Chapter 14 : One of the Good Guys
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For Elizabeth and Sage. For knowing what Ryan and Freddie are going through.
I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t go back into the common room and watch Annie put her legs up on Andrew Parise’s lap. He’d probably go in for a kiss now that he’d seen me standing there in a bowtie with flowers and a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
What was I doing? Did I really think that was going to fix things?
Hell, I didn’t think they were that broken that she was already seeing someone while we were together.
Annie. Annie had already been seeing someone. Sweet, amazing Annie who listened to everything I said. Who kissed me when I was hurt and made me smile when I was sad.
I thought about flying for a while, but Parise had access. I didn’t want him to see me. The house elves were too excited in the kitchens. Everywhere else would probably have a student or Prefect poking their nosy head in.
I shook my head and walked to the statue of the one-eyed witch. Once we had the map, James and I had worked hard on cleaning up the tunnel and getting it ready for all the times we were going to Honeydukes to stake out Zonkos. The people of Honeydukes loved us, especially since we bought a ton of chocolate every time we went in.
I made my way swiftly through the tunnel, abandoning my chocolates and flowers somewhere around the halfway mark. I kept the bowtie though. I liked bowties.
I hated this. I hated feeling like this. Completely miserable and confused and humiliated. She’d done it out in the hallway, but it may as well have been in front of everyone in the common room. They all would know what happened.
I felt like a fool.
And I knew a lot of it was my fault. I knew I should have been more attentive and I should have been open and honest with her, but I was seventeen years old. I was taking these things one step at a time.
Honeydukes was closed and the shop was dark and quiet. I grabbed a few chocolate frogs from a display and tossed some coins on the counter before heading out through the front door with no destination in mind. I just wanted to get out of the castle.
Maybe I could transfer to Hufflepuff.
It was just cold enough to snow and the flakes were large and wet. They landed on my shoulders and nose. I hadn’t grabbed a jacket, so I stuffed my hands deep in my pockets. Music was coming from the pub.
Zonkos was on my left. It was closed and I wished it would stay that way. Gregory was a little shit. He had no idea what was going to happen to him if he started messing with the Weasleys. I would make sure of that. My father worked too hard to have some twittery, greasy-haired git try and take that away from him.
Speaking of grease.
Gregory was pulling his key out of the knob and stuffing it into his pocket. He ran his fingers through his hair, looking stressed. Good.
“Just been through your books?” I called over. My fingers were tight around my wand, just in case. This time he did not have the element of surprise. I should have just hexed him from behind and left him in the snow, but I wasn’t like him. I’d never be like him. Even heart-broken I wouldn’t go that low.
“Ah, Weasley, what a pleasure. Have you re-considered my offer?”
“Heard your stocks aren’t going so well, Zonko.” I didn’t stop walking. “About time to close up shop, huh?”
“I would make the rubber and glue argument, but we all know what your books look like.” He smirked dangerously and moved toward the path where I was. “Let’s discuss this in a civilized manner, shall we?”
“Oh, you mean no attacking other Prefects and threatening in a hallway?”
“You forgot the Quidditch,” he said.
“What Quidditch? We played Hufflepuff.”
Zonko looked over. “Oh, dear.”
I groaned, hand tightening on my wand. “You were responsible for Kennel,” I said.
“Cheers.” He grinned and held up a mock glass. “You recovered quite well, though. I was hoping for a few more days in the hospital wing but it’s clear your entourage thought it would be best to speed your recovery. You had quite an assortment of visitors.”
I didn’t know what he meant by that, but I could only guess he saw Ryan arrive in the middle of the night. I wasn’t too worried about it yet, especially since she and I were both Prefects, but I had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well. Zonko wanted whatever he could get on me and if Ryan was visiting in the middle of the night I could only guess Zonko would love it as ammo.
“I have an assortment of friends,” I said casually. “Have you thought any more about not being a fucking douchebag and just letting things go as they go instead of threatening people and bribing with money?”
