Chapter 16 : Broken Hearts and Snot-Nosed Best Friends
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I didn’t realize what I was doing until my chest suddenly constricted. I was surprised when I became conscious that I was running. I bolted down the corridor, leaving Joy Lovegood behind. My feet moved on its own accord, and Merlin, did I run fast.
The only thing my mind could think of was apologizing to Victoria. In that short moment, I knew I fucked up. I knew that it was my fault. I was being a prat, a wanker, a git-faced, dumbarse. I shouldn’t have ran away from Victoria, and right into Joy’s open arms. I should’ve stopped being selfish.
And then it all stopped.
My feet slowed down, finally giving me the chance to catch my own breath, the moment I completely understood what I was doing.
I was running after Victoria, on my way to apologize. I was just about to apologize for something that I had no reason to be sorry for.
I stopped running, and laughed bitterly to myself. My eyes were glued on Victoria’s retreating figure. She was halfway down the end of the corridor, and the distance between us was quickly increasing.
“Where are you running off to?”
The voice was familiar. It caused uneasiness to settle in the pit of my stomach. It made me nervous and anxious, and I was too afraid to turn around. I had a good idea who it might have been, but turning around would verify my predictions, and if I was right, there’s a high chance that I will end up falling into an endless pit of my own pile of shit.
“Are you ignoring me James?”
I gulped, catching my breath. “Amelie.” Out of pure curiosity (yes, just curiosity), my head turned down the corridor in search for Victoria.
A change in scenery called for a double take. There was someone else standing with Victoria. Was that…
I squinted my eyes towards the two distant figures.
Was that — no — what the fuck? Was it Willow?
They were… they were hugging. How did Willow suddenly appear within a bloody second?
I growled unintentionally and bitterly focused my attention on Amelie. At that moment, the smile on her gorgeous face went by unnoticed. My mind was too preoccupied to pay attention to the details.
“Hello, James. Miss me, did you?”
“No.” I answered through gritted teeth and a clenched jaw.
As she circled to face me, she pouted. Her tall, blonde frame pressed itself closer to my right side. I gulped, before glancing towards Victoria, who still seemed to be enveloped in a pair of lanky arms. I turned back towards Amelie before she could notice where the majority of my attention was directed.
“You know, you must be the one boy who hasn’t tailed me around the castle, begging for a minute of my time.” She smirked arrogantly, causing me to roll my eyes.
Amelie always had an ego. Dare I say, it might have been even bigger than Desmond’s and mine combined.
“Trust me, I’ve spent enough time on you.”
“Tsk, tsk,” she clicked her tongue and leaned her face closer to mine.
I resisted the urge to glance at Victoria.
A part of me wanted to take Amelie right there, and right at that moment, but another part of me was willing to deny her. She was too arrogant for my taste, and for once, I wanted her to feel the cold sting of rejection. On the other hand, there was the matter of her body; her firm, long, soft body, that was currently pressed up against mine. I silently cursed Joy for leaving me so bloody unsatisfied.
A cute, playful smile crept onto her lips, and she slowly slithered her arms around my neck. “What do you say, James?” she licked her lips slowly. Her soft, pink, plump lips. She fucking licked them.
Nervously, I finally gave into the urge to sneak a peek at Victoria and the idiot that was gripping onto her like a koala bear. They were still attached.
How can a hug — or whatever the hell that was — last for so bloody long? I would be able to understand if it was a snog, but… they were hugging. Just hugging.
Amelie’s hands raking down my stomach brought me back down to earth. I turned my head down, and looked at her. She had a coy look on her face. “Want to play with me?” Her hands were traveling all over my body. I shut my eyes tightly. Fictitious images of Victoria and Willow suddenly sprang into my mind. “We’ll have a lot of fun.” Amelie continued.
Without warning, I felt the wet, warm surface of her tongue run itself along the outer edges of my earlobe.
That was when I lost all sense of control, dropped anything and everything in my hands, leaving them on the ground, forgotten, and attacked Amelie with everything I had.
I roughly shoved her against the wall, and she immediately wound her long legs around my hips. Her lips pressed tighter against mine, and she released a series of her moan while she continuously grinded herself against me.
As intoxicating and arousing as Amelie’s lips and body was, Victoria lingered in my mind. I growled in a frustrated manner, a low rumble in my throat, and Amelie took this as encouragement. She began pushing my clothes off before clawing at my skin.
I allowed her, while a part of me was hoping — praying — that Victoria stuck around long enough to watch.
“Tell me something, mate, and don’t bother beating around the bush this time.” Desmond’s voice almost startled me out of my shoes. I didn’t even hear the shower turn off. “Do you like Victoria?”
“W — what?” I sputtered, taken aback by his sudden question. “Where is this coming from, Des?”
“Showers are a place of deep thinking.” He replied simply. “Now answer me.”
“No.” I answered firmly. “I don’t like her, so stop nagging me. You’re worse than my bloody mother.” I glowered.
He nodded, but he didn’t look entirely convinced. “It’s just that… you pay way too much attention to her for someone who doesn’t fancy her.”
