Chapter 11 : Chemistry
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“Is it just me or are those two joined at the hip?” Vita Robins asked, watching her friend Leah stride into the Great Hall, Sirius Black following behind her.
“Surprisingly, I think they make a wonderful couple,” Erin declared, stirring her oatmeal around with her shiny, metallic spoon. Her blonde hair was scooped up into a loose bun and her celery green eyes were relaxed. She didn’t seem perturbed whatsoever by Leah and Sirius’ relationship. The truth was, she was a little upset. Yet, she wasn’t lying when she said they made a good couple.
“You’re joking, right?” Vita clarified for herself, knowing Erin all too well. Her pale gray eyes scanned her friend for some slight sign of annoyance or possibly envy. Erin had been hung up on Sirius Black for what felt like eternity.
“Hey guys,” Leah greeted, sitting down casually next to Ruby. She tugged the loose strands of strawberry blonde hair out of her eyes before helping herself to a banana. Sirius sat down beside her, resting his arm on her shoulder. The two of them were completely unaware that everyone was shocked by their newfound relationship.
“Where’s Lily?” she questioned, taking a quick check down the table. “And James?”
“Together, perhaps?” Sirius suggested. His dark eyebrows waggled at this thoughts. Leah rolled her eyes.
“Not likely,” she answered. “Is she still in bed?”
“Yes,” Ruby sighed. “Wouldn’t move. The poor thing is obviously confused.”
“James Potter tends to do that to people,” Erin explained. “Quite a calculating person if you ask me.”
“Calculating? Prongs?” Sirius strung together. “You’ve got it all wrong. My Prongsie is very simple and very direct. He hates to hide feelings away. Now, Lily dearest seems to have that very problem.”
He grabbed a stray piece of toast and began nibbling on it. Simultaneously, Leah and Sirius swapped food, helping themselves to each other’s breakfasts without so much as a word.
“Did you two elope last night?” Vita blurted out. Ruby nudged her in the ribs.
“What Vita meant to say was that the two of you are acting like an old married couple,” Ruby spoke, eyeing Vita dangerously. With Leah, one needed to reel her into things. She was a very spontaneous person but hated to be rushed unless it was under her own conditions.
Sirius and Leah just smiled, letting their eyes drift across the newspaper laid out on the table.
“Figures,” Erin mumbled. “When something interesting finally happens, she won’t talk about it. Leah Graham is officially the most complicated person I have ever met.”
“Erin, have you forgotten to include our other best friend in this category?” Ruby inquired, tying her dark locks into a knot at the back of her head. “Lily Evans happens to be the most complex being to stray within the walls of Hogwarts.”
“You’re right on the money with that assumption,” Vita agreed.
Do I really have to wake up? It could have all been a dream. Maybe I didn’t completely embarrass James by rejecting him once more. Maybe I actually accepted his proposal. No, wait, that would be the dream part. What is wrong with me?
Lily sat staring at her ceiling, arms loosely draped above the covers. Luckily, it was a Saturday morning and she wasn’t forced to attend classes. She could sit around and feel self-pity all day if she bloody well felt like it.
“Lily,” a voice rang up the stairs.
But of course, Miss Erin Parker wouldn’t have that. Am I not allowed to wallow anymore? Maybe she’ll go away if I pretend I’m not here.
“I can see you,” Erin pointed out.
Damn. No such luck.
“What do you want?” Lily groaned, rubbing the sleep from her almond shaped green eyes. Her red hair was bunched into a ponytail and was wild from turning in her sleep.
“You’re a mess,” Erin indicated. She walked over and plopped herself down upon Lily’s bed. This caused Lily to moan even more about being woken up.
“Stop being a bum,” Erin ordered. “I want to know what happened and I want to know now.”
Lily knew what had happened. That was what the problem was. She knew the exact issue at hand, how to resolve it, how to mend her troubled mind, but she still couldn’t let herself get too attached.
“James,” Lily muttered. “James bloody Potter.”
“Who else?” Erin replied sarcastically. “If you wanted to go into a little more depth, I would be willing to listen.”