“Not at all,” Zonko said with a shrug.
“Marvelous,” I replied. “I think that’s about the end of our civil conversation, don’t you think?”
“Of course not. I’m very interested in your hospital stay after Kennel knocked you out.” He said this almost gleefully. “Did your father come to visit? He looks a bit older, doesn’t he?”
“Funny,” I mentioned. “That’s what happens when you age.”
“Looking a little tired. Your poor mother. Having to deal with a burden like that.”
“I’d rather you not bring up my mother unless you’d like me to discuss the antics of your drunken mother at the Hogsmeade commercial party last year,” I said.
Zonko’s face fell fast. “Listen Weasley,” he snapped.
“You listen, twat,” I snapped, rounding on him. “I’m sick of your shit. Frankly, I don’t have time for this with the rest of the shit going on right now. I’ve had a pretty rubbish day and you are about to get hexed into next bloody week if you don’t step down right now and leave me alone. If you so kindly say one more word about my very patient mother, you are going to learn I did not get my patience from her.”
Zonko, to his own credit, stayed where he was. Even he knew better than to mess with a Weasley when we had a bad day.
I moved past him, wondering if he was going to low-blow hex me from behind, but he didn’t. I kept walking in the snow, moving back toward the castle since no shops were open and the pubs were full of local drunks I didn’t need to be talking to over a few drinks. A few of them may have had connections with Zonko and that was the last thing I needed.
“Weasley?” That voice definitely did not belong to Zonko. I turned and he was gone. He probably took a different way to the castle or went back to the shop to write a letter to Daddy and tell him all about how big-bad Weasley threatened him.
Ryan was jogging up to me. In Hogsmeade. In the dark. What the hell?
Her hair was tied up in a messy way and she had makeup on that accented her eyes. The polo she was wearing looked familiar and she had on a little skirt and her school shoes. “What’re you doing out here? Didn’t you say you had a date?” She wasn’t wearing a cloak.
“What’re you--?” I looked around and swore. “I didn’t wear a jacket. Why are you outside? It’s snowing. You’re going to catch the flu and then throw soup at me when it isn’t hot enough.”
“Chicken noodle,” Ryan said dismissively. She shook her head. “Are you alone?”
I made a face. This was the moment I was supposed to tell her why I was down here alone. Walking through the snow. Seething after my conversation with Zonko. I groaned.
“C’mon. I’m on break.” Ryan hooked her arm through mine and steered me toward The Hog’s Head.
“Break?” I asked.
She moved quickly into the warmth and up a narrow staircase to the right. Upstairs was a small room before a hallway of inn suites. There was a sofa and a coffee table with a pitcher of stale water. She didn’t so much as offer me a glass. It was probably for show.
“Break?” I repeated, flopping down. I couldn’t believe how cold I’d been. My legs were tingly as they thawed.
“I work here a couple nights a week,” Ryan said, shaking her head.
“Why? You’re going to school.”
“I like to keep my options open,” she said sweetly. “Enough about me. Why are you out here alone? Without a jacket?”
I cleared my throat a few times, trying to think of the words. Realistically, it was pretty straight-forward. A few words. A few humiliating words.
“Annie called it quits,” I said.
“In the hallway. She handed me back the flowers and the chocolates, which are now rat-food in the tunnel on the way over here,” I explained. “So instead of going back into the common room to feel like an idiot, I decided to take a walk. I ended up here.”
Ryan made a face. “Did she say why?”
“She’s already seeing someone else,” I said.
“Annie? That tiny little shy thing?” she said. “There’s absolutely no way.”
“Andrew Parise. My roommate and the bloke who wants me off the Quidditch team so bad he’s probably willing to do just about anything. Including stealing girlfriends.” I shrugged.
“Okay.” Ryan nodded a few times and straightened her skirt. “Let’s be logical.”
