Chapter 19 : Officially Unexpected
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A/N: Last Chapter Everyone! :D
"Lily!" Emily rushed into their dormitory, startling Lily who was trying to reach for the quill she had just dropped, causing her to stumble at her desk.
"Gosh, Em, you scared me a bit. I'm just finishing up some notes for the Charms exam that we can look over" Lily recovered quickly. "What's the matter?"
Emily held her hand up a bit to signal for a moment while she caught her breath.
"Something big, weird, and just ah!" she finally said with a shy awkward expression.
"Did everything go alright with Remus, did you explain everything? What happened?" Lily asked with an encouraging smile.
Emily nodded her head excitedly while biting her bottom lip as if trying to hold back a big smile. "I really can't believe, or better yet, I wouldn't even think to say this in a million decades, not years, but..." she held the anticipation a bit.
"Emily!" Lily laughed. "But?"
She inhaled a deep breath then laughed it out. "I am one hundred percent sure that I am not single anymore, courtesy of a Mr. Sirius Black!"
"Really! Emily! I'm really, just, wow!" Lily jumped up from her seat and ran over to Emily and gave her a congratulatory hug. "Sirius Black?" she pulled back with a laugh.
"Strange as it is, I'm completely happy right now." Emily genuinely smiled and gave another excited squee. "And I'm totally crazy about him, I can't even believe I'm saying this, yes, Sirius Black!"
"This is so exciting!" Lily hugged and jumped in place with Emily for a good solid five minutes before she pulled back. Emily just kept at her grinning.
Lily returned the gesture except now with a sadder one. "At least one of us can be happy."
Emily frowned. "Lily? I? Sor-"
"No, don't." Lily continued her sad smile while she held up her hand to interrupt Emily from going on. Lily wasn't exactly sure what to do anymore and had given up all possible hope.
"No, Lily, this isn't fair, none of this is even your fault! I swear when I see him I'm going to hex him!" Emily angrily threw her arms up in frustration.
"Emily, please. . ." she pleaded.
"He deserves it since he's being a complete ass."
Lily laughed a bit at the last statement. "True, but there is nothing left. He hates me now Emily, hates me. And we're not talking about simple tidbits like spiders or something, he hates everything about me now."
"Not if I can help it." Emily mumbled. Lily smiled lightly.
"Fate led us here, so let's ride it as it is."
"Lily, don't be so pessimistic! We can solve this mystery that has mutilated your relationship with James, Sirius and I have even came up with possible scenarios that we've filled Remus with because we all think that something isn't right." she argued.
"I feel no hope Emily, really, and to be honest, I'm tired of trying to prove myself to him that I'm innocent. Our situation makes it seem like we weren't even good friends to start with and now I'm thinking that its better to keep the memory of when we were younger, and that's all."
"Lily, please don't say that."
"Well someone has to say it." Lily looked down for a few moments.
"We're all on your side, even if James is being an ass still, there is some hope."
"Even if there is some hope, its not going to come anytime soon, I just don't think it will, we're almost done with sixth year, then there's summer which will put an even bigger gap between us." Lily bit on her lower lip as if trying to hold in her emotions. She didn't want to be hopeful because she was terrified of the result when all hope was gone. She didn't know what she would do, she would felt she would probably break.
"We'll just have to keep trying, we'll let him see reason, just you wait Lily. I promise you." Emily was firm. She hugged Lily tightly. "I promise, everything will be okay, trust me." she felt Lily's head nod.
The next day was a Hogsmeade weekend again. Emily was going with Sirius and majority of their sixth year class. But Lily wasn't feeling to spirited to go to Hogsmeade, but after a few arguments and Emily forcibly dragging her to town, Lily ended up going after all.
"I feel like a third wheel." Lily crossed her arms as they strolled through the semi-crowded streets of Hogsmeade. Emily and Sirius were holding hands and Lily was on the side sulking.
Emily and Sirius stopped walking, letting Lily walk a little ahead. "No you've got. . ." Emily mumbled as she scanned the streets. She didn't really think this through. She didn't want Lily staying by herself, cooped up in their dormitory so she thought going to Hogsmeade would be a great idea, but now she was having second thoughts and considered how Lily must be feeling, seeing herself and Sirius together, and other couples around them having a good time.
"The imaginary boy called no one." Lily gave her a look.
"Don't be so down Lily." Sirius laughed at her expression and Emily nudged him in his side and he mumbled a quick sorry.
"Lily, I wasn't thinking. . ." Emily bowed her head slightly. "If you want I'll go take you back to school myself." she let go of Sirius' hand and looped her arm through Lily’s. "Sirius you can go find Remus, The Three Broomsticks I think?" Emily suggested with an encouraging smile.
"Okay-" Sirius started but Lily interrupted.
"No Emily, Sirius, its okay, you two have fun. I think the fresh air is good for me. I'll just go to the bookstore and Honeydukes and I'll take myself back, you should go, have fun, please." Lily suggested herself.
"But Lily I feel ba-"
"No Em, just have fun, it really is your guy's first official date." Lily gave a small smile.
Emily turned a small shade of pink and Sirius just smirked while draping his arm over her shoulder. "That is true."
"Don't let me ruin your fun."
"Are you su-" Emily still continued. She felt guilty leaving Lily alone.
"Go Emily." Lily laughed and pushed the two in the direction they were heading earlier. As they walked farther away, Emily kept glancing back at Lily with am apologetic face, but Lily just kept smiling and waving for them to continue on.
Once they were out of sight, Lily sighed sadly, saw another set of couples walking back and headed towards the bookstore.
"Sirius, I feel horrible. I think I should go back." Emily said as they walked into The Three Broomsticks. The waitress ushered them to a nearby booth.
"I understand Emily, but if you do, Lily will just push you back. And you know this too." Sirius pointed out as he placed an order for two butterbeers.
"I guess you're right. . .but still."
