I feared at the rate my fingers were growing, they may have needed to be removed. The unknown gunk Anna forced me to soak them in, helped with the pain. I refused to know what that might have been, considering the horrifying stench it left our room.
“If the swelling gets any worse by tomorrow morning, you should go to the hospital wing.” Anna mumbled, filing her nails, “So was it awful?”
“Was what awful..?” I asked dunking my hand back into the stinky bowl, “Scrubbing a total of one hundred and seven unsanitary cauldrons? It’s lucky I have any skin left to have be swollen. Though, even that might be less awful than this!” I threw my hands up dramatically.
“Don’t be such a drama queen!” She rolled her eyes, “I was not referring to your giant hands. I meant spending an entire day with…eek…HIM!”
“Oh,” I chuckled nervously, “It wasn’t as terrible as we thought it would be.”
“No?” she was surprised, “That’s fresh! Well…Cleaning cauldrons. I’m sure you two didn’t have to speak to one another. Right?”
I shrugged, “Mostly not. I mean, it wasn’t a requirement.”
“Mostly?” she asked flatly, nearly slamming her file on the side table, “What about other than mostly? He didn’t upset you, right? He didn’t say anything to…”
“No, no, no!” I assured her, “Nothing bad.”
“Okay…” I didn’t expect her to leave it alone, “So what did he say? Or did you talk to him.”
I shrugged, “Pass the soap.” That’s not a lie, right? We both said it.
She laughed, “Oh, Olivia…You are a hoot!” her focus began back with her nails, “A little smart-ass, too. I thought you might have actually had a conversation with the prick!”
Uh…”Well…” I trailed off, trying to focus on my hands.
The chh-chh sound the file made against her nails slowed, “Well, what?”
I shrugged, “We may have talked about some things…”
Again, she slammed the file against the side table, “What exactly did you two have to talk about, Olivia?”
“Whether it be any of your business or not?” I scoffed a little defensively, “What’s so wrong with a civil conversation, Anna?”
She shook her head, “Because he’s just messing with you! You know…cat and mouse! And you aren’t the cat here!” she rubbed her temples, as if she was seriously stressing out over this, “Did you know Jen and Albus broke up? He’s just looking for something to do! Jen and Albus break up all the time. They butter up a couple of innocent kids for a week or so, then they’re sucking each other face again!”
“Even if that were true, what makes you think Albus wants to ‘butter up’, of anyone, me?!”
“Because he thinks he can get to you…” she shook her head disbelieving, “And by the look in your eyes…”
“What look!?” I nearly choked on my laughter.
She smirked, “You know exactly what I’m talking about.”
“I assure you, I don’t!”
“Humph!” She scoffed.
I rolled my eyes, “I’m not an idiot, Anna. If Albus is playing games, I’m sure I’d know…”
“Why? Because you know him better than anyone else?” she mocked, dramatically flipping her hair and batting her eyelashes.
I smiled, “As a matter of fact, yes. I know when he’s not being honest.”
“I’m not so sure of that…” she admitted too honestly, “You didn’t know when he was cheating on you…”
“No,” I shook my head, “But, it’s not like I asked!” Right? “And besides, I am not doing anything of the sort with him, ANYWAY!”
She sighed, “I hope not, for your sanity!”
“I’m not,” I tried sounding as assuring as possible.
She must have believed me. She nodded, “Okay,” and grinned, “I’m sorry for coming at you like that. I just don’t trust him, is all. He’s bad news, Olivia…And YOU of all PEOPLE should know that.”
“I do.” I should.
“Because, it’s be a shame to see him cheating on you for a second time…Like I said, a week or two. And they’ll be a public display of disgust again!” Back to her nails.
I decided to drop the subject. It was an odd feeling…actually trying to picture Albus and Jen together as a couple. In love or something. I knew they were steady but, I don’t think I ever gave it a chance to hit me. I had tried so hard to obliviate even the slightest hint of existence Albus actually had. Every memory we had ever shared, I pushed into the airtight space in the ‘do-not-open’ part of my brain, along side of the feelings and emotions. And I could feel that part of my mind begin to leak through, slowly but surely. And it was powerful. Not anywhere near overwhelming as I thought it would be. It was…Okay.
