The entire Great Hall went dead silent as everyone turned to watch the spectacle.
Ethan, with a red face and hands clenched tightly to the letter in his hand, glared at me before glaring at James who seemed to be in shock.
Sam, Louis, and Albus looked confused while even Scorpius from the Slytherin table was furrowing his eyebrows in confusion, quickly shushing the person next to him who was obviously asking him what was happening.
“Is this true
?” Ethan said menacingly. His eyes were flashing and his jaw was locked. He was also discreetly cracking his knuckles, which wasn’t a good sign.
I had never been afraid of Ethan before.
The two of us argued like how Charlie and I used to argue. I threw snarky comments at him and he threw his usual self back at me, which meant that the two of us always had that type of relationship where nothing that one or the other does really fazed the other at all.
Kellan, Madison’s older brother and my other cousin, had his times when he could be very
scary. Despite what I thought of Charlie, Charlie had the ability to be scary too though his usual arsehole tendencies makes his scariness less of a factor. Elliot, Sophie’s younger brother, was younger than me so nothing he did scared me. Dad obviously scared me, especially after the Christmas eve incident, but I had never been in the position to be scared of Ethan before.
And now, I was bloody scared of Ethan.
Not the whole, oh-Merlin-he-looks-so-fucking-scary but the oh-Merlin-I-fear-for-my-life scary.
Ethan waved the letter in front of him, the letter torn slightly in the middle by how hard he was gripping on it.
The whole Great Hall was back to its usual chatters though I could still feel everyone’s eyes on us, silently eavesdropping.
Oh bloody Merlin…
“Yes…” I said in barely a whisper but that was all that Ethan needed to know before he did something that I would never in my wildest dreams have imagined.
In one swift movement, only possible of a Quidditch player, he literally leapt over the table and his fist met James’s face with one resounding crack.
I screamed the same time as did Lucy, Rose, Grace, Lily (whom I heard even though she was further down the table), and nearly every other female in the Great Hall.
James and Ethan rolled onto the floor between the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw table as Ethan continued to punch, James tried to defend himself.
I was literally sobbing as Grace held me back, protecting me from any sort of harm that might come if I had intervened.
“Ethan please stop!” I sobbed, half screaming half crying. Instead of stopping, however, all Ethan did was growl and continue to beat James up the muggle way.
Luckily, Professor McGonagall and Professor Longbottom had now made their way down. In one clear commanding voice, Professor McGonagall said, “The both of us will detest at this instant
or face suspension from the Quidditch team!”
This threat put Ethan out of his anger as he slowly rolled off James and drew away from him. When he did, however, I noticed that James was covered in purple bruises.
I let out anther scream as Grace let go of me and I leapt off my seat and helped James up from the floor.
“Hart, Potter, 20 points from Gryffindor and detention for the rest for the next two weeks for this Muggle fighting and you two will immediately report to Professor Longbottom’s office once Mr. Potter has visited the Hospital Wing,” Professor McGonagall said furiously before turning and walking back towards the Headmistress’s seat.
“James, let’s go,” I said gently as I steered James away from the Great Hall. The walk out of the Great Hall was painful, every step being loitered with fierce whispers and speculative chatters.
It wasn’t before I heard Lucy do damage control, however, by yelling at Ethan, “HART! What the hell is your problem?! It’s not up to you what those two get up to in their spare time!”
If I had any hopes of Ethan calming down and reconciling with James, then I was sorely wrong. Ethan avoided all of us, mainly only talking to Sam because Sam was the peace maker. He sat away from James in his classes and refused to eat with us, opting to go to the kitchens instead.
It didn’t help either that we had told all of the others why Ethan was really mad at James and that all of the others were supportive.
Lily Potter literally attacked me, squealing at the top of her lungs as she hugged me tightly. “I’m so excited! I’m going to be an aunt! When’s the due date, Bella?” Lily had asked excitedly, her brown eyes, identical to James’s, sparkling.
Mind, Lily is usually always so hyper.
Albus and Scorpius had been furious that none of us girls had told either of them about the news when I found out, particularly with me because I had told Lucy, Rose, and even Grace but not either of them.
“I feel offended. I have been your friend since September 1st of our first year, way before you even got somewhat close to James, and you choose not to tell me when something this significant, that also involves my older brother, happens,” Albus said affronted and upset.
Louis and Hugo had laughed when they found out, chortling at the thought of James being a father.
Louis laughed, “Can you imagine
James as a dad
? Merlin’s pants, I’d give anything to see James trying to change a baby’s diaper.”
Sam had reacted only as Sam would, in a calm and collected manner, telling me how happy he was for the both of us and citing his concerns for our future.
