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The Human Factor by SexyDoorFrames
Chapter 12 : The One After The Betrayal
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 22

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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter.

Authors Note: Hey! How is everyone? Here is 12! I hope you like it. I already have 1000 words of chapter 13 written! I can’t believe we’re up to 12 already! I start college officially the 13th, but looking at my schedule, I should still have some writing time!

For all the people who nominated me at the dobby’s, you made my whole life. Pippa got nominated for best OC! Which was just one of the best things ever. Seriously, thank you so much for all your support. You make my day with each review you leave and I can’t thank you enough. Comments and opinions are always welcomed, but please remember to keep them 12+. I’m interested in what you have to say about all the latest developments! I hope you’re enjoying them.

Thanks so much for Steph_M for being my beta! 

Chapter Twelve-
The One After The Betrayal

Chapter image by the amazing zephyra.@TDA

“I’m not twisty.” - Pippa Nott

It was the moment where I finally understood the act of betrayal. Of course, I had felt it all before. The way the knife is stabbed in your stomach by someone you trusted with everything, the way the eyes become colder and the person becomes a ghost because I wasn’t the type to forgive and forget. I held grudges, sometimes they were justified but most of the time they were petty, but even arming myself with this information, I could still not let go.  This wound hit deeper than the rest I had received because it was Damien. I had shared my whole life with him. He was the one to pick me up whenever I had fallen. The name necklace he had given me when I turned eleven still hung around my neck. The chunky letters felt like fire against my cold skin. I hadn’t taken it off in five years but I suddenly felt the urge to rip it off and destroy it but I didn’t. I let the necklace hang heavy around my neck.

Damien had done one simple action but I knew my eyes would never see him the same way again. He was a shadow of his former self, someone I hadn’t see in a while. Everyone has their good and bad sides.  All of us have a monster that lives inside. Some of us choose to run from their monster but others like me, accept them with open arms. The blackness took over the whiteness and the grey is becoming murkier than ever. It’s hard to know what’s wrong and what’s right. Is something wrong even though you believed it? Is it wrong even though it made you happy?  Was I just over reacting? Damien always had a monster inside of him, which if I looked closely, I would have noticed was growing day by day. It was taking over him, maybe I could have helped but mostly I just thought that this was the way it was always supposed to be.

Damien was always going to betray me and eventually I would betray him because that’s the kind of people we were. Blood or not, we would trample over each other if it meant getting what we wanted.

And what Damien wanted was clearly Emilie Zabini. My past with her didn’t stop him. I had told him the whole story of me and her. He ruffled my hair, told me I was better than her and this was life. ‘People are crap Pippa’, he said, ‘And don’t you ever forget that’. He stared at me for a long time and I didn’t understand why but I do now. He was warning me that he wasn’t the hero person I had created in my head. He was human and he was going to disappoint me.  That is just life.

“I think I may be in a parallel world!” Cassie hissed. Her rage was strong and it would destroy anything in its path. Replying was useless, rage doesn’t understand reason. “Because I cannot believe your dipshit of a brother is kissing bloody Emile Bitch face Zabini.” When everything happened with Emilie, I wasn’t the only person who ended up hurt. Cassie was even more hurt than I was over everything. She was more passionate about her hate towards Emilie. She would pick petty fights and she would hide Emilie’s things while I chose to pretend Emilie didn’t exist.  The curses continued to fall out of Cassie’s mouth for another couple of minutes before the angry haze started to fade a little. “Right,” She stared at me like the others didn’t exist. “What are you going to do about it?”


“Of course,” Cassie had gone crazy. Maybe she thought that Damien had betrayed her too. “You’re his sister. You have the power.” She pointed to them. “You have to split them up.”

I couldn’t believe the amount of venom that was leaking through her lips. This wasn’t normal. I started to think that I wasn’t seeing the whole picture, just a small corner of it.

“That would require talking to him, which I’m not doing ever again.” I replied stubbornly. “And why do I have to do it?” I asked, even though the question was stupid. I knew why she had asked me.

Cassie raised an eyebrow at me. “You’re kidding right?” I shrugged. “Pippa, you always get what you want.” It was true but then I somehow manage to mess it up or I usually find I didn’t really want it after all. I was used to getting my own way. I was the only girl, so my parents gave into my every whim. I wanted something, so I got it. I wanted to get on the quidditch team so I trampled on several people to get there. Of course, it took effort, careful planning, manipulative and dirty tactics but it worked. “You’re manipulative.” I faked a gasp like I was really offended. I wish we weren’t doing this in front of everyone because they might have thought something good about me. I didn’t have a chance in hell anymore.  “Put it to good use and make everything right again.” Cassie was pacing, while Fred, James and Scorpius looked at her oddly. Albus just looked pleased. I wanted to kill him because in this twisted game, he didn’t just upset me, he had upset Cassie. But I had used his sister. So all was fair really.

