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Chapter 27 : Chapter Twenty-Seven
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I had seen Aaron on the train, in fact I even went and sat with him and his friends for a bit because Hattie was in our compartment drooling over Al. I was thinking back to earlier this morning about how hard it had been saying goodbye to Bentley and Aubri at home, but I didn't want them out in the cold, especially as Bentley currently had one.
I hated leaving them and it made it even harder because of Bentley being ill. All he wants is cuddles and now I'm not there to give them to him or to take care of him, like I should. Dad had driven me to the station, along with Tessa. It was quiet in the car and my thoughts were of home.
Even now that I'm back at school and have been for less than an hour, I still want to go home. I shouldn't have left Bentley like that, I know it's just a cold but I want to be with him and with Aubri, to cuddle them and to read stories.
I sighed and Dom looked at me." You okay?"
I could have asked her the same question, Dom looked tired despite the fact she had used make up to cover the bags under her eyes. And she looked like something was troubling her, I'd have to ask her later of course, when we'd be out of earshot of any nosy kids.
I nodded and forced a smile. "I'm fine, Dommie."
Minnie took to the podium and the hall instantly became quiet. "Welcome back to another term at Hogwarts and I hope you have all had a good Christmas. Those of you in your fifth and seventh years will need to work extra hard as your OWL's and NEWT's are fast approaching."
As Minnie started going through the usual rules such as no taunting the black squid or entering the forbidden forest I zoned out with my thoughts and my heart still at home. I didn't pay attention until Minnie announced, "I am sad to say that our long term Matron, Madame Pomfrey will be retiring at the end of the school year."
The news hit me and I felt sad, I liked Madame Pomfrey and not only had she been there when I told her I was pregnant but she never pressed me about the fact I had to tell Albus. She mentioned it of course, but then she dropped the subject of it. Countless times I've been in the hospital wing and not just when I there to do with my pregnancy for those last few weeks of my fifth year. I've been there for Quidditch injuries, and when I got hit by Peeves back in September.
After a few words from the Matron herself Minnie eventually said, "Let the feast begin."
I turned my attention to the food that had just arrived; steaming hot pots of soup, all sorts of meats and vegetables as well as curries and other dishes from around the world. I piled my plate up with my favourites; chicken, chips, sweetcorn, potato salad and of course stuffing.
I wasn't really in the mood to talk and it appeared that now one else was either. It occurred to me that Rose wasn't sat with us like she normally is and I turned around to scan the Gryffindor table for her. She was sat next to Maya Finnigan, our head girl and opposite Georgia McLaggen. The three of them appeared to be in deep conversation and I wondered why she wasn't sat with us. Had something happened on the train?
In the end I forgot to ask, Dom left the hall just after the puddings arrived and I tucked into a nice slice of strawberry gateau. I know I should have gone after her but Al and Scorp both told me not to. I was left with the boys and of course bitch face but I ignored her and she ignored me so I was fine with it. Al kept turning the conversation to Quidditch and the three of us were soon discussing tactic whilst Hattie sat and stroked Al's hair and then his chest.
I hated her and I wish that somehow she had walked in on at the New Year's party. Maybe then she wouldn't be sat there with such a smug look on her face. I excused myself as soon as Minnie had dismissed us and told us to get a good night's sleep ready for our classes tomorrow.
The common room was in sight and then I realised I didn't have a clue as to what the password was, having not waited for the prefects to arrive. I sighed and just as I was about to walk back to the entrance hall I heard my name.
I span around at the sound of my name to see Aaron coming towards me and I smiled. "Hey."
"You okay?" he asked once he had wrapped his arms around me and I leant into his warm embrace.
"Just tired," I murmured into his jumper as he stroked my hair which was down for a change instead of being in its usual ponytail. Aaron kissed my forehead and then cheek. He slowly placed kisses down my neck and then my collarbone which made me shiver.
He carried on working his way back up to my mouth and his lips brushed mine. I was the one who kissed him back and it soon deepened. I pushed him back against the corridor wall and let my one hand run through his hair. My mind was whirring and my heart was thumping against my chest. I know that before I've said there had been nothing between me and Aaron but this time, this was different and it was taking my breath away.
Aaron was nibbling my lip and it was driving me crazy as our tongues interlocked and he somehow span me around so that I was against the cold stone wall. His hands were brushing the hem of my shirt and then I felt a cool hand on my skin, which made me feel like I was on fire.
It travelled further up and I moaned, "Oh Albus!"
It didn't even register that I said the wrong name and apparently it didn't to Aaron either, as the hand that wasn't occupied was fumbling with something and we stumbled inside.
