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Chapter 3 : Skinny Love
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A/N: Hi! I can't believe that I'm posting chapter 3 already. I mean, I've been working on this for a long while but I wasn't sure if I was going to post it at all. Oh well, it's up now anyways!
I have requested a banner, so I'll hopefully have one soon :) I'm just going to try and find a beta now, and everything will be perfect.
I don't own anything you recognize!
And now all your love is wasted, then who the hell was I?
'Cause now I'm breaking at the britches, and at the end of all your lines
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
My first meeting with James Potter was… Interesting, to say the least.
I was walking through a corridor when I suddenly tripped over an invisible thread that he’d put up for Mr Filch, the ancient caretaker who was often a target for pranks. Seeing how old he was (seriously, I was afraid that he would collapse and die any second), it was probably for the best that I was the one who fell.
I hit my head and started bleeding, and James came running out of nowhere, telling me how sorry he was. I wanted to go to the hospital wing, but he took me to the prefects’ bathroom and fixed me up.
From that day, he started talking to me. I thought it was really weird; he was the most popular guy in school and I was… Well, not.
We had never talked before and didn’t really have any friends in common either so I didn’t understand where his interest came from, but I figured it was because he felt bad about the prank. He was really fun to talk to though, so I didn’t really care. However, as the weeks passed I found myself liking him as more than a friend, which really was inevitable.
I mean, he was tall, handsome, fit, cool, smart, charming, funny, nice and caring. He was bloody perfect. I didn’t understand how someone like him could find me of all people interesting. It wasn’t a secret that James Potter could get anyone he wanted, so why would he go for the nerdy Ravenclaw?
Sure, I wasn’t ugly but I wasn’t as pretty as the most popular girls. My brown hair fell in nice curls and my light blue eyes were pretty special, but that was nothing compared to Dominique Weasley’s veela look or Celine Jones’ Scandinavian beauty.
And also, I was pretty boring compared to other girls: I never drank, I studied a lot, I didn’t have many friends and I always did what the teachers told me to do.
So really, I had a hard time believing that James could actually be interested in me. But the fact that he already had loads of friends didn’t make me believe that he was looking for new buddies. When I talked to Henry and Julie about it, they were sure that he was interested. I wasn’t sure how reliable their theory was though, considering that none of them any experience from dating what so ever. But they were the only ones I could ask, and they seemed to be pretty certain. Henry was ecstatic while Julie was suspicious. She didn’t believe that his intentions were good, and wanted me to be careful.
But I continued to talk to him, and one night when we were in the library he suddenly asked me out. And of course, I said yes.
After that, things just kind of rolled on. We had a perfect date in Hogsmeade, and afterwards we had our first kiss. We continued seeing each other almost every day (to Julie’s annoyance) and he was really sweet to me.
When I was with James, I discovered a side of me that I didn’t know I possessed. I was funny and sarcastic and could actually do things on impulse without overthinking them. He brought out my wild side, and I made him calm down a little. Despite some changes in me, I still was a studious Ravenclaw, and I managed to get James to study with me every now and then.
It felt like we were perfect for each other, and it didn’t take long before he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was blissful; James hadn’t had many girlfriends and the fact that he wanted me made me feel special.
I was living in a happy bubble, and my life seemed perfect.
There was just one thing that was nagging me; Julie.
From day one, she was suspicious about me and James. She didn’t trust him and she was certain that he was going to hurt me. I didn’t believe her, and instead thought she was bitter because I was having fun and she wasn’t. It hurt me that she couldn’t be happy for me, and since everybody else was I figured she was just being jealous.
Things got more and more frosty between us and I ended up spending less time with her than ever. Since she was head girl she was usually busy, but she’d always made sure to take time to be with me. After a month into my relationship with James, we barely spoke at all.
I was angry with her, and thought she was being unfair to me. She was my best friend and had been since first year: she was supposed to be happy for me. The fact that she wasn’t hurt me.
I didn’t believe that she had any reason for her dislike. Sure, she had a right to be suspicious at first, but when I got to know James I realized how genuinely caring he was. He was extremely loyal to the ones he held close, and wasn’t a player at all.
