Chapter 6 : Chapter six - Erase Those Thoughts
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything else that you might recognize.
Amazing CI by atellam <3
Chapter Six – Erase Those Thoughts
It’s been two weeks! Two weeks and she’s still here!
What’s wrong with him?
No, forget that; I don’t really want to know. Considering that this was James we were talking about, it surely had something to do with how amazing she was in the sack. And that was something I really didn’t want to hear about.
Kat was playing a clever game, I had to admit. After the day at the restaurant, she’d managed to keep her annoyance and anger towards me in check and didn’t say a word when James and I would have one of our special little moments. She just sat back and smiled when we were joking about something only we knew, or having one of our wrestling matches.
Few girls had tried that before too, but they had always fallen too much to the background and James had found them to be boring. But Kat was smarter than that. She always managed to remind my best friend about her presence after our little events. She pushed herself on his lap or changed the subject to herself very subtly. James seemed to be amused by it, but other than that I really couldn’t see why he still was with her. She was just like the other girls had been to him, like an accessory. So it had to be the sex.
Still, all of it was annoying the shit out of me. I could barely get any alone time with James, since Kat seemed to be attached to his hand. She tagged along everywhere we went; The Duelling Range, Quidditch practise and every single other place too. I wished James would tell her to beat it, but he was too nice to do that. So it only meant that I had to endure her ugly face constantly.
Yes, I was bitter. She really wasn’t ugly even though I kept hoping she was. No, she had to be everything I wasn’t and everything James fancied; tall, leggy and blond with a miniscule waist and gigantic boobs. How could I ever compete with something like that?
Quidditch was the only thing that was keeping my head clear these days. Pride of Portree was first in the statistics and I was still holding the second place in the overall Chasers scoreboard. The league was now on its winter break and would continue after New Year’s Eve with a game against the Tutshill Tornados. That was always a challenging game. They were really good, second in the series. Mostly thanks to their excellent keeper, Jeremy Smith. He was extremely fast and very hard to trick. That’s why our practises were all about speed drills nowadays.
But everything else was such a blur. I always kept pushing stuff in the back of my mind, deciding that I would deal with them when I had to. I just went with everything life threw in my way. In my opinion it was pointless to stress in advance about things you really couldn’t influence. You could only make your days worth living and crying under the blanket really wasn’t what I would call the best time of my life.
I knew it wasn’t the greatest way in the world to deal with things, especially when I had a lot of things bubbling in my head. It just tended to make me more impatient and rash. But there were certain things in my life that I couldn't deal with that well. It was easier to just forget about them for a moment and deal with them when the time came.
So even though the thing with my dad was bothering me a lot, I had pushed it aside. I hadn’t gotten any new information from Azkaban. They were still considering and Harry had told me it meant that it’d be for at least another two months, or possibly up to six, before he’d be released, if even then. There was a good possibility that he wouldn’t be one of the two who got out. And as I couldn’t control that, I refused to let it control me either. If dad contacted me, if he even got out, then I would deal with it the best way I could. And if he didn’t, well, then everything would be fine and normal and my panic would’ve been all for nothing. But it still wasn’t that easy.
The reporters had gone mental when they’d heard the news about my dad. The Prophet had had a field day of course, and stories about him filled every issue; his case was the most famous of the ten to be considered for release. The pictures were in every single wizarding magazine possible and I tried my best to ignore them. But as always, I was never that lucky.
The day before Christmas Eve, I experienced my worst trip to Diagon Alley to date. The reporters were everywhere; on my tail to every single store I visited while I tried to hunt the last presents on my list. But the worst part had been that day’s copy of The Daily Prophet; stunning me into silence for several minutes.
There was a picture of dad on the cover. Not one of the old ones with me, but the picture that had been taken on the day he was sent to Azkaban. He was wearing the horrible inmate robes and holding a placate with his identification number. But it was his expression that caught all my attention. He looked heartbroken. Even though I much wanted to deny it, I could see the regret from his face. But was it just an act or did he really feel sorry for all he had done, I couldn’t tell.
I forgot everything around me for a few moments and just stared at the picture. I couldn’t fight the single tear that escaped from the corner of my eye, the look on dad’s face was just too much to handle. But boy, did that make the reporters go nuts. Flashing their cameras right in front of my face, they finally managed to snap me out of my distressed state.
