Chapter 6 : Tomorrow Never Knows
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“Amelia, I knew I’d find you here.”
Damn that map. That map being the Marauders’ map, the one that James Potter stole from his father and that only a select few in Hogwarts know about. There is many a Weasley cousin who hasn’t even heard of the map, and I know that Dominique hasn’t ever seen it.
I turned slowly towards the voice, hoping that my ears had deceived me and I would see a teacher, or anyone really, but James Potter.
Alas, my hearing was just fine and I was correct in identifying the interrupter of my thoughts as the boy who I had, not four hours previously, slapped. We had a moment of just looking at each other (because apparently that’s the new norm for us).
“Obviously,” I said, somewhat harshly. “You do have a map that tells you the whereabouts of any person on Hogwarts grounds at any given time.”
He seemed taken aback by the cruelty in my voice. I had never spoken to him without admiration, devotion or kindness laced through my words, so this must have come as a shock to the black-haired teen. He nodded his head briefly, lifting up the yellowed parchment in recognition of my statement. He tapped his wand to the map and put it in his pocket before running his fingers through his hair. He was nervous.
“We should talk,” he told me. What a disgusting phrase. It brings out quite negative connotations for me, and it never seems to be a good talk that ensues after these words. What was this boy trying to do to me? James looked at me for a moment, obviously seeing my uncertainty, and then sat down on the floor with his back against the wall. “You can’t avoid it forever, Amelia, as much as you may want to.”
He added a cocky little smirk- as he so often did. It was times like these when I realized just how much of myself I had given to James because he seemed to know me inside and out. I knew very little about him, about who he really was, in comparison. Of course, I knew the version of him that he allowed me to see, and the version that he allowed everyone to see, but I didn’t know which side of him to trust, or which side was really James instead of James, son of Harry Potter or James, Gryffindor Captain or James, big brother and cousin. Nevertheless, the current James was right in saying that I couldn’t avoid talking to him and 10pm -the night before classes start- when the halls are completely empty seemed like a good idea, so I sit down next to him. Actually, there was quite a bit of space between us.
“So, I kissed you,” James spoke first.
“You kissed me,” I agreed.
“And then you slapped me,” He told me. I winced when he said this but nodded. “Wh-”
“Let’s go back to the first one. Why did you kiss me?” I cut across his question because I knew I wouldn’t be able to answer his question sufficiently. I did wonder why I had slapped him, more why I had acted so irrationally- that was slightly out of character. I generally thought things through a little bit (lets ignore the whole pregnant sixteen year-old thing for a second). I knew that it had been what he was saying to Lily, but people said offensive comments like that all the time, all very offhandedly.
“I wanted to,” James said, cutting into my thoughts again. I gave him a dubious look that seemed to prompt him to elaborate. “I mean, I hadn’t seen you in forever and I had no idea what had happened to you. You could have been dead for all I knew, in fact, I had convinced myself that you got into some horrific accident and were in a muggle hospital with that amnesia thing or something. I was relieved and…”
James trailed off and I watched him carefully. I honestly didn’t completely trust him, nor did I think I ever could. I closed my eyes briefly, trying to process what James had said to me but not really succeeding, until my phone abruptly interrupted this processing. It seemed I never had a moment alone with my thoughts any more. I ignored James’ presence as I checked the caller ID and then answered my magiPhone.
“Hello, this is Amelia,” I said, in my extra-polite phone voice that I know irks my older brother.
“Obviously,” Jacob said and I could practically see him rolling his eyes. “I did select your number, you know. I didn’t call you to talk about phone etiquette, though.”
“Is everything okay?” I asked, going from mocking to full-out worried in a second. Why would Jacob be calling me? What was wrong? Was it Jasmine? What had happened to her?
“Don’t worry, Jazzy’s fine. We just can’t get her to sleep. Matt thought it’d help if she heard your voice, or if you sang to her.”
I breathed a sigh of relief, finding it a bit ironic that I had just been thinking about how Jasmine couldn’t go to sleep without me, when just that situation was happening in the little village. I looked hesitantly to James who nodded as if it was okay for me to go on with my conversation.
“Okay,” I told Jacob, “but only for a bit, James Potter is sitting a few meters away.”
I laughed both at James’ affronted expression and Jacob’s outrage on the other side of the phone. “Amelia, you stay away from that boy. He’s dangerous, you know. Matt, your little Lia is sitting with that prick.” His little Lia? So now that I do something Jacob doesn’t want I’m Matt’s sister?
