Chapter 14 : Chapter 14: Damage Contol
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Amberle watched Lily run down the corridor. She knew she was crying. James reaction had shattered her heart, the way the bludger shattered his spine. James eyes were hard but anyone could see the pain behind them. This was all her fault. Her and her stupid selfish actions. Just because she got mad over a stupid promise made six years ago, her best friend had her heart broken. She couldn’t even blame James like she wanted to because she knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. He may have been a little harsh, but he did think his girlfriend was breaking up with him after a day. Something had to be done. The time of the Queens against the Marauders was gone, it had to be accepted she knew. Not that she liked it, but she liked it more than seeing her best friend in tears.
“So what happened?“ James asked as though nothing had happened.
“Well you got sandwiched between two bludgers!” Peter piped up.
“Really? Never would have guessed, Wormtail. I meant what happened after I blacked out?” James asked.
“We won!” Sirius said happily.
“Only because Slytherin got disqualified for a “dirty, unprovoked attack on the oppositions Seeker”,” Remus recited.
“Who cares about the reasons, we got the points for the game!” Sirius said.
James wanted to laugh, but found he couldn’t. His friends were giving him odd looks but he was saved from having to answer by the arrival of the nurse.
“Thank Merlin you’re awake. I thought you’d never came around,” she said as she fussed about his head and back. When she seemed satisfied that his injuries were healing well enough her attention snapped to the other occupants of the room.
“What are you still doing here? You should be back in your dormitories by now. Out, out all of you, now!” she said, ushering them out with rushed goodbyes to James.
He sat there watching his friends leave. He thought he would be happy to have some peace but he found it only gave him time to think about the pain.
And it wasn’t the physical injury that was bothering him.
Amberle couldn’t sleep. How could she? She had a conscience on her shoulders the size of the castle itself.
She had gotten back a little while ago from the Head Dorms, where she and Gabriella had gone to try cheer Lily up. Just thinking about her friend made Amberle cringe in shame. This wasn’t right.
Lily being happy was extremely important. The most important thing even. So she was worth getting over a grudge for, wasn’t she? She could deal with having the Marauders around all the time, right? Once she was happy, why did it matter she was going against everything she said, dealing with her enemies daily?
Again she had to stop herself from that train of thought. They weren’t her enemies anymore. James and Lily were in love, and she couldn’t be enemies with the guy her best friend loved. And it wasn’t just James and Lily anymore it seemed. Any idiot with half a brain could see there was something between Remus and Gabriella. As much as she wanted to deny it, it was true.
They had turned to the dark side.
Or was it just her who was refusing to see the truth?
Amberle sighed, she was getting no where thinking. She had been sitting at her window looking out at the half moon for ages, trying to convince herself of the same idea. But every time she still came back with the same answer. She wasn’t a thinker, she was more of an action taker.
She stood up suddenly, knocking the blanket that was around her aside. For once she was going to put her own feelings aside and do what was right.
Even if doing it meant admitting a feeling to herself she tried to hide since second year.
James lay back in his bed with a sigh. Since when had he become so melancholy?
“Since Lily“ he answered himself. It was true, he had become much more serious since Lily, and even more down since she had left so suddenly.
He snapped himself out of it. He was not going to spend another night dwelling on Lily, he’d done it for too long already.
Apparently it wasn’t enough, because a moment later the doors to the hospital opened and in came Amberle.
How are you meant to forget a girl when the closest thing to her comes waltzing in when you’ve made up your mind? Didn’t these people read the handbook on this type of stuff?
“Hey, James,” she greeted, taking a seat beside him.
He had to admit, he was a little shocked. After Lily, Amberle was the last person he was expecting to come to see him. In fact when he thought about it, it seemed more likely that Lily would come. It wasn’t exactly a secret that Amberle didn’t care for him enough to worry when he was hurt. She’d probably have been delighted.
“What are you doing here?” he blurted out. She looked slightly affronted at his bluntness but pushed it aside.
“I wanted to talk to you about Lily,” she told him.
He looked at her again. There was something wrong with this girl today. First she comes to see him, and now she wants to talk about Lily, even though she seemed to be so happy they’d broken up.
“I don’t want to talk about her,” James shrugged.
“Come one, Potter, I know damn well you’re thinking about Lily. I can help you!”
