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Chapter 29: Interrupted, Yet Again
KEY: Pippa (bold), Marley (Italics), Emilie (italic bold), Lily (normal)
289. I’m sorry I couldn’t control my emotions.
290. I want to get back with her just so I can break her heart like she broke mine.
291. It’s absolute nonsense…but i still believe that someday she’ll be mine.
292. We used to talk non-stop, but now you ignore me and pretend like we never knew
293. The scars you left me with are deeper than the ones I gave myself.
294. I read other people’s guilty secrets so I don’t feel so bad about my own.
295. I think I subconsciously fell in love with you again.
296. We don’t even speak anymore but I’ll always remember the night he thought I was
asleep and whispered “I love you”….
The bright morning sunlight woke me up as it burned into my eyelids, sending a painful jolt through my head as the events of last night came back to me in a tidal wave. I sat up, throwing my bed covers off me, and swung my legs over the side of the bed. I swayed slightly from sitting up too fast, images of last night still swimming faintly before my eyes.
My head was throbbing, still a little sore from my injury even though the cut was healed. I glanced down at my arm and saw that it was smeared with dried blood. I had been too preoccupied and exhausted last night to take care of it properly. I reached my hand up to the tender spot on the back of my head. My hair was tangled and matted with dried blood and I dropped my hand quickly, feeling slightly nauseous.
Grabbing my towel I wrapped it around my self tightly and headed to the bathroom for a shower, hoping desperately that I didn’t run into Potter. I wasn’t quite ready to deal with that yet. I knew he’d have questions for me, wondering what happened before he showed up, wondering if I was ok…
I slipped into the bathroom with no sign of Potter and hopped in the shower, turning the knobs so that the hot water steamed up the mirrors. I pulled my fingers through my hair, trying desperately to get the blood out quickly. I watched as little red rivers ran down my body, washing away the last of the evidence from last night. I wondered absently what Potter had done with Chris, if he had taken him to his dorm or to the hospital wing… I should probably ask him about that at some point. Dread settled in my stomach at the thought of seeing Chris in classes and my stomach did another unpleasant flip when I thought of talking to Potter about it.
I couldn’t believe how such an innocent crush on Potter had turned into a physical fight between Chris and I. So far nothing good had come from my feelings for Potter but I couldn’t just give up. Despite all of the signs working against it, I couldn’t ignore how I felt about him… But where did I go from here? He’s still with Holly and happy with her. But I wasn’t crazy….there was definitely a moment between us. Could I have just imagined it?
I twisted the shower knob and the water stopped. I grabbed my towel from the hook outside the shower and dried myself off before opening the curtain. I stared at myself in the steamy mirror, my dark red hair was dripping onto the towel that I clutched around myself.
I froze as I saw a faint jagged scar on the top of my forearm. Potter wasn’t a healer; he’d done the best he could. I traced the scar with my other hand and smiled slightly, remembering how James had held my hand to heal it.
The door to the bathroom swung open, startling me, and Potter strode in, freezing when he saw that I was only in my towel.
“Oh Merlin, I’m sorry,” Potter mumbled, stumbling backwards towards the door.
“It’s fine,” I said quickly. “I’m on my way out.” I slid past him out the door as he stared at me with a curious expression on his face.
“Lily,” he started, reaching a tentative hand out towards me but stopped himself. “Are you ok? I mean, if you want to talk about it or anything….”
“I’m fine, really,” I said hurriedly, becoming increasingly aware of how little of my body my towel was covering.
“Are you sure? You seemed really shaken up last night…” Potter looked unconvinced.
“Um, maybe we can talk when I’m wearing clothes…” I muttered, feeling my face flush.
I saw Potter’s eyes flash up and down as he took in my appearance and I felt my face grow hotter. He seemed to realize himself and quickly looked away.
“Right, ok, later then,” Potter said, his voice cracking slightly as he walked towards the sink.
Without saying anything else, I pushed the door open and practically ran to my room. What just happened there? Was Potter honestly just checking me out?
Get a grip, Lily, he has a girlfriend…
I shook my head, trying to rid myself of any thoughts of Potter checking me out but I felt a smile creep onto my face as I changed into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I headed out to the common room to find Potter sitting on the couch staring at his hands.
