Chapter 3 : Quiet Albus
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I finally managed to corner Kaitlin in the library, I reckon she’d been avoiding me because she worked out I knew something was up. I was after all the only one to contest her reaction to James and everyone on the train ride to Hogwarts. Something seemed to have snapped inside her, she was always quite a shy girl, I remember it took a while for her to be comfortable around us and then she blossomed out of her shell. She and James used to be really close; I know she depended upon him a lot. The he started dating other girls and Kaitlin became more insignificant to him, I saw how his behavior affected Kaitlin, all last year I watched as she wilted under the absence of her best friend. The amount of time he let her down, oh I wanted to kill him!
We are all very protective of Kaitlin; she’s like family to us. I know I’m not the only one who is suspicious of Kaitlin’s family and past, Lily I know also has suspicions but she doesn’t voice them. I thought perhaps Teddy or Victorie would know something about her but they seemed as in the dark as everyone else. Teddy and Victorie had met Kaitlin a couple of summers ago and become very close, indeed just last year when Teddy and Victorie had married, Victorie wanted Kaitlin to be a bridesmaid, but Kaitlin couldn’t make it, saying there was a family emergency. I know that with the absence of James last year and this year, Kaitlin has come to rely heavily on Teddy and Victorie, they seem to be her lifeline, she’s constantly writing to them. It’s like she almost sees them as parents.
I had cornered Kaitlin in the library because I had noticed something on her face, at first I thought it was a trick of the light but then I realized it for what it was, a bruise. Kaitlin has a bruise that covered the entire left side of her face, it was purple in some places and green in others. It was clear to me that she had been using a glamour charm to hide it but had obviously forgotten about it or it had worn off. It was just another in a long list of things that made me worry about her.
“Kaitlin, what’s that on your face?” I asked.
Immediately she stiffened, “I don’t know what you mean” she replied, looking at her book instead of his face.
“You have a massive bruise covering half your face and you tell me you don’t know what I mean” I said.
She gasped, pulled out a compact mirror and starred at her face, I saw a mixture of emotions pass across her eyes; fear, sadness, anger, embarrassment and finally defeat.
“I suppose there is no use covering it up now” she mumbled.
“What happened to you Kaitlin” I asked softly.
“I walked into a door?” she replied.
“Don’t lie Kaitlin, you know that isn’t true” I said.
“Then what is true Albus” she replied.
I starred at her confused, I had a feeling of what it was but did she actually want me to say it?
“Why won’t you tell me?”
“Why are you determined to know?” she retorted.
“You’re family, family looks out for family” I replied.
She laughed, bitter and cold, it wasn’t like her at all.
“We both know how my face got this way Albus. Well done you’ve discovered something about me. I know how hard you and Lily try to expose my mysterious past” she said sarcastically.
I stiffened; her words seemed full of hate and regret. I didn’t understand. I’ll admit I had first thought that I’d uncovered something about her and that she would finally tell me all about her life outside of Hogwart’s but then I’d began to feel worried about her and now I was feeling angry at her refusal to tell.
“I’m just trying to tell you” I said.
“No, you’re just looking for secrets” she replied.
“Kaitlin you’re being stupid” I cried exasperated.
“No, you’re being stupid demanding to know everything about me” she said, “Some things are kept secret for a reason, let me have my secrets or this friendship won’t last” she whispered, she looked positively terrified. She was defending herself and I now realized I’d pushed her too far.
I’d grown so used to the sweet quiet dependable Kaitlin that I was completely unprepared for the new her. She seemed to have pulled herself out of the depression she’d wallowed in all last year and grown a backbone with an added pinch of feistiness. I didn’t know whether I should tell anyone about this, it was now something that was weighing heavily on my mind, but in a way Kaitlin was right, it was her business and I had no right demanding answers. If she wanted to talk to it about someone I’d always be there for her. However, as I watched her run from me with tears streaming from her eyes, I couldn’t help but think that Hogwarts definitely wasn’t ready for the explosive new version of Kaitlin Cross.
How could I have been so stupid! How could I have forgotten the charm! Why of all people to discover it did it have to be Albus Potter, the kid with the largest brain. I could practically hear the cogs working in his mind during our entire conversation, five years of careful hiding and it had almost come out. I couldn’t risk that happening again, if my secret comes out I could risk losing all my friends. I would become ‘the nobody’ that people call me.
I was already having a bad day, Harmony had corned me as usual, demanding I stay away from James. Harmony was the one person I couldn’t stand up to, she knew things about me that would be catastrophic is told to others. That’s how she made sure James and I drifted further from each other, but hanging that over my head.
I didn’t want to lose Albus over this but if it was Albus versus my life being over, I think I’d take my life. My heart thumped the more I thought about my life outside of Hogwarts. Secrets were bad for your soul, they ate you up inside with guilt. The Ministry today is supposed to be all about equal rights and unity, Teddy told me it was to make up for all the corruptness that happened during the war against Voldemort.
The Ministry however isn’t equal about everything and some things have been forgotten over time. You’d think based on the lives of two significant people that this was an area they would have worked wholeheartedly on. However, if that were the case I wouldn’t be in this situation.
Still in a small corner of my mind, I knew that my secret would come out sooner or later, despite how much I tried to hide it and when it did come out, well let’s just say it would be more frightening than a party popper.
I never fight with my friends, I usually leave the fighting to James and Lily, and I don’t really like confrontation if I’m honest. I prefer to stay in the shadows, calculating my next move and the scene before me. I feel like a bit of an idiot making Kaitlin cry now. I’ll do what all good Potter’s do and put it from my mind, if I’m not thinking about it, then I won’t feel guilty about it.
