professor Millick finished. I panicked as I had no clue what he had just explained.
I heard the chair next to me scratch across the floor as Luke turned to face me. I glanced at his annoying, smug face. I took a deep breath to calm myself. I’d get detention if I tried to throttle him in class. “Ladies first Hayes,” Luke suggested and waved his arm for me to go.
“Well if you insist Luke,” I answered with a sickening sweet voice.
As I got up I gave him my biggest fake smile with teeth and everything. I could feel the anger in me radiating off my skin. For once Luke looked worried. I didn’t know if it was for what I was about to do or my mental health.
I didn’t care.
I stood in front of him and raised my wand up. It was almost too easy and a glance around told me that nobody had noticed my unfortunate situation yet. I didn’t even hear the words come out of my mouth. I just watched as with a flick of my wand Luke was blasted across a couple of feet directly into a desk. I let out a little giggle as I sarcastically apologized, “Opps wrong charm.” I put back on the fake smile on my face but anyone could see I was seething underneath.
Professor Millick was by Luke’s side in a minute. “Are you alright?” he asked truly worried. Both of them were bastards.
I took my seat and called over my shoulder, “It was just a little charm Luke. Just walk it off I bet it doesn’t even hurt.” I could see him wince at my words. Good stupid twit deserved it.
He got up with some difficulty and walked over to the desk. I could feel everyone’s eyes on us. “First year all over again, huh Candice,” he tried to joke with a weak laugh.
“Yeah first year,” I repeated in a bored voice. I examined my nails as he sat down.
“Are you alright?” Laney had snuck over to me her eyes filled with worry.
I widened my eyes in disbelief. “Perfectly fine Laney,” I tried to keep the sarcasm out of my voice because it wasn’t her fault that she hadn’t seen me or who I was sitting with.
She nodded with a frown on her face. “Alright then we can switch if you want,” she suggested and indicated our partners with her hand.
I smiled slightly and nodded. Without even telling Luke I grabbed my books and hurried over to Garrett. “Help me with the spell?” I asked and opened my book to start learning.
“Sure thing,” Garrett agreed without missing a beat. I smiled and for the first time that week I felt completely at ease.
An hour later I was standing at the Great Hall with my money bag full waiting for Lucy and Ettie. Quite frankly I was panicking. I had invited Laney to join us but she was helping a fourth year with Herbology. So now I was completely alone with James’s girlfriend and his cousin.
Why did Ettie even want to come? I mean sure we were sort of friends but that didn’t entail shopping for the ball together. I also wondered about Lucy her reason seemed honest but why didn’t she take it back when her cousin and I ‘broke up’?
Life is too confusing. “Hey!” someone called out from behind me. I turned around to find Lucy all smiles.
“Hey,” I greeted back to her.
“I guess we have to wait for Ettie. She really wants to be your friend doesn’t she,” she acknowledged and took out her purse to check if she had everything.
I shrugged because I honestly didn’t know what that girl wanted. “I guess,” I answered back so intelligently. Seriously what was with me and the monotone?
Before Lucy could open her mouth to answer Ettie came running down the steps yelling, “I’m here! I’m here!” She stopped abruptly in front of us. Her hair cheeks were flushed and lips swollen.
Lucy snickered next to me. “Next time don’t snog my cousin when you have plans,” she suggested with a laugh.
Ettie reddened slightly. Next to me Lucy glanced at me as if checking if I was alright. I nodded to her that it was fine. In reality though I couldn’t stand to look at Ettie and I hated myself for that. I would never have James yet the idea didn’t want to make its way through my mind.
“Sorry girls,” Ettie said her cheeks even redder as she became deeply interested in her shoes.
“It’s alright lets go before there’s a line to get out,” I suggested and began walking towards the giant doors where the caretaker was waiting for students.
I smiled at him as I walked through without showing a permission slip. Being seventeen did have its perks after all. Lucy and Ettie strolled by too as soon as we reached the outside though the bitter dry cold bit at our cheeks. I pulled my Ravenclaw scarf up to cover up yet the wind chill seemed to seep through my cloak.
