Chapter 5 : Memories Should be Just That
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“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were trying to play footsie with me, Price!” Freddie announced way too loud. I felt my face flush as Bennett let out a hearty laugh.
“Sorry, nervous twitch.” I whispered, hoping no one else would hear in the overcrowded pub. I took a long swig of the butter beer in front of me, hoping to Merlin that someone had spiked it and I would be passed out in a couple of minutes.
I took a glance up from my mug and looked around at everyone. Bennett was next to James, a large smile on his face. He was enjoying the awkwardness of the setting more than anyone probably should. James was next to him, a stone cold face hiding the true anger beneath. He didn’t have a right to be angry, though. He was married for Godric’s sake! Veronica was next to him, examining her nails and occasionally looking up with a smile on her face. Freddie was next to me, trying his best to ignore the awkwardness of the table, but even Fred knew that there were only so many jokes people could laugh awkwardly at before it got to be too much. He still hadn’t introduced me to his date.
To say I wanted to drown myself in my drink may have been a little dramatic, but how pathetic can one receptionist be? I come here to discuss a business deal with an overly attractive healer and I somehow end up roping him into pretending to be my date for the evening. Albeit, he stated he was my date before I could even deny it, I still had put him in the situation by placing him in the same room as my conceited, arrogant ex. He had just done the respectable thing and helped me not look like the pathetic loser that still hadn’t been able to hold a guy down ever since James left.
“So, how’d you two meet?” Freddie’s date asked us. I felt my face flush at her question. I didn’t want to lie and make up some elaborate story, but I didn’t want to tell the truth and say how long I’ve been his receptionist without him even knowing I had finished healing school.
“We work together.” I said vaguely. I saw James roll his eyes.
“Oh? Where at?” She asked.
“St. Mungos! Healer Bennett is James’s healer.” Veronica said, placing a delicate hand on James’s shoulder.
“I’ve seen James way too many times for my liking,” Bennett joked, though he sounded much too like a father scolding his son.
“Quidditch will do that to you,” James mumbled, attempting to join in on the friendly banter, but his sour mood immediately hindered that.
“And your desire to keep life interesting. A couple of years ago I had to set his arm because he had tried to give three people a piggyback ride at once and obviously failed.” Bennett said, receiving a lot of laughs from everyone. I tried to join in, but my stiffness was almost as bad as James.
“I remember that! Al jumped on after Sean and I were already nearly tipping you over and down we went!” Freddie laughed. James had a light blush on his cheeks.
“Al is damn heavy!” James defended himself.
“For a third year,” Veronica joked back. James playfully glared at her. I felt a pang hit me square in the chest at that. I shouldn’t feel that jealousy towards them, but I sadly did.
“And what was your defense for the ankle break? Walked straight into a boulder, flipped over it, and broke his ankle,” Bennett raised his eyebrows at James in questioning. James’s face turned bright red.
“Ooooo I remember that one!” Veronica chimed in, a large smirk on her face. “He was piss drunk and claimed to have seen the Holyhead Harpies’ captain fly by on her broomstick….in the middle of Diagon Alley!”
“Or the time that he tried to balance on the goal posts and fell straight off!” Healer Bennett added another foolish event, making everyone laugh. James’s hair was the same color of Lily’s hair. I smiled.
“Or the time he tried to pet Uncle Charlie’s dragon and burned both of his hands?” Freddie smirked at James as we all laughed at his expense. I remembered that one. He came to my house after it happened, hands wrapped in gauze.
“He also got a shot glass stuck to his face,” Bennett said. Freddie immediately burst into laughter.
“I put super magic glue on it!” Freddie said through tears. We all immediately began to laugh.
“Yeah, yeah, very funny guys.” James grumbled. Yet Freddie couldn’t seem to shut his mouth at that moment .
“Do you remember the time you broke the seventh year girls’ dormitory window? Thought he could fly straight through it!” Freddie was nearly doubling over at this point from laughing too hard. I felt my face flush at this comment.
“Vi was supposed to have opened the window!” James defended himself.
“In my defense, you weren’t supposed to come for another hour,” I mulled. James rolled his eyes at me. I smiled at the memory. I had just gotten out of the shower when James had suddenly come crashing through the large window, all of the girls screaming at the scene.
“I sent you an owl saying I was going to be earlier,” James stated. It was my turn to roll my eyes.
“Which I didn’t get because I was in the shower!” I laughed. James laughed too. Veronica let out a cough to break us out of our memories.
“Cute stories. I’m sure James was quite the riot back then.” Veronica plastered a rather fake smile on her face as she looked at me. I suddenly felt like I had just connected with James when I probably shouldn’t have.
