Hello my faithful followers, I return! See, I've been getting better at submitting stuff the validators will accept! And here you go, for your most wonderful patience with me. PS, this chapter contains dirty dancing and a little attempted abuse. Be forewarned.
It wasn’t just the fact that instead of the Hog’s Head, we had walked into a Muggle night club that surprised me. Or that Fred and James were already more than halfway drunk and doing a very embarrassing dance (though that was mentally scarring). It wasn’t even the fact that somehow Lily had transfigured our clothes into ridiculously short black, silver, or red dresses (mine was silver sequins) and we were now being eyed by every Muggle guy in the bar. It was the fact that Albus Potter was currently sitting at the bar downing shots like there was no tomorrow.
“No, no wait!” I hissed. “Back up, I want to leave!”
“Why?!” Lily exclaimed. Then she looked at the bar. “Oh no you don’t! You’re going to go over there and talk to him. Or at least dance on the floor!”
I sighed. “I’m not talking to him. But I’ll stay and dance.” I looked down at my strappy silver heels. “You better pray I don’t injure myself in these.”
“Oh come on, you’re you!” Rose said, while steering me towards the floor.
Dom grabbed my other arm. “Come on newbies, we’re going to give a crash course in club dancing. Getting Down 101!” She grinned ridiculously.
After that enlightening (and VERY dirty) class on how to dance in a club, Karen was blushing, Adele was already dancing her own way, shooting what we’d just learned to hell, Molly was standing awkwardly to the side, and Lily and I were in the thick of things, channeling the beat through our bodies and watching the guys watching us. Dom and Rose pulled Molly and Lucy (who was a surprisingly dirty dancer) into the middle of the floor with the rest of the group. Lily grabbed Karen and made her dance with us.
I drifted a little way apart and did my own little solo thing away from everyone else. I felt a guy come up behind me and put his hands around my waist.
“Hello, pretty thing,” said a husky voice from above me.
I giggled and smacked his thigh. “Hey Louis. Glad to see you aren’t quite as drunk as those two buffoons.”
I heard his smile in his voice. “Yet. Not as drunk yet.”
“Oh shut up and dance.”
I ended up dancing with James, Fred, Teddy (not sure when he got there, but I only felt a little weird dancing with my DADA Professor, seeing as we did a dorky swing dance thing instead of dirty dancing), and a bunch of random Muggle guys as well. Hugo would only dance with Karen, who had one hand clasped in his all night, so I didn’t dance with him.
I was enjoying myself surprisingly much, and glanced around for Lily. Instead, I saw Al up against a pretty brunette in a corner near the band. I gulped and looked away, my eyes landing on the bar. I walked over with decided steps.
“What can I get you Miss?” asked the young, cute Muggle boy bartending. He eyed me up and down as I glanced at the menu. The drink names were all completely foreign to me.
“You know what? Surprise me. Something strong.”
He grinned and gave me a mock salute. “You got it.” As he began mixing various forms of alcohol together, I made a mental note to borrow some Muggle money from Lily.
“You might want to drink that fast,” he advised me as he set a lime green concoction in front of me. “It’s gonna burn on the way down.”
“Thanks.” I eyed him. He was cute. He had shaggy, light brown hair that fell into his light blue eyes constantly. His black shirt was tight across his chest, revealing some very nice muscles; his arms were built to match. I watched his muscles flex as he threw a towel over his shoulder. I downed the drink in one, reveling in the burn as it slid down my throat.
His question startled me. I had been zoned out staring at him. I glanced down at my empty glass. “Another one of these I suppose.” I smiled at him and he blinked, slightly dazed, and went to go mix another drink. Hmm, apparently he thought the same of me as the other Muggle guys did. I thought the bartenders were supposed to be immune, having seen it all before. I shrugged. Maybe he was new. In any case, I could use this. I needed someone new to dance with. After I finished another couple drinks. What? They were good. And anyway, I had some stuff I wanted to forget tonight.
