35 - The Green Goblin

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New Year's Eve was quickly upon us, a holiday that I never truly celebrated. People worldwide made the last day of the year this big party, a night to forget the old you and start fresh. But that wasn't really the case, you couldn't flick a switch and change everything with one wish on the next year being better than the last. Only if wishes came true like that. Despite the ill fated holiday, my spirits were rather high, mostly because I had someone to spend the night with. I didn't even hate how Harry had organised a massive party at his house, much to his father's displeasure, inviting nearly every person under twenty-five he knew.

I arrived hours early with Peter, getting a text from Harry late last night to arrive early. The penthouse was decked out with gold and sliver decorations, everything looking perfect and party ready with the housekeepers rushing around. We found Harry in the spacious living with Mary Jane and Gwen, all chatting loudly about their resolutions for next year. "Look who finally showed up, the lovebirds." Harry greeted us with a familiar cocky smirk.

Peter gave him a glance, "You're one to talk." Mary Jane was snuggled up to him on the low lounge, her head resting on his shoulder, a smile painted on her lips. It actually looked like those two were the lovebirds tonight.

Despite our progress in mending our relationship, Peter was keeping me at arm's length. We were taking things extra slow, which meant displays of affection was off the cards for now. We had also made the promise to never keep secrets from each other, since that had nearly torn us apart altogether. He sat down next to me, his arm brushing my own and like an idiot, I felt my cheeks flush. "So, why are we here so early?" I questioned, glancing over my shoulder to watch one of his housekeepers walk towards the kitchen, wondering just how much food he planning on serving tonight. There was one thing you could expect from an Osborn party, there was nothing left off the list and everything had to be bigger and better.

Harry gave a shrug, playing coy. "Can't I invite my best friends early to the party?"

"He wants to spend time with us before everyone gets here and he has to play host." Mary Jane grinned sweetly, letting her eyes move to his face. I saw it in his eyes then, just how important she was to him. His hand ran down her arm, his lips turning up. "He's just being a typical boy, and not expressing his feelings out loud." She added in with a wink at him.

I snorted, "Harry Osborn, are you going soft on us?"

Gwen let out a short laugh, pegging a cushion at him. "Never pegged you for the softie type, but here we are. Spending quality time together, sitting around talking about our feelings like The Breakfast Club."

We all joined in for that joke, our laughter bouncing off the marble floors. It was nice actually, sitting there with the few people I called my second family. In that moment, it didn't matter that we were keeping a secret from them, that Peter was Spider-Man, that there were villains running around the city or that school started back next week, our freedom coming to an end. None of it mattered, because this was one of those moments you take for granted. A moment in life where things seem picture perfect, everything calming down and you sit there and realise just how good your life is. I realised then, this was why Harry wanted us here, to wrap up the year together and step into the new one like this, just the five of us.

***

The party was in full swing hours later, everyone on his list having made the trip uptown to ring in the new year with style. I milled around the penthouse, smiling at familiar faces all dressed up and downing drinks like no tomorrow. Thankfully, Harry's penthouse was in the right part of the city, allowing us to be able to see the ball drop in Time's Square from the glass windows. As I made my way through the crowd, I spotted Cindy Moon talking with Liz Allen, laughing at something. I hadn't thought about Cindy since that afternoon I had found her in the bathroom but now she was on my mind. I gave her a quick smile, one she returned before circling back to my friends. Elbowing my way through the crowd, my eyes fell upon Michelle Jones and Ned Leeds, piled together sharing a bowl of chips. I was frowning with the sight of them because I didn't even realise Harry knew them all that well. Pushing aside the thought, I moved away and found Harry in the kitchen. He was telling one of the hired butlers to get ready in handing out the next course of finger food. The kitchens were overflowing with chefs finishing up tiny desserts but it was much quieter in here. I stepped up to him, letting my back rest against one of the low counters.

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