All she wanted was love. What she got was betrayal and a broken heart... Warning: Contains graphic self-harm. Oneshot.
I will always remember the first time I met him.
I had heard of him before, of course. There were few who hadn't. Famous James Potter, trouble maker extraordinaire. He was leader of the infamous Marauders, a group of four boys who make it their mission to cause as much trouble as possible. They were popular, confident and intimidating. He was captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and the best chaser the team had seen in years. He was very intelligent, and got top marks without trying.
I had heard many accounts of him. That he was handsome, loyal, proud and funny. Even people such as myself, who had never met him, were aware of the movements of him and his friends. We all knew about every detention they got, every girl they dated, every fight they had. They were the most talked about group in Hogwarts.
James Potter was also a known heartbreaker. He dated many girls, but he never really cared for any of them. And though the whole school knew his name, though everyone longed for his friendship, if only for the attached status, he rarely paid attention to anyone outside his circle of friends, except or ridicule or patronise them.
Which was why I was so surprised when one day, during break, he approached me.
It was late spring, and the weather was sunny and mild. I was sitting alone in a small courtyard near the greenhouses, leaning against the stone wall of the castle and gazing up at the clear cerulean sky. This courtyard was my private place, where I came to be alone. It was out of view of the rest of the castle, quiet and peaceful. Three walls were formed by the castle, the fourth side opening onto a view of the lush green lawn. Small, delicate weeds grew up between the roughly cut stones of the floor. It was my sanctuary, and I felt safe there. Safe from the cold stares and muttered slanders that bombarded me every time I left my little sanctuary.
Hearing footsteps, I looked up to see him walking towards me. He sat down beside me with a smile, completely at his ease.
"Hey," he greeted me casually. "It's Althea, right?"
"Yeah," I replied, trying to sound equally casual, and failing dismally. "And you're James Potter?"
"The same. Just call me James."
He sat there, chatting casually with me, until the bell rang. He was surprisingly easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable, talking and joking as though we were old friends. Then he had to go to class. I had a free period, so I stayed in the courtyard. I didn't want to go back to my common room.
I have always been something of a loner. I am fairly shy, and find it difficult talking to people. The other students think I am strange. The nicest ones just avoid me, but the crueller ones deliberately ridicule me. I am in Slytherin, and my housemates despise me due to my refusal to participate in torturing muggle-borns and "blood traitors". Students from other houses despised me for being a Slytherin. I am now in my sixth year at Hogwarts, and have never really had a friend. I'm a misfit. I don't belong anywhere.
I had thought that my meeting with James would be my last. But the next day, he came to me again. Once again, I was astonished at how easily the words flowed from my mouth when I was with him. He actually listened to what I was saying, without judging or interrupting. For the first time in my life, he made me feel like I mattered.
From that day on, he would meet me nearly every day in that little courtyard, just to talk. I trusted him so much. And soon, I began to develop feelings for him. If he guessed this, he never showed it. He just kept on being my friend.
I tried to tell myself that it could never work between us. That no doubt he felt nothing in return for me. Why would he? Why would popular, handsome James Potter, fall for quiet, friendless Althea DeWitt-Rosburg? It was impossible. Nothing would ever happen.
The very next day, he proved me wrong.
As usual, we were sitting in the little courtyard, which I had come to regard as our sacred sanctuary. I had been looking up at the sky again, watching the wispy clouds float above me. I felt him watching me, so I returned his gaze. For a minute, he just stared into my eyes. Then he leaned forward. Our lips brushed, gently at first, then more and more heatedly.
I should have stopped there. But I didn't. I was so swept away in his kiss. His touch was soft yet firm, and sent shivers down my spine. He seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
He made love to me there, in that little courtyard. Without thinking, without stoping to consider, I gave up my virginity to him. I thought it would make him love me. I thought it meant he would stay with me forever. I was wrong.
Afterwards, I lay there with him, and he held me for a time. When the bell rang for class, I thought he would ignore it I thought he would stay with me.
I was wrong.
He just left me there, and went to class. I was hurt, but still too naÃ¯ve to consider that maybe he wasn't coming back. I loved him. I thought he loved me too.
