Chapter 12 : The end, and the beginning
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“What the hell is he..?” she shrieked, before visibly calming herself. More coolly, she continued, “Never mind. We’re going to dinner, Lily. Feel free to join us later, if you’re not too busy hanging out with... your family.”
Lily, not Lils? This might be harder than I thought. “Lexi, wait. I – well, we – need to talk to you.”
“I’ve got nothing to say to him, and before you say it, I don’t want to listen either.”
“Please, Lexi,” I implored, “just listen to me then. You know I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.”
A tense pause followed, while Electra mulled over the options.
“Fine. But he,” she added, jabbing her finger at my penitent looking cousin, “can stay here.”
With that, she turned and headed up the stairs to our dorm, trusting me to follow. When we had closed the door behind us, she turned and said:
“OK, what is it? Cause I know I said the two of you should talk, but I wasn’t exactly implying that you should go over to the dark side.”
“Actually, it wasn’t speaking to him that pre-empted this; it was speaking to... someone else. Anyway, it doesn’t matter who, what matters is that they were the ones to put the charm round the cuddly toy that Louis gave you. He kinda... reused the gift,” I admitted reluctantly, before hurrying on, “which is sleazy, but he’s paid for it more than enough.”
Electra looked at me sceptically, “And I’m supposed to believe this, why, exactly? For all we know, Louis could have just put them up to it to get off the hook. You’re just too gullible, Lils.”
Well, at least I’m no longer Lily, “It’s more than just being told, Lexi; it fits better. Think about it – the charm was supposed to make you fall for Louis, not get obsessive and jealous – that makes sense if you consider that it wasn’t originally aimed at the two of you.”
“That makes no sense; why would it have done that?”
Crap. Sorry, Amelia, I tried, “OK. If I tell you this, do you promise not to tell anyone else? I mean, really promise – not even Chelsea; not even Louis?” she nodded, so I pressed on, “the person who told me this; the person who tried to enchant Louis – it was Amelia. So, you obsessing about the two of them together, it makes perfect sense. Also, do you remember this morning, when she ran out of the great hall after hearing my tirade?”
Electra practically collapsed onto her bed as she absorbed this latest trivia. Then,
“So that means I was right all along! Even when I was under a spell, and going all stalker-esque, I stilled called it; she was trying to steal him from me!”
“Yes, Lexi, that’s the most important part of all this.” I muttered sarcastically.
“Hey, just checking that my omniscience is still uncontested. So, what did Louis say when you talked to him about all this; I assume you have talked to him?”
“First he panicked; worried about what spell you’d succumbed to. Then he just wanted me to help him get you back. He’s really smitten Lex; give him a chance, please?”
“Alright; you get everyone else to head off to dinner, and I suppose I could hear him out.”
Happily, I complied.
Fifteen minutes later, a cheer went up from my end of the Gryffindor table, as Louis and Electra walked into the great hall, hand in hand. Electra, fully returned to her pre-charm confidence levels, simply rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue at us, while Louis kissed her cheek and smiled.
“All’s well that ends well.” Hugo declared, undoubtedly pleased at our quintet’s restoration. If only, I thought a little despondently; aware of how impossible such an ending would be for me. At the Slytherin table, Scorpius seemed deep in conversation with Vincent, both hunched over something. Probably forgotten all about me, and moved on to the next great prank. I hated how much I was bothered by that idea.
Reluctantly, I dragged my eyes away, and went to serve myself some cottage pie. What else can you expect? You told him you don’t like him. Even if what we were building was real, he wouldn’t be chasing after you now. It was hard to accept, but with the tutorials over, there was no reason for us to ever speak again, and with all that had happened, there was no way for me to change my mind.
I’m done with him. I am a happy, confident, single girl, who does not need a guy to complete her, and so I am done with him. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried to convince myself of this, my treacherous heart wasn’t going to agree. Throughout the next week, all it would do is bleat uselessly about how I might have been mistaken: ‘maybe he does like you... maybe the thing with Vincent wasn’t what it seemed ...’ My heart was seriously delusional, but unfortunately, I really wanted to believe it. Luckily, my pride was equally vocal: ‘You really want to risk it – your brothers’ acceptance, your heart, and any shred of dignity you have left, on a ‘maybe’? You would be the laughing stock of the whole school – a stupid little girl who chased after her own family’s worst enemy, just to be rejected.’ With all the arguing going on, it was amazing I that was even remotely sane by that Saturday, as I walked into an unusually green-and-yellow Great Hall after another poor night’s sleep.
