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Etiquette by helpwillalwaysbegiven
Chapter 3 : Conflicted
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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Chapter 3: Conflicted


Tap, tap, tap.


Startled, I shrieked and dropped the basket of laundry on my foot, causing me to yelp once again, except this time in pure pain. With my heart beating a thousand times per minute, I looked over to see Dom’s owl, Pierre, pecking at my window. Finding this rather strange since Dom never owls me (she usually just pops up in my fireplace) I quickly opened the window. The owl flew gracefully into my flat and perched itself on the armrest of my sofa.


"What have you got for me, Pierre?” I asked the owl after my heart returned to its regular pace. He hooted in response and stuck out his leg where a scrap of parchment had been tied messily. After releasing the tawny owl from the letter, he flew out of my window. I unrolled the parchment to find a message scrawled in untidy writing.


Emergency – come quick – need help – no time to explain

Vince



My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. I quickly shut the window, grabbed my jumper off of the cat and apparated on the spot. After a minute of tugging and scarce breathing, I landed on the white marble doorstep of Dom and Vince’s posh townhouse. I was just about to yank open the door when I heard a faint pop behind me. Whirling around, I came face-to-face with James, who looked just as winded as I felt.


“What are you doing here?” we both blurted at the same time. “I don’t know, Vince owl’d me!” we both replied, again in unison.


We stopped and stared at each other weirdly.


Godric, it was like he was reading my bloody mind. Again.


I suddenly felt annoyed at his presence, his face, and his ability to read me so easily, and before I knew it, all the anger and confusion I had felt at the end of Dom's engagement party came rushing back.


“Right, well,” James said awkwardly yet hurriedly as he reached over my head and pushed open the door, “we should go in, it sounded urgent.”


I nodded begrudgingly as I swiftly brushed under his arm, trying not to think of the last time we were this close, two weeks ago at the Wood Manor. I wanted so badly to confront him about the almost-kiss, but the fact that Dom and Vince were currently in need stopped me. Now was just not the time.


As I stepped inside the home, the sound of wails and sobs met my ears, causing my pulse to quicken. I followed the sounds into the living room where it only took me a second to deduce what the emergency was.


“It’s ruined!” Dom screamed through her tears, not noticing that James and I had appeared in the doorway of the room. “Everything’s ruined! Victoire’s wedding is going to be better than mine!”


The living room was big and nicely furnished. Daylight filtered in through large windows which lightened the cream colored walls, making the room look bright and open. A beige sectional couch took up one wall and a white marble chimney took up the wall opposite. The glass coffee table had been temporarily pushed up against the sofa. Dom sat in the middle of it all, on the cream carpet floor, surrounded by numerous white cloth samples of all sizes. Her normally tamed hair was a complete mess and she had mascara running down her cheeks. Vince was clattering around in the kitchen, mumbling to himself.


“It’s okay honey, come drink your tea! I made tea! Please, stop crying!” he now yelled desperately over her sobs. He emerged from the kitchen with an old Babbity Rabbity mug in his hands and stopped in his tracks when he saw James and I standing there. A look of relief washed over his face as he mouthed, “Help me!”


I let out a heavy sigh. “What,” I said, “in the name of Merlin is going on here?”


At the sound of my voice, Dom looked up at me with her big, brown watery eyes. “Gwynnie? Oh, Gwynnie, look at this table cloth! Look at it!”


I glanced at the piece of white cloth she held up and raised an eyebrow. It looked fine to me. “What’s wrong with it?”


“Now look at this napkin!” She held up a white napkin and shook it in front of my face menacingly. This, along with the fact that her hair resembled a bush and her make-up was leaving charcoal tracks down her face, made her look like a crazy old hag. (As her best friend, I’m allowed to say that.)


“Okay,” I said hesitantly, approaching her slowly. “Erm, they’re both white?”


“No!” she shrieked, chucking both into the air. “These napkins are off-white! They’re supposed to be white to match the table cloth! Two shades lighter! Let me ask you something: how the hell do you expect my guests to eat off a tablecloth with napkins that don’t even match? This is a complete disaster!” She sobbed even harder and blew her nose into one of the napkins.


I sat down next to her and began rubbing her back. She leaned into me, making an attractive fog horn sound as she blew her nose again.


