Chapter 8 : Chapter 8
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Runnin' round leavin' scars
Collectin' you're jar of hearts
And tearin' love apart
~Jar of Hearts, Christina Perry
I stared at the plain ceiling, replaying the last few days in my head. The fight with Tyler, the picnic with Al… the kiss. The aftermath, where I had to sit through History next to Tyler and behind Cece. The cold and amused stares from Athena. Did she know something? I didn’t see anyone in that corridor, but then again, I was quite distracted.
I was on the train in an unused car, laying on my back, wallowing in my own guilt. I cheated on my boyfriend. The one person I was supposed to be faithful to was him, and I wasn’t. Sure, it was probably a major advancement in the plan, but I felt so guilty about it. If I had known that carrying out this scheme I created would feel like this, I would have never done it.
Al wasn’t talking to me, and neither was Tyler. Rose, Cinda, and Arianna were the only people who had noticed. I told them about the fight, but Arianna was the only person I had told about the kiss. We shared all our mistakes with each other. There were no secrets between us, except maybe that the kiss didn’t mean something for just Al.
I felt something during that kiss, and it scared the poop out of me. I needed to break him as much as he, Scorpius and Aidan broke me. How could I do that when I felt like this for him?
The door creaked open, and I sat up quickly to see who it was. I first saw the messy black hair, so of course it was Al. This situation takes the cake.
“What?” I asked grumpily, settling onto my back again.
“Not worth your attention today?” Al joked weakly, not moving from his spot at the door.
“I’m trying to minimize the scale of emotional damage I cause in others.” I deadpanned, staring at the ceiling, not batting an eyelash.
A pause, and then, “Delilah, the other day… it was a mistake.”
“I know, Al.” I muttered. “Please leave now.”
“It’s just that I really have something special with Cece, and I don’t want to ruin that.”
Good Godric, he’s still here. And worse, he’s talking.
“I want us to still be friends, even though this happened. And I’m, uh, assuming we should never mention it again.”
“Yeah, sure, whatever.” I sighed, even though there was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Go back to Cece.”
Another awkward pause. I waited for him to leave.
“How’re you and Tyler?”
“Good lord, Al, it’s like you want me to kiss you again!” I exclaimed, sitting up to glare at him. My cheeks flamed up as soon as I said it, but his weren’t fairing any better, so it was slightly less embarrassing. “Could you just stop torturing me and get out of here?”
“Did you tell him?” Al persisted.
“No, I didn’t tell him.” I acquiesced, lying flat on my back again. “Because he’s still not talking to me. Happy?” When he didn’t say anything, I kept talking. “You can leave now, alright? Your relationship with Cece is safe.”
He finally left the car, leaving a still, sad silence behind.
I drew a shaky breath, and closed my eyes.
“Del?” Rose asked, poking her head around the car door. “Al told me I’d find you here.”
“Did he now?” I muttered quietly, so Rose couldn’t hear.
“What was that?” She asked.
“Nothing.” I said louder, sitting up.
“Did something happen between you and Al?” Rose asked, crossing the room and sitting cross-legged across from me. “He was gone for a while. Was he with you?”
I hesitated, and then nodded. I needed Rose on my side. “Yesterday, we… we kissed. And today he came in and we talked. Or, he made a lot of pointless suggestions that I thought were unspoken rules of this situation already, and I threatened to kiss him again, upon which point he left.” I sighed, and put my chin in my hand, resting my elbow against my leg. “Are all relationships like this?”
“No.” Rose said cheerfully. “Only yours and Al’s are this fucked up.”
“Thanks, Rose.” I mumbled dully. “That helps a lot.”
“I know you like him, Del.” Rose remarked. “Why don’t you just break up with Tyler?”
“I can’t.” I said miserably. “I still like him, and besides, Al’s not going to break up with Cece. He likes her too much. What’s the point?”
“What’s the point of a relationship where you can cheat without feeling guilty?” Rose pointed out.
“I do feel guilty, though.” I moaned. “I never meant to cheat on Tyler. I want this relationship to work.” I did still like Tyler, but in order to for the plan to work, I needed to break it off with him. But I didn’t want to hurt him. I knew what it was like to be left in the dust with no explanation. It wasn’t fair.
“Well, at least there’s that.” Rose muttered. “C’mon, get up. We’re going to be at the station soon.” She rose, dusting herself off, and held out a hand to help me up. “Come on. Let’s go.” I allowed her to pull me up, and followed her out of the abandoned car to her compartment.
