“I cannot believe you did that!” Tate was saying, as he paced back and forth in the boys changing room in front of me.
The poor boy looks harassed beyond conviction.
And it was entirely my fault.
Well, no, not really. It was Anna Gordon’s fault. But of course he wouldn’t believe me. Why would he? It had, after all, been me who had taken her clothes.
And then body slammed her in the middle of the Quidditch pitch.
During the first match of the season.
The realization of what had happened hit me like a ton of bricks and I groaned, letting my head fall into my hands
“What were you thinking, Katie?” Tate demanded, coming to a halt in front of me.
“I wasn’t,” I mumbled.
What else could I say?
“Oh, nothing, Tate. I just stalked you all day, knocked out a first year and sifted through your underwear drawer. Why? Oh, because I think I might be going batshit crazy.”
Tate closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“I thought you were different,” he said quietly.
“You don’t understand!” I said more loudly than I had intended.
“Then explain,” he said angrily.
I wanted to. I really did. But I couldn’t. So instead, I just bit my lip and stared back at him.
He shook his head and turned to leave.
“So you’re breaking up with me.” It was a statement.
“I don’t know yet,” was his answer.
Well, isn’t that convenient?
I didn’t say this out loud, of course. I just stood there and watched him leave, my heart sinking lower and lower with every step he took.
“Well… that didn’t go very well.”
I almost screamed when Amber Montgomery stepped out from behind a shower curtain.
And yes, I said Amber Montgomery, Tate’s psycho ex-girlfriend who tried to fracture my skull earlier this month.
Ok, maybe I should start from the beginning…
24 hours earlier.
It was Saturday evening, the day before the first Quidditch match of the season; Ravenclaw versus Gryffindor. The school was buzzing with excitement. Banners were already up and the two concerned teams were travelling in packs as though they thought someone was going to attack them.
People at this school took Quidditch way too seriously if you ask me.
“Suck it!” someone at the Gryffindor table yelled. I looked up to see Tate approaching our table, ignoring the verbal harassment he was receiving from my housemates. I shot Al and Scorp a particularly dirty look as they shouted a few choice words at my boyfriend.
He jerked his head towards the doors of the Great Hall and I nodded, getting up to follow him.
“He’s kidnapping the Minister’s daughter!”
“Call the secret service!”
How it was sabotage, I wasn’t sure, seeing as I wasn’t even on the sodding Gryffindor team.
“They take this way too seriously,” I said as we walked out onto the grounds. Tate gave me a blank look.
“Which probably isn’t the best thing to say to the Ravenclaw Quidditch captain,” I mumbled. He chuckled and slung his arm around my shoulder.
“It’s like me telling you that Arithmancy is a waste of time,” he said good naturedly.
“As opposed to what? Divination?” I scoffed. Tate raised an eyebrow at me in a ‘see what I mean’ sort of way. I rolled my eyes at him.
“Ok, smartass, where are we going?”
“You’ll see,” he said mysteriously, pulling me faster across the grounds. He led me towards the part of the forest near the lake.
“It’s the Forbidden Forest,” I informed him. He ignored me and kept walking, his hand firmly holding mine. About two minutes in, I was lost. Tate seemed to know where he was going, like he came here a lot.
Finally, he came to a stop in a clearing.
“So,” he said. “What do you think?”
The clearing was almost perfectly circular. There were flowers blooming at the roots of some of the trees. On the right, through the trees, I could see parts of the lake glistening in the moonlight. I had never been one to stop and smell the roses, but this place was pretty awesome.
“It’s beautiful,” I said, smiling at him. He looked at me for a long moment and then he raised his hand to my face.
“Like you,” he said quietly. Butterflies erupted in my stomach and only doubled as Tate’s face neared mine. When our lips touched, for a moment everything went quiet. The noises of the creatures far off in the forest, the insects buzzing, the rush of the water, everything stopped. Silence rang loudly in my head.
I was a little lightheaded when he pulled away. Ok, that might be an understatement seeing as all I could do was stare at him stupidly.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
I grabbed his face and pulled him towards me in reply.