“Are you telling me that I fancy your best friend?” I asked flatly. “Please, you’re going to make me die from laughter.”
“No.” he said with a shrug as he crossed the room and approached his dresser. “It was just an observation. There’s nothing wrong with observing.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’ve taken a liking to living vicariously, haven’t you? These days, you observe more than necessary. The habits of a Cupid… You need to get yourself a girl, mate.”
“I just like to keep an eye on Victoria.” He told me. “And these days, whatever concerns Victoria, concerns you.”
“I wonder who’s fault that is.” I spoke exasperatedly, tired of having the same conversations over and over again, even though I knew that he was only asking me because he harbored an everlasting hope that someday, my answer would change. “My answer won’t change Desmond.” I told him, a little hesitant to speak.
He scoffed, his back facing me. “I hardly think that’s true.”
I gaped at him. “What, so you actually think I fancy her? You think that I downright fancy her.”
“That’s right.” He answered, turning around. “I think you’ve always been attracted to Victoria, but you’ve never been brave enough to admit it.”
“Why on earth would I be too cowardly to admit something like that?”
“I reckon it always had something to do with how much she hates — sorry, hated you. There’s a very thin line between love and hate.”
I turned away from him. “Then we’re both lucky that Victoria and I are not anywhere near that thin line.”
“Then what are you doing burning a hole in the middle of our dorm with all your pacing?” Des asked, raising his eyebrows quizzically. “What happened tonight?”
“Nothing.” I answered with a scowl as the guilt crept back into my chest.
“Would you rather I ask Vicky?” he practically threatened as he folded his arms across his chest.
I scowled again and glared at him. “I.. I screwed…” my shoulders slumped, defeated. “I screwed around with Joy Lovegood today.”
Desmond wrinkled his nose at the thought. “Joy Lovegood, really?” he asked curiously. “She’s.. I’ve had my taste of her, and she’s a bit too…”
“Selfish? Yeah, I know. But I was desperate and three fourths of the castle went to Hogsmeade.”
“Vicky found out?”
“She was outside the classroom when we left.”
“… You know that she went through hell just to get your map back, right?”
“Yes, thank you Desmond, for the brand new information.” In that instant, an unknown weight pressed heavily against my chest, as if to remind me how guilty I should be feeling at that moment. But I wasn’t guilty. I was angry. I was angry that I was too much of an imbecile, and ran after the little bugger, only to watch her run into Willow’s fucking arms. I was fucking furious, and Desmond was not helping alleviate my rage.
I felt like an insufferable idiot for feeling so guilty for absolutely no reason at all.
Shagging girls shouldn’t be something to feel guilty about. It should be something men take pride in. Not something they try to hide.
At least I ran after her. I ran after her. I tried to fix it — I tried to make her feel better. Point was, I tried. I put in effort. But I reckon there are just some things that people cannot change. My hands were tied. Whatever kind of pain she felt tonight, it was on her. Not me.
— Except the part where you intentionally wanted to fuck her over by shagging your ex-girlfriend right in front of her.
Yet I still felt as guilty as a pile of garbage sitting in the middle of a spotless room.
Merlin, I felt like a fucking imbecile.
I couldn’t even think straight. It literally felt impossible to form coherent thoughts and sentences.
I was clouded, and deranged — the only explanations that would justify why I even subconsciously thought about running after her in order to apologize for something that wasn’t even worth an apology. And not to mention, shag my ex senseless in the middle of a school corridor.
“It wasn’t just Joy.” I added quietly.
Desmond turned his attention back to me, now entirely interested. “Not just joy?”
“Amelie was there, and well…”
“Merlin, mate, I thought you were done with her.”
“I was — I am.”
He scoffed. “Obviously not.”
“It’s not that easy, Des, okay?” I snapped irritably. “Imagine Layla came prancing down the hall wearing practically nothing —”
“She was wearing nothing?” he arched an eyebrow.
“No,” I waved my hands in the air to motion ‘whatever’. “You know how she barely covers up anything… But that’s besides the point! Imagine Layla came prancing around you wearing practically nothing, and throwing herself at your feet, begging to be fucked mercilessly. Would you be able to decline?”
“Of course I would.” He crossed his arm over his chest, and I scoffed.
“Sure, you could. Would you like to test that sometime soon?”
He cleared his throat while he looked away, looking anywhere but at my knowing gaze. The tables have now turned. Momentarily. I smirked. I could tell he was uncomfortable with the scenario I had placed on the table. “Okay, point taken. Amelie is irresistible. We all know it. Did she see?”
I shook my head. “I don’t think so. She was with Willow.”
He made a face. “That Hufflepuff dumbarse?”
“Are you seriously worried about Willow? Mate, even I don’t think Willow stands a chance.”
“I’m not worried about Willow.” I replied exasperatedly. “You asked me if she saw, and I explained why she most likely did not.”
Desmond held up his hands defensively. “I was just wondering. You’re way too defensive about this whole thing.”
I sighed, frustrated.
“I suppose you feel guilty?” he continued, crossing the room, searching for something.
I fell silent for a moment as I sorted through my thoughts. Finally, I answered, “I do. I mean, I guess I do. If this is what guilt feels like, then sure — yes I do feel guilty.”
