Chapter 8 : Lily's Love
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this one is one of my favourites... isn't it lovely? Magic_Phoenix is a genius.
“Hey, are you listening to me?” Lily asked.
I grunted slightly and continued to throw the porridge in my mouth like there was no tomorrow. I was still a little bit pissed off with Lily for not including me in her stupid meeting yesterday.
Normally Lily and I are joined at the hip, and she just goes off and meets with her cousins about something me and her haven’t even had a conversation about.
Stupid secretive little bitch.
“Ok, Vanessa, what is your problem?” Lily asked, slamming her hands down on the table and causing my spoon to leap of the surface and land again with a clatter. I blinked up at her and widened my eyes as though I had no idea what she was talking about.
“What?” I said in my most sickly sweet voice. Lily rolled her eyes and scoffed scathingly.
“Vanessa, you’ve been my best friend for six years. I know when you’re pissed off. So what’s up?” she asked again, raising an eyebrow and folding her arms across her chest.
“I’m fine,” I muttered, and I spooned a huge amount of porridge into my mouth to try and end the conversation.
I should have known that wouldn’t stop Lily.
“Tell me,” she said. This time her voice was a command, a demand for information, not a request. This only riled me further. I knew that Lily wasn’t my property and she didn’t have to tell me everything that was going on in her life, but I just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t have included me last night. They had made a plan to do something, and she hadn’t involved me at all.
I snapped my head up and glared at her. Her expression morphed into one of shock and her eyes widened as she took in my narrowed slits.
“Vanessa, please,” she said. Softer this time, her voice more of a plea than a demand. This calmed me down slightly, and I considered just asking her. What harm could come from just asking her what she was doing last night?
I opened my mouth, but before the words could move an inch up my throat someone thumped me hard on the back and sidetracked me.
“Hey, Vanessa,” Hugo grinned, and he swung his legs over the bench so he was sitting next to me.
“Hey, Hugo,” I beamed, and he leant towards me and messed up my hair. I snarled as he grinned.
Lily cleared her throat, and we both turned away from each other so we were looking at her. Her eyebrows were raised and she was looking expectantly at Hugo, who just looked confused.
“Hey, cuz,” she said dryly, and he grinned sheepishly at her.
“Hey, Lils,” he smiled.
“Hey, guys!” Roxanne and Molly chimed together as they sat down next to Lily, full on beaming at us all. What’s made them so happy?
Lucy skipped down our side of the aisle and sat down next to me, throwing her arm around my shoulder and squeezing me tightly, before kissing me on the cheek and beaming at her bacon.
Ok, what is up with those three?
They look like someone has just told them that Ariadne is moving schools and they will never have to see her vile face again.
Ooh, do you think she is?
Nope, nobody is throwing a party. She’s staying. Damn.
“Why are you guys so happy?” I asked them through a mouth full of porridge.
I should be arrested for being so bloody sexy. Seriously, it’s just not fair that none of the rest of you even get a chance.
You are definitely losing your touch, snide comment maker; that one barely even stung.
“Oh, no reason. It’s just a nice day, that’s all,” Roxanne beamed, looking at me and then flicking her gaze to Hugo, her grin growing even wider. I wasn't sure if that was even possible, but apparently so.
I looked pointedly out of the window behind me and raised my eyebrows. Rain was hammering against the glass and making deafening echoing noises boom across the Great Hall.
The ceiling was a dull grey colour splattered with even deeper grey clouds. This mood seemed to be reflected across the whole hall as somber faces were reflected everywhere, except with the four girls that were currently beaming their pretty little faces off.
They’ll all start to suffer from muscle strain if they keep smiling like that.
Their cheeks will stop working and everything.
Roxanne seemed to miss my not so subtle hint and continued to smile as she ate her breakfast. It was like she was in a fairytale, expecting squirrels to come and throw her a bundle of freshly buttered toast. I glared at the four of them.
I was incredibly pissed off that there seemed to be another thing that they were all in on that I wasn’t.
