I'll Stand By Your Side (Book 3)

Athena Black's seventh and final year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry brings more than she could ask for. Dolores Umbridge, The latest Defence Against the Dark arts teacher is beginning to take over the school in the Ministry of Magic's attempt to keep the news of Voldemort returning to power on the down low, and that doesn't settle well. Athena is the youngest member of The Order of The Phoenix and is determined to do the best she can to help, as long as she can stand by the sides of the ones she loves. (Book three to the Proud To Be series)

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Athena's POV

"What do you mean you're leaving?" I asked George, a little upset.

"We don't need NEWT's, so were leaving to start the joke shop. It's okay, you can move in with me after you're done here," he smiled. I rolled my eyes and smacked him on the head.

"You aren't even gonna be here to help me through my NEWTs," I sighed, in fake disappointment.

"You know that I would if-"

"Oh shut up, I know." I grinned and hugged him. "When?"

"Today," he shrugged and I rolled my eyes.

"Of course, you wouldn't even let me know in advance."

"Well no, that way you might've stopped us." He told me.

"Ah, see? Using your brain isn't that hard." I said and he laughed, grabbing my hands.

"Look, just because you're smarter than me doesn't mean you can make fun of me." He informed me. I laid my head on his chest and squeezed his hands.

"What am I gonna do without my big brother?" I asked and closed my eyes. He sighed and pushed the hair from my face.

"Don't worry, there's not much time left. Plus, once you've finished your NEWTs, you and Remus would be staying with Sirius all the time." He told me and I smiled.

"That is true. See, you really are good with your brain." I spoke quietly and messed his hair up. He was about to say something else, when another redhead walked into the common room, but this one, this was the ginger I'm in love with. He sent a stare at the two of us that was somewhat between a glare and just plain sadness and I just wanted to run over and hug him. "I better go," I sighed and kissed his cheek. "I'll see you later maybe? You can't leave when I'm in the middle of an exam though, if you do I might just have to cry." I smiled and stepped away, leaving the common room to go find Eli.

***

"I don't know, it was pretty hard in some ways but it wasn't that bad." Eli said after we met up after our last final for the day.

"Well, I'm glad you-" I stopped suddenly when a loud noise erupted from the end of the hall. And then another, and another.

"What is that?" Eli turned and asked me.

"The twins." I said simply, cracking a smile. Umbridge came bustling out into the hallway along with some fifth-years and I stifled a laugh when I looked at her expression. I grinned at the three standing together. A ginger, and the girl I knew he loved. It was obvious. And then Harry. My 'little brother'. I have them a grin, but what surprised me, was Ron. He have me the 'I know something you don't know' look. I furrowed my eyebrows as his two older brothers came flying down the corridor on their broomsticks. Eli and I, along with the others, laughed loudly at Umbridge, who was desperately trying to get them down.

Fred looked at George and George nodded, before Fred landed right in front of me. By this time, everyone knew we didn't talk or make any contact anymore, so everything went silent. "Hey," he said nervously. I stared for a moment, before answering.

"Hey."

He sighed and pulled me into a hug, and I didn't even hesitate I'm melting Into his arms. It had been so long since I was able to do this, and now I'm not wasting my time. He pulled away, but grabbed hold of my hands instead. I was a bit disappointed, but felt a little better when he locked his fingers with mine.

"So, you all probably know I've been a real arse to Athena lately," he started and I heard mutters of agreement and I laughed a little. "And I now desperately want to make up for that, because no matter what," he paused and placed a hand on my cheek and smiled "I'm in love with you." He said. I felt like the whole ten months we were apart never happened, and I almost wanted to cry.

"I love you too, forever. I never broke my promise." I whispered and he smiled at me, looking almost pained to hear me say that.

"That's exactly what I was hoping for," he whispered. I was surprised, Umbridge wasn't even trying to interfere like usual. "I know that I probably do not deserve anything from you after what I've done, but it's worth a try, right?" He said, returning to a normal volume.

"Right." I agreed. I felt as though we were the only two here, even though a few teachers had now arrived and all of the fifth-years were here. And Eli and George. I couldn't forget those two.

"So, I decided to make a list of everything I love about you." He smiled and if let my heart melt at the words he spoke. I knew no matter what he said right now, if forgive him. There was no doubt about it. "First of all, your eyes. I absolutely love them. I fell like every time I look at them I get pulled into another world and of I were to ever see any bit of pain in ten, especially if I caused it, I'd be afraid id break down and cry. That's why I've been ignoring you all year. I couldn't bear to see how much I hurt you." He said and he didn't even let me speak before he continued.

