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Chapter 38 : The One When Ethan Shocks Me
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“What are your plans after school?” I asked Ethan as we waited in the entrance hall for the others to arrive, it was one of the benefits of having our common rooms so close. There weren’t too many people here yet, most people not ready to head down to the Quidditch pitch where Ethan should be. Instead, he leant against the wall as we waited for James and William to join us.
Ethan looked at me for a moment, as the question seemed to play in his mind. He finally settled on giving me a shrug.
“I’m not sure. I don’t think that I have any,” he admitted truthfully, looking around us. “For a very long time I wanted to be in the army.”
I had heard snippets about the army in my Muggle Studies lessons, not too much information given to us about it, but I knew it to be a way for Muggles to defend themselves against other countries.
“What made you choose that career?” I asked, not wanting to ask him what made him change his mind about it. I wasn’t sure if he would want to answer that question, it was personal in my eyes, especially if it made him change what could have been his dream job.
“I wanted to escape from the hellhole I was living in. I didn’t want to spend my life living on that estate and resort to crime like everyone I grew up with. I’m not sure if that’s going to happen now,” Ethan explained without me asking. I was happy that he felt comfortable talking about this with me and seemed to trust me enough.
“My mum’s sick, and my dad is a waste of space that spends more time drinking than being around. I need to be able to get to her straight away if she needs me, and I’m not sure that I would be able to do that if I was in training.”
“I’m sorry,” I told him, not knowing what else I could possibly say to that. He shot me a thankful smile and nodded, seeming to understand.
“Thankfully Professor Flitwick has given me special permission to Floo home if I need to be there for her. My mum refuses to interrupt my studies and tells me I need to stay here. She actually had to push me back on the train after the holidays.”
“I hope that she gets better soon,”
I sensed that he didn’t want to talk anymore about it so I fell into silence; unsure how we could go passed this situation. Where were James and William?
“Is Rebecca still being a bitch to you?” Ethan asked and I stilled at his words, looking down at my shoes and shrugging. I wondered if he knew about that because of James, or because there was a rumour going around that I had yet to hear about.
“She hasn’t done anything since she tripped me and I had to go to the hospital wing,” I told him quietly, well aware that there was people around us who could easily listen in. “I’m not sure if she finally listened to Isabella or not?”
“She’s a scary girl when she wants to be, I can see why she’s gotten William’s attention, and he’s a very hard guy to impress.”
It’s good to know that James and I weren’t the only ones to notice the flirtation that had been going on between William and Isabella.
“I just wished that she would leave me alone, I don’t know why she’s so hell bent on trying to make my life so miserable,” I muttered, I didn’t expect an answer from him when I couldn’t even answer it myself.
“Because she’s a sad and lonely, insecure girl,” Ethan said simply. “She’s so used to getting what she wants, that when something is out of her grasp she acts like a child until she gets her way. She needs to learn that she can’t act that way and that she can’t hurt you just because she wanted James.”
“How do you know that?” I asked him curiously, eyeing him as he sighed sadly next to me, turning to give me a sad look.
“Because I used to date her,” Ethan admitted and my mouth fell open. How did I not know that? With Michelle’s infatuation with Ethan, I thought that she would have said something about it, but she didn’t.
“What? When did that happen?” I asked loudly, before realising that people had turned to look at us and gave Ethan an apologetic look.
“The end of fifth year, it was only for about five months, but still – Never again,” Ethan shivered as though thinking about it sent a chill down his spine.
“Why?” I asked before I could stop myself, realising as soon as it came out that it sounded horrible. Ethan spoke before I could apologise.
“Because I thought that she was cute,” he said as though it was that simple, and I guess that it was. “She just wanted to go out with a Quidditch player and try to get more popular.”
“How did I not know about this? I thought that Michelle would have said something about it at least.”
Ethan shrugged, “She knew about it so I’m not sure why she didn’t tell you, but you didn’t really involve yourself in shit like this, you didn’t seem to care about gossip and that’s what I liked about you. That’s how I knew that you weren’t like Michelle and the others because you see people for who they are, not for what they can get you, or how it would benefit you in the long run.”