“If you don’t fancy her, then why are you so concerned?” he pulled a crisp, baby blue shirt over his shoulders and began buttoning it. “You’ve been fucking girls all your life, and as far as I know, Victoria has never been a problem.”
“I don’t fancy her.” I growled impatiently. “I never had and I never fucking will. So drop it.”
“Then why —”
“I feel guilty, alright? Haven’t I said that already?” I snapped. “You’ve done well over the years making sure that I feel this way whenever that girl gets hurt. I don’t know how you did it, but it fucking worked. I can’t do a single thing without worrying that her temper will get the best of her, or that she’ll burst into a fit of tears, because I’m the one who’s going to have to fix everything in the end.”
Desmond laughed bitterly. “You’re blaming me for making you feel this way towards her? James, all I ever asked you to do was look after her when I’m not around. I asked you because I trusted you, and I know that you’re too loyal to decline. I never asked you because I actually thought that deep inside, you harbored some sort of hidden desire for her.”
I gave him a confused look. “Bottom line, I don’t fancy her. Don’t ever expect me to.”
“You get jealous, don’t you.” He smirked knowingly. I wanted to knock that blasted smirk off his arrogant face. “Not possessive, the way you do with Lily, Rose or Dominique, but jealous the way you did with —“
“There’s no reason to bring her into this.” I snapped sourly, interrupting him in mid sentence. “I don’t get jealous.” I growled indignantly. “I never get jealous.”
He chuckled in response. “That’s the only answer I need.”
“Stop it!” I cried, frustrated. “Stop trying to plant this idea into my head. Stop trying to make me fancy her.”
“I’m not trying to make you do anything.” Desmond said flatly, not a trace of humor on his face.
“Fine.” I huffed. “I’ll admit, I was attracted to her. I am attracted to her. Since we were thirteen I’ve been attracted to her, but who hasn’t? There were several instances when Tyler wanted to get into her pants in our fourth year, and I’m sure that you understand why. You’d have to be a poof not to.”
I could tell that he was fighting a smirk that was dying to break free on the surface of his face. “But that’s it.” I said firmly, drawing the line there. “So this little plan you’ve got going on here, has got to stop.”
“Don’t play coy!” I shouted, louder than I had initially intended. “I know what you’re doing.”
Desmond stared at me for a good minute or so before he let out a deep breath. “You’ve gone bonkers, mate.” He remarked, shaking his head hopelessly. “Absolutely, and completely bonkers.” He walked around his bed to grab his shoes when we heard a knock on the door. “Tell me, is that Victoria’s doing, or what?” he teased as he walked towards the door. I almost threw my trunk at him out of pure rage.
He opened the door, and Dominique poked her head through the crack. “You two are decent, right?”
“No, James is currently stark naked, jumping on his bed, and I’m actually thinking about joining him.” Desmond immediately replied.
“Lovely.” Dom barged right in and plopped down on the foot of my bed. “I have business with you two.” She began. “Actually, I have business with just you.” She turned to me with a serious expression on her face. “Desmond, you can stay and just listen.”
Why do I have a feeling that it had something to do with Vic —
“It’s about Victoria.”
Of course it’s about Victoria. Everything is about Victoria.
“What about her?” I growled.
She glanced at the clock nailed to our wall and sighed. “It’s almost midnight.”
“So?” I asked.
“She’s not back yet.” Dom informed me. “Did you do something? She only ever stays out when she’s upset.”
“Or when she decides to fall off the face of the fucking planet just to read in the bloody Astronomy Tower.”
“I checked the Astronomy Tower. Actually, Layla did. She’s not there.” Dominique told me.
“I don’t see why this concerns me.” I said through gritted teeth.
Suddenly, Dominique glared at me. “Don’t be a fucking twat, James Potter.” She snapped. “Don’t sit here and pretend that you’re not fucking worried about her, when in truth, you are. She’s our friend, and she’s fucking missing. I can’t find her anywhere, and I even sent Tyler down to the kitchens before I came up here to talk to the two of you. Don’t sit there and pretend that you don’t give a shit becau —”
“I don’t give a shit, Dominique. I’m tired of all of you forcing me to care about her, when I really don’t.”
Dom’s chest was heaving with anger. “I never pitied Victoria and her situation, until now.” She said. “But now I see what she has to deal with. A stubborn prick whose head is too large for his own fucking body. Fuck you, James. She’s right to want nothing to do with you.”
Without another word, Dominique stomped out of our dormitory and slammed the door behind her.
“If you’re about to open your mouth right now and tell me that she’s right,” I said to Desmond, keeping my eyes glued to the ground. “Don’t.”
Wordlessly, he sighed, turned, and strode to his bed leisurely. He didn’t even have to say a word for me to know what he was thinking.
I was an asshole.
I already knew it.
I’m James Potter, after all.
“Fuck it.” I grabbed my coat, pulled on my shoes and grabbed the hidden pack of cigarettes in between my mattress. In silence, I exited the room and ran for the Astronomy Tower.
“I really should get going.”
