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"Is there another choice?" 


"Well....there is," James answered. Everyone looked at him in surprise, even Remus and I.


"There is one blank card for each player in this game. If you have to absolutely refuse a dare or truth, you can give your card to the person you know the least, and they will write one down for you. If you refuse to do that, you're out of the game."


"Fine, I'll do that. Who do I give it to?"


"Just put it in the middle. The card picks."


I placed the card that appeared in front of me in the center, and it flew to Mary McDonald. She looked at me sympathetically.


"Sorry Dorcas." She finished writing in her neat script, and handed it back to me.


"Sleep in the bedroom of your least favorite person in the room tonight." My eyes traveled once more to Nick. His to mine. This was happening, wasn't it? It was.





The game was over. It was one o' clock on Saturday morning, and Nick and I were walking back to the Ravenclaw tower, Seventh Year Boys dormitory. I wasn't ready for this, not again. Of course, there was no sex involved, but I can't do this again. He smelled too good in the morning. There was too much familiarity. 


"Let's go Dorcas. Pick up the pace, I don't want to get caught."


"Sorry," I mumbled. He slowed down to my pace and felt my cheek.


"Are you feeling okay Dorcas?" I waved his hand off of me and stopped walking. 


"Excuse me," I said defensively, looking up to him.


"You're so, compliant." I rolled my eyes, and began walking again. Could nothing I do make Nick Weids happy?


"Look, Weids, I'm tired. Let's not do this."


"Dorcas, I care about you."


"Yeah, well I'm betting Emmeline doesn't care about me as much."




"I just don't want to get beat up by your girlfriend okay!"


"Emmeline is not my girlfriend, Doe," Nick protested quickly. "Don't worry about her. "


"Did you tell your friends we were just fuck buddies to?"


"What the hell Dorcas?"


"Just call me Meadowes," I said, stopping to throw a mini tantrum in the hallway. 


"No. And stop it," he insisted, scoffing at me and continuing towards the dormitory.


"What?" I asked, indignant.


"Pretending like Emm scares you. You could beat her up, no problem."


"I'm not so sure," I said, feeling pathetic and weak in the early morning.


"What the hell? Where's my lioness?" I smiled slightly. He always used to call me that. "I taught you how to fight, haven't forgotten have you?"


"Of course not, I'm not a dimwit." Somehow he always got me into a conversation. 


"Better prove it." 


"I will. The best lioness knows when to attack. When her prey is vulnerable." I tip toed up to his ear. "Sleep with one eye open tonight Weids." He shuddered a bit, maybe mockingly. I was too tired to care. We came up to the portrait.


"At night they come without being fetched. By day they are lost without being stolen." Nick was about to answer when my hand came out to his chest.


"Sh, I want to try this one," I whined, stepping in front of Nick to face the riddling portrait. 


"Dorcas, this used to take an hour, minimum."


"Yeah, well I'm smarter now." I contemplated this one. It seemed generally easy, I guess even the portrait was tired of riddles this early in the morning. 


"So they are shown in the night," I whispered to myself. I knew Nick smiled as I calculated. He always did.


"You can't see them during the day?" I looked up to him for approval. He nodded, and I answered proudly.


"The stars." As I was climbing in the portrait hole, happy enough with Nick for the night, why was it that the only star I thought of, was Sirius?




I went in the bathroom quietly and put my hair up into a ponytail. I conjured up a toothbrush, and stared at myself for minute while brushing. I did look thinner now. I ate just as much as I always did, maybe more, but still I thinned. My collar bones protruded, my wrists were obscene. I was disgusting. Cleaning the sink, I waved my wand to put everything I had borrowed back in place. I was walking out and the wave of nausea I had felt towards the end of the game came back. I held onto the doorframe, and saw Nick looking at me from his bed. I frowned and walked over to the bed.


"You okay?" I flopped down on the other side of the bed and ignored Nick as he held up the blanket for me.   


"I think I'll pass," I said turning my back to him. And I said I was fine, didn't I?"


"You always say that, Dorcas." He brushed back my falling bangs gently and I pushed away his hand.


"And you're still Nick Weids," I grumbled. 


"God Dorcas, we were laughing!" he said exasperatedly.


"Yeah, and do you remember what the card said? Your least favorite person!"


"I'm sure the Veritaserum had worn off by then." He's right, it had.




"If it had, I would have chosen James."


