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Chapter 14 : The One With The Almost Trip To The Hospital Wing
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A massive thank you to Sam for being so fast at beta-ing my chapters for me. You're a lifesaver! :D
Something strange was definitely going on. Michelle and I hadn’t fallen out in quite some time now, and I was loving it. I loved this side of Michelle, the girl that I remembered when we first met, the one who I became best friends with on my first day here. The one I met when we sat together on the train ride up here.
Giving a laugh at a joke that she had just told me, I continued walking with Michelle. I moved out of the way of an approaching group, still turned to laugh with Michelle. I apparently didn’t move out of their way quick enough or leaving enough of a space, as I bashed into them and tripped over one of their legs, causing myself to fall to the floor, hitting my knees painfully as I landed.
“Sorry,” I said quickly, trying to ignore the pain radiating through me from the hard castle floor. I was giving my apologies even though I was the one who actually moved out of the way, whilst they just seemed to be coming straight for me.
I looked up as I heard a small amount of cackling coming from the girls, whilst another of them mimicked my apology in a higher voice. My eyes widened as they fell on Rebecca, who was grinning down at me. Had they tripped me on purpose?
Michelle bent towards me and offered a hand to help me up, which I took gratefully, limping slightly as I looked up at the girls, trying not to wince from the pain that I was feeling or burst into the tears that I could feel coming.
“Watch where you’re going next time, Higgs,” one of the girls hissed at me as she began backing away. Rebecca had a smug look on her face and a wicked grin on her lips. It had been on purpose, I was sure of it, but why?
“Why don’t you two watch where you’re going?” Michelle demanded, squaring up to one of them. But they just continued backing away from her, grins still on their faces.
“Yeah, Higgs, you better watch yourself.” Rebecca gave a cruel laugh at me as she and her friends turned around to walk away. Michelle glared after them whilst I felt the burn of humiliation forming behind my eyes as well as the burning in my knees. I could swear that one of my knees was bleeding.
“Are you okay, Abigail?” Michelle asked me in concern, her arm around my shoulders. “Those girls are stupid idiots!”
I shook my head as I tried to blink the tears away from my eyes, looking down at my knees to see that the fall had caused my tights to rip and a ladder to stretch across the dark material.
“I want to go to the bathroom and check my knee out, I think that it might be bleeding,” I told her, trying hard not to cry. How could they do that to me? And more importantly, why would they do something like that to me? Then it hit me why.
“Yeah, sure, we’ll go right away,” Michelle told me and we began to walk towards where we knew the nearest bathroom would be. My knees were killing me and I couldn’t walk without limping; even that caused me pain, though.
When we finally made it to the bathroom, I entered one of the cubicles and took off my tights in privacy. I was right, I was bleeding.
I angrily bundled up the tights in my hand and stuffed them in my school bag, before I felt my eyes begin to prickle again. Shoving my feet back into my shoes, I grabbed some tissue and dabbed at my knee, as I wiped my eyes with the back of my other hand, scolding myself for getting so worked up about it all.
“Abigail, they’re just stupid girls. If you ignore them, they’ll stop it.” Michelle’s voice came from the other side of the door.
“But why did they start it in the first place?” I asked. I could tell that the tears in my eyes were obvious in the brittleness of my voice. “What have I ever done to them?”
“Nothing, Abigail. I think they just pick a victim and just go for them until they get bored. It’s nothing that you’ve done,” Michelle told me comfortingly. I appreciated her words, they were helping me, but I still felt like a bloody idiot.
I sniffed as I put the tissue in the toilet and flushed it, before grabbing for some more tissue and began to wipe my eyes, opening the door and leaving the cubicle to see Michelle’s concerned face looking at mine.
“It’ll be okay,” she told me.
I nodded as I wiped my eyes and put the tissue in my pocket before limping over to the sink and turning on the cold water tap, so that I could splash some water on my face.
“Yeah, I’ll just try to ignore her and hope that she goes away,” I told her, wiping the water off of my face before throwing the paper towel away and giving Michelle a smile.
“Keep that smile on your face and let them know that they can’t get you down,” Michelle told me. I had to agree with her, I wouldn’t let them get me down. “Come on, let’s go back to the dormitory before our next lesson. I think I’ve got some chocolate somewhere, that’ll cheer you up.”
I smiled gratefully at her and limped next to her as we exited the toilets.