After my encounter with Potter and his new toy, I involuntarily found myself running straight into Austin’s waiting arms, as if he already knew what had happened. At first, every bone in my body was telling me to shove him away and keep running until I found one of my friends. His shoulder was lanky, and his arms were stiff. Nothing about his embrace was comforting at all.
Just as I was about to muster all the strength I had left, Austin’s arms wrapped tightly around my shoulders, holding me in place as he whispered in my ear “Potters watching.”
Those two words was all it took for me to grit my teeth and burry my head deeper into his chest. I wasn’t aware that Potter came after me, and to be honest, at this point, I didn’t care. I ignored the fluttering feeling in my heart and allowed myself to drown in my hatred for him. I accepted Austin’s embrace, which was my indirect way of saying ‘Fuck you Potter, I don’t need you.’
Although, as Austin slowly led us back to what looked like the Hufflepuff Common Room, I couldn’t help but wish that it was Desmond’s shoulder I was leaning on.
“What time is it?” I asked sleepily.
After a long episode of crying, I accidentally fell asleep on the comfortable couch of the Hufflepuff Common Room, while propped up on Austin’s shoulder. When I finally peeled my eyes open, a load of emotions swept me up like a tornado, unwilling to let me go. I immediately jumped away from him and my bum landed on the opposite side of the couch. He had been leisurely flipping through a Quidditch magazine with his feet propped up on the table.
For one thing, I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed for crying over a boy, and ashamed for looking weak in front of others. I hadn’t cried in front of anyone since I was a child, and all in one night, I ended up shedding tears in front of Potter and Austin.
Furthermore, I was still angry. Furious, in fact. My anger for Potter refused to ebb away. It was a stain on the surface of my life.
Lastly, I was confused. Confused as to why Austin seemed to be waiting for me at the end of the corridor, with his arms wide open, as if he knew what to be expecting. His behavior confused me even more. He had shown a great deal of interest the past two years, but never has he acted on it until this year.
“It’s about a quarter to one.” He drawled.
“What?!” I exclaimed, jumping up from my seat. “W — why didn’t you wake me?” I asked as I frantically began searching for my cloak. “Merlin, Dom and Layla are going to kill me! And worse.. if they told Desmond.. Merlin, fuck.”
Austin stood up as well, and stepped forward to place his hands on my shoulders. I suppose it was a ridiculously failed attempt to soothe me. “Relax.” He said in a deep voice, trying to meet my gaze, but I looked away. “You’re a big girl, they shouldn’t worry about you so much.”
“You don’t understand…” I began, slowly pushing his hands away. “Desmond.. he’s.. oddly over protective. It’s .. it’s a long story. If Dom and Layla went to P…” I trailed off, suddenly remembering that the map was supposed to be a secret. “Potter and Desmond to see if I was with them, they’re going to — well Desmond will throw a fit.” I finally found my cloak buried underneath the throw pillow that was sitting on the armchair. “I really must go.” I said to him.
“So he’s back to Potter now, huh?” Austin asked, regarding Potter for the first time since he picked me up and pulled me back to pieces. “What happened, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“We just… we had a fight.” I answered, making my way to the exit. “Thank you, so much for tonight, Austin. I.. I really appreciate it. I’m sorry that I was such a mess.”
Austin smiled warmly and shook his head as he pushed the door open. “You don’t need to apologize. I’m glad I could help.”
Before I could turn and take my leave, Austin did something that shocked the poop out of me. He stepped over the entrance of his common room, swept down and pushed his lips against my cheek.
I gasped sharply, and my body stiffened. Merlin, it was such a stupid reaction, but I couldn’t help it. In truth, it was the first time a boy offered such an affectionate gesture. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had my fair share of boyfriends and dates, and not once did they deliberately give up their chance to skip to the snogging and fucking, and actually start at the very beginning.
I was so… touched that I didn’t have the heart to tell him off.
“Good night, Victoria.” He smiled, and stepped back inside the common room.
I smiled as well, a little bit unsure of myself. “Good night, Austin.”
I practically bolted for the seventh floor. It was a bitch, because the Hufflepuff Common Rooms were all the way in the basement of the castle. By the time I reached the fifth floor, my thighs burned from running up the stairs, and my lungs felt like some reached through my flesh and deliberately squeezed them until I could no longer breathe.
Just as I took the third step up the staircase leading to the sixth floor, a voice broke the eerie silence, and I cursed under my breath. It was Nargus, completing his nightly rounds. Honestly, is this bloke fucking nocturnal, or is he just capable of functioning without sleep?
As quick as my legs could take me, I jumped down the last two steps and sprinted down the next corridor, ignoring the lack of light. I was in no mood to face Nargus. I knew I didn’t have the clever, suave exterior that Desmond, Potter, and Tyler acquired over their last six years of getting into trouble, which would mean more detentions — than staying out after curfew is actually worth — for me.
Once my chest could no longer take any more running, I abruptly skidded to a halt and slumped against the wall. I had no idea where I was. Just as I noticed my surroundings (it was almost fucking pitch black), horrific thoughts jumped into my head, and fear spread through my chest. I was suddenly aware that the corridor was empty. I was only left with these rude paintings, and my rancid thoughts.
