Ok here I am again...again

Humph DISCLAIMER - I DO NOT OWN THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS J K ROWLING DOES AND SHE IS VERY LUCKY TO DO SO! no fair she gets loads of money and what do i have to live with SCHOOL and immature boys SHEASH!...

Chapter 8 – The truth will out!

"Why won't you let me go? You've just come to gloat. Why can't you leave me alone?"

"I haven't come to gloat. You've ignored me since that day, and you didn't give a chance to explain myself."

"Explain yourself? What is there to explain! You- like- Rachael. That's it. You don't like me. You never did. Why did you bother telling me that? Did you expect me to say something like, 'Awww you like Rachael? That's really sweet! Of course I'll help you ask her out.'

"You knew that I liked you. I thought we could be at least friends since what happened last year. Have you just forgotten that? I dream about that place nearly every night. Then your 'girlfriend' happened to hear me and decided it would be fun to tell the whole year about it! I can't help what I dream! You think I like dreaming about that awful place?" Claire screamed. She couldn't stop the tears. It was like she had built all this emotion up and then suddenly she let it go.

Tom continued to look in her eyes. He was shocked at how much Claire felt. He was also shocked at what Claire had said. 'You knew that I liked you.' Claire liked him. His heart began to swell with happiness until he remembered the situation.

"I…am so sorry. But if you just let me explain, then I hope you can forgive me."

"What do you want me to forgive you for? Liking my best friend? I'm sorry. I can't forgive you for building my hopes up then just squashing them to the ground as if they don't matter. There is something I don't understand. You like her. She likes you. Why aren't you going out yet? Do you want my approval or something? Is that why you teamed up with Hermione to get me down here? Well here it is. I don't care what you do. You two deserve each other! You are both horrible and cruel and…you like to hurt people! You aren't Gryffindors at all. You're Slytherins!" She wrenched her hand out of his and stormed away leaving Hermione looked gobsmacked and Tom shaking. His face was as pale as snow.

"Fine! If that's what you want me to do! I will go out with her!" he yelled at her retreating back. Claire choked back a sob as the words stung her. 'What did I do? What did I do?'

Tom was fuming, questions shot his hand. 'Why did she have to jump to conclusions? Why can't she just let me explain without biting my head off?! Why am I NOT a Gryffindor? I deserve to be here. I work hard. I'm loyal! I'm brave! She saw that last year. I didn't leave her like she said. How can she not see how much I care for her? I am not like Rachael! I would never spread rumours or secrets about someone else. It was like Claire thought I told Rachael to. I didn't do anything about it. If someone asked me about it, I just ignored them! Argh! Claire is insufferable!'

"Tom? Are you alright?" Hermione asked tentatively. 'Oh. I forgot she was here'

"I'm fine. I'm sorry you had to see that."

"It's fine. I didn't expect her to fly off the handle like that."

"Same. I just wish she would actually talk to me properly. It hurts me to see her in pain! And she wouldn't be in pain if she just let me explain." Tom sat down, his face in his hands.

"I know. I know." Hermione soothed.

They stayed for a few minutes. Tom calmed down and re-arranged his thoughts.

"Shall we go back to the castle?" Hermione asked. He nodded and they walked up together.

They entered the common room. Claire wasn't there but Rachael was. She seemed to be waiting for them.

"Hi Tom. Claire told me you had something to ask me?"

Hermione looked at Tom, and then moved away to sit beside Harry and Ron.

Tom gaped at Rachael. His eyebrows furrowed. 'Claire told Rachael? I was joking….it was the heat of the moment…'

"Umm…what did Claire tell you?"

Rachael smiled.

"That you liked me and wanted to ask me out ages ago but you didn't want to hurt Claire seeing as she had a huge crush on you. But she said she is over that now and wants us to be happy."

Tom's eyes widened. 'Claire told her she was over me? Why would she say that? Well, if that's what she wants me to do…I'm not complaining.'

"Right. Yeah…we talked today and that is what she said. I'm really glad she gave us her blessing," As he said it he raised his hands in an jokey but annoyed manner. He couldn't be bothered with this, "I don't like hurting people. So….do you want to go to Hogsmeade sometime, with me?" Tom asked her. He was telling the truth about hurting people. He knew he was doing it now but he was just doing what Claire wanted. Even though he still liked her.

"I'd love to Tom. Oh I'm just so pleased it's all out in the open, and we can be a couple!" Rachael beamed and leant in for a kiss. Tom didn't feel like kissing at that moment but from the corner of his eye, he saw Claire come down the girls' staircase. 'You wanted this to happen, you get to see this.'He kissed her lightly on the lips, and held her waist while she put his arms around his neck.

Claire had gone to the dorm and grabbed the side of the bed. Breathing deeply she just managed to bury all her feelings. She was going to start afresh. Not knowing how yet but she would figure it out...somehow. Deciding it would be best to socialise for a bit to show, mainly to herself, that she was serious, she left the dorm.

Going down the stone steps to the common room, Claire saw the embrace and clenched her fists. 'He is just doing what I told him to…..I don't care. I don't care. I'm over him, he has caused me pain….don't cry Claire. Just walk past and sit with Hermione, Harry and Ron.'

She brushed past the kissing couple, who were being watched by most of the common room, and sat down beside Harry.

"Hi guys," she said slowly, trying to not let her voice quiver.

"Hi Claire. How you holding up?" Ron asked her, nodding in the direction of Tom and Rachael.

She grimaced. "I'm fine. Why would I be upset? I told Tom to do it…it's…what he wanted."

"Oh, we," Ron began but Harry sharply poked him, "Umm….I mean, that's great. I thought you would be upset, considering you liked him and everything."

"Liked him...over him." Looking around to see unbelieving faces, Claire continued. "Look I've had a lot of time to think about everything and it's for the best, even through everything that's happened" An image of the chamber returned. "Anyway you can't live in the past when the future is ahead!"

"Yeah, I guess you can't go backwards all the time," he smiled back. "Want to play exploding snap? We were about to start."

Claire beamed. She was glad of a distraction. "Sure."

They started the first game. The sound of it meant that the couple broke apart.

"Wow. That was nice," Rachael giggled; oblivious to the fact Tom only did it to make Claire jealous.

Tom looked around to see who was making that noise. He saw Claire seemingly having a good time by the fire. His heartbeat quickened.

"Tom? Want to go someplace more…private?"

"Umm, not right now. Sorry, want to see if we can join in with them?" Tom asked, nodding in the direction of Claire.

Rachael looked taken aback, but she recovered quickly.

"Sure," she replied.

They strolled over holding hands. Tom made sure a grin was planted on his face.

"Room for two more?"

Claire looked up. She saw Rachael looking smugly back at her. Claire noted how Rachael tightened her grip on his hand while they sat down. Tom sat next to her and he saw her shiver at the close proximity. After a few rounds, Claire got up and she bid goodnight to the group. Hermione followed and Rachael stayed to say her own personal goodbye to her new boyfriend.

Claire was already in bed. She tried to calm herself. Today has been one of the worst of my life. Why did I let myself get so mad at Tom? But he was so infuriately calm that my anger bubbled and burst to the surface. Now they look happy together and I'm even more miserable. It's never me. I'm just your average girl. Average looks. Average intellect. Average personality. Average life! Why would anyone pick me when I'm next to Rachael or Hermione or even Lavender for crying out loud!'

Her self esteem had reached an all time low. She struggled to get comfortable in her four poster bed. The nightmare returned.

OOO the nightmare returns

next chapter or one afer that ull find out what happens

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