Chapter 18 : The Secret's Out
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KEY: Pippa (bold), Marley (Italics), Emilie (italic bold), Lily (normal)
“Lily Evans, wake up!”
My eyes flew open as I heard a piercing voice break the silence in the early morning.
“What the bloody hell are you all doing in our dorm?” I heard James’s angry voice echoing from the common room followed by several high pitched giggles and light footsteps fluttering towards my door.
I quickly jumped out of bed and threw on my robe, hurrying to get to my door before Pippa did.
I flung it open, my hair blowing wildly with the breeze that came with the action.
“What are you doing here?” I asked groggily. James was standing in his door, in an old t-shirt and plaid pajama pants. His hair was, if possible, even more untidy than usual. He was without his glasses, and squinting into the bright morning light that was filtering in through the window brightly; however it was still low in the sky. It couldn’t have been later than seven in the morning.
Pippa, Emilie, and Marley barreled towards me, a large brown crate clutched tightly in Emilie’s hands. Pippa’s school trunk was floating casually behind them.
“Put on your shoes! We’re going to the kitchens!” Pippa cried happily, her face beaming with excitement.
“Pip, it’s early. I’ve only had like, four hours of sleep.” I yawned. I saw Potter glance at me questioningly but I ignored him.
“What is going on here?” James asked his voice cracking slightly as he rubbed his eyes sleepily.
“Come on,” Emilie urged, putting the crate down and grabbing my arm, pulling me towards the door. She reached her wand behind us and quickly levitated the crate. It zoomed after us along with the trunk as we stumbled out of the common room leaving James staring after us.
The Clique pulled me down the empty corridors, my bare feet slapping against the cold stones as we walked quickly. The crate and trunk continued to follow closely behind us.
“Can we slow down a little? I’m exhausted,” I panted as we rounded a corner.
“No way,” Pippa laughed lightly as she slowed a little nonetheless. “I woke up early and found the crate in front of my bed and I wanted to get everything to the house elves before everyone else was up. This way, if we’re lucky, people will have the books by tomorrow morning.”
“You are way too obsessed with this whole thing,” I laughed shakily as we rounded another corner and stopped in front of the portrait of a bowl of fruit. Marley lightly tickled the canvas where the pear was painted and after a quiet giggle, the portrait swung open and we hurried inside.
We stopped just inside the portrait hole and felt the painting close behind us. Emilie lowered the crate and trunk with her wand to the floor as we stared at the bustling kitchens. There were house elves weaving through each other, covering every space of the vast kitchen.
Pippa crouched down and pulled one of the scurrying house elves over to us by the arm.
“Please, Miss, Sweetie needs to get these towels to the bathrooms,” the tiny elf squeaked, holding up the stack of white towels she was holding in her thin arms.
“Sweetie, I need you to do me a big favor,” Pippa said kindly, gently lifting the towels from her hands and handing them to me.
“What does Miss need?” the elf asked quickly, her eyes growing even larger than they were before. I swept my eyes over the small elf, taking in her appearance. She was wearing what looked like a seat cushion cover with arm holes. It had a sunflower pattern and a few round brown buttons held loosely on with thread.
“We have these books that need to go to all the students,” Pippa said, opening her trunk a crack and pulling out one of the books. The elf took the book and turned it over in her small hands. “Could you put one on each student’s bed?”
“Sweetie is not sure if she is allowed to do this, Miss,” Sweetie admitted warily. “It might get Sweetie in trouble…”
“You won’t get in trouble, Sweetie,” Pippa soothed her. “Some of your friends could help you, perhaps. I have something for you.”
Pippa pulled the crate forward and nudged it towards Sweetie who eyed it curiously.
“Go ahead and open it, Sweetie,” I suggested, bending down to Pippa’s level.
Sweetie stuck her fingers under the lid and pulled. The lid came off easily revealing twenty bottles of butterbeer inside. Sweetie’s eyes grew even larger as she counted the bottles.
“You brought Sweetie butterbeer?” she asked quietly, running her small fingers over the caps of the bottles. “Sweetie loves butterbeer.”
“Yes,” Pippa smiled. “This is yours if you’ll make sure each student gets a book.”
“Sweetie will do that,” she nodded, not taking her eyes off the rows of bottles.
“Thank you,” Pippa said. “When you’ve finished, could you bring back my trunk? Or I could come get it tomorrow if you prefer.”
