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The Human Factor by SexyDoorFrames
Chapter 22 : The One Where Everything Changes
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 13


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Authors note: Hello. I'm alive! I'm sorry I haven't updated in a very long time. I've had some health issues but I've been having more good days than bad so I've been writing this chapter, little by little on my phone, except for a scene thay has been written since I started this story (see if you can guess what scene). I've been scared to post this chapter as I'm rusty but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Excuse the mistakes, this chapter has not been beta'ed. Thank you for your reviews, I will reply to them asap!


Chapter Twenty Two -
The One Where Everything Changes


As I tossed and turned in my bed, I realized it was going to be another long night. Everytime I closed my eyes, I was confronted with my latest nightmare. So I lay there, my dark thoughts consuming my mind, the ones I tried to lock up to perserve my sanity had escaped. They were screaming at me and I was too weak to fight them. So I let their taint wash over me.

I was thinking about pain. The beautiful, wicked thing that it is.

You see, I was never numb to pain. Pain became my best friend and sometimes, it felt like my only friend.

I dragged my friend where ever I went.

Pain had seeped into me so long ago and it's still there. I stare at the veins on my wrist, imaging the pain, anger and hatred coursing through them, corroding my insides.

When life fell apart, I felt hurt so badly that I thought I was going to crumble into pieces. One false move and I’d shatter.

I should despise pain, it only caused me misery but it was my anchor. It kept me trapped in reality. I couldn’t even sink into my dreams because pain follows me, turns a daydream into a nightmare. There was no escape.

So no, I wasn’t numb from pain, instead I felt like I was I was numb from emotions. Obviously my emotions lurked inside me but I paid no attention to them; I lavished my attention on my pain. All the good emotions, I rejected. Pain helped me develop into the person I’d always been, but too afraid to show it. It broke my illusion. Even though pain was the thing that I felt like I could rely on, I didn’t want to add to it. I was cracking up already and I couldn’t handle anymore. I used to lie in my bed, thinking about life and death and neither one appealed to me. I was so jumbled up lately. Well, actually, I've been jumbled up for years.

So I let go and shut myself down after he left. I created even bigger gaps between the people I cared about because I couldn’t handle anymore hurt and these people were going to hurt me, I knew they would.

Truthfully, people frighten me and loving them is giving them control. I couldn’t give the control to them. I had to be the one holding all the powers. I had no other options than to just drift away from them, I became a hollow shell, a translucent figment of the cruel world that had broken me. But some people don’t give up. Cassie broke through first. She knew me too well. She knew how to break me. She got through when no one else could, she dragged me back to the world, a world that I no longer wanted to be apart of. She forced me to start living again, even though I wasn’t truly living, I was just passing the time, my wounded organs were struggling to keep me alive because I couldn’t be bothered to nourish it with the fuel it needed, I had a beautiful brain that made up of twisted walls to keep my secrets secure, to lock away all the things I didn’t want to remember, to keep them from escaping. I pushed them further and further to the back of a head that was much too tired to complete the task, but somehow it did. It matched my weary body, breaking down slowly as I lost against the monsters that lived inside my head. I would never speak his name again; I would never even think it. It was in my best interests to forget all about his existence. To utter his name would destroy me.

But lately, I was starting to feel restless. I could feel things slowly shifting and I didn’t know how to deal with it. It made me want to scream until my bones shattered. If I was a normal person, I wouldn’t even be thinking any of this because I wouldn’t have noticed but couldn’t handle it. Scorpius had become a permanent fixture it my life and I had let him become that. I didn’t even notice until it was too late. I could see this all ending up badly because I was starting to…like having him around.

It was awful.

I will destroy him. I will hurt him all over again. I had treated him so badly in the past that I was surprised he could even look at me, let alone love me so fiercely. I ignored him; I shouted at him, I never allowed myself to be in the same room as him. I used to feel embarrassed that the stupid Scorpius was my family. He would speak to me and I would ignore him. He asked why I was acting like this and I didn’t answer. He didn’t exist to me. I remember seeing his expression in the corner of my eye, his goofy smile was present, but it was his eyes I remembered the most. He was smiling but his eyes had formed tears. I saw torment in those eyes that were so familiar. He was the boy I had grew up with, the boy who put everyone’s happiness before his own. I resolved to give him another chance; I was going to be nicer next time. I even decided that I would speak to him, something I had refused to do all year. I didn’t want to remember all the pain I caused him, but somehow, I couldn’t forget. It ate me up inside.

But I never did give him that chance in fifth year. It started when I spoke to him of my plans. He screamed at me; asking why he wasn’t enough. I trembled as I told him that he was perfect and he was all I ever wanted but I couldn’t soothe him. He told me that my thoughts should only focus on him and no other guy, family or not. He didn’t want to share. I was his. I belonged to him.

In the end, I had to promise I wouldn’t change.