My fingers looked good as new but felt anywhere but fine. Everyone was excused from their detention due to near death knuckles it had left. I assumed Professor McGonagall felt our punishment was well served. Breakfast served me with a helping of eggs, toast, juice, and a heaping side of ‘I-told-you-so’ glares from Anna, referring to the ‘public-display-of-disgust’ coming from the back corner of the Great Hall.
Don’t go too far to judge. That was you once. And will be again.
I’m not judging.
No…You’re just jealous.
I’m not jealous! He’s not mine.
But, he should be…And that is why you are jealous.
Maybe there is something…But, jealous is definitely not the correct word of choice!
Yes, it is.
No, it isn’t.
Yes, it is!
No, it isn’t!
ISN’T! ISN’T!!! ISN’T!!!!!!!!!!!
She giggled, No need to get all worked up. Jealousy is a typical way to show how you feel when some wench is kissing your MAN!
I wish I could slap you.
Violence won’t solve your problems.
No, but it feels good.
Agreed. OOH! On second thought…Violence ended you up in detention with Albus!
Oh! That’s genius! Perhaps I should attack Jen every few days to create a relationship with Albus in detention…Hmm?
But, how would we get Albus in detention?
We are NOT actually planning this…?
Well, we might as well have a final option.
Are we already that desperate?
Is Albus fondling you right now?
I blushed, We haven’t really tried, yet.
I know, I know. Don’t worry, we aren’t at our last plan yet…And I don’t intend to get you that far!
How many plans do you have concocted up there in MY head?
Never mind that.
“What did I tell you,” Anna chuckled a little in her sigh, “And in less time than I had expected.”
I groaned and stuffed my face some more, “I told you I didn’t care.” I reminded her with a full mouth.
“Yes,” she tossed me a napkin, “But just in case you were lying, I thought I should let you know.”
I gulped down my eggs, “I wasn’t.”
“Fine!” I think she was giving in, “My parents are sending me a car to the train station next weekend for us. I’m just going to drive us to our house from there, is that alright?”
“Is that a yes or a no?” she moved her head so she could see my reaction, which I was trying very hard not to give, “Olivia? Is that okay? If not that’s fine, you know, I could just tell my parents…” I’m almost positive she paused to see me shrug again. She sighed, “I told my Mum just to send grandma!”
“No, Anna it’s fine.” I lied, “You know, I was just thinking I would go visit my mother for a couple hours and then floo on over.” I actually found myself surprised how easy it was to lie to Anna, but it didn’t shock me how guilty it made me feel, “I should see how she is doing.”
“Are you sure?” she asked obviously shocked, “If it’s about the car…It was more of a suggestion than a plan,”
“No! Really, it’s fine. You keep that plan. It will only be a couple hours and then I’ll come straight over.” I shoved the last bit of food on my plate down my throat.
“Well, that will be good then!” her reaction changed to something like, pleased. And she grinned, “I’ve been meaning to ask you about the car...but I didn’t even know if my parents would go for the idea.”
“It’s fine...Like I said, I’m going to...” I paused.
“Your mothers?” She finished for me.
“Yeah...” I began to question the idea, myself. “I’m sure she’ll have something else going on. She may not even be there...I mean, she wasn’t there the last time.”
“But, she never see’s me. Maybe she’ll know I’m coming. Mothers are supposed to have that psycho mind power, right?”
“Or maybe she won’t!” Anna laughed, “You’re so difficult, Olivia! Write to your mother and let her know you are coming to visit her. If she has plans, she’ll cancel them. But, if you don’t tell her you’re coming, she may very well have other plans and you will find yourself at her empty house again!”
“I wrote to her that time!” I think.