I huffed. “Since we’re being honest and everything,” Cassie stared at me. “Why don’t you use your own powers?” She knew what I meant. Cassie was a shameless flirt. She would flirt with you, your best friend, your boyfriend and even your dog if it meant she could get ahead. Though now, I had come to believe that most of the time she didn’t even realize she was doing it. The little smile would come out and so would the gentle pat on the arm and the laugh that made you feel like you were the funniest person in the world.  She had split more couples up accidentally than she remembered.

“They don’t work on him.” She replied softly which made me think that she may have tried. Just when I thought I knew everything about her, she says something that takes me completely off guard. “Telling someone that they’re wonderful when they already think that doesn’t do anything but make you look like a fool.”

I eyed her suspiciously. “What are you trying to tell me?”

She smiled at me and shook her head. “Nothing.” She whispered before kissing me on the forehead. I knew something was there, but I didn’t push it, I let it go because it was her. “But we have to sort this out.”

I agreed because it’s her. “I’ll try and figure something out.” Cassie nodded before sitting on the floor. She glanced to Damien and Emilie in the distance and cursed again. I think it hurt her more because it was Emilie and Emilie royally screwed Cassie over. I turned to James. “Did you know about this?”

“No.” He answered honestly. “He was being a little distant lately, but I thought it was a phase.” James scratched his forehead. “He has never mentioned her before.” James and Damien were practically brothers in every aspect except blood. It must of stung a little bit for him to not know. He went out seeking a secret from his enemy and ended up discovering one about his best friend. He sat next to Cassie and sighed. He stayed silent for a moment before turning to Cassie. “Is she as bad of a person as you make out she to be?” 

“Yes.” Cassie laughed bitterly. “She is.”

James nodded. “Okay.”

The air was draped in a heavy silence for a while until Cassie broke it. “Is Nathan Morgan as bad as you make him out to be?” She asked.

“Yes.” James replied. “It’s bigger than petty teenage squabbles.”

“And are you sure he’s up to something?” Cassie drew pictures in the mud.

Fred walked over and sat next to Cassie. She glanced at him with blank eyes before returning her attention to the mud drawings. “We’re sure, we just can’t figure out what.”

Cassie smiled softly to herself. I always thought she looked her most beautiful when she smiled because it radiated warmth. It pulled you in. The badness disappeared and it was taken over by the good. But there was something broken about this smile. Even the most beautiful things can be broken.  Cassie was a warm person who didn’t really trust anyone but me, but no one really knew this. She played everyone well but in a different way than I did. She always seemed so happy and most of the time she was, I think. “I can help.” She whispered so quietly that her words were almost lost in the wind. “I have a somewhat fake friendly friendship with him. It shouldn’t take too much time to turn it into something deeper.”

James frowned at her. “Why would you do that?”

“Because someone has always got to lose at the end of the day,” Cassie told him while smiling sadly. “And for some reason, I don’t want it to be you guys.”  She shrugged.

“Thanks.” Fred answered, while looking at her with a different look in his eyes.

Scorpius sat down next to James.  “So what are we going to do?”  He looked up to me for guidance but I had nothing.

“Give me your cape.” I muttered.

Scorpius said nothing but handed over his cape.

I lay it on the floor and next to Scorpius. I sat on it. I felt like a genius because now I wasn’t going to end up with a dirty bum like the rest because the grass was soaking and wet. It’s the littlest things that get us through the day. Albus sat on the opposite side of the cape to me. I glared at him but he just shrugged. I decided not to argue with him. Look at me, I was being a grown up. I hummed for a while as Scorpius stared at me, fully expecting an answer and for me to solve everything. “Let’s just do this for a while?” I shrugged, feeling strangely comfortable. I knew if one more thing happened that I wasn’t expecting, I would freak out and want to run, but today, my mind was too focused on everything that had just happened, it couldn’t be bothered to focus on any of my issues. Plus people were being respectful. I still had personal space, I wasn’t sitting on dirt and no one was close enough to touch, so my arm wasn’t accidentally going to graze on someone’s.

So we all sat there in silence because words weren’t needed. The air was chilly but no one cared. This should have been weird, but it felt normal. Don’t get me wrong, I still hated people but sometimes, you’ve just got to go with everything that is happening.