"Lily will be fine, I'm sure, from what I've noticed, she's got guts. She can handle a day in Hogsmeade by herself." Sirius assured as the waitress brought their drinks.
Emily looked down at her mug and swirled the honey colored substance in a circle. "Unless a certain Marauder crosses her path. . ."
"Good morning." said the store owner as Lily walked inside of quiet bookstore. He was a very old man, his hair was thinning and had patches of grays, whites, and silvers. He had the roundest glasses she had ever seen balanced on the crook of his pointy nose, yet altogether he had a gentle expression.
"Good morning sir." She replied back with a small smile.
"Is there anything I can help you find, anything in particular you're looking for today?" he continued to stack piles of old dusty books. It made Lily question if he was really old since he could lift so many books.
"Nothing in particular today, I'm just browsing a little, but if I do get stuck I'll be sure to ask." Lily replied kindly to the old book keeper's question as she walked through the many aisles.
"I'll be at the front desk, if I'm not I'll be in the back stocking so just give me a shout and I'll go help you." he smiled gently and continued making an inventory of the pile of books.
The bookstore wasn't too crowded, it had a few students whose faces she recognized, but never really knew so she just smiled curtly when they passed by.
Lily walked slowly as she browsed through the tall dusty shelves. Every once in a while she would see a book that would catch her eye but continued searching until she found one of her favorite books, Nicholas Nickleby. She immediately grabbed for the book, but coincidentally at the same time as another person as their hands collided.
Lily swiftly turned her head and apologized until she saw who the hand belonged to. It was James.
His eyes were wide as he stepped back. He opened his mouth to speak at first but quickly closed it and shoved the book into her hands and turned away, escaping the scene.
Lily stood still, contemplating what had just happened and decided what to do next.
She placed the book back on the shelf and went after him.
"Jamie!" Lily called out desperately while catching up to his speedy form just about to leave the bookstore. He stopped for a half a second then continued his journey out the door where she met up and touched his shoulder. "Jamie I-"
"Don't." he said sharply, shrugging off her hand. He didn't even bother to turn around.
"Please I just-"
"I said don't Lily." he said once more and continued to run away. To run away from her again.
Lily bit the inside of her lip, holding back her emotions and ran back to school.
Emily returned from Hogsmeade with a smile which quickly turned into a frown when she saw Lily's crumpled form on her bed. She didn't need to ask what happened since she knew she guessed right earlier about running into a certain Marauder.
She walked slowly over to Lily's still form and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."
All she heard was a muffled noise which sounded like a thank you and a nod.
Emily knew she really had to get to the bottom of these strange events, and fast. She wasn't sure how long Lily could last before she would break. So she decided she was going to start her investigation soon, with the help of two willing Marauders.
A week passed since the Hogsmeade incident with no progress between James and Lily. James continued his immature game of ignoring Lily while Lily continued her silence and sulking. And the tension was making everyone feel uneasy.
"We have to do something." Emily spoke firmly as she, Sirius, and Remus were seated at the Gryffindor table.
"I know Em, but where would we start? I mean its strange, but I still don't know." Sirius said. "And in all fairness I did witness Lily going a bit off on Jen in the common room. It really was Lily, I'm positive. But the way she acted wasn't so much. And to the point where Lily was going to hit Jen, I don't get it"
"As you can see my dilemma here."
"She could be bi-polar, did you ask." Sirius joked.
"Sirius." Emily gave him a look.
"Okay shutting up."
"I don't know either Emily." Remus added. "We don't have anything to go on, we need a clue, or just a tiny piece of information. Maybe another occurrence? We can corner Lily and talk to her."
"Brilliant!" Emily said loudly, causing fellow Gryffindors to turn their heads in amusement. She blushed a bit and stared at her plate. "Good plan, I mean." she said with a little less volume.
"Okay, but how are we going to know when another occurrence happens though." Remus thought.
"Oh right. That I don't know." Emily scratched her head. "This is hard."
"You got that." Sirius chipped in. "I mean we could stalk her?"
"Actually, that doesn't seem like a bad idea, nice going Sirius?" Remus commented.
"You're valuing my opinion Moony?" Sirius smirked. "I'm touched!"
"Well not precisely stalking her but just observing." he rephrased.
"Yeah, not so touched anymore."
"You'll get over it."
"That's what they all say." Sirius crossed his arms with determination. He shook his head in disappointment to Remus
"Right, so how do you feel now?" Remus asked.
"I'm over it."
Emily just watched with amusement at the two with their ridiculous back and forth comments. "Okay so on with the plan, we observe Lily while at the same time keep an eye out for any clues, got it?"
"Got it." both Marauders replied.
"Operation-" Sirius began to say.
"Yeah, Padfoot, no names." Remus gave him a knowing smile and Sirius rolled his eyes.
"Fine, Operation Boring."
"Boring sounds good." Remus teased Sirius.
"Yeah, like you."
"Testy a bit?'
"Yeah okay, stop." Emily shook her head in disbelief that those two could still bicker about tiny things, even though it was amusing to her. "Tomorrow."
"Tomorrow." the boys replied.
"Emily, can I borrow your hairbrush." Lily asked softly as she stood by the dresser.
"No offense or anything Lily, again?" Emily laughed as she handed the tan brush to her friend.
"Yeah. . . sorry Em." Lily shy said as she brushed her red hair which was growing longer since she first came.
"What happened to yours? Lost it?"
"I think so, I don’t know, I'll find it eventually I know."
"Or you could get a new one, you should have gotten one from when we were in Hogsmeade last weekend-oh yeah never mind." Emily shook her head quickly and turned back to getting ready for classes.
"Yeah. . .maybe the next trip if it doesn't turn up by then." Lily suggested with a tiny smile.
"Okay, but hurry up, I have hair too." Emily laughed it off with a casual smile. Causing Lily to shake her head at her. "Plus we have potions first today, so we got to go. Nothing like a morning start with Professor Slughorn."
