Chapter 3 : The Worst Thing About Pretending
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The worst thing about pretending.
I woke up the next morning with dread. I didn’t want to face anyone today. Especially considering that I had managed to cry on my first day at the school that was supposed to turn my life around.
I don’t really know what time I had gotten to the dorms. I just remembered waking up in the middle of the night and wandering around until I spotted, what had to be a prefect. He was in Gryffindor, so he had pointed me to the portrait of a fat lady and told me the password (Dung Bombs). I was grateful, but hadn’t really shown my thankfulness.
I looked around the common room and saw my fellow roommates were still asleep. At Beauxbatons, we got to choose the people we wanted to room with so as not to cause conflict. Now, all the seventh year girls were shoved together like cattle. Apparently someone up there was playing a cruel joke on me and I had ended up rooming with Lily and her little gang. I also was staying with some girl named Alice who was so obviously faking being nice it was pathetic, another girl named Marlene who seemed to be Alice’s best friend, and one loner names Mary that was always sitting on her bed reading. She was the only one I tolerated.
They were all still sleeping and I knew I was up earlier than I should be. I hurried to the bathroom to take a shower before anyone woke up. I was hoping I could avoid them all day. What were the chances I’d have many classes with them anyway?
I turned the shower on to the coldest setting I could. I loved how cold water could just wake you up in the morning. Hot showers just made me sleepy. I closed my eyes and washed my hair with my special extra shine shampoo, even though my hair was already shiny enough.
I stepped out of the shower and got into my Hogwarts uniform. I found uniforms to be rather boring, so I put on a pair of scarlet tights to match the Gryffindor tie I had grudgingly put on. I also put a stack of gold bangles on my arm along with red ones and put on a scarlet headband. It contrasted brilliantly with my hair.
That was about all I could do to make the uniform more unique, besides rolling my skirt up just a bit. I quickly put on a bit of mascara and lip gloss, and walked downstairs to head to breakfast. I still wasn’t quite sure how to get to the Great Hall from where I was. I wondered aimlessly around the hallways looking at all the paintings. The paintings watched as I walked by and some were talking to each other.
I wondered if the paintings were like the one’s in Beauxbatons, that talked back to you. Maybe one of them knew where to go. I continued to walk, not wanting to seem like I had no idea what I was doing. But, after reaching another staircase, I decided to suck it up.
“Excuse me?” I asked one of the paintings, it was of a knight sitting on a horse.
“Yes? A damsel in distress!” the knight said pulling out his sword. I laughed to myself.
“Do you happen to know where I am and how to get to the Great Hall?” I asked him.
“Well, my fair maiden, you happen to be a long way from the Great Hall,” he said before telling me the directions to get there. Apparently, I was close to the divinations class room, and was as far away as I could be from the Great Hall.
“Thanks,” I said before turning back and heading down a long set of stairs.
See? I didn’t need friends to help me. I could go the whole year without friends and manage. But with my looks, I would have to get some friends right? I didn’t have to be nice to everyone at this school did I? I climbed down the last staircase, and started to walk
I heard a familiar voice say, “Hey, Annabelle! Wait up!”
I didn’t even bother to turn around. I continued to walk to the Great Hall doors. I heard the footsteps behind me quicken, and I brought my pace up a little faster as well. Sadly, an arm grabbed me and spun me around.
“If I didn’t say so myself I’d think you were avoiding me,” James Potter said with a slight smirk.
“Then you’d be right. Now shove off,” I said turning around and walking quickly. He was such a git thinking that he could talk to me after I showed my dislike for him. I didn’t want to think about yesterday, I wanted to pretend it never happened.
He caught up to me rather easily. “No, I wanted to talk to you.”
“Funny, I don’t want to talk to you,” I snapped.
“I just wanted to say sorry, you know. About your mum and everything,” James said to me running a hand through his already untidy hair. I was taken by surprise that he would apologize, but I really didn’t care. It’s not like I would suddenly want to be friends with him. I looked at him and his hazel eyes seemed sincere.
“It’s not like you killed her,” I said. I wanted to change the conversation immediately. I hated to think about my mum. I missed her too much.
“Yeah, well you know I shouldn’t have said it,” he said.
“Why?” I asked confused. “You hate me, I sure as hell hate you. You should be happy you got such a sharp dig.”
James now looked as confused as me, “I don’t hate you. I just met you. Surely you don’t think I’d be happy that I hurt you?”
“It doesn’t matter. You can stop talking to me now,” I said hinting that I wanted him to go away.
“Why are you so hostile?” James asked me raising an eyebrow.