“James?” I heard Matt ask. Clearly, my brothers had come up with a new nickname for the most popular boy in school and I was almost certain it was not one James had been called before. Then again, he could be a prick at times, so it was quite plausible that his cousins or something had called him that. “Lia, I thought you weren’t going to talk to him?”
“No, I said no such thing,” I told Matt, who had now taken the phone from Jacob. “I said he wouldn’t speak to me, but it seems I was wrong.”
I could feel James’ eyes on me and I think he knew that I was talking about him. I heard my brothers grumble about something through the phone, but then I could hear the wails of Jasmine and they became of little concern. I walked further away from James, just out of ear shot.
“Hey there,” I cooed into my MagiPhone, already hearing her crying quieting down. I whispered some soothing words to her, speaking so softly that I could barely hear myself, but I could tell that Jasmine was drifting off to sleep. The phone was clearly taken out of the room she was sleeping in as it suddenly became much louder and I could hear my brothers properly again.
“Good work, Lia,” I heard Matty say. “We’ve been trying to get her down for about an hour, she wouldn’t stop crying even when I sang your song to her. Thank Merlin she’s finished crying, though. Back to you, though, how was your first day? And why the hell are you talking to the prick?”
“Thanks for your concern, Matthew,” I said shortly. I had walked back over to James and slid down the wall to sit beside him again, “But it is nothing to worry about now. I’m coming on Wednesday, so I’ll fill you in then.”
By this point it was about 10:30pm, but James had remained where he was, watching me intently. I smiled at him briefly- the first I had offered him in 18 months. He seemed to appreciate this, but took it as much more than it was. It was supposed to show that I was slightly sorry for slapping him, but that he had confused the hell out of me by kissing me. It was supposed to show that we should continue our relationship as acquaintances (nothing more and nothing less). Apparently, my nonverbal communication skills are lacking, though, because this prompted James to hug me.
It wasn’t a proper hug, all he did was move closer to me and pull me into his side, brushing his fingers up and down my arm and forcing me to lean into him. I froze up the second he touched me, tensing my shoulders and widening my eyes. Both of these actions were not really asked for, it was just natural. I couldn’t get into any kind of relationship with James; I had to look out for Jasmine. I was only back at Hogwarts to do well on my NEWTs and get a diploma.
“I can’t James,” I said as I stood up, pushing myself away from him. “I’m going back to my common room.”
I began to make my journey back when I heard James shout to me: “I’m going to win you back, Amelia.”
What the hell was that supposed to mean? We had never actually been together, so it really wouldn’t be back now would it? That is irrelevant, though, because James will not win me over in any way. He would have been thinking that this is exactly what I wanted, some kind of romantic gesture, like his declaration that he would ‘win me back.’ At that moment, I longed for the days where I was just the bookish Ravenclaw who was friends with Roxanne Weasley. How did I end up communicating with James?
I blame Jason Longbottom, he was like the ‘gateway drug’ only with my speaking to Gryffindors. I started out not seeing what the big deal was, in fact, I frowned upon anyone talking to Gryffindors as they had seemed only to cause trouble (how right I was) but then one of them seemed okay, so I thought, why not talk to more? From what I hear, that’s how shit goes down with that whole drug situation as well. I cannot comment completely on the subject, or at least whatever I say shouldn’t be taken as a fact in any way because I’m not really a stoner nor have I ever been.
“What has hands but cannot touch and a face without features?” The doorknob asked me as I stood outside of the Ravenclaw common room. I had been stuck outside a few times after not answering the riddle correctly, or without giving sufficient explanation. It was a picky doorknob. This time, though, I knew that nobody else would be coming back to the common room at this hour, so I thought it through carefully.
“A clock,” I say, somewhat slowly as I process the rest of my answer, “for a clock has two hands and the clock face has the different times on it.”
That was a bad answer, I knew, but I was allowed entrance, nonetheless. Hopefully, my eloquence would improve as I spent more time getting in and out of the common room. It was good to be back in Ravenclaw tower, with the statue of Rowena on my right and all of the bookshelves and tables around the room. I smiled up at the statue for a moment, taking in my surroundings. I then looked over to the staircases that lead to the year-level dormitories. I climber up the stairs to the seventh year girls dormitory and opened the door only to be met with the sound of silence. I almost laughed aloud, knowing Roxy would be pissed that she had not stayed awake for my return.
