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Chapter 10: Hospital Wing Visits
I'm so jeli of the talent easterlies @tda has
I hardly slept last night. I finally dozed off at about half-two in the morning, and all the time I tossed and turned and had nightmares about Courtney laughing and jeering and holding onto James as I sank down to the bottom of the Black Lake.
Finally, at six, I jerked awake, sweating and breathing hard. I picked up my towel and stumbled down to the bathroom. I quickly shed my clothes and slipped inside. I kept the water cold and sighed as it washed over me. It felt like all the drama and betrayal and love and soap-opera-storyline-type-events that had happened over the last few weeks were being washed off. I spent a while in the shower and my skin was all crinkled when I switched the water off. I wrapped the towel around myself and crept back into the dorm. I dropped the towel and put on my uniform. As I was drying my hair using my wand, someone knocked on the door and it opened. I didn’t need to turn around to know who it was.
‘Look, Potter, I don’t want to talk to you, so just get lost.’ I snapped as I picked up my comb and started running it through my hair.
‘Lily, please, I –’ he began.
‘Didn’t you hear me?’ I said angrily, standing up to face him. ‘Get out! Get out and never come back! I hate you! I wish you were dead!’
Being the strong, willing girl that I was, naturally, I threw my comb at the door as it slammed shut, fell to the floor and burst into tears. Through the blurry wetness in my eyes, I looked up at the clock. It was quarter past seven. Breakfast started in fifteen minutes. I had to pull myself together.
I couldn’t lose control over a stupid boy.
A boy who I always knew was a player and no good for me.
I dried my eyes on my sleeve and stood up. I crossed the room to pick up my comb. I tied my hair in a simple ponytail, used my concealer (bought from an ordinary Muggle shop before September) to make the bags under my eyes less noticeable, picked up my school bag, pulled open the door and marched down the stairs.
James was sitting in front of the fire, finishing off a piece of toast. He got up as he saw me.
‘Lily, please, listen.’
‘No,’ I said, not looking at him. I gathered up the homework I had left last night and shoved it into my bag. Before he could say anything else, I climbed out of the portrait hole and made my way down to the Hall. I saw Courtney standing next to a suit of armour.
‘Aw, what’s wrong, lickle Lilykins?’ she sneered. ‘Has your bwoyfwend bwoken up wif you?’ she said in a baby voice.
‘You make me sick,’ I spat at her. ‘Sick. You think, just because you’re pure-blood, that you can walk all over me and try to make me break down?’
Courtney laughed softly. ‘Of course I think that, Lily. But I also think you’re a lying, cheating tart who stole my boyfriend, and now, I’m getting him back.’
‘Well, like I said before, he never liked you. Did you not see how he never used to notice you or talk to you? I told him to go out with you because I saw how upset you were and I didn’t like seeing you like that.’
‘Yeah, for that first trip. But then he asked me out. By himself.’ Courtney said, looking smug.
‘Because he liked me! Because he was jealous that I was going out with Sirius! Because he wanted to get back at me!’ I cried.
Courtney looked agitated, like she didn’t have a comeback.
Without trying to seem smug, I scowled. ‘You’re pathetic,’ I said viciously, before turning on my heel and continuing down the stairs.
‘… they were kissing?’ Ella said incredulously.
I nodded. ‘Like, proper kissing,’
Ella made a noise that showed she was properly disgusted. She glanced at the doors of the Hall. ‘Here she comes, the bitch. I’m going to punch her so hard she’ll land in next week.’ She stood up, fists curled and a look of utmost rage on her face.
‘Ella, no!’ I moaned, trying to grab her robes as she stomped past me. But Ella just shrugged me off and went right up to Courtney. I saw her making hand gestures and saying a lot of swear words, but when she raised her fist to give her a good whack (which I agreed she needed), Mary whipped out her wand and pointed it at Ella.
‘Confundus!’ Mary hissed. Ella spun round as she put her weight forwards and stumbled past Courtney, who sniggered and sashayed to the table. Ella meandered back to us, looking dazed.
‘You Confunded me!’ she growled at Mary.
‘So what? You would have gotten into serious trouble, Ella!’ Mary shot back.
