“Chris.” I called out as the boy quickly strode down the hall. “Chris!”
He kept walking and I lost him as a stream of first years raced out of their class, exited to get to lunch. I groaned, frustrated that they wouldn’t let me through, until I saw a familiar head of blonde hair not three meters ahead.
“Dominique!” I yelled, and she turned.
“Mols, hey!” She smiled, pushing past the first years to come hug me. “You found him yeah? What did he say?”
I chewed on my bottom lip, my stomach churning at the thought of actually confronting Chris. “No, I was trying to find him just now. Have you seen him?”
She furrowed her eyebrows. “No. But I did hear Rose say something about a Prefect meeting today? He’d probably be there.”
“Thanks Dom,” I sighed, relief seeping into the words. “I’ll see you in class yeah? And if the professors need to know where I am–”
Rolling her eyes, she turned me around and pushed me in the direction of the Head’s office. “Tell them that you have lady troubles. I know the drill, Mols.”
I shot a smile over my shoulder at my favourite cousin before walking down the corridor, away from the Great Hall and towards what might be the most uncomfortable confrontation of my life. Chris and I had gotten close these past few months – very close. We’d gone to The Three Broomsticks more than a few times, and he always seemed to be waiting for me outside the Ravenclaw locker room after our practices. I’d asked him a week ago what we were – hoping he’d ask me to be his girlfriend, but he’d asked for some time to think about it.
Ever since then, I’d barely had time to see him with his N.E.W.T.s and my tryouts for Oakshaft, but everyone had assured me that everything was alright. I had just turned around the corner leading to the Heads office, when they all spilled out, a cluster of prefects in shades of green, blue, yellow, and red. Catching a glimpse of the Head Boy, I pushed my way through the prefects.
“Chris.” He must not have heard me as he kept walking, but I was not about to let him get away that easy. “Hey, Christopher Finnegan!” I yelled, racing after him.
His back visibly tensed before he turned my way, a solemn smile on his face. “Molly.”
“Are you avoiding me?” I chuckled. “Haven’t seen you in a while. Bit odd since we live in the same castle.”
“Well, it is a castle,” he mused, his eyes trained on the floor. “Large one at that.”
I felt my heart sink and a cold sweat break out at the back of my neck. “Have you actually been avoiding me?” This time, there was no happiness but apprehension in my voice.
It felt like an eternity before Chris responded. “Molly… I… I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry for?” I laughed slightly indignantly. “What could you possibly be sorry for?”
He delayed his answer yet again, long enough for him to be saved from answering it.
“Chris, hey I found you.” Caroline Manning stepped in between us. “Forgot to mention to you in there that you and I have to take the late shift tonight. That shouldn’t be a problem right?” She put a hand on his arm and he blushed.
“Yeah, of course. Heads have to do the dirty work, right?” His eyes lit up as he talked to her. That used to happen when he talked to me. “I’ll catch you later. Molly and I have some business to take care of.”
She turned to me, her perfect blonde hair bouncing around her shoulders magnificently. “Oh, sorry Molly. Didn’t realize you were there. I’ll see you later, Chris.”
She shot me a dirty smile and I couldn’t help but want to smack it off her face. As she walked away, I stared daggers into her back, wishing that somehow she could know just how much it hurt to feel the own knife in my back twist so sickeningly.
“So you’re sorry for that,” I said coldly, as the Head Girl walked away. “How long?”
He smiled sheepishly, guilt apparent on features that I once loved to stare at that now made me feel nauseous. “Not long.”
“About a month now?”
I felt my stomach drop and tears well up in my mind, but I wiped them away almost immediately. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“You know that I don’t like confrontation, Mols.” He ran a hand through his hair and looked over at where Caroline’s figure still walked down the hall. “I can’t explain it; I just don’t have any feelings for you anymore. I haven’t for about a while now.”
“You had your N.E.W.T.s,” I said, disgusting myself for defending his actions. But I kept going. “And I had my tryouts.”
He seemed grateful, but I wanted to throw up at my words. “Exactly.”
“Did I push too hard?” I asked, hating the way my voice broke on the last word.
He finally lifted his gaze to meet mine. “I don’t think I could ever see this going further than it already had. I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel the same way you do. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go. I’ll see you later, Mols.”
I nodded, feeling my heart break within my chest. I wanted to scream, to yell at him, for leading me one for months just to drop me the second someone else showed interest. I wanted to ask if he had always known that he would stop caring for me, that his affection could switch so easily. I wanted to know if everything we’d done, everything we’d shared, was a lie.
Instead, I watched him walk away, the first boy I had ever thought I could love. The boy that I was excited to bring home and meet my crazy family. The boy that was perfect for me in ever which way but one. Because he was the boy who had just broken my heart.