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 ---Chapter 18 - Inexplicable---

 

Drunk, miserable while pretending to be ecstatic about life, also while staring at my ex-enemy and wishing the unbelievably gorgeous girl beside him would piss off despite not really knowing why… am I missing anything?

 

I decided to focus on the lesser of two evils. The girl. Not my mother. No. I’m still repressing that. I’ll deal with it later—later being obviously one of my new favourite words.

 

“So Keegan, are you the one that got Mister Anti-Social here to come out tonight?” the beautiful girl that was once the ex-girlfriend of Oliver asked me.

 

Damn it, she seemed nice. Why were the beautiful nice? Why couldn’t they be dumb and annoying and awful? Of course, I never thought Oliver would ever date a dumb, annoying or awful girl. As much as I rag on the prick, he’s got standards. I guess.

 

“Yeah,” I replied lazily, trying to be as nonchalant as humanly possible, despite the volcano of weird and confusing emotions erupting within me. “It didn’t take much convincing though.”

 

“Didn’t it now?” she gave me a funny look then gave Oliver an even funnier look.

 

“Hey Leia, did you know that Keegan’s captain of the Ravenclaw team?” Oliver suddenly interjected, his now empty glass waving around aimlessly in the air. He was a bit drunk, I could just tell.

 

“You are?” Leia looked on with newfound respect, and despite everything, I sort of liked the girl. She seemed to be able to put Oliver on edge and that was really quite amusing for me.

 

“Yup,” I grinned proudly. “Definitely a better captain than that git beside you.”

 

Leia let out a bark of laughter and patted Oliver on the back in faux comfort, yet the action if I were to be honest in my intoxicated state made me feel a little… I don’t know what it was but I didn’t like it.

 

“You’d think that but who was it that beat your arse this year?” Oliver asked haughtily, his eyebrows were narrowed forward, and he did seem rather annoyed for some reason. But fuck’s sake, Oliver was always annoyed at me for one thing or another; it was why we’ve been at each other’s throat for the better part of my life.

 

“Only because you were a reckless cheating wanker!” I retorted quickly.

 

Oliver stood up straighter. “Cheat? How the hell did I cheat, Keegan? Don’t be such a sore loser!”

 

“I am not!” I growled, my fists clenching tightly. “You know what you did and you know that you were a git about it!”

 

“I apologised for that but if given the chance, I’d probably give the same call.”

 

We were nose to nose, our breathing heavy and ragged, and all I wanted to do was claw his bloody eyes out. Why were we friends? Who in their fucking right minds thought that this could ever work out?

 

Oh right, we did.

 

“Whoa, you two, calm down,” Leia moved in between us, pushing both of us back. I stumbled a little and Oliver barely budged. “It’s just a game.”

 

Oliver’s eyes snapped from my face to Leia’s. “Just a…”

 

“Game?” I finished, staring incredulously at her.

 

Leia let out another bark of laughter and she shook her head at the both of us. “I never thought that I’d meet someone as much of a nutter about Quidditch as Oliver but… wow. You two. How long have you been dating?”

 

“Dating?” I squeaked disbelievingly. “We’re definitely not dating!”

 

I glanced at Oliver and noticed that he was looking at me with the oddest expression on his face, one that I couldn’t and didn’t really want to understand. But as soon as he saw me looking, he turned away and let out a crooked grin. “As if I’d date someone so infuriating, Leia, you’d know that better than anyone.”

 

“I suppose so,” Leia said slowly before breaking out into a wide and rather stunning smile. “You always were the shittiest boyfriend.”

 

“Oi!” Oliver feigned hurt. “I tried my best.”

 

She placed a hand over his bicep. “You were, Ollie. Romance and you just didn’t see eye to eye.”

 

He considered this for a second before giving her a secret smile. “But what about that time… you know, by the lake? I thought I was pretty romantic then.”

 

Leia giggled softly, and I suddenly realised I was the third wheel.

 

Well, balls! I’m not going to just stand here and listen to Oliver and Leia reminisce about their ten-month-long relationship!

