Chapter 7 : Forgiveness
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"Go away Freddy."
"I will once you promise to talk to James?"
"Never" I turned left swiftly, heading down a line of books that I'd previously used for potions homework.
"I don't even see why you're ignoring him..."
"He's a hypocrite Fred!" I turned on my heel to face the tall, muscular, lightly tanned joker that had a frown upon his handsome face. "He ignored me for a fortnight because he THOUGHT that I was going out with Robert when I clearly wasn't!" I was practically shrieking with hysteria now. "And then he goes and casually tells me that he's going out with Naomi!"
"Does that bother you?" Freddy crossed his arms and leant back on the shelf of books beside him, drumming his fingers along his tanned arm.
"James going out with Naomi?" I replied, baffled. Fred nodded his head and I scoffed. "Of course it doesn't! James has had girlfriends before!"
"Exactly. And you've always been fine about them so why...?"
"Freddy, please drill this into that thick skull of yours. It's not that he's with her, even though I don't like her at all, its the fact that he had the nerve to have a go at me for being with Robert and not telling him about it, †even though I wasn't, and then not tell me that he was with Naomi! We're meant to be best friends!"
"Firstly, I'm hurt you implied I'm stupid. I haven't taken that many Bludgers to the head..." Fred stepped forward, leaning forward on his toes as he rocked himself towards me, towering over my short 5"1 height. "And secondly, Titch, you're jealous."
"I am not jealous!" I screeched as I walloped Fred over the head with my chosen book and stalked out of the library.
"The first step to healing is to recognise the issue Titch!" Freddy called after me as I retreated back to the Gryffindor common room.
Who does Freddy Weasley think that he is?! I mean, he's one of my best friends, but that's no excuse to go around and accuse me of being jealous of some bitchy, fake-looking, slutty girl that my best friends going out with. Okay, so I don't like Naomi one bit, which may make my attitude appear to be jealousy, but it's not! I'm not even jealous that Naomi spends more time with James than I, his best friend, do! Because I hate James. Well, maybe not hate, but strongly dislike. At this present moment in time.
"Which of you put him up to it?" I glared accusingly at my group of friends, draped over the sofas in the common room as I entered the portrait hole.
"What?" Drew leant his head back on the sofa to look at me.
"Freddy. Which one of you made him talk to me?"
None of them answered, in fact, they all seemed a bit bewildered.
"Lise, I think Freddy was just acting on his own accord. He's desperate for you to forgive James" Alice spoke from Drew's side and I fixed her with a glare as I slumped down into an armchair beside them all.
"Well I'm not going to."
"Good for you" Bea patted my arm and I smiled weakly at her.
"Bea don't encourage her" Nick groaned.
"Well I think Lise has every right to ignore James, he's been a complete dick to her" Bea snapped at Nick, who glared at her. Nick and Bea had been snappy towards one another ever since the beginning of term and nobody understood why. Of course, Alice and I were too scared to ask Bea, and Nick insisted nothing was wrong.
"James feels really bad Lise" Drew broke the silence that had fell upon the group and I frowned at him.
"You know, you're horrible when you're like this. Where's our nice Lise gone?" Nick poked me playfully and I slapped his finger away.
"Ooh grouchy" Freddy poked me in the head from behind my chair, where he had obviously just appeared.
"I'm not grouchy. I'm happy" I attempted to smile and my friends simply smirked. Freddy moved to perch on the edge of my armchair and threw an arm around my shoulders.
"You'll only be happy when you talk to James."
"That's a lie. If I talk to him, I'll have to kill him. And I'm pretty sure Azkaban is a grim place to be."
"You're such a drama queen Lise" Alice rolled her eyes and we all turned to face her, mouths open in mock-surprise.
"Alice Duke, you are such a hypocrite" Bea smirked and Alice pouted at her.
"Alice" Drew laughed and slung an arm over her shoulders. "I'm pretty sure that when you found me kissing that girl the other day and started screaming about me getting her pregnant and then having to marry this random girl at 17, was evidence of you behaving like a drama queen."
