Chapter 9 : Secrets
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We had been at for hours and not a whole progress had been made.
“Nothing!” I yelled back, flapping my arms hysterically, my eyes twitching violently.
Could you tell that I am not a very good liar?
“Something happened,” Lindsay persisted, following me as I walked out of our dorm room. “You can’t look any of us in the eye.”
“It’s true,” Emily put in with her high voice, trailing along with us.
“How about everybody just fucks off?” I suggested irritably. I tore down the stairs with the two of them on my heels. I pulled my school robes up to my knees as I ran away into the crowded common room.
“No!” Lindsay said loudly. A few nosy students turned around. I gave Lindsay a warning look, but she continued to talk at an unreasonably loud level. “We will not stop until you tell us what happened!”
I snorted. Oh yeah, so I snogged Lupin and slapped him.
Yeah, I’m sure you’d be okay with that.
It’s not like I knew how I felt about it anyways. Hell, if I did, maybe I wouldn’t feel so bloody confused.
“It’s none of your business!” I whisper-yelled. I sighed tiredly. “And to be frank, I can’t hurt someone even if it is Lupin.” I continued walking into the corridor where no busy bodies could overhear our conversation.
“That’s bullshit!” Lindsay yelled quietly (at least for her, anyways). “He hurts us and you let him get away scott-free? It’s been weeks and still no hearts broken!” Lindsay snapped impatiently. I grimaced to myself.
“I’m sorry,” I said sarcastically, wheeling around and glaring at both of them. “I’ll just go and break some hearts for you. Will that make you feel better?” To be honest, I was sick and tired of this. At first, the idea of hurting Teddy like he hurt me sounded appealing, but now the thought of actually hurting someone like that repulses me.
Emily looked properly embarrassed, but Lindsay just looked irritated.
Lindsay tapped her foot like an immature five-year old. “As a matter of fact, yeah.”
I snorted. “Go to hell.”
“I cannot believe you are choosing a bloke over your friends,” she sneered, sticking her pointed nose in the air. I glared at Emily hoping that she would stand up for me.
Some friends I have.
“If Kristen were here,” I said in a hollow voice, disappointed in the lack of support. “She would understand.”
Lindsay sneered at me. “Oh, yes?” she asked sarcastically. “I’m sure. Do you know what he did to Kristen?”
Emily grimaced. “Stop, Lindsay,” she said quietly. “That’s enough.”
“He cheated on her,” Lindsay said.
I vividly remember Kristen’s face as she ran into me, sobbing, after catching Lupin in the closet with another girl. “I know-”
“You know? But you won’t do anything about it?” Lindsay yelled. “Do you know what he did to Emily?” she continued, getting progressively louder.
I frowned. “Of course, I do, that’s why-”
“But do you know the real reason?”
“What?” I blinked in confusion and looked at Emily who was refusing to look at either of us.
“Stop,” Emily whispered, covering her ears firmly with her hands.
Without looking at Emily, Lindsay continued her tirade with a hard expression. “He slept with her. Took her virginity. Told her he loved her.” Emily winced. I looked at her, stunned. I was one of her best friends, but this was the first time I ever heard of that. “Then he dumped her just because he could. Not even for some other girl.”
I was completely mind blown. They hadn’t been dating all that long so I never thought it would’ve been that serious. And who could do that to Emily? Not Teddy… He’s a lot of things, but even then, he wouldn’t do that.
“Stop it, Lindsay!” Emily shouted. Both me and Lindsay got a good look at her and realized tears were streaming down her round face.
“Both of you, just stop!” she cried, pushing strands of brown hair out of her face.
Lindsay’s stone face wavered. “Emily, I-”
“Save it,” she said thickly. “I’m done with this.” Without another word, she stormed up the stairs. Before she was even gone, Lindsay rounded on me.
“Look what you did. Can’t you do anything right?” Lindsay hurried after Emily, apologizing.
My friends were mad at me.
And I wasn’t exactly Miss Popularity.
No one else was there for me.
I was alone.
For once, I agreed with Lindsay.
I can’t do anything right.
Did Lupin really do that? And why didn’t I know? I’ve been accusing them of being horrible friends when I didn’t even realize what they were going through. I’ve been so self-absorbed that I didn’t even give it a second thought.
I really was a horrible person.
Maybe that’s why nobody ever associates with me. I am a spoiled, selfish brat.
I collapsed onto the cold, stone floor and sat there.
I was debating running into the forest and living there with the werewolves. At least then, nobody would have to deal with my company.
I don’t know how long it was until someone actually sat beside me.
“Hey, Weasley,” a voice said. And I instantly realized it to be Nathaniel’s. If I wasn’t so depressed at the time, I might’ve felt happy that someone bothered to come see me. “What’s up?”
“Hi,” I said quietly, not looking at him. As glad as I was that he came to see me, I was still completely miserable.
He was silent for a second and I could tell he was watching me. I hugged my legs tightly.
“Let’s go someplace private,” he said suddenly. I looked at him, startled, but he just smiled pleasantly at me. “It sounds like you have a lot to tell me about.”
