Chapter 22 : Unforeseen Meals, and Greenhouse Gases
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When we were twelve, I witness Desmond losing his very first kiss to his very first almost-girlfriend. Layla Miller. They were sitting alone by the black lake (until I came along, of course) after Dominique and Layla got into a fight about something completely irrelevant to my story. The two completely innocent twelve year olds kissed, and once they parted Layla’s face broke out into the biggest smile I have ever witnessed. I knew, at that precise moment, that they were meant to be together.
Four years, and a hundred million fights later, here he was, hooking up with his best mates’ baby sister.
“I don’t know, okay? We’re already deep in a pile of shit right now. My situation with Tyler doesn’t exactly help. He’s turning the entire castle over trying to look for me.”
My mind wandered back to my dormitory, where Tyler expressed his newfound feelings for a complete stranger he met two nights ago. I recalled the smile that formed on his face as he described her genuineness and the personality he seemed to have fallen in love with. He found the girl that was a perfect balance between the three of his extremely radical best-girl friends. Now, I couldn’t fucking believe that this girl turned out to be Lily Potter.
“We have to tell him the truth, Lily.” Desmond urged. “He’s my best mate, we can’t do this to him!”
“If we tell him, then there’s more than a fat chance that our relationship will become public.” She pointed out. “I can’t let that happen, Desmond. Not when my family makes up a fourth of the castle.”
“What are you so afraid of?”
“I’m not afraid of anything.” She snapped furiously. “I’m being smart, which is what you should try doing. My brother is no longer speaking to you because he found out about us! He’s been silent ever since, but we both know that it’s not going to last. We can’t expect him to just be okay with this.”
I felt a sudden wave of remorse once I thought about just how betrayed Potter must feel.
“And Tyler!” Lily exclaimed before Desmond could counter her argument. “Like you said! He’s your best mate! How would he take this news?”
“The storm will only get worse the longer we put this off.” He reminded her.
“What about Layla, Desmond?” she asked with soft eyes and a significantly lowered tone. “What are you going to tell her?”
Before I could hear his answer, a pair of nameless hands grabbed me by the shoulders and hauled me away from the exit. My initial reaction was to scream for my life, but the stranger pinned me against the wall and clamped a hand over my mouth, muffling any sound that escaped. I came face to face with Scorpius’ blazing eyes. He pressed a finger to his lips, effectively silencing me for the time being. Slowly, he retracted his hand from my mouth, but the finger to his lip and the ferocity in his eyes reminded me to stay silent.
Through the now closed exit, Desmond and Lily’s voice became muffled blurs. I could no longer make out the details of their words, forcing my curiosity to grow with every passing moment. What was clear, however, was the sound of a seemingly large door creaking open. Another muffled voice joined the duo, and soon, there was silence.
My gaze moved back to Scorpius, whereas his, remained locked towards he exit as if he was waiting for something. Without a word, he slowly moved forward and opened the latch with ease, before beckoning me to follow him out of the mustiness. Daylight hit me like a curse, piercing my eyes until I was forced to shut them tightly. Scorpius grabbed me by the elbows and hoisted me out of the tunnel.
Finally, I opened my eyes to scan my surroundings. “They’re gone.”
“Rose called Lily back.” Scorpius answered, turning his back to me.
“Rose?” I asked, confused. “Hold on, how did you know where I was?”
He planted himself on a wooden picnic table and sat with his elbows pressed against his thighs. “The map, of course. Rose wanted me to follow you while she distracts Lily and Desmond.”
I was confused. I followed Scorpius’ tracks and planted myself beside him. At that point, all thoughts of Greyson left my mind. “So… I’m confused.” I stated plainly.
Scorpius sighed. “Rose figured it out last night after she caught Lily sneaking into the common room way past curfew.”
“So she knows about Lily and Desmond.” I clarified.
“And now she knows about Tyler and Lily.” He added.
He shrugged and smiled with unashamed pride. “With cleverness that outwits any Slytherin in this castle.”
“So why did she send you to me?”
“She figured you already knew, and if you didn’t, well you would have figured it out eventually. I guess she rather have me explain it to you without making a big mess of things.”
I nodded slowly, still not fully understanding Roses’ intentions. “So explain.” I said.
Scorpius took a deep breath. “I don’t understand women.” He said plainly. “Never have, never will. So this entire threesome going on between Lily, Desmond and Tyler, I understand a whopping total of zero percent.”
I quirked a brow. “Rose sent you all the way here to tell me just how much you don’t understand the situation?”
“It’s all very confusing…” Scorpius said. “Desmond and Lily never hooked up until the night of the ball. Ever since then, well I guess you can say that they’ve been going at it like rabbits.” I cringed at the thought. “I suppose there was some mix up between identities? Or at least that’s Rose’s theory. Or maybe Lily just completely jump shipped in the middle of the night and met Tyler, when of course, she didn’t know who he was. They talked for the night, and then, wham! There goes Tyler’s sanity.”
“And this is all just a theory?” I asked.
“Well… Lily did admit to meeting two guys that night.”
“Did she say what she’s planning to do now?”
He shrugged. “I suppose she’s going to mull things over until her brain is fried, make a decision, and then change it over and over again…”
“Your perception of women seriously concerns me.”
