Chapter 39 : You Could Break Me Apart
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I got my hands in my pocket and my head in a cloud
This is how I do
When I think about you
I never thought that you could break me apart
-Boys Like Girls
Two of my best mates in the entire world were going out. So, they wouldn’t admit it, really. But! Technically, they were. What reason was there for me to be not excited?
Well . . . There was one, and it was Anna’s reputation. Not a whoreish type of reputation but her reputation for not being able to stay with guys for very long. I had a suspicion that Anna would bound from this relationship unscathed. Sirius - not so much.
But that problem was in the future. In the present, Anna had Sirius, I had Lily, Remus had Dora, and Peter had whoever he fancied at the moment. At my tally, three more shags (with different girls, of course,) and he’d be passed Remus.
I was sitting with Lily on the couch in the common room, lightly stroking her hand, when Sirius burst in.
"Mate!" he shouted, sprinting up the staircase and vaulting over a chess table, knocking over two First years’ game in the process. "Mate!" he cried again.
His frantic tone concerned me. It could be any of the three things:
One, Anna decided that she wasn’t over the fact that I cut her hair and was thirty-three seconds away from bursting into the common room and killing me.
Two, a Dumbledore and McGonagall sex tape had been found.
Three, Severus Snape took a bath - and washed!
"Mate! Dude! Snape hanging from the flag-pole!"
Okay, I was close.
It would be the perfect opportunity to torture old Snapey-poo, Godric, did I know it; but I’d gone cold turkey since Lily. I hadn’t said a mean thing to him since I had gotten Lily to finally go out with me. She could get me to do whatever she wanted to.
Yeah, I was whipped.
"James, this is our last chance; we’re fucking Seventh years!" Sirius was begging me. It was odd. "Who knows the next time we’ll have the chance to put that shithead Death Eater in his place?"
Over time, I had forgotten why we always tortured Snape. He seemed, to me, harmless enough, other than his being greasy. But Sirius reminded me; we had our reasons. We hated Snape because he knew more dark magic as a First year, than most Seventh years even learned about. We hated Snape because he called Lily a Mudblood. We hated Snape because he reeked of Voldemort, and his Death Eater posse.
So, I had to agree with Sirius. I needed closure, Sirius needed closure, and Remus and Peter probably did too.
I turned to Lily and put on my best begging face. "Please, Lily? I know you just think that we’re heartless jerks, but we have our reasons. Lily, I’ve grown up for you, and I’m a better person for it. But, Lily, you’ve grown up for me, too.
"Please, Lily, please. Just let me go teach Snape one more lesson."
Lily looked at me, her face not betraying her thoughts. It was a good sign, I suppose. Usually, when she was getting ready to scream at me, she looked angry. "All right, I guess it’s okay if you guys go play Quidditch. But remember, I don’t really like it, so don’t bother telling me about it when you get back." Lily then picked up her book from the end table and began to read.
"But we’re not going to-" I began to say; we were torturing Snape not playing Quidditch.
"Come on, mate," Sirius interrupted. He grabbed me on the arm and dragged me away. Once Lily could no longer hear us, he said, "You dumbarse! She was pretending to be oblivious so she wouldn’t feel like a bad person since she said you could go torture Snape! Duh!"
The day Sirius was smarter than me was a sad, sad day. "Right . . . Okay, let’s go!"
We jumped out of the portrait hole, landing cat-like in the corridor, before taking off through our favorite passageway. About half-way through, a high-impact collision occurred.
"Bloody, hell, Sirius, you’re like running into a fucking rock." Anna, of course.
"Not now, love, this is important. We’ve got to go torture Snivellus. Hey, d’ya want to come?"
I didn’t hear anything, but I assumed Anna shook her head. "No, Sirius. This is just like the start-of-term prank this year; torturing Snape-a-doodle is your guys’ thing. But, I will come along to watch. Come on, let’s go."
So, we all gathered our bearings and once again continued through the tunnel. We burst into the Entrance Hall after another half a minute and hurried out to the courtyard. That’s when a thought occurred to me. "Mate, since when do we have a flag pole?"
Sirius looked craftily around, before grabbing Anna and me by our collars and dragging us close to him. "Since I needed a place to put Snivelly. I confess, it was I who conjured a flag pole and levitated Snape onto it. But let’s not go bragging about this, alright? No one knows it was me."
And with that, he released us and we continued forward to the crowd that surrounded the newly erected flag pole. I looked up to see Snape dangling by his robes; I wondered how they weren’t ripping.
Of course, once I caught sight of Snivelly’s underpants, I couldn’t help but yell up to him. "Well, this is a sight better than last time, Snivellus. At least your pants are white this time!"
