Chapter 4 : The Heart Goes Flop
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“Need some ice for that burn?” I laughed at Allen. Let’s face it; he deserved a lot more than simply pie in his face. Good pie, too. Waste of pie. Stupid pie. Why couldn’t it have been apricot and rhubarb pie? Everybody hated that. Except for Tori. But she was a weirdo, anyway.
Anyhoo, he stormed out. Probably off to write a letter to his mummy, about how the big kids at school were treating him badly. Awww-wuh.
I was laughing so hard, that I didn’t even notice that I’d thrown a pie. At Professor McGonagall. Oops. Not good. Hilarious, but in a bad way. A very, very, very, extremely not good bad way.
The food fight had ceased.
Longbottom was trying not to giggle, standing behind McGonagall. She was standing still, eyes closed.
“Mr Lupin,” she began crossly, “you have exactly point two of a second to be gone, or I swear you will still be in detention by the time you’re thirty.”
That wasn’t an empty threat. There were rumours about Filch that collaborated with it. And he was about 120. Maybe he’d drowned somebody in pie.
Whatever. McGonagall’s face was a lovely shade of purple, contrasting with the whiteness of pie cream.
I didn’t run, I hid. Under a table.
I knew it. All this time, and my parents believed that I was a-a-shudder-average child. Well, not really my parents. They were dead. But, you know, the people who’d raised me.
I had massive intellectual powers!
Then, as I decided that the table didn’t provide good enough coverage, I abandoned that plan. Who was I? A Hufflepuff?
No. I was a mighty Gryffindor.
I stood up, a tad bit unenthusiastically. Wow, shocker there.
She stared me down, like a piranha would stare down a tasty cow.
“Um... the pie goes with your eyes?” I cringed. Tori was hiding her face in her hands, but I knew it wasn’t from horror.
Stop laughing, you... you... you... whatever.
“Detention, Mr Lupin.”
Oh, well, fuck you too. It was a decent pie. I could have thrown a rhubarb one.
“Mr Weasley –“
“Lupin,” I corrected.
“Lupin. What are we to supposed to make of your recent behaviour? I don’t see that I have any other option but to ban you altogether from Quidditch.”
I couldn’t check, but I imagined that my hair and eyes were pitch black. My face was probably all twisted and scowly.
“Professor McGonagall, I promise that it will not happen again, if you’d just let me –“
“No, Mr Lupin. I’m afraid it’s not negotiable. Your Captain will be notified. You will also be completing two terms of detention with Professor Slughorn.”
“Please! Anything! I can’t – Quidditch – I won’t be able to – my career, Professor?” Me. Pleading. Things were so wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Flynn should have been the one suffering. It was all his fault.
“I’m sorry, Teddy,” her eyes – just for the slightest of seconds – lit up with a kind of warmth. Great. Pity. Just what I needed.
I closed my eyes, rocking slightly back on my heels.
I was so close to breaking. I was on the edge. Being torn away from all of my dreams; my hopes, my expectations. Quidditch. I lived for Quidditch. I practically breathed it. The feeling of being so... free. The feeling of fantasy, of floating, of soaring, where nothing could touch me.
“I’ve notified Harry and Ginny. I understand that you’ve not told anyone about –“
“No, I haven’t. No one knows.”
She nodded, firmly.
“Good. You may go, Mr Lupin.”
She leaned forward in her chair, sighing.
“So, Lupin. How’s your princess slut?”
I kept walking. There just weren’t any words to describe the kaleidoscope of emotions I was feeling. “I know you can hear me. You’re so... stupid, you know?”
Shut the fuck up. Just shut up. You don’t know anything.
“When I heard about you throwing that pie at McGonagall... Wow, I was surprised. I knew you were thick, but honestly, that was beneath you.”
“You know what is actually beneath me, Allen? You, that’s what. So, fuck off, leave Victoire and me alone,” I spat.
“You’re not good enough for her, Lupin. She needs a real man.”
“I’ll let you know when I see one!”
He stalked off. Apply ice to burned area, bitch.
I sank into my covers. They, at least, were comforting. Warm, soft, cuddly.
“Allen, eh?” Tyler remarked. “He’s going to go do something stupid, you know.”
I rolled over, facing the brick wall.
Of course it’s Allen. And Quidditch. And anything he does is stupid, anyway, so it’s not going to make a difference.
“Oh, Quidditch. I’ll talk to McGonagall, see if I can change her mind.”
What the hell was with the mind-reading?
You read thoughts?
I was too tired to argue. Not to mention clinically depressed. I pulled the doona covers over my head, and fell asleep.
I stumbled down those slimy dungeon stairs.
Thanks, McGonagall. Extra Potions torture for two months. I hadn’t even meant to throw the pie at her.
“Ah, Mr Lupin,” Slughorn was normally so happy to greet me. I had a feeling he’d rather be eating, or sleeping, or whatever teachers did in their free time. So, he looked like a sad walrus. Who’d missed out on a fish.
“Professor,” I nodded.
“You can start by labelling these ingredient jars.” He handed me a book, presumably a guide, so I didn’t mess it up and give the seventh years messed up frog legs and accidentally kill someone.
I hated the dungeons. Dark, cold – except when you wanted it to be cold, because then it became steaming – slimy, mouldy, smelly and saturated with what seemed to be a thick substance in the corners, and the patch in the ceiling.
I grabbed the first jar, opening it, holding it as far away as I could from my face. I flicked through the pages of the book randomly, wondering why the jars didn’t have labels in the first place. Sluggy was glaring at me. I pulled my face into a grotesque grin. He looked away, disgusted.
“I’d prefer it, Lupin, if you actually did something in the three hours you’re supposed to be here.”