I found Michelles statement about not letting them get me down hard to achieve throughout the day. Mainly because it’s hard to follow that advice, when all you can feel is someone glaring at the back of your head, or whispering about you to their friends loud enough for you to hear their cutting and harsh words.
I would have kept my head held high, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was hoping that the ground would just swallow me up and make me disappear. I was thankful that Rebecca and her ‘cronies’ were only in a few of my lessons, so I would only have to deal with them a few times, and of those times I had Michelle or Isabella to help me get through it.
When I had told Isabella about what had happened earlier, she had gotten quite angry about it all. I was angry I admit, even if it was a little more about the fact that I had ripped my thick tights and was now exposing my legs to the cold air that went through the massive stone castle; I had been feeling quite chilly and my robes weren’t blocking out all of the cold air. I would have to ask my mum to send me a few new pairs of tights when I send her and my dad a letter. I wasn’t sure that I could cope with cold legs when winter finally came around, and if Rebecca was going to continue to trip me I would need to get a good stockpile of tights up.
My knee was still killing me though, and I knew that I would probably be getting a bruise coming through soon. I found it hard to walk normally, but I forced myself to around Rebecca and her friends, even though it was causing me massive amounts of pain to do so. I didn’t want her to think that she had affected me or that she had won, in whatever this war was that she had started.
If I knew how to throw in the towel on this and surrender I would, but who even knows the rules of teenage girl warfare? Wasn’t it just every woman for themselves? Battle through it in the hopes that you don’t get your eyes scratched out or your hair pulled for no reason?
Why must teenage girls be so catty and full of spite?
Giving a sigh, I pushed my chips around on my plate and into the gravy from my steak and onion pie. Why couldn’t I stop thinking about it all?
“Is your knee still hurting?” Michelle asked me from across the table, I looked up at her and gave a nod. I can’t believe that it was still throbbing so much, I must have fallen on it awkwardly. “Did you want to take a trip to the Hospital Wing?”
I shook my head; the last thing I needed to get around the school was that I had visited the hospital wing. Rebecca and her friends would love that, wouldn’t they?
“I’ll see how it feels tomorrow; I don’t want to bother the healer for no reason.”
Michelle regarded me with a stern look. “Abigail, if you need to go get some pain relief potion then don’t let what others think stop you. It’s what those bitches want.”
“I’m not,” I lied. She knew that I was lying; I could see it in her face. “If it hurts tomorrow, then I’ll go.”
“If you can stand the pain all night,” Michelle stated. “I can’t force you to go there.”
I winced as I lifted my leg and placed it on my bed, balling up one of the patchwork quilts on the end of my bed so that it formed some sort of pillow, placing it under my knee so that it was bent slightly and resting my leg on it. It felt good to have it resting, I just didn’t want to move from now on.
“Abigail, I have something that belongs to you,” Isabella stated with a small laugh from next to her own bed. I looked up at her words and down at where she was pointing to her bed. She had drawn back the curtains from around her bed and there was my cat, Snowball. He was sprawled out so that he was laying on his back, his head on the pillow and his paws up in the air slightly. I rolled my eyes at him, glad that none of my roommates seemed to mind when he was on their beds, sometimes even waking up to find that he had fallen asleep at the end of their beds or curled up next to them. I was the only one who owned a cat, the others all owned owls, so they all gave him a lot of attention, which Snowball loved and demanded almost daily. He was a very spoilt cat.
“I suppose I’ll be sleeping at the end of my bed today,” Isabella joked, and I gave a laugh.
“I’m glad that he’s not on my bed again. I woke up to find him lying on my chest, which his head in my face last night,” Michelle told us all, as she sorted out her pyjamas so that she could go and get changed for bed.
“You should all count yourself lucky that he doesn’t love you enough to sleep actually on your face, so you wake up struggling to breathe. Or to find that he’s fallen asleep curled around your head on the pillow. Although, I must admit it does make my head nice and toasty.” I informed them all.
Snowball woke up as soon as Isabella pulled the covers down on her bed, disturbing Snowball, who seemed to meow indignantly before jumping down from her bed and over to mine.
“Oh, I’m sorry your highness,” Isabella said with a laugh as the door to the dormitory opened and Sian walked in.
“Your highness?” she enquired, before she looked over at me and noticed Snowball. “Oh, Snowball. Whose bed was he on this time?”
“Mine,” Isabella told her, climbing into her bed and pulling the covers over herself.
Sian walked over to me, a letter clutched in her hand, which she held out to me. “This came for you downstairs. How’s the knee?”
