Chapter 10 : Opening Up
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I wanted to find somewhere to hide
And I opened up and left those fears inside
And I wanted to be in near on this
Only to find that there was no one there but me
But i woke up to real life
And i realized its not worth running from anymore
When there was nowhere left to hide i found out
That nothings real here but i wont stop now until I find a better part of me
The smell of cheap nail polish lingered in the air of the seventh year girls' dorms. Various copies of Witch Weekly were sprawled out on the floor, the bathroom was cluttered with numerous amounts of exfoliates. Four girls were spending a night in, catching up on their previous week, and generally discussing the regular juicy topics.
“Peter Pettigrew,” Erin Parker challenged.
Leah Graham raised one of her strawberry blonde eyebrows at her friend. Her brain was straining in concentration and she bit her nails momentarily.
“Never,” Leah announced. “I know he may seem sweet but I bet he’s the biggest pervert known to wizard kind.”
“So there is a boy our Leah won’t date,” Ruby declared. Her lush black hair was in curlers and she had been fixing Erin’s hair into two French braids. She had paused to claim a complete shocked expression.
“I do have standards,” Leah replied coolly.
“Since when?” Vita questioned. Leah threw a copy of Witch Weekly over at her friend. The girls erupted in giggles.
“I hope Lily gets back soon,” Ruby sighed. “Why does the Head Girl have to patrol even on Friday nights? It should be made illegal.”
“We need to do something about her hair,” Erin noted. “She’s always wearing it the same. I have these great hair clips that she could use-”
“Lily’s pretty the way she is,” Vita cut her off. “She’s had more boyfriends than I’ve ever had.”
Leah rolled her eyes and laughed. It was her and Lily’s little tradition, the whole boy charade. They used to just see who could date more, but now it held deeper meaning for Lily. Leah knew this, but she pretended that it was still their little game.
“Back to my question,” Erin stated, her celery green eyes staring at Leah. “Why not Peter Pettigrew?”
“Did you not hear the word pervert come out of my mouth?” Leah re-answered, her eyes skimming the fashion section of her magazine.
“Rubes,” Erin called behind her. Ruby was almost finished with one of the blond French braids she had been working on. “Same question.”
“He’s just different from the other Marauders,” Ruby said thoughtfully. “I mean, I’ve never been very shallow, but he isn’t that attractive. Look at Remus-”
“Aw,” the three girls squealed. Ruby’s cheeks blazed red.
“It’s not like that,” Ruby insisted. “We had one date.”
“Sure,” Leah sarcastically agreed. “One meaningless date. That very date seemed to change your entire perspective on Witch Weekly. If I’m correct, you have been reading them, have you not?”
That shut Ruby up. She continued braiding Erin’s hair in silence.
“Vita, how about you? Peter Pettigrew?” Erin propositioned.
“I am sorry to say this, but ever since he spilled all his ink over my robes in History of Magic in second year, I have really not liked him,” Vita answered stiffly, her nose screwed up in dislike.
“He really did do that on purpose,” Erin recalled. “Ok, here’s a new one, Sirius Black.”
“What about him?” Leah asked quickly. A bit too quickly.
“Everyone likes him,” Erin informed her.
“Not everyone,” Vita insisted. “Lily never liked him. Nor did Leah.”
“We all have at one point in time,” Erin confessed. “I liked him from fourth year until the beginning of this year. I even liked him after he dumped me.”
“When I was in third year, I would have told anyone who would listen that Sirius Black was a bloody sex god,” Ruby reminisced. “Things change, people change. I suppose that I don’t base everything on physical appearance anymore.”
“I am proud to say I do,” Leah smiled. “It’s the best way of not getting hurt. Sure, I do like people for who they are. No one can deny that attraction isn’t the first thing you feel for someone you like though.”
“She’s right on that one,” Vita agreed.
“What about you, Leah?” Erin asked, eyeing the cooling cream suspiciously.