After another 3 drinks, everything seemed a lot funnier. Aaron (that was the bartender’s name) looked around at the clock and said “Hey, it’s the end of my shift. Want to go dance?”
“Sure,” I giggled. He planted one hand on the bar and vaulted over, shedding his towel and apron on the other side. He tossed them over his shoulder and took my hand.
When we made it to the dance floor, I spun and put my back up against Aaron’s front. He put his hands on my thighs and I put my hands on top of his. We swayed to the beat of the song. I put a little extra switch in my hips. In my intoxicated state of mind, all I wanted was to dance with a cute guy all night. I laid my head on Aaron’s chest and leaned against him more. I felt him gulp as I put one arm up over my head and flung it around his neck. I smirked and skimmed my nose along his collarbone, making him gulp again. I moved my hips faster and bent my knees, sliding down his tall frame, then back up. Suddenly, he spun me and crashed his lips down on top of mine. I kissed him back eagerly.
I had been kissed before, of course. I had dated Hayden Davies briefly in 3rd year and Patrick had once kissed me on a dare. They had been nice, good enough. This was different. Aaron’s lips moved against mine in strange new ways and one hand was bunched in my hair while the other was on my waist. I felt that one begin to slip down and frowned, and smacked it away. He spun me to put my back on the wall and began pushing hard against me. I pushed him off.
“Hold your horses, bucko. I’m not that easy.”
Aaron grinned savagely. “I don’t care. You’re drunk and I’m not. It shouldn’t be too hard for you to just… wander away from the bar. Your friends won’t know where to look for you.”
I shifted into fighting stance, only wobbling a little. “I have enough training in karate to dump you on your butt and keep you there, moaning in pain for an hour.”
He narrowed his eyes. I narrowed mine.
It happened so fast, I barely took in what was happening. One second Aaron was coming at me and I was preparing to kick him where the sun don’t shine, and then he was flying, only to land 3 feet away, out cold. His twisted sneer was replaced by concerned green eyes. I groaned. This could not be happening to me.
“Lyra, are you all right?” asked Al. I could tell from his slightly slurred words and the fact that he’d just punched a guy in the face that he was also drunk.
“I was fine, and then you showed up.” Drunk me was about to let some things off her chest that sober me would never dare to say. “Do you know how hard it was for me today, when I let Lily give me a make-over, and I was forced into uncomfortable clothes, and you were looking at me and you were supposed to ask me to Hogsmeade and you just left-“ I was cut off by Al’s lips. Where Aaron had crashed his mouth to mine, Al was gentle, his lips moving in sync with mine.
We finally broke apart. “Want to leave?” he asked breathlessly. I couldn’t do anything but nod. He took my hand and we made our way to the exit. I looked over my shoulder and saw Lily giving me the thumbs up before going back to dancing with the tall dark haired Muggle behind her.
Al and I exited the bar and stumbled our way back towards the castle, stopping frequently to kiss.
We reached the window under the girls’ dorm. I stared stupidly at the zip line. Al summoned his broom instead and pulled me onto it to fly through our window. We landed clumsily on my bed and I waved my wand, making the hangings on my dorm mate’s beds snap shut and the fake me in the bed disappear.
Al began kissing my neck and I giggled, then pulled his mouth back to mine. He paused briefly to pull off his shirt, then resumed attacking my neck.
“Al.” He pulled back to stare into my eyes. “I love you Al.”
He blinked once, then twice, then suddenly thrust himself off me and the bed, collecting his broom on the way. “I can’t do this.”
“What? Al what did I-?”
“Sorry Lyra.” He looked back into my eyes. “I can’t. We can’t.” He pulled on his shirt and flew out the window, taking my heart with him. I flopped back on my bed, curled up, and cried. This was why I had avoided this for so long. Whoever said ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’ is a wrong. It’s better to be safe.
I heard when the other girls snuck back in at 2:30 in the morning, but pretended to be asleep. I guess they thought that I was just the enchantment to make it look like someone was in my bed, because no one tried to speak to me and they all giggled when they looked at my bed. I was lucky my back was to them, or they might have seen the tears pouring silently down my face.