I walked over to the couch and sat down next to him, staring into the fire. I was intensely aware of the flips my stomach was doing at the proximity to him. I drew my knees up to my chest and hugged them tightly, resting my chin.
“Sorry you got dragged into the middle of that last night. I should have just…handled it before he got so out of control. But I didn’t and you came and— I’m just really sorry,” I said quietly, dropping my eyes to the floor. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him glance over at me, with that curious look on his face again.
“Can I ask you something?” Potter said, still looking at me.
I nodded my head slightly, nervous about what he was about to ask me.
“What you said last night, about wanting to spare Chris from getting hurt because you didn’t love him… was that really the reason you broke up with him, or was it something else too?” Potter asked and I glanced up at him, my emerald eyes locking with his hazel ones. I recalled Chris drunkenly accusing me of breaking up with him for Potter and I wondered how much of my conversation with Chris he had heard…
“What exactly did you hear last night…you know, before you saved me?” I whispered, keeping my eyes on Potter. I could hear the trepidation in my shaky voice and I wondered if Potter noticed it too.
He chewed on his lip, his eyes flitting away from me.
“I heard him saying that you broke up with him because….because of me,” Potter said, turning his head back to me, his eyes burning into mine with questions that he didn’t voice but I could read plainly in his face.
I swallowed hard, remembering that moment perfectly. Potter was still staring at me intently and it felt as if the room had become smaller, encompassing only the small space around us, like we were the only people in the world at that moment.
What did Potter want me to say? That Chris was right? Was he waiting for me to deny it, like I had done so many times before? I was tired of lying, but the three words I desperately wanted to say to him were stuck in my throat, remaining unsaid for the moment.
I felt my breathing become shallow and my skin felt like it was on fire, my heart thumping wildly in my chest. What if I just said it? What if I just finally confessed that I loved him. I could do that, right?
You can do that, Lily. Just say it. I love you. It’s not that hard. I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU.
“The truth is…“ I started, keeping my eyes locked with his, my breath escaping in ragged bursts, “That I—“
The portrait hole was thrown open and Holly rushed in, immediately firing questions at Potter about last night. Potter broke eye contact with me and I let out a huge sigh but the adrenaline rushing through my body did not cease. I could have said it! I was right there, in that moment, about to finally tell him.
I quickly hopped off the couch as Holly took my place and I backed into my room, closing the door behind me. I didn’t even look back to see if Potter was as disappointed at our interrupted moment as I was.
I let out another frustrated sigh and pulled the Clique’s book from my shelf, opening it to a blank page.
Hello? Anyone there?
We’re here. Is everything ok?
Um, kind of. Chris basically attacked me last night, and I’m fine, don’t worry, but I’ll tell
you the full story when I see you guys.
Are you serious? He attacked you?
Really, I’m fine. Potter came just in time and basically saved me. And then we had a
moment this morning…
What do you mean, a moment? Did you kiss him or something?
Not exactly….but I came SO close to telling him that I love him and then Holly came in…
Ok, seriously Lily get your ass over here, we need to Girl Talk.
Yeah, we have some serious filling in to do.
Pippa slept with Adrian!
Well, I WAS going to tell you when you got here but since apparently we’re telling
all our secrets now, Emilie likes Remus!
UGH! Lily please just come over so we can stop putting these secrets in writing!
Marley’s planning on sleeping with Liam next weekend!
What the hell, Pippa!?
If I’m going down, I’m taking everyone with me…
For Merlin’s sake, I’ll be over in five minutes. Don’t blab anymore secrets until I get there!
Tossing the Clique’s Confessional book on my bed, I quickly grabbed one of my oversized sweaters from my closet. Hoping I could leave the dorm without disturbing Potter and Holly I quietly opened my door to find the common room empty.
I hadn’t heard them leave through the portrait hole so I assumed they must have gone into Potter’s room. Jealousy stabbed at my stomach as I tried to push away thoughts of what they might be doing but my envious thoughts were interrupted by a shout of anger coming from Potter’s room.
