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Canis Major by atellam
Chapter 13 : Conversations and Confrontations
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 11


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Chapter XIII - Conversations and Confrontations

"So let me get this straight," Mel began from her spot next to me. "You were in the Library with Remus, when Sirius turned up because he was annoyed at James. Remus left, and eventually you and Sirius were kicked out, before you both proceeded to the kitchens. You then managed to convince Sirius Black – pureblood royalty, ladies man, and all round bad boy – to make you brownies?"

"After getting him drunk," Alice added from the end of my bed.

"After getting him drunk," Mel agreed, shaking her head in disbelief.

"While the next morning, you had a fight with your boyfriend of nearly ten months, played your first Quidditch match for Gryffindor, won your first Quidditch match for Gryffindor – and proved that Black's brother is rubbish, by the way – before coming back to the common room where you were seen having a brief but friendly chat with Black before you disappear to see Henry, who you break up with. Sirius then finds you in the kitchens, and helps you to bed in the early hours of this morning?" Reyna just blinks at me after repeating the second half of the story I'd just told them all. I think she's in shock.

I just nod, my mouth too full of the blueberry pancakes that Alice had brought up from breakfast. I'd still been asleep, but after they'd returned, the three of them had grown impatient and had woken me up to hear the story of the past two days.

It didn't feel like two days. So much had happened that it felt like weeks.

"Well then," Alice said with a nod, as if she was glad that everything had been sorted.

"There's no 'well then' about it," Melody replied, pinching a blueberry that I'd been chasing with my fork. I scowled at her along with Alice who was still monitoring my eating habits.

"So you're single now? Just like that?" Reyna piped up again. "You and Henry are over?"

"Yeah," I said slowly, trying to wrap my head around the fact that he wouldn't be joining us for breakfast as he'd grown accustomed to doing, that he wouldn't walk me to class, that he wouldn't pick me up and kiss my head when I ran into him in the Entrance Hall, and that he didn't even have any reason to talk to me. He could pretend I didn't exist if he wanted to.

But then brief flashes of the few times I'd seen him at the beginning of the holidays flashed through my mind, and I put my food aside, blushing. He could pretend I didn't exist if he wanted too, but I'd still seen him naked.

"There's still possibilities for you both later down the road," Alice said with a shrug. "He obviously loves you, and it's not like you broke up due to irreconcilable differences. It sounds more like you needed a break to focus on other things for a while."

"Maybe, I dunno. But that's not really something I want to think about now, if that's okay." I gave her a small smile, still adjusting to the knowledge that I wasn't supposed to hug him when I next saw him.

Godric, I missed him already. Maybe this breaking up business was a bad idea.

"Oh, no, of course. I was just saying, that's all," Alice hurried to correct herself, and I smiled at her, grateful when she returned it.

"While I'm still wrapping my head around it, I think it's a good idea," Mel said, helping herself to another blueberry off my plate. I shot her a glare before moving my plate to my other side, out of her reach. It was very rare that Hogwarts had pancakes for breakfast, and the blueberry ones were even rarer.

"What? Us getting back together later?" I asked, thinking we'd dropped this topic as it made me nervous about the whole breaking up in the first place business.

"Hmm? Oh, Merlin, no. I meant ending it. I like Watts, don't get me wrong, he's great, but I think this whole thing will do you good," Mel said.

"You broke up for the right reasons. You really need to be comfortable with yourself before you go into any serious relationships, otherwise everything ends up unequal and never works out in the end," Reyna nodded, agreeing with Mel. "Work stuff out, get into Quidditch, get it in your head that your weight isn't an issue – and that you're completely mental for thinking so – and then do what you like. If that means getting back with Henry then go for it. If it means going out with someone else, then that's fine, too. But I think you need some 'you' time, Keir."

I smiled at the lot of them, before struggling to hide a yawn. Merlin, I was exhausted.

Alice smiled at my sympathetically. "Tired?"

