notes: this is for a harry potter nextgen rp secret santa. i got my friend, zhie, and her pairing is jude/archie (two hp nextgen OCs). i own neither character, only the character dimitri coyne. zhie, i hope you enjoy this and i'm not sure if archie or jude are really in character, but i love you and happy holidays. 3

by the way, i used the song the cave - mumford and sons, and i really think you should listen to it while reading this.


i.
it's empty in the valley of your heart,
the sun it rises slow as you walk,
away from all the fears
and all the faults you've left behind

/

He comes into her life at a point where she needs to define herself apart from Dimitri. Where she needs to prove to Dimitri, to him, to herself, that she could live without him. That she could separate herself from him. This is her way of rebelling against him, because he stands for everything she hates, because he is everything she wishes to be.

She hates him so much she loves him, and he is all she can think about as Archie drags his tongue along the salty skin of her throat, thinking about how Dimitri would do it, how he would apply a bit more pressure, how he would be smirking and how his hands would already be running over her body. He wouldn't be in control of himself the way Archie is right now, and that is all the more reminder of what she's doing right now and the effects, the fallout this will have if it ever gets out, but she refused to pull away because she's in control. She is, not him, her.

Jude Price is in control and she's going to prove it.

/

She tells herself that it'll only happen once to compensate for the fact that last night she and Dimitri went out to dinner and he asked her to be his and she opened her mouth to tell him everything, but she told him nothing but "yes," because that was the answer he wanted and that was the answer she wanted to give, deep down.

But tonight, she's alone. Dimitri's out with his mates and she's pretty sure by the end of the night they'll end up somewhere in the States by morning, drunk off their asses and confused as to how the hell they even got there. So she goes to one of her favorite muggle night clubs and she orders a drink.

By the time she's sipping on her fourth drink, she's been flirting lightly with a curly-haired guy sitting next to her. The banter is nice, and the way he's eying her exposed legs makes her feel like he's just tossing her all the control over this situation, which really does make her happy.

And then he appears and she tries not to think about what they did two weeks ago, except he sits down on her other side and he's smirking, she can feel it, and now she's lost all of her control, so even though she knows she's with Dimitri now, she can't resist this silent challenge. She swivels around in her chair and smirks at him.

Control, Jude. It's all about control.

"Hello, Jude," he says to her, and she knows the guy she was just flirting with is pouting into his drink, and that makes her smirk feel a little more real.

"Archie," she greets, holding her drink up in the air, before knocking it back. She slams it down on the bar in front of its tender, "another round," and then she turns back to Archie, who was watching her. She arches an eyebrow at him and rests her chin on her palm, her elbow on the bar. Her feet swing back and forth and she can feel his eyes beginning to be drawn towards her legs. Even though she's not very tall, she's still got the legs of a model.

When Archie opens his mouth, she expects him to mention Dimitri and their recent relationship status, but he doesn't. Instead, he just smiles and it's a smile that says he knows everything, he knows she's with Dimitri, he knows "in a relationship" is like a noose around her neck, strangling her, breaking her. But he doesn't say a word.

"What are you drinking?" He asks her, instead, and she's not sure whether she's grateful or not.

"Vodka," and then she winces because it's Dimitri's favorite muggle drink and, fuck, there's another mention of Dimitri, and another reminder that if he knew it would crush him. But, they weren't together when she and Archie snogged. They weren't together so it didn't count, right?

Archie smirks. "I'm more of a tequila person, myself." He tells her, around a sip of his drink. She can't help but notice how in control he is, and she can't help but continue to compare it to Dimitri. She can't help but compare him to Dimitri. Dimitri is reckless, he's careless and impulsive, and he leaps off ledges, where Archie is quiet and calculated. He doesn't leap off anything, not unless he knows exactly how he's going to land first.

Dimitri is a noose, a cage trapping her, where Archie is air.

And she hates herself, she does, but she craves air. She craves Archie.

