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Chapter 17 : Roles Reversed
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It’s finally December, a couple months after that awful game against Gryffindor. Lily’s finally back and I can breath properly knowing that she’s okay, but Scorpius has become increasingly depressed. We’re in the Great Hall, eating dinner.
“Well, I’m certain that I won’t be able to rescue my grade in Arithmancy,” Leo annouces.
I frown, “I know multiple tutors who would be willing to help.”
“Tutors are for losers!” Leo pouts, hitting his head against the table.
Scorpius remains silent, eating his celery.
I clear my throat, “Do you think tutors are rubbish?” I ask him.
He looks up in surprise, “Er, no.”
I wait, patiently, for him to add on, but he doesn’t, “Do you have anything else to say?”
His eyebrows raise, “No...?”
Leo lifts his head from the table in surprise, “Wait, you have nothing to add. Are you feeling okay?”
Scorpius pouts and throws his celery at him, “I don’t have to have an opinion on everything, Galatian.”
Leo rubs his head where the celery hit, “Ow, there’s the violent bloke I know.”
“Scorpius, you have an opinion on everything. Even on what kind of shaving cream I use!” I huff at him. He won’t let me use any generic brand, it has to be Smooth: The Cream for Champions.
He shrugs, “Well, I don’t have an opinion on tutors.” He gets up from his spot on the table and grabs Leo’s spoon.
“Going to meet a girl?” Leo asks, stealing my spoon.
Scorpius looks confused, “No, I’m going to figure out where I put my potions manual,” he says before leaving the Great Hall.
Leo stares at his retreating figure, “You know, I haven’t seen him snog a girl in, what, two months? I’m starting to worry.”
Woah, Leo’s right. I should be paying more attention, dang it Albus, get your head together.
“What should we do?” Leo asks me.
How am I supposed to know? I sigh, “Do you think it’s because of Rose?”
Leo thinks about it, “Perhaps. I think there’s more to it than that.”
I nod my head in agreement and look out into the hall. James is asleep at the Ravenclaw table, Rachelle is stroking his hair. Lily is sitting next to Ellie, who looks extremely worn out. Charlotte is sitting next to Anthony, and the two are bickering quietly to each other. I skim the table until I find Rose. She’s writing on a parchment and flipping through pages in a manual. Daniel is next to her, smiling and pouring himself some pumpkin juice.
I look back to Lily who is talking animatedly with Ellie, waving her arms around and smiling. Wow, it still surprises me to see Lily getting along so well with Ellie. They’re practically sisters now. I’m not sure what went on between James and Ellie, but he refuses to talk to or about her. Strange how their roles have reversed.
“Albus, you’re not even paying attention to me!” Leo huffs, throwing the spoon he acquired from me at my head.
Suddenly, I understand why Scorpius is so upset, “Leo,” I grab his arm.
“Woah, you have that crazy look in your eyes, Albus. We talked about that look-”
“Shut it and listen to me,” I cut him off, “Scorpius’ secret mission a couple of months ago!”
“What about it?” Leo asks, stealing Scorpius' abandoned spoon from his spot.
I roll my eyes at his stupidity, “It didn’t work, Leo.”
“What was the point of that again?” He asks, putting a spoon full of pudding in his mouth.
“Well, I was to convince James to chase after Scorpius, which was too easy, for your information.”
Leo rolls his eyes, “Yeah, because making anyone angry at Scorpius is so hard.”
I ignore his comment, “Then Scorpius was to lead James to the kitchens where Charlotte, Ellie, and you were eating icecream.”
“Yup, and I was scared for Scorpius’ life,” Leo shrugs, spooning another pudding in his mouth.
“Uh-huh, sure you were. Well, then we were to get you and Charlotte out of there, forcing them to converse. I’m not sure how that all went down...”
Leo rolls his eyes, “Well, obviously nothing happened, or else they’d be holding hands and giggling like Scorpius when he watches me eat pumpkin pastries.”