“Yes, Ravenclaw, let’s do that.” I shook my head. “It’s no matter. It’s over. And I have no idea what to do.” I hadn’t expected to say that, least of all in front of her. I put my face in my hands, frustrated that yet again I had no idea what to do. I could feel the hot sting behind my eyes starting to grow.
“Let’s talk through it,” Ryan said kindly. “What will you miss the most about her?”
That seemed like the worst idea, but I humored her. She was pregnant. If I said no, she may have had a mood swing that caused her to dump the gross water over my head. “Her smile. Her innocence. Her sweetness. The way she made me feel better about things even if she didn’t know it.”
“Are you going to see her a lot? What is she into?”
I shrugged. “I’ll see her at anything Gryffindor-related,” I said. “Meals. The classes we have together. In the common room snogging Parise.”
“I mean what else? She’s not on the Quidditch team, but does she spend time in the library reading or have any activities she fancies? What about her favorite restaurants in the village and in Diagon Alley over break?” Ryan prompted.
I opened my mouth, but then immediately closed it. I considered the restaurants in Hogsmeade. I couldn’t remember if Annie ever mentioned if she had a favorite here.
Or what her favorite food was.
“Too many options?” Ryan made a face.
“Not many,” I replied, finding it a little harder to breathe now.
If we hadn’t discussed favorite foods and restaurants, what about shops? Where did she like to go in Hogsmeade other than the places I suggested and took her? What did we talk about other than the shop and classes and my family?
Other than me?
At what point in our relationship did she ever talk about herself?
At what point in our relationship did I ever ask her about herself?
I couldn’t think. What did I know about her other than common knowledge Gryffindor things? What were her parents’ names? What kind of music did she listen to? What was her most embarrassing moment? How about her pets? Shit, did she even have pets?
“Fred?” Ryan said, nudging my leg.
“I am the worst boyfriend,” I breathed, barely able to believe it as my eyes focused hard on the ugly painting before us. “I knew nothing about her.”
“I’m sure it’s not that bad,” she said.
“Literally. Nothing. LITERALLY NOTHING.”
Her brow raised. “It’s for the best then, isn’t it?”
“I never thought, oh hey I should probably see what the fuck is going on in her life, shouldn’t I? Oh no, I WAS BUSY GETTING PUNCHED IN THE FACE BY A GIRL I KNOCKED UP. BRILLIANT.”
To her own credit, Ryan did not react. She brushed her thumb over my knee a few times. “Did she ever offer up the information?”
“Don’t make it seem like I’m not a shit,” I said.
“You know I think you’re a shit,” Ryan replied. “But if she only asked you about you … what kind of relationship did you really have? Too one-sided, but it wasn’t just your fault. She didn’t seem to have a problem with it. She fancied you too much to care. She practically followed you around all last year.”
“How did you know that?” I asked. I thought back to her and Ollie hanging around with James and me. Ryan wasn’t wrong.
“I’m a Ravenclaw. I’m not stupid. I notice things.” She shrugged. “She was just in love with the idea of you.”
“She wasn’t in love,” I said quickly.
“It’s easy to be in love with an idea,” Ryan said softly and it was her turn to look away. I didn’t know why and I didn’t think it was right to ask.
“You really think it was for the best?”
“Not that my opinion matters much to you, but I do.” Ryan twisted her fingers around her ponytail and fell silent as a guest walked up the stairs and into one of the doors. Once it closed, she looked back at me. “If it was that one-sided, it was going to end sooner or later. Better it ended sooner so you didn’t get more hurt than you are now.” She paused for a moment, but I was holding my breath. “Do you want me to rough up Parise? He looked like a fucking creep. I can take him out of the running if you’d like.”
I shook my head. “If that’s the kind of bloke Annie wants to be with, that’s fine with me. He and I are very different and I don’t want to be associated with him.” I thought about his threats in the pub. I knew he was going to try for a spot on the team and he was going to do anything in his power to get it.
