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Escaping the Friend Zone by jess94
Chapter 51 : Outside Advice
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5

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 Chapter Fifty One

I was devastated

Totally devastated

I didn’t pride myself on many things but one of the things I did pride myself on was the fact I was a good friend. The guy who was always there to support his friends and family no matter what, the guy that they could turn to when they needed help with something. But my friend, even worse my best friend had been trapped in his own personal hell for month’s possibly even years and I hadn’t even noticed anything was wrong with him. It wasn’t even like I could have easily missed the signs as I shared a freakin bathroom with Hugo for ten months out of the year at Hogwarts and I practically lived at his house during the summer holidays. How was it that I hadn’t noticed what he’d been doing after every meal? I kept trying to tell myself that I’d had a lot on myself to contend with what with Jack, Dad and all the Lily drama plus the fact that Hugo had hidden what he was doing very easily as well but I couldn’t shake the thought that I could have helped him more from my mind. I tried to cast my mind back over the past few months and beyond and tried to remember if Hugo had, at any point, come to me looking for help and I hadn’t noticed. I couldn’t think of any, he hadn’t reached out to me at all but that only made me feel worse. Maybe he thought I wouldn’t be interested? Even worse, maybe he didn’t trust me enough? So much for being the guy that everybody could turn too

Lily was also blaming herself and had taken everything quite hard whilst Rose just spent days crying after Hugo was taken to Mungo’s, it was clearly a mix of hormones, grief and guilt. Ben, Ryan, Louis and Freddie did their best to try and lighten the moods at mealtimes and during the weekends but it never quite worked despite their best efforts. The only positive thing that had come out of the whole thing was an article in The Quibbler written by Luna Lovegood after one of her sons informed her about what had happened to Hugo. Luna had condemned the way that Hugo had been treated in the press throughout his life and though she’d never been taken seriously as a journalist the article actually seemed to have struck a chord with most publications. The Daily Prophet actually ran the story and issued an open letter of apology to the Weasley family for any articles or pieces that may have caused offence or upset to Hugo or any of the other family members. Quidditch Weekly actually printed a piece called “Hugo Weasley: A True Weasley” which was extremely complimentary about Hugo. It seemed, at least, that the pointless abuse Hugo received in the press would stop which would aid his recovery quite well. It was too little too late as far as Albus and Rose were concerned though.

We were all sitting in the common room on the last Sunday of the Easter holidays before lessons started again and as usual everyone was completing homework that had been set to do over the two weeks but had left it to the last minute. A few weeks on and a lot of the drama around Hugo had settled down thought it was still a touchy subject amongst the Potter/Weasley kids seen as though Louis and Freddie had been given two weeks’ worth of detentions each for attacking a group of sneering Slytherins in the Great Hall

“OK, elephant in the room time” said Melissa “Does anyone know when Hugo will actually be coming back to school? Won’t he miss out on a lot of his studies?”

“You have met his mother haven’t you?” Roxy replied with a smirk “Trust me, he may be recovering from a serious illness but I highly doubt Aunt Hermione is going to let him fall behind on his work. Especially not in his sixth year”

“Merlin, the exams are so close” groaned Ben “I know I’m going to fail Potions I just know I am, I haven’t concentrated all year. I’ve got a T coming my way I can just feel it”

For once in my Hogwarts career I was actually feeling pretty damn confident about my upcoming exams. I was doing well in Defence, Transfiguration, Charms and Potions and I was looking to at least pass History of Magic and Ancient Runes. Surprising when you think about all of the drama I’d had thrown my way over the course of the year yet I’d somehow managed to stay on top of all of my work and actually do well

Clearly, I was some kind of super human

“Try being pregnant with NEWT exams on the way” said Rose “I’m probably going to have to come back and re-take them next year at this rate. That’s if I’m allowed to bring my kid”

“You’ll do fine” said Albus encouragingly though it was evident that he didn’t quite believe what he was saying was true. There was no way Rose was going to pass, we all knew that the stress of her pregnancy and now Hugo’s illness had impacted her grades and now she’d probably be very lucky to even graduate the rate she was going at

