Chapter 8 : An Unexpected Gesture
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“Yep, although I would say it was more like stormed into our dormitory last night. There was definitely a large amount of stamping and huffing involved in the whole situation. I actually can’t remember the last time he has been angry about something to do with Lily. Annoyed or hurt, yes, but angry to the point of wanting to punch someone, never. We literally were sitting there for like ten seconds mouths agape, before becoming coherent again.” Remus confirmed whilst stirring his potion anti-clockwise.
“Wow. Poor James, he must really be taking it to heart this year. I don’t think I realised the full extent of this until now.”
Remus gave a quiet chuckle. “I think James has always taken it to heart, he's just showing it more this year. I can kind of imagine where he is coming from though. He loves her so much. The thought of not being with her for the rest of his life scares him. He would have no hope of starting a relationship after school with all this Death Eater stuff going on, especially since she's a muggleborn. If she were smart, she would hide. Although, knowing Lily, she will do the complete opposite. Anyway, at least she has let up on a few things. She hasn’t hexed him yet this year.”
Ella stifled a laugh by turning her head into her right arm. “That’s true. Good for her. She must be trying to change her attitude towards him.”
Remus sighed. “It’s so stupid that everyone except Lily sees that they would be perfect for each other.”
“I think that Lily is starting to see it though. She is becoming more aware of what he does for her. Even if she hasn’t consciously realised it herself yet, she always has something to say about him.”
Remus nodded. “I just wish James would realise that. He is really beginning to give up all hope.”
“Oh I really do-”
“One guess I know what James is starting to give up hope in?” Sirius interrupted.
Remus and Ella both nodded. Sirius had snuck over after hearing some of what they were talking about from the next table. He looked in the direction of James. He had been paired with Aria this semester. He was frowning down at the small print in his book and absentmindedly sprinkling some ingredient into their potion while Aria had a look of frustration on her face, trying to get his attention. Sirius sighed, and looked back at Remus and Ella, shaking his head slightly.
“Poor Prongs, I just wish there was some way we could reassure him. I mean, yeah we have a bet on the poor fellow, but I really do feel sorry for the boy.”
“We all do Sirius.” Ella corrected.
Remus frowned. “As much as I'm an optimistic person, I’m embarrassed to say that I have a small amount of doubt when it comes to the whole Lily and James saga. 1977/8 better be the year of love.”
Sirius smiled cynically. “I wish it weren’t true but, the odds aren’t looking too good Moony, you know with all this Voldemort on a power trip thing.”
"Still, love has to prevail in the end right?”
“Why does it feel like we are always having this conversation?” Ella inquired, looking between the two boys sitting in front of her.
“Because we are always having this conversation!” Sirius turned away, looking over his shoulder and stared around the room. Everyone was blissfully unaware of the conversation they were having. It was probably a good thing. Mentioning Voldemort never seemed to be good for moral.
“Well I don’t want to anymore. You-Know-Who should get stuffed and James and Lily should get together. I’m over it!” Ella whispered harshly and added the necessary ingredients to the potion. She immediately regretted it as she saw a look of worry and sadness etched onto Remus’ face. She hated making him worry; he already had enough on his plate, with his mother being sick all the time.
Then there was Sirius. Always joking and mucking around. However at the present moment he was sitting uncommonly still and staring at something or perhaps someone on a nearby table. She kept watching his eyes, trying to figure out what they were focused on, but she saw nothing over the many heads in the room.
“Sirius, what are you staring at?” She rose up trying to get a good look.
Sirius quickly swung his head back around to the table and looked between his friends, then lowering his eyes as a wave of red covered his cheeks.
Ella’s eyes widened. She leaned forward and smiled. “Sirius, did you just blush?”
Sirius cheeks seemed to take on an even redder appearance as he tried furiously to distract himself with anything that was in front of him. “No, since when have I ever blushed? It is just really hot in here with all the fires lit for the cauldrons and stuff.”
