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Chapter 24 : The One Where My Heart Tore To Pieces
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I walked around the castle aimlessly, unsure what exactly to do with myself.
There were no classes and no one to be around. Michelle had mentioned talking with her Quidditch teammates when she rushed off this morning, I assumed that they were talking strategies and plays, mainly because that is what Michelle had been mumbling about the whole morning when I had seen her at breakfast.
I would have spent my time with James, but he too was busy with his own Quidditch related reasons; he was currently training for Gryffindors upcoming Quidditch match against Hufflepuff. Michelle had been annoyed at the fact that Gryffindor had booked the entire pitch for the whole day so that they could train, but I knew that Hufflepuff had booked the pitch for the day after tomorrow, so I think that it was fair that Gryffindor had time for themselves to train.
The match between my house and James’s house was going to take place on the sixteenth of February, and both teams were quite excited. I knew that Gryffindor weren’t going to be training on Valentines day as James had said his teammates had flat out refused to miss a day out at Hogsmeade, not that their captain would have made them stay and train. Hufflepuff wasn’t going to be training either, as they all wanted to go to Hogsmeade instead. Well, everyone except for Michelle, who would have been happy enough to train all day. If she ever did make captain I knew that she would have tried to force her teammates to stay and train; they would have staged a riot and probably would have performed a mutiny. So, I guess that it was good that she wasn’t the captain of the team.
But still, tomorrow was going to be Valentines day and I was beyond excited. I was going to be in the village on a date with a boy. Instead of walking around the village talking to Michelle, or rather, listening to Michelle moaning about how everyone was sad for catering to the needs of the consumers who had made up the day so that they could sell merchandise that was unnecessary and unwanted. I rolled my eyes whenever she spoke of this as I knew that if Ethan had asked her out she would be one of the ‘mindless drones’ or ‘bunch of sheep’ that she called everyone who was on a date on Valentines day.
I on the other hand liked the idea of this day; it was good to have a day that was dedicated to love and people's feelings for each other. I know that they could just celebrate their love any other day of the year and probably should, but it was still nice to have the love around, no arguments, just happiness. And now I was finally a part of it, I was no longer going to be the loser that would be dateless and have to hang around with my equally dateless friend. And I was not just going with any guy, I was going with James Potter.
I kept having to stop myself from screaming in excitement and jumping around the corridor doing some sort of a happy dance. If someone had told me at the beginning of the year, that I would be spending my time at Hogsmeade on Valentines day with none other than James Potter, I would have laughed in their faces. But now I was going to be with him.
At the time I was annoyed by the fact that I had been the victim of a cruel joke with the love potion, but it had made James talk to me more and we have been getting to know each other and becoming closer as the days have gone on. It’s been good. I seriously couldn’t imagine not having him in my life, or not having him around me anymore, in all honesty. It had felt like he had been in my life the entire time, how had we not been talking before?
As cliché as it sounds, he really has made my life different, he’s made me a much more confident person, and he’s made me happier. I hoped that my present for him was going to be good enough and not pathetic. Ever since I had found out that he liked comics, I had been toying with the idea to make my own for him and call it ‘The Unspeakable’. It would be about James being a superhero and fighting crime and I had been working on that instead of my homework. I just hoped that he would like it enough; I hadn’t had the guts to show any of my friends my work, so it was a big deal for me.
I grinned to myself as I walked further down the corridor and towards the girls toilets, wanting to take a quick stop in there and check my hair; the wind from outside had caused it to fly over my face and I was worried that it looked too much like a birds nest.
Although when I was at the mirror I heard voices of a group of girls outside the toilet. Knowing that I didn’t want to be accosted by them or end up facing them when they could be mean or say horrible things to me, I decided to dart into the nearest cubicle until they had left the room. I was a coward I know, but I really didn’t want to face them and have my good mood ruined.
“I can’t believe that Valentines day is tomorrow.” One of them was moaning and I vaguely remembered hearing the voice but couldn’t place who it belonged to. “That’s not enough time to even begin getting ready.”
“And you need all the time you can get,” a different voice said snidely, but with a joking tone to their voice. The other girls laughed.
