I don’t own Harry Potter.
Hi! How are you all? Thanks for all your support. Comments and opinions are always welcomed. Ten is already written so it shouldn’t be too long before it comes out. It just needs to be looked over. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Thanks so much to StEpH_M for being my beta.
Chapter Nine –
The One With The Fall Out
Amazing chapter by shudder @TDA
“Chill, I won’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t want to ruin your reputation of being evil.” - James Potter
“What the hell happened to her?” I yelled as I ran with Fred towards the hospital wing. Scorpius, Harper and strangely Albus were following us. I didn’t understand why but I couldn’t be bothered to question it. All I was focused on was Cassie.
“Well, we decided to take a walk around Hogsmeade because I was still waiting around for my dad and Cassie wanted Uggers and PJ to see the world.” I could have laughed if I didn’t feel like I was about to explode at any moment. “She made me hold Uggers and PJ as she pulled out this chocolate bar from Honeydukes. She began to eat it before she…couldn’t breathe. They said it’s an allergic reaction.”
“She’s allergic to nuts.” I told him. “She is usually so careful about this crap. I guess she must have not been paying attention.”
“She just picked it up without looking.”
“Then what happened?”
“I took her straight to the hospital wing and they gave her a potion to put her to sleep until tomorrow to give her body a chance to recover as it was quite a sever reaction. She got this ugly rash and everything. It was awful. ” Fred rubbed his forehead. “I left Uggers and PJ with one of the girls from your dorm, she said she’ll leave them on Cassie’s bed.”
I nodded. “Thanks for coming to get me.” I pushed open the door of the hospital wing to find her just lying there. She looked like she was sleeping peacefully; obviously the potions were kicking in because I couldn’t see a rash anywhere on her pale skin. It still pained me to see her lying there looking so helpless. I had witnessed this once before and it was just as scary as before. I knew she’d be fine because she was in good hands but I was still worried.
James and Damien scrambled into the room to join the big group we had formed. Who knew Cassie was this popular. I certainly didn’t.
I climbed upon the bed, unable to help myself and curled up next to her frame on the bed. The stupid nurse would have to drag me away kicking and screaming if she wanted to remove me. I was staying here until she woke up. She breathed softly and I tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. Her lipstick was faded which I knew would embarrass her. Her lipstick was some sort of defence and I wouldn’t let these people see her looking anything other than her best. Fred watched us painfully. He was feeling guilty but he shouldn’t. He didn’t do anything.
“All of you need to piss off.” I told them without even looking up. No one looked shocked; it was almost like they were waiting for it. They all just stood there numbly. The only person who seemed to show any emotion was Damien and he was annoyed. I couldn’t even be bothered to think why.
He eyed me. “Why are you acting like an idiot?” I would not cry. “Stop whatever you’re doing, you look stupid and it’s embarrassing.” For once in my life, I was showing emotion around people I did not trust. I was exposing that deep down I had a heart after all. It was painful, it was embarrassing but the person I loved the most in the world was lying in the hospital wing.
I sat up and looked at him. I was trying to see the kind, gentle soul that I grew up with but all I could see was a critical monster. I too, was also a monster at times but if Damien fell to pieces right in front on me, I would support him but he obviously wasn’t like that. I was surprised because this was the sort of actions people expected from a slimy Slytherin, not a noble Gryffindor. His eyes were not the eyes I remembered. They still were the exact shade of mine but mine always seemed colder, now I was staring into his eyes and seeing me. “I’m not being an idiot.” I whispered. “Cassie is really weird about people seeing her without her lipstick. And Damien, I don’t like your tone.” I was sick of him and I was tired. I was so tired of it all.
“You don’t like my tone?” He scoffed. “I’m sick of you creating this shit. You turn everything into a big deal. You lost one of your best friends, so you turned into a bitch, then you lost your boyfriend, and you wouldn’t leave your bedroom for the summer.” He ranted as I cowered, losing my will to fight. I couldn’t fight him. I couldn’t step up to my King when I was only a humble subject. “You got everyone’s attention with that didn’t you? Mom’s, Dad’s and every other useless person that makes up our family. You were the only topic for the summer.”
I stood there wincing as I took his blows. I didn’t do any of these things because I wanted attention. It was quite the opposite, I loathed attention, it made my skin crawl and I felt uncomfortable in the light. I belonged in the shadows. The shadows were my home. I couldn’t help it that people were worried about me. If I could, I would have taken their worry away but I was so broken that I couldn’t fix myself. I was lost to the world of nightmares and Cassie was the person who managed to grab me and pull me back into reality. My parents helped, they crawled in my room, battled through the void and offered love. My brother truly didn’t understand me at all. “I didn’t do any of that for attention.” I admitted, unable to believe that he actually thought I had. “I did that because I was in pieces and I was surrounded by darkness.” I laughed. I didn’t know why but I was laughing hysterically. Maybe I’ve finally lost the plot. “You’re pathetic. Is that what this is all about? Attention? Because Damien, don’t you see? You get enough of it every fucking day. But it’s still not enough is it? That’s your problem. Nothing is ever good enough for you.” The words tumbled out and I wasn’t sure where they came from, but I knew that I believed in every single one.