I moodily shoved my fork into my sausage and jammed it into my mouth whole, chewing it as though it had personally offended me and I was trying to punish it by inflicting as much pain as possible. I then realised that taking my anger out on an inanimate piece of food was pretty pathetic, even for me, and I began to chew like a normal person.
“Hey, are you alright?” A voice whispered smoothly in my ear. I jumped and turned in my seat to look at Hugo, who was leaning about three inches away from the side of my head, a concerned expression on his face.
I stared at him in shock and blinked a couple of times. Like the complete creeper I am, I didn't even speak; I just looked back at him with a slight smile tugging at my lips as his cool breath washed over my face.
I then realised that I was the most bloody spastic person in the world.
You know, Vanessa, when someone asks you a question you're supposed to answer it, you dumb bint!
“I’m fine,” I whispered and he nodded, leaning back into his normal position His face looked slightly flushed.
Huh? It isn’t even that warm in here. In fact, it’s bloody freezing. Would it kill them to get some fires in here? Or line the inside of the robes with furry blankets? Or just use bloody warming spells.
It's not that freaking hard, you just make sure that the students in your school don't turn into bloody icicles when they're trying to eat their bloody breakfast!
Sorry about that, went off on a bit of a tangent there. Never mind.
Hmm... what was my original point? Nah, I’ve forgotten. Ah well.
“Vanessa, you never actually told me why you were upset,” Lily said. I looked sideways at her and blinked like a gorm for a few seconds whilst my pathetic little brain processed that simple fact.
I am so going to get a brain transplant when I am older.
You know, if that's possible. I think it is.
“Oh, it doesn’t really matter...” I said vaguely, and I continued to walk down the corridor to Transfiguration.
I had decided just to let it go. Lily doesn’t have to tell me every little thing that goes on in her life, and I can’t get in a huge mood because she decided not to involve me in one thing.
It was childish and possessive, so I had decided just to let it go.
And I was trying very hard to. But it was like a little niggling sensation in the back of my head, which was constantly beating against my skull, drumming it into my thoughts.
Lily is making a plan without you. Lily is holding meetings without you.
I would angrily tell the little voice to shut up and slither off to wherever it came from whenever it spoke to me, but I couldn’t help but think that it might be right.
No, ignore that, the voice is completely wrong. And that is that. So there.
“Vanessa, just tell me. I’m curious,” Lily said lightly, but her eyes seemed to be trying to probe into mine.
I determinedly looked at the wall ahead of me and shrugged. Shrugging is good, very non committal. I am so fabulous at being the ice queen.
Lily sighed but let it go. I can be very determined when I want to be. Once I have made up my mind it is very hard for somebody to change it. Not impossible, I’m not that good, but hard.
So most people don’t bother trying to change my mind once I have made it up.
It’s quite handy actually; I make my own decisions for a reason.
When we got to the door of the classroom Hugo skipped up to us and flung his arm around Lily’s shoulder, grinning at me. I smiled back and waggled my fingers lightly, traditional bint style.
Lily’s face broke into an enormous smile and I raised an eyebrow at her.
She tried very hard to smother her expression, but she didn’t do it very well, as part of her smile lingered on her smirking face.
I rolled my eyes and grinned at her, and she positively beamed back, happy that I seemed to be in a better mood that I was this morning.
I smiled. I loved making Lily smile. When she smiled it was like your whole day was made a little bit better. She may be hiding something, but she will always be my best friend. She will always be my sister.
Suddenly something seemed to flash behind Lily’s eyes and I could practically hear the cogs whirring beneath her flaming red hair.
She suddenly bit her lip and looked up at me with a thoughtful expression, one that suggested that she had just remembered something.
She blinked a couple of times and then grabbed hold of my arm. She tossed Hugo’s arm off her shoulder with an odd little bucking movement that made her look like she had some kind of crazy twitch and dragged me to the end of the corridor, where she turned to look at me indignantly.
There was basically one thing going through my head: huh?
“Vanessa, Lysander just walked past,” Lily started, looking unsure and a little bit embarrassed. I smiled and nodded.
“Yes, and?” I asked, confused.