Jude craves freedom.

So it's no surprise that by the end of the night, they're snogging again. But this time it's different. This time it's heavier, this time she knows it's not going to be just a quick snog and there's a large part of her that doesn't want it to be.

Jude finds kissing Archie is nothing like kissing Dimitri.

Archie takes his time so that he can be sure Jude is moaning in pleasure, is withering underneath him, anxious for what's to come. Archie is ice, and it burns her from the top of her head to the tip of her tongue that's brushing against his, tasting his, all the way down to her toes, which are curling in pleasure.

His lips brush against hers in a variety of pressures, as his fingers slide down the bare skin of her arm, and he tugs her closer to him in the alleyway outside of the muggle club, so he can apparate them away, back to his flat.

When they arrive, he pushes the door open blindly and she wonders just how many times he's done this before. But there's a difference between her and the other girls he's brought back here: She's not just another conquest. She's not a notch in his bedpost. He is all of those things for her. Because she has the real power, she has what he wants. She can walk away, she doesn't need this. Can he say the same?

Maybe he can, she doesn't know. All she knows is her every thought is being shaken up and tossed upside down and all around inside of her head, and she can't think and she can't breathe and deep down she recognizes she does want this, she does.

Archie presses her against the wall, and she can feel him through the fabric of his trousers and her dress. She presses against him harder, and bites down on his lip. He tugs her hair hard, his fingers raking violently through the scarlet, and begins to grind into her, and pleasure shoots over her body and she fights the urge to gasp as this becomes a power struggle.

And it's hot, fucking hot. So much hotter than anything with Dimitri, because with Dimitri there's never a power struggle, and he may have his hands around her neck, but they both know she's in control of the situation because she has the ability that he lacks: She can walk away if she needs.

He tips her head upwards as he pulls his hips back from hers, his lips sliding off of hers. Brown eyes meet brown eyes and they stare at each other for several brief moments as an ache deep within Jude begins to build up, an ache she can tell just by glancing down at the front of his trousers has already built up for him. She opens her mouth, and he takes the opportunity to kiss her.

It's slow and passionate, but the fire is building underneath and this is just the starting embers to an even bigger flame.

She rests her hand over his chest and continues to kiss him, and she thinks maybe she should try to think of Dimitri, she thinks maybe she shouldn't be doing this because of Dimitri, but the way Archie's kissing her is leaving her gasping for air and starving her brain of oxygen and she can't think of Dimitri, she can't pull away, not now, not ever, not with him kissing her and touching her and making her want him so desperately while still allowing her her metaphoric air.

Archie is everything Dimitri isn't. And while that difference is what makes her love Dimitri, it's also what makes her want Archie, because she's all about self-control and self-preservation and freedom, most of all.

Jude has freedom with Archie. So she doesn't pull away, doesn't throw water on the fire.

Her hands slowly begin to slide down, over his chest, down his abs, feeling the hardness of his stomach muscles, until she reaches the hem of his shirt. She pulls her lips from his slowly, so she can pull his shirt up over his head, and then she reattaches her lips to his lower stomach. She kisses along the skin just above the fabric of his jeans, her tongue darting out to caress his skin. She's kneeling in front of him, so she can feel his erection brushing against her chest, and it makes a wetness pool into the fabric of her thong between her legs.

Her original plan was to kiss upwards, but her pussy begins to ache for him, and she wants to make damn sure his dick is doing the same, so she slowly begins to unbutton his pants, and then tugs his zipper down. She pushes his jeans and boxers down to the floor, and doesn't give him time to even step out of them before she reaches out and takes his length in her hands. His skin is warm and he throbs in her small palm and she can't help but look up at his face and smirk when she notices him watching her very closely. She doesn't break eye contact as she leans closer and brings him into her mouth, her tongue swirling around him like a pornstar.