The silence may have lasted hours or maybe it was only minutes. However long it was, Scorpius had decided that we had enough time to wallow. “Does anyone like my new socks?” He lifted his trousers to show that his socks had little ghosts on them.

Cassie laughed. “Very manly.”

“Seriously,” Fred shook his head, “Who buys your socks?”

“My mother.” Scorpius told them proudly.

James laughed. “That explains it.”

“Don’t insult me.” Scorpius huffed. “You still wear those brightly coloured jumpers with your initial on them.”

“Our Nana makes them.” Fred defended.

“She’d kill us if we didn’t wear them.”  James shrugged.  “We all get them.”

“I’ve never seen Albus wear them.” Scorpius pondered.

Albus smirked. “Mine stay in the bottom of my trunk.”

“That explains it then.” Scorpius nodded. “I’m so hungry, I may die soon. Shall we go?”

All of us stood up. I glanced to the direction of where Damien and Emilie were but I couldn’t see them anymore. They had left and I hadn’t even noticed. We all walked slowly back to the castle. Once we had entered the Great Hall, we offered each other clumsy goodbyes before splitting up.  It was the start of something, I was sure. Alliances were being formed and people had started taking sides.

It was weird. Fred hadn’t really talked to me before he shoved his offer of friendship in my face. James never ignored me but never saw me as anything more than Damien’s little sister. I couldn’t understand what the sudden interest in me was. Why I was suddenly worth the attention. I didn’t like it. I felt suffocated. I was being attacked by people from all angles. I couldn’t make Fred understand I was a bad person and I couldn’t even get rid of Scorpius. I had tried. I had tried to reject everything that boy has ever offered me. His niceness left bruises. It hurt that he was being kind to me when I didn’t deserve it.  It would backfire on him. I had always unknowingly protected him. It was built in my DNA. Protecting him was like breathing, I didn’t even I realize I was doing it.

I had always been protecting him from me but now he refused to back down. He wouldn’t be sheltered from anything anymore. He liked the monster I was. If he knew what was good for him, he’d run, but Scorpius was always on the dim side. I knew I would hurt him eventually. It was the unspoken rule. I hurt people. I’m too clumsy with people’s feelings. I didn’t want to hurt Scorpius feelings but I knew I would. It was something I couldn’t even try to change. I needed to push him away.

I needed to make him see.

But I didn’t know how to do that.

He was getting close and this needed to be stopped. Attachments are a liability. I had formed one and that would be enough. It had to be. But this force that connected me to Scorpius was like a magnetic field. I would try to yank myself away, but I was always being sucked into the field. It was almost like I belonged there. It was almost like it was right. But that is just plainly ridiculous. I clearly just needed to get a grip on everything again. I just needed to understand it all. My instincts were telling me something was very wrong with this situation.

“I’m going to go running.” I told Cassie who was shoving as much food down her throat as she could. It was a fetching sight. Cassie nodded before returning her attention to the food. I wondered whether she would carry out her promise to James and Fred. I couldn’t even fathom why she was doing it in the first place. She wasn’t getting anything from it so I couldn’t really understand it. I just had to sit back and watch it all play out.

I slid out of my seat and headed towards the quidditch pitch so I could run around it until my legs collapsed. I would run around in this stupid outfit. I didn’t care anymore.

It was darker than I expected it to be but the autumn nights were in full swing. It had gotten colder but I knew that wouldn’t matter once I started. I breathed in the fresh air as goosebumps appeared on my skin.

I started to run. I instantly felt better as I felt myself getting lost in it all. This was an instant release. It placed the puzzle pieces back into their slots after people messed the jigsaw up. It gave me a different kind of rush from cleaning. This was a carefree rush. The rush I got from cleaning was that everything was is order. It was so mechanical that I could clean something to perfection with my eyes closed. I was now a professional at order.

I ran faster.

I had issues. I always had. Whether I had to organize the way my food was placed on my plate to the way I always brushed my top teeth before my bottom. My whole life was made up of simple routine. Any jolt startled me. It began when I was little. It started that night.

Maybe if I ran fast enough, I could run from myself.

I stopped to catch my breath. This wasn’t working. The wheels in my mind wouldn’t stop turning. I needed something that stopped me from thinking. Something needed to kill the thoughts before they even sprang up in my sick mind. I felt nothing was strong enough to stop it all. It was too much for me.

