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Chapter 7 : The Aftermath
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Holy Merlin. My head.
I roll ungracefully onto my back, dressed only in my underwear from last night, and I can’t even think straight because it feels like somebody is attacking my cranium with a sledge hammer. I groan and push myself into a sitting position, cradling my head in my hands and gagging at the disgusting taste in my mouth. The sun is streaming through the window and I feel like it’s frying my skin.
“Shit,” I murmur. I stand up, wobbling over to the cupboard and taking a pair of shorts and an oversized Ramones t-shirt, then pulling on a pair of thick socks and walking over to the door. I lean forward, my head against the wood, wishing it would open. Nothing should be this hard.
“Damn it,” I breathe, finally pulling open the door and dragging myself to the bathroom. I catch my reflection in the mirror and curse because my face looks like it’s been trampled by centaurs. I lift my arms to attempt to wipe off some eyeliner but I run to the toilet, kneeling down and retching into the bowl.
“Are you okay in there?” James calls from the other side of the door and I moan loudly as another round of nauseas hits me. I half expect him to come barging in but he doesn’t and I clean myself up, brushing my teeth four times and scrubbing my face until it feels raw. I tie my hair up into a bun and spray some deodorant pretty liberally over myself, then stumble out of the bathroom. James is standing there and I roll my eyes, my hands on the wall as I walk unsteadily down the stairs.
“Want some help?” he asks, his hand on my back, but I brush him away.
“Don’t touch me. And stop screaming,” I murmur, staggering into the kitchen and pouring a glass of water. I sit at one of four stools around a tiny square table and rub my forehead. James sits opposite me, chuckling to himself and I wonder at how he can be so alive. Wide awake. Bright as a freaking button. It’s ridiculous.
“Why aren’t you a picture of destruction?” I ask conversationally. He laughs, his green eyes lighting up and I take a sip of water. My stomach churns.
“I didn’t drink all that much last night,” he explains and I cringe because I quite obviously did. “So what’s a jabberwocky?” he asks, barely containing a laugh. I close my eyes, breathing deeply.
“Go away,” I beg. “Please.”
“Not a chance. The prefects are coming over in ten minutes.” I groan and he laughs at me. Gah.
I’m one of those people who should never, ever, drink in front of others. Ever. I know this, and yet I fail to adhere to my own wisdom. There was one time when my mum came home to find me dancing around the kitchen, bottle in hand, totally wasted. I think the screaming match that ensued probably woke the whole neighbourhood. Another time, my neighbour Marcus found me in the middle of the night, in a park, drinking myself into oblivion. Marcus, ever the gentleman and much more responsible in the situation than I was, walked me home and told me to stay in. The next morning he told me pretty explicitly that I should never drink again. He was right. I should have listened to him.
Taking another sip of water and internally rejoicing when it doesn’t come back up, I bravely raise my head to look at James.
“How bad was I?” I ask.
“You were great?” he says, grinning. I groan again and take my glass of water with me into the common room, taking the armchair I’ve claimed as my own and making an executive decision to go back to bed after the meeting. I’ve studied enough over the last six years for a day in bed to have no effect on my end of years. My head is still aching and my mouth and lips are beyond dry; my stomach churns every time I take a tiny sip of water. I feel like death.
James sits on the couch and looks like he’s about to say something before the common room door is thrown open and Fred Weasley saunters in, dressed in black and white checked pyjama pants and a black t-shirt. He’s bare foot and clutching a pale blue blanket against his chest, which he carries to the couch where he promptly lays down, his feet over James’ legs.
“Morning all,” he murmurs, arranging the cushions beneath his head, then snuggling into them. James pats his legs and pulls the blanket around a little bit then glances across at me.
“I gave Fred the password. Hope you don’t mind,” he smiles and Fred whimpers a bit.
“Not at all,” I reply. I’m still trying to get past how child-like and innocent Fred looks, which is funny because he’s, like, the opposite of that.
There’s a knock on the door and I sigh because I am not ready to deal with prefects right now. Prefects are annoying. And I can say that because I was one, and I was one of the rare few who copped their shit on the chin and didn’t complain every time their patrol didn’t suit them because they would rather be asleep or shagging in a dusty broom cupboard. James looks to me and I gesture for him to get the door, but he motions at Fred’s feet and raises his arms like ‘What can you do?’ so I groan and push myself up, stalking over to the door and pulling the heavy son-of-a-bitch open.
“Harmony!” Albus Potter exclaims, launching himself at me. I stagger backwards as he throws his arms around me and squeezes me.
“He’s still drunk,” Rose Weasley tells me, patting my shoulder comfortingly as she walks past. Al doesn’t let me go so I pat his head awkwardly and watch the prefects file past me and into the room. They’re totally undone and it makes me feel a bit better, seeing Keith from Hufflepuff, whose skin is clammy and green, eyes drooping. He looks like the slightest movement would cause him to toss his cookies. Scorpius Malfoy looks a bit worse for wear - he’s wearing dark green pyjama pants and an enormous grey jumper. He nods at me as he passes and pulls Al off me, dragging his friend into the room.
I take a deep breath, letting my stomach settle for moment before turning and following everyone into the room. Fred is still lying on the sofa, his feet now over Rose’s legs. Scorpius is in my armchair, his arms securely around Al who’s sitting in his lap. I walk over to James, who is standing in front of the fireplace, looking down at the dishevelled and miserable prefects. Because there are so many of them and the common room really isn’t big enough, they sit on top of each other and on the floor. James clears his throat. Fred whimpers again. My head aches and my stomach churns. Al winks at me. What a strange kid.
“Right,” James says, nodding. “Right.”
Ohhh my goddddd, it went to deadlock and Nathaniel's gone. But he's so beautiful. It's not fair. I just can't. A couple of reviews would cheer me up, I'm sure. X
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