 

How rude…

 

I turned and walked off, leaving the two to giggle and smile at each other all they bloody well wanted. I needed to go find my friends anyway.

 

It wasn’t hard to spot the three girls. Lucy was propped up against Penny while the three of them swayed in a lazy drunk haze. As I approached, Lucy suddenly jumped up and bounded towards me. “There you are!”

 

I held her back softly and chuckled. “Here I am.”

 

“Where have you been? We’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Lucy then put up a hand before I could answer her question. “Actually no, doesn’t matter. I’m knackered, Keegan, can we go home now?”

 

I looked to Miranda and Penny, and they both gave me an apologetic nod.

 

“Hey, hey, this wasn’t my plan!” I said pointedly to Penny, who remained too drunk to retort back. “Fine, let’s go but one of you has to go get Oliver because I’m not going.”

 

“Did you two get into another fight?” Miranda asked, arching an eyebrow at me that I knew meant she knew we did and wanted details when she was capable of remembering it.

 

I shook my head. “No, just… someone else go.”

 

Fifteen minutes later, I stood silently fuming as I watched Oliver give Leia a hug outside the club. He mumbled something in her ear, which caused her to laugh and roll her eyes at him.

 

Stupid selfish prick… how dare he make us wait for him? Who does he think he is!

 

I felt someone’s hand encircle my arm and I tore my gaze away to look at a smirking Miranda. “Are you jealous, Keegan?”

 

“Of what?”

 

“Of her,” Miranda jerked her head towards Leila. “You’ve probably killed her about three times already in your head.”

 

“Not her, but him,” I growled, thinking about how much I want to punch Oliver right now. “And I’m not jealous. Why would I be?”

 

“Because you’re secretly in love with him?” Lucy suggested, giggling.

 

“I liked you better quiet,” I mumbled, which made Lucy giggle even louder, clasping me into a tight hug.

 

“You love me really,” she slurred.

 

I shoved the blonde off of me and quickly turned my back to him as Oliver walked over towards us. He threw me a questioning look but I just ignored him. Serves him right for being a prick! But how was he being a prick, Keegan? I don’t know! Shut up!

 

Bloody hell, it seemed that the small portion of my brain that was still relatively sober wanted to speak to me.

 

We made our way to a dark alleyway to apparate discreetly as I silently argued with myself over the reason for the volcanic eruption of emotions inside of me. I wanted to be angry and I most definitely did not want to bloody analyse why I was angry. That was a shrink’s job… and I wasn’t insane.

 

You’re talking to yourself!

 

Because I’m drunk, piss off!

 

Still talking to yourself…

 

God, am I always so fucking annoying?

 

“Yes, yes you are,” Oliver smirked at me since I seemed to have actually asked that question out loud.

 

My eyes narrowed and I fought the urge to smack him. “Well… so are you!” I replied oh-so-cleverly.

 

“Oh no, no you don’t! We need to get home and if you two fight… then we just won’t,” Penny said as she jumped in between us, accidently smacking me in the face as she did so. I touched my cheek and sighed.

 

See, drunk Penny equals dangerous Penny.

 

“Fine. You guys are staying at mine, right?” The three girls nodded and I reluctantly turned to Oliver. “You can too… I mean on the sofa though.”

 

Oliver laughed and decided that yes he would like to stay over despite me mentally telling him that I might kill him in his sleep and that would be no fault of mine. But he nodded anyways, which was how I now found myself setting up Oliver’s makeshift bed on the sofa while the girls were passed out upstairs in my room. I heard his footsteps and I stiffened. I could feel him come up beside me and place his hands on my shoulders, turning me around to face him.

 

“Why are you mad at me?” he asked.

 

“I’m not,” I lied, turning back to fluff up his pillow, which was weird because I don’t even fluff up my own pillows, but I suppose, anything to avoid looking at his stupid face.

 

Oliver snorted and sat down on the sofa, making all my efforts to turn the sofa into a bed completely pointless, as the pillows fell to the floor and the duvet scrunched up under his weight. I glared at him. He really was exasperating.

