Disclaimer - JK owns everything, i only have rights to Olivia.
amazing chapter image by rebel_heart @ tda!
A cold draft across my skin brought me out of sleep and I opened my eyes slowly, allowing them to adjust to the light that was seeping into the room through the curtains. Stretching out like a cat, I shifted in the bed, turning onto my side, all ready to go back to sleep when the figure lying beside me caused me to freeze on the spot. It was at that moment when everything came flooding back from last night; James coming around, us dancing and then myself pressed up against a wall before we found the bed. My face flushed and I held back a groan. As I knew last night whilst James was ravishing my neck, I completely regretted it. Sex complicated things and now it would be awkward between us and we had to spend basically the whole day together at the wedding. Hormones ruined everything.
Checking James was still sleep, I shifted carefully out of bed, covering my modesty quickly before rushing out of the room and into the bathroom. Over at the sink, I checked my reflection in the mirror and I grimaced at the sight. My eyeliner was smudged and the few spots that I had were red and ugly. That, plus the bed head I was sporting and I looked like a right old state. I was glad I woke up before James did although if he had seen me like this, he might have backed off and thought twice about trying what happened last night again. Wiping the remaining make up off my face and rushing my hair into a somewhat respectable style, I headed into the kitchen to make breakfast, deciding to make enough for two just in case he felt the need to stay longer than required.
I was only half way through frying the pancakes when I heard shuffling and I braced myself for the awkwardness that I was sure was coming.
“Is that breakfast?”
I turned to face James, who was dressed only in his jeans and I nodded and smiled.
“Yep, figured I’d make pancakes because I didn’t know what you liked and everyone likes pancakes.” I knew I was babbling, so I stopped and began flipping the pancakes over. I tried to think of something else to say but my brain wasn’t complying. I heard James chuckle and I turned again, frowning. “What?”
“I can practically hear the wheels in your head turning, relax. You have done this before, haven’t you”?
“Yes, I have!” I was annoyed that he was implying that I was innocent virgin, which I wasn’t. A virgin, that is. The innocent part is still up for debate, even at the ripe old age of 24. “It’s just been a very long time. I’m not used to having to make small talk over breakfast with a guy I’ve just slept with.” My reply was indignant and James immediately sensed it and walked over to me. I felt his hands on my hips and his breath on my neck.
“I didn’t mean it like that. Don’t worry, you were pretty good last night.”
My cheeks flushed red and I felt the heat rise to my face. I had never wanted the ground to swallow me up more although I had to admit, it was a little boost for the ego to know that I still had what it takes in the bedroom, even after so many years of celibacy.
“Erm, thank you? I don’t actually know how to reply to that.” I piled the pancakes onto two separate plates and I handed one to James, who took it gratefully and sat at the breakfast bar, tucking in almost immediately. I took a seat beside him and we both sat in a comfortable silence, only the occasional scrape of a knife on a plate and a bird or two outside to be heard. Finishing up, I pushed the plate away and sat back, yawning.
“Well I have to say, I am damn good cook.”
“I could definitely get used to this treatment.” I stiffened at this slightly, not sure to whether he was joking or not. And I didn’t want to bring it up, considering I actually didn’t know what I wanted. James must have sensed my anxiety because he laughed. “Don’t worry, I’m not about to propose to you so you can make me food every day. And I’m not about to become one of those guys who call or pop round every day either. I don’t know what’s going on with us but I’m pretty happy to let you decide, considering Teddy is still on the scene.”
“Teddy isn’t on the scene, not in that way anyway. He’s getting married and I’m fine with it. It was me who broke up with him, after all.” I sighed, “I actually don’t know what I want at the moment. Maybe we should let this lie until after the wedding and then decide from then? The last thing we need is someone noticing and then getting the third degree off every man and their auntie.”
James laughed at that. “Fair enough, I don’t think I could handle that.” He jumped off the stool and smiled at me before taking the dirty plates over to the sink, “I’m going to get changed and go, is that alright?”
I nodded and watched as he walked into my bedroom, shutting the door over slightly. Jumping down off the stool myself, I ran the water ready to wash the dishes, preferring to do them by hand rather than with magic and stood around like a spare part, waiting for James to reappear. After 5 minutes of pacing the room, James appeared and I smiled shyly at him.
“So, I’ll see you soon?” I was hesitant to ask seeing as what had happened but I knew he wasn’t the type of guy to ignore me because I wasn’t falling at his feet. He was letting me decide the terms so I guess that meant he was willing to wait which in turn meant he was definitely going to keep on popping up at inappropriate times to annoy me.
“Yeah, no doubt I’ll be round if Albus is still pining over this girl otherwise I will kill him.” I laughed and fiddled with my hands. Usually he would just disappear but now we were both standing on the spot, a metre apart looking like absolute lunatics as we kept on catching each other’s eyes and smiling. In the end, it was James who made the move and he closed the gap and kissed me gently, nothing like the kisses I had received all last night. “So, this is ‘bye’ then?”
I nodded and gulped. “Yeah, I’ll see you around.”
After a few more awkward seconds, he finally left and I let out a breath I hadn’t realised I had been holding. It wasn’t as awkward as I expected but still, it was still there and this was going to make the next few encounters between us fun. Hopefully no one would work out what had happened between us and point it out to everyone.