“Vince, what’s the emergency?” James asked impatiently, still standing in the entry way. I rolled my eyes at his slowness. Looking the definition of alert, he had his wand out and his eyes were sweeping the room, as if expecting a death eater to pop out of the couch cushions and yell, “Surprise!”


Vince glanced at Dom, then back at James, not wanting to express out loud that Dom was the emergency. Or, to be precise, tablecloths and napkins were the emergency.


Finally, it dawned on James, who dropped his wand arm limply and rubbed his face with his hand. “I left my Quidditch conference,” he said flatly, “for tablecloths and napkins. Mate, you know I have a game tomorrow! Do you know how pissed Coach Fisher was when I told him I had to leave?” Although James plays for the Falmouth Falcons and Vince plays for the Tutshill Tornados, both could relate to the other when it came to strict, demanding coaches.


“I didn’t know what to do man, I panicked! She wouldn't calm down!” Vince whisper-yelled, waving the Babbity Rabbity mug of tea in the air dramatically.


Dom continued sobbing and blowing her nose.


Figuring it was about time someone actually got some shit done around here, I straightened up. “Dom? Dommy?” I said while smoothing her hair. “Where did you order the tablecloths and napkins from?”


“W-Wimbledon’s Wedding Doodads,” she blubbered.


“Alright, I’ll get it all sorted out, don’t you worry,” I said soothingly before getting up. "You just rest, have some tea, and sleep it off. I'll take care of everything, okay?" She nodded as I picked up the order forms that were sitting on the glass coffee table.


“Erm – Should I... Do you need anything?” James asked Vince unsurely. He had put his wand away and was now standing there looking out of place.


“Go with Gwynn or something, I don’t know. I gotta get this one,” he gestured at Dom sitting in a sniffling heap on the floor, “to bed.” With that, he picked her up, bridal-style, and headed out of the living room.


He stopped at the end of the hall and said over his shoulder, “By the way – good luck in your match, mate. And thanks for coming to help, both of you. Really. I appreciate it. I'll be seeing you tomorrow night, yeah?" Then he waved at us and disappeared around the corner in typical Vince fashion.


I stood there idly, wondering what was happening tomorrow night, before realizing that James and I were now the only ones left in the living room. Having come from a Quidditch conference, he was wearing a black suit. I on the other hand was wearing boots, jeans, and a thick, knit jumper.


Normally I would find him in a suit very attractive, but that almost-kiss kept cropping up in my mind, so his presence was actually kind of pissing me off right now.


I've thought long and hard about what happened at the engagement party. Or, didn't happen, I should say. But I mean, seriously, what exactly were his intentions that night? What was he thinking? After all this time, did he really expect that we’d just kiss and make up? Pretend like the four years of avoiding each other awkwardly never happened? Act as if everything was fine and dandy between us after all? Fat chance.


“So... Shall we go?”


“Don’t you have a conference to get back to or something?” I snapped, crossing my arms and avoiding eye contact.


“Well... I can’t go back now seeing as it’s probably over...” James’ voice trailed off as he checked the gold watch he got from his parents for his seventeenth birthday. He glanced up at me and his eyes were careful.


Funny; it's been four years and yet, he can still sense when I'm in a bad mood. Tired and just wanting to get this over with, I sighed in defeat. “Fine, let’s go.”


We left the townhouse, locking the door on our way out. A cool breeze greeted us as we stepped out onto the street. It was October 30th and the leaves that were still hanging on the trees were all shades of red, orange, and gold. Those that had fallen littered the ground vibrantly.


“Er... Are we apparating separately, or... ?” I asked, feeling suddenly awkward. Allowing him to come along had definitely been a bad idea.


“Whatever works for you,” he replied nonchalantly, shrugging.


“Grool,” I said, then reddened as I realized my brain fart. “I mean – Cool. Great.” Merlin, I wanted to smack myself. Or draw an X on the wall and bang my head against it repeatedly. Not wanting to hear his reply, I apparated on the spot without a warning.


I landed on the cobblestone road of Diagon Alley facing Flourish and Blotts. The street was bustling with shoppers and street vendors. Leaves crunched underfoot as people walked by.


James appeared right next to me, straightening out his suit. To my relief, he didn't say anything about my brain fart, but I did notice a stupid smirk playing at his lips. (Bloody tosser.) Without a word, I turned around and went inside Wimbledon’s.