Needless to say, shoving three of them out of my way, where they fell to the ground and broke their cameras, might have been a bit of an overreaction and I knew that I’d be receiving a letter form the Ministry soon enough. It wasn’t the first time and I didn’t think it that big of a deal; the Ministry had Quidditch players in every other day for breaking reporters’ camera equipment. I knew I’d just have to apologise, pay the fine and I’d be on my way, same as last time. What really annoyed me though, was that I hadn’t been able to break more of the damned things. I knew tomorrow’s copy of The Prophet would have my crying photograph to accompanying all of its soppy and melodramatic headlines. Fucking brilliant. My insides snapped at the thought and I Apparated home before I did something even more stupid. Everyone else could have Elf-made Wine as their present; I wasn’t going back there.
I had some overpowering urge punch someone; I was so sick and tired of it all. I really hoped that James didn't show up with Kat today, because I wasn’t sure if I could control myself. I needed to get the stress out somehow. The Range would be a perfect option, but it was closed for the rest of the year. Mr. Thomas wanted the employees to have a nice and relaxing Christmas vacation. I wished I could hex them for ruining my holidays.
Slamming my fist against the elevator grills, an angry grunt escaped me. I threw my shopping bags on the floor and hit the button for the top level with my fist as hard as I could. Immediately realising it was a bad idea, I heard the crack as tremendous pain soared through my whole right arm. A series of curses left my lips as I shook my hand to get rid of the aching.
“Want me to fix that for you?” a voice commented from behind me.
I spun my head around, as I didn’t remember seeing anybody else in the lobby when I’d entered the building. But apparently I had been so caught with my annoyed thoughts, that I had not noticed the person walking behind me. I wished I had, maybe then I wouldn’t have made such a fool out of myself in front of this extremely gorgeous stranger.
I felt the faint blush creep up on my cheeks as I stared into the most amazing pair of eyes I had ever seen. I couldn’t really decide if they were blue or green, changing colour every time he blinked.
“What?” I blurted my intelligent question and watched the amused smile dance around the corners of his lips. I felt like I was melting on the spot.
“Your fist; sounded like you broke it. Do you want me to fix it?” he clarified.
“Oh! Umm… no, it’s okay, I - It’s fine,” I stuttered.
James could fix it later; there was no way I was letting the ridiculously cute stranger touch my hands now that they seemed to be sweating like mad.
“Well, if you’re sure…” He nodded and stepped inside the lift, joining me. I just stared at him, trying to figure out if he actually was real or if I was just imagining him. I mean, why in the world would he enter the same lift as me, when he had just seen ye attempt beat up the wall for no apparent reason? Lately I’ve seen people run away from me when I kicked a pebble on the road.
I was examining his light, shiny hair as I suddenly realised that the guy was leaning towards me. My heart started to beat million miles an hour and I backed towards the wall. I was just about to ask what the hell was he doing, when he reached his arm and pushed one of the buttons on the control panel.
Right… I should have realised that.
He just cleared his throat, before bending down to gather my shopping bags from the elevator floor. I forgot all about his amazing hair and how much I wanted to sink my hands in it, as my eyes found his unbelievably fit ass. Godric, that thing definitely couldn’t be real!
“You seem to have dropped these,” he said quite casually.
“Um, yeah, thanks…” I managed to mutter, taking the bags from him.
Thank Merlin my blush doesn’t show…
“No problem, Miss Miller.” He smiled at me and my mind went into panic mode.
Shit! What should I do now? Should I ask his name? Or just go with it? Or maybe –
“Err…” I tried to organize my thoughts.
“It’s Joshua,” he said and I sighed, as he appeared to have understood what my strangled noise had meant.
“Right.” I commented.
I’m so embarrassing. Seriously, forget a Bludger to the head at Quidditch; my social awkwardness would be the death of me.
Why am I blushing and stuttering like this anyway? It’s not like I have never been in the company of a gorgeous guy before; I’m with James every single day, which is always made worse due to the fact that I’m freaking in love with him!
I let my gaze drop and my hair fell to cover most of my face, leaving it so he couldn't see even the faintest pink colouring on my cheeks. The lift kept rising up towards the top two floors. Apparently my stunning travel companion was heading to Mister Blishwick’s apartment, the old grumpy wizard who hated everybody. It certainly explained why – Joshua, wasn’t it? – wasn’t afraid of entering the lift with me. Even I was afraid of Mister Blishwick.