"Staying out with Sirius Black will do that to a girl," I deadpanned, before adding an overly obvious wink.

Alice laughed at my insinuation, but Reyna asked, "Does this mean you're friends or something?"

"Honestly? I don't know. I don't think so, at any rate. It means he knows my name now, and might acknowledge me in passing, but no, I don't think we're friends."

"Shame. If you had been, then you would have been forced to go to his party." Mel grinned at the scowl I shot her.

"Yeah, well, I'm not, so sorry to disappoint."

Before Mel could reply or Alice could tell us to shut up, there was a knock at the door.

"Are you lot in there?" called Lily Evans, and I sat up straighter against the headboard, suddenly aware that I was still in my pajamas.

Goblins, I bet I looked a mess.

"Yeah, what's up?" Reyna called over her shoulder after shooting the rest of us a confused look. We all shrugged, none of us with any idea why the Head Girl would be looking for us.

She poked her head around the door, smiling as she saw us, all squished onto my bed. "Mind if we come in?"

We?

"Of course you can come in. Anything the matter?" Melody asked calmly, but if you looked closely, her eyes were slightly too wide, too cautious, to be as relaxed at her tone.

"Oh, no, nothing's the matter, but, love," Lily turned her attention to me as Leah, Mary and Rebecca all followed her into our dormitory, “you should hear the things people are saying about you."

"Like what?" I asked quickly.

"Well, everyone's raving about that dive you made –"

"Which was brilliant, by the way," Rebecca cut in with a smile on her face, and it was the first time I'd seen her so happy since the news about her dad.

"Agreed," Lily continued. "And if they aren't talking about Quidditch, then they're talking about how you went missing with Sirius Black all evening, didn't get back till after midnight, and broke up with your long term boyfriend the next day. Is that true, by the way? About you and Henry?" Her smile slipped into a look of concern as she and Mary sat down on Mel's bed, leaving Leah to settle herself on the floor between the four-posters, while Rebecca opted to lean against the end of the bed.

"Far out, I sound like a cheating slag!” I buried my face in my hands. “But yes, the part about Henry and I is true. Although, it had nothing to do with Sirius Black." I frowned, looking out from between my fingers.

"You're all anyone can talk about, Nyx. You’re like a new celebrity. And all the people that knew you before yesterday are suddenly claiming it like it's some big deal. It's sort of pathetic really." Mary rolled her eyes, giving me an encouraging smile.

"Everyone was looking for you at breakfast. They seemed quite disappointed that you weren't there," Leah said suddenly. "Lily deducted House points."

"What for?" Rae asked, confused.

"Vicious rumour spreading and defamation of character, if they were speculating about cheating on Watts with Black or gossiping about your breakup. I didn't see any harm in them gushing over your magnificent dive, though." Lily grinned, and I felt some weight in my stomach lighten, knowing that someone was looking out for me. It was incredibly kind of her, and something she certainly didn't have to do, and yet she had, and I was grateful.

"Are you actually allowed to do that, though? Not that I have any complaints," Alice rushed to add.

"I'm Head Girl, I can do what I like." She laughed. "Besides, any excuse to take points off the other houses and help us in the Cup is a good one. And Keira here so happens to be more than a good excuse."

"Thank you," I said softly, incredibly grateful for what Lily had done.

"Don't mention it. It's not like McGonagall will have a problem with it. She's more competitive than Potter – she's just more subtle about it." Lily brushed it off.

"The real reason we stopped by was to make sure you were okay," Mary said.

"And to hear the story of what actually happened," Rebecca cut in.

Lily hit her over the back of the head with a hiss. “Becs!”

Of course she wanted the gossip, I thought. But I suppose I didn't blame her. I'd want to know if it had been one of them. Rebecca was just more forward about it.

Sighing, I repeated the story for the second time that morning; Mel, Alice and Rae cutting in occasionally with bits I'd explained to them in more detail that they felt were important.

"So, yeah, that's it. And I don't really know where Black and I stand now, or how I'm supposed to act around Henry, or anything really, but I suppose I'll figure that out as I go," I concluded.