“So, he kissed you,” Nathaniel said tentatively, picking at the sleeve of his shirt. I was sitting on the bleachers of the Quidditch Pitch, tilting my head, watching Nathaniel in amusement.
Being with Nathaniel almost made me forget about everything that just happened.
… Well, almost.
“And you kissed him back…”
“Then you slapped him.”
Nathaniel heaved a heavy sigh and ran a hand through his black hair. “Merlin, Victoire. I’ve never met a girl like you before.”
I grinned, a warm sensation filling the bottom of my stomach. “Thanks,” I paused. “I think.”
He raised an eyebrow at me.
“So, what now?” he asked, frowning his eyebrows at me.
I shrugged. “Dunno,” I answered honestly. I completely had no idea what to do. What would anybody do in a situation like this? “Lupin hates me. My friends hate me now too.”
Nathaniel crinkled his nose. “Too be honest, I’m not really a fan of your friends…”
I laughed. “No, I don’t think they’re your type of people. Too…”
“Shallow? Conceited? Generic?” Nathaniel supplied while rolling his eyes.
I blinked in surprise. “I think that’s the meanest you’ve ever been.”
He huffed. “Well, it’s true. People like that just really bug me.”
I shrugged. “They’re really not that bad. If you just got to know them-”
Nathaniel shook his head. “People like them don’t bother to get to know me.”
I looked into his eyes and blushed when I realized he was staring at me. “And you don’t think I’m like them?”
By the tone of his voice, I could tell he was smiling. “No, you’re… different.”
I blushed. Merlin, what is wrong with me? “I hope that’s a good thing…”
Nathaniel cleared his throat. “Um, yes… Definitely a good thing.”
“How am I different?” I asked curiously and looked at him. He immediately stared at his hands.
I had to strain my ears to hear his mumbled answer. “Well, you’re real.”
“As opposed to the plastic girls you find at the store?” I said with a confused laugh. Nathaniel blushed through his tanned skin, but continued to talk.
“Well, you’re beautiful.” I blushed a deep red, but he didn’t seem to notice. “Inside and out. Of course, you’re beautiful. You’re one of the most beautiful girls at Hogwarts. But your personality makes you even more so. You’re smart. And trust me, not a lot of girls are anymore. You’re independent. You don’t care what people say about you, but you’re a kind person, no matter what Teddy may say about you. I know that you act like you don’t care but I know you do. You wouldn’t hurt someone on purpose-”
A pit formed at the bottom of my stomach. What would he say if he knew what I tried to do to his best friend?
“I’m not as great as you think I am,” I cut him off.
Nathaniel put his hand over mine, a touch that was so gentle and something that I was not used to. I felt bad when I wondered if Teddy would ever do something like that…
“Victoire, there is no girl like you,” Nathaniel said with a smile. “Trust me. You may not be the nicest, the smartest, the prettiest, the greatest-”
I glared at him. “Thanks for the pep talk, champ.”
He shrugged. “But you don’t need to be. You’re Victoire.”
I smiled and look at him. “I don’t know how I was so lucky to have met you.”
He shrugged. “You’re the only girl who tried to get to know me.”
“Those girls don’t know what they’re missing,” I said honestly.
It could’ve been a life time and it wouldn’t have been long enough. I was content to stay, with his hand over mine, smiling at him. But Nathaniel cleared his throat and pulled his hand away. He quickly changed the subject, which was a shame, because I really enjoyed talking to him about something that wasn’t about Ted.
“Well, let’s deal with your Ted problem. What did you feel when he kissed you?” he asked.
I knew what I felt, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell Nathaniel it. I didn’t know how he’d react. Offended? Hurt?
I stayed silent and continued to look at him simply and he understood that I wasn’t ready to tell him. He groaned heavily, his body collapsed and he let it fall so he was lying on the bench. I watched him, not answering his question.
“Victoire, why do you come to me with these situations? I am his best mate if you didn’t know,” he grumbled exasperatedly, as he put his hands over his face. “You put me in a very difficult position.”
“Exactly!” I said, watching him carefully. “You do know him the best and believe it or not, you are one of the very few people I genuinely enjoy talking to.”
He grinned a little too happily. “You enjoy talking to me?” he asked, propping his body up with his arms so that he was sitting. I looked into his excited, grey eyes and nearly laughed.
I rolled my eyes. “Don’t get too cocky, Jones,” I said, shoving him away playfully. “You’re a nice guy and those are hard to come by.”
“Yeah…” he said, almost sadly, tilting his head and watching me curiously, “I guess they are.”
Nathaniel stayed silent for a moment, and I cleared my throat, uncomfortable under his intent gaze. “So what do you think I should do?” I asked, genuinely interested in what he had to say.
“Talk to Teddy.”
“Yeah, that worked so well the first time,” I muttered, thinking about my ranting.
And the kiss…
“Try it again,” Nathaniel said unhelpfully.
“Have you ever thought that maybe me and Lupin aren’t meant to be together?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow at him.
Nathaniel sighed. “That very well may be, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t owe it to him to talk to him.”
