Chapter 3 : Chapter Three. Tact.
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After a while, I turned my head to the side, “Tell me this class is almost over.”
“It is over.” She said. I looked up and vaguely noticed that no one was in the classroom with us. “Lily, are you all right?”
“Oh, yes, smashing,” I replied sarcastically standing away from the chair to fetch all of my belongings. I started to walk, “You better hurry, the astronomy tower’s rather far and you’re gonna be late if you don’t get there soon.”
“Oh,” She nodded, gathering her supplies and jogging out the door.
I sighed and walked around the corner, nearly running into Elsie. She stumbled back but quickly regrouped and started to race forward, shrieking over her shoulder, “Eleven Fifteen!”
“Of course, what was I thinking?” I mumbled to myself as I watched her run down the corridor and race towards Peter, who would be obliviously passing her in about three minutes on his way to whatever class. I shook my head, a sad smile coming to my lips. Poor Elsie.
I stumbled into Potions a few moments late, much to Professor Slughorn’s chagrin. He wouldn’t deduct any points or reprimand me in any way, of course—I was on the shelf. It’s a complicated story, but the main gist is that he plays favorites.
“Ah, nice of you to join us, Miss Evans,” the professor smiled cheekily, almost like he was the one who was late and I was the irked teacher. “We were just discussing the ingredients and effects of the Pepper-up potion. I’m sure you’d love to tell the class who discovered the potion?”
He asked me because he knew I could deliver the correct answer. I felt a small amount of pride beaming through my pores as I confidently sat my books down on a table and rolled up my sleeves. As I made my way to the rest of the students, who were looking at me a bit resentfully, I said, “Glover Hipworth, sir.”
“Ah, lovely, Miss Evans, ten points to Gryffindor!”
The remainder of the day passed and I thanked Merlin that I had classes to occupy my time, to distract me from Potter and his stupid blackmail scheme. Although, me thinking about thanking Merlin for distracting me simply made my mind travel back to that irksome bloke and his foolish ideas.
I sighed as I made my way slowly to the Great Hall. Dinner had already begun, I was sure, but I didn’t care all that much. Grigg Ole called my name and caught up with me, his chest heaving up and down as he caught his breath.
“Hey,” he rasped. I smiled in reply, not especially keen on him. He has this habit of reciting poetry that he just happens to make up in his mind. I know it sounds completely ridiculous, but it’s true. “Sweet Lily, oh how I wish I could have the wit you possess—“
“Really, Grigg, I’m not that clever. I promise,” I cut him off from finishing his stanza or whatever.
“Lily, have you ever been out on the Quidditch Pitch?” he asked randomly.
“What?” I looked up from the ground and gripped my books to my chest, staring into his very brown eyes. “Of course I have, Grigg, don’t be ridiculous.”
“No, no, I don’t mean to watch a sporting event,” he chuckled to himself. “No, I wished to express the pure beauty of the green grass and the fresh air which loom just a few hundred meters away from that door.”
He pointed to the main door that led into the courtyard, and then to the pitch. I stared at the dark wood doors in front of me, wondering why they looked so scary when they led into a beautiful place.
“Well, I’ve never been out there at nig—“
“Would you like to go?” he asked. As an afterthought, he added rather quickly, “with me?”
“I’m sorry Grigg, I’m afraid I just don’t have the time to go on outings or the like, honestly. I wish I could, but unfortunately there is too much to do.”
“Never fear, beauteous creature, for what is there more to life than the aching sorrow one expects to collect? We must pitch forward, into the expressionless night, forever standing at the fork in the road to which we must choose the path. I’m sure you understand,” he sighed, untangling his arm from around my shoulders and stepping away from me.
“Of course,” I answered with a tiny edge of sarcasm to my voice. I continued walking, the archway that led to the Great Hall within my sight. “Have a nice night, Grigg.”
He sauntered away, walking over to the Hufflepuff table with just a bit too much swagger in his step for one to take him seriously. I shook my head, watching him go, and then proceeded over to my spot beside Haley.
I picked up a turkey leg and put it on my plate, diving into the mashed potatoes and spooning a huge serving next to the turkey. The goblet in front of me quickly filled with pumpkin juice and I smiled gratefully, sipping from it.
“Are you trying to look like a starved orphan?” Haley hissed. I looked up, mouth full of food, to see the eyes of half the table looking at me. I coughed and swallowed in one big gulp. “Wait.”
