Chapter 16 : far too young to die
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Don't let me do this to myself
I'm chasing roller coasters
I’ve got to have you closer now
Far Too Young to Die -- Panic! at the Disco
Ben and Rainne sit in the common room working on their most recent Potions essay. Rainne scribbles feverishly while Ben watches her in awe. He doesn’t know why she ever agreed to date him, but he isn’t going to question it. A goofy grin finds its way on his face and, as he watches her, a loose hair strand falls out of her impromptu ponytail. She huffs, trying to blow it out of her face, only to have it fall closer to her eyes.
Ben gingerly tucks it behind her ear and she slowly looks up at him, surprised. Blood rushes to her cheeks and she blushes upon seeing his smile.
He just wishes you were Summer.
Rainne frowns and gets back to work. Ever since Marlene’s slip up at the Great Hall the other day, Rainne doesn’t know how to act around Ben. The silences between them grow longer and longer.
“Rainne?” Ben says softly. She looks up, “Were you planning on going to Carmen’s party tomorrow?”
“I don’t think I was invited,” is all Rainne says before looking back at her essay. Ben frowns.
“I mean… Rainne, I think it was implied.”
Oh, obviously, Rainne. It was implied. Just like the past 5 years when your invitations to everything were implied. They don’t want you there, stupid. They never did.
Rainne tries to mask her pain. She closes her eyes and inhales. Ben drops it and resumes his slow writing, all the while wondering how he will make his girlfriend smile again. They sit like this for a while, working quietly without acknowledging each other. As Rainne begins to finish up, Ben’s stomach growls. He stretches, checking his watch.
“I’m going to go get some dinner,” he says as he stands up, “You coming?”
Rainne swallows, looking down at the books and broken quills, “I still have a lot of work to do, and I’m really not that hungry,” she lies, her stomach flinching at the sound of another dinnerless night.
Ben nods sharply. He hates to see her like this.
“What do you mean she doesn’t think she’s invited?” asks an astonished Carmen, “She’s only one of my best friends!” the girls nod in agreement, confused by this news. Ben shrugs.
“I don’t know, all I do know is that she doesn’t plan on going.”
Carmen moans dramatically.
“But she has to!”
“Maybe you should give her an invitation,” suggests Marlene.
“I would but I’m all out of flyers!” Carmen pouts.
“Oh, I know!” says Lily. She grabs a napkin and begins to write in her best script, “You… are… cordially invited…” she narrates, “Here,” she says, handing the napkin to Ben when she’s finished. He holds it, attempting to hide his confusion.
“Lily, that is so tacky,” says Carmen, waving her wand. The napkin turns into a formal invitation, “There you go, Ben. You can give that to Rainne,” they both grin.
“I will,” says Ben, “But first… I think I’m going to have seconds…” he adds, eyeing the roasted chicken.
“So where is Rainne?” asks Remus.
“Oh, she’s working on her Potions essay. She wasn’t hungry,” says Ben in between bites.
Remus sighs at his friend’s ignorance. How could Ben be so blind?
“Is she ever?” says Sirius. Ben looks at him.
“What do you mean by that?” he asks.
“She rarely eats. And if she does, it’s, like, a salad. And not even the whole thing. You’ve seriously not noticed?” Sirius is surprised at Ben’s ignorance as well.
“Rainne eats plenty,” Ben says, offended, “She’s just fine. Stop worrying about my girlfriend.”
Everyone exchanges looks.
“So, er, Potter,” says Lily, pointedly. James, who has been engrossed in his meal, looks up, a piece of chicken dangling from his full mouth, “When’s the next quidditch match?”
James swallows everything whole.
“Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff have a match next week,” he begins, “I think we should go so we can study their tactics and prepare to play the winner.”
This gets the guys completely involved in a new subject, and before long, they’ve all forgotten the small argument about Rainne’s eating habits.
Well, all but Remus, of course.
Rainne’s feet, covered in dry blood, hit the damp ground heavily. Her jaw drops slightly with every harsh step as she looks around. Where are they?
Branches scratch at her face.
She enters a clearing, at the foot of a mountain.
The ground shakes.
The mountain rumbles.
Rainne turns around and runs back into the forest, cutting her feet. The rocks roll past her, but when she looks at them, she realises they are not rocks.
Her parents’ heads roll past her, yelling at her.
Everything begins to shake.
“Rainne. Rainne! Rainne!”
She is awake. Ben shakes her shoulders. She looks up at him.
“Are you okay?” he asks. Her face is wet with tears and spilled ink she knocked over when she fell asleep. She stares at him with a blank expression.
“I… must have fallen asleep.”
“Does this happen often?” Ben asks, alarmed. She nods, “I’ve never seen this. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I… it only happens when I sleep alone,” Rainne looks down. She can’t look at him. She can’t look anywhere. All she sees is… them.
“Well, I guess you won’t be sleeping alone anymore. Hope you don’t mind,” says Ben. She leans into him and he puts his arms around her. Nothing matters right now. Nothing but his scent engulfing her, “Oh,” he says, pulling the invitation out of his pocket and handing it to her, “Now you have to go, Carmen’s words.”
Rainne smiles and Ben realises he had been holding his breath. Everything is worth seeing her smile.
author’s note: i am so morbid and i’m so sorry this chapter is so short BUT the next one is going to be longer AND i’m really excited about it so there’s that to look forward to.
what do you guys think so far of the last few chapters? let me know!
thanks for reading!
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