“Speaking of needing all the time in the world to get ready. Did you hear who James Potter is taking to Hogsmeade?” came one of the shrill voices of one of the girls. I resisted groaning out loud at her words, now I definitely couldn’t go out there now that they were talking about me. I hoped that they would change the subject and just leave, but I knew that they were all hanging around the mirror and putting on more makeup.
“It’s that Abigail girl, isn’t it?” one of them asked. Someone else laughed at the mention of my name.
“Poor girl. Although I think it’s hilarious what he has planned, though. I can’t believe that she hasn’t noticed anything yet, it’s so obvious to the rest of us.”
These words piqued my interest immediately. What were they on about? What had James planned?
“I know, especially because his friends aren’t exactly quiet on the subject, are they?”
“I feel sorry for her, she doesn’t realise that James is just playing her, that he’s going to stand her up in front of all of his friends. Apparently they’ve been planning this from the start of the year on the train, if only she had just continued walking and ignoring James then he wouldn’t have picked her as his victim.”
The world seemed to be spinning and I placed my hand on the wall, trying to keep myself steady on my feet.
“It’s sad that she clearly thinks that he actually wants to talk to her and be her friend. Why couldn’t she see that he was never interested in her?”
“It should be entertaining, though, tomorrow. We should probably hang around and see it happening, I know that all of James’s friends will be watching.”
I wanted to throw up, they had to be lying. James wasn’t like that, James wouldn’t do that to me.
“I heard him laughing with William and Rebecca over it.”
“No wonder Rebecca hates her. I would hate anyone that was hanging around with my boyfriend so much.”
I shook my head as tears prickled in my eyes. They had to be lying; James wasn’t dating Rebecca, he told me he wasn’t.
“Speaking of which, did you hear that Rebecca and James were caught kissing in the Greenhouses last week?”
“It was only by that Addison girl –”
“You know, the Quidditch obsessed one.”
“Oh, the one who had that massive crush on Ethan Richards?”
A loud laugh erupted from them all as I tried to blink the tears from my eyes, struggling to not give in to my sobs. I didn’t want them to catch me, I didn’t want to see their faces and have them know that I had been listening.
“That is hilarious.”
“Isn’t she meant to be Abigail's best friend?”
There was a scoff.
“Some best friend she is.”
The girls laughed together whilst I felt like my heart was going to rip apart. I couldn’t believe it, he wouldn’t do that to me, he wouldn’t treat me in this way. If Michelle knew she would have told me.
I wiped my eyes with my shaking hands as I stepped out of the cubicle slowly, peering around to make sure that the coast was clear before coming out of the cubicle fully. I couldn’t get my head around the thoughts that were now running through my head. James wouldn’t do this to me, he wasn’t like what they said. I knew him.
Or did I?
We had only been talking for a few months and that was only because of the love potion. We didn’t hang around with any of his friends, or even talk to them, except for the odd occasion that William joined us. Maybe he wanted to keep me away from them so I wouldn’t find out?
If he was actually secretly dating Rebecca that would explain her reaction towards me.
My mind was racing. I didn’t want to believe it, I couldn’t believe it, but certain things were beginning to flit into my brain, things that I hadn’t paid much attention to before.
The looks shared between James, Barry and Elijah during classes. The way that Barry and Elijah would look at me in class before whispering and laughing with each other. The fact that William was always going on about this ‘big’ secret that James had and now there was the countdown that William had given James, in my guesses it was to reveal it. I tried to think of how many days William had given James to reveal it and realised that it would end tomorrow, which was Valentines day. Is that what he meant by it all? Was it all a plan for the big reveal on Valentines day to be him standing me up in front of everyone so that they could laugh about it? Is that why he wasn’t going to be meeting me in the castle, but in the village because he was ‘meeting up with William’ in the morning.
Everything was fitting into place, everything that I hoped wasn’t even true. But it made sense, what other reason would he have for being so friendly to me? For wanting to be a part of my life? For always being around me?
I stumbled out of the toilets and walked down the corridor, not really focusing on where I was going, but knowing that I needed to move. I kept my head down so that no one could see me crying, which caused me to bump into a few people, who walked on by as if I was nothing.
Because I was nothing. I had always been nothing.
