Chapter 1 : Cold Shoulder
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14th November, 2022.
To my lovely friend Allie,
I’m sorry for missing out our scheduled study time yesterday. Something came up and I had to take care of it.
Merlin, I know you’re probably glaring at this letter right now with those little eyes of yours. Fine, I got detention. Happy now?
Anyways, Chelsea and I are back together. Yeah, no surprise there. But anyways, all is well now, so you don’t have to worry about me getting into trouble again. That was the last time, I promise.
P.S.: Once again, I’m so so so sooo sorry, Al. Wanna meet up somewhere so I can make it up for you?
Alessia “Allie” Bletchley could feel her heart beating fast as she carefully read the letter she’d just got from Snitch, James Potter’s owl. She tried to ignore the stabbing pain in her chest, slowly folded the parchment, and put it on the desk near her bed.
So he’s back with that girl, she thought grimly. She knew this would happen sooner or later. They had been going out for a year and Allie knew perfectly how much love James had for Chelsea Finnigan. She had braced for it, but who would have thought it would be this painful?
She sighed, letting herself to lie on her bed. There was no one in Slytherin Girls’ dormitory at the moment, she could just cry without getting worried people would see her if she wanted to.
But no, she didn’t want to. She stopped crying two years ago and sure as hell wouldn’t cry again. Let alone the reason behind it was the same as before. Well, pretty much.
Allie now wasn’t the same person as she was. She used to be normal girl with a big ambition, cheerful and carefree although sometimes she could be a little bitchy sometimes. But it all changed after this guy came to her life, destroying everything.
Ethan was a fresh Hogwarts graduate whom Allie started dating at the end of her fourth year. He was a perfect guy Allie could really ask for; handsome, sweet, caring, funny, and such a gentleman. She was falling hard for him and would do anything just to keep him forever. Every touch, every kiss, they meant a lot to Allie. Sure, there were ups and downs in their relationship, but they were nothing they couldn't handle.
“What’s this?” Allie asked when Ethan gave her a small red box as her sixteenth birthday present. She eyed the box for a while and then looked at the smiling boy in front of her suspiciously. “You aren’t proposing to me, are you?”
Ethan just chuckled. His face looked amused. “Well, it depends. Do you want to get married now?”
Allie could feel a blush crept to her cheeks. “As much as I want to marry you, Ethan, I’m still sixteen and have school to finish. Otherwise, my dad would kill me.” she retorted, opening the box slowly and gasped when she found a silver ring with a heart-shaped aquamarine inside it. “Oh, Ethan, this is so beautiful.”
“Do you like it? I purposely chose aquamarine just because it’s the birthstone for March, which is the month you were born.”
Oh, he was so sweet, all right. “I don’t like it. I LOVE it.” Allie said, wrapping her arms around his neck and giving him a smile. “Thank you so much.”
“Anything for you, baby.” he kissed her temple affectionately. “Happy belated birthday. You’ll get your real engagement ring soon, I promise.”
Unfortunately, life wasn't all perfect for Allie. Their relationship started to crumble after she found out Ethan had been cheating on her a week after he gave her the damn ring.
Ethan. Her sweet Ethan.
She still remembered it clearly. It was Saturday night and Allie was busy sketching in her room, enjoying the last week of Easter Holiday until she got a floo call from her best friends, Daniela Zabini and Alexander Nott. They claimed that they saw Ethan with a girl at The Leaky Cauldron. At first, she couldn’t believe it. There was no way he was there because Ethan said earlier he was going to Ireland to see his grandparents. But Daniela and Alex were so sure about it that Allie finally decided to come over, see it for herself. And boy, they were right.
Ireland, my arse.
There he was sitting with a blonde girl in his arms. From what Allie could tell, the girl was probably older than her and much more beautiful even. Allie felt her entire world shattered. It really hurt seeing them kissing and all cuddly like that before disappearing behind one of the rented rooms there
“That son of a bitch…” Alex was just about to come out of their hiding place and give a piece of his mind when he felt Allie’s tremble hand on his arm, trying to stop him.
“No, Alex. Don’t. He’s not worth it.” Allie said, eyes brimming with tears. It was too much to handle and Allie just wanted to go home.
“It’s fine. I’ll deal with him later.”
Easter holiday was finally over few days later and so was Allie’s relationship with Ethan. The truth was revealed; Ethan was nothing but a massive player. He didn’t love her. It was all an act. A mirage. To him, Allie was just a clingy teen girl who happened to be his tenth prey.
And so, ever since that happened, Allie had changed drastically from a cheerful girl to a quiet one. Not only that, she also swore she would never want to have another relationship anymore as she was traumatised with it. Some said it was her fault for being too naïve and blinded by love, but then again, what did you expect from a sixteen year old?
Several guys had tried to date her ever since they found out she was single, but alas, Allie usually would just give them a polite 'no'. That was until she got closer to James Potter.