 

“You are definitely mad at me, Keegs,” Oliver laughed then patted the spot next to him but I remained standing up—better angle to glare at him from. “If there’s one thing I am absolutely positive about when it comes to you, it’s when you’re mad. And you’re mad right now.”

 

I crossed my arms over my chest. “Not. Mad.”

 

“Oh, come on, just sit down and talk to me,” Oliver whined and before I had a chance to give him my answer (which was still a resolute ‘no’), his hand took hold of my wrist and tugged me down. I fell head first into the sofa, banging my head against the hard wooden surface underneath. I groaned in pain and straightened up to kick Oliver as hard as I could. But the git caught my foot just in time, making me fall back down onto the sofa, my back now lying flat against the plush cushions, while he erupted into loud guffaws.

 

“It’s not that funny,” I grumbled. 

 

“It is a little bit,” he grinned back. “Okay, sorry. Come on, lighten up, Keegan. It’s like you enjoy being angry with me.”

 

“I do,” I gave him a grin of my own as I kicked him in the gut with my other foot. Oliver crumpled over and let out a painful gasp of air, which made me giggle. “Okay, Ollie, we’re even.”

 

He gave me a withering look. “You are impossible. Why the fuck are you being so difficult? I thought we were trying to be friends.”

 

I countered with an ‘are you serious’ look. “Friends don’t leave each other to go flirt with some girl on a rather… delicate night.”

 

“Is that what this is about?” Oliver scoffed in disbelief. “Merlin, Keegan, it’s Leila, she’s my ex. I haven’t seen her in over a year; we just caught up and stuff and it didn’t look like you girls needed me anyway…” He stopped for a split second and began to smirk arrogantly. “You’re jealous.”

 

What?” I cried out. “I am not!”

 

“You are!” he laughed triumphantly. “You’re so jealous! Didn’t know you fancied me in that way, Keegs.” He gave me a dramatic wink that I assumed was supposed to be quite seductive but it made me dry heave.

 

“I don’t,” I scowled at him, trying to kick him again. He caught my foot however and took the other one as well, holding them on his lap in a vice-like grip. I struggled for a few seconds but gave up, knowing that he was ridiculously strong—much stronger than me anyhow.

 

“But you are jealous,” he said in a way that made it sound more like a question.

 

“I’m not jealous,” I replied but my resolve was faltering slightly and the exhaustion from today’s events made me too tired to argue. “Okay… I was a little but not because of that. Just… why can’t we stop fighting?”

 

Oliver considered this for a few seconds, while distractedly stroking my leg, making me shiver all over.

 

Merlin, he needed to stop that… It was weird! I mean… it felt nice… and it made me tingle everywhere he touched… and I was beginning to feel… Fuck, he needed to stop that!

 

I gave a little jerk of my leg or as much of a movement as I could manage, considering he was still holding onto them. Oliver’s eyes snapped back to mine.

 

“We fight because it’s us,” he said simply. “We’ve always argued even as kids. Mum used to say it was because we were too much alike.”

 

“Friends shouldn’t argue as much as we do,” I mumbled quietly, averting my eyes to look down. I was still dressed in my going out clothes and I tugged at the hem of the lacy white top.

 

I don’t know but as quick as lightning, the atmosphere in the room had gone from angry and playful to intense and quiet, and I wasn’t a big fan of the change. It felt suffocating and all I wanted was to leave and curl up in a ball in my own bed. And truthfully, I’d rather be kicking Oliver in the gut than try talking to him about something serious. It just felt wrong and unnerving.

 

Oliver let go of my legs, pushing them over the side of the sofa as he moved closer towards me. He placed a finger under my chin and pushed my face up towards his so I was looking into his eyes. “Is that what you’re worried about? That we’re trying to force this friendship to work?”

 

“I don’t know, maybe?”

 

“Hey,” he said softly. “Of course, this will work. Put all the arguing aside, Keegs, you’re still my best friend. You know me better than anyone, and you know I know you just as well. I’d do anything for you.”

 

And he meant it. Every last bloody word.

 

The problem now was why the hell did that scare me so much? Why did it scare me that he cares so much about me?

