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Chapter 9 : On Painful Confrontations, Long Lost Relatives and Thin Ice
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Author's Note: This is a long awaited chapter. I apologise for the long wait as I should have written this almost instantly, instead it's left Olive looking like a coward, which now as a consequence of my actions is a characteristic she holds. Enjoy, anyway!
On Painful Confrontations, Long Lost Relatives and Thin Ice:
Arriving on the Weasley's doorway I don't get what I expect. I think that maybe I'll ring the doorbell and Rose will answer with a smile on her face and then noticing it's me it'll fall into a scowl and she'll say; “What the hell are you doing here?” and look me up and down with a disgusted expression.
Instead I ring the doorbell and a few seconds later Ron Weasley opens the door, wearing the same smile I expected from Rose and letting his face fall once he realises it's me. There's a few beats of silence as he stares at me and I struggle to think of words to say. His ears slowly get redder and redder and his mouth opens and closes a couple of times and all of a sudden he slams the door in my face and leaves me in the growing darkness standing outside.
Muffled words reach my ears from inside and through the thin curtains I notice the outline of Hermione Weasley. I'm more in shock than anything else and I don't move a muscle until suddenly the door swings open again making me jump.
“Please excuse Ronald,” says Mrs Weasley politely, giving a very forced smile. “He's just a little angry, I'm sure you understand.” I nod slowly. “Look, I – I think it's best you leave if you don't mind … considering the circumstances.”
I nod again.
“Well, er – good bye, Olive.” Mrs Weasley shuts the door behind her and I turn around, walking myself to the furthest away step and taking a seat. There's a long silence until the door creaks itself open and footsteps make there way to my spot.
“You shouldn't be here, Hugo.” I comment as the brown-haired boy takes a seat on the step beside me.
“I don't see why not.” he says, looking out at the grassy landscape.
“You don't want to end up another Al.” I say sadly, thinking of how neither Rose or Dom will talk to him even though he's family.
“I'm about to go on holiday with her, she can't ignore me.” says Hugo, pointedly. “Plus Al's had it coming for a long time.”
“How so?” I ask, half intrigued, half hoping he'll find an excuse not to answer me.
“Another time, K?”
“Right” I say quickly, looking up at the stars for something to do. A soft gust of wind blows a strand of hair off my face and I try and relish in the freshness that comes with it, but truly I just want to cry. The thing is I don't deserve the satisfaction that comes after crying. I deserve wanting to cry, but not allowing myself to. “Do you know what I did, Hugo?”
“Course.” he said sourly, a distasteful expression on his face. “It took a while for Dad to spit it out, but he got there.”
“Then why are you doing this?” I ask, my voice nearing its breaking point. “Why are you sitting here talking to me, when you should be having the same reaction as your dad? Is this some sort of sick torture you're putting yourself through?”
“You can't tell me you're not suffering, too?” Hugo says after a brief pause. My heart throbs a little at his kindness.
“You didn't answer either of my questions.” I speak in a monotone.
“You didn't answer mine.” he points out.
“I deserve to suffer.” I say sourly. Loving yet hating myself for admitting it.
“Don't talk like that.” he says weakly, turning to look at the whore who broke his sisters heart for the first time.
“It's the truth, Hugo.” I look away from him and watch a lonely tree in the distance sway softly in the breeze. “I did the worst betrayal possible. I slept with her boyfriend. And then I hid it from her for two months. What kind of friend does that?”
“A bad friend?” Hugo suggests a little harshly and a sharp delicious pain stabs at my heart to which I grit my teeth and smile. Life can give me whatever the fuck it wants but I will smile if I want to smile.
“A fucked-in-the-head friend. I'm not a friend, Hugo. I've forgotten how to be one and I'm never going to remember how to again.”
Silence comes after my words. There's no sound coming from the house and even the breeze still seems to have forgotten how to make any noise. I hold my breath, not wanting to disturb it. True silence is so rare, almost impossible to come across and here it is. In a beautiful field, by a beautiful house, in which lives a beautiful family with an exceptionally stunning daughter and her warm-hearted brother.
“You didn't come, Olive.” he says loudly, letting each syllable stab me personally. “She expected you to be here, crying, apologising, begging on your knees for her forgiveness the day after everything was revealed, but you didn't come. I don't think she's going to forgive you this time. You've really messed up now. You've been treading on thin ice for a long time and it's finally starting to crack. She's not going to trust you ever again. You've truly lost all respect she ever had for you.”
Despite his harsh words I completely agree.
“I deserve it.”
“I guess you do.” he nods.