It took me a minute to realise where we were, the blackness, the smell of bleach and cleaning products. The small space of a storage cupboard, I broke away from Aaron as he was near the door I couldn't find the handle. I started to panic, what if I can't get out, what of the door gets jammed? My breathing became faster as I tried to find the door; I could feel my heart pounding against my chest and it wasn't because of what had just happened between us, it was because of the in closed space.
I could feel Aaron's hands on my arms. "Flick, are you okay?" he asked. "Flick?"
I couldn't reply because I felt like I couldn't breathe, like there wasn't enough air in this cupboard for the two of us. I was gasping and gulping to try and get air into my lungs as it felt like someone was crushing my airway. I felt tears run down my face as I struggled to get the handle. Aaron was asking me things but I couldn't reply. I just had to get out of here and fast.
I pushed him aside and I finally found the handle and rattled it until I managed to fling the door open. Just as I did Albus and Scorpius rounded the corner and saw me. They both came rushing up as I lent on the wall opposite and sunk to the floor as Aaron came stumbling out of the cupboard.
"What the hell did you do to her?" Albus roared and flung himself at Aaron.
Scorpius came over to me as I held my chest. "It's okay, Flick, it's okay," he told me in a soothing voice as he conjured up a brown paper bag which he handed to me once he hand blew into it so it opened up.
I scrunched part of it as I held it and breathed into it as Scorp kept muttering, "Deep breaths, Flick."
My heart was still racing and I screwed my eyes up to stop any more tears as I breathed deeply into the bag. When I opened my eyes I saw Al had Aaron pinned up against the wall, his one arm across his neck. Al looked angry and Aaron looked scared, as well as the fact he was slowly turning a funny colour.
"I didn't do anything to here. I swear," Aaron pleaded.
"Al," I managed to say as I pulled the paper bag away from my mouth. "I'm fine, let him go before he can't breathe. Aaron didn't hurt me. We were in the cleaning cupboard," I told him as I felt the blush creeping up in my cheeks.
Al was looking confused. "Why were you in the cleaning cupboard, you get freaked out by small spaces?" he asked and then he realised why, which made my blush even more and I looked down at the floor. Al turned back to Aaron who was rubbing his neck. "Don't you know she's scared of small spaces, they freak her out," Al stated.
"She never told me," Aaron said hoarsely.
The boys helped me up off the floor and Scorp told me to keep breathing into the paper bag. They insisted in taking me up to Madame Pomfrey even though I didn't need to, leaving Aaron in the corridor.
I tried to say something to him before they carted me off but I couldn't find the word. What could I say, sorry for not telling you of my fear of small spaces? Sorry for saying my ex-boyfriend's name and not his. Sorry for letting said ex-boyfriend pin him against the wall.
Crap. I only just realised, I said Al's name and not Aaron's. God why do their names have to be so bloody similar. Yeah because that's the real problem Flick, a small voice at the back of my head said.
I protested all the way up, and Al practically pulled me into the hospital wing. Madame Pomfrey who was tending to a Gryffindor's hand looked startled at the sight of me, with Al on my one side and Scorpius on the other.
Al glared at me until I sat on a bed and Madame Pomfrey came over after finishing seeing to Gryffindor and sent him on his way. "What can I do for you, Miss Saunders, Mr Potter and Mr Malfoy?"
I was about to speak but Al got there before me. "She had a panic attack, because she went into a cupboard and she hates small spaces."
The matron nodded. "Very well, Miss Saunders, appears to be fine now. How do you feel?"
"My heart still feels like it's thudding, my throats dry from gasping and I feel tired."
She nodded and headed off to her office and came back with a bottle, whose contents were a cool blue colour. "Drink this," Madame Pomfrey instructed me as she poured a glass full of the blue liquid. "It's a calming potion; it'll help settle your heart and breathing rate again."
The matron didn't seem satisfied until I had drained the glass, glad for the cold liquid trickling down my throat. "I suggest you get a glass of water and then go straight to bed to rest. May I have a word in the office, Miss Saunders?" she added and I looked at her kind face which was ageing, up close I could see wrinkles and lines.
I guess working at Hogwarts must take its toll, especially as she's been here since Al and Scorpius' parents were here and according to them looked like she was in her late thirties, maybe forties. Which makes her at least seventy odd, considering she was here when Al's granddad James Potter the first was here. Although she doesn't look any older than sixty to me, it strange knowing this may be one of the last times I'll see her.
I followed her to her neat office, leaving behind a very confused Al and Scorpius. I took the seat that is opposite her desk and she cast a silencing charm on the office before sitting down opposite me and smiled. "How old are those little ones of yours?"
