Chapter 4 : The Benstrument
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Weeks went by and Midnight remained in her own Slytherin bubble, not bothering me. Because NEWTs were upon us, my friends and I found ourselves in the library during our free time, which wasn't that unusual as we were Ravenclaws. We studied hard all of the time.
"Dude, I think Kelsey Freedman just winked at me."
Well, except for Ben. The boy in question was currently drooling on his Charms essay, trying to get a good look at Kelsey Freedman, a blonde Hufflepuff in our year. She walked from her table, chatting with her friend, completely oblivious to Ben.
"Hey Kelsey," he said as she walked by. "Looking good."
She scoffed, muttering something that sounded like, "Yeah right," before continuing her coversation.
"Oh yeah," he said slowly. "She wants the Benstrument." He nodded and leaned back in his chair, resting his hands behind his neck.
"The Benstrument?" I questioned before remembering that I probably didn't want to know the answer.
"That's what he calls little Ben," Ryder explained with a shake of his head.
"Why?" Zoe asked. Ben's responding grin was not reassuring. Apparently, Zoe still hadn't learned that asking him questions only leads to pain for everyone else.
"You know, because it's like an instrument, you can-"
"Nope," we said, standing at the same time. We collected our things and left, only pausing to wave to Ryder and slap Ben on the back of the head.
The hallways were deserted as we made our way to the common room. As it was later at night, all of the lower years had curfews to adhere to. "Seniority bitch!" Zoe had shouted. We were one flight of stairs away when the staircase we were on changed, leaving us on a random floor.
"Do you know where we are?" I asked Zoe. The corridor was dark and empty, and it looked like a replica of every other one in the castle.
"I think we're on the fourth floor," she stated, looking around. "Or maybe the sixth?"
We wandered aimlessly around the hall until Zoe claimed she knew a secret passageway. Given that I had no idea where we were, I followed her. After three left turns and two dead ends, it was safe to say we were lost. She, however, was adament that we were almost to the tower, claiming she could 'feel it'.
"Zo, we're lost."
"No, Car, I'm telling you, one more left and we'll be at a stairwell, which will take us directly to the tower," she persisted, either unwilling to meet defeat or absolutely sure of where we were. I was pretty sure it was the former, but she was always full of surprises.
As we made another left, she continued her story about how that easy Gryffindor, Susan, had been caught with not one, but three different guys this week. One of whom was James Potter, which wasn't exactly surprising, but was a scandal that had rocked the school.
"-and she told Candice that-" I held my hand up, cutting her off. We'd just entered a different hall, and I could see the outlines of two figures. I pulled the two of us into an alcove just as one turned in our direction.
"Did you hear that?" a girl asked the other figure. Upon further inspection, it turned out to be Lily Potter and Levi Avery. The two were obviously in some private discussion. Why else would they be in an empty hall at this time of night?
"I didn't hear anything," Levi assured her. He brushed her red hair behind her ear, but she pushed his hand away. "Lil."
"Don't Lil me," she hissed. "I agreed to meet you because you wanted to talk, so let's talk."
'Oh my God' Zoe mouthed. She must have been in bliss, for she was actually hearing a top secret scandal in person. I motioned for her to hush, and we both leaned in, desperate to hear what happened next. It wasn't everyday a Potter and Avery met in secret.
"Come on, I've apologized a thousand times about what happened at brunch!" he cried, his voice rising.
"That doesn't excuse the fact that you let your sister publically humilate me," she spat back, crossing her arms stubbornly. "You didn't even try to do anything."
"What was I supposed to do? My whole family was there." That was definitely not the right thing to say as I could see the fire in Lily's eyes grow larger. Levi saw it too and began to backtrack. "What would you have done if your brothers asked you if you were dating me?"
"I- well-" she stuttered.
"You would've let them beat me up, and you know it," he accused.
"Okay, so maybe I wouldn't have come between my brothers and you, but I would've tried harder to make it up to you than you did," she declared, but her resolve was visibly weakening.
I knew the look on her face- as much as she didn't want to, she was considering taking him back. She avoided looking in his eyes, and I knew just how convincing they could be. Levi was going in for the kill. Zoe gripped my arm, squeezing it with anticipation.
"Lilypad," he whispered softly and lightly brushed her cheek with his fingers. "I love you." She practically melted in his hands, tears pooling in her eyes.
"I love you, too," she whispered back. He dipped his head and kissed her soundly.
The two only stayed for a few more minutes, while Zoe and I silently kept ourselves crammed into the alcove. When they left, we had to press ourselves against the wall because Levi walked right past us. He had a deviant smirk on his swollen lips, and he didn't look twice at us as he passed.
I checked the hallway twice before we left, continuing on our way to the common room. It was now way past anyone's curfew, so hopefully we wouldn't run into anyone else.
