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Chapter 21: Lily's Feelings
“Lily? Is that you?” I whispered groggily as I rubbed my eyes. The red headed girl looked up from her bed; she was biting her nails as she rocked nervously back and forth on her bed.
“What’s wrong?” I blinked as my eyes stung painfully.
Lily bit her bottom lip before whispering, “Nothing…I’m just worried about the approaching exams, that’s all, sorry if I woke you up,”
“No…that’s quite all right,” I muttered hazily before snuggling myself back in my warm cozy bed.
I watched Jen carefully, making sure that she had fallen asleep before letting a huge breath of relief out. I almost chuckled, I couldn’t believe that Jen had actually believed me. Well, why shouldn’t she? Back in my first year at Hogwarts, I had been so worried about my exams that I actually spent 3 sleepless nights biting my nails and muttering incoherently in the corner of the dorm after everyone else had fallen asleep.
I sighed; it wasn’t exams that were bothering me. It was Potter. Ugh, that dim-witted, insolent boy! Why did he have to interfere with my life? Especially now…when I’ve just spent…2 HOURS…thinking about him. What was I doing? Thinking about James Potter? That arrogant, self-absorbed twit! I have half a mind to kill him, not…like him. Could I possibly like him? That’s absolutely outrageous! I scoffed out loud then clamped my hands over my mouth in alarm as a couple of girls moved in their beds. I glanced at the clock. 3:12 a.m. I should probably be getting some sleep now…I’ll kill Potter tomorrow for doing this to me…
Yawning, I stretched and flipped over to check the time. The numbers 8:54 blinked rapidly on my clock. I let out a high-pitched scream in alarm as the other girls protested sleepily. We have all been spoiled by Lily, who made it her duty to wake us all up in the morning.
“CLASS BEGINS IN FIVE MINUTES!” I hopped in to the bathroom. Shutting the door behind me, I heard muffled screams, shrieks and heavy footsteps as everyone scuttled around to get ready.
Lily, Carisma and I sprinted towards Potions. I respect anyone who can possibly get themselves ready in five minutes because the three of us were definitely not one of those people. With our hair still untidy, disheveled uniforms and heavy-eyed appearances, we burst through the doors of the potions classroom, breathing heavily. Not exactly the kind of entrance that we had exactly preferred, as the whole class turned around to gawk at our appearance.
Professor Slughorn clicked his tongue noticeably. Carisma elbowed Lily on the side. All of us knew that Professor Slughorn favored Lily. Lily glowered at Carisma before stepping up, “Sorry, Professor, we promise we’ll never be late again,” Lily smiled weakly.
Professor Slughorn gave us a fleeting look before waving us off. All three of us hurried to our seats quietly.
“Thank you…” I whispered to Lily.
Lily grinned, “I can’t believe we overslept, I don’t believe we’ve done that before,”
“That’s because you always wake us up, what happened to our living breathing alarm clock today?” Carisma inquired as she got up to get supplies for the potion.
“I…uh…” Lily stuttered as she looked away embarrassedly.
“She was up all night worrying about her exams,” I finished for her as Carisma stopped dead in her tracks, nearly dropping everything that she was carrying in her arms.
“Lily! What’s the matter with you? I would’ve thought that being friends with me for all these years would finally teach you to not fret so much…but noooo…” Carisma shook her head in exasperation as I laughed.
“Jen, can you get some nettles? Oh and some salamander parts? We’re out,” Carisma said without looking up as Lily leaned in to help. Shrugging I walked towards the supplies cabinet.
“Good morning,” Sirius reached for a jar on top of me.
“Good morning to you too,” I smiled as I unscrewed the lid, grimacing slightly as I daintily dropped the salamander parts on to an empty dish.
Sirius laughed, “You are such a girl, do you need help with that?”
I gawked at him with shock as I whacked him good-humoredly on the arm, “I don’t like amphibians and insects, do you have a problem with that?”
“No…no…” Sirius held up his hands and retreated slightly, a small smile playing on the edges of his lips as he tried hard not to laugh.
I stepped on his foot and left with a fake indignant look on my face.
“Aww…Jen, don’t be mad,” Sirius couldn’t help it, he leaned against a desk and burst out laughing as a couple of students nearby gaped at him skeptically.
“You better stop Sirius,” I turned around, “Now you wouldn’t want your fan club to start thinking that you’ve gone bonkers, now would you?” I smirked.
Sirius was just about to reply when Professor Slughorn shot us a look. Both of us hurried back to our desks and spent the rest of the class finishing up the potion.
“Can you believe the exams are next week?” Lily began to worry again.
Carisma sighed, “Lily…tell me, have you ever gotten less than an E on any of your exams?”
“Well…no…” Lily mumbled modestly.
“Well then, why in the world are you worrying about the exams? I should be the one having a nervous breakdown right now,” Carisma, Lily and I trooped out of the begrimed dungeons cheerfully, happy that we were finally able to see light again. Classes that were held in the dungeons are always so depressing and gloomy, making it even harder to concentrate.
“Let’s go outside, I’m in need of sunlight!” Carisma called out to the open air as she did a somersault. I envied her; she was so carefree and talented, obviously unlike me…
As Carisma and Jen chatted spiritedly, I began thinking about James again. Wait, I’m calling him James now? Smacking myself on the head, Carisma looked at me, furrowing her eyebrows vaguely.
“Fly,” I lied as Carisma nodded and turned her attention back to Jen.
I sighed, why did that little scene at Hogsmeade disturb me until now? Days ago, I would have been kissing the floor that he had found someone else to swoon over. Why did I feel this way now?