“Rose says the same things.” He grinned. “I trust you won’t tell anyone about this? Especially James and Albus.”
“Telling Potter and Al would turn a cold war into a full on battle.” I scoffed. “Trust me, I’m not that stupid.” I bit my lip as I weighed the pro’s and con’s of spreading the truth. “Tyler needs to know.” I told Scorpius softly. “He’s not going to give up until he finds her… It’s cruel to allow him to continue searching when we both know that she’s sitting right under his nose, and messing around with his best mate.”
“Rose is going to talk to Lily.” Scorpius replied. “That’s the best we can do without complicating things. I suppose she’s going to try and convince her to do what she needs to do, regardless of the aftermath.”
I laughed bitterly. “Lily is all about self preservation. I learned that after all those years of watching her get her brothers into trouble. As long as her ass is safe, she’s perfectly fine with whatever happens.”
“And in swoops the beautiful, clever, amazing, and incredibly persuasive Rose Weasley to the rescue.” He exclaimed dramatically. “She’ll get Lily to talk.
I smiled at his sweetness. “You know, Scorp, I don’t know why it took Rosie so long to see just how much the two of you belong together.”
He rolled his eyes openly. “You, being the Queen of Denial, should not be talking.”
My mouth dropped open resentfully. “I am most definitely not the queen of denial, sir.”
Scorpius held up his hand. “We’re straying away from the matter at hand.” His voice was drained of all playfulness. “So you and Albus, huh?” He immediately burst out laughing, his serious façade completely shattered.
I scowled and looked away. “I can’t believe the entire castle knows about that.”
“Oh c’mon,” Scorpius nudged my side. “Don’t be angry. I’m absolutely, one-hundred percent positive that almost everyone did something that night that they weren’t entirely proud of.”
“Rumors are flying here and there.” I agreed. “There were a lot of hook-ups that night.”
He nodded. “So… you and Al, huh?”
I smacked his arm with as much strength as I could muster. Scorpius merely broke out in laughter, without so much as a flinch. “It’s not funny, Scorp!” I exclaimed, completely mortified. “It’s like snogging my brother!”
“How did James take it?”
I shrugged. “He wasn’t exactly pleased.”
“Merlin, Vic, you’re really getting `round the Potters… I wonder if Lily’s next.” Scorpius earned another smack on the arm for his little comment. Again, he laughed loudly, as if my slap did not affect him at all.
“This castle was better off without that stupid Masquerade ball.” Scorpius announced bitterly once his laughter subsided. “Whatever happened to the good old fashioned costume parties? They’re never truly outdated!”
I chuckled softly. “I couldn’t agree more.”
I couldn’t believe that after all that arsehole has done, I was still going out on a limb for him. Dinner was about to start in twenty minutes, which meant that I had twenty minutes to find Sylvia before that not-so-pretty little head of hers could muster up new and crazy ideas about Cupids. After Victoria made her rushed exit, Tyler and I concocted the (hopefully) perfect idea to get Sylvia off Cupids’ tail.
Once I tracked the Marauders’ map down to Rose, I located Sylvia sitting in the Great Hall, waiting for dinner to start. And that’s when this entire, uncomfortable situation took flight.
“So, does everyone know the plan?” I asked, huddled over with four other Gryffindor guys. We were standing a corner away from the Great Hall. I suppose it wasn’t the best idea to group together in plain sight and not to mention, in the middle of the most busiest corridor of the castle. We looked like bloody fucking idiots. “Just make sure that you’re somewhere in sight, but not completely out there.”
“That completely contradicts the idea of hiding, James.” Fred pointed out exasperatedly.
“Just hide, but make sure she see’s you hiding, okay?” Tyler snapped in response.
“Can we please get this over with as fast as possible?” Albus asked as he anxiously scanned his surroundings. “I feel like a bloody poof wearing this shirt, and carrying this bow around…”
With a scowl on his face to second Albus’ comment, Lysander began prying the tight cloth from his skin. “Seriously…” He added. “Were these costumes necessary?”
“It needs to look legitimate, you dumbarse.” Lorcan reminded.
“I think we’re going way harder than we need too…” Fred whined. “I rather do this shirtless, than wear this stinking shirt.”
“Would you quit whining?” I snapped. “The quicker we do this, the faster you can get out of the shirt.”
“So how are we going to get her out of the Great Hall?” Lorcan asked.
“Layla, Ginger and Dom’s got that covered.” Tyler answered. “She’ll draw attention, and knowing Sylvia, she won’t resist. Ginger will give us the signal, and once she does, we fire.”
Fred drew an arrow from its confines on his back. He began testing the arrow, feeling around the point with his forefinger. “How badly do you think this could injure somebody?” he asked absentmindedly. “OW!” he retracted his finger as if the arrow had just burned him. “Mother of all fuckers.” He cursed loudly and shoved his finger into his mouth.
“Did you expect it to be made out of jelly, Fred?” Lysander asked dryly. “Because that’s typically what arrows are made out of. Soft, soft jelly.”
“Anyway.” I interjected, resisting the urge to insert my own sarcastic comment into the mix. “Let’s get on with this, shall we? It’s not exactly pleasant wearing this stupid shirt.”
“I think those girls over there think otherwise.” Tyler nodded over to the group of giggling girls standing across the corridor.