The store was decked out in Halloween-themed wedding essentials. Among all the plates, cutlery, and wedding favours were hideous tablecloths covered with pumpkins and ghosts, all laid out for show. Banners and tapestries hung on the walls, dripping fake blood that disappeared as soon as the little droplets hit the ground. Quadruple-decked plastic cakes topped with miniature dancing bride and grooms in numerous gory wedding outfits were on display by the counter.


I marched up to the sales girl behind the glass counter. She was wearing a witch’s hat that had an ugly orange veil attached to the back of it which clashed terribly with her red hair. She looked around my age and her name tag read, Hello, my name is CLAIRE.


"Wotcher," she chirped. "Can I help you with anything today?"


"Yes, actually, there was a little mistake in my order of napkins and I was just wondering if you could help me sort it out."


She grimaced and squared her shoulders, as if preparing to head into a battle. "Absolutely," she said, maintaining a professional tone. "May I have your order number please?"


I read her the number Dom had scribbled onto the form. "I ordered white napkins, but received off-white," I explained.


She rifled through a folder full of papers before pulling a sheet out and looking over it quickly. "Terribly sorry about that. It happens a lot."


"No worries," I replied.


"I'll be right back with your order," she said as she headed into the back room.


Well, that was extremely easy. There was no need for Dom to be so dramatic. Honestly.


Still waiting on the sales girl to return, my eyes scanned the store. James was over at the candles section. I watched as he picked up a dark red candle (blood scented, I’m assuming) and sniffed it. His face scrunched up in disgust and he quickly put it back on the shelf. I bit my lip to keep myself from smirking just as he looked up and met my gaze. My smirk quickly dropped and was replaced with a quizzical expression that matched his. Remembering that I was still pissed at him, I quickly turned my attention back to the sales girl who had suddenly reappeared.


"Unfortunately," she said, looking oddly tense and nervous, "we don't have any white napkins in stock at the moment. We are however supposed to be getting some shipments in later today, so if you'd like, we could owl them to you? You'd receive them no later than tonight."


"That sounds great."


"Oh. Okay. Good,” she said, looking pleasantly surprised. She quickly pulled out a new form and began to fill it out. After some silence, she added brightly (devoid of the professional tone she had adapted earlier), "I threw in a discount too, just because you were the calmest customer we've had today."


"Oh. Thanks," I laughed, now understanding why she had seemed so nervous. "You guys don't get those very often, I assume?"


"You have no idea. We've had four brides, two mothers, and one goblin walk in today crying, screaming, complaining, or all of the above," she muttered, rolling her eyes before smiling up at me. She handed me a slip of paper just as James walked up. "All fixed. Here's your receipt. Congratulations on the wedding, best of luck to both of you! I didn’t know you two were on-again!"


There was a pause, and then –


"Oh, we’re not –" I blurted, at the same time James said awkwardly, "Actually, we aren't –"


"You know what, thank you for your help! Really. You were great. But erm, we have to, er, go... Now," I said to the sales girl as James and I backed away towards the door. The last thing I saw was her confused but kind face as she waved us goodbye. As soon as we were out, I let out a groan.


James rubbed his face with his hand and muttered, "Why does this keep happening?"


Unsure of whether he was talking to me or himself, I chose not to reply, but I couldn't help the voice in the back of my mind that agreed with him wholeheartedly. What the bloody hell was with everyone and assuming we were back together and getting married? I mean, really? Is the bad tension between us not obvious? Or is everyone just oblivious? I don't get it.


Now that we were finally done with this napkin situation however, I wanted nothing more than to go home, finish my laundry, and eat. Basically, I wanted to get as far away from James as possible. As I was contemplating on what to make for dinner however, my stomach betrayed me by growling very loudly.


James glanced over at me with a raised eyebrow. “Hungry?”


Embarrassed, I shrugged. “Yeah, so I think I’m going to head ho –”


“Come on, then.” And without another word, he began walking towards a small pub called The Taberna.


Dumbfounded, I stood there gaping at his retreating back.


Did I hear correctly? Or am I going mad? Because I think James Sirius Potter, my ex-boyfriend, just invited me to have dinner with him.