“I don't want her to forgive me.” I say, letting my voice be strong despite it begging to crumple with pain. “She can never truly forgive me and I don't want her to. She needs to remember what I'm like so she never expects any better. She needs me out of her life and I need a grand exit when I leave.”
I can feel Hugo's eyes on the side of my face, but I ignore it. “Come on.” he says, getting up, brushing down his jeans and holding out a hand.
“No, I can't –” I try.
“She knows you're here. If you leave now there's no coming back.”
He's right. If I'm going to apologise I need to do it now. It's my last chance.
I take his hand and he pulls me up, letting go almost instantly, but leading me up the steps to his front door. It opens and the room's empty, yet exactly how it always looks. For some reason, I expect something different. He leads me up the stairs and to the door that's plainly Rose's. He gives me a look that I can't put words to.
“Bye Hugo.” I say softly.
I knock on the door and there's no reply, but I know she's in there. I push the door open and she's sitting at her desk by the window, her back to me. There are no lights on and the window is open a crack.
“It's funny.” says her emotionless voice. “I've been sitting here hanging the Extendable Ear out of the window, thinking you weren't speaking that whole time. It's only now that I pull it up I realise the ear's fallen off.” She gives a soft controlled laugh and flicks the lamp by her desk on. “I suppose things have a way of telling you not to eavesdrop … I heard some of the conversation, though. Hugo's small speech and it's true, I'm never going to forgive you and you know it. I'm just wondering why you're here.”
I barely register her words. Half of the photo's on her wall have disappeared and her horrible pink rubbish bin is overflowing with old photos. Not one of the pictures on the walls contain me or Scorpius and I find the strength in myself not to be hurt by this. Reminding myself this is what's best for her and that I deserve this. A spare one on the floor by my feet catches my eye and I pick it up to see a photo of Rose and I dancing in our matching fairy costumes for the Slytherin Halloween party. I fold it in half tenderly and stick it into my pocket.
I hear movement from Rose and look up to see her out of her seat and looking at me. Her expression is cold, hard and judgemental. It stings, but I keep my eyes on her face as hers sweep over me.
“You're looking good,” she comments scathingly. “You've got a tan, you've obviously been playing some Quidditch.” Her eyes meet mine again. “Can't say that about your eyes.”
I look her up and down. She looks terrible. Her skin is pasty and pale. There are great bags under her eyes and her clothes are almost hanging off her body. It hurts to see what I've done to her.
I deserve it.
“You look terrible.” I comment as she crosses her arms and looks at me sceptically.
“You've gotten off to a good start then, haven't you?” she says sourly, staring me down and not daring to take a seat. I take a couple of steps forward before closing the door behind me.
“Would you rather I lied?” I ask.
“Well, no. I guess you've been doing that for long enough now,” she says, straightening her posture.
I'm throwing open places for her to stab me and she's gladly taking them. Maybe I've done some good. Maybe she's growing up. Seeing the world for what it really is: a battle field where people expose too much and someone takes the chance to stab you because of your mistake. She should learn from her mistake of trusting me.
“Why did you do it?” she asks, tapping her foot as if to get me to stop looking at it. I can feel her eyes on my face, searching for any flash of emotion on it, searching for any chance that I might lie, searching to see if I'm still human enough to feel guilt.
I don't think she finds anything.
“I wasn't thinking,” I start flicking my eyes up to look into hers, knowing nothing that I say will be what she wants. “We were drinking. He was sad that you guys were fighting again. It was a spur of the moment thing, you know. It … when we were … during it, I couldn't think. I lost all sense of control, I lost my conscious, I didn't know what was right and what was wrong. I don't have a reason for doing what I did.”
“Are you telling me you blame the alcohol?” she scoffs, her voice slightly high-pitched and dripping with hate. It pours into my wounds like salt, having one of my best friend's talk to me with a voice so filled with venom.
“No,” I say, my voice weak. “I'm saying alcohol makes you do things you'd never do when you're sober.”
“So … you don't … love him or anything, then?” she asked, her voice less harsh and more questioning.
“Of course I do, Rose!” I say, my voice more sincere then it's ever been. Her eyes widen. “I love all of you guys like you're my blood!”
“You sure have a twisted way of showing it!” she spits, looking me up and down like I'm trash. “If sleeping with my boyfriend is what you do to people you love I'd hate to see what you'd do to people you don't.”
“Why did you do it then? If you don't love him, why did it have to be with him?”
“I –” I start, pausing to see if she'll interrupt me. “Experimentation – I don't know! It was just what we both wanted to do at that time and so we did it.”
“No feelings involved?”
