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Chapter 10 : Time For A Truce
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I strode quickly down the hallway towards McGonagall’s office with Potter trailing behind, jogging to keep up with me.
“Oy, Evans! Slow down, will you?” Potter huffed, falling into step beside me.
I ignored him, quickening my pace. I needed to get away from there. My head was reeling with what I’d just seen. Alex with that… that… there wasn’t even a word that was bad enough to describe her.
But what had she done? After all, it had been Alex who had cheated. It had been Alex who had implied he’d wanted me back. And it was Alex who once again left me a pathetic, heartbroken mess.
If I had thought I was making progress getting over Alex, I had been dead wrong. Seeing him with her had been more awful than I could have imagined. Why did he affect me like that?
“Evans, you alright?” Potter asked gruffly as I came to an abrupt halt outside the McGonagall’s office.
“Shove off,” I snapped irritably.
“Hey, I’m not the one who was just snogging another girl after trying to get back with you,” Potter replied defensively, holding up his hands.
“You shouldn’t have hexed those Slytherins back there,” I burst angrily, in no mood to be tolerant of Potter anymore tonight. “Then we wouldn’t have had to take a detour and I never would have seen that.”
“Let me get this straight. You would rather be ignorant of the fact that your filthy ex-boyfriend was off snogging some tart just hours after he tried to get back together with you?” Potter scoffed, raising a disbelieving eyebrow at me. I seethed at him from the doorway, feeling like a complete idiot as I realized how true his words were.
“What I choose to be ignorant of is my decision, Potter. I don’t have to explain anything to you,” I hissed, trying to hide just how completely embarrassed I felt.
“No, you don’t,” Potter shrugged, looking taken aback by the venom in my voice. “I was just trying to be friendly.”
“Well, here’s a news flash for you, Potter,” I said acidly. “We’re not friends. So forgive me if I don’t confide in you every detail of my life.”
“I wasn’t asking you to confide in me,” Potter rolled his eyes impatiently. “If I wanted to listen to someone whine about their pathetic failed love life, I’d just go talk to Moaning Myrtle. I was simply asking whether you were OK or not.”
“Failed love life,” I shrieked. It felt good to yell again. All this rage at Alex had built up over the past few weeks and I was finding it extremely gratifying to take it all out on Potter. “That’s rich coming from someone who’s never had a steady girlfriend in his life.”
“I would hardly call that a failed love life,” Potter smirked. “There is definitely a lot of love going on there, if you know what I mean.”
“Urgh, you’re disgusting,” I groaned disdainfully.
“And you’re still uptight,” Potter countered, his mouth turning up at the corner in a lopsided smile. “If you ask me, you could use a little loving…”
I flicked my wand so quickly Potter didn’t even have time to react before the roll of Spell-o-Tape I had conjured covered his mouth and wrapped itself around his head several times. Potter’s angry shouts were muffled by the tape that I was now adding a temporary irremovable charm to.
“Potter,” I said calmly, stepping back and admiring my work. “You really need to learn not to say every crude thing that pops into that pea-size brain of yours.”
He shouted something that I sure was a string of curses, but I simply smiled and knocked on the heavy wooden door to Mcgonagall’s office. Potter scowled at me, his fingers scratching at the Spell-o-tape, trying to rip it off.
“Ah, Miss Evans,” McGonagall, opened the door, peering down at me through her round spectacles. “I thought I heard your dulcet tones coming from the corridor.”
“Sorry, Professor,” I blushed, feeling horribly embarrassed that she heard my fight with Potter. “I was just er, well…”
I glanced over at Potter who had followed me reluctantly into Mcgonagall’s office. His head was bowed slightly, as if he were trying to hide the newest addition to his face.
“Ah, say no more,” the Professor nodded curtly, appearing completely unsurprised to find Potter’s mouth Spell-o-Tape’d shut. She waved her wand quickly in his direction and the tape disappeared. Potter let out a deep breath and rubbed his mouth, shooting a menacing look at me.
“Thank you, Professor,” Potter mumbled, dropping into one of the empty chairs in front of her desk. I followed suit, scooting my chair as far from Potter as I could and folded my arms crossly.
“Now, I realize this will be quite a change for you, Miss Evans,” McGonagall said, fixing her hard eyes on me. “But I’m sure Mr. Potter will rise to the challenge of being a Prefect.”
