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Chapter 22 : Twenty Two
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He sighs, I say, “Please, don’t do what I think you’re about to.” He wants to stop this, I know it, I know he wants it too but he’s too good. He’s not the bad boy he wishes he was, I wish he was.
“I’m sorry.” I hang my head down and rest it on his forehead, my breathing heavy. “I love you.” He places a gentle peck on my lips. “That’s why I can’t do this. I can’t make you into this person.”
“You’re not. I am, it’s me. Please, I need you.”
“Do you love him?” This catches me off guard and it occurs to me that I should move away from him, that our close proximity is inappropriate given the topic of conversation. I don’t answer and I guess that’s all that he needs. “How can you? After everything.” He sits up, pushing me aside. I stare at him confusion swimming in my eyes; I don’t know what he means. “How can you trust him? After what he did to break us up. Does that seem like someone who loves you? Surely if he loved you so much he would have rather seen you be happy than have you hurting.”
“I don’t know what you’re taking about.” I admit.
“You do, you’re just too naïve to let yourself believe it.” He sighs, “I honestly did think Izzy was you when I kissed her. You’ve got to trust me, Cass.”
Oh, this again. I scoff, he’s so ridiculous, “Why would I believe that?”
“Because we’ve both told you it happened because of James and I’m sure other people know too. Albus for example.”
“Albus can’t know anything because there’s nothing to know.” I almost growl. All my emotions turning into anger at him.
He sighs, “He and Alvie know James told me that you were dressed like Izzy, knowing I’d go find her and she would kiss me.”
“You’re talking shit. Get out of my bed.” I demand, suddenly adamant that he leave when he’s throwing around crazy accusations. Fucking dickhead. Just because he’s jealous of my relationship with James.
“Look, just give me five minutes, let me show you.” I give him my best go fuck yourself look but he doesn’t soften.
“Fuck, fine. I just don’t see what you can do.” I shake my head and he instructs me to go to the bathroom, I try my best to creep and he does the same, by some miracle we make it without making too much noise. Ninjas.
I close the door and lock it then sit down on the edge of the bath, “Well?”
“Pass me your wand.” He says, a calloused hand outstretched. I regard him with an arched brow but hand him it anyway, he nods his head a few times and starts to mutter things. He bounces from one foot to the other like he does when he’s trying to remember something. His hair is longer now and it bounces with his steps. He stops, takes a breath then places the tip of my wand to his temple, he mutters a long stream of charms, grimaces a bit then pulls my wand away.
I sit silently as he does so, a final flick confirms that he’s finished, light pours out of my wand and onto the bathroom wall. He flicks off the bathroom light so the image from my wand becomes clear. It’s a projection of his memory, like the really old movies Mum told me about.
It flickers for a while before I notice I’m in his head, I’m seeing from his eyes, hearing his thoughts. There are a thousand and one of them, bouncing around the small bathroom. But it’s not current; it’s from that night. I know because I see myself, he’s walking towards me, he’s damp from a shower, I remember. Only now I see what he saw, I hear what he was thinking. It’s strangely intimate. He thinks about how beautiful I am, how lucky he is. I blush and look over to him but he’s just watching his memory play. I watch myself watch him pull on his clothes, I hear myself ask if he’s putting on his costume. I hear him thinking of me, I hear him worrying. I can’t pinpoint what he’s worrying about though. He answers me, he jokes, I joke back. His heart skips, there’s a pull, he thinks it. He wants me, he shows it in how he kisses me. I place a hand on my neck, remembering the feel of his lips, my skin tingles. I kiss his cheek and make a promise that’s broken. I hear his mind start to race as he watches me leave, he worries more, he panics, and he feels guilty. He feels like he’s pushing me. He lies down on his bed, he thinks of everything, from what he’s going to eat later to us. He thinks of me most, everything from how he loves the way I bite my lip to how he never wants to let me go. His thoughts begin to wander to the future, a house in the country, 3.5 kids, me, a wife, a mother.
“Where’d Malfoy go?” One of his friends asks when they re-enter.
“She’s gone to get ready.”
