Chapter 6 : The Party: Charlotte Meaver
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It was my usual routine after I had cried a lot. Stand in the shower and just letting the water run over my face was a mourning ritual for me. And when I got out, my face wasn't scrunched up and red like it normally was after, which was a big plus. I sighed and let the water rush over my face and decided that an hour in the shower was long enough. I turned off the knob and jumped out, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around myself. Memories flashed at me as I fell against the wall and sat on the floor.
"Charlie, I don't think I can stand this anymore. We've been together for how many months? Over six. And you still haven't told your best friend. And I can't even tell my friends!"
I sighed and massaged my temple. "Carter, I do want to tell people, it's just I don't want people thinking you treat me different on the quidditch team because I'm your girlfriend."
"No one is going to think that! You are an amazing beater and, by the way, no one else tried out for that position."
"But if you act nicer to me or give me special privileges, people will talk."
He rolled his eyes. "Does it matter if other people talk about us? Who the bloody hell even cares about what I do? I'm not that well known and I can assure you that my love life isn't a really good topic of gossip."
"But you don't know how some girls are! You're cute and some girls like you." He smiled slyly and I hit him in the back of the head. "So either they'll try and break us up by spreading rumours and flirting with you in plain sight of me or they'll make my life a living hell with said rumours."
Carter, who gave me a sheepish look after the whole hitting him on the head, let his gaze go hard. "You're a fucking Ravenclaw Charlie. I like you because you're smart and great at quidditch. You are great fun and amazing at conversations. No one's going to break us up, ever, and rumours mean nothing."
I shook my head, playing with his fingers to distract myself. "I can't go through that. Not for this."
"Not for this? Charlie, I'm beginning to think that maybe this relationship is a little one sided."
I shook my head and brought my hands to his cheeks. "No, no! I swear this isn't just you. I really like you Carter Day. And I always will."
He smiled and I kissed him.
"Merlin, Carter you told him?"
"Charlie, it's your fault that you want this relationship to be this huge secret. I'm beginning to think you're embarrassed to be seen with me. Like we're together."
"No! But I need to be able to tell people when I feel comfortable doing so! And you've gone and told the Ravenclaw sixth year boys. I haven't even told Alexandra yet!"
"Is that really my fault? You're the one who still doesn't want to go public!"
"Carter I don't want to seem as if–"
"As if you slept with me to get on the team?"
"Well maybe you did!"
"Carter, I haven't even slept with you."
"Well maybe that could be your answer when people ask you if you did. Because I'm done trying if you're just going to keep me quite as your little secret."
"Carter, I just can't."
"Well, I can't either. One week. I don't think I can pretend I don't feel anything for you anymore. One week for you to tell everyone close to you and then we go public. Or you can keep it hushed and I'll call it off. One week to choose, Charlie."
"Charlie, I trusted you!"
"And I thought that maybe you could see how I felt. Obviously you're just like every other boy. Completely insensitive."
"Charlie, I love you! I don't want to lose you!"
"Well, you're the one who's breaking this off!"
"BECAUSE YOU SEEM TO HATE THE IDEA OF TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT US!"
"DON'T YOU DARE YELL AT ME!"
"WHY NOT? IT'S NOT AS IF YOU CARE ABOUT WHAT I WANT! YOU DON'T EVEN CARE THAT I ACTUALLY WANT TO TELL MY FRIENDS ABOUT HOW MUCH I CARE ABOUT YOU! YOU JUST THINK ABOUT HOW OTHER PEOPLE WILL SEE US!"
"Carter, I just… I can't!"
"And I can't keep doing this. Have a nice life, Charlie. And be ready for quidditch season."
I was sitting on the cold bathroom floor, the towel still wrapped around my body as my legs were curled up underneath me, my arms holding on to myself, trying to keep me together. Tears ran down my face and I quickly wiped them off. I had to keep it together. It would be horrid if Carter broke it off just to have people find out two days later about us. Either he would lose it, or be so smug I might have to quit quidditch to avoid his gaze.
I stood up, gripping the towel with all my might. I had to get out of this cold, tiled room and figure out how to stop both my tears and Alexandra's, who was still sobbing so loudly, I could hear her.
