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Chapter 26 : The One With The End Of A Friendship
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Hope you all enjoy!
My hand was aching as I scribbled furiously on the parchment in front of me, continuing my work from the night before. I didn’t sleep last night, no matter how hard I tried to. Instead I stayed up, finishing my comic book, adding in little details and colouring in the pictures I had drawn.
“Are you coming down to the Quidditch match?” Michelle asked me. I looked up from the parchment with a frown; it was eight in the morning, and the match wasn’t until one in the afternoon.
“No. Are you going early?” I asked her. It wasn’t surprising that Michelle would choose to go early, but by five hours?
“Abigail, you do know that it’s nearly ten, don’t you?”
I looked up at her words, my hand stopping the movement of the quill, staring at her for a moment before looking down at my watch. Wow, how on earth had nearly two hours passed without me realising?
“Oh,” I said, looking up at her and seeing that she was hanging around by the end of my bed. I noticed as well that Sian and Isabella had both disappeared from the room. When that had happened, I don’t know.
“I think that you should come down to the match,” Michelle told me, her tone sounding firm, giving the impression that I was about to have no choice in the matter.
“I’m not going.” I shook my head, picking my quill back up so that I could continue my colouring. “I don’t want to see him.”
“Come on, Abigail, it’s been two days now.”
“It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten what’s happened,” I snapped at her without meaning too. I didn’t look at her, keeping my eyes firmly on the parchment. “Two days doesn’t make everything better and forgotten.”
“I know that. I just thought you would stop hiding out in here,” Michelle told me honestly. “You’re stronger than this, and you don’t need to keep hiding up here.”
“Then you clearly don’t know me as well as you claim. I’m not that strong.”
“Come on Abigail, it was just a crush –”
“Michelle, I said that I wasn’t going to go. Can you please just stop?” I told her, my grip tightening on my quill as I tried to stop myself from throwing it at her.
“Fine,” Michelle stated, moving away from my bed and walking out of the room without another word to me.
I didn’t have the energy to deal with falling out with her as well as James. Why couldn’t she be more supportive? Why couldn’t she understand that I wasn’t going to magically get over this ‘friendship’ with James in two days? I thought that he was a lot more than just a friend; we connected so well, in such a short amount of time he became like one of my best friends, I thought that he liked me as more than a friend.
I couldn’t just forget that as quickly as Michelle expected me to.
Sighing, I put my quill back down and rubbed my hands over my face, attempting to scrub away my tiredness before looking down at Snowball, who was licking his paws.
“Should I go to the match?” I asked him. I didn’t want to, I knew that it would hurt me to see James. But I knew that it was something that I would have to begin doing; I had to go back to classes tomorrow and I had Muggle Studies. Surely it would be better to see him from afar first, rather than breaking down in the classroom.
Snowball stopped licking his paw to look up at me, blinking at me with his tongue still sticking out slightly.
“You’re right, I could sit at the back and finish my work,” I stated, picking up my pieces of parchment. “Maybe if I sit far enough at the back I won’t see anyone else, they won’t all laugh at me –”
I trailed off as I thought of how many people probably know what had happened by now, how many people were whispering about me and speaking about me behind my back.
The door opened and I was surprised to see Sian had come back; she glanced around before spotting me and walking over to me.
“Abigail, I think you should come with me,” she told me seriously, sounding a little out of breath as though she had rushed here.
“Why?” I asked her, feeling my stomach twisting nervously at the serious look on her face. “What’s happened?”
“Isabella had a word with James - I say a word, she yelled at him,” Sian admitted and I wanted to groan. I’d told her that I didn’t want anything else to happen, that it wasn’t worth it. “Then she yelled at William and I thought that they were going to get into a fight, but she stormed off instead. But that’s not before we realised something... it’s just better if you come with me, Isabella can explain it a lot better.”
I watched her for a moment, my body not wanting to move as I tried to think about what it was that they knew. I didn’t want to be another joke in the school, if they told me something else about James’ fake friendship with me I didn’t know if my heart would be able to take it.