I frown, “Well, have you talked to Ellie...?”
“She helps me with my potions essays, but I haven’t really talked to her outside the curriculum,” he muses.
I raise my eyebrows, “She tutors you in potions?”
“Blasphemy! Of course not, she just guides me through what I need to learn.”
“So, she teaches you things, but she’s not your tutor...?”
‘I’m glad you understand, Albus.”
Leo clears his throat, “All that being said, Al, what are you trying to get at?”
I sigh, “Scorpius is upset because his plan didn’t work,” I conclude, standing up and waiting for Leo to follow.
He stuffs more pudding into his mouth before standing up and following me out of the Hall, “What are we going to do about it?” he asks, pudding spurting out of his mouth.
I turn to him and stop him with my arm, “We’re going to get him to come up with another plan, and it’s going to work this time.”
“Come on, Char, why can’t I get you a Christmas present?” Anthony asks me, again.
I sigh, “Because I don’t want to put a label on what we have,” I whisper at him, checking to see if anyone overheard.
“But I can’t even get you a sock? Nobody would suspect anything if I got you a sock,” Anthony whispers back, smiling.
“Why are you smiling?”
“This argument is ridiculous,” he chuckles lightly to himself.
I pout, “You’re ridiculous.”
“Well, if you want me, I’ll be at practice. Think about the present a bit more, eh Charlotte? I’ve got a brilliant idea as to what I want to give you,” he gets up and waves at Ellie and Lily before leaving.
I sigh and watch his retreating figure before turning back to Ellie and Lily. Ellie’s staring at me, an eyebrow lifted up high on her forehead, “What is it?” I ask her.
She shakes her head, “You know, the whole school knows that you and Anthony have, erm, intimate relations,” she blushes at her final words.
“The whole school?” I question.
“Well, the whole school minus Leo,” Ellie allows, Lily giggling next to her.
I’m surprised at how easily Lily fits in our group. Honestly, the name of that girl used to make Ellie cringe, but they get along fantastically. She’s really a sweetheart. I sigh, “Why are you giggling Lily?”
“I used to date Leo, but I honestly don’t care for him anymore. Why is that?” she wonders out loud.
Ellie pats her head, “You’ve changed.”
Lily beams and hugs Ellie. An action that happens more often than not. Ellie ignores the girl clinging to her side and glares at me, “Just let Anthony be your boyfriend already. You two are basically just that, just without the title.”
“We’re allowed to date other people,” I grumble into my salad.
Ellie laughs, “Anthony doesn’t even notice any other girl, Charlotte. Have you seen the way he smiles when he sees you? It’s absolutely revolting,” she teases me.
I think about this. Yes, Anthony is very happy with our agreement, but I don’t really feel anything when he kisses me. I figured Leo would come and talk to me by this point about, well, everything. Snogging me in an empty classroom, flirting with me, and calling me cute in front of his friends, but nothing. NOTHING! Finding out about Rachelle was the final straw, I’ve stopped caring. Well, that’s a lie, but I’ve stopped holding out for him to come and sweep me off my feet.
I came to this conclusion after I had a good cry in that stupid empty classroom. Anthony, actually, was the one that comforted me. . .
I don’t know what made me run into this classroom, but I did. The memories here haunt me and I crumple against the wall and just let the tears fall down. I hear the door open and I yell, “Ellie get out of here!”
I hear Anthony’s voice, “I heard crying, are you okay?”
“Just leave!” I yell back, but I see him walking over and kneeling in front of me.
“Charlotte? What happened?” he whispers, wiping the tears away.
I’m not entirely sure what force made me do this, but I threw myself at him. Kissing every part of skin that wasn’t covered in robes. I feel him shiver underneath me, but he pushes me off, “Woah, okay, so something is really the matter.”
I cry into the floor and he strokes my back, “Who ever did this to you isn’t worth it. I promise,” he says.