“Thank you,” I said in surprise as I took it, looking down at the writing, which looked like James’; it made me smile. “It hurts a lot, but I’m hoping it’s better in the morning. I’m sure it’s nothing serious, I only fell over.”
“You were tripped, there’s a difference,” Isabella said angrily from her bed.
“I don’t want to draw attention to it,” I told them as I opened the letter. Sian had gone to sit on Isabella’s bed and the two began talking amongst each other, leaving me to my letter and Snowball, who was trying to curl up on my lap.
I smiled as I recognised James’ writing, amazed that he had sent me a letter. We had barely seen much of each other today, one of the rare days that our paths only crossed in the mornings lessons. So I hadn’t seen him since before I was tripped by Rebecca.
I hope that you’re alright. I was wondering if you wanted to join me in the library tomorrow? I have an essay I need to work on and William refuses to help me. So, I was wondering if you wanted to grace me with your presence at some point? There’s no need to reply, just turn up if you can. I’ll be there from about 10am.
I hope you can make it,
I grinned to myself and folded the letter up, putting it under my pillow and deciding that I was going to join him in the library. Michelle was going to be busy and I knew that I had the morning free.
James was waiting for me in the library; he was playing with a quill, spinning it through his fingers as he stared ahead of himself. He had a hard look on his face, his eyebrows furrowed slightly and he seemed to be in a world of his own.
He didn’t look up until I had limped over to the table, the concentrated look on his face was replaced quickly with a warm smile, before it fell slightly as he looked down at my knee, which I had put a large plaster over.
“I hoped that you would make it,” he told me brightly, before noticing that I had been limping.
“Are you alright? What happened?” he asked me in concern as I took a seat opposite him, wincing slightly at the pain that shot through my knee at the movement.
“Oh, I fell over,” I lied to him, trying to wave his concern away. “It’s nothing really, I just fell awkwardly and hurt my knee.”
“Have you been to the hospital wing?” he asked me and I shook my head as I pulled my books out of my bag, putting them on the table in front of me.
“No, there’s no point. I only cut my knee.”
“You’re limping, you probably bruised your knee badly as well.”
“There’s no point in going, I’ll only be wasting the healer's time.”
“Do I have to carry you down there?” He threatened me.
“James, please, can you drop it? I’ll be fine,” I told him. I didn’t want Rebecca to see James carrying me down to the hospital wing; she would probably target me more.
He seemed a bit taken aback before nodding slowly, “Yeah, if that’s what you want?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for that to sound so snappy,” I told him, putting my head in my hands and groaning. “I’ve just not been having a good day, I would rather just get on with everything and ignore that this even happened.”
“I get it,” he told me and I felt a hand on my arm. I dropped my hands from my face and looked down at James’s hand before looking up at him. He was giving me a warm smile, squeezing my arm slightly before letting go and picking his quill back up, running the feather along his lips slowly as he looked down at the open book in front of him. “If it hurts anymore though, I will force you to go to the hospital wing.”
I nodded, agreeing with him.
“How did you fall over?” he asked me.
I didn’t want to tell him that Rebecca had done it on purpose, I didn’t want him to get involved. I just wanted it to all go away and for everyone to move on.
“I’m not sure; one thing I’m walking, the next thing I know I’ve almost landed face first on the floor and split my knee.”
“Did you want me to heal it for you?” James asked me.
“You know healing spells?” I asked in shock.
“No,” James admitted and I rolled my eyes at him. I can’t believe I believed him. “But, William does... or at least I think he does. He once fixed my arm when I thought that he had broken it.”
“He almost broke your arm?”
“Well, he says he didn’t mean to, but I think it was on purpose,” James admitted. “It was my own fault, I told him his twin sister was good looking and he managed to dislocate my shoulder in retaliation.”
“He dislocated your shoulder?” I asked in horror, glancing down at his shoulder, which he was rolling as though it was still paining him.
“Yep, he’s such a good friend.” James laughed shaking his head. I gave a laugh as well as I remembered that James said that it was all over William’s twin sister.
“He has a twin sister?” I asked, not realising that about William and trying to remember if I had seen anyone in our year who looked like William; no one came to mind.
“Yeah, she’s in Ravenclaw. They try to avoid each other, I think Sophie is embarrassed at having William as a brother. I would be as well,” he said jokingly, sticking his tongue out slightly as his eyes crinkled in humour. "He has a younger brother called Steven as well."
"Does he?" I asked, not knowing this about William.