We stood there in silence. It was awkward. For me anyway, but he just kept staring forwards with that same slight smile at the corners of his mouth. How did I know? Well, maybe I stole a few peaks through my hair. But in my defence, he was just so damn beautiful for a guy. Seriously, it should be illegal to look that good.
The elevator eventually stopped and the grilles swung open. The guy took a few steps forwards and I waited for the lift to start moving so I could breath again. But then he stopped and turned those amazing eyes towards me again.
“Have a nice holiday, Miss Miller!” He gave me a real smile this time and it made my knees tremble. It probably would have knocked me off my feet if I weren’t leaning on the back wall.
“Umm, yeah. The same to you…” I replied after swallowing quite visibly.
He just smiled and turned around, walking towards the door. The grills started to close again when my mouth was suddenly working on its own.
“And it’s Gwen!” I called after him, though why I felt the need to correct him I had no idea.
“I know. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.” He smirked over his shoulder when the lift shot up. I was practically beaming at that point and a happy shiver shook my body. I could barely remember the pain in my hand.
James was exiting his flat at the same time the grills opened and I stepped out of the elevator. A smile rose on his lips as he noticed me.
“Hey! I was just coming to see if you’d come back already. Why are you smiling?” he asked.
“No reason. I broke my fist,” I replied.
“You broke your fist… and you’re smiling like a loon?” He raised one brow as he walked to me.
I shrugged. “Sort of.”
“How did you break it then?” he questioned, examining my hand.
“I might have punched a wall with it…” I pulled a face, realising how stupid it sounded.
“And did you hit it with your head too?” he chuckled while he pulled out his wand, pointing it at my swollen hand. The warm sensation filled me, as his spell healed the broken bones and the aching stopped.
“Thanks,” I muttered staring into his hazel eyes.
I felt a bit guilty, like I had betrayed James when I had drooled after the handsome Joshua. But it’s not like anything happened, so I didn’t have a reason to feel bad. I don't have to mention every single detail to him, and he doesn’t tell me everything about his day either. I don’t think I could listen to him telling me how many times he fucks Kat during the day, even if I didn’t love him.
I had to shake my head to erase those thoughts, knowing I had no reason to feel like that. I could swoon after any guy I wanted. But as I continued to stare into his eyes, I wondered how I could have dreamt about anyone other than James, even for a moment.
“Feeling better?” he asked.
“Yeah, I just lost it for a few moments. It was the reporters.” I lied - sort of. But I hoped he’d let it go.
“Aah.” He nodded knowingly.
Of course he did. He never questioned anything I told him. Man, I was such a jerk. Why’d I have to lie to him? It’s not like he cared if I met an attractive guy; other than the fact that he’d want to beat the guy’s arse if he didn’t treat me properly.
“How are you holding up?” James asked then, voice full of concern.
“Fine,” I replied immediately.
Damn it, too fast.
He gave me a questionable look and I let out a long sigh.
“Really, I’m fine; just a bit shaken up. Today’s paper managed to surprise me. I haven’t seen dad’s mug shot before. It was… confronting,” I muttered, opening and closing my hand a few times, trying to stretch out any stiffness.
“Oh, sweetie,” he said, pulling me into a hug where I closed my eyes, forced to inhale his scent once again. “Don’t let it bother you.”
“There’s going to be a picture of me crying in tomorrow’s paper.” My words were mumbled into his chest.
“How many cameras did you break this time?”
“Three.” I chuckled. He knew me too well.
“Oh, Gwenny… From now on, you’re forbidden to go anywhere without me until this whole thing settles down, okay?” He held me at arms length, watching me intently with his eyes full of concern.
“Sure thing,” I replied, though I knew I wouldn’t keep that promise.
I opened my apartment door and let James in before me.
“How was your trip otherwise? Did you get everything?” James commented as he tried to peak into my shopping bags.
“Almost.” I laughed. “Feel free to unpack them for me. Your gift isn’t in there.” He grunted – annoyed – but still grabbed one of the bags and started to go through it.
“So… did you want something?” I asked.
“Oh, right! The annual New Year’s party at Hayden’s restaurant; he just dropped the invites.” James left rummaging through the bags and pulled out a piece of parchment from his pocket.
“Ah…” I commented.
Now that party was never awkward. Every year when Hayden got drunk off his face and confessed how much he still loved me? Yeah. Never awkward at all...
“So are you coming?” James asked hopefully, returning to unpacking the bags in hope of finding his present anyway.