I blamed Albus. It all changed after that stupid incident. I should have just turned away when I saw Albus and Scorpius whispering like girls. I should never have gotten involved. It was such a simple action but it’s managed to change everything that I had ever known. It’s shaken up my life so much that I barely recognized it anymore. I felt like I was living someone else’s life. My past life hadn’t expanded further than Cassie. But now too many players were joining the game. I didn’t recognize the game anymore. This would change; I would regain my grip on reality.

Screw it all.

“You look like a chicken when you run.” Albus appeared from no where. He always seemed to appear lately. The places that comforted me also provided comfort to him. It was messed up. I didn’t want to share anything with Albus. I needed some new spots that I could run too but this castle always felt too small to me. Too many students made the place feel crowded. I could never find a hiding place where I could truly disappear. I wanted to go to a place where my existence wasn’t even known. I just wanted to be another shadow in this castle.

I looked up to stare at him. He was a broken masterpiece. His crumpled clothes only added to the fact that he was clearly messed up. There was a demented look about him tonight. He had come seeking blood. He had come seeking mine. He wanted a fight. He was growing increasingly annoyed that I wasn’t responding. That I wasn’t giving him what he wanted. I felt the rush of power and it felt amazing. I almost felt alive again. Everything was right when I had power. The world still wasn’t normal but it felt almost familiar.

“Don’t watch me then.” I muttered. “It’s simple enough.” I wanted to leave it at that but I couldn’t help but defend myself. “And I don’t run like a chicken.” I tried to be graceful at all times. I mostly failed because graceful clashes with uptight. I would sit there rigidly until my body ached. I would always stand up straight because if I hunched a little, I lost inches that I needed so I didn’t look like a complete midget.

“You used my sister.” He stated.

“I asked her for a favour.” I shrugged.

“You used her.” He repeated. “You manipulated her.”

“Calm down.” I shrugged. “She isn’t damaged in any way.” I was nothing but nice in my manipulation. “And stop acting like you’re an angel. How long have you known about Emilie and Damien?”

Albus pondered it for a moment. “About a month? Maybe more. I lose track when I learn information I don’t really care about.”

“And you decided to forget about it until the time was right?”

“It was time you saw your brother for who he is.” Albus smirked and I closed my eyes. He had shattered my illusion of Damien. I would never forgive him for that. “He’s just another messed up person. Of course, he isn’t a complete loony like you. He still has quite a while to go until he gets to how twisty you are.”

“I am a perfect member of society.” I scoffed. “I’m not twisty.”

“A normal person doesn’t think about fucking everything up just when it’s starting to go right.” He saw my hesitation with Scorpius.  He knew something wasn’t right. He knew I was going to destroy it all. “Self sabotage is a pretty messed up thing.”

“It’s not self sabotage. I’m only making things go back to normal.”

“Whatever helps you sleep at night,” He paused. “Oh, I forgot, you don’t sleep do you?”

“Go and have another nightmare.” I spat. “You act like you're better than me, it’s ridiculous.  You’re everything you accuse me of. At least I admit that I’m all these things but you just sit there in your perfect Potter world, where the girls fall at your feet and everyone thinks you’re amazing.” I was suddenly fuming; I couldn’t stop the words from falling out of my mouth. Albus just looked amused at my rant. “Wake up call, Potter, you’re not. I’m no angel, but neither are you.” He just smirked. “And from one twisty person to another, don’t pretend you’re anything more.” I made air quotes over twisty.

Albus laughed. “I never have.”

“I’m glad we’ve got that established then.” I didn’t spare him another look as I started to run again. I ran as fast as my little legs would carry me but the chains that weighed me down didn’t ease up.

 I had a feeling they never would.


The Next Time On The Human Factor

 “Pippa.” Cassie elbowed me and my eyes jolted open. “Listen!” We were currently sitting through another lecture by Professor Binns. I think someone should seriously make him pass over or he should go sight seeing and see all the things this crappy world has to offer. I mean, being cooped up in this castle can’t be good for anyone’s mentality, even if you’re dead. I’d go crazy if I had to stay here longer than I do.

“I don’t really care about History of Magic.” I shrugged, not even caring if Binns heard me. He hasn’t liked me since I threw that paper airplane through him in first year. “It’s boring.” I yawned.

Cassie pouted. “I think it’s interesting. I mean, today’s lesson is all about second wizarding war! I can’t wait until we get to the part of Voldemort getting delivered a smack down.” Her eyes went hazy as she daydreamed. Cassie likes this stuff because no one she knows was around to witness this stuff. Her family saw everything from the Muggle point of view and that was practically nothing compared to the wizarding world. She didn’t lose any family and she isn’t judged based on her last name. So to her, it’s all quite magical. In that sick, twisted way of course.


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