EDIT: REVISED CHAPTER!!
--Chapter 12 - Incomprehensible--
“What if he hates me?”
“Why on earth would he hate you, Justin?” I chuckled, tugging at his sleeve.
Justin and I have been dating for nearly a month now, and he has yet to meet Edan properly. I mean of course they knew whom the other was but they’ve never really talked—despite being in the same bloody house. The thing was Edan was a social butterfly, always hanging out with people from every house, while Justin only had seventh year friends from Hufflepuff.
“Because he’s your brother, isn’t he genetically programmed to hate all your boyfriends?” Justin asked me seriously.
“He’s younger than me… and it’s Edan. He could care less about who I date plus you’re forgetting that I don’t generally date; he’s probably just excited that I’m not a closet lesbian or something.”
“Didn’t date till me,” Justin smiled, his too-cute-dimpled smile.
“Maybe,” I replied. “But if you don’t go meet my brother then you won’t be dating anyone!”
Justin groaned, letting go of my hand. “Okay, for you.”
I laughed at his concern but I knew the two of them would get along fine. Justin was a lot like Edan, which is probably why they’re both in Hufflepuff. Both boys were extremely friendly and easy to get along with, and were downright good people. It was hard for anyone to dislike them—unless you were Oliver Wood or Adam Nicholson but that’s beside the point.
I mustn’t think of Oliver Wood.
“All right, just act normal,” I told him, as we came to the Great Hall.
It was a chilly November evening; the snow was just beginning to drift onto the frozen grass outside. Most of the students have been eating their dinner as early as possible to get back to the comforts of their own common rooms, leaving the Great Hall generally empty around eight in the evening, which was when we were to meet up with Edan. I hadn’t been that bothered that my boyfriend and my brother weren’t friends but I guess Edan felt differently.
This was his idea after all.
“Keegan!” Edan exclaimed happily as he bounced over to pull me into a tight hug. His girlfriend, Cameron was right behind him, waving shyly at me. I waved back once Edan had let go of my torso.
He turned his attention to the boy standing beside me. Edan gave him a once-over for good measure before thrusting his hand out towards Justin. “And Justin, nice to meet you properly, mate!”
I could hear Justin breathing a sigh of relief beside me and I felt his body relaxing, as he shook my little brother’s hand enthusiastically. “Same goes to you! Funny how we’re in the same house but have never really talked.”
“Yeah well unless you’re both on the Quidditch team, sixth and seventh years don’t really mix, do they?” Edan laughed. Justin agreed.
Great so now they’re getting along, just as I had expected.
Brilliant. What a waste of my bloody time!
It was a Thursday evening and it’s not like I had work to do for class or anything...
I sighed, but this was a big deal to Edan and Justin so I guess I had to suck it up and put on my nice face for the evening.
The four of us walked over to the practically empty Hufflepuff table and took our seats. I sat next to Justin, while Edan and Cameron sat across from us.
“So I have to ask,” Edan said, a note of seriousness in his voice. “What are your intentions with my Keegan?”
Cameron nearly spat out the pumpkin juice she had been sipping on and my mouth dropped at the audacity of my brother.
The little prick!
“Edan, are you fricking kidding me?” I snarled at him.
Justin, however, chuckled and put his hand over mine, squeezing it for extra assurance. “My intentions are good, I can promise you that. After all, I am a Hufflepuff. I’m loyal and true to my word.”
“Hmmm… I can’t argue with that,” Edan said, rubbing his chin with his index finger and thumb. “Well you’re okay in my books then.”
“For Merlin’s sake,” I grumbled. “Was that really necessary?”
“Of course! I’m your brother,” Edan retorted, turning his gaze onto me now.
I stared icily back. “Little brother, you’re forgetting.”
I rolled my eyes but despite the idiocy of Edan, I was glad they got on. It would have made my life a whole lot worse if they didn’t. I valued my brother’s opinion on everything and he was usually a great judge of character—except for Oliver.
Merlin knows why he thinks so highly of that egotistical maniacal prick.
Damn it, I mustn’t think of Oliver Wood.
The rest of dinner went by with ease. Edan, Justin, and Cameron shared anecdotes about the Hufflepuff life while I sat there, trying my best not to snort at them.
I’m sorry but they’re Hufflepuffs!