I glanced warily over at Potter, who looked like the picture of attentiveness. His butterscotch eyes were fixed on McGonagall, nodding to indicate that he could, in fact, rise to the challenge of being a Prefect. Smarmy git.
Somehow, despite his constantly being put in detention, all of the professors still seemed to love him. How was it that he was so damn charming all the time, even when he was pulling pranks with Black?
“Now, I expect nothing but the best from you two this year,” McGonagall said sternly, her eyes roving between Potter and I. McGonagall was well aware that Potter and I despised each other but she had never shown any tolerance for our prejudices. “You are both in my house and if I hear one word about you acting less than civil to each other during patrols I will not hesitate to put you both in detention. Yes, detention Ms. Evans,” she added as I sputtered feebly in protest.
“Right,” McGonagall said curtly. “While I have you here, here are the dates for the Hogsmeade visits and the sign up sheets for them as well as the Christmas and Easter holidays. I’m putting you two in charge of the bulletin board, so make sure you’re posting these notices well in advance.”
She held out a stack of papers to us and I quickly grabbed them, not trusting Potter in the least to keep them safe.
“Well, I won’t keep you anymore,” McGonagall sniffed, standing and gesturing towards the door.
Potter and I both stood hastily and headed for the door.
“And don’t forget what I said,” McGonagall called after us. “If I hear one word…”
Potter and I exited the small office into the hall and I let out my breath in a whoosh. There was something about McGonagall that always made me hold my breath when I was around her.
“Ten galleons says you land yourself in detention by the end of the week,” Potter smiled playfully at me and I glowered back.
“Potter, I’ve dodged detentions for five years. Don’t flatter yourself so much to think that you’re irritating enough to land me in detention now,” I said placidly, crossing my arms as we headed towards the Gryffindor tower
“We’ll see,” Potter laughed quietly and I stared menacingly at him. No doubt he was already scheming ways to get me into trouble. I had a feeling it was going to take a lot of self-control to keep my cool around him this year.
I sighed again, my thoughts drifting back to what I’d seen in the corridor before the meeting. I just couldn’t get the image of him and that girl out of my head. I knew I was better off without him… and yet, why did I find myself thinking about him?
“Evans, where are you going?” Potter asked as I turned a corner heading in the opposite direction of the common room.
I ignored him, picking up my pace.
“Oi! Evans!” Potter called after me, but I headed down another corridor and out of sight.
I maintained my quick pace until I was the giant oak front doors. I hadn’t meant to end up there; I had just wanted to be anywhere but Gryffindor at the moment. I knew as soon as I stepped into the common room, Anna and Scarlet would want to know about what happened with Alex. And the Marauders would be there and I’d have to be civil to them for Scarlet’s sake. And I just needed some peace and quiet to think.
The sun had just set, casting a brilliant orange glow over the grounds. I wandered towards the owlery, thinking that I would pay my owl, Darwin, a visit. My parents had gotten me my very own owl as a reward last year for becoming a Prefect.
I walked around the giant stone tower of the owlery, glad that the warm summer air still remained. I started to climb the stairs of the tower and stopped when I heard voices.
It was no one I recognized, but I didn’t feel like seeing any other people tonight. I scrambled back down the stairs and out the door, heading around the back side of the owlery to avoid being seen.
I leaned against the cool stone, waiting until I heard the voices disappear on their way back to the castle. I was about to re-enter the owlery when something caught my eye in the forest.
I had learned years ago to be wary of the forbidden forest, but I desperately needed something to distract me from my thoughts. A strange white glow illuminated the trees at the edge of the forest, the source hidden just beyond my line of sight.
I walked carefully over the roots, my wand clutched tightly in my hand just in case.
The weak foggy light broke through the trees ahead and I saw a pile of stones shimmering in the pale light. Wrapping my arms tighter around myself, I stumbled forward, completely mesmerized by the sight.
The pile of stones took a defined shape, circular and hollow in the middle. It was a well…
The stones were rough in some places and mossy, some pieces had crumbled away over time. But it was so achingly beautiful that I couldn’t tear my eyes away. It was forgotten, overgrown, and yet strangely iridescent in the dim light.
I approached the well with some apprehension. I had been at Hogwarts long enough to know that things there tended to have a life of their own.
As I stood in front of the well, I gazed, transfixed into the dark waters that filled the well to the brim, despite its obvious abandoned state. I gasped as I noticed the water was occupied by small golden fish that swam lazily near the surface, their fins leaving shimmering swirls behind them. It was as if they were completely unaware that the well had clearly been abandoned.
