It had been a week since my date with Gregory, and a week since James had started dating, I had learned her name later on, Tatiana. Awkward was an understatement. Neither James nor I brought up the kiss after that. Ever since that trip I had become close friends with both Bianca and Alice. They were sweet girls, and I had a lot in common with Bianca…or at least I used to.
“How’s the whole Sirius thing going?” I asked grimly, Bianca looked upset at something.
“How does he expect to get anywhere with me when he doesn’t know why I say no?” She spoke like I was supposed to know what she was taking about, but instead I stared at her blankly.
“I don’t understand.”
“Sirius used to be my next door neighbor, before my family moved. We were really good friends…but it was a secret, I was a half-blood, and his family hated mine because we supported all wizard types. Naturally, Sirius and I being the trouble-makers that we are: saw each other anyways. Then the Hogwarts letter came, and in my excitement, I ran right up to their doorstep. His mother opened the door, sent me away, and our parents started fighting. We moved then, and Sirius said he’d write…but he never did.”
“That’s horrible Bianca.” I felt an actual sense of apathy for her, mostly because in knowing Sirius the bit that I did, I knew he was loyal, and something was wrong, “Are you sure his parents didn’t ban him from writing?”
“Of course, but knowing Black, he’d find some way to write anyways. I missed him terribly, and when school came I thought everything would be perfect, and he tried…but our friendship was never the same after that.”
“So where does this…asking out come from?”
“Honestly, I don’t know,” she shook her head in disbelief, “I haven’t really talked to him since third year. I’d say he actually fancies me…but he’s about 6 years too late.”
“Never say never, Bianca,” I teasingly joked, knowing that on the inside, she wanted to believe that Sirius was being genuine.
“I don’t know if I should take that kind of advice from you Lils.” She teased, but I could sense in her voice that she was being serious.
“Why not?” I faked coy, knowing I had set myself into this one. I really did not want to talk about that particular marauder right now.
“Lily…James has fancied you since when? Fifth year? I’ve never ever seen that boy so dedicated to anyone in my entire life; honestly, I don’t think its all game to him. It may have been at one point, but rejection after rejection has to hit his ego hard.”
“Well that big head of his needs to be shrunk anyways, so I don’t see the problem. Besides James hasn’t asked me out in two months…I dare say he’s over me.”
“I highly doubt that…” she started, thinking to herself, “Though he does seem to work perfectly with that Tatiana girl.”
“I hope they are very happy together, I don’t need that prat in my life anymore,” I sounded angry, and I bit my lip, Bianca raised an eyebrow at me, so I knew she had caught my faltering.
“Lily?” She questioned, innocently, and I looked at her with slight fear, “You sound almost…disappointed…that he’s over you?”
“I’m happy for him, I am,” I tried to reason with her, but the slight blush coming onto my cheek, which I could not explain in the slightest, contradicted my every word, “it’s just…weird without James pining over me every day. I’ve gone years with it…I’ve grown…accustomed to it.”
“Aww Lils,” she cooed, “you miss James. But you don’t need to feel ashamed about it…James, believe it or not, is probably the best choice, whether boyfriend or friend, out of all the marauders…even Remus.”
“But the thing is Bianca…I don’t like James.” I could feel my whole face grow hot at the thought, and the images flashed, to that moment, last week, when I thought James was going to kiss me, and I didn’t stop him. I then had an image of James and Tatiana, their face plastered together, and my fist’s instinctively clenched.
“But I’ve come to realize, regretfully…” I breathed, and Bianca leaned forward in interest, “that James is a sweet guy, and…I miss that. I thought James and I were friends now…but we haven’t talked in a week.”
“I think that’s adorable.” Bianca smiled, “It’s good you’ve given James a chance. I mean, sure he’s a little conceited, confident, and arrogant, but what guy isn’t? Behind that, once you truly get to know him, he’s such a sweetheart.”
“He’s okay…and I suppose you’re right.” I sighed, and Bianca looked at me knowingly.
“You’re not the only one that’s noticed the change, Lils.” She leaned forward, no more than a few inches from my face, her eyebrow raised, and I gulped. Her words hit me with a reality, that James really was different this year, that maybe I wasn’t crazy, that James really wasn’t that bad guy I set him out to be this year.
“Why, though?” I whispered, the words coming out before I could comprehend them.
“His father died…killed by death eater’s I heard. His mother, in her old age, is dying. James sobered up, and realized that he needed to take his life seriously. I’m surprised you never heard, his father died just a couple weeks before school started…though I wouldn’t expect you too, you never cared before, and James acted normal.”
“That’s so horrible, why didn’t he ever tell me?” I felt very bad, for being so mean to him, I didn’t know, but I could have been nicer.
“He probably thought that you’d think he was only saying that to make you feel sorry for him.” She shrugged, but it didn’t calm my nerves.
“Well it would have worked!” I croaked, not quite coming to tears, but enough to make my throat dry.
“Huh,” Bianca breathed, with a humored energy, “and to think…a year ago, you would have never given James a second glance. You really have changed Lily…but why?”
I opened my mouth to speak, but I wasn’t quite sure how to answer, “I don’t know Bianca. I-I don’t know…maybe I opened up my heart to James, knowing that power he would hold.”
“D-d-do you fancy him?”
I opened my mouth again, and again I was speechless. Like she said, a year ago I would have had a sure answer, but now, I just didn’t know, whether or not I fancied him, whether or not I had the capability to love him, “I…I don’t know….and that terrifies me.”
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