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Chapter 16 : Chapter 15: What Hurts The Most
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Chapter 15: What Hurts the Most
The next day I found myself showering the smell of vomit and the sweat of strange Scorpius-centric dreams off me, brushing my teeth and arriving down in the hall for breakfast at half past 8. Sarah and Dom were the only ones awake from our gang and Dom was sat over with Albus while Sarah strangely had chosen to sit alone, chewing her toast thoughtfully.
"Hello you?" I said uncertainly.
"Hey Ro. You all right?" She asked dully, staring glumly at a plate.
"Yeah thanks, what's up?" I asked, sitting down next to her, though my eyes were searching the hall for either Freddie or Scorpius.
"Good, good. Where's James?" Sarah asked, ignoring my question.
"I don't know. Probably playing with himself somewhere." I said casually, ladling myself some porridge but secretly waiting for her to tell me what was wrong.
"Well" Said a voice behind us "I would be, but there are people looking" Said James as he swung his long legs over the table and sat down opposite us, grinning all over his face.
I laughed and he grinned expectantly at Sarah who was still staring dully at her plate instead of laughing adoringly at his jokes as usual, however bad. His smile faltered.
"What's up sexyboots?" He said to her.
Sexyboots!? What in the name of all that is mental...?
He took her hand over the table. His smile died completely when she pulled her hand from underneath his and rubbed her tired eyes. He looked at me meaningfully and I scowled but he raised his eyebrows pleadingly. I scowled harder but after a second I nodded with a sigh. We are forever having wordless conversations like this. And I always lose the battle.
"Is it about last night? We're really sorry" I asked Sarah gently, glancing at James with a glare. He nodded enthusiastically, but falsely, with a grin on his face.
Her head snapped up and she looked defensive for a second before her face relaxed and she nodded, dropping her toast and rubbing the crumbs off her fingers.
"A bit." She admitted, looking between the two of us seriously.
"Is he crap in bed?" James asked hopefully. He is a new level of insecure – getting her to compare him against Danny.
"No. No of course not," Sarah replied loyally, her eyes twinkling as she smiled slightly.
James shifted in his seat and looked like he was about to leave, when Sarah looked at me again.
"Not experienced, though if you know what I mean" She added. James looked at her, frowning.
"He's a virgin?!" James asked incredulously, looking scornful and ecstatic at the same time.
"Well as of last night, James, no." Sarah replied dryly. James looked grumpy once more. "Hence why I said he's not experienced." Sarah added.
"Neither are you! Experienced that is." He said scornfully. Sarah looked at him as if he was mad. Which he is. Very.
"What makes you say that?" She asked fiercely, stiffening in her seat. James read the warning signs but feigned shocked as he replied.
"Well I was your first wasn't I? So that makes him your second, right?" He said. What he was really saying was 'have you slept with anyone else?' Sarah said nothing.
"Is that right? Have you slept with anyone else?" James asked bluntly with a frown, leaning forward and making sure she held his beseeching eye contact.
"No that's right… Just you and Danny," she said, frowning slightly and like me, wondering where the hell he was going with this.
"So since you were Danny's first and I'm obviously no Don Juan between the sheets, you can't have had enough good sexual experiences to judge." James said as if it was obvious and leaning back in his seat.
Sarah looked down, now shy. Her cheeks were reddening steadily.
"You were fine in bed." She said very quietly.
Now it was like they'd both forgotten I was here. They do this conversation thing that makes it weird for everyone else. And it's always James who initiates it. The weirder thing is that they were never like this when they were going out, maybe because all their feelings were out in the open.
Somebody give me battling a dragon or another awkward conversation with Scorpius over this awkward conversation.
I was starting to get really uncomfortable bearing witness to their closest and most intimate moments – Scorpius and I had enough of our own, and whenever anyone got hurt it made my hormones play up and induce fits of tears in sympathy.
"Didn't quite catch that?" James said convincingly, although I knew he had by the slight twitching of the corners of his mouth.
"I said you were great in bed." She said, slightly louder through gritted teeth, her cheeks rosy with embarrassment.
"Nah I wasn't, I'm so clumsy and I'm sure it was always over too quick for you." He said, waving her comment away but fully smiling now at her praise. However, there was a slight question in his tone, as if wanting confirmation.
"Yeah I suppose that's true." Sarah agreed casually, though she scowled. She watched his face fall and then slammed her hand down hard on the table.
"What is it you want me to say? What is your agenda, James? Do you want me to lie? Because I won't! You blew my mind every single time!" She hissed before grabbing her things and stalking from the hall, leaving James beaming. I turned to him slowly, in disbelief.
After I'd given James a good earful, Becky and Rich had joined us at the table, Becky looking miserable as what was now normal and Rich looked as loved up as he had when they had started going out at age 14. Danny drifted in later and sat opposite James, a dreamy, glazed look in his eyes.
"Hey everyone." He said distantly with a small smile.
"Are you on drugs?" James snapped at him. "Because if you are then you're off the quidditch team." He added bluntly.
"Not drugs. Better" Danny whispered with a faraway smile. James looked him up and down.
"You're off the quidditch team." James said abruptly after a moment of staring at him. Even I forgot my troubles and laughed at my cousin's face.
Danny immediately snapped out of his trance.
"No, no. I'm honestly not on anything!" He said.
"Then what the hell is wrong with you?" Becky asked quizzically. Danny leaned forward and we all instinctively leaned into him.
"Last night I had the best sex of my life." Danny replied, looking even more fresh-faced up close.
"I think you mean the only sex of your life." James said under his breath so only I could hear.
"With Sarah?" Rich asked, eyes wide. Danny nodded and I watched James' face flush angrily.
