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 I was in love. It was official. Tom Stone was officially the love of my life, there is no other way of saying it. October became November and Tom and I started spending more and more time together. It was only a matter of time until we became a couple and the second Hogsmeade weekend of the year was looming. I was really hoping he would ask me, but I couldn’t be certain, and it was starting to eat me alive. I’d never felt that way about a guy before and I was unbearably nervous. He seemed equally nervy, because he always seemed edgy, as though he was afraid I’d break off the conversation at any minute. Truth was, we were both as bad as each other. Neither of us was able to pull ourselves together for two minutes around the other and the knock-on effect of this was that with one week to go before Hogsmeade, I knew I needed to pull my foot out my mouth and just ask him to go with me. I had other problems however. Malfoy was still seething about the Slytherin defeat and his personal defeat at the hands of Harry, Ron and I and I was doing my best to avoid him. Meanwhile, romance was on the cards for the others too. Ron and Hermione had agreed to go to Hogsmeade together, if only to test out and see if their “relationship” could stand it and then they would rebuild from there. Kate and Zara, meanwhile were focused on Neville and Hannah, who needed more than a small push towards each other. Again, with one week left, Neville was still wrestling with the courage to ask her out. Harry and Ginny seemed to be the only happy couple left without problems in Hogwarts, and whilst their happiness was a sign of great things, it drove the rest of us towards insanity…


It was one such night in the common room, when I’d finally had enough of watching Harry and Ginny sprawl over each other like a pair of mammals that I decided to head down to the grounds to take a wander. I had a couple of hours before curfew and I liked the peace and quiet, the relaxing sense of tranquillity that came hand in hand with the cool breeze and crisp grass of Hogwarts. Also, I knew that I was running out of opportunities to enjoy the autumn sunshine. Winter was coming and sooner or later, I’d completely run out of time to enjoy the weather. Already, it was getting nippy and I was fully kitted out with a jumper and trackies when I headed out, shielding myself against the chilly night. The darkness was descending over Hogwarts and I shivered slightly as I relaxed under a tree, watching the Whomping Willow savagely pummel a small bird. As the last remnants of the sun dissipated into the falling sky, I decided enough was enough and that I’d have to head back, even if it meant another hour of Harry and Ginny’s senseless groping.

Curfew is almost imminent, so I scurried along the corridor, aiming for the Grand Staircase, my hair annoyingly flicking the back of my neck as I ran. Then I heard it. The sound. It was almost as if someone was nearby, breathing heavily. I squinted into the shadows, pulling out my wand and taking a step closer to the dark. Then, it hit me. Or rather, he hit me. I stumbled back as Malfoy came flying out of the dark, pinning me up against the wall. I struggled but his hands tightened around my wrists, a vice-like grip that caused me to gasp in pain and drop my wand. Malfoy kicked it away and pressed his body against mine, sparing my left hand for less than a second as he snatched up his own wand and pointed it at my throat.

“Not a word, understand me Hunt?” he hissed. “Nobody is going to know about this little encounter.”

I pushed him off and dived for my wand. His foot connected with my face as I sprawled and I felt and heard my jaw snap as I rolled backwards, squealing in pain. I could shout as much as I wanted, Malfoy had cast a silencing charm on the pair of us. Nobody would hear me.

“Petrificus Totalus,” Malfoy teased, freezing my body despite my wriggling and squirming. “How does it feel Hunt? To be the one suffering for a change?”

I was scared. Terrified. I was completely at the mercy of the nastiest person I knew and there was nothing I could do. Nobody was coming. I rolled onto my back, the only thing I could do, and then relaxed briefly as Malfoy released the spell. My relief was short-lived as he laughed and kicked me hard, my nose this time crumpling under impact. He grabbed me and pressed me against the wall against, our faces millimetres apart.

“Okay Hunt, here’s what we’re going to do. We both know I’m helping The Movement break into Hogwarts and cause problems. But you’re not going to do anything about that, are you little missy?”

I shook my head, fear overtaking defiance.

“And you know what else? Mr Harry Potter is going down. And I think if I were to get word you were in a relationship with any…undesirables or mudbloods, I’d certainly add them to my list of targets. Get what I’m saying?”

“Tom…But why? Why Malfoy?”

“Simple, your suffering makes me happy. Now, darling, stay well away from the mudblood or I’ll make you both suffer. Understand?”