“Why do you like me?” I ask him turning to my side to look at him.
His skin is flushed, and his breathing is hard, “Well,” he laughs, “you’re beautiful, smart, witty, clever, brilliant, hilarious, do I need to go on?”
I smile, “No, I suppose that will do.”
He sighs and lays next to me, looking up at the ceiling, “You’re really something, Charlotte. I’ve never met a girl like you before.”
We lays in silence, me looking at him and him looking up at the ceiling. I break it, “I’m not really ready for a relationship.”
“What?” he asks, looking over at me, “That’s not why I’m-”
I put my hand over his mouth and continue, “but you are a very nice bloke.”
I crawl over and kiss his neck and ear. Removing my hand from his mouth, he says, “Er, Charlotte, not that I don’t enjoy this, because I do. It’s just that you were just crying and I-”
I place my mouth over his, effectively silencing his words.
Ellie and Lily are talking about the Christmas holiday coming up, so I steal a glance at the Slytherin table. Leo’s not there. My throat tightens, why is he never around?
“Charlotte?” Ellie asks, “What are your plans for the Holiday?”
I clear my throat, “My parents and I are going to America to visit my uncle, Jack.”
“Ellie’s staying at the castle, and I’m trying to convince her to come to my house and visit my family,” Lily whines.
“You don’t have family to spend the holidays with?” I ask Ellie.
She blushes, “My parents...like their privacy.”
I hate myself for asking this question, “Is Leo staying at the castle too?”
Ellie’s eyes soften in sympathy and she grabs my hand, “Is Anthony staying here for the Holidays?”
I frown, “No, he’ll be with his parents.”
Lily groans, “Elizabeth Galatian, you will come to my house for the holidays, because I refuse to let you stay in this damp old castle!”
Ellie laughs and shakes her head, “Okay, calm down. I’ll have to talk to Leo about it. Is he invited too?”
Lily rolls her eyes, “Of course he’s invited. I’m sure my mother would adore having him over. She thinks Leo is a good influence on Albus.”
“He’s not,” Ellie says with a wave of her hand.
Lily grins, “You don’t think I know that already?”
I begin to feel lonely, watching them converse so friendly, “You should stay at the Potters for the Holiday, Ellie.” I get up from the table and grab my satchel, “I’m going to go watch Anthony’s team practice. I’ll see you later?”
“Of course,” Ellie replies, frowning.
I leave the Great Hall and enter the grounds. The ground is covered in a sheet of snow and ice, and the freezing wind chills me all the way down to my toes. As I walk to the field, I see three figures by the lake. They’re crouched down and talking animatedly to each other. I recognize the dirty blonde hair of Scorpius, messy hair of Albus, and the brown hair of Leo. My stomach flips when I see Leo, but I ignore it and walk to the group.
Albus looks up at my arrival and grins, “Look, we can ask Hastings to help.”
Leo looks up quickly, “Charlotte? Come join in the fun!” he beams at me.
“It’s not really that fun,” Scorpius whines, receiving several blows from Albus and Leo.
“What are you guys up to?” I ask them warily.
Albus elbows Scorpius causing him to yelp in pain before answering, “I’m being forced against my will to come up with another plan.”
I mildly remember them talking about a plan Scorpius had when all four of us were in that blasted empty classroom a few months ago, but I was too preoccupied to really listen, “Another plan?” I ask.
Albus nods, “Yeah, Ellie likes James and James likes Ellie. We’re going to get the silly kids together.”
I gasp, Ellie likes James? Why didn’t she ever tell me? Leo watches my internal battle and shrugs, “I had to find out through Albus and Scorpius too. Ellie has been keeping it quiet for a very long time.”
I shake myself out of shock, “Okay, why do we need to get the together, exactly?”
Scorpius answers my question, “They’re really perfect for each other, if you think about it. James cares about Ellie so much, and Ellie, well, Ellie is just a strong person. James needs a strong girl like her, as opposed to Rachelle,” he says her name with disgust.
