“Okay but imagine it!” Nate exclaimed, standing on the coffee table in the common room. “If I took both of Seth’s sisters and put them on top of each other, they wouldn’t even be as tall as Melba’s brother.”
“Which brother?” Melba asked. “I’ve got four.”
She took a bite of the carrot in her hand, the sound echoing through the room. Nate blinked, then turned to Seth.
“Cassia and Lucille are both what— five feet tall?”
“They’re quite short.” Seth nodded. “Five feet seems accurate.”
“And Melba’s brother is ten feet.” Nate continued, causing Melba, Callie and I to break into laughter. “What? What did I say?”
“Are you talking about Juniper?” Melba laughed. “He’s six foot six, not ten feet tall.”
Nate shrugged and got off the coffee table to throw himself on the sofa, right in the middle of Callie and I.
“That’s why I’m scared of your brothers.” Seth announced. “They’re all fucking giants.”
“They’re not giants, you fucking asshole.” Melba cursed and threw a throw pillow at him. Seth shrieked but caught it in his hand, then put it down next to him. “Though they’re all a lot taller than me, even Brighton who’s fucking younger than me. I hate it.”
“What did you expect?” Nate asked. “You’re tiny. Five foot four.”
“Why do you think I’m violent?” Melba asked him and raised her eyebrows. “Do you need me to come over there and beat your ass?”
Nate furrowed his brows at her, then leaned closer to Callie for protection. She laughed and lifted her arm, wrapping it around him while kissing his shoulder.
“It’s okay baby.” She grinned. “I’ll keep her on a leash.”
“Woof.” Melba barked before her lips spread into a taunting grin.
“Why am a I friends with you guys?” I chuckled, pulling myself up from the sofa. I walked across and sat back down next to Seth. I leaned my head on his shoulder and frowned when I saw the purplish bruise on the side of his neck. “Who gave you that?”
I pressed two fingers against the bruise and Seth quickly clamped a hand to the side of his neck.
“Was it Cho?” I asked and sat up straight.
“Didn’t Cedric get back together with Cho?” Callie asked.
“So?” I asked. “Haven’t we learned by now that once a cheater, always a cheater?”
“Wasn’t Cho.” Seth said, playfully rolling his eyes. “No— it’s no one.”
No one, huh Seth?
“Oh c’mon, mate.” Nate laughed. “We’re not gonna judge. Who sucked your neck like a vampire? Was it McGonagall?”
“Ew!” Seth exclaimed while Callie, Melba and I broke into laughter again. “Dude, what the hell?”
“I’m joking!” Nate chuckled. “Was it Filch? You gotta tell us if it was Filch.”
Seth rolled his eyes and turned his head to look away but he then sat up straight and I followed his actions when I saw the same as he.
Nick’s older brother Ember entered the common room with a pretty sad expression on his face.
“Ember?” Seth asked and stood up. “What’re you doing? Where’s Nick?”
“Sit down, Seth.” Ember said and Seth glanced at the rest of us before he slowly sat back down.
I felt my heart beat rapidly against my rib cage and my palms were getting sweaty from feeling nervous.
“Is he okay?” Nate asked as Ember sat down on the coffee table, rubbing his hands against his knees.
“More importantly, is he alive?” Melba frowned. “Speak, Ember. Get your tongue running.”
“Of course he’s alive.” Ember sighed. “But he’ll be finishing school at home with a tutor.”
Now I was even more awake, confused and everything. I unfolded my legs and put my feet on the floor, full attention on Ember.
“Our parents just came to get him a few hours ago.” Ember told us. “They received a letter from him last night and they decided it would be better for him to get away from the school.”
“What happened?” Callie asked. “He’s been acting off for a while and the only thing he’s told us was that—”
Callie stopped and gave Ember a look as to figure out if he knew that Nick was gay.
“Yeah, I know what he told you.” Ember said. “He asked me to tell you what really happened. He doesn’t know how to talk about it, that’s why he wrote it in a letter to our parents.”
Hurry up please.
“Nick was raped.” Ember spoke and immediately I felt the silence and the surprise in the room. My breath hitched in my throat and I clamped a hand over my mouth. “He won’t say by who, only that a Slytherin guy forced him to have intercourse with a Slytherin girl to well— fuck the gay out of him.”
“Oh my god.” Melba yelped into her own hand. I started tearing up. Why didn’t I know that? Why didn’t I figure it out?
“So he’s been taken out of school so he don’t have to run into them and risk them hurting him further.” Ember said. He cleared his throat to keep himself from tearing up over it. “He wants you to know that he wanted to tell you but as I mentioned, he can’t speak about it, and he was scared that you’d look at him different. He also wanted me to tell you, especially you Nate and Melba, to not go looking for whoever did it. He doesn’t want anymore trouble.”
None of us said anything. Ember sighed and stood up, rubbing his hands together.
My heart felt shattered by the news. I couldn’t possibly imagine what Nick was going through or how helpless he must’ve felt when he got raped. He told me it was different for a guy to be gay and yet I encouraged him to be more open about it because we’d love him no matter what. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t said that. Maybe Nick would still be safe, still be okay.
He’s not okay anymore. Our little Nick is not fucking okay.
“I’ll be heading back home.” Ember informed us. “You’re welcome to write Nick. I know he’d be more than happy to hear from you or if you could come and visit him during Easter.”
None of us said anything. Ember gave a small nod before he left the common room again. The five of us sat in silence, not knowing what to say about it.
Then Melba’s sob’s filled the room. Nate was quick to get out of Callie’s grip so he could walk over to where she sat and pull her in for a comforting hug.
It must’ve hit close to home for her. She was gay as well so learning that one of her friends were raped for being gay as well.
Nick was raped.
I felt disgusted. Disgusted with whoever did it, disgusted on behalf of Nick and disgusted with this fucked up world and the people in it that can’t mind their own business when it comes to who people love.
Nick was raped.