For a moment, I stood rooted to the spot, staring after him. Shoppers side-stepped around me without so much as a glance, making me feel like a boulder in the middle of a stream. Not once did James turn around to see if I was following, and it was for this reason that I sighed and went after him.


Inside, the pub was quaint. Mahogany wooden tables and chairs sat on the left side of the room while a bar ran along the right side. The dark wooden floors were polished, creaking with each step you took, and old lamp chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Photos and portraits of witches and wizards taming dragons were fixed upon the walls.


James chose a table near the back of the pub. He pulled a chair out and gestured for me to sit, which I did, trying my best to mask my surprise. It had been a while since he'd done that for me, yet he seemed completely nonchalant about it. Thus, I tried acting indifferent too, as if your ex-boyfriend making a gentlemanly gesture to you after four years of no contact whatsoever was completely normal.


A young waitress bustled up to our table and eagerly slapped down two menus. “Good evening! May I get you anything to drink to start?” She batted her eyelashes at James, ignoring me completely.


“Get anything you wish,” James said as he looked pointedly at me.


* * *


“Is there anything else I can get you, Mr. Potter?” asked the waitress.


All through our meal, I had watched her flirt shamelessly with James, to which he did not return. It’s been so long since I’ve gone out with him that I’ve almost forgotten about all the googly-eyed attention he gets. To my surprise, the flirty waitress didn’t bother me in the slightest, which was probably due to the fact that I had long ago become immune to this type of thing. On the contrary, she provided me with entertainment throughout the meal.


“The bill, please,” James replied politely without looking at her. He was too busy fishing his wallet out of the inside pocket of his suit jacket.


“Oh. Alright. Of course.” She walked away looking slightly disappointed.


The entire meal had been awkward and quiet. There seemed to be a silent agreement in place to not bring up the elephant in the room, a.k.a. the almost-kiss. Because of this, neither of us had known what to talk about, so instead, we had both acted very interested in our food. I was still pissed, but I had to admit, him taking me out to eat may have made up for part of it. (A very tiny part of it.)


“So...” James’ voice trailed off. I looked up from stirring my tea to see him staring down at the paper napkin he was picking apart. He cleared his throat and started again. “What are you doing tomorrow night?”


Suspicious, I narrowed my eyes, wondering what he was trying to get at. “Staying in and watching a Muggle Halloween movie.” That probably sounded lame to most people, but honestly, I'm content with staying at home. Plus, I like my Muggle movies.


“Ah,” he said simply. He went quiet for a long moment and I was about to ask 'why?' when he dropped the mangled napkin and looked up at me, clasping his hands together. “Well, if you’re up for it, my team’s throwing a party tomorrow night at The Sage, after our game whether we win or not. Molly, Viviana, and Dom are all going. A lot of people are going to be there actually.”


My mind went momentarily blank, surprised at this turn of events. Then I remembered what Vince had said earlier about seeing us tomorrow night, and it all made sense. “I’ll... think about it,” I lied, having actually zero desire to attend.


He nodded just as the waitress came back with our bill. I tried to pay, but naturally he insisted.


“Thank you for dinner,” I said cordially as he held open the door for me.


“You’re welcome,” he replied, shrugging as he stepped out into the street, too. “And... just in case you do decide to come to the party tomorrow... Dress up. It is Halloween after all." A small smile tugged at his lips, and then he disappeared with a pop.


I stood there, feeling confused and like I was one step behind him once again. Why was he being so bloody nice to me?


It wasn’t until a sharp wind blew past that I realized where I was and what time it was. While we had been inside eating dinner, the early evening had turned into a late one. Looking around, I saw that many people had cleared out of Diagon Alley and shopkeepers were now closing down their shops. Sighing, I apparated on the spot and went home.


* * *


“Trick or treat, slut!” a familiar voice yelled from outside my flat. I paused the Muggle movie I was watching and glanced at the clock on the wall. It was ten o’clock on Halloween night.


Frowning, I got up and answered the door, finding Molly and Viviana on my steps. The street was empty except for my two best friends. Molly was dressed as Audrey Hepburn (a Muggle actress), so she had on a black dress, black elbow-length gloves, white pearls, and black sunglasses. Viviana, on the other hand, was a very skimpy mouse. She was wearing a very short, light grey dress with long sleeves. Little grey ears were perched on her head, and on her face, she had painted on whiskers and a pink nose. In her hand was a wine glass. (Typical.)