"It could of happened!" Alice said defensively as she shrugged Drew's arm off her shoulders.
"What could have happened?" a familiar voice asked from behind my seat and I jumped.
"Oh hey Jamesie" Freddy clapped his cousins shoulder in greeting. "You can sit here mate, by Lise, I have to get going anyway."
There was an awkward silence between the group and Freddy moved and placed James on the edge of my chair. We were practically touching and I sat still and rigid in my seat, staring at my lap to avoid James' burning stare.
"Lise-" he began but stopped as I abruptly stood up.
"Is that the time?!" I threw my wrist in front of my face even though I wasn't wearing a watch. Excuse my poor improvisation skills. "Sorry guys, I promised I'd meet Robert before dinner, I'll see you later!" I gushed before rushing out of portrait hole, not even stopping to check my appearance like I usually did before I met with Robert.
I was so angry at myself for allowing Freddy to put me in that situation. As if he thought I would talk to James just to stop the awkwardness! It had been two weeks since James announced he was going out with Naomi but I wasn't at all ready to forgive him for it. I was furious with him and I thought he was a selfish, hypocritical little.... little rat! Urgh, just thinking about everything he said makes me angrier still.
Although, I always felt better when I relived the moment I slapped James hard across the face at the breakfast the next morning, after he tried to talk to me. Everyone had seen it, had jumped when they'd heard the resounding SMACK against his skin, and had winced when they'd spotted the red mark on his left cheek. Naomi had screeched at me and called me a 'crazy whore' for attacking her boyfriend and Drew and Nick had had to physically restrain me from killing her whilst Alice tried to calm me down with soothing words. It hadn't worked. I'd been angry since that moment a fortnight ago.
I took a sharp right and headed to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom for some peace while I fixed myself up. Well, if Myrtle herself was around it wouldn't be entirely peaceful, but the attitude of girls who were living rather than dead wasn't something I was in the mood for. Kicking open the door to aim my frustration towards James at something solid, I stormed up to the sinks and glared at my reflection in the mirror. Pulling at my hair and raking my hands through any tangles, I patted it down and set to work on my face. I swiped away any left over mascara that had smudged beneath my eyes and reapplied a new coating. Rubbing some lipgloss onto my lips, I smacked my lips together, ruffled my hair and hitched my skirt up further before sauntering towards the door.
"Ooh, who are you getting made up for?"
I groaned and swivelled round to face Mrytle, the whiny, annoying ghost that had been haunting this toilet for close to a century now.
"Is it for that James Potter? He's lovely isn't he? Looks just like his daddy. Shame Harry never died really... I'd always wanted him to come share my toilet..."
"Its not for James" I snapped.
"Ooh, who's is for then?"
"Is he your boyfriend?" Myrtle drifted closer to me in interest. Merlin, she just adores gossip doesn't she.
"Why is that any of your business?"
"So he's not then. But well done, he's very nice looking... Just not as lovely as those Potter boys..."
"Oh shut up Myrtle. Why don't you just go snog James or Albus yourself instead of obsessing over them!"
Myrtle moved back from me immediately, her face moving to a screwed up expression as she began to force sobs.
"Oh look at you! Mrs high and mighty just because you can kiss boys and I can't! Why dont you get all your stupid friends in to tease me about it too! Let's all tease Myrtle because she can't kiss Potter boys like we can!"
I rolled my eyes as Myrtle threw me one last dejected sob and then disappeared down the nearest toilet with a splash. I swear, Alice and Myrtle ought to get on with one another so well they're such drama queens.
"So, fancy a walk?" Robert met me at the bottom of the staircase with his hands thrust in his pockets.
"Sure" I shrugged, waving my wand as I summoned my robes I'd left behind in my dormitory.
"Not prepared?" Robert smiled as he helped me put my robes on, something that got on my nerves.
"I left the tower in a hurry."
"Desperate to see me?" Robert slipped his hand into mine as we trailed down the steps into the grounds from the castle doors.
