Chapter 22 : Could My Life Get Any More Awkward?
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I knocked on Potter’s door quietly. Maybe he wouldn’t be here and I could just do this by myself. Please don’t let him answer, please don’t let him—
The door opened and James stood in front of me, his black hair sticking out all over the place. Damn.
“Dumbledore wants us to plan the Hogsmeade weekends and start working on the winter ball,” I said holding up a folder of papers that Dumbledore had given me on available dates, guidelines, and a general list of things that needed to be taken care of for each event.
Potter eyed the thick folder warily. “That’s a lot of papers….”
“So we’d better get started,” I said moving from his door to the table in the corner of the common room.
“But Lily,” Potter whined, dragging his feet to the table. “It’s Saturday. I want to sleep more. Can’t we do this tomorrow?”
I shook my head. “He needs our schedule by Monday. And we really need to get started on this planning. The Hogsmeade visits should be easy. But the Winter Ball will take a lot of planning and Dumbledore advised that we get started now so we’re not crunched for time later.”
“Fine,” Potter grumbled, settling into a chair across the table from me.
“Alright,” I sighed, taking the first stack of papers out of the folder. “These are for the first Hogsmeade visit. We just have to pick a date for it. I say we do the first weekend of each month.”
“Sounds good,” Potter yawned, laying his head down on the table. I rolled up the papers I was holding and whacked him on the head.
“No sleeping, we’re working,” I scolded. He glared at me and grabbed the second stack of papers.
“What are these?”
“Those are for the Winter Ball. We need a theme to start with and then we can figure out decorations, entertainment, and food,” I said absently, still working on the Hogsmeade paperwork.
“Since the first visit to Hogsmeade is in two weeks we need people to put up the flyers in the common rooms. Can you find the prefects and have them take care of that?” I asked, sliding another stack of papers across the table at Potter. He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hands and yawned again.
“No problem. Consider it taken care of,” he said in a sleepy voice.
"Ok, do you have any ideas for a theme for the ball?” I asked, snatching the Winter ball paperwork from him.
“That’s not really a theme, Potter.”
“It is too.”
“Fine. Snowflakes. Better?”
“You pick a theme then,” he muttered, laying his head on the table again.
“We should do something with ice. It’s easy to decorate with and there are a lot of foods that we could do,” I suggested. “And we need to set a date.”
“A date for you and me?” he murmured, slurring his words. It sounded like he was half asleep but my heart still stopped at the words.
“A date for the ball,” I stuttered, trying to recover myself. “Does the second weekend in December sound good? That way the students can go to Hogsmeade the weekend before if any of them need dress robes.”
It had been a week since the horrendous night of Truth or Dare. None of our friends had mentioned that night since it happened and I thanked Merlin every day for that. I didn’t want to bring up the memories of crying myself to sleep anytime soon.
As for Pippa’s date with Adrian, he hadn’t spilled the beans as far as I knew. Pippa came back positively beaming afterwards. She said they’d had a great time. He took her down to the quidditch pitch for a candle-lit dinner under the stars. Apparently, he asked her out again for the next weekend, too. So far, so good, I guess. I still had a bad feeling about Austin but Pippa was happier than I’d seen her in months. If Adrian could make Pippa that happy he couldn’t be so bad, right?
“Lily, do you actually need me here for any of this?” Potter muttered, twisting his head so that he was looking at me.
I didn’t answer but kept filling in the paperwork for the ball. My mind was still turning over his words in my head. ‘A date for you and me?’. Stupid Lily, stupid, stupid. He’s about to fall asleep. He had no idea what he was saying. Besides, you’ve moved on, right? Right…
“We still need a name for the ball,” I reminded him.
“That sounds like something you throw at people you don’t like.”
“That’s just stupid.”
“Can’t we just call it Winter Ball and be done?”
“How about snow angels?”
“That could actually work,” I said surprised.
He looked up and grinned at me. My heart sputtered hopelessly. Damn hormones.
“See, I’m not completely useless all the time,” he smirked.
“Fine,” I said rolling my eyes at him. “You gave me one good idea. Congratulations.”
“It was bound to happen sometime,” Potter yawned again as he grabbed some of the papers for the ball and started helping me fill them out.
* * * *
“Lily, wait up!”
