Chapter 19 : Oh, Please. I'm Pippa Birch...
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The rest of the week practically flew by right before my eyes. Our little black books were gaining more and more secrets every day and I had to admit that I was becoming slightly addicted to checking it.
Friday afternoon came sooner than I could possibly have imagined. I only had one class left, Potions. I hadn’t seen much of Chris since we had our talk last weekend and I still hadn’t told anyone about it apart from Sirius. Of course, Potter knew also but he hadn’t mentioned it at all to me.
Pippa and I took our seats at the far left side of the room. Slughorn had already put a new potion on the board and we got to work right away, having already learned the origin, characteristics, and antidote of the potion in our lesson earlier in the week.
Sirius and Remus sidled up to us as we put the first ingredient in our cauldrons and watched the boiling water turn a metallic silver color.
“We have more firewhiskey,” Sirius commented casually as he leaned onto his elbows on our table. Remus hopped onto our work table, causing our potion to slosh precariously in our cauldrons. I gave him my best death glare before turning back to Sirius.
“And?” I said raising my eyebrows at him as I carefully dropped three dead scarab beetles into the simmering liquid. The potion emitted a quiet hiss and turned electric blue. Was that supposed to happen?
“And you ladies should join us,” Sirius shrugged as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Actually, Lily, James volunteered your dorm for our little party tonight,” Remus said rolling his eyes at Sirius. “But we really would like it if you joined us.”
“What’s the occasion this time?” I asked lightly, and I couldn’t stop my thoughts from drifting back to the end of last term when Potter and I had sat on the couch and kis—No! Bad Lily! Stop that.
“Beginning of term or something like that. Who cares? We don’t need an occasion to party,” Sirius let out a bark of a laugh. I had to admit, his enthusiasm was contagious.
I opened my mouth to accept the invitation but Pippa cut me off.
“Sorry, boys,” she said casually. “We have girl talk tonight.”
Sirius narrowed his steely eyes and looked between us. “Can’t you stop by afterwards?”
“I don’t think so, Girl Talk will be going late tonight,” Pippa said sternly and I gave her a questioning glance.
“Well, you’ll see me at some point,” I shrugged and Pippa glared at me. “You know, seeing as I live there and all…”
Pippa rolled her eyes and I turned back to see Remus and Sirius exchanging confused looks.
“Sorry,” I mouthed at them and turned back to my cauldron. Next to me, Pippa was violently stirring her potion. What was with her today?
The two boys headed back to their tables and I glanced after them to see that Sirius was whispering something to Potter, whose eyes flickered briefly to me. I looked away quickly and was immediately engrossed in my potion that was starting to foam over the sides.
Oh joy. This is not good.
* * * *
“I really can’t believe people are actually doing this,” Marley said, running her index finger down the numerous lines of confessions. We were all sitting in our usual spots in the Clique’s dorm, flipping through our Hogwarts Confessionals.
“I really wish there was a way we could see who was writing these,” Pippa sighed lightly from her bed.
“Pip, the whole point was that these would be anonymous, remember?” I laughed.
“Yes, but I’m still curious. I wonder if any of these are about me?” Pippa mused, leafing through the first few pages.
“I was wondering that too,” Emilie said, staring absentmindedly at one of the confessions in her book.
“Hey look, a new one just appeared,” Marley said from her bed. “‘Confession #27: You’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen but I’m too scared to talk to you’. I know this sounds horrible, but I almost want people to use names, just so we know who they’re talking about in confessions like these…”
“I do too,” I said. “But you know that once people start using names, they’ll start saying bad stuff and then it’ll just turn into a slam book.”
“I know, just wishful thinking,” Marley sighed.
“You mean, like you wonder if Liam has written anything about you?” Pippa said slyly, nudging Marley in the ribs.
“No, just… I’d like to know who this person thinks is so pretty…” Marley blushed and flipped her book closed.
“There’s no real gossip yet, though,” Emilie grumbled, flipping her book closed as well.
“Well, it’s only the first day,” Pippa said rolling her eyes. “We have to give it some time before people actually feel comfortable enough to confess anything really juicy.”
“I guess,” Emilie sighed.
“Here’s something, though. I have a date tomorrow night,” Pippa announced casually from her bed.
We were all silent for a minute as we stared at her and Emilie jumped off Marley’s bed, nearly knocking her off in the process.
“Are you kidding me, Pippa? You’ve let us go on about this stupid book when you have REAL gossip for us?” Emilie screeched as she launched herself onto Pippa’s bed. I moved quickly seeing as Emilie was headed straight for me.
“Ok I have three questions for you,” Marley chimed as she scurried over to join us on Pippa’s bed. “Who is it with? When did this happen? And most importantly, who is it with?!?”
