As we made our way out of the castle, I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly his intentions were. We walked down the grand staircase, my eyes flickering from his face to the portraits on the walls, and for the first time I felt that this was a mistake.
My mind flew back, and in one giant montage showed me the past two months. I saw James’s face when I told him I was with his best mate, I saw his bright eyes when I confessed that it was a lie and that I was after him, I saw his swollen lips after we kissed for a full two hours a few nights ago, and then I saw his eyes, so close to tears that it was unnatural.
Sirius opened the door for me and I stepped out after muttering a brief thank you. The chill spring air met my nose and it tickled for a few moments as we continued through the courtyard and across the bridge. I looked out at the Black Lake and saw that it was abnormally calm.
“Right here’s fine,” Sirius said after we’d walked by a rather tall tree. He blew his hair out of his eyes with a deep exhale and then leaned against the trunk of the tree.
“You know?” I asked with my head bowed towards the ground. I kept my eyes on a single blade of grass.
“Yeah,” he answered in a sigh. I nodded and then wondered what this was about.
I sat down on the grass and leaned against the trunk of the tree, waiting for Sirius to continue.
“Do you remember back in the beginning of the year when we pulled that rubbish prank on McGonagall?” He looked at the lake and at the forest, his seemed rather distant. It was as though I could hear his words but he was out on the other side of the water, far away from me and all my problems. “So that all reflective surfaces she looked into would scream at her? Prongs got three weeks of detention for it. It was my idea, but he thought that since he did the magic that he should take the fall. Naturally, McGonagall knew that he couldn’t have thought it up.”
I sat patiently and listened, not so much remembering the memories but listening to Sirius’s.
“Because that’s the difference between James Potter and Sirius Black—although we both do wrong, bad things, he has some kind of conscience. I do too, don’t get me wrong, but it’s different with him. He’s always been the one everyone loves, the charmer. James is the charmer, Remus is the sensitive bookworm, Peter’s the adorable silent type, and Sirius? He’s the player. That’s how it’s been since fourth year. No one bothered to get to know us as anything else.”
I looked down at my hands which were wringing themselves in my lap. There was a strange noise from my right, where the Forbidden Forest was, but I ignored it to continue listening to Sirius.
“And then this little fiery sprite came into James’s life. He bloody well loved you first time you screamed at him. Because you resisted the charm. And then he tried going out of his way to impress you, get to know you, and made a complete arse out of himself. And you continued to hate him, because he was imprinted in your mind as something different—a pompous arrogant little toe rag. Do you see where I’m going with this?”
I looked up, suddenly surprised to hear him speaking directly to me. I blinked, “Not really, no.”
“Me neither. Look, Camilla and I—we’re one in the same. We both scheme and let others take the fall for our foolishness. Because of your ruddy friend, my best mate’s holed up in his dorm in pitch black contemplating whether to be furious or happy,” Sirius sighed, his eyes traveling upward to glance at Gryffindor Tower.
“Sirius, can I tell you something?” I asked quietly.
“Of course, love,” he gave me his trademark grin and I took a deep breath.
“I love James. I love him so much,” I wasn’t even on the verge of crying before, but suddenly I was sobbing. “And it’s all turned to shit!”
“Hey,” he put a hand on the top of my head and began to smooth my hair down. “He loves you too, he’s just overwhelmed.”
“Why aren’t you like the rest of them? I mean, Remus and James all threw a fit, but you kept your cool. Should I be taking advice from Camilla or something on how to tell a guy stuff?” I asked, wiping my eyes.
“I…don’t think I’ve really let it settle yet.” But it came out quickly enough for me to realize that this statement wasn’t true.
“Yeah?” I asked skeptically through a few sniffles.
“Just between you and me?” he looked down at me and locked me into a very intense gaze.
“I can’t get that wench out of my head,” he breathed. He ran a hand through his hair, making it look handsomely misshapen. “I mean she screwed me and my mates over, she’s ruined eight lives, and yet I can’t stop thinking about how she just…got me.”
“Maybe you’re meant to be together?” I asked.