Leah darted her amber eyes over to her friend. Erin wasn’t asking because she suspected anything, she was asking for mere curiosity.
“Don’t use that cooling cream,” Leah warned. “It isn’t right for your skin type.”
“We have the same skin type,” Erin reminded her. “What’s wrong with you? You’ve turned all red. Are you sweating?”
“No,” Leah insisted, although it was true. Her face had grown warm, but her arms had goose bumps quickly spreading onto them.
Before Erin could question Leah anymore, the door opened in a burst and a flash of red hair could be seen running past them and flopping onto a bed.
“Lily?” Ruby asked quietly. They could hear their friend crying into her pillow.
“What’s wrong with her?” Erin mouthed over to Leah.
Leah shrugged her shoulders and made to go sit on the edge of the bed. She patted Lily’s back and motioned for the others to come over as well.
“What’s wrong, Lils?” Leah asked, her voice soothing and somewhat protective. “Was it Potter? Did he do anything to you?”
“What did he say?” Erin demanded. “I’ll go down there and strangle him with my bloody hands if he-”
“No,” Lily’s muffled voice cut her off. “Don’t.”
“What’s the problem?” Ruby asked. “What’s wrong?”
“Lily,” Vita said. “We’re here. We’ll listen.”
Lily mumbled something into her pillow, something only Leah could hear.
“Was he that bad of a kisser?” Leah asked.
“Who?” the other three demanded, their eyes wide in surprise.
“I never would have thought a kiss from James Potter would make someone cry. I always thought it’d be hot and passionate. A bit like James himself,” Leah figured. “Wow, I must have been wrong.”
“He’s a bad kisser?” Erin asked. “Even I thought he would be a good kisser. His reputation is going to go down the loo now.”
“James Potter?” Ruby inquired. “A bad kisser? Are you sure you heard her right, Leah?”
“She said she kissed him,” Leah insisted. “I am not deaf.”
Lily turned her body over, exposing her bloodshot eyes and blotchy cheeks. Her hair was ruffled and her lips swollen (perhaps from kissing?).
“It was amazing,” she whispered. “Bloody amazing.”
“Why are you crying then?” Vita asked. “Normally, after a good snog, a girl doesn’t cry.”
“I didn’t want it to be bloody amazing!” Lily screamed. “That means we’ll have to date and then I’ll have to break his heart!”
“Why?” Ruby whispered. “Why do you have to? You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”
“After a kiss like that,” Lily started. “I don’t know if I ever want to kiss anyone again.”
Leah hugged her friend sympathetically. Lily’s heart was saying one thing, but her logic was saying something else completely.
“I need to have a talk with someone,” Leah excused herself. “It’s important. I think I just realized something.”
Her friends’ eyes conveyed that they would take care of Lily. Right now, Leah knew she was being a bit of a hypocrite. She wanted Lily to go out with James, kiss James, love James. She wanted Lily to find true love with someone who cared a lot about her. She wanted Lily to throw their stupid game out the window.
Yet, Leah knew she wasn’t following her own advice. She was merely ignoring her feelings. If she wanted Lily to do something about it, she needed to take the first step forward.
Sirius Black was talking with his friends in the Common Room, the four of them laughing and talking with smiles spread across their faces. He was so happy, so alive. She couldn’t help smiling in spite of herself. He saw her from across the room, noticed that she walked down the stairs in her pajamas, a messy ponytail, and wet nails.
She forgot all of these things, breathing in a comforting breath. She felt her feet walk towards him. His gray eyes were looking into hers, probably wondering what on Earth she was doing.
She noticed James was smiling, probably happy Lily had taken a step up. He was probably a little put out that she had run away. Leah desperately wished to tell him to hang in there. She had more important things to take care of at that moment.
“Sirius,” Leah said, clearing her throat. A lump had appeared, preventing her words from coming out clearly. She brushed a stray piece of hair behind her ear. She seemed to be talking to the floor. He grabbed her chin and lifted it up so their eyes met.