I promised that I would continue to being a cruel bitch to the one person who didn’t deserve it.

Fred and James wanted to be my friend. Another change I couldn’t handle. Lily kept on seeking me out. She would smile and hug me whenever she saw me. I wanted to hate it, I really did.

I climbed out of bed and shuddered. I couldn’t be in that bed anymore. It was suffocating.

I wanted to crawl into a ball but I couldn’t. I pushed myself to keep walking. I found the dormitory easily. I pushed the door open and snuck into the room. I looked around, everyone was asleep, I couldn’t help but glance at Albus’ empty bed as I walked quietly over to a sleeping Scorpius. I was both happy and agitated. It bothered me not knowing where he was but I was happy that this night wasn’t going to end with me fighting with Albus.

I stared at Scorpius. He was all sprawled out, tangled in his blanket. I thought about turning back. He was okay. I knew that now but I didn’t want to leave.

“Scorpius,” I whispered as I nudged him softly.

He opened his sleepy eyes. “Pippa?” He looked confused. “What are you doing here?” He sat up as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

I didn’t know why I was here.

I just know I needed comfort. I needed to feel safe.

But I couldn’t tell him that.

“I had a bad dream.”

“What happened?” He asked softly as he gestured for me to sit down on his bed.

I sat down on his bed. He warm hand reached for mine, holding it tightly. I never wanted him to let go and that surprised me. “I had a dream that you hated me.” I whispered, my voice cracking slightly. “Then you died in my arms and the last words you said to me was that I never mattered to you, it was all a game. That I was a horrible bitch and I was going to get what I deserved.” Scorpius squeezed my hand. “You cursed me with your dying breath. You were gone, you had left me.” I didn’t know why I was confessing so much but I knew that Scorpius wouldn’t use this information against me. The words I spoke would never leave this room. I realized that I truly did trust Scorpius, I couldn’t help it but he was the one person I could rely on, or at least I thought so until that dream. “It felt so real.”

It was horrible. Scorpius had decided he had enough of me. I was begging him not to leave me, I didn’t know how I could live without him. I told him I’d be better, that I would change, but Scorpius said it didn’t matter. It was done. I no longer mattered to him. Then there was an explosion, I closed my eyes and when I opened them, Scorpius was bleeding on the floor. I ran over to him, I cradled him in my arms, I never wanted to let go. I was screaming at him to stay with me. He opened his eyes and started to spew hatred. I knew I had done this to him; I had made him bitter because I had put him through so much and he had finally reached his limit. He told me he had never loved me. His words rang true to my ears and I couldn’t blame him. I knew no one could love the creature that I was. I was a handful, I knew that much. I had killed Scorpius’ innocence and that tore me apart.

“You dying in my arms, it reminded me of-“ I couldn’t finish the sentence. The words were escaping my lips, it’s uncontrollable. I didn’t know what I was saying or why I was saying it. I was only dragging up the painful past. I had tried so hard to forget that but tonight; the memory had been awoken and was stirring.

“It’s okay.” Scorpius soothed as he embraced me, wrapping his arms around me and squeezed me tight. I couldn’t help but feel safe in his arms. “I’ll never leave you.” But I couldn’t believe it. The words spoken in that dream haunted me. “Leaving you would make me a sad panda.” He spoke softly as if I was a frightened child. I suppose in a way, I was. I couldn’t stop thinking about him leaving me because he finally realized that I wasn’t the person he thought I was.

For some reason the thought of him leaving me terrified me.

Scorpius was constant, he was my shadow. I could call on him and he would come running. If he left me; it would end that. I’d be lost in the unknown and I hated that. I needed to control it. I was spinning out of control, my emotions flooding me, seeping into my veins and brain, slowly taking over me. The wrong words were tumbling out of my mouth, words that were fresh and knew. Words I thought that I would never utter again. I needed everything to slow down; I needed to regain my composure and balance. Regrets were littered on my skin. My brain consumed by ghosts, locking me with the figments of the past. I always felt like I could never escape them, but when I was with Scorpius, the voices became a little quieter and my chains became a little lighter. He helped me without even knowing it. He was my ball of sunshine.

The truth is, Scorpius made me human. He was my light at the end of a dark tunnel.

I carried my pain around with me, breaking me down slowly but Scorpius managed to put the breakdown on pause

I was so scared of opening myself up to another human again. Even having attention on me petrified me; I didn’t want anyone looking too close and discover the broken creature that lived inside me. Without my permission, Scorpius had broken into my dead heart and stole a piece, forcing me to care about him. He brought my heart back to life. I couldn’t fight against what I was feeling and I couldn’t ignore the emotions, it was impossible.