I turned around when I heard the painfully familiar voice and stopped when I saw the person it belonged to. I hadn’t seen much of Chris since the truth or dare night. Of course I saw him in class, but we were usually concentrating too much on our potions to actually talk.
I still couldn’t help but feel the guilt wash over me at seeing Chris’s gaunt face and even worse was the quickening of my pulse and increased heart rate as he ran up to me. I am seriously screwed up.
“What’s up, Chris?” I asked lightly, turning back toward the way I had been walking as he fell into step with me.
“I wanted to ask you something,” he said hesitantly.
I wrinkled my nose slightly. Whatever this was, it wasn’t good…
“Well, the Hogsmeade visit is this weekend,” he continued, taking a deep breath. This was really, really not good. “I was wondering if you might want to go with me?”
I stopped walking in the middle of the hall, ignoring a few curses from the students behind me who quickly swerved to avoid me. I moved to the side of the hall and leaned my back against the cold stone.
“Chris, I dunno…” I started, seeing his face fall at once.
“Just as friends,” He added quickly.
“I’m not sure that’s such a good idea,” I said timidly. In fact, I was positive that it was a very, very bad idea. I couldn’t risk spending any more time with him. It would just give me more excuses to get back together with him. Potter was a lost cause at this point. I had been waiting for the past few weeks for him to get bored of Holly and “fall back to me” as Marley had said he would, but I had completely lost faith after Truth or Dare. Instead, I had focused myself entirely on schoolwork, and of course, obsessing over Hogwarts Confessional as the rest of the school seemed to be doing as well. There were well over one hundred confessions now. They were appearing in the book faster than I could keep track of.
“Why not?” Chris asked, snapping me back to the present.
“I mean, it might be just friends to us but wouldn’t other people see it as a date?” I asked, avoiding eye contact with him.
“Would that be so bad?”
I let out a sharp breath. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” I said again, trying hard to keep my voice even.
“Oh,” he said, looking down at his shoes, a hurt expression crossing his face.
“I’m sorry, Chris,” I said, my insides twisting at the site of his hurt face. “Maybe next time.”
“Sure,” he muttered, shoving his hands into his pockets. “Next time.”
“I have to get to class,” I said quickly pushing myself away from the wall and hurrying away from Chris before I hurt him anymore.
* * * *
“This is horrible. I’m a horrible person,” I said, pulling my fingers roughly through my hair.
“No you’re not,” Pippa cooed from her bed. I had just finished telling the Clique about my encounter with Chris. I ended up telling them about our conversation at the beginning of the term when I ran into him during patrol as well. There was no point keeping anything from the Clique.
“But I thought you liked James now?” Emilie asked her face scrunched up in confusion.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” I said, looking my arms around Pippa’s bedpost and banging my head into it.
“Stop, stop,” Marley pulled me away from the bedpost and sat me down on the floor at the foot of the bed. “Ok, let’s just talk this out and see if we can make some sense out of it.”
I stared at her, waiting for her brilliant conclusion to my screwed up love life.
“Well, stating the obvious, you broke up with Chris last summer after your kiss with Potter because…it made you doubt your feelings for Chris?” I nodded and Marley continued. “And so you broke up with him to spare him from the possibility that you would fall for Potter and end up hurting him even more…”
“It sounds so stupid now,” I wailed, burying my face in hands.
“It’s not. It makes sense,” Emilie soothed me, rubbing my arm.
“So,” Marley took a deep breath, squinting her eyes in concentration. “Now you think you’ve fallen for Potter but still have feelings for Chris? But you’ve lost faith in Potter because he’s still with Holly and you don’t want to get back with Chris because you might just end up hurting him again and you still don’t know if you feel as strongly about him as you should… is that right?”
“Something along those lines,” I muttered, resting my chin on my knees and wrapping my arms around my legs.
“And so Chris asked you to Hogsmeade,” Pippa said from above me. “I think Sirius is right. I’d bet my entire Gringotts bank account that Chris is trying to get with you still, even if he says he wants to be just friends.”
“But if Potter really has given up on me, then I should be with Chris, shouldn’t I? I don’t want to keep waiting around for something that’s not going to happen when I have something wonderful standing right in front of me…” I said quietly. My head ached. I couldn’t stop the constant flow of thoughts revolving around Chris and Potter.
“I actually have no idea what to tell you, Lils,” Marley shook her head, lost in thought.