“Can I talk to you?” she asked. He nodded. He grabbed her hand and led her out of the Common Room. She felt the eyes of the three remaining Marauders on them.
His hand was still loosely on hers, sending a tingling feeling up her spine. Their feet were moving in no particular direction at all.
“Sirius,” she started. “I think you should know something.”
His eyes looked over at hers, his black hair falling loosely onto his face. She smiled.
“I like you,” she admitted. “I didn’t know it until just now though. Something Lily said made me think and the first person I thought of was you. This made me wonder if there was something more than a potential friendship there. I don’t do well with relationships - ever.”
She was rambling. She knew it, he knew it. She expected him to go running in the other direction. He just laughed.
“You know, I seem to have that same problem,” he confessed. “Just so you know, I like you too. You’re very pretty.”
She laughed and blushed. Sirius Black had called her pretty. It was extremely ordinary, but sweet in a way.
“Thank you,” she said. “I liked spending detention with you.”
“We should get in trouble more often,” he said, winking at her.
She laughed. He was so cocky, but she knew it was an act. He was just doing it to lighten the mood. She had never been very shy about boys.
She found herself kissing him smack on the lips, enjoying the sweet taste of them on hers. Leah officially was not a fan of subtlety.
A knock came at the door. Lily’s eyes darted to it from the bed. Ruby got up and answered it. A small, first year girl came in, looking at the dorm in awe.
“Wow,” she whispered.
“Can we help you?” Ruby chuckled.
“You’re not Lily, are you?” the girl asked, eyeing Ruby’s black curls.
“How’d you know?” Ruby asked.
“The boy downstairs said Lily was the fiery red head with captivating green eyes. You don’t have red hair,” the girl said, pointing at Ruby’s hair.
“I dyed it,” Ruby muttered sarcastically. The girl looked annoyed at Ruby and glanced around the room. She saw Lily on the bed.
“That’s Lily,” the girl said, sticking her tongue out at Ruby.
“Very perceptive for a first year,” Ruby mumbled. “What gave her away? The fact that she’s the head girl?”
“A boy downstairs wants to talk to you,” the girl said to Lily. She handed a Kleenex over to Lily and pointed to Lily’s eyes. “He’s very cute. I suggest you dab at that running mascara.”
“What’d this boy look like?” Lily asked, laughing.
“He had messy black hair,” the girl said. “I wanted to run my hand through it, it looked so soft. I think he'd let me touch it.”
“You and the rest of the female population in Hogwarts,” Erin announced. She took the girl from the hand and started fidgeting with her hair.
“Go see him,” Vita ushered off, taking cue from Erin and Ruby. They were now putting some makeup on the girl.
Lily wiped away the tears from her eyes, ran her hand through her hair, and adjusted her shirt.
She walked down the stairs and saw James at the bottom of them. He was smiling shyly.
“Hi,” she said quietly.
“Hi,” James replied. Lily noticed that the Common Room was empty now. How James had managed that, she would never know.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Ok,” she replied honestly. “Just a bit confused.”
“I would say so,” he joked. “You kiss me and then you run off.”
“About that-” she started. He placed a finger to her lips.
“Don’t make excuses,” he whispered. “You just made my year, Lily Evans.”
She blushed. She started nervously playing with her hands, avoiding his eyes. He had such deep, penetrating eyes. They were so serious, yet so playful at the same time. They were beautiful.
“Why are you fighting it, Lily?” he asked her. “Why? Can’t you feel it?”
“Feel what?” she demanded. “What am I supposed to be feeling?”
“Love,” he simply answered. “It’s not very hard to identify. I feel it, I know you can too. Something this strong doesn’t just come from one person.”
“James,” she pleaded. Her eyes were filling with tears once more. “I can’t.”
He looked disappointed. His eyes hit the floor this time. He broke their eye contact. His voice was low and his head was down.
That was all he said before trudging up the stairs, into his cold, lonely dorm.
A/N: Hope you all liked it. Please review.
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