"Desperate to get out of the common room" I corrected him.
"Oh" he glanced ahead of him as we walked, watching our fellow students walking the grounds themselves. I smiled as I followed the movements of a †brave group of first years (they must be Gryffindor's) throw sticks and such into the lake, trying to tempt the Giant Squid from the depths of the water so they could catch a glimpse of the creature.
"Why are you escaping your friends?"
I shrugged. "I wasn't."
Robert stopped and turned to face me as we reached the path beside the lake and looked into my eyes hesitantly.
"You can talk to me you know."
"I am talking to you" I furrowed my brows in confusion. Why was it that when Robert was being serious I never understood what he meant? Although, in fairness, Robert was serious pretty much all the time, seeing as he was a Ravenclaw.
"No. I mean, if there's something on your mind, or anything, or anyone, bugging you, you can tell me about it" he squeezed my hands as he stepped closer to me.
"Thanks" I looked away from his gaze as he moved his hand to my chin. I turned my face up to meet his and watched as he shifted his gaze behind me.
"Potter" he murmured.
"What about him?"
"He's coming this way. I think he might want to talk to you."
"I don't want to talk to him" I moved closer to Robert, slipping my hands around his neck.
"Is he your problem?" Robert raised his eyebrows at me.
"No, he's just an idiot."
"Do you want me to-"
"Robert" I interrupted him as I trailed my fingers along the back of his neck. "The only thing I want you to do is kiss me."
He looked back to me as I said that and he smiled cheekily. "I think I can do that." He whispered against my lips, his hot breath darting through my slightly apart lips. I linked my arms stronger behind his neck and moved closer as he closed the gap between us. Our lips moved against each other in a slow, steady pace, his hands placed softly on my waist. Robert's kisses didn't send fire along my veins or make fireworks explode in my minds eye, but they were very nice, and I enjoyed kissing him. As we continued to kiss, my tongue tracing Roberts lower lip slowly, somebody coughed behind me. I didn't have to open my eyes or turn around to recognise the haughty 'hem'.
"James" I mumbled as I pulled away slightly from Robert. "Fuck off."
"Sorry to interrupt, looked like you were having a great time shoving your tongue down Lise's throat, Darcy" he glared at Robert as I turned to face James and huffed at him.
"James-" I shot him a warning glare and he rolled his eyes, the Potter smirk twitching at his lips.
"Teddy wants to see you."
"Teddy?" Robert and I asked together, addressing different people and with a different meaning. I turned in his arms and faced him, muttering "He means Professor Lupin" as explanation to Robert before twisting to face James again. His eyes flickered to Robert's arms around my waist and his smirk twitched downwards slightly.
"Why does he want to see me?"
"I dunno" James crossed his arms. "He just told me to tell you that he wanted to see you. You know, because we're best friends..."
"Yeah, because I really feel like being friendly with you right now" I snapped and moved from Robert's grasp. I turned to face him and kissed him softly on the cheek. "Sorry we didn't get to spend much time together. But I'll see you after dinner?"
"Quidditch practise" Robert sighed and ran a hand through the thick hair at the front of his head.
"Don't worry, I'll see you tomorrow" I kissed him again, softly on the lips this time, smiling regretfully as I turned and and set off back to the castle at a brisk pace, hoping that my meeting with Teddy Lupin wouldn't run into dinner. I heard James' heavy footsteps behind me as he fell into step with my swift pace with ease that only his height could allow him to achieve.
"Sorry for interrupting your snogging session" James mocked.
"You should be. I was having a nice time. And I never do that to you and Naomi do I?"
"You haven't talked to me since Naomi and I went public."
I shrugged. "You didn't talk to me for two weeks before that."
"Can you just forgive me now?" James whined as we stepped into the Entrance Hall. "I've said I'm sorry a million times and I really miss you."
"Why would you miss me? You've got Naomi now" I muttered bitterly and James sighed beside me.
"Naomi's not my best friend, I just snog her."
