Chapter 19 : Nineteen
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I don’t know why Alvie’s crying, I mean everyone’s been lovely to her. I sob about how bitterly unfair it is, I get myself a boyfriend and everyone acts like I’ve gone completely off the rails, Alvie gets herself knocked up and everything’s all smiles and fucking rainbows! Surely that’s not right? I guess no one can, or dares to say anything though given my mum is sitting right there and she was pregnant with twins when she was our age, so she can hardly talk.
“We’ll need to have a proper sit down to sort this out.” Aunt Pansy says with a sigh.
“Mum,” Alvie blubs. “I’m so sorry.” I figure she just says this, it sounds like that’s what you’re supposed to say when you get impregnated unexpectedly at this age, but I know she doesn’t mean it. She can’t anyway; it’s not even her fault. It’s mine. Jesus, if only everyone knew, they’d burn me at the stake. My actions towards my best friend are literally comparable to Voldemort’s actions against, well, everyone. “Please don’t be mad at me.” Aunt Pans will have had a while to come to terms with this. Not that she shows any hint at having already known. Thank God. She seems a little disappointed and conflicted but more than anything, sorry, for Alvie.
“It’s ok, sweetie. Just you wait till I get my hands on Potter. That bloody son of yours, Weasley.” She glares at aunt Ginny and I think she’s only half joking.
“I’m so glad you kept Weasley as a nickname for me, you know? Honestly, so sentimental.” Aunt Ginny slurs in reply, but says nothing regarding James, I guess she’ll probably be having words of her own, once she sobers up.
“Right. How about we floo the three of you home this weekend and we have a proper talk about it. Sober.” Mum stares poignantly at Aunt Ginny who’s swaying, “And perhaps we could even involve our husbands!”
I assume by ‘the three of you’ my mum means Alvie, the baby and James. But when she stares at me I get the feeling that’s not what she means. When I question this she confirms my thoughts with a stern, “I need to talk to you too, Cassiopeia.” That makes Maddie laugh and me shudder.
We’re just about to end the call when Maddie grabs the mirror, rolls her eyes and says, “I want to talk to you, brainless.” She exits the living room they’d all been gathered in and trots up the stairs, passing Nate on the way.
“What the hell’s been going on down there?” He asks. “Oh! Hi- what’s wrong with you two?”
“Periods. And lots of other scary girly shit you don’t want to hear about.” Maddie lies on behalf of Alvie and I, Nate squirms and groans before running off down the stairs like a child.
“Can I have a minute with her, baby mama?” Maddie asks Alvie, who nods and proceeds to locks herself in the bathroom. I pull the curtains around my bed and cast a silencing charm so no one can hear should they enter the dorm.
I snivel and wipe under my eyes, keenly aware that I look like shit but hoping Maddie wont say anything about it.
“How the bloody hell did you get a boyfriend at all, never mind one and then another, who just so happened to be James sent-from-heavens-above, body-carved-by-angels Potter. You look like shit.”
“Well sorry. I only look like this when I’ve been bullied into tears.” I roll my eyes at her and wipe at my face a little more hoping to improve, but probably worsening my appearance.
She sighs, “What happened?” And that’s it. Two words and I’m crying again. “Stop fucking crying, you dolt.” I chuckle a little, I know she’s trying to make me feel better in her own fucked up way.
“Be nice to me, Merlin. I’m like crying and you’re being mean.”
“Nice? What’s nice?” She makes a face like she’s just grasped the concept, “Ohh, nice! That thing you are to your parents while your sister hides the boy that’s in her bed.” So maybe she’d caught Orion and I in my room over the summer. It wasn’t a big deal but mum and dad were coming up to my room and there was a little bit of a panic. After much pleading on my half she agreed to stall while I pushed him out the window, rather roughly. “So from the way mum tells it you had a different boyfriend like two weeks ago, one, from the description I got, who sounded an awful lot like the boy you were messing about with over the summer.” She raises her brows at me suspiciously.
And then I blub out everything about him, from our best-friends-with-extras relationship, to our actual relationship and everything else, and for once she just sits there, looking kind of sympathetic, listening to me.
“So, to get revenge on him you slept with James?” I nod shyly. “And how’s that working out for you?”
“Not so great as it goes.” I mutter. She doesn’t seem at all sympathetic about me having been cheated on. But maybe that’s because I also told her about kissing James.