Remus snorted. “Since when have you ever felt the heat from the cauldrons in this room? It’s always bloody freezing in here. What’s the matter mate, I don’t think I have ever seen you blush!”
“It’s seriously nothing. Can you just drop it now?” Sirius whispered firmly, still keeping his eyes lowered and hunching over even further.
Ella and Remus exchanged looks before nodding at Sirius and returning to their potion. Sirius stood and made his way back over to his table where Lily was waiting impatiently for his return.
“You know James, you are meant to follow the instructions not make it up on your own.” Aria eyed the crocodile toes that James was flicking into the simmering potion.
James ignored her pointed stare and continued with his own version of the potion. “If it works for Snivellus, then it will work for me. I don’t understand why everyone thinks I'm bad at potions!”
“That’s because you are James! If I remember correctly the last three potions Slughorn set, have in some way ended in disaster!”
James looked up with a horrified look upon his face. “Oh that is absolute bollocks! Last lesson I did not stuff anything up and I got us top grades. We would have come first in the class if it wasn’t for Evans' freakish potion abilities. Sometimes I just think Slughorn must be in love with her as well. He adores her.”
“Little bit jealous are we James?” Aria smirked.
“And I'm jealous of what exactly?”
“Jealous because your potions professor and the love of your life have a better relationship than you?”
James’ eyes looked sad momentarily before they went blank, void of emotion. “Yeah, it gets to me a fair bit, but it’s like that with everyone and Evans. They all get along with her far better than I do. I've just learnt to accept it. I’m doing my best to change it though”
Aria felt horrible. She hadn’t expected that he would take it seriously. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to be so insensitive.”
James sighed and looked away from the table. “No, it’s fine. I’d rather not talk about it anymore though. Obsessing over it isn’t going to make it any better.”
Aria nodded and looked down at her potions book again; trying to uncover which part of the potion they were up to.
“Hey, look at that!” James whispered excitedly, pointing across the room.
“At what, I don’t know what you’re pointing at!”
“Sirius is blushing!”
Aria moved her eyes to Remus and Ella’s table where Sirius sat perched on a stool. His back was hunched over, trying to conceal his face. He wasn’t doing a good job though because his face was seen clearly from their position. Aria’s eyes swept over his face and saw that James was telling the truth. His cheeks were plastered with a definite pinkish hue. Ella then smiled brightly, leant forward and whispered something to him. His cheeks turned even redder. Aria felt the colour drop from her face. This was not the normal reaction of Sirius Black. He never felt embarrassed when a girl said something to him. Ella must be the girl he was talking about in the corridor the other day. Ella must be the one that he fancys! She felt her heart beat a little bit faster and her jaw dropped at the scene taking place in front of her.
“You have got to be kidding me! In all the time I have known Sirius Black; I have never ever seen him blush like that. Actually, I don’t think I have seen him blush at all! I just thought he was incapable. Thought he had some medical condition where he was missing whatever it was in his face that could produce blushes. Turns out I was wrong wasn’t I! Finally I can pay him out for the unwanted arrival of blushes. I bet he will understand how I feel now when I’m in a sticky situation with Evans!”
James was grinning from ear to ear. You’d think that a boyish grin like that meant that Christmas had come early, but alas, it was just his best friend embarrassing himself in front of others. He probably couldn’t wait to get back to the secluded space of their dormitory to make him spill his guts about this certain lapse in his usual suave and laidback exterior. Aria kept watching Sirius as he composed himself enough to mutter a response to Remus and Ella before getting up off his stool and walking back over to join a somewhat aggravated and impatient Lily.
Twenty minutes later, as the bell rung, Aria was still caught up in whole scenario. She tried to get her mind off it, but it seemed useless to come up with something more fascinating than seeing Sirius buckle under the pressure. She was about to wander over to him when Lily came over and started tugging on her elbow to get her attention.