"He's not too bad."
"Yeah if you're on his favorite's list which I think you are Lily." She pointed a fake-accusing finger to Lily who just rolled her eyes. "As Sirius once said, you walking brain."
"Hey-funny Em, really funny." she was now grinning, remembering that time when she first came here, where Sirius called her a walking brain because she completely reversed their prank all in a few seconds.
"Yep, that's me." Emily confirmed with a salute. Causing Lily to laugh again. Emily wanted to do anything to lighten Lily's mood as much as possible. "Now hurry up!"
"Okay, okay. Geez, lost you're humor so quickly." she teased as she brushed through her hair and Emily got dressed.
Within a few minutes they were descending the girls stairs into the common room where they met Remus and Sirius.
"Do girls always take too long?" Sirius asked meeting up with Emily and grabbing her hand.
"Do guys always have to be impatient."
"Pretty much." he smiled and she rolled her eyes as the four of them headed to their first period, potions.
"Now go into your groups and get started, this will be your final assignment for the year before finals so you better do well." Professor Slughorn said casually. "Instructions are in your books and ingredients are on the board, go to the cupboard to get them. If you have questions, I advise you ask, this will probably be one of the most difficult potions to make, it will take about a month. Now get to it."
He finished and sat at his desk, fiddling with more papers.
Emily, Remus, Sirius, and Lily were all assigned together as a group and they went to sit next to each other.
"Never heard of the polyjuice potion." Emily said turning her potions book to the correct page.
"Me neither." Lily replied.
"Why are we in such big groups?" Sirius asked. "Its usually single or pair, never four?"
"Beats me Sirius." Remus replied.
Other groups wondered as well and one student raised their hand.
"Professor?" the person asked. Professor Slughorn looked at her and nodded.
"Why do we have groups of four?"
"Well, considering I am short on supplies for this specific potion, I don't know why I have such a short supply, so yes, instead of pairs, groups of four, now hurry up, get going, times running out. You will need every second." he ushered them to continue working.
"I've never heard Professor Slughorn be short on supplies." Emily shook her head.
"First time for everything dear." Sirius said.
"Yep, like you getting supplies."
"Only if you come with me, that'll be a first." Emily rolled her eyes. "Be back, just start heating up the cauldron and take out the tools."
Remus and Lily laughed at Sirius' comebacks as they saw them go to the cupboard.
"Lacewing Flies, yeah don't know what that is." Sirius said as he read off the board from inside one of the potions cupboards.
"Just grab some, its over there in the jar, while I get the leeches and boomslang" Emily said as she gathered the rest of the ingredients on the list.
"Got some." he held the tiny bottle of wings. He turned Emily around. "Now I want some of this too." he grinned and placed a kiss on her mouth.
"Sirius. .." Emily pulled back slightly with an amused face. "We're in a potions cupboard."
"Yep." he said casually and kissed her again.
"During class." she mumbled against his lips. He pulled back
"First time for everything, just like you said."
"Yeah, we need to get going." she laughed and dodged to the side before he placed another kiss.
"I love you too." she kissed him quickly and went to leave the cupboard but Sirius stopped her with a strange comment.
"Why is there a hair brush in here?" Sirius questioned as he held a tan hair brush in his hand.
"Huh?" Emily turned and indeed, he had a brush in his hand.
"Maybe there is a potion where we have to comb the ingredients." Sirius joked.
"Don't be silly, hand it over." Sirius gave Emily the brush and examined the object carefully. "Huh? This is Lily's?"
"Yeah she lost it a while back, and its strange." She looked around the cupboard. "What's it doing in here?"
Just then another student asked a question.
"Professor we need hair?"
"Yes Mr. Trepan, its a transformation potion, you need hair, it could be yours or anyone in your group who you want to turn into." Professor Slughorn said in an obvious tone.
Emily and Sirius looked to each other with questioning eyes. Then looked to Lily and Remus, James and his group of Lisa, Jen, and Margie. For some reason, with Professor Slughorn's comment, made them freeze for a second before they returned to their work.
All Emily knew for sure, and Sirius. This was their first clue, if not the only one they'd need.
After class, Emily and Sirius kept to themselves about the hair brush.
"This has to be it." Emily said excited as they went to Charms.
"Has to be, but the polyjuice potion, who would be smart enough, or even willing enough to go through that process. Didn't Slughorn say a month? I don't have that much patience for making a potion, yet alone school work."
Emily gave him a funny look. "Of course, school work, and the library right?"
"Shh, scary place!" Sirius gave a fake shudder.
"You're still an idiot sometimes."
"And that's why you love me."
"Right." she smiled.
"Right oh right." and he kissed her, but she pulled away.
"We have a good idea, we should fill Remus in. We just need to find the culprit, but I have a good guess who, but I can't be too positive."
"Who?" he asked.
"Not now, but I have a good idea. I just need you and Remus to go talk to James now, he needs to speak to Lily immediately, its necessary. I'm developing a strategy." Emily said quickly as they entered the already full Charms classroom.
"Okay, but he'll be a stubborn ass. Always have, and heck always will." he scratched the side of his head.
"Alright, alright. Later in the dormitory after classes."
"Good, we're so close to solving this!" Emily smiled as they took their seats and listened to Professor Flitwick lecture.
"James you have to be reasonable, just speak to Lily, what harm could it do." Sirius tried reasoning with his stubborn friend.
Sirius and Remus confronted James after class in their dormitory, as promised, but James wasn't seeing reason.
"I've been reasonable remember? I've given her too many chances to try to convince me that she's the Lia--Lily that I've known, but she hasn't done anything but make everything worse." He crossed her arms and sat on his bed.