‘I don’t care! What can they do to me? My name is Ella Jones, toughest girl in Gryffindor!’ Ella said, looking proud and haughty like she usually did. She flicked her mahogany hair over her shoulder and poured herself a glass of orange juice.
Lisa touched my elbow. ‘James is here,’
I looked up. He looked so lonely. I just wanted to run up to him and give him a hug. But I couldn’t. Not anymore. He walked into the Hall, apparently searching for Peter and Remus, when Courtney swaggered up to him and crushed her mouth to his.
Disgusted and upset, I turned away. I gobbled up my cereal like I hadn’t eaten in weeks and dashed out of the Hall with Mary close behind. She threw Courtney and James a dirty look, which Courtney returned.
I was planning on returning to the Head Common Room and bunking the day, but I had to study hard. It was a promise I’d made to my parents just before we left home for King’s Cross and I couldn’t break that promise, so instead I headed down to the dungeons to line up for double Potions.
‘Lily!’ Mary panted as I came to a stop outside the classroom.
‘Mary,’ I said, feeling my eyes burn with hot tears, ‘I can’t do it anymore. She’s trying to break me and I can’t cope with it anymore.’
‘Of course you can, Lily,’ Mary said, digging into her pocket and offering me a Chocolate Frog. As I accepted the Frog, she went on, ‘Courtney’s just jealous. I mean, you’re beautiful, smart and you – had – the most wanted boy in the year. I was jealous and I don’t even fancy James. She will get over it. If she doesn’t, you’re strong enough to know that she can’t break you. Whatever she does, you won’t break down. You can get through this, Lily, and all three of us, me, Lisa and Ella, we will always be here for you. Every step of the way.’
On Saturday, the four of us got a carriage into Hogsmeade together. The Halloween Ball was in a week and we needed to get dresses and dates. Mary told us how she turned down another date with Remus for us to have a girly day out.
‘Mary, you didn’t have to do that,’ I said. ‘I wouldn’t have minded, honestly.’
Mary smiled and shook her head. ‘I told you I would be here for you. My girls come first, Lily, you should know that.’
When we arrived at Hogsmeade, we approached a new shop called Miss Mawdor’s All Season Dresses. Miss Mawdor was a thirty-something woman with a blonde bob and dark, glinting eyes. She rushed up to us as soon as we stepped inside.
‘Hello, girls! From Hogwarts, are we?’
‘Yeah,’ Ella said. ‘We’re having a Halloween Ball. Have you got anything?’
‘Of course, ladies,’ Miss Mawdor said, smiling and showing off pearly white teeth. ‘Is there a colour scheme?’
‘Ask Lily, she’s Head Girl,’ Ella said, pointing to me.
‘Ah, Head Girl? I was in my day,’ Miss Mawdor told me.
‘Well, there are the traditional colours; you know … orange and black.’ I said.
‘Ah, that’s perfect!’ the tailor said, clapping her hands in delight. ‘Follow me!’ She led us to the back of the shop. Clearly displayed on the wall were the words Halloween Dresses written in huge, black, spidery writing. ‘Have a browse and if there’s anything you like, feel free to try them on.’ Miss Mawdor gave a little curtsey and returned to her desk.
Lisa immediately picked up a black dress with one strap and red decoration. ‘This is really nice. And it looks …’
‘Halloween-y?’ I suggested.
‘Yes. Halloween-y. This dress looks very Halloween-y.’ Lisa agreed. She searched for her size and went into a changing room. While Mary, Ella and I continued to browse, Lisa put on the dress. She threw the curtain back with confidence and strutted out, striking a pose like Courtney would have done.
The dress was a little tight around her waist but she didn’t seem to mind. Her leg stuck out of the little slit running up the left side.
‘You look amazing!’ Mary gasped. ‘I wish we could all find a dress that fits us within three minutes of shopping.’
‘Lisa’s very gifted when it comes to this kind of stuff,’ Ella said. ‘Coming from a long line of Seers must help a lot,’
‘The Inner Eye skips two generations, remember? My granny has it, but me and my mum don’t,’ Lisa sighed, rolling her eyes at us. She slipped back inside the changing room and came out wearing her other clothes. ‘I’m going to go and buy this,’
Lisa purchased the dress and came back to help us look. After about half an hour, I picked up a strapless orange dress with a full skirt and admired it. I was about to head into the changing rooms to try it on when Ella stopped me.
