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My Great Escape by erised19
Chapter 6 : Delinquents: Part Two
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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This one's supposed to be a bit funny and a bit sad all at the same time. Enjoy it. X

“James Potter,” I say when his face becomes clear. He’s got a drink in one hand and takes a swig before sitting down beside me. “Nice night,” I deadpan sarcastically, and he turns to me, frowning.
“Are you drunk?” he asks and I shrug, staring blankly into the dark space. “How many drinks have you had?” he asks and I shrug again as I answer.
“A few,” I mumble vaguely.
“A few?” he echoes loudly and I raise an eyebrow at him. “Do you know how strong this stuff is?” I roll my eyes.

“Of course I bloody well know how strong it is,” I mutter. “I just have a high tolerance.” True that. I can hold my liquor.

Without really knowing why, I stand up and turn to look down at James.

“Not that this hasn’t been fun,” I start, my words slurring together and my head spinning violently. I wave the bottle around a bit as I speak and James watches me closely. “But I’m leaving,” I finish dramatically, turning on my heel and stumbling forward, making my way through the crowd to the door. I push several people out of my way but they either don’t care or are too busy snogging or dancing to pull me up on my slightly dangerous behaviour. Once outside the Room my head hurts from the quiet, so I run back through the corridor to the portrait.

I whisper the password and Ol’ Falco looks confused but lets me in anyway, and once inside I fall onto the couch, kicking my feet up on the coffee table and resuming my alcoholic activities.

“You have got to be kidding me,” I mutter when the portrait hole opens again and James Potter appears. He sits down beside me, looking worried. I roll my eyes at him and take another mouthful.
“You should stop drinking,” he says. I scoff.
You should stop drinking,” I echo childishly. Before I can think of a more witty response, he snatches my bottle from my grasp. “Hey!” I shout, reaching to take it back but he holds it on his other side where I can’t reach it. “What the hell, that’s mine!” I scowl at him and he laughs, leaning back into the cushions and throwing his arm over its back, behind me.

Trying to understand him, I look into his eyes. He’s so happy. All the time. It’s weird.

He leans forward but this time I push him back, shaking my head. He looks shocked that I’ve finally rejected him.
“Har-” he starts but I hear myself cutting him off.
“What are we, James?” I ask him and he seems to think for a moment before answering.
“I really like you,” he says plainly. I feel my face scrunch up.
“You don’t know me,” I tell him.
“But I want to.” I scoff and he looks hurt so I turn away, frowning into the dead fireplace.
“You don’t,” I say quietly. My thoughts have returned to the last few months and all I can do is try not to get too worked up.

“Why?” he asks, refusing to drop the subject. I shake my head but he pushes. “Seriously. Why don’t I want to know you?” Frustrated, I look back up at him, ready to give him an absolute spray, but looking into his eyes my anger dissipated, replaced by nothingness.

“Just drop it,” I say. He shakes his head, not taking my advice.
“No. Come on, I want you to tell me. Do you have some deep dark secret?” He asks it as though it couldn’t possibly be true. “Some skeletons in your closet?” Like it’s a joke.
“Stop talking.” My voice bears a warning but he’s still looking at me like it’s all just hilarious. It’s not a joke. It’s my life and it isn’t funny. Unless you have a really fucked up, dark, twisted sense of humour. “You have no fucking idea,” I say angrily. His smile falters and he looks at me oddly.

Distraction. I need a distraction.

“You know what I have always wanted to do?” I say loudly, ignoring the embarrassing slur to my voice.
“What’s that?” he asks, amused.
“I have always wanted to slay a jabberwocky,” I tell him seriously, nodding like a boss.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“A jabberwocky. I want to slay one. You know, with a sword and all,” I explain. “I wouldn’t even mind if it was just a figurative jabberwocky. But yeah, I would love to slay a literal jabberwocky.”
“I have absolutely no idea what in Merlin’s name you are talking about,” James says, fighting to keep his mouth in a straight line.
“Beware the jabberwocky, my son!” I exclaim. No response from James is triggered; he looks at me like he’s concerned for my sanity.