"Well I'm sorry mate but I think you've screwed up your view. If you were really friends with her, if you really knew her you would see that she is innocent. Even a person like me, who hasn't known her long enough to judge, can tell that she is innocent. She's not the type of person to do such things, she's too kind for that." Remus spoke clearly enough that it made James feel uncertain if his decision to completely shun Lily was the right choice. He debated with himself whether to consider speaking to her, just one last time, but he remained silent.
Remus and Sirius sighed and were about to leave when James spoke quietly.
"I'll try. . ."
"What?" they both said and looked to each other with wonder at their friends sudden realization.
"I said. . .I'll try. . ." James said again. "But I promise I won't guarantee anything, but I'll. ..try." he said gently staring at the red carpeted floor in their dormitory.
"Yes! I knew you would be reasonable! Bloody good job mate!" Sirius jumped and gave Remus, who was also smiling, a high-five.
"Can you guys go for a bit, I just need to think of what I'm going to say." James asked his two friends who were still happy from his response.
"Of course, good luck Prongs!" Sirius said.
"Good luck James, you can fix this, I know you can." Remus smiled.
And with those last two statements, they both left to leave James to think.
"James and Lily, wooh!" Sirius said with triumph as him and Remus walked towards the portrait hole. "Success! He will speak to her!"
"Okay, calm down Sirius, let's just get going, I have to get some books from the library." Remus patted him on the shoulder.
"Library? Um, I think I'll pass on that." Sirius said innocently.
"Oh fine, I'll see you at dinner then." he shook his head at his friend's strange opposition for going to the library.
As Sirius and Remus both left in different directions, neither of them noticed the dark haired Gryffindor girl clenching her fist tightly.
Jennifer walked quietly up the boys staircase and silently cracked the sixth year boys dormitory door open where she saw James lying on his bed staring at the ceiling and fiddling with a white band hanging from his neck. Jennifer pondered for a moment, she never noticed the band before as she continued to stare at him.
He was quietly speaking to himself. She could hear that he was in debate on whether to talk to Lia or not. Jen guessed that was Lily. She's heard him call her that many times.
James considered their friendship from when they were younger and when he met up with her a few months ago. He said a few other statements that continued to puzzle her, things such as new years, separating, and their rings.
It clicked in Jennifer's head when he said rings as he continued to fiddle with the white band. After a few more muttered comments and curses, she was able to piece together that they both have a ring, given to each other when they were younger.
James tossed the ring onto another bed and sighed loudly. "Jamie, Jamie, Jamie, what has gotten into you?"
And with those last remaining thoughts, Jennifer devised another plan in which to permanently settle things, so that James or Lily would never want to talk to each other. As she outlined what she was going to do, she waited for James to fall asleep so she could put her new plan in motion. . .
Lily laid gently on her plush crimson four poster bed, staring at the ceiling.
"Lily?" a voice asked.
She didn't have to turn to know who the voice belonged to.
"Hi Em." she said quietly.
"How are you feeling?" She felt Emily sit on the side of the bed.
"Pretty okay and pretty bad." Lily motioned with her hands, a thumbs up and down and sighed loudly.
"Don't worry about it, I have a plan remember?" Emily said with a smile. Lily glanced at her and smiled too.
"I know, but since Hogsmeade, I've just felt even worse. I don't know if I'll ever shake this feeling. Its so sad."
"You will, you're strong, I know you are. So hang in there. You've got me also."
"Thanks Em. If I hadn't met you, I think I wouldn't have made it past January."
"That's what I'm here for!" they both laughed. Emily stood up. "Now Sirius wants to meet me downstairs, we're going to get some snacks from the kitchens, would you like anything?"
Lily lifted her a head a little. "Um, chocolate frogs please, I never got to re-stock since Hogsmeade because of yeah, you know never mind. But chocolate frogs would be great!"
"No problem, be back in maybe fifteen minutes, twenty? Maybe, unless Sirius is being an idiot then maybe an hour." She laughed and Lily smiled and laid back down.
"Thanks Em, its alright you can take your time, I'll still be here."
"Okay, be back soon!" And she left the dormitory down towards the common room where Sirius was waiting.
Lily gave another sigh as she kept replaying this whole year in her head. She wasn't expecting anything like this to happen. She wasn't expecting to meet Jamie again, she wasn't expecting to fall into this web of drama, and she wasn't expecting to fall in love with him within those short moments when they would talk or do things together. She took her pillow and placed it over her head and screamed into it in frustration. When she finally stopped, she heard a light tapping noise coming from the window.
She rose up from the bed and saw that it was a pure white snowy owl pecking on the window, she could see a tiny package tied around its leg as it flew in place, waiting for her to open the glass window. Lily hurried over and opened it, letting the owl swoop in, hoot a while and drop its burden in her hands and flew out the window.
Lily looked at the tiny package in her hands and walked over to stand near one of the posts near her bed. It was a tiny square box, wrapped in emerald green paper and tied with a gold ribbon. She immediately knew who it was from when she read the name on the letter addressed to her.
It said in a slanted cursive. Lily nervously flipped the letter and broke the ruby red wax seal. She took the piece of parchment out and read on.
You've left me no choice. What we've come to know when we were younger, our friendship was something to be cherished, but now I can see that time changes people, and that you've changed a lot.
Lily read in confusion, heartache and sadness.
I just don't see as the same person I once knew and I wish to forget those memories since they are too painful for me to remember. I'm sorry.
Lily tossed the letter to the side and laid herself against the post to keep her steady. She felt hurt that he felt that way about her now, that he thought that she's become a whole different person from what he once knew, and it really hurt her.
She remembered the tiny package in her hand and ripped the ribbon and wrapping paper and lifted the box open. When she looked inside, she inhaled a deep breath and closed her eyes, letting tears fall freely down her face. She immediately covered her mouth with her hand and let out a few sobs as she lifted the tiny white band with her right hand, into her palm and stared at it.
