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James Potter was the Hogwarts sweetheart and this wasn’t just gossip, it was a scandal. As I slept most of Sunday the news spread quickly. Wildfire quick. Even though I had sworn never to leave the safety of my bed again my stomach would simply not let me. I talked myself into it. 

It wouldn’t be that bad. 

So we were secretly dating and had been outed. Big deal. I had already been totally humiliated; it couldn’t get any worse. 

Silly me. 

Silly delusional me. 

People actually whispered and laughed as I approached and passed. I could feel my cheeks growing warm by the moment. I was not equipped to handle public attention. I was going to give up when James spotted me and rushed over, instantly in defence mode. I tried to explain that I didn’t care about that. “It’s just the whole deer thing - ” 

“Stag.” He was quick to interrupt. 

“Stag thing then. You should have told me.” 

“It was complicated.” 

“How?” Behind us I hear a few more titters. I tried to ignore them but James grabbed my hand, dragging me outside and away from everyone. 

“How could I tell you without revealing Remus’s secret?” 

“That doesn’t bother me.” 

“It bothers him.” He told me somewhat desperately. “You should have seen him when we confronted him about it. He was terrified we would treat him differently.” 

It suddenly occurred to me at that point that I hadn’t slept at all last night. After reassuring him that I understood I made to move away again. I wasn’t mad anymore; I had just run out of things to say. 

He hadn’t. “I didn't tell them about us either.” 

“That’s different.” 

“Not really.” 

I sighed again, this time in defeat. Maybe I didn’t have any right to be angry. So instead I asked what it is like to turn into an animal. It was a peace offering and he willingly accepted it. His face broke into a grin as he pulled me close in a hug. It was nice for the moment before I heard a small, “Look at that.” 

I stepped away, embarrassed. “Everyone is talking about us.” 

“So? Let them talk.” He says slinging his arm around my shoulders. My smile in return faltered and I found myself moving away from him even more. I was ashamed but he was pretended not to notice. Instead he stepped away and simply led me in the direction of the kitchens where there was no one but house elves. We stayed until close to curfew talking about animagi. 

It was perfect. I had the same privacy of my bed, pot-roast and James Potter. 

Letting them talk was the easy part. Not hexing proved much more difficult. 

“I hear she has to make it extra strong to keep him interested.” Some girl hissed to her friend as I followed after them. Not on purpose either; if there was another way to get to the charms I would have taken it. Ignorant to the fact that I was behind them they openly discussed their theories concerning my ability to brew a love potion. 

As if I would ever be that desperate. 

“They completely do not go together.” The other said. 

“I know! Have you seen her hair? Totally fake.” 

Why the hell would my hair be fake? Irritably, I cleared my throat. They both turn and seeing me there without shame laugh at being caught out before speeding up. They aren’t the last to talk about me. Some I am convinced do so blatantly in hopes of hearing the truth outright. 

When it got a little too much I found myself ducking into the bathrooms. 

Unfortunately Mary Macdonald followed me, just to see if I was okay. I don’t think she cared if I was okay; she just wanted to hear the news straight from me. Apparently me saying I do not want to talk about meant very little. 

That was when Evelyn Gray, a particularly nasty slytherin girl of our year sauntered out of a cubicle proclaiming that she didn't believe any of it. Mary instantly jumped to my defence, proclaiming that we had been a couple for four months. 

I didn't have the heart to correct her. Or maybe I didn't have the energy.

“And if it is true it was a secret because?” Evelyn charges like I wasn’t there anymore. “James Potter must be horrified people are even talking about this.” 

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I snapped before Mary has a chance to speak. 

Evelyn stared down her nose at me. “Exactly what it sounded like. Now, James Potter went slumming for a night? That I would believe. He wouldn’t really be concerning himself with the likes of you.” 

“You mean a mudblood like me?” 

Mary gasped, shocked that I would say such a word but Evelyn only shrugged. “You said it not me but everyone agrees. And it is only a matter of time before James Potter realises who he is in this world and realises how people like you don’t belong in it.” 

For the first time in my life I wanted to hex someone for no reason other than she was a bitch. The moment quickly passed as her words sunk in and I found myself agreeing with her. Suddenly I doubted his actions, believing for a moment that he was ashamed. 

I told Mary I would meet her in potions and hiked it up to my dorm instead where I had intended to stay until every single person in the school had left.
In reality thought, I stayed until James sent a first year up to ask where I was. 

Knowing I had no choice I hauled myself from the comfort and security of my bed and met him downstairs. He quickly confirmed his day was fine by taking my hand. 

And for a moment I felt so much better. Like really everything would be okay as long as my hand was in his. 

Then we reached the great hall and Evelyn strolled by. All she did was smirk in our direction and I felt a little sick. James didn't notice. 

Sirius cracked up as we sit across from him. “I still can’t believe you two.” 

I found myself standing up, telling them I was no longer hungry before walking as quickly as my legs would carry me. 

James was of course quick to catch me, begging to know what is wrong. 

“I think it’s over.” I told him in a small voice. “It’s too different now.” 

He looked confused and I try to explain how people have acted all day, how Evelyn was and Severus. How I have been called every foul thing under the sun. 

“There is a rumour I am pregnant.” I tell him desperately when he continues to joke around. 

“Which I hope is so not true.” 

“That we have a financial agreement.” I pressed. 

He grinned at me and I could have smacked him. “You mean that would have worked?” 

Okay I did smack him. “And I use love potions and curses to keep you interested.” 

“As if you would need either.” He cooed. 

I hate when he is cute. 

“Some first year even claims that he saw me sneaking out of your room.” 

He gave me a look on that one. Okay so that one was quite possibly true, I did do that once or twice. I tried not to think about that now, I was trying to end this and remembering the look on his face as I crawled into his bed was not helpful.
James smiled reminiscently. “I’ll have to tell Sirius the real reason I wanted him out of the dorm so early. He kept asking why I was so eager to get to class.” 

“Yeah, run off and tell him I was hiding in your bed. Can you be serious for a moment?” I whined. Whining is always at last resort. It is not pretty. 

His smile drops. “None of it is true. It doesn’t matter.” 

I can’t explain anymore so I repeat myself, telling him whatever it was we had is over. I make it seem like it is his fault because if he is angry at me he might agree. Then I tell him I wish things were back like they were before he kissed me. I tell him it wasn’t real anyway and doesn’t matter. 

But I don’t tell him about Evelyn. I don’t tell him how ashamed I feel to have let her get to me. I don’t tell him that I am starting to feel like they all have a point; we are mismatched.

Shocked doesn’t really explain the look on his face. My chest felt tight like I can’t breathe, from knowing I caused that look. I turned quickly to escape, leaving him alone in the stairway. 

James Potter; my now ex-boyfriend. Who would have thought?

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