This was all told under the strict conditions of letting no one
else know, which included Sapphire Woodley and Scarlett Finnigan in Lily’s case and Derek Thomas in Hugo’s case. Olivia had been allowed to know, though only under the circumstances that she told no one else.
It was a risk, letting all of these people know but James and I had agreed, along with Lucy, Rose, and Grace’s approval that this was necessary because at a time like this, the two of us needed all of the support that we could get.
Not to mention it wasn’t fair that my entire extended family knew yet his didn’t.
By the start of February, this had officially been the longest argument in the history of our group. I still remember the petty arguments that the boys would sometimes have, and I even remember all of the times that I got annoyed with either Lucy or Rose but nothing had ever spiraled to this effect.
Ethan spent his time usually alone or with Sam. Louis usually tagged along if Sam was with Ethan, though never for long unless they were doing something Quidditch related.
Which was the other problem of Ethan’s absence besides the fact that it brought a strain to our group and I hated how Ethan and James’s friendship was broken.
Quidditch practices were difficult, several times Rose having come back from Quidditch practice only to sit on her bed in tears at how difficult it was to get James and Ethan to cooperate.
It was only lucky that Louis and Ethan still got along when they were focused on Quidditch solely. It was only Ethan’s love of Quidditch that stopped him from ditching Quidditch practices completely; however, Ethan refused to put up with James supervising him and James resorted to telling Louis to have him and Ethan practice on their own while the rest of the team did drills.
Apparently, alone time in their dorm was also difficult, seeing as James and Ethan shared a dorm room. More often than not, James flew his broom over to our dorm and crashed on my bed with me, not able to take the tension in the room.
The worst of all, sans Ethan and James’s broken friendship, was the rift between Ethan and Lucy.
Ethan being angry at me, I could deal with. Though Ethan was family, he wasn’t as if he had ever been my best friend. It hurt me to see his angry glare at me but I could put up with his anger because I had done so before.
What I couldn’t put up with, however, was how Ethan and Lucy seemed to take four steps back after taking two step forward.
It was one such night, when James was once again camping at our dorm, when Lucy seemed to have an emotional breakdown.
“I can’t do this anymore!” Lucy said, distressed. James blinked up in surprise from where he was lounging on my bed, reading a Quidditch magazine. He had obviously never seen Lucy like this before.
“What happened?” I frowned as I walked out of the bathroom, brushing my hair. I pushed James’s legs out of the way as I sat on my own bed, watching Lucy carefully as she flung herself onto her bed.
Hart. Do you know what just happened?” Lucy demanded as she sat up, looking at all of us in a way that told us that she was going to tell us what happened whether we wanted to know or not. “I bloody passed by him on my way up here and you know what he did? He ignored
“He’s been ignoring a lot of people,” Rose said gently, exchanging furtive glances with me while James just raised his eyebrows.
The edges of his lips were curved upwards in what seemed like amusement. He had obviously never been present for a session of girl talk before.
Lucy groaned again and all but screamed into her pillow. “I don’t get why he’s being such a thickhead
! It’s not as if anyone else
has a problem with Bella’s pregnancy! I tried to stop him! but do you know what he said?!”
“What did he say?” Grace asked tepidly, crouching closer to Lucy as she got up from her own bed.
Lucy lifted her head from her pillow and looked at all of us in despair. “He started accusing me for not telling him! Like I would bloody
tell him about something like this
! He was rambling on and on about this bullshit nonsense before he just turned
and said that he’s ‘done’. He’s
done! Why in the name of Merlin’s saggy left Y fronts is he
done for?!” Lucy ranted on, her tone incredulous and upset.
I bit my lip as I watched Lucy, upset. They were so close as well. They had been so close to getting there and now they seemed farther away from the finish line as ever.
“Luce… I’m sorry… this is all my fault,” I said miserably, cutting her off.
Lucy, Rose, Grace, and James all turned to me incredulously. Lucy raised her eyebrows and asked, “Bella, why on earth is this your fault? This isn’t your fault. This is Ethan’s fault for being such a prat.”
“I know but if only… I don’t even know…” I mumbled before setting my hairbrush on my night stand and crawling inside my duvet covers, snuggling by James’s side, feeling more upset than ever.
I woke up the next morning to a loud scream.
“Oh bloody hell, who’s screaming?” James mumbled from next to me. I buried my face into his chest as I tried in vain to block out the incessant screaming.
“SHUT UP!” Rose roared from the bed next to me.
Grace whimpered when the screaming hadn’t stopped, “Lucy, please stop screaming. It’s too early in the morning for that.”
It surprises me how Lucy could still keep screaming after figuring out she was annoying the hell out of everyone.
