Chapter 28 : Always Charming, Mason
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I remember Charlie Weasley calling her a free spirit once, which I think is a perfect way to describe Lily. I want safety. I want a lifetime with someone, the picket fence cliché. Lily would die before that became her life, at least right now. She enjoys her freedom far too much. It’s strange seeing her with Lor, since she never stays with a boy for more than a week or so. Lily once called Hogwarts a man buffet.
If anyone was going to be able to tie Lily down, it was going to be Mason. Monday afternoon brought Charms, and me bent over my textbook pretending to take notes, but actually formulating a letter to Mason. The sooner I could get Lily to realize her undying love for him, the better. This was for her own good. Mason could make her happy. This had absolutely nothing to do with me.
One of these days we really need to actually talk face to face for more than two seconds. I'm Eva Winters, best friend to Lily and Lorcan, and your co-conspirator in breaking them up. I don't really know what else to tell you. I'm in seventh year, just like Lily, and I've known her for years. No one has ever made her act the way you have.
I'm rooting for the two of you, but you should know that if you hurt her, I will hunt you down and make you cry.
I hurried up to the owlery after class to send off my letter. The November wind was whipping hard against my cheeks, and I held my robes closer to my body. Before we knew it, it would be Christmas break, and then our seventh year was practically over. God, it was so weird to think that in just a few short months I would never have to come back here again. Have to doesn’t seem quite right though. Coming to Hogwarts was never a chore. This school has always been my home, far more of a home than my parents’ house ever was.
“Well, if it isn’t my favourite girl named Eva!” Lorcan called from his perch on the steps to the owlery.
“I’m the only Eva you know.” I crossed my arms. “What are you doing here? Aren’t you freezing?”
He shrugged. “Hadn’t really thought about it. I could be. Well, you’ve found one of my secret hiding places. Are you proud of yourself?”
I raised an eyebrow. “This is where you go? What, do you just creep off here in the middle of the night to sit on the steps and brood?” I tucked my letter carrying hand up into the sleeve of my robe before Lorcan could read the Mason King, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes scrawled across it.
“It’s not the only place I go, but yes. I don’t creep though. Brood, certainly, but never creep. I’m a very deep character.” He ran a hand through his hair, and got to his feet. “I suppose I should let you through.”
“Does Lily know you come here?” I blurted.
He stared blankly at me. “No. Why would I tell her? You didn’t even know.”
“She’s your girlfriend.” I reminded him.
“Was he right then about you two?”
Lor tilted his head slightly to one side. “Was who right? You’re not a sphinx, love. Use your big girl words.”
He was avoiding my question. “I’m talking about Mason when he accused you and Lily of not being in a real relationship.”
A small cloud emerged as Lorcan let out a heavy breath. “When has Lily ever been in a real relationship with anyone?” Lorcan retorted.
“And you’re still avoiding my question. You aren’t then, are you?”
His nostrils flared slightly. “Lily and I have a mutual agreement that benefits us both. She gets to use our relationship to get away from Mason, although I think he’s an awesome bloke.”
“And what about you? What do you get from it?” I murmured, staring up at him.
Lorcan shook his head. “I…. I get the satisfaction of being able to annoy Lily as often as possible. That’s enough for me. Are you mailing a letter? I saw you had one. Writing to my beloved ex-brother-in-law?”
The ball last Christmas seemed so long ago. Charles had undoubtedly not forgotten about it. Of course, Charles never forgot anything. I held onto the letter more tightly. I wouldn’t put it past Lorcan to snatch it out of my hand. This was Lorcan we were talking about. The boy who loved to say inappropriate things in front of family members, or toss me over his shoulder and run through the corridors screaming. The boy who never had and never would understand what personal space and privacy were.
“I am. Just telling Charles about class and stuff. Boring things.” I brushed past him before he could call me on my lie.
A hand grasped my wrist, stopping me. “Eva?”
“You’re happy, aren’t you? You and Anders are happy?” Lorcan asked softly.
I paused before nodding. “Yeah, we’re happy.”
“Good… Good. I’m glad.”
“Looks like Charles wrote back.”
I looked up from my bowl of oatmeal. “What are you talking about?”
Lorcan pointed at the owl that was quickly approaching our table. Mason had written back. It was Thursday. I snatched the letter out of the air as it drifted down. We had all had a few incidents where our mail had ended up in our meals, and I couldn’t afford to have this letter covered in oatmeal.
“Aren’t you going to open it?” Anders asked, staring at me with a curious look on his face. “What did you have to write Charles about?”
“Oh, he wants more frequent updates on my seventh year classes. He’s got all this advice for N.E.W.TS. and such, you know. He’s trying to be an active part of my life.” I rolled my eyes. “I’ll read it later. I don’t really feel like being bored by one of his letters right now.”
He seemed pleased with my answer, as he let it drop. Thank god. This Mason thing was making me lie way too often. I tucked the letter safely in my bag. I could read it during my free.
Blame it on Lily. That's what I get for chasing after such a crazy girl. What do you want to know about me? I'm the infamous Mason King. I was in Hufflepuff.
By the way, are you related to Charles Winters? He was a Ravenclaw in my year. Absolute git. I'm sorry if you're related to him.
