Easter Holiday came round and Addy decided to stay at Hogwarts in earnest that time. Darcy was going on a trip with her family, and Addy wasn't close enough with anyone else. She didn't owl her parents to tell them she wasn't coming home. They must have been expecting her absence, as she never received a note of inquiry.
When everyone came back from holiday, Darcy seemed strange to Addy, distant even, and with exams approaching quickly, Addy saw her less and less; though she did still sit with her in charms. After one such class, they were making their way out of the classroom, when Killian came up to them. 'Addy?' Her group stopped walking collectively.
'Hmm?' She looked up at him.
He glanced at Jenee, who was stood next to Addy. 'Will you go to Hogsmeade with me this weekend?'
'Er...' Addy's eyes went wide. She didn't know he liked her. He'd barely spoken to him before. Addy looked at Darcy over his shoulder. She looked back at Addy blankly and shrugged. Some help she was. 'Sure, Killian.'
He smiled and glanced at Jenee again. 'Brilliant! Meet you at eleven?'
Addy nodded slowly. 'Sure.'
He nodded and turned away, running to catch up with John. Darcy gave Jenee a look and turned back around, walking with Saoirse. Addy turned her head in time to see Jenee frowning at the floor, before she jogged to catch up with Darcy and Saoirse. Addy walked to the Great Hall slowly, by herself, feeling like she had missed something. By the time she got to the Great Hall, they had already sat at their own tables.
On Saturday Addy showed up in the entrance hall at eleven, but there was no sign of Killian. She waited around for a bit, but he didn't show. She huffed in annoyance, and was just turning to go back upstairs, when a familiar couple joined her. 'Addy! What's wrong?' Alice asked when she saw Addy's scowl.
'Nothing. I just...I was supposed to meet Killian, but he never showed,' she shook her head.
'Are you sure you have the right time?' Frank asked.
Addy nodded. 'Pretty sure.'
'Well, why don't you come into town with us?' Alice asked.
'Oh, no,' Addy shook her head. 'I don't want to crash your date.'
They both smiled and shook their heads. 'We're meeting Al and Steve,' Alice said.
'To go over quidditch strategies for the last game,' Frank added.
'You won't be crashing a date,' Alice said.
'Besides, we'll be going over stuff you'll need to know anyway. This'll save me from having to tell you later,' Frank smiled.
'Well...alright then,' Addy conceded. 'What about Wood and Potter?'
'Huh?' Frank said.
'Well, you're meeting Fry and Laurence. Then there's us three. What about Potter and Wood?'
'We only decided on meeting up this morning. Wood said he already had plans. And we didn't see Potter,' Frank shrugged. Addy half shrugged in acknowledgement. When they got to the Three Broomsticks, where they were to meet Fry and Laurence, Addy froze in the doorway. 'Isn't that your little friend?' Frank asked.
'And that Killian bloke?' Alice added.
Addy nodded. 'And the rest of them,' she said quietly. Darcy, Jenee, Saoirse, Killian, John, and David, were sat at a table in the back of the pub. They noticed her entrance and went quiet, avoiding her gaze.
'You should go say something,' Alice said.
Addy shook her head. 'No.' It was obviously deliberate. Planned out. They didn't want her around. Fine. Addy was fine with it.
'Are you sure?' Frank said, his eyes full of concern.
'Yep. I'm fine.'
'You're fine?' Alice said, glancing at Frank.
'Yep.' Addy felt numb. 'Let's get a table.'
They found an empty table near the middle, and Addy sat facing the front of the pub. Al and Steve joined a while later, and Addy stared blankly ahead as the four of them talked points and plays and blah blah blah.
Some time later the group from the back filed past, and Addy clenched her jaw when Darcy glanced at her before they went through the door. 'I'll be right back,' Addy said as she jumped to her feet. She barely registered Alice responding as she hurried to the door. 'Darcy!' She cried, when she emerged from the pub. 'Darcy, wait up!' Addy saw her stiffen as she stopped.
'You guys go ahead,' Addy heard Darcy say. The group glanced at her over their shoulders, then quickened their pace, leaving Darcy alone with Addy. Darcy sighed and walked to the edge of the road, and Addy followed.
'Look, I'm sorry,' Darcy said, not looking at Addy. 'Killian asked you to Hogsmeade to make Jenee jealous. And I guess it worked...'
'I don't really care about that.'
'I mean, yes, it's annoying. He should have just asked her. But what bothers me...' Addy sighed and looked at Darcy carefully. She was staring at her feet. 'You've been...avoiding me. Haven't you?' Darcy glanced at Addy and back to the ground. 'And now you're all chummy with Saoirse.' Darcy scoffed. 'You're like...obsessed with her or something...'
'I am not obsessed with her!' Darcy said indignantly. Addy's brow knitted and she took a deep, steadying breath.
'What did I do? Why don't we hang out anymore? Why are you shutting me out?'
Darcy wrung her hands together. 'You didn't do anything. I just...I can't take it anymore!'
'You're so gorgeous! And I'm hideous. No one looks at me when I'm with you. They're too busy gaping at you.' She flailed her arms wildly.
Addy's face flushed in anger. 'Nobody gapes at me!'
'They do so! All the boys do!'
'They do not! I'm not gorgeous. And you're very pretty. John looks at you all the time.'