They have the worst Quidditch team in Hogwarts history! And to me, if the Quidditch team sucks then the House sucks, therefore, the only House that matters is Ravenclaw.
Okay, Slytherin are decent—cheating, slimy wankers but they had some talent—and yes okay, Gryffindor are blooming brilliant too.
If there was one thing I will ever admit about Oliver Wood, it was that he was a good captain. He knew what he was doing. He was tough and unrelenting with his team, a tactic I admire. I am similar with how I treat my team, however, I do like to think I am more loved by the general public. Oliver has a serious anger issue and does have a tendency to shout at anyone dumb enough to speak to him after a bad game.
As dinner wound to a close, the four of us stood up and began making our way out of the Great Hall. I was walking ahead with Justin, my hand in his.
“Hey Keegs, can I speak to you for a second?” Edan asked.
I turned around to face him. He had a curious expression on his face but I thought no more of it. I assumed it’s something to do with Cameron—like what to get her for Christmas. Edan always did start early on the presents.
“Yeah, sure.” I looked back to Justin and quickly gave him a kiss on the lips. “I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
“Of course,” he grinned back. Cameron gave my brother a small tentative hug before leaving the Great Hall with Justin.
“So what’s up, little bro?”
“I’ve been thinking a lot about this,” he began. He was twisting his fingers nervously; this has been a habit of his whenever he got scared or nervous since he was a small child. “And I know how against it I was before but… Merlin, this is harder than I thought.”
“Edan, just spit it out,” I ordered brusquely. I was getting impatient and the expression on his face was making me particularly anxious.
“I want to see mum!” he blurted out.
There was a long pause between what he said and my response. In that time, the world seemed to have slowed down and the noise around us had become a buzzing sound.
“Why?” I managed, my throat suddenly becoming dry and hoarse.
Edan shuffled his feet, his eyes glued to the floor, unable to meet mine. “I need to know, Keegan. Cameron made me realize how much I was going to regret this if I didn’t go meet her and she’s right. I need to know.”
“Cameron?” I all but spat that at him. “You let that little bint in on our family problems? Merlin, Edan! Next thing I know, you’re going to be telling me you want to wrangle dragons for a bloody living!”
Edan’s eyes snapped instantly up to mine. :ong gone was his vague, nervous expression, replacing it was one of anger. “Leave Cameron out of this! She’s right! And I know you’ve told people about our family ‘problems’!”
“Oh yes, I go around blabbering it to everyone I meet!” I growled back. “The only person that knows is Miranda! And I’ve known her for practically all my life!”
“What are you so scared of, Keegan?” Edan exhaled. He began to rub his temples in a rhythmic movement. “Why are you so scared of other people knowing we didn’t have the picture perfect childhood?”
“I’m not scared!” I retorted defiantly.
“Yes, you are!” Edan snapped back. “You’re so scared of letting people see that you’re not always so invincible!”
I said nothing in response. I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry with my brother before… I just wanted to hit him! I wanted to hit him and his stupid little girlfriend!
He was too young to understand… he could never understand…
“You don’t always have to be the strong one, Keegan… Mum left the both of us,” Edan said softly. He put his hand on my arm but I shrugged away.
“You got to be a kid, Edan,” I wanted to shout but we were still standing in the middle of the Great Hall, our row having already attracted the attention of two or three people. “You didn’t have to take responsibility. You weren’t the one left to handle everything at eleven. And you had Dad. Who was there to teach me the girly things? No one! Dad wasn’t good at that.”
My wall was threatening to crumble down and if I didn’t leave now, I was going to seriously lose it. I forced myself to take a deep breath and calm down.
“You don’t understand…”
I couldn’t look at my brother in the eye. Instead, I did the cowardly thing.
I turned on my heels and walked straight out of the Great Hall, my heart pounding in my chest and my eyes stinging from unshed tears. I didn’t want to cry anymore. I promised myself I would never cry because of that woman and I’ve already broken that promise once this year.
“Keegan, what’s the matter?” Justin asked. I shook my head, refusing to speak as I buried my face into his shoulder. We were sitting in Defence against the Dark Arts, early as usual, and all I could do was use Justin as my anchor to the real world.
But no tears have been shed and that was a feat but the pain was still there.
