Chapter 8 : Awkward
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Lily then asked us, “So, what’s going on between you two?”
James and I looked at each other and shrugged. Lily tutted but didn’t say anything else.
This was so awkward.
Ginny came out from the kitchen a second later, “Are you two staying for lunch?”
James shrugged again; I think he still couldn’t talk yet. I looked towards Ginny, “Don't worry; I don’t want to be a burden.”
She shook her head and said, “Nonsense! You’re never a burden Reese! Stay for lunch!” I looked up to James who shrugged again. Ginny looked at her eldest son for a while and then announced, “You’re staying for lunch!”
James finally said something, “We didn’t say anything, Mum.”
Ginny smiled. “You’re my son, James; I can tell if you want to stay for lunch.”
He cracked half a smile and walked outside to the backyard. Ginny looked worried, Al still curious and Lily bored. I felt so bad. All this was because of me.
Ginny wrapped an arm around my shoulders and told me quietly, “Don’t worry honey; he’ll come round soon enough. James has always been one of those people who don’t know what to do when something happens.” I nodded, looking directly into the same eyes that James inherited. She patted my cheek and smiled.
“Now, what do you want for lunch?”
Al and Lily immediately started talking about what they wanted but I tuned out. I probably made James hate me. I stared out the window where James and Harry were sitting. James had his head in his hands and Harry was patting him on the shoulder. I felt Ginny unconsciously rub my arm up and down. When Al and Lily finally agreed what to eat, she took her arm away from mine and went back into the kitchen. As soon as she left Lily grabbed my hand and led me to the couch. Al followed with an amused expression and sat down next to me.
I raised an eyebrow. “So Lily…”
She replied, “So what’s happening now?”
I shrugged. “Dunno. Maybe I should move to the Philippines.”
She laughed and then turned serious. “You can’t do that. You’d miss me too much.”
I nodded. “I know. I’d cry every day because I didn’t get to see your beautiful face.”
She nodded sombrely. Al then cleared his throat. “What about me, Reese?”
I shrugged and said, “I wouldn’t miss you too much.”
His jaw dropped and he put a look of fake hurt on. “That hurt, Reese!” I grinned and gave him a one-armed hug. He begrudgingly gave me a hug back.
When I pulled away, I saw James staring at us. My grin faltered and Al turned around. Lily beckoned James over, and internally I was screaming in frustration that he wouldn’t look directly at me.
I stayed quiet as James sat next to Lily, his long legs sprawled out in front of him. He had his head cocked to the side and was biting his lip. He looked so damn adorable like that. It was so unfair how good looking he was.
Then he narrowed his eyes at Al and said, “How come you two are so calm about this?”
Lily responded maturely, “Well, no matter how much we’re going to freak out, it’s still going to be there.” James nodded and turned to Al who was deliberately not looking at him.
“Al… How come you’re so calm about this?”
“Erm… I don’t know, same as Lil’s reason I guess?” He was flustering. Al was incapable of lying. The tips of his ears go red and he looks everywhere except at the person he’s lying to. Usually it was quite funny but right now, I NEEDED HIM TO STAY STRONG!
He quailed under the look James gave him. “Shemayhavetoldme…” he mumbled. James glared at me but Al quickly interrupted, “But only because I made her! She would have kept it a secret but I made her tell me! Don’t get angry at me or her!”
James glared at the both us for a while, but after believing Al told the truth he relaxed. No one spoke for a while after that.
It was silent and so awkward.
I kept quiet and Lily kept glancing between the two of us. The air was thick with awkwardness.
Then Lily decided she couldn't take the silence anymore. “How many times did you and Reese shag?”
“LILY!” James and I were both bright red and Al was doubled over laughing.
She asked innocently, “What? I’m curious.”
James glared at her again and I wanted to sink in between the two cushions of the couch. When it was obvious neither James nor I were going to answer her question she huffed, “Well then, I was just trying to make it less awkward.”
We all stared at her. I said slowly, “Lily, you just made things about twenty thousand times more awkward by asking that question.”
She shrugged. “No I didn’t, we got a conversation going didn’t we?”
I paused at that. Al shrugged and said, “She’s right.” Lily beamed and in that moment she looked exactly like Ginny.
We then started conversations about awkward moments. I caught James’ eye and he winked at me. I couldn’t help but grin like a stupid twelve year old girl.
He wasn’t angry at me.
When James and I got back to the apartment, we were exhausted. It had been a long day. I sat on the couch and closed my eyes. After a few seconds I heard footsteps and the couch dipped from the weight. I opened my eyes and James was sitting next to me. I sighed loudly and rested my head on his shoulder.
