Chapter 9 : A Case of Denial
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Chapter image by the exceptional Mistress@TDA
“But Aria, you were there! You saw how he was!” Lily said exasperatedly. She walked in the doorway and shut the door quickly behind her before moving to sit on the edge of her bed so she was facing Aria.
“I have told you over and over again that I’m not keen on him and I will not argue with you about it anymore” stated Aria.
“Aria, come on! Give the guy a chance. Look I know why you think badly of him and to be honest, I never thought he would be different to all the rumours but the things he said were really genuine. He seemed so nice!”
Aria took a deep breath and was just about to retort when Ella slammed open the dormitory door with a somewhat frustrated look upon her face. “Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on? You can’t just come into lunch that quickly and leave again!”
Lily and Aria both looked up at their friend’s face and then looked back at each other. Aria merely shrugged and rolled onto her back gazing up at the canopy in annoyance.
“Well...?” Ella prompted, looking at Lily.
Lily smiled sheepishly. “Well, after potions, Aria was taking a little longer packing up her bag. You had already left with Remus so I stayed behind to wait with her.” She paused and looked down to where she was fiddling with the loose threads on her jumper.
“I’m still waiting.” Ella said impatiently.
Lily sighed. “Okay, okay. So we were heading up to lunch and this little boy came running down the stairs in front of us with a bunch of flowers in his hand-”
“Oh, so that’s where the flowers were from!”
“Would you please just let me finish the story? You said you wanted to hear it didn’t you?” Lily huffed.
A muffled chuckle came from Aria’s bed. Lily narrowed her eyes and turned to look at her friend only to see that her head was now facing down on her pillows. She turned back to look at Ella again.
“Sorry. Continue.” Ella responded.
“So, as I was saying, the boy came rushing down the stairs, stopped in front of us and asked if one of us was Lily Evans. I said it was me, and then he said ‘these are for you’. He gave me the flowers, then turned around and ran back up the stairs again. Conversation followed on who we thought might be the mysterious flower giver. I couldn’t think of anyone out of the ordinary so we kept walking up the stairs.” Lily took a large breath and looked up at Ella who still looked as confused as ever.
“Is that it?” questioned Ella.
“Of course not! So we got upstairs and were about to head into the Great Hall when we hear someone go ‘I see you got my flowers’. It scared the crap out of me! People shouldn’t stand alone in corridors and mutter things at people! Anyway, we turn around and there’s Amos Diggory.”
“Amos Diggory? As in the Hufflepuff guy with the famous blonde hair that we always see the little fourth year girls swoon over?” Ella asked, her eyes wide with amazement.
Another muffled sound came from Aria’s pillows, this time sounding a lot like ‘stupid jerk’. Lily rolled her eyes and concentrated on Ella. “Yeah, that’s him! He walked over to us-”
“Now hold on there,” Aria had now risen from her lying position on the bed to interrupt. “I don’t think you could call it walking. It was more like strutting. The guy obviously had some godforsaken object stuffed up his arse because the way he was walking, it wasn’t natural. He was acting like he owned the corridor, which certainly wasn’t the case because it was the bleeding Entrance Hall!”
“Oh please, I think you’re overreacting. Anyway, he came over to us and he just kind of smiled at me and said that it was nice to meet me.”
Aria scoffed. “Once again, I don’t know what planet you were on because that was not the way I remember things. Did you just block out the seedy, lame and utterly disturbing pick up line he used on you?”
Lily flushed. “I thought it was sweet.”
Aria snorted and turned to Ella. “He said, ‘nice to finally meet you, I’m Amos Diggory and you, Lily Evans, are gorgeous’, and in the middle of it all, he picked up her hand and kissed it. If that doesn’t scream ‘player’, I don’t know what does. Anyway, get to the point Lily, we don’t have all day.”
Lily huffed again and turned even redder. “He asked me out.”
Ella gasped. “He what?”
“He......asked......her......out.” Aria repeated, enunciating every syllable.
“I heard what she said, I just can’t believe it! What did you say?”
“I said yes. Why wouldn’t I?” Lily replied defensively.
“I could think of a couple of reasons why.” Aria muttered darkly.