“Well, it’s just that, you said that you were going to help me with him, you know... and you kind of haven’tl,” she muttered, her face the same colour as her hair.
My heart sank with guilt and I blinked back the feeling that rose in my throat.
I had promised Lily that I would help her with Lysie. And I had just completely forgotten. How selfish did I have to be to forget the promise I had made to my best friend only a few days ago?
I have never felt so self absorbed.
“Oh gosh, Lily I completely forgot!” I said loudly, and her expression softened so she looked slightly guilty. What did she have to be guilty about?
“I didn’t mean to be critical, I know you’ve got your own life and everything, but I just wondered, you know, if you have time, because... I really like him Van. I-” she then stopped talking in her normal voice and mumbled something into the curtain of hair that had fallen over the side of her face.
“Pardon? What was that last bit?” I asked.
Lily blushed an even brighter red than she had before and shook her head, looking at her shoes and blinking far too often.
“Lily? What did you say?” I asked, my voice holding a real hint of curiosity now.
Lily’s face flushed even brighter and she finally looked at me. Her expression was absolutely mortified and the way she smiled looked slightly saddened.
“I think I might love him,” she whispered.
My jaw dropped open so fast that I could almost hear the boom as it smacked the floor. Did she honestly just say that? No, she couldn’t have. My ears must be playing tricks on me!
How in the name of Merlin's hot pink underpants could she love him? Okay, she has had a crush on his since first year, but he had never once given a single hint that he returned her affections. So how the bloody hell could she possibly love him? But loving someone doesn’t mean that they have to love you back.
I can’t personally understand why somebody like Lily would like someone like Lysie, but just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.
But why would she... love him?
Well, I suppose he is good looking. Dirty blonde hair that flops across his face but never looks messy, and bright blue eyes that always look happy. He’s actually quite funny as well, we were laughing most of the time when I sat next to him in Potions last year. And he is best friends with her cousin, so I suppose she must hear good things about him from Hugo.
Mind you, Hugo’s judgment of character can’t be classed as trustworthy, he is currently snogging Ariadne in the middle of the corridor.
If Lily and I hadn’t wandered off to have our little chat I suppose nobody would be being subjected to that disgusting vision right now.
I looked back at Lily and at the look on her face as I held out my arms, no questions asked. She shuffled into them gratefully and balanced her chin on my shoulder. I heard her sniff loudly and I wondered whether or not she was crying. It didn’t seem likely, Lily hardly ever cried. She always said that water falling from your eyes wouldn’t help the situation in the slightest, so what was the point in doing it? But sometimes it just feels good to cry, to let all your emotions out.
The people who stick by you through those times are your real friends.
I rubbed Lily’s back in soothing circles and hummed some random toneless tune in her ear.
When the teacher opened the door she pulled out of my arms and leaned forwards to kiss me on the cheek.
“Thank you,” she whispered, and she swung her bag over her shoulder and walked over to the table where Lysie was sitting, with his arm swung over the back of Lily’s empty chair.
I walked in after her and headed over to the table in front of Lily’s, at which Hugo had not yet arrived. I wondered vaguely whether or not he was still snogging the face off the evil bitch tramp.
Ok, even I’ll admit it; that was not my best insult. Evil bitch tramp? Not my best work, I have to say.
I sat down on my chair and tilted my head so it looked like I was looking at the left hand wall of the classroom. Out of the corner of my eye I had a fantastic view of Lily returning from McGonagall’s desk.
With ever step she took towards her seat her face grew a degree pinker. By the time she arrived at her desk she looked like she had a bad sunburn.
Tee-hee. It is actually quite funny. No, it’s not! Lily is your best friend; this is not funny in the slightest! But it kind of is.
As she slowly put her bag on the table Lysie hastily removed his arm from the back of her chair, leaping about a foot away. Well, in all fairness she has always been a little scary towards him, you can’t blame him for being... well, terrified.
I was looking more at Lily, but I noticed that Lysie’s face reddened slightly. I wonder what that could mean? He was nowhere near Lily’s flaming red, but he was pink enough for me to notice the difference.