“Err… I’ll think about it?” I replied.
“Oh come on, I’ll tell him to behave?” he suggested.
“Like you do every year? Though he just doesn’t listen to you, does he?” I grumbled.
“Yeah!” James grinned and his smile was infectious.
“Well… maybe I could drop by for a few hours,” I said.
“Good. I need you there for midnight.”
Ah, yes, the New Year’s kiss that James always gave to me. On the cheek unfortunately, but hey, who was I to complain?
Oh I couldn’t wait to see what Kat thought of this.
“Wouldn’t miss it. But warning you now, I’m leaving immediately if Hayden starts showing signs of heavy intoxication.” I gave him a pointed look, but as he grinned at me my stern expression gave way to a smile.
“You shouldn’t let him ruin the whole party for you,” James said, a slight frown tugging on the corners of his mouth.
“Maybe you should beat his ass too? That might make him stop acting like a drunken prat,” I commented and James chuckled. A silence fell between us for a few seconds before I continued: “So… is Kat coming?”
“If she’s still around.” He shrugged.
Was that hesitation? Finally! Please, dear Merlin, let that be the case.
“Oh? You suspect she won’t be?” I questioned casually, busying my hands with unpacking the other shopping bags so he wouldn’t see my expression.
“We’ll see. She’s a bit of the kiss-ass-type. It’s starting to get boring,” he replied, leaning against the counter. I glanced a look up, trying to contain a whoop of happiness.
“A bit?” I teased.
“Okay, a lot. You know what she’s doing now? She’s packing my stuff for Christmas; actually offered to do it herself! Seems to know everything there is to know about me. Though where she learnt I hate packing, I will never know.” James shook his head in exasperation.
“You’ve mentioned it in an interview.” I said casually, putting the few Christmas presents I had managed to buy on the table to be wrapped later.
“I have?” He ran his hand through his hair – the same way his dad did – with an expression on his face that suggested he was deep in thought. “When - and why - would I say something like that?”
“The one we did together for Witch Weekly; we were talking about travelling. You said you always force me to pack everything because you hate it,” I reminded him.
“Oh, right! Then you smacked me over the back of the head and there were huge headlines about your violence in The Prophet the next morning!” James exclaimed, a grin rising to his lips. “Well, at least they got something right for once.”
And just like I had in the interview, I smacked him again.
“I knew you’d do that,” he muttered, rubbing the spot behind his head.
“I’m starting to think that you like it when I beat you up,” I smirked.
“I do. It keeps me humble.” He nodded with fake sincerity and I started to laugh. His expression quickly changed to one of mock hurt. “You, my dear girl, are incredibly evil.”
“And you couldn't act to save your life.” I chuckled.
“You’d be surprised.” He just smiled and leant over to ruffle my hair. “Anyways, I need to head back to see if Kat’s packed everything I need. I’ll drop by later when she goes home to pick her own stuff.”
“Okay,” I said as he gave me a quick kiss on the cheek, before vanishing out the front door.
I sighed after him and then crashed on my couch. Why couldn’t he just open his eyes and realise that I was in love with him? Dump Kat, spin me around in his arms and let me forget that the rest of my life was crap?
But I was getting sidetracked again from my plan, because I had decided that this time, I was going to get over James. Sick and tired of feeling like crap when he was dating someone else, I was going to do this and stop putting myself through the torture of having to watch him kiss other girls right in front of me. At parties it didn't matter as much, as I could always make an escape through the surrounding crowd, or get really drunk and fuck a random guy for comfort, but at home it was different. It was killing me to keep up the fake smile, but if I wanted to keep a hold of this friendship, I didn’t really have a choice.
James and Kat had been going out for over two weeks already, which was off the charts on the ‘James Relationship Scale’. It really hit home; reminding me of how unhealthy my feelings for him were, how I willingly tormented myself and always counted on the fact that they never lasted long. I’d always seen us growing old together, single and causing mayhem like we did now, but we where always together. Anything else had never really seemed like an option, but now the idea of straying from that plan caused me to panic.
What if Kat hung around? What if they lasted? What if they never broke up and one day, far in the future, they got married? What would I do then? She’d managed to manipulate him to keep her around this long, and suddenly the idea of her staying actually sounded feasible.
What the fuck was I going to do if that happened?
Probably break into pieces, that’s what. Then Kat could sweep me up off the floor and put me out with the rubbish. It’s where she thought I belonged anyway, the bitch.