But no matter what I said, Julie refused to believe this. It all escalated into a huge argument, where we both said some really nasty things. Julie told me that the only reason James had noticed me and gained interest was because I had become prettier during the summer, and because I had grown more curves. She said that there was no way he would have noticed me otherwise, and that he probably just wanted to claim me before anyone else had the chance to.
She basically told me that I wasn’t good enough for James, which was what I feared the most.
Her words hurt me badly; and I wanted to make her feel the pain I was feeling.
So I told her that she was a suck up besserwisser who thought she was better at everything, and who really was just a boring priss. I told her that people didn’t see her as the smart, ambitious girl she thought she was, but a nerdy loser who loved her books too much.
I was cruel, but I was so hurt that I didn’t know what to do. Our argument ended in screaming, before the head of our house came and gave us detention. A crowd had gathered around us, and they all wore similar expressions of shock.
I spent the night crying in James’ arms. He told me over and over again that her words were false, that she was just bitter because I had changed and that she was just being a bitch. He told me that we would get over this and be friends again, but I doubted him.
He made me feel better, as always, but Julie’s words still echoed at the back of my head. Because despite what James said, I knew she was right. There was no way he would have noticed me if it weren’t for my looks improving. But it was just the way life worked: good looking guys like him didn’t go for the ugly duckling.
So life went on after the argument, and luckily I had gotten to know James’ family. They were all very nice to me, and they took me under their wings. Dominique was especially nice to me, and we soon became best friends.
I had completely lost my old life, but I didn’t care: my new one was so much better. If Julie couldn’t be happy for me, then she wasn’t a real friend of mine. James’ family treated me much better than she did and they actually seemed to care.
So I went back into perfect-life mode. I was happy: I had the perfect boyfriend, I had perfect grades, I had new, funny friends and I had more self-esteem than ever.
Of course, I still felt bad about losing my best friend. It wasn’t something I forgot over a night. But I tried not to dwell on it and instead tried to focus on the present.
Because really, I didn’t have much to complain about. I had a great future ahead of me. If I managed to get the NEWT’s I wanted, I would have my dream job. And now, I also had my dream guy.
It was ridiculous really, how much in love James and I were. He was my first true love; but I had never expected it to be so perfect. I mean, how many people meet the one when they’re seventeen? I’d read books and articles about many girls who had had their hearts broken by some douche, or who’d foolishly thought that the guy they met when they were fifteen was their future husband.
But James and I were different from that. Everybody saw it, and a lot of people kept making jokes about how they wanted to be bridesmaids or grooms when we got married or how they wanted us to name our babies after them. Whenever someone said that, we would just laugh. Sure, we were certain that we would stay together forever, but if people were going to make fun of us then we would laugh along. Not everyone met their soul mate at age seventeen, so we let them laugh.
So my life had gone from boring to pretty much perfect in just a few months. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was, and whenever some crazy fan girl of James glared at me or said a comment, I just laughed. Because I didn’t feel threatened about them at all; at first all of the rumors had gotten to me, but as time went by I just ignored them. I trusted James, and I was certain about what we had. It was special.
But then all of a sudden, everything changed.
“So, are you ready to come back to the land of fantastic weather?” Dom asked, and I could hear her sarcasm through the phone.
I snorted. “Yes, I’ve been missing the rain so much. New York doesn’t have much better weather though. But why does everyone keep asking me that? I feel like I’m in a bloody sports interview.”
“Well, it will probably we hard for you…”
“Only if you put me in a frilly, horrible cupcake looking dress” I said, trying to joke it off. Everybody kept fussing over me, and it was beginning to get a bit tiresome. “Otherwise, I’ll be fine.”
She laughed. “I’ll make sure to find the most hideous dress possible, with a really ugly color. How about orange? That would clash horribly to your skin.”
“Not to mention to your cousins’ red hair” I said, assuming that Rose Weasley and Lily Potter were bridesmaids too. Like I said, Dom’s wedding was going to be huge so she probably had a whole bunch of bridesmaids. “But you do know that no matter what we wear, you’re going to outshine us.”
“I hope so, it’s my wedding after all” she said and I could hear the joking tone in her voice. “I’ll probably go for classic, simple dresses for you. Anyway, I want you to help me pick them.”
