Pressing my back to the cold stone wall of the dimly lit corridor, I prepare myself for what I am about to do. With Lucy tucked out of sight behind a statue and the map telling me Dave is already on his way, there is no way I can back out now. Not that I want to.
As the little dot representing Dave moves closer to the corridor we are in, I whisper ‘mischief managed’ before shoving the map into my bag and taking a deep breath. This is just another job. Just another job.
“Rose?” Dave startles me from my thoughts. “What are you doing here?” he frowns, looking around as if in search of a reason.
“Heading to the Great Hall,” I shrug.
“You’re standing still?” he continues to frown, indicating to the fact I am leant against the wall.
“Felt queasy,” I lie easily as he steps closer to me.
“Do you want me to take you to the hospital wing?”
“No, I’m fine, it’s passed.”
“Are you sure?” he looks genuinely concerned. I think he still feels guilty about flying into me a while back. “You look a bit pale,” he stretches out his hand as if to touch me but leaves it hovering several inches from my face. He frowns before retracting his hand and we fall into silence. I know I have to make my move now.
Pushing off the wall, I bend down to reach for my bag that was lying by my feet. Feigning faintness, I stumble slightly and Dave instinctively reaches out to catch me. As I suspected, he doesn’t let go immediately. Instead, he moves his hands from my arms to my waist.
“Dammit Rose,” he sighs. He closes his eyes as if struggling with some internal dilemma and I wonder for a moment, if he actually cares for Lucy. I have watched them together ever since she told me but I never saw any sign that he considered her as more than a teammate and a friend. There was never any sign he was secretly dating her.
Perhaps he is a better actor than I gave him credit for, he fooled me after all and that is not easily done.
The feel of his forehead pressing against mine forces me to focus on the task at hand. Something about the gesture seems familiar but I cannot place where, certainly not Dave. I have to refrain from pulling away from him because of the wrongness that accompanies the touch of his forehead on mine. There is something decidedly unsettling about it.
“Rose you have no idea what you’ve been doing to me these last couple of months,” Dave breathes, his voice so quiet I could barely hear him. I can feel myself tensing. All I need to do is get him to kiss me. He has to kiss me. That is all. I do not need to listen to his corruptive words.
“Dave,” I sigh and let my body sink closer to his.
“Fuck Rose,” he slides one hand onto the small of my back while the other comes up to my neck, angling my face so that he can plant the lightest of kisses on my lips. I almost pull away, expecting Lucy is start screaming at him like she had done to a Hufflepuff she had been seeing last year. Silence. “Rose,” Dave moans, opening his mouth against mine. His lips are all too familiar. Come on Lucy.
Suddenly, Dave pulls away and grabs me by the shoulders. He lowers his head slightly so that his eyes are in line with mine and I find I cannot look away. The hypnotic blue that was once my world holds my gaze, dragging the air from my lungs. He stares at me for several moments before speaking.
“Rose you have no idea how much I have missed you, missed us, over the last three years. I don’t know what went wrong Rose, I don’t know why you kissed Malfoy and I don’t know why you just ended what we had without a word. The last three years have been torment, hearing all the boys’ brag each time one of them got to kiss you. And I was never one of them.
“You’ve been driving me insane ever since I found you in the library that day at the start of Fourth Year. You were so animated when you talked about Quidditch and Potions and I couldn’t help but fall for you. We were perfect for each other Rose. Perfect. But then you just dropped me like you never cared at all.
“I don’t know what went wrong Rose but you have to talk to me. You have to tell me what is going through your mind. You have to let me in Rose. You have to let us be us again. Because I don’t know what I would do without you… Rose Weasley,” he pauses for the briefest of seconds. “I have fallen completely in love with you.”
The suffocating silence that follows Dave’s declaration is shattered by the screech of my cousin who seems to have finally come to her senses as she sends a sting hex straight at Dave’s face. Followed by a series of other painful looking hexes that I am positive are not on the school curriculum.
“You fucking bastard!” she screams. “How could you do that to me? Didn’t I give you enough? Was I just a good shag?” Each question is punctuated with another hex, most missing their target but still equally terrifying. It seems Lucy has inherited the infamous Weasley temper.