In cursive writing was 'My One and Only' around the outside of the pure white band and she let more tears fall. It was the band that she had given James all those years ago, as a piece to remember her, to always have a piece of her with him, and he had given it back.
She sunk to the floor, clutching the ring in her hand, and continued to cry for a few more minutes until the door opened, revealing Emily with a handful of tiny packages.
"Well more like ten minutes since Sirius was cooperating for the first time ever-" She started, but stopped when she saw the state of which Lily was. Sobbing on the floor. Emily dropped all of what she was carrying and ran over to her friend.
"Lily! What happened! Lily!" Emily said, she was panicked at her friends state.
Lily didn't respond yet.
"Lily! Please, what happened?? I'll go get Sirius to help, oh wait, he can't get up, shit, okay, Lily hold on." Emily stumbled over her words as she went to get up but Lily pulled on Emily's arm with a pained expression that made Emily hurt as well. "Lily?"
Lily didn't say anything but opened her clenched fist, revealing a white band that was already leaving an imprint in her palm from holding it tightly. Emily immediately knew.
"Lily, I-I." she started but Lily interrupted.
"I'm done." Lily spoke in a weak voice that cracked. She shakily stood up, with the help from Emily and the post, she was able to stand properly.
"You're done? What do you mean you're done?" Emily asked, not wanting to know what she had meant.
"I'm done." she said again, some of her voice was coming back. "I'm going back home."
Emily stared in horror. "Lily you can't leave! Please! I'm begging you!" she started to tear up.
"I can't take it anymore Emily, I'm going back home, to Antiquitas where I belong, that's where I was meant to go, I wasn't meant to come back to London."
"Lily you can't do this to me!" Emily cried as she hugged her tightly. "I've finally found a best friend, a real best friend and you're leaving me! Please don't."
"I'm sorry Emily, you know we'll always be best friends, but I just can't stay here any longer, I can't stay here sulking, being miserable all the time over Ja- over him okay. Please understand what I'm going through." Lily explained quietly.
"But, it won't be the same without you here?" Emily said quietly too after her sobs had subsided.
"I know it will be a little different, but since I got here I've been causing trouble for a lot of people and its better this way, I'll still talk to you, visit you when I can, maybe you can visit me." she laughed awkwardly. "I just want you to understand I have to do this now. I really have to."
Emily pulled away. Her eyes were red from crying. "Is there anyway to change your mind?"
"Turn back time." She laughed. Emily too.
"I'll miss you so much!" Emily said finally, admitting defeat.
"I'll miss you too Em." Lily replied. "But please don't tell anyone."
"Huh? No even-"
"Especially him." Lily cut in quickly.
"Okay, how about Sirius or Remus?"
Lily sighed. "I suppose you can, but only if they promise to not say anything. You can just tell them I'm leaving but don't tell them why, you can say that I have some urgent business to attend to back home or something. . ."
"Lie. . ." Emily questioned, she was skeptical.
"Please. . ."
"Okay fine then Lily." Emily sighed. They hugged again in sadness. "Stupid James" she muttered which Lily shook her head slightly.
After a few more moments, they both pulled away. Lily picked up the discarded box on the floor, crumpled up the note. She held the ring that James had sent her, stared at it for a second and placed it back in the box. Then she looked to her own hand. Her hand which held a similar band, except only in gold.
Lily read the tiny cursive. 'My Sweetheart'. She bit her lip with uncertainty, but closed her eyes and pulled the ring off her thumb with a shaky hand and placed it in the box as well.
Emily watched Lily sadly.
Lily closed the box and handed it over to Emily with a tired expression.
"No more." was all she said as she laid back on her bed, staring blankly at the dotted white ceiling.
The next day, James finally found the exact words he was going to say to Lily. He walked out of his dormitory to where Remus and Sirius were sitting on the couch.
"Do you know where I might find Lily." he asked.
They glanced at each other quickly as in a secret nod and shook there head in yes.
"She's with Emily near the lake." Sirius said.
"They just left twenty minutes ago." Remus added.
"Okay thanks, I'll be back soon."
"That's for sure." Sirius muttered and Remus kicked him. But James didn't take notice as he was exiting the portrait hole.
James briskly walked down the stone steps towards the old birch tree near the still black lake where Lily and Emily were seated, talking quietly amongst themselves. Both of them turned when they heard footsteps drawing nearer.
James stopped slightly and continued his journey towards them, but slower. Once he reached the two girls he stopped.
"Um, hi Emily, um Lily." he said with uncertainty.
"Hi James." Emily said plain and sharp, Lily hadn't said a word or even glanced at him. She continued to stare at the tiny path of dirt near the foot of the tree.
"Uh, hi, yeah. . .can I talk to. .uh. . ." James stuttered again, clenching his fist, trying to control himself from getting angry. Why was this so hard? he thought to himself.
Emily knew who he was referring too already but shrugged and waved a lazy welcoming hand towards Lily who hadn't moved a bit. James noticed she had a hard expression on her face.
"Li-" he started but was startled when she quickly glanced at him with a sharp expression which caused him to shut-up. Her look sent shivers down his spine for some reason. She looked angry but at the same time confused and it made him wonder. He began to speak again.
But he couldn't get a word in, yet alone her name as she stood up quickly, mumbled a quick goodbye to Emily and about meeting her later in the dormitory and quickened her pace towards the castle. James stared at Emily who had a look of disappointment with a mix of anger in her expression and she shrugged again causing him to roll his eyes and turn to follow Lily.
"Lily!" he called out but she continued her journey up towards the castle. He was faster and grabbed a hold of her arm and turned her to face him.
"What!" she yelled and freed her arm from his grasp. James took a uneasy step back, he has never seen Lily look so angry, so pissed off. "I'm leaving you alone remember? So why don't you do the same for me, and leave me the hell alone!"
She started to turn but James yelled back. "I came to talk to you because I wanted to give you a chance to explain, explain things, everything!"