“Why didn’t I get a brother? Why did I have to get you? Someone up there must hate me a lot.” He sighed, ignoring my words. He always ignored what I had to say.
I lost my will to fight right there because I believed in his words. Maybe I deserved him being nasty to me. Maybe every cruel word was actually the truth.
“I think you need to go.” Albus spoke calmly.
Damien stared at him. He stepped closer to him, challenging him and daring him to say anything else but Albus didn’t falter. I wondered why he was doing this but I couldn’t find the words to question it. “What did you just say?”
“I said.” Albus answered in a bored tone. “That you should go, don’t you see that she’s acting like a loony because she’s worried about her friend? Come on Nott, I thought you were smarter than that.” He rolled his eyes.
“Damien.” Scorpius pleaded. “You’ve upset her and you’re making everything worse. Please just go.”
“Please go.” Fred chimed in as well.
“Do you want to me go, Pippa?” He asked, looking straight at me. His words burned me to ashes and I was no phoenix. I realized I should have seen this disappointment coming because we knew so little about each other.
I didn’t want to let him go but my hands were being burnt from holding the rope that kept us together. He was my brother. He was supposed to love me when I was making mistakes or if I was being an idiot. He couldn’t just pick and choose. Love wasn’t like that. I struggled with the emotion but even I knew that this was wrong. He clipped my wings and stole my will to fly. I felt like everything was falling on top of me. It was constricting me and I felt like I couldn’t breathe but I managed to find the words from somewhere. “Yes.” I told him. “You are not welcome here.”
Damien laughed cruelly. “Whatever. Screw you all.” He stormed out and I watched him with a feeling of sadness. I wanted him gone, so why did I feel like running after him and telling him I was sorry? I sighed. I just wanted it to be like it when we were children and perfect. We knew nothing and that was the best thing of all.
“I’m sorry about him Pippa.” James told me.
“It’s okay.” I responded. “He always treats me like crap; I’m quite used to it now.” I swallowed the lump that had risen in my throat. “It would be quite surprising if he didn’t.” I lay back down, trying to understand why my brother hated me so much.
“It’s still not right Pippa.” James told me softly. “Do you want me to talk to him for you?”
“No, don’t bother.” I closed my eyes. We sat in silence for a few moments before I spoke again. “You can all stay, I suppose.” I didn’t look up to see any of their reactions. “Also, if you say anything about this to anyone, I will murder you.”
Scorpius brushed his fingers through my hair and for once, I didn’t cringe because it felt strangely comforting so I just gave in and let him stroke my hair without a fight. “Would you like anything?” I closed my eyes, feeling okay for the moment. I shook my head as Scorpius tucked a piece of my hair behind my ear. For once, I felt sleepy. I didn’t know why I suddenly felt like this but my body was exhausted and it needed to sleep. So I succumbed to sleep as Scorpius stroked my hair. I knew when I woke up, they all would still be there and I was perfectly fine with that.
I woke up feeling like I could have slept for decades. I always felt like that but I knew sleep wouldn’t come later. My body was a stubborn little git. I opened my eyes and I found Cassie’s face appearing above me. Her eyes shined and her grin was wild. “Well, hello there sunshine.”
“You’re awake?” I fumbled as I sat up quickly and we accidentally bashed heads. It seems that worry had made me stupid.
Cassie rolled her eyes. “Yes, I am genius.” Her hair was sticking up at wild angles and she was a little bit pale but she seemed to be okay.
“Why didn’t you wake me?”
Cassie laughed. I missed that sound, even though it had only disappeared for a day. “Pippa, I know you hardly ever sleep.” There goes the idea that I thought she didn’t notice. “Plus you just looked so sweet.” She teased and I crinkled up my nose. Only Cassie could find me sweet. No one had ever called me sweet in my entire life.
“I’m glad…” I started but I found that words were failing me. I suddenly became aware of the audience. James was smiling at me, Scorpius was patting a cut on his face before wincing, Harper was sighing at Scorpius, Fred had fallen asleep and Albus just looked bored. I was surprised that none of them had left. I felt embarrassment rise in me. All these people had seen me at my weakest, my most human side. I had crumbled in front of them but no more. Whatever part of my heart was open yesterday, it was now closed. Walls that were thicker surrounded my heart and would never fracture again. I refused to let them in but they were trying. Scorpius kept on getting closer to my heart but he hadn’t gotten inside it. I hoped he would get pricked by the thorns surrounding it and just go away. “Scorpius.” I looked at him. “What happened to your face?”