Her name sends shivers down my spine. I swallow to relieve my dry throat, “James seems to be happy with...her.”
Albus snorts and rolls his eyes, “Do you even know how often they fight? All the time.”
I’m reminded of my relationship with Anthony. It’s not his fault we fight, I just find myself arguing with him over small things, “That’s not necessarily a bad thing.”
It’s Leo’s turn to snort, “Trust me on this, Charlotte. It’s a very bad thing.”
I glare at him. Trust him? Why do I have to trust him??
Albus seems to pick up on my mood, because he clears his throat, “Right, we all know how Leo used to fight with Lily. Charlotte, would you like to help us get Ellie and James together?”
I don’t hesitate to respond, “Yes.”
Scorpius begins to smile, “Excellent. Okay, what plans do you and Ellie have for the holidays, Leo?”
Leo shrugs, “Staying at the castle like every other year.”
“Oh, not this year. Lily invited you two to stay at the Potter’s for this Christmas holiday,” I say.
Scorpius’ smile widens, “That’s perfect! Albus, I’ve got an idea.”
Albus grins, “If it’s not a good plan, I’m vetoing it.”
The two begin to whisper with each other, which is really frustrating. I thought we were all planning together. Leo clears his throat, “Charlotte, what are your plans for Christmas?”
I sigh before looking at him. How is it possible for him to look even more handsome? His hair is wind blown, and his cheeks and lips are red from the seasonal chill. I snap out of my trance and respond, “I’m going to see my uncle in America.”
His eyes widen and he smiles, “America? Really? How brilliant!”
“I suppose so,” I respond, watching his excited reaction.
“You two,” Albus breaks our interaction, “stop flirting. We’ve come up with the plan.”
I complain, “We weren’t-”
Leo cuts me off, “What’s the plan?”
Scorpius bounces around in his spot and points at me, “Charlotte, can you make sure that Ellie is on the train exactly thirty minutes before it departs? That ought to give them enough time alone, don’t you think?” Scorpius aims this last question at Leo.
Leo blushes and clears his throat, “Er, yeah. Thirty minutes is a good time estimate.”
“Brilliant,” Scorpius beams, “okay and I’ll get James down to the train at the same time. Allie-bear, can you make sure to grab his luggage?”
Albus nods, “Sure thing.”
“Great, operation ‘Scorpius’ Secret Mission Two’ is now in session,” Scorpius announces, pumping his fist in the air. He runs off for the castle, Albus trailing after him.
I realize I’m alone with Leo and I jump in surprise. He laughs, “Calm down, Hastings. I don’t bite, well, unless you like that kind of thing,” he winks and comes closer to me.
What is he doing? I back away and hold my arms out in front of me, “Leo, what are you doing?”
He frowns, but stops trying to get close to me, “What’s wrong? I thought you liked me?” he asks.
I wince, “I don’t. In fact,” I take a large, shaky breath, “I’m in a relationship with Anthony Burke.”
Leo’s face falls and he stares at the ground, “Oh, I was wondering why you two seemed so friendly. Okay," he shrugs and turns, "have a good holiday,” he smiles at me.
“What?” I respond, lowering my arms.
His eyebrows perk up, “Have a good holiday? It’s a perfectly fine-”
I cut him off, “That’s it? You aren’t even upset?” I squeak.
Leo scratches the back of his neck and looks around before walking closer to me. He grabs my chin and angles it so I’m looking at him, “Of course I’m upset, but I’m glad you’re moving on.”
I stare into his blue eyes, at a lose for words. His eyes trail down and look at my lips, but he shakes himself out of his trance and lets go of my face. He walks away and waves at me, “Like I said, have a good holiday. Feel free to write me.”
The plot is thickening! Are you guys excited for Scorpius' Secret Mission Two? How do you like Anthony?
Thanks for reading this far :D
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