The seventh years were quiet for a minute, contemplating all that I'd told them, before Rebecca asked a question.

"Did you sleep with Watts while you were together?"

I stared at the honest curiosity on her face, and if I hadn't been so glad this was the most normal she'd been since her dad died, I'd have been incredibly awkward about the whole thing.

"Uh, yeah. When I saw him over the holidays before he left for Wales, we..."

I didn't know what to say. Were these girls my friends? They weren't strangers, but I didn't know how to answer such a personal question. Would they judge me? They were older than me, probably all more experienced then me, and they now probably thought I was a slag. Brilliant.

"Guessing it was your first time?" Mary smiled. "Far out, it's so awkward at the beginning, isn't it? You just look at them and wonder how on earth it's going to fit," she said, laughing.

Not sure how we'd managed to sidetrack onto our sex lives, I chuckled nervously. But Mary smiled, and I realized she was offering up her story to make me feel less awkward about Rebecca asking for mine.

"Hurts, too. But after that it's not so bad. Especially if you're with someone who knows what he’s doing," she continued, and I suddenly remembered that Mary had had an on and off thing with Sirius Black for years.

Merlin, what had she thought of my tale of last night? And had she lost it to him? Was she talking about him now? Oh, good Godric.

"Michael will forever be the one that got away for you, won't he?" Lily laughed, nudging her friend in the side, and I released the breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding.

"Honey, if you'd been there, you'd know why," Mary said, nudging Lily back.

"Yeah, except I'm really glad I wasn't," the redhead said, making a face.

Rebecca grinned along with her mates, before turning back to the rest of us. "Any of you lot lost it?"

Alice, Reyna and Mel all shook their heads and Lily smiled. "Seriously, it's not something to worry about, despite what people might say. Find a decent bloke you care about, and even then, don't rush into it. I lost mine over the holidays between Fifth and Sixth year to this muggle guy I'd been having a fling with, and really I wish I hadn't."

"I lost mine beginning of fifth year," Rebecca started, "to some Seventh year I'd spent my summer with. Our families had both spent it in Briton, but anyway. We'd recognized each other from school, even though we'd never spoken, and started to hang out. We ended up having a bit of a fling. I figured when he got back to school that he wouldn't be interested, but he was, and we eventually did it in an empty classroom at three in the morning." Rebecca shook her head, a slight frown tugging at her mouth from the memory. "We saw each other for maybe two months after that, before it just fell apart. He was two years older than me, though, so I should have known that it was never going to work."

"I've never really had a boyfriend, so it hasn't been an issue," Rae said with a shrug.

"Ah, but we're working on that." Mel grinned, nudging Reyna with her foot. Alice laughed, and Mel turned to her. "Don't even get me started on you, miss! You're just as bad – if not worse – than Reyna, here."

Alice went pink, looking down at her hands in embarrassment as we chuckled.

"It's true. You and Frank are both so blind to your feelings," Lily said. "It'd be adorable if it wasn't so annoying."

Alice's head shot up, her jaw slack as she stared at Lily. "How do you know about Frank?"

We all laughed at that. "As I said, you and Frank are the only people who don't know about you and Frank."

"Yes, well..." Alice was bright pink with embarrassment.

The seventh year girls left not long after, and Rae, Alice, Mel and I spent most of the day in the dormitory where I could escape running into Henry, who’d no doubt heard the rumors about Black and I, or running into Black himself for obvious reasons. In fact, it wasn’t really until breakfast on Monday morning that I was forced to deal with everything that had happened.

“Nice of you to join us today, Keira,” Benjy said, nudging me in the shoulder as I slipped into the seat next to him. “We missed you yesterday, and so did half of Gryffindor, all stopping by to congratulate you. Of course, we said we were happy to pass it along, didn’t we, Doc?”