“Please,” he scoffed. “I don’t believe in happy endings.”
“That’s terrible!” I stared up at the bloke as he leaned on the tree a bit more.
“It’s reality. I mean, I thought that my life was going to go in one direction and it went in another—no happy ending. I thought that the girl I loved…liked returned my affection but I was wrong—no happy ending. I thought I was going to be somebody…”
“Sirius, Camilla love-likes you too! I know that she does, you should just go talk to her. And, you are somebody! You’re bloody Sirius Black for crying out loud! Trust me, Sirius, one day every wizard and witch will know your name!” I wiped under my eyes and then stood up, dusting off my pants.
“Backatcha Red,” he opened his arms and I laughed as some more tears came gushing out of my eyes. I fell into a nice, friendly hug and cried a little into his robe.
“Oh,” I sighed as I stumbled away from him. “This day has been so strange.”
“Hang in there, Lily.” Sirius smirked, backing away from me and tilting his head in the direction of the castle behind me. I turned around and saw James.
“James,” I whispered in spite of myself. A small, meek smile broke out across my face and I dared to walk a few steps towards him. James took his hand and ruffled it through his hair. He had a very nervous smile on his face and I couldn’t see his eyes because the glare from the sun was obstructing my vision. He walked to me and I walked to him and we met in the middle.
“Lily,” he began. I relished his voice and closed my eyes very briefly to savor my name on his tongue.
“James, before you begin, I just need you to know that I love you more than I could ever have imagined and that this wasn’t my idea and I’m really, really dreadfully sorry!” I pleaded in one breath.
“Are you finished?” he asked, his face very serious. I took a moment to step away from him and think.
“I love you, wasn’t my idea, sorry—yeah I’m finished,” I said, stepping towards him a tiny bit.
“Good,” he breathed before putting his hand on the crook of my neck and his other hand on my cheek, guiding my face towards his. He smiled just in time for me to see it before our lips met.
As soon as the fire erupted over me, I threw my arms up and wrapped them around his neck. I closed my eyes and tilted my head just a little to the right. I worried for a moment whether I was imagining this, but then I heard James making a few noises to let me know he was enjoying himself. I nibbled on his bottom lip, moving my hands down a bit to pull him closer to me.
“I’ll just leave you two alone then,” Sirius coughed, walked a little too slowly away. Then he seemingly got a change of heart. “Who am I ki—“
James and I broke away from each other and shouted, “Go!”
“Right, I’ve got a girl to go talk to!” Sirius laughed, racing away towards the castle.
James encircled my waist with his arm and then pulled me over to him. I smiled brightly as he leaned forward to give me another kiss.
“What changed your mind?” I asked.
“Elsie and Peter, actually,” he laughed and kissed me again.
“Who-duh-thunk-it” I whispered before leaning back towards him, a teasing smile on my lips.
James and I sat, his arm around my shoulders and my head on his shoulder, staring out at the lake, our backs against the trunk of the tree. The setting sun provided a romantic atmosphere, but somehow the chilly air kept things comfortable.
“Oh!” He pulled away from me abruptly. “I almost forgot!”
James grabbed my hand and kissed it. I stared into his eyes, completely dumbfounded. His gaze traveled to my finger, which made my own eyes look there as well.
“My ring!” I screamed, throwing my arms around him. "I lost this months ago!"
“I’m just sorry I didn’t have the courage to give it back to you sooner,” he kissed the top of my head as I settled back down.
“What other things have you been hiding from me?” I asked, smiling as I fiddled with my ring.
“I’ll tell you everything one day, I promise,” he gazed down at me.
“Pinky-promise?” I asked.
“Yes, of course.” He gave me a kiss that I could feel all the way down in my toes and then we walked hand in hand back to the castle.
Wow! I'm so excited to post this chapter, because that means that the next three chapters will be....the last! Ack! Are you excited? I'm excited. I'm going to have three more chapters and then a special epilogue-ish thingy.
Reviewer Question: Which of the girls' Point of View do you like most?
Write a Review Bragging Rights: Chapter Twenty-five. Lily.