I watched the fish swim slowly beneath the surface, occasionally diving into the black depths of the well, only to reappear a few minutes later.
“What are you?” I whispered, reaching a pale hand towards the water. I let my fingers skim the surface of the cold water, tiny ripples trailing behind my fingertips. The fish swam lazily past my fingers, seemingly oblivious to the disturbance in their water.
“Just another one of Hogwarts’s many secrets, I suppose,” I sighed, pulling my hand back and shoving it in my pocket. My hand closed around a crumpled piece of parchment in my pocket and I pulled it out, seeing my handwriting scrawled across the page.
“I really wish I didn’t still have feelings for him.”
My stomach twisted at the words, my eyes stinging with tears. I let the parchment slip through my fingers, watching as it floated gently towards the water of the well.
I gasped when the scrap of parchment did not rest of the surface of the water as I expected, but instead slipped beneath the surface, leaving no ripples. I watched, astounded as the parchment sank quickly into the water, disappearing into the black depths. The little golden fish paused briefly as the paper sank past them, and then continued swimming as though nothing had happened.
“What in the world…?” I breathed, still staring at the spot where my note had disappeared.
I practically jumped out of my skin when I heard a twig snap from somewhere nearby in the forest and I backed hastily away from the well.
Remembering I was technically in the forbidden forest and breaking the rules, I scrambled back towards the owlery, not wanting to get in trouble.
The sun had sunk completely below the mountains when I emerged from the forest and I hurried towards the castle, chills running down my spine despite the warm air.
I walked quickly towards the Gryffindor common room, hoping that I didn’t run into any of the other prefects tonight.
I stopped when I came to the portrait of the Fat Lady. She was chatting animatedly with her friend Violet and I waited patiently for her to finish.
When after a few minutes she still didn’t notice me, I cleared my throat loudly and started tapping my foot on the stone floor.
The Fat Lady turned slowly towards me, her eyebrows raised.
“Yessss?” She asked, her tone colored with annoyance.
“Flitterbloom,” I raised my eyebrows at her and she frowned.
“Oh, yes alright. No need to get your wand in a knot,” The Fat Lady said and Violet giggled as they swung forward, revealing a hole in the wall that lead to the common room.
The large circular room was buzzing with students, all excited to be back for another term, but I didn’t spot Anna or Scarlet among them so I started towards the girls dorm.
“Ah, Evans! We were wondering when you’d turn up,” Sirius Black had already made himself at home on the small couch in front of the fireplace.
Peter was sitting on the floor in front of the fire, tossing what looked like little fireworks into the flames, and then smiling appreciatively as each one exploded in a shower of colorful sparks while Remus leaned against the couch, watching.
Potter was perched on the arm of the couch playing with a miniature snitch he had knicked several years ago from the Quidditch supply shed.
“Bloody hell,” I muttered, running a hand irritably through my hair. “We’ve barely been here three hours and already you lot have taken over.”
“Geez, what’s got your knickers in a twist?” Black smirked, twirling his wand between his fingers and glancing up at me.
“Who says I’m wearing knickers at all, Black?” I countered, raising a mischievous eyebrow at him.
“My god, you’ve gotten cheeky,” Black laughed and Potter glanced up at our exchange. My attention shifted to Potter, struck by his lack of participation in the conversation. Normally any mention of my knickers would warrant an obscene comment from him.
“Why so quiet, Potter?” I asked, crossing my arms. “Afraid I’ll spell-o-tape your mouth shut again?”
“Actually yes,” he grinned. “My lips are still numb, thank you very much. Although if you like, you can help me get the feeling back…”
Potter winked playfully at me and I simply rolled my eyes and strode across the small common room, ignoring the peels of laughter from the Marauders.
I skipped up the stairs to the girls dorm and found my trunk already resting at the foot of my bed.
Scarlet and Anna were both lounging on my bed, flipping through a magazine.
“You do realize you have your own beds, don’t you?” I said hopping onto my bed and squeezing myself in between them.
“Your bed’s always been more comfortable,” Anna shrugged, turning the page of Witch Weekly.
“How was your meeting with McGonagall?” Scarlet asked idly, running her fingers through her dark hair.
“Ugh, fine,” I sighed. “She basically said that if she sees Potter and I fighting she’ll stick us in detention.”
“Well, then it’s a good thing you’re more relaxed this year,” Anna giggled.
