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Chapter 12 : Guilt, irritating relatives, and shock
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Hola! I'm here with another chapter amigos! This one is from Al's pov (I know, I'm glad too) and I really hope you like it!! as always, r&r
“Hey” I heard a voice call out to me, and I stopped in my tracks.
“Where have you been?” panted Dana, rushing to catch up to me.
“Just around” I said, not quite meeting her eyes.
I seemed incapable of looking into anyone’s eyes these days, ever since...
Don’t think about it.
I warned myself, before I could end up thinking about what almost happened on Christmas day, and worked myself into an unexplainable rage, which is why currently Lily was mad at me, and everyone was giving me a wide berth including...
No. Don’t think about her.
I stopped myself, concentrating instead on the way back to my Common Room, which sadly enough, I could find with my eyes closed and hands gagged.
Which also essentially meant that, I didn’t have much of a choice other than to brood over...well...you know...
“Hey” Dana said, putting her arm on my arm, stopping me once more, and made me turn around.
“Are you alright?” she asked, her voice laced with concern.
“Yeah” I replied gruffly, though I didn’t retract my arm from hers.
“C’mon Al” she said, quietly chastising me, “I know you well enough to know when something is bothering you. You know you can talk to me about it, right?” she said.
I finally looked up at her and met her warm brown eyes filled with concern for me. I knew she was worried about me, and I really appreciated her giving me my space for so long.
It had been two weeks since we returned to Hogwarts, and I know I’ve been erratic and moody and generally not the best company in the world, but she had stuck through it all, never complaining once, and she had my back through the whole thing, telling people off for bothering me and trying her best to keep me from doing stupid stuff.
But I also knew that when she had decided to come and talk to me about it, I must have finally tested her patience, and needed to get my hold back on things. I also knew that, if I didn’t talk soon enough, she would go and ask her if she knew what was wrong with me, and also that Dana was shrewd enough to figure out the cause for my behaviour.
I’d be surprised if she didn’t already know.
“It’s me, Al” she urged “Talk to me”
Confession time: I felt guilty as hell not confiding in her.
But what was I supposed to say?
That I invited her best friend to my house not as an act of kindness like all of them believed, but as a slip of my tongue? That I was really glad when she finally showed up? That her advice on my parent’s gifts meant so much to me that I didn’t even think twice about it? That I was angry she seemed to be on much better terms with everyone but me? That she didn’t seem to be affected by me when I was obviously affected by her? That whenever I looked at her, I seemed to be losing myself in her sea-green eyes that always seemed to sparkle? That I loved the tiny dimple that flashed at me when she smiled? That her laugh was the most wonderful thing that I’ve ever heard? That her tears tore through my heart and made me want to hold her and say everything was going to be alright? That I fucking made a move on her, and Rose had spoilt the moment, which was why I was shut up like this?
I didn’t know what to tell my best friend, and I was confused as to why my thoughts of this girl, the girl who had been nonexistent in my life few months back, were predominant in everything I did and why her opinions mattered more to me that everybody else’s combined.
I didn’t know what my feelings towards her were; and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to find out.
So, instead of coming out right and telling Dana, I took a deep breath, hitched a smile on my face (which I’m fairly certain she saw through) and said, “Nothing Dan, I’m fine” and made my way through the portrait hole.
I heard her sigh behind me, and I’m pretty sure her restraint would crack soon.
I just wasn’t sure what I would do when that finally happened.
I heard the hissing sound, and I turned around to see everyone buried in their cauldrons. It was almost the end of Potions, and I was just finishing up my somewhat-watery sky-blue Draught of Peace. The stupid damn potion wouldn’t change to turquoise, and I’ve been working on it for the past 15 minutes.
I heard another hiss, and checked my cauldron for leaks.
Maybe that’s why the stupid damn thing wouldn’t change colour.
I muttered a few choice words and waved my wand over and over, and the annoying potion resolutely stayed sky-blue.
Holy Fucking Merlin, can’t anything in my life go right?!