Dear Merlin, I had made the decision to try and get over my love for James. I know I’d tried before, but this time I was going to do it. If only he made it that simple… I’d thought in the past that it’d be easy, if I could find another guy who made me feel good and loved. I had tried that, tried to find somebody who’d help me direct my feelings somewhere, anywhere else. But James’s over-protective side drove them away, while the ones that were cocky enough to stay turned out to be jerks anyway.
And besides, finding a date was hard enough as it was. Sure, I had candidates; they were lining up at the door. But most of them were crazy fans; guys who were interested so they’d end up with their photograph in The Prophet, the ones who wanted to check every female Quidditch player in the league off their list, and the ones that wanted a trophy girlfriend. Yeah – no thank you. So that pretty much narrowed the pool of eligible boyfriends to other professional Quidditch players. They had the money, the fame, the reporters tailing them everywhere and their goddamned photos all through the paper because they where the biggest playboys around. It was a vicious cycle.
I’d found a few guys I’d liked at least a bit over the years, and it had been great, until James had stepped in and ruined every one of the relationships’.
‘Testing their worthiness’. That’s what he called rude behaviour, interrupting any private time we managed to find, and being all round suffocating, because apparently if they couldn’t deal with him being in my life, then they weren’t worth it.
But I knew he was jealous. Jealous that I couldn’t spend time with him whenever he wanted at the drop of a hat. Yeah, because even though that’s exactly what happened to me when he dated, it was never okay if it was him that ended up with nothing to do on a Wednesday evening.
And the worst part? It was that I’d just let him do it. Because I loved how he’d fight for my attention, loved letting myself think, that just for a moment, he actually wanted to be with me; that he didn’t want me to be with anyone else.
That he loved me and had come to his senses, not wanting anyone else to have me.
So I’d break up with them, like I always did, and it’d go straight back to normal, while each and every time, it broke my heart just that little bit more. The heart that was entirely his, and had been since I’d realised I’d loved him at the end of our sixth year at Hogwarts.
But I shouldn’t, I really shouldn’t. And this time, I was going to change things. Because nothing good could come out of this, I knew that. The pain would only get worse; James would become a casualty of the internal war I was constantly waging against myself. I needed to move on, but I knew I couldn’t do that alone. I needed to find someone to help me get past this.
Sighing, I decided that maybe I should go to Hayden’s party after all.
“Pass the potatoes, will you?” Freddy asked. I complied, but avoided looking at him, knowing I wouldn’t be able to contain my laughter. He was covered with all kinds of Christmas ornaments as punishment for losing a bet to James. He didn’t seem to mind though, and kept playing with the little gnome-shaped decorations dangling from his ears.
James decided that while I was passing the potatoes was an excellent time to poke my hand with his fork. I repaid him by kicking his leg under the table. Which, of course, resulted in him trying to shove food down my throat while I rubbed gravy onto his cheek.
“Honestly! You guys are so childish!” Lucy rolled her eyes from the other side of the table and turned to look at Kat. “How can you stand that?”
“Oh, I think it’s cute!” she said with a smile.
“Cute? Maybe you’d change your mind after you’ve seen it happen at every single family meal for years,” Lucy said.
“Lucy’s just jealous since she doesn’t have any friends,” James answered, his mouth filled with food. A look of disgust took over his cousin’s face.
“Please, James. Could you act like your age for once in your life?” she sighed.
“Hmm, let me think about that… No?” He grinned.
Lucy stared in horror at his mouth, still full of food as he spoke, and promptly dismissed herself from the table with a swish of her red ponytail.
James – 25, Lucy – 0,” he smirked; watching her go, while I just shook my head in mild amusement.
“So, Katherine, what do you do for living?” Nana Weasley asked as she passed the carrots to down to Molly, who seemed to have resorted to eating in an attempt to avoid the argument her father was having with George.
Nana Weasley was just trying to be polite since nobody else seemed to be paying that much attention to Kat. At least that’s what I thought, since the Christmas broadcast of Celestina Warbeck was on and over the years, I’d learnt there were very few things that would grab her attention during that show.
“Oh, I work at Madam Malkin’s as a personal shopper,” Kat replied, flashing another one of her sickening smiles.
Hugo peered at her, confusion evident as he pushed his curly red hair out of his eyes. “What’s that?”