In the same way Zonko was going to do anything in his power to keep us from setting up shop in Hogsmeade.
“Good on you then. Move on. Take it one step at a time and between each step pause to get me ice cream.” Ryan was smiling in the way that made me sure she felt bad for me, but she also wanted to cheer me up. And it was working.
So I did something that was probably really, really stupid.
I told her about running into Gregory Zonko.
“After Annie broke up with you, you came down here and ran into Zonko?” Ryan asked. “You have got to be shitting me. Are there Death Eaters floating around and oh did you also go Bankrupt? What a shit night you’re having. I’ll try not to have mood swings.”
I laughed a little. “He really doesn’t want us here. So much as to make some colorful comments about my mother.”
“Your mother?” Ryan said. “Please let me kick this kid’s ass. Please let me.”
“Are you asking my permission, Davies?”
She paused. “No. Absolutely not.”
I nudged her. “Thanks for making me feel better,” I said. “How late are you working?”
Ryan groaned and checked her watch. “Three more hours. I should get back to the bar. My regulars are probably wondering why ‘the girl with the hair’ isn’t pouring them half-whiskey-half-water anymore.” She grinned devilishly. “You okay going back without an escort?”
“I’ll be okay. I’m just going to warm up for a few more minutes and I’ll head out. Go on and make some money.”
Ryan waved and disappeared down the steps and I heard some drunken men yelling for her.
For some reason, I hated that. I didn’t know why she was working at the pub or at the library but I didn’t like it. She was a student. She shouldn’t have to work unless it was the summer or during break. Not that she needed the extra time to study.
Maybe she was using her spare time to make extra money since she had so much of it. It wasn’t like she could stand around modeling lingerie.
I really needed to get that visual out of my head.
Whatever she was doing working in Hogsmeade, I was glad it was her who found me.
I considered the cold walk back and frowned. Then I put up my feet, set my watch to go off in three hours, and took a nap.
Ryan’s face was a little more than shocked when I sauntered down the stairs three hours later. Most of the men at the bar were shouting unintelligible sentences and slamming empty shot glasses on the counter. It was now someone else’s mess to clean up. She handed a girl her half-apron and grabbed her jacket.
“What’re you still doing here?” she asked, hopping over some shelled peanuts to get to me. “I thought you went back.”
“Didn’t want you walking in the dark,” I said, shrugging.
“I don’t need—“
“I don’t remember asking,” I said, smirking as I held the door for her.
“Don’t you go falling in love with me now that you don’t have a girlfriend,” Ryan said with narrowed eyes. “I don’t do guys that fall in love. It’s inconvenient and annoying.”
“You’re such a charmer,” I muttered. “I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that, especially since you’re impossible.”
It was still snowing, a little harder now. An inch or so was stuck to the grass and a dusting clung to the path. The trees were brushed with white.
“So why do you work at The Hog’s Head?” I asked as we walked.
“I like the tips,” she said matter-of-factly. “And I don’t have to show my cleavage to get them. I just have to get the drinks.”
“So you do it for fun?” I asked.
“That’s not an answer.”
“Just like it’s not your business.”
I nodded. Time to back off. “Want to go to the kitchens and steal ice cream?”
“Shit, Weasley, I just got off work and it’s obvious you don’t want to go back to the Tower because you think Parise is going to be waiting up to mock you.” Ryan placed both hands on her hips as she walked. “You’re going to have to face him sometime, aren’t you? He’s your roommate.”
I frowned. “Doesn’t have to be tonight.”
“Are you seriously going to guilt me until I help you avoid him a little longer? You know how I feel about helping Gryffindors.”
“What about your baby daddy?”
“I hate you more than I ever have,” Ryan muttered. “Fine. Ice cream. But extra fucking sprinkles or I’ll kick you in the mouth.”
We ate ice cream for a while, sitting on the counters and making a mess when it started to melt. She even threw a spoonful at my face for asking her if her breasts got bigger (the answer was yes). It was nice, just spending time with her without mood swings and bickering and hating each other. Just two people eating ice cream, one after a shit night at work and the other just off a breakup.