Besides there are plenty of other things to worry about, like my brother James, my friend Scorpius and Crystal Carr. I don’t know when it was exactly that I started to have feelings for Crystal but once they’d formed they’d grown and grown. She was just so beautiful but she never flaunted it or acted like she noticed. She was so friendly and opinionated and the best friend to have, she was always incredibly loyal and stood up for all the things she believed in. She actually enjoyed her studies unlike so many others I know, but she also knew how to have fun. She was the most amazing girl and the only one for me.
Pity then isn’t it that she doesn’t know. I’d tried many times to tell her but something always happened to stop me. There is a Hogsmead weekend coming up soon though and I plan to make my feelings know then. Besides everyone knows that if you wait too long what you seek may no longer be available. I’d rather have my chance with Crystal before she becomes unattainable.
I really should stop thinking about Crystal though, as Scorpius pointed out to me the other day, I get a dreamy glazed eye impression on my face when I think about her. So I try to stop thinking about her so much, I don’t want people to think I’ve lost all my brain cells and intelligence.
The person really bugging me at the moment is my brother and I know I’m not the only one annoyed with him, heck the whole family is questioning his actions right now. It started when he first met Kaitlin. She’d been so timid and afraid around us but he’d managed to get her out of her shell and together they’d become a force of unstoppable nature, always together. Their friendship was made of stuff others longed for. James had always been very protective of Kaitlin and Kaitlin had always relied too much on James.
Then of course James discovered that girls didn’t have cooties and were actually hot. It started slowly, he was like a flirt machine, anything that moved, he’d attack with his charm but he always made time for Kaitlin. As he got older however, he cared more for the girls and less for Kaitlin. I guess it really comes down to the first girl James liked, he head over heels liked her and they became serious very quickly, in that first relationship it wasn’t just Kaitlin that he cut out it was all of us. That first relationship however was the first time James was ever hurt, the girl whose name we don’t mention, did the unthinkable and cheated on a Potter. James was distraught and here as they say is where his downfall began.
He shied away from people he could actually fall for and replaced them with bimbos, bitches, slag, anyone who was after a cheap thrill, anyone who wouldn’t notice that he kept his feelings locked away and his heart off limits. No one outside my sister knows this is the real reason, I don’t even think Kaitlin knows it to this extent.
None of the people my brother has dated since have liked him for him, it’s always about the money, the fame or the social standing and each one of these girls has one aim; to drive a wedge between James and Kaitlin. Kaitlin was always seen as the competition, because she was James’ best friend and James has let everyone of his girlfriends pick on Kaitlin and drive the two of them apart.
Now it is very rare to see them talk to each other, if possible my brother hurt Kaitlin more than he was ever hurt by that first girl. We all stood by and watched it happen, watched the despair on her face as James became more and more distant to her. It was like they were never friends in the first place, it was horrible to watch, and I know that even my parents worry for the two of them.
Harmony is the last straw though, I do not like confrontation, I’ve said it before but James has gone too far. I don’t even know if he realizes what he is doing anymore, it’s like he’s running on auto pilot, but he is hurting Kaitlin more by dating Harmony than when he dated any other girl and whether or not Kaitlin and James get together in the future, I cannot stand to see him continually hurt her now. Plus I am still feeling guilty about making her cry.
“James” I called out, I saw him standing off alone by the black lake, this was good, a nice open space away from any students.
He turned surprised, we may be brothers but I don’t usually seek him out for one to one chats.
“You alright Albus?” he asked.
“Yeah I’m fine, I need to talk to you about something” I replied.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Harmony” I said.
He frowned, “Why do you want to talk about her?” he said.
“Because I want you to see what you’ve become” I replied.
That got his attention, I was now held captive under the stony gaze of my brother.
“What have I become little brother?”
“Devoid of emotion, can’t you see how many people are hurt and worried by your actions” I said.
James merely mocked my response with a snort.
“I know you were hurt but that was many years ago” I continued.
“Don’t talk about that” he snarled.
“No we will talk about it because it’s made you who you are today” I said.
“I like girls” he said like it explained everything.
“Is that why you pushed everyone away? Why you pushed your best friend away?” I asked.
“My best friend?” he looked confused, it made me angry.
“Yes your best friend, Kaitlin. The one you left in the dust when you started dating all the bimbos and bitches” I snarled.
“Kaitlin doesn’t mind” he said.
“I think you’ll find she does. You didn’t see her last year because you were too busy off with your latest squeeze. She became so broken without you around, you were everything to her, she depended on you so much and when she needed you, you weren’t even there to help” I growled out.
“How would you know?” James retorted.
“Because I had to pick up the pieces of the girl you left broken on the floor” I shouted.
“Well she seems alright now” he replied sulkily.
“You have no idea do you” I said with disbelief.
James looked away unable to continue his strong glare.
“Out of everyone why did you have to pick Harmony?” I asked.
“She’s hot” he mumbled.
“That’s not even a redeeming quality. Why pick the one girl who constantly insults your family, your friends and anyone else for that matter”.
“She’s nice to me” he responded moodily.
“Yeah and we all know why” I replied.
“She’s not a bitch she’s just strong minded” he said.
I laughed out loud; my brother was so far in denial it was impossible.
“I don’t know why I bother, you never listen to the people you should, you prefer to listen to the lies that are fed to you. Do me a favor if you ever want to leave the bubble you’re in. Take the invisibility cloak and follow Harmony one time, then you might actually see her for what she really is” I finished, disgusted with my brother beyond belief.
There, I’d told him, Lily had told him, Mum and Dad had told him, Teddy had told him, hell even Scorpius and Kaitlin had told him. There was nothing to be done now; he had to figure it out for himself, god save us all!
I don't know whether anyones reading this or enjoying it but I'll keep posting it unless I get a review of outrage telling me it's awful and to stop ;3 ~ Zyii
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