‘Lily, if you put that on, I will cry,’
‘Why?’ I asked, confused.
‘Why? Why? Lily, orange. It’s bloody orange! If you wear that, it’ll clash so horribly with your hair that everyone at the Ball will either scream, run or vomit. I would do all three. Now give me that dress!’ Ella demanded. Startled, I obediently handed over the dress.
She bulldozed into the changing rooms. When she came out, Ella literally took my breath away. She looked stunning. If she really did herself up, every boy at the Ball would be clamouring after her. Mary begged her to let her try it on, but Ella refused.
‘No! It’s my dress now. Tough nubs.’ Before Mary could plead any more, Ella went to buy the dress.
There was nothing else in Miss Mawdor’s that attracted Mary and I. Everything was either orange or black. Mary insisted on an azure blue dress and I just wanted something that didn’t clash with my hair. Also, Lisa already had a black dress, and I thought black was the most macabre colour under the sun. We thanked Miss Mawdor and left the shop.
‘You two are so fussy!’ Lisa said, making a ‘tuh!’ sort of sound.
‘We can’t all be perfect shoppers like you two,’ Mary retorted. ‘Anyway, I need a break. Let’s go get a Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks. What do you say, Lily?’ I didn’t reply. ‘Lily?’
I hardly heard her. I had just seen James walking along the street, looking sad.
‘One second, girls,’ I said to Mary, Ella and Lisa. I made the first few steps towards him, the words ‘Sorry’ and ‘I love you’ already on my lips, when a certain familiar blonde-haired girl came out of Honeydukes.
She stopped in front of James. They started talking. I shuffled my feet in his direction a little more, when raindrops started pattering on the street. As the rain drummed harder, they moved into the shelter of a doorway of Scrivenshaft’s. A little closer … it looked like they were arguing.
‘Lily! Come on!’ I heard Ella yell. I glanced over to see them hurrying under the doorway of the Three Broomsticks.
‘One minute,’ I said quietly, even though I knew no one would hear. People all around me started running into shops or, in the case of students, back up to the school. Someone splashed me with mud. I felt it trickling down the collar of my coat and dripping in my hair. I must have looked like an idiot.
I moved a little bit closer to James and Courtney. His head was bent towards her. A cloud shifted in the sky and the doorway of Scrivenshaft’s was bathed in October sunlight, and I could see James and Courtney perfectly.
‘James, I –’ I began. But then I saw them properly, and they were kissing. Again.
James pulled away and looked up at me, standing in the mud, wet and cold with tears spilling onto my cheeks. ‘Lily!’
‘No,’ I said, backing away, ‘just forget it. Leave me alone, both of you.’ I felt like yelling, but I didn’t. Instead I turned and fled into the Three Broomsticks. Madam Rosmerta looked up at me. Her smile faded.
‘Lily? Are you alright?’ I nodded and wiped the tears away. ‘Well, you certainly don’t look it! Here, come into the back room, you look a mess.’
I was good friends with Rosmerta because I used to stay and chat with her when I came here before. She called over the other three as she led me through a door behind the bar. Ella grabbed my upper arm and sat me down on the overstuffed sofa. She pushed a bottle of Butterbeer into my hand and said,
So I told them about me planning to apologise to James, but Courtney getting there before I could.
Lisa looked furious. ‘I never thought Courtney would do something like that!’
Mary’s face darkened. ‘Of course she would. Courtney’s rule was always “Look after number one”. Obviously she’d do anything for herself, including tear apart poor Lily just for some stupid boy.’
‘I don’t think James would kiss Courtney on purpose, though,’ Ella said. ‘I mean, he’s fancied you for years, Lily, he wouldn’t just suddenly change his mind and go for her.’
I shrugged. ‘Maybe. Whenever I see them together now, it’s always her that goes to him.’
‘Then maybe Ella’s right,’ Lisa said. ‘It’s not James’s fault, it’s Courtney’s.’
‘I should say sorry,’ I said. ‘Tonight, when there’s no Courtney around, I’ll apologise.’