“Do you think it was a mistake?” I nod, “Do you want to be with James?” I hadn’t actually asked myself that question, not seriously. I’d just assumed that I did, after everything, I must, right? She raises her brows again at my silence like we’ve found my answer. But we haven’t because I’m not saying yes, but I’m not saying no either. What I’m saying is that I’m emotionally drained and I can’t deal with boys. “Do you want to be with Orion?” Again, silence. I mean, obviously I wanted to be with him, I wouldn’t have been otherwise. So I guess that’s a yes, but I was kissing James and I wont say I didn’t enjoy it and he did kiss another girl.
Laying everything out like this and trying to think of it all at once makes me cry a little more.
“Maybe you should talk to him, both of them.” Maddie rolls her eyes. “Tell James you’re not ready for whatever it is you’re doing. Maybe talk to Orion and see what he has to say, too.”
“I don’t want to. I know it’s childish but he’s fucking, he bloody… Fuck.”
“He hurt me, you know? Like no ones ever hurt me like that before.” I feel like a child again. This isn’t just something a plaster and a kiss is going to heal though. As cliché as it sounds he has broken my heart. I can feel it now it’s splintered. Like he’s just driven a stake through it.
“Don’t you think maybe you deserved it?” I wish I’d never told her about James. “Look, don’t get angry, lets both be adults for a minute. You had been cheating on him. No matter how you want to say it, you had and you can’t ignore that. All I’m saying is maybe if you loved him so much you wouldn’t have done it.”
“I didn’t love him.”
“Well then why are you upset that he did what he did? Because he’s not allowed to break your heart, that’s not how this works?”
“No.” She doesn’t understand and I stumble for the words but she doesn’t give me the chance before she’s talking again.
“I have to go. But what I’m trying to say it that you’ll figure it out. Just think, if he didn’t break your heart then why are you upset? And if he did, that must mean you loved him. You’re either not as upset as you think you are, or you’re in love with him. Either way you can’t mess either of them around, especially James. It’d kill Alvie more than anything to see you toying with the guy she’s wanted forever. See you later, brainless.” She says and shuts off the mirror on her end before I can even reply.
I’m surprised to say that Maddie’s words are actually somewhat insightful. When she says it like that I guess it is really one or the other, I either have feelings for Orion or I don’t, and if I don’t then I guess I can stop being upset.
But it strikes me a few minutes later while I’m staring up at the ceiling in the silence of my bed that maybe it took him, unknowingly, getting even on me to make me realise what I felt about him?
But that’s stupid. I couldn’t find out I loved someone because they cheated on me, could I? It’s totally bizarre.
I check the time and see that dinner will be served soon so I fling open my curtains and find Alvie in pretty much the same position as I’d been, just staring at the ceiling, her hand on her stomach, eyes glazed.
The other girls are in the dorm now too, they were all really excited about Alvie being pregnant, Saffi was concerned about her education etc. but supportive nonetheless.
“Ready for some dinner, incubator?”
“I’m not really hungry.” Alvie answers.
“We don’t care about you, Alvie. Bab-Babs will be hungry, therefore you’re coming to dinner and I’m going to cram food down your oesophagus.” Char smiles sweetly, it’s fucking freaky. Alvie laughs nervously at the threat/joke and sits up rolling her eyes.
“What did you sister want?”
“Just to talk about,” I gulp, “Miller.”
She appraises me and then the other girls who share odd looks like they’re questioning me having called him ‘Miller’ silently. The five of us walk down to the hall, which takes about five times longer because everyone that passes wants to congratulate Alvie and stroke her stomach that isn’t there. I want to scream at them to leave her and the baby alone. I don’t know why I’m irritated; it’s not my stomach that’s being stroked.
Wish it were.
Alvie doesn’t seem to mind one bit, she enjoys it, from what I can see. Which irritates me further for some stupid reason I try not to dwell on.
“Hello, how are my favourite girls?” James bounds over to us happily and slings an arm around my shoulder and Alvie’s too.
“We’re good.” I say with a clipped tone that James promptly ignores.
“I wasn’t talking to you.” He sticks his tongue out at me, his arm drops from my shoulder and is placed gently against Alvie’s stomach. My heart flutters. His baby, our baby, their baby. I’m mesmerised by this simple gesture and find my own hand wandering absently to my barren womb, James notices too and with a soft smile, like he’s dealing with someone with an unsound mind, he grabs my hand and pulls it away from my body and just holds it instead.
What a sight we look, James with his arm around Alvie who is complete with bun in oven; me on his other side, limply holding his hand like a little lost child.
I wait until we’re seated and James is sort of sedated with food to tell him that our parents know.
“Well, your mum does. She took it well, that and a bottle of firewhiskey.”
“And they know about us?”
“Yup.” I scoop some vegetables onto Alvie’s plate without her consent, she groans. “Everyone seems happy enough about the baby. Less so about erm, us.”
