Chapter 11 : The Betrayal and the Bat-Bogey Hex.
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“You’re awfully chipper this morning….” Rose hisses at breakfast.
“Me?” I glance up from my coffee to see Rose’s brown eyes glaring at me.
“No,” She purses her lips. “The other person who’s been humming and stirring their coffee instead of drinking it for the entirety of breakfast.”
I remove my spoon from the mug and rest it on the table, proceeding to take a guilty sip from my now cold coffee. “Sorry.”
“Morning, Love.” Oliver finally shows up, places a kiss on my cheek, and takes the seat beside me.
Our beaming smiles are matching, “How are you feeling?”
“Fantastic, actually.” He smirks, “Mind you, a little tired, but—“
”For the love of Merlin!” Rose yells in a strained, shrill voice.
“Rose, what on Earth is wrong with you?”
She throws down her eating utensils and leaps up from the table, clumsily stumbling over the bench while attempting to maintain her annoyance. I immediately race after her.
Once I catch up, I latch onto Rose’s wrist and wheel her around to face me. “Rose, calm down!”
“You had sex with Oliver, didn’t you!”
The question hits me like a slap on the face. My jaw drops and closes multiple times as I try to conjure up a suitable response.
After what feels like minutes, I stammer, “Yes.”
Rose nods, still so angry, “You left me… to go have sex with Oliver.”
Another metaphorical slap in the face. “Wait! No! You left me to go dance with Scorpius!”
She goes into a panic, practically jumping on top of me to cover my mouth. “Could you have said that any louder?!”
I shove her hand away, “At least I’m doing something with my feelings for someone!”
Rose is seething. “Yeah, the wrong someone.”
“What?! I’ll have you know, Oliver and I—“
“I mean Albus, Freya.”
These metaphorical slaps to the face need to stop happening. My metaphorical face is getting numb.
A tinge of pain surges through my chest… or maybe my heart. “Albus and I are just friends. Whether you like it or not. And you are actually going insane by not telling Scorpius how you feel. Do something about it and stop taking things out on me!”
With that, I round on my heel and leave her in the hall alone.
I walk back into the Great Hall, chancing a glance over at the Slytherin table. Albus and Paisley are practically on top of each other. I force myself to look away, and to instead look at my boyfriend as I sit beside him. He beams at me, linking his fingers between mine and, thankfully, not asking me anything about Rose. I smile back, but it doesn’t feel sincere. A particular uneasiness manifests into an imaginary black cloud over my head refusing to fade away for the remainder of the day.
“I need a drink.” I tell Oliver. I’m curled into him, his arms wrapped tightly around me. We’ve been sitting in the common room like this for over an hour now. My legs are starting to fall asleep.
He places a kiss on my forehead, “We have classes tomorrow, Love.”
I roll my eyes at him, but he can’t see that. “Thank you, Dad. I was unaware.”
“What’s the matter with you? You’ve been in a mood since you ran after Rose.”
I sit up to face him, trying to ignore the numb tingling in my legs. “Am I supposed to be all cheery and joyful after I’ve had a fight with my best friend?!”
“Freya, she’s just being over-dramatic. She’s the one who always disappears on you, and then she gets all angry that you weren’t there to babysit.”
“She’s my best friend! I’m supposed to always be there for her! And I’m not apologizing for the fact that our fight has put me in a foul mood.”
Oliver purses his lips. He looks as if he wants to retaliate, but knows it’s probably best he doesn’t. I gaze at him sternly, practically daring him to go on, before I accept the fact he isn’t going to and stand.
“If you won’t get me a drink, I’ll go find some Hufflepuff who’s discovered the liquor cabinet in the kitchens.”
He sighs, and I can tell he’s been defeated. “There’s a bottle of Firewhisky in my trunk, wait here.”
Begrudgingly, he disappears up the stairs to the dorms. The nerves in my still snoozing legs gratefully relax when I collapse back onto the sofa. I’m relieved Oliver gave in, as I would have hated to try to storm out with my legs asleep.
“Here,” Oliver reappears and hands me the Firewhisky. “I’m going to bed.”
“You don’t want to join me?” He doesn’t answer, just continues walking away. “Oliver!”
“Goodnight.” Is the last thing he says to me before disappearing once more.