I scowled and looked away, suddenly feeling uncomfortable under their gaze. “Let us just please get this over with.”
“Positions, gentlemen.” Tyler ordered, as if he was commanding his own, personal, legitimate army.
Under Tyler’s command, the men obediently dispersed into dark alcoves, behind suits of armors, or half hidden behind a tapestry. I chose to hide behind a torched pillar closest to the entrance. After scattering ourselves within a twenty foot radius, we readied our bows and arrows. As I fixed the arrow against the nylon chord, I wondered how Desmond did not feel like a complete idiot sneaking around the castle with this getup, and shooting couples in the arse.
All eyes were glued on Ginger, who lingered near the entrance way of the Great Hall. She was peering intently through the opened doors, waiting for Layla and Dom’s overly dramatic stir up.
“What’s taking them so long?” Lysander hissed loudly. “I’m getting a cramp!”
At that point, I was trying my best not to feel like that big of an idiot while hiding behind a pillar, looking very much like a gay hunter.
Thankfully, Ginger’s arms began to flail vigorously, and before I knew it, Dom and Layla came running from the Great Hall, screaming like a pair of dimwitted banshees. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but laugh at their ridiculous display.
From head to toe, the pair’s naked bodies were covered by countless of velvet cushioned hearts. Their hair was temporarily dyed pink, and they sported the cutest, magically-made signs above their heads.
COME FALL IN LOVE WITH ME
Without disappointment, Sylvia came running after them with a look of utter confusion. “What the bloody hell are they doing?” she asked.
“THEY’VE BEEN SPOTTED!” Tyler announced.
Right before I released my arrow, I laughed loudly as a heart fell off of Layla’s right arse cheek. She squeaked and jumped in the air the moment the heart met the floor.
“GOTCHA!” Albus cried as we all stepped out of hiding. “You girls suck at this game.”
“You’d think that after years and years of playing, they’d get better at this.” Fred sighed and shook his head with mock disappointment. “It’s just not fun anymore without a bit of a challenge.”
“Victoria is usually the last to get shot. Too bad she wasn’t playing today.” Lysander agreed. “Hey James, where is little Vicky?”
“Don’t call me little, you brat. I’m older than you are.” Vic scolded, popping up from behind Fred. Despite myself, I took a second out of our little mission to survey her appearance, having had not seen her since… an hour ago. More or less. Her cheeks were flushed, her hair was tousled, her clothes disheveled, and is that a thin layer of sweat glistening against her neck? If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that she ran away into a broom closet to do the dirty with some random bloke. “Aw, did I miss the show?” she asked breathlessly.
“What the hell is going on?” Sylvia demanded.
I turned to her, feigning astonishment. “Oh, Sylvia! You’re there.”
Her eyes narrowed into slits. “Yes, James, I’m here. What are you all playing at?”
“What are you talking about?” I frowned.
Damn, I was such a good liar. I should receive a fucking award.
“This!” she shouted. “The bows, the arrows, the fucking hearts! What’s going on?”
Vic laughed. “Honey, I think you need to calm down.”
“Yeah. We’re just playing around.” Albus answered.
“Playing around?” she repeated dangerously. “This is your version of playing around? Have all of you gone mental?”
“It’s just our own very exaggerated version of tag.” Lysander explained with a nonchalant shrug. “Freddie here just got so bored of regular tag, thus, this.” He motioned to our ridiculously embarrassing attire. “It’s more of a low-key group thing.”
“But we grew sloppy, and you were starting to get all these ideas…” Lorcan continued. “Very farfetched ideas…”
“So I guess it won’t hurt to tell you the truth now that you caught us in the act.” Dominique finished, approaching us. “And it will give you peace of mind to know that this is just a game.”
“You can even be a part of it too, if you want!” Tyler exclaimed excitedly as he clapped his hands together. “You can be one of the hunted! We’ll cover you up in hearts and everything!”
Sylvia shut her eyes tightly. “So is Desmond a part of this flock of imbeciles as well?” she asked no one in particular.
“Yup.” Layla answered. “He’s just a bit preoccupied with a prank gone wrong right now.”
“He flooded our dormitory.” I explained.
“It’s rather tragic, actually.” Tyler went on. “My pet rat was enjoying his cheese right in front of my trunk.”
Layla shut her eyes tightly and pinched the bridge of her nose. “Tyler, you don’t have a rat.” She informed him.
“Well it was somebody’s rat. It needed a home so I gave it one!”
In reality, it was actually a random wild rat he found wandering around the corridors. And in reality, the rat ran away the minute he let it go free in our dormitory. Desmond and I just did not have the heart to tell him.
They say that emptiness is most difficult to ignore. Absence has a knack of capturing and squeezing a heart until all that remains is the bitter taste of emptiness. Desmond’s seat in the Great Hall has been empty for days. We chattered, laughed, and devoured like nothing was wrong, but no matter what I tried to focus on, I could not ignore the sting of absence that his empty table setting emitted. I wondered where he was, and why he hasn’t shown up to any single meal since the night of the ball. Dinner without Desmond was quieter than usual.
It was empty.
“Vick, you’ve barely eaten since you’ve sat down.” Tyler pointed out. He pushed a plate of mashed potatoes in my direction. “Dig in. You haven’t eaten since breakfast.”