I began flittering through my pockets in search for my wand.
I cursed much too loudly when I realized that it was not in my possession. “Fuck. Merlin’s fucking beard.” I was the biggest fail in witch’s history. I lost my bloody wand.
Defeated and hopeless, I dropped my head back against the wall, and let out a heavy sigh.
The sound of loud, approaching footsteps shook my from my trance and a mixture of anxiety and fear crept up into the pit of my stomach. It couldn’t be Nargus; the footsteps were too constant, too fast. It sounded like running, or a fast paced skipping. It was a student. Perhaps the bitchy Head Girl. Hopefully it was neither a prefect, nor a Head. Either way, I found myself glad that I was lucky enough to have encountered someone.
I suddenly didn’t feel so alone.
As the figure approached, the sandy brown hair began looking oddly familiar. “Desmond.” I breathed in surprised.
He looked frantic, almost shaken. The absence of his immediate rage once his eyes landed on me caused my suspicions to heighten to the point where my eyes narrowed in his direction. “Victoria.” He breathed a sigh of relief. I could tell that he was not relieved because he was worried about me. “Vicky, thank Merlin, you have to come with me.”
Before he grabbed my hand in his, I quickly managed to ask, “Des, what’s wrong?”
“Just please, follow.” He begged as he quickened his pace. It was difficult to keep up with him. His long legs covered a longer distance than my shorter ones, and my lungs were not as trained as his. By the time we slowed down, I felt beads of sweat dripping down my neck as my chest tightened. “We’re almost there.” He reassured me, urging me to continue. “We didn’t know what to do,” he explained, glancing back in my direction. “She’s… she’s bad, Vic. She won’t stop screaming, and I know she has a right to, but Merlin, we had to castle silencing charms to make sure that she wasn’t heard. She won’t budge. James is scared that she’s going to claw his face off if he tries to carry her away.”
“Wha… who are you talking about?” I asked fearfully. One of them was hurt… Layla and Dominique, the two girls that made up my life — one of them was hurt. “Desmond, who?”
The scene before me explained it all. I reckoned we came to a halt before the silencing barrier, because a deafening silence filled my ears, even though I knew my ears should have been suffering.
“How long has she been like this?” I drawled slowly, trying to take it all in.
“About ten minutes? We tried to calm her down, but she wouldn’t listen.. James finally got fed up and sent me to get either you or Layla.”
There they were, Tyler practically on his knee’s (not literally), with Rhiannon standing behind him, looking… suspiciously pleased. Potter, who did not looked pleased, was standing before them, restraining a very livid, Dominique Weasley. She looked like a straight, utter, downright mess. Her cheeks were tearstained and smudged with black mascara. Her curly, strawberry blonde hair had grown wild due to her thrashing, and both her skirt and blouse had hiked up in several areas.
It was heartbreaking to see my best friend, my perfect, pristine, best friend, fall into a mess.
Silently, I took a step forward, and almost immediately, screams bounced against the walls and the barrier, heightening the effects. It blared through my ears and threatened to shatter my eardrums. I could barely make sense of what Dominique was saying. It was mixed with cries and sobs as a river of tears tumbled down her cheeks.
Upon my arrival, Potter turned, noticing my presence. Without saying a word to me, he turned back to Dominique and timidly lowered his lips to her ear, whispering.
I swallowed loudly, and took another hesitant step forward. “Dom,” I called. “Dom,” I repeated.
She slowly turned towards me, and the screams immediately stopped. “Vicky,” she said with a strangled sob.
Dropping the timidities, I quickly approached Dominique until I was standing by her side. “Dom, what happened?” I asked, carefully placing a hand on her shoulder.
She sneered in my direction before whipping her head back to face Tyler. “It’s his fault!” she cried loudly, pointing a finger in his direction. “His fault! That asshole!”
I glanced at Tyler as he flinched at her words. “What… what did you do?”
He looked down, shamefaced.
Dominique was practically killing him with her gaze when I turned my attention back to her. “He fucked her.” She said in a low voice. “I bet he’s been fucking her all along!”
“No!” Tyler exclaimed, for the first time since my arrival, indignantly.
“Don’t lie to me!” she shrieked, jumping for his throat, but Potter held her back with remarkable strength. “Don’t you dare, fucking lie to me you insufferable prick!”
I turned away from Dominique and completely faced Tyler. I had my suspicious when I arrived, but he confirmed it. The guilt plastered on his face confirmed it all. I couldn’t believe it. “Tyler…” I said with disappointment. “Please tell me you didn’t.”
“I’m sorry, Vic..” was all he could say.
“You’re sorry?” Dominique continued shrieking. I could tell that she was still crying. Her voice turned scratchy, and every once in a while, she would sniffle. “You’re fucking sorry? You’re unbelievable Tyler. You’re so fucking unbelievable. You’re selfish, and you’re a fucking pig. What the fuck do you think is going to happen to Fred when he finds out you’ve been fucking your girlfriend.”
I gasped at the thought of Freddie. For the second time that night, my eyes traveled over to Rhiannon. Her eyes were glued to her feet, yet no sign of remorse could be seen on her face.