“Yeah, but Potter seems pretty determined to get me in detention,” I grumbled.
“Maybe once he sees how much you’ve calmed down he’ll leave you alone?” Anna suggested and Scarlet and I laughed.
“Not likely, Annie,” Scarlet giggled.
“Come on, Lils,” Anna said, jerking her head surreptitiously towards Scarlet. “Don’t you think it’s about time for a truce with the Marauders?”
I wrinkled my nose at her but Scarlet was oblivious, busy checking her horoscope at the back of the magazine.
“We’ll see…” I muttered and Anna gave me a pleading look. “Speaking of people I hate…Guess who I saw snogging some tart in the hall after dinner?”
“Please tell me it wasn’t Alex…” Scarlet groaned, looking up from the magazine.
“It was Alex,” I confirmed and Scarlet wrinkled her nose.
“He’s such a goon,” she scowled, shaking her head.
“You ok?” Anna asked, seeing that I was kind of upset about it.
“I’ll be fine, I just wish I didn’t keep running into him everywhere,” I twisted a piece of my hair in my fingers distractedly.
“It’ll get better,” Anna assured me, patting me comfortingly on my shoulder.
We talked a bit more and Anna and Scarlet went to bed soon after that. I wasn’t feeling tired at all. Alex was still on my mind and I didn’t think I could get to sleep anytime soon.
I grabbed my new Charms book and headed down to the common room, sure that most people had gone to bed by now.
I dropped down onto the couch in front of the dying fire and propped open my book.
“Evening, Freckles,” A smooth voice said behind me and my fingers dug into the pages of my book. Can’t I just get one minute of peace and quiet?
Potter sat down in one of the armchairs in front of the fire and I glared at him.
“What do you want?” I growled at him when he didn’t say anything.
“Apparently someone’s given up on being nice to me,” Potter rolled his eyes, sinking lower into the armchair.
“I’m not exactly in a great mood,” I grumbled and he nodded slowly.
“Right… well, you better get it together, otherwise you heard McGonagall, detention for two,” Potter winked at me.
“Look, I only have to act like I’m getting along with you,” I said, glaring at him. “As long as I pretend to like you in front of McGonagall I’ll be detention-free.”
“So we’re just going to go back to hating each other like normal?” Potter asked and I glanced up at him.
“I thought you didn’t hate me,” I said, smirking at him.
“Yeah well, that was before you Spell-o-Taped all the feeling from my face,” Potter grumbled, rubbing his chin tenderly.
I laughed lightly. “I suppose I’ll have to refrain from hexing you in front of McGonagall from now on.”
“That’s very gracious of you,” Potter said sarcastically, but smiled. “And I guess I can maybe hold back on the suggestive remarks, if it’s so important to you not to get detention.”
I rolled my eyes and sank back against the squashy red couch.
“So, what is this then, a truce?” I laughed softly and Potter narrowed his hazel eyes at me.
“Yeah, I guess so,” He muttered, looking down.
“Well then. In the name of truce… I’m sorry I Spell-o-Taped your mouth shut…and turned you into a squid, for that matter,” I muttered, trying very hard not to smile at the memory.
Potter chuckled lightly, his hazel eyes twinkling in the dim light from the fire.
“It was actually refreshing to see you hex someone for a change,” Potter said. “Even if it was me. I didn’t think you had it in you…”
“I’m just full of surprises this year, aren’t I?” I yawned, exhaustion drifting over me. “Urgh, being nice to you takes too much energy.”
Potter laughed loudly and pushed himself out of his chair and stood in front of me, gazing down at me over his long, straight nose. “You’re not so easy to get along with too, you know.”
“And you wonder why I say no when you ask me out,” I said, hopping off the couch and walking towards the girls dorm. “I mean, how can a girl resist when you lay on the charm like that?”
Potter smirked and rolled his eyes at me.
I stuck my tongue out at him childishly and skipped up the steps to my dorm. I sank down on my bed without bothering to change and let out a deep sigh, letting sleep take over me. This was going to be one hell of a year…
A/N: Ok here's another new chapter! I know its still kind of short... my bad! But hurray! Lily's finally discovered the Well!!! Aaaand James and Lily have struck a truce? How long do we think that'll last? Well, let's just say they get into a bit of mischief in the next episode :P
Anyways, things are gonna get a bit crazy for me soon. I'm in the process of moving, but I promise I'll update as often as I can!
So what did you think of this chapter?? Leave a review :)
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