His remark turned all eyes on me. I could especially feel Potters’ piercing gaze from across the table, but I refused to look at him. Instead, I smiled softly at Tyler and raised my food-filled-fork. “I’m eating, Ty, don’t worry.”
I stuffed the cold bits of chicken — chicken that my fork stabbed into a good twenty minutes ago — into my mouth. Dishearteningly, I chewed. I was in no mood to eat.
The conversation picked up once more, and soon enough, the spotlight shifted from me, back to Layla, who was foretelling the upcoming Quidditch game. Tyler was listening intently, and every now and then, I tuned into his disagreement, and her disbelief.
“Are you kidding me?” Layla cried. “Ravenclaws’ chasers have absolutely nothing on the Slytherins’! They’re beaters, now that’s a different story.”
“No way! Even the Hufflepuffs smoked the Ravenclaw beaters in the last match!” Tyler rebutted.
I plunged deeper into my thoughts as I began pushing the little amounts of remains around my plate. My mind wandered towards Layla, Tyler, Lily, and Desmond. Layla was blissfully ignorant to the recent happenings, and I wasn’t sure if it was my place to shatter that sheer bliss she had so fortunately found herself basking in the past couple of days. Tyler, on the other hand, was pining for this perfect redhead he met at the ball. This redhead, turns out to be the same redhead messing around with his best mate.
I groaned inwardly.
Since when did life become so complicated?
I was so immersed in my thoughts that I failed to notice Potter take my plate and pile on a ludicrous amount of food. His thoughtfulness — his completely uncalled for thoughtfulness — did not register until my now-full plate was waiting to be devoured before me.
His gesture gave me the strangest feeling of déjà vu, only except the first time this situation came around, our roles were reversed. I was madly in love with Potter, and filling his plate with all kinds of crap during breakfast.
“Potter.” I said blankly. “What do you think you’re doing?”
He refused to meet my gaze. I couldn’t tell if he was just being Potter and ignoring me, or if he was actually — dare I say — embarrassed.
“Potter.” I repeated
“Are you going to stop being difficult, or are you going to eat?” he replied with the same blank tone. His eyes did not leave his plate as he continued shoveling food into the gigantic hole in the middle of his face.
Finally, I looked away and shared a look with Tyler, who looked just as surprised and confused as I did.
Disregarding his confusion and shock, the sucky thing about Tyler, was that he was always on Potters’ side. “He’s right, Vic. You’ve got to eat something. Your arse is already way too bony.”
Needless to say, they made me smile.
I took a bite of the mountain of food on my plate and chewed animatedly.
“You guys won’t believe what I heard today.” Albus, who planted himself between Layla and Tyler, looked like he was about to burst out of his skin.
“That my little brother is actually my little sister?” Potter piped up. “Yes, we’ve already heard, Al.”
Layla snorted into her goblet.
Albus, who did not let his jack-arse of a brother rain on his parade, ignored Potter and continued staring at us with eager eyes.
“Spit it out, little sis.” Potter pressed as he reached for his goblet.
“So I heard from Scorpius, who heard from…”
“You’d be a terrible girl.” Dom commented.
“ANYWAY,” Al continued. “That’s irrelevant. So I heard that… Wait for it.”
“Mate, we’ve been waiting for it.” Tyler stated blankly. “Get on with the story.”
“WAIT FOR IT.” Albus cried dramatically. “BLOODY WAIT FOR IT.”
“I will stab you with this fork if you don’t spit it out.” Layla threatened.
“Amelie..” he began. “You all know Amelie, right?”
“Yes, we all know her.” Dom answered dryly. “We’ve known her since we were eleven, Albus.”
“So… I heard that Amelie,” he continued. “Wait did you all hear what happened during the Masquerade Ball?”
“About a good hundred eventful things happened that night.” Layla pointed out.
“That’s irrelevant also.” Albus said. “But anyway, she’s knocked up and people think James is the baby daddy.”
All liquid contents residing in Potters’ mouth immediately met Dominique’s face. My mouth dropped open from shock, and so did every other person sitting around us.
“No bloody way…” The first to react was Layla. “You’re kidding.”
Dom, who received the full blast of Potter’s spit take, grabbed a napkin and aggressively scrubbed at her face before a loud, “WHAT?” burst through the napkin.
“Holy shit…” Were the only two words that came out of Tyler’s mouth.
“And, get this.” Albus added. “She actually wants to keep the baby.”
“Hang on.” Layla interjected before any one of us could say another word. “How do we know that James is the father for sure? Amelie fucks like there’s no tomorrow. I honestly don’t believe that she can be so sure who the father is.”
“Why would she want to keep the baby…” Dominique spoke. “She’s sixteen and pregnant! She’s going to be a mother before she even hits her prime.”
As Tyler opened his mouth to speak, I turned to Potter and all voices immediately fell silent. He was staring into his goblet as if he was trying, trying with all his might, to turn his pumpkin juice into rum with just a simple look. Albus’ news rendered him silent, which could only mean one of two things. One, Potter entered the mental state of a vegetable in the span of five seconds. Two, Potter could not find a reason to deny the possibility of Amelie’s pregnancy.
Contrary to my beliefs, Potter’s mind was not weak enough to spontaneously vegetate at the news of being a baby daddy. The latter sounded more believable, which meant that the rumors were true. He fucked Amelie the night I stayed out late with Austin.
