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Chapter 6 : He Loves You
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After sitting in that empty classroom for a long time, Lily dried her tears and decided that she’d never look at Snape in any special way ever again. He would be just one of those nasty Slytherins that she didn’t give a damn about. She imagined herself to act cool when she passed him, but she knew it was a little different in real life. She hoped she’d be able to pull it off.
After conjuring a mirror out of midair, she checked her face. Not too bad, she thought dully.
Rising up, she let a finger run through her messy hair.
How could he do that to me? she kept thinking after she was outside of the classroom. Severus and I have been friends for such a long time, and then he – just because he’s jealous! And what good reason he has to be jealous! Does he have any idea of how bad he made my birthday? And that poem… God, I hope he doesn’t think about me like that! I hope he just wanted to make me angrier with James. James… Lily felt guilty when she thought of him. She knew she owed him a big apology for not believing him, for not even trying to believe him…
Lily turned around, expecting (and, she noticed in shock, wishing) to see James. But it wasn’t. It was Peter Pettigrew.
“Oh,” she said when he reached her. “It’s you.” She tried to keep the disappointment she (without allowing it) felt invisible to Peter, but failed.
“Did you wish it was another?” Peter asked.
“No! No, no, no, no – or… well, yes. I thought you were James.”
“And you got disappointed when you saw it was me,” Peter said, unable to keep the grin from showing.
“Not because I absolutely wanted it to be him,” she snapped, “but because it’s – it’s – it is my duty to apologise to him,” Lily said with dignity.
“No, it’s because you looove him,” Peter said teasingly.
Lily stared at him, as though she couldn’t believe little Peter to be so confident, but then she remembered that he actually was a Marauder and she had reasons to believe that one of the Marauders’ rules was “Don’t be shy” .She turned away, muttering, and the only words Peter caught were “so immature”. Beginning running, she thought that the apology for James could wait. All she wanted was to return to her dormitory, even though there were no presents to welcome her there (she still had no idea where Severus had hid them – or if he had kept them at all). When she had run up to the next floor, she screamed when Peter stood there in front of her, welcoming her with a smile.
“How – how did you -?” Lily began, trying to catch her breath at the same time as she spoke.
“Marauder,” Peter said calmly.
“Well… yeah – obviously…” Lily said bewildered before interrupting herself. “What d’you want?”
“I want you to realise that James loves you.” The words were so simple – but, oh, what effect they had, how powerful they were.
Lily had no idea how she looked – if she had paled at the words or if she blushed or perhaps her face was empty for emotions or… it was possible that she looked what she felt like – completely shocked. “Wh – what?” she stuttered.
“He loves you. Simple as that.”
“He doesn’t,” Lily said quietly.
“He doesn’t love me. It’s just a game, isn’t it? To see if he can manage to get Lily Evans swoon at the sight of him. And if he does manage it, he’ll ditch her. Ditch me.”
“It’s not a game,” Peter said, frowning. “Hasn’t he chased you for years, perhaps? Hasn’t he tried to date several girls, with no luck? D’you know the reason it hasn’t worked out with any of them? It’s because not one of them is you. You’re the only girl he’s really ever liked. He loves you.” He looked so serious that Lily couldn’t believe it was just a game any more. But that James loved her… that was just – she didn’t even have words.
“But he doesn’t love me,” Lily said, her voice shaking. “I mean – he can’t do! And why should I believe you, anyway? Where’s the proof?”
Peter wanted to mention so much. How hurt James was after every time she rejected him, how he talked about her, how he looked at her, how angry he became whenever someone spoke ill of her, how he smiled when she was civil to him and how he had once said to Sirius that he was certain he was in love, were some of the things Peter wanted to tell her. But he suddenly realised that it was possible that she wouldn’t believe him. He realised that he couldn’t give her proof for a person being in love. “I don’t have any,” he finally replied. “You’ll just have to take my word for it.”
Lily was scared. She was scared because she didn’t doubt what Peter had told her. She had never spoken to any of the Marauders about this. She had forbidden Remus to mention “the arrogant, cocky, annoying Potter” when they patrolled together, and she never really talked to Sirius or Peter.
And she was scared because of another thing. Her heartbeat had become faster during this conversation. That was a good reason to be afraid.
“Just… believe me,” Peter said weakly. “We, the other Marauders, are really tired of hearing him talk about you, so if you – I mean… if you guys began going out, perhaps we don’t have to listen to his endless talk about the perfect Lily, and – well,” he stopped, smiling in embarrassment. Maybe he had said a little too much.
Lily frowned. “I think – I think I need to talk to him,” she said slowly. She was not certain of her own feelings right now. The one thing she was sure of was that she had to speak to him. “D’you know where he is?”
Peter grinned when he realised what she had said.. “I have a suspicion.”
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