“What made you break up?” I pushed, wondering if I was being too forward in asking.
“She dumped me when she found out where I lived; apparently I’m not posh enough to date her,”
“That’s horrible,” I gasped, hands over my mouth as I thought about how downright horrible Rebecca was. How could she dump someone just because of that? “You can’t control where you live.”
Ethan shrugged again, looking around the entrance hall again, but no one else had turned up yet. “She’s heartless, right? That’s all in the past though, but she hasn’t changed, and she’s not going to change because she’s happy being the venomous person she is. The only thing that she responds to is someone standing up to her, because underneath all of those hurtful words and derogatory remarks, she’s a coward. Or you could always go to a teacher and get her expelled, which would work too.”
I was too scared to go to a teacher; I didn’t know what the repercussions of that would be. In my head, they were a lot worse than what Rebecca had already put me through. Ethan looked down at his watch and huffed out a breath as he stood up straight and reached for his broomstick that had been leaning next to him.
“I need to get going. Get everyone to meet me after the match, yeah?” he asked, and I nodded. He held out a fist towards me and I bumped it with my own happily, he gave me a wink before walking away.
“Good luck, Ethan. But, Hufflepuff are going to win,” I told him and he let out a loud laugh as he carried on towards the doors.
“That’s what you think. Slytherin are going to wipe the floor with you Hufflepuff’s.”
James and William finally turned up five minutes later, both bickering about something under their breath as they neared me.
“Sorry we’re late, blame William,” James said jerking a thumb in the direction of William, who was frowning at James and kicked the back of his knee in retaliation, and causing James to buckle to the floor.
“Don’t blame me, you’re the one who wouldn’t meet Abigail until you found a t-shirt without a stain on it,” William said, grabbing for my arm and pulling me towards the door so that we left James to get up himself. I could only watch over my shoulder at James, who rushed after us and put his hand into mine.
“It’s not my fault that the one I wanted to wear had a suspicious stain,” James countered, talking over my head at William, who shook his head slowly, a disgusted look across his face.
“All of the stains on your clothes are suspicious,” William shot back. I knew that if I didn’t interrupt them they were going to be bickering all the way to the stands.
“Isabella headed down to the stands to get us some seats,” I told them, and the trick worked in successfully stopping them. Williams face seemed to light up for a moment and I turned to look at James, who was shaking his head at his best friend.
“How are you doing after Harry spoke to you?” William asked me as we neared the stands. The sound of the students already there met our ears and I felt excitement filling me at the prospect of the game. I wasn’t too sure if this was the last one left, but I knew that it was quite a big one – well, I guessed that from what James, Ethan and William said the other day.
“I’m worried that he’s going to jump out at me from behind something,” James said warily as he glanced around as though Harry would be here. I looked around quickly myself and William laughed.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” he shot at James. “But, that does sound like something that he would do. I’m glad that I’m immune to embarrassment.”
“You don’t get embarrassed by anything?” I asked sceptically, everybody felt embarrassment at some point in his or her lives. It was human nature.
“Nope, my dad can try anything he wants and it won’t even phase me,” William said coolly. I was still suspicious, so turned to look at James who nodded in confirmation of William’s statement.
“It’s true. Once Duncan started trying to tease William about some girl he was dating and William just started talking loudly about his sex life,” James told me, William looked quite proud of himself and I started to wonder if I had to worry about William trying to embarrass me as well as Harry. Maybe they would team up with each other.
“Harry’s still attempting to get me, but it hasn’t worked so far,” William admitted as we entered the stadium.
“He will, he always finds a way,” James told him; William gave a loud scoff at that.
“Do we have to sit in the Hufflepuff stands?” William whined as we walked up the stairs slowly, I tried not to react to James walking behind me and poking me with every step I took, in an attempt to tickle me.
“This is where Isabella has gotten us seats,” I told William, turning to face him but having my vision blocked by James’ handsome face, he pulled a funny face which caused me to laugh and turn back around so that I could continue climbing.
“Eurgh, I’m going to catch niceness,” William muttered.