Lily began to unpack her bag, but her hands were fumbling slightly. As she laid her ink pot down on the desk she glanced at me.
“Say hello,” I mouthed to her, and she nodded her head slightly to show she understood.
“Hello, Lysander,” she said. I’m impressed, her voice is quite calm and even, and her tone isn’t too high pitched. Albeit, she was a little bit formal, but she was getting there.
I am officially the matchmaker of the century.
Ok, so maybe she’s only said hello, but the potential is there you daft twat!
God, are you always so sodding cynical?
“Hey, Lily,” he said back, shooting her a smile that showed all of his perfectly white teeth. I noticed her legs wobbled slightly as she sat down.
“Ask him if he had a nice weekend,” I mouthed, and she looked back as Lysander.
“Did you have a nice weekend?” Wow. How original. She could have at least changed it slightly.
Hang on, I just realised something - this is the first normal conversation she has ever had with the bloke.
I was so absorbed in watching Lily and Lysander that I hadn’t noticed that Hugo had been trying to greet me for the past minute.
Whoops. Caught being a creeper. Great.
“Y’all right?” I asked, and then quickly flushed. When did I come over all American cowboy?
“Yo, wha’ happenin’, bitch?” Hugo asked in a heavy Texan accent, smirking at me. I kicked him in the ankle under the desk and he smirked wider to hide the wince that flashed across his face.
Behind me I could hear what sounded like a normal conversation going on between the two wannabe lovebirds. You can just call me Cupid.
I breathed out heavily when I realised that the silence between the two of us was a little awkward.
“So, what did you and Lily have to talk about that was so important you would walk out on me?” he pouted.
I grinned and patted him on the head, my smile growing wider when he began to fuss and run his hands through his hair to make sure that it was perfectly styled again.
“I am going back to what I usually say. Very manly.” I said flatly, and he flashed me one of those bright grins of his. His smiles are like Lily’s; they always make you feel better.
I grinned back and noticed how his ocean blue eyes were sparkling with amusement. They seemed to glow and shimmer in the sunlight streaming through the rain splattered windows. They really are the prettiest eyes I have ever seen in my life. And yes, I am aware that that little sentence made me sound like some crazed stalker bint from the Puffer house.
Actually, no, they are the second prettiest; Albus Potter has the nicest eyes I have ever seen in my life. They are like emeralds that seem to... erm... constantly shine with a beautiful... glow. Sure. Yeah.
“I like that... um... nail varnish colour on you,” Hugo said suddenly, and my eyes snapped up in surprise.
How random was that?
“Thank you.” I smiled. I suppose it is nice to be complimented, even if it is about little things.
Hugo grinned at me and his eyes began to dance.
I take back what I said before; Hugo’s eyes are much prettier than Albus’.
No offence Al - but you can’t fight the truth.
“So, how’s your day been so far?” he asked, and I raised my eyebrows at him.
“Considering that I have only been awake for an hour, I don’t really have an opinion yet,” I said, “though it would be a whole lot better if I hadn’t been subjected to your little PDA this morning.”
I smirked at him and he blushed, glaring at the desk.
I waited for him to reply, but he didn’t. He just stared at the desk moodily, knotting his thumbs together and then unknotting them.
Ok, he should have jokingly spat a witty comeback at me, and then we would have had a nudging or flicking war. But he is just staring at the desk.
What the stocking?
“Um, Hugo? I was only joking you know...” I said quietly, nudging him lightly on the arm. “You’re not... offended, are you?” I added, my voice growing slightly worried. I didn’t like to offend people, it made me feel bad.
Hugo rubbed his hands over his face and looked up at me, his eyes confused.
And then he did the weirdest thing.
He just looked into my face. Just stared into it, as though trying to memorise the exact size and shape of all my features. It’s actually rather unnerving.
And as he looked at me it was as though all time stood still. The birds stopped chirping and the sun stopped shining and the Earth stopped rotating and everything just froze.
My lungs stopped working.
When the piece of shit that I call a brain realised this fact I quickly let in a sharp gasp of air, and revelled in the sweet taste of oxygen on my tongue.
But Hugo’s eyes never wavered from my face.