“Help? I don’t need help, especially yours.” James didn’t care if he was being cold and rude. If it wasn’t for her reacting so bad to the news of him and Lily none of this would have happened and Lily would be the one sitting with him.
“Yes you do!” Amberle said, her voice just below a shout. She sat back in her chair and took a deep breath. Couldn’t he see how much she wasn’t enjoying this? Or was the “I hate you and your friends” sign not visible just now. But she had to do this, for Lily.
“Look, James, it’s my fault this happened. Lily was worried I wouldn’t talk to her when I found out she was with you so she ran off. But I am talking to her, and she’s wondering why you aren’t.” Ok maybe not the best speech in the world, but she was new to this type of thing.
“Well if she’s wondering so much why doesn’t she ask me?”
“Well you’re not giving off great vibes, Mr-What-Are-You-Doing-Here!”
“Look, this isn’t any of you’re business so why don-”
“To hell it isn’t my business! Ok look, Lily loves you. She really loves you, as in red roses, together forever, happily ever after loves you! I’m not happy over it and I definitely don’t like it but my opinion doesn’t matter in this case. What does matter is that the two of you are acting like complete idiots over nothing! She loves you, you love her, that’s the end of it and forget everyone else!”
Amberle was rambling and she knew it - it often happened when she got worked up about something. But it seemed to be working. James dark expressionless eyes lit up when Amberle had mentioned that Lily still loved him.
“She really loves me?” he asked.
Amberle sighed in frustration, what sort of people was she dealing with?! “Yes, James, for some obscure reasoning she hasn’t filled me in on, she loves you. But she also thinks you don’t love her anymore, especially after the way you treated her the other day. So I wouldn’t look like a little boy on Christmas morning just yet. You have a few things to fix up.”
James nodded, after all she was right. She may have started the whole problem between him and Lily but because both of them were so scared about the prospect of this new relationship, they let it go too far. But now he knew that all it was was a stupid misunderstanding he wasn’t going to let her get away from him again.
“Thanks, Amberle,” he said, and meant it.
“You can thank me when you’ve gotten better, gotten out of here, apologised to Lily and whipped this castle back into shape because I can’t deal with this drama another day!”
For the first time in nearly a week, James Potter laughed.
“Great! Here I am trying to fix this completely out of control mess and he’s laughing like a mad man! Glad to see your mentally stable, James.”
When James only laughed harder she left the room with a sigh, concealing her own giggles.
One problem down….How many more to go?
James walked swiftly down the corridor…or as swiftly as he could with a recently fractured and healed spine.
He had been released a short while ago from his prison at the hospital wing (he’d learnt that a bed was good when you were tired, or in the morning when you didn’t want to go to class- but it was an enemy after a day tied to it!) and had been making his way to the Head rooms since. He wanted to see Lily, needed to see her. Since Amberle had come to see him he’d thought of nothing else but her. Not that it was much of a change to usual but these were happy thoughts, unlike those of the days before.
Outside the portrait hole he stopped. Inside sat Lily, well hopefully she did anyway. He said the password and walked in, searching the small room for her. Not a moment after he entered did he see her, his eyes magnetically finding her scarlet hair.
“Hey, Lily,” he said.
Lily got such a fright she fell off the chair. She’d been incredibly absorbed in her book, Forget, and hadn’t heard him come in. Even if she had she wouldn’t have expected him to have spoken to her.
“H-Hi, James,” she said, trying to recover her composure…as well as her seat.
James looked at her, something was wrong. She wasn’t herself. He wondered momentarily if something had happened to her when he was in the hospital wing. Then it hit him that he was the something that happened to her. He had been a complete jerk to her when he’d woken up.
Suddenly the elated feeling he had about seeing her again deflated as he thought that maybe she didn’t want him anymore after how bad he had treated her.
“So…um…you’re feeling better?” she asked. James nodded, taking a seat on the opposite end of her sofa.
“Yeah. Madam Pomfrey said I was well enough to get out of her hair but I just wasn’t allowed do anything drastic. And no Quidditch for a while I was told.”
Silence feel between them. It wasn’t the friendly silence they’d grown used to since the beginning of the year but rather an uncomfortable, nervous type. Finally James couldn’t take it and decided he needed to speak.