“I love you, Pippa.” Scorpius whispered in my ear and I froze. “And I always will.” I still worried though, the fear of rejection and the painful thought of him leaving me. I couldn’t shake it off because I knew it was going to happen eventually because I didn’t deserve him in my life. I wasn’t the person he thought I was. The tears flooded out my eyes and I started to quietly sob on his shoulder. I always felt like I was alone, it was me against the world but the truth was, I was never alone. I pushed him away, I trampled all over him and he still cared for me. I didn’t understand, he should hate me because I know I hate myself because of the things I have done to him. I was a terrible person. There was nothing good about me. I didn’t deserve his love. Love was a disgusting emotion. It was love that killed me. I thought I could never care so deeply about someone again.

I trusted Scorpius, I couldn’t help it. He was the only person I knew who wouldn’t hurt me.

I couldn’t imagine a world without Scorpius.

I needed him.

I cared about him.

And I couldn’t stand that. I never wanted to care about another person, I never wanted to let anyone in. Scorpius had made it into my heart and I didn’t realize until it was too late, I couldn’t reverse it.

“Scorpius...” I whispered. “I…” The words wouldn’t come out. I couldn’t say what I felt and that was the problem. I wanted to say it because Scorpius deserved to know. I wiped the tears from my eyes, as I looked up at him. Those familiar grey eyes stared me. One day I would tell him, but today is not that day. Scorpius had seen the little bits of me that wasn’t pretty, yet instead of running away like I expected, he stayed and tried to get closer to me.

Scorpius smiled at me. “It’s okay.” He whispered, “I already know, you don’t need to say anything.” Of course he would know. Scorpius was a simple person, the little things made him happy and the boy didn’t have common sense, but he always could tell what you were feeling, as if you were an open book. I suppose when you have a complicated best friend and cousin, you get to see the dark emotions up close. You experience everything through them. Then you realize slowly the answer to the problem. You know how to deal when someone is off the rails. I screamed at him that I hated him the once, but he knew deep down, I didn’t. I needed him to help me but I was pushing him away so Scorpius forced himself into my life. Until this year, I had never spent a lot of time with him and I regretted that. He made me realize that I didn’t like to be alone, when I was alone, I drove myself crazy.

I forced the tears to stop, regaining my control. “I have to go.” I stood up and shuddered. The room suddenly felt a lot colder.

Scorpius nodded. “Get some sleep; you’ll feel a lot better in the morning.”

“I’m fine.” I snapped, suddenly embarrassed about everything. I shouldn’t have come here. Scorpius should have never seen me in my weakened state. I worried that it would change something and I couldn’t bear that. “I’m always fine.” I lied. This night had brought us closer and I needed to change that. I needed distance. “Don’t you dare tell anyone about tonight.” If people knew, it could change their impression of me. My nightmares were my problem, I had never told anyone about them, not even Cassie. I suffered alone.

“I won’t.” Scorpius didn’t even look at me. “Your secret is safe with me.” I glanced at him; he was staring at his hands. He looked upset and I knew it was my fault. I had allowed him to get close, and then I threw him to the side because I panicked. The rebuilt the walls that had crumbled.

“Good.” I said coldly but I instantly regretted it. I couldn’t look at him anymore; the guilt was hit me in my gut and made me feel sick. I needed to get out the room; I stumbled as I walked away from Scorpius without saying good bye and slammed the door of the dormitory as I left. I didn't care if I awoke the other boys in the dormitory.

I walked quickly to my dormitory and entered it quietly. Emilie and Cassie were still asleep, but I knew they wouldn’t be asleep for long because it was starting to get light outside and both of them were early risers. I tumbled onto my bed and sighed. I closed my eyes, even though I knew I would never get back to sleep so I just lay there, wishing I could disappear into nothingness.

Eventually, I heard someone shuffling and climbing out of bed.

Then someone poked me in the arm.

“Cassie,” I hissed, “Don’t poke me.”

“Not Cassie, it’s me, Emilie.” Emilie whispered.

I opened my eyes immediately and sat up straight. I rebuilded my ruined walls quickly as I let my eyes wonder over to her. Her PJ’s had turtles on them, she wore no make up, which made her look a lot younger and almost innocent. It’s a shame she’s such a bitch. I brushed my fingers on the place she poked and wiped it with my hand, as if there were dirt there.

“What do you want?” I asked coldly, as I glared at my former best friend. A small part of me missed her occasionally, but I knew that we would never be friends again, too much had happened.

Emilie sighed as she sat on the edge of my bed. It made me fill with rage. Emilie was being so casual and I hated it. I preferred it when we were arguing; at least I knew where I stood when she was screaming at me that she hated me.

“I needed to talk to you.” She said softly. “I have something to tell you.” She looked at me and I took in a deep breath as I felt the panic rising.