“Why can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt, Aria? He hasn’t done anything to me yet, so he is going to stay innocent until proven guilty, or so to speak.” Lily declared.
Ella and Aria watched as Lily rose from her bed and without another word, took off into the adjoining bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
“I can’t believe he asked her out.” Ella said quietly, the amazement still traceable in her voice.
Aria lay back down on her bed and closed her eyes, trying to calm herself. “I don’t want to believe it. You agree with me right? You know that no good could come out of this? He is a bleeding arsehole!”
Ella frowned. She was somewhat happy for Lily, but she mostly agreed with Aria. Amos Diggory was bad news. As much as Lily thought he may have changed, it was never the case in relationships, especially in this situation. Amos Diggory wouldn’t even change his ways to benefit himself, let alone others. She sighed inwardly. It wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience.
“I agree with you, and as much as I hate it, I think we should just support her decision. She hasn’t been able to fancy anyone for so long because of James’ meddling. I think now that he has backed off a little, she might be able to get some time in with some other guy and then I hope she will eventually see that James is the one that will treat her best. Until then, I think we just need to be happy for her and if going out with Amos makes her happy, that is what we are going to do.”
Aria grunted and mumbled something under her breath before giving a reluctant ‘fine’.
“Do the boys know yet?” Ella questioned.
“No, and it won’t be good when they do. None of them like Amos. Not even Remus and he is the most civil out of all of them. I suppose I should go tell them now before they find out at dinner and all hell breaks loose.” Aria made her way over to the door.
Ella nodded. “Make sure James doesn’t do anything irrational... or Sirius for that matter. This doesn’t need to be any worse than it already is.”
Aria walked out of their dormitory, down the stairs and headed toward the portrait hole. The boys were usually in James’ room as it was easier to get away with all the planning they did for pranks. Plus, James would never give up the chance to be where Lily would most likely be. She walked quickly through the Head portrait hole and towards James’ door on the right. She didn’t bother knocking. It was going to be an unpleasant experience anyway.
“Hey! What the hell! Oh wait, it’s just Aria. Pull it out again Wormtail.” Sirius said in one big rush. He was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor with Peter. He glanced at her once more, giving her a wink before looking back at the object in Peter’s hands.
Aria looked around. Remus was in an arm chair that was pushed up next to the window. He was staring at something outside, undisturbed by whatever Sirius and Peter were doing. She looked around again and frowned. James was nowhere to be seen. She made her way over to the ledge of the window sill, next to Remus. She figured he would pay more attention to what she was going to saying.
“Hi Remus” Aria smiled.
Remus looked a little startled at someone saying his name. He turned to look at the voice and upon seeing her, he smiled. “Hello Aria. How are you?”
“Well thanks. I come bearing bad news though.”
He frowned. “I don’t ever like to hear those words together in a sentence.”
“Where is James by the way? Does he usually let you guys hang out here without him?”
“He said he had to go for a walk and clear his head about half hour ago. Yeah, he usually doesn’t mind as long as we don’t use his bathroom. He said he didn’t think Lily would like it very much.”
Aria smiled. Oh James, ever the gentleman. If only Lily would see that he is ten times the man Amos Diggory is. Aria looked round again. Sirius was arguing with Peter about some feature on the object between the two of them. It looked uncannily like a muggle communication device that she saw in her muggle studies class in fifth year. A tell-e-fone or something along those lines. She didn’t begin to wonder what they were doing. It’s always better to not ask questions when it comes to the Marauders.
“So what was this bad news you said you had?”
Aria sighed and looked back to Remus’ concerned face. “Lily is going out with Amos Diggory.”
Remus’ eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. He closed his mouth again and then opened it to speak, but promptly closed it again.
“I know, I know. That is similar to my reaction. I was actually there as well. I can’t believe it to be honest. The girl has got to be the brightest witch the school has seen in a decade and yet she isn’t capable of judging character, especially when it comes to guys.” Aria leaned back against the window and shut her eyes.
“When did this happen?” Remus spoke softly a minute later, his voice somewhat resigned.