I couldn't ever tell her, but I was ecstatic that Diggory had broken it off. That manipulative bastard believed he could do anything and she would forgive him. Of course, that was partly true because she never caught him doing anything over the top, but he was still an arse hat in my books. Even if he had made her happy.
But if Alexandra ever found out, she might go completely postal and I don't like Alexandra when she goes completely postal. So I took a deep breath and opened the bathroom door. The cold air rushed in and violently kissed my skin. I shivered but quickly walked over to Alexandra's bed. As I sat, she looked over, her bright green eyes puffy and red, tear tracks dividing her face. I tried to smile but it felt more like a grimace so I stopped.
She hiccoughed. "Carlie, is everything okay?" She asked.
"No," I said, shaking my head," not really. I – I just wanted to tell you that…"
Oh Merlin I couldn't actually tell her about Carter, could I? I realized that my stupid mouth was running before my mind had time to process what I was saying. Yeah, I'm so sure I'm a Ravenclaw.
"Go on," she pressed and I made something up.
"I'm really hurting because of you. To see you like this hurts me."
I guess I am a Ravenclaw after all. I moved closer to her as tears continued to race down her face and hugged her. But my heart was heavy. Was I always going to have to lie about what had happened between Carter and me? Was this how he felt? Completely confused as to why I had wanted it to remain a secret? Because I felt silly all of a sudden. It was completely stupid to have kept that from everyone.
I felt tears course down my own cheeks and I silently cursed myself. Alexandra had apparently not cried everything out and it seemed like enough water to fill a river. As I heard the doorknob to our dorm turn, I quickly sat up and patted her head. I wiped the tears from my cheeks and ran over to the bathroom. I looked around at the steamy room.
My clothes were still on the ground. I hadn't wanted to touch them. Although our encounter was only earlier today, Carter's betrayal hung on them like a skunk's stench. I turned the shower back on and stepped in, letting the water rush over me again, hopefully covering the redness of my eyes. After about five minutes of sorrowful showering, I got out and wrapped the damp towel around me again. I opened the washroom door, then stopped.
Alexandra was talking to Kendra. It seemed willing. And they weren't yelling at each other! But both of them were looking at me, Kendra with a strange glint in her eyes. She stormed over and I cringed.
"Get back in there and use my shower supplies. Whichever set you want, but you will use all of it, down to the shaving cream and the perfume."
I looked over at Alexandra but she did nothing but say, "Do what she says Charlie. Don't worry I know what's happening."
I stood in the doorway, frozen with confusion, until Kendra shoved me into the washroom, grabbed my towel and closed the bathroom door almost all the way. Her arm was still in the washroom but as soon as she yanked the towel away from me, she slammed the door and left me naked. I shivered and instantly grabbed another towel from the rack, although this one was hardly large enough to circle my body.
"What the fuck? Kendra I just had a shower."
"Darling, that was a pity fest," she scoffed. "I'm going to bet you stood there and cried your eyes out."
I grumbled but did what Kendra said. She was right. Rifling through the drawer Kendra kept her shower sets in, I chose a chocolate raspberry smelling one. It smelled very strong, but the bottles assured the smell would dissipate once I had it on. I sighed and turned the shower on again.
Using all the bottles and tubes from the set took a while.
The entire set included shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, body scrub (what was the difference between the wash and the scrub, I didn't know, although the scrub had little beads in it), a loofah sponge, face cleaner (again, the difference between the cleaner and the wash was lost on me), shaving cream, razor (and yes it smelled like chocolate raspberry too for some reason), body lotion, face moisturizer, body butter (butter, lotion, what's the difference other than 'extra concentrated for use on elbows and knees'), foot cream (?), perfume, and for some reason, a small bracelet.
Once I was entirely done with my shower and the lathering of the different moisturizers and perfumes over my arms, legs, face and torso, I grabbed the tiny towel and, because I had stupidly left my wand on my bedside table, had to open the bathroom door by and inch to yell at Kendra to give me my proper towel back.
