Chapter 4 : Chapter Four: Of Growing Up
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Chapter Four: Of Growing Up
Lily woke up the next morning and took more time than usual to get ready. She combed her hair so that it sat straight and long (how was it already to her chest?) and applied makeup with her wand.
Mary walked into the loo as Lily walked out, the former’s hair sticking up in a manner similar to that of a haystack and her eyes crusty from sleep. “Lookin’ good, Mary,” Lily laughed at her friend, who flipped her off and slammed the door shut behind Lily.
Mary was never much of a morning person to begin with.
Smiling, Lily made her way to the Great Hall for breakfast. She was in a good mood despite the odd way James had acted last night, not that she was still thinking about that or anything.
She had a lunch date today.
It was the first date she’d had in a while and she was going to enjoy it.
She spotted Sirius and Adara over at the Ravenclaw table and plopped down across the table from them.
“Hey, Lily,” David, on of Adara’s Ravenclaw friends, winked. Lily laughed and smiled back, “Haven’t seen you much, David.” She answered.
“Yeah, well, with this one,” he pointed next to him at a disheveled looking Christine, “keeping me as her makeshift boyfriend, I don’t have time for much else.”
Lily raised an eyebrow as Christine flipped David the finger, “I am not doing anything like that,” she grumbled.
“Do you miss Cole?” Lily asked.
Christine glared at her, “No, I don’t miss my boyfriend who is thousands of miles away in another country being brilliant and studying dragons while I’m stuck here with imbeciles like this,” she pointed to David. “Why ever would you ask such a thing?”
Lily put her hands up, “It was a stupid question; I get it.”
“No one gets it!” Christine cried dramatically thumping her head on the table. Adara laughed and patted her friend on the head, sending Lily a ‘she’s just being dramatic’ look.
Lily smiled and nodded as she scooped some oatmeal into her bowl. “Did I tell you guys that I –”
“Hi, guys!” James slid into the seat next to Lily with such force that when he knocked her elbow the ladle she was holding hit her on the forehead, getting oatmeal everywhere.
“Potter!” Lily used his name like a curse. She turned to glare/hit/something him when she noticed that he wasn’t looking at her, but was putting his arm around Elizabeth, who was sitting next to him looking worn out but happy.
“Sorry, Lily,” James waved her off, kissing Elizabeth on the forehead. Lily furrowed her brows and looked at sent a terrible look to Adara, who shook her head.
Lily took a deep breath and violently grabbed a napkin to wipe the oatmeal off her forehead, trying to remain calm even with James’ interruption.
“What were you saying, Lily?” Sirius asked, obviously aware that Lily was about to explode.
She focused on Sirius and Adara and thought about her lunch date. She managed to smile. “I have a lunch date today.”
“Did you finish that essay for potions, Padfoot?” James cut across Adara’s question.
“Er –” Sirius looked from Lily, who was sure her face was turning red with anger, to his mate. “No…”
“Me neither, I was going to after the meeting but then I had other things I needed to attend to…” he winked and squeezed Elizabeth, who blushed.
“James, stop.” She said. “I don’t know why you’re acting like this; I want to hear about Lily’s date.” She shrugged off James’ arm, obviously miffed at his confession, and looked down the table at Lily, who was completely taken by surprise at her reaction.
Elizabeth gained so much more respect in Lily’s eyes.
She was so shocked she couldn’t form words for a few seconds.
“Lily?” Adara sounded amused.
“Oh, right,” Lily stirred her oatmeal, not daring to look at James’ face though she was sure it was amusing. “Well, Amos asked me to Hogsmede and said he wanted to have lunch today to smooth out the details…”
“Which totally means he wants a snog,” Sirius put in. Adara hit him, “It does not! He might just want to spend time with her!”
“Right, and I’m going to move back home and reconcile with my parents,” Sirius muttered.
Lily laughed, getting nervous. What if that was really all he wanted from her? “Well, he’s not getting that whether it’s what he wants or not.”