“Is it Damien? Has something happened to him?” I asked, the worry surprised me, I had tried convinced myself that I didn’t care what happened to Damien but it was all for nothing; I still cared and always would. He was my brother. I shouldn’t give a crap about him. I was still mad at him and I refused to talk to him. It was easy to do as Damien didn’t even try to start a conversation with me, he simply ignored me. I didn’t exist to him, I was invisible. It was a battle of who was the most stubborn.

Eventually one of us would break down, but I was determined for it not to be me.

Emilie shook her head. “No! Damien is fine!”

“Thank god.” I whispered, as I tried to calm myself down. I was disgusted and disappointed myself for caring so much. “So what is it?”

“Me and Damien are now official. No more sneaking around. I wanted you to hear it from me before someone else. I tried to convince Damien to tell you, but he wouldn’t.” Emilie sighed. “I hope you two sort out everything soon, you’re brother and sister. You shouldn’t be like this. It’s making him miserable. He tries to hide it but the gaping wound is there if you look closely. ”

I felt the anger rise within me, it also came with a dash of confusion. “Damien being miserable about us not talking?” I laughed bitterly. “He doesn’t give a shit about me. He never has. If he gave a shit, he wouldn’t be dating you.”

Emilie flinched. “You can’t help who you fall for Pippa.”

I shook my head. I know that sometimes people fall for someone they shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do something about it.

Gosh, maybe it is me who is the utter bitch around here.

Damien and Emilie were official. It was real. It wasn’t going away like I thought it would. I didn’t understand what they saw in each other. I didn’t understand that out of all the girls that Damien could have chosen, he picked Emilie. My ex best friend. The person that causes me pain whenever I see her, because I remember how wonderful she used to be and now knowing that the person she used to be didn’t exist anymore. We were both different people then. I had changed and so had she.

“What changed your mind?” I asked, trying to understand. Damien told me she didn’t give a crap about him. Something had obviously changed unless it was one big game for her. I wasn’t sure. She acted like it was real, but I couldn’t help hope it was fake. I knew Damien would be upset, but he would get over it and Emilie wouldn’t be in our lives anymore. I could go back to ignoring her and pretending she was nothing to me.

“I fell for him.” She said simply. “I didn’t at the start; he was a distraction that I needed to take my mind off everything because everything had turned to shit.” I knew Emilie’s parents were hard to take sometimes. Her mother and father were fiery, who loved each other deeply but constantly argued. Divorce was constantly mentioned. When we were friends, Emilie practically lived with us in the holidays, barely going home. Her parents were so occupied with each other that they barely noticed she was gone. “The more I spent in his company, the more I found myself falling for him, before I knew it, I loved him and I thought my life was over.” Emilie fiddled with her sleeve. “You know how afraid I was of love.” That was true; Emilie constantly stated that she was never going to fall in love. She couldn’t bear the thought opening herself up. So she refused to care about anyone but herself. Wait, that isn't true, once upon a time she cared about me and Cassie.

“I felt that making the relationship official was like giving up everything. It was like I’d lost the war I had going on with myself. I said I’d never fall in love, but I have and it scares me.”

I could understand that; I too had pledged never to fall in love again, once was enough for me.

“So we started being a secret couple, but it was tiring. I wanted to hold his hand, but I couldn’t because it was a secret. I had enough, so I just gave in. I accepted that I was in love with him.” Emilie sighed. “I can’t help feeling that this will bite me in the ass someday, but today, I’m happy.”

“You really do love him, don’t you?” I could tell easily that this wasn’t a game to her, it was the way she said his name. It was full of adoration. “It’s not just a game isn’t it?”

“No.” She answered truthfully. “I feel like I belong with him.”

There was a sharp pain in my gut. I couldn’t help but miss what I used to have. When things were good, they were perfect at least through my delusional eyes, I remembered how happy I was, but eventually it got destroyed.

I would now be alone forever. No one could love me. I was too messed up. I got lucky for once finding him, I would never get lucky again. I felt lonely and I wished I had someone to hold me. Someone to stroke my hair, while whispering it was all going to be okay.

I wanted to run and find him. I wanted to beg for him to take me back. I would tell him I’d be anything he wanted me to me. I would change everything about myself if it meant getting a second chance with him . I wondered what he would say if I told him he was my everything and I thought about him every single day. Did he still love me? Does he cherish the good times like I do? I also think about the bad times a lot too, everything that had happened lately caused me examine every one of them. I now know he was bad for me, as I was bad for him. He was possessive and controlling. I was moody and bitchy. Things weren’t as perfect as I thought they were, love had changed my memories as I was looking at them with rose tinted glasses. It was all a lie. I didn’t even know who he was really. There was a difference between the person I thought he was and the person he actually is.

But still, I’d do anything for one more kiss.

“Pippa,” Emilie whispered, “Are you alright? You’ve gone all quiet.”