As promised, I provided her with extra sprinkles and I poured way too much chocolate syrup on mine.
“Tell Potter not to worry too much about Kennel,” Ryan said as we were cleaning up.
“Why’s that?” I caught the tub of ice cream she threw at me and raised a brow.
“He’s a Hufflepuff. Just tell him not to worry and the universe will work itself out.”
“Do you believe in all that universe rubbish?”
“Hey. I take Divination.” Ryan smirked and closed the fridge. “Good night, Weasley.” She nudged me with her hip and left through the portrait.
What in blazes was that about?
I finished cleaning up the rest of the ice cream mess before I realized Ryan had never taken Divination. She told me ages ago.
Which is why when James told me Kennel was in the hospital wing the next day I pretended to look confused and happy and even so much as questioned his involvement.
“I was shagging Ollie in the third floor bathroom,” he said. “I have an alibi.”
“Didn’t need to know that.” I shook my head. Mox was in the corner playing with chess pieces, but not actually playing chess. I had yet to see Parise and I assumed he’d spent the night with my ex girlfriend. I hated that assumption.
James gave me a few shots of whiskey to numb the pain and I decided to do exactly what Ryan said. One step at a time. I had to move past Annie and move on with my life. I was not Andrew Parise and if she wanted to be with a sod like that, it was her decision. I wasn’t the best bloke and I could come to terms with that, but it wasn’t entirely one-sided.
And her already seeing him before breaking up with me…
I shook it away. No. I had to worry about learning to be a father. I had to figure out how we were going to win this court case and get WWW into Hogsmeade. I had to make sure Gregory Zonko didn’t get in my way and Andrew Parise didn’t force his way into my spot on the Quidditch team.
There were too many things to think about. I had to move forward.
James clapped me on the back and pointed to the mirror. “You’re single again. You know what single blokes do? Snog single girls and get pissed.” He paused for a moment and slicked back his hair like a Fitzgerald character. “You and me. We’re going to go have some firewhiskey and have a good time. How’s that sound?”
“Like Ollie may lock you in a wardrobe for a few years as consequence,” I replied.
“Ollie doesn’t have to know.”
“So Parise is going to find out and then tell Ollie? You know, he probably doesn’t mind having two girlfriends at a time. As long as they’re friends.” I couldn’t help it.
“Parise wouldn’t dare,” James said.
“Wouldn’t he? I know you’d off yourself sooner than snog another girl, but Parise is pretty good at making up lies. He’s pretty good at telling people what they want to hear.” I sank onto the bed, still unsure of how Annie could be comfortable with a guy like that. Someone who belonged in the dungeons of Slytherin. Any means to achieve his ends.
It was her decision. Her choice. And I was now living with the consequences.
“Can we please get out of here?” James moaned. “I’m sick of watching Dancing with the Chess Pieces over there.”
“Fine. But I’m not drinking too much. I’d rather not have a hangover for class.”
“Isn’t that how you’re supposed to get through classes? Have you seen the essay we’re supposed to do for Potions? No way.” James pulled on a blazer and opened the door. “You need to get away.”
I did. I needed to get much further than the village, though. I needed to go back home or to London or overseas. I needed to be away from here and the chaos that followed wherever I went.
Maybe if I could leave, the chaos would follow again. It would leave my friends and family.
Though I doubted it. So I followed James out (thankfully not seeing or hearing Parise in the process) and down to the village through the tunnel. I didn’t talk much. James spent the journey telling me about an idea for a new product line. I didn’t listen much either.
The pub was familiar. We ordered and drank and made friends with the bartenders. James would always flash his smile and get what he wanted, but he never took it further than that. He had eyes for Ollie and she knew that. She had no reason to get jealous.