He heard her curse and turn around to face him again. "Doesn't it kind of seem pointless now? There isn't a point! What difference would it make?"
"I came here because I wanted to try to fix things, but it seems-"
"Yeah I got it last night." she said bitterly. "I've changed right? Of course, the problem is me? Its always me? Hell, have you ever considered that it could be you!" she questioned as tears fell from her face.
"What are you talking about?" he asked shakily.
"You know what, you've got a lot of nerve saying that, never mind, I don't want to talk to you right now, just leave me alone like I am doing to you." Lily yelled and threw her hands in the air. "Go to talk to Jennifer or something, I'm sure she'll just adore your company."
"Don-" he started but Lily was already running fast up into the castle before he could say a word. "Shit!" He mumbled a curse as he felt another presence next to him.
"I just wanted to talk to her." he said, clenching his fist and staring at the ground.
"Obviously she doesn't want to talk to you." she replied.
"You're not so comforting you know?" he said glancing at her.
"Well I wasn't trying to be." she said curtly and followed Lily's steps to the castle, leaving a frustrated James to ponder over what had just happened.
"One last time Lisa." Jennifer said firmly to Lisa who crossed her arms reluctantly.
"Jen, really? I mean haven't you noticed that you've done enough damage. Its gloomy enough as it is." Margie tried to convince Jennifer who ignored her as she continued to talk to Lisa.
"We're not done yet, we just have to finalize everything, one last run."
"Can't Margie do it? Or even Amanda? I mean she made the potion and stuff-" Lisa began but Jennifer cut her off.
"No, Amanda has done her part, and we still have a little left for one last time. And Margie has to be with me remember?"
"I quit." Margie held her hands up in defeat. "I'm not taking any part in this anymore."
"Margie?" Jennifer gave her a venomous look. "You're not quitting."
"I just did Jen. I'm sorry but this is too much. With sending the ring over was too extreme and now this. I think what we did was wrong, Don't you have any guilt at all?" she questioned. Jennifer and Lisa just stared.
"I mean, they're just friends. Haven't you any guilt in destroying that? How would you feel?"
Jen bit a tiny part of her lip and turned to Lisa, ignoring whatever Margie was going to say next. "One last run Lisa." she said, not as steady as she was before.
Margie shook her head and left the room. Friendship was very important to her. She never argued with Jennifer, and what seemed like a little plan, had blown out of proportion for her. She felt guilty as she walked the semi-deserted hallways thinking if someone was going to do that to her. Maybe if someone was going to try and tear her friendships apart, how she would feel.
And with those remaining thoughts, Margie knew exactly what she had to do and ran towards Gryffindor Tower.
She walked swiftly across the common room to her old dormitory and barged in. She met a startled Emily.
"What are you doing here?" Emily asked confused. "I thought you guys deserted this room months ago."
Margie caught her breath. Looking at Emily made her feel sad. It was after Sirius' girlfriend now, and she was just an ex. She closed her eyes and wanted to feel bitter, but decided against it.
"I know, but I need to tell you something very important." she said honestly and Emily wasn't sure why she nodded in encouragement for her to continue but she did and Margie told her everything that has happened those past few months.
And Emily listened intently, now that it was confirmed that really what happened, Emily knew what to do, what to wait for, and what to expect. She was going finally finish all of this and maybe finally get things back in order.
Emily then did something that she thought she'd never do or say. She stood up and hugged Margie who was confused but hugged her back.
"Thank you Margie."
"Uh, you're welcome, Emily?" she said then smiled and they both pulled away.
"It is the right thing to do, I know it just is." she said determined, gave a goodbye nod to Emily and left the room where Emily devised her strategy. She was ready.
"I need to finalize some of my transfer papers Emily, so I'll be back maybe in an hour or two. I have to sign a few more papers." Lily sighed.
"Okay then, don't stay too late, I'll wait up for you." Emily smiled gently.
"And if you don't come back within the next two hours I'll expect the worse and go track you down myself." Sirius laughed from the couch where Emily and him were sitting comfortably.
Lily laughed lightly. "Of course Sirius, I'll try to come back on time."
"Good to know you'll listen to your elders."
"Okay bye you two." Lily waved and then exited the common room.
"Bye." Emily and Sirius said together.
After a few seconds of quiet relaxation, both Sirius and Emily heard footsteps from the top of the girls staircase.
"Oh this is rich." Emily mumbles with a laugh as she saw Lily descend from the stairs after she just left to go talk with the Headmaster.
"Uh, hi Emily." Lily says quietly looking past her and Sirius, who was in shock.
"Oh hi Lily." Emily says all too sarcastically. "That was awfully fast, and I'm completely amazed at your skills. How can you visit the Headmaster, fill out forms, walk back all the way here in less than ten seconds and get past us without being noticed? I'm completely baffled." She grinned broadly while Sirius regained some composure and chuckled at her sarcasm.
'Lily' looked dumbfounded as she stuttered for a lame excuse. "I, uh used my time turner, since why waste precious time for such simple things, every moment counts you know."
"Oh wow, a time turner, I didn't know you had one?" Emily continued her fun with sarcasm as she questioned 'Lily'. "Is that the same time turner you bought along with those nargles you kept hidden in the closet."
'Lily' Was now wide-eyed and at a loss for words. Emily triumphantly held her chin high.
"Yeah, cut the shit Lisa, I know its you."
"I don't know what you're talking about." the imposter Lily said. "I am Lily, there is only one of me."
At that moment, Remus walked in with James being dragged and an annoyed Jen yelling at Remus for dragging James off suddenly. Jen was frustrated that Remus was disturbing the plan she had set up, but the three stopped at the site of Emily and Sirius who were giving Lily questioning looks.
"That was clearly unnecessary Moony, and I really don't want to talk right now, since she didn't want to talk." James crossed his arms and didn't bother looking towards Lily.