“Let’s hurry and get a carriage before my eyelashes freeze together and I officially go blind,” Lucy suggested and grabbed both me and Ettie and raced for the invisibly drawn carriages. I laughed at her theory as I tried to keep up only to find I couldn’t get my eyes open.
“What the—,” I had begun to say.
Lucy cut me off quickly though, “I told you so!”
“How do you fix this?” I demanded urgently as I tried opening my eye. Second later I landed on a cushioned surface that could only be the carriage seat. The heat hit me instantly and quite literally melted away my problem. I wiped the melted ice away from my eyes and warmed up gratefully.
A second later Ettie tumbled in and so did Lucy. The carriage lurched forward and began moving instantly. “Merlin it’s freezing out there!” Ettie called out as she scooted over in her seat and made room for Lucy on her side.
“You think?” Lucy said sarcastically as she crossed her legs and leaned back.
“Hey, no need for the sarcasm,” Ettie shot back defensively and crossed her arms with a little huff. I laughed quietly to the side.
“Not to be rude or anything but, um, why did you invite yourself?” Lucy asked abruptly the question that had been bothering me.
Ettie stared at her opened mouth. Quickly she got a hold of herself and answered, “Well I needed to talk to Candice about something.”
Lucy glanced at me and raised her eyebrow at me. I shrugged back in response; Ettie had shrunk back in her seat. Lucy turned back so she was looking at her and asked, “Alright but err – why couldn’t you just talk to Candice somewhere else?”
Ettie bit her lip nervously and began to fidget in her seat. “I don’t know the opportunity just showed up and I took it?” she answered but it sounded like she had asked. The carriage hit a bump and we all went up in the air for a moment. In the window I could see Hogsmeade looming in view.
Lucy furrowed her eyebrows as if she was in deep thought. “You seem to take a lot of opportunities,” she finally said and then she pointedly turned to look at me.
Oh dear Merlin! Ettie looked like someone had slapped her face. “Uh-um well… it’s a good quality to have?” she tried to defend herself out of the clear accusation that Lucy had made.
Lucy leaned back in her seat and laughed. “Yeah whatever you say.”
The carriage stopped in Hogsmeade just then. I pushed the door open as fast as I could and jumped out of the carriage. I couldn’t deal with being with those two. Lucy came out after me and Ettie after her.
Lucy glanced around the village real quick and clapped her gloved hands together. “Well I’m going to get a drink at the Three Broomsticks. You two talk about whatever and then me and Candice can do our shopping!”
Ettie dropped her jaw in disbelief I was sort of surprised too. Lucy seemed to really not like Ettie because before either of us could protest she had waved and ran towards the pub.
“She really doesn’t like me,” Ettie muttered to herself but the hurt in her voice was evident.
I shrugged because I didn’t know how to comfort the girl and if I was being honest I didn’t want to comfort her. She shook her head and looked up like she had just suddenly remembered I was there. “Um yeah I guess you’re wondering what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Just a little,” I answered and began to jump from one foot to another in an attempt to warm up.
“Well it’s about James,” she paused what she was saying but when I didn’t say anything she just continued, “I just wanted to see that you were okay. I mean I guess it’s a big change and normally I wouldn’t have done anything it’s just that. I like him so much. What the hell I think I’m in love Candice. I just wanted to be sure that you hadn’t developed feelings for him because if you did I won’t go out with him,” she trailed off and I hated her at that moment. I hated Ettie for being so nice, for thinking of me when she should have been all over James.
“That’s all? Trust me I’ve got no feelings for James. It was part of our deal that after everything we would still be friends and that we wouldn’t fall in love with each other,” I reassured her and smiled brightly even though it hurt.
Her face literally lit up. She squealed jumped up and grabbed me in a hug. “Really? That’s such a relief. Both me and James were really scared you liked him,” she explained and hugged me again.
Let’s just say I wasn’t in a hugging mood. “No need to be scared I don’t want to a relationship for a while especially with how my crush on Luke turned out,” I said and let out a laugh.
Ettie’s smile turned apologetic and she patted my back. Did I look like a dog? No, pat on the back didn’t make me feel better. “Don’t worry I’m sure someone will sweep you off your feet soon,” she said.
I rolled my eyes when she wasn’t looking. “Sure, whatever you say,” I agreed sarcastically.