 

I didn’t have an answer to that nor did I have a response to him. I did the only thing that came to mind, which in the morning, I knew I was probably going to regret, but there was still a large portion of my brain soaked in an alcoholic daze.

 

I leaned forward and placed my hand at the nape of his neck. Oliver jolted at the contact and without even thinking about the repercussions, I brushed my lips against his softly. It was tentative yet the contact made my body come alive, like there were electric currents running through it igniting every nerve in my body, and it took all of my self-control to pull back.

 

“Good night, Oliver.”

 

---

 

“Fuck!”

 

Three heads popped out of from underneath the duvet like daisies in the summertime and if I had been in a mood to laugh, I would have but as it were, I was not. Not in the slightest.

 

“Fuck, fuck, shit!” I muttered again.

 

Miranda sat up first and she was scowling at me. “What in Merlin’s name are you doing, Keegan?”

 

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I snapped, feeling my head and wincing at the hangover that was waging its own form of hell inside my head. “Fuck.”

 

Lucy sat up this time, her blue eyes weary and concerned: a direct contrast to the auburn haired so-called best friend beside her. “Keegan, are you okay?”

 

“Just kill her so I can go back to sleep,” Penny murmured, turning onto her side, and ignoring us altogether. Leave it to Penny to be cold and ruthless.

 

“Someone should kill me,” I wailed dramatically. “I might as well die. No point in living now.”

 

“Bloody hell, what is up with you?” Miranda groaned. “You are adding to my hangover and that is not helping me pity you at all.”

 

“IkissedOliverlastnight!”

 

“WHAT!” Lucy practically screamed as she threw the duvet off of her, and consequently, off of Miranda and Penny as well, in her haste to grab me.

 

“Merlin, what the fuck was that?” Penny had her hands placed over both ears, and a look of intense pain on her face.

 

If I had been in a mood to laugh, I would’ve laughed now too, but… well, I just wanted to slam my head into a wall.

 

“How did you even understand that gibberish, Lucy?” Miranda asked, looking a little bit impressed. I was too, to be fair.

 

“She said that she kissed Oliver last night, and I can hear it because I have a lot of emotional investment in the outcome of their relationship,” Lucy stated plain and simple.

 

“What relationship?” I scoffed. “There is no relationship!”

 

“Wait, so you two aren’t together now?” her big blue eyes widened in a mixture of surprise and sadness.

 

“No, Lucy, Oliver and I are most definitely not together!” I wanted to shout but considering, Edan was next door, my dad two doors down, and Oliver downstairs, shouting wouldn’t be conducive to my situation at the moment.

 

“So why’d you kiss him?” Miranda asked this time.

 

“Because… because… because he’s an asshole!” I finished pathetically. “I mean he goes and tells me he’d do anything for me and expect me to just be like ‘cool, mate’… what else was I supposed to do? Okay, not kissing him would be a start. But he’s the asshole! I mean he knows I can’t do emotional conversations and there he goes, being sweet and caring like-like I was a normal human being. And bloody hell, when did Oliver get so fit!”

 

My chest heaved up and down as I tried to catch my breath and gather my thoughts after that rant.  All three girls turned to exchange glances with each other however and burst out laughing; yes, even Penny had sat up and was now laughing amusedly at me.

 

“Keegan, my darling Keegan,” Miranda tutted. “Oliver has always been fit. Always.”

 

“It’s true,” Penny was smiling now.

 

“Okay, even if it is true, what the hell do I do now?” I exclaimed exasperatedly. “He’s downstairs right now, probably thinking I’m a nutter or something. And I just don’t… I don’t want to ruin our friendship. We’re just getting to a good place.”

 

“Aww, Keegs,” Miranda sighed, pulling me into a hug. “Go talk to him. Say you were drunk.”

 

“NO!” Lucy cried out. “Tell him you love him! BE WITH HIM!”

 

I frowned. “But I don’t.”