"That would have been obvious. You had to pick someone everyone else thought you hated, Doe. Don't take me for stupid." He always made that joke.


"Well, if you weren't stupid, you'd realize nothing has changed." He turned over.




"Oi! We're trying to sleep in here!" a Scottish accent yelled shortly from across the room. I didn't say anything after that. 


"Whatever you say Doe. Goodnight," Nick whispered. I hmphed in return and he let out a short little laugh. The last noise of the night. 





I woke up fast, my cheeks wet with tears. I had a dream that I was dying. Except, I wasn't dying, I was being killed. Bellatrix was trying to kill me. She laughed as she tore away at my skin, ripping it off piece by piece. She was screaming out, letting everyone know I would die anyway, so why wait? And I agreed with her. I had let her do it to me, because I wanted to die. I still wanted to die, and that's why I was crying. I felt an arm on mine, and I flipped around.


"I'm fine Nick," I said, removing the offensive limb. He rubbed his forehead, and grabbed his glasses from his bedside.


"Fuck, Doe. You're not. I'm not evil, I'm still in love with you. That's all I've ever cared about."


"Yeah I heard that one last year when you cheated on me with Emmeline, oh and how about this year on the train when you helped Emmeline cheat on my best friend! Loved that part. What about right now, when I'm forced to sleep with you because I hate you? That one might actually have the cake topper because honestly it's all just another li-


And he kissed me. He kissed me softly, and then he just stopped, and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run, I truly did, but he had those damn glasses on. 


"If you didn't have those glasses on, I'd be gone." Nick smiled and tilted his head a bit.  


"I know. That's why they're on." And then he kissed me again. I rolled onto my back, taking him with me. And suddenly, I was in love with him too, because I needed someone in that moment. I gripped his hair, and grabbed at the back of his neck. Then he stopped. It was abrupt, too abrupt for my liking. So I sat up with him, and sat on his lap. I stared at him, my teary eyes questioning, but no words traveled back and forth. There we sat, my head resting on his chest; and I cried and cried. I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. I cried for my mother and father, and especially for Harley. I cried for Sirius because I missed him. But mostly I cried for myself, because honestly, what else is there? There was nothing else for me to do except cry. This whole week I kept myself busy, just so I wouldn't cry. But Nick had brought back feelings, feelings that I don't think could ever happen for me again. Not with Nick, not with Sirius, not with anyone. They say you have one first love, but at least those who said it would get a second love.  


"Dorcas, what's wrong?"




"Sweet, it can't be everything."


"It is. It's killing me softly." 


"Stop it, you're not going to die. Not while you have me. And certainly not with your bloody band of marauders." At that, I burst into a fresh round of tears. He held me to his chest, and we rocked back and forth a bit. He held me like a baby, and I cried like one. I wanted to be a baby again. Sixteen sucks.




Then the corners of my mouth twitched up, and I didn't even know why. Then I felt it and let out a small shriek. He covered my mouth, his eyes sparkling with joy and mischief. Then I wanted to cry all over again. That kind of joy was priceless. He continued to tickle me mercilessly, and I laughed, not caring if his dorm mates heard or not. Let them think we had sex. Hell, let them think we were married. I loved the feeling of lightness, and nothing could ruin my mood now. Nothing. He stopped and my laughs turned to big, great sighs as we lay side by side, hand in hand. He turned to me, just like that last day, in that last week of my love life. 


"Dorcas, I really do love you." I looked at him in complete disbelief. Well, I guess something could ruin my mood after all. 


"Nick, I don't love you. Not anymore," I said precariously. He took off his glasses and set them aside.


"Look, we're obviously compatible Doe!"


"That's the problem with you Nick! Everything has to be an equation, or some means to an end," I answered flailing my arms above my head. 


"It would be different this time, I swear it Doe." I got up out of bed and started collecting my things. 


"I know it wouldn't, Nick. Don't do this." 


"Dorcas who else has ever loved you as much as I will?" I gulped strongly, loudly. He was right, but I couldn't get attached. Not again.


"I don't have time for this Nick!"


"You've got all the time in the world," he said, chuckling.


"I beg to differ," I huffed out.




"What does that mean Dorcas? You have to time to be serious, let's just have fun." I really didn't have time for fun anymore, and I wish he could understand that.


"Let it go Nick." I sighed greatly and finally got the chance to leave.


"I had to try didn't I?" He called to me as I rushed out. "Who doesn't want the thing that is unattainable?" 


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