"Better late than never Remus, but thank you. James why don't you be a good Marauder, shut-up and listen, or better yet watch the show, its bound to reveal some dirty little secrets." Emily pointed out and glanced quickly to Jen. James just stared at the ground.
Jen suddenly felt nervous as she looked at 'Lily' and she returned the gesture with the same feeling. "James, let's just get out of here, I don't want to be in the same room with her." She pleaded to James which he was happy to obliged if Remus and Sirius hadn't glared at him to not move. He obediently obeyed their glares.
Emily then continued her interrogation.
"So 'Lily', what is your favorite color?"
"Green of course, can I go? I need to, uh read something?"
"Good to know. Now in the beginning of the year I told you a very specific thing. That I had a major crush on one of the Marauders. Which one?" Emily smiled evilly and Sirius looked at bit miffed, but shrugged it off.
"You're boyfriend Sirius Black of course Emily, can I like go?" the imposter Lily rolled her eyes impatiently, trying to get away as fast as possible to avoid any scenes that would ruin everything.
"James, let's go, please, I mean we had some plans remember?' Jen said really impatient, now tugging on his arms, but Remus kept a firm hand on his shoulder preventing him from standing.
"Really now Lily." Emily smiled calmly. "I thought I knew you better. I believe I told you it was Remus, not Sirius."
'Lily's eyes suddenly became huge as she blurted out. "What!? But he was my boyf-" she suddenly covered her mouth in horror. "Shit." she muttered and looked to Jen who had her mouth hanging open and her eyes as big as quarters.
"Why, hello Lisa." Emily continued her gleeful triumph.
"Lisa!" Jen hissed as she looked around with guilt and saw a confused and shocked James. The portrait hole then creaked opened, but no one took notice.
"Jen, sorry, I, you know." Lisa still looking like Lily stumbled over her words.
"God Damnit Lisa, you're so stupid!!"
"Lisa?" James quietly said, taking in the scene before him and looked over to Jennifer. "Jen?"
Jennifer quickly ran up to James. "Jay, its not what you think at all." she tried consoling, placing her hands on his shoulders but he shrugged them off and took a step back.
James stared at Jen with a unbelievable expression. He felt betrayed. Lisa decided to flee the scene and left the common room.
"How could you?" he asked quietly, giving Jen a look, making it even harder for her to answer.
"I just felt that. . ."
"Felt what? How could you do this to me, to her?" James blinked back a few tears.
"I just-" she started but Emily interrupted her.
"And the ring, it was you right, it was you all along." Emiy added while shaking her head in disgust.
"Ring?" James questioned Lily. He then felt around his neck and the chain with Lily's ring was gone. He gave a sharp look to Jennifer with so much disbelief. "You didn't?" He then realized what Lily had meant about something he had said the other night. Jennifer must have sent the ring to Lily with a message. It all made sense.
"I-I, Jay, I-sor-" she started to cry as he cut her off.
"You used me, and her, and. . .my ring! Look what you've done!"
"Jay I just was scared that you were going to leave me okay!" she yelled back, tears were falling freely down her cheeks. "I've dated other guys before in the past, but you're the only one that I actually cared about and I didn't want to lose you, to her."
James continued to stare at her as well as Emily, Sirius, and Remus.
"Ever since she came here, she was stealing you away from me. She had no right to!" Jen yelled.
"No Jen, YOU had not right. Jen I wasn't going to leave you when she came! I chose to be with you, not her!" he reasoned, getting angry.
Jennifer was quiet.
"But what you did. . .what you've done. . ." he said slowly. "I don't know if what I did was right, because now I don't think I can trust you, or let alone be with you."
"Jen I don't think I can. You certainly achieved your goal in destroying whatever relationship I had with her, our friendship." James said quietly and laughed bitterly. "And maybe any relationship I could have had with her now."
"Of course." she said bitterly. Jennifer realized now the consequences of her actions and heard her conversation with Margie earlier in her head. Her jealousy and plan consumed her time, and pushed James farther from her rather than closer. A fresh trail of tears slid down her cheek as she shakily sat on the arm of the couch as the portrait hole creaked. After a few seconds she got up again and stood in front of James again. "I don't deserve you now. . .and I'm sorry, go find her and I'll leave you alone."
And with that statement Jen ran up the stairs before he could comment. And at the top of the stairs Jen met up with Margie at the top of the stairs and she gave her a solemn expression. Then they both hugged, and Emily gave Margie a small smile which she returned and they both disappeared upstairs.
It was a few more moments that James realized he needed to speak with Lily, to straighten everything out.
"Emily." James suddenly looked straight at her. "Where's Lily, I need to talk to her now."
Emily sighed sadly and crossed her arms. "Leaving."
"Leaving? What do mean she's leaving?" James asked puzzled at her response.
"Leaving." She stated the obvious. "As in transferring the hell out of here. That kind of leaving. Courtesy of well, her." She pointed bitterly towards the stairs where Jen had just ran up.
"Shit." James cursed.
"You might be able to catch her, she was heading towards the Headmaster's office about fifteen minutes ago." Emily pointed to the door. "But you better have a damn good apology to bring her back."
"I will. . .I" James stuttered from the rush he was feeling.
"Oh and you might want these." Emily pulled out of her robe pocket, two bands of gold and white and placed it in the palm of his hand.
James stared at the two rings and sighed.
"I suggest you run, you're running out of time." Emily still motioned towards the portrait hole. He nodded.
And with that James rushed out of the common room in search of the girl he wasn't about to lose again.
Lily continued her slow walk towards the Headmaster's office. She swung her arms lightly at her sides and before she turned to see who the fast runner was she was engulfed in a tight embrace. "Lia. . ." the runner said softly, almost a whisper to her right ear.
Just as she turned to see who the fast runner was she was engulfed in a tight embrace. "Lia. . ." the runner said softly, almost a whisper to her right ear.