I was walking back to the Gryffindor Common Room with a big grin on my face. I’d never thought it was possible, but there I was. I was that girl. I had great friends, a brilliant boyfriend who, if you were wondering, was quite possibly the best kisser on the planet, and a life. To think that a month ago I was sitting alone in a coffee shop in Muggle London.
So, there I was; my head up in the clouds, when it happened.
“Hi,” was what Amber Montgomery said to get my attention. I came to a jarring halt.
I’d only seen her from far away when Pippa pointed her out in the Great Hall after she’d assaulted me. Close up she was… well, pretty.
She was tall. Almost as tall as Tate. She had long black hair and she was dressed in a denim miniskirt and blue and white plaid shirt. Arms crossed, she was leaning casually against the wall and giving me the onceover.
She pushed herself off the wall and my hand immediately went to my want pocket. Amber lifted her hands in surrender.
“I’m not about to duel with the smartest chick in our year,” she said with a small smile.
I was beginning to get slightly nervous. Why was she smiling at me? Was she imagining slamming a hatchet into my head and then burying my corpse in the dead of night?
“Look,” Amber sighed. “I’m just here to check if you’re okay. If this is how it’s going to be then fine. I’ll just leave.”
Great, now I was curious.
“Why wouldn’t I be okay?” I called after her retreating back. Amber stopped in her tracks and turned slowly to look at me.
“You mean he didn’t break up with you?” she asked slowly.
“But… I saw Anna…”
The name made my blood run cold. James, Al and I were serving a detention in about half an hour because of her and her minion.
“Anna?” I was slightly frightened by the tone of my own voice. Amber looked at me for a long moment before she answered.
“I saw them together.”
All I could do was stare at her. Together? What did she mean ‘together’? Like they were talking as friends (even though I didn’t particularly welcome the thought) or did she mean together together?
I must’ve stood there for a whole minute breaking down every single word Amber had said before I realized what I was doing.
I was having a conversation with someone who, last time I checked, wanted my head on a platter.
And I was believing everything she was telling me.
Sometimes I wonder if Mum dropped me on my head when I was a baby.
“And I should believe you because…?”
“Ever wonder where he was the morning after that disaster party when you were running around looking for him?”
I gaped at her; partially because I was wondering how the hell she knew that and partially because she raised a valid point. Where had he been before I saw him at Quidditch practice? Looking for him,I had scaled the entire castle. Twice.
“So believe me if you want. I think you deserve better though.”
Amber was deluded. Tate was sweet and nice and every box on Pippa’s ‘Boyfriend Material’ list was checked (I’m not kidding. She has one of those).
Also, wasn't she the one who obsessively stalked him?
“Ok, well, I don’t believe you.”
“Fine,” Amber shrugged.
And then we stood there, staring at each other. I wanted to turn around, but I couldn’t. My feet didn’t want to seem to listen to me. A smirk was slowly forming on Amber’s face when she realized I wasn’t going to move.
“You believe me.”
I didn’t reply. My mind was racing. Tate had never done anything to make me not trust him. So why was I still standing there? Intuition, perhaps? Or was it some completely misguided sentiment that was going to simultaneously ruin my life and help Amber satisfy her twisted desires?
“When you’re ready to admit that to yourself, come find me and we’ll get you proof,” Amber said from somewhere far off.
I looked up to see she was already walking away.
That was when I realized that I was contemplating going into negotiations with my boyfriend's stalker.
I could almost hear Merlin sniggering his precious beard off.
“Yo, Haverford, you ok?” James asked.
We were in detention. McGonagall had decided to make us scrub the trophy room, sans wands of course.
I dropped my sponge in my bucket of soapy water and looked at James. I was covered in a mixture of soap and water, the room smelt of stale dust that hadn’t been disturbed in ages and, to top it off, I had a potentially cheating boyfriend to worry about.
“Yeah,” I told him, smiling.
I was getting good at this lying thing.
“Well, I’m sorry for dragging you into this, but thanks for saving my ass,” James said.
“We’re both in detention, James. I don’t think I did a very good job of saving your ass,” I told him jokingly.
“Still,” he said. “I got you a thank you gift!”