Darcy shook her head. 'Not when you're around. I'm just...I'm nothing compared to you.'
'Don't say that!' Addy shook her head.
'I'm sorry. I can't help it. I can't help the way I feel.'
'And what about how I feel? What am I supposed to do? I don't have any other friends.'
She shrugged. 'I'm sorry.'
Addy's jaw clenched. 'So that's it then? You just don't want to be friends with me anymore?'
Darcy sighed and fixed Addy with a blank expression. 'It's my life.'
With that Darcy turned and walked up the street back to Hogwarts. Addy's heart dropped into her stomach, and she willed herself not to cry, her face becoming a steely mask. She was still a Nott after all. The ability to hide emotions was one of the only useful things she had learned from her parents. That and Occlumency. Basically, not feeling. She became numb again. Sometimes she felt like a robot, though that would be much more brilliant.
'Alright Addy?' She turned her head to find Alice had joined her. 'When you didn't come back I got worried.' Addy stared at her blankly. 'Are you alright?'
'I'm fine.' She tried to smile, but it must have come out as a grimace, as Alice seemed to wince. 'Let's get back.' Addy followed Alice back to the pub but couldn't force herself to listen at all as they continued to talk strategy.
The only thing that caused Addy to falter, and nearly break down, was the suspicious behavior of Emily, her table partner in Muggle Studies. They had started the year amicably, even engaging in polite conversation here and there; but then she grew indifferent, and gradually cold toward Addy, even going so far as to ignore her completely when she'd ask her a question. Then one day Addy showed up and Emily was sitting with someone else, pretending like she didn't even exist. Addy found it quite odd, as they were only table partners. She wouldn't even have considered her a friend; but with other recent events, it was almost too much.
'You can sit with me,' Patricia Tennenbaum, another Hufflepuff, said quietly. 'Call me Trish,' she smiled as Addy sat down.
'Addy,' she nodded. 'What's with her?' She gestured at Emily's back where she sat with Dorcas Meadows.
'Oh, don't mind her,' Trish whispered. 'She's just a narcissistic, social climber.' Addy gave her a small thankful smile before settling in for the lesson.
The next week, Addy was sat next to Alice at dinner, picking absent-mindedly at her food, as Frank droned on about the final match against Ravenclaw. Honestly, he could talk of nothing else. Addy wasn't really listening anymore and happened to tune in on a conversation a little way down the table from her. 'Really though, I'm easily the most attractive bloke here. It's a bit exhausting. I really don't have any competition,' Sirius was saying.
Addy rolled her eyes. 'Like that's an accomplishment?' She scoffed. 'You're not even that attractive.'
'Excuse me? I'll have you know I've been called godlike.'
'Yeah? By who, your mum? Or James? Please. You're a loud, arrogant, bully. Your nose is too big and your chin...you literally have an arseface,' she said in a bored tone.
'Yeah, well...you're too quiet, and too skinny, and too tall for a bird...and... your... hair's all...big...' Sirius said half-heartedly, faltering when Addy smiled suddenly.
'Exactly!' She said, picking up an apple. 'Thank you!'
Addy just took a bite from the apple as she swung her legs around the bench and wordlessly left the Great Hall happily. Alice smiled sadly after her.
'What the bloody hell was that about?' James said toward Alice.
She grimaced and slid down the table a few spaces. 'She's been a bit...sensitive about her...' She gestured toward her face. ' At least since the last Hogsmeade trip.'
James's brow knitted. 'What do you mean?'
'What happened at Hogsmeade?' Remus asked.
'That little friend of hers ditched her,' Alice said lowly.
'Darcy? That little Ravenclaw girl?' Lily suddenly interjected, looking concerned. Alice nodded.
'Why?' Marlene asked, leaning around Lily.
Alice glanced over her shoulder uncomfortably. 'Said something about none of the boys looking her way when Addy was around because she's gorgeous and well...Darcy's...not...'
Marlene frowned and Lily looked toward where Addy had left the Great Hall with a worried expression. 'But that's horrible. Is she ok?'
Alice shrugged. 'She says she's fine.'
Sirius was still staring after the spot where he'd seen Addy slip through the doors into the entrance hall.
For the next few weeks, Addy wouldn't allow herself to feel anything more than anger on such matters, and used that anger to focus on studying for exams and preparing for the final match against Ravenclaw. And Gryffindor slaughtered Ravenclaw.
'Yeah!' James whooped, as he landed on the pitch after Addy. 'James Potter came to win!'
'Oh, third person James Potter came to play today?' Addy said, half amused.
'That's right! He got here early and he did amazing!'
'Alright,' Addy half shrugged. 'I didn't know third person James Potter was coming to the match. Is third person James Potter coming to the after party too?' James suddenly stepped forward and kissed Addy roughly before stepping back with a beaming smile. Addy looked at him blankly. 'Yeah, third person James Potter needs to never do that again.'
'Sorry,' James laughed, running a hand through his hair. 'Just got a bit caught up in the moment.'
'Right,' Addy quirked a brow at him. He suddenly lunged forward and took the snitch that was still clutched in her hand, before he darted away back toward the castle. 'Potter!' She huffed but didn't have the energy to follow after him.
For the first time Addy couldn't get out of Hogwarts fast enough and was actually looking forward to summer holiday. At least she knew where she stood with her family. And she still had her muggle friends...she hoped.
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