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What's That Word? by Groundswell
Chapter 15 : They Call It Regret
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 9

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15 - They Call It Regret

Do you ever look back at a certain event – a moment, if you will – in your life, and wonder, 'what would have happened if I had done this differently?' Not the 'what-would-happem-if-I-don't-do-this-essay?'-moment. But the more important 'what-would-happen-if-I-jump-of-this-tower'-kind of moment. Do you ever look back at regret? Maybe you should have jumped of the tower into the lake, just for the thrill. Maybe you should have taken that train to France for the weekend, just for the thrill. Maybe you should have stopped James Potter... Just for the thrill.

That's the regret I'm housing at the moment. Not the train or the jumping part... Just the James Potter part. That and only that.

That exact feeling also makes my bed so much more comfortable. Welcoming. Not that I want to skip class, but I just don't fancy running into James. Or maybe I do, but I'm afraid of what will happen when I do. Maybe he'll ignore me, maybe I'll start yelling at him. Or worse; maybe I'll start crying.

Just like I did the whole first day of the new year. I wasn't that sad, really! But I was a bit overemotional, and I hadn't slept much at night, and I hadn't had much to eat for the previous day. And hunger and lack of sleep makes everyone a bit emotional. Really. Megan once cried just because she was hungry. Just hungry.

Speaking of Megan...

“Lily!” Megan once again hit my back with a pillow. “Seriously. Are you not going to class?”

“Yes,” I yelled from underneath my covers, “I'm not going to class.”

She sighed deeply, and I could feel her sit down on my bed. “Lily, come out from under there.” Her voice was softer now, a plead.

Grudgingly, I pulled the covers enough down for my eyes to find Megan's. “What?”

She looked at me with deep concern. “You'll tell me, right? If it's something serious, you'll tell me?”

“You don't want to know.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No, you don't. Trust me.”

“Lily, seriously,” she sighed. “When have we ever kept secrets from each other.”

Oh, I just have kept this major secret for several months now. Do you by any chance know James Potter?

“Since never.” My voice was heavy, almost a sigh.

“Exactly. So tell me.”

I looked at her for a long time. I really should tell her. I should. Now that we'd gotten this far in our conversation I couldn't not tell her. Megan had always been a good friend to me... well, just the last few years, before that we hated each other. But ever since that stupid incident with that detention in fourth year, which we both landed in, thanks to the one and only James Potter, we'd been close, and she had become the one person I learned to trust the most. I had to tell her.

So I sighed, “You're going to want to scratch out your eyes afterward.”


“And your ears.” I eyed her reaction, but she only raised her eyebrow.

“Come on!”

I bit my lower lip for some seconds and then looked away. “I kind of slept with James Potter.”




Then finally, “'Kind of'?”

“Well, just slept with. No 'kind of'.”

“When? Where? And why?”

“A lot of times, different places and, why not?”

I looked at her quickly, seeing her nod, apparently trying to comprehend it.

“But you hate each other.”

“Yeah, that's the tricky part...” I scooted a little up in the bed, letting the covers fall away. “See, at first I thought so too. But then I started to get jealous, and James used that to flirt with this other girl. Then it kind of ended, but James told me he liked me and wanted it all or nothing, and I didn't answer, and now it's definitely over.”

She blinked a few times. “You didn't answer him then, but now you do think you like him, but he thought you didn't want him, and now you think you want it all, not nothing, but you don't think James wants you. Right?”

I took a few seconds trying to understand what she just said. “Yes.”

“But he broke it of.”

“Yes, but he said he'd wait for me.”

She shrugged. “That changes it. I see no problem then. Tell him that and then tell me this; was it good?”

“Megan!” I yelled and hit her with a pillow. “Private.”

“Come on!” she complained. “You have apparently kept this big secret from me for a long time where you should have told me, so you owe me something in return. Details! Now!”

“I'm not giving you any details.”

“Okay, okay, okay.” She held up her hands, leaving half a meter between them. “I'm going to slowly gather my hands. Just say stop.”

“THAT'S IT!” I jumped up from the bed storming towards the bathroom. “That was the last time ever I told you something. EVER!”

“Don't be so sensitive, Lily!” she laughed and jumped up from the bed. I slammed the door after me, almost hitting her. “So when it's just you and him, is it 'Evans' or 'Lily'?”

“Mind your own business!” I yelled through the door.

“Well, you owe me!” she yelled back. “You kept this a secret for... how long exactly?”

I thought back. “I dunno. Since the first match or something...”

“You are a horrible, horrible person!”

I opened the door a little and stuck my head out. “I know. And do you want to know the worst part?” She nodded, and I breathed in deeply. “I think I'm addicted to the drama it brings. You see... I have long ago realised that maybe he wasn't flirting with that girl. Or maybe he wasn't thinking about it. But I won't be the one to apologise, and you know why? Because I'm a stubborn and proud idiot. And proud people do not apologise and stubborn idiots do not go down without a fight, even though they're wrong! And I keep thinking that maybe he'll come back. You know, the whole romantic thing. But I do know that that's not going to happen! But I keep thinking that it might will, because actually, I want it to happen that way. And the worst part? I miss him. I actually miss James Potter. That's a very unwanted feeling!”

She nodded slowly. “Yeah, you truly are horrible.” She rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Lily. You're dealing with a lot here, relax. Take it one step at a time. I'm sure that if James says he's waiting for you, he does not mind wait another week for you to come around. He's a good guy, and fights for what he really wants, and he's really been fighting for you. A lot more than you know. So please, brush your hair, come to class with me, and let's deal with this later when you've calmed down.”