“Surely that just involves taking her clothes off, right?” The other guy says and I hear Oreo’s thoughts turn to rage.
“Touchy, what, is that private?”
“It would be if they’d had sex.” Thomas answers the other lad’s question laughing. Oreo thinks of hitting him, he thinks better of it.
“We’re just not ready yet.” He says.
“You’ve been seeing each other for like a decade, prude or what?”
I tune out a little, hearing someone talking about you isn’t nice. I can feel the air change; I know he was mad at that comment. I close my eyes, try to ignore what happens. I open them and time has skipped.
He’s talking to James, Albus is there too. They’re chatting casually.
The girl’s show up, I’m with Alvie, I remember. They don’t see the boys and continue to walk into the centre of the party. Oreo turns to the brothers beside him. “Where’s Cassie?” He asks, taking a swig from a bottle.
Albus shrugs then turns to James who takes a long pull of his own drink. “She’s dressed as an angel, said she wanted to surprise you, she’s changed her hair the lot.” James shrugs, the lie leaving his mouth seamlessly. His dark eyes flicker, he’s trying not to smirk, “Why don’t you go find her?”
I can’t watch anymore, I know what happens next. “Stop.” I grind out, closing my eyes tight but I can still hear his thoughts bouncing around my head as though they were my own. “Stop it!” I almost shout.
“Please,” He says, “Trust me.”
“I believe you, I can’t watch it.” He doesn’t understand that it was hard enough to see James do that, never mind to see Oreo kissing another girl, to hear what he would think. I couldn’t take it.
And although there are a million and one things I should be concerned about, all I can think is that Albus didn’t tell me.
I’m filled with a vile rage that all but consumes me, I barge out of the bathroom and make as much noise as possible in the process. I storm over to Alvie’s bed and draw back the curtains, I’ve past caring.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I demand.
Alvie gasps and holds the sheets up to her chin. “We were going to. It’s just, it’s not really, you know? It’s no-”
“Not you.” I growl and glare at Albus. “Why didn’t you tell me James lied to Orion? Why did you let me believe he’d cheated when he was under the impression that the girl he kissed was me?”
“We tried. You wouldn’t listen!” He implores, grabbing a t-shirt and handing it to Alvie who stares at me, annoyed.
“You didn’t try hard enough! Do you know how stupid I look? You’ve ruined my fucking life!” I’m majorly over exaggerating here, but I’m totally fuming. I reach for my wand and remember it’s still with Orion; I’m storming there before I can think about what I’m about to do. There’s only one thing that stops me, it’s the image still burning a hole in the wall and now in my eyes. It’s Izzy and then blackness as he closes his eyes and kisses her. He pulls away and his brain pushes words out of his mouth. He leans into her ear and whispers. Only it doesn’t feel like a whisper, it’s like someone’s screaming at me when I hear him, or the memory of him, whisper “I love you, Cassie.” Into her ear.
His apple green orbs meet my brown puddles of sludge. I’m not worthy of him, how could I ever believe he’d cheat on me?
“Don’t.” I stop him. “Just leave.” I try to steady my breathing and clamp my eyes shut, I’m going to cry. I’m already crying, I think. I feel Alvie’s arms around me and hear her tell Orion he should leave. I can’t help but feel sorry for him, he’s done absolutely nothing wrong here and he still gets told to leave.
“I can’t sleep.” My best friend crawls into my bed later that night.
“Neither can I.” I roll so we’re facing each other in the dark. A sigh slips from my open lips and I roll onto my back. “He,” I swallow, “He said he loved me.” She doesn’t say anything, “I’m glad he didn’t say it to me.” She sits up at this.
“I wouldn’t have known what to say back.”
“Don’t you love him?” I can only sigh again. I don’t know, do I? Obviously I didn’t because I didn’t waste any time getting with James, or getting with him while Orion and I were together. “Do you love James?”
“I don’t love either of them.” I say, then change my mind, “I mean, I love both of them.” Then again, “I don’t know. I-” I roll over and look at her, “Do you love Albus?”