“Why couldn’t Isabella come up here to tell me?” I asked her, finally slowly standing up as I dropped my pieces of parchment to the floor and slipped on my shoes.
“She’s so angry, she told me to get us both to meet her because she had something to do,” Sian explained honestly.
I nodded slowly, grabbing my jumper and pulling it on over my clothes that I had changed into in the early hours of this morning. Sian handed me my coat and I was wary about why.
“It’s really cold in the castle,” Sian told me, noticing my weary gaze.“Come on, I don’t want to leave an angry Isabella out in the castle too long. I honestly think that she might slap someone.”
I followed after Sian, intrigued as well as a bit worried about what I would be met with as soon as I stepped foot out of the dormitory and into the castle, seeing the people that I had been avoiding. It was surprising when no one even glanced up at us as we walked through the busy common room.
“What’s going on, Sian?”
“It’s –” Sian began, stopping for a moment as though she was trying to think of a way to word what she wanted to say. Before she could get another word out the sound of someone yelling caught my ears.
Sian sighed before looking at me.
“Is that Isabella?” I asked and Sian nodded. I was beginning to feel sick, nervousness filling me and making my head swim a little as I began to catch her words.
“You have some right bloody nerve!”
My gut was telling me that it was probably James that she was yelling at. I didn’t want to see him; I didn’t want him to see just how humiliated I was over the entire thing.
“I know, I’m sorry. But I had to.”
Confusion settled over me. That was Michelle’s voice; why was she here? And more importantly, why was Isabella yelling at Michelle and not James as I thought? I took a few more steps, knowing that I shouldn’t eavesdrop, but I wanted to know what was going on. These two may bicker a lot, but there was nothing that would warrant this kind of reaction out of both of them. I turned to look at Sian, who didn’t look surprised to hear Michelle’s voice.
“You had to?” Isabella cried indignantly. “You’re her best friend!”
This was about me. This had to be about me. I had no idea what was going on but a nauseous feeling was beginning to run through me. What happened? What did Michelle do?
“I didn’t mean for it to get this far. I tried to warn her away from him, if she had listened I wouldn’t have done it. She should have listened,” Michelle stated in an annoyed tone and I felt the sickness getting worse. She blamed me for this?
“So, because you were jealous of her friendship with James, you had to ruin it? Ruin it so much that you not only destroyed your ‘best friend's’ life and broke her heart, but you also made sure the guy who was actually interested in her disappeared from her life.”
Michelle didn’t say anything, but I didn’t need to hear her say anymore, this was more than enough.
I wanted to throw up; I thought that my knees were going to collapse from under me at hearing what I just had. Michelle had done this; Michelle was the reason why everything was ruined, because she had ruined it. She had made sure to destroy mine and James’ friendship because she was jealous. She was meant to be my best friend.
“He didn’t do anything wrong, did he?” I heard Isabella growl angrily.
The tears were prickling at my stinging eyes, as Michelle’s words ran through my brain. James didn’t do anything, he wasn’t any part in whatever it was that had happened, and he didn’t actually know what was going on.
I felt my feet moving as anger filled me. I turned around the corner and stopped. Neither seemed to have noticed me. I’m not sure if Sian followed me or stayed behind.
“Please don’t say anything, I promise I’ll sort it all out. I don’t want her hating me.” Michelle was pleading with Isabella, who looked as angry as I felt.
“No, I will not keep this for you. I will not have her not knowing that her ‘best friend’ could stoop this fucking low,” Isabella growled out and I was thankful, thankful that I at least had one friend who was looking out for me.
“Please, she’ll hate me!” Michelle cried, holding a hand out that Isabella recoiled from.
“It’s a bit too late for that,” I stated in a low and calm voice, although I wasn’t feeling that way. Both of them turned around to face me, their eyes widening slightly in horror, before Isabella turned to glare at Michelle again.
“Abigail,” Michelle began, taking a few steps towards me. “I can explain.”
“How could you?” I asked her, cursing my eyes for watering so much. Michelle’s face dropped, but not before she shot Isabella a glare as though this were her fault.
Michelle stated quickly, “I was talking to Rebecca –”
“The girl who tripped me? The girl who wanted me to stay away from James because she wanted him?” I asked. “The girl who hates me?”