Sticking out my hand and feeling the familiar texture against my fingers, I quickly wrapped that one around myself, gathered my clothes that I had left on the floor and stormed out of the bathroom. I gave Kendra a withering look as I closed the hangings around my four poster and got dressed in lounging clothes. As soon as I opened the curtains again, Kendra was in front of me. I shrieked and she smirked.
"What the hell was that all about?" I scowled.
Kendra winked. "Alexandra has a special surprise for your night."
"Bloody hell, she's planning on going to the Gryffindor party, isn't she?"
Kendra giggled and nodded. I rolled my eyes. Well, at least she was looking forward to something, right? And it seemed as though she had stopped crying, so I guess she was getting over everything.
"Seriously Kendra, if you push me too far, I won't be afraid to jinx you."
She smiled. "No you won't. But you won't bother doing so because this helps Alexandra."
I looked at the bathroom door. Alexandra was currently taking a shower and using Kendra's shower sets. Or, one of them. I sighed and nodded and she took her wand and sat me down in a chair in front of the mirror in our room. I was beginning to calm down. Then she magically tied me up and gagged me.
Kendra had just left the room. She had shoved me into an ice blue dress that had straps (thankfully), but it was skin tight and barely covered my arse. Alexandra had gotten off lightly. At least she had shorts, although they looked like bathing suit bottoms if I was being honest. But her pretty green tank top was gorgeous and she looked striking. Kendra had played up her eyes and put the bare amount of colour on her lips. She looked me up and down and nodded appreciatively before speaking.
"You look good Charlie. She did quite a good job.
"We both look like slags," I grumbled.
"But nice-looking slags that aren't cheap."
I rolled my eyes but quickly turned my attention to my homework. Or, the revision of, to be more accurate. Alexandra began to read. After a while, I put my homework down and stared out the window in our room. You could just about see the whomping willow. I sighed and watched it sway in the breeze. I realized that it was me.
Everything was moving fast, and all I needed was for someone to get through the harsh exterior, pause the movement, and let me calm down. They could make it through my guarded walls only then. But could anyone else see this in me? No, I told myself. And now that Carter's gone, no one ever will.
Lights and music surrounded me, as well as people, moving to the sounds. I had quite a few drinks of what I assumed to be spiked butter beer. Well, I guess more than just quite a few. Everything was a little fuzzy and at one point, Alexandra just disappeared on me. But I just laughed and began dancing with other people.
I looked up at one point and saw a boy in front of me, getting way too close. I gave him a slight smile but put my hand to his chest and pushed away a little. He shrugged and went off somewhere else. I sighed and tried to turn around, but the blue heels Kendra had forced me to wear made me trip and I fell, the floor rushing up towards my face. Right before my nose smashed into the ground, I stopped. Then I fell. I groaned and people rushed over to help me up.
"I saw you fall," one boy said, putting his wand in his back pocket as he grasped my arms and pulled me up. "I stopped you from the biggest impact, but I'm sorry I couldn't right you."
"No, no," I said. "That's fine. Thanks."
He smiled and led me over to one of the couches. I stumbled on the way there and he wrapped his arm around my waist to steady me. When we finally got to the couch, he shooed a couple that were getting very physical away. Letting me sit down first, he pulled a small vial out from his pocket. Unscrewing the lid, he passed it to me. I looked at him curiously.
"It's a tonic. Helps dilute the alcohol in your blood."
"I've been told not to accept drinks from people I don't know."
He smiled. "So you don't know me now?"
"No, I know you. You, sir, are Remus Lupin. Gryffindor and 25 percent of the group informally known as the marauders," I said, giving the small vial an uneasy look.
Lupin smiled. "So why not drink it?"
"Because I don't know your intentions."
He sighed and ran a hand through his sandy hair. Taking the vial from my hand, he winked.
Downing the vial in one large gulp, he pulled a similar one from another pocket and handed it to me. I shrugged and opened it. Sniffing the dark liquid, I flinched. It smelled like my quidditch kit after a hard practice in the rain. Not a good smell. With a wary look at Lupin, I brought the vial to my lips. A light taste of what I assumed to be rotten lemons rested lightly on my lips and I brought my other hand up to pinch my nose.