Molly lowered her sunglasses and looked me up and down. “What are you wearing?”


“Erm... Clothes?” I supplied as she and Viviana marched past me and into my flat. I didn’t think I looked that bad: my hair was up in a high bun and I was wearing black yoga pants, a dark green jumper, and an orange scarf. I shut the door.


“You're not going to the party dressed like that, are you?” Viviana asked, swaying slightly on the spot. She plopped down on my sofa and crossed her legs.


“I’m not going to the party.”


“Yes you are,” Molly said confidently.


“And why would that be?” I questioned as I followed her into my living room.


“Because Viviana’s already drunk and I can’t be the only one taking care of her.”


Just then, we heard something clatter on the ground. We both looked over to see Viviana looking down at my small lamp. The lamp and its shade were rolling around on my dark hardwood floor.


“Whoops! Clumsy me," she giggled.


Molly gave me a ‘see-what-I-mean?’ look. Then she pulled out her wand and pointed it at the lamp which fixed itself instantly.


“Well, I don’t have a costume so I can’t go anyway,” I said triumphantly.


“Oh, nonsense! You must have something,” Molly said, with a wave or her hand. I rolled my eyes as she dragged me into my bedroom before I could protest any further. Viviana followed us and belly-flopped onto my bed.


Molly threw open the door of my chestnut brown wardrobe and we both gazed at it for a few seconds before she announced, “Okay, you have absolutely nothing to wear.”


“Told you,” I said, picking at my chipped nailpolish.


“Mmmfuhm druhbscu wiff,” Viviana mumbled from my bed.


I flicked a huge piece of purple polish off my nail. “Is she okay?” I asked Molly, though I was asking more out of habit than concern.


“Viv, get your head out of the pillow and talk like a lady,” Molly ordered in her motherly tone.


“I said,” Viv lifted her head from my pillow and spit out strands of her hair, “just wear a nice dress. With that orange scarf you have on. And maybe some orange heels to go with.”


Molly turned back to the wardrobe and ransacked my drawers. After a minute, she pulled out an old pair of nude pumps which she then charmed orange. Then she rifled through my hangers and picked out a dark heather grey dress that I was saving for an upcoming work conference; it was slim-fitting and had quarter-length sleeves. She thrust them into my arms. “Strip.”


“I beg your pardon?”


“You heard me. Let’s go, we have things to do, people to see!”


“And alcohol to drink and men to kiss! Come on Gwynnie, I still have to do your make-up. And your nails, now that you’ve picked at them to death,” Vivana rambled, rolling around on my bed.


“What’s wrong with my make-up?” I asked defensively.


“Well, I mean, nothing’s exactly wrong with it, per say,” she said, lying on her back and twirling a piece of hair with her finger, “but we are going to a party where there will be a ton of shirtless Quidditch guys.”


“And?” I asked sceptically. Frankly, I could care less about guys at this point. Especially one certain Quidditch guy.


“And no offense, but you need a man!” Viviana exclaimed, pointing a black-painted finger nail at me.


“Now, strip,” Molly ordered.


* * *


"Ladies," Greg Thomas greeted us as he waved us through the doors of The Sage. He was two years older than us but I still briefly remember him from Hogwarts. He had been quite the ladies’ man, what with his dark, chiselled looks. When he saw me behind Molly, he brightened and looked me up and down. "Ah, the elusive Gwynn! Long time no see! You're lookin' fine tonight."


Fine? I looked like a boring prude with no costume and a crap-load of slag make-up.


“Thanks,” I muttered.


Molly smiled at Greg before leading Viviana and I into the thick crowd. I haven’t been to a party like this in years. From wall to wall, the Sage was packed with people in a variety of costumes. We didn’t get too far into the crowed before a tall, black-haired guy dressed as a zombie stopped us.


“Hey, aren’t you Potter’s ex?” the zombie slurred loudly, stumbling slightly.


A few people around us glanced over, but considering they were all drunk and won't remember any of this in the morning, I felt hardly a twinge. “Er,” was all that came out of my mouth. Who was this guy even?