Michelle nodded. “Its how I came up with the idea to lie about James. I thought that if Rebecca hung around James more, you would see what he’s really like and you would have forgotten all about him and your silly crush. When that didn’t work I had to change it.”
My fists clenched.
“It wasn’t just a silly crush.” I shot out. I wanted to hit out, I wanted to cause pain, but I wouldn’t.
“You never would have had a chance with him. I was trying to help you, trying to make you see,” Michelle told me honestly, giving a small shrug as though it were no big deal, trying to turn this around so that I was the one over reacting. Like always.
“But I did have a chance with him!” I cried angrily, “He liked me. He wasn’t lying like you told me; he wasn’t faking it like you convinced me and so many others that he was.”
“He would have only broken your heart in the long run. I was saving you the hassle -”
“How? How do you know that? Is it because I’m not good enough for him?” I interrupted her quickly.
“You’re not,” Michelle snapped and it stung at my heart that she actually did think that. “We’re not from the same circles, he’s popular and we’re –”
“Not ‘we’ just ‘you’. James didn’t care about any of that; he liked me because of me. He didn’t expect me to change for him, he told me everything about himself, and he opened up to me.”
“If you two are such ‘great friends’ why the hell haven’t you told him who your dad is? Why are you keeping that a secret from him if you trust him so much?” Michelle shot back at me.
“Because I – ”
“Because you were scared that he was only interested in you because of whom your dad was. I know you were and I was just trying to save you being hurt in the long run from finding out that was exactly what he wanted.”
“You don’t know him.”
“Neither do you,” Michelle growled, her arms folding across her chest.
“I know him a lot better than I know you, and you were meant to have been my best friend for years.”
“I am your best friend, don’t be stupid.”
I shook my head, “You’re not. Best friends do not treat each other this way, they don’t make up lies and rumours about the other, they don’t put them down, tear at their self confidence and use it against them to make them stay. They don’t bully or belittle the other, they support and help. They encourage crushes, dreams, aspirations. They tell each other everything about themselves because they know that their friend is going to be there to support them.”
“I do support you,” Michelle began angrily and I gave a scoff, pushing my long brown hair out of my eyes angrily.
“When I told you that my dream job was to work in comics like my dad, you laughed and said it would never happen, that I was just wasting my time and the only way I would get in was through him,” I told her, remembering the words that she had told me all those years ago, the amount of times she would scoff when I would talk about what it would be like when my own ideas were finally out in the world. “I got accepted to be an apprentice in America when I graduate from here next year and I did everything myself, none of them know who my father is, I did this because of my own talents.”
“You got in?” she asked in shock, her arms dropping from her chest as she stared at me, looking hurt that I hadn’t told her. I almost laughed.
“That’s right and I was too scared of hurting your feelings over it all that I was trying to work up the courage of how to tell you, I was even beginning to come up with plans on how I could come back and see you, or how I could have you come and see me. But now that you’ve shown your true colours, I don’t need someone like you in my life, I don’t need it.”
“I said I was sorry,” Michelle tried, reaching her hand out to stop me from walking away from her, from walking away from this joke of a fucking friendship we had going on.
“Sorry isn’t enough this time. Sorry will never be enough,” I told her angrily, dodging away from her outreached hand. I was done with this, I was done with her. “I lost him because of you.”
“You haven’t lost him.”
I frowned before whipping my head around at the sound of the new voice; I had totally forgotten that we were in a corridor, where anyone could overhear us.
William was standing next to Isabella, his arms folded across his broad chest as he stared at Michelle incredulously.
“I haven’t?” I asked softly, my voice failing slightly as William’s words gave me hope.
William turned to look at me, his face softening as he did so. “No, you haven’t.”
I gave a breath of relief, running my hands through my hair to push it out of my face. I haden’t lost James. Michelle hadn’t ruined everything for me.
“I knew that something must have happened when you didn’t show up to Hogsmeade,” William stated to me. “James had found me an hour after you were meant to meet each other.”