At first, she always considered James Potter as a bit of a tosser. Not only because he was a Gryffindor, he also seemed a little arrogant and not to mention mischievous. Compared to Albus, who was sorted into her house a year later, James was a lot more childish in Allie’s opinion. She mentally made a note to stay away from him despite of him being the child of Harry Potter, the war hero whom Allie always adored. They remained acquaintances throughout the years.
However, that changed when she was chosen to partner up with him for a project in Muggle Studies class few months ago, at the start of their seventh year to be exact. She got to see the other side of James, who actually had to struggle from being in his father’s shadow. And that problem with Chelsea didn’t help either. He was a mess, always getting into trouble and often getting caught drinking firewhiskey. Allie, being the sensible one often tried to stop him from doing so, even though sometimes she also helped him to hide the evidence so he wouldn’t get caught. She didn’t know why she was willing to do this. Perhaps it was because James kind of reminded her of herself, broken and desperate because of love. Or perhaps she was already attracted to him at one point but she didn’t realise it. Allie really had no idea.
She had tried to push her feelings aside due to her commitment. But it obviously didn’t work out considering they always spent their time doing their Muggle Studies project together. It was getting even much harder especially when James sometimes would flirt with her.
“Allie?” a feminine voice was heard from the door, snapping Allie out of her reverie. Daniela was leaning on the door with a smile on her face. However, when she noticed that her friend wasn’t looking so good, her smile faltered and replaced by a worried expression on her exotic face. “Aren’t you coming to dinner? What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
And see James with his girlfriend? Nope, thank you very much. Allie shook her head. “I’m fine. Just uhm… sleepy.”
Daniela apparently wasn’t buying it, judging by how she arched an eyebrow as if in suspicion. “Are you sure?” she asked again, walking toward her friend, then put her palm on Allie’s forehead to check her temperature. When she was certain that Allie wasn’t sick, she averted her gaze at James’ letter. “What’s that?”
Allie hurriedly snatched it from the desk before Daniela could have it. “Just a letter from my mum. Nothing important.”
Daniela just let out a heavy sigh while taking a seat beside Allie. “Come on, Allie. We’ve been friends for a long time. You don’t expect me to believe that, do you? It’s from James Potter, right?”
“How did you know that?”
“Well, I saw him at Owlery and heard him talking to his owl.” the daughter of Blaise Zabini and Pansy Parkinson answered, taking the letter from Allie’s hand and read it. “Oh Allie darling, I’m so sorry.”
Allie merely shrugged as she gave her a reassuring smile. “That’s okay. It’s not like I want him to be my boyfriend or something. You know perfectly well I already have this commitment.”
“But you can’t stay like this, Allie. How will you ever get married in the future?”
The dark- haired girl was silent for a while. “Well, I suppose I won’t get married then.” she finally replied as she got up from her bed. “Come on, let’s go to dinner before I change my mind.”
The Great Hall was already filled with students by the time they got there. Daniela took a seat in between Alex and Harrison Montague, while Allie decided to sit opposite of her instead. But then she regretted it later just because now she could see James staring at her and mouthing something like ‘did you get my letter’ from the Gryffindor table. His girlfriend was sitting beside him, laughing at something Rose Weasley said.
“You’re late,” she heard Albus Potter’s voice from beside her. Thank Merlin for a distraction. “And you look pale too. Are you sick?”
Now why the heck everyone kept asking if she was sick? Although now that she thought about it, she actually felt a little dizzy. “Maybe,” she simply answered, helping herself to some food on her plate. She secretly casted a quick glance toward the Gryffindor table and noticed that James’ face fell because she had ignored him.
“So, is it just me or did something happen between you and my dear brother? You seem to be avoiding him.” Albus asked before shoving a spoon full of mashed potatoes into his mouth.
“I’m pretty sure it’s just you. We’re fine.”
“Aw come on, Allie. I saw you giving him a cold- shoulder earlier. Something happened. Or at least you’re mad at him. So tell me, what did James do this time?”
Allie let out a defeated sigh. “Alright. I’m just mad because he didn’t show up at the library yesterday. That’s all.”
“Typical James.” Albus commented with a chuckle. “By the way, have you heard the news about him and Chelsea? I really have no idea what does he see from that girl. She had dinner at our house once. Oh man, she was so nosy and annoying. To be honest, I’d rather have you as his girlfriend. At least you guys would look good together. And you’re cool too. Right, Scorp?” beside him, Scorpius nodded as he slowly chewed on roasted chicken.
Surprised at Albus’ statement, Allie couldn’t help but choked on the water she was drinking. Albus instantly helped her by patting her back to ease her coughing fits while her friends looked at her in panic, especially Alex.
“You okay there, Alligator?” he asked, using her pet name when they were little. His handsome face looked genuinely worried.
“I’m fine, I’m fine,” she answered, getting up from her seat. “I think I need to go to Hospital Wing. Sorry, guys.”
She hurriedly ran off before her friends could reply, leaving them to stare at her in bewilderment.
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