My heart pounds angrily against my ribcage and my breath quickens. I can feel heat rising until the tips of my ears are burning, and likely red. Several foul words escape me in muttered form before I spitefully unscrew the cap on the Firewhisky and toss it back, taking a bigger gulp than I probably should.
Impatient for the results of the swig, I toss it back again. And again.
Suddenly, it hits.
I feel dizzy, but any sense of fear is long forgotten… but anger is not. In fact, my anger seems to double—triple, even—and I’m furious. Albus dating Paisley, Rose accusing me of having feelings for Albus, Rose yelling at me for “abandoning” her, Oliver for walking away from me.
Just as I get up, planning to confront any of the three aforementioned people, Rose traipses into the common room. She sends a glare my way, and continues walking passed me… then she stops, turns around, and her eyes land on the Firewhisky bottle in my hand.
“Freya,” Her tone is so reprimanding. Why is it she’s always so reprimanding?! “What’re you doing?”
“Drinking, obviously.” I snap, hoping not to slur so she doesn’t know exactly how drunk I am.
“How much have you had?” She storms over, reaching for the bottle. I jerk it away from her, hiding it behind my back. She reaches again. “Freya, give me the bottle.”
“What?! No! Why?!” We go into a short to-and-fro pattern of her reaching for and me hiding the Firewhisky.
Finally she stops and huffs irritably. “Freya… give me… the Firewhisky. Now. Or I’ll have to go get Oliver.”
“Fine! Go get him! He’s the one who gave it to me!”
“Why are you being such a bloody child?!”
“You’re one to talk!”
Her face is blurry, but I can tell it’s gradually getting redder. “Me?!”
“Yes, you.” I mock her tone. “You can’t bloody well stay in one spot when you’re drunk, and expect me to babysit you the entire time! I look away for five seconds, and you’re off trying to snog Malfoy! And instead of just admitting you’re in love with him, you hide from him! Now, please, tell me who’s the childish one!”
If looks could kill, I would be obliterated into a million tiny pieces and promptly incinerated.
I smartly lift the bottle to my lips, but don’t even get to taste the rim, when I hear, “Accio, Firewhisky!”
The bottle rips out of my hand and to Rose, who proceeds to chuck it into the fireplace. The glass makes a loud shattering sound and the flames briefly amplify due to the alcohol. We glare at each other for a few minutes.
“I may run and hide from my problems, but at least I’m not drinking them away and hurting the people I care about.”
Rose turns on her heel and nearly runs up to the dorms.
Exhausted and very, very drunk, I make my bed on the sofa. Something tells me I’m not going to feel very welcomed in my dorm room tonight.
* * *
Potions the next day is a living hell. Actual living hell… as in I can feel the flames of Firewhisky still burning away in my stomach. I’m questionably still partially drunk.
Rose sits beside me, but not by choice. Since we started the term out beside each other, we’re technically partners for the entire year. Her current hatred toward me is radiating so much, it’s almost an extra physical being between us.
I’m not sure at what point during the lesson, but my head had found its way onto the table, and my eyelids found themselves closed…. And Rose’s elbow found its way into my ribs. I jolt awake and try to focus on Professor Birch, but her monotonous voice makes that damn near impossible.
Needless to say, Rose’s elbow is almost a permanent attachment to my side by the end of class.
Professor Birch dismisses us. I try to steal Rose away to discuss last night, but she ignores me and exits as quickly as possible.
“Bloody hell, Longbottom, what’d you do to her?”
I manage the best glare possible in my current condition and shoot it toward Albus, who had at some point stopped by my side. “Shut up, Potter.”
“What happened to calling me Poptart?” He playfully knocks into me with his shoulder, but I’m not prepared and stagger, almost falling. “Are you hungover? On a Monday?”
“I said, Shut up, Potter!” I regain my balance and shove my Potions book into my satchel. “Run along and play with your little girlfriend.”
That didn’t sound jealous at all.
Before he can comment, I hurry off to the Great Hall for lunch. I typically use this free period to study, but perhaps staking out in the Great Hall for Rose will give me the chance to beg her to hear me out.