It was James.
He continued to hug her tightly with Lily's arms stiff at her sides.
"Lia. . . Please don't go." he continued to say softly as he hugged her tightly. "Please, I was wrong."
"Please Lia, don't leave, I've made a mistake. I'm apologizing now. I was the wrong one, and you have every right to be angry at me, but please don't leave." He held onto her.
"James. . .I-" Lily tried speaking, but James cut her off again.
"I can't lose you again." he sort of yelled and held tighter. "I just can't."
"James!" Lily yelled and James pulled away but keeping his arms wrapped around her as if to prevent her from escaping.
"Lia, don't go."
"James! I'm not going anywhere!" Lily stated with a bit of an annoyed expression but smiled slightly as he saw James face grow with confusion as if he was still processing what she had just said to him.
She looked down a bit. "I'm not going anywhere, I'm not leaving Hogwarts."
"Why?" he questioned. Lily looked taken back.
"Why? Do you want me to leave because I ca-" she started to pull out of his arms but he embraced her tightly, lifting her slightly from the ground.
"No, no I don't want you to ever leave." his voice softened as he placed her back on the ground. "But I just wanted to know what changed your mind?" He traced his fingers across her cheek. There faces were both dangerously close but neither of them seemed to mind.
"I overheard everything that happened in the common room." She said quietly. He looked shocked for a moment, then, slightly embarrassed.
"You did?" he asked with a bit of shyness in his voice.
Lily placed a hand on his cheek. "I was stupid to believe that you were the one to have sent the ring back since you tried talking to me the other day. It didn't reallky make sense to me, but I just ignored it because I was upset. I'm sorry."
"Speaking of which." He muttered to himself as he dug into his robes, he pulled out a tiny gold band with the words 'My Sweetheart" written around the outside in small cursive, a band that was similar to the white band he was wearing on his finger that read 'My One and Only'.
James grabbed her hand gently, slipping the tiny gold band around her finger and held it tightly. "I was the stupid one to not believe you the first time you said it wasn't you doing all of those things to Jen. I'm sorry."
Lily laughed lightly as she stared at the band around her finger. She amused herself with the thought of making sure to indulge Emily with many thanks and presents.
She looked up at James. "We're both sorry I guess."
James smiled at that. "But I could never forgive myself for what I've done to you the past few months. I was a horrible person, a horrible friend and should have at least listened to what you had to say from the start."
"Yeah you were." Lily joked and he laughed.
"Well, you're listening now, so don't beat yourself up about it." She smiled.
"I'll try not too." he returned the gesture.
"Cause then I'll beat you up for thinking about beating yourself up for it Jamie." She gave a tiny embarrassed smirk.
"Oh, I'd like to see you try Lia." he laughed, challenging her, just like old times.
"Another bet then?" she asked.
"Looks like there's going to be one." He touched her cheek gently. "Winner can do what they want."
"Loser has to oblige, no exceptions."
"Deal?" he asked, slowly inching his face closer.
"If we must, then yes." She smiled and closed the remaining inch between them with a tender kiss. No more holding back, no more problems or drama, no more awkwardness or shyness. Just happiness, at least until. . .
"Ahem." someone coughed and they both flew apart, growing redder by the second as they stared at the person who interrupted their scene.
"Headmaster." Lily breathed, staring at the floor, her cheeks were burning. "I-"
"So I'm guessing you're not going to need those transfer papers after all Miss Evans?" he said with a twinkle in his blue eyes.
"Uh, right no, change of plans, and yeah. . .we'll be going now Headmaster, have a good night." she muttered quickly and grabbed James hand. He was biting back a smirk and a laugh as she dragged him off towards the Gryffindor Common room.
"Shut-up Jamie." she blushed as she continued to drag him.
"Right Lia, right." then he busted out laughing, causing her to lightly punch him in the ribs as they got to the common room.
"And I thought I was going to send a search team to find you little miss, what do you have to say for your self." Sirius stood up and pretended to be well, serious.
"Oh, right." Lily let go of James hand. "Two hours."
"Oh stop Sirius." Emily nudged him and gave Lily a big grin.
"But what do you have to say for yourself." She said playfully, crossing her arms.
Lily smiled and hugged Emily. "I owe you big time!"
"I hear presents." Emily joked.
"And that's what I'm here for remember?" they pulled away. "And that's what best friends do. We will always be there for each other no matter what." Emily smiled.
"Always." Lily said as she turned to look at James who was laughing and talking to Sirius and Remus. He grinned back at her and she returned it. It was just a simple gesture, but it was the pure innocence and sweetness between young lovers, young sweethearts who finally got their happily ever after, their chance to be reunited together. Lily was finally, truly, happy. . .
And there you have it!
Alright everyone, I have to say, wow. Yes, WOW! I started this story when I was twelve, and now I'm seventeen, almost eighteen. My first ever completed story! And I want to thank you reviewers, all of you! I really would have given up on this story a long time ago if it wasn't for you guys, for your support, it means a lot to me! To all the faithful reviewers, and to the new ones. Thank you all!
I hope you liked the ending, again reviewers are very nice to receive. Voice your thoughts people! I'd love to hear what you guys think of the completion, or just the ending in general.
Again thank you all! I'm really overwhelmed and a little sad that its all over now.
But some heads up. Yeah I think I said in one of my very earlier author's notes that I would make an alternate ending which is basically just an extension of the story as well. I might start it, but I want to focus on my other stories first. At least get good chunks out of 'Whoever you are', 'Alexis', and 'A Tale of elemental rivalry which I will be rewriting. and I might just rewrite the first half of this story as you can tell, I was twelve when I started this and yeah, a little girl with no sense of grammar or writing. I'll post a heads up in the summary when its being re-written. But now I have to move on to finish my other stories and maybe even write another one. I've got my writing style back so you might be seeing more of me!
Thanks guys! You totally rock!