Chapter 8 : The Eighth One
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this image of lovely-ness is by Magic_Phoenix.
I stormed into the DADA classroom – rule number one of snogging your best friend in secret: don’t ever actually be where you’ve told your friends you’ll be – and marched right up to James, who was fiddling with a quill absent mindedly.
“So, you’re taking Erin to Hogsmeade then?” I said, and I was surprised at how vicious my tone came out. I was angry, and I didn’t know why. I couldn’t recall deciding that I was angry, but I was.
James blinked at me, his face twisting slightly.
“Yeah. Fred basically forced me,” He started, but I cut him off.
“Yeah, it’s a shame no one has invented the phrase ‘I don’t want to’, isn’t it? Oh wait...” I scowled at him and he sighed.
“Summer,” He began, but I cut him off again.
“You know, maybe it’s just me being stupid, but I always just assumed that you would tell me before you asked someone else out – if not because we do this,” I gestured between us, “But because we’re actually friends.”
“Summer, I haven’t asked her to be my girlfriend; I’m just taking her to Hogsmeade. You know I’d rather be with you and Connor,”
“Oh sure. You’ll be desperately pining over Connor and I when you’re snogging that girl in the Three Broomsticks. Wishing you were with us, you’ll be.” I glared at him, and he stared back at me, defiance growing in his eyes.
“Why are you getting so pissed off about this? It’s one date; it’s not the end of the world.”
“When were you going to tell me, huh? Were you just going to snog me tonight and then tell me later, or where you just not going to mention it at all? You know full well that I won’t snog you when you’re dating someone else,” It was my turn to be cut off.
“For fuck’s sake, we are not dating! I’m taking her to Hogsmeade, which will get Fred off my back, and I don’t plan on ever having to see her again.”
“You know what James, maybe we should take other people to Hogsmeade. I mean, neither of us date other people, and maybe we should because it’s not like we’re going out. Yeah, maybe I’ll ask someone to go with me.”
James’ eyes darkened and his mouth twisted into a scowl.
“Like hell.” He spat. “You’re not having some sleazy bloke take you to Hogsmeade, no way –”
“So what, it’s alright for you to date other people but not me?” I asked, folding my arms, my angry eyes boring into his furious ones. We were both seething; both angrier than we had ever been with each other, but neither would have been able to tell the other why we felt like that. The anger was so thick it was almost pulsing between the two of us in waves.
“Why the hell do you have such a problem with this? Are you jealous or something?” He asked viciously, and I narrowed my eyes until they were only slits.
“I am fucking well not jealous – I’m just pissed off that you thought you could just go without mentioning this to me. I’m your friend James, I expect you to tell me things like this. I don’t give a flying fuck that you’re taking someone else to Hogsmeade.”
“I was going to tell you,” James sighed, some of the anger leaving him.
I laughed one quick, humourless laugh.
“When exactly? After you’d already got a snog out of it?” James’ eyes narrowed again, and the little anger that had left him before returned with a vengeance .
“Oh for fuck’s sake, get off your fucking high horse and just admit that you have a problem with this. If it bothers you that badly, then I’ll cancel. Do you want me to?”
“No, I don’t want you to, but I want you to tell me what you should have told me. Tell me that you asked someone else to Hogsmeade and that you’re going with them instead of with me, like normal.” James glared for a moment longer, and then sighed.
“Fine. I asked Erin Jameson to go to Hogsmeade with me, and she said yes. I’m picking her up at twelve and taking her to the Three Broomsticks for a Butterbeer.” He was glaring at me the whole time.
“What, no Madame Puddifoots?” I asked, and he glared.
“Yes.” I seem to contradict myself a lot.
“Why are you so pissed that I didn’t tell you?” James asked bitterly after a couple of minutes of silence, and I had to swallow the desperate urge to hit him across the face until he looked more like an eel than a teenage boy.
“Imagine if it was the other way around James, imagine that you’ve just gone up to your dorm and Connor mentions to you that some bloke – David from Hufflepuff, let’s say – is taking me to Hogsmeade, and not only did I not ask you, I didn’t even mention it to you. Everything would be okay between us?” I used a sugary sweet voice that I knew annoyed the shit out of him.