Before he could say anything else however, Viviana had her mouth on his and the two were in a full-fledged snog within seconds. Whether she did it to save me or it was the alcohol acting; I wasn’t sure, but I was relieved nonetheless.


Molly clucked her tongue in disapproval. “On that note,” she said, “let’s get drinks.” She took my arm and led me across the packed dance floor.


After shoving our way through sweaty dancers, we came up to a bar surrounded by people. Molly elbowed aside two girls dressed as slutty cats to make room for us. I jumped up onto one of the tall bar stools while Molly ordered.


Our drinks were levitated to us and Molly downed hers in one go. I looked around and saw other people basically doing the same. My Godric, everyone here was going full out. I took a sip of my own Firewhiskey and cringed as it burned its way down my throat. As Molly ordered herself another drink, I glanced around the room and saw James’ team, all of whom were shirtless and painted green, celebrating in the middle of the floor surrounded by a mob of people. The Falcons must have won their game, judging by all the cheering and whooping.


Molly and I sat at the bar for a while, chatting with Amy Finnegan, one of the bartenders. She was a year younger than us and had gone to Hogwarts with us as well. She was summoned away from us however when the entire Falmouth Falcons team came up to the bar for a new round of drinks.


“Just go with Brooks,” I heard a familiar voice say from behind me. I turned around and saw a shirtless James talking to Leah Rosetta, who was wearing a green jersey that was 10 sizes too big for her. It stopped at an awkward length that made you wonder whether she was wearing really short shorts underneath or nothing at all. It was a team jersey, and on the back, POTTER was emblazoned in bold, white letters.


Leah said something to James, who shrugged. She stalked off, her tall high-heeled boots clacking as she went. James stood there for a moment, watching her go, before looking around the room. His eyes landed on me and a look of surprise flitted across his face before he began making his way over to me.


“Heeeey,” he slurred, smiling as he threw his arm across my shoulders. “I didn’t think you’d come.” I could smell the strong aroma of liquor on his breath.


“Erm, yeah,” I said, trying to casually shrug his arm off of me but failing pathetically. It was too bloody heavy. “Moll and Viv dragged me here.” I turned to look at Molly for back-up, only to find that her seat was empty. Confused, I scanned the room quickly and saw her red head bobbing amidst the crowd, following some dark-haired bloke. God damn it, I turn around for two seconds...


“Mhmm,” he said, leaning into me. His rock hard torso was pressed against my arm and I stiffened, feeling abruptly uncomfortable. Coming here tonight suddenly seemed like a bad choice.


He ducked his head down on to my shoulder and I felt his lips trail slowly up my neck. I shivered, not used to being so physically close to anyone anymore. I could feel and hear his warm breath on my skin, making the hairs on my arms stand up. My breath hitched as he came to a stop at my cheek where he pressed his lips against my skin.


“James, stop,” I said sharply. My eyes were shut and I was breathing hard through my nose, refraining myself from losing my shit right then and there. I pulled his arm off of me and shifted in my seat to move away from him, not even trying to be casual about it anymore. He leaned in even closer though, resting his lips by my ear.


“Can’t we put your bitchiness behind us and move on?” he slurred, grabbing my waist.


Stung by his words, I felt my stomach drop through the floor. Abruptly, I shoved him away. My heart was erratic as it hammered in my chest. My face went hot and my hands began to sweat. I felt sick to my stomach. All of a sudden, there were too many people, the music was too loud, and the Firewhiskey was too strong. My thoughts were jumbled and all I wanted was to get out of here.


I turned away from James’ drunk, confused face and hopped off of my stool. Shoving my way through the thick crowd, I ignored people’s grumbles and kept my eyes on the blazing red EXIT sign up ahead. I didn’t know where she was (probably with Vince and his Quidditch team), but I heard Dom bragging to someone about her ring. A few people murmured, “Is that Gwynn Hastings?” as well, but I ignored them and kept moving. Nobody stopped me as I pushed open the exit which led into a side alley. My head was spinning so much that I hardly heard the door as it slammed shut.


It was dark outside but the sky had an almost orange glow to it from all the light pollution. The cold hit me in one big rush and I could see the deep breath that I was letting out.


I placed my hands on the cold brick wall nearest me, trying to regain composure, but before I knew it, betraying tears started falling, taking Viv’s expensive make-up with them.