Picking my bag off the floor, I leave Dave to his fate. He is none of my concern.
As I turn the corner, I catch a glimpse of white-blond hair disappearing around the next and a frown finds its way onto my forehead.
The dorm is unnaturally quiet. Bianca Brown is the only one asleep, her blonde curls spilling over the pillow and looking far less irritating than when she is awake. Bethan March and Martha Henderson are whispering behind half drawn curtains on Martha’s be, their eyes flickering to Lucy and occasionally to me. I am perched on my seat by the right hand window, looking out over the black expanse of the lake, which is broken by the infrequent reflection of a star.
Lucy herself returned to the dorm just over half an hour after I did and went to bed without a word but the tear tracks down her face were evident for all to see. Henderson tried to talk to her and March offered to get a House Elf to bring up some hot chocolate but she ignored them both and climbed straight into bed and pulled the curtains tight around her. I can tell by her irregular breathing that she is not yet asleep.
I can read the blame in Henderson’s eyes each time she glances at me. March, for once, is more subtle, never looking directly at me. They are clearly uncertain what has happened but they suspect I was involved, or at the very least that I know.
Their opinions of me, however, are irrelevant. My mind has more important issues to address, such as the monologue Dave delivered to me only an hour ago. It had never occurred to me that Dave was still unaware that I knew about his other woman. I have always assumed that he was smart enough to make the connection. Evidently not.
Even so, up until recently, he has never showed the slightest bit of interest in me. He never seemed that bothered when I kissed Malfoy in the Entrance Hall, he never seemed bothered when I stopped talking to him. He tried to talk to me of course, he acted like there was nothing wrong for several days. I just continued to ignore his very presence and he eventually understood that we were over.
It never occurred to me that he might have been just as heartbroken as I was. But there was a very good reason for that: he had cheated on me. I had seen it with my own eyes. He could not possibly have felt the same way about me that I felt about him or he would never have done it. He would never have kissed that girl.
So really, his confession tonight must have been a lie. And despite his evident opinion, I owe him nothing. No explanation. No second chance. Nothing.
As the clouds clear in the night sky, the starts shine brighter and their reflections dance across the still surface of the lake in a myriad of flickering lights. Magic may be great, but nature is greater.
For the past few years I have tried to convince myself that I was over Dave McLaggen. I was wrong. He still had a hold over me that I refused to acknowledge. My actions where still effected by his. I may not have been in love with him but there was always something there. Perhaps it was a lack of closure, a definite end to the whirlwind romance that swept me off my feet in my Fourth Year. Perhaps that was why I was so reluctant to accept Lucy’s job, because I was afraid that it might reawaken the feelings I had locked away for three years.
Tonight, however, something changed. Tonight I could look him directly in the eye and admit to myself that there is nothing there anymore. That those feelings I was afraid of reawakening had disappeared. That there are no feelings left. Nothing. I do not love him. I do not owe him and I do not need him or his approval. Tonight, I could look him in the eye with the certainty that I was completely over him.
I, Rose Weasley, am over Dave McLaggen.
“Right, so I have given it some thought but I think that the cancellation of the match against Slytherin was actually a stroke of luck. Slytherin is our main threat to the trophy this year and this gives us much more time to prepare for them. We can watch their tactics in their matches against Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff and we can practice our own in live games too.
“This doesn’t mean we can slack off until June, quite the opposite. We have to be alert and watchful. In the same way that they are exposing their weaknesses in their matches against the other two House, so will we when we play them. They will be able to analysis us as much as we can analysis them.
“There are several moves that I want to save for the Slytherin game so that they won’t be expecting them. We will use them only if absolutely necessary in the other two games,” Albus rambles, listing the manoeuvres on the blackboard in his barely legible writing. Suddenly, a piece of white chalk goes flying across the room and misses Dave’s head by an inch.
“Dammit McLaggen! Pay attention! Do I have to remind you all of the Rules?” Albus bellows, fury contorting his face. I glance over to Lucy, who is hunched on the other side of the changing rooms, her hair a mess, no make-up on and heavy bags under her eyes. She still has not spoken to anyone and she makes no gesture to indicate she even heard Albus.