“Good,” smiled Elizabeth. “It’s best to keep them waiting.” She smirked at James, who was staring at his oatmeal decidedly keeping out of the conversation. Elizabeth frowned at him. “Why are you in such a foul mood today?” she asked him, kissing him on the cheek. She continued to whisper to him, but Lily couldn’t hear. James was nodded and whispering back. She looked away, to Sirius and Adara, and put on a smile.
“I’m sure it will be fun; I haven’t really talked to Diggory much, but I know that he hates Courtney,” Sirius told her.
Adara’s face twisted into a mean scowl, “Who doesn’t hate Bippity-bobbity Bitch?” She glared at her boyfriend.
“Oh, I hate her. Completely. Thoroughly. Despise her, mhmm,” Sirius said quickly. Adara gave him another look and turned to Lily, “If he hates that whore, he’s got my blessing,” she told her.
Lily laughed, remembering the jealousy that Adara had for the girl last year before she and Sirius got together. Merlin, that was awful… but hilarious. “Good to know.”
The familiar rustle of wings then filled the Great Hall, signifying the arrival of the morning post. Lily looked up just in time to see her owl flying towards her, she grinned. Today was going to be good, damnit. No matter how much James annoyed her.
“Hello there, Herena,” Lily cooed, petting her owl. Herena held out her leg and allowed Lily to untie the letter while she helped herself to her owner’s pumpkin juice. Another owl landed just as Herena took off, giving Lily her copy of the Daily Prophet. Lily shoved a knut in it’s pouch and it, too, flew off.
Adara, James, Elizabeth, and Christine had all gotten letters too, so Lily didn’t feel too bad opening hers right away. She smiled at her dad’s familiar handwriting.
It was so good to hear from you in that last letter. As you can imagine, the house is a pretty horrid place to be right now. The wedding date has been set for December 15th, so that you can attend (which, I’m sure, is a relief for you to hear…). Honestly, I can’t wait for it all to be over; not that I don’t love your sister equally and with all of my heart, but her incessant whining and yelling is grating on both mine and your mother’s nerves.
Lily laughed imagining her dad holed up in his study, trying to escape Petunia.
We’ve finally convinced her to use purple instead of pink (not that you nor I particularly care) though it was at the ‘small’ price of renting a limo to take her and – oh, what is his name... Vernad? – to and from the wedding and reception. I hope that you’re not planning on marrying anytime soon because apart from the fact that you’re much too young to even be thinking about boys, I’m fairly certain we won’t have any money left after the wedding to retire, much less to fund another one.
Lily rolled her eyes; like she would ever want such an extravagant wedding anyway. She’d be happy with a small ceremony in a small church with her close friends and family. It was her sister that was showy and obnoxious.
Apart from wedding planning, nothing else is causing me to grey early over in our world. I’ve still been taking the Daily Prophet like you suggested and, as you probably read, most of the danger seems to have moved out of our area. I don’t want you to worry about us, Dear, I’m sure that your protective charms and whatnot are perfectly done and more than safe. Just worry about yourself.
I would tell you to watch your grades and keep up your Head duties, but I’m sure you’re already doing that and more, Angel. I can’t wait to get your next letter – God knows I miss your presence in this house; another sane person would do wonders for my blood pressure.
All my love,
Lily couldn’t wipe the smile off of her face for the first two periods of the day, even after reading about the recent attacks in the Daily Prophet. Though she loved being at Hogwarts – usually more than she loved being home – she did have to admit that she missed her Dad quite terribly and his letters could always cheer her up. Lily was close with her mum, but though her mum did seem to be able to raise such a thing as Petunia, Lily couldn’t for the life of her see how she Dad had produced such a thing.
“How’s your mum?” Lily asked Adara, referencing the letter she had gotten that morning, as they made their way up from potions and to lunch. Sirius and James had made some excuse and headed back to the common room.
“She’s good,” Adara grinned. “Bored. She doesn’t like being under protection – says it cramps her style, whatever that means.” Adara rolled her eyes as Lily laughed.
“Tell her I say hello.”
“Will do. Is your sister still raising hell?”