“Just after potions today. You left with Ella and Lily stayed behind with me. Diggory got some messenger boy to deliver flowers to her and then on the way to the Great Hall, he jumped out of the shadows and turned on his, what some call it, charm. It was the most ridiculous display I have ever seen. I was having trouble suppressing my gags at his horrendous pick up lines.”
“Who was using horrendous pick up lines?” Sirius had now turned his head in their direction. The tell-e-fone now lay forgotten on the floor in front of them.
Aria looked at Remus. “Shall you do the honours, or will I?”
Remus sighed. “I will.”
Sirius looked up expectantly between them, a frown between his eyebrows growing larger as time went on. “Would you just get on with it? You’re making me nervous and Sirius Black doesn’t get nervous.”
Remus rolled his eyes. “Lily is going out with Amos Diggory.”
Sirius shot up off the ground. “WHAT!”
Before Aria had time to explain, the door banged open loudly. They all looked over to the door and saw a confused looking James standing in the doorway. He looked over to Aria. “Did I hear that correctly?”
“Yes, I’m really sorr-”
“No need. I’m going for another walk.” Without waiting for a response, he turned on his heel, pulling the door shut behind him.
Sirius walked over and took a seat next to Aria on the sill while Peter remained in the middle of the room. “Well that went better than expected.”
Aria scoffed. “Sirius, I don’t know how you figure that. You call yourself James’ best friend and you don’t even see that was the worst possible reaction ever.”
“But he didn’t get angry or anything.” Peter said from the floor with a confused look on his face.
“Exactly, Peter, that’s why it’s worse. He doesn’t even look dejected anymore. He just looks... nothing, emotionless.” Remus responded.
Sirius looked between Aria and Remus. “I think it might be something else as well. He got a letter from his family this morning and he didn’t look too happy. He wouldn’t tell me anything about it, though. Said it was fine and walked off.”
Aria looked thoughtful. “Well we can only hope that he doesn’t push us out any further. We can’t support him at all if he is just going to keep pushing us away like that. I might owl my mum to see if she knows any news. She will probably know what the situation is. Our parents are always out doing stuff.”
The boys all nodded in response, each one of them looking just as morose as the next. Aria stood up and gave them all an encouraging pat on the arm. “He’ll be alright. He is a tough kid, that James.”
Lily covered her mouth with her hand and tried to stifle the laugh that was threatening to bubble out. It certainly wasn’t appropriate for the library but she couldn’t care less at this point. She was sitting opposite one of the most attractive guys at Hogwarts. He was looking at her with a boyish smirk. His blonde hair was perfectly styled so that his fringe was flopping slightly into his eyes. Just looking at him gave her little butterflies in her stomach. And what made it worse was that his right arm was extended across the table and was cradling her left hand, his thumb gently stroking her palm and fingers. She smiled at him once more before picking up her quill and looking back down to her essay.
She was not a sentence in before his soft, low voice interrupted her train of thought. “Lily, you’re making it very hard for me to study.”
She looked up at him with a slight frown. “Why is that?”
“Well other than being exceedingly beautiful, you bight your lip when you concentrate and that is unbelievably distracting.”
Lily flushed and looked down. She was in no able condition to respond to that. Her mind was already half mush from their study session. All she could think about was the fact that she was in the library on a sort-of date with Amos Diggory. Life couldn’t get much better than this. She was also trying hard to concentrate on her work but every time his thumb changed position on her hand, she was immediately distracted and felt the butterflies kick in again. After the sixth time it happened, she thought ‘oh well, to hell with the work’.
“I wish you wouldn’t look away when I compliment you. Your blush is delicious.”
Still flushed, Lily looked up and gave a small smile. “Are we still on for this weekend?”
“Of course! I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I’m dying to take you out and show you how a man treats a beautiful woman.”
Lily smiled. “Good. I’m looking forward to it.”
“As much as I hate to go, love, I have to go tutor a little boy in third year. I’ll hopefully come by and see you after dinner though.”
Lily nodded, noticing that her hand suddenly felt cold. He stood up and after swinging his scarf around his neck, he leant across the table.
