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Chapter 33 : The Ball - Part II
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Numbly I followed Sirius back to the Great Hall. I felt James’s fingers lightly entwine with mine as we walked but I barely noticed as my brain was currently exploding from anxiety.
Holly was posting the secrets. The Clique was going to kill me. I should have just told them!! Why didn’t I tell them?!?
We passed through the door to the Great Hall and James gave my hand a squeeze before letting go as we walked through the throngs of students to get to Dumbledore.
We climbed onto the stage next to the band and Dumbledore handed us two slender champagne glasses, winking at us before turning to address the students.
My ears were ringing and I could barely hear what Dumbledore was saying to the students. All I could do was stare out at the mass of students all staring expectantly back at me. Soon enough, they’d all be talking about our secrets that would appear in that stupid book. I looked for any signs that they’d already appeared but I couldn’t see any. No one was whispering nastily to each other, laughing behind their hands. Not yet.
My heart was beating wildly in my chest, making my breathing come in gasps and I concentrated on not passing out from worry.
I felt something jab into my side and I glanced over at James confused. He nodded his head slightly in Dumbledore’s direction and I noticed that we were supposed to raise our glasses. I followed James’s lead, our glasses clinking together with Dumbledore’s and raised them to our lips, feeling the bubbly champagne burning slightly as it went down.
Dumbledore turned back to the students to say a few more words and when I looked back out into the crowd I was gripped with fear.
Whispering…they were whispering. Those students over there are huddled over something, whispering behind their hands, laughing silently about whatever they were looking at.
The ringing in my ears stopped abruptly, the sounds of the hall hitting me like a tidal wave. James pulled me off stage as Dumbledore finished his toast and dragged me to the side of the Great Hall.
“Lily, are you ok?” James said, his hands on my shoulders, steadying me. “You look like you’re about to pass out.”
“I need to find the Clique,” I said, my voice shaking, glancing frantically around the Hall for any of my friends.
“What’s wrong? What was Holly talking about earlier? What did she warn you about?” James asked, his hands sliding down my arms to grasp my hands. “Lily, please tell me?”
Honey blond hair caught my eye a few tables away. Emilie. Without a word to James I wrenched my hands from his and hurried towards her.
“Emilie, I need to talk to you,” I said urgently, grabbing her arm and pulling her out of her chair.
“But Remus and I were just about to go dance,” Emilie said, glancing back at her date. “Can’t this wait?”
“No,” I said, still looking around for any signs of Pippa or Marley.
“Lily, what’s wrong?” Emilie said, catching onto my frantic tone.
“I did something really stupid,” I said, making sure we were out of earshot of anyone.
Emilie just stared me, her eyes wide with anticipation. “What happened?”
I opened my mouth to tell her just as Remus appeared a grim look on his face. He gently pushed both of us towards the corner of the room and pulled his Hogwarts Confessional out of his robe.
I closed my eyes, my fears confirmed, watching as he flipped to the latest page. It was like waiting for a death sentence, the anticipation was killing me.
Around us, the whispering was turning into talking, people glancing over at us with judgmental eyes. I almost didn’t want to see what was written. But I knew I’d find out anyways.
“I heard people talking about the new confessions that appeared in the book,” Remus said gravely, his eyes lifting slightly to meet mine. “I thought you guys should see it first before you heard it from someone else.”
Emilie snatched the book from him, both of us bending over to read the small print.
389. Who’d have know, Pippa Birch finally lost it to Adrian Austen, even
though she’s still completely in love with Sirius Black.
390. Speaking of Adrian, Lily Evans was the girl he was making out with
the same night he and Pippa started dating… aren’t they supposed to be
391. Emilie Quinn is completely obsessed with Remus Lupin. Wonder if
he’d still like her if he knew how many guys she’s slept with…
392. Marley Marquette’s not as innocent as she looks, she’s sleeping with
Liam Lawson ad they’ve only been dating for three weeks!
My mouth went dry and Emilie looked up at me when she finished reading. Her hazel eyes were wide, horrified.
“Who wrote this?” Emilie whispered, her eyes swimming with tears. She glanced over at Remus, who had his eyes fixed on the floor, his hands shoved in his pockets.
