Chapter 49 : Invitations and Mutterings
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He smiled at her. “We always keep a few bottles of Polyjuice Potions brewed for, er, special occasions. This definitely qualified. You’re not going to turn me in, are you,” he finished with a teasing smile.
Lily shook her head. “Some people I’ll never understand, and you Marauders are definitely at the top of the list.”
“Well, back to what I was saying before. What are you going to do over the break?”
“I’m certainly not going to go home to visit Petunia, if that’s what you mean. I was just going to stay here at Hogwarts this year. Why do you ask?” she asked, trying very hard not to look down, where she would see James’s hand still holding her arm. And it didn’t help that his hand felt so warm against her skin, which was still cold from the crisp outside air.
James glanced at his feet. “Well, I- er, I owled my parents, and they said that you could- if you wanted to, that is- stay with us over break. At my house. With m- I mean, with us. And Sirius. If you wanted to.” His cheeks glowed a hot red as he realized how badly he’d mangled his words.
Lily could almost feel her heart stop. Spend the break with the Potters! That might not be such a great idea. Just the thought of lying in bed knowing that James was in the next room… this wasn’t supposed to be happening! She had planned to spend the break trying to forget about James, try to get her life back to normal. And James wasn’t helping at all- standing there, right in front of her… ‘This isn’t supposed to be happening! I’m not supposed to like James Potter! …Oh Merlin,’ she thought, panicking. ‘I did NOT just think that.’
“Er… Lily? Are you okay?” James asked, confused. He thought it had been a simple question…
“Oh!” Lily exclaimed, startled. “Oh yes, I’m fine. I was just thinking. Er… I don’t know… I mean, isn’t it a little late? Break starts tomorrow…”
James grinned. “I already thought of that. I talked to McGonagall, and she said it would be just fine.”
Lily tilted her head to look up at him, standing in front of the list of students staying at Hogwarts. Suddenly, she was filled with a strong desire to accept his offer. But still… “Are you sure your parents wouldn’t mind?”
Instead of answering, James smiled at her, grabbed his wand, and erased her name from the list.
Lily sat anxiously in the last class of the day, Potions. “Merlin, Lily!” Alice yelled as she dodged the slimy, disgusting newt eyes that Lily accidentally sent flying her way.
“Oh, sorry!” Lily moaned as she tried to pick up her spilled ingredients.
Alex shook her head as she bent over page ten of her Potions book, which had been splattered with armadillo bile one particularly ill-fated Potions day: it now looked as though someone had thrown up all over it. “What’s been with you lately? If you’re that nervous about going to the Potter’s, then maybe you should-”
“I am NOT nervous about going… there!” Lily sputtered out, after rechecking that there was no Marauder in hearing distance. All four had been sent to see Professor McGonagall earlier in the class for pouring frog spawn into Snape’s cauldron, causing a nasty reaction that left half the room colored green, including some of the students and Professor Milles’s feet. The rest of her had been protected by her desk as she dove underneath it.
“Yes you are,” Alice stated. “If you were feeling like your normal self, you would have at least been halfway done by now, like usual, but today you’re actually at the same place as the rest of us.”
Professor Milles walked by their table, and the girls fell silent. The professor shook her head at Alex’s Potion. “The Draught of the Living Death is supposed to be more of a blue than a green at this stage, Miss Vivir. But, Alice, I think you’re heading in the right direction. You just might want to pick up the pace a little. And Lily, your Potion looks perfect, as usual, but it seems that you are falling behind from your usual standards. However, I suppose this is to be expected, as your break starts in less than two hours.” Shaking her head, Professor Milles walked over to the next table.
Lily turned back to her friends. “James invited me over as a friend, and I accepted as a friend. That’s all.”
“For now,” Alex muttered under her breath.
“What was that?” Lily asked sharply, turning quickly to glare at her.
“Nothing, nothing, Lily,” Alex answered with a grin, as she bent back over her Potions book.
“Relax, mate. She wouldn’t have said yes if she wasn’t coming,” Sirius said to as nervous James, who was desperately trying to smooth down his hair as he waited for Lily at the bottom of the dormitory stairs.
“But we were going to meet here at 6:00!” James shouted, half in frustration with his hair, half in anxiety over the time.
Remus sighed. “Yes, I know. 6:00. You have now told us seven times. And I still don’t see why that is such a big problem.”
James turned to him, eyes wild. “It is now 6:04! 6:04! That’s four minutes late! She’s not coming! I know it! I scared her off- I did something wrong! What did I do WRONG!”
James went over to go pace by the fireplace, going over every conversation he’d had with Lily. Since first year. Repeating them when he thought he found something wrong. And as they hated each other in the early years of school, he repeated many conversations.
Peter and Sirius glanced at each other, and had to quickly look away to bite back their laughter. Remus held his head in his hands as he wondered where he and the other two Marauders had failed with James, when he heard someone coming down the stairs.
He looked up to see Lily dragging her trunk down the stairs, also muttering to herself. She reached the bottom with a loud ‘thump,’ then looked at her watch (specially modified to work even at Hogwarts, with all the magical energy flying around). “Oh NO!” she yelled to no one in particular. She glanced around the room, and not seeing James (who was hidden behind a rather large armchair), sat on her trunk and covered her face with her hands. “I KNEW it!” she cried. “I was too late! It’s 6:05! He already left! He hates me! Oh no oh no oh no…”
Remus cleared his throat, and Lily jumped as she saw him for the first time. “Actually, Lily, he hasn’t left yet.”
Lily looked up at him with hope on her face. “He hasn’t?” she asked breathlessly, still slightly that Remus might be joking.
“No. Actually, he’s right over there.” He motioned to behind the chair, and Lily leaned over to see around it.
“James?” she called out.
There was a slight pause in the mutterings, and then James poked his head out from behind the chair. “Lily!” he answered.
They both started talking at once, as James rushed forward to grab her trunk (Lily had jumped off it by now). “I was worried I told you the wrong time, and I didn’t know if you decided to stay, or if you’d already left, or…”
“Alex borrowed my blue robes, and I couldn’t find them, and then I forgot some of my books, and I wasn’t sure if we had Potions homework, and…”
Their voices slowly faded away as they left the common room. Alex and Alice cautiously walked down from the dormitory to where the remaining Marauders were still standing. “Is she gone?” Alice asked.
Remus nodded, and the girls joined the three boys in looking at the portrait James and Lily had just exited through. “Thank Merlin,” Alex said. “She’s been like that all day.”
“Not James,” Sirius said.
Remus turned to look at him, eyes open wide. “Where’ve you been lately?”
“James has been like that for a week. Starting before he even asked her,” Sirius continued.
“I see,” Alice said. They continued looking at the portrait hole for another moment. “Do you think we should have told them that the train doesn’t leave for another hour?” she asked/
Sirius grinned at her. “Not a chance. This break is definitely going to be interesting.”
I know, I know! I’m an awful person! I haven’t updated in FOREVER! And I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry. But I tried, I really did. I could just never get past the first page, and I wasn’t sure where to take the story……… please forgive me?
I’m going to try to write the next chapter soon, I’m just not making any promises… but I have a vague idea of where this is going, so it shouldn’t take as long… less than a month… I’ll even write tomorrow! I promise!
So, If you have an idea or a comment, you can send it to me by e-mail or review…
And I know I don’t deserve it, but I would love some feedback- it keeps me motivated!
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