“Rights, now that I have you attention,” Albus narrows his eyes at Dave. “Our first match will be against Hufflepuff in February and we have absolutely no excuse not to be on top form. Hufflepuff should be especially weak as their star Chaser has just announced her resignation-” Albus continues on but my attention is drawn to the whispered conversation to my left.
“Who was their star Chaser?” Will mutters to Keegan, who leans closer to hear him.
“Really fit blonde, something Rivers, I think,” he shrugs. “Nice ass.”
“Why’d she drop out?”
“No one knows-” Keenan’s second shrug is cut off my a furious Albus.
“Henderson! Finnigan! If either of you utter another word for the duration of this meeting I will expel you from the team! Is that understood?” he screeches. Will and Keegan nod rapidly, their mouths sealed shut and their eyes focused solely on Albus who looks ready to burst a blood vessel.
While no one spoke for the rest of the meeting or the subsequent training, Albus was getting more and more worked up. Lucy had vomited before even mounting her broom and Albus had sent her to the Hospital Wing in frustration; Dave had been hit on the head by the Quaffle no less than eight times, causing Albus to threaten him with a new Keeper; Will was just trying to keep out of everyone’s way while Keegan was trying his best to calm Albus down. Lily and I had resorted to batting Bludgers back and forth meters above the others so that Albus’ shouts and become faint and unintelligible.
“Rose,” Lily ventures after several minutes of silence. I just nod. “You’re good at Potions, right?” she asks.
“Yes,” I reply honestly.
“Well you know one of Al’s rules is that if we are struggling with homework and practice and stuff, we should talk to either him or another member of the teams…?”
“Well, I’m failing Potions. I just don’t get it. So I was wondering if there’s any chance that you might be able to tutor me a bit?” Lily seems hesitant, as if unsure how her request will go down with me.
“Sure,” I shrug.
“Really?” she smiles.
“I don’t see why not, how about on a Wednesday?” I suggest.
“Wednesday is perfect, thank you so much,” she grins before smacking the Bludger back at me. Not long after, Albus calls us back down and informs us that if we do not get our act together by Friday’s practice, he will hold another set of try-outs and select another team completely. Keegan rolls his eyes before following his best friend into the changing rooms while the rest of us decide to just go back up to the castle in our Quidditch kit rather than risk setting Albus off again.
Lily rattles on about some jinx she learned in Defence Against the Dark Arts yesterday, I am only half paying attention.
“Rose,” someone mutters behind me and I turn to see Dave, looking exceedingly uncomfortable and with several effect of Lucy’s curses still evident on his features. “We need to talk.”
“I have nothing to say to you Dave.”
“Rose, please,” he begs. “I meant what I said last night. I don’t know what you know about Lucy and I but we are not together, I love you Rose. You and only you.”
“Dave…” I sigh, stopping to face him. “Let it go. I am over you Dave, truly over you and you need to move on too. It was three years ago and yeah, it was great, but things have changed. Do you want to know why I kissed Malfoy that day? It was because I saw you with her Dave. I saw you kissing that girl, hell you probably don’t even remember her name but I remember. It broke my heart but I am over it now. It is in the past.
“I don’t know what you were thinking with Lucy but you owe her an apology. She deserves better than you.
“Now, I am going up to the castle and to be honest, I do not want to walk with you,” I finish, turning around and walking towards the castle. Thankfully Dave does not follow me.
I look up from my perch by the fire as the common room door burst open. Martha Henderson storms in, her hair ruffled and a furious expression on her normally laid back features. Her eyes scan the common room rapidly before fixing on their target. Dave has his back to her and does not see her approach. The guy he is talking to, does see her and his startled expression causes Dave to turn around.
Henderson’s hand is quicker than I expected and Dave has no chance to stop it as it collides with his face. She hisses something beneath her breath at him before storming up to the dorm, leaving him nursing his flaming cheek. I have to give it to her – it was a decent slap.
