“But why do they have to be so obvious about it?” Ron complained under his breath, glancing over to the opposite side of the common room, where Harry and Ginny were intertwined in a large chair, snogging. In the week and a half since the quidditch game, that was almost all they did anymore.
“Honestly, Ronald, you did the exact same thing a few years ago,” Hermione replied, her eyes fixed on her homework. When she finally looked up and saw the canoodling couple, she grimaced. “Although it is still rather unpleasant,” she conceded before returning to her work.
“You’re upset about this, right, Carrie?” Ron asked.
“Well I’d rather not see them snogging constantly, but I don’t mind the relationship. I even told him that he should ask her out. It was a bit of a surprise when I saw them that first time though,” I replied with a shrug.
“You told him that he should ask her out? Are you mental?!” Ron said a bit too loudly. I glanced over to see if they had overheard, but they were clearly too wrapped up in each other to notice anything else.
“He and Ginny seemed to be pretty serious about each other when they dated a couple years ago, so I said that he should ask her out if he still had feelings for her. He didn’t seem too interested when I said it, but I guess he changed his mind,” I replied.
“Have you talked to him yet?” Ron asked. I shook my head.
“I haven’t talked to him since our fight. He’s been too uh… busy,” I replied, looking back to the chair. Ron rolled his eyes.
“This is the longest you two have gone without talking. Aren’t you the slightest bit concerned?” Hermione said, once again without looking up from her work.
“He was upset with me for putting my boyfriend before my best friend, so if he’s going to do the same thing with Ginny, I’m not going to bother,” I replied.
“Carrie, he’s your best friend-”
“Yeah, and he acted like a total jerk and hasn’t even attempted to talk to me since, so until he decides to apologize or even acknowledge that I exist, I’m not going to bother,” I retorted, cutting Hermione off. In the time since the argument, my frustration had become anger, which had turned into fury. Harry didn’t seem to be even the slightest bit upset about how we had left things last time we had spoken, and that made things even worse.
Within minutes of our fight, when I was still upset and wanting to fix things, he was perfectly content to start making out with my sister. In any normal circumstance, I would have been glad for him to finally go out with Ginny. But not immediately after the biggest fight we’d ever had. He made it very clear that he couldn’t care less about any emotional pain he had caused me, so there was no way I was going to let him see how much he’d hurt me.
“It works both ways, Carrie. Maybe he’s waiting for you to talk to him,” Hermione said.
“But he’s the one in the wrong here!” I replied.
“He probably feels the same way about you,” Hermione said quietly. I frowned, knowing that there was probably at least a little truth to that statement, but there was no way I’d go and try to fix things with Harry after a week of getting ignored.
“It’s almost dinnertime. Can we go get some food?” Ron said as his stomach growled right on cue.
“That’s alright with me. I’m at a stopping point,” Hermione replied. “Carrie?”
“I can’t. It’s mine and Draco’s two month anniversary, and he wanted to do something for dinner. I’m meeting him in about half an hour,” I replied.
“Oh, alright,” Ron replied. “Hermione, can we go ahead and go then?”
“Sure,” she replied, standing up and setting her books down. “See you later, Carrie,” she said as the two left the common room.
I was left with a few random students and the snogging couple, so I gathered my things and went up to the girls’ dormitory. Once up there, I decided to change into regular clothes for the date, so I pulled on jeans and a tank top and threw on a button-up plaid shirt. I made sure to only leave the top couple of buttons undone to make sure that my scar didn’t accidentally make an appearance. That would require explanations that I really didn’t feel like dealing with.
With ten minutes left before I was supposed to meet Draco, I left the dormitory. Fortunately, Harry and Ginny seemed to have gone to dinner as well, because their usual chair was empty. I left the common room and made my way to the Room of Requirement, where Draco had requested that I meet him. He was already waiting for me when I arrived, leaning against the blank wall. When he saw me coming, he paced in front of the wall and a door appeared on it.
He walked inside and held the door open for me. When I walked inside, I found that we were in the same small room that we went to last time. Once again, he had decided to cook dinner. “No creativity, I see,” I joked as he closed the door.
Draco’s face fell. “Really?” he asked. “I thought you’d like it.”
“I’m kidding. I love it,” I replied, giving him a peck on the cheek. He grinned and hurried to put food on the plates.