I glanced around and pointed to the Three Broomsticks. “Let’s go find Lucy unless there’s something else you want to say,” I suggested and began towards the pub.
Two short minutes later the warm air thawed my hands and I let myself breath. I spotted Lucy in a second. She was in a corner of the pub and it seemed she was yelling at James while he stared off in space bored. “Lucy!” I called out and waved. She turned to face me which caused her hair to whip James in the face.
Ettie said goodbye and went over to see James while Lucy came to join my side. She grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the warm pub.
“What was that about?” I asked dumbly as I jogged to keep up with her through the snowy streets of Hogsmeade.
“I just gave James a piece of my mind about that something that was pissing me off,” Lucy grumbled just as we came to the edge of Hogsmeade. “Is there no good stores here? Ugh! Never mind Candice we’re going to London,” she announced and before I could protest I felt myself being squeezed through what felt like a tube.
“Watch it!” someone yelled at me. My feet slammed hard on the ground and around me many people were walking around their heads tucked down while they rushed through Christmas shopping. To my relief the air was warmer in London than it was in Hogsmeade and I no longer felt like I was being punched by the cold.
“Lucy! What the hell?” I screeched out in panic. I mean technically we were allowed to apparate if we were old enough but still a warning would have been very much appreciated.
“I’m sorry I just know this amazing dress shop and well I need to look perfect that night,” Lucy explained as she dragged us to go exchange our wizard money for muggle cash.
When that was done we apparated right in front of her dress shop and stumbled into the store. I was sure someone would notice that we had just appeared out of nowhere but no one said anything. Inside there were hundreds of dresses lining the walls. It made me woozy just being there.
We walked two more steps before someone called out, “Lucy! Darling we have been waiting forever what is wrong with you. We already have ten dresses for you to try on. We will get you that boy and you will look amazing at that ball!” In front of us a tall middle aged lady stood with her shoulders back and her long black hair in a neat bun on her head. She had an air of confidence in her pointed face.
My ears zeroed in on one word. “What boy!” I demanded with a smile already on my face.
Lucy reddened immediately. “I um … needed to talk to you about that. See you know this boy. Actually you more than now him you’re practically his sister and I just needed your advice and help and I thought you might know what I should do and say since you know him really well and–,” she stopped as I cut her off.
“What’s his name?” I demanded and crossed my arm and tapped my foot so she knew that I meant business.
“Garrett,” she muttered in an extremely low voice.
“What!” I screeched and then hugged her in an Ettie style because this whole thing was so cute.
“Gah, stop hugging me you remind me of the Gryffindors!” Lucy yelled but I hugged her anyway.
“I’m just happy little Garrett will finally get some love!” I shouted out and the sales lady chuckled at us.
“Holy hippogriff! I like the boy that’s all now calm down before I back out of this,” Lucy threatened me but it was pointless as it was at that moment when the sales lady stepped forward and also grabbed Lucy in a hug.
Then she whispered in my ear, “My niece has loved that boy for a long time but he has never paid any attention to her so please, please help her.” Niece? Now it made sense why we came here.
“Auntie Claire I don’t love him. Shut it,” Lucy protested with a very red face.
Her aunt backed off and smiled knowingly at Lucy. “Sure sweet heart. Let’s just try on some dresses. I was thinking blue for you? It would just go splendidly with your blond hair and for your friend I would love to dress her up in red. I want both of you to sparkle at that ball,” Claire went off and pushed us towards some silver changing rooms.
When I stepped into mine I was met with what felt like a hundred mirrors and I had never felt so self-conscious in my life even though I was alone. Before I could break down and point all my flaws three red dresses were thrown at me. I stared at them in disbelief. The last thing I wanted to do was stand out at the ball. “Err … um Claire? I think a dark blue would be better red isn’t my colour,” I tried to find an excuse.
“Who do you think you are honey? I am the fashion consults for big names like Caroline Ivy, Charles Neil and Dexter! I know what colours are yours now put on those dresses before I come in there and make you put them on,” Claire demanded. I didn’t even know who those people even were probably muggles.
Off to the side Lucy laughed and called out, “Candice there’s no fighting with Auntie Claire. Just put on the dresses and avoid getting injured.”