Curious, I dropped my bag and crept slowly towards his door. I positioned myself quietly next to the door, listening intently for any snippet of conversation I could overhear.
“I just don’t understand this, James,” I heard Holly’s muffled voice saying. “You go from hating her one minute to saving her the next and then I find you yet again having some intimate moment on the couch out there!”
I winced slightly, realizing that Holly was talking about me. I strained my ears to hear any response from Potter but was disappointed when he said nothing.
“What is going on, James? You’re not falling for her, are you? Because lately every time I come here, you’ve been with her. I thought you hated her!” Holly’s voice was strained through her anger and I held my breath, waiting for him to confirm or deny what Holly was accusing him of.
“You’re not interrupting anything, Holly,” he answered coolly. “We’re the Heads. We have a lot of things to talk about and she had a bad run-in with a student last night, you know that. She was just a little freaked out, that’s all.”
I let out a low sigh, still waiting for Potter to address Holly’s accusation, but silence ensued and I realized that no matter what he said, I shouldn’t be hearing any of it. I backed away from the door slowly, hearing Holly’s muffled voice pressing Potter for a more concrete answer.
I left the dorm and headed down the halls towards the Library when I passed Sirius on his way to my dorm.
“I’d wait a few minutes before going in there…” I warned him. “Holly’s in there and they’re fighting.”
“What, again?” Sirius sneered, rolling his eyes.
“Again? They’ve been fighting before?” I asked, my burning curiosity getting the best of me.
“Only lately. What are they fighting about this time?” Sirius asked, leaning against the wall and glancing down the hall towards the portrait of the centaurs.
“Me, actually,” I confessed, tugging on a strand of red hair.
“What?” Sirius snapped his head back towards me.
I filled him in on everything that had happened last night, how Chris had attacked me, how Potter had saved me, healed me, comforted me... I had to physically restrain Sirius from hunting down Chris after I told him how he had tried to stun me.
“It’s not worth it, Sirius,” I said, grabbing his arm as started towards the Ravenclaw tower. “Potter already took care of him and, I’m not done with my story.”
Sirius took a deep breath to calm himself down but his steely eyes remained narrowed in anger. I finished telling him about our conversation this morning, stuttering awkwardly as I confessed to him that I had been about to tell him how I felt when Holly interrupted us.
“You were seriously going to tell him?” Sirius asked, his icy eyes boring into mine.
I nodded, and dropped my eyes to the floor, feeling embarrassed. “But Holly came and now she thinks there’s something going on between us because this is the second time she’s come in while we were having a serious discussion.”
“That’s is what you overheard?” Sirius asked, running a hand through his messy black hair.
“Yes, but he didn’t deny it or confirm it. He just said that he was comforting me about what happened last night… That’s when I left,” I finished explaining.
“Well, that’s good right?” Sirius gave me a sly smile like there was something he knew but wasn’t telling me.
“It doesn’t really matter, does it? He’s still with Holly as far as I know,” I muttered bitterly, crossing my arms across my chest.
“Loosen up, Evans,” Sirius laughed, nudging me with his elbow. When he saw that I was still serious he softened his expression and said sincerely, “You really like him, don’t you?”
I drew in a deep breath. “It just felt so right—when he was sitting with me on the couch, when he was healing my arm and he touched me. I mean, of course I felt things with Chris, but they were never as strong as this,” I said.
“Well if you like him so much, don’t give up. It’ll happen eventually,” Sirius shrugged. “Maybe he just needs to know how you really feel about him. After all, from his point of view you hated him for 6 years and dated other people while he constantly tried to convince you that he actually liked you…”
“I guess,” I sighed, shrugging.
Sirius clapped my on the shoulder, making my knees buckle underneath me. “You’ll figure it out. Just don’t give up, ok?”
“Ugh, Sirius, why do I always feel like there’s something you’re not telling me about all this,” I shoved his hand off my shoulder, making him chuckle.
“Because I’m All-Knowing,” Sirius said haughtily, rolling his eyes impatiently at me.
“You’re so full of yourself,” I laughed and Sirius let out a low chuckle. “Well, you might be safe to go in now. I’m supposed to be meeting the Clique in Gryffindor.”