He reached for his bag in the corner and pulled out a brown paper bag and handed it to me with an excited look on his face.
To be honest, it scared me.
“Well, go on then. Open it!”
I tentatively peeked into the bag and the smell of strawberries hit me. On further inspection, I saw that James’ apology gift was a bashed cupcake. I smiled at him.
“Thanks,” I said brightly, and meaning it as I dipped my finger in the icing and put it in my mouth.
“It’s a new recipe! Strawberry and ham.”
My eyes widened as the taste of strawberry dissolved in my mouth paving way to something that, quite frankly, should be illegal.
“So? Do you like it?” he asked excitedly.
He looked like a puppy, what with his eyes shining the way they were and all.
So I did the right thing.
I nodded enthusiastically.
James looked satisfied with himself and went back to scrubbing. I used this opportunity to spit the deadly icing back into the bag.
That’s when I caught Al sniggering at me in the corner.
I smiled angelically back.
“Hey, Al, do you want some of James’ cupcake? It’s really good!” I said loudly.
That wiped the smirk off his face.
Unfortunately, before Al could sample James’ cooking disaster, the door opened and in walked Amber Montgomery in all her tall, brunette glory.
“We have to go. Now,” Amber said urgently to me. Before I could answer, Al was somehow between me and her.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“Move, Potter.” Amber sounded bored.
As pathetic as it may sound, I could not see over Al’s shoulder. However, I did see him visibly tense as Amber tried to step around him.
“It’s fine, Al,” I told him, walked around him.
“Yeah,” I said quickly. “But we have some stuff the talk about so we’ll just-“
“What stuff,” Al cut me off, crossing his arms and looking at us suspiciously.
“You shouldn’t have asked, mate,” James mumbled in the corner.
“Oh, you know girl stuff. Cramps, tampons and the like,” Amber said brightly.
Al’s face was priceless.
I almost laughed.
Then I felt slightly guilty. Poor boy had just defended me.
Amber was already pulling me towards the door.
“I have detention!” I protested.
“So?” was her reply. And then she was dragging me away.
“Where are we going?”
Amber shushed me. I was offended. I’d had a few hours to think about it. Sure, maybe Amber saw Tate with Anna. But so what? I was not going to turn into one of those people who continuously thought about something until it ultimately became their entire life and they had no choice other than to pursue said obsession no matter what the circumstances.
Or worse; Amber.
She spent all her time stalking Tate. Wasn’t that what had made him break up with her in the first place? I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be Amber because, honestly, it seemed way too exhausting.
I was going to say something, I swear. But before I could point out that this could be considered kidnap, she pulled me back against a wall and peaked around the corner.
“Look,” she whispered.
I couldn’t help myself. I leaned forward just in time to see Tate and Anna walking down the corridor away from us, laughing about something. Just before they turned the corner, Tate stopped and rummaged through his bag. He pulled out a piece of parchment and handed it to Anna, smiling.
Thinking back, I don’t see how it was fair of Tate to blame me what with all the suspicious smiling and note exchanging.
However, what I did next was completely out of bounds. For that, Tate had every right to go all Eternal Sunshine on my ass and have his memory erased.
I turned to Amber and said, “Can you get me into his dorm?”
She had the shame to look slightly startled.
“Hey, we’re here for proof, right?” Honestly, I don’t know what came over me.
A few hours ago, I was that girl; the one with friends and a life.
Now I was that girl- the girl who stalked her boyfriend with aforementioned Gollum-like obsession.
If it even counts anymore, I knew this wasn’t going to end well.
A/N: First off, I want to say thank you for all the encouraging reviews you guys left for the previous chapter! It feels like Christmas =) You guys are beyond wonderful!
On another note, this chapter is to make up for everything! :D I wrote it all at one go, in the middle of the night so please excuse any spelling/grammar mistakes. You might have already guessed that this is going to be in two parts. I've outlined part two, but if you have any requests/ suggestions, they are more than welcome! PLEASE leave a review and tell me what you think about this chapter as well!
Write a Review Nothing Extraordinary: Crash & Burn (Part I)