Pippa rolled her eyes at us, but I could tell she was enjoying the attention.
“Ok well after Potions when I went to the bathroom before History of Magic I kind of took a detour,” Pippa smirked.
“I wondered why you were late…” Marley mused, tilting her head to the side.
“Well, like I said, I took a detour because I was going to come back here to see if any more confessions had been written. So I was sneaking around because obviously I didn’t want to be caught, and I ran right into---“
“Oh my god, who is it? I can’t take the suspense!” Emilie squealed into her pillow.
Pippa glared at Emilie. “Well if you hadn’t interrupted me you would know by now.”
“Sorry,” Emilie squeaked.
“Adrian Austin,” Pippa said proudly, a haughty smile playing at her lips.
“Merlin, Pip,” I breathed. “He’s like a freaking god. Hufflepuff quidditch captain, perfect grades, incredibly gorgeous, and famous for not dating Hogwarts girls. How on earth did you get a date with him?”
“It’s no big deal,” Pippa shrugged. Leave it to Pippa to shrug off a date with Adrian Austin. “And he doesn’t not date Hogwarts girls. He just prefers girls who are….more mature.”
“So how did you get a date with him?” Marley pressed.
“Oh, please. I’m Pippa Birch,” she laughed, flipping her blond curls over her shoulder. “I fluttered my eyelashes a bit, twirled my hair, and was all-around charming. He really had no choice….”
“My god you’re modest,” I laughed, and Pippa stuck out her tongue at me.
“Isn’t he kind of a womanizer though?” Marley asked delicately. I could tell she didn’t want to ruin Pippa’s excitement but she definitely looked concerned.
“How can he be a womanizer? He doesn’t date Hogwarts girls,” Pippa scoffed.
“Pip, he may not date them, but you know he’s done other stuff. We used to gossip about it all the time,” Marley pressed.
“Marley, don’t ruin this for me,” Pippa snapped and she turned away from Marley’s worried face.
“So when is your date?” Emilie asked.
“Next weekend,” Pippa said, biting her lip. “And speaking of which, I have no idea what to wear…”
Pippa hopped off her bed and clothes began flying out of her trunk as she rummaged for something to wear.
“I’ll help you after I shower,” Emilie said rolling off her bed and grabbing a towel. Marley wanted to take a shower too before bed so Pippa and I were left alone.
“Pip, can I ask you something?” I asked quietly, rolling over to look at her from her bed.
“What color should I go with?” Pippa asked, not paying any attention to me. She was holding up two shirts in the mirror, a red one and a dark blue one.
“The blue one,” I said, rolling my eyes at her back. “Pip, do you still like Sirius?” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
I watched her hands fall and her face went blank in the mirror. She turned towards me with an oddly dead expression on her face.
“Of course I don’t still like him, Lily.” She said mechanically and it sounded rehearsed, like she’d practiced saying it so if she had to speak it, it might sound believable. “We ended things, remember?”
I cringed as she said “we” like it was a mutual decision. She was going to be more stubborn about this than I had anticipated.
“Pip, I’m your best friend,” I said gently as I stood up from the bed and moved closer to her. “You know you can tell me.”
“I don’t still like him,” she said again turning back towards the mirror, and I couldn’t tell if she was trying to convince me or herself.
“Pip, cut the bullshit,” I sighed, leaning against the bedpost. She turned abruptly, her face livid, but I held up my hands in a truce. “I’ve seen how you look at him and how you act around him. Pippa I know you better than anyone. You don’t have to hide this from me. If you don’t want the others to know, you know I’ll keep this secret.”
Her face softened a tiny bit and she swallowed, her golden eyes falling to the floor. “It’s so stupid of me to still like him. I know there’s no way we’ll ever get together again. But I can’t help it…”
I tried to suppress my smile as she finally confirmed my thoughts. I closed the distance between us and hung my arm around her shoulder, turning us to face the mirror.
“Pippa, you’re beautiful, smart, and incredibly clever. Who wouldn’t like you? I mean, there’s a reason you’re one of the most popular girls in school and you got Adrian Austin to ask you out.” I said softly. “Give it some time. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. And if it doesn’t, that just means there’s something even better waiting for you.”
“Geez Lily, way to bring the corny,” Pippa muttered and a small giggle escaped her down-turned lips.
“Alright. Now forget about the blue shirt. You should wear your dark red one with the low neckline. Austin won’t know what hit him,” I laughed as I danced away from Pippa toward her trunk.
A/N: YAY! New chapter!!!! Finally got rid of that nasty writers block...eesh. Anyways, what did you think? I'd love to hear!
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