I catch Dave look at someone who appeared to have just entered the room. Turning, I spot Lucy hovering by the portrait hole, her expression a mixture of anger, betrayal and guilt. Clearly she feels some form of regret for the bombardment of hexes she launched on him yesterday. Reluctantly, it seems, she breaks eye contact with Dave and follows Henderson up to the dorms. I decide I should probably talk to her.
Unfortunately Henderson and Lucy are not the only ones in the dorm. March and Brown are there as well but by the confusion on their faces, they clearly have not been informed of what is going on. The look Henderson is giving me however, tells me she has been very well informed. It is a mixture of disgust and disappointment.
“What’s going on?” March queries, her eyes flickering from Lucy and Henderson to me.
“Why don’t you ask her?” Henderson spits in my direction. March turns her expectant eyes on me, waiting for an answer.
“It appears Dave McLaggen was unfaithful to Lucy,” I explain.
“Unfaithful?” Henderson scoffs. “You want to tell them why? Hmm? Would you like to tell them who he declared his love to last night? Would you like to do it? Because if you don’t, I will,” she threatens. I just shrug and her eyes flare with anger. “Rose Fucking Weasley, that’s who!”
“What?” Brown frowns.
“Is that true?” March asks, turning to focus her brown eyes on me.
“It would appear so,” I mutter, glaring at Lucy who is refusing to meet my eye. It was the deal: I would not be responsible for whatever happened. And yet here she is, blaming me. “If you don’t mind, I would like a word with my cousin… alone.”
“You think I’d-” Henderson is cut off my March.
“I think we had better just let them talk Martha,” she suggests, guiding both Henderson and Brown from the room, the former with somewhat difficulty. When the door closes behind them, I turn to face Lucy.
“You know what the deal was Lucy,” I get to the chase. “I am not responsible. You paid me to do it. So I think you can see my confusion that I am getting the blame for this?”
“What do you care anyway,” she snaps. “It’s not like you care what Martha thinks of you. Hell, you don’t care what anyone thinks of you!”
“That is beside the point Lucy. It was a deal.”
“You know what I wish, Rose,” Lucy finally turns to look at me. “I wish I had not interrupted last night. I wish I could have heard what your reaction would have been. I wish I knew what you would have done. You make it impossible to trust you Rose, and I am your cousins! I have no idea whether you would have gone with Dave or not… Do you know how that makes me feel? Not knowing whether a girl I consider a friend would go with my boyfriend? It makes me feel crap, Rose. Crap.” Lucy sniffs, clearly holding back more tears. “Do you remember when I asked you to help me out with Jimmy the Hufflepuff? Do you remember how long it took you to do that for me? Two days. Two sodding days. Do you know how long it took you to do it this time? Two fucking months.
“Two months, Rose. That is a fucking long time. If you had just said no to being with, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But you agreed. It should never have taken you this long Rose. That’s two months of my life wasted on a guy who doesn’t give a shit about me.
“Two months ago, I just fancied him. A lot can happen in two months and I fucking fell for him!” Lucy sobs. “You should have done it sooner Rose, then none of this would have been so bad! I wouldn’t be feeling like I am breaking inside! Dammit Rose! Why did you have to put so much effort into this? Are you just that determined to be irresistible that you are willing to go to such lengths to destroy your friend’s first proper relationship? Because that is sick Rose. Sick.”
As November fades into December, Ravenclaw make a miraculous win of the first Quidditch match, catching the snitch before the Quaffle had even been caught. This infuriates Albus because it gives us no time to analyse the players and their strengths. Hufflepuff certainly do look deflated at the loss of their Chaser but we have no way of telling whether they are any good despite the loss and the next time we will be able to see them is when we are on the pitch with them.
Team practices have become a rather strenuous activity but Albus made the wise choice to keep discussions and meetings to a minimum as they were the times the tensions became almost unbearable. When we are all on brooms, it becomes easier to ignore and Albus usual has us practice separately, with Lily and I working on our aim, the Chasers practicing manoeuvres and Albus himself working with Dave on some Keeper skills.