“None,” I say determinedly, “I think he pretended it was you and I pretended it was Louis.” Despite myself, I feel my skin going crimson at this fact.
“So you've had the profound privilege of sleeping with my ex-boyfriend and you pretended it was with someone else?” she screeches.
“No!” I yell back before she gets carried away, then realising my mistake I correct myself. “I mean: yes. I don't know any more, it was a blur!”
“Oh that's just great. You're lucky Louis is related to me otherwise I might just give you a chance to see how it feels.”
“So after going through all this you still want to inflict it on someone else. You think it's not painful how guilty I am? But no, sure, go ahead, by all means when I get a husband you're welcome to sleep with him!”
“Don't you dare get angry at me, you cheating whore!” she yells. “You deserve to know what you do to others.”
“You're right, but you don't know what it was like with him!” I exclaim, finding I can't allow myself to go through this torture of letting her mentally beat me to a pulp. “When it was happening I seemed to forget about you. I didn't really think what I was doing was betrayal. I'll admit it, OK! I didn't feel guilty that night, it was the days after that killed me.”
“BUT HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO TELL ME, HUH?!” she screams, taking three long strides forward and digging her wand into my chest. “TWO FUCKING MONTHS! WHAT KIND OF FRIEND DOES THAT!”
“I tried to tell you a couple of times,” I sob, as the wave of guilt from my actions and pain from the burning wand wash over me. “I was just … so hard.”
“YOU SHOULD HAVE TRIED TO TELL ME EVERYDAY UNTIL I LISTENED! IF YOU HAD TOLD ME IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH EASIER TO FORGIVE YOU! YOU WERE MY BEST FRIEND, OLIVE!”
Tears pour down her face, but her arm stays steady as my top is slowly singed. She takes a few heaving breaths.
“SHUT UP! IT'S MY TURN TO TALK!” she yells, brushing away her tears in shame. “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT'S BEEN LIKE KNOWING THE GUY YOU LOVED DIDN'T LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO BE FAITHFUL! KNOWING THAT MY BEST FRIEND DIDN'T HAVE THE BALLS TO TELL ME ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS!
“TWO OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN MY LIFE BETRAYED ME AND NOW YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING. I'M NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO TRUST A SOUL BECAUSE OF YOU,” she sighs and takes a taunting breath, before lowering her voice completely. “And I want you to carry that around on your shoulders until you die. You are always going to remember that you ruined the meaning of trust for me and I will never be the same. It's your burden, it will always be at the back of your mind and you deserve it.”
“I do …” I agree, feeling tears on my face.
She pulls her wand off my shirt and looks and the burn curiously, then gives a small smile and switches her face to expressionless again. “I think you should leave now.”
“OK,” I agree, half turning before she speaks again.
“I'll write to you in Mexico,” she says, her voice soft and dare I say it, vulnerable. “It won't be much, just a simple letter saying what I've been up to and demanding a much longer and more detailed reply. Like old times, really.”
“Old times.” I breathe, feeling my voice threaten to crack.
“Yeah, I mean,” Rose sighs, and rolls her eyes at the ceiling. “I can't live without you Olive. Trust me. I tried.”
“Rose,” I turn back properly and wipe the tears off my face. “It's Scorpius you can't live without.”
“No, Olive it's not. I can't live without both of you, but I can live with one of you and you came first, so you're stuck with me.”
“Rose,” I say, reaching out my hand and taking hers. “He still–”
“I don't want to talk about it, Liv. I'm never going to forgive him anyway.” she says sadly, pulling away from my hand. “You know what they say: once a cheater, always a cheater, right?”
“So there's no chance?” I ask, knowing the answer.
“None at all.”
“But I've sort of got you and that's all I need,” she laughs. “Who ever thought a Ravenclaw would be dependant on a Slytherin to survive?”
“You're not dependant on me. I'm dependant on you.”
“You're probably right,” she sighs, her voice leaning towards defeated. “I shouldn't really be dependant on someone like you, anyway.” If her harsh words are aimed to hurt, they do.
“Listen, Rose,” I say, taking a seat on her bed as she does the same. “You have every right to toss me out of your life, kick me out even. Don't feel obliged to keep me around because we've known each other forever, I don't want you to force me upon yourself if you don't want to.”
Surprisingly, she nods. “I know what you mean, Olive and we're never going to be the same again, but I still want to try. You may not be particularly loyal, but there's something about you that tells me I want to be around you even after what you did, so I'll do it and we'll see where it all goes.”
I nod, understanding exactly where she's coming from and we sit in silence for a long minute.