“Me?” I asked, feeling surprised. I wasn’t exactly a fashion guru, although my fashion Nazi friend Henry did teach me a lot during my years at Hogwarts. “Well, sure, if you want me to.”
“Of course I want you to help me; you’re my maid of honor.”
“Well, then I’m all yours” I grinned, actually looking forward to it. I had to have gone mental; shopping with Dom used to be horrible; I could only imagine how shopping for her wedding would be.
“Speaking of that, who are you bringing as a date?”
“I don’t know” I said honestly. “I’ll probably bring one of the guys.”
“So you’re still not dating anyone?”
I sighed. Whenever we talked, Dom would always nag about my relationships, or rather lack of. I had dated a couple of guys after James, but none of my relationships had lasted very long. The guy usually gave up when he realized that I wasn’t going to prioritize him before my work or my best friends.
I had ditched friends for a guy before, and that didn’t go very well. I’d learned it the hard way and I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.
So my longest relationship had lasted about seven months. After that, the guy had wanted us to move in together, which had been too much for me.
And yes, I was pretty aware that I had commitment problems. My friends liked to point it out every time a guy managed to scare me off. But I figured that I only had to deal with my past and get over it, and then perhaps be able to trust people again. I was confident that I was going to feel more ready for a relationship when my last one stopped hunting me, and then Mr Perfect could just waltz into my life.
Or even better; my super-hot colleague Tyler Ward could ditch his fiancée and instead be with me.
Seriously, he was a hunk. He was about thirty years old and boy was he eye candy. He was also super nice but masculine and sexy.
But unfortunately, like all the good ones, he was taken.
“No, not at the moment” I replied. “I’m only twenty two you know; it’s no rush.”
I could hear Dom sighing. “No it’s not, but it’s time for you to let someone into your life again.”
“Yeah yeah” I said dismissively. “I’ll do that when a special someone comes around. I’m not going to go around looking.”
“You’re too stubborn for your own good sometimes…” she trailed off, before I heard her gasping. “I know!” she exclaimed. “I could set you up on a blind date; there are many hot guys on Jay’s team.”
Oh Merlin, I was screwed. Knowing Dom, she was one hundred percent serious about this. And I would have to try and weasel my poor arse out of it, which wouldn’t work at all.
I was doomed. This was not going to end well.
“No!” I said, panicking. “That’s not a good idea; in fact; it’s awful. I do not want to be hooked up with some quidditch douche” I ranted.
“All of them aren’t douchebags!” she defended. “I’ll find the perfect guy for you; this will be so much fun!”
I recognized the ecstatic tone in her voice; once Dom got an idea she wouldn’t let it go. This was not good. In fact; if I wanted her to stop her stupid plan, I’d have to come up with something drastic.
“Okay, I didn’t want to tell you this over the telephone” I began, mentally beating myself for what I was about to say. “But I am actually seeing someone.”
“You are?!” she squealed, and I could picture her bouncing. “Who is it? Oh my god tell me everything!”
“It’s err…” I said, trying to win some time.
“Come on, tell me! You are not making this up, are you?”
“No!” I exclaimed, frantically trying to decide who should be my fake boyfriend.
And that was something I never thought I would think.
“Okay, the thing is” I began, once again trying to win time. Why couldn’t I just name drop someone? “I’ve been seeing this guy for a while but we’re pretty discreet about it so we haven’t told a lot of people. But the guy I’m seeing is…”
I could tell she was holding her breath, anxiously waiting for my answer. I quickly went through my friends’ names in my head and just randomly went for one. “...Noah.”
“Oh my god!” she shrieked. “I knew it! You two are so perfect for each other. I knew that the first time I met him. This is so romantic: it’s just like The Notebook! You know, Noah and Allie!” she rambled. “I’m really happy for you. He’s so hot, and he’s so nice. This is perfect!”
“Er, yeah” I said and laughed nervously. Dom had met my friends a couple of times and she had loved Noah from day one. She’d also pointed out that him and I should date just because of our names. Yeah, Dom was a fan of the classics. “But please don’t tell anyone about this?” I continued. “We’re kind of in the beginning of dating, so…” I trailed off.