As if on cue, Potter finally showed signs of life when his eyes shifted to meet mine. In the five seconds our eyes met, I surprisingly found myself not caring enough to look any deeper. I averted my gaze, and tuned back into the conversation between our friends. It bothered me endlessly to know that Potter slept with his ex-girlfriend the same day he slept with Joy Lovegood, but for the first time in a long time, I rolled my eyes and willed myself to disregard the all-too-familiar feeling of jealousness growing in the pit of my stomach.
I refused to allow Potter any control over something as fickle as my emotions.
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t care.
“Now where are you off to again?” The sound of Potter’s sudden voice almost sent me shooting straight into the ceiling. He was leaning against the stone wall, completely calm in the midst of a mob of food-coma-stricken students. His arms were crossed over his chest, as if he was purposely trying to shove his unnaturally large muscles through the confines of his white oxford shirt. Bloody show off. Just because he looked like a fucking Greek God, doesn’t mean he needed to flaunt it ever chance he got.
“Potter!” I shrieked. “Don’t bloody sneak up on me like that!”
“You know, you’ve been sneaking around a lot lately.” He informed me while following up a flight of stairs.
“What’s your point, Potter?” I asked impatiently. “Because you’ve been babbling incessantly lately, and I don’t have time for it.”
“You’re awfully touchy tonight.” He remarked.
“Yes well, I’ve got to be somewhere. Now if you’ll excuse me…” Just as my foot was about to land on the first step of the next flight, Potter quickly stepped around, stopping me in my tracks. “Move, Potter. I don’t have time for this.”
“Where are you going?”
“That is none of your business.”
“Oooh, defensive, are we?”
“Irritated, is what I am.”
“Am I keeping you from someone?” he asked — almost bloody demanded, actually.
“Move aside Potter. I’ll argue with you later.”
I let out a frustrated cry. “What do you want?” I asked as my eyes narrowed into slits.
“We need to talk.”
“Get in line, Potter.” I scowled. “I’ve got a whole list of people I need to talk to. Speaking of… please get out of my way so I can get on with my night, and hopefully go to bed as early as possible.”
“Are you going to see Desmond?”
“Have you seen him?”
“As a matter of fact, I haven’t.” I answered. “Why?”
“There are… rumors going around. I just wanted to know if you knew anything about them.”
“About Desmond, or about you?”
Almost immediately, Potters’ eyes darkened. “Victoria, can I please talk to you?”
I crossed my arms. “Fine, I’m listening. Speak.”
“Can we talk privately?”
“I don’t have time to talk privately, Potter.”
His lips curled into a scowl. Before I could object, Potter grabbed my wrist and hauled me up the next flight of stairs, down a semi-student-filled corridor, and into an empty classroom.
“Why are you so bloody persistent?” I asked with annoyance. “Fine, we’re in an empty classroom. What do you want to talk about?”
“Are you angry with me?” was his immediately question.
“No. Are we finished?”
“Don’t lie to me.” He practically ordered. “Tell me if you’re angry.”
“When am I not angry with you?” I countered. “C’mon, Potter. We’ve been like this our whole lives. Why are you suddenly so concerned now?”
“You’re right. Why am I so concerned?”
A moment of silence fell upon us. “Are you asking me, or is that a rhetorical question?”
“Why are you being such a bitch?”
At the sound of ‘bitch’, I scoffed. “Are you kidding me?”
“I’m freaking out over here, Vic. I might be a bloody father, and I’m just trying to make things better, and you’re not making it any easier for me!”
“Well excuse me, for not handing you exactly what you wanted you spoiled little twat!”
He released a frustrated cry. “What is the matter with you? Ever since dinner, you’ve turned into a giant, walking block of ice.”
I fell silent as my anger slightly subsided and was replaced with a mix of emotions I thought I swallowed during dinner. “I just found out that,” I began, my voice softer than usual. “the boy that I’m in love with might be fathering someone else’s child. What do you want me to feel, Potter? Would you like me to yak out rainbows and sunshine?”
After another moment of silence, Potter chose to disregard my question and instead, he walked over to the other side of the room and hoisted himself up on a mid-height bookshelf. He cracked a window open and pulled a pack of cigarettes from the pocket of his trousers.
“How many times have I told you to stop smoking that garbage?” I asked as I slowly approached him.
“How many more times are you going to tell me to stop until you realize that I don’t care?” he snapped in response.
“Right, because you don’t care about anything.” I replied bitterly. “Absolutely nothing.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.”
“It is a bad thing.”
“You think that you can breeze through life not caring, but you can’t.”
“Please, spare me the motivational life speeches.”
Potter kept his head facing the opened window. One leg was stretched out in front of him, while the other was propped up as an arm rest. His cigarette was riskily dangling in between his fingers.
I glared as I wondered if I could hate this boy enough to fall out of love with him. I wondered enough to start wondering if that was Potter's almighty plan; force me to hate him enough to fall out of love with him.
“Fine, Potter.” I spat. “I’ll spare you.”
Without another word, I turned around, strode out of the classroom, and shut the door behind me with a loud bang. Upon my exit, I managed to capture more eyes than I would have liked. One of them happened to be James Greyson.