I have never fought with Edan like this before. The feeling was incomprehensible to me. I have never ever felt this angry with him and frankly, being angry with my brother made me miserable. It made me angry with myself.
For so much of my life, I have protected my brother, not because he needed protecting but because I never wanted to see him hurt. I couldn’t bear it. If I never have to see those hazel eyes full of pain like I did that summer then I have done my job as his older sister but to know that I am now the current reason for Edan’s vacant expression is killing me.
But no matter how hard I tried to apologise, I couldn’t shake the angry feeling off of me. I couldn’t shake the feeling of being betrayed.
I didn’t want her in my life. I thought I had when Oliver first told me about the letter, I thought I needed to know why she left but I realised no matter what she said, I will always resent her for it. I will always resent her for how small and insignificant she made me feel.
“Whenever you’re ready to talk, love, I’m here,” he murmured into my hair. I nodded my head.
Even though my eyes were closed, I could feel Lucy staring at me. I could practically feel the worry emanate from her body but I was in no mood to explain my situation to anyone else. I haven’t even told Miranda of the fight with Edan.
The door to the classroom burst open and I lifted up my head momentarily to see Adam and Elbie walk into the class, chatting happily. As soon as they saw me, I looked back down and closed my eyes.
“Is she okay?” whispered Adam.
I could hear Lucy sigh, “Don’t even bother. She’s not talking.”
There was nothing else mentioned about me but I heard the two of them taking their seat beside Lucy.
I was not going to be an emotional wreck like last time, I was determined not to be but still, I just wanted to mope a bit longer.
I was drifting off to sleep, the exhaustion of everything taking its toll on me, when I felt Justin shake me softly. “Class is starting, Keegan.”
I sat up, nodding, and turned my attention to Professor Lupin, hoping he was able to distract me from myself—like he normally does.
If I had bothered to pay attention earlier, I would have heard the door bang open and a group of rowdy Gryffindors take their seats behind me. I would have also heard Jared ask the same question Adam asked earlier and I would have heard Lucy’s reply.
I would have also noticed that Oliver Wood for once has said nothing.
Not a single word.
I was packing my things slowly, not noticing that most of the students had already filed out of the classroom.
Justin had already left. He had an important meeting with Professor Sprout so he said. I, on the other hand, had nowhere to be so was absentmindedly taking my time. I was so caught up in my own world that I didn’t even see Professor Lupin walk up to me.
I looked up. “Hi Professor.”
“Are you okay?” he asked me, concerned etched onto his handsome features. He looked a bit ragged and worn down but even so he was still handsome.
“I’m all right,” I put on a bright smile. “Just a bit tired from everything, you know?”
He chuckled but it seemed more to himself than in regards to what I had just said. “Yeah, I know what you mean.”
“But eh, what are you gonna do,” I gave him a shrug and grinned some more.
Professor Lupin studied me curiously before shrugging as well. “Well in any case, I know I’m not your Head of House or anything but if you ever need to speak to anyone, Keegan, my office is always open.”
“Thank you, Professor, I appreciate that,” this time, I smiled earnestly. I knew there was a reason why I loved this man. If only he was thirty years younger or something.
I swung my bag over my shoulders. “Well I better be off. Thank you again, Professor.”
“Of course,” he moved aside so I could walk past him. “And Keegan, being a Ravenclaw doesn’t mean studying all the time. Have some fun too, okay?”
I chuckled before nodding and saluting him. I quickly left the classroom, feeling a whole better about life. The problems were still there, the pain was still present as always but I felt a smidgen better.
I wonder if Professor Lupin was single. Ha.
The sweat was dripping down my spine and my hair was matted to my forehead yet I was still cold.
I hated winter.
It made training hard and made my team infuriatingly sluggish. Fred and George, instead of beating the ball back and forth, were amusing themselves by sending little balls of light all over the pitch to confuse Harry.
He was flying all over the place, thinking it was the Snitch, only to stop halfway and realise it was Fred and George being pricks.
As for the girls, they have completely given up my drills and were now huddling by the far goal post for warmth.
“ALL RIGHT, GET YOUR ARSES TO THE CHANGING ROOMS,” I called out, and watched as all six of them raced towards the changing rooms with reinvigorated energy.