“Yes.” He said, but he swallowed with difficulty, his eyes fuming.
“So you would be alright with the fact some lad would be walking round Hogsmeade with me, buying me drinks and holding my hand and kissing my neck and –” James slammed his hands down on the desk and I allowed myself a brief smirk.
“Look, it’s different.” James insisted angrily, and I shook my head.
“No, it’s not.” I shuffled back to the door, shoved it open and stared at him. “Oh, and Dom asked me to ask you if you fancy her.”
James cocked a sceptical eyebrow at the ‘Dom’ part, but I couldn’t give a shit.
“Ask Dom to ask me herself then, if she’s that interested.” He smirked, and I shrugged offhandedly. His smirk fell a little bit.
“Fine, I will. And if she asks, we were studying in your dorm.” James looked like he was about to say something to me, but before he could I had stepped out of the room and shut the door behind me. No, I wasn’t alright with the fact he was taking Erin whats-her-face to Hogsmeade, but he wasn’t to know that.
God, what happened to the good old days of simplicity and snogging?
“Why are you back already?” Dom asked, peering up at me through her green face mask. Looks like she’s doing that girly sleepover on her own. I smiled slightly and padded over to her, dropping onto the bed next to her.
Dom was clutching the latest issue of Witch Weekly in her hand, and the name emblazoned across the front cover caught my eye.
HARRY POTTER GIVEN BRAND NEW HERO STATUS BY MINISTRY.
Underneath the picture there was a photo of the Potter family, Mr Potter with his arm around Mrs Potter, who was holding hands with Lily. James and Albus were grinning next to each other on the free side of their father. I couldn’t help but smile slightly at how much they looked like the picture perfect family.
My eyes fell onto James’ face, and I couldn’t help the unease that rolled in my stomach.
I hate fighting with James, I really do. It makes me feel so awful – confused and strange and it makes me want to curl up into a ball on his knee and let him stroke my hair and kiss my neck like normal.
I want James to kiss my cheek and tell me I’m beautiful like normal, and knowing that he won’t even talk to me properly, that when he looks at me it won’t be with a cheeky wink and a smirk, it will be with narrowed eyes and an angry expression, everything seems wrong.
James is my rock, he makes everything make sense.
And without my anchor to hold me down, who knows where I’m going to end up.
“Summer, are you alright? You look a bit funny.” Gee Dom, don’t lay the compliments on too thick, you might inflate my ego.
“I’m fine. I didn’t take as long as I thought I would with James, so I thought we could have that girly sleepover like you wanted.” I smiled at her, but kept my eyes staring at the door, refusing to let her pale blue lock with my green.
Dom squealed and tossed something at me, which I attempted to catch, but failed so royally I ended up ninja rolling off the bed and landing in a groaning heap on the floor, the UTO (unidentified thrown object) lying three metres away from the tips of my outstretched fingers.
Well. This day has turned out to be just dandy, hasn’t it?
“Will you pass me the salt please, James?” I asked woodenly, not raising my eyes from my plate. James didn’t move, and eventually I glanced up in irritation.
The salt shaker is right next to his hand. Right next to it. He would literally have to move his fingers a couple of centimetres and then he would be able to pass it to me.
How petty and ridiculous is he? God I just want to hit him... or snog him. I’m undecided as of now.
“Oi, James, Summer asked you to pass her the salt.” Fred grunted, jabbing James in the ribs. He winced slightly but didn’t look up from the lasagne he was jabbing angrily with a steak knife. He hasn’t had a single bite of it. He just sits there and stabs it with a steak knife.
“Yeah, I’m sure it takes her so much effort to get her lazy arse off the bench and get it herself.” He hissed back angrily, and a crease appeared between Fred’s eyebrows.
“I don’t get it.” He said eventually.
“Don’t worry, Freddie my boy,” He glared at me as I used his most hated nickname, “It’s his time of the month. I’ll get it myself.” I leaned across Connor and Dom, put my hand next to the bowl of soup and stretched my fingers out.