“Are you not coming?” Was Hugo’s unusual greeting as I sat down with the ever inseparable couples; desperate for a few minutes more sleep, I had told the girls to go on without me.
Hugo gestured vaguely, before reply, “Um, the Slytherin-Hufflepuff match? You didn’t forget, did you?”
Oh. My. Goodness. Looking around me again, I realised that the odd colour scheme was actually due to the entire student body wearing one of the two houses’ colours.
“Wow; I guess I did. Hmmm...” looking at my own attire, I took out my wand and with a quick flick I was head to toe in yellow with black piping. “...better?”
My friends chuckled - while some people from other tables seemed a little surprised at the spell, those who knew me had long stopped reacting.
“Nice,” Electra giggled, “that is so your colour!”
“You think I’d be better in green?” I said, raising my wand threateningly. That’d turn more than a few heads.
“NO!” The boys yelled simultaneously, causing their girlfriends to dissolve into yet more hysterics.
After a quick breakfast, we all headed down to the stands together, to join the rest of the Weasley-Potter clan. James and Albus – holding court midway between the two ends of the pitch, at the very front of the stands – had unofficially crowned themselves kings of the Pro-Hufflepuff crowd, or as it was more accurately known, the We-Hate-Slytherins gang. As such, they had commissioned the twins to get food, Molly and Lucy to make banners, and everyone else to paint faces, devise chants, and generally act like lunatics. Looking at the resulting scene, I finally saw the upside to them being on the pitch rather than in the stands for our own house’s quidditch games.
“You know that the outcome of this match won’t actually affect our placing, right guys?” I commented as they moved along to make room for us, “We’ve already scored way more than either team could make up in this one match.”
“Well of course,” James responded virtuously, “this isn’t about us winning, Lils, we just want to support our Hufflepuff cousins in this their greatest moment.”
“’Our Hufflepuff cousins’? I thought you said they were ‘a bunch of moonfaced idiots who wouldn’t know a Wronkski Feint if it knocked them out of the sky, and they are lucky that their brooms don’t throw them off in disgust’?”
“Yeah, but that was when they weren’t playing Slytherin. Do keep up Lils.”
Shrugging, I settled in, and waited for the game to start. I didn’t have to wait long; before I knew it, the changing room doors opened, and out came the fourteen fliers, along with Madam Hooch. The two teams could not seem more different. The Hufflepuffs were uniformly pale and trembling, despite having some pretty decent fliers with them. Unfortunately, the newest members of the team – one chaser and their seeker, timid third years, both – were enough to convince both the crowds and their own teammates that they wouldn’t do any better in this match than they had against us. The Slytherins on the other hand looked upbeat and confident, despite three quarters of the crowds booing them. The Crabbe twins smiled menacingly and cracked their knuckles, while Yaxley – captain since his fifth year, now in his seventh – leisurely strolled forwards and shook hands with his smaller Hufflepuff counterpart. As he did so, he leaned in and whispered something to her; from our distance I had no way of knowing what it was, but reading her petrified reaction, I could guess it wasn’t particularly reassuring.
Finally, reluctantly, I turned my eyes to their seeker. Scorpius was scanning the crowds, but after meeting my gaze, he quickly looked down. He looked – as ever – far too good in his deep green and silver robes, though he seemed tenser than the rest of his teammates. I hated that I wanted to know what was wrong.
“Well, the teams are ready and the scene is set. Madam Hooch looks ready to blow the whistle... and yes, the balls are away and the game has officially begun. So, it’s Yaxley with the quaffle; he’s blocked by Stuarts, drops to Rook. Then it’s Rook, on line for the score, and yes, that’s ten-nil to Slytherin.”
For a few moments, my brothers and entourage looked a little stumped; this really was going to be a hard match to watch, if the ease of this first goal was anything to go by. Noticing this, the Slytherins started up a chant of ‘you’re not singing anymore’; quickly the Weasleys responded with ‘I’d rather be a corpse than a snake’.