There were only a few people there, surprisingly. Scorpius, Aidan, Nathan, Arianna, and Athena were all sitting sleepily in their seats. Arianna was actually sleeping with her head on Aidan’s shoulder, and he was reading a book, his arm around her waist. Athena was playing a lazy game of chess with Nathan. As I watched, Nathan’s queen beat up one of Athena’s rooks. Scorpius appeared to be waiting for Rose to come back, making his way through a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans.
I suddenly felt very alone. The compartment seemed to be divided into couples, and I was the only one without a partner. Sure, Rose and Scorpius weren’t exactly a couple yet, but everyone could see it coming. The two of them were practically made for each other. She just needed to get rid of Lucas.
Speaking of Lucas, the boy walked in just as the train began to jolt to a stop. Rose smiled when he entered. “Where’ve you been all day?” She asked playfully, walking up to him and standing on tiptoe to kiss him. He turned pink as Rose rocked back, grinning as he rubbed the back of his neck.
“With some friends. I’m not going to see them until after winter break, you know?”
Okay, so here’s the deal with Lucas. He’s actually not that bad. I can actually see him and Rose getting along together quite nicely. But Rose and Scorpius are perfect, while Rose and Lucas are merely good. And besides, Scorpius, being my friend, is the one I’m rooting for. But Lucas is still a good guy. He’s a perfect gentleman, but to be honest, I think Rose needs some spice. Lucas lacks spice, besides his hilarious reactions at Rose’s PDA.
The train slowed to a complete stop, and Al walked in with Cece close behind. “Great.” I muttered, and sat down with a huff next to Scorpius. He shot me a confused look, and I rolled my eyes. He glanced between Al and I, and shrugged.
We all collected our trunks and other luggage, and shoved our way out to the platform. I stuck with Rose, trying to discern the familiar faces of Ron and Hermione Weasley in the crowd. Of course, I had only seen them in newspapers and magazines, but that should be enough, right?
It really wasn’t.
The Ron and Hermione Weasley I knew where, as it turn out, incredibly edited and manipulated to look like absolute beauties (and believable Wizarding-World savers). The Ron and Hermione Weasley in reality looked just like an average pair of wizards. Ron didn’t have bulging muscles, a chiseled face, and gleaming red hair (on the contrary, his hair was rather orange and looked a bit dirty, as if he couldn’t be bothered to wash it), and Hermione didn’t have tan skin, voluminous lashes, and long, toned legs.
They were just normal people.
“Rose?” Hermione called when she saw us, peering at her daughter like she was seeing her for the first time. “Is that really you? You’ve grown!” She accused, pulling Rose into a hug. Rose laughed a little, and hugged her mother tight. There were those moments in Hogwarts where you got very, very homesick, and four months was quite a while to be away from home.
“Delilah Miller?” Ron asked, holding out a hand. I smiled at him nervously and shook it in what I hoped to be a firm and confident manner. “You’re the girl that Al is so taken with?”
For a heart-stopping moment, I thought he knew about the kiss. “N-no, sir. That’s Cece, his girlfriend. Cece Hilling? She’s over there with him.” I turned to point them out in the crowd, but Ron stopped me. A huge grin was spreading over his face.
“I was joking, Delilah. Al just talks about you a lot in his letters. There’s no need to get so flustered.” His grin told me that he was very much enjoying flustering me, so I glared.
“What’s he said? Good things, I hope.” I almost demanded.
“Would I think he was taken with you if he didn’t say good things?”
“I guess not.” I said, reigning myself in, remembering that this was Rose’s dad I was being rude to, not to mention a member of the Golden Trio.
As if he knew exactly how to make me nervous, Ron gave me a knowing smile, glanced in Al’s direction, and walked off to greet Hugo. I wondered how much Al told his uncle in his letters, and bit my nails nervously.
When Ron had collected Hugo, the five of us left the station. In the parking lot, Ron helped us all hoist are heavy trunks into the back of the magically expanded car. As he lifted my luggage in, he explained to me that it was a trick he learned from his dad. Apparently, Rose’s granddad used to tinker with muggle objects, and was still quite interested in them to this day.
Rose, Hugo and I squeezed into the back seat. I was squashed between Rose and the window. As we were pulling out, I saw Al and his family, plus Cece and one of Lily’s friends in the parking lot. He caught my eye, and looked away awkwardly, grabbing Cece’s hand. Then, the car rolled away, and that was the last I saw of him until the Burrow visit.
The Weasley’s home was much like the Weasleys themselves: surprisingly normal.
They lived in a muggle neighborhood, on a street that was backed up against a forest. Rose told me it was a small conservation area that the city had stopped maintaining a while back, so the neighborhood had pitched in to help clear the trails. The house was nothing huge, although it definitely wasn’t small. It was a light blue two story, with a pretty sizable backyard before it turned to woods.
