Chapter 6 : New Impressions
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Gorgeous CI by amaris @ TDA!
Amy stared with curiosity as Viktor began to speak, his eyes fixed on a spot outside her bedroom window. Opening up to someone was far too difficult for him, but today that was what he needed. And she was glad she was the one giving it to him.
“My life isn’t exactly a story,” he said with a sigh, “It won’t even make you cry, I don’t think so. Maybe it won’t even seem sad to you when you hear it, but it’s very painful when you live it, when you accept it as your life, not a hero’s.”
Amy nodded sympathetically.
“You better tell me everything from the beginning,” she advised, “I’m sure I’ll be able to take you out of this problem you have, you know. And knowing the background is highly important.”
Viktor looked at her with so much surprise that it almost surprised her.
“What?” she asked awkwardly. He gave a sad smile and looked away.
“My problem has no solution. But I’m intrigued by your confidence.”
Amy frowned and said in an equally surprised tone,
“Now I’m intrigued by your confidence. How can you be so sure your problem won’t be solved by me? I, the most skilled consultant of all the time? Anyways, I’ll forgive you because your state of mind isn’t the best and I’ll move on. Look- is there any harm in talking a little about that problem you have? I can at least try to-“
“Okay, okay, I’ll try to tell you everything.” He concluded in order to make her stop talking when she was the one who was supposed to be listening to him. She readily left her speech incomplete and rested her head on her hands with curious expressions. He gave another sigh before actually starting off.
“Well, how much do you know about the Triwizard Tournament that took place a few years ago? Were you at Hogwarts at that time?” he asked.
“Of course, I know about the tournament!” she exclaimed. “I was at Hogwarts at that time and I saw you doing all those incredible things and was impressed a lot by you. You used to look so killing!” she winked, leaving him embarrassed. When was he good at taking compliments? But after a minute or so, he laughed. He actually gave a small, shallow laugh and began shaking his head.
Amy raised an eyebrow in confusion.
“Hello? I don’t see anything funny about this. What’s wrong?”
“Sorry, sorry,” he retreated himself quickly, a smile still playing on his lips. “It just feels weird that you were around so many years ago and I didn’t even know you!”
She rolled her eyes and nudged him to start telling his story. He closed his eyes for a moment before speaking, as if collecting the memories and joining them together piece by piece.
“The Triwizard Tournament was literally the turning point of my life,” he said, “I was almost forced to participate and I was hoping the Goblet of Fire will consider my unwillingness, but it didn’t. I was chosen and I had to continue living in Hogwarts for the rest of the year instead of practicing with my team back in Bulgaria.”
“I thought you liked Hogwarts,” said Amy, eyeing him curiously.
“Yeah, the school was beautiful,” he agreed. “But I didn’t enjoy staying there very much. The girls of your school annoyed me. Wouldn’t let me stay alone for a moment.”
Amy laughed, recalling the days when her friends used to follow Viktor around all the time for an autograph or a sneaky peek.
“But then I met her.” He said silently with a smile. “You know, when we’re in a crowd, the most different face attracts you. That’s exactly what that happened at that time with me. She was far different from the girls that surrounded me. I used to spend nearly all of my time in the library because the girls wouldn’t pester me in their; your librarian was very strict.”
“Madam Pince,” she muttered with a nod, “I always sneaked books from the restricted section under her nose. But yeah, she was strict and made sure the library was silent and serene.”
“Yeah, Madam Pince,” he nodded, “she was a nice lady, I liked her. Anyways, let’s get back to the story.”
“Yeah, fine. Go on,” she said.
“She used to spend most of her time in the library too,” he murmured, “I don’t know what she used to do, but she never even looked at me. You see, she didn’t even care I was there! That was new to me and at the same time was refreshing and nice. I was immediately attracted to her and the attraction gradually changed to- love.”
“Did she love you?” asked Amy softly; smiling at the intensity of his voice and the passion he was showing while talking about ‘her’.
He gave a long, bitter laugh at her question, shaking his head continuously.