“No.” She shrugs, “Maybe I will. But it’s nothing right now. Well, not nothing, but,” She kind of shakes her head with a little smile on her lips. “I like him, we’re just seeing how it goes.”
“Hm. Seeing how it goes, meaning shouting at him during the day and fu-”
“RIGHT! OK, got it. No, I mean. Tonight wasn’t meant to happen.” She looks down at her stomach, “Hormones, you know?”
I laugh. “Just an excuse to be a slut then…” She pretends to be affronted by my joke and pushes me before rolling onto her back and beginning to play with her dark hair.
“Can you believe this?” Her hand rests on her stomach now, she draws slow patterns with her fingers. “I’m 11 weeks.”
“Never mind that, I still haven’t come to terms with you being pregnant yet.” I half joke. She’s having my baby. My fucking baby. W. H. A. T? Her full lips round into a smile and then open wide as she yawns, exhausted. She sighs contentedly then curls under my blankets like a kitten.
“Essays! On my desk!” Marwood shouts at us all as we enter the room.
Fucking Runes essay? You what? Definitely missed this memo.
Shit. Oh shit.
“Write your name on this.” Alvie slides a pile of parchment over the desk to me. I look at it curiously and raise my brows at her, “It’s your essay, you forgot to write your name on it.” She says then raises her hand.
“I don’t have my essay, sir.” She admits and I realise immediately what she’s done.
He sighs, “Usually this would be a detention, Zabini, but given your condition I’ll let it slide, just this once.” He gives her a tiny hesitant smile and then turns away. I scribble my name onto the parchment hastily and trot to the front to hand it in. Marwood looks decidedly surprised and suspicious, “Malfoy?” He looks at me, “You’ve actually done your essay?”
“Yes.” I lie smoothly and his lips turn down in a sort of impressed scowl, which I meet with a smirk. Fucking arsehole.
I return to take my seat and find Albus at our desk, he tries to smile at me but I simply turn away. I’m still pissed with him, I haven’t seen James yet and I don’t know what I’ll say when I do.
It’s only moments later when Dom plops down into her seat with her usual grace, “Where’ve you been? James was looking for you at breakfast.”
“Tired.” I say by way of explanation. Total shit, I was very much awake but I just didn’t want to see him.
I went without food to avoid my boyfriend.
Fuck my life.
“Sympathy pregnancy.” Dom chirps.
“What?!” I all but shout, thinking Alvie has told our secret, but when I see her she looks just as stunned as I do.
Dom quirks a perfectly plucked blonde brow at me before explaining, “You know, like when husbands gain weight and stuff and feel the same way their pregnant wives do. I mean, not that you two are… Just you’re as close as, right?”
I sigh in relief, I don’t know why it would be wrong if people knew our predicament, but I just know it wouldn’t go down well.
We lapse into silence as Marwood begins to drawl on about some stupid old crap I couldn’t care less about. Around 15 minutes later, just as I’m dozing off Alvie nudges me and pushes a piece of parchment in front of me, on it she’s hastily scribbled ‘How’re you doing? Are you going to talk to James or Miller?’
No. I write back, I don’t know. I’m confused.
Well you’re going to have to talk to James. I can’t imagine you keeping up appearances around him after this!
I’ll have to try; I don’t want to have an argument with him. I reply, which is the truth; as much as I can’t believe what he’s done there’s a small part of me that doesn’t want to fight with him. That knows that we need to get on, for Alvie, for the baby. Our baby. Alvie pulls the parchment back and begins to scribble something I can’t see, when she hands it back I see that she’s drawn me hexing James. She’s also charmed it so that it moves, there are also some very impressive expletives flowing from my mouth. To say that it’s an accurate diagram of how any conversation of the aforementioned topic would go is a fucking massive understatement. It would undoubtedly end in me hexing him if he began to make excuses for why he did what he did. Which I know he will, thus being why I don’t want to mention it because I will hex him into next year.
Meh. What? Sympathy pregnancy! It’s the hormones!
“Guess who?” Suddenly I’m enveloped in warmth and darkness as someone cups their hands over my eyes. I raise my hands to theirs and pull them away, turning over my shoulder to see who I already know is waiting there.