"And do more than snog her" I glanced at James with a smirk at that one and his gaze hardened.
"No?" I raised my eyebrows. "James Potter, are you taking it slow?!"
"Maybe I'll tell you when you forgive me" he teased and I fought away a smile. I wasn't meant to be friendly with him. I was meant to be ignoring him to show him how angry I was. We continued in silence as we climbed the main staircase up to the first floor and then waited for the staircase to return to it's proper place before starting up towards the higher floors.
"So... What's this with you and Darcy if your not his girlfriend then?"
"Maybe I'll tell you when you tell me about taking it slow with Naomi."
He smirked and pushed my shoulder playfully. "Fine, yes, I admit I'm taking it slow."
"You're taking it slow? How does Naomi like that then?"
"A bit difficult. She's desperate for a bit of the James" he winked at me and I snorted.
"I can't imagine Naomi ever liking the idea of taking it slow to be honest."
"What's that supposed to mean?" James stopped on the stair below me and I leant against the banister, facing him.
"Well, she's known as a bit of a slut."
"Yeah, among girls" James scowled.
I threw him a look. "I'm pretty sure among boys too James. She's been with almost as many boys as you have girls. You're pretty much a match made in heaven when it concerns morals."
"I'm not with her just because she's easy Lise" James continued to walk along with me, once again reading my exact thoughts.
"I'll believe that when I see it" I laughed at him and he poked me in the ribs.
"Anyway. Now you're done slagging off my girlfriend... Don't deny it" he looked accusingly at me as I opened my mouth to protest. "What's going on with you and Darcy?"
I bit my lip as we turned from the staircase onto the fourth floor, walking in the direction of Teddy's office. "I don't really know. I mean, he hasn't asked me to be his girlfriend... But we sort of act like it. And we've made a mutual agreement on exclusivity, so it's not as if he's just off kissing other girls or anything..."
"Then why hasn't he asked you to be his girlfriend? Is he mad?"
"I think he had a rough break up with his last girlfriend and doesn't really want to go through all of that again. You know, the expectations..."
"Do you like him?" James interrupted my steady flow of thoughts and I pressed my lips together.
"Yeah. I think so" I nodded.
"You think so?" James repeated incredulously.
"Yeah. I mean, I don't get butterflies around him or fireworks or anything spectacular, but he's really lovely, and gorgeous and he makes me feel sort of.. nice. Like, I feel appreciated..."
"I appreciate you!" James exclaimed indignantly and I laughed.
"Yes but you don't snog me all the time or tell me I'm beautiful-"
"You're beautiful" James smiled down at me and I turned my head away, blushing.
"You're just saying that to prove a point" I mumbled and he threw an arm around my shoulder, squeezing me into his side as he continued to smile down at me.
"No I'm not. You're the most beautiful girl I know."
I stared up at him with wide eyes, my cheeks reddening further. James was looking into my eyes through his soft brown ones and a smile tugged softly at the corner of his lips.
"James! There you are!" a shrill voice broke the moment and I groaned.
"Hi babe" James slid his arm from my shoulders, remembering his girlfriend as she sidled up to him and placed a swift kiss on his lips.
"Hello Anneliese" Naomi greeted me with a forced smile. "I see you're talking to James again." She added in a cutting manner.
"Yeah, well I've forgiven him. You know, even though you're his girlfriend James just never mentions you. It's bizarre!" I giggled in a manner quite unlike me and Naomi shot me daggers as James gave me a funny look.
"What are you two doing up here anyway?" Naomi smiled up at James, slipping a skinny arm around James' waist.
"Oh Professor Lupin wanted-"
"Actually Lise, he didn't" James smiled apologetically at me. "I just wanted the chance to make you forgive me."
"You ruined my perfectly good kissing time with Robert" I frowned and James rolled his eyes at me.
"I'm sure you can live without Darcy for a day!"
"Can you live without Naomi for a day?" I counteracted and James snorted.