“I help people to find clothes that fit, what colours work best for them and so on,” she explained, pushing the few peas on her plate back and forth. As I watched her the sudden wave of embarrassment washed over me. I turned my eyes back at my own overstuffed plate, which was nearly as full as James’s.
Something else to add to the list of reasons he’d never think of me as anything more than a friend. I was just one of the guys. The way I dressed, the way I ate, everything about me screamed unfeminine. Maybe if I changed – no. No matter how much I loved him, I wasn’t going to change who I was. I wasn’t going to become fake, because he’d see right through it anyway; we’d been friends too long.
I forced all the food down from my plate even though I had lost my appetite. Not eating was out of character, and they were worried about me enough at the moment with this whole dad business. None of them had mentioned anything. They knew me too well, knew that it would be pointless. But I saw their concern from the encouraging smiles on their faces and it melted my heart, leaving me loving them even more than I had in the first place.
When dinner ended, I joined Victoire and Jenny in the armchairs of the living room. You could hear Harry laughing with Audrey and James’s Uncle Bill through the walls, and Arthur kept walking through the room to the kitchen, refilling drinks, until Ron’s wife, Hermione, came running after him, insisting that he’d sit down.
It was warm with the crackling fire and the perfect place to relax right after Christmas dinner, though unfortunately for me, James and Kat thought so too. They sat across the room on an old worn couch, kissing like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t tear my eyes from them for a while; just stared with a blank expression, feeling nothing but numbness slowly take hold of my body.
Maybe I could get over him if I just tortured myself enough.
“That’s so weird,” Jen commented, pushing her dark fringe back from her eyes.
“What is?” I asked, tearing my eyes away from the blonde bimbo sucking James’s face off. .
“Well, you… and James. I was certain there was something going on between you two and that Freddy was just too blind to see it. But watching you act so casually when he’s there getting eaten…” she trailed off, pulling at face as she watched the two of them on the other sofa. “Or whatever you’d call that; I guess I was wrong after all…” She shrugged.
“What?” I blurted.
My heart had stopped beating at her words.
She’d thought what?! Were my feelings for James that obvious? I thought my acting was brilliant! Are you trying to tell me that I’d been walking around with my heart on my sleeve all this time?
No, that couldn’t be it. The others would have noticed it too. They would have said something. They’d known me for years; Jenny had been around for just a few months.
“You know. You’re so close and always teasing each other. You’re not the same with Freddy, even though he’s your best friend too,” she said, examining my panicky expression. “He said I was imagining things, that there could never be anything between you both, but I didn’t believe it. Though watching you now and back at his birthday party, well, I guess there mustn’t be, because I know I could never just sit by as calmly as you do if there was something there. But still, it’s odd.”
My breathing was heavy. I didn’t know how to respond to the tiny brunette without blowing my cover. My voice would tremble and she’d realise immediately what was going on. I was squeezing the handles of the chair, knuckles white, as I tried to figure out what to do. And I blessed Victoire to every deity I knew, as she came to my rescue.
“Stop freaking her out, Jen.” She chuckled. “You don’t say stuff like that to Gwen or James. They panic and act weird. Look at her!”
“I wasn’t meaning to. I was just curious.” Jen’s brow furrowed.
I spun my head towards Vic, the confusion practically shining from my face. She sighed and started to explain.
“I believe we’ve all thought that at some point, you know, that you guys have something more than friendship going on between. You’re a lot closer than normal friends, but I guess it’s because you’ve been inseparable for almost fifteen years; you’ve gone through a lot together. But since nothing’s happened, - and we would know if something had, - we’ve all just let it go.”
They…they - they have?
Why haven’t they ever said anything? Have they just been laughing behind my back, thinking ‘poor Gwen…’
No, she didn’t say that. She didn’t say she’d thought that I was in love with him. She’d thought we both were in love with each other.
Seriously, Victoire; what was I supposed to make of that?
“Why didn’t you say anything?” I asked.
“Oh, come on! Look how much you’re panicking already. Nobody wanted to be the one to make things awkward between you two; we’ve just waited for something to happen. But Freddy’s always swore that one of you’d tell him if something was going on. I sort of hoped you’d tell me too,” Vic frowned, scrunching up her beautiful face. “But judging by your reaction, I’m gad we didn’t say anything before. Though I’m starting to wish I hadn’t said anything just now either…”
“I’m not panicking!”
Damnit. Why was my voice so unnaturally high?
“Yes you are! Stop it; nobody thinks that anymore anyway. Calm down!” She was starting to panic herself; I could see that she was regretting ever opening her mouth.