“Oh, yes. Benjy was very happy to pass along that fifth year girl’s praise. Chatted to her for a good ten minutes to make sure he got the message right,” Caradoc deadpanned, snatching the piece of bacon Mel was reaching for. She scowled, snatching it off his plate instead and stuffing it in her mouth so he couldn’t pinch it back. He scowled at her before inspecting the remaining bacon for some he liked the look of.

I chuckled, eyeing a blueberry muffin and reaching for it. Breaking off a piece and popping it in my mouth, I said, “And this message was?”

“That’s she single, broke it off with her boyfriend a few months ago, and now feels ready to move onto a new relationship when she finds the right guy; she prefers brunettes to blondes, and think’s Benjy here is pretty cute,” Caradoc rattled off as Fenwick’s face went slightly pink. Rae laughed as Alice nearly choked on her pumpkin juice.

“Didn’t forget anything?” I teased, popping more muffin into my mouth.

“I’m sure I have, but that was the gist of the conversation. You know, the important parts.” Caradoc nodded, looking thoughtful.

“Good, good. I’m glad.” Looking up the table as students slowly began the move to class. “What have we got first?” I asked no one in particular.

“Defense with Grimstone,” Alice said, looking up from her timetable. She’d had similar thoughts to me from the look of it.

“Ah, we should get going then.” Rae pushed away her plate and grabbed her bag, only to change her mind and seize her discarded toast for the road. Smiling at her, we began to make our way towards the Defense classroom.

In a good mood, I wasn’t really paying attention to the continued conversation; happy to just laugh at overheard jokes and stare out the windows we passed. The sunlight was weak, not really gaining strength until mid-morning these days. The sudden temperature drop we had every year – the true signifier of winter – wasn’t due for another week or two yet, although it was impossible to deny the evenings were growing cooler. I wondered if we’d have a white Christmas at Hogwarts this year? That’d be nice, I thought as we stepped onto the stairs leading up to the third floor.

I hadn’t made it four steps though, before the staircase began to move, the students near the top groaning as they appeared to have just missed their stop. Looking out over area, I tried to figure out which corridor the staircase would stop at, mapping out alternate routes to class in my head.

Turning on the spot, I was distracted by the three third years staring up at me from the bottom step, eyes wide. I smiled uneasily, about to turn back around and forget the awkward encounter, when one of them tugged on my robes slightly, apparently unable to reach my shoulder from their position below me.

“You’re Keira Nyx, right?” the one on the right asked, fiddling with her Hufflepuff tie. “The Gryffindor Seeker?”

“Uh, yeah,” I said, readjusting my bag on my shoulder, not sure where this was going.

“See!” she turned to her friend, hitting the brunette on the shoulder. “I told you it was her. We weren’t totally sure because you look different fifty feet in the air, but we just wanted to tell you that your catch on the weekend was wicked,” she explained, grinning at me.

“We were cheering for you,” piped up the third girl who didn’t appear to be as outspoken as her friends. Still, she shot me a small smile, as I stood there bewildered. Apparently Caradoc hadn’t been exaggerating as much as I thought when he’d said people had wanted to congratulate me yesterday.

Realising I hadn’t said anything, and that the three Hufflepuff’s looked like they were beginning to regret opening their mouths, I quickly forced a smile on my face. “Thanks! It’s really nice of you to say that.”

They smiled, but Rae cut them off before they could say anything else. “Come on, newly famous. We’ll be late to class now, even if we cut through the court yard,” she said, tugging on my robes as she made her way with the others up the stairs. Stumbling after her, I flashed another smile at the third years over my shoulder, not quite sure at which point of the conversation that the warmth had settled in my stomach.

I should have known it wouldn’t last for long.

*

Everything I’d been avoiding on Sunday morning caught up with me just after the bell went for lunch. McGonagall dismissed us promptly, probably because she couldn’t stand the sight of us any longer after our dismal attempts at turning a paperclip into a usable teacup. Teacups had been achievable. Apparently ones much bigger than our thumbs were not…

“Time slows when we’re in that classroom, I swear!” Alice said, rolling her neck and smiling as it cracked.