“Just writing a letter is not the same as writing a letter and actually taking the time to send it. You do understand that, right.” She gave me one of her genuinely concerned looks, “That in order for someone to receive the letter you wrote to them, it must actually be sent?”
I rolled my eyes as it all came back to me, “That bleeding chicken of yours replaced that letter with my potions notes! Not only did my letter not get sent, I was left without study material!”
“For one: You cannot point to your cluttered desk and command he take a letter to your house! TWO: He is NOT a CHICKEN! He is an owl! AND HE HAS A NAME!” She was very sensitive of her owl.
“Yeah, Kip!” I exclaimed, “What does kip mean in Dutch?”
She looked away, “Do not start with me!”
“I began a while ago!”
“If I hadn’t listened to your big mouth in the first place, he would have a much more respectable name!”
“It suits him!”
“It does not!” she argued, throwing a grape at me.
“Yes, it does!”
“Gah!!! Are you going to write her or not?”
“Yes, I will.” I assured her, “But your chicken will not be in charge of my mail.”
I tapped my quill against the little bit of parchment. I had the words, but they didn’t seem to write well on paper. I scribbled over everything I had just wrote...
I’m coming over Friday to say hi.
Are you only visiting your mother so you can avoid that car ride with your friend?
No. I lied.
A two minute sit in the passenger seat with one of the only people in this world that you trust vs. Mum. And Mother wins.
I nodded, Yup, I guess so.
This has nothing to do with your father, right?
That’s a stupid question.
You don’t have to deny it.
It has everything to do with him. With everything that happened with him, okay?
I thought so. But, you could have just been honest with her. She would have understood.
Maybe. But I found a simpler way out of it anyway, didn’t I?
Not really. You made up some excuse to avoid it which put you in another position that makes you uncomfortable. Can you tell me how that’s simpler?
It’s simpler than cleaning up the shit in my pants.
That was a horrid image, Olivia.
It’s simpler because I said so. Now drop it!
She would have understood.
She would have tried to talk about it.
Isn’t that what you and I are doing?
No. Now get out of my brain!
Because I’ve already unpacked!
Funny. It really wasn’t.
Have you ever talked to, Anna about it?
About what? My dad?
She already knows. She met him before he died.
You should talk to someone about it.
I thought that’s what you and I were doing?
I mean someone outside of your brain.
I sighed, Yeah, I talked to Anna about it before. It was a horrid sight...Tears, snot, hugs, snot, and more hugs. Repressed memories...Thanks for brining it up.
And how long have you been holding it since then?
I don’t know! A while?!
You should let that stuff out every once and a while. Building up emotions inside yourself is a great way to crack!
I’m talking to people inside my head...
Compose yourself. Albus is coming in.
“Olivia?” he stepped through the door to the empty mailing room, “What are you doing here?”
I grinned, “Just sending a letter.” DUH!
“Oh.” he made his way to a cage with a sleeping owl, “Me too.” he wrote an address on his envelope, “Who are you writing to?”
“Um,” I gulped and nervously shoved my own letter into an envelope, “My mother...I’m gonna go see her Friday.”
I tried very hard to notice his satisfied smile, “That’s really good! I bet she would love to see you.”
“Yeah...” I watched his tongue lick the envelope. I was one of those moments I wished there was a slow motion button on life. And perhaps a glass of water to wash down the lump that was lodged in my throat. Did I just drool?
“Good thing we didn’t have detention today,” he motioned to his blistered fingers.
I didn’t realize what I was doing. It was a strange reaction and I should have been slapped for being so forward. I pathetically snatched for his hands, “This looks awful!”
But he didn’t pull away, “Eh, don’t worry! I’ll live to see another detention.” he winked, “Your hands look great!”
He noticed me.
I shrugged, finally pulling away from him. More like prying. “Anna drowned me in some top secret family serum...something or another! Almost literally.”
He chuckled, “That’s good...I think.”
“It is.” I assured him, “I’d probably be in some sort of institute without her...” That was a little too honest. “She’s really just a blessing to have, I guess, is what I’m saying...Good friend?”