Why couldn’t they have shown this much enthusiasm in the bloody training session?
I lagged behind and began to collect the balls into the box. But to be honest, my mind was elsewhere today anyways. I wouldn’t have been able to contain the team even if they were that energetic. I was too busy thinking about the one person that infuriated me more than they did: Keegan Riddell.
She has been on my mind a whole lot more than I’d like to admit since Halloween. That’s probably why I’ve been trying to avoid her. I wanted to be friends with her again, like back when we were kids, but I was starting to find that being just friends with Keegan was an impossible task.
She was impossible.
She yells at me for the littlest things, which then maddens me to no end, and then at the same time, she makes me want to push her up against a wall and snog her senseless. Those two emotions shouldn’t be able to coincide peacefully together, but they do—in my mind at least.
But for the most part, I have been successful in avoiding her. I have even been able to control myself from annoying her, which has always been a pastime of mine, but today.
Today was different.
She seemed sad. Genuinely sad.
It wasn’t a feeling that was synonymous with Keegan Riddell and from years of experience, I knew that there was only one person in the world who could make Keegan that sad: her mother. I only wish I knew what happened. I thought that part of her life was over now, that Keegan and Edan saying no to meeting up with her mum was their final word on the matter but apparently not.
I have to find out. I have to find Edan.
I put the box back into the Quidditch equipment shed and made my way back towards the castle. As soon as I stepped through the castle doors, the warmth immediately enveloped my body and I could all of a sudden feel my fingers and limbs again. I stretched out my arms experimentally, to make sure it was all still there, not really thinking that I’d hit someone smack in the face when I did it.
“Ow! Bloody hell!”
I turned around, hoping to Merlin it wasn’t a professor, although, I didn’t know any professors that swore like that.
“Merlin, Wood, you could’ve taken my eye out!” Adam Nicholson, one of the Ravenclaws’ Chasers, reproached me.
“Sorry, mate, didn’t see you there,” I apologised.
Adam rubbed his forehead and shrugged. “It didn’t hurt all that much anyways. You lot just finish with training?”
“Yeah but I’d hardly call it that,” I complained. “It was freezing out there and neither of us could actually concentrate on anything else but the cold today.”
“Ah yeah, we had training last night and after, I had to double check that my you-know was still there,” Adam told me offhandedly.
I chuckled, forgetting how crude Adam was but enjoying his company nonetheless.
“I suppose that’s what happens when you can barely feel it to begin with.”
“Oi! You calling it small?” Adam called out indignantly. “I’ll have you know, Wood, I am very well-endowed.”
“I was just taking the piss,” I laughed at him.
Adam looked at me for a second before smiling. “You’re all right, Wood. You’re not the uptight prick that Keegan makes you out to be all the time.”
“Keegan’s biased, you know.”
“Oh yeah, well I know that but you don’t exactly make yourself out to be the world’s most carefree person,” Adam mentioned. “I mean you are the same bloke that broke his fist from punching a wall after losing a match, aren’t you?”
“One and the same,” I smiled sheepishly. “But hey, Quidditch is all I’ve got. I’m not exactly a genius in classes like you Ravenclaws.”
“We are quite brilliant,” Adam agreed whole-heartedly.
“And modest apparently,” I murmured but I don’t know if Adam chose not to hear that or just genuinely didn’t hear it. In any case, he continued talking like I had never said it.
“So what’d you do to Keegan anyways? She’s been in a mood all day.”
“Why do you think I did anything?” I responded, a little bit affronted that he would think I was responsible for all of Keegan’s mood swings.
He put up his hands in defence. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist, Oliver. I just assumed, since you are generally the reason.”
“Fair point,” I shrugged. “I don’t know though. Maybe it’s her git of a boyfriend that did something.”
“Not a fan of Dodgson, are we?” Adam laughed amusedly. “Me neither. He’s a bloody prat and Keegan can do so much better than him…” Adam sighed. “But for some reason, she’s got it into her head that she likes him.”
“Huh,” I said, as we both began walking up the staircase. “The girl’s mental; useless trying to figure out why she does anything.”
“You seem to know her very well though,” Adam noted. “Especially for someone who apparently hates her.”
“I don’t hate her,” I quickly replied. Maybe a bit too quickly but I never said I hated Keegan. I’ve just said the girl infuriates me.