“I’ll see you soon, gorgeous.” He whispered hoarsely and then gave her a lingering kiss just below her ear, stroking the bottom of her jaw line with his thumb. Then he picked up his bag and left without a backward glance. Lily exhaled loudly after he was well out of the library and put her chin in her hands, smiling widely to herself, recounting the last hour with Amos. He was always so attentive and complimentary, the perfect gentleman. She mentally chastised herself for doubting him so quickly. He was perfect. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t realised sooner.
She sighed and picked up her quill again, deciding to plough through her work so she could go back and tell the girls what happened. She was about to put quill to parchment when a loud thump came from the aisle behind her. Lily turned, expecting to see an over-prepared fifth year already trying to study for their OWLS but it was none other than Sirius Black, standing with his back against the bookshelf and his arms crossed and looking quite irritated. Although when he started walking closer, she felt livid might perhaps be a more fitting word.
Lily rolled her eyes and turned back around to her work, trying to show as little interest as possible. “Black, what are you doing?”
He walked around the side of the table and put both his hands just in front of her work and leaned forward so he was nearly eye level with Lily. “No, Lily, what are you doing?”
“What do you mean? I’m sitting here doing my homework in the library like any other normal student. I don’t think there is anything controversial about that.”
Sirius rolled his eyes impatiently and pulled the chair out so he could sit in front of her. This was going to be a long, drawn out chat. “That’s not what I’m talking about. I didn’t think I was going to have to prompt you this much. Take another guess. You should know the issue here.”
Lily’s eyebrows furrowed. She looked down at her half completed essay trying to work out what the heck he was talking about. Her eyes swooped over the parchment. Her eyes caught a little love heart with an A.D. in the bottom corner. She must have drawn it subconsciously. Her brain suddenly clicked and she looked back up again at Sirius, his frown only deepening. “If this is about Amos, I don’t want to hear it, Black. What you are going to say I could care less about. My opinion is all that matters.”
“And you’re completely sure about that? You have spent enough time with him to know that he is a lovely and kind hearted human being?”
Her gaze flickered from his face to a spot over his right shoulder. “Well, from the time I have spent with him, I can see that he cares about me. I know he has changed.”
Sirius let out a short, sarcastic snort. “Lily, I for one know that you don’t actually know if that’s true. You can have only spent a little less than a week with him and know that he has changed. It takes a lot longer than that.”
“Sirius, why do you even care?” Lily asked, clearly irritated by his response.
Sirius paused to make sure she was looking him in the eye before responding. “Despite what you may believe, Lily, I don’t want to see you get hurt.”
Her face wavered slightly before looking away once again. “I know what I’m doing, Sirius. I can take care of myself.”
“Do you Lily? Do you really know what you are getting yourself into?”
Lily shrugged half-heartedly. “I like him.”
Sirius sighed. “Okay well I think you’re making a mistake.”
“As much as I appreciate your concern Sirius, it’s not up for you to decide. I don’t factor in other people’s opinions when it comes to my own relationships.” Lily retorted quickly, a wave of heated emotion passing through her eyes.
Sirius ignored her last statement and continued. “Have you even thought about who this might be affecting?”
Lily stopped for a moment, confused by what he meant before finally comprehending what he was trying to say. Her eyes flashed with anger and her quill that was still in her right hand was now clenched tightly in her fist. She leaned forward and narrowed her eyes dangerously. “Black, you know I can’t live my life always wondering how my decisions might be affecting Potter. We’re not together and we never have been. You and I both know that he needs to move on. Don’t even try to rebuke me, Black; you know that it’s the truth.”
“Okay, well, you know that when Amos screws you over, don't expect James to be there waiting with bated breath. You may think he is in love with you, Evans, but reality is, he isn't. You can't expext that you can go running into his arms if all fails with Mr Digface. He isn't going to wait around forever. And so he shouldn't. He deserves much better than that. Oh and also, I wasn't just talking about James. It's affecting your friends too.” Sirius paused before getting up to be sure that his words had sunk in. He then stood up and headed towards the exit of the library. He glanced over his shoulder as he was in the doorway and saw Lily frowning deeply, her gaze still on the place where Sirius had been sitting only moments before. Sirius sighed quietly before turning around and heading into the corridor.
Hello all! Thanks so much for all your reviews. I love reading them and I definitely will respond to them all.
So what do you think about this chapter? Do you like Amos?
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