“Seriously Aria, can you please listen to me. I was actually thinking of asking Slughorn to let me swap partners with you. Black was totally unresponsive today. I know what you’re thinking, Black is always unresponsive right? But let me tell you, today was much worse than usual.”
Lily paused to look up at Aria but saw that she was still not paying attention. “ARIA!”
“Oh, I’m sorry Lils. I’m just out of it today.”
“Far out! First Black, now you! Who else am I going to have to put up with today?” Lily huffed, and swung her bag further over her shoulder and walked towards the exit of the dungeons.
They exited the room and were about to head up the first set of stairs when a small second year Hufflepuff came rushing down the stairs. He was carrying a large bunch of beautiful flowers in his hands. He abruptly came to a halt in front of Lily and Aria and bent over slightly trying to catch his breath. He then looked up to Aria and then to Lily.
“Are you,” He stopped and put his hand down to his pocket, searching furiously until he pulled out a sheet of paper and held it up to his face, “Lily Evans?”
“Um yes I am.”
“These are for you then.” He quickly handed over the flowers, shoved the piece of paper back in his pocket and without another word, turned around and sprinted up the stairs, out of sight.
Lily stared at the flowers in her hands. There was an assortment of every flower she could imagine. It was ridiculous. Something like that usually seemed tacky, but they surprisingly went well together. Who would even go to that much trouble? One name in particular came to mind, but she just didn’t think that Potter would do something like this out of the blue. He wasn’t one for unexpected gestures. He usually spent weeks planning things, so everything would go perfect. However, when the day would actually arrive, the circumstances were never in his favour. He would always stuff it up somehow. Yes, this was definitely not the work of James Potter.
Aria watched the Hufflepuff boy run up the stairs before turning to Lily. “And who the hell do you think they're from? They definitely aren’t from James. He couldn’t keep a secret like that from me for the whole of double potions. Have you talked to any boys recently? Flirted with some poor soul, that doesn’t know what he is getting himself into?”
Lily stared up at Aria then frowned in concentration, looking to the ceiling. “No, I don’t think so. I mean, I haven’t gone out of my way to talk to anyone. It’s just been a few prefects from younger years, or teachers basically.”
“That is very weird. So you have no ideas? Why would someone just randomly send you flowers? They must be from Hufflepuff, since that little boy was from Hufflepuff.”
Lily shook her head. “None. They’re pretty though! I didn’t even know that it was even a trait of a Hufflepuff... to be mysterious?”
“I’m pretty sure it isn’t. Perhaps they are just too smart for their own good. Friendly bunch those Hufflepuffs though. A lot of yellow, but they are friendly!.”
Aria and Lily climbed the rest of the stairs to the main floor and headed into the corridor leading to the Great Hall for lunch, guessing occasionally on who they thought the mystery flower man might be.
“I just really don’t see who it could be! I mean, it’s not like I’m dating anyone. God forbid I do that with Potter around. I don’t think anyone is keen enough to get themselves hexed-”
“I see you got my flowers.”
Aria and Lily spun around and saw a tall, blonde male standing with his back against the wall a few metres back. His hair was in his eyes and his posture exuded confidence and a slight arrogance. He picked himself up from his position and walked towards Lily with his hands tucked in his pockets and a smirk on his face. He stopped a metre in front of them, nodded to Aria and then turned his eyes on Lily and extended his arm to take her hand in his.
“Nice to finally meet you, I’m Amos Diggory,” he paused to bring her hand to lips and kissed her gently, keeping his eyes on hers, “and you Lily Evans, are gorgeous.”
Hey guys. Bit of a filler chapter.
What do you all think of the new character introduced this chapter?
What are your favourite quotes and predictions for the coming chapters?
Image by the fabulous .bliss @ TDA. It's beautiful!
Also, if you haven't seen them already, I'm posting chapter images.. you'll have to go back through the chapters and have a look! Let me know what you think of them!
Chapter 9 won’t be long, I promise!
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