"Oh. My. God." Zoe emphasized each word with a slap on my arm.
"Ow!" I complained, rubbing it, but she ignored me.
"Did you see that-"
"'Yes, I was there."
"-Who would've thought, a Potter and an Avery? Wait, don't you have rules against this kind of stuff?" she paused, actually allowing me to speak.
"Well, yeah. That's kind of why they're being so secretive," I explained. By now, we were in front of the eagle knocker that opened our common room.
"Can one create something from nothing?" it asked us.
"No," Zoe answered immediately. The door didn't open, waiting for a more elaborate answer. She turned to shrug at me.
I pondered it for a moment before giving it a try. "No- there is no such thing as nothing, so something is always there. Therefore, everything is created from something," I concluded.
"Well thought out," the knocker praised and opened the door.
Sitting by one of the large windows in the back of the common room, Ryder and Ben looked up from their books when we entered. The common room was scattered with a few others, but it was mostly empty. Zoe and I sat next to them, curiosity painted on their face.
"Where have you two been?" Ryder asked, concerned. "You left an hour before us."
"I thought you'd been murdered," Ben added.
"Well, Zoe got us lost-"
"I did not! But we did catch two people together, who were not supposed to be," she stated brightly.
"Who? Susan Wilde and James Potter?" Ryder guessed.
"Oh that's old news," Zoe said, waving it off. "This is even bigger. We saw Levi Avery and Lily Potter."
"Isn't that a no-no?" Ben asked me.
"They're like Romeo and Juliet! I love it!" Zoe cried, lying down in the couch.
"Who are Romeo and Juliet?" Ryder and I asked. Ben didn't look confused- something new for him- so I assumed it was a muggle thing. Ryder and I both had wizard parents, and while Ben's dad was a witch, his mum was a muggle.
"That's not important," she told me.
"What is important is what we're going to do with this information," Ben cut in, rubbing his hands together.
"We aren't going to do anything," I stated, and Zoe nodded as she didn't like to spread rumours, whether they were true or not. "This stays between the four of us."
"Fine," he grumbled. "You're no fun."
"And don't you forget it," I told him sweetly.
We stayed in the common room, talking, until some angry third years threatened to get Professor Flitwick. As we went to our dorm, Zoe complained about how they should 'respect their elders' and that they were an abomination to the Ravenclaw House, which I thought was going a bit far. But Zoe was Zoe, so she spent the night seething and woke up chipper in the morning.
Sleep didn't come as easy for me that night as it did Zoe, who was passed out and snoring as soon as her head hit the pillow. While I had pretended I wasn't affected by seeing Lily and Levi, it had sent a wave a shock and worry through me. Secrets and scandals between someone as young as they were made my blood curdle.
If this were to get out, it would be devistating to those involved. At the same time, I knew that Levi would be able to get off free. He was an Avery. Lily, on the other hand, would have to deal with her own family, Midnight, and Ophelia just to start with. Her life would be ruined- which isn't an overstatement- all because she was a young teenager who thought she was in love.
I tried to convince myself that this wasn't my problem, but the thought kept nagging at me throughout the night.
"Carina, have you even been listening to me?" Ophelia snapped at me later that week in Potions.
"No," I admitted. "Sorry."
"What I was saying," she huffed, tossing her hair back, "was that dad thinks it's time Levi find someone to settle down with. After what happened at the last brunch," she shot a glare at Potter's empty seat, "he said he doesn't want some rumour like that to even be considered."
"Isn't he a bit young?" I asked casually, though my heart was racing. Telling her about Levi and Lily was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't do it. She didn't have Lily's best interest at heart and would probably drag the poor girl down to save her brother.
"No you and Tristian weren't much older," her nose crinkled when she mentioned my ex boyfriend. We were praised when we were together, but ever since he disowned his family, everyone gets digusted when they talk about him. "And you know Damien and I have always been soulmates." She put her hand on Damien's knee and smiled at him. His returning smile was not the least bit convincing, but that's never deterred her.
"Avery, would you care to repeat the procedure that I just said?" Professor Whittle sneered at her. He didn't like any student, but he particularly didn't like Ophelia. She claimed it was because he was jealous of her status, refusing to believe it had anything to do with her not paying attention or doing her assignments.
"Professor, if you can't remember it, how do you expect me to?" she gasped, placing a hand on her chest.
He rolled his eyes. "I would deduct points for your attitude, but I think you might actually be serious," he drawled. He turned, choosing me as his new victim. "Fawley, did you take notes, or was your conversation too rivetting?"
I picked up my scroll of parchment that I'd been filling out all class, thanking Merlin I was a multitasker. "Of course, sir. Was there a particular question you wanted me to answer?"
He harrumphed in reply, moving back to the front of the class to continue his lecture. I sighed in relief before continuing to take notes. However, it seemed Ophelia was not done.