I noticed little of the rest of the game; my gaze being dragged towards the Slytherin seeker time and time again. Tactics, I told myself unconvincingly, you’re just working out how to beat him in the future. It would even have been a justifiable thing to be doing – his complicated path made him an impossible target for the Hufflepuff beaters, and he successfully pulled off two Wronkski Feints before his dazed Hufflepuff rival learnt to stop following his every move, her own flying now barely field-worthy. He had since moved on to lower circles just above the crowds’ heads, concentrating on his job, but still showing superb control.
Watching him, I couldn’t help but feel that I might have been paying my pride too much attention. Really, how often has Scorpius been the aggressor when it comes to pranks or duels? Just because James says someone is bad news doesn’t make it so. Do you really believe him to be so immature? Still, it seemed pointless to consider this; I had neither heard nor seen from him all week, and it seemed that as far as Scorpius and I were concerned, it would all be too little, too late.
As the score steadily climbed (eighty – twenty, one-twenty – forty, one-eighty – seventy) the yellow part of the crowd became increasingly disillusioned, and rude. Aspersions were cast about broom quality, drug use, and eventually even parentage of the Slytherin team, all in cleverly rhyming couplets. In retaliation, the Crabbe twins became increasingly violent with both the bludgers and their bats. It was really only a matter of time before the Hufflepuff seeker took a bad hit.
“And Brown seems to have been really affected by that latest blow – she’s veering widely; I think, yes; she’s going to go straight into the crowds!”
Not just in general, either; she was ploughing straight towards me and the rest of my clan. Before I even had time to think how to avert the coming disaster, a nearby player had put themselves between us and the wayward seeker, pushing her back into the pitch, but getting thrown into the side of the stands in the process. Paralysed by the shock of it, I didn’t even think to act until it was too late; Scorpius, heavily dazed by the impact, fell from his broom and hit the floor with a dull thump.
Madam Hooch blew her whistle sharply, though there was no real need; play had definitely stopped. Professor McGonagall quickly took to the pitch as well, conjuring up a stretcher, while Hooch declared the match postponed after a brief discussion with the captains.
“Well, that’s a first – neither captain seems to be contesting the umpire’s decision to cancel. Of course, this is also probably the first time a seeker has been injured protecting another seeker. Truly, this has been a momentous day in Hogwarts Quidditch History.”
My family and friends seemed surprisingly uninterested in the recent events, so it wasn’t hard to get away from them, and head up to the hospital wing. However, actually going in was quite another question, as the area was filled with an – albeit small – group of well-wishers. It took almost an hour before the coast was sufficiently clear for me to leave the alcove in which I had hidden, and knock on Madam Pomfrey’s door.
“For the last time, he’s... Potter? What are you doing here?” She asked as she opened the door.
“I... wanted to know how Scorpius was doing. Please?”
Sensing my extreme discomfort, she answered simply, “he had a bad concussion, and a few broken bones, but he seems to be doing fine and should wake up any time now. Did you want to wait?”
“I’d better not. Thanks.”
She closed her door again, and I turned to leave, bumping straight into ... James? What’s he doing here?
“What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you. I was really hoping I was wrong about finding you here, but I guess not. Answer me one thing, Lily; why did Scorpius Malfoy just take a hit like that for you?” James sounded icy cool as he said this, but the cords on his neck betrayed his tone.
“I don’t know.” I mumbled.
“Like you don’t know why he's been trying to talk to you? Like you don’t know how you ended up KISSING him?! How long has this been going on? Are you sleeping with him?” James had begun to lose it, his voice a loud and angry hiss, his hands shaking.
“Alright, yes, I did know what he wanted to talk about, and yes, we didn’t just meet accidentally. But James, it really isn’t what you think; he’s not been ‘sleeping’ with me; we’re not even dating. In fact, he probably hates me right now.” I just let him fall, and all my snide comments...
“Sure.” James was unconvinced, “Seriously, Lily, what were you thinking? He’s bad news; do you understand who it is we’re talking about?”
“Do you? He just risked himself for me, and you’re badmouthing him while he lies in a hospital bed! Are you really trying to tell me he’s just some evil superficial Slytherin?”
“Well, maybe not, but you don’t know what guys are like, Lils. He’s dated half the girls in his house; do you really want to cheapen yourself like that? Don’t you care what your family think at all?”