Guilt plagued me, the nauseous feeling returning to me at his words. James had waited for an hour for me and I didn’t show up.
“We both assumed that something had happened to stop you coming, he was all set to come and find you to ask what happened, but we bumped into fuck face over there,” William nodded in the direction of Michelle. Isabella gave a small laugh at Williams’ words. “James asked her if she had seen you and Michelle had told James that you didn’t want to see him. That you didn’t know how to let him down gently that you weren’t interested in him. At first we didn’t believe her, but we figured what reason would she have to lie? She was your best friend and she sounded so bloody convincing.”
“Did you seriously do that?” Isabella demanded for me. I was glad. I didn’t want to turn and face Michelle; I wasn’t sure what I would do. It was killing me that someone I trusted was treating me like this, making sure that I was hurt because they were jealous.
Michelle didn’t say anything. I was honestly surprised that she had stuck around; I thought she would have run off.
“I can’t believe you,” Isabella spat, moving forwards to grab for my arm and pulling me towards her, shooting dark looks at Michelle. “Let’s leave; if we stay here I might actually hit her.”
I let myself be guided down the corridor, William walking next to me as I waited for him to explain more, and Sian trailing behind us.
“I can honestly say that I never saw James that upset and I hated you a lot for making him feel that way. I wanted to come up and see you, demand what your problem was, but James stopped me,”
“I didn’t, I swear I didn’t,” I said quickly, hoping that he could see how sorry I felt about the entire thing.
“I know that now, Isabella was the one who made me see that something had happened,” William admitted, nodding at Isabella who was now holding my hand in support; it was enough to calm me and make me focus. “That was mainly because she nearly punched me in the face in her attempts to attack James.”
I turned to look at Isabella, who shrugged in reply. “What can I say? I’ve got your back.”
I was so grateful for her, I wasn’t sure if she would ever know just how much. She seemed to know, though, squeezing my hand and smiling at me before I turned to look back at William.
“I didn’t appreciate you man handling me,” Isabella shot at him.
“I didn’t appreciate you trying to punch me in the eye,” William shot back, a smile playing across his lips. “After I had gotten her away from James, she began yelling abuse at us. Telling him that he was a complete pillock, how dare he treat someone so amazing in such a shitty way. That she hoped he was proud of himself for ruining everything and for destroying your life. That confused both of us instantly and we ended up in a very heated discussion about what we had both heard.”
It was all fitting together, the reason why James didn’t come and find me after I had stood him up, why I didn’t hear anything from him. Which helped me believe Michelle’s lies.
“When we were still yelling at each other, Sian came up to us and told us that her sister had heard Rebecca telling her friends about how James was now going to be hers. That she had finally gotten you away from him,” Isabella told me, nodding in the direction of Sian as we walked out of the castle and across the path. I realised that we were heading in the direction of the Quidditch pitch; we were the only ones as it was still too early for the beginning of the match.
“That was all this morning around breakfast,” William said, finishing the story, and I couldn’t help but feel so much anger directed towards my now ex-best friend. I still couldn’t believe that she could do this to me. “James wanted to come and find you, but he had to go and talk to his Quidditch captain and couldn’t come and find you, so I volunteered. That’s when I found Isabella yelling and saw you.”
“Where is he?” I asked William. I wanted to find James; I wanted to tell him that I did like him, that it wasn’t my fault all this happened.
“He should be down on the Quidditch pitch still, the games isn’t for another few hours so I’m hoping he’s still down there,” William stated. I nodded, taking my hand out of Isabella’s sprinting towards the pitch. I heard Isabella cheering behind me and it spurred me onwards.
I stopped running as soon as I got to the doors that would lead me onto the field, my chest was hurting and my throat was stinging as I gasped in air, but I didn’t care. I needed to find James.
I slowly walked through the doors, trying to calm my breathing. The nerves were getting too much that they were enough to make me stop and run away, but I needed to see him, I needed to apologise and make things right. I needed to make sure he knew that Michelle had been lying, I did like him.
James was standing in the middle of the pitch alone, a Beaters bat in one hand and what looked like tennis balls in his other. He was throwing it up and down in the one hand, catching it easily before throwing it in the air and hitting it as hard as he could with his bat.
