Chapter 3 : Complication #3
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Chapter image by VermillionDream @ TDA
Complication #3: If you want to weave a web of lies, be careful not to get caught in your own trap.
I survey myself in the mirror, pouting my glossy berry-red lips at my reflection. It took a little more effort than usual, but I look great; there’s no bloodshot eyes or sunken skin as evidence to the fact that I cried myself to sleep last night.
Today is a new day.
I flip my hair over my shoulder and leave the bathroom behind, knowing I need to get to King’s Cross soon anyway.
“Abigail! We need to get going!”
Alas, the rare father-figure finally makes his appearance. You’d think, considering I spent the majority of the summer at my mother’s house, he’d be a bit more chuffed to see me, but that is obviously not the case.
“I’m coming!” I reply sharply, grabbing my wand off my bed and enchanting my trunk to float behind me.
I make my way down the stairs, to see both my father and Diana standing there, dressed smartly. Circe, if Diana’s coming, I really need to do everything I can to keep the two away from each other. A confrontation between the two is the last thing I need at the start of my seventh year.
Considering the horrible ending to my summer, the rest of seventh year had better make up for it.
The station is packed with countless students and their respective parents. I look around, surveying my classmates.
Some are crying, either out of happiness to be reunited with their friends or out of sadness to be leaving behind their parents. Some are screaming like banshees, attacking each other in embraces and squealing about their summers. Others are just looking around awkwardly, having found no one to sob or shriek about.
Honestly, the students of Hogwarts are like wild animals.
At the center of the pack are four boys – the GryfFITdors, as they’ve been christened by the school – honestly, whoever came up with that name needs to be smacked over the head with The Monster Book of Monsters repeatedly. I hope it bites their head off in the process.
The “Fits” consist of Alistair Avery, Simon Crosby, Weasley, and their ringleader, Potter. The four are creating all sorts of raucous on the platform, surrounded by their own little audience. I’m yet to see what’s so interesting about these boys, because, yes, they’re quite good-looking, but their combined maturity totals that of an eight-year-old.
I see Brooke walk by, and she flashes me a brief smile before mouthing that she’s going to reserve our compartment. She’s already severed her ties with her parents, so she doesn’t really have anyone to say goodbye to at the station. Not that she minds, of course.
I scan the crowds again, and my eyes find my mother, who’s expertly navigating through the throngs of people, coming directly towards us.
Oh no. That’s not happening. I rush forward, pushing myself into the crowd until I end up in front of my mother.
“Hi, mom!” I say with forced cheerfulness. “I’m so happy you came!”
I’m not sure if I mean that or not, to be honest. Especially as she narrows her eyes, and replies, “Thanks, but I’d like to go see your father briefly while we say our goodbyes.”
I start to panic, and a string of rather un-ladylike words runs through my head as I try to correct the problem.
“You don’t really want to do that, do you?” I question, attempting to block her path. “I mean, there’s many other times you could talk to him, when we aren’t surrounded by all of my classmates, and – “
“I’d like to speak to him now, if you don’t mind,” she interrupts tersely, going around me.
By the time I’ve spun around and chased after my darling mother, she’s already come up to my father and Diana, and is eying Diana warily.
“Is this your newest escort, Robert?” she asks, with a tone of superiority to her voice. My eyes widen in shock from my mother’s insinuation, as do Diana’s.
Unlike mine, however, Diana’s quickly become slits. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her angry, but at this moment, I’m quite glad about it. “What the hell did you just call me?”
My mother purses her lips haughtily. “You heard me.”
I fight the urge to go running in the other direction as fast as my gold wedges can carry me, and instead look to my father for help. He, however, looks just as livid as Diana.
“You have no right to speak to my fiancée like that,” my father seethes.
It takes me a moment to process my father’s words. As they register, I instantaneously look at Diana’s left hand, which is perched on her hip. Sure enough, there’s a massive diamond adorning her ring finger. Well, at least someone had a better night than I did.
“Oh, she’s my replacement?” my mother replies, successfully keeping the surprise in her eyes out of her voice. “I thought the whole point of a divorce was to upgrade, not downgrade.”
I see the vein in my father’s neck bulge, and I know that something major is about to happen – and I don’t want to be anywhere near it when it happens.
I can’t handle this – my parents have fought since before I can remember, but never this publicly.
So I turn on my heel and storm away from the three of them as fast as I possibly can. I climb onto the Express as quickly as I can, but instead of turning in the direction that will take me to our compartment, I turn the opposite direction, fully intending to hide out in the loo while I calm back down.
I’m moving too fast to notice what’s in front of me, and before I know it, I’ve slammed into something solid. The force of the collision sends me flying backwards, and I grab onto a compartment door to prevent myself from falling on my bum.
“Watch it, Winchester!”
I look up to see the last person I want to deal with right now.
“I thought you ‘Royals’ were supposed to be graceful,” he says, smirking.
I straighten myself up and try to push past him. “I’m not in the mood right now, Potter.”
“What?” he asks, faking shock. “No witty comeback?”
“Go away, Potter,” I reply, still trying to squeeze past him in the small corridor.
“Winchester, what happened to you?” he questions, acting for the briefest moment like he cares about what’s going on in my life.
“My wellbeing is nothing of your concern, Potter,” I state. “Now go rejoin your pack of lions and let me be.” With that, I finally navigate around him and find the loo.
I lock myself in the small room and clutch the edges of the sink like they’re my only life support. I always though that, over the years, my parents’ bitter rivalry would fade away, and they’d just dislike each other from a distance.
As was shown by today’s episode, their hatred for one another has only magnified over the years.
I rake my hand through my hair, not really caring that the stick-straight locks are no doubt sticking out at odd angles now. I bite my lip, convincing myself that I’m not going to cry. Once in the past 24 hours is already too much.