I let go of my thoughts and returned to reality. “I was just thinking, that’s all.” I shrugged. I looked at her for several moments, “You hurt my brother, I will hurt you ten times worse.” I didn’t even know why I was threatening her; I was still worried that this would go horribly wrong. I couldn’t help it. I was still hurt, but I knew if Damien called on me to help him, I would go, because at the end of the day, we shared the same blood. Ever since I was little, it was drilled into me that family is the most important thing in the world. You can trust no one but your family and when your family was in trouble, you stood with them, ready to destroy the enemy.

Emilie just laughed at me. “I think you should sort out everything with Damien, it’s obvious you care about him. He is your family, this fighting isn't right.”

I shrugged. “No. I’m done with him.” I said, trying to convince myself that this was true.

Emilie shook her head, as she stood up. “Thank you for listening to me. I know we have a complicated past, but I hope we can be at least civil to each other.” She held out her hand, “How about a truce?”

I stared at her hand, wondering what the hell I should do. I knew Cassie would kill me if I took her hand but a little bit of me wanted to end our bickering, Emilie seemed to have grown up a lot lately and I was tired of it all. Emilie was different, more mature and less petty. She still argued with Cassie, but Cassie started all the arguments. I couldn’t move past everything that had happened, it was too much, we couldn’t go back, but while we were stuck arguing all the time, we weren’t moving forward either. I could never forgive her, I knew that but I could be civil with her.

At least I thought so.

But I knew that saying yes was the right answer. So I had to say no.

“No.” I whispered. “I can’t.”

I was making the wrong decision.

Emilie sighed. “I tried.” She shrugged before walking away. She picked up her things and went to the bathroom.

“Oh my god.” Cassie yelled as she crawled out of bed and ran over to mine. “What the fuck just happened?” She jumped on my bed. Her hair was wild and she was full of energy.

“You were listening?”

“Of course, I was just pretending to be sleeping.” Cassie laughed. “So now they’re going to be an official couple? What a load of bullshit. And trying to make a truce? After everything that’s happened? And she loves him? Eugh.” Cassie rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe the cheek of her, I really can’t.” Cassie hated Emilie more than anything. In Cassie’s eyes, she was the enemy that needed to be destroyed. All her love had turned into hate. She refused to forgive.

I couldn’t help but feel that something more was going on. It was like I was missing a huge piece of the puzzle. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but everything didn’t feel right.

“I think she does love him, you know.”

Cassie’s face scrunched up in anger. “That girl doesn’t know what love is.” She snapped, giving me a dirty look.

I stared at her for a long time. I needed to figure out what was wrong but Cassie was a bomb of hatred that was about to explode so I had to tread carefully to avoid collateral damage.

“You’ve really increased your hate campaign since we found out she was dating Damien.” Cassie looked guilty so I knew I was on the right trail. “Is there something I’m missing?”

“No.” She said quickly, looking down, refusing to meet my eyes.

“I think you’re lying.” I said quietly.

“You’re right.” She sighed. “But I don’t want to tell you.” She chewed on her bottom lip.

“Why?” I asked, feeling hurt.

She used to tell me everything, now she had a secret that she was refusing to tell me. There was some distance between us. I hated it.

She closed her eyes for a few seconds, before opening them again. “Because I broke the rule.” Cassie looked up at me. “I’m so sorry.” Her words seemed genuine but I didn't care.

“You what?” I yelled. I felt the sour taste of vomit rising in my throat.

“How could you?” I jumped off the bed, wanting to get as far from her as possible. I couldn’t believe she had broken it.

There was one rule of our friendship. The rule was that my brother was out of bounds, Cassie could date everyone else, but she wasn’t allowed to touch my brother. I had created this rule when I noticed that Cassie had a pattern in her love life. She would chase guys, then she’d get them and she’d quickly discard them when she found a fault with them. I created this rule because I wanted to protect my brother from Cassie. I knew that Cassie could easily make my brother fall for her. She was charming and beautiful; Damien had a weakness for pretty girls. Cassie agreed to it without hesitation, telling me my brother wasn’t her type anyway.

“I didn’t mean too, it just sort of happened.” She climbed off the bed and stepped towards me. I stepped back. “Please Pippa, don’t be like this.” She begged.

“What happened?” I stared at her in utter disgust. I wanted to punish her so badly. She had hurt me. This day was shaping up to be one of my worst days ever. I had a nightmare, upset Scorpius, Damien and Emilie were actually in a relationship, I refused the truce when I should have took it and now my best friend had broken our only rule.

“It was before summer, you were wrapped up in your relationship, I was lonely and he was there. I kissed him. I kissed him a lot.” Cassie looked like she was in pain. I knew she was upset that she had hurt me. It made me feel good that she was hurting like she deserved to be. “He told me I was special, but I was just another girl in his mind.” Tears welled up in Cassie’s eyes. For a girl that never cried, this was shocking. “It was quickly over. He started to ignore me. That was it. It hurt me that Emilie was good enough for him, but I wasn’t.” Tears were streaming down her face as she yelled at me. “So I wanted to fucking hurt her and I wanted to kill him. He used me.” She screamed in my face.