For the next half hour, we sat at the table, eating and laughing, enjoying every second of each other’s company. Finally, he stood up and grabbed both of our plates and took them over to the kitchen. I found myself wanting somewhere more comfortable to sit, and when I glanced over to the fireplace, saw that a couch had appeared beside it. I moved over to the couch and Draco joined me a few seconds later, wrapping his arm around me as I leaned into his chest. For a short while, we just sat there, content to be together, without the need to speak to fill a void.
“Carrie?” Draco finally said.
“I really did mean it when I said that you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” he said. I made a noise of disbelief, somewhere between a chuckle and a scoff. “I’m serious,” he said, sitting straight up and turning to face me. “This is the happiest I’ve ever been, and it’s because of you.”
“I’m glad you’re happy,” I said with a smile. “I am too.”
“I love you,” Draco suddenly blurted out. He seemed to immediately regret saying it, because his face turned bright red and he said, “I’m sorry, that was really sudden. But I’ve been wanting to say it for a while now and it just seemed like the right time. I know you probably think I’m being really cheesy, right now but-”
“No I don’t,” I interrupted him. His outburst hadn’t surprised me; I was actually surprised that he hadn’t said it sooner. I could tell that he’d thought about saying it several times over the last couple of weeks, because I’d felt the same way for a while as well. “I love you too,” I said, softly placing my hand on his cheek.
“You don’t mean that. You’re just saying it to make me feel better about blurting it out,” he said, looking almost hurt.
“Yes I do,” I replied. “I’ve wanted to say it so many times, but I was worried about saying it too soon and messing something up. Draco, I love you.”
Something in his eyes changed, and I could tell he finally believed me. “Carrie, you didn’t need to worry about saying it too soon. I’ve loved you since the first time I saw you,” he said.
“OK, now you’re being really cheesy,” I laughed.
“I really don’t care,” Draco replied, pulling me toward him. Our lips met and I wrapped my arms around him, holding him as closely to me as possible. He moved his hand from my waist and began to undo the buttons of my shirt. I was so wrapped up in the kiss that I didn’t think about what was going on until he was on the last button. My mind suddenly went into panic mode, realizing that he was mere seconds from seeing the scar on my shoulder.
“Draco, slow down,” I said, pulling slightly away from him and trying to push his hand from the last button. It was as if he hadn’t heard me, because he undid the last button anyway. His hand returned to my waist and with his other hand, the one behind my head, he pulled his lips back to mine. I pushed him back, worried about where he was going with this, and not wanting to take it any further. “Draco, seriously, stop it,” I told him, but when I looked into his eyes, they didn’t seem very focused, as if he wasn’t even seeing me. The hand he had behind my head trailed down my neck to my left shoulder and began pushing my shirt down my arm, revealing my scar.
In a panic, I reached out and slapped him across the face. This seemed to clear his head and bring his eyes back into focus, and I yanked my shirt back up to cover the scar. But the expression on his face was clear- he had seen the scar, and he had deduced what it meant.
“I’m leaving,” I said coldly as I stood up, trying to keep control of my emotions.
“Carrie, wait!” Draco said as I pushed past him to the door.
“Leave me alone, Draco!” I exclaimed, refusing to even look at him as I hurried out the door and slammed it behind me.
I didn’t even know how to think straight. Draco knew. He knew. Someone knew. It was more terrifying than I had ever imagined. On top of that, he had completely ignored me when I told him to stop. How could he do that to me, mere seconds after proclaiming his love for me? That sick, terrible git.
Somehow, through everything, I managed to find my way back to the Gryffindor common room. The portrait hole opened and I came face-to-face with the last (scratch that, second-to-last) person I wanted to see.
“Carrie?” Harry said, a look of sheer concern on his face. “What happened to you?”
“Nothing, I’m fine,” I said in an icy tone, trying to push past him. But he stretched his body out, blocking the entirety of the short corridor into the common room.
“You look absolutely traumatized,” he said. “You’re not fine.”
“Why would you care?” I responded.
“Because regardless of whether or not I’m mad at you, you’re my best friend, and I’ve never seen you like this,” he said. The sincerity in his eyes broke me. I collapsed against him and began sobbing uncontrollably into his shoulder. Without a second’s hesitation, he said, “Let’s go somewhere a bit more private,” and scooped me up into his arms. He carried me up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory, since guys can’t go up to the girls’ dormitory. We entered the empty room and he set me down on his bed and I curled up into a ball as he went to close and lock the door so no one could come in. He then sat down next to me and held me as I cried. I don’t know how long it took for me to stop crying, but the entire time, he sat there right next to me without asking any questions. Eventually, my sobs became more sporadic, breathing became easier, and my tears began to dry up.