“Why do you give a shit?” I snapped.
“Why can’t you give me an answer?”
“Why won’t you bugger off?”
“Maybe I don’t want to.”
“Well I definitely do want you to,” I said as I opened the doors to the Great Hall. It seemed that I had been wondering around for a while because the Great Hall was filled with people. Many girls looked at me standing with James and seemed slightly annoyed.
I walked away from James to the end of the Gryffindor table where no one was sitting and sat down. I pulled a piece of bread off of the table and started to put butter on it. I heard someone clear there throat. I was immediately annoyed that I couldn’t eat in piece.
I looked up and saw two boys standing in front of me. I rolled my eyes inwardly. “Yes?”
“We just wanted to say hi, and introduce ourselves,” one of the boys responded. He had light blond hair and dark green eyes.
“Okay,” I said slowly, knowing they only wanted to talk to me because of my looks. The guys seemed to take this as an invitation to sit down. I didn’t know if I should tell them to shove off or not.
“We’re in the Ravenclaw house,” the other boy said. Like I cared. I could obviously tell by his Ravenclaw pin.
“Funny, I thought you were just wearing that pin for fun,” I said dryly.
“Well, I’m Brayden,” Blondie said.
“And I’m Conor,” the other boy said running his hands through his dark black hair.
“Mhm, and I’m disinterested,” I said with a toss of my silver tresses.
I was thinking about getting up from the table and legging it back to the common room when, a schedule was dropped in front of me by Professor McGonagall. I had wanted to take classes to be an Auror, so I pretended I was really interested in my schedule.
The boys seemed shocked I was ignoring them. They exchanged a look and shrugged at each other. “Well, we were wondering if you needed help getting around the school? And maybe see if you wanted tour guides.”
For some reason this whole school didn’t seem to get that I didn’t want to talk to anyone, even when I made it clearly obvious. “I think I can manage,” I responded with fake sweetness.
I scanned around the room and saw many girls staring at the boys sitting with me in envy. Were these boys like popular? How?
“Well if you change your mind,” Brayden said, “we’re always available.” He winked at me as if the offer was tempting, and looked me up and down.
I got up from the table after he said this and looked at him, “I doubt I’ll ever change my mind.” With that I flounced out of the Great Hall, the boys with a shocked look on their face. I guess they weren’t used to being turned down.
I looked down at my schedule and headed to my first class, Potions with the Slytherins. I had always been particularly good in that subject. Not sure why seeing as I hated it.
When I arrived at the class, I noticed that no one was there yet, and the door to the room was locked. I sat down by the door and leaned my head against the wall. I almost felt like I should have been nicer to people. Then I wouldn’t be sitting in a hallway alone.
I don’t really know how long I was sitting there. Long enough to memorize every crack in the ceiling, enough to redo my nails by painting them gold, long enough to fold my schedule into a paper rose. But, finally, I heard the sounds of students heading to the hallway, and I stood up quickly and leaned against the wall nonchalantly, sticking my paper rose into my pocket.
The group of girls that had arrived looked at me and started to whisper, obviously thinking I couldn’t hear or something.
“You know she turned down Brayden and Conor’s tour of the school,” the mousy haired one whispered.
“She’s so lucky. I wish one of them would even look in my direction. And not to mention she and James walked into the Great Hall together,” another girl whispered back to her sighing.
“I hate having a veela in school. It’s so unfair. How are any of us suppose to compete,” yet another girl responded.
“I’m not bloody veela,” I said turning to face them and snapping at them. People always assumed that. And I was proud of seeing the look on the girls’ faces when I told them.
“Oh.. w-we didn’t know you could-”
“Hear you? Well I can loud and clear. And by the way, Brayden and Conor and James are all gits,” I interrupted.
I saw, whom I assumed was the Professor, start heading down the hallway to the door. Many students were walking behind him chattering noisily. I turned away from the girls and crossed my arms. The Professor unlocked the door, and I walked into the room and sat down in the back of the classroom. I put my stuff on the chair by me, so that no one would sit next to me.
I watched as students walked in and sat in the rows closer to the teacher. Many boys, however sat not in the back row, but one row ahead and kept looking back at me pretending they were just scanning the room. I wondered why they all didn’t just sit in the back row.
My question was answered though, when I saw the Marauders walk in and make a beeline to the back row. So, not surprisingly that’s where they normally sat. And even though there were plenty of other seats for the Marauders to sit in, James Potter decided to move my stuff off the chair, and plopped down next to me.
“And you thought you got away from me at the Great Hall?” James said sitting down by me. I saw Lily with her friends in the front of the room. Lily looked at me her eyebrows arched in confusion.