“It’s magic I tell you,” Rae joked, and I chuckled as Mel shook her head with a smile.

“Keira, can I talk to you?”

I started at the hand on my shoulder, freezing as I saw whom it belonged to.

Goblins.

And to think, I’d been avoiding responsibility for my actions so well up until now.

“Uh, sure, Olivia,” I said, stepping off to the side and in front of Olivia Cole. She glanced at my friends, wringing her hands slightly, and I looked over my shoulder to see them still standing there, assessing the situation. “I’ll see you down there.” I waved them on, a fake smile on my face as dread crept into my stomach.

Sweet Circe, this girl must hate me with all these rumors flying around.

Turning back to her, I swallowed, composing my face into polite interest as she continued to watch my friends slowly make their way to lunch. From the half smile on Olivia’s face, I could guess that they kept looking back at us.

Olivia was a pretty girl, I realized as I watched her watch my friends. Her hair was long, and from the looks of it, no strand was the same shade of brown, which left it shimmering through the spectrum in the corridor light. Her eyes were dark, even if slightly too far apart, and framed by manicured eyebrows, while she worried her full lip with her teeth.

Finally, she looked at me and smiled nervously again. “Look, you probably know what this is about, so I’ll cut straight to it – Sirius has been avoiding me since Saturday, and now with all these rumors popping up about your two disappearing on Friday night together, plus your sudden break-up with Henry Watts…” she trailed off, looking uncomfortable as I stood there blinking at her.

The dread was gone. She wasn’t yelling at me, and as far as I could gather, she wasn’t outright accusing me of anything either.

Okay. Deep breath. I could work with this; I just had to get in there and set the record straight as quickly as possible.

I opened my mouth, but she cut me off. “I’m not accusing you of anything, but you have to see why I’m a bit worried. I have no clue what’s going on, Sirius won’t talk to me, and I just want your version of what happened,” she hastened to add.

“First up,” I said smiling at her, “my break-up with Henry has nothing to do with Black. It was due to a whole bunch of things, but I can assure you, none of them were Sirius Black.”

Olivia let out a sigh, her smile stretching and becoming more genuine. I found mine mirroring hers, and upon realization, we both awkwardly chuckled.

“Secondly, yes, I was with Sirius for a few hours on Friday night, but it wasn’t at all like what people are saying. We were kicked out of the library and because we’d missed dinner, we went to get food. We talked about Quidditch a bit, and I convinced him to play for us in the match as we were down a Chaser. That’s it. It wasn’t some romantic dinner, or anything like that. It was mismatched chairs, surrounded by house elves, talking about sport; you have nothing to worry about, and I’m so sorry that the gossip in this school led you to believe otherwise,” I said, deliberately leaving out the alcohol consumption, the flirting that it had taken to get him to agree, and the actual number of hours we’d spent down there together. There was nothing going on between Black and I. I knew that, Sirius knew that, and anyone who’d been there would know that, but I also knew it wouldn’t sound like it if I told her the whole truth. My tone was sincere, though, as I took a step towards the Hufflepuff.

Godric, I was good at this; I even believed myself as I continued. “This whole thing is made up of independent events that’ve all happened to coincide at once, making things awkward for everyone involved. I can see how Black avoiding you would make it look worse than it is, but I’m glad that you came to talk to me. I would have come to clear things up yesterday, but I thought Black had spoken to you.”

That was a lie; there was no way I would have gone to see her yesterday. Hell, I still wish we weren’t having this conversation now. This was Black’s girlfriend; he should be cleaning up this mess. Then again, I hadn’t exactly been going out of my way to find Henry either. My nose twitched in distaste at the thought, but the rest of my face remained calm as Olivia nodded along with what I’d just said. I couldn’t break the mask until she was gone. I needed her on my side for this.