"So, what do you think of Leila Burke? She seems like a good choice, right?"
"Er- sure," I replied. Images of a dirty blonde girl passed in my head, but I couldn't place exactly who Leila Burke was. I think she was in Levi's year though.
"Good, I'll write dad back right now." she stood up, grabbed Damien, and left the class. The bell hadn't rang, but I didn't think she cared.
When the bell rang five minutes later, Professor Whittle called, "Three foot long essay on the notes you took today. Due Friday."
Zoe and I groaned as we left. Potions was always exhausting; not to mention it was our first class of the morning. Now we had another essay to do.
"Shit," I muttered, looking through my bag. We were on our way- a little late actually- to Charms.
"What?" she asked.
"I forgot my textbook," I sighed.
"This is why we should have lockers!" she cried, wagging her finger.
"I'm going back to the dorm, will you save me a seat?"
"Yeah, but don't leave me there for too long. You know how weird Ben gets when you're not there to keep him in line."
She took a left, while I turned around, heading toward our common room. As if fate was on my side, I got on a staircase that immediately changed to the floor I needed to be on. The common room door opened as soon as I arrived, letting out a couple of fourth years. I grabbed my textbook and sprinted out. At this rate I would hardly be late.
The hallway still had clusters of students rushing to their classes. I was one of them. Flitwick wouldn't be too upset if I was a minute or two late, but I would have to haul ass. Just when I was one turn away from the class room, an hand grabbed my elbow, pulling me into a crammed alcove that was hidden by a curtain. I yelped, and the hand covered my mouth.
"Jesus, Fawley, can you not keep quiet for two seconds?" Potter, who had apparently decided to ditch all of his classes today, dropped his hand. In this tiny space, he was pressed way too close for comfort. I flattened my back against the wall, but his chest was still practically pressed against mine.
"What do you want?" I asked through gritted teeth.
"Gosh, what happened to being civil to one another?" His voice was light in a joking way, and that wasn't how we'd ever talked to each other. Maybe he was actually going to stop being a prat.
I arched an eyebrow. "My apologies. Please tell me why you pulled me into a small crevice when I'm supposed to be in class."
"I didn't want to get caught talking to you after what happened last time. And don't get your hopes up, babe, I just wanted to ask you something."
I was going to tell him to never call me babe again when his words sank in. Merlin, he's going to ask me about Lily, I thought. He knows. My palms started sweating, my heart racing. I couldn't lie to him, not about his sister.
Relax, I told myself. I was working myself over nothing. He probably didn't know anything. I mean this was Potter I was talking about. Taking a deep breath, I slowed my heart down. Lily and Levi were none of my concern.
"Can I borrow your Potions notes?" he asked, snapping me out of my internal struggle. "Fred said we had an essay due from the notes today, and he didn't take any, obviously. You're the least revolting person in that class."
"What a compliment. I should get that embroidered on my bag or something," I muttered, digging through my bag for the notes. I hoped he didn't notice how shaky I was. Even though there were secrets and scandals everywhere I turned, I still hated keeping them from innocent people. Calling Potter innocent was a stretch, but in this case he was probably the only one who could do something productive.
"Why are you being so weird? Well, weirder than normal." He took the notes from me but continued to study me, making me even more jittery.
"I'm not being weird," I protested, though I noticed my voice was much higher than usual. I cleared my throat before finishing, "Just take the notes so I can get to class." The bell had already rang, but Potter obviously had no intentions of going to class today.
He didn't budge when I tried to get around him. "What does Little Miss Pureblood have to hide?"
"N-nothing," I stuttered. I'd been around some of the world's greatest liars, and I couldn't even keep cool around him. What is going on with the world?
"Why are you lying?"
"I'm not," I said with more force. It was not my job to worry about his sister. If she didn't tell him, then that was their business. "Why do you care anyway?"
"Whatever," he muttered, his face hardening. "It's probably something stupid anyway." Then, he pushed off the wall and left the confined space.
I released a breath I didn't know I was holding. Over and over, I told myself that Lily knew what she was doing, and she didn't need mine or her brother's help. But, as much as I told myself that, I couldn't believe it. Levi was and probably always would be up to no good. Maybe it was different with Lily...
Whatever the reason, I wasn't going to go around fixing everyone else's problems. I've got to set my priorities straight, and until I feel like she's in danger, I wasn't going to do anything about it. And I especially wasn't going to tell her prat for a brother.
"Miss Fawley," Professor Flitwick squeaked when I entered the room. "You're fifteen minutes late."
"Sorry, sir. I forgot my book." He nodded, turning back to the board, and I quietly took my seat next to Zoe, Ben, and Ryder. Everyone was copying down the notes on the board, and I followed in suit.