With his face so close to mine, and his hands never wavering from my horribly exposed torso, I nodded, blinking away tears as my face swelled up, stinging like hell from the physical blows. The message was clear. Tom Stone would be hurt if we became anything more than friends. And that was why I hated Malfoy in that moment. And, if I’m honest, myself. Because I was scared and vulnerable and I knew that I couldn’t let Tom get hurt. So, I knew what I had to do. I had to break both the poor chaps heart, along with my own in the process, or Malfoy would make both our lives a living hell. Before this point, I’d never really feared Malfoy or what he would do, but the encounter that night had shaken me to my core and I couldn’t face losing Tom. So, I broke…


The next day, I was trying to cover up the events of the night before. My jaw was aching but Malfoy’s kick hadn’t left any physical marks. My nose was severely damaged but I’d fixed it up as best I could and I looked relatively normal. At least, I did on the surface. My face was tired and pale, no amount of foundation able to cover the visible depression. I shook my head, smoothing out my hair. Nobody would notice how shaken I looked. Nobody would care.

“Are you okay Luce?”

Damn it. I couldn’t even make it in the breakfast hall without Tom realising something was up. He pulled me to one side and examined my face, concern glistening in his eyes.

“Fine,” I replied as cheerfully as I could muster. “Why?”

“You just look…different. Down.”

“I’m fine Tom, don’t worry about me!” I said, harsher than I should have. I turned to walk away but Tom grabbed my arm and I flinched, memories of last night coming flooding back.

“I do worry about you Lucy,” Tom said quietly, letting go as he realised he’d hurt me. “I care about you. Tell me, what’s happened to you?”

“Nothing Tom!” I snapped. “Just leave me alone!”

Tom moved back, visibly hurt by my words. I regretted it instantly and opened my mouth but he threw up his hands in frustration and turned to walk away. I caught up with him halfway up the stairs.

“Tom wait!” I called, pulling him aside this time. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I know you care and I care about you too but I just can’t tell you what happened. I’m so sorry.”

Tom opened his mouth and I silenced him with a kiss. That moment, that single simple moment, was the greatest moment of my life up to that point. I don’t know why I kissed him, but I wanted to, so I did. And it was perfect. He seemed too stunned to act but the feel of his lips, the way he tasted, it was heaven. And then I realised what I had done and how Malfoy would react, so I pulled away and the perfect moment was followed by one of sheer despair. I shook my head and Tom put his hands on my arms.

“You and me Lucy, we’re perfect for each other,” he whispered. “Come with me to Hogsmeade and be my girlfriend.”

Twenty four hours earlier, I’d have died of happiness and jumped into Tom’s arms. But now? After everything Malfoy had threatened? I couldn’t. I hated myself for being so scared of him and giving in, but I couldn’t risk Tom, he meant too much to me. They say if you love someone, let them go. I had no idea how painful that statement would prove.

“I can’t,” I whispered. “I’m sorry Tom, but it’s best if we remain just friends.”

I couldn’t face looking at him. I knew that if I did, I’d melt back into his arms. So I turned and I ran, not daring to look back. I knew that I’d said it too quickly, without explanation and that he deserved more. But if I hadn’t gotten out as quickly as I had, the outcome would’ve been much more severe. I was a mess, hurt and confused. No doubt Tom had it just as bad. I’d never forgive myself for kowtowing to Malfoy, but I had no choice. I loved Tom too much to see him hurt. And so I walked away. And although my suffering was great, it was still a hell of a lot better than the alternative.


I needed something to take my mind off the impending disaster that was my love life, so I decided to give Kate and Zara a hand with their Neville/Hannah matchmaking. The plan was simple and to be honest, they didn’t need any help. Hannah really liked Neville and he would probably jump at the chance to spend some time with a girl besides me (yeah I’m annoying at the best of times). Therefore, it wasn’t so much a case of convincing the pair to go out with each other as much as giving them a push towards Hogsmeade. That in itself, however could prove difficult, as Neville was still quite a shy bloke. There were only a couple of days left until the weekend, so we had to act fast. Kate and Zara tackled the problem from Hannah’s side, finding her (predictably) in the library with a group of gormless girls that could never understand Hannah’s feelings for Neville.

A little bit of convincing and the girls were almost dragging Hannah down to Herbology, where Neville and I were staying late to finish our project (wonderful). I don’t know how I’d get through herbology without Neville. Seriously, he’s like an angel gardener. Or a gardener angel. However you’d say it. Neville was showing me how to plant a vileptus plant. The clue’s in the name: vile. The bastarding thing had puked on me already and vileptus vomit is bright blue. Lovely. Don’t even get me started on the stress and humidity levels and well…you know by now what they do to my locks. I wanted to be anywhere but in that sodding greenhouse. But I told myself I was doing it for Neville and, forcing myself onwards, I waited for Hannah to arrive. But of course, my job was to persuade Neville. So, with what I assumed was a few minutes until arrival, I turned to Neville, the tone of my voice deadly serious.

