Chapter 14 : A New Perspective and Social Deficiencies
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“The shrieking shack is just up here” Ben informed me as we walked through busy Hogsmeade street. We had left the warm castle about half an hour ago and since then had been walking into freezing cold wind towards town.
“Ok, how about after this, we go get something warm to drink. Like a hot chocolate?” I smiled as I wrapped my arm -that Ben wasn’t holding- around myself to try and keep warm. He let go of my hand briefly, removed his black leather jack, placed it around my shoulders and took my hand again after I had slid my arms through the warms sleeves. The jacket was warm and smelled like Bens cologne and I had to push the sleeves up as his arms were significantly longer than mine.
“Thanks but aren’t you cold. I mean it’s freezing today.” As if to prove my point the sharp wind blew in a bitter gust down the path and my skirt flapped around my knees.
“No, I’m fine. I’m warm enough with my hoodie but you must be frozen.” He chuckled, indicating to my thin apparel. When I woke up this morning the sun had been shinning but through the morning the wind had picked up without anyone noticing. I was wearing an autumn leave patterned shift dress that pulled in at the waist and cut just above the knee, flesh tights and beige ankle boots. I had debated wither to wear my read trench coat or my crop chocolate brown jacket that ended at my ribs and had stupidly gone with the jacket, leaving my stomach exposed to the harsh wind that cut through the thin fabric of my dress like a knife.
“I didn’t know it was going to be this cold and plus, the last time I was on a date I was still in the states so I don’t anything date worthy that is also weather appropriate for this climate.” I laughed lightly as we stopped at the fence that surrounded the decrepit looking house. He didn’t speak for a moment and when I looked up from the shack to see his face he had guarded expression.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” I asked, placing a hand on his shoulder and turning him to look at me.
“Nothing. Just trying to think about how to tell you what happened with the whole Rose, Scorpius and me thing.” He chucked weakly before continuing with the story and I listened intently.
She stared up at me innocently, her crystal blue eyes as round as orbs and her teeth lightly tugging on the corner of her bottom lip as she concentrated on what I was about to tell her. I knew that she wanted know what had happened but I just couldn’t find a way to tell her. I fumbled with my word over the story, probably missing parts out and not do it justice but in the end I got it out.
It had happened over a year ago. Rose and I had been dating secretly for a while. Really it was just midnight snogging sessions when she was on prefect duty but I still called her my girlfriend. Flitwick had forced her into tutoring Malfoy which I was not happy about. I did not trust the bloke and all of us guys have always been protective over the girls. Needless to say Rose was livid. She hated him because her father had practically taught her to.
The first session didn’t go well; Rose had stormed into the common room and I had ended up at the end of her anger. After that point things when downhill. As her relationship with Malfoy got stronger ours got weaker. She grew more reluctant to tell Albus about us and we fought a lot. I soon started to notice how she would defend Malfoy when Albus would say something about him and I became apparent to me that they were becoming closer that I first thought.
Malfoy was different too. His grades went up, he stopped acting like the arrogant arse hole he was and wasn’t picking fights with us in the dorm any more. He was just happy and it freaked us all out. We thought that he was up to something. When I mentioned it to Rose she was furious, told me to leave him alone and that he wasn’t a bad guy. When I confronted her about her feelings towards him she broke down. She admitted to me about her secret relationship with him and how she was sorry that they had snuck around behind my back. I thought I was devastated but I was actually mad. Mad; not because she had she had cheated but because she had choose a guy she use to hate over me. Rose begged me not to tell Albus and I because I thought that I loved I agreed to not say a word.
A few days later she told me that she was going to tell Albus everything because the guilt of keeping the secrets from him was just too much for her to bear. That’s when I realised that she loved him and that I hadn’t loved her like I thought that I had. I had only ever loved her as a friend and so I gave her my blessing, fully aware that Al would be furious at me and our friendship would never be the same.