“Earth to Lily?” Carisma waved her arms wildly in front of me.
“Yes…sorry, what?” I shook my head as I shot back to reality.
“We were wondering if you’d like to go back to the common room to study,” Carisma muttered reluctantly as she shot Jen a dark look, “Jen seems to have caught your little disease of having a nervous breakdown every time the word ‘exams’ is mentioned,”
“Very funny, Carisma,” I said sarcastically as I slung my bag over my shoulder.
With our pockets bulging, food was threatening to fall out from all corners of it. We had just returned from one of our frequent trips to the kitchen and had brought back a large assortment of food.
“So, Prongs, how is your ridiculously foolish plan to find out if Lily really likes you coming along?” I bit off an apple.
“No reaction yet…” James replied despondently.
“Trust me, that’s a good thing,” I let out a bark of laughter as James looked at me in perplexity.
“Whenever Lily reacts to something that you do…it almost always has something to do with anger…so it’s good that she currently has no reaction,” I grinned.
A moment of silence passed by as our footsteps echoed noisily in the silent hallway. James stopped and turned around, “Padfoot, do you think that I have any hope with Lily?”
“Well I have two responses for you,” I swallowed, “If I were to respond to you as I normally would—”
James began nodding his head fervently but I held up a hand to stop him, “Hold on, if I were to respond to you as I normally would, I would say, she would not come near you with a hundred foot pole if she could help it,” James’s face fell.
“However…” James perked up at this, “If you want what I really think…” I shuffled my feet uncomfortably. I was not used to having deep talks with...well, anyone except Jen to be honest.
“Don’t give up, there’s always hope,” I stated sincerely.
“Really?” James began walking again.
“What would have happened if I had given up on Jen?” I replied simply and left James alone to ponder more about what I had just said.
We entered the common room, surprised to see the three girls sitting by the fire, their noses deep in thick textbooks. I snuck up behind Jen and gave her a peck on the head, “Hello,”
Jen screamed in fear as her textbook flew out of her hands and on to the unsuspecting James, who had just climbed through the portrait hole.
“OW!” He cried as the heavy textbook fell to the ground after making contact with his head.
“Oh lord, I am so sorry!” Jen cried out helplessly as she ran over to him thoughtfully.
“Is that your new hobby now? Throwing heavy Charms textbook on unwary students?” James muttered as he got up and brushed himself off.
“I didn’t mean to, Sirius scared me!” Jen sighed.
“Sorry…” I grinned at the both of them sheepishly as I flopped on to the couch. Jen strolled back carrying her textbook in her arms as she sat next to me.
I looked at her pointedly until she met my gaze, “What?”
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think?”
“No…no…no…” I clicked my tongue disapprovingly as I slowly extracted the book from her arms, before flinging it to the other side of the room.
“Come,” I opened up my arms for her to lean in.
Chuckling slightly, Jen leaned in as I tightened my arms around her, giving her a peck on the cheek.
“Please…we’re trying to study here,” Carisma grimaced.
“You’re just jealous,” Sirius winked.
Carisma scoffed, “Sure, Sirius, I’m just so jealous of all your rendezvous with half the female population, no offense, Jen,”
“None taken, I’m enjoying this,” Jen smirked.
“Hey! Get your figures right…It’s ¾ of the female population,” I widened my eyes pointedly; only receive another whack on the arm from Jen.
“Sorry,” I pouted as Jen shook her head and muttered something about boys being boys.
“I can’t believe this…I don’t think I can take the tension…” Lily began to hyperventilate.
I patted her comfortingly and soothed, “Don’t worry, you’ll do fine,”
“The exams are in two days! I think I’m going to vomit,” Lily swallowed. She did look slightly green.
Carisma ducked behind me, “Don’t you dare…come on, let’s bring her to the bathroom,”
Carisma made a smart suggestion as Lily really did vomit a little less than a second later.
“This was worst than the first year,” Carisma whispered as we waited outside for Lily.
“I know,” I acceded.
“But this is Lily, we’ll love her no matter what,” Carisma smiled and winked.
“Are you feeling better?” I called out loud as I knocked on the door.
“Yes,” A muffled reply came from the bathroom door.
“Have you realized something?” Carisma’s eyes wandered around the room thoughtfully.
“James has not provoked Lily in a couple of days…I’m not used to her not being wound up everyday,” Carisma noted.
I thought about it carefully. Carisma was right. James has not been even near Lily for the past couple of days actually, which is quite weird seeing that for the past several years at Hogwarts; he has always acted desperate for Lily to be near him every second of every day.
“That is quite odd…” I moved away from the door as Lily emerged from it, now parch white.
“I think we should take her to the Hospital Wing, maybe Madam Pomfrey can give her something to calm her nerves,” Carisma proposed as we helped Lily up and walked downstairs to the common room.
“What’s wrong with her?” Sirius questioned from the armchair.
“She’s sick, you twit,” Carisma replied as she rolled her eyes. I almost laughed at that, Sirius and Carisma sometimes had such a brother-sister relationship. It is quite amusing to watch them squabble and quarrel all the time.
“Did I just hear Carisma?” James came down from the boys’ dormitory.
I nodded, “Lily’s sick, Carisma and Jen were bringing her to the Hospital Wing,”
“What?” James’s eyes widened in concern, “Is she all right?”
“I don’t know…” I answered truthfully, “They left before I could ask anymore questions,”
“I have to go see her…” James darted out of the portrait hole.
I sighed and leaned back in my chair, wondering if James even realizes that his feelings for Lily have definitely surpassed the point of a schoolyard crush…
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