Was I a jealous guy? I was more hurt than jealous with Alessandra, considering it was so unexpected. And again with Annie, though I had to take a lot more blame.
Had I been given an opportunity to be jealous in my life? Really, properly jealous as opposed to what I felt for Scorpius Malfoy swooping in like a hawk to steal away my brotherly abilities. The kind of jealous you felt when the person you cared for so deeply was looking a different direction. Or even just not at you.
I couldn’t recall that I had. That I’d felt that intense and burning hatred for someone just because they had something I didn’t. Not like that, anyway.
For James being better at Quidditch than me – sure. For Molly being better at every academic study – of course. But not in a relationship. I’d only been hurt.
There had to have been something wrong on my end. Something I was doing to drive these people away or make them want to see other people. What was it about me that made Annie seek solace in the arms of Andrew Parise? Or Alessandra?
Was I not kind enough? Did I not kiss the right way or smile right? Was I not good enough with parents or flirting?
“You doing all right, Freddo?” James clapped me on the back. He took one of the shots that were slid in front of us.
“All right, thanks,” I said, snapping back into the reality of the pub. James had made friends with a few locals that had to be three or four years older than us. They were lookers with shining green eyes and light, strawberry hair. Each leaned in like James was about to tell them the secret of existence.
Instead, he ordered another round of drinks and the music was turned up.
We danced late into the day even though I didn’t want to be there. I danced anyway and kissed one of the girls against the bar counter. James danced on the bar and took off his shirt, swinging it around his head. We danced until we fell, laughing, into chairs around a bottle of champagne.
What was wrong with who I was?
With Fred Weasley? What was wrong with Fred Weasley?
James uncorked the bottle and it sprayed over us like a summer rain. The girls were dancing in the rain and I could not figure out where I was or why I had never been properly jealous. Why I had never allowed myself to open up and let someone in.
I can’t remember when she came in, but she pulled me upstairs with kind words and kind eyes. She put me in a room and in a bed and ran her fingers through my hair. She kissed my forehead and drew the blankets to my neck. She turned off the lights and told me there was nothing wrong with me.
Or I could have imagined that part.
Ryan had a cup of strong tea waiting when I woke the next morning. She had changed from her work uniform and was sitting on the chair beside my bed.
“Hi,” I said weakly, head pounding. “I have class.”
“I’ve written your instructors and told them you are bedridden under the village doctor’s orders,” she said simply. “I’m amazed you’re alive.”
“You couldn’t string a sentence together,” she replied, pushing the tea toward me. Steam was rising from the top in swirls. “I came in for my shift and you were wearing your jacket as a hat and trying to play music with champagne bottles while your girlfriends watched.”
“What?” I groaned when I remembered the two strawberry girls. I couldn’t remember their names or if they had ever told me. “Godric. I’m sorry you had to see that.”
“I figured you’d lose it at some point,” Ryan said tactfully. “As a general rule, boys don’t take hurt very well. Especially straight-edges.”
“Give me a cigarette. I’ll show you.”
“Shut up and have your tea.” She shot me a look so I did what she asked. “Have you spoken to Annie or Andrew cabbage-face Parise yet?”
“Did you just call him cabbage-face?”
“Have you seen him?”
I considered this. “Most of the girls say he’s a looker.”
“Who are these girls? Do they have brain damage?”
“You’re a very sensitive person,” I muttered, drinking more of the tea and momentarily wondering if it was poisoned.
“Girls only fancy him because he has a way with words,” Ryan explained. “He knows how to say just the right thing to just the right people, which is why he is dangerous. He sugar-coats everything and smiles when delivering bad news. He isn’t used to being told no.”
“What did you do to Kennel?” I asked.
The sides of her mouth curved into a small smile. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“James said he was in the hospital wing.”
“Is that right?” Ryan said. “Well, good. He deserves to spend some quality time there getting to know the bed pans.”
“What did you do?”