After he found out he managed to get Malfoy into the shack to confront him away from the teacher’s and any other gossip hungry students who would sell the story to the Daily Prophet. I wasn’t there to witness it that day, so I don’t know exactly what happened. Albus doesn’t talk about it in detail and I’ve never asked Scorpius. All Albus ever told me was that something happened that proved to him that he could trust Malfoy and we should all do the same. The two were fast friends and I was right, Al and I were never as close. The rest of us very sceptical of Malfoy and didn’t trust him for a while. Once we seen him with Rose and joke around with Al though, we couldn’t deny that he had changed. That Rose had changed him and he wasn’t the bad guy we all had thought he was. That’s when he became Scorpius to me- when I knew I could trust him and that he had changed.
I looked up from watching my shoes to looking at her sheepishly. I didn’t like to talk about it. It was a sore subject. I lost my two best friends because of it. Al, Rose and I were no longer as close and instead Scorpius had unintentionally taken my place. Sure we were all still friends but it wasn’t the same. I suppose that was why I had asked out Alexis in the first place, to prove to myself and possibly Al that I could still call the shots. I would never tell her that though because truthfully I was starting to like her and lately I hadn’t been faking kisses and lying to her. I knew she stil loved Al and I felt bad that I was being selfish with her- keeping her away form Al because it was what I wanted- and it wasn't fair. In truth I had only asked her because Al didn’t want me to and Lexi could never find that out.
“I really didn’t want to like him at first,” He laughed briefly. “After everything with Rose, and I guess my ego got in the way a bit. She’s happy though and he’s good for her. I’m over it but it’s still weird calling him Scorpius and not Malfoy.” he chuckled briefly. “So there you have it the very long story of how it all happened.” He finished his butterbeer and looked over at me with a measured expression. As he had told me the story we had made our way to the three broomsticks in desperate need of heat.
“So I’ve told you my most dramatic break up, tell me about yours.” He said nervously as he shoved his hands deeply into his jeans pockets. My eyebrows rose slightly in shock before I shook myself slightly and sighed.
“His name was Ross Duncan and we dated for seven months in fourth year. I was young and naïve back then and I had convinced myself that I was going to marry him some day. I found out he had been sleeping with Molly Tyler- one of my best friends- behind my back the whole time we were together. I hexed him to have extreme incurable acne and everyone found out about what he did. He left school at the end of that year and didn’t come back. Last I heard of him was that he went off to Durmstrang and I never talked to Molly again.” I smiled lamely not knowing what else so do. (Remember when I said I could get extremely socially deficient on dates? Well your about to find out why.)
“What about Al? I know that you dated over the summer.” He blurted out, before his face turned extremely red from embarrassment and I could tell he had wanted to ask me about this for a while.
“Dated, yes for like two weeks but I wouldn’t call him my boyfriend. For lack of a better term I would have to call it more of a fling type thing, but even that doesn’t seem to fit…” I trailed off awkwardly. I didn’t want to be talking about Albus to Ben. This was dangerous territory.
“Tell me about it. How you met, why you broke up.”
Only I could end up talking to my new boyfriend about the boy I still love while we’re our first date.
“Why are you asking me this?” I whispered weakly. I knew that he already knew the answer to his question.
“I’m just curious. I like you Lexi but I feel like I don’t know that much about you. I just spilled my heart out here telling you all about how my girlfriend cheated on me with my worst enemy who is now one of my best mates. I just don’t understand how you can be so friendly after what was apparently quiet a bad break up. I know that beside Rose the only ex I’ve ever had can’t even look at my without sneering at me.” he said, not realising the difference between the two relationships. Ben and Rose never loved each other so just feel weird around each other but I loved Albus and he loved me and because of that neither of us could stay away. Drawn together like magnets and pushed apart by reality.
“Exactly, sounds like you and Rose had a bad breakup and you guys are still close.” I said trying to distract him.
“Not as close as we used to be.” he said informatively but there was an undertone of sadness laced throughout his voice.
“You really want to talk about this on our first proper date?” I asked reluctantly and he nodded. How do I get myself into these situations?