“It was only once!” Tyler argued. “One time! And it was a mistake!”
At the mention of ‘mistake’, Rhiannon’s head immediately snapped up. “A mistake?” she spat, suddenly glaring at Tyler. “I was a fucking mistake?”
“Shut the fuck up, you slut.” Dominique sneered with pure distaste. Her lips immediately curled into a scowl. “I knew you were bad news from the start. I warned Freddie about you. You were just too perfect to be true, and I was right. You’re a slut, who only cares about herself.”
“You don’t know anything, Dominique. You’re a dumb, blonde bitch, and you don’t know anything. You should thank Merlin that you were born beautiful, or else no one would take a second look at you.”
At that, a different kind of anger fired up in her stomach, and I watched as she furiously struggled against Potters’ grasp. She put up a fight this time, scratching at his arms, begging him to let her go. I could see the muscles in Potters’ forearms flexing, and I immediately knew that Rhiannon had just unleashed a newfound anger in Dominique. She cried, screamed and struggled like no other. I was surprised that Potter managed to keep her away.
“Dom,” I said loudly, in attempts to calm her down. “Dom, please, calm down.”
“Calm down?” she shrieked with anger. “Calm down? This fucking slut is asking for it!”
Slightly angry, I turned to Rhiannon, my hair whipping around my face. “I think you better leave.”
Unexpectedly, she smirked. “Fickle Dominique can’t handle the heat.”
“Leave.” I growled menacingly. Her presence was useless. She was only aggravating the situation, and not to mention, she was pissing me off.
Her eyes shifted over to me, and she crossed her arms over her chest. “I’d like to see how Queen Bee ends up without her little followers protecting her.”
“Fuck, Rhiannon, would you just leave?” Tyler snapped, turning back to her.
Taken aback, Rhiannon jumped slightly at Tyler’s abrupt anger. “Leave.” He repeated. “You’re not making this situation any better.”
“We’re not done talking.” She warned him, before she twirled around and quickly walked away.
“Dom, please, calm down…” Potter begged, struggling to keep his arms around her.
“You asshole.” She laughed bitterly, throwing her head back slightly. It was strange how Dominique managed to look so beautiful when she was this broken. “It’s actually hilarious, because I actually started to feel something for you. And you know what, it’s all shot to hell now!”
“Tyler, I think you’d better go back to the common room first.” Desmond said stiffly, approaching me.
“Go.” Potter agreed.
“No!” Dominique shrieked while Tyler slowly turned to walk away. “I’m not finished with you yet, you bloody prat. Get back here!”
“Dom please, let him go.” I practically begged with pleading eyes.
“Tyler, just leave!” Desmond barked when Tyler didn’t move an inch after Dom’s outburst. “Go!”
“No!” she continued shouting. “Ugh!” She groaned. “Why the fuck are you three always protecting him? He deserves a good beating. Do you not understand what he did?” she demanded.
“Of course we understa —”
“Oh, who am I kidding.” She scoffed dryly while she rolled her eyes. “You’re riding the same fucking broom as him, aren’t you? Shot by an arrow and forced to love my cousin. I bet when he’s fallen for you, you’ll turn right around and fuck some other man. I suppose that’s where you were tonight, huh? Out with some other bloke while these to hear scour the castle searching for you?”
“What are you talking about…”
She laughed bitterly again. “I thought you were my friend, Victoria.”
“I am your friend!” I cried indignantly. I couldn’t believe what she was saying.
“Then shut the fuck up and start acting like it! Stop protecting Tyler, and stop fucking around with my cousin!” she screeched in a high-pitched voice.
“Dominique.” Potter warned, his hands slowly unwinding from her waist. “That’s enough.”
“You!” she wheeled around and turned to Potter while pointing an accusing finger. “You’re also protecting that weasel. You should have just fucking let me go! I’m your cousin, James! I thought I would at least come first before some bloke who can’t even stay faithful!”
“Hey Dom —” Lastly, she wheeled around to face Desmond.
“This is all your fault.” She spat. “You forced Tyler to fall in love with me, now look what happened. This is all your fucking fault. Ever since I found out you were a Cupid — no, ever since we all found out you were a Cupid, our lives have been nothing but a fucking mess. Look at James. He’s stuck looking after this child over here,” I gaped at her indignantly. “while you’re out doing your business. And Victoria! She’s a fucking mess all because you forced her to fall in love with James. There’s a reason why Cupids are extinct.” She glared at him with an intense look of hatred, causing a sudden surge of protectiveness to come over me. “Maybe fate decided that they dealt with relationships better than a magical fucking arrow coming from a dumb fuck angel.”
Before Desmond could utter another word, I stepped in front of him with a newfound anger rising in my chest. “Get a hold of yourself, and stop talking out your frustration on other people. We’re here, in the middle of the fucking night because we care about you, not because we’re trying to take sides and protect Tyler. Stop being an ungrateful, self-centered bitch, and stop taking it out —”
I wasn’t able to finish my sentence, because before I knew it, Dominique raised her right hand and slapped the snot right out of me.