“Great,” I grumbled, rolling my eyes.
“I think you made the right decision about Hogsmeade though,” Pippa slid off her bed and sat in front of me.
“Ugh, ok I can’t talk about this anymore,” I said, pushing myself off the ground. “I need to go do homework or something…”
The Clique gave me some last words of encouragement before I left and I wandered down the hall to my dorm. Once I was inside my room I closed the door and absent-mindedly flipped open my confessional book to read the new secrets.
107. As a kid, I thought I was a robot. Turns out I’m a wizard…
108. Why didn’t you fight for me?
109. The only thing I love about you is your eyes.
110. I was the one that put the love potion in your drink.
111. If you loved me you wouldn’t treat me like this.
I slammed the book shut and lay back on my bed, putting my hands over my eyes to block out the light. I couldn’t think about love anymore. All of these stupid confessions had my mind back on Chris and Potter…. Well, except the one about robots. That was just weird.
I rolled over onto my stomach and glanced at the clock on the wall. It was nearing midnight. Another useless patrol with Potter. We still did rounds separately. He usually brought Holly, to my extreme irritation, but at least I didn’t have to deal with her too much. I usually took a route around the castle that avoided any possible contact with the pair. For all I knew Potter didn’t even do rounds and spent the entire patrol snogging Holly in an empty classroom.
Great. Just the mental image I needed.
“Get out of my head!” I growled, grabbing the first thing I could reach off my nightstand and hurling it at the wall. I heard the glass shatter as it collided with the door and I sat up immediately, staring at the floor.
Glass shards littered the floor beneath the door and a bouquet of flowers was splattered across the scene of destruction. I stared helplessly at the mess that used to be the ceramic vase with my name hand painted on the side and light blue forget-me-nots painted around the bottom. The flowers that were just moment ago held by my vase were scattered across the floor, water dripping from the light blue petals.
My door opened a crack and Potter’s face appeared, looking startled.
“You ok in here? I heard a crash and…” He noticed me sitting at the end of my bed, my wild hair falling untidily into my face, as I continued to stare at my broken vase.
James looked down and saw the glittering shards covering the floor.
“What on earth did you do, Lily?” James laughed opening the door wider and glancing up at me with a wide smile on his face.
“Threw my vase at the wall,” I muttered, pulling my wand out and quickly cleaning up the mess with a flick of my wand. The vase reassembled itself and I summoned it, replacing it on my nightstand.
“I knew you had a temper but I’ve never seen you break anything before,” James smirked at me, leaning against the door frame with the light from the common room illuminating his silhouette. He looked like a freaking god standing there. I wanted to throw my vase at him. Did he have to be so damn perfect?
I jumped off my bed and began gather the forget-me-nots that were covering my floor. I saw Potter’s hands gathering the ones by his feet and I wrinkled my nose.
I stood up as he held out the flowers to me and I saw a grin on his face.
“What are you smirking at, Potter?” I grumbled, snatching the flowers from him.
“Forget-me-nots?” He asked. “I always thought your favorite flowers were lilies.”
“That’s so cliché,” I rolled my eyes. “How original, for my favorite flower to be lilies. Forget-me-nots are more meaningful, anyways.”
“Interesting…” Potter mused, watching me as I replaced the flowers in the vase. “So you threw your vase at the door… something bothering you?”
“No,” I snapped at him, grabbing my cloak and stomping past him out of my room so I didn’t have to look at him anymore.
“Uh huh, sure,” He muttered, an amused smile still present on his face.
“Look,” I snarled, spinning around to face him. “I don’t want to talk about it, ok Potter? Just because we’re friends now doesn’t mean I want to tell you every intimate detail of my life. You wouldn’t want to hear it anyways,” I growled, turning back around and stomping out of the portrait hole with James on my tail.
“Friends don’t yell at each other, Lily,” James chided playfully running to catch up to my fast pace as I set out to do rounds a few minutes early.
“What do you want from me, Potter?” I sighed, running a hand through my hair as I turned a corner that would take me on my normal route to the north end of the castle.
“Nothing,” I heard him whisper but when I turned around to look at him, he was already walking quickly in the other direction.
A/N: Hey guys!!! new chapter yay!!!! what'd you think??? woo! still kind of uneventful but still. More coming soon!
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