Chapter 30 : My Own Personal Bodyguard
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“She doesn’t need a bodyguard, Potter,” Pippa chuckled as he nearly ran into yet another student in his attempt to stay close by my side.
“What are you talking about?” Potter grumbled, his eyes darting quickly back and forth between the students passing us in the hall as we walked to Potions class.
“That is now the fourth person you’ve almost taken out in the hall because you refuse to leave Lily’s side…” Marley snickered, raising her eyebrows at him.
“That’s ridiculous,” Potter muttered, clipping yet another student on the shoulder because he didn’t move out of the way.
“Ease up,” I laughed, playfully pushing him away from my side. “Chris won’t do anything in plain sight. He’s smarter than that. The most I have to worry about is some snide comments.”
“Hmph,” Potter huffed, falling back next to Sirius who was a few steps behind him.
“Besides, Pippa’s doing a great job as my bodyguard already. No one will dare mess with me while she’s around…she’s pretty fearsome,” I giggled as Pippa brushed her golden curls off her shoulder and flashed us a dazzling smile that was both innocent and devilish at the same time.
Potter still seemed tense and Sirius punched him in the shoulder.
“Seriously, loosen up,” Sirius said, grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him gruffly. “If anyone should be nervous it should be Lily.”
“Thanks, Sirius,” I rolled my eyes at him.
I took a deep breath and stepped over the threshold into Potions class. Glancing around I saw that Chris wasn’t even there yet and I let out a sigh of relief. Safe for the time being…
I busied myself with mindless doodling while Pippa babbled nonstop about Adrian and their plans for the week. I listened absently, frequently glancing up to check the doorway.
After what seemed like ages, Chris’s tall, lanky frame came into view. I sucked in a sharp breath, bracing myself for whatever kind of hostile reaction I would get. I heard a loud scrape of a chair next me and out of the corner of my eye I saw Potter and Sirius tense in their seats.
My stomach flipped unpleasantly as Chris slowly made his way towards my desk. Pippa threw me a panicked look but I barely noticed as I couldn’t take my eyes off of Chris. He moved slowly, keeping his head down as if he were unsure of his feet on the floor and where they were taking him.
My view was suddenly obstructed as Sirius leaned his elbows on Pippa’s side of the table, blocking the path between Chris and me.
“Hey Pip, how’s it going?” Sirius said casually.
“Fine since the last time I talked to you approximately two minutes ago. What on earth are you doing?” Pippa glanced over at me with a confused expression that I returned with a shrug. Behind Sirius I could see Chris approaching quickly and I frantically looked at Sirius who gave me a reassuring nod before standing up, positioning himself protectively in front of me. Chris stopped in front of him, glancing over his shoulder to look at me. I dropped my eyes, not ready to hear whatever he had to say just yet.
“Move aside, Black” I heard Chris say in an oddly calm voice. “I just want to talk to Lily.”
“I don’t think now’s a good time,” Sirius replied, crossing his arms and shifting his weight slightly so that I was completely blocked from view. I let out an impatient huff and stood up. I felt something grip my arm, pulling me back down and I looked over to see Potter had caught the sleeve of my robe.
“Lily, what are you doing?” Potter whispered urgently at me. I jerked my robe out of his hand.
“Look, I don’t need you guys hovering around me like I’m some weak little girl. I can take care of myself, you know.” I hissed at him.
“That’s not what it seemed like the other night,” Potter hissed back and I glared at him angrily before turning to face Chris. I nudged Sirius out of the way and saw him give Potter a helpless look before moving.
“What do you want, Chris?” I said gruffly, crossing my arms. I couldn’t let myself look vulnerable in front of him. He’d hurt me physically and emotionally and I had meant it when I said things were over. I was scared that ignoring him would make him even angrier and I didn’t want a repeat of the other night. Maybe if I just let him talk now while there were people around we could just resolve this and move on…
“Can I talk to you for a second…in private?” Chris said quietly, his eyes darting between my friends hovering around me.
“Whatever you have to say, you can say it here,” I said, keeping my gaze steady on his face. He should know that I wouldn’t trust to be alone with him after what happened.
“Look, I’m just….” Chris took in a deep breath and looked straight into my eyes. “I’m just….sorry, ok? I’m sorry. I’ll leave you alone now.”