I breathed heavily, trying to force myself to relax. Maybe this wasn’t that bad after all. At least now I knew that if something did happen, they’d all be happy for us.
Images of happy Weasley’s started to pop up inside my mind and the nervousness slowly faded away. We could be so happy…
I’m not letting myself get lost with those thoughts again. Nothing will ever happen between me and James. He doesn’t feel that way, and I know that. We’re just friends, nothing more. I need to start remembering that.
“Okay.” I nodded.
“Though I have to admit, it’s fun to see you get all worked up like this. I should’ve said something earlier.” Victoire laughed, her long blonde hair falling effortlessly around her face.
“I hate you,” I muttered.
“No you don’t. You love me and could never get mad at me, even if you tried.” She grinned, screwing up her nose in an attempt to make me laugh. I scowled, not letting her know that I was desperately trying to hide my delight. “But seriously, just forget I said anything, okay?” She smiled, sincerely this time, and my scowl slowly dispersed.
Jen sighed happily while looking back and forward between Vic and I. “You have no idea how sweet it is that you’re both so close, do you?”
“Ha! You’re saying that now. Wait a few years, then you’ll be wishing for the days before you met us.” Victoire laughed again and I chuckled at her words, before turning my attention back to James.
He and Kat had stopped snogging - thank Merlin - and James was now chatting with Louis, while she was playing with his hands, still wearing that smug smile I hated so much.
Why couldn’t James just dump her already?
“Gwenny, could you give me a hand?” Ginny asked, gesturing towards the table and the dirty plates.
“Sure.” I grinned at her, getting out of my seat.
“Oh, I can help you too, Mrs. Potter!” Kat smiled eagerly and made to get up from the couch.
“No need. Gwenny and I can manage it,” Ginny hurried to reply.
“Oh, okay.” Kat frowned slightly, looking disappointed as she sank back next to James. He had the beginnings of a scowl on his face at his mother’s words, but Ginny pretended not to notice.
I felt incredibly smug as I made my way into the dining room. Dear, sweet, beautiful Ginny, the woman who saw through every act and I loved her for it.
Ginny gave me a meaningful glance as I halted at her side. A little hem escaped my lips but I didn’t say a thing. I just waved my wand and started to levitate the plates back to the kitchen.
“Bloody hell, Gwen. Tell me your honest opinion of her,” Ginny said immediately as the door closed behind us.
I just shrugged and lowered the plates into the sink.
“Well she sure has nerve, I’ll give her that. It took Harry years before he got the courage to kiss me in front of the family. But there she is, practically all over my son!” She shook her head, sighing in exasperation.
“Well, James isn’t the most discreet guy in the world either…” I reminded her.
“Oh, stop pretending that you like her, Gwen. I can see how she looks at you and I’m sure you’ve noticed it too.” Ginny gave me a pointed look as she leaned up against the counter of the tiny kitchen.
“It’s his choice,” I smiled.
“You’re too nice to him. You know that, right? He needs to stop acting like a fool and find a girl he really likes. You’re the only one he’ll listen to,” she said.
Maybe. But I’d only do that if I wanted him to settle down…
I just shrugged again, not knowing what to say, and started to clean the dishes with magic.
“He’s a good kid under that entire playboy act. He just needs to drop it and find a decent girl. Someone like… like… well, you know.”
I stopped for a second to glance in Ginny’s direction, but she had her back to me and I couldn’t see her expression.
Was she talking about me? I would never have made that assumption before now, but after what Vic had said just a moment ago made me wonder.
Had Ginny wished that too, at some point? Had she hoped that James and I would fall in love and get together?
I felt a bit sad as I continued to wave my wand and watch the sponge that scrubbed the plates. Ginny was like the mother I didn’t have, and would be the best perk of a relationship with James, as I then really would have been a part of the family.
But I knew I would always be her son’s best friend. I couldn’t change that.
Trying to clear my head of thoughts like that, I focused on the last of the dishes.
Today really hadn’t helped my quest to get over James.
A/N: Yey! Another chapter again, aren't you all excited?
Once again, dying to hear your thoughts about it! Just even one teeny tiny review, okay? (;
Well, hopefully you liked it, because I had fun writing it!
I want to take this moment and say HUGE thanks to atellam for all the help again and to acciohpff for all the support! You guys rock! Seriously! I can't even express it in words.
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