Chapter 21 : Chapter Twenty-One
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A tourist in the waking world, never quite awake
No kiss, no gentle word could wake me from this slumber
Until I realize that it was you who held me under
-Blinding, Florence + The Machine
Be careful what you wish for. It might come true.
I'd wanted to know the truth of what happened to me, and now I knew. Funny how that is, how answers just make you want to ask more questions. The walk home didn't do much to clear my head, and I entered Hermione's flat as confused as ever.
In a way I knew it was wrong for me to blame Jimmy. He was just as lost as I was. I couldn't completely blame him for mistakes he'd made as James. My mouth was dry, my throat was hoarse. I wondered how much more shock my body could take. I poured myself a glass of water and sat down on the couch, waiting for Hermione to come back home. The fact was, I needed to know the truth. Knowing was healing. If I grieved, at least I would know what I was grieving about and would eventually be able to take the steps to get over it. But this not knowing? It was getting tiring.
We lay side by side on the ground, staring at the stars. Although I didn't approve of most of James's mischief, I did have to admit that his knowing all the various hidden passageways did come in handy. In this case, it was an opportunity to relax after weeks of stressing over exams.
At first I had pointed out various constellations, but James insisted on creating his own shapes and patters in the sky. "You see that one right there? Looks like Slughorn," he pointed out to me. I smacked his shoulder, though after I took a closer look, I did have to admit that the resemblance was uncanny.
After a while we were quiet, with only the sounds of our breathing and the wind in the trees filling the air. I didn't know how long we stayed like that. It felt like forever.
"Lily?" James finally said, breaking the silence.
"Why did you always say no to me when I asked you out?" he asked.
I sighed. The spell had been broken. Why was he bringing this up after all this time?
"Because we both know that you weren't serious. It was just your way of getting my attention again."
"What if I was serious?" he asked me.
"Don't joke about that," I begged him. His voice was serious, but he had to be joking, right?
"I'm not! Look, I know I joke about a lot of things, but I would never joke about that. I like you, okay? And I think that, if you gave me the chance, we could be really great," James said. He got up and started walking away from me.
Was that it? Was this the end of our friendship? It couldn't be. I realized I didn't want him to go, and that scared me slightly.
"James," I called after him. "What if this isn't it? What if we mess up our friendship over it? I don't want to lose you again."
He turned around and started walking back. "It won't. Look, I've been wrong about a lot of things, but not about this," he said once he was right in front of me. I grabbed hold of his hands while he leaned down and kissed me.
The thing was, after that, I knew he was right. The kiss was too perfect for us to not be meant for each other.