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Chapter 6 : Chapter Six. Pensive.
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I was in a dream. I knew that much, but I couldn’t see whose it was or what was happening. It was a field, no the grounds. I stood by the lake beside the tall trees that guarded or fenced the Forbidden Forest. I looked from my hands to the grounds around me. There was a figure coming towards me, but I couldn’t see who it was. I turned to glance at the lake and noticed that it was flowing backwards.
The figure, which had been miles away it seemed now stood just meters away. Closer and closer he walked, his dimensions and features becoming more and more prominent with every step. The dark brown hair and hazel eyes were an instant give away, although I’d already had an inkling who it was. I don’t want to officially go on record saying this, but there’s no use denying that when I saw him I was definitely happier than just the moment before.
Having been a dream-hopper for quite some time before, I already could identify the stereotypical symptoms of a crush. Most people, when they dream about the opposite sex, are immediately placed into two categories, sex and love. If the dream is reasonably steamy, there’s usually a hint of love but mostly passion. If the dream is sweet, the love prevails and the passion is underlying. And of course, there is that infinitely rare instance where the two are dominant in a strange mixture and the dream merely reflects the reality of a strong relationship. I’d only witnessed one of those so far, but it was enough for me to know the difference.
James took my hand and kissed it as I turned my head away and smiled at the scenery. I let out a quick breath and turned towards him once more, locking my eyes with his. He smirked like he usually does and winked. A giggle rose in my throat but I stifled it just in time, the humiliation steaming to my cheeks in the form of a deep blush. How tedious, I thought. The sun was high in the sky, and yet there were shadows covering the land around me. I looked into his eyes once again and thought about touching his face.
I lifted a hand, my fingers rising as delicately as I could manage. Just as I was about to touch my fingertips to his tender cheek—
A cool feeling swept through me as I woke up, an icy sensation that traveled from my toes to the roots of my hair. I swallowed loudly and glanced around, nervous and confused. I hadn’t been sucked into a single dream last night except my own. That never happens.
I glanced around myself, finding that despite my late night adventure with that stupid git, I was still the second one to awaken. Classes weren’t occurring today, and everyone could sleep in. Everyone but me of course, because my body couldn’t remain unconscious when the sun is shining through my window as it was then.
I rolled out of bed, the blankets chasing after me and wishing to pull me back into their warmth. I almost went back, almost flung my curtains closed, almost tried to escape reality, but instead I was greeted with the suddenly way too familiar feeling of my vision blurring and my balance wavering. I griped the bed post and swung my body back, flopping quickly onto my mattress as the dream took hold.
Items were everywhere on plastic shelves, people were moving about, mindless drones. I looked around, attempting to identify the dreamer, but didn’t see anyone I recognized. The dream continued, fading every now and then as the dreamer began to gradually come out of unconsciousness. I discovered that it was Jennica Jenkins who was dreaming shortly before it ended and Jen’s friend woke her up.
I practically growled when I managed to pull myself away from the dream. Somehow, a night free from the dreams, enjoying the beauty of sleep, it ruined me. I now felt unused to the sensations: the fast heart beat, the shortness of breath, the dizziness—all symptoms that I normally swept through rather easily, but this time around was horrible.
My thoughts wandered vaguely and quickly back to my dream. The wonderful dream that shouldn’t have been so sweet and fresh in my mind. Having been a dream-hopper, I knew how much stock a dream should be given. It meant a lot.
I liked him. Merlin, I liked him.
So I quickly showered and dressed, preparing for the long day ahead. I slowly brushed my hair. Looking into the wide mirror, I analyzed myself as I always did with the trivial insecurity a seventeen year old girl is expected to possess. Too many freckles. But I sometimes liked them. Hair an unnaturally vibrant color. But it made me stand out a little. Eyes the color of lettuce. But they were pretty in certain lights. Trivial I tell you, trivial.
The common room was warm and lit fully with sunshine when I walked down the stairs. The fire was roaring to life and the couch was occupied by the very person that I least and most wanted to see. He called to me by placing a hand to his mouth, “Oi, Evans!”
