Chapter 21 : Move On
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“Chris,” I muttered. I felt all the blood drain from my face as I walked numbly back to my friends. Remus was hovering next to Chris, glancing nervously at me and then next to him at Chris who was standing awkwardly at the end of the row. His mouth was slightly open and he was staring blankly at me as I walked quickly back to them. Potter looked like he was glued to the bookshelf he was leaning on, his face an expressionless mask.
When I had made my way to where they were standing I stopped awkwardly in front of Chris who was blocking any escape I had hoped for. I raised my eyes slightly to look at him, but he was still staring down the row of books at Adrian, who was still sitting looking quite pleases with what just transpired.
“Hi Chris,” I said quietly, lowering my eyes to look at my feet.
He didn’t say anything but turned quickly and started walking towards the exit from the library.
“Chris, wait,” I called desperately at his retreating back. I looked frantically at Sirius and Remus for help.
“I’m so sorry Lily,” Sirius sputtered. “I didn’t even notice him until you were already in the middle of your snog-fest…”
“I know. What do I do? Should I go after him? He looked so upset!” I was wringing my hands helplessly and I glanced over at Potter who was staring at the door Chris had just left through.
Holly was bouncing nervously on the balls of her feet. “I don’t understand. Why was Penley so upset? Jamie, What’s going on?”
“You should go talk to him,” Potter said quietly to me, unfolding his arms and shoving his hands in his pockets.
I nodded and without another word I was running down the empty halls after Chris. I had no idea where he’d gone but I had to try at least to find him. I ran past an empty classroom and skidded to a halt when I recognized him sitting on top of the desk at the front of the room. I walked silently into the room and sat down next to him. I half expected him to leave when he noticed me but he stayed sitting, his eyes on the floor.
“Chris, what you just saw--” I started but he cut me off.
“Look, Lily. I knew that when we broke up we would eventually date other people,” he said quickly, letting out a melancholy sigh. “I just didn’t think it would happen so fast.”
“I’m not dating him, Pippa is” I said and Chris looked up at me, his chocolate eyes meeting mine. I could see accusations written plainly in them and I realized what this must sound like.
“It was a stupid dare, Chris. We were in the Heads dorm playing Truth or Dare and Sirius dared me to go to the library and make out with the first person I saw,” I tried to explain.
Chris narrowed his eyes and let out a scoff.
“Chris you have to believe me. The Marauders put veritaserum in our drinks. I’m telling the truth,” I said earnestly, desperately hoping that he believed me.
“You’ve been drinking?” Chris asked, his disbelief melting into sad curiosity. I realized, guiltily, that my drinking wasn’t something Chris had ever witnessed before. “I’ve had a few drinks,” I said truthfully.
“That’s not even important,” Chris said. “I just… when I saw you kissing him… it just—I didn’t expect it to hurt that much.”
I winced. Here I am, hurting people again. Wasn’t I trying to avoid this? I really suck at this whole love thing.
“Look, Chris,” I gripped my hands on the desk to steady myself. “It’s not like all my feelings for you just magically disappeared. There’s no spell for that. In case you forgot, I read a lot. I would know,” I laughed and his face softened slightly.
“You still have feelings for me?” He asked carefully, looking away from me.
I bit my lip, knowing the veritaserum would make me answer honestly. This was definitely not good.
“Of course I do,” I said, dropping my head and giving into the potion.
“Then why aren’t we together?” he asked quietly, his voice full of emotion.
“I didn’t break up with you because I stopped loving you,” I said, choosing my words carefully. “I love you Chris, I really do. But, I just don’t think we’re… right for each other. Does that make sense?”
“No,” he said. “But when does love ever make sense?”
“I really do want to be friends though,” I said honestly.
“I think I can live with that,” Chris looked up at me and smiled a little.
I let out a long sigh. I needed to get out of here before I said anything else incriminating. I was already mentally kicking myself for everything I’d just said. Damn Sirius and his veritaserum. Of all the times to be drugged, now was the worst.
