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Chapter 12 : Falling
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~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~
I snapped back to reality, shoving Potter away form me with my hands. I glared at the ground angrily, trying to compose my feelings the best I could.
"Why..." I said, my voice all weird and muffled. "You waited?"
"Why I waited--" Potter repeated, looking stunned. "Are you seriously asking why I-- I wait because--"
I stared at him patiently, as he struggled to get out a sentence that would actually make sense. For a long moment, we just stared at each other, both of us suddenly breathless.
"It's raining," I cut off, blushing under his intense stare. "We--"
"Come," he demanded gruffly, grabbing my hand and dragging me along.
"OI!" I called out, as I stumbled after him. "OI! POTTER!"
He didn't hear me - or chose not to hear me. He didn't even slow down for me, or wait for me to follow him - he just pulled me down the streets, ignoring the many gasps and eager whispers that exploded all around us as we made our way through the crowd. He didn't stop until we reached Monsieur Thibodaux - the newest, most famous and expensive café there was in Hogsmeade.
For one simple cup of tea you paid about the same price as you paid for five Butterbeers.
I stopped abruptly, chewing at my lip, as I started counting in my head how much I could afford to spend. Potter wheeled aorund to look at me, his brows furrowed - he looked so scary.
"What?" he shot, as I blinked. "Is this not... good?"
I watched the short moment of insecurity flash across his handsome - yes, handsome - face, before I sighed. I took a step closer, so that I could stand up on my toes to whisper in his ear - I suddenly came very much aware of his entire body freezing. "I know a wonderful place that doesn't put an outrageous price on tea," I whispered.
Potter pulled back, blinking at me. "It better be a bloody fancy place, then!" he huffed, already looking around for shelter.
I sighed, and started walking in the opposite direction, Potter right on my heels.
"You know, this is all your fault!" he called, and when I looked over my shoulder at him, I saw how pale he was, as he tried to keep himself warm by rubbing his hands together.
"Who told you to wait for hours in the rain?" I asked, feeling slightly superior.
He had waited for hours in the rain - for me!
"Hey," Potter said, pulling me around to face him properly. "I did wait inside, but then I worried that you wouldn't find me in there, and I didn't know it would rain, and--" he stopped abruptly, as I gave him an amused look. "I didn't exactly expect to be stood up."
I cleared my throat, before answering. "Well, I did show up, didn't I?" I said calmly.
He stared at me for a moment, large raindrops falling on from his black hair, and on to his pale cheeks. He grinned a wide grin, his dark eyes wide. "Yeah, you sure did!"
"Come on, you're probably freezing," I said, blushing.
We didn't stop until we had reached the outskirts of the small town of Hogsmeade - and found myself staring at the ghastly sight of the Shrieking Shack.
Potter stopped next to me, also staring at the abandoned building. "This is your idea of a better place compared to Monsieur Thibodaux?"
"I think it's nice," I shot back, challenging him with a stubborn look on my face.
A weird look crossed his face, before he reset it back to the normal scowl. "Right," he said shortly. "Come on, then!"
I followed him, and was surprised how easily he walked towards the Shrieking Shack - even knowing which set of stone stairs to avoid.
Had he been here before?
Well, he was a Marauder - why wouldn't he have?
Potter pushed the door open, and came to a sudden stop, making me wlak right into him. He let out a small grunt, as he turned to face me. "Evans," he said, looking down at me. "Are you already coming onto me?"
I blushed, as I tried to glare at him. "Shut up, Potter..." I looked around, brushing my wet hair from my face. "I heard there's a secret passageway back to Hogwarts..."
Potter remained silent, and I glanced at him. He avoided my eyes, but when he felt my eyes on him, he had to look at me in the end. "What?" he said innocently. "Just because I'm a Marauder doesn't mean I know about every damn secret passageway, you know..."
I raised my brows at him, folding my arms. "Oh, yeah?" I said, feeling a smile tugging at the corners of my mouth. This side of Potter was almost weird for me to see; so defensive, so... so... trying so hard to look 'good'.
He knew all too well how much I loathed his Marauder-ish ways.
"You're quite a disappointment..." I said, as I slowly walked up the old, dusty stairs. "... for a Marauder."
"Oi, what d'you mean--" Potter called after me, grumbled something under his breath, before hurrying up the stairs after me.
"I--" I began, spinning suddenly around.