"Your hair is the most perfect thing ever. It's always in your face, which gets you so annoyed and I find that adorable. It's always either in perfect curls and pin-straight. Never in between. I don't know how you do it, but it never looks bad." I smiled and laughed. I would've completely disagreed with him if he would've let me.

"Your smile is the next thing on my extremely long list. It's the the cutest thing I've ever seen. I've never seen a smile so amazing as yours, and especially when you play with that weird metal ring in your lip. That's cute too." He said, causing a few people to laugh at him.

"Your body. You always think you're fat, and that astonished me the first time I heard you say that. Especially since I could see your rib cage. You like all the strange muggle sports and I find that funny, since you come from one of the oldest pure-blood families there is. You're one of the fittest people I know, and you don't even try. I find that odd, and very, very lucky." He grinned a lopsided grin that always made me fall in love with him over and over again.

"Hands. Your hands may be one of my absolute favourite things about you. They're so soft and you always have your nails perfectly done, which confuses me because I do not see how you have the patience to do that." He paused and took a breath. "I love holding them, because you always liked to play with my fingers and I can't help but laugh at that, because it's cute and one of the strange things that's I love about you." He looked at my hands and brought one up to his mouth and kissed it lightly, before looking at me again.

"Your legs. You are so tall and your legs are perfect, and I'm not going into depth on that one, considering my brothers and little sister are here right now. And my teachers." He laughed nervously and have me a discreet wink which caused me to double over in laughter at his stupidity.

"Your laugh and your voice. They're the most beautiful sounds I could ever think of. They're basically heaven and I could listen to you talk for hours on end just to hear your voice. And I love making you laugh, because your laugh is perfect. And I can't even think of another word to describe it."

"And that's just your physical appearance. Your personality has me hooked to you more than anything. But one of my favourite things about your personality is your determination and caring for the ones you love. You always do things you set your mind to, but if it involves someone you really care about, you won't do it. And I absolutely love that."

"Your love for music and books are also amazing. I don't suggest ever disturbing you while your reading, because you'll probably beat whoever bothered you. Not with the book of course. No, you love them too much. You love to sing and I don't mind because your voice is perfect. I'd listen to you sing about the stupidest thing ever if it means I can hear your voice. It's cliché, but true." He smiled.

"Your humour is another amazing thing about you. You can make anything into a joke, but you know when to stop. You never offend anyone, and I think that's scary. Because you just know when to stop, you don't even need to be told."

"And your brains. You're one of the smartest witches I know, and even though you never believe me, you're going to pass your NEWTs without any trouble just like your OWLs. Don't even question in, because I know you will. I just know." He smiled.

"And I could go on for hours on end about how perfect you are to me and just how much I love you, but unfortunately, I'm running out of time. So, I have two questions for you." He said. By this time, I was crying, so I nodded, telling him it was okay to ask them.

"First of all, do you forgive me? Because if not, I won't even need to ask the second one. And even though it'll break my heart, I respect that. Because what I did to you was not okay. Not at all."

"Of course I forgive you, you arse." I laughed through tears of pure joy. I finally have him back. He's mine again. I have my little ginger named Fred again. That sounded weird, didn't it?

"Then, here's my second question. And remember, it's okay if you don't want to, if you want to wait, or if you think it's too fast, just say no and I'll wait. Because I'd wait forever for you if I had to," he told me.

"Okay, just out with it already." I wiped a few stray tears from my cheeks.

"Marry me."

I widened my eyes and he only smiled, before beginning to talk again.

"Marry me and I'll prove to you that I love you more than anything. I'll prove to you that the stupidest thing I ever did was leave you. Even though I don't have a ring, I will. At least, eventually I will. I want to be with you forever, and I'd do anything for you. So why not now, before it's too late. I love you Athena, and I hope you know that. And to prove it, I want you to marry me. What do you say?" He grinned, opening his arms as if to say why not.

I stared at him for a moment, and his smile began to fall. Everyone was staring at me in anticipation. I took in everything he had to say, and the whole time I started at him and thought of everything I loved about him. By the time I finished, his smile had disappeared, but there was no need for it to. He was about to say something else before I started laughing, and I nodded.

"Yes. I will marry you. I'll marry you because no matter what, I'm in love with you, and I wanna be with you for the rest of my life." I started crying more tears of happiness. He smiled so wide I thought it wasn't possible. He ran to me and picked me up, spinning around before kissing me for the first time in ten months. Everyone that had listened to the whole thing was laughing and cheering for us, but I couldn't even be bothered by them being there. I finally hand the guy I loved back, and nothing was going to stand in between us again. I'd be damned if anything tried.

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