“I don’t think so,” he answered, his voice a little low, “but she liked me and enjoyed spending time with me, I’m quite sure about that. She always said she cared for someone else but never told me who. I know that now, but it doesn’t make any difference.”
“Oh, that’s so sad, I’m so sorry!” was her quick sympathetic reaction. “So you never really- you know- you never proposed her?”
“I did convey my feelings to her,” he said, “I told her I loved her so much that it hurt and I had never felt anything like that towards any other girl; I even invited to my house in Bulgaria to meet my Dad. But-“he shook his head bitterly, “she wasn’t even paying any attention to me. She was busy worrying about one of her friends, was dying to know if he was safe. But that didn’t weaken my feelings or anything. I just- loved her.”
“But so much time has passed, Viktor,” muttered Amy, snuggling into a more comfortable position on her bed. He got up and began to pace the room slowly, his face lost in the shadows of the night. “You should have moved on by now. Or did you even try to make her care for you after the Tournament?”
“I kissed her,” he said quickly. Though she couldn’t see his face, Amy was sure he was blushing horribly. “I kissed her when I left for Bulgaria, but she didn’t kiss me back… and that’s when I knew. Knew she didn’t love me. Then I never came back to her though we wrote to each other frequently. Then we weren’t in touch for years.”
“What does she do now?” she queried.
“I think she works in Magical Law and Enforcement Department in your Ministry,” he said, settling down on the chair again. “She graduated with incredible grades and she- she got married today.”
Silence stretched between them. Viktor was staring at the floor chewing his lower lip as Amy struggled to reach to an appropriate reply. She felt really bad for Viktor and she wished he had married the girl he loved.
“I’m so sorry,” she broke the silence, reaching for his hand, but he readily pulled away and got to his feet.
“There’s nothing to be sorry for,” he replied quickly, his voice suddenly distant and harsh. “I’ve accepted this as my life and I’m perfectly able to handle myself. Please don’t feel bad for me or anything. I don’t like to bother people by my own burdens, I’m sorry for doing that this time.”
“I’m sleepy, Amy,” he said in a dismissive tone, “you can sleep on your bed, I can adjust here.” He pulled his wand out of his pocket and with its flick, a cozy sleeping bag emerged out of thin air and landed on the floor.
“Goodnight,” he muttered as he snuggled in it without bothering to change and turned to his side.
Amy nervously lay down on her bed, loosening her hair and pulling the sheets over her. She stared at the ceiling for a long time wondering if she should ask the question that was pestering her. After glancing at Viktor a hundred times, she gathered her courage and whispered, “Viktor?”
“Hmm?” he asked absently.
“What was her name?” she blurted, wishing he wouldn’t take any offence.
To her surprise, he shifted underneath in the sleeping back and reached into his pockets for his wallet. Opening it, he slid his fingers beneath the plastic pocket in it and took out a photograph. Then he slowly placed it on the bed beside her.
“Look,” he said.
Amy got up and turned the small photograph in her hands, trying to get a clear view. The fair, pretty girl with bushy brown hair and a charming smile was extremely familiar to her.
“Holy crap!” she exclaimed.
Viktor lay awake for most of the night, looking out at the stars through the window. He wasn’t sleepy at all, though he was very tired. Amy was deep asleep, judging from her rhythmic breathing, but he couldn’t. He was feeling very different today. He felt strangely light and a bit free. He had never thought anyone but Hermione would listen him talk about Hermione with so much interest and patience.
He felt a strong gratitude towards Amy. She had proved herself different from the girls surrounding him, though she was far too different from Hermione. Both of them had nothing in common, but were- unique. He had surprisingly found another girl that fitted his requirements. Unique, rare and understanding.
But then suddenly, waves of pain break over him. He shifted uncomfortably and closed his eyes with determination. Whatever she might do, Amy must remain his good friend. Best friend maybe. He would help her get her true love and will be there by her side as just a friend. Just a friend and nothing more.
Hope you liked the chapter! Please let me know what you think I should improve and what you particularly liked about the chapter. :)
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