“Don’t worry, William, you’re enough of a jerk to be immune,” James told him as we finally made it to the top. I didn’t catch William’s retaliation to that as I search for Isabella, I found her quickly and headed towards where she had saved us seats.
“William, was that you I heard badmouthing Hufflepuff?” Isabella asked as William took a seat next to Isabella before I could, I wasn’t sure how he got in front of me but I think he might have climbed over a few of the people to get there. Sure enough when I turned around I saw a few disgruntled second years shooting William dark looks. William of course seemed oblivious, either because he didn’t care or – no, it would be because he didn’t care.
I sat right on the end of the seat and James settled next to me, looking around and noticing that the stands looked quite full now, the match should be starting soon. I wondered how Michelle was doing and if she was nervous.
“I never imagined at the beginning of this year, that you would be following me around like a lost puppy,” Isabella said loudly, I turned to look at her, wondering what she was talking about. She was smiling at William, who in turn was swearing at her. “I should get you a collar.”
James gave a chuckle and stretched his arms wide as he yawned, his arm rested behind my shoulders, giving me a wink as he did so. A smile puckered at my lips at his move, he was so cheesy at times.
“For that you’re not getting any of my sweets.”
“You share your sweets with other people?” James sounded offended as he elbowed William in the side. William laughed loudly as he dodged away from James, and Isabella darted for the sweets in William’s hand.
“Give me the sweets!” Isabella declared, struggling against William and I smiled at their flirting.
“That’s it, we’re no longer dating,” James sniffed, as William and Isabella battled it out next to him for the sweets. They ignored him and James rolled his eyes before turning back to face me, his blue eyes alight with what could only be described as mischief. “What are you doing tomorrow after lessons?”
“Not sure, I assumed something with my boyfriend, but if he’s dating William instead -”
James shook his head quickly at my words. “No one wants to go out with William, not really. Want to go on a date?”
“I suppose I could be persuaded.” I felt a smirk pulling at the corner of my lips as James pulled me closer to him to press a kiss to the tip of my nose and then my forehead. “Hopefully your dad won’t join this one.”
“Ew, you need to stop that,” William said from behind James and before I could stop him he was waving the Slytherin flag in between me and James. “I came to watch the match, not you two smooching.”
“Smooching?” Isabella laughed, shoving William in the shoulder as she shook her head at him, lollipop in her mouth that she must have stolen from William’s bag of sweets. William seemed distracted by Isabella so James reached for the sweets and took them from him, also knocking his flag to the floor in the process. He held the bag out to me and I dug in for a lollipop myself.
I turned to look back at William who was whispering into Isabella’s ear, I wasn’t sure what it was he was saying but it was causing her to smile wickedly. She shook her head and raised a hand to press against William’s face to push him away from her.
“In your dreams, William,” she told him, eyes looking out to the field as the announcer’s voice rang around the pitch. “Get your mind out of the gutter. You’re pure filth.”
“I may be filth, but you’re the one who wants to roll around in it,” William shot back.
The stand erupted around us as the players flew onto the field, the announcer calling their names as they flew on. I clapped politely as Michelle’s name got mentioned, my smile tight. I cheered loudly with the others at Ethan’s name. Professor Hargreaves came onto the pitch to referee the match and released the balls into play. James’s eyes seemed to follow the snitches path with ease on its release, and it was amusing to watch his head and eyes move as though he was mesmerised by it.
“Once a Seeker always a Seeker, huh?” I smirked at him, and he turned to look at me, pressing a kiss to my lips instead of saying anything. I giggled and pushed him away gently, resting against him as the game started.
The match was intense, us Hufflepuff’s might be known for being nice and friendly, but on the pitch it was a different story. We seemed to be ferocious when it came to the possibility of winning the Quidditch cup and it seemed Hufflepuff’s players were doing everything they could to get points.
“You know, I would have expected this dirty playing from the Slytherin’s,” William said loudly, leaning towards James as he spoke but getting mine and Isabella’s attention anyway.
