The Grieving Stage

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There's light conversation in the common room as I walk in through the portrait hole. A huddle of students are around Freddie Weasley, watching in awe as he made a spectacle of the new Weasley Wizard Wheezes products his father sent him. As Freddie talked and demonstrated, one of his audience members found my eyes and the entertainment in his face disappeared.

I find the stairs for my dormitory.

Once I get there, peeking my head through a crack of the door to make sure that Rose nor Emily are present, I walked in without having to feign a smile. I kicked off my shoes, throw my schoolbag against the marbled floor, and I go straight for my four-poster. In this cruel, lonely world, my bed is my safe haven. I can close the curtains, throw up a spell, and be in my own bubble. I can cry, scream, and no one gets to see my demons.

I start stripping off my school robes, disregarding them on the floor along with my school things. I pull off the itchy, black tights, and then my school skirt joined it. Not far from those items, the mandatory jumper is flung off of my body, as well as the Gryffindor tie.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

My back tensed at the noise, my fingers halting on the unbuttoning they were doing on my white shirt. I scowl, but I want to cry at the same time, too. I just wanted to be left alone. But I knew. I knew the moment my eyes met his that he was going to find a way up to my dormitory.

Sighing, I lowered myself on the mattress of my four-poster. I didn't say anything, but I didn't have to so that he lets himself in. He always lets himself in. He's never had to ask me for permission, and he was definitely not going to start now.

His brown eyes are the first thing I see again when the door opens. With a little more determination, his figure appears as he stepped a single step inside my dormitory. He looked nervous, but his resolve to finally speak to me allowed him to close the door behind him.

We stared at one another in silence.

If it was up to me, we'd stay in silence forever. If it was up to me, I would never open my mouth and my voice would die. If it was up to me, I wouldn't be able to hear anything; not ever again. So, of course, he broke the silence.

"How are you?" asked Liam, and it's the stupidest fucking question he's ever asked me.

I wanted to tell him so, but I refrained from insulting him. He's an idiot, but he doesn't deserve it. He doesn't know. No one knows. He's just being caring. He's just being Liam, my best friend.

Another sigh escaped my mouth. I shrugged my shoulders carelessly.

"You missed breakfast again," he informed me, like I didn't bloody well know I didn't go get food. Again, I refrained from being mean. Even my sarcastic side is gone. There's nothing left of me. Just pain. Just fucking pain.

Well, there's a tint of something else. I feel it. I didn't feel it until right now. It's something close to desperation, but I can't tell what kind.

"Emily's out of the Hospital Wing, you know," Liam added, turning the conversation in hopes that he could get a different reaction from me.

He won. As fucking void as I feel inside, my friend's well-being is something my brain doesn't let me forget. "I know," I replied slowly. "I saw her."

"She's so much better," he continued, a little smile tugging the corner of his mouth. "We want to go to the Three Broomsticks and celebrate this weekend."

I nodded, but I was no longer listening to him. Instead, I studied his smile. How the hell did Liam do it? How the hell did Liam move on, how did he live, after he and Lily broke up? I didn't understand. As bloody wrong as that girl was for Liam, he loved her. He loved her more than he loved me, and I just couldn't see how he stood there, smiling, and looking as sincere as he's always been.

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