Lily nodded, “I can’t believe I’ll eventually be dragged to that wedding; I’d rather attend a Slug Club meeting every day for a month.”
“Whoa now,” Adara pulled up her hands. “Don’t be saying such dramatic things, Lils.”
“Shut up,” Lily shoved her friend. “You don’t understand. I’ll probably have to bring someone too – fucking plus-ones.”
“I’ll be your plus-one,” Adara grinned, waggling her eyebrows and grabbing Lily’s hand.
Lily laughed, “Now that would be a sight, it would. Showing up to my sister’s wedding holding your hand; she’d go mental.”
“You make me mental,” Adara whispered, trying to keep a straight face but failing as Lily raised and eyebrow. They both nearly collapsed in hysterics.
When they finally reached the Entrance Hall, Lily was surprised to see Amos waiting for her with a small basket in his hands. She said goodbye to Adara, who winked over dramatically, and grinned as she made her way over to him.
“Hello, Lily,” Amos smiled at her and she noticed that his gray eyes were actually quite pretty.
“Hi, Amos,” Lily replied. “What’s this?” she gestured to the basket.
“I thought, since it’s one of the last pretty days we’ll have, we should enjoy it by having lunch outside,” he explained.
Lily was very impressed. “That’s a good idea; how did you –”
“I’m friendly with the house elves,” Amos smiled at her and she noticed that he had a dimple on his right cheek. Objectively, one had to admit that Amos was attractive. Lily had just never really paid attention to him before – probably because James had always been at her to date him.
Amos held the heavy Entrance Hall door open for Lily and they began walking towards the lake. The sun was shining mid-sky and there were a few people outside sitting by the lake or throwing a quaffle back and forth. Lily and Amos passed a group of giggling second years and finally found a spot by the lake in the sun.
“Now I don’t want to take this too quickly or anything and I know we’re not dating, but I think you’re gorgeous and I’m glad we’re doing this,” Amos told her.
Lily felt a blush rising at the cheesy comment, “I’m glad we are too.” She said, smiling, as she began to unpack the basket.
She’s biting her lip; it always drove James crazy when she did that.
She’s biting her lip and it’s driving him crazy and then he’s looking at her like she’s a prize and he’s just hit the jackpot.
She’s biting her lip and driving him crazy and then he’s looking at her like that and James can’t do a goddamn thing about it.
And he really didn’t like it.
He kicked a rock into the lake and shuffled around so that he could reenter the Great Hall without being seen by the lovely couple.
It wasn’t that he was jealous…
Okay, yes it was. He was a bit jealous and he was secure enough in his current relationship to admit that. Elizabeth had whispered something to that effect to him this morning when he was ‘acting like a little bitch’ (her words, not his).
Because he would never admit to acting like a little bitch. He was an adult, damnit.
He looked over his shoulder one more time, as if to check if what was happening was really actually happening.
He saw her giggle and toss her hair over her shoulder before smiling at Diggory.
He was in Hufflepuff. James and Sirius had a pact that they would only date Hufflepuffs to make the true desire of their affections jealous.
And if that person was a Hufflepuff…
Ha. Ha. Yeah, right.
James continued into the Great Hall grumbling to himself about a certain redhead and her unfair assessment of potential mates.
“James!” he turned when he heard his name called and immediately his face broke into a grin. He planted a kiss on the top of Elizabeth’s head before sitting down between her and Sirius.
“Are you in a better mood?” she asked him, looking up at him with her weird-colored eyes.
“I am now,” he answered flirtatiously. Sirius mimed puking onto his plate until James elbowed him in the ribcage. “Sorry about this morning; you were right I was a bit jealous. But it’s not because I still have feelings for her, you know that I love you now, right?”
“I understand,” Elizabeth answered in her older-than-she-was way. James didn’t know how he got so lucky with a girl who didn’t freak out when he admitted he was still jealous about a past crush. “You liked her for a long time – that’s not easy to forget.”
“I don’t know how I deserve you,” he answered her, dipping down to kiss her gently.