 

“You do, you’re just too dumb to see it!” Lucy was getting quite worked up about this now that I’ve noticed the massive throbbing vein in her forehead. “You both are so dumb! You’re madly in love with each other and you have a chance at something real here but no, you’re both too damn stubborn to admit to your feelings… then when the opportunity’s gone, you’re going to cry yourself to sleep every fucking night, wondering why you were so bloody stupid… and you’re going to hate yourself.” Lucy then erupted in tears, hiding her face in her hands.

 

Penny, Miranda and I quickly enveloped our friend in a tight group hug, whispering comforting words in her ears. We all knew that she was no longer talking about Oliver and me and was now talking about Seamus and her.

 

“At least, you’re not madly in love with someone and know you want to spend the rest of your life with them only to fuck it up by being a chicken shit about the future,” Miranda blurted out, also erupting in tears.

 

Penny and I stared wide-eyed at each other, now quite literally at a loss to what to do. What in the world is going on? It’s like last night they had all just lived in some fairytale world where everything was dandy but as soon as the light came up, they were back to their original fucked up situations. How do we even begin to fix them? Or well, their situations? Because fixing them, as people, would probably take a lot longer period of time, of which we just did not have.

 

“Okay, let’s take this one person at a time,” Penny announced, always the one to lead us back to normalcy. “Lucy, you go. And don’t bother lying that nothing’s wrong and that it’s just you getting upset over Oliver and Keegan because that’s rubbish.”

 

Lucy looked a bit put out at first but sighed and hung her head down. “I… I miss Seamus. At first, I thought it was just guilt, you know? For fucking him about but then, I realised that I just missed his company… He’s always been there for me. Why didn’t I see it before? And… And now it’s too late!” Lucy let out another wail of grief and began sobbing all over again.

 

“Because Lucy, we don’t often see what’s right in front of us till we lose it,” Penny said, her eyes serious, and there was something in her voice that made us all hang on to her every word.

 

Well bloody hell, I always knew Penny commanded attention and authority but… I sort of really knew why now.

 

“But what do I do?” she sniffled. I wrapped my arm around her protectively and she leaned into me.

 

“Talk to him,” Penny advised. “Tell him how you feel.”

 

Lucy looked horrified at the prospect and was going to protest but Penny just gave her a stern look that said ‘there is no option B so shut up’. She then turned her attention to Miranda.

 

“What happened between you and Elbie, Miranda?”

 

Miranda slumped her shoulders, shame-faced and worn out. “Okay… another round of crazy, we go.” She gave us a feeble attempt at a joke and she knew it. “Well, it’s all my fault. He was getting so excited about the idea of us living together that he started dragging me around to look at flats, and I don’t know, I panicked. I mean this is the rest of my life! I’m just 18, what am I supposed to do?” She looked at me and then sighed heavily. “Anyway long story short, he took my hesitation as a hesitation on us… and it’s not that I don’t love him, I just don’t know if that’s enough and basically, he said if I don’t think that that’s enough then maybe there shouldn’t be an us in the first place. Then he just left.”

 

Bloody hell…

 

“God you two,” Penny shook her head despairingly. “You do know that all of this can be fixed by one little chat? I guess I don’t exactly know what’ll happen, what they’ll say but you two are being children. Go. Talk. To. Them!”

 

Miranda and Lucy looked up, first a scowl, then a frown, and finally the last wave of emotion was a defeated acceptance of what they had to do. I nearly snorted but I knew that if they weren’t going to get angry with Penny, they’d probably do with me so I did the smart thing for once and kept my mouth shut.

 

“And what about you, Keegan? You were pretty upset last night too, care to share with the rest of the group?” Penny smiled.

 

And like a wrecking ball, the events from yesterday came crashing back into the forefront of my mind, destroying everything in its path. I should’ve known I couldn’t repress it for that long. It was too damn big to push down.

 

“Erm…” I began and then faltered. How was I supposed to put this delicately? With Oliver, it was easy because we’ve always been blunt with one another, no matter the weight of the subject. But with the girls, I didn’t even know how to say it.

 

“Come on, Keegan, we all shared our miserable tale,” Miranda laughed, poking me in the rib.