I fell quiet, as I found myself inches away from Potter's face. I stared right into his hazel eyes, and I felt the surroundings disappear.
Suddenly, I was feeling dizzy, and his hazel eyes were getting blurry in front of me. I was about to fall on my face - down the stairs, mind you - if Potter hadn't caught me in his arms... for the second time.
Well, third, if you--
I blinked my eyes, deeply aware of his firm grip of me. Potter's hands - around me - suddenly was all I could think of.
"Potter," I said, my throat dry like sandpaper. "You can let go of me now."
"Right," Potter said, also blinking his eyes. His arms didn't let me go, though.
"Potter?" I said again, my fists tightly at my sides - clenched. "Your arms? Let go, maybe? Yes?"
"Right!" Potter said quickly, almost pushing me away. I barely kept my balance, as I steadied myself on the stairs. "Arms... letting go."
"Thank you," I said - awfully aware of how high my voice was... almost like Dolly's, to my horror.
"Want to take a closer look at the Shack?" Potter asked, giving me a long look.
"We should... maybe get back," I said, looking away. "It's already late, and almost time to get back to the castle, and if they catch us--"
"Is Lily Evans scared?" Potter cut off. "Scared of being caught with a Marauder? Or just... scared to break any rules?"
"Are you mocking me, Potter?" I shot back.
"No, just stating facts, Evans," he responded coolly. "You've never broken any rules before, have you? Never took the risk before? Never had real adrenaline pumped in your veins, getting all twitchy and nervous of getting caught...?"
"Are you mocking me, Potter?" I asked again, narrowing my eyes. "Really, Potter?" Do you think I would fall for such a cheap trick?"
"Oh, no, not really!" he laughed, already walking down the stairs. "Let's go then!"
I hesitated, feeling my opinion waver as I watched Potter's back. "Actually..." I began, biting my lip.
"Yes?" he said, spinning around.
"We could just take a quick look," I said quickly, adding a nonchalant shrug - but it felt (and probably looked, too!) very fake and more like a spasm.
"Sure," he said with a grin, and was already going up the stairs again, two steps at the time. He easily brushed past me, leaving me dazed and rooted in my spot. "Coming, Evans?" his voice suddenly came right beside my ear.
I blushed, and flinched away from him. "Yes!"
I followed him up, and to my surprise, there was another staircase, leading up even higher. I watched Potter's back go up the stairs, his moves so sure and easy - as if he knew where he was going.
Suspicious - very suspicious.
I followed him in silence, as he suddenly made a sudden turn to the right, and disappeared around the corner. I followed obediently after, and right into a wide, pointy-ceilinged room. The windows were badly covered with planks, and the room smelled even worse than the rest of the 'building'. There was a broken, dirty and totally ruined bed pushed in the corner, an abandoned, ancient fireplace next to it, and a few sad looking armchairs around it.
I cringed, as I took in the scenario.
"Well, this was lovely," I said, just as the door slammed shut behind me. I jumped and looked around. "What--"
"You closed the door?" Potter said, already marching towards the door.
"No! Of course not! I--"
Potter stared at the door for the longest time with a frown, before he finally grabbed it - and turned the door knob.
"What's wrong?" I said, alreayd dreading the worst.
"It's... erm..." he said, swivelling around. "Locked."
"As in... it won't open," he explained with a nervous laugh.
"I KNWO WHAT IT MEANS!" I boomed, shoving him aside. I glared at the door with determination, before running into it with my shoulder.
I don't know what I expected - but the pain that went through my entire body as I got flung right back on the floor? Well, that I didn't expect.
"That was brilliant!" Potter stated, giving me an amused glance. "Are you--"
"Fine, fine fine!" I snapped. "Maybe not the most brilliant idea I've had, but--"
"Are you a witch, or not?" he cut off, giving me a long look - as if I was an idiot.
And the moment he had said that, I felt utterly stupid - and just like an idiot.
"Yes," I said quietly.
"Do you or do you not have a wand, Miss Evans?"
"I do," I said, shrinking.
"Well, use it, then!" he said, already pulling out his wand. "Like this - Alohomora!"
Both of us expected the familiar click!-sound to come - but it never did. So I felt slightly betrayed, when Potter tried to open the door, and nothing happened.
The damn door was just as closed as before.
A/N: Sorry for the delay! I hope you're enjoying the summer as much as I am - more updates will be coming soon :)
- Lily xxx
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