“You use boys all the time.” I spat nastily. “You discard everyone, why is it only wrong when it happens to you? It’s fine when you’re the person who is chucking everyone away because you’ve found a fault or you were just bored and you didn't like them anyway ” My hands balled into fists. "You're no better."

Cassie rubbed her eyes, trying to wipe the tears that were streaming down her face away. “Don’t say that.” She sobbed. “I’m so sorry. If I could take it back, I would.”

I couldn't take it anymore. I found myself crumbling and the tears started to run down my face.

“I didn’t want to hurt you. It’s why I didn’t tell you, I wanted too, so badly, but I couldn’t.” The tears flowed more heavily down my face. I wanted to drown myself in them. “Please don’t leave me,” She grabbed my wrist, I tried to tug it back but she held a firm grip. “We can work past this, can’t we? Please tell me we can?” She was pleading with me. All I wanted to do was hug her and I wasn't even a hugging type of person.

“I don’t know.” I mumbled.

“Come on,” She urged. “We’re stronger than this, aren’t we? It’s you and me against the world. That’s the way it’s always been.” She grabbed my hands, entwining her fingers between mine. “You’re my best friend. No, you're more than that, you're my soulmate”

“I know.” I mumbled and she squeezed my hand.

I didn’t know what to do. We were standing in the dormitory with tears running down our faces.

“I need to think.”

“I’m sorry I’ve been distant lately, it’s just whenever I was around you, I felt guilty so I pulled myself away, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Her nose was bright red and she was getting snotty. It really wasn’t an attractive look but I probably look the same. We were both in a mess.

“Okay.” I sniffed.

“Tell me we will be okay?” She pleaded.

I stared at her. I couldn’t lose her. She was my best friend who had stuck with me through thick and thin. When I was broken, she was the only person who got through to me. Our friendship wasn’t going to end like this. I wouldn’t allow it. Cassie had hurt me but I would try to get through this.

“I don't know, I'm not sure of you or anything anymore.” I rubbed my eyes, as I swallowed the sob rising in my throat. “I need to go and think.”

Cassie let go of my hands. “Okay.” She turned around and walked over to her bed, before falling face first into her bed and pulled the drapes around her.

I turned around and grabbed my clothes, before getting changed. I quickly walked out of the dormitory and headed to the pitch. I needed to run.

I was going to run until I was exhausted.

Eventually, I collapsed onto the ground; feeling tired and all my bones ached. I still didn’t feel any better. This day was still a pile of shit. I dragged myself up and I walked back towards the castle.

I felt so messed up. My thoughts were spinning. I couldn’t get the picture of Cassie crying out of my head and I couldn’t stop picturing a dying Scorpius.

I knew when I saw my brother; I would be having angry words with him. I was fuming that he had treated her like she was nothing, even though it should never have happened in the first place.

I was itching to clean because I felt that everything was in chaos. I needed to regain my grip on my life.

I spent all day cleaning my stuff in my corner. I polished everything until it was shining, I remade my bed ten times and I folded my clothes even though they were perfectly fine before. I had cleaned for hours, yet I still didn’t feel any better. I hadn’t seen Cassie all day and I was grateful for that, because I didn’t know what to say to her and I didn’t know how to move forward. I tried to do my homework, but I couldn’t focus on anything. I kept replaying everything in my mind. I didn’t know how I didn’t guess that something had happened with Cassie and Damien; it was obvious now I thought about her actions. She didn’t punch him after the quidditch match because she was angry that Slytherin lost, she was angry at him for dropping her and choosing her enemy.
I was such an idiot.

Emilie and Damien’s relationship was the hottest gossip, I had heard them whispering when I had returned from my run. A Gryffindor and Slytherin being together wasn’t that common considering the houses history. I was also gossiped about because of my past with Emilie. There were several rumors about how I had acted when I found out the news, one of them was I punched Damien, another was I had a mental breakdown and another one was that I was perfectly fine with it, I was happy for the couple.

What a load of crap. I hated the fact that my name was on strangers lips.

I sat on my floor, thinking, for hours and hours, because I didn’t want to sit on my bed because I’d mess it up. Eventually, Emilie returned to the dormitory, she was smiling. She didn’t say a thing to me, as she grabbed her clothes so she could get changed. She yawned. It was sometime later that Cassie entered the room. She shot me a weak smile.

“The common room is empty if you want to clean it.” She said, before throwing herself on her bed and sighing. Cassie understood me far too well sometimes.

I grabbed my cleaning supplies before walking out of the room. I was excited. I hadn’t cleaned the common room in a while. I could hear the water swishing outside, it relaxed me a little. My shoulders ached because I had been tense all day.