 

I gave her a meagre smile. Well… I mean… I should just say it… like pulling off a band-aid, like I did with Oliver…

 

“Apparently my mum’s dying,” I grinned, wondering just why the bloody hell I was smiling. It wasn’t funny but the awkwardness of the situation forced it on me and now that my smile was properly plastered to my face, I couldn’t stop smiling.

 

“Oh my god, Keegan, I’m so sorry,” Lucy cried out, hugging me to her now. “Here we are going on about boys, and you… your mum!”

 

I laughed at the way she said ‘boys’ as if it was a dirty disgusting disease she didn’t want to be associated with, but the sound of my laugh now meant that all three girls were staring at me like I was insane. Maybe I was…

 

I mean I kissed bloody Oliver. And I didn’t hate it nor did I hate him. And now I’m smiling and my mum is dying, what the fuck was wrong with me?

 

“Keegan, are you okay? Why are you smiling?” Miranda asked me gently, placing a hand over mine.

 

I looked down at it, unable to wipe the smile off my face. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ve finally cracked. I mean I did kiss Oliver last night,” and then I laughed again.

 

The girls looked properly frightened now but I didn’t blame them. Hell, I was scaring myself!

 

“Does he know?” Penny asked. I nodded. “And do you fancy him?” I shook my head. “Maybe you’re not mad, Keegan. You probably kissed him because you’re trying to avoid dealing with the bigger issue here.”

 

I cocked my head to the side. “What do you mean?”

 

“You’re trying to create new problems, like kissing Oliver, to avoid dealing with the main problem, which is how to deal with this news about your mum,” Penny pointed out to me. 

 

I mulled this over and concluded that Penny was probably right.

 

Or at least that reason was a whole easier to deal with… And I knew despite my innate instinct to run away, I really had to bloody deal with my mother sooner rather than later.

 

---

 

Oliver left before I could face him, something about his dad needing him to come home right away, but maybe he was avoiding me.

 

Was I really that shite of a kisser?

 

No, fuck’s sake, Keegan, now was not the time to be thinking about Oliver Wood.

 

I focused in on the sterilised smell of the glaringly white room. There was a dull throbbing pain in my jaw and I knew I had been clenching my teeth as soon as we had arrived but it was either that or start screaming gibberish—somehow I think if I did the latter, I might actually never get to leave this place; they’d probably lock me away or something.

 

Edan was chatting animatedly to my mum on the other side of waiting room. It seemed that the little traitor had forgiven her a lot quicker than I could, but I suppose being the younger one, he never had to deal with how much responsibility I had to take on growing up—not that I’m complaining. I’m just saying it’s hard to forgive a flighty, irresponsible, pathe… I inhaled and willed my body to relax. I unclenched my hands but only to replace that anxious habit with another, biting the inside of my cheeks.

 

Mum had owled us a few days later, apologising for the abrupt way she told us the news, and basically laid out another fucking bomb—that her kidneys were failing and that she needed a compatible donor but the wait was so long and she didn’t have much time left. Edan being the kind and wonderful prick that he is forced me to come to St. Mungo’s Hospital today so we could get checked if we were compatible donors.

 

I don’t think I really would have let my mum die because I knew that somewhere buried underneath a mountain of emotional repression and boulders of anger and distaste, I still cared for her. But I would have made her wait a little bit. At least until the aching ceased because with that letter came a new wave of hurt, one that I had promised myself I would never feel again, but I know I wasn’t crazy to be angry that the reason she came back was because she needed a donor—not because she wanted us back in her life.

 

I mean how long would it have really taken her to reach out for us if she hadn’t been put in this predicament?

 

I don’t know and I don’t really want to know. I just hope she bloody well knew that I was here because of one reason and one reason only, Edan.

 

“Edan, Keegan Riddell?” I looked up to face the Healer that was now standing before us in his equally blinding white robe with his bushy greying beard. “I have your results.”




A/N: Hi guys!! I thought I'd add this on before the holiday... I hope you enjoy it. It's really more of a filler than anything juicy although... there was that little kiss ;) I hope you liked it!!! Favourite lines? Do leave a review! Cheers! 

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