Chapter 6 : Of Control and Problems.
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A/N: Sorry it has been so long, dearies! Here's another chapter for you, please read & review.
Being in a relationship made it easier to avoid Anabelle now, and although sometimes I would simply lay in my four poster bed and wish I could just reach out and entertain her friendship once more, I knew it was for the best. I might as well start cutting the friendships I can’t keep after Hogwarts out before they have to be cut off.
Anabelle had seemingly gotten the hint; she avoided my eye in the halls and hardly uttered a word to me in our dormitory. Every time she did felt like a stab at my heart, but my head always seemed to win out most logically in these times.
On this evening I was sitting on a plush couch in the Slytherin common room, my Transfiguration essay laid out before me and books scattered about. Evan was next to me, tapping his quill against the parchment before him hardly attempting to start his paper.
“I can’t even make it through this essay,” he scoffed flinging his quill away from him in expasperation.
I turned and gave him a puzzled look, “Why so, darling?”
I made sure to keep my tone light and girlish, hiding irking feeling that his idleness always seemed to create in me.
“I just want to be out of here, Claire. I want to be serving the Dark Lord, and carrying out orders. I have no use with learning how to change a parrot into a cup or how many spider legs one puts in a sleeping draught,” his wild green eyes rolled to the back of his head.
I sighed, having heard his spiel of this before. He always wanted to be out fighting, anything but stuck here.
“But, darling, your parents insisted you finish out your schooling. Besides, what we’re learning could actually help you. What if you need to know the antidote to a poison? Or what spell is best to use to incapacitate a person without killing them?” I leaned over enough to catch his eyes, and watched as they traveled from my eyes to my lips.
I don’t think he actually heard what I said at the end, but it was the best way I knew how to distract the boy. If Evan were to leave school my mother would probably have me ship home as well, just for the sake of Evan. She was overjoyed at us going steady, having raved about it in her last letter for nearly a page.
The Rosier’s were pleased as well; they were friends with my father. I had been pruned and encouraged to be the perfect wife, and they were aware of that. Plus, they needed a reason to keep Evan from going stir crazy. His father insisted he finish his education and follow in his footsteps at the Ministry of Magic. If only to be a tool to Lord Voldemort there, he would be more useful than some foot soldier.
Evan was transfixed on my lips now, “You’re always right, dear.”
I smirked, now shifting to face him, knowing that in this situation I had full control. I had control and there was something maddeningly addicting in that. Evan reached up and cupped my cheek, his eyes flicking between my lips and my eyes.
“What are you thinking of now, darling?” I asked softly, batting my eyelashes softly.
Merlin, this was mind numbingly easy.
Evan smirked, thinking of me as some silly girl, but I knew. I knew that I had a power over him, and I drank it in hungrily.
“Just about doing this,” He said softly, closing the gap between our mouths and kissing me.
Evan’s kisses weren’t particularly noteworthy. He was skilled, but I figured that was from his many vicarious relationships he held over summer holidays. He was always overly eager to me though. I could feel the heat of the moment, the way my heart hammered a little harder at his closeness and how warm he was under my touch. But no fireworks, no magical moment, just kissing. Just his lips and mine, and it was enough.
I could feel him start pushing for more, one of his hands pulling my face to his and the other wrapping around my waist to pull me closer. Somehow some radar always went off when this happened, an uneasiness settling in my stomach. I started to draw back more in our kissing, I guess you would call it snogging at this point, and that only made Evan more indignant and more pressing to pursue. I finally managed to push of, breaking his grip on me enough to pull away for a good measure. Evan looked hurt and put out at my actions.
“S-sorry,” I stuttered a bit, my cheeks reddening and my eyes shifting downward at disappointing him, “We’re just in public.”
That was the best excuse I could form. I couldn't admit my uneasiness or unwillingness to engage further. As much as pureblood women are taught to remain virgins until marriage, pureblood men are often taught to be greedy with women and are not looked down upon for fooling around, even within marriage. I couldn’t keep pushing him away for much longer; mother wouldn’t be pleased if Evan ditched me now.
Evan looked as if he were going to say something when his Quidditch mates came barreling through the door, laughing and hollering. They ambled over to the couches with us, Goyle the first one to note our positioning.
“Not interrupting anything, are we?” He said with a raised eyebrow, winking in my direction.
I felt my cheeks grow warm, but Evan quipped back rather quickly, “Like we all haven’t walked in on you and Alex snogging in the dormitory.”
It was Goyle’s turn to go pink. It got a chuckle out of Parkinson and Avery Jr.
Evan and I shifted and immediately the boys dived into Quidditch talk, at which time I tuned out to finishing my Transfiguration homework. I was used to this, ladies weren’t to be active parts of conversations when men were involved. We could make a witty comment here or there, or politely laugh but things like Quidditch were hardly to concern us.