“You rang?” I played it off coolly, but inside I was giddy. For some reason, when I was in denial about liking Potter, I merely suppressed the urge to feel the butterflies in my stomach, but now it seemed they buzzed about and fluttered so much that I…well, honestly, I kind of wanted to hurl.
“How was last night?” He smirked. I wanted to slap him, and yet his lips looked extra plump today. I mentally slapped my own face, reverberating thoughts in my head screaming that I needed to get a grip. This was ridiculous.
“Your whole broom-kidnap-Lily scheme was cute, but it wasn’t all that amazing,” I told him, crossing my arms over my chest. He chuckled to himself and glanced up at me with eyes full of incredulity.
“Not the flight, Lily,” he smirked again. “The dream.”
“What?” I asked, completely bemused. How did he know about the dream. I grunted in an affirmed voice, “I don’t dream. I merely get sucked into other people’s fantasies.”
“Well, I looked into dreams, and spells, and I think I managed to control a dream for you. I just wanted you to have a night to yourself. You looked tired. What’d you dream about?” He asked me.
I looked him square in the eyes. His glasses were reflecting the light from the window, but I could still see through to the hazel underneath, and I attempted to gaze through even that to see his mind, his thoughts. James wasn’t one to lie to me. He could try to persuade me all he wanted, but I couldn’t recollect an instance when he’d blatantly displayed dishonesty.
“You didn’t control the dream? You don’t know?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. He shook his head and sat in silence, waiting for me to speak.
I could be honest. The thought bounced about in my little ginger head, but didn’t seep in. I couldn’t tell him that I dreamt about him, it would make his ego the size of Jupiter. But then again, I’m not the best liar.
“I dreamt that we were on the grounds again. It was like a repeat of last night. Except happier.”
He looked skeptical, “really?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Hmm,” he clicked his tongue and shook his head.
“Where’s your crew?” I asked, noticing that Sirius, Remus, and Peter weren’t crowding around James like they usually did.
“Saturday detentions. I’m the only one this week who didn’t receive one, so there’ll be a celebration in a bit. What about you? Where are Haley and that little flighty one?”
“Elsie? She’s probably in the detention place looking at Peter longingly,” I laughed to myself, surprised when he joined in as well. It struck me suddenly how easy it was to speak with James, to laugh with him, to be with him.
“She’s got it bad, doesn’t she?” He laughed and looked at me. I nodded with a somber expression, unsure of whether or not that question had been rhetorical. He took the information in by shaking his head.
“So, what’s on the agenda?” I asked him. He looked at me with a strange expression, shock and relief and laughter. I stared at him like he’d gone completely mental, “What?”
“You are voluntarily going to hang around me?” He smirked. I looked down at my hands, which were wringing in my lap.
“I guess I am,” I mumbled. A grin spread across his face as I readjusted my position on the couch, pulling my legs up and underneath me. A thought sprang to my mind, “Why won’t you start Lys?”
“Nothing against Lys, but she hasn’t proven to me that she can—“
I cut him off, “Because you won’t give her a chance.”
“How do I know that she’s worthy of that chance? It could be a mistake?” He faltered a bit, but came up with the retort anyway.
“You can’t deny someone the opportunity to prove you wrong. That’s so closed-minded,” I said flatly, looking him straight in the eye. “I mean, you could always be wrong.”
“Funny how that works,” he mumbled, but the eye contact didn’t break. I felt my eyebrows push together. And he took in my look of confusion, explaining, “The words ‘Why don’t you just give me a change’ don’t ring a bell inside your mind?”
“Oh bullocks,” I breathed, breaking the eye contact and looking back down at my hands. He laughed and nodded, knowing he was right. “James, I’m sorry.”
“Yeah?” He volunteered.
“Yeah,” I sighed. “I feel like such a fool. You’re a great guy.”
“But?” He looked into the fire.