“You!” I exclaimed a little breathlessly as I spotted him chatting up a couple of Hufflepuffs. Completely disregarding his female companions, I liked my right arm with his left, and dragged him away without even skipping a beat. “I was just leaving to look for you.”
“You’re a couple of hours late…” Greyson pointed out.
“I know, and I’m sorry, but it’s been a hectic day.” I said as I began to explain myself. “There were things to take care of, and I just found out something I really wish I never knew…”
“I’m guessing you found out that Amelie is pregnant?”
For a moment there, the recent news-bomb completely slipped my mind.
My face fell, despite myself.
“Yes, but that’s besides my point.”
He frowned. “That’s what I was hoping to talk to you about. What’s your big news?”
I wrinkled my nose and a mental debate broke out in my head. Should I tell Greyson a secret that not even my best friend knows?
“I can’t tell you.” I told him. “Not yet, anyway.”
“So anyway,” he nodded with compliance. “As a Slytherin, I should tell you, that I hear things.”
We rounded a corner and aimlessly continued strolling down the corridor.
“You hear things.” I repeated. “What things?”
He took a deep breath that forced my insides to curl into a tight ball. My stomach squeezed unpleasantly from creeping anxiousness. “It’s not just a rumor, Vic. Slytherin’s talk, and our common room walls practically have their own set of ears. Her pregnancy is not just a rumor.”
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked breathlessly.
“I see the way you look at Potter, you fool.” He rolled his eyes as if I was a stupid little bint for even asking him that question. “Don’t pretend like this doesn’t bother you. I figured you’d be better off knowing the truth, than having to go wondering for days on end.”
I sighed and looked down at my feet, watching silently as they were slowly pushed against the ground over and over again with each step. I was at lost for words, and watching my feet aid in the aimlessness seemed like a fair way to express my silence.
“Did I upset you?” Greyson asked, nudging my side.
“No.” I answered with an exhale. “I’ve been upset, so it’s not your fault.”
“How about a breather tomorrow night? We’ll sneak out, sneak into an underground club in Hogsmeade, and you can go all out.”
“You think alcohol and loud music will help?” I raised an eyebrow.
“I think alcohol and loud music will get your mind off things for a while.” He answered. “It won’t hurt.”
I shrugged. “Sure, why not. I need to get away from this place for a while, anyway. One night out wouldn’t hurt.”
“Great! It’s settled then. And do me a favor, Vic.” He added. “Make sure Potter doesn’t know. Or any of your friends for that matter. I don’t fancy any one of them hunting me down with a bloody hatchet.”
The moment I stepped into the booze-filled darkness that night, I knew that I made a terrible mistake. Clad in tight black skinny jeans, five-inch heels, and the shiniest top I could find in Layla’s closet, I felt utterly vulnerable. My only grounding was Greyson, whom, within the three seconds we stepped into the underground scene, I immediately lost sight of.
I willed myself not to panic, and instead, I scanned my surroundings. The room was filled with people I’ve never seen before. There were teenage girls with their wands stuffed deep within their exposed cleavage, and boys who didn’t seem to understand the concept of a shirt. I suddenly felt so… overdressed.
“Hey you!” Greyson’s familiar voice immediately brought relief. “I thought I lost you for a second.”
My eyebrows knitted together. “You did.”
He rolled his eyes in the most annoying fashion ever, and ushered me towards the bar. “Keep close to me, okay? This is not a good place for me to lose you.”
I remained silent and allowed him to order me a drink. He placed in front of me the largest shot glass I’ve ever seen in my life, and grinned. “I don’t understand. Is this a shot, or what?” I asked, observing the swirling orange liquid. “Why is it still swirling.”
“It keeps the flavors packed together.” Greyson explained. “Trust me, you want to drink it before the swirling stops, or else you will not be able to down that thing.”
Without giving it a second thought, I clanked the glass against Greyson’s, and shouted, “Bottoms up!” The orange liquid continued swirling as it slipped down my throat. The tingling sensation mixed with the fruity flavors forced a smile onto my face. “Holy mother of Merlin, that felt amazing!”
Greyson’s grin widened, and before I could protest, he turned to the bartender and said, “Two more shots over here!”
At some point during the night, the drinks hit me like one of Tyler’s five-minute-epic-farts. Sensible judgment flew right out the window, and was replaced with one word: Yes. Yes to anything and everything. Yes to snogging with random girls on barstools and platforms. Yes to taking every single kind of shot on the menu with a bunch of Durmstrang boys. Yes to dancing in the most epic train grind I’ve ever witnessed. Yes to streaking butt-naked into the cold. Yes to the most fail game of drunk Quidditch I’ve ever played. Yes to flirting with the bouncers, and last but not least, yes to hooking up with Bulgarians in the boys lavatory.
His name was Aleksandar.
I think. I wasn’t sure, actually. But what I was sure of, was that his hands were everywhere.
His lips were annoyingly rough against mine. A growl rippled through his throat constantly, and I felt like I was being devoured by an animal. The thick, brain-splitting aroma of his cologne mixed with booze remained clouded around us. As I felt his rough, calloused hands palm my bare arse as he dug his nails into my skin, I scowled openly and pushed his face away from mine.