“Miss is asking what Sweetie prefers,” Sweetie mused shaking her head, her large ears flopping from side to side. “Sweetie will bring back your trunk.”
“Thank you, Sweetie,” Pippa repeated, backing out of the kitchen. The portrait closed behind us and we walked back down the empty halls towards our dorms.
“That was easier than I thought,” Pippa smirked.
“Uh huh,” I agreed, stifling a yawn. “Now if you don’t mind, I’m going back to bed. I was out until after two getting that butterbeer.”
“Oh, that’s right! I’m so sorry, Lily,” Pippa apologized lightly.
“Did you have fun with Sirius last night?” Emilie giggled as we continued walking.
I blanched slightly with the memories of last night. I hoped Pippa didn’t see that. That was something I definitely would not tell any of the Clique.
“It was fine,” I said lightly, trying to keep my voice sounding casual. “He took me through a tunnel leading to the Honeydukes cellar and from there we went to the Hog’s Head and took the crate. The tunnel was long though, we ended up having a pretty good conversation.”
“What did you talk about?” Pippa asked quickly, her voice burning with curiosity and what I thought might be jealousy.
“Mostly Potter,” I admitted, ducking my head.
“Ooh, what did Sirius say about that?” Emilie questioned me, looping her arm through mine as we walked.
“Nothing really, I was just filling him in,” I said, noticing that Pippa flashed me a confused look. She was probably wondering why I felt like I needed to fill Sirius in on anything. I wondered how she would react if I told her that I considered Sirius as one of my best friends. Or how she’s react if I told her I snogged him…woah, can’t tell her that, remember?
“Come on, Lily, We’re not buying that,” Marley chided, nudging me in the side. “Sirius knows James like we know each other. He must know what’s going on with him.”
I hesitated. Repeating what Sirius had said would force me to believe it even more. I couldn’t afford to get my hopes up about this. And after my conversation with Chris I was even more confused than before. I had no clue what I wanted anymore.
“Sirius said he didn’t think Potter had given up,” I admitted warily, bracing myself for their reaction.
“Of course he hasn’t given up, Lily,” Emilie said, ever the optimist.
I gritted my teeth. I would not let myself get my hopes up. He’s with Holly, he’s with Holly, he’s with—
“Lily, didn’t you want to go back to sleep?” Marley’s voice pulled me from my mantra and I noticed that we were in front of my dorm.
“Oh, yeah,” I mumbled, unhooking my arm from Emilie. “I’ll meet you guys for lunch later.”
I stumbled through the portrait hole, my sleepless night washing over me. My eyelids were starting to close as I walked and I didn’t even notice Potter sitting on the couch in the common room.
“What the hell was that all about?” He demanded, his eyes taking in my exhausted figure.
“Nothing,” I muttered, turning to go to my door.
“Why were you out so late last night? Were you with Sirius that whole time?”
“Yeah, we were snogging in a broom closet the whole time,” I said sarcastically. I winced slightly as I realized how close to the truth that actually was.
I noticed Potter paled slightly, even though he knew I was joking. “Seriously, what were you guys doing?”
“What’s with the twenty questions?” I hissed, turning sluggishly back towards him. I had tried to sound irritated but I was too tired.
“It’s just surprising, that’s all,” Potter said indifferently. “You never stay out late.”
“You don’t know all my habits, Potter,” I said, anger edging its way into my words.
“We’re trying to be friends, Lily, remember?” James reminded me carefully.
I sighed heavily. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I just need to go back to sleep,” I muttered, making my way quickly to my room. I closed the door behind me and leaned back against it.
The butterbeer was given and the house elves would soon be distributing them throughout the school. I couldn’t tell if I was relieved that it was finally out of my hands or nervous because now it was out of my hands. Whatever happens with those books now is completely out of my control. I just hoped the students of Hogwarts were smart enough not to abuse them…
* * * *
“Can you believe this?” Pippa dropped a little black book onto the table next to me. I jumped, startled by her sudden approach.
“Believe what?” I asked, as Pippa, Emilie, and Marley joined me at the Gryffindor table.
“People have already written in the book,” Pippa said excitedly, leaning over and pulling back the front cover for me to see. She flipped the first page where our directions were written to show me the first real page of the book where there were several lines of the same generic script. The confessions were numbered and I saw the Pippa was right. There was already at least a full page.