I opened my box of cleaning supplies. I had a bunch of cleaning things but for this, I only needed four of them for the common room. Along with my bowl of course, but my bowl doesn’t count. I took out my furniture polish first with the cloth that I only use for polishing. I placed them next to each other in a line. Next came out the scrubbing brush that I placed next to the polish. Finally, I pulled out my favourite buffing cloth; the emerald coloured one.

I scrubbed the table first. I scrubbed until my fingers ached. I walked over to the stone walls of the common room; I started to dust them a little.

I heard someone enter the common room and I froze, I looked around to find myself staring at Albus.

Obviously, this day was going to get even worse. It had been a while since I had seen him because had been avoiding him. I felt awful enough without having someone attacking me. It seems I couldn’t catch a break today. I’d rather be stuck with my loneliness than him.

“Hello my little kangaroo, ” He smirked. He looked rough. The circles underneath his eyes had become worse and he was as pale as a ghost. His messy hair was even crazier than it usually was. He seemed to be in a rough place. “I see you managed to split Lily and Emmett up.” He had a flask in his hand and took a long swig of it. I could smell it from here. He was drinking fire whiskey.

He swayed a little and that's when I realized that Albus was drunk.

Fuck.

I tried to stay calm and act natural. So I shrugged. “I suppose I did.” I scrubbed the stone wall. It was pointless cleaning the stones, but I did it anyway. “Now you need to tell me who was sending me those notes?” I had a whole box of those horrible notes.

Albus laughed. “It was me.”

I looked at him, dumbstruck. Even if I had a million guesses, I would have never guessed Albus. He was worse than I thought.

“You are a bastard.” I hissed, dropping my duster on the floor. “Why the hell did you decide to mess with me like that?”

Albus laughed. “I knew about Lily and Emmett before you told me, I just pretended to act shocked. I knew you were using her to take Emmett away from the quidditch team, so you could get his slot. So I started sending notes, I knew they would annoy you and I knew if I told you I knew who was sending them, you would do anything I wanted.” My fingers curled up into a ball. “I wanted Lily to break up with Emmett, but I knew she would never do it if I told her too. She’s always admired you, so I knew you would be able to do it.” I never expected it to be him and Lily admired me? I was just a stupid little girl; I needed to get out of this game before it destroyed me.

“You manipulated me.” All this time, I thought I was the clever one, but I was just a pawn in Albus’ games. This day was destroying me, my mind was buzzing and my thoughts were torturing me.

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”

“Because Lily has already had her heart broken once and I didn’t want it to happen again.” He shrugged.

I figured something out then. All this time I was blind when the information was right in front of my face. “It was Nathan Morgan wasn’t it? That’s why you hate him so much, don’t you? He broke your little sisters’ heart.” I felt bad for Lily. She didn’t deserve to be played with.

He stared at me with an empty grin. “You finally figured it all out! You’re a slow one. He messed up my sister, she was a wreck and now, I need to destroy him.” Albus stepped closer to me. It was too close for me, I felt nervous. I wanted to run out of the room.

Nathan was currently involved with Cassie, they weren’t in a relationship but they hooked up whenever they could or when Cassie could be bothered. She had already moaned at me that the boy was pretty to look at but he bored her.

“I understand that.” I admitted. I would do the same if I was in his situation but I was still fuming. The game was changing once again but I realized I could never win against Albus. It was impossible. “I can’t believe you, you really are a monster.”

Albus nodded. “Monsters recognize each other.” He gave me a smile which infuriated me.

“I’ve told you, I’m nothing like you.” I glared at him and he just laughed at me. Anger consumed me, turning me into a raging beast. “I hate you.” I yelled. “I can’t believe you’d just use me like you this, you’re a twat, you know that right?” Albus shrugged. He was bulletproof. I couldn’t hurt him. Nothing I said would cause the damage that I desperately needed to achieve. I knew hurting him would make me feel better. If I hurt Albus, I would forget all about my pain.

“We are exactly the same and that is the problem.” He ran his fingers across my face. He was messing with me again.

“Get the fuck away from me.”

“No.”

Albus pushed me against the wall and pinned my arms above my head lightly. I could escape if I wanted to but I was too captivated to do so as we stared at each other. There was a look on his face that wouldn’t been seen out of place on a warrior that was about to destroy his most hated enemy. He thought of me as a vile human being. I almost felt ashamed of myself but I didn’t show it. I stared back at him with my hollow eyes. His lips curled into a mysterious smile. I didn’t like that smile because it scared me. My throat tightened and I wanted to insult him. I needed to break this moment but I couldn’t. I was trapped like a fly in a spider’s web. I almost laughed. I mean a fly? I always gave myself the best roles.

“You disgust me.” He whispered.