I got dressed after James left, taking a shower before hand, attempting to scrub away all the memories from last night. Even after deliberating it in the shower, I still didn’t know how I felt. Yes, I found James attractive, who in the Wizarding World didn’t? And yes, I got along really well with him and I could tolerate his personality but last night somehow felt like we had stepped, no bounded over the invisible line that had always been there between us. He was Rose’s cousin for starters and I believed that family members should be off limits just because if something goes wrong, it complicates every relationship you have with other said family members. Another big downside was that he was Harry Potter’s son. The Harry Potter’s son which meant he was followed with photographers and reporters almost everywhere and he was in the Daily Prophet and other magazines at least 3 times a week. I wouldn’t be able to handle that. I know Teddy was the son of two famous Aurors but he kept to himself, not enjoying the spotlight like you would expect and I loved that. We were able to go places and eat because the papers believed he wasn’t worth writing about in the end. But James loved the attention he got, always bragging about how many column inches he had gotten and who he had been linked with in the papers. That was something I wouldn’t be willing to deal with.
I decided to head into town, needing a pair of shoes to match the bridesmaid dress I was now wearing. It was Sunday, so I knew it would be quiet and I wouldn’t be barged into like I usually am when I shop. I could have only have been there ten minutes when once again, like the last time I was in town, I spotted a flash of familiar red in front of my eyes. This time I was determined to find out if it was Rose and I decided to follow the red head, in hopes of truly finding out what was going on. Staying a good distance behind (I had learnt this from watching muggle detective shows) I walked the exact same path the red headed girl did until she ducked into a building. Now able to walk faster, the building was a pub and a dingy one at that. It was not somewhere Rose would go but my gut was telling me to follow so I walked in behind a group of people, trying to blend in with the crowd. Grabbing a table towards the back of the pub, I looked around until I spotted the red head with her back to me in a corner booth. Sliding back in my chair, I continued to watch from behind my menu, ordering a coke just so I wasn’t kicked out.
Half an hour passed slowly and I was getting bored and I was desperate for the toilet. After half a dozen drinks, I could feel the need to go but I was determined to stick it out because knowing my luck, I would go to the toilet and the red head would be gone. The sound of the door caught my attention and I allowed my eyes to come across the attractive guy who had just walked in. Dark haired and extremely tall, I watched with interest as he scanned the room before finding who he was looking for. The red head jumped up as he walked towards her and practically jumped into his arms. Laughing, the guy spun her round before putting her down. Peering closer, I moved my hand and I felt it hit the glass that was on my table. I held my breath and watched in slow motion as it fell to the floor, the almighty smash making everyone turn around to look at me. I would never have made a good Auror. I looked up at the same time the red head looked over and if I would have had a glass in my hand, it would have found its way to the floor too.
Staring back at me was none other than Rose Weasley, my best friend with her arms around the said attractive guy from moments before. Her face was one of shock and I could imagine that mine was similar. The wheels were turning in my head as I tried to process everything. The floozy was out seeing another man only days after breaking up with Scorpius, the ‘supposed’ love of her life. And she hadn’t told me. That’s what hurt the most. Shaking my head at my friend, I walked out of the pub, ignoring the cries of my name until they became too much to bear. I stopped and whipped my body around to face a red faced Rose.
“What?” My tone was clipped and she flinched slightly, knowing that I was extremely pissed with her.
“It’s not what it looks like,”
At those words, I laughed out loud.
“And that’s what makes it exactly what it looks like. I don’t get it, you have just broken up with a distraught Scorpius and here you are with another man. It doesn’t make sense.” I looked up at her face, which was tinged red still but this time with embarrassment rather than exhaustion. Her sheepish facial expression and no reply from her mouth led me to one conclusion.
“You were cheating on Scorpius.”
Those were words I never thought I would ever have to utter. Rose Weasley, Miss Prim and Proper who wouldn’t hurt a fly had been cheating on her boyfriend. And then had the nerve to suggest he was cheating on her! Clearly her guilt had been weighing down on her and it served her right.
Her silence only confirmed my statement and I shook my head. “How could you? He worships you, he loves you and you do this to him. Have you told him?”
“No,” Her word was small and quiet and I was pleased she had the decency to feel guilty, if only for Scorpius’ sake.
I laughed loudly, not caring that people were now looking at us curiously. “What a surprise. I never took you for a coward, Rose. I also thought you would have told me. I thought we were supposed to be best friends?”
“We are! It’s just, I had to keep it quiet, I wanted to tell you so many times but I knew I couldn’t. It wouldn’t be fair on Ty.”
“So he does have a name then?” I sighed and shook my head. “I don’t want to do this right now, I haven’t got the patience or the temperament to not hex you to pieces in the street so I’m leaving. Feel free to get in touch when you actually want to tell your best friend what in Merlin is going on.” With that, I walked away and left Rose in the middle of the street without even taking a second look at her.
I was angry and upset. That much you could tell whilst I was trying to find a pair of shoes so in the end I decided to give up and head home, where I could rant and rave to myself without anyone looking at me like I belonged to St Mungo’s. Kicking my shoes off as soon as I appeared in my living area, I resisted the urge to throw them at the window, deciding that the rain, that had just began to pour would just top off the day I was having.
Scorpius needed to know. I would want to know. But did I betray Rose and tell him? Or did I speak to her and make her tell him, like he deserved? He didn’t deserve to be left in the cold whilst she happily flaunted her bit on the side around town. It could have been Scorpius who had spotted her or it could have been Hermione. I knew she didn’t know because I would have had an owl to say that she had had an argument with Rose, explaining to me what it was about and that Rose needed someone to cry too and even though she was in the wrong, she was still a young girl who needed some comforting from her best friend.
Best friend. For the first time since I had met Rose on the Hogwarts Express, I was questioning our relationship. Not once had she ever done anything to hurt me or kept me out in the dark, she told me everything. She used to tell me everything. But now I wasn’t so sure we could still call ourselves best friends, not after this. Of course I needed to let her explain things, tell me her side of the story but until that moment came, Rose Weasley was someone that I once thought I knew.
Rose Weasley was a stranger.