“Dom!” Potter scolded loudly, reaching out to restrain her once more. I watched them through the curtain of my hair. Dom was sneering in my direction, and Potter, with an angry expression, held her back once more.
Desmond’s hands were immediately on my shoulder, soothing me and comforting me in any way possible. I, however, was beyond the grounds of possible comfort. My best friend had just slapped me across the face with impressive strength. My head whipped to the side, and I stumbled slightly. Heat rushed through my left cheek, filling my face, and specifically pooling around my eyes. I knew I was about to cry. Tears were brimming my eyes, and it would only take a quick blink for them to fall over the edge. It was funny, how a simple blink could expose internal weakness.
The worst part was, all I could think about at that moment was approaching Dominique, hoping that if I tried enough, she would eventually allow everything to fall apart into my waiting arms. I was willing to take each and every blow until she decided that she’s had enough. I loved her. She was like my sister. She was like a part of myself that I could not detach from, no matter how hard I tried.
But there was a voice inside my head that reminded me, “You don’t deserve this,”
“Vic, let’s go.” Desmond had wrapped his arm around my shoulders and began leading me away. “Let’s get back to the common room before someone finds us. James will take Dominique back.”
If it weren’t for the pleading look that suddenly appeared on Potters’ face, I would not have moved an inch.
Desmond took my hand, and began leading me away from a vicious, shrieking Dominique. As I listened to her cries, I could feel my own heart breaking in the restraints of my chest.
Sensing my uneasiness, Desmond wrapped his arm around my shoulders, silently permitting the tears to cascade down my tears, and straight onto his shoulders. For the second time that night, I let them.
After dropping Dominique off at her dormitory, and making sure that Victoria was no where within twenty feet from her, I grabbed the map — the map that I could no longer look at without feeling guilty — and stalked right out of the portrait hole, ignoring the protests from the Fat Lady.
I didn’t give a shit if it’s bloody one thirty in the morning.
I was going to find Tyler, and I was going to ram my fist into his face.
It had been a brutal night. Dominique fell into a fit of violent thrashing and shrieks the moment she realized who were fornicating behind the closed door of the broom closet. I had never seen her so devastated. Not even when her pet rabbit died when she turned six.
It didn’t take long to find Tyler. He left the castle, and was sitting in the middle of the Quidditch Pitch. There was a lit cigarette in between his fingers, and every once in a while, he would take a long, and seemingly satisfying, drag.
The minute I entered the pitch, I stowed the map away and bolted towards the wanker. I tackled him to the ground, and my fist immediately pulled back, only to be pushed into his face.
Tyler didn’t protest.
I didn’t expect him to.
I reckon the guilt got to him before I did.
Tyler was a lot of things. He was a man-whore, a player, an imbecile, and the list goes on. But he was like a pup. He knew when he did something wrong, and he took responsibility.
I continued sending punch after punch, denting his face into his brain.
And then he said in between punches, “You’re no different from me.”
I stopped, and retracted my clenched fist.
His eyes were bruised, his nose broken, and his lip cut. Even so, he still managed to curl his lips into a shaky, solemn smile.
“You’re no different from me, James.”
The hell I’m not.
I pushed my fist in further, with an intense amount of force. However, Tyler quickly turned his head, successfully dodging the blow. My fist landed in the sand, creating a large dent.
“You think I didn’t immediately know what you and Joy were doing in that empty classroom this afternoon?” he asked, turning his face back to me. “She came up to me after you left. We got to talking, Vic and I. I convinced her to give you the map earlier than she planned. She wanted to make you work for it; I suppose she reckoned she could have a laugh if she played you a little bit. But she changed her mind, and looked for you.” He let out a bitter laugh. “You were with Joy, in that old Transfiguration classroom in the seventh floor.”
“You could have stopped her from going.” I growled, despite myself, as I hovered above him.
“And told her what?” he asked, laughing cruelly. “Don’t go, he’s off shagging Lovegood rotten. She insisted. She was curious, I suppose. You know that it’s impossible to change her mind once she’s made it.”
“This information is useless to me.” I raised my fist again, ready to lay another punch on him, but he spoke once more, stopping me in mid motion.
“You’re just like me, believe it or not, mate.” He smirked and bet over to spit out blood. “You needed an escape from Vic. You know that she’s too good for you, and you can’t have that. So you find another good fuck, just to make sure that you don’t fancy her.”
At the mention of Victoria, the image of Dominique’s palm violently meeting her cheek popped up in my mind. I couldn’t forget the look on her face as Dominique retracted her hand. It was clouded with emotion, and I could tell that she was trying her best not to cry.
Gruffly, I shoved Tyler deeper into the dirt and pushed myself off of him. I planted myself on the ground, and brought my knees up, resting my arms against it. “That’s completely different.” I scowled.
He sat up as well and practically mirrored my movements. It was as if he was unfazed by my beating. “How so? Don’t tell me that you and Lovegood were in that classroom having a heart to heart.”
Again, I grimaced. “You and Dom are together. Her affections for you were clear. She fancied you, we all knew it.”
“She fancies me.” He nodded. “But... the arrow wore off.”
“What?” I asked with disbelief.
