Chapter 5 : Secrets
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“I knew you’d be down here” my thoughts were interrupted. I cringed as I recognised the voice. I’d been avoiding him you see.
“What do you want James?” I asked, half losing the will to live, metaphorically speaking of course.
“Well that’s good at least you’re calling me James instead of Potter”.
“Fine then Potter, what do you want?”
“Ok, I guess I asked for that” I smiled smugly at him.
“So are you going to get to the point or are you just going to stand there looking like a fool” he sat down on the settee next to me and gave out a huge huff. I had a slight feeling of deja vu.
“I’m sorry about yesterday, I shouldn’t have embarrassed you like that. I was out of line”
I laughed “Yes, yes you were”.
“You never told me the reason why you don’t have any friends, you know”
“Because you said you didn’t want to know. You said it didn’t matter that you didn’t listen to idol gossip”
“I know, I know. I’m just curious to how you don’t have friends”
“I used to” I said silently. “I still do” I said quickly “Albus is my friend”.
“My brother?” James laughed.
“Do you know any other Albus’?” I asked.
“Well apart from his name sake no”
We sat there in a comfortable silence.
“I broke it off” James said breaking the silence.
“I broke it off with Charlotte today and with Alice yesterday”
“Well done?” I asked. He laughed. “Can I ask why?”
“My conscience had finally caught up to me”
I gave him a small smile.
“So what’s it like being on the single market for the first time in four years?”
“Incredible, I feel so free” he joked, but his heart wasn’t in it.
“You know you never told me why you did it”
“You’re right I didn’t”
“You don’t have to, you know”
“No I think you should know. Look Charlotte and me we’ve always been seen as the perfect couple we were best friends from childhood and then in third year I started noticing things about her. Mainly the fact that she was in fact a girl but I still noticed. I asked her out and miraculously she said yes. But it got weird. Everyone started expecting things from us. She came over to the burrow for Christmas last year and the whole family were talking about marriage and kids and I don’t know I just flipped. I wasn’t ready for it. I was going through a rough time anyway and well the pressure just got to me. I wasn’t ready for any of it. They expected too much from me and I rebelled at Charlotte’s expense I guess. Do you know how much pressure is on me? Being the Chosen one’s first born. It got to me and I’ve done things I’m not proud of things that follow me from day to day”
Tell me about it, I thought bitterly.
“Did you love her?” I asked.
“I did. I still do but not the same way. I stopped feeling that kind of love a while ago. I just found myself wanting my best friend back”
I nodded thoughtfully.
“How did she take the news?”
“Fine. It was really weird she told me she knew it was coming for a long time. She still wants to be friends” he laughed “she’s too good for me” he laughed again.
“What about Alice?”
“She looked more upset. I think she started to have feelings for me”
“And you didn’t?”
“No, she was always a distraction to me”
“Do you feel bad?”
“Of course I do! I’m not completely heartless”
“Did you tell Charlotte about Alice?”
“No. I wanted to I just couldn’t bring myself to. I didn’t want to hurt her. But part of me thinks she already knew”.
“She’s clever, she’s not head girl for nothing”
“Yeah” he mused. “I’ve told you about my woes how about you tell me about yours?”
“It was in my fifth year, last year. My friend, my best friend Annie Harper” I heard James gasp slightly but I carried on “she persuaded me to take Potions for my owls. I don’t know why” I choked “I was terrible at it. I couldn’t brew a potion for piss but I agreed anyway. It was going fine, she was helping me pass I was gradually getting better at it. One day she actually let me take charge with making the potion she thought she was helping me to get better at it. So I did I made the potion I got the ingredients and I made it. It was during the last few ingredients someone had miss labelled the ingredients it was supposed to be pixie dust to help settle the potion but it wasn’t it was dragon dust. I didn’t know I had no clue. I added it and the potion started bubbling, it went. It went mad Annie pushed me out of the way just before it exploded but it was too late she got the most of the blast” I was crying now but I carried on “Her body covered mind and saved my life. She saved me and I killed her. James I killed my best friend. You ask why people are scared of me. That’s why because I killed someone, I killed Annie. I withdrew from everyone and anyone thinking I was doing my best to protect them from myself. But I couldn’t protect myself from me” I let the tears fall shamelessly. I felt James hugging me.
“It wasn’t your fault” I heard him say. I thought I heard him crying too, but he couldn’t possibly could he? I looked up at him his eyes were wet tear filled. He looked down at me with true despair. “I’m so sorry” he said.
“Why?” I almost laughed “It wasn’t your fault”
“No. It was it was supposed to be a joke. A harmless prank. Freddie dared me to swap the pixie dust with Dragon dust. It was supposed to be for our class not yours”
“What?” I screamed. I ripped myself from out of his grip. “It was you!” I was breathing heavily now looking at him with confusion and pure hatred “You” I repeated. “You killed her” I cried. He didn’t say anything, I saw the hurt and regret in his eyes. This was what tipped him over the edge he knows all of this. I looked at him like how everybody else looked at me, the tears blinded my sight. “I have to go. I’m sorry” I said as I ran as far from the Gryffindor Common room as I could manage. All I could think of was how I had to get away. I needed to breathe. I found myself at the top of the astronomy tower at the edge. I sat down and cried into my hands. I stopped and held the banister in front of me the metal was cold on my hands I stood up and looked over the edge. The night was peaceful.
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