A group of people filtered in through the common room door and were talking quite loudly, disrupting our conversation. I stared at James again, taking in his bright eyes and dark hair. The olive complexion that made so many girls melt, and yet I was able to resist it. Until now. I looked away, at the corner of the couch, “But, I’m a mess.”
“Prongs!” I heard a loud bellow to the left and my head snapped in the direction of the sound. Sirius was walking down the hill, coming to join us.
After the common room, we’d decided to go take a walk, and after a moment or two down by the lake, it was too enjoyable. I leaned against the bark of the tree while James was laying down on the grass. It was a little cold, but nothing really mattered all that much.
Sun was bouncing off of his dark brown hair, making it look really smooth. I wanted to touch it, but that was a completely ridiculous notion. We’d been laughing about certain events that had taken place. He’d told me the worst rejection Sirius had ever received, and I told him all of the insane statements that Haley made. He seemed to really like the one about the runny eggs depicting house elves’ tears.
He told me three of his favorite pickup lines and I shared the tale of when Petunia locked me in a cubby at muggle school. It was just talking.
“Where’ve you been, mate?” Sirius chortled, the two of them exchanges some complicated handshake.
“Here with Lily,” James gestured to me. Sirius reacted as though he hadn’t originally seen me, taking in this situation with reverence and shock.
“Evans,” he laughed. “Things are getting ridiculous, aren’t they? Why aren’t you threatening him?”
“Sorry to disappoint, Black,” I laughed despite myself. “I don’t want to kill him anymore.”
“You just want to shag him senseless, correct?” Sirius barked with laughter, sitting down beside James. I shook my head, not answering because it was most likely a true statement. Not that I’d ever act upon it.
“You see Wormtail? I just want to warn him about,” James’s eyes flickered over to me, cautiously, “something.”
“’bout that flighty little sprite?” Sirius chuckled. “Bird’s completely jonesing for him!”
“Poor thing,” I stifled a laugh, because she was still one of my best friends. I looked up at the two, “You sure he’s not mad about her too?”
“Oh, trust me, Evans,” Sirius smirked to himself. James apparently shared this thought, because his face matched the expression on his mate’s. “If Peter liked a girl either one of two things would happen.”
“One,” James snagged. “He would spontaneously combust into a pile of complete, horrid humiliation.”
“Or two,” Sirius continued, “he would be a complete mess. Dropping objects left and right, sputtering, tripping, nearly killing himself by being the prat that he is.”
“So since he’s down to a normal level of embarrassment and clumsiness,” I began.
“He has no idea,” Sirius interrupted.
“Probably hasn’t even noticed,” James flicked a glance over to Sirius.
I marveled at their quick relationship. How they could just steal moments and parts of a conversation from each other and then compliment themselves and the other so perfectly astounded me. I’d never bothered to notice before. I’d been too absorbed in hating their guts that I didn’t really bother to understand them, to know them.
“I had a dream about you the other night, Evans,” Sirius said quickly. James looked up, his eyes flaring. I furrowed my eyebrows together and felt my mouth open slightly. Sirius nodded like I’d spoken, “Yeah, it was really good actually. We had a snowball fight.”
“Oh,” I mumbled, not that apprehensive anymore. After glaring at James for possibly telling my secret, I felt foolish looking at either of them. “That sounds lovely.”
“We shall do it for real sometime, love,” he guffawed.
“Don’t call me love.” And “Don’t call her love.” Were said simultaneously. I spared a glance at Potter who was staring intently at Sirius, not looking at me.
“Anyway,” Sirius barked a laugh. I spent the rest of the afternoon with them, dreading the approaching night, and yet living completely in the present. The dreams that night would no doubt drain me of the newfound energy I’d built from actually sleeping, but I couldn’t stand going to tomorrow’s quidditch game completely exhausted. I’d probably fall asleep and lean too far over, fall off the stands, and plunge to my death. Fun.
Dinner came quickly, and as Haley declared new statements, Elsie mooned over Peter, and Lys glared at James from a distance, I stared at my plate thinking about how much this dream thing had impacted my life. New nights, new habits, new thoughts, new feelings, new friends. New me?
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