I like to think that if I hadn’t been raised to think this way that I probably would have loved Quidditch. I remember the rush I felt during flying lessons our first year, the swoop of my stomach but the adrenaline that pulsed through me as well. I probably got too into the games as well. But there was something glorious in it all, something just positively free.
Before Evan I would attend Hufflepuff games because Annabelle was actually the captain of our house team, another thing I never confided to my mother. Anabelle was brilliant, quite possibly the best keeper in the school.
I put a period on the my last sentence, tuning back into the boys.
“Blimey, Rosier. You know that O’Malley will block anything we throw at her! We can’t use the same tactics from last year,” Avery Jr. bellowed, a group of third years rustling to look over by the fire.
One glare from Evan made them turn back to their own exploits, and the vein above his right temple tensing.
“You’re not calling the shots here, Avery. I am captain and what I say goes,” Evan whispered rather venomously, his gaze now focused on Avery Jr.
I placed a hand on Evan’s knee, his darkened mood something I wasn’t particularly in the mood for. He faltered a bit, sighing and leaning back into the cushions, Avery shoot me a thankful glance.
“She’s the best keeper this school has got, we have to find a way to psych her out,” Goyle said folding his hands together and addressing the men around him.
“She got knocked out once by a bludger, if you aim for her face she’ll flinch,” I found myself speaking without thinking, regretting the statement after I said it.
I faltered, my cheeks reddening and my heart hammering now. This was different than avoidcance, this was back-stabbing. The boys, however, seemed pleased. Evan looked on smugly at his mates and squeezed my shoulder appreciatively.
But I had just given them to power to win against my best friend. I had betrayed her.
I guess I was living up to my last name now.
“Misses Nott? Misses Nott?” a set of fingers snapped in front of my face and I blinked, reminding myself of where I was. My cheeks flushed at being caught off guard.
I looked up at Professor Slughorn, my brows knitted, “My apologies professor. Could you repeat your question?”
He sighed a bit exasperatedly, “I asked what color shrinking solutions should be if brewed properly, Misses Nott.”
I flipped through my memory, recalling that we had brewed this very potion the year before, “Green, sir. The potion should turn bright green.”
“Precisely! Ten points to Hufflepuff,” He replied, cheered at my correct answer, and continued on with his lecture.
Slughorn and I got along well, mostly for my advanced work in charms, and he had begun asking me to Slug Club meetings around my sixth year. My mother was just pleased that I had another reason to meet acceptable gentlemen.
The match between Slytherin and Hufflepuff was fast approaching this weekend and I felt this guilt settle in my stomach like a huge brick. I couldn’t shake it and I spent most of my nights tossing and turning.
The bell rang for classes to let out and I grabbed my things and left in a haze of thought. Before I knew it I was standing in my dormitory staring at the empty beds. Someone was coming out of the bathroom and I snapped out of it. I looked up and met Anabelle’s eyes.
We both shifted uncomfortably and I moved over to my things, placing my books in their proper places and taking off my cloak. Anabelle moved to her bed, sliding on her trainer’s probably to head to practice on the pitch. She sighed leaning up and looking at me, frustration etched on her face.
“Are you even going to speak to me, Nott?” She huffed, not even bothering to conceal her accent.
“I think not,” I responded coldly, hoping she would leave me at that.
“So that’s it then? You suddenly find some bloke and ditch your friends?” She said rising up and moving toward me, her eyes narrowed.
“I have to think about my future, Anabelle.” I chastised, gritting my teeth.
She had no idea what it was like to be me. She had no idea what it was like to have to find a husband and soon. It meant everything in my world it meant stability and security. She got to ride around on her little broom and fall in love with muggle boys, but all my life was riddled with was bagging a man and Death Eaters. She had no bloody idea.
“Oh, right, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it took so much work to become a trophy wife,” She bit back crossing her arms and jutting up her chin at her last words.
“Better that then a muggle’s whore,” I said quickly and out of anger, not even registering that one, I didn’t want to.
Emotions were fickle. Feeling bad about this would only complicate things. Anabelle had to be out of my life, before any of my Slytherin friends or family found out about her love life. They would look down on me or even target her. I don’t know which I cared about more.
I could see the tears stinging in her eyes at that last blow.
“At least I’m not so stuck up my bleedin’ boyfriend’s arse that I can’t see who my real friends are. Were. They left you out and practically ignored you for years here, Claire. And you just go running back as soon as some pretty boy flashes you a smile. You’re pathetic,” She shouted, tears coursing down her cheeks and hurt etched in her eyes.
I sat there impassively, letting her be angry. She grabbed her broom from her bed and stormed out of the room, and I let her.
I could feel the weight of betrayal and guilt and shame threaten to spill over me, and I was shaking. But I pushed it aside; I pushed it back and away, and left my room.
I thought that I had solved everything. I had rid myself of all of the problems my mother would see in my life here. I thought that this would make me happy.
But, oh, how wrong I was.
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