"Where have you been?" Zoe whispered loudly. Our fellow Ravenclaw, Chelsea Perks, turned to glare at her.
"Yeah, I thought you died," Ben added, not even bothering to whisper.
"Why do you just assume people die? That's such a negative outlook on life," Ryder pointed out.
"Well obviously she didn't die, but if she had, then I wouldn't be as caught off guard," he defended with a huff.
"Are you saying you wouldn't be upset if Car died?" Zoe gapsed.
"I'm not saying that. I'm just saying I wouldn't be as upset because I already assumed she was dead. If anything, I get more excited when it turns out she's alive!"
"Shhhh!" Chelsea Perks hushed them harshly with a finger over her lips. She gave each of us a harsh glare before flipping her platinum blonde hair over her shoulder, facing the front again. Zoe stuck her tongue out at her and turned to me again.
"So?" she asked me in a low voice.
"Later," I whispered back.
"Guys," Ben leaned over the table excitedly, "I think Chelsea Perks wants me."
The Ravenclaw Common Room was, of course, covered in blue and bronze. It was probably the biggest common room in the castle because we practically had a whole library in there. There were tons of secluded sections off to the side of our main common room, one of which my friends and I frequently used. When we weren't in the library, we were probably there.
"So, Car, you never told us why you were so late to class," Zoe said later that night when we were in our section. It was empty, as it normally was.
"I got caught up with Potter," I said casually, flipping the page in my book. I didn't realize how it may have sounded until I heard a thud. Looking up from my book, I saw Zoe sprawled out on the ground, her hand resting on her forehead. She was about to have a typical Zoe freakout.
"Zo, are you okay?" Ryder asked, with just a slight touch of concern. She frequently had these freakouts, but the fainting was new.
She twitched lightly.
"Come on, you know it wasn't like that," I sighed.
She peeked open an eye. "I'm not conscious, but if I was, I would want you to tell me every detail."
"I will if you get off the floor." She swiftly moved back to the chair, eagarly leaning forward. "It's really not that interesting. He just pulled me into some cramped alcove and- Oh, get off the floor!"
She had once again 'fainted' on the floor. "He pulled you into a secluded spot!"
"He wanted to borrow notes. We were only there for like two seconds. Besides, didn't you say he was with Susan Wilde all day?"
Zoe sighed in defeat and slumped back into her chair.
"Ahh, Susan Wilde," Ben rested his chin on his palm. "What a girl. You know, her last name used to be Harvey? She changed it because she's... you know... wild."
"Dude, that's not true at all," Ryder said, shaking his head.
"You know what gets me?" Zoe started, ignoring the two's banter. "James Potter was with Susan Wilde all day."
"Okay?" I continued taking my notes, only half paying attention.
"So, why did he leave her to find you just to get your notes. He never does his homework, but he could have easily asked anyone else."
"I don't know," I huffed, closing my book. "Maybe he wants to do well because it's NEWT year."
I was saved from what was sure to be a crazy theory by an owl at the window. More specifically, the family owl. The thick envelope had my mum's neat handwriting on it and the family crest. Since there weren't any events coming up, I could only assume this was one of her monthly letters.
My stomach sank as I held the letter burning in my hand. Unlike most people, letters from home never made me feel good. Just the feel of this one made me sick.
"Are you okay?" Zoe asked, her tone changing completely.
"Yeah," I said hoarsely. "I'm just gonna go for a walk."
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"No- no, I'm fine."
I went to our room to grab a few things before taking the letter and leaving the common room. Family letters were unpredictable, and I didn't need to have a meltdown in front of everyone.
That would be too Sacred Twenty-Eight Clubish of me.
A/N: My first quarter of school just ended, so I'll either be updating a lot or less frequenlty. (I'm hoping for the former, but my schoolwork likes to drown me).Anyways, what do you all think of Levi and Lily? Are they really in love, or is this some plot that Levi came up with? Do you like Zoe? Ben? James!? Let me know!
Okay, now to change gears a bit here. I absolutely love all of the encouraging reviews that this story has gotten. They make my day, and I just want you all to know how much I appreciate them
I see so many stories on the website that get abandoned because no one reviews. An author can get discouraged if they don't get any reviews. This website is meant to be fun for all, so I encourage you- if there is any story you like on here (or any website really), you should let the author know. It could be something as simple as 'I like this', and it would make the author happy! You can even do it anonymously without an account!
Now I know I really can't talk because I've been really bad about reviewing. That is why I'm going on a reviewing campaign. I'm going to review everything I read. So if there is anything you think I should read- whether you wrote it or someone else did- let me know. Seriously, don't be shy to ask, I honestly have nothing else to do (well, except for schoolwork, but who does that anymore?).
And, above all, if there is a story that you want to be continued, tell the author! You'll both feel good about it!
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