“It’s not the same anymore.” He admitted. “It was fast, and I was surprised too. Believe me, mate, I tried so bloody hard, but it’s not the same.”
“What’s not the same?”
“I don’t love her. I can’t love her, it’s too dangerous. Look at what I did to her already.”
“That’s because you were a coward, you fucker.”
Again, he laughed bitterly. “Like I said, you’re just like me.”
“Don’t even try to compare yourself to Victoria and I.”
“Why? It’s exactly the same situation. You know she fancies you, mate. She loves you, actually. Why did you go off and fuck Lovegood?”
She wasn’t the only one I fucked today.
Amelie clouded my thoughts, blurring my internal vision further.
I was getting a headache from all this drama. I’m not cut out for this shit. “Am I supposed to have that kind of consideration towards every female that fancies me? Because if so, then I suppose I’ll never be able to shag another girl in my life again.”
“Victoria is different.” He pointed out grimly, as he scowled in my direction. “You and I both know that.”
I scoffed and looked away. “Why, because she’s Desmond’s best friend? Because she’s my cousins best friend?”
“She’s Victoria. You care about her. We all do.”
“You all need to stop referring to her as if she’s some bloody child.”
“You need to stop pretending that she means nothing to you.”
“So what if she does?” I demanded furiously. I couldn’t believe I was forced to have another one of these conversations. “My sister means something to me, Dominique means something to me, and even Layla has grown on me as well!”
He rolled his eyes. “You know very well that it is not the same thing.”
“Are you insinuating that I fancy Victoria?” I growled viciously, glaring daggers in his direction.
“No.” Tyler shook his head. “I’m just saying it’s different with her. Don’t bother lying to me, James. I’ve known you since those days you thought girls had cooties.”
I fell silent, unsure of what to say. I wanted to punch more of Tyler’s face in, just for good measure. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the image of Dom crying out of my mind.
“Take a look at Dom, mate.” He whispered wistfully as he pulled out a box of cigarettes from his pocket. Silently, he handed me one, and I took it without a single thought. We both lit the small, white stick, and took a long drag.
Fuck it felt so good… so refreshing.
“That episode of hers. Those tears, her hysterics. I can assure you,” He brought the cig to his lips and took another drag and blew the smoke downwards. “That inside, Vic’s breaking down too. If she was more like Dom, and less like herself, she would have fallen into hysterics a long time ago.”
I reckoned that answered my question.
I took a drag, hoping that it would ease my insides.
The image of Dominique shouting, screaming, and crying… it was still there. And now I knew why. She voiced everything Victoria was too afraid to. She mirrored Victoria’s inner feelings, her inner weaknesses — or at least, everything Victoria was too afraid to show.
But all I could see was one thing.
That girl — Victoria — no matter how much she hides it, she was so, fucking weak.
Just like every other girl in the world. They were weak. They were all weak. And it was disgusting. They allowed silly and petty problems to get to them. They let the tears fall, and they sit by, waiting for prince charming to come by on a white horse, wipe their tears away and sweep them off their bloody feet.
I wasn’t about to hop on a fucking hippogriff, and relentlessly for a dumb fuck princess, especially one who can’t even take care of herself.
How could — I didn’t understand it. How could someone have so little pride that they allow themselves to feel so much pain?
I was suddenly angry with Victoria — furious, in fact. Furious that she was stupid enough to allow this to happen to herself.
She shouldn’t be in love with me.
The thought itself was laughable.
The only way to make it all go away is if I fell in love with her.
I almost laughed out loud. That was… It’s ludicrous.
But that also means that Victoria is forced to love me forever.
Until the day she dies.
I glanced at Tyler. His gaze was fixed on the Slytherin stands.
A memory suddenly sparked in my mind, and I found myself grinning like a fool.
Fourth year, end of fall term, Desmond, Tyler and set the Slytherin stands on fire. It was fake — the fire — and extremely safe.
I knew I should have been angry with him. I should have been infuriated, seething, outraged, livid, the works. He hurt Dominique. My younger cousin. He hurt her more than anyone has ever hurt her in her life.
But I couldn’t.
He was my boy. No matter what he did, or does in the future — no matter what either he or Desmond ever does — we’re… we’re bros. Family. It was as simple as that.
And he was right.
We were similar.
I couldn’t get angry with him without feeling the least bit hypocritical.
I clicked my tongue, grimaced, and then took a long drag. For the rest of the night, Tyler and I sat in the middle of the pitch silently. I no longer had the urge to beat his face into a pulp, and he stopped talking in riddles — for now.
That’s all it was; Tyler, me, my swollen fist, a twelve pack of cigs, the sandy pitch, the cold night’s air, and the cool, illuminating moonlight momentarily soothing our troubles away. It wasn’t much, but moments like those were enough to allow me to, for the time being, forget all about the girl who was hopelessly in love with me.
A/N: hiya. since you guys have been asking, i think the halloween ball will be the next chapter. Hopefully.... unless i suddenly change my mind last minute, and decide to delay it :P i hope you guys enjoyed this chapter! hopefully, you guys don't hate james too much! he can really be an ass.
please review :)
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