“Lily, I’m sorry,” he said. She looked up at him with a puzzled expression but he could tell she was still hurting. He continued. “I’m sorry for the way I acted the day I woke up, and even the days before that when I didn’t talk to you. I’m sorry, I was just scared you’d decided against going out with me again and I didn’t want that to happen and-”
James was rambling but Lily leaned forward and gently placed a kiss on his lips, stopping all further discussion. When she pulled away James eyes were wide but soft after losing the hardness that had taken over them before.
“It’s ok, James. I’m sorry too, I shouldn’t have just ran out on you,” she told him. She didn’t care about the last few days. He had a right to be mad at her, and to feel hurt. It wasn’t as if she had tried to do anything about it. But once they said sorry, couldn’t it all just be forgotten?
James just smiled and nodded before pulling her back into his arms.
Back to where she belonged.
They sat there in silence for a little while, content to just be with each other after all that had happened. James broke the silence first.
“Hey, Lily, can I ask you something?”
She looked up at him with a sly smile. “You just did. But was there something else?”
James grinned too but then it faded away. “Why did you, Amberle and Gabriella make a promise never to date us?”
Somehow, Lily knew that was the question he going to ask her. Normally, she would never even have considered telling him, but things had changed and it was because of this that they’d nearly broken up before they ever really began. She felt he at least deserved to know why it had been such a big deal.
“Back in second year, Amberle had a crush on Sirius. When he asked her out she was delighted and thought he only liked her,” she started. James looked puzzled, he couldn’t remember Sirius dating Amberle, it seemed too weird.
“When did they go out? I don’t remember that.”
“It wasn’t for very long, I don’t think anyone but Amberle and us remember. As I said, she really liked him but Sirius being Sirius had a million other girls on his mind and broke up with Amberle after less than a week. She was completely heartbroken. So since I already hated you we decided we’d never date any of the Marauders because they were immature, arrogant, selfish, heartless-”
“Ok, ok, I get the point! We weren’t wonderful,” James stopped her. Lily laughed and placed a kiss on his cheek.
“Sorry, but you have to admit, back then you were. But we grew up, and miraculously so did you and, well, things changed. Amberle was the only one who still believed so strongly in the promise. I couldn’t really blame her I mean she was twelve and Sirius really shattered her heart. I’d hoped things had changed for them but not from what I can see. I mean, she still likes him, it’s incredibly obvious. I-”
Lily stopped and clamped her hand over her mouth. That wasn’t meant to come out. Now it was James turn to laugh while he removed it.
“It’s ok, I was just going to say that I think Sirius really likes her but she seems to hate him more than you did me,” he said. Lily scoffed.
“No one can hate someone more than I hated you.”
“Ouch, that hurt, Lils,” he said in mock hurt. Lily smiled and kissed him.
“Better?” He nodded. “Ok, now go on.”
“Well, if they both like each other, then why aren’t they together?”
Lily had to shake her head at that. She loved James (though it still felt weird to say), she really did, but sometimes he was incredibly stupid, especially when it came to these sort of things.
“Because, unlike you, Sirius hasn’t changed one bit since second year and Amberle hates him more than ever now. At least that’s what she tells us. He still the immature, arrogant, womanizer he always has been. For anything to happen, you’d have to do something about Sirius.”
James sat back thoughtfully. Maybe there was a way he could repay Amberle for getting things back on track with him and Lily? He’d think on that later, right now he wanted to focus on keeping things right in his own relationship.
They settled back together into the sofa, arms around each other once again, despite everything. Lily glanced up at James who seemed to be sleeping. She couldn’t believe she’d almost let this go. She loved him, sitting here now made her feel even more so, so why hadn’t she realised that when she walked away from him?
Then again, no one said love was easy.
A/N: Ok, first I want to say I’m sorry for the wait when I promised to have it up soon. I had to go in for an operation on Friday so I wasn’t able to do much writing after it. I’m really sorry but hopefully things will be ok now.
Second, did you like the chapter? Do you all still hate James? I hope not because hating James is hating me as I made him do such things!
Third, PLEASE REVIEW and tell me what you thought.
Fourth, I promise to have the next chapter up really soon!!
Fifth, thanks for reading!
Sixth, I really should stop talking! =
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