“Right, of course you don’t,” Adam was grinning widely now. “You know what I think?”
“I think you fancy her and I think you hate Dodgson, because you’re jealous that he has her and you don’t,” Adam told me anyways. “Mate, why don’t you just go after her? We’d all rather have you dating her than that balls-less prick.”
“First of all, I don’t fancy her,” I explained to him. I had to make that clear before something like that got back to her. “Secondly, you seem to hate Dodgson just as much as I do. What’s your reason for hating him? You fancy Keegan? Didn’t you two used to date anyways?”
Adam chortled loudly. “Keegan’s like my sister now and fancying her would be so very wrong plus she’d probably smother me in my sleep if we ever dated again. And I hate Dodgson for another reason.”
“Go on,” I urged him. “You know if you don’t tell me, I’ll just assume you fancy Keegan.”
We were at our separating point now. I had another flight of stairs to take and Adam had to turn left.
“If I tell you, you have to admit you fancy Keegan,” he began.
“But I don’t,” I interrupted him but he shook his head at me disapprovingly. I suddenly felt like a kid and I’ve just told a big lie to my parents.
“Don’t play that, Oliver, we all know you do,” Adam said. “So?”
I wonder if finding out why he hates Dodgson is even worth this. I don’t fancy Keegan… or at least not in the way that Adam thinks. I just… I don’t know how I feel about her—but I suppose I do care to a certain extent.
“Fine, Adam, tell me, and this better be worth it,” I sighed, probably going to regret something that’s not even true.
Adam smiled gleefully.
“Okay, well Dodgson had a fling with my cousin.” He stopped and then exhaled heavily. “This goes nowhere, okay Oliver?” I nodded in response. “So he had a fling with my cousin this past summer… and well she had a pregnancy scare. Merlin, she was only sixteen and bloody Dodgson had a panic attack and disappeared when he found out. Even though she wasn’t actually pregnant, she was devastated. She’s an only child and I’m the closest thing she has to a sibling. I was the one that had to be there for her every night. And yes, maybe he just panicked but he was still a balls-less prick and deserves nothing less than shit.”
I stared blankly at Adam.
I now understood his deep hatred for the bloke and even hearing this story made my blood boil but worst of all, knowing he was the one dating Keegan made me want to rip that prick’s head off.
“Why did you tell me this?” I asked tentatively. It was incomprehensible for Adam to tell me something so personal without a hidden agenda. “This isn’t really something you tell someone… you barely know.”
“I know and I wouldn’t have told you if not for Keegan,” Adam explained.
“So you make me admit I fancy her and then you tell me this story so that I decide to go after Keegan? And break her up from Dodgson?” I mused. “That’s a genius plan.”
“It’s why I’m a Ravenclaw, Oliver Wood, and why you’re a Gryffindor,” he sniggered. “I’m the one with the plan and you’re the one that has to execute it. So first part of the plan, admit it.”
I groaned, raking a hand through my hair. “I could lie and say ‘yes, I bloody fancy Keegan Riddell,’ but if I’m honest with you, I don’t know how I feel about her. I will say that I care about her enough to make damn sure that Dodgson and her don’t last the Christmas holidays.”
Adam clapped me hard on the back. “That’s my man! Good lad!”
I rolled my eyes as I said my goodbye and headed up the stairs.
I knew my reason for hating Dodgson was actually reasonable. I knew he was a prick! I just needed to find a way to show Keegan that without her blowing up in my face because I know she would if I just went and told her he was a prick.
I think my safest bet was to win the Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw match and use the forty-eight hours with her as a way to show her how much of a pansy-arse Justin Dodgson was. I don’t think that would be hard to show considering that he was one…
All I had to do was win that match!
A/N: Hey guys!! Sorry for the wait... I've been a busy bee. I've also been trying to update Keeping the Secret, but that's going along slowly... annnnd I might've started a new fanfic. It'll be next-gen and James/OC. But that won't go up for awhile. Anywhooo, sooo what do you think of this chapter? I really want to hear your opinions on Justin!! I know you were all asking for more Justin/Keegan alone time and I know you were all on the fence about liking him... so what's the general opinion now, eh?? But drop a review, let me know your favourite lines, etc. Muchooos loooove!! xxx
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