“Can you blame them? This is a right old mess you’re in here. Couple of buggers you two.” Freddie says.
“You have done quite a number here, mate.” Mason agrees. I’m not much up for hearing about this; I’ve had enough shit off everyone else today. Don’t people think this is hard for me too? My (new) boyfriend is the father of my best friends child.
“Yeah, it’s a real fucking mess.” I hear a sharp voice behind me say and turn to find Albus who has wandered over from the Slytherin table where I no longer feel welcome due to him and Miller. Dom suggests that Albus join us and he lets out this sad sigh and does so, next to Char who smiles encouragingly at him.
“Albus?” Alvie kind of whispers at him across the table, everyone seems to wait with bated breath to see what he’ll say, if anything. Everyone, bar Freddie, had stopped eating too.
“Alvie?” There’s an audible sigh of relief from everyone when we hear Albus’ voice isn’t harsh but not quite soft either. A grin spreads across Alvie’s face so wide I worry her face might split, I look at Albus and see he’s trying not to smile back at her. It’s infectious, her smile. That and she’s glowing, pregnancy has added a shine to her hair and a softness to her skin that makes you want to love her. Or maybe that’s just my view. Maybe that’s just my mind being warped by the child she’s carrying inside of her, the one that has me wrapped around its probably-not-even-fully-formed little finger. They don’t say much after that but more than once I catch Alvie sending furtive smiles his way.
“Are you coming to watch me practice tomorrow?” James asks, stroking his thumb over my hand.
“Probably not. I’m really behind on work…” I say and it’s the truth, but really I could just not do it, but I hate watching training.
“Thanks for the support, Cass.” Freddie chimes in. “We’ve got a game against Slytherin soon anyway,” He boo’s at me and then at the other Slytherin’s, “We’re going to kick your scrawny arses. What with Alvie packing some extra pounds she’ll be off form and Miller still pining after you we’ll have the match wrapped up in a half hour.”
Albus scoffs, “You wish Freddie boy. I’ve been practising.” He says, sticking his chin in the air.
James laughs, sort of sarcastic like. “Maybe you’ll survive the whole match without falling off your broom this time.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Albus asks and the tension between the two is palpable. I don’t completely understand why James has started this; he has no right to be angry with Albus. James shrugs and I push myself into his side hoping he’ll snap out of it. “Just that you’re shit at quidditch.”
“Alright, James, he’s not that bad, are you Alby?” Freddie tries to defuse the situation but he’s totally ignored by both parties.
“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.” Albus sneers and James stands up tall, knocking me a little off balance. I see James’ jaw straighten and his mouth opens, so I jump up, grasp his arm tightly and push him over the bench. Everyone stares at us, confused and worried, panicked almost.
“We’d better be going.” I sing and keep pushing him, his muscles are taut and he doesn’t seem to want to move but I make him. I don’t want him fighting with Albus. Especially when there’s no reason to.
“What the fuck was that about?” I growl once we’re out of the hall. I hate how I have to be more of a mother to him than a girlfriend. Cleaning up his mess, guiding him with regards to table manners, telling him off. “It’s like you’re looking for a fight with him! He’s your brother!”
“Well he can’t just fuck us about like that and then stroll over like he fucking owns the place!”
“What, like you do, you mean? He can’t be you?”
“Oh shut up Cassiopeia, that’s not what I meant and you know it.”
“Clearly not, what did you mean, James?”
“That he can’t just treat us all like shit because he’s being princess huff about some stupid mistake and then act like nothing’s happened.” He’s pacing and I just watch him, trying to ignore the whole ‘stupid mistake’ bit and also the anger bubbling in my blood.
“He was annoyed and rightly so! Imagine if he’d got me pregnant and then left me for someone else, you wouldn’t be especially happy, would you?”
“I guess not.” He mutters and I grab his hand as he walks past, pulling him to a halt. “No, I wouldn’t be happy.”
“Perhaps you should apologise to him then?”
“Perhaps not.” I raise my brows at him, “He’s a fucking arse. I’m not apologising to him. And why are you suddenly sticking up for him?” I know what he’s suggesting and I don’t appreciate it, at all.
I shake my head, “You’re not really going there, are you?”
“Yes. You’ve done it before. I see no reason you wouldn’t again.”
“Because I’m with you!”
“Didn’t stop you before.”
“Oh fuck you, Potter!” I begin to storm away, annoyed and absolutely fuming that he would bring that up, but he grabs me by the waist and pulls me back.
“Let’s settle this argument like adults; in the bedroom, naked.” He growls into my ear.