“Why aren’t you stalking Lily or something?” I asked him with a groan.
James looked at me and huffed, “I do not stalk Lily.”
“She seems to think so. And it’s a tad pathetic for a guy to continue to ask someone out despite there disinterest in them. Just saying,” I said to James knowing I was hitting a nerve.
“Well, it’s a tad pathetic for a girl to sit alone in class,” James said.
I felt self conscious at his remark but didn’t show it on my face. “I don’t sit with them by choice.”
“Because they’re all the same. There’s no point.” James was going to question me further, but the Professor began to speak.
“Welcome all to your last year of Potions! I’m Professor Slughorn for those of you who don’t know,” he said looking at me. “Now, take a good look at the person sitting next to you. If you chose your seat wisely, you’ll be happy to know that the person next to you will be your partner in Potions for the year.” I didn’t know whether to punch James or Slughorn in the face. “Now the directions for what your are to be making are on the board. You may begin.”
“Lucky me then,” James said looking at the Marauders, signaling to them that he lucked out.
“Yes lucky you. Not so lucky me,” I said rolling my eyes. Many boys looked at where I was sitting and seemed disappointed that they hadn’t sat by me.
“Got yourself a fan club already?” James said noticing the stares.
“You seem to too,” I said noticing some girls staring at me in envy. “Although I bet I have more.”
“Someone’s cocky,” James said.
I looked at the board to see what we would be making. The Draught of the Living Dead. Lovely. I got up, ignoring James, and went to the cupboard to get the ingredients. As I walked back, many girls gave me dirty looks. See? They were all the same.
“Are you good at Potions?” James asked as I sat back down.
“Probably better than you and your mates put together,” I said starting to prepare the ingredients.
“Why do you assume we’re stupid?” James asked defensively.
“The real question is why shouldn’t I,” I said continuing to stare at the ingredients in front of me.
“Bitch,” he said. But he said it playfully. Like it was a good thing, and that took me by surprise. I, accidentally, smiled at him, and he grinned back.
We had every class together. Every single freaking class. Apparently, him and his mates wanted to be Aurors as well. Of course they would. It seemed just like the thing they’d want to be. Stupidly fighting for their life. I, however, only wanted to be an Auror for one reason. To kill the people who had killed my mother.
James, also, found that since I smiled at him once, him and his mates had the right to sit by me in every class for the past two weeks. I wasn’t sure if I actually minded. It was nice to have people want to sit by me. Instead of edging away or wrinkling their noise muttering slut under their breath. But I did find a downside. It was the fact that all James seemed to talk about, was either me being a bitch, or Lily freaking Evans.
“Would you put in a good word for me?” he’d ask me for the millionth time, just to make sure.
“Let her know I’m not all that bad,” he would say again enforcing it to me.
“Does she say anything about me?”
“Isn’t she pretty?”
He seemed to think I liked her or something, and that in the two weeks I’d known her, she had confessed her feelings for him to me. As if. I ignored Lily and her friends whenever I saw them. I would come into the dorm room, only when they were all sleeping.
“If you stop annoying me,” I’d say answering his question.
“You are that bad though,” I’d say to his enforcements.
“She only mentions that she hates you and wants to kill herself and take you with her, since your head boy.”
“No she looks like a freaking leprechaun,” I’d say describing her looks.
But, despite these things, I had gotten used to him and his gibberish after a week of it. He sometimes sat with me at lunch too. But, only if his fellow Marauders were busy with something else. I didn’t actually mind, and I think he knew this, even thought I insulted him twenty four seven.
So, now I sat with him, doing my homework that was due after lunch, as he continued to talk to me. “So, how many today?” James asked taking a bite out of his sandwich.
“Only six today. I think I’m getting to be old news,” I said to James. He was referring to the amount of guys that offered me a tour of Hogwarts. He’d started making me count after the first day. This was because whenever we had talked, at least two guys had interrupted us and asked me if I needed to be shown around the school. I had said the same bitchy retort to all of them.
“Or maybe all the guys have already asked you,” James said to me. He seemed to find it hilarious whenever we’d hear the familiar throat clearing and shuffling of the feet.
“You’re really annoying, do you know that?” I said looking up from my homework.
“You’re a bitch, do you know that?” James said to me. He had taken it to calling me a bitch about every hour. But, I kind of liked how he said it. Whenever he called me a bitch, I couldn’t help but stop being mean to him. Almost to prove that I wasn’t. In a way.
“Arsehole,” I muttered under my breath.
“Hey, hey! Let’s not be too testy,” James said.