I was wrong.
The next day, he did not come to me as he usually did. Confused and a little lonely, I went to look for him. And I found him.
He was sitting under a tree outside the castle, talking to a pretty Ravenclaw girl. His arm was draped nonchalantly around her shoulder. When he saw me watching, he gave me a cold smile, and a curt nod. Then he turned back to the other girl, as though nothing had happened. As though we were strangers.
I couldn't believe it. I was completely numb. In a daze, I ran inside and up to my dormitory, and flung myself onto my bed. My mind was still blank, my heart empty. I couldn't believe he would do that to me. Not James.
Everything seemed so unreal. I needed to feel something, anything, to know I was still alive. Desperate, I ran to the bathroom and locked the door. Picking up a razor, I slashed violently at my wrist. The pain jolted me back to consciousness. It gave me a sort of relief, to know that at least I was capable of feeling pain. I stood and watched as my own blood splashed into the basin. Finally, the emotions began to flood back. But I found these even harder to deal with.
He had used me.
Tears were now pouring down my face, as I slashed at my arm again and again. I had given up my innocence for him, and it still wasn't enough. He still didn't care about me. To him, I had just been an object, something to satisfy his desires, and no more.
The rest of the year passed in a daze for me. Never again did James Potter spare me a glance. I was still hurting so much. I felt dirty, cheap, worthless. I was so stupid, to be taken in like that. I hated myself. I retreated into my own world inside my head. Nobody could reach me there. There, I was safe from reality, at least for a little while. And whenever it became too much, I would hide away where nobody would find me, to find solace in my own blood. Though I hated myself even more for it, I just couldn't stop. It was out of my control.
When I returned to Hogwarts the next year, everything seemed the same. James Potter still ignored me, the whole school still scorned and hated me. I had no idea how I would survive that year.
However, once again I was surprised. I was befriended by a red-haired, muggle-born, Gryffindor girl named Lily Evans. Lily never knew that I cut myself, as I hid it so well. But without even knowing, she provided me with the support I needed to keep living. I was too ashamed to tell her that I cut, or about what had happened last year. I didn't want help. I deserved this suffering, and I didn't want to be a burden to anyone else. Lily was the best friend I could have asked for. She was always there for me.
Until, once again, James Potter came charging back into my life, though in a far less pleasant way than I had always dreamed of.
I never saw it coming. All I remember was her bouncing up to me one day and telling me, her voice ringing with joy, that she was dating James. Of course, being the stupid, tactless thing I always was, I tried to intervene. Partly I was worried for her, as I myself has been involved with him and knew how ruthless he could be. But mostly, it was out of jealousy. Sheer, blazing jealousy. When I told her not to see him, she was furious, and we haven't spoken since.
After that, I was even more lonely than before. Now, nobody would speak to me. And I had lost the courtyard, my private sanctuary. The one time I ventured back there, I found the two of them sitting there, kissing passionately, oblivious to my presence. I haven't been back there since.
Now, James and Lily are happily married. They have a newborn son called Harry. They live in a beautiful house in Godric's Hollow. James is one of the Ministry's top aurors, and they are very rich. They have everything I ever wanted.
I live alone in a tiny, dinghy flat in London. I work as a sales clerk in the Apothecary to scrape a living. I have no family, no friends, no life. Whenever things get too much to handle, I hurt myself to find relief. It's out of control and I can't stop.
The thing is, I still love him. I still dream of him leaving her and turning up on my doorstep, begging for another chance. But in my heart, I know that will never come true. It is only a dream.
That's all I have now. A broken heart, broken dreams, my own pain. I blame myself entirely. If I weren't so weak, if I were beautiful and smart and brave like she is, maybe he would be here. If I weren't so gullible, I would never have fallen for him in the first place. My life is how I made it.
I hate myself.
I hate my life.
I was so stupid.
I loved him. I love him.
It's all I have.
A/N: I know I sort of made James the bad guy in this story. Try to remember that he wouldn't have seen it the same way as she did. I think he was fairly selfish and thoughtless, but he never had bad intentions and he never realised it would hurt her like that. I'm not saying that makes it ok, but he wasn't a bad person. Just keep that in mind.
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