“I'm truly sorry for what I did,” I say suddenly, finding a small ounce of courage inside me. “I never did it to hurt you, but hiding it was definitely the worst thing I could've done.” I sigh with exhaustion. “I realise that now and I'm so so sorry for everything.”
“Thanks Olive,” she says, standing up and walking to her bedroom door. “I'm glad to see you're not emotionless after all …” Rose pulls open her door and stands, expecting me to leave. “I'll write to you first, when I feel like I can.”
“OK,” I reply simply. “Bye, Rose.”
I'm out of the house and five steps away from the Apparation point when I finally take it in. Rose Weasley is going to Mexico and she is going to write to me. Maybe there's hope after all.
I reach the point and Apparate home with an ounce of hesitation as a Muggle club does sound rather appeasing right now. I spot the glass wall that surrounds our kitchen and realise that I've accidentally come to my dad's house and through the enhanced candles of light I can see he's back from Peru and he's spotted me.
A huge smile lights up his face and I can see Luke frowning slightly behind him. I give him a weak smile back and make my way to the door, deciding I can spare a few minutes with my father and I probably should explain to him why I've moved.
“Hey love!” Dad exclaims, engulfing me in a warm hug as soon as I enter the room.
“Hey Dad,” I say a little half-heartedly, my voice muffled in his cloak. I can tell he has only just got back and hasn't found my empty room yet.
“Perfect timing, I just got back,” he says happily, pulling away and putting a hand on my shoulder. “I have a surprise for you.”
“Oh. You do?” I say hesitantly, looking at Luke to see his expression, but I find he's looking elsewhere. “I have a surprise for you too.”
“Hey Dad? How come Olive's–?”
I freeze as soon as I see him and he freezes too. There's a rippling silence in the room as I stare him down. His dark hair is shorter and messier than the last time I saw him, he's still tall and lean, but his voice has a different sound to it.
“Surprise,” says Dad weakly, watching our encounter nervously.
Have I mentioned I have a twenty-six-year-old half-brother who I haven't seen in four years?
I have a twenty-six-year-old half-brother who I haven't seen in four years.
“Daniel.” I say, cracking the harsh silence and nodding at him politely.
“Hi Olive,” he says tenderly, finally moving so he could break it completely. I don't watch him, but I can tell he's gone to the kitchen as the sound of cupboards opening meets my ears.
“Um, Daniel was the reason I went to Peru in the first place.” says my dad, awkwardly. “He was attacked by a Peruvian Vipertooth if you'll believe it and they called in his mother and me just in case. But he's all healed now, aren't you Dan?”
My brother is a particularly well-known dragonologist who specialises in Peruvian Vipertooth's. He's lived in Peru for six years studying the creatures with a woman who's aiming to find a cure for the poison on their teeth. Exciting work really, second only to playing Quidditch.
“Yep, cleared by one of the best Healer's in east Peru,” he says, doing the typical adult thing where he rambles on about things no one really cares about. “I was lucky really, it wasn't fully grown, so the poison was slow-acting and managed to be extracted before anything too bad happened. If anything Jenny –”
A forced cough comes from Luke and Daniel seems to realise he's boring us all. Dad puts a hand on my shoulder and steers me to where Dan's digging into a dish of lasagne. Upon smelling the food I realise I'm starving and quickly I clean a fork and help myself into his dish.
“So, what was this surprise you had for me?” asks Dad, after finishing a mouthful of lasagne he had piled onto a plate.
I gulp, not particularly excited about going into this topic. “Um …” I start, running a hand through my hair as Luke places himself on a chair and looks at me with a frown on his face. “I … got into Puddlemere United's reserve team!”
I throw my hands up in the air sarcastically and smile as Dad promptly drops his fork. It's still clattering on the ground as he pulls me into a huge hug.
“That's so great, honey, but what happened to the Harpies?” he says happily, pulling away to observe me at arms length. “I thought you wanted to try out for them.”
“Nah,” I say smoothly, surprising myself by not being sad about it. “They had already filled their places, plus nothing beats the bronze goalposts, right?”
He laughs, going back to his plate of lasagne. “Of course not.”
My eyes meet Luke's and I can see he's frowning at me, a warning in his eyes. My face falls and I look down at the counter. “But that's not what I was going to tell you,” I mumble.
“OK, what was it you were going to tell me?” he asks, pulling out a clean fork.
I pause for dramatic effect.
OK, you got me; I pause because I really don't want to tell him this:
I close my eyes and brace myself for an explosion that doesn't come. The sound of another fork clattering to the ground arrives instead. I know I said the words quickly, but I'm sure that he heard me. I open one eye and see he's looking at me with a sort of blank expression on his face. I open my other eye and he snaps back to normal.