"Nice one mate, put it there!" Rich said, extending his hand for Danny to shake which he did with a grin. Becky looked irritated, but it was nothing compared to James' expression. I laid a casual hand on his arm.
It was shaking with rage. Oh shit...
"How can it be the best of your life? Aren't you a virgin?" James asked snidely, having decided to actually voice his feelings. Danny looked at him.
"I was, but then last night..." He let out a long low whistle. "It was well worth the wait."
He said, leaning back on his bench and looking pleased with himself.
James leaned back too, literally shaking with anger, dark eyes shining in the light. I watched him closely, I could feel a fight coming and I really didn't like it.
"You all right James?" Becky asked cautiously. I had seen her late last night – she had been very apologetic about her and Dom leaving me with him and asked what had happened... I seemed to have missed out the kissing part when I retold the tale.
"Yeah. I think I've eaten something funny. I'm going to the Hospital Wing, I won't be in Potions." James said and before we knew it, he had stalked from the hall, face red and fists clenched.
I walked along the corridor blindly, I had no idea where I was heading but I ended up in the empty Astronomy Tower. I leaned against the railing and scowled down, breathing hard through my nose.
Not only do I have to find out that the only girl I have ever loved is sleeping with another man, a fucking Greek-god like man at that, but I also have to hear her telling us about it and said man bragging about it over breakfast. Words cannot describe how I feel – it's the weirdest mixture between wanting to punch Danny repeatedly in the bollocks, wanting to passionately kiss Sarah until she realises she loves me again, and wanting to cry like a child for a few hours.
The minute I heard her making the noises I heard last night I just...died. I felt sick to my stomach that it wasn't me bringing that out in her, so angry that it was someone else, and so upset that I could have literally blubbed like a little girl.
The worst part is that she doesn't know how I feel. I wonder how she could be so impossibly blind...the way I feel about her is written all over me – when she walks into a room my whole face lights up like a Christmas tree.
But even if she did know, would it change anything for the better? Would she leave Danny and run into my open arms? I don't think so. I'd be worse off than now because she'd know she was inadvertently the cause of every little bit of hurt I feel...it would ruin her life.
And knowing I could hurt her through my reluctance to let go is what really hurts the most.
"I thought I'd find you here." Sarah said from behind me. I jumped and spun around, wiping the one stray tear of frustration out of my eye. If she noticed she said nothing.
She walked over to me and leaned on the railings and looked out over the grounds with a sigh and I watched her through mesmerised eyes.
"Why would you need to find me at all?" I asked, trying not to sound stung.
"You're acting weird." She said.
"Everyone is." I sighed, thinking of my mental, pregnant cousin, her halfwit boyfriend, the man who had got her into the mess she was in and the now constantly brooding Becky. Dom was the only one who had stayed the same… gobby as ever.
Sarah said nothing, seemingly thinking it over. Her raised eyebrows showed she was reaching the same conclusion as me.
"How was he then, really? Before I interrupted, obviously. Sorry about that by the way." I said to break the long silence. Obviously I was lying – any time I cut short from their sex was fine by me.
Sarah turned around and slid down the wall and I did the same, our knees up to our chests.
"He was... sweet." She said simply, with a small smile. "I shouldn't be talking about it with you...don't you find it weird?" She said, looking at me sideways.
"No. I like to feel a part of things. It's good to feel useful" I said. It wasn't entirely truthful, and I didn't want to know the ins and outs (literally) of their relationship, but I liked her to talk to me.
"Well, you know Danny. He's lovely." She said, shrugging.
I beg to differ on that one.
"You're skirting the issue." I said simply.
"Maybe I am. But sex is sex, a kiss is just a kiss, and-" She caught sight of my expression. I must have looked a sight, but I pushed away the feelings of wanting to jump off the roof of this tower and cleared my face of expression. "That sums it up. It's just different, that's all. I'm used to... a different man." She continued with a small sigh, avoiding my gaze.
"Do you miss me?" I asked in a deeper voice, putting my arm around her gently and moving closer to her. She turned to me.
"What do you mean, Jay?" She asked softly. I got very close, my lips centimetres from her neck and she stiffened but didn't move.
"I mean, do you miss me? Do you miss my lips on your neck?" I breathed against her skin. My hand found the remarkable curve of her waist. "Do you miss my hands on your body?" I whispered.
She laughed and pushed me gently but firmly back. Brilliant, here I am trying to be all sexy and masculine and there she is laughing at me.
"Oh James, you do know how to cheer me up." She said with a relaxed, dazzling smile.
She thought I was trying it on with her just to cheer her up? Well it's not like I'm complaining.
I grinned back but secretly I was thinking how I should have just kissed her when I had the chance. She got to her feet and I scrambled up too.
"I bet you make Amy really happy." She said with a genuine smile. She winked and I was still grinning like an idiot, cheeks flushing again out of embarrassment – why do I do this to myself?
"I'll see you later." She said and she leaned up and kissed my cheek ever so softly, her hand on my chest. She lingered for perhaps a second longer than necessary, or perhaps time just slowed down when she touched me, and then she stepped back.
"Wait, where are you going?" I asked. She turned around at the doorframe.
"Potions. I'll make your excuses for you and say you're ill. I'll see you at the cabin at break, right?" She asked, turning around to hear my answer.
"Yeah, course you will." I said and I swallowed, preparing to say something stupid no doubt. But thankfully she was gone in the blink of an eye and I slumped down again onto the floor.
God, I'm such a bloody fool.
To hear how James feels by this point listen to Feelings by Morris Albert. That is serious ice-cream and crying music right there.
Please review my little readerlings, I won't give you a cookie, but I can promise more chapters (I just finished number 34; I hope you're in the mood for a long fic!)
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