I could see her working my words through her head, testing them against what she’d heard and whether they seemed believable. I just continued to smile encouragingly at her. If I said something now, it’d appear that I was trying too hard to convince her. Guilty people over share when giving excuses, trying to cover every hole in their story. Honest people don’t see the possible holes in their story because it’s the only story they know, and therefore only share further details when prompted. Staying quiet and appearing open was important here.

Eventually she smiled, relaxing her shoulders, which I hadn’t realized had been tensed. “So you weren’t sneaking off to Hogsmeade to see a Healer because you’re carrying his baby?”

I blinked at her, once, twice, three times, as I processed what she’d just said.

“People think I look pregnant?”

Talk about rude.

“Not likely.” She chuckled. “I’m fairly sure it was just Justin Lewis being a prat. He loves it when there’s gossip in Hufflepuff that doesn’t involve him,” Olivia said apologetically, and I shrugged in acceptance. Getting annoyed at her wasn’t going to do much difference.

“It’s fine. Are we good, though? I don’t want any misunderstandings –“

“Keira!”

Ah, hell.

Olivia’s eyes widened slightly at the noise, and I recomposed my face as I turned towards Henry jogging up the corridor.

“We need to talk.” His voice was flat – measured – and I could smell his cologne from where he’d stopped next to me. He glanced at Olivia before doing a double take, realizing what he’d just interrupted. “You’re Olivia Cole, Sirius Black’s bird, right?”

“That’s me.”

“Good. Okay then… well… I know I’m probably interrupting something important, but if I could talk to Keira for a moment…”

I let my head fall backwards, staring at the ceiling. This was so awkward. Why did I have to be here for this? I just wanted lunch for heaven’s sake. I’d gotten Olivia onside, she was smiling at me like I was her best friend as opposed to a potential boyfriend stealer, and all in all, I think I’d done pretty well. Food seemed like an excellent reward before I had to tackle the Henry problem, which I knew would be harder; one, he and I had history which always complicated things; two, it was recent history – raw – which meant anything to do with it would hurt more than normal; and three, his Ravenclaw brain would pick apart everything I said and did, meaning it’d be a tedious conversation.

As Olivia said something that sounded like ‘that’s fine, we were pretty much done here anyway’ I heard footsteps approaching. Glancing around the Hufflepuff, I met eyes with Sirius Black, and sprang into action as he began to quietly retreat back the way he’d come from before either Henry or Olivia noticed him.

Ducking past her, I dropped my bag as I sprinted after him, grabbing the back of his robes as he tried to make a break for it around the corner.

“You,” I hissed, “are not leaving me to sort out his mess by myself. I’ve already been cornered by your girlfriend, and now Henry’s found me, and I’m not letting you bugger off to who-knows-where until it suits you.”

Sirius looked at me with wide eyes, surprised by my tone as I stood still holding the back of his robes. I clenched my jaw, refusing to let go until he conceded to help, although there was a flicker of guilt at the back of my mind. He’d only been doing what I wished I could do. There wasn’t really any reason to snap at him the way I had, was there? The longer we stood there looking at each other, the more the guilt grew, until I was about to let him go and apologize. Before I could say anything, however, his eyes flickered to something over my shoulder.

“Watts.” He nodded, the epitome of calm as he removed my hand from his robes.

I turned to find Henry standing there with a raised brow, my discarded bag over his shoulder. I took it from him before stuffing my hands in my pockets. How did I get myself into these situations?

“Oliva, I was just looking for you,” Sirius continued, moving towards her a soft smile on his face that hadn’t been there before.

She stepped towards him subconsciously, looking up at him with a wiry smile on her lips. “Were you just?”

“I was, but you were talking to both Nyx and Watts, and I didn’t want to get involved in their domestic. Since I’m with you now, though, why don’t we leave them to it and go talk, hmm?” he said, throwing his arm around her shoulder and steering her back up the corridor. He flashed me a look over his shoulder that clearly said “we’ll talk about this later” before disappearing around the corner.

I wanted to kick the wall, he was so infuriating. Kicking him would have worked just as well, now that I thought about it.