After a couple of seconds of oh-so-sexy grunting I managed to grab it, and I sat down and glared at James as he did his best to hide a smirk.
He wanted to watch me suffer, didn’t he?
Right, I definatley want to hit him. It’s decided.
“Alright, I’m getting the distinct impression that something has happened between you two.” Fred said after a couple of minutes, glancing between James and I. We both blinked at him. “You’re not talking to each other, and when you do you’re all icy and cold. And James wouldn’t pass you the salt. And you’re both glaring a whole lot. I’m just getting an inkling that you’ve fell out. Am I barking up the wrong tree here?”
“No, we haven’t fallen out.” James sighed heavily. I raised my eyebrows at him and he shot me a quick look before he looked back at his cousin.
“Alright.” Fred shrugged, and without a moment’s hesitation he grabbed his fork and started eating Penny’s chicken again. Dom shrugged too, and Penny continued polishing her glasses. Only Connor continued looking at the pair of us, a knowing look in his eye.
I don’t like that look. Not one bit.
“So, James,” Connor started, and I noticed that even though he was talking to James he was staring at me. “I heard you and Fred talking, are you really taking that Erin girl to Hogsmeade?” His eyes still didn’t leave me.
I clenched my fork tightly in my hand and shovelled a piece of chicken into my gob to excuse myself from having to say anything.
“Um... I don’t know.” James said eventually, staring at the tabletop as though his life depended on it. Fred glanced up at him and he quickly started speaking again. Best not to get Fred involved, you know. “I don’t know if I should go with Erin. I don’t want to lead her on or anything, and it’s not like I’m going to make her my girlfriend or something ridiculous like that.”
“Who said anything about making her your girlfriend? That’s crazy talk, who would do something like that?” Fred chipped in, clutching a forkful of chicken in each hand and wearing a scandalised expression.
“Yeah, I’m just not sure. Look, I think I’m going to go back up to the dorm and work on –”
“SUMMER! SUMMER! SUMMER, I NEED YOU, QUICK!” Scorpius came skidding down the aisle, his blonde hair windswept (how on earth does that make him look more attractive?) and practically leaping up and down with excitement.
“Do you want me?” I asked mildly, and he nodded like a nodding dog on nodding tablets, rather than shooting me the usual exasperated glance and sighing like the Burrow’s mirror.
“Yes! I have had the most amazing idea in the history of amazing ideas. I may go down in history for this. But I need your help, so if you’re all done here,” Scorpius grabbed my arm and hauled me off the bench, “Then we need to go. Come on, chop chop.”
I waved a spazzed hand in the general direction of my friends and then allowed myself to be towed off.
Why do all the males in my life seem to control me so much?
When we reached the entrance hall Scorpius turned to look at me with a look of pure glee.
“I am a complete and utter genius of the first water.” He informed me happily, ignoring the looks I shot around, making sure no one saw me fraternising with someone that was almost positively clinically insane.
“And before I correct that blatant lie, would you like to tell me why?” I asked.
“I have figured out a way to get Rose to fall in love with me again.” He said cheerfully, practically skipping along next to me.
“You’re speaking as though you know she was in love with you in the first place. If she really loved you then she wouldn’t have fallen out of love with you yet. So you just need to get her to realise that you are not the giant prickhead she thinks you are.” I told him matter-of-factly.
He frowned as he thought about what I said.
Jesus mate, don’t strain yourself.
“Do you think she was in love with me?” He asked, and I slowed down slightly as I honestly thought about it. She fancied him, that much was obvious, but did she love him?
She always blushed whenever he got within a three foot radius of him, but that could just be put down to shyness. And she always watched his Quidditch matches, even though she hates the sport as much as I do - she sits there as white as a sheet because she is so worried he is going to get hit by a bludger. She cried for hours with Lily and Dom every time he got a new ‘girlfriend’, and always refused to go to parties because it was ‘too fucking painful’ to see Scorpius grinding with some random bint.
She... holy shit. She was – is? - in love with him. With Scorpius Malfoy. Poor girl.