I was already stuck in double Potions, my least favourite class, working on the most difficult and annoying Potion ever, and my damn cauldron had supposedly sprung a leak.
“Ow” I exclaimed, as a carefully wadded parchment hit me squarely on the back of my head, before bouncing into the fire. Everyone turned to look at me, a few frowning when I interrupted their concentration.
“Sorry” I muttered “Got burned a little”
I got several disgusting looks in return.
Yeah, I’m the most-cared person at Hogwarts.
Life’s a bitch, bro.
I turned around once more, to find my brilliant brother James and his brilliant aide Fred, beckoning me through the window. I glared at them, and they made fast motions with their hands, indicating that it was urgent. I shook my head at them and looked pointedly to the front, where our Potions Professor was making rounds, seeing if we were finished. They started mouthing what I’m pretty sure were profanities, with several rude gestures, and I thought it was safe if I just went and saw what those tossers wanted.
“Is there a problem, Mr. Potter?” came the icy voice of Professor Marvin Bethesda, our Potions Master.
“Um, no sir, I mean” I corrected, as another wadded parchment hit me in the head, “Yes, Professor. May I be excused?” I asked.
Rose and Dana looked at me curiously. I shook my head lightly to indicate that I would tell them later. And by later, I mean when I’ve successfully murdered Fred and James and I’m in hiding from Nana and Mum for murdering my brother and cousin.
“On what grounds would you prefer to be excused, Mr. Potter?” asked Professor Bethesda, glaring at me over the top of his glasses.
“Um, bathroom sir” I said, making my face as sheepish as possible and I could see Rose rolling her eyes at my lame excuse.
He continued to glare at me, and finally decided his life would be better if I left early (the feeling was mutual) and said, “Very well. The class is almost over, you can bottle a sample of your potion and place it on my desk. I will grade it over the weekend” and turned to check the work of McLaggen, who smirked at me.
I quickly bottled it, cleared my things and rushed out as fast as possible to find James and Fred clucking in disapproval at my lame excuse.
“That’s a lame excuse, bro” said Fred, shaking his head.
“Yeah, mucker. Haven’t we taught you anything at all in all these years?” asked James, looking disappointed and disgusted at my lack of lying ability.
“Well, you can take you teaching and shove it up your-“ I started angrily, when I was interrupted by Fred, “Okay, okay. Chill, bro”
“Why did you pull me out of class?” I demanded angrily, sounding like a complete nerd.
“Whoa! You sound like a complete nerd, bro” said Fred, creepily echoing my thoughts. Maybe we had similar thinking?
That is one disturbing thought.
“Yeah, how am I related to you again?” said James, effectively annoying me.
“What do you want?” I snapped at them, my temper rising.
Didn’t they know that I was as inflammable and ready to lash out like a Blast-Ended Screwt these days?
“Alright, alright! Don’t lash out like a Blast-Ended Screwt” said Fred, once more echoing my thoughts.
“Listen, mucker” said James, putting an arm around me and leading me along the corridor, his voice all serious.
I frowned. James never gets serious. I mean, never.
“I got summat to tell you” he said, exchanging a glance with Fred.
“Okay...” I said slowly, dragging out the word, curious.
They kept exchanging glances at each other all the way, and we finally ended up on the way to the Astronomy tower. Before we climbed up, they took me to a small niche and stood in front of me, the expressions on their faces uncannily serious.
“Alright, I’ll bite. What’s happened?” I asked.
“If you guys did something stupid again and want me to talk to Mum-“ I began, my voice slightly exasperated, when they cut me off saying, “No!”
I raised my eyebrows at them.
“Well, yes” admitted James, and I rolled my eyes, “But that’s not the problem here!”
“It’s not?” I said, curious.
“I mean, yeah it is a problem, but we’ll come back to that later” said Fred, grinning like an idiot.
I rolled my eyes once again. The levels of their stupidity never cease to amaze me.
“Get on with it, I haven’t got all day!” I said, my exasperation showing in my voice.
