Chapter 26 : Change of Heart
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“Sirius, please tell us how she is! Please??” Lily and Katy cried as Sirius was leaving for St. Mungos.
“Tell her we said hello, Padfoot,” James said quietly. Remus and Peter and him had been seeing Sirius off and the girls had followed. Sirius had a bouquet of flowers and one suitcase and would be leaving on the Knight Bus within moments.
“Of course,” Sirius said, looking at the ground. He felt as though he was going to a funeral rather than visiting Halle.
“Have a safe trip,” Lily said, crying. She had wanted to go but Professor McGonagall said Sirius had been given special permission. Lily had been furious.
“Professor, may I accompany Sirius to go see Halle Douglas in St. Mungos?” Lily asked after Transfiguration one afternoon.
“I’m afraid not Miss Evans. Mr. Black has been given special permission to see Miss. Douglas. Maybe another time, Lily," Professor McGonagall said, her thin mouth quavering.
“So just because I am enjoy staying in school I’m not allowed to go? This is bullshit Professor and you know it,” Lily yelled. She knew it was wrong to yell at her Professor that way but lately, Lily just didn’t care.
“Sit down Miss Evans,” Professor McGonagall said.
“What?” Lily asked surprised.
“Sit down. Would you care for some tea?” the professor asked her. Lily shook her head.
“I understand that the circumstances are unfair Lily. Yet, the school can’t afford to lose you at a time like this. You know that Voldemort is after you and we, Professor Dumbledore and I, think it is best if you remain in school. As well as Mr. Potter. I know that Halle’s condition has been hard on everyone, especially friends. Please understand Lily,” Professor McGonagall said.
“Bye everyone,” Sirius called as he boarded the double decker bus. He waved sadly to his friends and departed knowing that he would definitely not feel happy to return back to Hogwarts.
“Potter, we need to plan for the Yule Ball,” Lily said after Sirius had left.
“Evans, can’t you just give the work a rest?” James asked.
“You’re being overworked? You have barely done anything for this ball and I’ve been staying up late every night, preparing so that we don’t screw this up. I can’t do everything by myself. You’re Head Boy and it was your idea to have a Yule Ball,” Lily said, her voice cracking, as she was trying to hold back the tears James was bound to bring.
“Well, things change,” James muttered walking off towards the Great Hall.
Lily went over towards the brick wall and sat down, her head in her hands.
“Lily, he’s being a jerk,” Katy said, as she walked over to comfort her friend.
“I don’t know what his problem is, Lils. I’m sorry,” Remus said. “He’s my friend, but he should stick to his commitments.”
“Don’t apologize for him Remus, it’s not your fault he can’t grow up,” Lily said.
“Why am I such a jerk? What is my problem? I hate seeing her get upset but I purposely hurt her. Damn James!” James muttered to himself as he stormed down the hall. Peter had run after him when James had left, and his pudgy little legs had caught him up with James.
“Because you’re hurt,” Peter answered him, catching his breathe.
“Wormtail? Were you following me that whole time?” James asked.
“Yeah. Trust me, you’re better off without her,” Peter said.
“Actually, I really don’t think I am. It was her choice to break up, not mine. I was a better person around her. Maybe because I was constantly afraid she’d leave me,” James said.
“Well, maybe you should try impressing her now, so that way she’ll want you back?” Wormtail suggested.
“That’s a great idea. Why didn’t I think of that?” James asked, practically skipping down the hall, back towards the Great Hall to find Lily. On his way though, he ran into a short blonde girl. James apologized and helped the girl up.
“Oh, I know you. Um, Fiona, no wait, it’s Fawn! Excuse my behavior, can’t believe I forgot the name of such a beautiful girl. Usually doesn’t happen,” James said helping the girl to her feet.
“So, how are you?” Fawn asked.
“Oh, I’m good. And yourself?” he asked trying to make polite conversation. He was looking around for Lily but didn’t see her. She must have entered the hall for breakfast.
“Oh, I’m great. So, I hear you’re helping plan the Yule Ball. I was sort of wondering, well, of course you wouldn’t want to, I was wondering if you’d like to go with me?” she asked him. He looked down at the girl, she was beautiful and he bet it would have been great to go with her, but she was missing something.
She wasn’t Lily.