He immediately wrapped an arm around me and murmured, “I’m sorry, Reese.”
I closed my eyes again. “I’m sorry too. James. I should have told you sooner.” He didn’t respond and I could feel the tears dripping down. I couldn’t even be bothered to wipe them off. With his free hand, James wiped the tears off my face. He didn’t say anything, but just hugged me soothingly.
We were silent for a bit, minus the sniffling from me, and when I felt as if I’d cried enough I tilted my head to look at James.
He was staring at me with an unreadable expression. He then leant down and kissed me softly on the lips. I pulled myself off his shoulder and stared at him in wonder.
He was about to say something but I cut him off with my lips. Kissing James was unreal. He was so gentle, yet so passionate at the same time. His calloused hands were at either sides of my face. I tilted to the left and nipped at his bottom lip. I slipped my tongue in his mouth and leant closer to him. He pulled one hand down to my waist and I could feel him burning through the material of my shirt. One hand rested at the back of my neck, tangled with my curly hair. I wrapped my own arms around his shoulders and fisted his shirt. He pulled away from me and started gently kissing me along my jawbone. I tilted my head back with a little moan. I was just about to pull his face back towards me but someone at the door knocked.
Immediately James and I sprang apart as if we were both diseased, breathing heavily. I saw that his lips were a bit pink and his hair is messier than usual. He ruffled it a bit and licked his lips. Oh lord, I just wanted to kiss him again. After we stared at each other for a bit, the knocking started again, this time more urgent. He got up and I tried to smooth my own hair down.
“Rose? What are you doing here?” Shit. I had to tell Rose.
My best friend glared at her cousin and then slapped him in the face.
“FUCK, ROSE THAT HURT! WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!” James said angrily, gripping his cheek in agony.
Rose bristled, her hair gaining more and more volume. “YOU PRICK, JAMES POTTER!” She ran over to me and gave me a hug. I hugged her back bewilderedly. When she broke away from me, she turned to James, seething.
“HOW COULD YOU SLEEP WITH MY BEST FREND YOU ASSHAT?! AND THEN GET HER PREGNANT! YOU LITTLE SHIT!” she shrieked.
Oh shit. Rose knew. James paled and said quickly, “Uh… I have to – um… work just told me there are nargles trying to eat my broom. I have to go, bye.” He then Disapparated on the spot.
“COME BACK HERE YOU GIT!” Rose was shaking her fist in the air.
“Rose, he's not going to be able to hear you,” I pointed out.
This time Rose whirled towards me. I cowered but her expression softened. She asked me softly, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
I bit my lip. “Well, I found out two days before N.E.W.Ts and you were already freaking out… I didn’t want to freak you out anymore.”
She nodded slowly and made me sit down. She came and sat next to me in the exact spot James and I were making out in a few seconds ago. But I decided not to mention this little fact to her.
Rose was silent for a few seconds and then said, “So have you told him your feelings yet?”
Huh? How could she possibly know?! I never told anyone! “Erm… what feelings? Pfft… I don’t have feelings… What are you talking about?” I badly lied.
She gave me a look that clearly said, ‘I’m not Hermione Weasley’s daughter for nothing’.
I refused to respond. She would not get that out of me.
“Reese. I’m not stupid. You’ve fancied James for ages. It was obvious,” she said dryly.
I slumped. “Really?”
She thought about it for a second before saying, “Actually, it wasn’t. It was obvious to me because you’re my best friend.” Relief washed over me. She continued, “And it’s obvious James fancies you too.”
“What? How do you know that?” I said in shock.
Rose raised an eyebrow. “Please. I basically lived with the guy since I was born. I can tell when he fancies a girl and Reese; he's fancied you since he first met you.”
I shook my head. “No he hasn’t.” No one fancies someone for that long without telling them. Rose was just being nice because that’s what Rose did.
Rose exhaled. “Yeah he has, he may not have known that he fancied you, but he did.”
I rolled my eyes. “Rose, if he doesn’t know he fancies me, how could you possibly know?”
This time Rose rolled her eyes. “Reese. Listen to me. James. Likes. You.”
I shook my head again. “No he doesn’t,” I said stubbornly. I would not get my hopes up. And it would be so unrealistic if he did, seriously.
Rose blew out a breath and blurted, “Yes he does! He told me!”
My eyes went wide and she covered her mouth. “Shit. I wasn't meant to say that.”
I gave her a look and said, “Tell me everything, woman.”