“Oh for the love of all that is Merlin’s creation!” I exclaimed, making past them, when they grabbed me and pushed me against the wall.
I glared at the pair of them.
“Okay, the thing is..” started Fred
“Yeah, the thing is...is that...”continued James, “Well you can understand that it’s a bit difficult for us to do this..”
“Yeah, and we don’t like it any better than you do..” said Fred
“I mean it literally kills me to be asking you this..” said James
“We want to ask you a favour!” they finished together, looking equal parts apologetic, disgusted, pleading and pleased.
Well, that was always a mood-booster.
To know how much I’m needed by the way.
I narrowed my eyes, and asked, “A favour? But why me?”
They exchanged another glance and said, “You can’t tell anyone about this”
“Yeah, yeah sure” I said easily.
“It’s about Ian” said James, his expression sad.
“What?” I exclaimed “What happened to Ian? Is he alright?”
I was concerned for my team-mate.
“We’re not entirely sure” said Fred, nauseated.
“Look you guys, if he’s sick or something then you should take him to the hospital wing”
“Well, he is sick” accepted James, “though not the kind you might think”
Oh please, please, let it not be one of those sexual diseases!
I hope to Merlin’s extended clan that it should be anything but that!
“We think he’s in love” said Fred, adopting a voice which was better suited for death-beds.
“Love?” I asked incredulously.
The nodded solemnly.
“Why are you idiots standing around like you’ve been given a death sentence?” I asked, furious with the pair of them, “Ask him to go ahead with it!”
They exchanged another glance, and I suddenly found myself suspicious.
“Wait a minute...why do you need my help with this?” I asked, giving the pair a look, “Who’s the girl?”
“See...” dragged Fred, “That’s the clinch”
I merely waited for him to continue.
“It’s Dana” finished James, as I felt the shock course through me and root me to the spot.
Maybe I do wish it was one of those sexual diseases.
“Listen, Ian, just go for it mate” said Fred, gently cajoling him.
“Yeah, I mean, she’s a great bird-I’m sorry-woman” corrected James, as he earned a glare from Ian for belittling his ‘woman’.
I just stayed silent.
We were up in the Astronomy tower, and it was past dinner time. My stomach was grumbling, but I ignored it.
I was still in shock.
I mean, when I thought about it, Ian was a great guy, and Dana was an amazing person, and they deserved each other. They would be so great and so happy together, right?
I didn’t know why, but I had a very unsettling feeling about all of this.
I knew Dana liked Ian, but I wasn’t sure if she had something special for him, and I didn’t want Ian to do something stupid and end up hurting the both of them, and making things so awkward that they couldn’t even be in the same room together.
I know I sound like a pessimist right now, but I was just looking out for my best friend and my team-mate.
It would not make my life any easier if they hurt themselves, I cared about them.
Which is why I chose to remain silent, and which is why Ian kept glancing at me from his position, where he was sitting with his back to the wall, legs pulled up and head between his hands. He kept grabbing at his hair. I’m guessing the news that he liked Dana came as much of a surprise to him as it did to me.
He looked at me once more, and Fred and James turned to look at me.
“What are you looking at me for?” I asked, surprised.
“Look, Al” said Ian, “I know this must be hard on you-“
“What is it that you want from me?” I demanded, “My blessing? Or my consent? Whichever it is, I’m sure it’s not required, ‘cause I’m not your keeper and neither am I Dana’s. What you guys choose to do is up to you” I said.
“I get why you’re angry, mate” said Ian, and stood up next to me, “And I understand how you’re feeling right now. It is huge to handle, and it is pretty shocking. But I want you to know, I’m not planning on just going out with her and dumping her. I like her” he emphasized, “I really like her, and I can’t imagine being without her. I don’t even know if she likes me back that way, but I don’t want to make a move on her if you aren’t okay with it. I respect the brocode man, and I wouldn’t want to mess things between us just by going out with your best friend” he finished, looking at me intensely.