“Look, there’s nothing going on anyway, and I know there’s no reason for someone like him to think I’m special, but...” James looked at me expectantly, and I eventually mumbled, “I care about him. I know it’s stupid and silly and he’d probably move on in a second, but I can’t help it.”
“Well, get over it. You and him; you’re just not meant to be.”
I had left the Hospital Wing soon after that, but spent the day listening to every conversation around me, trying to find some news. By dinner time, I was feeling sick with worry and guilt, but still couldn’t wait to go; he might be there; I might get to see that he was OK.
“Lily,” he called out from nearby as I entered the hall. I stopped dead. Did he really just speak to me in front of everyone? He strode towards me, and then continued in a whisper “I was awake.”
“What?!” I squeaked.
Louder, he said, “You know, I thought of a million ways to try and get you to see how much I care about you; never thought of getting concussed, though. Still, you’re letting me talk to you, and in public no less, so it was worth it. Lily, I never told you anything but the truth, and right now, the truth is that I really do want to be with you.”
Every head in the room was turned to us now, the hall in utter silence. Everyone is looking at me, and you know what’s funny – I couldn’t care less.
“You do? ‘Cause you know, if this is all some trick – and possibly even if it isn’t – my brothers really are going to kill you.”
“I’ll risk it; you're worth it.” He repeated, both of us breaking out into smiles. The silence was now broken up by intermittent whispers, as all four houses tried to work out exactly which sign of the apocalypse they were witnessing.
“Well, then, what was it you said once, about shattering expectations?” With that, I slid my hand round the back of his neck, and as the room broke out into utter chaos, we kissed.
Epilogue – except from Teen Witch Weekly:
‘A Dangerous Liaison
By Rita Skeeter.
Hogwarts, and indeed the entire wizarding world, has been shocked to discover that Lily Potter (15 – the youngest daughter of Harry and Ginny Potter) has started a relationship with none other than notorious bad boy Scorpius Malfoy (17), son of the world’s youngest Death Eater, Draco Malfoy. Since their discovery, last Saturday, many have been determined to uncover just what is going on, and why this supposedly nice young witch would be associating with her family’s nemesis. ‘It can’t be a love spell’, states Amelia Jones (16), close friend of Miss Potter, ‘as she knows all about them, and can spot them a mile off.’ However, other sources suggest that this might be the only explanation for Miss Potter’s recent activities, which include screaming at family members, and snogging Mr Malfoy in public.
However, a darker alternative has now come to light. It has recently been revealed that Miss Potter has in fact been hiding extraordinary magical abilities, which are quite abnormal for her age. As considered by this reporter previously, this kind of abnormality has been known to have connections to the Dark Arts, and thus it may be that we are indeed seeing Miss Potter’s true nature for the first time. Indeed, it seems that the couple first spent time together in secret, so that Miss Potter could teach Mr Malfoy some complex and dangerous magic, the purpose of which is as yet unknown. Some have even suggested that he may be under a love spell cast by her, though obviously this reporter would not want to cast allegations.
Harry Potter, when questioned, stated simply that he was ‘happy to see old feuds finally coming to an end’. However, Mrs Ginny Potter seemed less willing to discuss the relationship, although she did repeat her defence that ‘Lily’s powers are probably just due to a dodgy contraception potion that my mother made’. While none of her siblings were available for comment, Mr James Potter (18) was overheard to have said that if Mr Malfoy ‘put one foot out of line, I’ll bat-bogey him to within an inch of his life’. Furthermore, we have been told that ‘her brothers have been trying to pick fights with us Slytherins all week’ (Nate Crabbe, 16). Scorpius Malfoy has also refrained from answering the wizarding world’s appeals to explain himself, and Lily Potter refuses to say anything other than ‘riddikulus’ when questioned by this reporter.
Only time will tell how this doomed relationship will end, though the hopes of the wizarding world are that it does so quickly, before too much damage has been done.’
A.N. OK guys, that's it - this story is officially complete! However, I'm not sure how well the ending works, and am considering a bit of a re-write, before I start the sequel (yes, there will be a sequel). What do you think of these last few chapters? Simple and romantic, or obvious and cheesy? Too meandering? Too abrupt? Seriously - HELP!!! Would also really like to just say thanks to everyone who's been following this story, I would have never got here without you!
A.N.2: This now has been re-written - what do you think? Is the ending more realistic now, or has it lost some of the romance?
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