Then it happened, Albus sought out my mouth and his lips found mine. It took me completely off guard even though deep down, the truth was that this was bound to happen some day because Albus and I had passion. A passion to destroy each other but it was a passion never less. My skin prickled as I inhaled his scent. His scent was a mixture of alcohol mixed with smoke. I should be disgusted but I'm not.

On paper, we would be chaos at its best but somehow this was perfect in its own twisted way.

He made me forget everything that was wrong in my life. I couldn’t even think properly.

The kiss was pure poison as Albus completely evaded my mouth. He bit my lip roughly and I whimpered against his mouth but he never stopped the connection between us. If we stopped, this would be over and I wasn’t sure that either of us wanted that. The kiss sparked a fire inside me; it filled me with warmth that spread from my toes to my racing heart. He let go off my arms and I felt like I would have collapsed if his arm hadn’t found itself around my waist. I grabbed fistfuls of his shirt to try and control the desire that had been awakened. This wasn’t a sweet kiss. It was fight for power. It was rough, urgent and it was nothing like I had experienced before.

His other hand was trailing around my body. For a boy who was rough kisser, his touch was surprisingly soft. It was almost delicate. He had gone to war on my mouth but my body was another thing. He let my lips go but he never left my skin. He was trailing kisses across my jaw and down to my neck. This should have felt wrong, but it doesn’t. Right now, this moment was everything. I should push him off, scream at him, punch him in the nose and tell him to stay the hell away from me but I didn’t want him too and he didn’t seem to want to stop either. This was pure madness. This didn’t make sense…and for once in my life, I couldn’t care less. He had made me lose control and I hated him for that, yet I didn’t want to stop. I felt selfish because I wanted him to myself for as long as I could, my hands tracing his upper body, never wanting to let go. He was kissing my lips again. His lips seemed to mesh so perfectly with my own. He saw me for who I was. There was no pretending and I couldn’t hide a thing even if I tried. He just understood so perfectly that it terrified me. Everything about him was so fucking addictive.

He was right, monsters sought each other out.

He stopped kissing me and I felt a swoop of disappointment. The war was on pause. This was neutral ground. I found I didn’t really like it. His eyes found mine and for a single second everything was silent. Nobody breathed. His eyes were ablaze as he stared at me intently like I was the only person in the world. I let go of his shirt, which was wrinkled and would need ironing. He didn’t say anything and neither did I. I opened my mouth but there was nothing to say. Words weren’t needed in this moment. Before I knew it, my fingers were trailing through his hair. He hadn’t let go of my waist but his free hand was cupping my face, forcing me to stare into those eyes. Those eyes would haunt me forever in my nightmares. The kiss had placed me in a complete and submissive silence. His lips were swollen; I had done that and what’s worst, I had enjoyed doing that. I don’t understand anything anymore. I thought I did but this kiss had ripped everything apart. It was a whole new game with new rules that I didn’t know. I didn’t know who was winning, but if this was what losing felt like then I didn’t mind.

He swore loudly as he dammed me to hell for eternity as he stopped cupping my face and looked away. I found myself smirking as I placed my lips against his in a feverish kiss. His mouth was hot and hungry. If I was going to hell for this, I was going to make it worth it. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I craved something that only he could give and I had never realized this before. My arms wrapped around his neck without my permission and pulled him closer. I could feel his heart beating against his chest. The electrical current that whizzed through my body seemed to be something we were both suffering from at the moment. Albus kissed me back so harshly, I figured my lips would never recover but it seemed worth it. All the frustrations we had ever felt about each other was being released in these kisses. Then for some reason we parted and reality kicked my arse.

“Shit.” I whispered softly I came out of the lusty daze and into the harsh light of reality. What the hell was I doing? He let go of me instantly and stepped away, he too returning to normal. He had a hard look upon his face that gave nothing away and his jaw was rigid. That was typical. Did he hate me more now or less? I couldn’t tell. I didn’t understand this boy. This wasn’t right, we were Albus Potter and Pippa Nott, we even didn’t like each other so why the hell were we kissing?

This could never happen again.

These types of feelings weren’t even aroused when I was in love with him. I never lost control with him and Albus had made me lose control in about thirty seconds. As a control freak, this is no easy feat and worse, I found I didn’t care that I had no control. It had been such a shit day, I didn’t even know what I was doing anymore. We stared at each other, breathing loudly as I tried to figure out my next move. I knew if I stayed that there was a good chance of that happening again, so I did the only thing I could think of.

I ran towards the girls dormitory and he let me, which was stupid because the person I was really running away from was me and no matter how long I ran for, I would never escape my thoughts and I would never accept that I had kissed Albus and enjoyed it. For one moment, when his lips touched mine, I had felt the wounds inside me scab over, but as soon as they were gone, I was ripped apart. He connected to something inside of me. And now that he was gone, I couldn’t help but feel more hollow than I'd ever been before.

To put it simply, I am screwed.


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