“Hi.” I say and try not to punch him.
“Hello, beautiful.” He kisses my cheek and I inwardly cringe. I can’t do this. “Where were you this morning?” He roughs up his dark hair for no apparent reason.
“I was tired, I stayed in bed.”
“Lazy bones.” He chides jokingly and slings an arm around my shoulder. It feels heavy, like a lead weight pressing down on me. Incredibly similar to the weight of the crippling guilt I should have felt when I cheated on Orion. He starts to eat and I can hear his heavy breathing as he piles as much food into his mouth as he can. I hear his lips smacking together with every bite.
“James. Lips.” I grind out. Alvie is staring at me. She’s not the only one, from the other side of the room, at the Slytherin table; I see another pair of eyes, apple green, staring at me too.
“Sorry, babe.” He says through a mouthful of food. Has he always had such bad table manners? Honestly, they’re rivalry of Fred’s and that boy is an actual, honest to Merlin, Troll, when it comes to eating and any type of manners.
I watch him, he purses his lips, looks away and joins back in with a conversation his friends are having. I sigh and just miss the end of something James is saying.
“Hm?” I mumble.
“I said, I can’t tutor you tonight because I have quidditch practice.” I’m overjoyed but also annoyed. Why agree to tutor me when you know you have quidditch? What the fuck is wrong with this boy? What if I’d cancelled plans to make room for this tutor session? What if I had a test tomorrow and was in desperate need? What if I didn’t know he made my boyfriend cheat on me?
“I need to talk to you.” I find the words leaving my mouth before I’ve even processed them, before I’ve even decided to say them at all. But they’re out now and I look anywhere but at him. Alvie swallows and gives me a gentle smile.
“Sure,” He says mopping his face with a napkin and standing up. He offers me his hand and walks me out of the hall; a pair of eyes follows us making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
James stops outside a broom cupboard and checks the corridor before unlocking it and pulling me inside. His lips press against mine, typical James. Completely misunderstood that I actually meant I wanted to talk to him.
I kiss him back.
Because it’s force of habit.
Because I want to.
I don’t want to.
I push him off.
“James.” I sigh.
“What?” He moans, beginning to kiss my neck instead, our hands engaging in a battle as he tries to touch me and I try to stop him.
“Come on, you love pre-practice warm ups.” I feel his lips twist into a smirk against my neck. I push him away and this time he gets the message.
“We need to talk.” I illuminate the dank cupboard and lower myself to the ground.
“What?” He looks like he’s panicking. “Please don’t tell me you’re fucking pregnant.” He implores.
“No! Fucking hell, Potter.” This catches us both of guard. Physical pain seems etched on his face. I never call him Potter anymore, ok, sometimes, but he can tell by the tone in my voice that this is different. Very different. I take a moment to gather myself, “Look, I know.” I look up into his eyes, willing him to understand, so that I don’t have to say it, but his sweet eyes just stares back confused and hurt. I don’t understand why this is so hard for me. “I know what you did.” I can’t look at him anymore; I know if I do the words will never leave me.
“What did I do?” He asks softly.
I take a deep breath, “You broke our promise.”
He looks even more confused now, “What promise? Whatever it was I didn’t do it knowingly.”
I laugh a little, despite the situation, but I can feel the tears covering my eyes, one blink and they’ll be free. “Remember when we promised we’d stay out of each others business?”
“That day you tricked me into tutoring you?” He smiles at the memory, I nod. “If this is about that tutor session we can do it afterwards. The team voted to move practice forward.”
“It’s not about the tutor session.” I admit and he crouches down, holds my hands that rest over my knees. “I know you lied. I know you lied to him.” I sob.
“What? Cass, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t lie to me, James.” I take a quivering deep breath and look him in the eyes, so he can see what he’s done, “I know you made Izzy kiss Orion. I know you lied to him so he’d kiss her, I know you told her to kiss him. I know everything. What I don’t know is why you did it. I was happy, James,” He tries to but in but they’re weak attempts, he knows he’s in the wrong. “I thought you’d want me to be happy. I thought you were more mature than this! Just because he was sorted into a different house!”