“I need to get back to my room,” I said quietly, hopping off the table. “I’ll see you around, OK?”
“Yeah,” Chris responded, showing no signs of moving from the desk.
I walked swiftly from the room and practically ran back to the Heads Dorm. I’m so going to pay for this later. This is bad. This is so bad. I can’t believe I just said all that stuff to Chris. And I kissed Adrian Austin. Oh my god. Bad Lily, bad, bad, bad—
“Lily? I thought you’d gone to bed…”
I nearly toppled over myself in surprise. I have got to stop wandering the castle at night.
I recognized Pippa’s curtly-headed silhouette walking towards me down an adjacent hall and I leaned against the wall next to me to stop myself from passing out. First Chris, now Pippa? I can’t deal with all of this tonight! She doesn’t have to know though, does she? She cannot find out I just snogged her potential boyfriend-to-be.
“Pip, what are you doing out here? It’s after hours,” I stuttered, still trying to calm my racing pulse. My heart was pounding so hard I swear she could hear it.
“Adrian told me earlier that he would be in the library tonight. Thought I’d go surprise him,” Pippa informed me, giving me a coy smile and a wink.
“Oh,” was all I could answer. Thank Merlin she didn’t come to the library just fifteen minutes ago. Never mind the fact that she was heading there now to presumably swap spit with the guy I was just dared to snog.
“I’ll give you the details tomorrow,” she giggled as she excitedly straightened her skirt. Again.
My head was reeling with the combination of this new insanity and the firewhiskey I’d downed earlier. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t even open my mouth to stop Pippa as she trilled a goodbye and fluttered past me. All I could do is stare like an idiot as I watched her practically dance down the hall towards one of the only things in her life keeping her happy at the moment. All I could do was close my eyes and wish really hard that Adrian would be smart enough not to mention anything that had just happened.
“Lily! There you are,” Remus rushed to meet me as I climbed clumsily through the portrait hole. “What happened? Is everything ok?”
“It’s fine” I said, still slightly dazed at everything that had just happened. “Look, I appreciate your concern but I really need to just go to bed…”
“Ok,” Remus said, placing a reassuring hand on my shoulder. “The game’s over anyways. You were gone for a while and Peter passed out so Sirius carried him back to our room. Are you sure you’re ok?”
“I’m fine. Really,” I reassured him.
I watched as he left and then turned around to see Potter saying goodnight to Holly. I tried to look away quickly before I saw anything nauseating but caught a glimpse of Holly leaning forward to kiss him.
I closed the door to my room so I wouldn’t have to see anything else or hear anything they said while I changed quickly into my pajamas. When I was sure that Holly was gone I opened my door and crossed to the room to the bathroom to brush my teeth.
“Lily?” Potter’s voice made me jump and I turned to see him sitting on the sofa in front of the fireplace.
“Everything ok?” He asked. He was turned in his seat to face me.
“Its fine,” I said quickly continuing to the bathroom.
“No it’s not. Friends tell each other stuff, Evans,” Potter said carefully and I stopped. “Are you ok? Really?”
“I’m not really sure,” I said quietly, sitting down next to him and turning slightly so I could face him.
“What happened?” He asked, curiosity burning obviously in his voice.
“Well, I found him in an empty classroom and I explained everything to him,” I said slowly, making sure I didn’t let anything slip. I could still feel the veritaserum pushing at my lips but it was weakening. I could keep in under control now. I was still kicking myself for spilling my guts to Chris, I didn’t need to regret anything else tonight.
“Why did I go after him?” I blurted out angrily, making Potter jump. His hazel eyes locked with mine and I looked away quickly. “I mean, I didn’t have to justify anything to him. Why did I feel the need to even explain things? I should feel free to snog whoever I want, right?” Whoa, bad choice of words…
“Don’t beat yourself up, Evans,” Potter soothed, placing a friendly hand on my shoulder. My skin tingled slightly with his touch and I sucked in a sharp breath. It was amazing to me that after everything that had happened with Chris tonight, I could forget it all the moment Potter touched me. “I would have done the same.”