She can tell he's trying not to gasp, but she gently allows her teeth to scrap against his skin at his tip, at the same time she uses her free hand to wrap around his upper shaft and gently pull down. She's giving him a blow job and hand job at the same time and she can just tell it's driving him insane.

"Jude," he groans, losing the battle he was fighting, the one where he didn't want to let her know right away how good this felt, but even if he had kept his mouth shut, she would've known. She's got enough faith in her skill to know how good she is at doing something like this.

And I could fill this paragraph with sentences about how she's trying so desperately to think about Dimitri, about how she feels so horribly guilty inside it's already begun to wreck her. About how she loves Dimitri so much and she never wanted to hurt him. And the last part, it's true - she never, ever wanted to hurt Dimitri. But he chased after her; he fought for her when he shouldn't have, and even though this is her fault, he holds the blame.

He could have let her leave, he had the chance a thousand and one times, but he always pulled her back.

He always pulled her back and his heartbreak would be his own fault.

Maybe the worst part is she really isn't thinking of him.


ii.
i will not hear what you have to say
cause i need freedom now
and i
need to know how to live
my life as it's meant to be

She doesn't mean for it to, but her thing with Archie turns into an actual thing. And she's with Dimitri and he's with Rose, and she feels bad, but not enough to stop because she feels freedom and she feels the (metaphoric) wind on her face and the sun in her eyes and she feels good. And that's what she's good at, isn't it? Thinking about herself, putting herself first. That's what everyone things she is, including one of Dimitri's best friends, Elena, so she must be that, right?

No one gives Jude enough credit, not the people around her and not herself.

Jude turns and looks at Archie, her hair a mess, tangled and dewy with sweat. Sex hair. She has sex hair. "Do you love her?" She asks him, watching as he lights up a cigarette. She's talking about Rose, and Archie seems to freeze, so he must realize. He pauses and Jude thinks this must be the only time she's ever caught him off guard within the last ten years they've known each other, within the last four months they've been hooking up like this.

Archie looks caught between the truth and a damn good lie, but then he takes a long drag and sighs. "I love her."

A normal person would ask 'why, then? Why are you sleeping with me if you love her?' But Jude isn't normal and she doesn't have to ask because she understands.

She lays back against the pillows and opens her mouth to confide in him, but then she shuts her mouth because the Jude she knows doesn't confide in anyone.

/

"Keep your eyes closed," Dimitri murmurs in her ear, his fingers brushing the skin of her face, under her eyes, over her brows, and Jude has to fight the urge to shiver against his touch. She loathes herself for it. She feels weak around him and she hates the way he makes her feel about him. Mostly, though, she hates the guilt that swells up, the 'if-he-ever-finds-out-...'s. Because even though she can block him out when he's not there, when he is there the guilt is deafening.

"My eyes are closed," she says, amusement coating her voice and he has no idea anything is out of the ordinary because she'll never let him know, and he'll never lay eye on her vices.

"Well, keep them closed," he says and Jude knows without a doubt he's grinning.

"Where are we going?" She asks him, getting impatient, wishing he would just tell her. A part of her is pleased and happy that he's doing this for her, but a larger part feels nothing but guilt and she's taking that guilt and channeling it into irritation because she's so utterly frustrated with this entire situation and she wishes... well, she's not sure what she wishes. What would she do if she could manipulate this entire situation into her favour, with no bounds? With no restrictions.

She finds herself at a pause because she's not really sure.

Dimitri begins speaking. "You can open your eyes, Jude."

She opens her eyes to see Dimitri grinning like a little boy and there's a picnic in front of her with candles and cheesy music and it's so overdone, but it's so sweet and she can't help but smile at him. Jude walks to him slowly, and presses her lips against his. It starts out as a peck, but then it turns into a lot more, and they use the picnic blanket not for sitting on, but for making love on. She's not exactly sure how to describe it. It's amazing, it's perfect, it's the first time they've had sex in a long time. It's the first time they've ever made love.