After I tidied up, we gulped down two bottles of Butterbeer each, thanked Rosmerta and left. Mary and I both managed to pick up a dress. Mary’s was, as requested, azure blue and from Madam Visage’s, which was where I got my dress from too. I couldn’t decide between a midnight blue one and a deep purple one, but after much arguing, I decided upon the purple one.
I was much happier as we were going back up to Hogwarts at around five-ish, because I spotted Courtney trying to talk to James, who shook his head and ran off. She looked furious.
When we arrived at school, it was half-five, which gave me half an hour to get ready for dinner. I told Priscilla the password and she let me through. James was sitting at one of the study tables, scribbling frantically. I put the bag containing my dress, shoes and jewellery across the arm of the sofa in front of the fire and approached James. I was very nervous. I picked at my nail varnish as I cleared my throat.
‘Um, James?’ He didn’t look up. Instead, he just grunted and continued scribbling. ‘Um, I’ve been thinking and … I think me and you … I think we should get a second chance. I don’t think you kissed Courtney on purpose and I know you really like me and … James, I really love you.’ I took a deep breath and waited for his reply. He wrote some more, but a little slower than before, as if he was thinking about what I had just said. At last, he put down his quill and turned to face me.
‘You finally got it, huh?’ he said, his eyes narrowed.
I nodded. ‘Yes. I’m really sorry that I didn’t see it before.’
He looked down at the floor and stood up. ‘Who could stay mad at you?’ He wrapped his arms around me and pressed his lips to mine. I noticed the usual taste of sherbet and orange on his lips. I pulled away and put my head on his chest, taking in his sweet smell of cinnamon.
‘I missed you, James,’ I whispered.
He planted a gentle kiss in the folds of my red hair. ‘I missed you too, Lily.’
‘So, what are you working on?’ I asked, forcing myself away from him and looking down at the papers on the desk.
‘This? Oh, I was just finishing off some homework,’ James replied in an offhand sort of voice. My jaw dropped to the floor.
‘Did I really hear that correctly? James Godric Potter actually doing homework? I think I must be dreaming!’ I said, laughing.
‘Ha-ha, you make me laugh so-o-o much,’ James said sarcastically, rolling his eyes. ‘I think I’ve done most of it right. It’s Transfiguration,’
‘The one that was due in last Thursday?’ I asked, scanning down the parchment.
‘Umm … yeah,’ James’s face went a little bit red.
‘Well, it all looks OK from here,’ I said. ‘You really are very clever, Mr Potter,’
‘Has it really taken you that long to figure that out? Gee, I’ve known it for years!’ James said, grinning at me. He rolled up his homework parchment and stuffed it into his bag, which was on the floor by the desk. I collected his quill, put the stopper on his ink bottle and put them in his bag, too. I collapsed in front of the fire.
‘Are you alright?’ James asked, coming round to join me on the sofa. I tossed my legs onto his lap.
‘Today,’ I said, closing my eyes, ‘has been so hectic. You know what? I wish I could get a Time-Turner and go back to the day I told you to ask Courtney to Hogsmeade. Then she wouldn’t have got it into her head that you liked her.’
‘Yeah,’ James sighed, ‘I wish you’d have given me a proper kiss,’
I knew he was hinting heavily, but I went on, ‘And I wish I’d said no when Sirius asked me out.’
‘Then I wouldn’t have gotten jealous,’ James said. ‘Ohh … Merlin, I am such an idiot! I started all of this, just because I was jealous.’
‘You should have waited, James,’ I told him. ‘Me and Sirius would never have lasted. You know what they say. Love makes you do stupid things. And when it’s James Potter, what he does is absolutely imbecilic.’
‘Hey, are you calling me an imbecile?’ James demanded, pretending to be indignant.
‘No,’ I said, leaning closer, ‘I’m calling you my imbecile.’ Our lips touched ever so slightly. He put his arms around my waist to pull me closer. I put my hands on his chest and pushed my lips to his.
‘Upstairs?’ James muttered into my mouth.
‘Yes, please,’ I breathed. We stood, not breaking the kiss, and moved towards the doors to the dorms. We were about to tumble into the doorway to James’s room when the portrait burst open and someone charged inside.
James and I broke apart and turned.