I opened my mouth to respond but found that I had no idea what to say. Before I could think of anything, Chris had turned and was across the room without another word, leaving me standing between my friends, speechless. I slumped down in my seat as Professor Slughorn entered the classroom and immediately started prattling on about the potion we’d be doing in class today. Sirius hesitated next to me a moment before moving back to his seat on the other side of me.
I started doodling idly at the corner of my notes while we waited for Slughorn to finish writing the potion. A piece of parchment slid into my vision and I glanced up to see Pippa nudging it towards me. I glanced back down to read the note she had just written.
Well, that was…unexpected?
Yeah, that was a bit weird….not what I expected at all.
And what’s with Potter going all big, strong, protective man on you?
He wasn’t….he’s just looking out for me as a friend, that’s all. I mean, he saw what a mess I was last time Chris confronted me.
Well, Sirius is your friend and he wasn’t clinging to your side.
But Sirius still tried to stop Chris from getting to me, too. And Potter wasn’t clinging….was he?
He might as well have been your Siamese twin…
I’m going to ignore that…. Speaking of Sirius, are you sure you’re over him? It’s just that you were still pretty head over heels for him not
too long ago…
I really want to be over him
But, are you? I mean, I know things have gone pretty far with Adrian but maybe you’re only pushing forward with Adrian to convince yourself that you’re over him….
…Just between you and I? I really don’t think I’ll ever be over him. But nothing will ever happen there and I can’t keep believing that it will.
You know, Sirius told me the other day that if you like someone so much, you shouldn’t give up…
That may be true for you and Potter, but I had my chance with Sirius and now I need to try to move on…
Professor Slughorn finished writing our next potion on the board and students started crowding around the cupboards, scrambling for ingredients. I folded the scrap of paper we were writing on and slipped it into the Clique’s confessional book before joining the swarm of students.
* * * *
307. I cried myself to sleep the night I told him, "I love you." I just couldn't
deal with the thought of losing him after we leave here.
308.You’re the only one who thinks our age is a problem.
309. Holly Perth is the perfect example of a dumb blond.
310. Its not her being with someone else that pisses me off. Its her being
happy without me that does
311. When the last time Sirius Black dated anyone? Seems like its been a
while. What’s up with that?
312. I tell people they’re lying when they say I’m pretty. I just like them to
313. I still love him. Everyday I try to convince myself otherwise. I’ve done a
good job fooling other people . All I need now is to fool myself.
“I can’t believe the Snow Angel Ball is only two weeks away,” Pippa ran her hands tersely through her hair. She and Marley had a stack of magazines in front of them, all featuring the hottest new hairstyles, and were flipping through them idly while Emilie, Sirius, Remus, and I practiced our Transfiguration spells.
“I know, we can’t forget to pick up our dresses this weekend,” Marley said, folding down a corner of a page with a particularly elaborate hairstyle on it.
“Has Liam asked you already?” Emilie asked, finally getting too distracted to continue working on her homework. I glanced up and saw Sirius and Remus roll their eyes at each other once again transforming their History of Magic books into elaborate wooden chests using silent spells. Remus had even advanced so much that his chest had intricate wood engravings along the sides.
“Of course. He asked me ages ago,” Marley chimed, a smile creeping onto her face. “What about Adrian?”
I glanced up at Pippa, interested in her answer to this. Next to me I noticed that Sirius was tensed in his chair, and concentrated even harder on turning the wooden chest back into his book.
Pippa’s cheeks turned red as she muttered, “well, actually he asked me the other night…you know, when we—“
“Please don’t finish that sentence,” Emilie giggled, cutting Pippa off by putting her hand over her mouth.
“What about you, Em? Have you said yes to anyone yet?” Marley asked.
“What do you mean?” Remus looked up, suddenly very interested.
“She’s had like ten guys ask her already,” Marley rolled her eyes while Emilie busied herself with one of the many magazines in front of her.
“She’s too good for all of them,” Pippa commented, marking another page in a magazine.
“So you’re not going with any of them?” Remus asked, trying desperately to give off the impression that he could care less. Silly boys.
“No, not yet. None of them were interesting enough,” Emilie said lightly, her eyes flitting briefly to Remus and away.