“Absolutely nothing,” she said softly. “I’m a woman. I’m a Ravenclaw. I’m pregnant. I work in a library. How could you possibly accuse me of such drama?”
I placed the tea back on the bedside stand. My head was throbbing in rhythm to the clock. “You’re a woman. You’re a Ravenclaw. You’re pregnant. You work in a pub. You’re very capable of putting someone in a hospital wing. I know this.”
Ryan nudged me with her foot. “Gemma did it.”
“She’s capable too,” I said. “What’d you tell her?”
“He made a comment about me being fat.”
“Using your pregnancy,” I said. “Impressive.”
“It’s taken care of. Doesn’t matter how.”
“You’re not fat.”
I shrugged and drank some more tea because why did I have to open my mouth. “Just so you know. Girls always think they’re fat. They never are.”
She raised a brow in a way that suggested she thought I was daft and still drunk. “Look, Weasley. I know you’re used to being the charmer, but you’ve already knocked me up. No need to lay it on thick.”
“I’m not—” I sighed. “I’m just saying. You’re not. You look…” I shook my head. “Thanks for getting Kennel back. I’m sure Zonko won’t be pleased.”
“He won’t be pleased about a lot of things coming up,” Ryan said, though she was still giving me the same look. Like she couldn’t quite figure me out. “Drink your tea. I’m heading back to the castle.”
“Can I walk you back?”
“I’d rather be alone,” she said and with a smile she was gone and the door was closed and I was alone.
They were both there. In the Great Hall. Laughing, teasing. Sharing food.
I should have seen this before it started. Knowing where I was in life. Watching my father struggle over the summer with my mother making lists and overstaying her welcome at the grocery store for some time and clarity.
I shouldn’t have let Annie into my world. It was broken.
She made it seem less broken, though. Like a sheet pulled over my eyes.
Annie looked up from her place beside Parise and her cheeks went red. She looked back down, but stopped laughing. I took my place beside James and Ollie. Suddenly the Gryffindor table was feeling a lot less friendly than it had.
Gee slid into the seat beside me. “Freddo. I heard. I’m sorry.”
“I’m fine,” I said, mostly because it was the only thing I could think of.
“Have you talked to her?”
“What about him?”
“I’d rather not,” I replied.
“Want me to rough him up? I will for you.” Gee leaned her head against my shoulder.
“I appreciate it,” I said with a small grin. “I’d rather just move on and play Quidditch and focus on finishing off this year strong, right? Maybe I’ll actually make it through an entire Quidditch game.”
“Heard Kennel’s in the hospital,” she said. “Nasty bit of work to his face, which I recall him explaining was his ‘money maker’ when he asked me for a date.”
I grimaced. “Sadly, I had nothing to do with it. Though with that explanation, I almost wish I had.”
Gee snickered and nudged me. “Just be single for a while. You don’t need girls if they’re going to hurt you.” She squeezed my arm. “You’re one of the few good guys out there, Fred. Don’t let them change you.”
I looked over and the confusion must have been written all over my face.
“You probably don’t believe me,” Gee said softly. “But everyone else knows.” She kissed my temple and left to go sit with Rose.
I was one of the few good guys out there.
James and Ollie were talking about classes, but I wasn’t listening. Gee’s words were ringing through my head.
Maybe it wasn’t such a horrible thing I hadn’t been properly jealous before. That I hadn’t truly fallen in love, though I thought I had at the time.
Maybe there wasn’t something wrong with me. I just hadn’t found the right person yet.
A/N: Thank you all for reading again! For some crazy reason, after I finished chapter 13 I went on a crazy inspired writing spree and wrote a TON of this story. I can't wait to share it with you!
The updates will (hopefully) be a touch faster now that I've finished Heroes (which, if you're interested, is how the Ang and George from this story got together - humor, romance, sadness, blah blah blah) so there are only three stories to update. I'll do my best! But I'm really excited about what's coming up.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter!
UP NEXT: The appointment. And then something goes really, really wrong.
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