Time seemed frozen for a minute as I flew through the air. My scream died in my throat as the wind whipped my hair back. Tears sprung to my eyes and the air left my lungs. As I neared the roof, I stretched my hand out in an attempt to grab on. The tips of my fingers brushed the edge and then I started to fall.
This time I sliced through the wind with incredible force and it felt like a cold slap in the face. Every time I tried to take a breath it felt like white hot knives were slicing through my chest. I tried to close my eyes but they were forced open. The sound of my heart beating –my only reminder that I was alive, was absent.
And then I felt a feeling of utter harmony and my body relaxed. I found that I didn’t need to struggle to breathe anymore and I couldn’t feel anything. Is that what people on the verge of death feel like? It’s not a bad feeling actually.
I let my mind wander to my friends and the images of their smiling faces washed over me. I felt a twinge of sadness that I would never meet their children or see them get married because I surely wouldn’t survive this fall. Then I thought of James, his smiling hazel eyes and the dimples which surrounded his mouth. I couldn’t get him out of my head.
And with their faces in my mind, for the first time since I had climbed the rickety stairs, I felt scared. The fear coursed through my body and then I felt a surge of adrenaline.
I was not going to die now.
I forced the cold, sharp air into my lungs and with all my energy, I screamed. I screamed until my throat was on fire. And suddenly everything came rushing back, time began to move, the slow motion gone. I hadn’t realized I was still screaming but the sharp ringing in my ears was proof of that. I was nearing the ground at an alarming speed. This is it, I’m going to die. No one will ever find me all the way out here and if Hayden were in any fit state he wouldn’t have let me climb onto the roof in the first place.
I stopped screaming and choked back a sob. Just before I closed my eyes and prepared myself for the ground, I heard someone shout.
It rang out and echoed around the now deathly quiet area. And then the world went black.
I was falling. My plight seemed never-ending and no matter how fast I fell, the ground didn’t get any closer. I opened my mouth but nothing came out. I couldn’t breathe.
“Do you think she’ll remember what happened when she wakes up?”
My hair whipped around my face, my eyes were forced open.
“I have no idea. Madam Pomfrey said that we wouldn’t know the extent of her internal injuries until she woke up.”
I tried to flail my arms but they were pinned to my side.
“So for all we know she may not actually remember us at all?”
And then suddenly I wasn’t falling but I was still moving. I lay limp in someone’s arms.
“That may be the case.”
The thing about waking up from a coma is that when you do, everything comes back in a painful flash. Before I could as much as crack open an eyelid, I felt like I had been stabbed and slashed and sliced all at once. My chest was on fire and the pain in my head was almost unbearable. All I could feel was pain in my arm. Everything ached like crazy and I was scared to so much as wiggle a finger.
“Her eyelid flickered!”
“I didn’t see anything.”
“Me neither, you must be seeing things James.”
“It did, I’m telling you it flickered!”
“There she did it again!”
“I saw that!”
I very slowly opened one eye and then the other, trying to ignore the sudden bright light. I squinted to try and avoid it.
“Lily! Are you okay? Does anything hurt? Are you okay?”
“Shut up Sirius!”
I grunted and tried to sit up before my eyes had fully adjusted, only to be gently pushed down again.
“Lily don’t try to move.” I blinked a few times and saw that I was in a very bright room. Everywhere I looked; my eyes were assaulted with white light. It took me a few seconds before I realized that I was in the hospital wing. Shit.
“Wha- what happened?” I croaked. I glanced around and saw all of my friends gathered around my bed. Jess was on my right and James was on my left. And James looked like absolute crap. His hair was stuck up all over his head and his glasses were askew and hanging off the edge of his nose. He had bags under his eyes and his skin had an unhealthy pale glow emanating from it. James looked like he hadn’t slept in days.
Abi bit her lip nervously. “You err had a really bad fall.” I tried to recall this fall but I couldn’t bring anything up.
“How bad?” I caught the worried looks everyone sent each other and it made my heart speed up. “How bad?” I repeated; more urgently.
“You don’t remember?” James asked. I tried to shake my head but it sent a white hot flash of pain through my head. It felt like someone had shot me with a lightning bolt. Tears sprung to my eyes and clouded my vision. James took one of my hands in his own and stroked it consolingly.
“Lily it’s going to be okay, you’re fine.”
“That’s a bit of a lie.” James glared at Molly until she put her hands up in defence. “I just don’t think you should sugar-coat this. Lily deserves to know the extent of her injuries.” My eyes widened.
“What have I done?” Molly ignored the dirty looks she was being sent by everyone but sighed.
“Well, you broke three ribs, fractured your skull and fractured your arm in two places.”
“Shit.” The pain makes sense. My arm doesn’t hurt so much but every time I take a breath my lungs feel as if they are on fire. “So what happen-?” Before I could complete my sentence, everything came rushing back. From the Teletubbies to the Shrieking shack, to that time when I was three and Petunia pushed me into the goldfish pond in our back garden.
“Hayden,” I muttered angrily. I tried to get up again. “Where is that son of a bitch? I’m going to kill him!” The corners of James’ mouth twitched as he gently pushed me back down again. He made a shushing sound and tried to calm me down.
“It’s okay Lily, we took care of it.” I dubiously raised an eyebrow.
“Took care of it how?” The Marauders exchanged a sheepish look.
“Well erm let’s just say he won’t be dating for a while.” Sirius replied, holding back a smile.
“Or walking,” Peter added. Madam Pomfrey walked out of her office and saw I was awake. She bustled over.
“Good evening Ms Evans, nice to see you’re finally awake.” she took a clear glass bottle full of yellow liquid out of her apron pocket. I frowned.
“How long have I been out for?” I asked.
“A few days.”
“A few days?!” I shrieked. “I’ve missed so much work! And homework! It’s N.E.W.T’s year and I’m behind-”
“Ms Evans calm down,” Madam Pomfrey demanded. I took a deep breath and calmed myself slightly. “Mr Potter has been bringing you your work.”
“Really?” I looked at James and he looked embarrassed. Jess put her hand on my right one. I hadn’t noticed that James was still holding my other one but I didn’t particularly want him to let go. His hand was nothing like I remembered Hayden’s to be. James’ was warm and calloused but gentle at the same time. Jess smiled at me.
“James has been bringing you your homework and copying up notes for you,” she said glancing at James’ steadily reddening face. “And he’s been sleeping in the chair next to your bed.”
“You’ve been sleeping here?” I turned to James incredulously. He ran a hand through his hair, making it stick up worse.
“I was just checking you were okay.” Madam Pomfrey decided to cut in.
“Okay everybody, Ms Evans needs to take her Skele-Gro and then get some more sleep so time for you to all leave.” Everybody reluctantly got up and wished me well before leaving. Everyone but James. He got out of his seat but bent down so he was level with me.
“Don’t ever scare me like that again,” he whispered in my ear. James tenderly brushed my hair out of my face, his fingers lightly grazing my cheek. “See you.” Then he was gone.
“Quite the young man isn’t he?” Madam Pomfrey commented lightly, pouring the Skele-Gro into a small glass. I was still staring at the door, which James had walked through just seconds ago.
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