I turned back to my Transfiguration book, getting bored with the conversation. I’d had a few offers to take me to the ball from younger students, but honestly I only had my sights set on one person and if I couldn’t go with him, I probably wouldn’t go with anyone.
“Lily, who are you goin—“ Remus started to ask, but I cut him off by slamming my book shut and shoving away from the table.
“Speaking of the ball, I’m supposed to meet up with Potter to finalize the plans,” I said quickly, throwing my books in my bag and slinging it over my shoulder. The Clique barely tore their eyes away from their magazines as they mumbled their goodbye.
“I’ll walk with you. I have to give James back his Herbology notes” Sirius said, gathering his things and falling into step beside me.
“So who are you taking to the ball?” I asked him as we walked towards the Heads Dorm.
“No one yet,” Sirius muttered, scuffing his shoes on the stone floor.
“Really? I would have thought that girls would be lining up to go with you,” I jokingly nudged him in the side, but he just sighed.
“Don’t get me wrong, girls are practically falling over themselves to get to me,” Sirius smirked and I saw a glimpse of the twinkle that is usually in his silver eyes. “I don’t know…it’s just that lately I’m not all that interested in them anymore. Any of them. They all just kind of blend together… I dunno, I feel like I’m losing my edge, you know?”
“So you’re not interested in… anyone?” I asked, staring at him in disbelief. Sirius was famous for his player tendencies. He’d dated practically half of Hogwarts and the other half he didn’t date because they were first and second years.
“I don’t know. There is one person, but she’s kind of…unavailable,” Sirius mumbled, turning his face slightly away from me. I knew he wouldn’t tell me who, but I had a feeling that I knew and I didn’t want to press him for information. He would tell me when he wanted to.
“Since when has that stopped your before?” I scoffed, but Sirius just rolled his eyes and turned the question back on me.
“And you? You must have guys lining up at your door to take you,” Sirius said.
“Hardly,” I said, blushing and catching Sirius’s eye.
“So what’s stopping you?” Sirius asked.
“I guess there’s really only one person I’d want to go with, but that’s not going to happen…” I confessed, biting my bottom lip.
Sirius pursed him lips and squinted his eyes as he thought this over. He flung his arm over my shoulder lazily and we fell into step with each other.
“So since you can’t go with who you want, and I can’t go with who I want, why don’t we just go together?” Sirius suggested.
“Hmm, I don’t know,” I pondered playfully. “I’m awfully tempted to access Matt Sullivan’s offer. He asked me by writing ‘Snow Angel Ball?’ in jam on a piece of toast and sliding it in front of me at breakfast yesterday.”
Sirius’s face twisted into an expression of half-disgust and half-amusement. “Wasn’t he the one who tried to eat his scurvy grass in Potions class? Yeah, he’s a real catch…”
“Ok fine, you talked me into it,” I said smiling.
Sirius handed me Potter’s borrowed notes before I went into the Heads Dorm after we talked more about the Snow Angels Ball and how we thoroughly intended on spending the entirety of the evening drinking punch (which we would spike with the help of Sirius’s flask) and mercilessly mocking all the awkward couples.
I dropped my bag in an empty chair around the table in the common room and sat down. Potter wasn’t there yet, so I got out all of the lists I had compiled of the things we still had yet to take care of before the ball. After a few minutes, Potter came shuffling out of his room, looking like he’d just woken up. Even disheveled as he was, my heart still sputtered hopelessly at the sight of him.
“I had the craziest dream just now,” he said, his voice scratchy and raw from sleeping. He glanced up at me, his eyes golden in the firelight, as he told me about his dream. “The entire school had turned into zombies and you and I were the only ones left, and somehow you had discovered that the only way to kill the zombies was to make them eat asparagus.”
“Asparagus?” I asked, pulling on a piece of my hair and twirling it nervously around my finger. Potter had just had a dream about me, why am I focusing on the asparagus?
“Well if you ask me asparagus is just about the worst vegetable ever, so I guess it’s fitting,” Potter shrugged, giving me a lopsided smile that made my brain spazz.
I let out a small laugh, still pulling at my hair.
“So I guess we should get started, huh?” Potter said, glancing down at my long To-Do list.