Rose is not at lunch… but Oliver is. I go to sit with him until I realise he’s talking excitedly to someone. A girl. Who it is stops me in my tracks. Prudence Creevey is smiling and twirling a finger through her curls as she talks with him. He doesn’t seem bothered by it either… in fact, he’s beaming. Usually he only beams that way around me… or so I thought.
Regardless of still being a bit angry with Oliver after last night, my heart crumbles. I suddenly feel much weaker than I already did from the hangover. Tears stab the back of my eyes, threatening to come out.
They remain oblivious to me watching them, as Prudence places her hand on top of his and squeezes. He doesn’t pull away.
Finally, the stinging tears pour out onto my cheeks, my chest tightens, and my palms tingle.
I need to get to the Hospital Wing. Now.
Everyone around me is a blur. All that’s keeping me focused on not having a full-fledged attack is repeating, “Get to the Hospital Wing” in my head.
It seems to take forever, but I make it.
Madame Speltz is cleaning a newly empty bed when she sees me enter. The look on her face tells me she knows exactly what’s happening. She drops the bedclothes and rushes to my side, guiding me to the nearest bed and making me sit.
She’s saying words, but it sounds as if she’s talking underwater.
Next thing I know, there’s a vial of some concoction in my hand. I drink from it, cringe at the taste, and pray that something kicks in soon.
Moments later, my muscles feel more relaxed and the groggy feeling in my head alleviates. I’m still upset, but I no longer feel the sense of dread that comes with one of my anxiety attacks.
“I want you to take a few of these, carry them with you wherever you go.” Madame Speltz places three small vials of a mellow-coloured green liquid into my hand. “When you feel panic setting in, drink one… it’ll help. Come to me when you run out, all right, dear?”
I nod, thank her, and head for the common room. I just want to sleep today away….
The potion did help with the anxiety, but didn’t even slightly help the miserable crushed feeling in my chest.
I draw the curtains around me and lay back on my bed. I feel as if I’m spiraling.
My best friend hates me, my boyfriend is questionably—but most likely—cheating on me, Albus and I don’t even truly feel like friends anymore….
Oliver is my first.... my first everything. I gave him my innocence, my heart, my time…. And here I am, losing all of that to his ex-girlfriend. I hadn’t expected this. Oliver seemed so genuine, so caring… I thought he loved me, but it was so easy for him to converse with Prudence as if I didn’t exist to him. He didn’t even flinch when she grabbed his hand.
I take a deep breath, hoping to fall asleep soon so I can forget about all of this in a dream.
Just as I’m drifting, there’s pressure beside me on the bed. I open my eyes and see Rose with an expression of blatant pity.
“I saw Prudence and Oliver at lunch…”
“But I didn’t see you—“
“I was sitting with Albus at the Slytherin table.” She lays down beside me and tilts her head against mine. “I’m really, really sorry. I was still angry, so I didn’t go after you. Paisley… Paisley said you deserved it and I let her get to me. I’m so sorry….”
“I did deserve that. I’ve been horrid lately. I’m sorry, too.”
“Would you like me to tell you what happened after you left?”
I sigh, “I suppose so…. It can only get worse, right?”
“It depends how you look at it.”
“What do you mean?”
Rose giggles mischievously, “Well. After you left, they kept on and she was whispering in Oliver’s ear. They carried on for a few minutes… when suddenly—out of nowhere, mind you—these little tiny bats started crawling out of Oliver’s nose and flapping around his head! I even saw quite a few try to crawl into Prudence’s nose!”
A laugh escapes me, and the metaphorical dark cloud over my head seems to have a peek of sunshine behind it, after all. “You didn’t!”
“Oh, no!” She giggles again, “I didn’t, really!”
She sits up and sends me a knowing smile.
Her nose crinkles as she grins the cutest “evil” smile I have ever seen.
We start to giggle uncontrollably, Rose relaying how Oliver and Prudence reacted, and how everyone in the Great Hall laughed. Apparently, Paisley is furious Albus came to my rescue... which gives me a horrible sense of satisfaction, I admit.
A thought involuntarily pops into my mind—one that I’ll keep secret from Rose for now. Perhaps Oliver betraying me is a sign that there’s someone better for me.
Someone who’s been there all along….
Someone who can cast a mean Bat-Bogey Hex.
Review away! Sorry for taking forever!
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