I didn’t answer, flicking through the book, which was practically impossible, considering how old and thick the pages were.
“Sorry I’m late, Professor!” a voice – one that kind of made my heart go flop – echoed loudly from the top of the stairs.
“Tor – Vicky?” I almost slipped up. Oops. That wouldn’t have been good.
“Oh, yes, Teddy,” she bounded down the stairs, somehow managing to stay upright, although there was a sticky substance dripping down it, “I went to McGonagall –“
“Professor McGonagall, you mean,” interrupted Sluggy, being a typical teacher. Didn’t they know that we never called them by their titles?
“Yes, Professor McGonagall,” she went on breathlessly, “and I explained that I was the one who started the food fight, and threw that pie at her –“
“Vicky! You didn’t have to –“
“Shut up, Teddy. Anyway, yeah, I did that, and she – you’re back on probation for Quidditch, you’re not banned! Not completely, anyway,” she was talking too fast, her words mashing together like crushed banana, “and it’s alright now!”
I ran up to her, and threw my arms around her. Sluggy tutted. I ignored that.
“Thank you,” I whispered, kissing the top of the head.
“It’s okay, it was nothing, she loves me,” Tori mumbled into my chest.
I kept my arms around her.
I love you, I wanted to tell her.
I loved her.
“Slightly – can’t breathe,” she hissed.
I let go, a teeny bit reluctantly.
“Well, now that you’re quite finished,” Slughorn said exasperatedly, “there are jars and labels waiting.”
Tori made the detention go faster. I actually found myself enjoying it. Well, not enjoying the detention, exactly, but more enjoying her company. I gave her the job of looking up the ingredients – she was, and always had been better at that than me – and I wrote the labels. A piece of her long, blonde hair kept falling in front of her face, which was sort of screwed up into an adorable frown, and she blew it away every two minutes.
“You enjoy your detention?” Tyler winked at me.
“Ugh, just quit with that mindreading thing, already. It’s kind of creepy.”
“What are you talking about?” So innocent, Tyler. I know you’re hiding something.
“Well, how else can you know what I’m thinking?”
“I’m a good guesser.”
He grinned. I grinned back. I couldn’t help it – it was so infectious.
“Actually, I told Victoire that you were really bummed out about Quidditch, and that I was going to go to Professor McGonagall to talk to her about it. I guess she beat me to it,” he shrugged.
“Well, that explains that.”
I was walking along the corridor, thinking about the detention the day before. Smiling, as I went. Tori always made me smile. No matter what.
Suddenly, I heard a crashing sound reverberating from a nearby broom cupboard. A couple of fifth years, no doubt, making –out. What a cliché. Hooking up with someone in a broom cupboard. What was so good about them, anyway? In past experiences – yeah don’t ask, they were mistakes - I’d found them to be too cramped to actually go full on hook up. Plus all the equipment kind of hurt if you were on the bottom. Just saying.
“Oi! Get your clothes on, I’m opening it in three seconds!”
It was always fun to embarrass fifth years.
The crashing continued, and I forced the door open.
“Tori? What are you – ALLEN!”
Victoire and Allen. Sitting in a broom cupboard. K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
Their mouths were mashed together, moving frantically, Victoire’s arms around him.
They broke apart, Victoire looking guilty.
“Teddy, it’s not what it looks like.”
I didn’t care that she had anything to say. I just ran.
I dived in the lake. Yes. To cool myself off. Which worked, in one way, because it was freezing. Guess I didn’t really think that through. In the middle of winter, the Black Lake was probably about minus twenty degrees Celsius. Yay for pneumonia. Plus, there was bits of ice surrounding it.
I held my breath and stayed under, wondering if I could just die and end my suffering. Commit suicide, that’s what Muggles called it. Victoire, Vicky, Tori, the Vickster, Vickstinator. All my nicknames seemed silly and childish now.
I’d called her Tori. To her face. It didn’t matter. I hated her now. And loved her. Two emotions that should definitely be separate. Not conjoined, like they were one and the same.
I imagined that my Metamorphagusness was turning me colourless. I was probably see-through. My hair was probably wispy, eyes filled with a kind of despair. I felt frail.
I didn’t want to go back to the surface. I could feel my heart beats slowing, my willpower to live fading with each passing second. I closed my eyes, and drifted away.
I broke through the surface, spluttering and coughing like a maniac.
This wasn’t the afterlife. I was lying on top of the Giant Squid.
“Thanks buddy,” I whispered, realising I didn’t really want to die. I just wanted to never see Tor – Victoire again.
I shivered, and coughed some more.
My head felt strange, like it was trying to float off my shoulders, and I was weak.
I lay in the hospital wing, determined to be unresponsive. Tyler was standing there, the stupid mind-reader, but I was absolutely not going to think about it.
Madame Pomfrey was dealing out ladles of the most disgusting medicine ever. It was purple – my favourite colour – but it was misleading. It was really evil.
Purple, if I wasn’t careful, was going to quickly become at the bottom of my preferred colours list.
“Victoire wants to talk to you.” Tyler broke the silence.
“Who’s Victoire?” I asked, mockingly. Even the mention of her name was sending me into a deeper spiral of depression.
Well, yeah. I feel like the bad cop/author now. I just had to make it more interesting, okay?
So leave me alone!
Anyway, I didn't like writing it. Which was why it took so long.
Please, please, please review! Free invisible tickets to Australia!
WHAT THE FUCK, SUNNYWITCH! YOU BITCH! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS!
Another note - FLYNN ALLEN! WHAT THE FUCK! YOU BASTARD!
Yeah, I'm angry. I MUST FIX THIS.
Cheers, Phoenix Quill >:O
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