“Owe it to him?” I asked irritated. “I owe it to him to talk? I tried and he violates my personal boundaries by-”
Nathaniel grimaced. “I got it, Victoire, no need to share the visual.”
“Plus, he did take my best mate’s virginity-”
“Wait, what?” Nathaniel asked, genuinely confused.
I laughed humourlessly, “Oh, you didn’t know? That’s a surprise! I thought he would have been bragging to everyone-”
“Victoire,” Nathaniel cut me off. “I’m sure Lupin didn’t think that it would hurt her so much-”
I huffed immaturely. “It’s not my fault the man thinks with his-”
“Again, Victoire, not necessary.”
“Well I shouldn’t be the one who has to fix this!” I yelled, throwing my hands up. “I wasn’t the one who broke this!”
“I know, Victoire. But it takes two people to-”
“But what?” I demanded furiously, getting irritated. What was he implying? That this was my fault? I wasn’t the one who ruined our friendship. I didn’t do anything. “Ted was my like my brother then he broke our relationship. I wasn’t the one who did anything.”
“Then why did you go out with him?” Nathaniel snapped, more viciously than I expected. I was startled by his tone. “You go on about how Ted broke your heart and you still go out with him! What do you expect? Him to suddenly become a sweetheart? Sorry, dear, that doesn’t happen in reality. Girls like you are the reason why good blokes finish last. What was the point in going out with him?”
“Because I wanted my Ted back!” I yelled, jumping to my feet so I was standing over Nathaniel who was drinking every word in. “I didn’t want to date him, I didn’t want to marry him, I just wanted my best friend back! I didn’t really care that I had to go on meaningless, pointless dates with him. All I wanted was Ted to realize what a prick he was being and to go back to being my friend.”
Nathaniel was silent for a moment, while I stood, heaving angrily. Nathaniel breathed in deeply.
“So, you never liked Ted?” he asked slowly.
I bit my lip. I definitely said too much.
I realized I was in deep shit. Nathaniel was trying to control his anger. He was right pissed.
And maybe he had a right to be.
Well, I might as well finish the day with ruining my friendship with the last person who likes me.
“I, uh, I didn’t know-”
“Victoire, you can’t go fucking around with people’s emotions like that!” he snapped as he stared angrily into my eyes, his grey eyes looking like a thunder storm. I was having difficulty looking at him, and instead, fixated my gaze at my feet. “That’s what your stupid, shallow friends might do but-”
I looked up as he trailed off. Nathaniel’s eyes widened like saucers, and I knew that he realized why I agreed to date Lupin in the first place.
He said in a hollow voice, “Your friends put you up to this, didn’t they?”
I stayed silent with guilt, but I might as well have admitted it.
“Victoire,” Nathaniel said sadly, and at this point, I really couldn’t look at him. “You’re better than that. You’re better than them.”
I blinked and I could feel my eyes burning. “Nathaniel… It’s not like that…”
“What is it like?” he growled. “I can’t believe you would be so heartless-”
My throat seemed to swell. “No, Nathaniel… I swear, I didn’t mean for this-”
Nathaniel put up a hand to stop me. “Don’t. You tried to hurt him. And you used me to do it.”
My eyes snapped up to his hurt face. I was completely flabbergasted. “N-no, Nathaniel, you mean a lot to me- Look, you have nothing to do with what’s going on between me and Ted-”
“That’s rich,” Nathaniel said, sounding cold and indifferent. “You said so yourself, I’m his best mate. I know him best. That’s why you even bothered talking to me.”
“Nathaniel, no,” I pleaded, but he wasn’t even looking at me. “You mean so much to me. You have no idea - you mean more to me than Lupin-”
“Save it,” Nathaniel said. He sounded disappointed, hurt, and betrayed. With every word he said, it sounded like a piece of his heart was breaking.
And it was breaking my heart.
“You put me in the middle of this,” he said sounding disgusted at me. “He’s my best mate. I’m dead center in the middle of this.”
“Nathaniel,” I said softly, I reached out to grab his hand, but he snatched it back like I’d stung him. “Please. Don’t. This wasn’t how I wanted this-”
“What?” he snapped. “You expected to ‘fix’ Ted and ride off into your little sunset together?”
Nathaniel was spewing out every hurt emotion he had.
And I hated it.
He was always the one who understood me, not the one who attacked me.
He sighed. “I really thought you were different.”
“I am!” I protested. “You said yourself. I’m Victoire. I am different.”
“No, Victoire,” he said with a pained expression. He jumped up to his feet. “Don’t.”
He stormed off so fast I couldn’t even tell him.
“What did you feel when he kissed you?”
That’s what I should have said.
I still don’t know why I didn’t.
I don’t know why I couldn’t.
A/N: *whimpers* Please, don't kill me. I swear, I tried to update. I swear. Oh my God. No one kill me. Please, oh dear God. But seriously, I'll try to update more often. But University is very time consuming and I'm also on the Varsity Dance Team. So I have a good excuse for not having time to update!
... Don't kill me. Write a review instead :D