Years ago, I had heard that if you pinched your nose before eating of drinking something nasty, the taste would be almost unrecognizable. All this time later and nose pinching hadn't failed me.
I quickly tipped the vial and the dark liquid dripped into my mouth. As soon as I was sure that all the foul stuff was in my mouth, I closed my mouth and swallowed. I gagged and almost spit the putrid liquid out but I was able to down it before said spittage occurred. I began to choke as it went down my throat, a burning sensation making me thirsty. Lupin began to rub my back as I tried to regulate my breathing.
"Is it supposed to burn?" I asked, my voice raspy from the coughing.
"Yeah," he said, giving a small cough himself.
"Is my head supposed to be spinning?"
"Yeah, that'll go away in a few minutes. The music doesn't help, does it?"
I gave a throaty laugh. "Not in the slightest!"
"So, Charlotte, I've seen you around Hogwarts. You don't seem like the party type."
I scowled. "It's Charlie. And I'm not. My friend Alexandra wanted to come after an intense break up with Diggory. And I was dragged along for company, wearing this ridiculous thing Kendra calls a dress."
Lupin looked at my outfit. "Well, sorry Charlie. And to be honest, maybe it's a good thing Diggory ended things. He isn't much of a good person, is he? And I quite like the dress."
I blushed and turned to stare at the people dancing. I didn't quite like compliments. I've only ever liked honest opinions, and compliments always seem dishonest. Mostly because I've only ever heard my dad give random women compliments. And that was to get them in bed. Yeah, my father is definitely not a good role model. So as Lupin blushed himself, I stared at the ground, my hand unconsciously going up to rub the back of my neck.
"Um, thanks," I said, and he looked up to give me a smile.
I was kissing him. My back was on a bed and he was on top of me. My hands were in his hair, on his face. His were on my waist. I slowly pulled my hands down over his chest, letting his slowly snake up my stomach. His fingers lightly feathered the wire of the bra I was so happy to have been able to wear, instead of the demon death-trap that is the strapless bra. Sighing against his mouth, I pulled my leg up around his waist, my barely there dress riding up. Merlin, I thought to myself, this is one hell of a way to get over Carter.
I woke with a start to see the familiar red drapes around the four poster. Wait! RED? I sat up as fast as I could and looked around. Lupin was lying next to me, the sheets I had pulled with me when I sat up at his waist, his chest uncovered. I looked down at my own chest and squeaked. Grabbing the covers and holding them over myself, I looked around.
From what I could see, I was in Lupin's bed, naked, and the last thing I could remember, we were kissing. On said bed. BLOODY HELL! I got out of his bed, holding the sheets over myself as best I could. Looking around and trying to find all of my clothes, I looked back at the bed and quickly threw the covers over Lupin. Obviously neither one of us were in our right minds as neither of us had thought to put our clothes back on.
Mentally screaming at my own stupidity, I quickly put all my clothes on. Remembering that I left my wand in my dorm, I tried to figure out how to open the red hangings without waking Lupin up. Stumbling over a shoe, since I couldn't see in the dark, I heard rustling from the bed. I looked over and Lupin was staring at me, a smirk on his half-asleep face.
"Hey," he said quietly. "What's up?"
I froze, the hangings grasped tightly in my hand. "I am not here," imitating Professor Trelawney. "You are just dreaming."
With that, I opened the hangings, jumped out and raced out of the room.
My makeup was definitely smudged, my dress wasn't zipped up in the back and my hair was a mess. And I hadn't even seen myself in a mirror. Tears cascaded down my face. I ran through the Hogwarts hallways, trying to find my way to the Ravenclaw dormitory. When I finally got there though, I saw Alexandra and Diggory at the door. I stayed behind the corner as I heard their muffled voices.
I really didn't want to talk to Alexandra at this moment and I really didn't want to talk to Diggory. Ever. As soon as the voices stopped though, I turned around the corner, only to walk straight into Diggory. I looked up at his stony face and grimaced.
"Diggory," I said coldly.
"Meaver. Looking well, as always."
I scowled at him. "I would say the same, but you never look well."
"Ooh, harsh words there Meaver. Might want to be a little nicer to me. I mean, are you going to tell Alexandra about your one night stand?"