He did this a few more times before he realised that someone was behind him.
“William, did you find her?” he asked, throwing another ball in the air and hitting it with the bat. If he wasn’t a Seeker I knew that he would have made a good Beater.
“It’s me,” I said softly as James threw another ball into the air, but he missed it with the bat as he turned around to look at me in shock.
I stopped walking and looked at him; I had no idea what to even say. It was awkward and I hated it.
“I’m sorry,” I said honestly, my hands wringing together in front of me nervously. I hated this tension, hated what had happened. “I’m so, so sorry for standing you up.”
“It wasn’t your fault,” James told me, taking the few steps to close the distance between us as he dropped the bat to the floor.
“I never thought for one moment that Michelle would do something like this. She’s meant to be my best friend,” I told him sadly. I still couldn’t believe that Michelle would have done something like this. “How could I not trust her, though? I mean, I don’t get why you talked to me in the first place, you’re amazing and popular and I’m nothing.”
James grabbed for my hand and I looked up at him; he had a hard look on his face and he furrowed his eyebrows together. The tension and awkwardness was slipping away as we looked at each other.
“Don’t ever think like that about yourself. You’re an amazing person, Abigail. That is why I wanted to talk to you. Well, the whole love potion incident kind of forced me into declaring my feelings before I was ready to.”
Part of me didn’t believe him and it must have shown on my face because James was quick to speak again, stumbling a little over his words.
“I’ve honestly wanted to talk to you for a while now,” he admitted, looking a little embarrassed to be admitting this information. “You can ask William if you don’t believe me.”
“Seriously?” I asked in shock.
“Seriously,” James repeated. “I spent most of the summer talking with William to give me the courage to begin getting to know you better”
I was so surprised at this; he had talked about me to William?
“On our train ride back when I was running down the corridor, I was actually running to find him. He’d threatened to tell Elijah about my feelings for you and I ended up running down the train trying to find him. But I ran into you instead.”
I nodded slowly, trying to process his words - he had feelings for me.
James waited for a moment before he spoke again, as though he was trying to work up the courage to say the next words.
“I thought I was going to be able to handle my crush on you. That I’d be able to ignore it. I assumed that you weren’t interested in me that way. But then I smelt that damn love potion and everything you’ve done since then has reminded me of it. The honey lip balm, the ink you spilt in class that one time, the parchment has got to be the comic books. The only thing that hasn’t made an appearance is strawberry. William finds this all so bloody hilarious of course, he even gave me a bloody timeframe of when I had to admit my feelings for you before he told you for me.”
I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I reached down into my bag and rummaged around in it, until I could find what I was looking for. I pulled it out and handed it to James, who took it slowly and looked down at it. A wide grin filled his face ad he shook his head in disbelief.
“I can’t believe this.” He laughed, running a hand over the back of his neck as he looked up at me. “Strawberry chewing gum?”
I nodded, leaning closer to him as I tried to stop my stomach from turning to slush at his admission. He liked me; he smelt things that reminded him of me in the love potion.
“I smelt things that reminded me of you,” I admitted myself and this made him look up, a grin beginning to spread across his face.
“Oh, yeah?” he asked, his hand finding mine and causing me to blush. He placed my packet of chewing gum into his pocket as he moved to hold my other hand as well.
“Yeah, parchment –”
“That’s just copying me,” James stated, interrupting me. His fingers laced into my own, his warm hands spreading heat through me at his touch.
“I’m not copying you. There was also chocolate, which you gave me after the love potion incident. The coconut of your shampoo, strangely enough apple was in there... but I haven’t noticed that around you.”
“We’re clearly not meant to be,” James whispered, resting his forehead against my own as his hands left mine to skim across my waist.
“Clearly...” I managed to squeak out as I tried not to think about the amazing feeling going through me at the feel of his hands on my hips, or at the fact that his lips were close to brushing over mine.
“...I’m clearly destined for William,” I replied my own voice coming out huskily. “I saw him eating an apple the other day.”