She smiled at him and he automatically smiled back. Elizabeth made him happy. Very happy, actually. His parents loved her, the Marauder’s loved her, and he was pretty sure he loved her, too. He definitely felt more strongly about her than he did towards any of the other girls he’d dated.
“I just trust you,” she told him simply. “And I love you, too.” She kissed his shoulder, grinning, before turning back to her meal.
“Wormtail’s on it, mate,” Sirius whispered to James.
James shot Sirius a confused look.
“Wormtail is on it,” Sirius said again.
“Stressing certain words won’t help me understand your cryptic message,” James rolled his eyes.
“The date,” Sirius dropped the code. “It’s easier to watch when you’re small and can blend in to things like grass and woods. Like a rat can.”
It clicked and a few emotions flooded James in very quick succession. The first was assurance, the second anger, the third humor, and the last horror.
It was very weird to feel such differing emotions so quickly. He groaned, “You shouldn’t have done that.”
“She’s going to be angry –”
“She won’t find out.”
“-it’s an invasion of privacy –”
“Never stopped us before.”
“She’s not mine anymore!” James finally spit out, causing the people around them to stare at him. Elizabeth cocked a brow at him. A beat of silence passed. “And I’m not looking after your owl any longer, Padfoot!” James yelled, keeping up the pretense by thinking fast. “I’ll see you later, babe,” he kissed Elizabeth on the cheek and stormed out of the Great Hall, not even sure why he was so upset.
He stomped up to the common room and threw himself into a chair by the window overlooking the lake, just to torture himself a little more. He was going to think this through before it completely ate him up and he lost Elizabeth over it.
He could barely see them now, by the lake, if he squinted his eyes and pressed his glasses to his face. It looked like they were throwing something into the lake. Probably skipping rocks. How fucking cliché.
He ran his hand through his hair and then let his head hit the window. His glasses dug into the skin around his eyes and he groaned.
All summer he was fine – actually he barely thought about Lily (ugh, thinking her name made him angry all over again) at all. Summer was full of the Marauders and Elizabeth and keeping the house while his parents worked to combat the evil forces of the world.
In fact, he thought that he was completely (almost) over her until that compartment and that last rule. It’d all come crashing down on him then and he’d remembered, in that instant, that he could cash in his free date with Lily Evans at that moment if he so wished.
That was where it started, really. He’d played it cool enough but that night, after the feast and after the talking and after everyone else had gone to sleep, he’d laid in bed, staring at the red canopy and thought about her.
And then he had thought about Elizabeth; about Elizabeth’s small amused smile whenever he did something silly and the dainty way she laughed and the way she made that content-sounding sigh when he pulled her close and how her skin was dark in all the places except those that were covered by her bakini…
When he kissed Elizabeth, he did get those little butterflies or whatever in his gut. And that night before September first up in his old playhouse with the glass roof, when he made love to her it did feel right.
And Lily… well, Lily didn’t smile at him like that. She didn’t laugh at his antics or sigh contently when he touched her or even give him a goddamn chance to make her realize that he was serious when he told her he fancied her.
And he didn’t need someone like Lily. So he’d decided to forget about the date and forget about the deal and continue living happily with Elizabeth by his side.
And then Diggory came along and fucked everything up. He was fine before that yellow-badgered git came in and ruined his friendship with Lily. They were actually getting along, Lily and James. They laughed and even had serious conversations. They had treated each other like adults instead of like enemy toddlers in a sandbox. And everything had been great.
And then today she’d called him Potter again.
He hit his head against the window a few more times for good measure. Maybe he could bash her out of his head.
He heard the portrait hole open and sat up straight, he couldn’t have members of his house see their leader beating his head against a window, now could he? He stared balefully out the window as they passed, “-never thought she’d actually go on a date,” a girl’s voice he didn’t recognize said as they passed.
And it clicked.