The house held four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a sizeable kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a den, and a large basement. Rose dragged me upstairs first, down to her room, where Hermione had already set up a camp bed next to Rose’s twin.
Rose’s room was a pretty light blue color. The three main pieces of furniture, her bed, her desk, and her bookshelf, were pushed up against two walls, her bed and bookshelf on one and her desk on the other. The third was occupied by the doors to a walk in closet, and the fourth was plastered in posters around the two low windows. The only space that was blank was the space below them.
Rose was beaming as she entered her room again. She immediately skipped to her windows, artfully avoiding the camp bed as she did so, and pulled the curtains open, basking in the afternoon sunlight, a bit like a cat. The windows faced the back yard, which was blanketed in a layer of snow.
I sat on her bed. The mattress was firm, but the cream comforter was soft, and embroidered with roses. “Did your grandmother make this?” I asked, fingering one of them.
“Yeah.” Rose replied, sitting next to me. “The day I was born. Had the sense to make it the size of a bed, though. Teddy’s was only as large as his cradle. He was heartbroken when he got too big to sleep under it.”
I laughed and stood up. “So, your house is smaller than I expected it to be. A bit disappointing for an internationally famous wizarding family.”
Rose stuck her tongue out at me. “Mum and Dad didn’t want to seem too precocious. Besides, the backyard makes up for it.”
“Why?” I asked, glancing out the window. “What’s in the backyard?”
“I’ll show you.” Rose told me happily. “You up for a hike?”
“I suppose…?” My statement was more of a question. “But I don’t have any snow boots or anything. I wasn’t expecting to have to walk through anything but plowed streets.”
Rose waved her hand, dismissing my worries. “We have just about every size of boot you could want.” She told me. “We’ll find something for you.”
We did end up finding something for me. I wore a pair of Hermione’s old snow boots, a pair of brown clunkers that seemed practical, if anything. Rose and I trekked out through the mudroom and into the backyard, I in my Salem Witches hat and blue coat, and she in her hot pink earmuffs and hippogriff down jacket.
The snow made a crisp sound beneath my feet as I plowed through the 6 inches that lay there. It wasn’t fresh, but it was untouched. Rose had no pets to interrupt its’ serenity with footprints, and evidently Ron and Hermione had no desire to venture out.
We plodded straight into the woods. At first, the trees were thin and leafless, but soon, they thickened, and turned more to evergreens. Soon, we were following a thin trail that I would have lost, had it not been for Rose.
As we walked, we talked, and for Rose, that meant satisfying some curiosity. “So, you and Tyler must’ve had a pretty major argument for you to have kissed Al in the aftermath.” She prodded, pushing a tree branch aside and letting it snap back, causing it to hit me in the face and give me a mouthful of snow. “Sorry.”
“It wasn’t that exactly—” I protested, wiping the snow out of my eyes.
“But you did argue.”
“We had a briefly hostile discussion—” I corrected emphatically. “In which we exchanged words about where I was going for the holidays. He wanted me to go to his house to meet his mum, but I had already made plans with you, so I said no. He got angry, so I tried to leave. He tried to stop me by grabbing my wrist—which was a perfectly innocent gesture, mind you—and Al walked in on us.”
Rose laughed loudly. Her voice cut through the clear silence of the winter day. “And Al came to your aid, your knight in shining armor.”
“He walked in and it looked bad. That’s not what I would call a heroic rescue.”
“Ok, fine. But then what happened? He obviously got you away from Tyler.”
“Yeah, I left with Al. He walked me to the Transfiguration classroom, but—” I hesitated. It seemed wrong, somehow, to tell Rose about Al’s secret passage. He had trusted me with it, after all. “But it was too close to the end of the class period for it to be worth my while to attend, so we sat outside talking, and then, we kissed. And then he left.”
Rose turned around, an excited look on her face. “That’s so sweet! Kudos to Al! How was it?”
“Rose, I do not want to get into this right now.” I told her, pushing past her and coming out into a clearing. “It’s not—wow. Where are we?”
The clearing was circular, almost perfectly so. On the far side there was a cliff face that slowly descended to meet with the level ground again. Coming from the top were long icicles, and below was a depression in the snow, in the shape of a pond. Above the cliff, I could see nothing but snow capped pine trees. It was beautiful.
“In the summer, there’s a pond with a waterfall.” Rose told me. “A few of the neighborhood kids used to go swimming with me here, but as soon as I got my letter, Mum and Dad wiped their memories. I think it was because I had done some magic, and they thought that it would be too weird for the kids if I suddenly went to boarding school on top of all that.”
