Chapter 12 : Twelve: Realisation
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I could talk to you for days
You make me laugh one thousand ways
And I realise - you fill me up
Like hot water - in my tea cup
I'm enchanted by your smile
I must admit it took a while
For me to see that - this was something
More than - he's my friend, it's nothing
-Jamelia, Something About You
“Are you crazy?” As I made my way out of the Great Hall after breakfast, Remus grabbed my arm and pulled me back. Shocked by his sudden outburst, I scowled at him and rubbed my arm where he had grabbed it.
“What do you mean, am I crazy?” I hissed.
“Staying with Prongs for Christmas?” he replied. “I’m just not sure it’s a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, I want my best friend to be happy,” he carried on. “I don’t know if you’ve realised, Lily. James Potter is in love with you,” he said seriously. I exhaled slowly.
“People like James Potter do not fall in love,” I contradicted him simply. “People like James Potter do not fall in love with girls like me,” I corrected myself after a moment. Remus shook his head.
“There. See? You are crazy. Prongs hasn’t even looked at a single girl since he went out with you. Okay, he was a prat for cheating on you, but now he realises the mistake he made. Why can’t you see how much he cares about you?” I shrunk back, biting my lip. Why was he telling me this? It couldn’t possibly be true; maybe there was another reason that he didn’t want me to stay with James? But apparently, he still had more to say.
“Alright, I’ll prove it. Last year, he asked you out like five times.” I shrugged.
“He was messing with me,” I replied, although unsure of it myself.
“Number two: whenever you come into breakfast and you’re really tired, he butters your toast for you.” Okay, so he had a point. But it was like a tradition, ever since the like . . . second day at Hogwarts. “And there are a million other things. And I think you really care about him too.” I snorted with false laughter.
Yes, I did really care about James. But as a friend!
. . . Right?
“Don’t make me prove that to you as well!” he said exasperatedly. I tapped my foot impatiently. “Alright,” he consented. “You went running to him when he came off his broomstick a few weeks ago.” My eyes widened. This was true. “You always watch him eat,” he carried on. I opened my mouth to object but shut it again like a goldfish – okay, so I did think the way he ate was cute. “Whenever he isn’t around I can see you looking for him,” he said. My mouth did the goldfish thing again. I really was drawing a blank here.
“Okay, stop!” I said. “I get your point. So why don’t you want me to stay at his house for Christmas?” I asked. He grinned.
“Oh. You can go if you want. I just had to make you realise a few things first.” He laughed and my jaw dropped. The scheming little-! “See you later, Lily!” he called as he walked away, still smiling to himself.
I walked into the entrance hall and sat down on a seat. Apparently there were a few things I needed to think about. To admit to myself.
1. I care about James Potter (a lot).
2. I enjoy watching him eat.
3. When he is not in the room, I look for him.
4. I really like him.
5. I love him.
This was not supposed to happen.
I was patrolling walking through the entrance hall one evening near the end of term. The hallway was dim but I could see by the moonlight pouring in through the windows. I glanced out – it was a full moon. I sat down on a seat and placed my head in my hands. I had had a terrible headache for days, but I had something of an irrational fear of the matron in the Hospital Wing. She somewhat resembled a hawk. As I was considering going to sleep, as the corridors were empty anyway, I heard rushing footsteps. The main door burst open and a figure pelted through, quickly followed by another.
“Snape, wait!” I recognised James’ voice immediately. The pale form of Snape rushed passed me, straight down the stairs to the Slytherin dungeon. The main door swung closed. James must have seen me, because he slowed and came to a halt next to me. I stepped closer.
“What did you do to him?” I asked, perhaps slightly more coldly than I had intended. He looked at me indignantly, hurt flashing through his eyes.
“Padfoot tried to do something really bad to him,” he explained. “And I stopped him from doing it.” I surveyed his face for some sign that he was lying, but could find nothing. “He could have been killed,” James continued, breathing fast still from his run. “And I know it’s unlikely that you believe me, but it’s true. Don’t tell anyone about this.” He walked away. I watched him, lost for words, as he disappeared up the stairs into the Gryffindor tower.
“Well I really can’t believe you’re staying with Potter. But have a nice Christmas, Lily,” Jazz said with a stupid smile on her face. We had just climbed off the Hogwarts Express and were standing on the platform, saying our tearful goodbyes. Jazz looked for a moment as though she were about to cry, and suddenly threw her arms around me.
“Jazz!” I laughed, hugging her back. “It’s only three weeks. Make sure you write to me from America, okay? And I want lots of good pictures!” she released me from her stranglehold and smiled again.
“Jasmine!” her parents called from further down the platform. She pulled on her gloves; it was freezing outside, and ran off, waving back to us. I turned to Bliss.
“You’re not going to start crying as well, are you?” I joked. She smiled vaguely.
“I’ve never been good at goodbyes. So see you next year!” she laughed, and waved as she started to walk away.
“Bye Bliss!” said a voice beside me, and James appeared at my side. My heart raced. I knew deep down I’d been getting these feelings for James all along, but now I’d admitted to myself how I felt about him they just seemed to have tripled. “Ready to go, Evans?” James asked, looking me in the eyes. I nodded and he picked up my suitcase and started carrying it across the platform.
“Oh no, you don’t have to do that!” I chased after him and attempted to wrestle the suitcase from his grip. James held it away from me, laughing as I jumped to try and grab the handle.
“Evans, it’s only polite,” he said with a grin.
“Well I feel like a prat walking along with you carrying both of our suitcases,” I replied. He laughed and shoved his at me.
“Here you go then, you can carry mine.” He laughed as I stubbornly took it and marched away. “Other way,” he called and I stopped in my tracks and turned around.
“Okay, where then?” I asked in an annoyed voice. He gestured over to a black Rolls Royce type car with British flags on the bonnet, through the doors of the platform and across the road. As soon as I turned and looked a friendly looking couple standing beside the car waved frantically. “You told them I was coming, right?” I asked nervously as we headed over to the car. Call me a worrier, but I always manage to find something that might go wrong.
“I told them I had a friend coming,” he replied.
“So they don’t know I’m a girl?” I asked anxiously.
“What difference does it make?” he said. I could think of a reason.
“Oh, James, is this your girlfriend?” asked the woman as we crossed the road and stopped awkwardly beside them.
Yes! Wait, no.
“Um, no, Mum, this is my friend, Lily Evans,” James replied, with something of a stutter. I had a feeling that she was the only person who could make James Potter stutter.
“Hello Mr and Mrs Potter,” I said, somewhat awkwardly.
“Oh aren’t you polite! You can call me Diane, and this is Eric,” said the woman, laughing. She was a little bit shorter than James and rounder. Her face was pretty and friendly looking, framed by dark curls, but there was something about her that told me she was not a woman to be messed with. Mr Potter, in contrast, was just a tiny bit taller than James, and looked kind of similar to him but with a more wrinkled face and glasses (James had ditched his for magic contacts years ago).
“Um, thank you,” I replied. I caught James’ eye and he winked supportively.
“Well, shall we be off?” said Mr Potter. “Just put your suitcases in the boot, there’s plenty of room.” And there certainly was. The car had obviously been charmed in some way to increase the space back there. We chucked our bags in and climbed into the back seat. I sat beside one window, and James sat beside the other. It felt like there was a huge gap between us, and for once in his life, James had nothing to say.
A/N: A bit of a longer chapter here, finally. You'll understand the middle scene as time progresses, so be patient, okay?
I love Remus. He's so scheming.
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