A look of confusion surfaced on his face, but I was too turned off to care. I unlocked the stall and opened the door with an annoyed bang. Without another word, I left the lavatory in search of another drink.
As I passed the high table’s on my way to the dance floor, I spotted neon liquid sitting in a fancy shot glass. Before I managed to reach for it, a nameless hand reached out for mine, and spun me enough to make the rest of the world spin with me.
The sound of a low chuckle filled my ears, bringing my feet back down to earth. “And what do you think you’re reaching for?”
I looked up to see Greyson smiling down at me with amusement. His hands gripped the side of my shirt, pulling me closer to his body. I smiled back, and with the purely innocent interest of regaining balance, I leaned against him and allowed his hands to grip me tighter. “Heyy youuuuuuuu.” I slurred. “Where have you been all night?”
He laughed loudly. “Watching your secret wild side resurface.”
I scrunched up my nose with sheer embarrassment. “Don’t make fun of me.” I stuck my tongue out in his direction. “It’s not my fault I know how to have fun.”
“I know how to have fun too, miss.” He replied. “Watching you is, in fact,” his face inched closer to mine and his lips stretched into another smile. I couldn’t help but smile back. He was just so goddamn charming. “very amusing.”
“What did I say about making fun of me?” I asked with a whisper the moment his nose made contact with mine.
“Am I in trouble now?” he teased.
“Big trouble.” I drew my bottom lip in between my teeth.
Before Greyson’s lips landed on mine, there was a short moment of hesitation when Potter’s face popped into my head. It was when I leaned in and closed the distance between Greyson and I, when I realized that Potter’s handsome features and annoyingly arrogant smirk no longer appealed to me as much as it used to. The swelling-like feeling that erupted in my chest at the mere thought of Potter surprisingly did not resurface. For the first time in a long time, I welcomed the affection of another boy, and allowed myself to completely drown in it. No more guilt and no more ache that comes from missing Potter so badly. No more faithfulness towards a boy who didn’t give two fucks that I didn’t even return to my dorm for the night. That night, floundering became a thing of the past, just as Potter did.
Greyson softly released my lips. I opened my eyes to find him staring at me with a questioning look. Instead of speaking, instead of mentioning his name, I gave him the most genuine smile I could muster in my intoxicated state, and drew his lips closer to mine once more.
Maybe it was the alcohol affecting the magic of the arrow. Maybe it was my distancing myself from Potter that did the trick. Either way, I wasn’t in love with him anymore. Not that night, anyway.
My life was a fucking mess.
To spare the rest of the world unnecessary teenage angst, I'm going to clarify that my fucking age has absolutely nothing to do with the level of fucked my life has become.
First off, my best mate is a fucking Cupid.
That's enough said, but for kicks, I'm going to keep going.
Secondly, my best mate (soon to be former unless he stops his bloody shenanigans) — the fucking Cupid who is the most unattainable and undatable person on the fucking planet — is fucking my baby sister.
Thirdly, the bane of my bloody existence, is in love with me, thanks to — oh yeah, you fucking guessed it — my best fucking mate, the Cupid.
Fourth, my cousin is now outcasting herself from the group because my other best mate cheated on her with my other cousin's girlfriend. All thanks to — would you fucking look at that — the Cupid.
Fifth, the bane of my bloody existence is pissed at me because no one in Hogwarts know's how to keep a fucking secret. She is now off galavanting around the castle doing Merlin-knows-what with Merlin-knows-who.
Sixth, my ex-girlfriend, the most distasteful person I have ever met, is now (rumored) pregnant. SHE'S FUCKING PREGNANT. And, she wants to keep the baby! After years of living by a broken moral compass, she chooses to do the right thing now.
Seventh, Victoria, the bane of my bloody existence, found out about said pregnancy. She is now, like I said, pissed at me.
Eighth — should I go on? I think I shall. Eighth, Victoria is fucking missing. No one has seen her, and fell off the fucking map which is impossible unless she completely stepped off school grounds which is an extremely difficult feat unless accompanied by a Weasley or a Potter, all of whom were all scattered somewhere in the castle.
Ninth, I have a fucking transfiguration essay due tomorrow, and I have not even started.
Tenth, I'm off to find Amelie and try to talk some sense into the most stubborn and manipulative girl I've ever had to deal with, and my sister is Lily Potter. ENOUGH SAID.
Eleventh, there's a mental debate going on in my head. Worry about Amelie's sudden pregnancy, or go insane over the fact that Victoria is gone. In truth, I wanted to fuck both and smoke the night away in the Astronomy Tower. I didn't need this. Not now.
But as I grew closer and closer to Greenhouse no. 2, I knew I couldn't turn around and change my mind. I had to talk to Amelie and knock her around until she was back in her right might.
I chuckled to myself at the ironic sexual innuendo.
I unlocked the door and walked in.
"You're late." She was perched on one of the long tables in the middle of the greenhouse. "I don't like to be kept waiting."
I rolled my eyes. "I apologize, princess. Are the rumors true?" I asked, stopping right in front of her, but keeping a safe distance. The thought of Victoria immobilized me from taking another step closer.
Amelie cocked her head to the side and asked, "What rumors?"
"Amelie, I'm too tired for games right now." I told her with exasperation. "I want a straight answer."
She chuckled. "Wow James, you're just jumping right into things, aren't you?"