"They were one last Sunday," I replied and fumbled for the picture which I had hidden in my pocket of my robes and handed it to her. It was one of them and me on their birthday.
She studied it and then held it up near me. "Oh yes, your little girl certainly looks like you, Miss Saunders. But her eyes, I've only ever seen three other people that with that colour."
I nodded. "Just like Albus," I said in barely a whisper.
"I take it, he still doesn't know?" I stayed silent as she looked at picture one more time, and I guess she took my silence as a 'no'. "One year old, I bet it's been a crazy year."
I smiled, glad that she hadn't pressed the Albus not knowing thing and stood up and headed for the door to leave. "Like you wouldn't believe."
"Oh and, Miss Saunders," she started to say and I turned back to look at her just as I was about to open the door. "Never trust out of date condoms," she said to me with a straight face and I laughed as I remembered when I had first told her and she had questioned about whether there was use of protection or not.
"Never again," I replied and I had the impulse to hug her, to thank her for everything she's done for me. So I did, instead of leaving the office I went back and hugged her.
"You're welcome, Miss Saunders."
We broke apart and she saw me out of the office. Al and Scorp were talking in hushed whispers and when they saw us Al jumped up off the bed.
"Rest and do take care," Madame Pomfrey instructed me with a smile. I returned it and then headed for the doors. It took a moment for the boys to realise I was allowed to leave and they followed.
Al was looking at me with curiosity. "What was that about? Are you really okay?"
"Don't worry, Al, I'm fine," I thought of the picture in my pocket, and of my sick little boy at home. "I just need rest."
None of us spoke as we went back down, and took a detour to the kitchens. Al went in to get me two bottle of water since the house elves tend to favour him more than myself and Scorp. He came back out and handed me the bottles and we went down to the dungeons. I was surprised to see Aaron sat on the floor outside the brick wall that leads to our common room.
I put my hand on Al's shoulder to tell him not to do anything stupid. I didn't need to with Scorp seeing as he has more sense and it's not like he's my ex-boyfriend who has a grudge with my current one.
Aaron stood up. "You're okay?"
I smiled."Fine, just need rest." I nudged Scorp and he muttered the password which he must have got from a prefect into my ear and dragged Al off inside.
Aaron ran a hand through his hair. "Look, Flick, I'm really sorry, I never knew."
"It's okay honestly. How could you have known?" I took his hand and led him just up the corridor and into an alcove and kissed him lightly.
I was totally surprised by what Aaron said next. "I know you still love him, you said his name earlier on. I thought it might have been a mistake and you were saying something else but you can't deny it."
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. "Yeah, but it's complicated. I'm really sorry, Aaron, and I really do like you. Especially since I've got to know you and you're not being all creepy like you used to."
He laughed. "Maybe one day it'll work between us." He kissed my forehead before holding out his hand. "Friends?"
I nodded. "Friends."
We hugged and then left the alcove, I watched him walk away, as I felt a teeny tiny part of me inside cheering. We'll be better as friends, I told myself as I went to the wall and muttered the password Scorp had told me.
He and Al were nowhere to be seen, so I assumed they had gone up to bed. The common room was packed with an assortment of different years and I waved to Lily-Ann before I headed up the staircase to the dorms.
The lights were still on and I was able to see that Rory and Didge, as well as Hattie were awake. I put the bottled water on the side and looked at Dom's bed. She appeared to be asleep as the green hangings around her bed were shut so I couldn't tell her about what had happened.
Hattie was hogging the bathroom, nothing changes there then and Rory and Didge were talking. I tucked the picture under my pillow and got changed. Rory started talking to me and I went and sat on the end of her bed whilst I waited to use the bathroom.
Once Hattie finally came out wearing a green face mask and a stupid green night dress that is ridiculously short. I stifled my laughter and used the bathroom, when I came out I bid goodnight to Rory and Didge.
I slipped into my own bed which was warm and I was thankful for the house elves for warming it. I drank some of my water and started shutting my hangings around my bed when Ginger Nut hopped onto my bed and padded up to my face which she licked.
I giggled, and scratched her behind the ears and then finished shutting my hangings. I felt her crawl under my quilt and her wet nose hit my hand. I snuggled down next to her, leaving her where she was and stroked her soft fur as I slipped into dreams filled with Aaron, Albus and Bentley and Aubri.
A/N I really hope Flick's panic attack seems real, I've never had one myself but I took advice from one of my friends who does.
Is it a good thing Flick broke up with Aaron or should they have stayed together? Any idea what's up with Dom? All will be revealed.
Up next - Quidditch practice and Flick gets more than she bargained for.
Edited - 11.07.2014
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