I don’t know how long I stood there before the heavy door I came through opened and then quickly slammed shut again. I turned around hoping it was one of the girls, but to my dismay, it was James. He was still shirtless and covered in the green Falmouth Falcons paint.


I suddenly felt embarrassed and cursed myself in my head. Godric, I never cry in front of people. I hastily wiped my face and took some deep breaths.


“Gwynn, I—” he began.


“No,” I cut him off. The fury and hurt from being called a bitch suddenly surfaced, and everything came tumbling out. “You know what? How dare you? Yes, I know it must have hurt that I turned you down four years ago, but that does not make me a bitch. I don’t care how dramatic you or anyone else thinks I was and am being. It’s absolutely ridiculous how much shit I’ve gotten from everyone about this. Not only that, but I’ve had enough of your shit, too. Just stop. I’ve had enough.”


He stumbled towards me, his face contorting with anger and his voice dangerously low. “How dare I? How dare you! Four years! Four fucking long years of no communication. No ‘I’m sorry.’ No ‘I still love you.’ No nothing. You just stopped. Even though you said no, I don’t get why we couldn’t have stayed together and waited it out, or at the very least stayed friends. You just ended everything. How do you think I felt? Oh right, you didn’t think. You didn’t consider what I felt or thought at all. Try putting yourself in my fucking shoes, Gwynn. I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t make it end. That was all you. Without a single fucking reason as to why. So yeah, sorry for saying it earlier and sorry for repeating it now, but I’m drunk and what you did was a bitch move.”


“Godric, just drop it already, will you? That was four years ago! And I don’t give two shits if you’re drunk right now! What did you think was going to happen in there? And back at Dom and Vince’s party, huh? Did you think we were going to kiss, and bam!, everything would be okay again? No. That’s not how it works, James! Besides, you have Leah.”


“Oh for Fawkes sakes, you don’t really believe that do you?” he scoffed, rolling his eyes and running a hand through his hair. “All that bullshit about me and Leah? She’s a friend, Gwynneth!”


“Oh, yes,” I spat, crossing my arms and scowling at him. “A friend. I’m so sure! That’s why she was following you around tonight, right? I saw you two arguing earlier, James. I’m not daft.”


He took a step back and threw his arms up into the air in frustration. “You were the one who said no to me, so why does it matter to you if I’m with someone new, anyway?”


“We were seventeen! What was I supposed to say?”


“Hmm, I don’t know,” he said sarcastically, stepping forward. “Maybe, 'yes'?”


“I wasn’t ready, James!”


We stood face-to-face, fuming and glaring at each other. There was less than a foot of space between us. We were both breathing hard, our chests rising and falling in unison.


James took a step back, shaking his head. “You know what? I thought we could at least work things out for the sake of the wedding of our best mates, but clearly I was wrong. I’m done here.” He turned around and began walking down the alley towards the street.


My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. “James,” I called out incredulously. My voice echoed and bounced off of the brick walls on either sides of me, but he kept walking. “James! Stop! You’re just going to leave everything like this? You can’t be serious. We’re not done here! We have to... We need to...” my voice trailed off. I felt a lump forming in my throat and it was getting harder to breathe.


He whipped around to face me, walking backwards. “There’s nothing to talk about anymore.”


“Yes there is! You can’t just leave like this!” I yelled in a strangled voice.


“Why can’t I? You did.” And with a crack! he apparated on the spot, leaving me alone in the dark, cold alley.


I gaped at the spot where he had stood. I hadn’t realized it, but I had started crying. Again.


So this is what it felt like to be ditched and heartbroken.


 

 




Author's Note:

So, so, SO sorry about the delay guys but we hope it was worth the wait & we hope you all had a lovely holiday! Now, we know there was a lot of filler stuff in this chapter, but there was a bit of excitement at the end, right? Please tell us what you think by leaving us a review! Thank-you again for reading and thanks to those who have left reviews/ favourite this story. You are appreciated!

P.S. Did anyone catch the “grabbed my jumper off of the cat” reference from the Chamber of Secrets movie?! Yeah?? ...No? Ok. (Maybe we’re the only ones who find it funny. In which case, this is awks... Hahaha)

~ Maysie & Jenny

Disclaimer: We do not own anything you recognize. It all belongs to the lovely J.K. Rowling!


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