Lucy is not talking to me and the news of both Dave and Lucy’s secret relationship and the fact that Dave and I ‘got it on’ (is the common term) spreads like fiendfyre through the school and once again, the insults pick up a notch. Not that I care. I find myself spending more and more time in the Potion’s classroom, sometimes alone, sometimes helping Lily out, sometimes with Malfoy working on assignments or just practicing random potions and a couple of times I have ended up with both of them trying to help me out which, needless to say, never ends particularly well for the potion.
Dave occasionally tries to talk to me but my lack of response means his attempts are getting more and more infrequent. He is currently on touchy grounds with Albus as at the end of the day, Lucy is his cousin and Dave hurt her. Lucy herself has not spoken to me since her outburst in the dorm. She is growing steadily closer to Henderson and is planning on spending a week of the Christmas Holidays are the Henderson’s place.
Henderson still shoots me a disgusted glare from time to time but March has been rather quiet about the whole thing, while Brown is too dumb to even figure out what is the matter. As a result, the time I spend in the dorm has decrease substantially.
“Thorn?” a voice rings out behind me. It is the day before we break up for the Christmas Holidays and I am avoiding the chaos of the dorm by wandering around the corridors aimlessly. “What are you doing down here?” Malfoy asks, his voice curious rather than offensive.
“Escaping bedlam,” I shrug. He comes up close to me, closer than usual.
“Are you sure you weren’t looking for me?” he murmurs, his voice sinking to a tone I can usually elicit from him when I have been assigned him as a job. He stops beside me and I turn to face him. He is standing so close that our robes brush together as I turn.
“And why would I be looking for you?” I respond hesitantly. This was not a job. But he did not know the previous times had been jobs. What would he think if I did not go along with it? But I have sworn to myself that I would not kiss a man unless I was being paid to until I finished Hogwarts. But if I refuse to kiss him, he might become offended and the next time a get a job he might not be so cooperating.
He steps closer to me, forcing me back until my hands feel the cold stone wall behind me. I can feel his warm breath on my face, his body heat radiating from him. My blue eyes are locked with his grey ones as he pushes me flush against the wall, gently. It would be suspicious if I did not kiss him this time, he might wonder why. It would be better for business if I did just go along with it.
“Relax,” he murmurs, his head tilting closer to mine. “It’s not like we’ve never done this before,” he chuckles quietly. My eyes do not leave his as he lowers his lips to mine. It is only when he flicks his tongue out over my bottom lip that my eyes close and I sink into the kiss.
His tongue slowly massages against mine as he moves his hands to my waist. I find my fingers are already entwined in his white-blond hair and I use this hold on him to fasten his face more firmly to mind. He lets out a moan as I pressed myself closer to him. His arms encircle my waist to hold me to him. A hand finds its way into my hair, working its way up to my roots.
His lips are soft as they merge with mine and the way his tongue explores my mouth has tingles shooting down my spine. My breath catches as the hand not entangled in my hair slips beneath the material of my robes to rest on the bare skin just above my hip. I moan into his mouth as he begins to trace patterns on my skin. My heart races as he somehow manages to deepen our kiss.
When I feel like I my collapse with want, he slows the pace of the kiss down. His lips still brush against mine but his tongue only makes an occasional sweep of my teeth or my lip or will lightly nudge mine. I try to pull him back in but he refuses, teasing my with the lightness of his kiss.
At long last, when we are both panting for breath, he pulls away. His lips are swollen and his hair is thoroughly ruffled. He pressed his forehead to mine and locks our gaze once more. For several moments we stand there, my arms around his neck, one of his hands on my waist and the other in my hair, our foreheads touching and our eyes locked.
When at last he pulls away completely, my heart is still racing and my breath is still irregular. He gives a sort of half smile before turning to vanish into the darkness of the corridor. I press myself against the cold wall until my breathing has returned to normal before getting up and heading back to the dorm to pack my things for the Christmas Holiday.
Hello again my lovely readers! Wasn't this a quick update? I can assure you they will not all be this quick but I will try to make them fairly speedy. So after a bit of a filler chapter, quite a lot happens in this one so I hope you liked it. Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a little review and my characters are more than happy to answer any questions over on my blog (link on Author's Page). Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it, Irish Myth.