And all Jude can think is 'I've really fucked up, I really, really have.'

/

She spends the next night with Archie. They don't sleep together. They lay in his bed together and he smokes and she drinks and they look at each other, and if they were normal people they would cry and crack and break and it would hurt, and it would eat them alive, and they wouldn't survive this. They would self destruct from this; from the guilt and the pain and the pure, raw emotion because they're both so, so in love with people who are so, so in love with them, and they destroyed them.

They've destroyed the only people who have ever really looked past their pasts, their histories, their reputations. They destroyed the people who were the best to them, who loved them the way no one else would ever again love them and they have no one to blame but themselves.

They don't speak to each other, they don't say the words they're both thinking.

They just lay there and stare up at the ceiling and drink and smoke and they understand, without words, without any form of communication they understand, because essentially they are the same person and they understand.


iii.
but i will hold on hope
and i won't let you choke on the noose around your neck
and i will find strength in pain
and i will change my ways

/

When Dimitri finds out two weeks later, she sits silently on his bed with her hands folded up into her lap and she watches him. She watches as he throws thing, punches things. She watches as he screams and cries and he says nothing to her. He can't even look at her, and she feels the noose loosening, his hands letting her throat go, but his hands are moving to her heart and he's wringing it, punching it, stomping on it, and there's a throbbing pain in her chest and she wants to blame him for it but its all her fault because she's in love with him and she fucked it up.

It's her fault, her folly, her vice.

So she sits very still and watches him, she cannot tear her eyes away.

Jude watches silently, sitting still, as Dimitri unravels in front of her.

And then he stops and she notes his fist is bloody and she glances around - the bedroom is a mess. The mirror is shattered, furniture is strewn all over the place, books and papers torn and ripped. The only thing he leaves untouched is a photo.

A photo that, once he looks at her, really looks at her, before he turns and walks away and he's gone, she stands and moves slowly toward. She's not sure what she expects it to be. From this distance it looks like his parents, but the photo is on the wall all the way across the room and she can't tell for sure because details are blurred.

Then he comes to a stop in front of it and nothing is blurred.

It's her and him. He's pressing a kiss to her cheek and looking at her like he'll never look at anyone else and it fills her up with something she's not quite sure how to describe.

She looks at the photo, looks at herself: Her scarlet hair and brown eyes and she sees something in herself she's never seen before. The way she's looking at Dimitri in the picture... it's almost as if she's in love with him.

/

He comes back three and a half weeks later and his skin is sickly yellow and there are bags underneath his eyes and he looks at her and she realizes that she hurt him and she realizes there's a part of him that hates her, hates her more than he could ever put into words.

But he loves her, loves her more than anything in this world and it fills him up and it overflows from him and maybe she isn't the type to love like he loves, isn't the type to love at all, and maybe before she wondered why she wasn't with someone like Archie, someone who wouldn't choke her, and really, the answer is simple.

Dimitri may have his hands around her neck, but he also holds her heart in his palm, and he overflows love for her and with Archie she would be empty, because Archie overflows nothing. Dimitri fills her up with his love because she can't properly produce love of her own, and it all sounds horribly written and overdone and cliche and gross, but Dimitri makes her love him. He gives her no choice, and she thinks maybe if she did have a choice her choice would still be with him.

Jude's not empty with Dimitri.

Because he takes her and he fills her up and he makes her feel things, anger and hatred and frustration, utter frustration. But he makes her feel happiness and warmth and love, and that's more than anyone else in the world could ever say.

/

Their relationship is a little rough around the edges and maybe it's not all fluffy clouds and butterflies and sunshine but it's real and they feel everything, he make her feel everything, and that's all she can ask for.

And if anyone ever asked why they were together, they could never explain it, they could never make anyone really understand, but they understand and that's enough.


iv.
you can understand dependence
when you know the makers land

And make no mistake, this isn't a happy ending. They'll never have a real happy ending, but that's life and they're okay with that.