I don’t argue with him.
What the fuck am I doing?
I feel my eyes fill; I ball my hands into fists and scrunch my face up hard in an attempt to hold back tears. I mutter to myself, how stupid this all is. It’s like I’m doing that thing that men do where they mirror their pregnant partners emotions and shit. This is the last thing I fucking need. Like a sodding sympathetic pregnancy.
I wait outside the opening to the Slytherin common room. I can’t go in there just yet. I have no idea what I’m doing. Everything I think and do is wrong. I was wrong about Miller, I was wrong about being able to handle Alvie having this baby, and now my best friend hates me. She wouldn’t say that out loud, obviously but I know she’s thinking it. Really, what is my problem? Alvie’s my pal, I shouldn’t begrudge her a boyfriend, just because I think I like him, and this whole Miller wants me back thing was wigging me out more than anything, I know I should be all ‘no time for you’ but every time I see him I can’t help but want to forgive him. It’s the least I can do, after all I did.
“Hey,” Saffi says when she walks towards me, books that probably weigh more than her clutched against her chest.
“Hi,” I try to muster a smile for her.
She pushes some of her strawberry blonde hair behind her ear, “Aren’t you going in?” She nods her head to the door and stops in front of me.
“I’m just… having a minute.”
“Ok.” She nods and walks over to me where I’m resting against the wall. “How’re you feeling?”
“What? Oh, erm, I’m good.” I take a deep breath and slide down the wall, Saffi follows.
“You just seem a little…” I give her the best no-fucking-shit look, “Right, ok.”
“I feel like such a shit.” Saffi says nothing. I guess the whole if you have nothing nice to say yada yada yada phrase probably applies here. “I’m just so confused I-” It’s here that Saffi sort of laughs and scoffs and shakes her head.
“Look, Cass, I’m not trying to be mean, but can you just not make this about you for once?”
“I know you’re having a hard time, what with having your fingers in a few pies here, so to speak, but don’t you think Alvie’s situation is a little more important than your love life?”
“Well yeah, but,”
“But what? But you need to sort that out first? But that’s not your problem? But nothing. She’s your best friend. Raven, Char and I can say all we like but she’s your best friend. You’re who she talks to about everything. Do you understand that? She needs you. She doesn’t need you pining over Miller,”
“But I’m no-” She holds a hand up to silence me, clearly not finished.
“She definitely doesn’t need whatever’s going on with you and James. Especially considering he’s the dad and she wants to marry him.”
“He doesn’t like her that way.”
“So that makes all this ok?”
“Well no, but,”
“Oh, Cassie, enough with the ‘buts’ ok? You were wrong. The sooner you admit that the better. I’m telling you this as a friend,” I scoff, her tiny hand takes hold of mine, “really. Well, it’s mostly for Alvie, but I think you not dating for a while would be a good idea, for everyone involved.”
“You’re probably right.”
“Often am.” She stands and brushes off the dust, offers me her hand.
“I think I’m just gunna stay here for a while, maybe go for a walk.” I don’t want to go in there and be around Alvie, not now that I feel even worse. If there were awards for worst friend ever I think I’d have at least ten of them.
“Well, have fun sitting on the floor.” She says before entering the common room.
I take a deep breath and count to ten.
“You’re good at counting, I usually get lost after six.” He says.
I say, “Fuck you.”
“Can we talk? Please.” Orion sits down beside me, making sure not to get too close, like I might bite. “I’m sorry,” I try to stand but he grabs my wrist and pulls me back down. “Look, don’t run off, I know it’s the easiest thing to do, to turn your back on all this shit, but we need to talk about it.”
“I don’t understand what there is to talk about.” I mutter, finally dropping the whole angry façade. It’s how I think I should react, how every other girl who’s been cheated on reacts. “It’s fairly clear what happened.” I sigh.
“I don’t know how to tell you this without you thinking I’m lying.” I stare at him blankly, I realise this is the first time I’ve looked at him properly in a few days. I’ve missed it, the way his face looks, the way his brows move so much its almost unnatural, how soft his lips look, how soft they are, and his forest green eyes stare back at me, I look away immediately. “I know it sounds, ridiculous, absolutely bonkers, bizarre, totally banana’s, but I thought that girl was you.” He says, almost desperately.
“Yeah, we looked so alike, I could totally see how you made that mistake.” I roll my eyes. “Her hair was a different fucking colour.”
“James said you’d changed your hair! You never told me what you’d dressed as so I asked James and he said you were an angel, said you wanted to surprise me so you’d changed your hair colour and stuff. I don’t know.” He stares at me with a sort of hope in his eyes. How fucking low, he’s going to blame this on James? Maybe it’s for the best that we broke up.