“Carrie,” Harry finally said, “You don’t have to tell me what happened if you don’t want to, but if someone did something to you, you need to tell me.”
“He found out,” I said incredulously, not wanting to believe that someone else knew about my scar, especially Malfoy.
“Who, Draco? Found what out?” Harry asked.
“Yes, Draco. He- he found out the thing that I’ve been hiding from everyone,” I answered. Harry looked confused. “You know, when I fell off my broom and told you I couldn’t tell you what had happened,” I clarified. It seemed to click with Harry.
“So he found out, and that’s what upset you?” Harry asked, still seeming somewhat confused.
“There’s more, but essentially yes, that’s the biggest thing,” I replied. I sighed. “I’ve been meaning to tell you for weeks, but I couldn’t bring myself to. I think it’s time I told you. You of all people deserve to know. Just please promise not to freak out.”
“I promise,” Harry replied, looking extremely concerned. I took a deep breath and slipped off the left shoulder of my shirt. It took Harry a second to recognize he was seeing. He touched a hand to his own scar and then looked at me with an expression of horror mixed with confusion. “I-I don’t understand ,” he said, although he seemed to just not want to believe what he’d just seen.
“My parents weren’t killed by a muggle intruder. Voldemort came looking for me, and the same thing happened to him when he tried to kill me. The ministry staged a cover-up, and managed to move my scar, and I’ve never been allowed to tell anyone,” I explained. “And because he tried to kill me because of the prophecy, it applies to me, too. I have to defeat him.”
“And- the day you fell off your broom?” Harry asked, clearly struggling to wrap his mind around all of this new information.
“My scar burned so badly that it made me black out. And when I blacked out, I saw Voldemort’s eyes. I talked to Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore’s painting, and they told me to tell you, Ron, and Hermione. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to,” I replied.
“But you told Malfoy?” He asked, sounding annoyed.
“No, he saw my scar,” I replied.
“How did he--” Harry paused and his face went slightly red. “Oh.”
“I tried to stop him, because I didn’t want him to see it, but he wouldn’t listen to me,” I replied. Harry looked furious.
“Are you telling me that he tried to force himself on you?” Harry fumed, balling his hands into fists.
“Kind of. OK, yes. But that’s not what’s most important right now. He saw my scar. He knows. He’s one of four people outside of the ministry who know, including myself. It’s just me, you, McGonagall, and Malfoy. He knows,” I said.
Harry still looked incredibly angry, but tried to move on with me. “I’m still trying to deal with the fact that Voldemort isn’t dead,” he said. “What did McGonagall and Dumbledore say to do?”
“Sit tight at let him make the first move,” I replied.
“What?” Harry exclaimed. “The most evil dark wizard ever is coming after you, and they told you to sit tight?”
“What else would they tell me?” I asked.
“Anything!” Harry exclaimed. “There has to be something you could do. They can’t just tell you to do nothing. That’s practically inviting Voldemort to come after you.”
“I’m glad you’re concerned, Harry, but this isn’t your problem anymore,” I said.
“This absolutely is still my problem,” Harry replied. “If they’re going after my best friend, they’re going after me!” He released what sounded like a sigh of relief and looked over at me with possibly the most affectionate expression I’d ever seen on his face. “All this time, I felt so alone trying to defeat Voldemort, but I really had you the entire time,” he realized.
“I tried to empathize with you as much as possible without giving anything away,” I said. “I didn’t want you to feel like you were completely alone.”
“No wonder you were always so helpful,” Harry replied.
“Yeah, I basically had a special window into your mind. You have no idea how many times I wanted to tell you what was going on,” I replied.
“I understand why you didn’t tell me,” he said. “But that’s such a heavy load to carry. People at least had some idea about my situation and tried to help. But you’ve had to deal with this by yourself for all these years.”
“It wasn’t easy,” I agreed. Looking at Harry, I saw my own pain reflected in his eyes.
“Well, you’re not on your own anymore. You’ve got me, and I’m not going anywhere,” he said. My eyes brimmed with tear.
“Pinkie promise?” I said weakly.
“I promise,” he said with a small chuckle. “I’m not going to leave my best friend on her own.” With a smile, I leaned my head against his shoulder and wrapped my arms around them.
“Thank you,” I said softly. And for a few minutes more, the two of us simply sat there, enjoying the company of the only other person in the world who could understand what we were going through.
I hope y'all enjoyed chapter 12 of The Secret Lightning Scar!
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