I finished my homework and closed up my book and scowled at him. Before I could say anything though, I heard the familiar clearing of the throat and shuffling of the feet. I turned around to see a Hufflepuff boy standing behind me.
“What?” I snapped at him.
“Hi-er… I’m Byron. I was wondering, since your knew here and everything, if you needed any help getting around?” he asked.
I turned back to James rolling my eyes and said over my shoulder, “I’d rather the Giant Squid’s help.”
The boy seemed to flush a little, and he walked away his head looking dejected. The group of friends he’d been with had watched him, and I noticed they had all asked me the same thing.
James tutted at me, “You do know that’s the Hufflepuff Quidditch captain? He’s the best beater in the school!”
“I highly doubt he’s the best beater,” I said more to myself. At my old school, before everyone turned on me, it had been a given that I was going to be the Quidditch captain. Everyone had thought I was the best beater in the school. But, I hadn’t gotten to be captain despite my talents, apparently my school cared more about status.
“Why?” James said arching his eyebrow.
“Because I bet, that I’d be much better,” I said arrogantly.
James seemed to think that this was a joke and started to double over. “Yeah right!” He exclaimed between laughs.
“You don’t believe me?” I said angrily.
“Well, you know, your so small.. How could you hit a bludger at anyone?” James said laughing again.
“Whatever,” I said getting up. I started to head out of the Great Hall so I could go to the common room to get my stuff for the next class.
“Come on, Annabelle! I didn’t mean to offend you,” James said catching up to me. He slung his arm over my shoulder, to the dismay of many girls and jealousy of many boys.
After we left the Great Hall, I elbowed James in the stomach. He seemed to find it very painful by the yelp I heard before he keeled over.
“Why’d you do that?” James asked me on the ground.
“It was satisfying,” I said stepping over him. He, however, decided that grabbing my leg and making me fall down was a smart move.
“So was that,” James said as I toppled over. What an arse.
“You sodding prick!” I shouted getting up. I adjusted the gold headband in my hair, and pulled out my wand.
“Hey! Don’t you dare point that thing at me,” James said getting up and yanking my wand. I struggled to pull it back from him.
“Fighting in the hallway? Mature,” I recognized the voice instantly and turned to Lily standing there, watching us, not sure what to think.
“He is such a git you know that? He tackled me!” I said in a huff. Maybe she’d give him detention, even though he is head boy.
“Potter, being head boy I’m a little disappointed you aren’t taking it seriously,” Lily said looking at him. Bitch, I knew I didn’t like her.
“I…uh…” James ran his hand through his hair and looked at Lily. He handed me my wand back as he noticed Lily gazing at it. I almost felt bad for him. “Well I didn’t actually tackle her. She’s exaggerating.”
“Liar,” I snapped.
“You’re the one who elbowed me in the gut for no reason!” James shouted indignantly. Lily seemed amused at our fight and turned away from us.
“Hit him harder next time, Annabelle,” Lily said walking away from us. She opened the doors of the Great Hall and disappeared.
When she did this James rounded on me, “Way to make me look good.”
“You made yourself look that way, not me,” I said walking away from him.
“Bitch,” he muttered for the thousandth time that day.
I turned back to him and smiled, “And proud of it.”
“So, do you want to?” Lily asked me with a small smile.
I obviously didn’t, considering the fact that I’ve been spending the least possible amount of time with her and her mates for the past couple of weeks. Why would I willingly eat dinner with them?
“No,” I replied simply. Short, quick, to the point.
“You sure? I feel like since we share a room we should hang out more,” Bella said brushing her hair.
“I’m sure,” I responded.
“Well… alright. I guess you don’t have to eat with us, but if you come down for dinner, sit with us alright?” Lily said pulling her hair back into a loose ponytail.
I ignored what she had said. She must think that I’m not going down to dinner and that’s why I’m not sitting with her, when the truth was that I just didn’t want to sit with her.
Lily and Bella left the room to go meet up with Elizabeth, while I continued to sit in our room on my bed. I had been painting my nails a bubblegum pink, since my gold nail polish had chipped off. Wisps of my hair were coming out of my French braid and I kept brushing them out of my eyes.
I had changed out of the uniforms into a white, flowy, Grecian halter, with gold shorts. I had always been really into fashion, which I guess had made me stand out compared to everyone else at Hogwarts. I liked to take risks in what I wore. That was about the only thing I took risks in.
This past week I had realized how much at Hogwarts girls had watched me. I would see them wear similar clothes to something I had worn the day before, and felt a little flattered if not annoyed.