“I’ll see you later then,” Sirius waved as he disappeared behind the painting and I continued down the hall towards my old dorm.
* * * *
“You slept with Adrian?” I said, staring dumbly at Pippa who was blushing furiously as she hugged the bedpost. I had told them the whole story of what happened last night with Chris and Potter and went into great detail this morning, describing every tiny thing that Potter had said and done. Currently we were more focused on Pippa’s most recent date with Adrian Austen.
“It just kind of happened, ok?” Pippa squeaked as her face split into a smile. “We were hanging out in an empty classroom last night and things kind of went from there…. We didn’t plan it or anything.”
“Maybe you didn’t,” Emilie muttered, and Pippa threw a pillow at her.
“He was really nice though,” Pippa cooed, her eyes loosing focus as she told us exactly what happened.
“And you’re happy about this?” I asked. I couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe she only slept with him to try and get over Sirius.
“I know what you’re thinking, Lily, and you’re wrong,” Pippa said, laying herself down on the bed so that she was staring at the ceiling. “Whatever feelings I had for Sirius are gone…”
I glanced quickly at her, remembering that Marley and Emilie didn’t know about her feelings for him.
“It’s ok, Lily,” Marley chuckled, seeing my reaction. “She told us this morning about that whole thing. Honestly, we already knew, though.”
“And you, missy,” I turned towards Marley and she shrank, embarrassed, back under her covers. “What’s this about you and Liam?”
“Well, we’ve talked about it a little and I kind of figure why not, you know?” Marley said shyly. “I mean, there’s really nothing holding me back. I like him, he likes me…”
“But you’re Marley. You’re like the most innocent person I know!” I said, looking around at my other friends who looked just as surprised about this news as I was.
“Hello, aren’t we going to talk about Emilie’s crush on Remus?” Marley said quickly, trying to get the attention off herself.
“There’s nothing to tell,” Emilie blushed, leaning back on Marley’s bedpost. “It’s just a crush. I probably won’t do anything about it. But we’ve been hanging out together in the library a lot lately and… I don’t know. He’s just really nice and cute…”
“Ooooh,” Pippa cooed at her, and Emilie blushed even deeper.
“You should ask him to the snow angels ball!” Marley suggested but Emilie furiously shook her head.
“No way. I told you I’m not going to do anything about it. It’s just a crush,” Emilie said.
“Ok so you’re caught up on gossip, Lily. We really can’t go this long between Girl Talks,” Pippa said, her cheeks still slightly pink.
“I still can’t believe you slept with him,” I chuckled, nudging Pippa in the side.
“I’m just glad someone else in the Clique has been de-flowered. I was getting lonely being the only one,” Emilie laughed and Pippa scowled at her.
“And you too, Marley?” I whined, glancing over at the slender brunette who shrank against her bed when I addressed her. “I’m going to be the only one left in a week!”
“That’s not a bad thing,” Pippa tried to soothe me but I was already irrationally upset. I mean, I’d had plenty of opportunity with Chris but it had never seemed right… Maybe I was just jealous that my friends had found the right person and I was still stuck waiting hopelessly while Potter snogged another girl….
We talked for another hour before we all remembered a Potions essay we had yet to do for the next day. I waited as the Clique gathered their books and we left the common room, pausing momentarily outside the Heads Dorm while I went to my room to grab my books. The common room was empty and I hurriedly gathered my things in my room.
My door was slightly ajar which was odd since I almost always remember to close it, but I must have just forgotten since I was trying to spy on Potter and Holly. I went to my bed to clear the books and was startled when I noticed that the Clique’s confessional book wasn’t there where I left it but on the floor next to my bookshelf. Hmm, I could have sworn I left it on my bed, but maybe I’m just imagining things. Grabbing a spare roll of parchment from my desk, I stuffed it into my already bulging bag and hurried out the door to meet my friends…
A/N: Woah so sorry for the long wait! Long story short, I ended up having surgery which knocked me out for a couple weeks and I had to go right back to school after that... But I'm on top of my game now and I've got the rest of the story completely planned out (with longer chapters starting with this one) so I'll be able to update faster :) Sorry again for the long wait! I'd love to hear what you think!