She had the deer-in-the-headlights look but she told me everything. Literally everything. “The day before the wedding he was looking shifty so I went up to his side and started talking to him. He started talking about—” I tuned out and started to pay attention when she said, “—then I asked him, how was living with you, and I winked because I knew you guys liked each other and then he went bright red and started mumbling. So I kept—”
“Rose, seriously! Just get to the point; you’re going to make me explode from boredom,” I interrupted her with a sigh. She kept telling me pointless things like the flowers that she was holding.
She huffed. “Fine. I asked him if he liked you, and he said yes. Story over.” Was that really so hard, Rose?
“So it was the day before the wedding he admitted that he liked me?” I asked and Rose nodded. “Okay, that makes more sense I guess,” I mused aloud.
Rose frowned. “What do you mean?”
I bit my lip and looked at Rose’s brown eyes. “Erm… the night of the wedding was erm…”
Rose grinned mischievously and guessed, “When you and James?” She waggled her eyebrows and when I blushed, she grinned triumphantly.
I asked her incredulously, “How can you be so cool about this?”
She waved a hand and said, “You two are basically soul mates! You go really well together.”
I bit my lip and asked her nervously, “D’you think everyone will hate me now?”
Rose squeezed my arm and told me gently, “No they won’t. If anything they’ll get angry at James. We’re Weasleys, Reese, leave no man behind. Or woman,” she tacked on as an afterthought.
I mumbled, “I’m not a Weasley though. I’m a Rizzo.”
Rose held onto my shoulders. “Reese, listen to me. You’re an honorary Weasley. I don’t want to say anything bad, but we’re your family. Not your parents. We’re the ones that look after you and celebrate birthdays, results, holidays and everything else with you. We listen to you. We all love you. Except maybe Molly.” I smiled weakly and she grinned back at me. “Reese, once you’re in with the Weasleys, there's no turning back.”
I laughed and told her, “You know that’s incredibly creepy, right?”
She shrugged. “It’s what I’m best at.” She laughed and then sighed. “Are you okay though?” she asked in concern.
I nodded. “I’m getting through.” She smiled at me and I said, “Have I ever told you, that you are the best, most awesome friend anyone could ever have?”
She shook her head and sniffed. “No. I’m starting to think you’ve forgotten.”
I absolutely loved her.
When Rose left, I decided to make myself a peanut butter sandwich.
I had the sandwich so close to my mouth, but then James Apparated in the middle of the kitchen, causing me to jump, scream and therefore let go of my sandwich.
The sandwich sailed through the air and landed on the floor. Just as I was about to pick it up off the floor (THREE SECOND RULE PEOPLE!), Lionel came and took it away.
After a few (failed) minutes of chasing Lionel to put the sandwich down, I turned to James.
“You made me lose my sandwich! Now I have to make another one!”
James nodded vaguely and there was a tense moment. I tried to ignore his stare as I made myself another sandwich. When I finished the last bite, James was still staring at me.
“James, say something. Please don’t keep staring at me, just… Just say something please?” I said quietly, looking down at my feet. I glanced up at him and he was gnawing on his lip.
He opened his mouth, closed it again. Open, close. Open, close. He looked like a goldfish. A very tall and attractive goldfish. With black messy hair.
I shouldn’t be allowed to think. I needed a filter to sort out the thoughts necessary to the point in time, and the extras I could keep in the back of my head labelled, ‘IDIOCY’ and then I can pull them out when I was bored so I could laugh at myself.
James ruffled the back of his head, the tell-tale sign that he was nervous. I really couldn’t tell if James actually liked me or not. I wanted to ask him but before I could, he asked me, “Do you fancy me, Reese?”
I think my eyes popped out of my head. Oh god, how should I go about this?! Maybe I should say I did because what type of a girl would I be if I slept with a guy who she didn’t even like?
A Hufflepuff that’s what.
Okay, house discrimination aside.
I took a deep breath and said, “Well yeah, I slept with you didn’t I? Would I have slept with someone who I’m not in love with?”
WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME!
I had issues (like, seriously big issues). I clamped a hand to my mouth and stared at James, who looked very shocked indeed.
“Y-you’re in love with m-me?” he stammered. He started cracking his knuckles nervously.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. I’m not freaking you out am I?” I said stupidly.
Yeah, I was sure I wasn’t freaking him out. I mean finding out you got your friend pregnant, and she consequently then got kicked out and was currently living with you, and was also in love with you in the short space of seven hours couldn’t be that bad can it?
Oh jeez, I was an idiot. A big idiot.
James stared at me again with a curious expression on his face. He was so attractive it was actually unfair. Then with determination he strode over to me and kissed me full on the mouth.
To say I was shocked would be the understatement of the year.
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