James’s eyes lit up in humour and his grip tightened on my waist, pulling me closer to him. “I’m not going to let him near you; I want you all for my own.”
He closed the distance between us, pressing his lips against my own in a gentle kiss, taking the breath out of my lungs as I gripped hold of his arm through fear that I was going to stop breathing and end up collapsing.
“That’s of course if you want me,” James told me as he pulled away to ask me.
“Of course I do,” I stated, feeling like I was on cloud nine. I wasn’t sure if this feeling was ever going to go away.
James seemed happy with my answer as he pressed his lips lightly against my own again. It was the most wonderful feeling I had ever felt, the butterflies in my stomach were going crazy and I thought my heart was going to beat out of control.
James slowly moved his lips against my own, parting slightly and I instinctively followed his lead, my legs feeling like jelly when I felt the gently press of his tongue against my own.
I can’t believe this is happening. My first proper kiss was with James Potter, the person I had the biggest crush on for so long now, and here I was making out with him. I wanted to laugh in excitement, jump around and scream loudly, tell the entire world. James titled his head a bit more to the left, which caused our teeth to clack together.
“Oh god,” James groaned in embarrassment as he quickly pulled away from me, his face was flushing and he put his hand over his face. “I’m sorry. That was my fault; I got really excited and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I’ve wanted to kiss you. Did I hurt you?”
I couldn’t help but giggle. “I’m fine. It’s alright.”
“No, it’s not. I wanted our first proper kiss to be amazing and then my giant bunny teeth got in the way,” James told me, dropping his hand from his face and putting it on his hip as he shook his head. “I’m so disappointed in my own body, it’s like it’s out to get me.”
“You don’t have bunny teeth,” I tried to tell him. James came closer to me, flashing his teeth at me so that I could look at them.
“Look at these bad boys, taunting me with their extra length,” James’ voice was muffled as he was pulling his lips back slightly and pointing at his front teeth.
“Well... aside from food in them, I don’t see any other problems. They just look normal,” I joked, glancing up to see that James looked horrified, before trying to pick the imaginary food out of his teeth.
“Oh no,” he exclaimed, turning away from me so that he could get the food out. I instantly felt bad for my joke.
“No, James, I’m joking. It was a joke,” I told him, grabbing for his arm to turn him. He dropped the hand from his mouth slowly.
“Really? You’re not just saying that to make me feel better?” he asked me and I nodded. “This isn’t going how I thought that it would, our first kiss was meant to be perfect.”
“It was perfect,” I told him honestly, wrapping my arms around myself as a grin spread across my face at the thought of James’ lips against my own.
“You deserve a better kiss, preferably one with fewer teeth,” James admitted and I shrugged.
“We could always practice,” I said without meaning to. “I mean, if you wanted to of course.”
James responded by taking my hand gently and moving closer to me, leaning down to kiss me again.
“It’s about fucking time.”
I pulled away from James as I jumped at being scared by the voice. I was too lost in my kiss with James to realise that someone had arrived at the Quidditch pitch. We both turned and saw that William and Isabella were both watching us, Sian wasn’t with them. Isabella had her hand gripped around William’s arm as she jumped up and down in excitement. There was even a smile on William’s face, as he glanced at her and rolled his eyes at her behaviour.
“I’m so happy, we actually came down here to make sure that Abigail didn’t kill you,” William admitted. I felt James’ hand gripping my waist and pulling me closer to him so that he could wrap his arms around me in a hug.
“Nope, no killing here,” James admitted and I smiled as I leant my head against him, my own arms snaking their way around him.
“Come on, William, we should get going,” Isabella stated grabbing for William’s hand to pull him away.
“Yeah, we should leave the two love birds alone,” William told her with a laugh as he let her drag him away.
“I don’t know why I keep you around,” James yelled after William’s retreating form. William turned around; hand still in Isabella’s to yell back.
“Because you love me.”
“If I squeezed you as much as I loved you, you’d explode,” James shot back with a grin, causing William to groan loudly. It must have been an inside joke between the two that I hoped one day James would share with me.
“Now, where were we?” James asked me as he turned back towards me.
I giggled before leaning towards James to kiss him.
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