"Is it your life's pursuit to master the art of coyness?" I asked dryly.
"Cute." she snapped. "But yes, to answer your question. The rumors are true."
"How do I know it's mine?"
She narrowed her eyes in my direction. "What do you take me for, a slut?"
I snorted because it was funny. Hilarious, actually. "Yes, I do, as a matter of fact."
"It's yours, James." she answered. "I'll even let you take your own paternity test."
"And you're going to keep it?"
"I'd like to, yes. I want you to be a part of it, James."
"Look, if this is just some kind of ploy to get everyone around you to play one of your little games, then forget it." I spat.
"There's no games." she rolled her eyes. "It's real. I'm pregnant. I'm having a baby."
"There's no way I'll fucking believe it for a second. You, of all people. You're irresponsible and selfish! What makes you think you can raise a child? You can't even take care of yourself, much less an infant. You're sixteen, Amelie!"
"I want this baby!" she screeched abruptly. Her hand flew to her stomach in a some-what protective manner. I wondered what she was trying to prove. "I want to have this baby, and I want my baby to have a father."
Fuck. I was so beyond frustrated. I ran a hand through my hair and reached into my pocket to pull out a cigarette. Without a second thought, I lit it with my wand a took a long drag. "You're saying that you want me to take care of that baby with you?"
"I'm saying I want you to be there for me." she replied.
I took another drag. "You expect me to believe that out of no where, you go from fucking any guy that comes your way, to standing in front of me, telling me that you want to have a baby?"
"Things changed when I found out I was carrying your child."
"My child?" I asked. "Would your decision have been different if that thing had a different father?"
She didn't answer me.
I took another drag.
Just as the though crossed my mind, I stared at the cigarette in my hand and scoffed. I turned to her and held out the shortening white stick in between my fingers. "You say your pregnant? You think you can take care of a child?" I asked. "Did you even know how dangerous secondhand smoking can be for pregnant women?"
"So I'm not a fucking encyclopedia, sue me!" she exclaimed. "What do you expect?"
"What do I expect?" I repeated as I flicked the half-smoked cigarette out of my hands. "I expect you to at least know what you're getting yourself into before you make stupid half-assed decisions like keeping a baby at sixteen!"
"You can't change my mind!" she shouted. "You're either with me, or not."
"After everything you put me through, you expect me to stay by your side?"
"This is as much your fault as it is mine?"
I raised an eyebrow. "If that right there," I pointed to her stomach. "Is a mistake, and I assume it is since you're putting both of us at fault, then you should get rid of it."
"I want to keep it." her voice was shaky, but I could tell her decision was firm. "I want to keep it, James, and I'm asking you to be a father. I'm asking you to stay with me, and help me through this, and be a father to your own child."
"No fucking way." I spat. "We should have never done what we did. It was wrong, and I'm not about to get into that again."
Her eyes narrowed into a glare. "You weren't complaining when you were fucking me."
"I didn't know any better then." I scowled.
"Oh, and now you do? What changed, huh? Enlighten me, James, what could have possibly changed since the last time you fucked me?"
"I did!" I roared. "Contrary to what you believe, people can fucking change. I can change."
She laughed loudly. "You? Change? Oh please." she rolled her eyes. "You can never change. You and I are so similar. That's why we're so good for each other."
"I'm not like you."
"Look," she began a little more calmly. "You can continue convincing yourself that you're one of the good guys just to please your little toy, or you can face reality and realize that you are James Potter, and you always will be. You will never change, and it's time to face that fact, and stop trying to adjust to please those who can't stand the real you." She slowly began approaching me, and with every advancing step she took, I took an additional step back. "I know you, James. I know how you really are. I know of your urges, and your temper. I know your strength, and I definitely know your weakness." Somehow, I underestimated the proximity of space between us. She reached out and brushed her fingers along my jaw. "I know you, and I know all of you. And you know what?" she smiled softly. "I'm not asking you to change one bit. I, for one, love your cynicism and that temper of yours. I'm not like your little doll, Victoria. You don't have to change for me. We're alike, you and I. Always were, always will be."
Scowling, I shoved her hands away from my face and stepped around her to regain personal space. "Victoria has nothing to do with this."
She rolled her eyes. "You two. Always in denial." She shook her head. "Just admit it, James. You have a thing for her."
"I'm not changing for her, Amelie." I replied sternly. "I'm not changing for anyone."
"Don't feed me some cheesy, cliché line that goes along the lines of 'I'm changing for myself because she makes me want to be a better person'."
"I'm changing for myself because I don't want to be anything like you." I spat distastefully while making my way to the exit. "Good luck with the kid. But just incase, I'd make sure to get a paternity test. I'm almost positive that the chances of that kid being mine is practically slim to none."
A/N: omg guys don't kill me. i know it's been like months since i've updated, but i had writers block, and i pumped out half this chapter in the last hour and a half because i was in my zoneeeee.
it was pretty long already so a few lily/desmond/tyler had to be cut out, but there will definitely be more of them in the next chapter!
now greyson and victoria erwoekrow omg who saw that one coming? everyone i think. hehe. but who knows what will happen!
and amelie! is she pregnant for real, or just faking everything to stir up some stupid drama? we shall see :)
i'll try updating asap!
please review guys :) they keep me motivated.
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