“Okaaay.” he says, dragging the word out for far too long. “Where in London?”
I try not to act stunned at his question. It's not exactly what I was expecting. Dan doesn't seem to notice the tension in the room as he seems content eating his lasagne noisily. Luke just watches us with his mouth hanging open, looking like he wishes Dad was having a different reaction.
“Uhh, Richmond.” I say awkwardly, “It's an apartment complex five stories high, looks over the Thames and everything.”
“That's great,” he says blankly. “What's it like?”
“Well … um …” I start nervously, scared of the calmness in his voice. “It's a two-bedroom flat, with a kitchen, a lounge and one bathroom …” I pause, realising this information probably isn't what he's asking for. “It's across the hall from Spencer's.” At these words his lips tighten and his eyes flash. “But I'm living with Albus Potter.”
“Potter?” asks Dan, with a mouth full of food. Polite, I know. “I didn't know you knew the Potter's, Liv.”
“Yeah,” I say nervously, not taking my eyes off my dad who's face is slowly getting redder. “Al was in my year and my house.”
“A Potter? In Slytherin?” Dan scoffs, eyes wide. I grit my teeth and glare at the man. He's never been supportive of me being placed in Slytherin.
“Yes.” I spit. “Do you have a problem with that ?”
“Oh, Olive, just as feisty as ever. I see not much has changed since I've been gone.” he says cheekily, reaching out to ruffle my hair.
I snap away, glaring at him. So much has changed it's not funny.
“Sorry!” he exclaims sarcastically, rolling his eyes. What a brat.
There's a long silence in which Luke taps his fingernails against the counter in a familiar beat; Dan goes back to his food; Dad continues staring off into the distance like he's thinking of something bad, his face getting more crimson by the second (house loyalty right there); and I watch them all do these things.
Luke hasn't spoken to me since he found out about how I betrayed Rose and I know for a fact he's not talking to Scorpius either. In a way it hurts to know my own brother hates me because of my actions. Luke and I have never been as close as twins should be. When we were younger we were immediately mixed with children our age because of our parents contacts with all the people who were war heroes. (Me with Dom and then Rose who has been best friends with Spencer for as long as she can remember. Then Luke with Louis and Al.) Because of that we were never pushed together like we should have been. We always had someone else who we could be with and we weren't close.
But I never expected us to stop talking. No matter what we're still twins. We're still blood and that can never be changed. I don't understand why he's making such a big deal over something that doesn't even involve him. The worst thing about it is that I know he doesn't trust me any more.
Hugo's words flash through my mind: “You've been treading on thin ice for a long time and it's finally starting to crack.”
I know exactly what they mean. I'm only human, I've made my fair share of mistakes, but it's the people who get affected by my actions. I'm not a good person. I've cheated, I've lied, I've ripped apart relationships without meaning any harm. Everywhere I go I leave a trail of destruction. Every heart I touch is burnt because I never look at the consequences before I do something.
Luke doesn't talk to me any more and I understand why. He's always loved me unconditionally. Even when I manipulate him into doing something for me. Even when I treat him like a slave who doesn't deserve my respect he still loved me. I should have known it would never last.
People don't love unconditionally forever. People hurt. People break. People don't stop doing that just because they love you. You have to work to keep people in your life. You can't just toss them around and hope when they get back up they'll still be willing to take the Killing Curse for you. You have to work to keep what you've got.
And I have never done an honest day's work in my life.
Author's Note: And you finally got to see Rose. An angry Rose. What did you think of her? What did you think of her reaction? Please don't mistake me, Rose has still not forgiven her and if I want to keep my story realistic it will probably take a long time for her to. How about Hugo? Even if it was just a snippett of him, should I have more of his character throughout the story? And was Daniel a surprise? He was planned all along, hopefully you can see his relationship with Olive is very tense.
More Author's Note: I'm up for any suggestions on what you want to happen next or who you want to see more of. My next chapters will be less dramatic and sad than my previous few, but they're also less planned, hopefully they'll turn out OK.. (: Thank you so much for reading!
“Well, since you seem to know me so well, what is my type?” I ask, my annoyance dying down and being replaced with curiosity.
“Weasley's and Potter's.” he states simply, shrugging. “They're everyone's type.”
I roll my eyes. “Someone has a case of ego-inflation. Would you like me to attempt at squeezing it out of you?” I ask sarcastically.
Al grins. “Don't waste your time love. Many have tried; none have succeeded.”
P.S: Please review? Please review? Please review? Maybe? Probably? Yes?
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