What could he be looking at that kept him so entranced?
So I’m Vanessa McIver, average looking witch with curly blonde hair and blue eyes.
Normal sized nose, reasonably straight teeth, average lips - average everything.
So what could he possibly be looking at for so long?
And then something seemed to click behind his eyes and he looked away, horror and shock splashed across his handsome features quite obviously.
He slammed his head into his hands and began to rub his palms across his eyes.
“Hugo, what’s the matter? Are you okay?” I asked slowly, worrying about him.
Hugo looked up at me and his eyes were wide and wary.
“I can’t. It’s not possible. Not... you. No... I can’t...” he whispered, and his eyes became larger and larger with every word he muttered.
Okay, seriously - what the heck is going on here?
Because I have no idea and I would really like to know right about now.
“Hugo, what’s the matter? Why are you upset?” I asked again, a little more worried than last time.
Hugo looked into my face, and his expression was defiant and sure. He had made his mind up about something.
“I’m just sick of everyone having a go at Ariadne all the time,” he said coldly, and his eyes narrowed slightly with frigid tension as he looked at me.
“But... you said that you didn’t even like Ariadne,” I said, confused.
“Why would I go out with somebody that I didn’t like?” he asked, his voice colder still.
He had never been so distant with me before. It seemed like he was angry with me about something unbeknownst to me.
“But... In the library, you told me you didn’t love her or like her. You told me she was just good for your image.” I said, even more confused than I was before.
What is the matter with him?
“You don’t know a thing about her or how I feel about her, so stop making assumptions. Maybe I do like her, and if I did... love her, then why would I tell you? We hardly even know each other,” he spat, and although his expression seemed hard and cold, his eyes seemed to be screaming something else completely.
They said I’m confused. I don’t understand. I don’t know what to do.
My brain had subconciously decided to reach all new levels of pathetic when it decided what to say next.
“I thought we were friends,” I said in a small voice.
Remorse flashed in Hugo’s pretty blue eyes and he began to rub his face with the heels of his hands again, mumbling quietly to himself.
“I just don’t know what to do anymore, okay?” Hugo said quietly.
“Hugo, I don’t understand,” I said again, and he began to breathe quite loudly, as though trying to steady it's pace.
I laid my hand on his arm and used the fingers of my other hand to turn his face so he was looking at me again.
He looked into my face and I noticed his beautiful blue eyes seemed slightly too bright to be considered normal.
He glanced at my face for less than a second before he dropped his gaze down to his lap. I dropped my hands, stung by his rejection.
“I just need to get away from y- here,” Hugo muttered, and he stood up suddenly, the back of his knees knocking his chair to the ground, where it landed with a clatter.
I watched him as he scooped up his bag and half ran out of the classroom, ignoring McGonagall’s calls for him to come back and tell her why he was leaving in the middle of a lesson.
I watched in silence, my mind reeling and my head pounding with confusion.
What. The. Bloody. Hell. Is. Going. On?
I turned around and saw Lily and Lysie both staring at me with open mouths. But something behind Lily’s eyes seemed almost euphoric.
Lysie just looked plain confused, but his eyes were staring at me a little too intensely for my liking.
“What just happened?” I whispered to them.
“I think I know,” Lily said back, her expression thoughtful, her hands absent mindedly turning her quill over and over.
“Good, can you explain it to me?” I asked.
“No. I need to go and speak to Hugo,” Lily said, her tone thoughtful and her eyes somewhere else entirely. “I need Lucy, Molly and Roxanne.”
And without another word she followed the path her cousin had taken moments before and walked out of the classroom, ignoring McGonagall’s squawks of protest.
I turned back to the front, my eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
“Anyone else who leaves this classroom will have a detention every night for two weeks,” Professor McGonagall said sharply as she turned to walk back to her desk.
What in the name of Merlin’s fanciest bloomers is going on?
disclaimer: nothing in this chapter belongs to me.
so, how was this chapter? i hope you liked it, and i'd love to know what you thought :)
ellie :) xx
n/a: this chapter was edited and redone on 20/07/2012.
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