And, as if it were injected straight into my heart, a burst of guilt shot through me.
Crap, Lily’s getting to me!
I tried to ignore the fact, but I found that I couldn’t. All I could concentrate on was the burning hatred in Snape’s eyes as he swung his arms furiously; not that it would do him any good, all the way up there.
Tp my left, Sirius was enjoying the scene somewhat, but it wasn’t like he had anything to stop him. To my right, the object of Sirius’ affections seemed to find more amusement in the situation than he did.
Of course, I couldn’t be the one to admit that, perhaps, this torturing Snape didn’t give me the pleasure that it used to - the slimy git. I tried to think of all the bad things that Snape did to make myself feel better; it did nothing to quench my guilt.
I turned to Sirius just as he turned to me. We seemed to be communicating with our eyes, the same thoughts. We both opened our mouths to speak when Remus and Peter ran onto the scene.
"You idiots, gone back to torturing Snape now, have we?" Despite his tone, Remus couldn’t totally conceal his smirk.
"Umm, well . . ." I trailed off in an unexcited tone. Sirius answered similarly.
I looked around and noticed that Anna had drifted away. She obviously had no conscience and so sense of growing up. Well, that much we knew.
Remus nodded. "You guys don’t have to say anything," he comforted Sirius and I. With a skilled wave of his wand, Snape was slowly lowered to the ground. After he was safely on the grass, Remus vanished the flag pole.
Snape stalked angrily over to us. "Black. Potter," he spat. "I know it was you."
"I don’t know what you’re talking about," Sirius insisted, before I could claim our innocence.
Snape laughed. It was cold and raspy. "Wouldn’t you like me to believe that-"
"Let them alone!" I voice far more high-pitched than any of those involved in the conversation brought our attention back to Anna. Doesn’t the attention always turn to her, somehow?
"This doesn’t concern you, Xanthis, or does it?"
"It doesn’t, but what does concern me is your deadly pale skin. Ever consider going out in the sun once in a while? I’m sure whoever got you out here was only trying to do you a favor. Now, if you don’t mind, me and my mates have got some Quidditch to play
"Come on, lads."
She threw her arms around all of ours shoulders (well, she tried) and steered us towards the Quidditch pitch.
Snape didn’t follow. He was likely to stunned by the loud outburst from such a small person. Or he was going back to try some voodoo curse on all of us. It was a 50-50 chance there.
"You poor, poor souls," Anna tsked, as she sat down, discontinuing our quest for Quidditch.
"And what do you mean by that?" I asked defensively, unconsciously running a hand over my new, buzzed haircut, and shuddering at the lack of hair.
"You’ve all got a conscience now. Shame. Well, let’s go tell Lily the bad news, shall we?" She hopped up and started off towards the castle once more.
"Lily, darling, how are you this fine evening?" I asked her as I dove onto the couch, landing softly on top of her.
"Just great, before you decided to get your bull of a self on top of me and crush me."
"My apologies, fair lady," I said, and rolled off, sitting next to her instead.
For the next half hour, I sat beside her, stroking her hair as she read. Occasionally, I caught her sneaking a glance up at me. It made me smile to think that Lily Evans was pausing to look up at me, James Potter.
On impulse I took her bookmark off the table, placed it in her book and took it from her hands. I set the large thing down on the table before us and turned to face Lily, taking her hands in mine.
"It’s been a while since we’ve been together, hasn’t it, Lily? ‘Round half a year now, right?"
"Yes," she answered suspiciously. She flicked her shiny, straight locks out of her face when it got into her eyes.
"Er, well, I’ve been thinking . . . That’s pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say?"
"I would," she answered. Again, suspicious.
"Well, then if I may me so bold, m’lady . . ."
"You may," she encouraged. This time her tone was more soft, more welcoming, more knowing of what I was about to say.
"I love you."
As prepared as I had thought she was, Lily still seemed to be caught in unawares. She let out a small gasp, but the faint squeeze of my hand reassured me that I had done fine.
Leaning forward, she nuzzled her head into my neck before whispering, "I love you, too."
She looked up and me, and I looked down at her. We both smiled. And then - we burst out laughing.
"My God, I never thought I’d hear those words!" I cried through the laughter.
"And I was sure as hell that I’d never say them," she countered.
We were falling over each other in laughter, and the few other inhabitants of the common room looked at us strangely. But it didn’t matter. Because I was in love with Lily Evans, and she was in love with me back.
A/N: To my lovely readers - today, you will get two chapters in one day! Gasp! I know - I haven't done that in forever! However, these two chapters were originally written as one, only they flow much better as two. As such, you will get two, count them, two! chapters from James' POV in a row! Isn't that exciting? The next chapter is to follow in a matter on hours.
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