“Yeah, I think she was.” I told him truthfully, and I almost didn’t want to continue when I saw how bright the resulting beam was. “And I think she still does too – but I think she’s trying really hard to stop. You disappointed her time and time again, and then you were a complete tosser to her. You can’t blame her for giving up. I would have long before she did.”
“Well, as confusing as this exchange has been, would you like to hear my excellent idea?” He asked brightly, and before I could tell him that I had no interest whatsoever, he had launched into a stupidly long winded explanation.
“You’re fucking insane.” I told him weakly. “There is no way that I am going to do that – there is no way that I am going to be involved in one of your schemes to win Rose back full stop.”
Scorpius pouted at me.
“But please Summer, it won’t work without you. I need someone to be the evil villain so I can be the knight in shining armour and sweep her off her feet.” He stared at me as though his argument was completely rational and made complete sense.
Yeah, it doesn’t.
“I am not, and I repeat NOT, going to break Rose’s leg for you. No. How could even think about that, I thought you were supposed to love her, and you are actually asking me to go and break her leg?! You are such a fucking idiot.”
“Look, all you have to do is ask her to show you how well she can fly a broomstick –”
“Which she wouldn’t, because she can’t stand broomsticks. And neither can I, for the record.”
“And then once she has gotten far enough up into the air that she can’t see you any more, you need to whip out your wand and zap her to the ground –”
“Can you hear yourself, you bleeding tosspot!?”
“And obviously you can catch her or something so that so that she only breaks a couple of bones, and then when you say that you can’t take her up to the hospital wing because you can’t carry her –”
“This is the most sadistic, idiotic scheme that even you have ever come up with, it’s ridiculous!”
“And I will suddenly stroll up to you, scoop her up into my arms and carry her up to the castle. Then I’ll insist on waiting with her while Madame Pomfrey heals her and then I’ll kiss her really lightly on the lips, and everything will be Jim dandy again. See the brilliance?”
I blinked at him in sheer shock for a moment.
He cannot be being serious. He just can’t be.
“Scorpius, you have just asked me to break some of Rose’s bones so that you can act like her knight in shining armour. Why don’t you just tell her you made a mistake and ask her out like a normal person? Then maybe she’ll go on a date with you, and everything will be just Jim dandy. Plus, that plan means I’m not breaking anyone’s bones, and basically, I’m not involved. Everyone wins.”
Scorpius stared at me.
“I can’t do that!” He said in horror. “Then she’ll realise I like her and I’ll look like a proper idiot.”
I lost my patience.
“Then maybe you should evaluate how much you really love her Scorpius, because until you learn to suck in that enormous ego of yours, nothing is ever going to happen between the pair of you. Grow a pair and get over yourself, then maybe I’ll consider helping you.”
And with that, I turned around and walked away.
What can I say? I’m a fan of tough love.
“What the holy shit is going on here?” Dom asked. My sentiments exactly, Dommie my girl. Sometimes I think we are like identical brain twins.
“Well, he is the biggest arse in the history of the world and deserves to be thrown off a cliff, but I suppose that since they are dating, they do kind of have a right to snog each other.” Rose put in gently, and upon seeing the utter outrage on Dom and my faces quickly backtracked. “But most definatley not in the middle of the Gryffindor common room, which he doesn’t even have a right to be in because he’s a Slytherin...” She added hastily.
“Well, it’s not like you have a problem with all Slytherins hanging around in here.” Dom added waspishly. “I seem to remember you begging Summer to bring Scorpius in here after –” Dom cut off when I kicked her in the ankle.
Rose was a delicate red – her cheeks flushed and her lip caught tightly underneath her tooth.
“Yeah, well, I don’t think that Scorpius should be hanging around in here anymore either.” She muttered. “I think he should be hanging upside down off a cliff actually.” She added quietly.
I don’t think she realised I heard her.
“Yeah, well –” I started, but I stopped as Penny giggled and Kane flipped her upside down on the couch, his chest pressed flush against hers. “Look, Rose, will you just do me a favour and break the pair of them up. I feel nauseous.”
Rose stared at me as though she thought I’d just escaped from the local mental asylum.