“You didn’t think we were asleep did you, Sweetie?” Roxanne said, sitting up in her bed. I screamed, honestly having believed that they were all fast asleep. I had staggered back and was leaning against the door frame to keep myself standing up straight. I glared at Roxy for a minute before I entered the room fully and made my way over to my bed. It felt like forever since I had been here, and so much had changed. I placed my bag on top of my covers and went to the end of my bed to get out my pyjamas. “You can explain everything when you’re ready for bed.”
I nodded briefly before going into the bathroom, putting on my pyjamas and brushing my teeth and hair. I could feel the stares of all three of the girls in the room, and my eyes flickered over to Elise, not sure I trusted her. She seemed to notice.
“I can go to sleep if you want, and you can put a silencing charm or something? I mean, if you don’t want me to hear anything…” Elise said, somewhat shyly. I smiled, shaking my head. I had not been expecting much of a change in her, but it seemed she was completely different because this is not how the old Elise would have acted. Old Elise would have been a bitch about the situation. So, despite my still not fully trusting her, I allowed her to hear some of my secrets.
“No, you can listen. Roxy told me you’d changed so I’ll give you a chance,” I told her, turning to address the rest of the girls who were sitting on the floor now. Were we in some kind of coven now? Despite tese feelings, I joined them on the floor at the same time as elise did, each of us leaing against our own trunks. “What do you want to know?”
“How about…what the hell happened with you and James on the train?” Roxanne said, glaring.
“Wow, that was you? No offense, but I didn’t think James had even looked at you once before you left in fifth year,” Elise added, a bit sheepishly. I didn’t take offense- that was the relationship that we had had before. We may have acted like a couple when it was just the two of us, but we never really looked at each other in public, never mind talked.
“I’ll get to your point in a second Elise,” I said. “Roxy, the train was…I don’t know what it was. I went outside of the compartment to listen to the voicemail that I had, and then James stormed down the corridor, holding some boy by the ear. Also, little Lily’s kissing boys now? How did that happen?”
“Back to the story,” Alexis put in softly, because Roxanne seemed to be getting a bit restless.
“Well, he saw me, let go of the boy and then walked, more stormed, towards me. He grabbed my face, said something like ‘you’re okay’ and then he kissed me. And I kind of kissed him back, and then when we broke apart, Lily worked out who I was. She was happy to see me, I think, but then James worked out who else was there and had a go at that random guy. Whose presence, by the way, I found quite disturbing for the whole ordeal-“
“Is that why you slapped my cousin?” Roxanne asked, the excitement of the story, apparently, getting to her.
“No, let me finish, Roxy,” I said, a scolding tone to my voice. This was my mother voice (a voice I was using on my best friend and a girl who was only a month younger than me. Shudder). “Anyway, so then James has a go at that boy and he, oh wait. James punched a wall before he kissed me, right next to the boy, so that’s why he was scared shitless. Okay, so…where was I?”
“ James has a go at Lily’s boyfriend…” Elise supplies.
“Wait. It’s her boyfriend? Why didn’t she say that? I’m sure that would have calmed James down a bit. He thought it was just a random bloke she was snogging in a compartment.”
“Irrelevant,” Roxanne sing-songed.
“Right you are,” Alexis said.
I harrumphed, but still continued. “So Lily’s boyfriend scurries off, and James then starts saying all this shit to Lily. So I slapped him.”
Roxanne high-fived me at this point and I smiled, triumphantly. Despite having some regrets about the slapping incident, James did deserve to be slapped for what he was saying to Lily. He may not have known how offensive it was to me, but nobody should be saying that kind of thing.
“Okay, so I understand the whole slapping incident, because he can say some really awful stuff, but I don’t get the kiss. Again, no offense, but why did he kiss you?” Elise asked.
“Well, we sort of had a whole friends with benefits thing going on before I left. Actually, not so much friends; it was just benefits.” I admitted. Roxanne and Alexis knew about this to an extent, but only a bit.
“I thought you were just friends but you liked him?” Roxanne asked, looking hurt. This had been what I had told them, looking back on it now. I had said that we had been friends, only in private and that I liked him. This was partly true, but not really the whole truth.
“Sorry, but that wasn’t really true,” I said before everyone threw all of their questions at me.
“Then how did it happen?”
“When did it happen?”
“Were you friends first?”
“Did you just start hooking up?”
So I answered them.
Author’s Note: Well, thanks for reading/ making it to chapter 6. Hope you enjoyed this chapter, and the story in general.
Let me know what you think about everyone! Do you like Amelia? James? What do you think happened between them?
Next chapter is the first half of the story about James and Amelia’s past.
p.s. thanks for all of the favourites and reviews. They make me very happy.
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