He smiled a crooked smile, “I get that impression. She has always been a good friend to you, no matter how....Rough?...Around the edges she may be.”
I shrugged, “That’s probably the only reason why she’s my friend.”
“What do you mean?” he asked, a little confused.
What did I mean? I dropped it and finished off my envelope and handing it to the most alert looking owl I could find. He looks...dependable. As though he wouldn't go off and switch this letter with my knickers as soon as I set him off on his quest.
From the corner of my eye, it was almost creepy, I could see Albus staring at me. Maybe wondering what my insane mind was thinking. It was probably best he doesn’t know. It’s probably really repulsive.
“Livia...?” he almost whispered.
I blinked at him. Mostly because he keeps calling me by my little pet names.
“I um...Well, my cousin. You remember Victoire and Teddy, right?”
“They’re getting married.” he still spoke softly, “Well, I think Victoire was attempting to tell me a story about how you help her find the most...and don’t EVER tell anyone I used this word...kiss-able...lip...stuff or something. And I don’t know too much more of the story, except that that was the night Teddy proposed to her and, she made this part very apparent, that Teddy thought the lip gloss tasted like cinnamon.” His eyes went blank then. Like, a little kid had just discovered Santa Clause wasn’t real. He had realized those words really came from his mouth.
I blinked again.
“My point, I guess...Victoire thinks you’re part of the reason she is getting married and insists that you attend this wedding!” he sighed, “I’m not the messenger or anything. You’re supposed to get an invite soon. But, Teddy is threatening me...If I’m the reason you don’t go or...wont go, that I’m not invited. Which, I assure you, would actually be splendid! But...”
“You remember my mother, right?” he chuckled nervously, “She’s a simple woman. Just don’t doing anything to upset her, you know? Well, if I don’t go...That will probably upset her.” he sounded a little more frantic now, “I’m not meaning that you have to go. And that that is the only reason you should because it’s not. But, you should go!”
Blink, blink, blink.
“Will you go?”
He gulped, “For the sake of ‘love’?”
Just say yes!
“Yes!” nearly shouted.
He smiled, a little relieved, “Good, I’m glad! Victoire will be pleased! And make sure you R.S.V.P! That’s I guess an important part. Anyone that doesn’t is going to starve, I guess, because they wont have a proper head count.”
“My family is going mad over this wedding! I’m telling you, there was rice in my fathers last letter.” he chuckled.
“I haven’t been to a wedding before.” I admitted.
“No...I guess not.” he seemed to have remembered, “They aren’t really all that great, I promise. But there will be cake! So long as you R.S.V.P.”
“Do I have to dress fancy?”
“No, you could wear pajama’s if that’s what you like.” he smiled.
“What are you wearing?”
“Oh,” he shrugged, “My mum is making me dress fancy. But that’s only because I’m actually in the wedding.”
I grinned, “I probably should not wear pajama’s.”
“Well, no, not literally.” he smirked, “Honestly, I’m no good at dressing myself let alone a girl...so maybe you could ask your friend?”
I nodded, “That’s a good idea.”
Or you could ask me!
I don’t want to slut my way back into his heart!
What is that supposed to mean?
“I should get back.” I lied, “I have a paper I need to finish.”
“Of corse!” he smiled, “I’m glad your coming.”
I smiled, “Me too.”
I'm so sorry for the wait! And that this chapter wasn't exactly how I wanted it to go...I may make a few changes a little later. But, I wanted to make sure I made this post before the Jan. 5th! I've been a little busy. But, I found some time this last week. Thanks to all the help from my husband and his Christmas vacation!
Speaking of...Merry be-lated Christmas everyone and Happy Happy Happy Happy New Year!!!
I also wanted to make sure EVERYONE was AWARE!!! Since it is now 12:18 am on Jan. 3rd, that makes it my birthday! ^_^ And all I want for my birthday is to come back and see review's full of love for this story! Critism is welcome, rude comments will be reported! Hope you all enjoyed!