“Are you off your fucking rocker, he’ll tear my head off and feed it to a herd of wild giraffes! I do have a wish to live past the age of sixteen, funnily enough, so no; I will not go over there!” Rose spluttered, and with another terrified glance at me she quickly scurried away and left the common room.
I am such a loser. Even Rose Weasley – the nicest girl in the history of the world – runs away from me.
“Oh god, someone please stab a quill into my eye.” James moaned, covering his eyes with his hands and staggering across the common room. Connor was guiding him, his eyes wrinkled in a squint and his mouth twisted in distaste.
James somehow managed to end up next to me, and when he opened his eyes a crack and realised this, he nearly leapt to the other side of Dom, like I had some kind of rampant disease.
Connor blinked between the pair of us.
“Oh bleeding hell, that is fucking disgusting!” Fred’s voice boomed across the common room, as he stepped through the portrait hole with his arm wrapped around some blonde chick’s neck. “Someone break the two of them up before they de-virginise the eyes of all the first years in the room.”
Penny stiffened slightly under Kane’s massive frame and slowly laid her hands on his chest, pushing him off her body with an almost worried movement.
He shot her a glare and sat up, running his hand over his jaw – which was in need of a good shave – and staring at Fred as though he wanted him to just drop dead on the spot.
He slowly rose from his seat, the eyes of the whole common room on him in the dead silence, and walked across the room. The whole room waited with baited breath as the steady thump of each of his steps echoed off the walls.
He reached Fred and his eyes narrowed, his mouth twisting into a vindictive sneer.
“Go fuck your whore upstairs, but fuck out of our lives.” He hissed, and with that he shoved past Fred, bashing him to the side, and hauled himself out of the portrait hole.
Just before it closed again he turned around and stared Penny straight in the eyes, his expression dead, his eyes flat and dangerous.
“If you ever feel like not being a frigid prude, come down to the common room.” He hissed, and then slammed the portrait shut with a shuddering thud.
I turned to look at Penny and was not surprised to see red flush splashed across her cheekbones, her eyes glassy. More and more people turned to look at her, and with a muffled sob she launched herself off the couch and flung herself through the doorway to the girl’s dorms.
“Shit.” Dom breathed.
I have no idea why Scorpius thinks that he is a genius of the first water, when that title is quite clearly being reserved for people like me. Absolute genii that need recognition for how bleeding wonderful and brainy they really are.
Anyway, what was my point?
Oh yeah, I had the best idea before. I was sitting in a Charms theory lesson and I started thinking about James and how he wasn’t talking to me at the moment, so my mind travelled back to a couple of weeks ago when we had a bit of a spat over the whole Natalie fandango.
And that’s when I remembered that I never did follow up on why that actually happened. But then, if James wouldn’t tell me – especially now – then I needed someone else to tell me.
Someone who knew the whole story.
And that’s when I found the weak link. The easiest person to break, the person that can be charmed with a packet of strawberry bootlaces and a friendly smile (and a willingness to let him tell you about whatever bint he had been snogging the night before).
“Hello Fred, how are you doing?” I asked cheerfully, dropping down into the seat next to him and offering him a wide smile.
He smiled at me just as widely and offered me a bite of his chicken leg, which I accepted with a smile (even though I was actually cursing all chickens to Hades for making me exchange saliva with Fred Weasley).
“You know what Fred, I was thinking before and I realised that we never talk enough. So I thought that it might be nice if we spend a little time together while all the others are off doing homework and Quidditch and whatnot.” Fred beamed at me again and took another chicken leg off my plate.
“You’re right, we never do talk enough. That was a very nice idea of yours.” One day Fred’s unflappable happiness is going to get him in some deep shit.
But for now it is my friend.
“So, what could we talk about?” I asked, casually pulling the packet of strawberry bootlaces out of my bag and dropping them onto the table. I pulled one out and waved it in front of his face, pinching my lips together to stop myself from smirking when his eyes grew and a smile split his face.
Fred is such a cutie-pie when he wants to be.
“Did you buy them for me?” He asked, and I couldn’t help but smile at how goddamn happy he sounded.
