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Chapter 15 : Come Back to Me?
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Would you come back to me
Yeah I can't do another day
I"m not certain of it anyway
I'm not messin' with another life
-Goo Goo Dolls
May brought the final Quidditch match of the season. Gryffindor lost to Ravenclaw. I was disappointed, but I lived; had it been Slytherin, well, let’s just say that I might have just had to do something drastic. (Anna, however, was a wreck - she hated Ravenclaw worse than Slytherin.)
May also brought another month of Lily and I being rather civil. After all the years I had chased her, she finally responded, even if it was in a purely platonic way. Thanks to some unseen force (and probably a little help from Anna) Lily was far more like the person she was six years ago than most people would have believed. I always did though; I never forgot what she had done for me, and the bravery with which she had done it.
I had just touched down to the ground after the match; I was distraught and annoyed. However, I saw her striding across the Quidditch field towards me, her hips (which, as Anna loved to point out, had fully returned) moving, I couldn’t help but smile.
"That was a really good game, James," she told me, and put her hand on my shoulder. "Your whole team was incredible; there were just a bunch of bad calls."
I smiled. "There’s always next year. We’ll be back! We’ll be badder! We’ll be . . . Er, well badder in a better sense of the world."
Lily laughed. It was light and flighty and made me want to say more funny things so that I could hear it again. She was about to say something else when her friend Alex came up to her and quickly brought her away from me.
"Sirius!" I yelled.
"Yes?" I jumped when I realized he was right behind me.
"Make your girlfriend bring Lily back!"
Sirius laughed, and I briefly wondered why everyone was laughing at me that day. "No can do, mate. They’re having 'girl time’ today."
I scrunched up my face. "Ew."
"Totally agreed," said Anna, coming up and walking next to me. She struggled to keep up with me and Sirius; both of us had a larger stride. She refused to look at, or acknowledge Sirius’ existence, and I felt caught up in something that I didn’t want to be. I could tell they each felt bad, but Anna was still not responding to Sirius’ efforts to repair the friendship, probably because after three months she had to keep things up. She couldn’t suddenly give up her resolve; if she could, then she just wouldn’t be Anna.
"Do you ever wish you had someone to have ‘girl time’ with?" asked Sirius. Ah, he had a new tactic, I suppose; just try to make things normal again. I briefly thought that it could work. If Anna was thrown off guard she might just-
"Why would I want-" And then her face looked shocked and angry. She must have realized that she had just broken that silent pact with herself that we all knew she had.
Sirius was staring at Anna. Anna was staring at Sirius. There seemed to be something in both of their eyes.
"Why would you want what?" I asked, hoping to move things along.
"To do that," she finished in bored voice. She shook her head and looked back at me. "I don’t know why I’d want ‘girl time’ or someone to be girly and do make-up with. I’d rather hang with you guys and play Quidditch and eat."
"You guys? Like as in all of us?" Sirius asked hopefully.
Anna looked at him, first expressionless, then annoyed. "Since when do you hang around us?" she said in anger. I wondered if Sirius would have preferred her not talking to him again. "Even after you apologized to your Marauders, your brothers, you didn’t do anything to change it! You still spent all of your time with precious Alex, paying no attention to the people who have stood behind you, entertained you and loved you for the past however many years!"
She stomped her feet harder as we kept walking. She didn’t not stop or speed up. Sirius groaned and reached up to his hair. His robes slipped down to his elbow and a shiny silver watch showed.
Then Anna did stop. I followed her gaze to the watch. I didn’t understand why she was so transfixed by it. Then I remembered; she had given it to Sirius - it was like some symbol between those two, or something. I felt giddy enough to giggle like Peter did when I was playing with the snitch we snagged. This would surely be touching to Anna.
Sirius noticed that Anna and I had stopped.
"Anastasia," he began.
She shook her head, and he stopped talking immediately. For a fleeting moment, I thought she would hit him, or yell again, or simply walk away. Or kiss him. On the lips. But she reached up and traced a finger on the watch before smiley widely at him and launching herself onto Sirius.
Three months, and they were finally talking again. Life was good.
I watched and didn’t bother to stop myself from laughing as Anna planted kissed all over Sirius head and cheeks and squeezed him tightly, apologizing for being stupid and accusing him of not caring.
Sirius responded right away. "I’m sorry for being a dick-wad, arse-faced, ninny baby."
The entire school had gone back up to the castle. It was a good thing too, because I doubt that Alex would have seen the chaste relations between Sirius and Anna as anything other than sexual.
Anastasia had removed herself from Sirius, but they were walking closely, talking excitedly. We finally exited the Quidditch pitch and I saw Lily standing there. I quickly went over to her. "Where’s Alex?"
"Why, worried she saw that?" Lily was not being vicious, but her tone was bordering on it.
"Yes. Because she wouldn’t have seen that they’re just a couple of best friends who haven’t talked in months."
Lily looked at me skeptically. "So if you didn’t talk to Sirius for a few months that is how you’d greet him?"
I laughed and smiled and Lily’s wit. "Honestly? Yes, it is." I paused. "But, really, it’s nothing to worry about. At least not yet," I added, as an afterthought. "Shouldn’t you be with Alex, by the way?"
Lily nodded. "I told her that I’d catch up. I wanted to apologize for leaving so quickly."
I smiled. She wanted to apologize. To me.
Wow, there’s a reason I like this girl so much.
"It’s no problem, really," I assured her, putting my hand on her shoulder as she had done to me earlier that day. "But, I must return to the other loves of my life."
She blushed and nodded, and I smiled as a realized that she had begun to grow her red hair out long, and wear it natural. "Your hair looks very nice that way!" I called to her as a chased after Sirius and Anna. They were still talking endlessly when I caught up to them; I suppose a three month absence can do that people.
"If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em," I said and quickly inserted myself into the conversation between two of my best friends. This is just where I belong, I told myself.
A/N: Damn me and that not-self-restriction. Oh well, you guys got another chapter out of it. And this was in James' pov! Hope you guys like it, and just for a little sneak peak - next chapter is in Sirius' pov!
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