I finished the top seal coat on my nails, and quickly used my wand to dry them. I then got up and slipped into my gold gladiator sandals. I got up and headed down the staircase to dinner. I fingered my thick gold bangle and twirled it around my arm, absentmindedly.
When I arrived at the Great Hall, and opened the doors, I saw Lily sitting with her friends immediately. They spotted me and started to wave me over, to my dismay. I had hoped maybe they wouldn’t notice me.
“You did come!” Elizabeth said smiling brightly, her blue eyes twinkling.
“Mmph,” I grunted as I sat down. None of them seemed to notice though.
“So, has Lily thanked you yet?” Bella asked me as I scooped some mashed potatoes onto my plate.
“Thanked me for what?” I asked curiously. What had I done to receive such gratitude?
“For not getting Potter to sit by me in every class,” Lily said to me with a hint of a smile.
“Believe me, it wasn’t a choice,” I said rolling my eyes. I started to eat the food on my plate, chewing slowly.
“Doesn’t matter, she’s never been so nice,” Elizabeth responded.
Lily slapped Elizabeth on the arm saying, “I’m always nice.”
“I think I have a bruise! Someone call St. Mungo’s,” Elizabeth said jokingly. She rubbed her arm tenderly as if it was about to fall off.
“It’d do you some good to get some color,” Bella teased. I had to admit she was right. Elizabeth was whiter than the ghosts in the school.
“Hey! I resent that!” Elizabeth twisted her mouth into a frown.
I watched as they interacted, saying nothing. I didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t want to watch them being their little group. What was I suppose to even say? I scooped up more of my food.
“So, Annabelle,” Lily said leaning in to me noticing I hadn’t said anything, “how do you like Hogwarts?”
I thought about the question for a while, as I finished swallowing my food. Not sure of the answer, “It’s alright.”
“Just alright?” Bella said seeming a little offended.
“Bella she can have her own opinion!” Lily scolded. “What’s your favorite class?”
“Uh, none really. Maybe Charms?” I was unsure. I didn’t really like doing work. I found it rather boring, and would rather stare out the window then pay attention.
“Mine too! My mum says it runs in the family,” Elizabeth said excitedly. I felt that familiar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“Your mum is always taking credit for you accomplishments,” Bella responded. The word sounded like a gunshot to my ears.
“Well, it wasn’t as bad as the time I got five O’s last year and she told me it was because of the fact that she wished me luck,” Elizabeth said with a roll of her eyes.
“At least your mum isn’t always trying to make you do magic for her when you get home even though we’re not allowed. It’s so annoying,” Lily cut in, twisting her hair around her finger. How could she really complain about how annoying her mum is? At least she had one.
“So what? She’s just trying to prepa-“
“Oh shoot,” I said snapping my fingers cutting Elizabeth off, “that reminds me I have to do my Charms homework. I have to go.”
I don’t know if they knew I was lying, but I didn’t care. I had finished eating, and I didn’t want to hear other people mention their mums. I was still too raw for it. Even though it’d been a year it hadn’t gotten any easier. My stomach was still sinking, I was surprised it hadn’t fallen out through my feet.
I got up from the table, and headed out the Great Hall, as many other people did the same. The younger students stepped out of my way, as if scared. I guess people now knew my bitchy tendency. And my slightly flushed face probably didn’t look the nicest. It was like a reaction whenever I thought about my mum, and I couldn’t control it.
Didn’t they realize how lucky they were to actually have a mum? Were they trying to rub it in my face that my mum had been brutally murdered, and I never even got to say goodbye to her?
“Hey, Rosie!” James said catching up to me.
“What?” I said turning around and glaring at him. I was in no mood to deal with James and his annoying habits. Couldn’t he see I didn’t want to talk to anyone?
“Are you okay?” James asked looking a little confused and concerned.
No I obviously wasn’t okay. Did I look okay? “Just sod off and leave me alone you bloody wanker.”
I stormed away from him, to my dormitory, ignoring his shocked face. I just wanted to sink into my bed and close my eyes, pretending nothing had happened. Pretending my mom was alive, my dad still talked to me, and I still had friends.
The worst thing about pretending though, is you know in the back of your mind that none of it’s true.
A/N: Okay just realized I forgot to put an author's note so I'm editing it now and adding one. Well, I'm not sure how I feel about this chapter. I don't know how whoever's reading this feels about this chapter, so a review would make my day<3 I always reply to reviews so if you have questions i can answer them! I'll update with the next chapter in a couple of days or so?
I hope so much that you guys loved the chapter and that you continue reading because I really like where I'm going with this story and it'll get better I swear!
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