A little while later, Lily climbed into my bed. “Are you all right Lyra?” Apparently she wasn’t as oblivious as everyone else.
I rolled over to face her so she could see the tears running down my face. “No,” I croaked. “I’m not. Lily, he left me again. Does it always hurt like this?”
She sighed and sat me up so she could hug me. “I don’t know Lyra. I don’t know how it hurts, because I’ve never had my heart broken. I don’t know when it stops, or when it gets better, or what to do about what’s left of your heart. I do think, however, that this calls for some chocolate ice cream. I’ll just get us some Sober Up Solution.” She summoned a clear potion from her trunk and we both took a gulp. My head cleared instantly and I felt less queasy. I got out of the bed.
“Come on. I need the chocolate.” She hopped out after me.
“I’ll just go get the Invisibility Cloak and the Map. They’re in A- in the boy’s dorm.” I heard what she didn’t say. They were in Al’s room. “You just stay in the common room, I’ll be back.”
We crept down to the common room and I sat on a couch while Lily slipped up the boy’s stairs. All of a sudden, I heard a distant crash and Lily yelling “YOU ABSOLUTE ARSE ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER! YOU JUST BROKE MY BEST FRIEND’S HEART! I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY WITH YOURSELF!”
I sniffled and smiled a little in spite of myself at Lily’s fierce loyalty. I hope she didn’t hurt him too bad. Lily stomped down the stairs with a hard look on her face and the Cloak and Map clutched in her fists. “Let’s do this.” My own personal motto.
After we stuffed our faces with chocolate ice cream in the kitchen and returned to our dorm, Lily and I sat on my bed to talk.
“Lily, why does he hate me?”
“He doesn’t hate you Lyra-sister, he’s just scared.” Lily the grimaced as if she’d let slip too much information.
“Why? What’s he scared of Lily? I have to know.”
She sighed. “I really shouldn’t tell you this, but- remember how I said I’d seen Al in love before?” I nodded. “Well her name was Allison and she was a Muggle that lived on our street. She and Al were born on the same day and they were inseparable. Best friends from the time they could walk and talk. They turned to each other for fun, for comfort, and in fear. It was an amazing bond. You should have seen her face when Al told her he had to go to boarding school. She was crushed. But they continued to send letters to each other through us and our owl. When Al came home on breaks, they were practically joined at the hip. Everyone always said how they were going to grow up and get married to each other someday.”
I got a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach. This sounded like it was getting to the bad part.
“At the end of the summer before his second year, Allison was having a sleep over at our house and they got into a big fight about Al going back to Hogwarts. She wanted him to stay, but of course he had to go. She stormed back over to her house and Al let her go to cool off. That night was the fire.”
I buried my face in my hands, but continued to listen. I owed it to Al.
“The rest of her family made it out, but for some reason she didn’t ever come out. No one knows why or how the fire even started, but the house went up really fast and the fire department couldn’t get there on time because there was another huge fire across town that needed all the big trucks. They said somebody set some big warehouses on fire. Al tried to run in and save her, and inhaled a ton of smoke getting too close to the fire. James and Allison’s big brother Kenney were sitting on him to keep him from running into the house. He was absolutely devastated because they never made up that night and he couldn’t save her. He tries. He really tries to get over it. All his other girls are just kind of a coping mechanism. He’s trying to make himself move on, but every time they start getting in too deep, Al sees Allison’s face and he panics, and breaks it off.” Lily took a deep breath. “That’s why he can’t love you. Because he’s afraid that if he loves someone, he’ll lose her somehow. And he can’t go through that again Lyra. He would break.”
I stood up abruptly and jumped off the bed. I needed to think right now, mull over what I had been told. “I’ll be back later Lily,” I said. She looked like she was about to protest, but I didn’t give her a chance. I turned on my heel and sprinted silently out of the dorm.
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