While I’m happy for my father and Diana, I can’t help but feel a little regret too, because his remarriage is the final step, the one that seals the deal that there is no hope for my parents to ever get back together.
I tell myself constantly that my parents will never get back together, and to hope for such a thing is a foolish and stupid waste of time, but I can’t help but feel that little touch of happiness when I think of what it would be like to have a real family again. One that isn’t dysfunctional beyond all normal capacity and believes monetary investments equivalent to actual affection.
I pull my thoughts away from that, and instead focus on this upcoming year, taking deep calming breaths as I do so. I’ll pass my N.E.W.T.s with flying colours, Blaise and I will finally have that romantic night, and the Royals and I will continue to dominate the school. I couldn’t ask for anything better.
Once I’m sure that I’ve pulled myself together, I face my reflection in the mirror, fixing my hair and pinching my cheeks to help return some of the colour that has drained out of my face.
I leave the loo and make my way to our usual carriage: it’s the fourth one on the right, and it’s been ours since second year – and everyone knows to stay away from it.
It’s a great thing, to be feared by the school. While the students of Hogwarts respect us, they’re not stupid enough to cross us. We have more power than even some of teachers, and can really make a person’s life become torture. I can’t say that we haven’t done that before, actually, because it’s actually happened on quite a few occasions. Thus, no one wants to make us angry.
I find the carriage, and slide the glass door open, revealing two out of three of my friends sitting in the compartment.
“Where’s Caroline?” I ask, confused by the fact that the train leaves in five minutes and I still haven’t seen her yet.
“She’s still saying ‘goodbye’ to her parents,” Scarlett answers, pointing out the window, where I can see Caroline talking to her mother.
Caroline has always been extremely close with her mom and her little sister, Holly. Their father left them right before Holly was born, and it’s made Caroline fiercely protective of her family.
It also explains why she really dislikes Muggles – her father was one, and when he discovered that she and her mom were magical after Caroline showed her first signs of magical ability, he ran for the hills, leaving behind a ten-year-old daughter and a very pregnant ex-wife.
I know I should be grateful that at least I’m in contact with both of my parents, but I can’t help but feel a little envy for the close bond Caroline has with her mother and sister.
At the last second, she hugs her mother and hurries towards the train, which looks fit to take off at any moment now.
Right as the train lurches forward, Caroline slides the door open and sits down across from me, not looking at all like she had to scurry as fast as she could to get on the Express. After all, that’s what the four of us are know for – looking gorgeous despite anything else that might be going on around us.
“So,” Brooke begins conversationally, “how did your nights go?”
Scarlett shrugs noncommittally. “I ended up staying home last night, you know, catching up on beauty sleep, and the like.”
I watch as both Caroline and Brooke frown sympathetically, and I try to twist my face into a likewise expression, even though I’m secretly reveling in the fact that I wasn’t the only one without a date last night. I feel bad for her, obviously, but misery loves company.
“But I’m not the important part,” she says, a smile growing on her lips. “I know we all care more about Abigail’s night than anyone else’s.”
In life, you often end up at a crossroads, in which one direction points the “noble” way, and the other one points the “satisfying” way. These are the choices that really define who you are as a person and say a lot about what you really value.
Forget what’s “right.” I value saving face much more than any sort of morality.
So I plaster a smile on my face and say, “It was absolutely amazing – hands down the best night of my life.”
Caroline claps her hands together giddily. “I’m so happy for you!” she squeals. “You two are the most perfect couple ever!”
The fake smile becomes genuine as I join in on my friends’ excitement. I begin to tell myself that I really did sleep with Blaise last night – after all, if you believe your own story, it automatically becomes more realistic, right?
I listen as Caroline talks about the boy from the Slytherin Quidditch Team that she went dancing with last night. Apparently, the two of them were the only people under 30 there, and she was hit on by a married 30-something while her date was standing right next to her. She’s decided that even though it was a fun night, she doesn’t really want to date the boy. But that’s always how Caroline has been – she’s pretty distrustful of men in general thanks to her idiot of a father.
Brooke apparently went out on a boat with her date, a Muggle boy who she met while wandering in downtown London. He apparently goes to a very posh boarding school, and their night was spent toasting champagne and watching the fireworks that people were setting off on shore.
The compartment door slides open, and a familiar brown-haired boy peeks in. “Abigail?” he asks tentatively. “Can I speak to you outside?”
“I’d love to,” I reply, laughing as my friends all shoot me meaningful looks.
I step outside of the compartment, coming face-to-face with Blaise.
“Look, I’m sorry about last night,” he starts. “I just got caught up in – “
I cut him off mid-sentence with a deep kiss. He responds briefly before pulling away. “So you’re not mad?”
“Of course not,” I reply seductively, tracing my finger down his shoulder.
That’s a horrible lie. I’m still furious that he abandoned me, but I’m not going to show it – especially not when I know my friends are probably trying to see what’s going on.
Plus, I have to let go of this if I’m going to move on and enjoy my last year, so I fully plan on forgetting what really happened last night, and substituting it with my own fabricated story.
“Well, that’s good,” he states, before kissing me again.
When we finally pull apart, he says, “I’m going to make it up to you, okay?”
I smile up at him, my buried anger dissipating. “Okay,” I reply softly.
With that, he turns down the aisle and starts heading back to his compartment, while I go back into mine.
I settle back into my seat, feeling very satisfied. Caroline, Brooke, and Scarlett all laugh at my dreamy expression, obviously not having heard a word of our conversation, or, at least, not enough to understand it. They’ve fully bought my story, and everything has been resolved.
This school year is starting off better than expected.
A/N: I'd love to hear what you think about the story so far in the little grey box below! I mean, look at the cute little thing, just begging to be filled with words and opinions! :P
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