“What the hell is going on? Some punk fifth year kid just told me he loved the newest confession about me,” Pippa screeched, appearing from behind Emilie. She stopped in front of us, her eyes resting on the book. She snatched it from Emilie’s hands and I felt my entire body tense as her eyes skimmed the page quickly.
She finished reading and her hands lowered slightly, her eyes meeting mine in a dangerous stare. My breathing was coming out in gasps, unable maintain a steady rhythm.
“Is this true?” Pippa whispered, tossing the book at me. “You made out with Adrian the same night we had our first date?”
I opened my mouth to explain but Marley interrupted us, tears streaming down her face and Liam’s confessional in her hands.
“What the hell is going on here?” Pippa asked again as Emilie placed a comforting arm around Marley, her voice lowering to a dangerous growl. Her eyes never left mine, accusing me of everything that was right.
“We have to figure out who wrote this,” Emilie said angrily as Marley lifted her head to look at us, her watery dark blue eyes full of emotion.
“I think it’s pretty damn obvious,” Pippa snarled, her eyes still locked with mine, taking a step forward, her blond hair swirling around her.
“I swear, it wasn’t me,” I said, backing away from her. “I would never have told. Just listen to me—“
“Who else could it have been?” Pippa said angrily. “You were the only person I told about Sirius!”
“Oh, please” Marley choked through her tears. “ Everyone knows you’re in love with him, Pippa. You’re not exactly discrete.”
“What?” Pippa whirled around to face Marley who was standing defiantly next to Emilie.
“We’re all sick of it,” Marley spat at her, wiping the tears away from her cheeks. I’d never heard Marley say anything this harsh before. “And you hooking up with Adrian is honestly just pathetic.”
Pippa looked like she’d been slapped across the face. Emilie and I stared dumbfounded at Marley after her outburst. Pippa quickly recovered herself, though, and was back on the defense.
“At least I’m not snogging my boyfriend all over the castle and hooking up in classrooms,” Pippa spat back at her.
Marley’s eyes widened in shock and she looked over at me.
“You told her?” Marley asked, her voice seeping with betrayal. I hadn’t spoken a word to anyone about when I caught her and Liam in that classroom.
I shook my head, words escaping me.
“She didn’t tell me anything,” Pippa rolled her eyes, bringing the attention back to herself. “I saw you guys in the Transfiguration room like two weeks ago. Honestly you put on this good-girl act and it’s getting old. Just face it, you slept with your boyfriend after a three weeks of dating. Even I wouldn’t do that.”
“Oh, please,” Emilie cut in angrily. “Don’t pretend you’re better than her. We all know that you’re just using Adrian to make Sirius jealous. He dumped you Pippa. Get over it. Sleeping with some other guy won’t do anything but make you look even more pathetic than you already are.”
Pippa stepped back, shocked by Emilie’s statement. I continued to stare at my friends, seeing the tiny cracks in our friendship forming. I didn’t even notice that James and Sirius had come to find Remus standing at a safe distance from us, staring helplessly as we tore each other to pieces.
“I’m not using Adrian,” Pippa whispered, tears swimming in her eyes. “He and I are together because we like each other.”
“Sure you are,” Emilie sneered. “That’s why he made out with Lily on the same day you guys started dating and I still see him flirting with other girls even though he’s allegedly ‘exclusive’ with you.”
“Either way, at least I’m not latching on to Remus as my last resort,” Pippa hissed, her confidence regained. “I know you want a boyfriend and all but try not to be so desperate. It’s just sad.”
“Enough!” I shouted, stepping into the middle of everyone.
“Shove off, Lily,” Marley burst angrily at me. “This is all your fault to begin with. You probably wrote this stuff to make yourself look better.”
I stepped back, surprised by the venom in Marley’s voice. She’d never been angry at me before.
“I didn’t write this,” I said again quietly, my voice shaking with emotion.
“Pippa has a point, Lily” Emilie sighed. “You were the only one of us who knew all of this and we would never have posted it about ourselves.”
I couldn’t even respond. How could they even think that?
“Miss Evans, a word with you and your friends?” A stern voice startled me and I spun around to see McGonagall holding one of the confessional books in her hand. Holly was standing smugly next to her, a malicious grin plastered on her face.
My knees went weak. This was bad. It was a good thing I hadn’t eaten much that day or else I would probably have gotten sick by now from the stress of this situation.