“I turned him down,” she verified. “He poured out pieces of his soul and I selfishly turned him away.”
“Still,” Erin emphasized. “Tell me something new. What could possibly be so bad that you have to sit in bed all day? You’ve done this before, Lily. It doesn’t make it right, but I must say, you need to get over it.”
“How sympathetic you are,” Lily snapped, hiding her face beneath the sheets. “I want Leah.”
“I don’t know if she’s the one you want right now,” Erin reported. “Sirius Black has managed his way into little Leah’s heart.”
Lily managed to pull down the covers so her shocked eyes met Erin’s.
“Preposterous,” Erin stated. “I was shocked as well. Surprisingly, she looks very happy. If you’re looking for a single, depressed female, you’re out of luck. We’re all happy except for you.”
“What is my problem?” Lily sobbed, her eyes filling at a rapid pace with tears. “Somehow I always wind up crying in my bed over James Potter. How does he do it? I am the one hurting him, but somehow I manage to turn into a blubbering fool in the process.”
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out,” Erin sighed. “You-like-James-Potter. End of story.”
Lily sprang out of her bed, grabbed a box of tissues, ran a brush through her wild hair, and stuck a toothbrush in her mouth.
“No, I honestly don’t,” Lily insisted, trying to prove to Erin that she was fine. In all actuality, she was far from it.
He wouldn’t even look at her during meals. She avoided his presence as much as possible during the day, during classes, walking in the halls. She had no choice but to spend the nights with him, patrolling. Those nights were shared in silence. The two of them had nothing left to say to one another.
On Tuesday morning, the Gryffindor table experienced something of a shock. Since the last surprising event (Sirius and Leah), the school was running out of things to talk about. That day, that dreadful, dark Tuesday, announced to the school that James Potter was officially over Lily Evans. He was ready to move on.
This fact was proven by Jenna Thompson, a seventh year Ravenclaw. Immediately after Jenna joined James for breakfast at the Gryffindor table, the whispers started.
Jenna Thompson had never been on Lily’s good side. She was a tall, thin girl who had always disliked Lily. Her honey blonde hair and dangerously beautiful hazel eyes had always been the center of the male population’s attention. Jenna, Lily, and Leah were known for their habits of serial dating. The difference between Lily and Leah between Jenna was that Jenna had no hidden insecurities. She wore her heart on her sleeve for everyone to see.
Jenna Thompson had always competed for the professors’ attention as well. Lily had always been a favorite due to her sharp knowledge and intellect. To some, Jenna’s extreme attempts at earning such a respect could be classified under jealousy.
So, as Jenna Thompson sat beside James Potter, Lily burned her eyes into the side of James’ head. Erin, Leah, Ruby, and Vita seemed to sense the same feelings as Lily. It wasn’t a secret that Lily and Jenna had never gotten along.
“That is low,” Erin growled under her breath. She stabbed her fork into her eggs, not taking her eyes off of James. He did his best to ignore the penetrating glances of everyone in the room. He seemed somewhat shy about it all. Jenna was throwing a dazzling smile, showing off every one of her sparkling white teeth. Attention was always welcome to her.
Remus and Sirius hung their heads low, not sure of how they should react to such a thing. It seemed fairly obvious to Lily that the two of them had not been informed of this recent relationship blossoming. Peter didn’t really notice anything as it always had taken him longer to catch onto things.
Lily tore her eyes away from the two and tried her best to just focus on the letter from her mum and sister that her owl had brought. It was hard to read the words as they were blurring before her eyes. She knew what that meant; more tears.
As quickly as they had come, the tears vanished with a swift wipe from the arm. Lily looked up and saw James watching her for the first time in days. He had seen those tears even if no one else had.
“What does he see in her anyway?” Lily whispered over her shoulder, successfully producing the charm being taught that day in class. Erin looked to her right and saw James and Jenna holding hands and staring affectionately into one another’s eyes.
“I don’t know,” Erin replied. “Blonde hair and long legs?”
“You have those too and I don’t see him climbing on top of you,” Lily hissed, squinting her eyes angrily.