‘Courtney?’ I said. ‘Why are you here?’
She raised an eyebrow and smirked. ‘Why, James invited me here.’
‘What? No, I didn’t. In fact, I specifically told you to stay away,’ James shot back, leaping in front of me.
‘Well, that’s not what you told me when we were near Scrivenshaft’s. I remember you saying “I love you” and “Come for me tonight”.’ Courtney said.
‘I never said that, you lying –’ James roared. He seized his wand from the desk and pointed it at Courtney.
‘Are you really going to hex me?’ she said, not sounding worried at all. ‘Are you going to get in trouble, not only for harming another student, but for also harming a girl?’
James’s wand dropped ever so slightly. My hand crept towards my back pocket, where my wand was, just in case.
‘Good,’ Courtney said, ‘now that we’ve cleared that up, I want a word with you, James.’ She lunged forwards to crush her mouth to his. In an instant, my wand was out.
‘Stupefy!’ I cried. With a bang, Courtney flew across the room and landed on the sofa. I rushed to look at her. Her eyes were closed and she looked unconscious. ‘Um … whoopsie?’
‘The little bitch,’ James spat vehemently. ‘She deserved it.’
‘I think this is part of her plan,’ I said.
‘What plan? You told me of no plan!’ James said, looking surprised.
‘Oh, Merlin, I’m sorry. I was meant to on the night of the full moon, but you weren’t here and after that there was so much drama, I just totally forgot.’ I said, tugging at my hair in frustration.
‘It’s fine, just tell me.’ James said. So I told him about overhearing her conversation with Sirius.
‘She said something like “I will have you back, James Potter!” so she really obviously means it.’ I said. ‘She was probably planning to break us up and take advantage of you when you were all heartbroken and stuff,’
‘It sounds like a good plan,’ James said, studying my face. ‘But we know what it is now, so we’ll know how to avoid it,’
‘I think Sirius is in on it too,’ I said.
By some eerie coincidence, at that moment, Sirius Black climbed through the portrait hole. He looked from me to James to Courtney’s unconscious form and back. His eyes continued this triangle for a while, before screaming,
‘You killed Courtney?’
‘No!’ I yelled. ‘I didn’t kill her! I promise I didn’t!’
‘So what did you do to her, you freak?’ Sirius shouted, running over to Courtney and checking her pulse.
‘I may have Stupefied her. But it came out a little more –’
‘Eager,’ James said.
‘Yeah. It came out a bit more eager than I meant it to. I just wanted her to stumble, because she tried to kiss James. I promise I didn’t mean for her to get knocked out.’ I said.
‘You obviously did!’ Sirius growled. ‘You’ve hated Courtney from the moment she went out with him!’ He brandished his wand dramatically in the direction of James. ‘I bet you wanted her dead!’
I stared at him in horror. ‘W-what? You think I want her dead? Just because she kissed my boyfriend? You’re messed up, Sirius.’
‘Oh, really?’ Sirius scowled at me and James. ‘Messed up, am I?’
‘Yes!’ I said, stepping forwards. ‘You’re sick in the head, you’re mental!’
‘Alright, fine then. This sick, mental, messed up boy is leaving right now. With Courtney. I’m taking her to the hospital wing, and then I’m going straight to McGonagall and I’m going to tell her about what you did, Evans!’ Sirius glowered at me, and for a moment I was afraid he would lose control and take his dog form and attack me. James put an arm around my shoulders, his jaw set as he watched his best friend pick up Courtney and walk to the portrait hole. With some difficulty, he managed to get both himself and Courtney through. As soon as they were gone, I threw myself onto the sofa in a panic, pulling at my hair and twisting my hands in my lap.
‘James, what are we going to do?’ I asked desperately.
‘Hey, it’ll be OK, Lily,’ James said soothingly, sitting beside me and putting his arm around my shoulders again. ‘We’ll just tell McGonagall the truth.’
‘What, that I hexed her because she tried to kiss you?’ I said.
‘Yeah. I mean, it sounds stupid, but it’s better than if you did it for no reason. I’ll bet Dumbledore knows something about this already,’ James said.
‘You mean about this stupid love … square?’ I muttered. I put my head on his shoulder. I felt him nod. ‘I had my suspicions. I think that’s why he set up this ball.’