“What?” I asked, sipping a bit more delicately from my beverage.
“It’s a proclamation about the privilege and sheltered existence that we have succumbed to in being served by the house elves, isn’t it? Brilliant, Lil, brilliant.”
“No,” I said rather harshly. Haley looked into my eyes, her own rather wide and startled. It was probably the first time that I’d denied that anything I had done had a deeper, extremely profound meaning. “I was just famished. I skipped lunch to go study a bit of my Ancient Runes notes. Just in case that nit Peter Pettigrew, no offense Else, fell asleep in the middle of class. I wanted to be prepared.”
“Why would Peter falling asleep in class ruin your marks?” Elsie asked innocently, her eyes swiftly shifting over to the boy in question, who was ripping off pieces of his scone and eating little by little.
I stuttered, completely confused for a moment, and then realized that I’d neglected to inform my best friends of my predicament. I couldn’t very well tell them now, not in the Great Hall, and not when I’m being blackmailed to keep it a secret.
“I just…er, he snores. Real loud,” I covered.
“No,” Elsie said curtly. “He doesn’t.”
Trust her to know that.
“Are you sure? You obviously don’t sit by him in Ancient Runes, because he just whomps away like a bloody toad, he does,” I chuckled spuriously and bit into a scone, despite it being very bland. I gagged myself with food in an attempt to halt the flow of stupid that seemed to be spewing from my mouth.
Haley and Elsie looked at me like I was barking, and for a moment I couldn’t blame them. This entire experience was probably making me a bit mad, ruining my mind.
“I’m going to go to sleep early,” I excused myself and placed the cloth napkin on the table before standing to leave. Black bumped into my from behind and cursed loudly. “Excuse me, Black, attempting to walk without getting trampled on, thank you.”
“Sorry, Evans, really, didn’t see you there,” he chuckled to himself and continued walking backwards before turning to run off. Potter stood staring at me for a few moments, smirking without smirking—it’s all in the eyes--until Black bellowed, “Prongs!”
“You ready for tomorrow, Evans?” Potter challenged. I looked around and saw that a few people were watching us.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Potter. Where are you off to—hey, where’s your mate, Lupin? He okay?” I asked. James’s expression changed rather dramatically from good natured to suspicious.
“Why? What have you heard?”
“Prongs!” Sirius bellowed again, waving like a lunatic to try and urge his friend to follow. Peter stood staring at the big clock, and turning every so often so that he could see James. They all looked a bit too frenzied if you asked me.
“Tomorrow,” James said, pointing a finger at me before using the same finger to wave goodbye. He turned around and jogged to where his mates stood before they all scampered up the staircase.
I stood there, surrounded by the incessant chatter that came from all of the students occupying the Great Hall. Turning around, I saw Haley staring at me with one eyebrow raised.
“You have problems,” I muttered, beginning to walk backwards towards the exit.
“At least I’m bloody sane!” She called, laughing a bit.
I turned around and was greeted with the sight of a white shirt, a black cloak, and a Hufflepuff patch. Grigg smiled down at me in his introverted way.
“Oh,” I gasped. “ Hey Grigg.”
“Hi there, Lily,” he grinned. “’scuse me.”
I watched dumbly as he sat down in my place and started to converse with Haley, who treated him exactly the same way I had. I turned around again, and I began to walk to the exit when I heard behind me, “Say, Haley, have you ever been to the Quidditch Pitch?”
I rolled my eyes and wandered briskly up to the common room, seeing it vacant, and then up to my dorm. I changed and tucked myself into bed, yawning and stretching before blowing out the candle on the table next to me. I closed my curtains and waited, hoping for at least two hours of sleep before I would be interrupted and inevitably sucked into a dream, or six.
The next day passed rather quickly as I’d forgotten about the blackmail scheme. This may seem a rather impossible feat, but I assure you, it wasn’t too difficult considering I didn’t see Potter at all until dinner.
Haley sat down, her hair wild and in disarray. I looked at her for quite some time, wondering why she looked this way, but she never said. She instead merely filled her plate halfway with food and eating.
“Hello Lily! How are you? How was your day? You’re the best friend I could have ever—“ she interrupted.
“Hi Lily, how are ya?”