“Doesn’t mean it wasn’t stupid of me, though,” I grumbled, yanking my hands through my hair. “When will I stop massively screwing everything up in my life?”
Potter chuckled lightly, removing his hand from my shoulder. It surprised me how cold my shoulder felt without his touch. I felt a surge of anger towards him for a moment. Why wasn’t my touch affecting him at all? He’s the one who’s supposedly in love with me, right? This was all backwards! He’s the one who’s supposed to be pining for me! What kind of screwed up universe is this? But, I shouldn’t even be thinking these things about Potter at a time like this…
“I think you’re being too hard on yourself,” Potter smiled and he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees.
“No, I need to be quarantined. I’m a hazard to society,” I said, dropping my head into my hands.
“It could be a lot worse,” Potter said, laughing softly at me.
“Yeah right. How?” I said, my face still buried in my hands. “I just saw Pippa in the hall on her way to see Adrian. If she ever found out about this, she’d never speak to me again. Everytime I try not to hurt someone, I end up hurting them even more than I would have if I had just left well enough alone. I’m just so confused with everything!”
“It’s not as bad as you think, Lily,” Potter said. “Chris knows you don’t mean to hurt him. And Austin’s not stupid enough to say anything to Pippa. And besides, its not like you’re screwing up your relationships with any of the rest of us, right? I think you should ease up on yourself.”
“But it’s not just them I’ve screwed things up with!” I blurted out without thinking.
“What? Who else are you having problems with?” Potter asked, leaning towards me slightly, curiosity burning in his golden eyes.
I blanched slightly, realizing I said too much.
“It’s nothing,” I said with difficulty. The veritaserum was pushing against my tongue, willing me to say more.
“Come on, Lils, friends remember?” Potter urged, nudging me in the side. “You know you can talk to me about anything.”
“I should get some sleep…” I fake yawned into my hands and sat up straight, glancing over at Potter who was watching me with a confused expression on his face.
I was in my room and quickly shut my door before he could say anything else and fell onto my bed. I’m such an idiot. One of these days my big mouth was seriously going to get me in trouble. Note to self: never ever drink again.
I tried to take my mind off Potter and Chris. I went through my agenda for the next day in my head several times in attempts to clear my mind but it kept wandering back to Potter.
It was like I was a character out of one of the many books I had read. The heroine who’s caught between two romances. The one she had and the one she wants. But wait, didn’t I want them both? No, this doesn’t make sense. Chris could be everything I wanted. If only Potter hadn’t kissed me. Would anything be different though? Chris could be my prince in shining armor. I already knew that he loved me. What else was I waiting for?
I thought about James again. And Holly. This was definitely out of a book I’d read; the heroine in love with someone who used to love her. She thinks its too late because he’s with someone else. But as soon as he discovers that she loves him too, he’ll sweep her dramatically off her feet and they’ll live happily ever after.
But who am I kidding? That doesn’t happen in real life. There’s no fairy-tale ending for me. A prince won’t save me, a man won’t sweep me into his arms, there won’t be a happily ever after. I know I'm being over-dramatic but I had already ruined my chance with Chris and now its too late to be with Potter. I’d ruined everything. And there was no taking it back.
So what do I do now? I can’t take any of my actions back, so would the only way to fix things be to stop having these feelings for James? Right. Perfectly logical. I’ll move on. He did it, right? So why couldn’t I? I stared determinedly into the mirror, my eyes burning to keep back the tears I so wanted to cry. My chance with him was gone and there was nothing else to do but to move on.
A/N: Hey guys!!!! wow sorry it's been so long...... SO having 2 jobs has officially kicked my ass but i only have one more week and then 2 weeks til school so hopefully i'll finish writing this up!! woo!!! so anyways, here's the next chapter :) It's a bit slow. more action in the next one, promise!
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