“Maybe you’ll learn to never underestimate a Hufflepuff,” Isabella told him smugly, looking proud of being a Hufflepuff, her chest puffing out as she cheered loudly along with the rest of the stands for Hufflepuff to win.
William rolled his eyes at that and I laughed as I joined in with Isabella in cheering for our house to win. James removed his hand from behind me before standing up, William following his cue to stand next to him. James cracked his knuckles as William done some weird jump next to him as though warming up and I was instantly curious about what was about to happen.
“Slytherin, Slytherin, we all sing for Slytherin. Hufflepuff will lose because they can’t compare to Slytherin,” both James and William sang loudly. It was more of a yell then a sing and it came with stamping feet and pounding their fists on their chest. I couldn’t help but laugh as the two done this in sync, noticing that all of the Hufflepuff’s were watching them instead of the game.
“Oh god, you have a chant,” Isabella said, glancing at me and shaking her head as I laughed again. “You do know that you’re not in Slytherin, right?”
They just shrugged before continuing their chant. It wasn’t long before that chant went around the stadium, other people picking it up and singing it as loudly as they could. I had to admit that it was quite catchy and I was fighting the urge to join in with them.
The chant stopped once Ethan shot quickly across the field, leaning low on his broom to get more speed behind him.
“Come on, Ethan!” James yelled loudly, standing up and cupping his hands around his mouth, and I found myself clapping along with him, urging our friend as he flew after what I assumed was the Snitch. I couldn’t see it, but Ethan’s face filled with determination as he flew around the field.
“Kick the Hufflepuff seeker off his broom!” William called and I winced, knowing that Isabella was about to get defensive. If I didn’t know any better I would say that he had done it on purpose to get a reaction out of Isabella.
“And while you’re at it kick Addison off!”
Ethan moved in a blur towards the other side of the pitch, I couldn’t tell what was happening because it was so far away and they were flying so quickly, but the others seemed to be able to tell what was going on. James gave a cheer and threw his hands up in the air, William right beside him cupping his hands over his mouth and giving a loud howl of happiness.
“I take it Ethan caught the snitch,” I said to Isabella who was frowning as she crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“Stupid Slytherin,” Isabella growled, before batting William's hands away as he attempted to pat the top of her head. “I will break your arm, Sutton.”
“Such a sore loser,” William teased with a laugh, dodging out of the way of any attacks Isabella was throwing his way.
“We weren’t even playing against you,” Isabella stated as people began getting ready to leave the stands. We waited behind for people to leave so that we weren’t crushed in the group of people all shoving each other to get through. “Stop trying to mess up my hair.”
“You losing have given Gryffindor a better chance at winning the Quidditch cup,” William informed us happily. “Although now that means that James has to train twice as hard so that he wins his last match.”
“Eurgh,” James groaned, “Don’t remind me, Jeremy is going to be kicking my arse until it’s over.”
“We’re still ahead when it comes to House points,” I reminded William, as I rubbed James back soothingly; William just shrugged at my words.
“That’s not as important as the Quidditch one,” he tried telling us and Isabella gave a loud scoff as she stood up and attempted to grab hold of William’s hair. He ducked his head out of the way and she climbed onto his back to get closer, causing them both to tumble and fall onto the seats with a loud laughter.
“We’re going to meet Ethan at the changing rooms, we’ll see you two down there if you can stop flirting with each other,” James told them, taking my hand so that we could finally leave the – now empty – stand. Isabella tried to protest at James’s words but collapsed into loud giggles again, I turned my head before I went down the stairs and saw that William was on top of her tickling her in the sides.
“Those two need to get a room,” James said with a shake of his head.
“Or admit their feelings for each other,” I added as James nodded.
“They’ll never be as great as us though,” James stated, “I don’t think that anyone can.”
“We’re the best that’s why,” I agreed.
We didn’t meet anyone else on the way to the changing rooms and walked slower than normal so that we could poke each other in the sides. I wasn’t sure who won the war, but I knew that James had started it no matter how much he tried to deny it.
“Michelle is over there,” James said grabbing my hand and stopping me as the changing room came into sight. I frowned at his words before turning around and seeing her talking with Ethan. She must have been waiting for him there, and he didn’t look too happy about it.