“Neville,” I began. “Don’t hate me.”

“What have you done?” Neville asked suspiciously, raising an eyebrow as I tried not to squirm.

“I helped you get a date for Hogsmeade,” I said, trying to dismiss it.

“You what?!” Neville exploded. Well as much as Neville can explode. “I thought we were going to Hogsmeade together, as friends! Since you turned down Stone!”

“Don’t remind me,” I growled. “Look Nev, I want some girl time and you’ll be fine. Just, tell her you’d love to go and you’ll pick her up at 9:30 easy as.”

“Not the point Luce,” Neville replied. “What if I don’t want a date with whoever you’ve picked out for me?”

“Listen Neville, I didn’t pick her out!” I protested. “Zara overheard her saying how cute you are and how much she’d like to get to know you. And its Hannah Abbot by the way, so we’re clear.”

“Hannah Abbot?” Neville seemed to soften slightly. “She’s…nice. We worked together a bit last year, DA stuff. She’s coming here?”

“Yeah, Kate and Zara talked her into it. I’m just the gal they hired to ensure you don’t break poor little Hannah’s heart.”

“If she needed talking into it, she’s hardly going to be heartbroken,” Neville pointed out.

“Shut up!” I muttered. “Just, give her a chance Nev? For me?”

Neville smiled slightly and nodded. I grinned and slipped out the back door as I saw Hannah enter via the front. I skipped round the side of the greenhouse, where Kate and Zara were looking pleased with themselves. I high-fived them and grinned, watching on as Neville and Hannah started chatting.

“Mission accomplished,” I said triumphantly, punching the sky.


The day of Hogsmeade came and we broke off into couples, groups etc. Harry and Ginny obviously went together, as did Ron and Hermione and Hannah and Neville. I went with the girls, the three of us all hoping for a cheerier outcome than the last Hogsmeade weekend. In the back of my mind, I was worried. Malfoy had pulled a real stunt last time, would he again? Tom was nowhere to be seen but I didn’t worry about him. He probably had girls flocking over him, he didn’t need me. It broke my heart just to think that. We headed down nice and late, around 11. We were all tired and none of us could be bothered to do our hair and makeup with any real conviction. We were cheerful though and the girls managed to keep me smiling for a good few hours as we laughed and joked. It felt like just being a normal girl. Which, I suppose, I was in many ways. So was it that it took a day out with the girls to convince me of that? We relaxed in the Three Broomsticks and occasionally saw one of the happy couples pass us. Harry and Ginny were as relaxed and randy as ever; lip-locked practically the entire time we saw them. Neville was a little more cautious, though for me, seeing him so happy made me as happy as if he was snogging Hannah. They looked like they were getting along like a house on fire. Ron and Hermione, meanwhile, looked a touch more awkward, though it was clear they were getting along better and starting to click again. It’s amazing how much you can glean about relationships just by watching during five minute intervals. Though I suppose, it helps that I know them all so well.

Several hours later, I finally spotted Tom. He was with a couple of lads from his year. I was pleased in a way, it meant that he was clearly not involved with anyone else but at the same time, I was still disheartened. He may have been out and about but he didn’t look particularly great. I hid behind the girls until he disappeared but my mood had considerably darkened. I was no longer in the mood for girly laughs and teasing. I downed my butterbeer and powered out the shop…


The girls had managed to calm me down and convince me to stick around. They did their best to cheer me up but I was still in a bad mood when we eventually returned to the castle. It was dark by the time we got back and we went straight to dinner. Eating proved tedious, especially when I knew Tom was sitting a few seats away from me. When I eventually got back to the common room, I was feeling pretty down. I played some cards with Kate and Hermione, but by about nine, I was tired and just wanted my bed. I slipped upstairs after saying my goodnights and entered my dorm, ready to flop down on my bed. I pulled open the curtain and yelled at the sight that was before me. Neville was straddling Hannah, both of them disturbingly exposed. I staggered back and Neville flushed sheepishly.

“Sorry Lucy, Harry and Ginny were up in my dorm and I couldn’t think of anywhere else. I hope you don’t mind. We won’t leave a mess I promise.”

“Yeah course Neville, knock yourself out,” I mumbled, too stunned to say anything else as I practically tumbled out the room, almost colliding with Hermione.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Neville. Hannah. My bed.”

That was all I could get out and, as I headed back down to the common room, I doubted I’d get any sleep that night at all…

A/N: Well, poor Lucy, just when things looked like they were picking up. Ah well, only 9 chapters left now but that's still a lot of stuff to happen. Keep watching guys, more Quidditch coming soon... HP

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