I huffed from inside the changing room and tried the long red dress. I quickly stepped out of the changing room where I was then scrutinized from every angle by Claire. She shook her head and made me go change and began examining Lucy in turn.
To my complete agony this whole ordeal lasted for two hours. Two whole bloody hours! Until finally she fell in love with a red floor length mermaid dress which I would have never have chosen. It had a sweet heart neck line and it was strapless. It had little jewels on it that were cute. I guess if you wanted to look like a disco ball it was a nice dress though I may have been exaggerating about the disco ball bit just a tiny bit.
Lucy’s dress was absolutely stunning in her dark blue cocktail dress that hugged her curves and it was adorned with little jewels. She and her aunt were currently hugging each other while Claire gave her boy advice.
I sat down on a fancy red sofa. I really didn’t want to wear the dress. I mean I was going to Seth’s after party after the ball. I couldn’t just wear a full length red dress. Who was I kidding I just didn’t want to wear a bold colour like red.
I huffed in my corner which caused Claire and Lucy to turn and look at me with identical evil smiles. “Oi! Whatever you two are planning stop it or I won’t help Lucy with Garrett,” I grumbled from my spot.
The smiles didn’t disappear. Bloody hell! “Just wait right here my aunt will go complete the orders. She’s already got shoes, the jewellery and everything else picked out,” Lucy said and bounced over to the sofa and sat next to me with a giddy smile on her face. That didn’t seem so evil. I wondered what the smiles were about then.
“Alright then,” I regretfully muttered.
“So about Garrett …,” Lucy began to ask. I smiled in delight I couldn’t wait to help her out.
“You’re going to have to make it obvious that you like him or he won’t realize it. I’m warning you now. Plus he’s a super loyal guy so don’t piss off people he cares about no matter what. Also he’s like a big teddy bear and he just needs someone to cheer him up,” I advised her widely. Hey she needed to know what she was getting into.
“How do I cheer him up?” she asked in a panicked voice. I smiled in approval. How come I had never really talked to Lucy before?
“Right now all I can say is hang out with him and make him laugh. I bet it’ll come naturally so don’t worry and at the ball I will make him notice you. Not that it will be hard with you in that dress and I’ll talk you up. I’ll make you sound like Merlin but you know female and err not old and fit and all that,” I promised her with a bright smile.
She laughed at the merlin comment. “Alright I trust you,” she said to get me to shut up.
I didn’t know how but even though my love life at the moment was a failure the fact that I would be helping Garrett into a relationship after breaking his heart made me feel better.
We finally went to pay after promising Claire that we wouldn’t open our bags until the ball so nothing would go missing or get ruined. She wished as luck and asked for pictures and we left.
Back out in the London streets it was cold and I realized now that my and Lucy’s cloak stood out. We ducked into a café and ordered muffins and hot chocolate then apparated back into Hogsmeade.
“I can’t believe you made me go to London for a dress,” I told her when we were walking towards the carriages.
“Oi, the dress you got looks fabulous and if you had gone here you would have probably been stuck with an olive green dress that made you fade into the background or something,” Lucy defended strongly before pointing to the carriages.
“What if I wanted to fade into the background?” I shot back at her.
She scoffed and I laughed at her expression of disbelief. “How will you get any of the fit boys to notice you if you fade into the background?” she questioned with a raised eyebrow. She was testing me, I knew it.
“Who says I want them to notice me?” I asked her.
She smirked before she replied, “Alright how will my cousin notice what a huge mistake you guys being over is if you fade into the background?”
My mouth hung open in astonishment. I shut it before it froze that way in the cold but I still couldn’t answer so I just muttered, “Shut it Weasley.”
“Oh would you look at that. You used my last name. I’m trembling now!” she cried out laughing and climbed into the carriage.
“Oi! Stop being difficult,” I finally gave up and climbed into the carriage too.
Hey there! Please don’t hurt me. I know it’s been a long time since the last review but life got really busy. Sorry! Anyway I hope you liked this chapter! Ahah I hope you like Lucy too. (: And I know, barely any James. xd Sorry guys. Anyway I’d just like to know what you liked about the chapter. (: I love reviews and promise to answer them! :)