“Oh was he!” Freddie didn’t seem to get the hint to drop the subject. “Though Vi was too, I suppose. I remember when those two skipped class to sneak into Hogsmeade because it was their anniversary and Vi wanted chocolate!”
“Violet? There’s an open table over there. We better grab it before someone else steals it.” Keith stated, pointing across the room. I nodded immediately, grabbing my butterbeer as I quickly got up from the bench. There was only so much reminiscing I could do with James and his wife sitting right there.
“Thank you for letting us sit with you all,” I said, though I knew I didn’t really mean it. James mumbled something that we couldn’t hear over the roar of the pub. I nodded, turning away before Freddie decided to tell the story about how he had walked in when James and I were about to shag.
When we reached our table, Keith immediately pulled out my chair for me. Gentleman. Even if it wasn’t a date, I really appreciated how Keith had immediately come to my defense and had noticed that I needed help. I wasn’t one to need a knight in shining armor, but it was still refreshing knowing that there were still men out there like that. It also helped to know that Keith Bennett was damn perfect in every way, shape, and form.
“I really appreciate what you did back there.” I told him as he took his seat opposite of me. He smiled warmly at me.
“Violet, mentors aren’t just there to teach you how to be a good healer. Mentors are meant to teach you how to juggle the healing life with your own personal life as well. We are supposed to make you feel confident and comfortable with yourself. It is rather obvious that James Potter makes you feel quite the opposite. Yes, honesty is the best policy, but let’s just say that I have been in your shoes. I know what it feels like. You are a beautiful young woman and you deserve to feel confident and strong. I am honestly surprised you aren’t seeing anyone.” Keith sure knew how to smooth talk a girl. He grabbed at his leather folder, placing it neatly on the table.
“I still appreciate it. You didn’t have to do that.” I stated, feeling the blush rush to my cheeks.
“Don’t mention it, Violet. Anyways, why don’t we get down to business, yes?” He said, taking out a rather large amount of papers, placing them in front of me. I still had the smile on my face, however. Keith Bennett has that sort of effect on you.
I paced outside of the shop, my footsteps tapping quietly against the stone ground. People were staring at me oddly as they walked passed, but I didn’t care. I used to walk into this shop on a daily basis when I was younger. I used to feel completely comfortable rushing in. Now I just felt anxious and nervous. I wasn’t really sure if I was welcome in the shop anymore. I didn’t have anywhere else to turn, though. I didn’t have any other options. I took a deep breath, pulling the door open as the bell rang above my head. Now or never.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes hadn’t changed from when I was younger. It still had odd items crammed into every space that was available. There were random things flying around with children all giggling with one another as they held up jokes to the light, trying to determine what they would do if their parents would buy them this item. Some were older, laughing as they spoke animatedly about what their plans were with the joke. I smiled to myself. I remembered saying the exact things that these children were saying, convincing James that I absolutely needed every joke in the shop.
I saw Roxanne Weasley standing behind the counter, watching a group of young boys with narrowed eyes. She never liked working in the shop. She always managed to get me to take her shifts somehow. Though it was a family business, she never quite understood the enjoyment of pranking. She had graduated after James and I had broken up. I wondered what she was doing with her life. I wanted to ask, but I knew I had other reasons for being here. Reasons that I really wished I didn’t have to do, but knew it was for the best.
“If I see you lot touch one more of those pigmy puffs with your mangy hands, I will chop them straight off!” Roxanne yelled, pointing an accusatory finger at the children. They all jumped at her voice and scattered to the other end of the store. I slowly approached the counter.
“Hey Roxy,” I mumbled, attempting to put on my best smile, but knowing I probably looked like I was about to pee my pants. I felt like I was. She turned her cold glare onto me, but upon realizing who I was, about five emotions passed over her face: realization, confusion, anger, more confusion, and excitement. I was glad she ended on excitement.
“Oh my Godric!” She shrieked. Ah, that was the Roxy I knew. “Is that you, Vi? When did you turn into a Weasley?!”
“I’ve always been a redhead, Roxy,” I laughed, twirling my red locks.
“Well you look damn good as a redhead. Always said you were meant to be a part of our family.” Roxanne smiled at me, her dark eyes twinkling as she tossed her dark hair over her shoulder. She sure took after her mom.
“As much as I love seeing you, Roxy, I actually had a favor to ask. Sort of glad it’s you I caught on shift…” I mumbled, blushing slightly. She raised her eyebrows at me in question.
“What can I do you for?” She asked curiously.