“I fell out of my chair.” He laughed. “I fell straight on the floor.”
“I wish I could have seen that.”
Cassie patted me on the head. “Thank you.” She whispered and I smiled at her, a real smile and she grinned back.
“Anyway, they said I could leave soon. So I’m going to get ready.” That was our cue to leave. Everyone scrambled up. I stepped out of the bed feeling mouldy. I needed a shower and a change of clothes. I gave Cassie one last glance and she waved at me. I left feeling like it was all okay.
“Did you guys spend all night here?”
“Yep.” James responded. “Cassie’s right, you do look sweet when you sleep.” He teased and I glared. “Chill, I won’t tell anyone. I wouldn’t want to ruin your reputation of being evil.”
“I’d murder you if you did.”
“That’s the girl I know!” James laughed. “Anyway, I have to go this way.” He was a Gryffindor after all and we were all Slytherins except for Harper. He ruffled my hair. “You okay with everything though?” I nodded, wondering why he cared. “I’ll see you later.” He then left when we went one way and he went the other.
“Is your face any better?” Harper asked Scorpius.
Scorpius nodded. “Yep. I’m all good, it’s nothing I’ve never received before.” He paused for a moment. “Actually, I’ve had a lot worse. Remember when you pushed me out of the tree house?” He nudged me for my attention. If he tries to link our arms again, I’ll kick him.
“You chopped off the head of my teddy.” I responded. “What did you expect?”
“He was ill! He needed a head transplant.”
“I think you’re the one that needs a head transplant.”
Scorpius laughed. “I could argue the same thing about you.” He looked around. “I have to walk Harper back to her common room. I’ll see you at lunch time. Don’t be nasty to each other.” He looked at me and Albus who had stayed silent for the whole walk. “Be nice, it won’t kill you.” Albus shrugged and I tried to look innocent. “See you in a bit.”
“Good bye!” Harper told us warmly, as she linked arms with Scorpius and they both walked off towards the direction of the Hufflepuff common room.
Albus and I walked in silence for a little while. I glanced at him before turning away.
“Like what you see?” He questioned.
I shook my head. “I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer.” There was a question playing upon my lips. I was a little scared to ask him so I decided to dip my toes in the water to test it. “You didn’t have to stick up for me with my brother you know.”
Albus just shrugged.
“Why did you do it?” The question was out there. It floated in the air in the heavy silence.
“It wasn’t about you.” He responded. “Your brother just pisses me off.”
I laughed. “I think that is something we can finally agree on.”
“Strange isn’t it?” Albus rolled his eyes. We paused for a few moments. “Your brother treats you like crap. Emilie treats you like crap. The only people who don’t treat you like crap are Cassie, James, Fred and Scorpius and you respond by treating them like crap.” He smirked. “It’s interesting isn’t it?”
“Piss off Potter.” I spat as the anger boiled in me. He infuriated me. How dare he? “You don’t know anything about me so stop trying. It’s getting old now.”
Albus sniggered. “Don’t hate me because you know it’s the truth.”
I couldn’t be bothered to argue anymore because I was exhausted. The whole thing with Cassie was tiring and my argument with Damien broke something inside. I couldn’t be bothered with Albus and his deluded rants towards me. I didn’t understand why he just couldn’t shut the hell up. We entered the common room after telling the wall the password. I ran towards the dormitories hoping nobody would be there. I didn’t stop to say any words of goodbye to Albus; I just wanted to get away from him. I clambered into my bed, pulled the sheets over my head and I tried to shut the world out for a little while.
“Pippa.” Cassie poked my forehead. “It’s time for the Quidditch try outs!”
I scrambled out of bed, feeling dazed and confused. I had fallen sleep but I didn’t remember when. “What?”
“You know the try outs?” Cassie looked at me like I was stupid. She was back in all her glory. Her lipstick was on and her hair was neatly brushed. “You were excited for them? You wanted to try out for seeker? I told you I’d be supportive about it? Well this is me being supportive. Get your lazy ass out of bed.” She winked at me. “And brush your hair, you look like a tramp.”
I grumbled as I got into the shower. I breathed in deeply. This would be when I showed Albus. Fred had trained me somewhat decently. It didn’t come without him being tough on me but with my motivation, it was a lot easier to take it all in and push myself. I could stay on a broom and not fall off. After I was done, I got out of the shower and changed into my clothes.
I could do this.
I stepped out of the bathroom. I found Cassie waiting for me and when I approached her she handed me her broom. “I know you’ve been borrowing Fred’s but you can use mine today if you want.” I looked at her in shock. Cassie loved her broom, it was one of the best ones on the market and she polished in once a week without fail. It was one of her most prized possessions and she trusted me enough not to destroy it. I felt overwhelmed so I just nodded. “Do you want me to come with you? I already have my place on the team so I don’t have to go but I will if you want the support.”