“They’re not on top of each other,” Vita insisted. “She’s sort of to his left, rubbing her hand across his back.”
“You’re making things so much better,” Leah assured sarcastically. Sirius was silently working on his charm to her left. He hadn’t mentioned anything of James’ new relationship. It was apparent that a sort of fight had broken loose among the Marauders.
Remus was not his cheerful self either. He was sitting next to Peter, his eyes concentrated on his wand.
Lily blamed James for all of this. Deep down, she knew it was actually all her fault. If she hadn’t been such a baby, none of this would have happened. Everyone would have been happy. Well, maybe not Jenna Thompson, but Lily didn’t really care for that girl’s happiness at that point.
“You’re jealous,” Leah observed, hiding the words under her breath.
“I am not,” Lily protested. “I just think he could do better.”
“So by better you mean red hair and green eyes? Fiery attitude? Short and petite? How about very indecisive?” Erin tempted.
“Sounds like a match to me,” Ruby stated.
Lily was quiet for the rest of the class.
James found himself sitting on the large couch before the fireplace located in the Gryffindor Common Room. Jenna was sitting beside him, rubbing her fingers through his hair.
“Did you feel it?” Jenna questioned him. He turned to her, bewilderment seeping across his face.
“Feel what?” he asked her in return. She came up with such random, awkward conversations. There was no smooth flow to them. He felt so stiff and boring in her presence.
“The feeling that the two of us would end up together,” Jenna reminded him, rolling her hazel eyes in an obvious manner.
The words felt strangely familiar to him.
“What do you want, Potter?” she asked.
“Just to talk,” he answered coolly. “Also, to inform you of a feeling I’ve been getting.”
“What kind of feeling?” Lily questioned.
“That we’d end up together,” he said.
Those were the words he, himself, had spoken to Lily. They just didn’t seem as genuine escaping from the lips of Jenna Thompson.
She was staring expectantly at him, waiting for an answer. She wanted some recognition of this feeling she’d been having. James assumed this feeling may have to do with the amount of hair spray she applied to her hair. He was feeling a little dizzy from it.
The only reason he had hooked up with Jenna was because he was sick of waiting. He waited so long, worked so hard, and still managed to get turned down. He was lonely and needed something new. Yet, things weren’t working as he planned. Jenna wasn’t working as he’d hoped. Instead of helping him take his mind off of Lily, he found himself constantly comparing the two of them.
There was so much spark and energy when he talked with Lily. A boisterous feeling erupted within his heart. When he was with Jenna, not even a butterfly stirred through his stomach. She wasn’t someone he intended on being with forever.
Was that how Lily looked at her relationships? Was there someone she liked? Did she need someone to keep her mind off of that person for the time being?
“James?” Jenna asked, a bit more persistently.
“Potter,” a voice called from the Portrait Hole. Relief flooded through his body.
Ruby Wallace was decked in Quidditch gear, her broom in her hand and her long curls tied tightly into a ponytail.
“Forgetting about a certain practice we have today?” she asked him. “You are the captain, after all.”
“Sorry,” James muttered to Jenna. “Have to run.”
He kissed her cheek before dashing up the stairs to retrieve his broom.
“Ruby wants us to go watch,” Leah explained, dragging her friends out to the Quidditch pitch. The four of them were wrapped in scarves of scarlet and gold. Their cheeks were red from the cold and their noses were sniffling. Fall was almost over with winter fastly approaching. The severe winds soared through the trees and onto the grounds. The players on the Gryffindor team were finding it very hard to stay on their brooms.
After an hour of drills, the team was going to play a mock game. With Ruby as Keeper and James as Chaser, the Quaffle was seeing a lot of play.
A giggle could be heard when James successfully threw the Quaffle through a hoop. Lily turned to see Jenna waving to James. He turned to wave back when a Bludger smacked into him, knocking him off his broom.
Even though Jenna had been the one waving to him, Lily was the one he saw.
A/N: Please review. It was long too! I spent almost an hour working on it. I hope you’re all satisfied for the time being.
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