“Oh, Haley Aliskaiser, you are too sweet.” I raised my voice to an offensive volume, “You all hear that? Haley over here is a doll, truly!”
She blushed and pecked at her food until her cheeks turned less pink. I laughed with Elsie, who had sat down moments earlier and was staring down the table, most likely at Peter.
“You girls have way too much fun,” Sirius Black groaned from just down the table. I looked at him with challenging eyes.
I don’t know why I was in such a hyper mood, normally I’m rather dingy and anxious to get away from all the potential dreams, but something about being here right now, it just picked up my mood.
Dinner was over and Potter accompanied me to the common room, making it seem like we were getting on well—I could only imagine the possible motive to be that he didn’t want it to be weird that we might appear like we were unconscious on the couch together. Well, let me rephrase, he thought it might make me angry if anyone got the wrong idea.
And overall that was a bit…sweet. But this was Potter, and not my thoughts. He probably just wanted to annoy me further.
We sat down on the couch at just past eight and waited.
We made small talk until around nine when the common room emptied a small amount, but not much. James stood and paced a little. I rolled my eyes, boys were so restless.
“You sure you can handle this?” I asked him, laughing as he started jumping up and down, moving his hands and shoulders, like a boxer preparing to enter the ring. I looked around the common room.
No one was paying attention to us. They all were wrapped up in their own lives. I spotted Haley in the corner with the one person she promised never to spend quality time with, Sirius Black. I hate when I’m right.
“Oh,” James scoffed, “I’m ready.”
We waited a few minutes, me still sitting on the couch, against the armrest, and Potter eventually sitting down beside me, delightfully a few feet away. I sighed, looking around for anyone that seemed remotely drowsy, but it seemed as though it would be a long wait.
“So how do you do it?” I heard from next to me. My eyes tracked students momentarily as I wondered if this was a good idea. Well, no, I didn’t wonder—I knew it was a terrible idea, but it had to be done.
“Hmm?” My eyes followed one third year to the window, where a few girls were sitting. One, the only blonde, was looking out the glass window to the grounds, most likely looking at the beautiful Black Lake or the changing leaves of the Forbidden Forest. Her eyes drooped a bit, reminding me that if anyone was going to make me faint today, it would most likely be her.
“The whole getting sucked into other people’s dreams thing?” James continued, his eyes fixed on his foot, which was resting on the table. I could smell his cologne all the way from the other end of the couch, but I didn’t complain. It was nice.
“I just do,” I answered overly-vague. It’s not that his curiosity annoyed me; it was him as a person. It’s hard to be compassionate, let alone civil, to someone who you greatly dislike—just ask my sister.
“Oh, well then,” he replied sarcastically. I rolled my eyes and let my fingers start tapping on one of my arms as I crossed them over my chest. I exhaled rather loudly and stared, almost a bit too hostile, over at the blonde girl who was ticking slowly to the point of no return.
“C’mon,” I urged in whisper. She didn’t hear me obviously, but let her head land with a small, audible thunk onto the glass. I felt my vision blur and waved Potter over to me. I felt his weight jump on the couch as he slid over to me.
“Are we going? What should I do?” he hastily whispered. I held out my hand in reluctance, knowing without knowing that it would be enough. His calloused hand clasped mine gently, tenderly, as though to avoid breaking me. I clutched it roughly, along with the couch, as my vision grew darker.
I didn’t need my sight to know that the common room was slowly yet surely becoming a bit emptier as people weeded off to go to their dorms for the night. The sun was setting meaning the radio in the corner would be playing, distracting enough people for James and I to be undiscovered for the duration of the dream—hopefully.
Suddenly my fingers were numb and my heart was racing. I opened my eyes to find that I was in a giant forest, covered with leaves of all colors. The wind was blowing rather harshly but just enough that it was somewhat comfortable. To my right was a vast body of water, most likely an ocean, although I wasn’t sure which one. Waves crashed noisily onto the shore, overlapping each other.
“Potter?” I turned to see that he was standing dumbstruck and completely flabbergasted, still holding my hand. I didn’t let go or brush away, simply because it would have felt a bit too cruel. “You all right?”
“Hmm?” he looked into my eyes for the first time and grinned a bit too confidently. “This is amazing!”
“Yeah, it’s pretty,” I’d seen better.