“Well, I actually need Rose’s address. I needed to speak with her and short of crashing the Weasley Burrow, I wasn’t quite sure where I could go about getting her address from.” I looked at her hopefully. She furrowed her perfectly trimmed eyebrows as she thought about that one.
“Well, I’m not sure where it is, but I would be more than happy to take you there when my shift is over!” She smiled at me. I glanced at the clock. It was ten to five, which I remembered as an ending shift.
“That would be lovely,” I said, smiling at her.
“Oi! Get away from those! They are not for sale!” Roxy shrieked, rushing from behind the counter and over towards the boys who were playing with a photo on the wall. I chuckled to myself. Same old, high strung Roxy.
“Well, I cannot say I thought I’d be seeing you again.” I heard a voice behind me. Spinning around, I saw the girl who had been Freddie’s date at the pub, pulling an apron around her waist. Her brown hair was tied tight on her head and her fair complexion was complimented with innocent make up.
“Hello again.” I chimed, trying to smile at her. She returned my attempt of a smile, glancing at Roxanne who was kicking the boys out of the shop.
“Good thing it’s the end of her shift. Hasn’t been able to survive a shift without hurting someone in ages.” The girl joked. Ages? How long has the girl been working here? Fred was never the type to be tied down by a girl, so what made her so different?
“How long have you and Fred been together?” I asked curiously.
“A couple of years. Three maybe? I sort of lost track.” She said, blushing slightly. I raised my eyebrows at her. Was this the same Freddie Weasley who had tried to pick me up before James and I had started dating?
“And how’d you two meet?” I asked her, leaning against the counter. I was just honestly curious. Fred used to be one of my best mates. I never saw him as the sort of person to be with a girl for more than a month. Hell, I had always pictured him sleeping on my couch for the rest of his life. Weird how things change.
“Silly, but we met in here. I was bringing my brother in here and Fred immediately started hitting on me, right in front of my little brother. After the first inappropriate comment, my little brother kicked him straight in the…well, you know. I felt bad so I stayed behind for a bit. Somehow managed to get a date out of me.” She laughed at the memory. Well, that sounded like Freddie.
“He never was very charming.” I recalled. She laughed along with me.
“Are you ready, Vi?” Roxy asked, coming up next to me. I smiled towards the girl and nodded at Roxy.
“Now or never, right?” I joked. Roxy mumbled something, but turned towards the exit.
“It was nice seeing you again, Violet!” The girl called. I ran out after Roxy, waving as I went. I still didn’t know Fred’s girlfriend’s name.
“Hey Rox!” Rose smiled, pulling open the door. Her smile faltered upon seeing me. “Vi?”
“Just dropping off a package!” Roxy said, gesturing towards me. Rose opened her mouth to say something, then immediately closed it, unable to find words. It was difficult for me to do too.
“I was wondering if you had time to talk?” I asked her pathetically. She blinked a couple times, trying to snap herself back into reality.
“Well of course! Scorpius is gone and I’m here alone! Come in, come in!” Rose stepped aside, revealing a quiet living area. Roxy waved at us both and with a POP she was gone.
Rose’s house was very modest, but very charming. She decorated everything with a classical, elegant look. The living area was adjourned with large furniture that looked too comfortable to visit on and not fall asleep. The large fireplace was burning a delicious fire. There was a hallway off in the back of the room. I could see a kitchen off to one side and a hall leading further into the home on the other side. I was guessing that it only had a couple of rooms, but that was always enough for Rose. She never needed much to be happy.
Back in school, I hung around with a certain group of friends: mainly the Wotters. James, Freddie, and I were the closest. It was difficult to get in with the Wotters, but when you did, you were a member of their family. I think it was so easy for me to get in because Adam and Rose had been dating since their third year. Once you were in with one Wotter, you were in with them all. You always had your favorites, though. Roxy and Lily always looked up to me. Albus had a bit of a crush on me. Then there was Rose. I guess she had always been my favorite because of Adam, but there was something about her that made you know that you could trust her.
Which was why I had to tell her.
“This is a beautiful home, Rose.” I commented. She looked around, a smile crawling onto her face.
“It’s modest, but the perfect size for us.” She said, running her hand along the mantle place.
“I’m quite surprised there aren’t any children running around. You and Adam always wanted a really big family,” I joked with her. She smiled in spite of me bringing up Adam. I’m sure it was a touchy subject .
“Scorpius doesn’t want children just yet,” Rose explained. I raised my eyebrows at her as she sat down on the oversized couch. I followed her.
“And you stood for that?” I asked her. She sighed, waving her wand toward the kitchen. I heard water run and then the gas stove turn on. Probably making tea.