“Nah. I think I’d mess up if I knew you were watching.”
“Okay.” She told me, understanding. “Now go and get your ass on the team.”
I laughed. “I’ll try.” I turned to leave but stopped myself. “Thanks for the broom.” Cassie just shrugged like it was nothing but I knew differently. I wondered down the stairs feeling slightly positive. If I got on the team, I could get my own broom; those were the terms my parents had told me. They didn’t see the point of getting me something I would never use if I didn’t manage to get on the team.
The wind nipped my arms as soon as I stepped outside. I walked towards the Quidditch pitch. When I got there, I was amazed with the amount of people trying out for the team; a few boys but a lot of giggly girls. Their giggles were like a banshee yelling in my ears. I bloody hate giggling.
“Pippa!” Scorpius ran up to me, his Slytherin scarf tied so tight around his neck, I wondered why it wasn’t choking him. “I’ve come here to support you!” He held up a giant sign that said ‘Go Pippa’ It was written in sparkly purple. I tried to find the words to yell at him but I was warmed by the gesture so I rolled my eyes and tutted.
“Scorpius, you’re so embarrassing.” I muttered. “What if I don’t get on the team? Albus hates me remember?”
“I’ve told him that you’re trying out for the team and I’ve asked him to put his prejudices aside for the moment and just focus on your quidditch skills.” Scorpius grinned but I just sighed. “He agreed.”
“What are all those people doing here?”
“Most of them just come to try out because that way, Albus will actually talk to them.” Scorpius shook his head. “I think it’s a tad weird, but he manages to see who’s fake and who isn’t quite quickly.”
“Welcome to the Slytherin Quidditch try outs.” Albus arrived as he looked at all the people who had come to try outs. “It gets bigger every year.” He muttered. “I’d like you to sort yourself into groups on what position you’re trying out for.” He paused. “We have spaces for one keeper, one chaser and of course, one seeker.”
Scorpius pushed me towards the smallest group; the people that were trying out to be seeker. I looked at my opponents; three girls. One had dark hair, the other was a shade of red and the other one was wearing a really ugly hat.
“Do you lot really like Quidditch?” I asked, trying to suss out their weak points.
“Not really.” The red head one responded. “I just wanted to get a good look at Albus. He is as good looking as they say.” She examined her nails.
“If you play Quidditch, you’re nails will get messed up.” I told her and she looked at me shocked. “Why don’t you go and wait over there with my cousin Scorpius, you’d make a better audience member and he’s Albus’ best friend. He’d know a lot about him.” I waved at Scorpius to prove I knew him and he waved back a little confused.
Red headed girl nodded. “I suppose he’s fit too in his own way.” I felt a little bit sick. “You coming Hattie?” She nodded towards the dark girl, who shrugged.
“I only came because of you. You know I’m in love with Fred Weasley anyway.”
I looked at these girls like they were aliens. I couldn’t understand them. I’m glad Cassie wasn’t like them. I watched them walk away as I feared for the future.
This just left me with ugly hat girl. She glared at me angrily and I knew I couldn’t change her mind with my words. I would have to use different tactics all together. I smiled at her and she looked away. Her gaze focused on Albus and him only. It was my perfect moment. I had shoved my wand underneath my sleeve and I let it pop out a tiny bit. I whispered “confundo” and it hit ugly hat girl. Ugly Hat girl blinked at me.
“What am I doing here?” She whispered, quite frightened and I almost felt bad.
“You got lost.” I walked over patting her on her shoulder. “You should go back to Hogwarts and do your homework.” I told her and she nodded, feeling confused and believing everything I was saying. I watched her stumble her way to the castle.
Well, that was a lot easier than I thought.
I waited for ages, in the end I got bored and just sat on the floor and hope I didn’t catch anything. Eventually Albus finally came up to me frowning. “Where is the rest of your group?” He asked.
I shrugged. “They decided quidditch was not for them.”
Albus scowled. “But this means…”
“Yep.” I smirked. “I’m your only choice for seeker.” I would get on the team due to default.
“Does anyone else want to try out for seeker?” Albus called to the people but the snarl in my expression put them off from putting their hands up and volunteering. Albus turned to me. “You’re clever Nott, but I warn you, it won’t be easy.”
“Bring it.” I replied.
“Welcome to the team.” He snarled before storming off as I stood there smugly. I felt amazing.
The plan had begun.
The Next Time On The Human Factor
“You’re soaking.” He looked me over. “You look like a drown rat.” He took off his cloak and swung it over my shoulders. He was wearing his puppy jumper and I almost smiled at it as I wrapped his cloak around my shoulders. “There, you look a tiny bit better, though I can do nothing about your hair unless you let me use magic.”
“I’m not letting you use any spells on me.” I sniffed. I hated colds. “I don’t trust you.”