“I found a couple of students looking through this book,” McGonagall said grimly, flipping through the pages absently. “Miss Perth here informed that it belongs to you ladies.”
“There are just awful things written in there, professor,” Holly sobbed pathetically, putting on a good show. I glared at her as McGonagall skimmed through the book.
“There are things written about us in there too,” Emilie argued, but McGonagall cut her off.
“Miss Perth seems to be under the impression that you four are the creators of the book,” McGonagall said sternly, eyes each of us.
None of us said another word. We were all still seething from our own argument, none of us wanting to defend each other at the moment.
“Fine, if you no one will come forward, we’ll have to take more drastic steps,” McGonagall fumed, gripping the book tightly in her hands. “If none of you speak up before the Christmas break then suspension or even expulsion will be considered…for all of you.”
With that, McGonagall turned sharply on her heel and made her way through the crowd back towards Dumbledore, no doubt to fill him in on the situation.
Without a word to the others, I turned and practically ran out of the hall. I needed to get away from everything. I couldn’t deal with the Clique anymore. My position as head girl was in jeopardy. I’d finally gotten James, just to lose him all over again. He was sure to hate me after all of this. What kind of stupid girl would let this happen?
“Damn it, Lily!” Emilie’s voice burst violently behind me, making me jump. “This is all your fault!”
I turned to see Emilie, Pippa, and Marley trailing after me down the hall with Remus, Sirius and James close behind.
“For the last time, I didn’t write those confessions!” I nearly screamed back. My self control was at a breaking point. Angry tears were pushing against my eyes, trying to escape but I wouldn’t give my friends the satisfaction of seeing me cry.
“Face it, Lily,” Marley said in a dangerously steady voice, “you’re the only one who knew all of this. And the only secret about you wasn’t even that bad compared to the rest.”
“Did it ever occur to you that maybe I just don’t go around doing stupid things like the rest of you?” I spat back at her. It was harsher than I meant it, but it was every woman for herself at this point.
“Oh please,” Pippa scoffed. “Have you seen yourself for the past six months? You broke up with Chris to be with Potter and when he decided he didn’t want you anymore you moped around for weeks because he was doing to you what you did to him for years. Your attempts to make him jealous by getting back together with Chris were just pathetic.”
I stood numbly before Pippa, all of the people I cared about watching as she tore me to pieces by listing all of my flaws which I’d been too blind to see myself. I couldn’t even defend myself, knowing that everything she said was completely true.
“And you know, I knew you were upset that you were the only virgin left in the Clique, but I never thought you’d do something like this to make yourself look better,” Pippa said sadly, hitting me where it hurt the most. If I had done it, that would have been a pretty good reason. I was too ashamed of myself at the moment to even attempt to tell them the truth, that Holly had stolen the Clique’s confessional. I was too preoccupied with the sting of Pippa’s accusations.
A sob escaped Marley’s mouth, and she stifled it with her hand, brushing past me as she walked quickly back to the Gryffindor tower, with Liam following closely behind.
Emilie lowered her head, not even looking at me as she followed Marley’s example and headed back to the common room.
Pippa stared at me, her hazel eyes full of hate and sadness.
“Are you really in love with me?” Sirius couldn’t help but asking, a cocky grin pulling at the sides of his mouth.
“Shove off, Black,” Pippa burst angrily, turning red with embarrassment and she pushed past me down the hall.
“Pip, wait!” I pleaded, finally able to speak. Pippa stopped and turned to look at me.
“No,” she said in a low steady voice. “I’m done with this. I don’t want to hear any explanations; you’ve already done enough damage.”
She hesitated, her eyes flickering past me to James who was standing solemnly next to Sirius. “A word of advice, Potter,” Pippa said, her voice breaking slightly. “I wouldn’t wait for her anymore. She’s not worth it.”
And with that she turned and disappeared around the corner, leaving me with the sting of her last comment.
A/N: Hey Everyone!!!! sorry's it's taken me an ungodly amount to time to update. I just graduated and moved to a new home so I've been all over the place and completely spazzy. But I'm back! And here's a nice new chapter for you!!! Again, sorry for the long wait! You won't have to wait that long anymore :) Love to hear what you think!
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