“Do you miss them?” I asked. She gave me an expression, half way between a questioning look and a smile.
“What?” I asked.
“No one’s ever asked me that before. Yeah, I suppose I do, a bit. But they were just the neighbor kids, you know? There was Abby, who was half my age, and Victor, her older brother. He was my age, but he was a boy so he hung out with Hugo more. I think at one point I had a crush on him, but…. Anyway, there was Nikki as well. She was a year older than me, we mostly hung out together. I guess I do miss them… but it doesn’t matter. They weren’t as good as you or Athena.”
I said nothing. If Rose only knew who I really was….
I didn’t know what made me say it, but the words were out of my mouth. “Hey, someone told me about a girl who was bullied out of school that used to be in our dorm… did that happen, or…?”
Rose sighed. She walked towards the cliff face, motioning for me to follow her. I did, the sound of our footsteps echoing off the walls. She walked past the waterfall and slipped through a nearly invisible crack in the stone. I followed her, ducking into a small cave, just high enough for me to stand without hitting my head. Inside was a raggedy carpet, and a wooden crate. Rose conjured up a ball of flames, which circulated in the middle of the cavern, and sat on the ground. I followed suit, sitting across from her.
“Deandra Misgen.” She said. She didn’t have to speak loudly. The cave shut out all the sounds but us and the fire. “She was our year... in our house, actually. She slept in your bed.” I tried to keep my expression blank and unreadable as Rose went on, telling me all she knew about myself. “She wasn’t the best looking kid… but she was nice. Or she seemed nice, before she got bullied. She used to be really good friends with Al, Aidan, and Scorpius… I think Aidan was actually her cousin.” Rose said with a sigh.
“But then, I don’t know, after first year they just started to hate her. I’ve asked them all about it loads of times and they won’t tell me. They showed her no mercy… I think the incident that made her decide to leave was when they hung her upside down by her ankle in the Great Hall one morning. It was a threat for one of Lily’s boyfriends, and it was horrible. But after that, I never saw her again.” Rose said. “I just feel like… I don’t know. Maybe I could have helped.”
“It doesn’t sound like there was anything to be done.” I told her, tucking away the information to process on my own, later, when I had room to react in the way I saw fit. “You didn’t try to bully her, did you?”
“Never.” Rose swore, looking solemn. “I actually found her outside in the cold once. She almost had hypothermia; someone had locked her out of the castle. I pretended not to know who, and I guess she did too, because it never came back to Al and the others. Merlin, they were horrible to her.”
I stayed silent, waiting for her to say something else, but she appeared to be lost in thought. I cleared my throat, and she snapped back to the present. “Anyway,” She said, shaking her head, as if trying to get something out of her hair. “What are you gonna do about Al?”
“Hang on,” I said evasively, mostly because I had no clue what I was going to do about Al, but not because it was a problem that he kissed me. More that I was just an avoidant person who didn’t want to cause a problem by breaking up with Tyler. “We already talked about that. It’s your turn. What’s up with you and Scorpius?”
“I’m with Lucas.” Rose told me sharply. “There’s nothing going on between Scorpius and I.”
“Oh, come on Rose!” I moaned. “You’re killing me here. You two are like, the dream couple!”
“But I’m with Lucas.” She said. “So it’s not worth thinking about.”
“Okay, but if you weren’t with Lucas,” I insisted, my tone shifting to serious. “Would you think about Scorpius?”
She opened her mouth. Closed it. Opened it again. Sighed. “I don’t know.” She finally said. “It’s complicated. I used to like him back when we were in third or fourth year, but then… I just started focusing on my school work instead of boys. Lucas is my first boyfriend, I mean other than that three hour thing with the Ravenclaw Gregory Sweeney, and I don’t count that. I just… I grew up. Scorpius kind of represents my childhood.” She paused. “That sounds weird.”
“No,” I said, thinking of how Deandra represented all the pain in my life. “It sounds normal. You stopped liking him, and then you changed as a person, and it’s difficult to think of him in the same way you did back then.”
“Yeah, exactly.” Rose said, looking up at me. “That’s exactly what it is.”
I grinned. “See, I understand some things, at least.”
“But not how to deal with Al, I’m guessing.” She teased.
“Yeah, I still don’t want to talk about that, Rose.”
“Fine.” She pouted. “We should probably be heading back, anyway. I didn’t tell Mum and Dad we were going, and dinner should be ready soon.” My stomach growled at the mention of food. I hadn’t realized I was even hungry (too busy thinking about Al or taking adventure hikes with Rose), but now that I did, I was starving.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Let’s go back.”