“Where’s dream girl?” he asked, looking around. Potter put a hand to his forehead to cover his eyes from the sunlight that was bearing down upon us as we looked to see our dreamer.
She was in an intimate embrace on the sand, rolling around rather rowdily with some bloke I’d never seen before. I raised my eyebrows, turning away to give them privacy. James Potter was not as decent.
“Oh Merlin!” he shouted. I turned to see that the lovers hadn’t heard him, and that they weren’t paying attention to anything but each other. The dream was fuzzy and some parts were being overlapped. I learned quickly into this gig that it meant that the dreamer wasn’t experienced with whatever they were dreaming. Haley often fell off the brooms she rode in her dreams, even if she scored a million points and caught the snitch at the same time. Elsie often only kissed Peter in her dreams when it was dark—because she didn’t know what it was like in real life. She could imagine and fantasize, but a fantasy only gets you so far.
“What?” I asked.
“That’s little Fink Teal!”
“What’s a Fink Teal?” I asked, turning around again, trying to let dream girl be as modest as she could.
“Not a what, a who! He’s a fourth year who wants to be quidditch captain when I’m gone. Fat chance, but apparently little dream girl likes him well enough!” He chuckled, a crooked grin forming on his face. I rolled my eyes.
“It figures that the dream we get sucked into involves snogging…” I mumbled, crossing my arms over my chest. Potter wiggled his eyebrows at me and stepped just a bit closer to me, his arms reaching up. I stepped away, a warning expression on my face. “Just because we’re in the dream realm, doesn’t mean that the same rules as reality don’t apply. If I knee you in the groin, you will feel pain.”
“Okay, Evans, relax,” he held his hands up in mock truce. “No funny business, I promise.”
I sat down, relishing the feeling of warm sand underneath my hands. There was a sunset in front of us and the harsh wind was blowing at a slower pace now. Potter sat beside me and rested his arms on the bend of his knees. I sighed and leaned back—how did I end up here?
Not only in a dream not my own, but linked with the one person I disliked more than green ketchup? How cruel you are, life!
And the only thing that came to mind was stupid Grigg saying “Hey, Lily, you ever been to the Quidditch pitch?”
“So…” Potter blew out a bit of air and looked around, deliberately away from the snogging—possibly shagging—couple a few meters away. “When did this start?”
“The dream hopping?” I asked. He nodded and I continued, “About…you know, I don’t even know. Probably three months or so.”
“Hmm,” Potter ran a hand through his hair, a gesture I always associated with him. It made his annoying messy hair even more disheveled. “Why did this start, do you know?”
“Say no more,” he held up a hand. I actually laughed.
I think it surprised us both a bit, but eventually we just moved on and made some small talk. James talked about the Fink Teal character, and we guessed what dream girl’s name was. He asked who else’s dreams I’d visited, and I told him about his best mate who plunged from cliffs in the middle of Ancient Runes. He laughed, saying Peter always was dramatic.
My vision grew fuzzy, blurry around the edges, a bit black. Slowly, I regained the feeling in my fingers and reality came crashing back. I sat up and stretched as I looked back to see Potter. He was slumped on the couch.
I’d forgotten to warn him about how when you come out of a dream, it sucks the energy from you. I’d gotten a bit more used to it, but I should have warned him. Wait, no. This is blackmail, screw Potter.
“Ehhrrhh,” he groaned as he sat up and rubbed his eyes, which moved his glasses so much that they fell into his lap. “That was brutal!”
“Try being passed around like a bottle of firewhiskey in the middle of the night in a room full of reverie-crazed girls. Now you know why I venture down to the common room,” I sighed and stood up.
“I do indeed.”
The common room was almost empty, save for dream girl and a few stragglers. Sirius and Peter were playing wizard’s chess in the corner, Remus playing a match against himself. Haley was gone, but Elsie was watching the game like a hawk.
“Go Peter!” She squealed. Sirius and Peter looked up at her, annoyance written upon both their faces.
“Well,” Potter mumbled, running his hand through his hair. “That was…interesting.”
“It was kind of nice not going alone,” I said, regretting it immediately. Stupid Lily.
“We should do it again sometime,” he smirked, stepping a bit closer to me.
“Not likely,” I returned his smirk and then stepped around him, walking up to my dormitory to prepare for sleep.
Well, there's chapter three! I hope that you liked it! Please review--it makes my day!!
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