“If you’re done running from me,” Henry started, his eyebrow still raised as he dropped my bag to the floor.

“I wasn’t running from you,” I lied. I don’t think it was possible for his eyebrow to look more skeptic.

He took a step towards me and I felt the breath rush out of me as I realized we were alone. I could smell his cologne, which used to seem overpowering, but now smelt familiar, comforting… like home. I wanted to hug him. I wanted to fling my arms around him and never let go, and it killed me that I was the reason I couldn’t.

I took a step back, disguising it as re-adjusting my weight. I needed space. Oh, Godric, did I need space. I couldn’t even look him in the eye. Why do I suddenly feel like this now that I can’t have him?

“You need to tell me what happened Friday night, Keira. I’ve heard a lot of things these past forty-eight hours, and I need the truth from you.” His voice was hard – serious – and I didn’t like it.

“Nothing happened between me and Sirius Black, Henry. You know I’m not that type of person. This whole thing is made up of separate events that have all happened at once, and then grown hugely out of proportion thanks to gossiping Hufflepuffs.” I reworked my words from before, too distracted thinking of what Olivia had said of Justin Lewis and his pregnant rumour spreading. The prat.

“What did happen then, Keir? You were supposedly in the kitchens with him? How do you even know where the kitchens are?” As he shouted the last part, I frowned at him. I knew he was upset, and I knew he had the right to be, but I didn’t like that he was yelling.

“I was in the library with Remus Lupin, when Black came looking for him because he was in a tiff with Potter over the fact that he wouldn’t play on Saturday. Lupin was trying to study and so I gave Black one of those magazines my dad sends me because he’s interested in motorbikes. Black was appeased, Lupin went back to the common room, and I continued with my essay. We lost track of time, got kicked out, and had missed dinner. We were both hungry, so we went to the kitchens, which Lily Evans had showed me first week back, thank you very much,” I snapped. “Since I was with him, I thought I’d try and convince Black to play for us the next day, as that way he and Potter wouldn’t be at odds with each other anymore, letting Remus – and Gryffindor tower for that matter – have some peace and quiet. He eventually agreed to play, we went back to the common room, and that’s it, Henry. That’s all that happened.

He stood there for a moment, his jaw tense as anything, before his anger visibly collapsed as he sunk against the corridor wall, his head in his hands. “I believe you,” he mumbled. “I’m sorry, I had no right to yell.”

Damn right, you didn’t.

“It’s fine,” I said shortly, although the anger wasn’t really there.

I watched him for a moment before sitting across from him, making sure we weren’t touching.

“This is hard for me, too…” I started, unsure where I was going with the statement. He shot me a look, but I could tell he didn’t really mean it. “I’m sorry that all of this has happened at once. Black had nothing to do with us. What happened between us, I think that had been coming for a while, even if neither of us wanted to admit it.”

Henry wouldn’t look at me; instead he stared aimlessly up the corridor, resting his head back against the grimy stonewall.

“I just want to hold you,” he said eventually.

I just wanted to be held.

“I’m sorry,” I said as I got up to go, grabbing my bag and taking one last look at him.

And I was. I really was.



Author's Note:
I can't even apologise for how late this is, but my life has been crazy since I've last updated. I've sat through assessments, two lots of exams, I graduated high school, and somehow found a boyfriend, who's been more than amazing helping me through the problems my family is facing at the moment. Hopefully you'll all forgive me for this chapter's tardiness.

This chapter is not only late, but also a mess. There are things I don't like, things that I've pushed in here because I don't know where else to put them, and things that hopefully aren't too terrible to read. This hasn't been beta'd yet, I will hopefully update it (and add a chapter image from those amazing artists at TDA) soon. Still, I was desperate to get it to you, so hopefully it's okay. I'll try and have the next one up soon. Chapter 15 is underway, I just need to fill 14 first, haha.

Remember, reviews make my cry with happiness (even if I don't deserve them because I take too long to update).
Best wishes,
- A. :)


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