"Yeah, he's my cousin Lucy's best friend." James stated slowly, "You wouldn't know that they're brothers as they have different last names. It's a crazy family. I'll tell you about it one day. But yeah, Sophie is the reason I almost had my arm broken."
My mind whirled as I tried to picture Sophie, knowing that I definitely had met someone called Sophie from Ravenclaw, but the face was hard to picture.
“So how did he fix your arm?” I asked him, trying not to get jealous over the fact that James thought that this Sophie was good looking.
“Pushed it back into the socket.”
I winced at his words.
“Precisely, it hurt like a fucker. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. I had to go to the Hospital Wing to get it sorted out in the end, he managed to trap a nerve,” James informed me and I screwed my face up as I imagined the amount of pain that he would have been in. The thought of it was beginning to make me feel sick so I changed the subject.
“Does William still think you fancy his sister?” I asked him, looking down at my book and trying to act as non-chalant as I could about broaching the subject.
“No,” James said with a laugh, “After having my arm dislocated I decided that my thoughts about Sophie were too hazardous to my health. Besides, there’s someone else that’s caught my eye.”
I felt like my heart had stopped as my stomach jolted nervously, causing me to feel sick again. Of course he had, it had to be Rebecca, that’s probably why she was tripping me, in some kind of warning to back off from her man.
“Oh,” I managed to say, not trusting myself to look up. I wasn’t sure if the pain of knowing that he liked someone else was worse than the pain I felt in my knee or not.
“Yeah,” he said slowly and I looked up at him; he was focusing on his own book, a red tinge to his cheeks as though he was a little embarrassed. “How about you, anyone caught your eye?”
This was my chance, I could tell him that I fancied him, that I had done for a while now. But the fear of him rejecting me for Rebecca had me keeping that information to myself.
“There may be someone,” I admitted. James looked up at me and opened his mouth, as though he was going to ask who it was, but we were interrupted by William and I was quite thankful.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would say that my sister is trying to get me killed by our parents,” he muttered darkly, nodding at me in his usual greeting, which I returned.
James looked away from me and to his best friend, who was slouching in his chair and looking around the room, as though Sophie was in here.
“What’s she doing now?” James asked as I sat in silence and listened, not knowing what else to contribute to this conversation.
“She’s only gone and told my mum that I’ve got a girl pregnant,” William muttered murderously and my mouth widened in shock, as did James’. William noticed this and rolled his eyes at us. “I haven’t got anyone pregnant, it’s nice to know how much faith you both have in me, though.”
James turned to glance at me before looking back at William, “It’s not that we don’t have faith in you, it’s just that we were a little shocked. If you had, I know that you would have come to tell me first. What has your mum said?”
“I’m not sure, I’m yet to receive the Howler. Soph just told me she sent the letter; if this isn’t a joke then she is so dead! I am going to make her life a misery.”
“Is there any risk that you’ve got anyone pregnant?” James asked seriously and William glared at him. “Hey, I had to check!”
“Do you really think that I would keep that a secret from you if I did think I had fathered anyone?”
James shrugged, “There’s a lot of secrets you may be hiding from me.”
“What?” William challenged, “Like the secret that you’re keeping right now?”
This piqued my interest instantly, I turned to look at James, who had gone pale and had thrown a hand over Willam’s mouth to stop him speaking. Humour filled William’s eyes at his reaction and James grabbed for his wand, placing a silencing charm on William in his attempts to stop him talking.
William rolled his eyes at James’ behaviour and I was shocked that he had resorted to such lengths to keep his secret a secret. William grabbed for his own wand and took the spell off of him.
“Don’t worry, Jamesy. Your secret is safe for me, although it won’t be for long,” William taunted him.
I wanted to ask what it was, but I knew that James wouldn’t admit it to me. Maybe one day I would be able to find out?
It wasn’t long before the silence we were sat in was changed to the subject of the up and coming Quidditch match between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw and I ended up zoning out of the conversation and focused on my essays. Although I couldn’t help but wonder how big a secret it must be that James had.
A/N: Okay, I am quite a bit ahead with my chapters, which are all ready to be uploaded, so I am going to update this story every 3 days. That's right! 3 days! Look at you lucky lot. :P I'm hoping that I can stick to this, work permitting etc. But if you don't get an update in 3 days just kick me on here or on the forums. :P
edit: I've edited in information about William's family so that he has a younger brother. Who people may recognise if they've read my other stories. :P
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