‘He is such a strange yet brilliant man,’ James said. After a few minutes of silence, in which I cried a little, Professor McGonagall burst into the common room.
‘What’s this I hear about you hexing Miss Allison, Lily?’ she demanded.
I jumped up, and so did James. ‘Professor, I really didn’t mean to knock her out. And I didn’t really mean to Stupefy her either. I was thinking of Expelliarmus but … that just came out. I am so, so, so sorry, Professor. Courtney will be fine, won’t she?’ I blurted out.
Professor McGonagall studied me from behind her spectacles. ‘You are very lucky she landed on the sofa, Miss Evans. If she’d crashed to the floor she would have broken several bones and most likely have been in a coma. That was an extremely powerful spell you did there. Even so, when she wakes up she will be severely shaken and her right arm may possibly be paralysed, seeing as that is the arm she landed on.’
‘I didn’t mean for it to be like that,’ I mumbled, staring at the floor.
‘I can see that you meant no real harm to Miss Allison,’ Professor McGonagall, ‘so you will not be punished too hard. However, you did do damage to another student which, as you should know, is breaking the rules. So, I’m afraid I will have to dock twenty points from Gryffindor.’
‘Thank you, Professor,’ I said, smiling at her.
‘Just promise me you do not do anything like this again, Miss Evans,’ she said sharply.
I nodded quickly. ‘Of course. I promise. Cross my heart,’ I made a quick ‘X’ shape over my heart. Wizards didn’t usually use that expression, and James looked confused, but I thought I saw a flicker of recognition cross the professor’s face. She nodded graciously and left. I looked at my watch.
‘It’s almost nine. I think I’ll turn in early,’ I said.
‘Goodnight then, Miss Red,’ James said. We kissed goodnight and I departed up the stairs.
The next day, after lunch I decided to pay Courtney a visit. Despite Lisa, Ella and Mary’s protesting, I ate the stew in super-quick time and headed up to the hospital wing.
‘Madam Pomfrey?’ I said quietly, opening the door. The matron came hurrying out of her office. ‘I was wondering if I’d be able to see Courtney.’
Madam Pomfrey clicked her tongue at me. ‘The girl needs rest!’ I made my pleading face at her and she sighed. ‘Alright, but only for five minutes!’
‘Thank you!’ I hurried down the ward until I saw Courtney lying in bed. She was awake, but her jaw was swollen and her right arm was stiff. She was glaring at me like she was itching to strangle me. I guessed she couldn’t speak.
‘Um, hi, Courtney,’ I said awkwardly, sitting down on the chair. ‘How are you?’ She rolled her eyes at me. ‘Look, I’m really sorry about what happened. I didn’t want to land you in here.’ She was giving me a Death Stare, but I ignored it. ‘I was really worried last night.’
She gave me a look that clearly meant Get out of here you bitch, but I went on, ‘I hope you get better in time for the ball. I know you like things like that.’ She did nothing but glower. Madam Pomfrey came scurrying over.
‘It’s time for her medicine now! Scram!’ She shooed me away. I stood up. Madam Pomfrey turned her back and searched a tray for the correct medicine. Courtney tapped me on the small of my back with her good arm. I turned round. She pointed to a piece of parchment on the bedside cabinet. She’d obviously written it with her bad arm, probably trying to exercise it or practice writing again because she was right-handed. After checking Madam Pomfrey was still busy, I bent closer to look at it. There were two words written on it in wobbly, babyish handwriting.
Lily = DEAD
A/N: Hello, strangers! I haven't seen you in a while! Okay, so listen, I was planning on submitting this in early December, but I fell ill (like really badly ill) and I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. Then around Christmas it got really hectic and I just didn't get the chance. I submitted a chapter for another story which took a while to get validated, then my teachers gave us all a huge Geography project (WITHOUT TELLING US!!) and I've been working on that for a while. Secondly, this chapter is like 20 pages long on word. I didn't know where to finish it off and I just kept going and going and going. It took me a while to write :3 I'm a little worried the characters went a little out of canon, so if you see anything that you don't think is right, please tell me and I'll do my best to fix it. Please review guys, because I will love you all for it. I hope the next update won't take this long xxx