I giggled as I read Mason’s comment about Charles. If he had known and liked Charles, then we would have had a problem. There was no way I could work with him if he liked my brother. Liking Charles guaranteed that you had terrible taste in friends. I quickly wrote out a response to his letter.
My first question would have to be, why Lily? Why did you choose to drive her insane? I adore you for doing it, by the way. All of us do. I want to set the two of you up because I know you'll be fantastic together.
Yes, according to all legal documents, I am in fact the sister of Charles. Please don't remind me.
I didn’t hear back from Mason until the following Monday. That weekend I almost went insane waiting for the letter’s arrival. The sooner I figured out what made Mason tick, the sooner we could get started with our plan. Whatever this plan was. Anders seemed to think I was going insane from the pressure of seventh year, as I spent much of Sunday pacing in the common room. He had given me a kiss on the forehead, and told Dom to keep a close eye on me before he left for Quidditch practice. I would have gone to watch, but I was worried that the owl wouldn’t be able to find me at the pitch. Plus, it was far too cold for my liking, and being exposed to the elements hardly sounded like a good idea.
The arrival of my letter was overshadowed by Lily receiving a package. She let out another shriek at the sight of the brown-paper wrapped box with the words For my flower written all over it. Lily threw the box at Dom before storming out of the Great Hall while I quickly hid my letter.
“Am I allowed to unwrap it?” Dom asked worriedly, glancing the package over.
I nodded. “I really don’t think Lily will mind. What did he send her?”
“It’s chocolates!” Dominique exclaimed after unwrapping the box. “Nice ones, too. Well, if Lily doesn’t want any then that just means more for us.”
“What is it with girls and chocolate?” Anders demanded. “I mean, I like it as much as any other sweet, but you go mad over it.”
Dominique and I exchanged a look. “Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure out how our minds work, dear. Just accept it and move on.”
Dear Charles' Sister,
Gah, you poor unfortunate soul. If it makes you feel any better, you don't look anything like him. I wouldn't have even known you were related if it wasn't for the name.
Why Lily? She's different. She's got more heart than any other girl I've ever met. You may not be able to see it, but she's incredibly vulnerable. And she challenges me. I've sent her something today. Has it come yet? What did she do?
I don't believe that's the only reason why you're doing this. You want that boy, don't you? I'm sorry, I don't remember their names. The one that Lily's with, not your boyfriend. You're doing this to get to him. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.
Your secret keeper,
The plan was set. It was going to happen on Christmas Day at the annual Weasley family gathering. It had taken some work, but I had finally managed to convince Mason that there was nothing girls liked better than when a boy put his ego out on the line. Lily was hardly a romantic like Dominique, but even she couldn’t be immune to this.
As if that wasn’t enough to be nervous over, I was going to be staying with the Scamanders. Anders had insisted upon it. It wasn’t like this would be my first time meeting them, of course, but it would be so different. Luna and Rolf had been my friends’ parents before. Now they were my boyfriend’s parents. And my ex-boyfriend’s…
“Why didn’t you invite me to stay?” Lily whined as we waited in line to get checked off before we could leave for Hogsmeade, where we could apparate home from. That was another thing, this would be our first year that we didn’t have to take the Hogwarts Express home for the holidays. I felt so old. “Eva is staying with you.” She had both of her hands rested on Lorcan’s shoulder, and her chin was resting on top of them.
“You like your family though.” Lorcan reminded her. “You always stay with them for Christmas, and Eva never does.”
“Eva has her own place.” She retorted. “She doesn’t have to stay with her parents this year.”
I did have my own place, but I was incredibly glad that Anders had asked me to go home with him, even if I was nervous. I didn’t want to be alone for Christmas. “Eva and I have been together much longer than you two have.” Anders chimed in, coming to his brother’s aid.
We were serious, they were not. Dominique and Tobias were the most serious, then Anders and I, and finally Lorcan and Lily. Dom had admitted to me in the bathroom a few weeks ago that she was hoping, and expecting that Toby was going to ask her to live with him after she graduated. They were coming close to their first anniversary. It wasn’t an incredibly long time, but Dom and Toby were great together. I didn’t expect that to be me and Anders, but we were going to stay together. It was still too early to move in together, even if I had known him for so much of my life. I still wanted a little time to be a grownup on my own before I committed to my fairytale ending. My fairytale ending…
“Just a couple months…” Lily whined.
Lorcan frowned slightly. “Why do you care so much about it? You never said anything to me about it before now. You want us to look more serious, don’t you, in case you run into him?”
Mason. Lily looked away, suddenly distracted by something.
“Mum would say there were Nargles.” Anders whispered in my ear, his warm breath tickling it. “I’m glad you’re staying with us.”
I smiled back at him. “I’m glad too.” I was a lucky, lucky girl. Anders was by no means perfect, but I had learned to love and live with his imperfections. He was perfect for me.
Author's Note: Okay, hopefully I finally got all the apostraphes working correctly. The letter apostrophes decided to be mean to me and show up as those weird box symbol things... Anyways... Here's Chapter 28! You got more Mason and the next chapter is told entirely in Ander's point of view! Get excited, folks. Also, the White Blank Page series has expanded. I've got a weakness for spin-offs, apparently. Al's story is being told in The Story of Us, so check it out while you wait for the next chapter of WBP!
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