“Of course I did, I thought you’d enjoy them. And what are friends for, you know, they buy each other food and talk to each other and... tell each other secrets.” I pulled another bootlace out of the packet and dangled it above his open mouth, dropping it into his gob.
He chewed twice and then swallowed it.
“Can I have another one?” He asked quickly, beaming at me like an I-don’t-know-what. I nodded and pulled another bootlace out, tossing it randomly into the air and letting him catch it with his teeth.
Does the smile ever leave his face? He’s like Natalie in that respect – well, other than the fact he can act like a fucking boxer when he gets pissed off – but on him it actually looks natural, rather than giddy-goody-girly-girl.
“You can have as many as you want, sweetheart.” I smiled, pushing the whole packet towards him. Fred looked as though all of his dreams had come true at once.
As Fred ravaged the bootlaces apart, I decided that it was as good a time as any to bring it up. If anyone was going to be cool about discussing it, it was going to be Fred, so I might as well just get it over with.
“Fred, can you tell me something?” I asked hesitantly.
“Sure, what do you want to know?” He asked, and I stumbled over my words as I tried to find a way to ask that would not make me seem like a nosy cow.
Fred – he was the easiest to get the information out of, and he was the least likely to ask questions, as well as the least likely to accuse you of prying and go off in the huffmobile, but he loved his family more than anything. He might not be too happy about the fact I’m prying into James’ private business when he asked me to drop it.
Wow, smooth Summer. Real smooth.
“I mean, why did Natalie and James break up?” I asked slowly, and something in Fred’s eyes instantly seemed to harden, become a layer of solid oak instead of a pool of melted chocolate. He turned to look at me, his eyebrows drawn together, and in that second I could predict exactly what he was going to say.
“I can’t tell you Summer, not if James won’t. If he wanted to tell you then he would.” It was one of the only times I had ever seen Fred serious when Kane wasn’t involved. “If you really need to know, then you’re going to have to hear it from James.”
Gee Fred, way to make me not want to know.
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE BLEEDING SECRET IS ALREADY!
I want to be in the loop, I hate being on the outside.
“Fred please, I really want to know. James let something slip the other week and I really want to know – what harm can honestly come from telling me? Please Fred.”
And unleash the giant puppy dog eyes, as taught by Scorpius Malfoy.
My cousin may be a git and a half when he wants to be, but I can’t say that being related to him isn’t without its advantages.
“Stop looking at me like that.” Fred grunted. “And if James won’t tell you, then I’m not going to. That break up was really tough on him, that’s why I forced him to go on a date with this blonde chick from Ravenclaw. He really didn’t want to, kept prattling on about how he wanted to go with you and Connor, but I told him he had no choice. He’s got to get over that bitch – I mean Natalie eventually.”
“Wait, you really did force James to go on a date with that Erin girl?” I asked, my voice hollow with shock.
Oh shit. Oh crap. Oh buggering bleeding hell. Holy mother. He was telling me the truth. He really was forced to go by Fred – I thought he just said that to get himself off the hook.
Oh bleeding hell.
“Um, no reason.” I muttered. “So you’re really not going to tell me what happened between James and Natalie?” Fred shook his head. “Alright. Well, enjoy your bootlaces. I gotta go.”
I pecked Fred on the cheek, pushed myself off the bench and walked out of the door to the Great Hall.
So... James is going to Hogsmeade with some random blonde bint because Fred forced him to, and I blew up at him because I didn’t believe that Fred had forced him to – but he didn’t tell me when he should have. I have no idea what’s going on.
Oh buggering hell.
Merlin, why don’t you just make my life a little more complicated?
“Excuse me!” A happy voice called out behind me, and there was a sound of light footsteps pattering behind me on the entrance hall floor. “Summer Lancaster, can I have a word with you?”
I whirled around, right into the face of Natalie Duchess. My gob oh-so-intelligently fell open and she stared at me, her smile falling slightly when I didn’t reply.
“Um... sure.” I said in shock.
I hate you, Merlin.
disclaimer: none of this is mine.
happy belated holidays everyone! right, well, i cant think of anything to write right now, so im just going to leave it there. yep. sounds good.
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