“I just don’t want either of you to make a wrong choice, and end up being miserable” I said, justifying myself.
I don’t care if I sounded selfish and pessimistic, I’m looking out for the both of you-mental voice.
Maybe I’m even being realistic.
Ian sighed, “Look man, if you don’t want me to, I’ll drop it, I swear”
“It’s not like that, bro” Fred said, giving a worried glance.
“Yeah, Al doesn’t mean that, does he?” James threw me a pointed glance.
Maybe he was looking out for his best friend and team-mate too.
He could sense that Ian was obviously miserable, and he could see that Ian was confused and he was still big enough to make an effort to talk to me about it and make sure he didn’t step on any toes and ruin other people’s relationships. Ian was obviously taking such a huge effort because he was serious about this.
As that realization stuck me, I was astonished and pleased that he had been mature enough to do something like this.
I could see why he’d be good for Dana.
When did I arrive at this conclusion?
What the hell is wrong with me?
Merlin’s Beard, I need to pull myself together.
Or let yourself acknowledge what you’ve known all this while. That Ian and Dana would make a nice pair.
Shut up, brain.
You can sulk about this for a long while, and then give in, or you can give in now graciously. You and I both know you’ve already made your decision. No need to be a baby about this.
Sometimes, I really hate my brain.
Especially when it was right.
“Alright” I sighed, giving in.
I’m such a wuss.
“Thank you” said Ian, giving me a man-hug, while Fred and James whooped.
“But if you ever hurt her Cooper, you have me to answer to” I ended, glaring at him.
“Point taken, mate” said Ian, “And don’t worry, if I do something stupid, she is not the only person I’ll end up hurting” he said.
I nodded, and an understanding passed between us.
“Now” said James, with relish, rubbing his hands together like a villain from the old Muggle movies we used to watch when we were little.
I rolled my eyes at his theatrics.
“All we have to do is make Ian ask Dana out!” said Fred, clapping his hands in glee.
I’m pretty sure he needs to re-evaluate his sexual orientation.
“Oh no!” said Ian, horrified at the thought “No no no no no!”
“C’mon mate!” cried James, “Grow a pair and ask the bird-sorry, woman-out!”
“But how?” cried Ian, “I don’t want to do something stupid and be a laughing stock! I want to do this the right way! I can’t mess this up, not with her! How do I do it?” he gazed pleadingly at me.
“Whoa!” I said, putting my hands up “I said I’d be supportive mate, but ain’t this taking it a tad too far?”
“Oh C’mon Al, please? You’re her best friend, you know what she likes!” said Ian, continuing to give me his pleading look.
“Nu-uh” I shook my head, “No way, pal. I’m sorry”
“Well..” said Fred, exchanging a glance with James, and he cracked an evil grin “Al isn’t the only person who can help you with Dana”
“Huh?” me and Ian said.
“Yeah...” dragged James, grinning too evilly for my comfort.
“What do you mean?” Ian asked slowly, hope lighting his face like the fucking castle during Christmas.
“There is one person, who knows Dana better than Al” said Fred, giving me a rogue wink.
“Yeah, one person, who understands the situation better, and would be glad to help” continued Fred.
Please don’t let it be her, please don’t let it be her...
“Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” said Ian, his face completely lit now.
I dearly hope to Merlin’s grandmother’s pet puppy that it’s not...
“You could ask Layla!” finished Fred and James triumphantly.
Or you could just kill me here right now.
Hola! It's me again, your brilliant author! (okay, maybe not all that brilliant)
So? How did you like this chapter? do you think Ian and Dana would make a good pair? OR are your going to take Al's pessimistic view on this?? Let me know what you think!! And for that, they have this new, amazing feature called 'review' on hpff!! I'm loving this feature!! So all you have to do is, read my story, click on the tab that says 'review' and type out your thoughts!! Simple, eh??
Anyways, your comments are valued and expected..
Will be back with another chapter soon!!
p.s. I really love reading and responding to reviews ;)
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