"I didn't have a one night stand!"
"The smudged makeup, the horribly put together outfit, the crazy hair. And coming back to your common room late at night. If those aren't one night stand signs, I don't know what are."
I stiffened. "Yes, because you would know, Diggory."
He smirked. "Why yes I would. But that doesn't matter does it? You can't tell Alexandra or else I'll tell her about you and the quidditch captain."
"Yeah, about that? We're done. So you can't hold that over me anymore you insufferable prat!"
Diggory's smirk seemed to grow. "But I have this."
I silently cursed myself and outwardly cursed at him as I walked past him. He began to laugh and I had to pause, squeezing my hands into fists so hard, I felt my nails draw blood. As he walked by, I uttered the answer to the riddle that the knocker asked and walked into the common room. And walked right into Carter. He took one look at me and turned away, disgust written all over his face.
"Carter!" I said as he took a step onto the stairs that led up to the boys' dormitories. "Carter, this isn't what it looks like."
He turned to look at me, hatred in his eyes. "Really? Because it looks like you shacked up with the first person you could find to show me you don't care about me anymore and did the walk of shame as soon as you woke up."
I was about to say something but I realized, I had. I had done exactly what he said. So I watched him walk up the stairs and leave me in the common room by myself, crying even harder than before. Wiping the tears from my cheeks, I sat down on one of the couches and fell asleep.
I woke up groggily and looked at the clock on the common room wall. Four in the morning. My night was not going well. I sighed and got off the scratchy couch, making my way up the girls' stairs until I reached my dormitory door. Opening it and stumbling through the darkness onto my bed, I heard rustling from Alexandra's bed.
"Charlie," she whispered groggily. "Charlie, what time is it?"
I cursed myself silently. I got off my bed and walked over to hers. Sitting on it, I tried to hide the fact that, for one, I had slept with someone, and two, that I had been crying.
"Hey sweetheart, how are you? I didn't wake you did I?"
"Charlie what time is it?" She asked more forcefully.
"It's four in the morning. I did wake you didn't I? I'm sorry sweetheart. Go back to sleep."
She grabbed my hand forcefully and I winced. "Charlie, you don't sound drunk. But you came back late. Charlie, what did you do?"
"Go back to sleep sweetheart, we'll talk in the morning, okay?" I said, tracing her face with my nails and smiling at her.
She smiled back, a mischievous grin. "Does Charlie have a boyfriend?" At this, my face fell. "Does – Oh I'm sorry Charlie I won't tease you anymore, okay?"
"That's okay Al. Now go to sleep."
She did and I went back to my bed. Just as I was about to get under the covers, I heard a hiss from one of the other beds. I rolled my eyes and got into bed, not bothering to change because I might wake Alexandra up again and I didn't want to be interrogated. As soon as my head hit the pillow though, someone jumped on me and slapped a hand over my mouth. I tried to scream but the aforementioned hand kept my protests silent.
"You dirty little slag," a voice hissed in my ear.
I relaxed and Kendra took her hand off of my mouth. I groaned as she got under the covers with me. That was mine and Alexandra's not-so-secret code for 'It's talking time.' Kendra seemed not to notice my obvious discomfort, or seemed not to care if she did.
"Who was it?" She whispered excitedly.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Kendra dearest."
"Oh please. You slept with someone, dirty little slag."
"Stop calling me that!"
"But it's true. Makeup smudged, outfit trashed, hair mussed, and coming back early in the morning. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. Take it from a real, veritable slag. I know when someone has had amazing fun."
I rolled my eyes and shushed her. "Keep it down. I don't want Alexandra to know."
"Because it's not something to be proud of, Kendra!"
"Really? Because I quite like doing so."
"Kendra, I'm not you. I don't want the news of my exploits all around Hogwarts."
"Oh come on. At least tell me who it was."
I rolled my eyes. "If I do will you promise to keep it a secret? To not tell anyone? And to stop pestering me?"
"Fine," she said rather reluctantly.
"Um, Remus Lupin."
I shushed her again, going so far as to slap my hand against her mouth as she did. "Kendra!"
"Sorry," she whispered. "So, anyways, was he any good?"
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