“I’m sorry Fawn but I sort of am hoping to go with someone else. I am sure we would have had a fun time though. I truly am sorry,"James said.
“Oh, it’s ok. But if you do change your mind, you know I’m available. See you around James!” she called as she walked over to the Ravenclaw table to join her friends
James looked for Lily at the Gryffindor table but saw that she wasn’t eating breakfast.
Hmm, she must be in the Library. If I want to impress her I’ll help her plan the Yule ball. He set off towards the library, he thought.
“Right this way Mr. Black. Professor Dumbledore sent a message saying you’d be visiting Miss. Douglas. She’s moving around now so she’s doing much better,” the Nurse said, leading Sirius into a gloomy floor.
He saw that there were few people on the floor but what he did see upset him greatly. Many of the occupants were sitting and staring blankly or else muttering in gibberish.
“Ah, here we are. Hello Halle dear. Do you remember Sirius? Oh, look he’s brought you some flowers. Isn’t that nice? I’ll leave you two alone and go put them in some water,” the Nurse said.
Sirius stood in front of her. It was definitely Halle but Sirius had never met this Halle. She had matted hair, as if she didn’t care about it anymore. She was dressed in a white Hospital gown and was staring at her feet. What Sirius noticed most was that her eyes held no sign of life. The chocolate brown iris’s had no spark, no sign of recognition. He had indeed gone to St. Mungos expecting the worst but had no idea it would hurt so much.
“Hey Halle babe! I missed you so much! School isn’t the same without you. Everyone says hi,” Sirius said, sitting next to her on the bed. She looked over at him and started mumbling.
“It’s Sirius, baby. Sirius Black. You do remember me don’t you?” he asked her hopefully. She turned away and grabbed her pillow. She hit Sirius in the head with it.
“Oh, so you do remember me,” Sirius joked. Apparently she had no memory of who he was or where she was but there was definitely improvement.
“Listen babe, I know you’re in there. I love you so much and I want you to know. I don’t know how I’ve even gone this long without you. It’s so hard. So damn hard to go to school and see you gone every single day. But you’re going to get better. You’re going to, I won’t give up on you. Never,” Sirius whispered into her ear.
He continued to recollect fun times they had over the years, even when they were fighting. For the first time in about two months, he felt happy.
Lily was sitting in the Library, hunched over her plans for the Yule Ball. She felt so lost. She had been in the wizarding world for seven years but no matter what, she could never tell if what she was doing was the correct thing to do. Would everyone approve of it? Would the dance be lame because of her?
I am so lost, she thought.
She buried her head into her arms and sighed.
“Need some help?” a voice said. Kevin Brown from Hufflepuff had come over and seen that Lily was banging her head on the table. Kevin was a tall Seventh year prefect, though not as tall as James. He had perfect brown hair and mysterious hazel eyes. Lily had always liked him as a friend but had never even considered him relationship wise.
“No thanks. This whole Yule Ball thing is driving me nuts,” she said.
“Oh. Isn’t James Potter supposed to be working on it with you?” Kevin asked curiously.
“Yes. But since we broke up he’s been mad at me so he won’t work,” Lily groaned.
“Oh, that’s too bad. If I was him I would help you as much as I could, to get back into your good graces.” he said.
He looked at her once more.
“Well, what I was meaning to ask you was, well, would you like to come to the Yule Ball with me? Lily, I’ve liked you for a long time and I can guarantee that’d I’d be a perfect gentleman," he asked.
“Oh, Kevin, that’s sweet of you. Of course I’ll go with you,” she said happily. She actually had something to look forward to.
“Meet you in the Great Hall at eight then?” he asked, walking out of the library.
“Ok,” she replied. She went back to her work with a grin and got up to go tell Katy. She had a date!
When she left, someone stepped out from behind a bookshelf. James had heard everything and pretty much knew that his chances with Lily were gone. Strike three, batter up.
“Hey Fawn!” James called down the corridor.
Fawn was talking to her friends Jamie and Morgan and turned to see James Potter calling her. She blushed and walked towards him.
“I’ve reconsidered. Would you still like to go to the ball with me?” he asked her hopefully.
“Why, of course,” she said blushing as she walked back towards her friends. James grinned and walked back to the Common Room. Nothing would ruin his time at the ball with Fawn, not even his love for Lily Evans.
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