“Sure…it’s mostly small things like confirming the food and music and stuff. If you can think of anything else, just add it on” I said, sliding the list over to him so he could look for himself.
I watched his eyes scan the paper and then flicker up to my face.
“So do you have a date for this thing yet?” Potter asked, his eyes dropping back to the paper as he made some minor adjustments to the list.
“Hm, well I’ve had some offers, mostly ones from guys I’ve never even spoken to,” I said and I saw Potter smirk as he made another adjustment to the list. “Sirius and I decided to go together though, you know, as friends. We figure we can just hang out and make fun of all the awkward couples. You know, the girls who’ve never worn heels before or the guys who so clearly don’t even want to be there but are wearing dress robes anyways. I think it’ll be more fun that way, going with a friend.”
“There wasn’t anyone you actually wanted to go with? Like as a date?” Potter asked, and I noticed the biting curiosity in his voice, though he tried hard to hide it.
“Not really,” I said, shrugging as if it were no big deal.
“You’re so lying,” Potter accused, a grin creeping onto his face as he glanced up at me.
“I’m not,” I assured him, giving him a teasing smile.
“You are too,” Potter whined. “Come on, why won’t you just tell me who?”
“Because there’s no one,” I rolled my eyes at him, hoping he’d drop it, but instead he leaned forward on the desk and stared straight into my eyes with a determined look on his face.
“What on earth are you doing?” I asked, leaning away from him.
“Trying to read your mind, since you won’t tell me,” Potter said, not breaking his eye contact.
“Knock it off, or I’ll force feed you asparagus,” I laughed, shoving him away from me. He broke eye contact and made a grotesque face that made me laugh even harder.
I stopped laughing abruptly when I saw Holly standing just inside the portrait hole watching Potter and I goofing around.
“I thought you were working on plans for the ball…” Holly said, giving me an icy stare as she walked over to where Potter was sitting.
“Yeah, we were just getting started actually,” Potter said, breaking his gaze away from me.
Instead of responding, Holly stomped towards Potter’s room, slamming the door behind her. Potter got up quickly and gave me an apologetic look.
“Sorry, I’ll just be a minute,” He said quickly as he followed Holly into his room.
I stared after them for a few minutes until I heard Holly’s raised voice from behind the door. Curiosity getting the best of me, I moved quietly next to Potter’s door with my ear pressed against the crack, straining to hear what was being said.
“What is going on with you, James?” Holly was saying, her voice strangled with emotion. “Every time I’ve come here lately I see you sitting out there with her, joking around. What is going on?”
I flinched slightly at the venom I heard in Holly’s voice when she said “her” like that. I knew she was talking about me. I flattened my body against the door, trying to find the best listening position.
“There’s nothing going on. We were just doing Head Girl and Boy stuff,” I heard Potter say flatly.
“You don’t still have feelings for her, do you?” Holly asked sharply and I held my breath, waiting for Potter’s reply.
“What do you mean ‘still’”, Potter’s voice answered.
“For Merlin’s sake, James, everyone knew how into her you were. But I figured that when we started dating you were over it. And I wanted to believe it, I really did, but I see how you look at her and to me it doesn’t seem like you’re over her,” Holly choked out. It sounded like she was crying and I almost felt bad for her. Almost…
“Holly, I’m with you, aren’t I?” Potter said, his voice still devoid of any emotion. He didn’t deny his feelings for me, though…
“Sometimes I don’t think you are,” Holly said quietly, her voice breaking slightly.
“Well, I am,” Potter said softly. “Don’t worry.”
“Fine,” Holly said, a tone of finality in her voice. I figured their fight was over and I pushed myself away from the door, taking my place in the chair again.
Potter’s door opened and Holly emerged. I glanced up at her but she didn’t meet my gaze until she was a few feet from the table. Her eyes flashed up to mine, blazing with jealousy and anger as she dropped her books onto the table between mine and Potter’s seat. She sat herself down as Potter took his place on the other side of her. He peered around her to give me another apologetic look before he resumed checking things off the list.
A/N: Hey Everyone! Sorry again about the wait! Ugh, I've gotten so lazy with updating! Anyways, new banner and a new chapter! Hooray! And this chapter's a bit longer so hopefully that'll kinda make up for my spazziness :P I'd love to hear what you think!
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