He’d never actually thought Lily would go on a date. She wasn’t his anymore… wasn’t that what he’d yelled? She’d always been his girl, at least he’d thought she would be eventually. The Marauders had assumed and he has assumed and …
Yeah, he was dating Elizabeth but that was different because it was still just him and Elizabeth and Lily, who could be his friend when he was dating Elizabeth and she wasn’t dating anyone because she was his.
So, he’d just have to get used to the fact that Lily was going to date. And possibly be someone else’s girl.
Of course she was.
She was a beautiful girl, a smart girl, clever girl…
She was bound to have other guys want to date her, especially now that he wasn’t threatening anyone who looked at her twice.
That was why he was so thrown.
At least it made sense now.
He sighed and ran his hand through his hair again – a habit he’d been trying to stop, mainly because it irritated Lil…
He ran his hands through his hair more times than was necessary just to irritate someone who wasn’t even there.
He was losing it.
He needed to pull himself together.
He took a deep breath and stood up, glancing out the window. He saw that Diggory and Lily were packing up their lunch and walking back into the castle.
And he knew what he’d have to do. He’d have to be an adult. He was going to be mature about this.
Growing up sucks.
“Lily,” James ran after her in the corridor after their last class of the day let out. He’d noticed that she had seemed a bit dazed throughout the whole period and he tried not to think about why that might be because, even though he was trying to come to terms with it, he didn’t enjoy the feeling that accompanied the picture of Diggory’s lips on Lily’s.
He watched as Lily spun around in a whirl of red. She looked irritated and tired at the sound of his voice, making his stomach drop the tiniest bit. She looked up at him with her almond-shaped green eyes (the eyes he knew he’d never forget, the ones that would always take his breath away no matter how many women he loved nor how much he loved them) and sighed, “What, James?” she asked.
At least he was James again. He was sure he’d still be Potter. He grinned a bit at this and went to run his hand through his hair but stopped. Her eyes caught the motion and he swore the corner of her mouth twitched. He took this as a good sign.
“I owe you an apology,” James told her, watching as those eyes widened in surprise. He tried not to notice the freckles on her nose, because once he started paying attention to those it was hard to recover. “I’m sorry about the way I acted this morning. And last night. I was a prick. I – I –” he paused wondering if he needed to admit this part.
She looked at him curiously. He sighed, “I was jealous.”
Her eyes didn’t darken as he’d expected. It threw him off – he used to be able to predict her reactions fairly well, especially those involving him. Her eyes widened again and she looked down at the floor. James continued, somewhat out of surprise, “I know I shouldn’t have been and I think I’ve gotten over it now.”
She looked up at him again. “It obviously wasn’t because I still fancy you,” James chuckled nervously. Her eyes darkened and it confused the hell out of him. He wanted to keep talking so that she could keep surprising him with her reactions. He wanted to know the reasoning behind them, but didn’t dare ask. “Elizabeth actually helped me to realize it and work through it.” She looked at the floor again.
“That’s nice,” Lily said. “And thank you for the apology.” She looked back up and seemed to study his face for a second before, “I hope that we can still work together and be friends,” the way she said that word sounded foreign to James and he stopped paying attention to what she was saying as his mind reeled. Why couldn’t he understand anything Lily did recently? “…even though I’m dating Amos.”
The last part registered and James felt the sudden urge to punch something: a wall, a first year, Diggory… “Dating?” he managed to say. Lily smiled in a way that had trouble written all over it.
But why? Why was she smiling like that?
“Yes,” she took in his face and sighed. “Well, I have to go. I told Mary I’d meet her after class. I’m glad you’ve gotten over your jealousy.” She smiled at him, a genuine one this time, and turned to walk away from him.
She had to be swinging her hips that way on purpose.
That skirt was much to short.
This jealousy was way too out of place.
“You punched a stone wall?” Sirius asked, half laughing, as James held out his hand for his mate to heal a few minutes later.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” James grumbled. Sirius shook his head and muttered the spell. James’ hand healed with a few pops.
If only everything were that easy.
A/N: I don't have time to make a long A/N so
1. IM SORRY GUYS.
2. PLEASE STILL LOVE ME 'CAUSE I LOVE YOU.
over and outt.
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