“Oh shut up, it’s not because he’s a Slytherin, it’s because he’s got a reputation! He couldn’t treat you how you deserve!” I stand up, fire coursing through my veins.
“What? Because you don’t? Because you haven’t slept with half the school? Because you could treat me better? Oh you’ve done such a good job of that, James!”
“I’m not denying my past! I just know he’s no good!”
“Oh fuck off, Potter. If anyone’s no good here it’s you.” I shake my head and push him, attempting to walk away but he grabs my arms.
“Cass, look at me. I love you. I fucking love you, ok? I know I can treat you better because you’re all that I want.” He slides his hands to mine. “Forever.”
“Please, we can work through this,” He leans his forehead on mine. Our lips meet in the softest of kisses.
My hand on the doorknob behind me stills.
“Please,” He mutters, sounding like he might be crying. “Please, Cassiopeia.”
He kisses me harder, I kiss him back.
The door clicks.
I turn the knob.
“I’m sorry.” I say, shake my head and close my eyes, step backwards out the door and away from him and his red eyes.
I walk down the corridor fighting back tears until I hear uproar, the voices are unmistakable. It’s Alvie and Albus: Hogwarts perfect couple. Only there looks like there’s trouble in paradise, because at current they’re engaged in a screaming match with each other. Miller is holding Alvie back, she looks like a bull ready to charge, it’s fucking scary. Dom has that ‘frightened puppy’ look going on while Mason stands beside her watching on. Seemingly none of them know what to do and none of them try to stop it.
Just as I’m approaching, Freddie, Char, Saffi and Raven are too, obviously having heard the commotion from their various positions about the castle.
“Woah. Who let Zabini out of her cage.” Raven smirks and receives a death glare from Alvie. I swear, if Raven was a dog she would have whimpered and hidden under a table. But since she’s not she just looks away hurriedly to avoid Alvie’s wrath.
“Guys! What’s going on?” Freddie asks Dom and Mason, since neither of the two stop screaming at each other, both of their shouts completely illegible. Dom merely shrugs and shakes her head, looking towards Miller as though he is omniscient.
“They’re having a disagreement.” He says, struggling to keep hold of Alvie who is wriggling in his arms.
“Yeah, a disagreement.” Saffi looks startled at this sort of behaviour. “What about?”
“Probably woke her during her nap.” Freddie laughs. Poor boy, doesn’t know Alvie will slaughter him for that. Rule number one of dealing with angry Alvie; you’re always on her side.
“Alvie,” I say, apparently having gone unnoticed. She looks up at me and I see the tear tracks on her face. “Come on.” I smile and hold open my arms. Like a child in the presence of their mother she calms instantly and Miller lets her go. She grabs me tightly and refuses to let go. Sobbing onto my shoulder.
“Will she be alright?” Miller asks, like no one else is there.
“I think so, maybe after some ice cream and girl time.” I shoot a poignant look at Albus with his red cheeks.
“Good.” Miller nods and whacks Albus over the head, pulling him away, down the opposite corridor, Mason and Freddie following dutifully.
“Come on, we’ll go up to the dorm and you can tell us what he’s done this time.” I joke and she laughs a little through her tears. I have no doubt it’ll be something petty and she’ll put it down to hormones. Merlin, I wish I could blame everything on hormones and get out of homework and eat double the amount of food.
Sigh. Cons of not being pregnant with your own baby.
Pros do however include, no impending ballooning, no raging hormones and no massive responsibility.
I’ll be honest; pro’s look kind of great to me right now given my life is shit without all of those cons!
OMG guys. I’m soooo sorry for how late this update is! But like, life, you know? I just had stuff to do and then when I tried to write this I couldn’t and then I forgot where I was going and just GAHHH!! I was having such a mare! I’m so sorry, but, happy New Year etc. I know this chapter is shit but better than there not be one at all, right? Ok. Maybe not. Whatever. I don’t know when the next chapter will be up but I’ll try and make it happen quicker than this time haha!
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