I didn’t even realise that I was heading towards the Hufflepuff common room until I was standing in front of the barrels and it took even longer to remember that I needed to use my wand to get in.
I was surprised that I didn’t get my face squirted with vinegar and got in first time, my mind was all over the place and my eyes were clouded with tears as I made my way to my dormitory, not caring who I had walked into, yet still managing to throw apologies over my shoulder at anyone I had walked into.
Snowball instantly came over to me when I sank onto my bed, jumping onto my lap and rubbing his head over my hand to get me to stroke him. I did, absent-mindedly as I let my sobs escape me, let the barrier come down and let myself cry loudly over what I had just found out.
It couldn’t be true. He wouldn’t do that to me. Michelle wouldn’t do that to me, if she had seen James and Rebecca together she would have told me. It would have been one of the first things she would have said to me when she found out. Although it would explain all of the dark looks she had been throwing him lately, the angrier than normal way she behaved towards him.
I shook my head roughly, I would talk to Michelle first, there was no point in getting worked up if it wasn’t true.
But that didn’t stop my tears from falling, it didn’t stop the uneasy feeling twisting my stomach and making me feel nauseous with every breath I took.
Michelle came into the dormitory about an hour after I had come back. She didn’t notice me for a moment as I was sitting with my back against my headboard with the curtains moved slightly to block some of the light in the room. It was making my headache worse.
“Abi? Are you alright?” she asked me after she had turned around and saw me. She must have seen my red blotchy face, I wasn’t the most attractive crier. I bet Rebecca still looked beautiful when she cried, no wonder James was seeing her. Why would he ever look twice at me?
I shook my head, eyes swimming with tears again and I willed them away. I didn’t think I had any more tears left in me to cry. Apparently I was wrong about that as well.
“No,” I managed to get out, my voice thick with emotion. I looked down at my hands and I felt the bed dip slightly as Michelle sat next to me.
“What’s wrong?” she asked me.
“I – I overheard something today,” I told her, hoping that I would be able to get the words out without crying again. “About James.”
“Oh?” Michelle asked after a moment and I knew that she had been hiding something.
“I heard a group of girls. They said that... they said that you saw James... and Rebecca.” The tears were blinding my vision again, I could feel them dripping down my face again, splashing onto my clenched hands.
She was silent and I didn’t know what to make of it. Begging her in my head to tell me that they were wrong, to tell me that she didn’t see anything and that the girls were lying. That James did like me, that the small kiss we shared was real.
“Did you know?” I asked Michelle quietly. She shifted on my bed and I didn’t want to look up at her, didn’t want it to be true.
“Yes,” she said equally as quietly, shifting slightly on the bed. I closed my eyes together tightly, but tears still managed to leak out, as my worst fears had been realised. He had been playing me for a fool. He had been using me. “I saw them at the Greenhouses.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her, finally looking up and seeing the guilt on her face. I was so angry, angry that I had fallen for James’ charms, that I had ignored Michelle when she had been trying to warn me off. That I was stupid enough to think that he cared about me in the slightest.
“Because I didn’t want you to be hurt,” she admitted, which almost made me scoff. She must have seen the disbelief in my face because she continued speaking. “It was why I had been trying to warn you off, I just had a feeling about him. I didn’t want him to hurt you, but when I saw them both together -” She stopped for a second as she tried to form her words, words that I didn’t want to hear. “-Abigail I’m sorry, I didn’t know how to tell you.”
“You could have told me the truth,” I told her.
“You wouldn’t have believed me,” she admitted and she was right. Part of me wouldn’t have believed her, part of me didn’t believe those girls until I had the confirmation from Michelle. But they both had to be right, Michelle would have no reason to lie about it and have no reason to have talked to those girls.
It had to be true and it was killing me.
“I’m so sorry, Abi,” Michelle said softly, placing her hand on my arm and I nodded slowly.
What the hell was I going to do now?
“I think I’m going to go to bed.”
“Abigail, I don’t think –”
“Michelle, please,” I told her angrily. “I just want to – I can’t, okay?”
Michelle looked at me, before nodding and standing up. I gave her one last look before closing the curtains to my bed fully, grabbing my wand to cast a silencing charm around my bed. Before using the last of my energy to sob into my pillow.
A/N: Please don't hate me!
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