“Merlin,” I whispered taking the book from her hands to read the confessions. “It’s only breakfast. How can people have responded so quickly?”
“I don’t know, but they did,” Pippa laughed. “I can’t believe this actually worked.”
“At least we won’t run out of gossip now,” Emilie said lightly from her spot across from me. She had her own book out and was reading the first page like I was. I looked down again at the book. Confessions about being in love, hating a best friend, pranks pulled, filled the page. I had to admit that I was surprised people actually seemed to be embracing this confessional.
“This is juicy,” Pippa gushed, taking her book back from me. I guess I’d have to wait until I was back in my room where my book was stuck on a shelf to read any more secrets that appeared.
“Just be careful,” I warned lightly, piling more sausage onto my plate.
“Careful of what,” Pippa scoffed, her eyes lighting up as another secret appeared. “This is beyond brilliant. We should have done this years ago.”
I rolled my eyes and we were joined by the Marauders. Sirius sat next to Pippa, who visibly stiffened at his proximity but continued reading her book.
Remus, who sat next to Emilie, examined her book.
“You got one of those, too?” He asked, pulling a similar book out of his pocket.
“I think everyone did,” Emilie shrugged and Marley bit her lip nervously. I guessed that she was still a bit nervous that we’d get caught.
“You know, it’s kind of a cool idea,” Remus commented, stuffing his book back into his pocket.
“It is, isn’t it?” Pippa said lightly, a small smile playing at her lips.
“Hmm,” Sirius murmured next to her, catching my eye briefly before I looked away.
I glanced around the Great Hall and was surprised to see that many of the students had their books out as well. Some students had their heads bent together reading confessions and laughing. Some flipped through the pages absently, and I couldn’t help but being a little mad at myself for leaving my book in my room. As ridiculous as I thought this idea was, it was also quite hard to resist. Damn Pippa and her brilliant ideas.
I sat in my Defense Against the Dark Arts class, trying my best to pay attention. It was hard to focus. My mind kept drifting to that stupid book. I jumped when Pippa lightly tapped my shoulder and jerked her head to the little black book that I did have with me today.
Girls I have a really serious confession. Please don’t judge me. I accidentally went into the boy’s bathroom today.
Ha! Sure… accident.
I swear it was. I told you not to judge me, Marley…
It’s ok, Pip. I guess we can still be friends.
That’s not the best part though… I overheard some boys talking.
And?!? You know I hate it when you keep us hanging…
And it sounds like a certain Liam Lawson might have a thing for Marley…
What? No way. What did he say?
He said that he’s noticed you in class this morning and he thinks you’re cute.
Oh Merlin. I can die happy now.
I let out a small laugh and looked over my shoulder at Marley who was sitting with Emilie behind me. She had a dreamy, vacant expression on her face. Her eyes were unfocused and she was staring at the ceiling, her lips turned up in a smile. I laughed again to myself and turned back to the front. Now if only love could be that simple for me…
The day passed rather quickly, which was surprising seeing as all day I was dying to get out of class so I could go read my confessional. I made a quick excuse to the Clique about needing to do some homework so I could escape to my room and told them I’d see them at dinner.
Once I was back in the Heads’ dorm, I searched my bookshelves quickly for the book I had kept for myself. I pulled it out from between two large volumes on Potions.
I propped myself up with a pillow on my bed and turned back the cover to read the first secrets for myself. I was oddly anxious. I had half expected people to ignore the “no names” rule but it seemed that for now, they seemed to have abided by it.
1. We’ve been best friends for six years and I’ve never really liked you.
2. Sometimes I catch you looking at me and I wonder if you feel the same way.
3. I slept with your boyfriend. I’m sorry.
Yikes. Now I’m really glad people are following the “no names” rule. This could get messy really quickly if someone started naming. I shuddered just thinking of the chaos that could cause.
4. Sometimes I think it would be easier if you hated me like you used to.
5. You broke your promise.
The secrets continued on and I read them with fascination. I couldn’t help but wondering who all of these secrets belonged to, and whether any of them were about me…
Well, I had to hand it to Pippa. This would definitely give us all more to gossip about.
A/N: Yay! the books are out!!!! finally! took me long enough, eh? Ok so I have the next few chapters written but I'm kind of frustrated with them....they need a bit of work. I'll try to get them up soon, though! Hope you liked this chapter!
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