I scoff, “Yeah, sure he said that.” I stand up and this time I snatch my arm away when he grabs it. “Look, I’m trying to relax,”
“On the floor outside the common room, on your own?” He quirks a brow and I groan.
“Yes, right here, on the floor! Now if you’d like to, I don’t know, fuck off, I’d really appreciate it.” I assume he just wants to please me because I don’t have to ask him twice. I mean I do pull him off the floor and give him a none too gentle shove, but he leaves nonetheless.
I sit back down and put my head in my hands, pulling at my blonde hair. If all boys could just vanish right now that’d be brilliant. And just when I pick myself up, thinking that things can’t possibly get any worse, someone I really don’t want to see walks my way.
“Hey, Cassie. I was just coming to find you.” Someone’s popular today, fucking hell. One day, that’s all I want. One day where no-one bothers me and my best friend isn’t pregnant and my boyfriend didn’t cheat on me and my current boyfriend didn’t act like an arse all the time and Isabelle Nolan doesn’t come anywhere near me. Is that really too much to ask?!
Apparently so because here she is, head girl badge and all.
“If this is about James not turning up to some meeting then just don’t. I’m not his fucking mother, I’m not supposed to look after him.” I moan.
“No, it’s not about James. It’s actually, erm, I thought I might be able to talk to you?”
“Well, get on with it.”
“Oh, right, sorry.” I give her a blank stare. “God you’re intimidating.”
“Yes well, comes with the Malfoy name, I think. If this is going to be about James and I and how you’re eternally in love with him then I’d really, really rather you just turn right back around and take what I’m certain was a very well rehearsed speech back to the Ravenclaw dorms.”
“No! There was nothing between us. Well, on his end.” She looks regretful. I don’t interrupt; I don’t want this to last any longer than it needs to. “I can’t, erm, I need to tell you something.” This should be fucking interesting; Isabelle Nolan has something to tell me, how… fascinating. “It’s about Orion.” I steel myself, ready for whatever it is she’s about to throw at me, tense my jaw so that I don’t show any emotion, in case she tells me something that I don’t want to hear. “James really likes you. I mean, loves you, maybe. I don’t know. I just couldn’t stand it anymore. It’s awful and I can’t believe I did it, but it was James, you know? He’s James Potter.” She’s making no sense. Guess James really did fuck her brains out. “So he says we’ll be together, right? And all I have to do is one thing.” I’m still none the wiser; all I’d bloody wanted was a few minutes peace. “He tells me to kiss Orion. For him, for you? He did it for you.”
“Sweetie, I’m gonna need you to put those few remaining brain cells together and work with me here, ok?” She looks at me curiously, “Now, explain this shit.”
“I kissed Orion.”
“You,” I look at her, really look at her. “You.” My hands ball into fists and my eyes narrow, I have undoubtedly never been as furious as I am right now, looking at her with her dark hair and her blue eyes. It flashes in my mind, her with that mask on, looking exactly like a fucking devil disguised as an angel. “Bitch.” I stand, her cheek stains red when I slap it. There’s so much more I want to do, but really all I end up doing is pacing back and forth, literally growling at her and mumbling to myself.
“He had the best intentions, he said that it was to see if Orion would cheat on you and I guess he did, well, obviously,” I stare at her, intent to hurt her, or maim her or something, she backs into the wall and quickly mutters, “He loves you. He told me, I guess he was wasted, right after he kissed me he whispered, ‘I love you, Cassie.’ I’m sorry, I have to go, I just thought you should know.” And then she runs away before I can rip her eyelashes out.
I listen to the sound of her running and the sound of my heart slamming against my chest and there are only two thoughts in my head:
1. James did this.
2. Orion loves me.
DUM DUM DUMMM. So, well, that happened. The whole chapter was a bit of a ‘meh’ bar maybe the last paragraph where Cassie gets a bit sassy and there are all kinds of revelations. Basically the whole chapter was Cassie being told/realising how shitty she’s been acting. I’m not sure about this chapter, I haven’t been sure for a while but I’m really anxious to get these chapters written. But I rewrote like half of it, it almost ended a totally different way, I tend to do that a lot. Write something and then totally flip it on its head. It‘s so confusing. But yeah, there we go. My chapters are loosing their zaz. Eghhhh. I’ll try to sort that out. I’m still undecided on another POV chapter. I’m trying to weight up the pros and cons. I can’t decide. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this terrible chapter and thanks for reading and (in advance, perhaps) reviewing.
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