It was kind of ironic or sick that I’d strived to be in a happy loving relationship with Lily for years and then the second that happens the whole world turned to shit. If I wasn’t so anti-Divination I’d swear there’d been some kind of suck curse placed over mine and Lily’s relationship; this should’ve been the happiest time in my life but it wasn’t. I was down, everyone was down just no one wanted to show it for the sake of everybody else. Plus, on top of all that Al had somehow roped me into playing keeper in the final of the Quidditch House Cup. I suck at Quidditch. It doesn’t say much for Gryffindor if I have to be roped into playing the final match because the keeper was still knocked out in the hospital wing

He’d been unconscious for three weeks

No one seemed that worried about it though

“Dude, you suck so bad at this” Roxy told me as she hovered near me during practice the next Tuesday; she was right I did suck and Roxy had this trait of only ever being able to speak the absolute truth to everyone. She couldn’t lie for some reason, even if she ended up hurting people because of it

Needless to say Freddie was none too happy when she told his first girlfriend she had gained weight over the summer holidays. She had to be fair but still it was a harsh thing to point it

“Cheers for the confidence boost” I muttered as yet another Quaffle inexplicably slipped through my hands and into the goal “Not like I’m totally crapping my pants about Saturday anyway, you making snarky remarks from your broomstick is really going to help me”

“At least I’m not giving you false hope” Roxy replied cheekily winking at me before flying away to engage in Chaser like activities. Merlin, I hated playing Quidditch and I scorned myself for agreeing to help Albus out even though it was a mixture of me being both intimidated by Al a lot and my obsession with not disappointing anyone. Damn my good nature!

The practice eventually finished leaving me bruised, bloodied and completely knackered mainly thanks to Roxy and Al. After a long shower I stepped back into the changing rooms which were empty and changed slowly; for a while I just sat down on the floor mulling things over. Hugo, Rose, Ben & Louis, Scorpious, My Dad, the Quidditch match… ‘When had life become so bloody complicated?’ I thought to myself as I buried my head in my hands and sighed heavily pushing my head back against the lockers

“You look like you could do with a chat” came a girl’s voice. I looked up to see Roxy Weasley approaching me with her evil grin plastered across her face “I’ll talk to you Benson, you and I don’t talk alone enough anyway”

“Yes we do” I said “I’m always at your house in the summer”

“Yeah because you’re Fred’s friend” said Roxy with a scoff; she was very cocky for her fifteen years “Come on Ollie think about it; when have you and I ever just had a one to one conversation?”

I paused. I couldn’t think of one, it made me feel kind of bad

“I know it’s nothing personal” she said squeezing my arm “I mean there are a lot of us Weasley cousins and I understand if you think I’m the least interesting – I thought I’d at least rank above Molly but if that’s how you feel”

“I do not think you’re boring” I told her. She chuckled “Well, you’re certainly more interesting than Molly is anyway”

It felt strange talking bad about a Weasley but in all honesty Molly was probably the most boring person I’d ever met. I also sometimes forget that she exists

“Well I am glad about that at least” she replied with a smile. Roxy was fairly different from the rest of the Weasley girls; in terms of looks she’d inherited more from her mother’s side (as had Fred) which meant she stood out more from the blondes (Victorie, Dom and Lucy) and the redheads (Rose, Lily and Molly). She was also a lot gutsier than the rest of them and easily the one who was most into Quidditch. Truth be told Roxy was a bit of a tomboy, but a pretty one

“This year’s been really tough for you hasn’t it?” she said after a few minutes of silence “I mean I know you had it bad for Lily and that sucked, but then when I found about your dad-“

“Oh please, no sympathy” I begged her. I hated getting sympathy

“No, I was just going to say how brave I think you are” she said with a kind smile “And that what you’ve done for Jack is amazing, practically raising him the way you have – it’s nothing short of incredible Oliver. I mean, Freddie’s older than me and lord knows I have to act like his mum when we’re at Hogwarts but you-“

“Thanks” I said with a smile whilst hoping that she’d stop talking

“I know you’re hurting Oliver” she continued “I know that you blame yourself for what’s happened to Hugo but you’re not and you need to stop blaming yourself for everything. Let yourself see what everyone else sees; let everyone else see how perfect you are”

She blushed at that moment and suddenly the reason she’d never tried initiating a one to one conversation became apparent. I took her hand smiled, she smiled back, kissed me on the cheek then got up and left. I stayed for about ten minutes before leaving myself, feeling happier than I had done in days 

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