“I don't want to see him again,” I muttered.

“Of course you do,” she said and grabbed my shoulders. “If you didn't you wouldn't be making such a big fuss about it. Besides, Sirius and I already decided what to name you children.”

“You wha-?”

“Sirius and Megan, of course.” She nodded. “Lily, we've known you'd get together for longer than you have. Don't be so blind.” She snapped the brush out of my hand, spun me around and started brushing it. “And now that I've got you here, in private, what are you, as captain going to do about the upcoming match?”

I sighed. “I haven't been giving it a single thought. It's Slytherin. I bet everyone expects some master plan. Ouch! Don't pull so much!”

She mumbled something I didn't hear and then continued, “You could always ask James for help. I mean, he's had plenty of practise when it comes to sports... and Slytherins. Maybe-”

“Absolutely not,” I stated flatly. I spun around and grabbed my brush. “Let me do that, you incompetent idiot.”

“Consider yourself lucky I like you so much. Not everyone go by unpunished, had they said something like that.”


She glanced at her watch. “We have to get going now. That is if you don't want an attention.”

I quickly finished up and hurried out after her.

The class had just begun when we got there, and McGonagall sent us a look over her glasses, but apparently decided not to say anything. I quickly glanced around the classroom, but found it short of two persons; James and Remus.

With a frown I turned my attention to the paper on the table and started scribbling instead. James was obviously avoiding me, skipping class, just trying to do so. Maybe he had changed his mind since New Year's. Maybe he didn't want me anymore. Maybe he had realised he would be better off without me. And then he was chickening out, avoiding me.

I got a bit more aggressive with my quill and was more just scratching the paper, back and forth.

Or maybe he actually had a good reason for not being here. Who knew? Maybe I was just over thinking it, as always.

I stopped suddenly with the scratching when Megan elbowed me, and looking up, I realised that most class was looking at me.

“I'm sorry, what?” I asked, confused, but still pretty sure I was about to answer some question.

McGonagall cleared her throat. “I was just telling class that maybe you'd like to demonstrate what we were just talking about?”

I looked down, already knowing I wouldn't be able to concentrate enough to make whatever spell it was. “I'd rather not,” I muttered, almost whispered. “I'm sorry, Professor.”

There was a heavy silence for a few seconds. “Well, then. What about you, Griggs?”

I barely heard or saw Daniel demonstrate whatever spell it was and truthfully I couldn't have cared less. Just that day, I had plenty on my mind.

And then I started thinking. Maybe the reason I had hesitated when James asked me to decide was that, maybe, I didn't want to be with him. Maybe, deep down, I knew it'd never work. But was that really the case? Truthfully, we weren't that different. Of course we had some things which we highly disagreed on, but there were a lot of things we had in common. Or where we just fitted perfectly together.


When the bell rag after last class, Megan kept sitting down, waiting for me, but I didn't move.

“Lily stop thinking about it.”

“What?” I looked at her. “Thinking about what?”

She rolled her eyes. “I'm not stupid. I'm sure James had a good reason for not being here. He's not avoiding you, and you will get to talk to him. Just relax, okay?”

“What if he's changed his mind?”

“If he has, then he's not the James Potter I know.” She winked at me. “You should take the chance.”

“But what if it's not worth it?”

“You won't know until you've tried it.” She smiled and leaned back in the chair, crossing her arms in front of her. “Did I ever mention to you that Sirius and I once kissed?”

“What? Really?” At first I was surprised, but then I remembered that she actually might have mentioned it for me once, but I couldn't really figure out when.

She nodded. “We were becoming good friends, and I thought, 'hey, maybe this is what it feels like', and we kissed, made out. Whatever. But I didn't get that thrill out of it. That feeling. And neither did he, so we decided that it'd be better were we just friends. Lily, you can't know whether or not James is right for you before you've tried it. Sirius and I tried it, and it didn't work. But at least now I don't have to wonder what could have been.”

“So you think I should just give it a try?”

“Absolutely.” She grabbed my arm and dragged me up. “And enough with the sulking. You'll see James soon enough.”

And I sure did. I didn't even have to wait for the next day, no, James was at dinner that night, but didn't seem to notice me. Time after time I let me eyes wander to him and his friends, and time after time I got nothing in response. But at the same time I got the feeling that he did know I was glancing at him, but he just avoided it.

So I ate and pretended like I didn't really care. Of course everyone who knew me and what was going could see that I did in fact care.

At last when he – alone, I might add – got up from the table, brushing off his clothes to leave, I let go of the fork I had clenched throughout the entire dinner. I decided that now was a perfect timing to take my shot. As he passed us, I exchanged glances with Megan and got up, hurrying after him. I was only a few metres behind him, but he did not seem to notice me, and as soon as I was out of the Great Hall I speeded up. There was only one problem: James seemed to have disappeared into thin air.

I couldn't decide which feeling was worst. The fact that he seemed to know I wanted to talk to him, but avoided me to the point of ridiculous. Or the fact that he had changed his mind when it came to the two of us. Regretted what he had said.

I took a deep, unsteady breath, and with tears of anger in my eyes, I ran back to the common room.

AN: So in the next chapter we'll hear a little of what James has been doing and why he's acting so weird. I just realised that now, there's not a lot chapters left :o Merry Christmas and please leave a review :)

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