"James!" Naomi screeched as she slapped his arm. "What is your problem at the moment?! Always so nice to Anneliese aren't you" she sneered and I raised my eyebrows at her.
"Naomi I didn't mean-" James began but Naomi silenced him as she held a hand up in front of his face.
"No. You can come and find me to apologise when you realise what you said that was rude" she pouted in my direction and flounced off towards the staircase.
"What did I say...?" James trailed off, turning to me for help.
I rolled my eyes as we followed Naomi's steps and headed towards the Great Hall for the start of dinner. "James, you said you could live a day without her you idiot."
"But I could" James shrugged at me.
"I know. In fact, you could probably do with a day without her! But girls like Naomi find it insulting when you suggest that they aren't the centre of your world."
"Are you serious?" James huffed and I nodded. "But you're not like that!"
"I'm nothing like Naomi" I snorted at James.
"I could hardly go a day without you though Lise."
I rolled my eyes at James, but blushed. "Thanks, but that's what Naomi means by you always being nice to me."
"Well, you're my best friend! You're more important to me then the girl I've been going out with for two weeks."
"That's what pisses Naomi off. Look, I would suggest you break up with her..." I glanced hopefully at James and he frowned at me, shaking his head. "Fine. But seriously James, treat her the same way you treat me, that's why she hates me so much you know."
"She hates you?"
"You're so oblivious James" I laughed. "She hates me because I'm your best friend and I guess she sees me as some kind of threat to her? I dunno."
"Do you hate her?" James asked as we sat ourselves at the end of the Gryffindor table where our friends were already seated. They all seemed glad James and I had made up.
"Yeah, but only because she's an annoying slut and she's clearly not good enough for you."
"We talking about Naomi?" Bea leant forward, a glint in her eye. She loved ranting about what she detested about Naomi. I nodded and Bea smiled. "Good. James, any chance you're gonna break up with her soon?"
"Not really no. I mean she can be a bit difficult but she's actually really nice when it's just me and her..." James stuck up for his girlfriend.
"Is that because of the action your getting off her?" Bea raised her eyebrows at James, who flushed at her words.
"Na, he isn't getting any" Freddy joined the conversation with a snigger in James' direction. "Taking it slow aren't you Jamesie?"
"Mate, are you gay or something?" Drew scoffed and James scowled at him.
"You can't actually be serious about Naomi Smith can you?" Alice asked James in a surprised tone. "Only, shes probably not very serious over you."
"I'm not serious I'm just... I don't want to rush into things..."
"Good thing too. I can imagine she's got all sorts of dirty diseases hanging around her after being with all those boys..." Bea snorted and I giggled along.
"Fuck off Delaney" James murmured.
"Yeah, c'mon Bea, she was only with what, six different boys last year alone?" Nick teased as he joined the conversation from beside Drew.
"You guys are the worst best friends ever. Can't you just like my girlfriend?" James moaned.
"Hmm... Let's think about this" Bea pretended to be lost in thought as Alice did the same.
"Naaa, sorry James" the three of us girls chanted as the dishes in front of us filled with delicious looking food.
"Well I'm going to apologise to her. Believe it or not I actually like her!"
"Sorry, what mate?" Freddy spluttered as his mash-potato filled mouth hung open in surprise. "I thought you were only with her to-"
"Shut up Freddy" James glared warningly at his cousin. "And anyway, it's not about that. She's really great."
"James, she's a complete hag" Alice tutted.
"I think she's quite hot actually, she's just a bitch" Drew frowned at Alice who rolled her eyes.
"That's what I meant. Annoyingly, she's quite pretty."
"If you like the fake look that is" I added and Nick smiled at me.
"Lise" James addressed me with his aggravated face on. "As my best friend I think you have a duty to like Naomi."
I snorted. "No, as your best friend I have a duty to accept that you're with her if she makes you happy. I don't have to like her. And I don't. In fact I think she's a-"
"Don't worry Anneliese, I don't like you much either" came the cold voice of a bitch with fake blonde hair from behind me. Oops.
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