“JUST BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE MORNING SICKNESS ANYMORE DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE SO BLOODY LOUD,” I hollered, bad temperedly, resting a hand on my baby bump.
of you know about the DADA practical today?!” Lucy screamed, her voice still ridiculously loud though I still had my hangings closed around my bed.
I groaned loudly as did Rose and Grace. Of course that would be what had Lucy screaming at 6:30 AM.
The practical had been drilled into our heads since the beginning of time and Lucy somehow manages to forget all about it.
I flung the hangings of my bed open and glare at Lucy. “Yes I did know. We all
knew since September that Professor Viridian was going to give us a practical. Luckily for me, I’m
not taking it because I already explained to him that I can’t given my condition.”
“You told Professor Viridian you’re pregnant?” Rose asked, her eyes wide and suddenly awake.
I nodded solemnly, sighing dramatically though inside, I was dancing out of happiness. “There was no way that I could take the practical and risk having a spell hit me and affect the baby so I had to tell him. I couldn’t say I’m sick because then he’d just make me make it up.”
Rose pouted, glaring at me playfully. “That’s not fair
! While the rest of us poor souls have to endure through school
, you get to lay in bed and rest
stuck in double DADA.”
“Yeah well, when you all get your NEWTS, we’ll see who’s complaining then,” I snorted.
“I’m going to fail! Oh Merlin I can’t fail!” Lucy wailed as she got up from her bed and proceeded to head to the bathroom, completely ignoring Rose and I’s conversation.
Grace let out a laugh as she proceeded to get up from her own bed, blinking tiredly and running her hands through her bed hair.
Rolling my eyes, I made a move to get up from my bed since I was up anyways when a strong and muscular arm stopped me, cradling my stomach.
“Why are you getting up already?” James mumbled, turning so that he faced me.
The first time that James realized all of us usually got up this early when breakfast didn’t start until 8 was hilarious. He was gobsmacked, shocked, scandalized
that we would be getting up this early since he and the boys usually got up at 7:30 and that was because they shared the bathroom.
I grinned as I looked at James.
Even though he had bed hair which made his usually messy hair even messier than usual and he looked absolutely knackered, James looked so ridiculously fit and delicious that I couldn’t stop myself from climbing back onto my bed and giving him a long, heady kiss.
“Stay in bed with me,” James murmured as he pulled the hangings back around my bed, covering us from the public view. “You don’t have to go to classes until after your double DADA anyways.”
“That sounds like a plan,” I grinned as I snuggled myself against James, my arms wrapped around him before I fell asleep.
By the time I woke up again, our dorm room was empty and the clock told me that classes had just started.
For those of you who had never skived off a class, let me tell you that it is a wonderful
“You awake, sleepy head?” James teased as he pushed himself up from where he laid next to me and trapped me under his arms.
I pouted and asked, “How long have you been up for?”
“Long enough to watch you lay there and want to do this,” James said before crashing his lips down onto mine.
For those of you who had never been interrupted in the middle of a brilliant snog, let me tell you that it is a wonderful
feeling to know that you had practically unlimited time to snog your boyfriend as much as you wish.
Honestly, I’ve lost track of the many times that I was in the middle of a brilliant snog with James, only to be interrupted by one of our friends, the bell telling us that we had to go to classes, or because we were both too tired.
Perhaps it was because we had both rarely had time to ourselves nowadays that this time, our snog became far more heated.
James’s hands flew everywhere as did mine. His shirt came off, as did mine. The two of us were soon reaching to a point we hadn’t crossed since that first night we spent together.
“James do you want to do this?” I whispered to him as the two of us were left in nothing but our underwear. It was painful to stop now but I had to ask. “I know we had before but this is different.”
James looked at me seriously, his eyes tender and full of love. “Yes, I want to.”
Before I could stop the words from escaping from my mouth, I blurted out, “Why?”
It was stupid to ask, but I was glad I did because the next words would be forever etched in my mind. “Because I love you Bella.”
For a moment, I just stared at him in shock, trying to process the words that he said before I felt tears of joy threatening to leak out.
We hadn’t said ‘I love you’ to each other yet, and though I had imagined it numerous times before and though I knew without a doubt that what we had really was love, this was most likely the most romantic moment of my life.
“Oh James, I love you too,” I whispered, smiling happily as I pulled him closer to me before we made love.
Yes, made love, not shagging because it was at that moment, that I realized the difference.
A/N: This must be a disappoint update because it's so short; I'm sorry!
But the good news is that the next chapter is already ready and will be in the queue as soon as this chapter is validated and everything.
What did you think of Ethan? His reaction? Ethan and Lucy? Bella and James at the end?
Thanks for all the reviews; they REALLY make me SO happy.
Love you all,