“Scorp is very set in his ways. When he’s ready, we will have children….until then, I don’t see it happening.” Rose explained. I could see her face turned down in a frown and I wanted to give her a pep talk, but I knew it wasn’t my place anymore. “So what has brought you here, Vi?”
“Well, I needed someone to talk to….and really, you’re the person I wanted to turn to.” I explained sheepishly. A tea kettle and tea cups floated into the room, landing on the coffee table in front of us.
“You can always talk to me, Vi. I will always be here for you.” She told me. I felt my face flush at the affection she showed me. I didn’t deserve it.
“Thank you, Rose,” I mumbled. I took a deep breath as I watched the tea pour itself into the cups. “I slept with your cousin.”
There were a few things that flooded through me at that moment. Relief at finally being able to tell someone. Panic at what Rose would say. The biggest thing that filled me was the hot tea as it stopped pouring itself into the tea cups and fell to the table, splashing all over both of us. As it was scalding hot, we both jumped up, nearly hitting heads in the process. Rose immediately ran for a washcloth, coming back and mopping up the mess and waving the tea off of both of us. Once we were able to settle back down, Rose took her teacup, taking a long sip of it, taking my words in.
“Which one?” She asked. I glared at her. She put up her hands in defense. “I was just making sure we were on the same page.”
“It was a complete and total accident. I’m not even entirely sure how it happened, but I woke up the morning after the reunion and there he was….in my bed.” I tried explaining myself, but it didn’t quite work.
“Spare me the details, please.” Rose grimaced.
“The worst part about it all was that he came back and told me…he….well, I don’t know how to say this.” I couldn’t find the right words to explain that James had confessed he loved me and didn’t love his wife.
“He told you he loved you?” Rose guessed. I nodded my head at that. She let out a sigh, pursing her lips. “Oh dear.”
Oh dear didn’t even begin to explain it.
“What are you going to do?” Rose asked me. I stared at her, wondering the same thing.
“Am I supposed to do something? What do you do in this situation?” I asked her pathetically. She took another sip of her tea, contemplating my predicament. She seemed way too calm.
“After your brother and I broke up, the same sort of thing happened. I got with Scorpius and Adam came along, begging for me to come back to him.” Rose explained. I never knew that happened. Adam always kept to himself about everything, especially after the break up with Rose. A couple of months later he was telling me that he had slept with a new girl. I had thought everything was fine after that. “He had kissed me and for a couple moments, I kissed him back….but it wasn’t right. I saw Adam a couple of times after that, but immediately knew that I had to cut off communication with him completely.”
“Did you tell Scorpius?” I asked her.
“I did. He was surprisingly understanding. He knew Adam and my history and knew that it was hard to get rid of something that was that strong. That was the moment I fell in love with him.” Rose explained, her eyes lighting up at the memory. I wondered what Adam felt like the entire time that was going on. Did he feel how I felt? How did he get over it?
“Do you think James is going to tell Veronica?” I asked her. Rose pursed her lips in thought.
“James can’t keep a secret, but Veronica is rather thick and never knows when something is bothering James, so….I don’t think he will tell Veronica. He will probably end up telling someone else.” Rose declared. I felt panic still rise in me.
“No Wotter can keep a secret!” I nearly shouted, shaking my head at the prospect. “Bloody hell, Veronica is going to murder me.”
“You’re going to have to speak to James about that then. Get him to promise to keep his mouth shut. As much as he’s got a big mouth, he never breaks promises. In the mean time, what are you going to do about James’s declaration?” Rose leaned forward as though she was watching a good soap opera. Thank you, Rose. Glad my life is so amusing to you.
“My original plan was to just ignore it. That’s what I’m supposed to do, right?” I questioned. I honestly had no clue what to do. I felt pathetic. I can’t have normal people declare their love for me, it has to be the married men that do. Bloody fantastic.
“You have to say something to him regarding it. How do you even feel about him, Vi?” Rose tilted her head to one side. I wanted to scream. I wasn’t allowed to feel anything for James. It wasn’t right.
“I still care about him, but it’s not right for me to say that.” I told her in a mumbled voice. She put her hand on my shoulder for comfort.
“Either way you decide to go with that one, you’re going to have to talk to him.” Rose told me. I sighed. She was right. Bollucks.
Why was I finding myself seeing James Potter more and more since the reunion?
Author's Note: I know this one was a bit slow and difficult to read, but I promise the next will be more filling and you'll love it more!! I hope...Anyways, tell me what you think! Rose Malfoy and Adam? Adam keeping secrets from Vi? No Wotter can keep a secret? Did James already tell someone?!?! All next ;)
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