Later in the night, after everyone had fallen asleep, even Rose, I sat in the corner of her room by the window and wrote a letter to Cinda and Arianna. They had sent one of their own with an owl that wouldn’t leave Rose’s room, and I really wanted to go to sleep, so I was penning one as quickly as I could.
Dear Cinda and Ari,
This fucking bird won’t leave me alone. Rose’s house is nice. Her family aren’t horrible villains like you suspected. Actually, they’re pretty normal, for the family that saved the wizarding world. Anyway, everything’s going fine, nothing really to report. I’ll think about how to use this Weasley time to my advantage with the Plan, alright? See you soon.
With love, Del.
Rose shifted and yawned just as I finished the ‘l’ in my name. “Del? What’re you doing?”
“This bloody owl Cinda and Arianna sent me won’t leave.” I whispered across the room, folding my letter up quickly. “I’m giving it a letter to bring back to them. Go back to sleep.”
“Oh, that reminds me,” Rose mumbled with a yawn. “We’re going Christmas shopping in Diagon Alley tomorrow—I forgot to tell you. Mum said she’d Apparate us there.”
“Okay.” I whispered back, and she rolled over on her side and went back to sleep. I carefully tied the now-crumpled letter to the owl’s leg. I had been holding it so tightly, nervous that Rose would somehow see through the parchment and read the bit about the plan. I opened the window gently and pushed the owl out, watching as it hooting indignantly and flew away.
Just as a gust of cold air blew through the open window, I shut it, shivering. I lay back on the camp bed and pulled the quilt Hermione had given me up to my chin, curling up facing the wall, away from Rose. I stared at the blank, light blue wall, and ran my finger along it, and then stopped, hating the noise it my fingernail made against it. Served me right for trying to be dramatic.
I needed to make Al, Aidan, and Scorpius hate me. For Al and Aidan, I already had a plan. Use their hearts. They were Gryffindors. Even though it didn’t seem like it when I knew them before, their hearts were the softest spots on them. If Arianna broke up with Aidan and I broke up with Al, it would be the ultimate betrayal. They would realize we were playing them all along, and their firm belief in loyalty would be shattered.
But for Scorpius… I had no idea. Maybe I could bring Lucas and Rose together on purpose, so he would be even more tortured. I wondered if he became as miserable as he made me, the Vow would be satisfied, even if he didn’t know it was me who brought him to that point.
I huffed and readjusted myself under the blanket, shivering. Ever since that little escapade into the lake, the cold always affected me more than it should have. I closed my eyes at the thought of the lake. I hated reliving those memories—hated it. They were the stuff of nightmares for me.
I drifted off to sleep, trying desperately to push Scorpius, Al, and the lake out of my mind.
Deandra walked quickly down the corridors, shivering a bit. The cold seemed to pierce her skin more than it had before, sucking out all her body heat and making her even more miserable. She was meeting Professor McGonagall, for ‘unknown reasons’—that’s why she had been pulled out of class. But she knew what the Headmistress wanted. Everyone did.
“Dumbledore.” She told the gargoyle standing outside the Head office. It jumped aside, and Deandra mounted the spiral staircase, walking up the stairs as quickly as she could. Now was her chance to make them stop. Now was her chance to finally make them feel repercussions for their actions.
She knocked eagerly, a stark contrast to Professor McGonagall’s grim “Enter.” Deandra pushed the door open to find McGonagall sitting behind her desk, her fingers threaded together in a bridge to support her chin, which was resting on her hands.
“Miss Misgen.” Professor McGonagall greeted. “I assume you know why you’re here.”
“Yes, Professor.” Deandra said. Suddenly, she was hesitant to tell Professor McGonagall who her attackers had been. She seemed serious. But then again, the Headmistress was always serious.
“Then I hope you understand that your attackers will not be informed that it was you who told me about them. This will be carried out in total confidence.”
It was then that Deandra thought of the drawbacks of making them feel the repercussions of their actions. The repercussions that would come to her. They could retaliate. They would hate her even more. She didn’t want that. Maybe they would even be friends with her again, if she didn’t tell.
“Yes, Professor.” Deandra repeated, processing the information in her head. If she didn’t tell on them, maybe they would warm up to her. Maybe they would be friends with her again. “I’m sorry.” She said, making the decision quickly. “But I don’t know who they were. I didn’t see them.”
Read my other stories and review please. I want you to review the most, I don't care as much about my other stories (but reading them would be nice ;)
over and out.
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