A long moment of silence passes, and then,

“I care, you know.”I raise my eyebrows at him, requesting an explanation because now I don’t know what he’s talking about. “About your skeletons, I mean.” Again, I scoff.
“Oh, right,” I say, laying on the sarcasm. “You care.”
“I’m being serious.” I sigh.
“Yeah, well, at this point, it really doesn’t change anything,” I say tiredly, closing my eyes and leaning my head back, breathing deeply.

“Sure it does,” he continues, determined to keep this conversation alive.
“Oh yeah?” I indulge him because I’m drunk and an idiot.
“Yeah. I could be your shoulder to cry on type thing,” he suggests. Just when I thought maybe he was starting to take me seriously, he’s gone back to mocking me and treating me like a joke.
“I’m really not that much of a crier,” I tell him.
“Well, you were pretty close the other night,” he says. I open my eyes and stare at him, disbelieving because he is such an insensitive prick.

“I wouldn’t expect you to understand,” I reply coldly. “Anyway, bottle it up and punch a wall later is more my style.”

“And what exactly are you bottling up?” I stare into the fireplace, wondering for the first time if I should ever have let him start this conversation. Of course not. I should have gone straight upstairs and locked the door and never spoken a word to James again. But it’s too late for that. Now, having subjected myself to this, I have to smile and pretend like I’m mentally stable.

“What on earth makes you think I’d tell you about my skeletons?” I ask, smiling to myself and enjoying the way his smile falters and it becomes obvious to him that he’s getting nowhere.

“Go out with me.” Far out. He’s unbelievable.
“James, we’ve been through this. More than once, actually,” I remind him.
“Yeah, but I figure you’re going to cave eventually,” he rebuts and I laugh but it becomes clear that he wasn’t joking. He’s pretty thick, contrary to his academic success.
“Your logic is way off.” He looks surprised by this and I shake my head.
“Tell me what I have to do,” he says, practically begging. “Tell me what I have to do to get you to go out with me.”
“This is not about you!” I say, waving my arms around. He doesn’t get it - he looks thoroughly confused and I sigh, leaning back and remaining silent.

“Come on,” he urges. “What do I have to do?” I clench my hands into fists because there’s just no getting through to James Potter. Maybe if I were sober… no. I turn to him, clenching my jaw before speaking, keeping my voice level.

“There’s nothing you can do because this is not about you.”
“Then what’s it about?” I raise my fists to my forehead, they’re shaking slightly because I’m so frustrated.
“It’s about me. Okay? It’s about me. There are… things, that you don’t understand and that I can’t explain to you,” I say vaguely.

“What, you think you’re too good?”
“No, of course not,” I say. “Jesus. The opposite, if anything.” I add the last bit quietly and he watches me in silence while I try to remember how we even got to this point in the conversation.

“Anyway,” I say loudly, needing to change the topic, if only slightly. “I have priorities.”
“Such as?”
“Such as killing my NEWTs.” He scoffs.
“You could kill your NEWTs with your eyes shut and your hands ties behind your back,” he says easily and my mouth falls open.

“What?” he asks, his eyebrows up like he’s trying to figure out what faux pa he’s committed.
“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me,” I say softly.
“Oh. Well, it’s true. You’re the most intelligent person I’ve ever met,” he says, so easily. I know my eyes are open too wide and my jaw is just about on the floor, but I’m so shocked by the things coming out of his mouth. I shake my head and blink quickly to clear my blurred vision.

“Right. Well, I’m going to call it a night,” I say, standing up and holding the back of the couch for support. “I’ll see you in the morning, I guess.”
“Yeah, I’ll see you. Goodnight,” he smiles up at me and I turn, trudging unsteadily to the stairs and then up them, pulling the door shut behind me and collapsing heavily onto my bed.

So I've been editing and reposting chapters over the last two weeks and we're at nearly 7000 reads... which is beyond awesome. I'll repost the next few in the coming week but I've got exams coming up in a few weeks (God help me) so things might slow down a bit for a while. Wish me luck.

As always, a review would be much appreciated. X

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