I was about to suggest that we leave, but Ethan’s voice rose loudly so that we were able to hear what they were talking about.
“I don’t know how many more times I can tell you that I’m not interested without becoming a total prick about it,” Ethan told her. I knew that James and I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping and made to tug him away from the scene.
“Ethan, what about –“
Ethan ran a hand over his face in frustration, before looking at her again. “I’ve tried being polite Michelle. I’m not interested in you, and I don’t appreciate you following me around either, it’s making me hate seeing you around.”
Michelle looked like her heart had broken at his words, and Ethan shook his head before walking back into the changing room angrily. Michelle turned around and stopped once she spotted me and James. I felt an urge to ask her if she was alright, but I pushed it down. I didn’t owe her anything; she lost that right when she started trying to make my life hell.
“Why don’t you just fuck off,” Michelle shot at me, and I was shocked at the way that she had just spoken. James stilled next to me at hearing Michelle and I held onto his hand tighter just in case he walked over to her.
“Don’t speak to her like that,” James snapped back angrily.
Michelle stared at him, eyes trailing over him as a sneer appeared on her face. I didn’t like the way that she was looking at him like he was nothing more than the dirt underneath her shoes.
“What is your problem?” I asked her, feeling more confident than before, and her eyes moved to mine. All I could see behind them was pure anger; I feared that she would attempt to take it out on me.
Michelle didn’t answer our questions, the angry look morphing to a sly grin that I was worried more about. I dreaded to think what she was up to.
“Does he know who your father is, or are you still keeping that a secret from him?” She nodded her head in the direction of James. She was being spiteful because she was angry, I knew she was. “Are you still terrified that he’ll only like you because of who your dad is?”
“As a matter of fact I do know, and I don’t care if she didn’t tell me straight away. I want to go out with her for her, not who her dad is,” James snapped and I could see the moment that Michelle realised her plan didn’t work register. She seemed to recover from that instantly, turning her attention back to me.
“What about the things that he’s hiding from you?” Michelle spat, glaring at James with her hands on her hips. “Things about him and Rebecca.”
“What the fuck are you on about? There has never been - and never will be - anything between me and Rebecca, she’s delusional if she thinks that there is. Why are you so fucking hell bent on trying to break us up that you seem to make up things like this? Are you just jealous because you can’t get Ethan that you need to try and ruin everything else around you?”
Michelle didn’t say anything, choosing instead to keep her glare on James.
“I don’t trust you; no one can be this nice. You’re hiding something.”
“Michelle, shut up –“ I began, as James spoke as well.
“Do you even hear yourself? Just because you can’t be nice doesn’t mean that everyone else has an ulterior motive when they’re nice. Did you think that maybe I genuinely like Abigail and want to go out with her?” James shot back at her.
Michelle sniffed as she shook her head to get her hair out of her eyes. “I’m just trying to protect her from being hurt.”
“By hurting her yourself? Great plan that one. You should have been protecting her from you, you’re the only one I’ve met so far with an ulterior motive to being around Abigail and wanting her friendship, you just wanted someone that you can control and don’t like that she’s finally seen you for who you really are.”
James had said the things that I had been longing to say for years, things that I didn’t have the courage or bravery to say before. I wished that I could have done, wished that I had enough of a spine to do it, but when it came to Michelle I couldn’t help but fall back into the person I was before. I needed to work on that, I knew that, but I was doing a lot better.
“If you don’t change your attitude towards people, you’re going to end up alone in this world,” I warned her, and James squeezed my hand. I was glad that he was there.
“It won’t be long before you come crawling back, you always do,” She scoffed before shoving passed us and walking away. I really hoped that one day Michelle could realise what she had done and take responsibility for it, maybe then I could be closer to thinking about possibly beginning to forgive her.
A/N: Is that... is that a backbone I see, Abigail? :D
I would love to know what you think about this chapter! Let me know in the comment box below. Also, if any of you have any questions you want answered that I haven't already you can check out my Meet The Author page on the forums.
Love you all!
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