“No, of course not!” Dom said happily. “I won’t tell. But oh my god I’m so happy for you!”
This was bad. I’d put myself in a pretty tricky situation. Not only would I have to ask Noah to pretend to be my boyfriend, I would actually have to pretend to be in love with him.
I quickly changed the subject to avoid any awkward questions about how we met or how he was in bed. “So who are the other bridesmaids?”
Dom seemed to forget all about Noah. “Well it’s Rose and Lily, obviously, then there’s, Natalie and Jay’s sister and his cousin. And then there’s, er…” she trailed off, and I got a bad feeling she was going to tell me something I would like. “Celine.”
A big lump formed in my stomach and I was unable to say anything. I just sat with the phone in my hand and stared ahead of me, my brain screaming with panicked thoughts.
I was hoping Dom would tell me it was a joke, but she was silent too.
It was all I could think of. Anyone but her. I desperately hoped it wasn’t true.
“I’m sorry” Dom stuttered. “It’s just, she’s Aleksander’s twin and you know how close him and Jay are. Aleks is going to be best man, and Jay wanted Celine to be bridesmaid. It wasn’t my choice, I promise” she rambled, and I wanted to answer her but I couldn’t.
I was once again reminded how my life had fallen apart while theirs had just gone on like nothing had happened. Of course she would be there. I was surprised that she was going to be bridesmaid, but I should have figured out that she was going to be there.
I shut down all my thoughts and forced myself to speak. “It’s okay” I said, my voice sounding a bit monotone. “You don’t have to apologize.”
Dom kept apologizing anyway, and I hurriedly told her that I had to go but that I would call her soon. We hung up, and I stayed frozen in my armchair, phone in hand, unable to move.
I know I was overreacting, but I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t stop my thoughts from spinning, and I couldn’t make the lump in my stomach go away. I could only sit there and think about one thing.
When James and I got together, almost everybody was really happy for us. Of course, he had his bunch of admirers who clearly showed that they weren’t happy about it, sending me nasty glares and trying to spread rumors. Their attempts were pathetic, and I just laughed about it.
Also, none of them were friends of James’, so I didn’t really care what they thought about me. His actual friends and family’s opinion of me mattered more. And luckily, almost all of them welcomed me with open arms.
Fred was a bit suspicious about me at first. My pathetic attempt of spicing my life up (aka taking a bloody walk) ended up with him accusing me of spying on the Gryffindor quidditch team. Of course, I wasn’t, I was simply grabbing some fresh air and unconsciously walked towards the pitch. When I saw the team, I was impressed by their skills. Especially James’. So I had stared at them, and that was when Fred had caught me.
It was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Fred was a bit stiff towards me after that, even though James managed to convince him that I wasn’t spying. But after dating James for a month, I helped him pull a really big prank on the Hufflepuffs. And after that, Freddie loved me.
James’ other best friends, Aleksander Jones and Jayden Turner, accepted me instantly. His cousins did the same. I got especially close to Rose and Dom, but Roxanne and I were good friends too. Molly and Lucy didn’t spend much time with the rest of their family, so I never really got to know them. Albus and I discovered that we were very alike, and despite being my boyfriend’s brother he really became someone I could confide in about anything. Lily was only thirteen when I met James, but she quickly decided that I was the best girlfriend James had ever had. Hugo and Louis were pretty young too, but they were nice to me.
It seemed that everybody liked me, which I was very glad for. Getting their acceptance was a relief for me.
I even became friends with some of Albus’, Dom’s and Rose’s friends. Dom’s best friend Natalie and I got along instantly. Her other friend Laura was a bit shy, but very kind.
There was really only one person that didn’t like me, and that showed it pretty openly: Celine Jones.
She was Aleksander’s twin sister, and one of Dominique’s best friends. She spent most of the time with Laura, dragging her along as an accessory.
Celine and Aleksander’s mother was from Norway, and they both had the Scandinavian look with blonde hair and blue eyes. Celine was very pretty, but she was also a bitch.