“Well, we met on the beach. Yeah I know that sounds clique. He hit me on the head with a ball, tried to blame it on James and then we got to talking. One thing led to another and he asked me out. We had fun for two weeks. Then his holiday ended and he went home.” I said casually. Ben looked at me as if to say “come on, really?”
“Come on, you talk about it like it was nothing which I know it wasn’t because when I first asked you out Al could hardly look at me. I know he loved you” He pushed and I flinched at his used of the pasted tense. He couldn’t possibly know that Albus still loved me and how much I still loved him.
“And how would you know that?” I asked frustrated. I didn’t want to be talking about Albus like this. It hurt too much and I was running the risk of letting slip to Ben that I still loved him.
“It took some convincing but I managed to squeeze it out of him last week when I confronted him on why he was so pissed at me lately. Albus told me everything.” my face started to flame with embarrassment as I caught what he was insinuating when he said everything.
“Does he have to tell everyone we know about that? I mean I don’t see what the big deal was, it’s just sex.” Ben chocked on his saliva and gawked at me.
“But it was you and Al’s first time. Doesn’t that mean anything to you?” he sputtered.
“Yeah it matters to me, but I don’t see why everyone else cares. And besides, it wasn’t my first time ever, just my first time with Albus.” I said flippantly before realising what I had just said made me sound like a slut and I blushed furiously again. I really need to think before I speak. “Look, can we not talk about this right now. It’s not exactly the most pleasant part of my past.” I said and my eyebrows pulled together as I glanced at him with a pleading look. He nodded and stood up from the table.
“Come on, I’ll take you to Honeydukes.” He smiled and offered me his hand and we walked out of the pub together. The date went downhill from there. After our conversation in the pub I could get Albus off my mind. I kept feeling like I had made a horrible mistake in deciding to continue dating Ben. Albus was still single and had told me that he wanted to be with me. And I wanted to be with him. These thoughts kept swirling in my head and although I was with Ben as he dragged me through every shop Hogsmeade I wasn’t conscious of what he was saying to me and I could bring myself to really pay attention to him.
“You’re not into this are you?” he said glumly staring ahead towards the turrets of the castle- I hadn’t even noticed that we had started walking back.
“What? Oh, sorry no, I guess I’m just distracted. I can be a bit “closed book” sometimes.” I said quietly as I ducked my chin and moth into the collar of my jacket and shoved my hands into my pockets.
“No, that’s not it. I can tell when someone doesn’t like me like that Lexi. You’re not into it, and that’s fine.” He smiled sadly but his portrayed something else that I didn’t understand.
“Ben, I…” but he cut off any ridiculously lame excuse I could have come up with. I was so confused. In Hogsmeade I had wanted this to happen but now that was happening I couldn’t help but feel sad and helpless and almost…rejected? I did like Ben a lot. He’s sweet and kind and charming. I was conflicted between being happy that I could be with Albus and sad that it was over with Ben.
“It’s fine Lexi.” He suddenly smiled. A guarded and fake smile that I could tell he was putting on for my benefit but his eyes still gave him away. “Friends?” he extended his arms to me as we stood in the entrance hall and I walked into them automatically. Slow he ducked his head to my ear and whispered gently “Give me some time before you go back to him? I don’t think my ego could take it if looked like you chose him over me.” I stood there rooted to the spot and stared at him with wide eyes as he walked across the entrance hall and through the doubled door into the loud Great Hall.
Sorry, Sorry, Sorry!!!! I know that it has been like over 2 months since I updated this story. I know- I suck. I just couldn't bring myself to write this chapter. Everytime I was close to the end I would delete the whole thing because it was like a chapter of dialogue. I finally just decided to through in a little Ben POV to avoid that. I know its still mostly dialogue but trust me it could have been alot worse. Anyway I am finally happy that the story is starting to get back on track as it went kind of wonky there for a bit.
Anyway, thanks for coming back to read and i hoped you like it. Please leave a review and tell me what you thought or what you want to happen. I tend to right better when I know people are waiting for a chapter :) Hint hint, wink wink!!!
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