I couldn’t figure out what I had done to her, so I just assumed that she disliked me for dating James. My suspicions were confirmed when Dom told me that Celine had had a crush on James forever. At first it worried me, but Dom assured me that Celine’s feelings were shallow and that she only wanted James for his social status.
So I didn’t care about it, and I let her dislike me. Being with James gave me a new confidence, and I felt stronger than ever. My self-consciousness was almost gone and I accepted myself more and more.
I didn’t let people like Celine Jones or James’ admirers ruin things for me. I didn’t let them make me feel insecure, and I didn’t let them get to me. I simply let them talk behind my backs, knowing that their bullshit would lead nowhere and that in the end, I would stand as a winner.
So I continued my perfect life. In December, James asked me to come home with him for Christmas and meet his family. I said yes, feeling both happy and proud. I would be the first girlfriend James had ever brought home.
The meeting with his family went well too. His grandmother immediately showed that she liked me, and I got along really well with his mum too. I tried not to be starstruck when I met the Golden trio, but it was fairly easy when I discovered that they were just like any person.
So both his friends and his family welcomed me with opened arms, and my already perfect life became even more perfect.
But then, five months into our relationship, James started acting a bit weird.
It was the beginning of April, and with graduation drawing near people were joking more about our future than ever. While I still just brushed it off, James suddenly seemed to be a bit affected by it. I asked him about it, but he just shrugged it off, telling me it was nothing. So being the coward I was, I didn’t bother him about it.
But as a couple of weeks passed, he became more distant. It wasn’t a huge change, but I noticed that there was something wrong.
And then, at the end of April, there was a party for all the sixth and seventh years. Things had been very stiff between me and James, and I was feeling anxious about the whole thing.
So I drank a lot, to stop my confusing thoughts. I didn’t want to worry about what was wrong; I just wanted to let it all go.
So I did, and I had a crappy night. I drank a lot and became very drunk. I tried to have fun, but instead of making my thoughts go away, the alcohol just made it worse.
After a while, I couldn’t find any of my friends. I bumped into Natalie, who didn’t know where anyone was but didn’t care either. She was too occupied with the Ravenclaw guy she was snogging. I tried to find James, Dom, Rose or anyone really, but they were all gone.
In my drunken state of mind, I became annoyed. Not because I couldn’t find them; I was annoyed about the situation I was in. I decided to go and find James and solve this shit once and for all. If he was tired of me and wanted to dump me, then so be it. I would at least know what was wrong.
Determinedly, I walked out from the Room of Requirement, trying to find my boyfriend. I didn’t have to walk long before I heard voices.
Loud, angry voices.
I rounded the corner and found all of my friends standing there. It took a while for me to take in the scene. Dom was the one screaming, her face smudged with makeup. She was crying.
I immediately thought that Jay had done something, but then I spotted him standing next to Dom, looking solemn. He was the only one who caught sight of me, and when I saw the sadness in his eyes I didn’t understand why.
Albus was holding Rose, who was looking very upset. She too was crying, and her face was red. She looked like she was ready to kill someone.
My eyes were looking for James, and it didn’t take long before I caught sight of him. His hair was messy, his shirt wasn’t entirely buttoned and his cheeks were red. As I was looking at him, I heard Dom shrieking.
“YOU CHEATING, DISGUSTING SON OF A BITCH! YOU’VE RUINED EVERYTHING!”
In my shocked state of mind I noticed someone standing next to James, looking just as disheveled as him. While James’ face showed panic, she wore a smug expression.
It was her; Celine Jones.
DUN DUN DUUUUN! Didn't expect to get that much of the background story now, did ya? I thought I would just dump it all on you instead of dragging it out. The background story is important, but it's not what this story is about. So I thought I would just get it over with, you probably guessed it anyway!
I would like to point out, however, that while this is a huge part of the background story it's not the entire one. This is Allie's part of the story, seen from her point of view. There is a lot more to it, which you will find out later on. So don't give up on me just yet, okay?
Also, if you think that Allie's version sounds incredibly stupid and naïve then I'm glad, because that was exactly what I wanted. She was living in some kind of happy bubble, and refused to believe that there was anything else than sunshine and rainbows. Poor girl.
Anyways, please leave a review and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!
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