Chapter 4 : Closer
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I walked quickly, my hands trembling with anger, disappointment and if I was being honest—jealously. I could tell he was following me and I doubled my steps, almost jogging to get away from him.
It didn’t help. He caught up to me easily and tugged my hand, pulling me to a stop.
“What do you want?” I bit out. My heart thundered in my chest.
He stared at me for a moment, his eyes burning with frustration, jaw clenched tightly. “Bloody hell, Lily. I don’t even know why you’re so upset.”
My scowl deepened and James took a step back, raising his hands in surrender. “The girl at Honeydukes. She was flirting with you so blatantly but you didn’t do anything about it, to even show that you were with me.”
I winced as the words left my mouth, knowing exactly how silly I sounded. But I held my ground. I was still too insecure about how he felt about me. It still felt too new, too good to be true. As much as I loved our relationship—as much as it thrilled me, I felt nervous, as if something bad could happen any second and I’d end up with my heart ripped out, thrown on the floor and eventually, forgotten.
James looked at me incredulously before he threw his head back and laughed.
I shoved him in the chest and his smile faded. “I’ve been so stupid! I can’t believe I actually thought this would work between us.” I turned to storm away but again I was too slow. James snaked an arm around my waist and pulled me back.
Suddenly I felt nervous. His gaze was hard, lined with anger.
“You can’t be serious,” James said slowly, his voice low. “What did you even want me to do?” He gave me a hard look. “If I was angry every time some guy looked at you…,” he trailed off and shook his head. “You’ve no idea. We’d be fighting every day.”
I tried to protest but James glared at me. I closed my mouth abruptly.
“I don’t think that was the problem at all.” I winced. His voice was harsh, cutting me sharply. “I think you’re just trying to find any sort of excuse to be angry with me. You want me to mess up.”
I looked away, unable to face him. There was some truth to his words and I couldn’t deny it.
James wasn’t finished. “Why do I keep having to prove myself to you, Lily?” He paused, his voice sad--a melancholy note in the suddenly vast space between us.
“You might be right. Things aren’t going to work out between us if you constantly doubt my feelings for you.”
I watched silently, my heart in my throat as James stepped away from me. He reached his hand out but then dropped it hastily. And then before I knew it he was walking away from me, leaving me rooted to that spot, trembling to the core.
We avoided each other the next two days, sitting with other people during class, ducking our heads if we spotted the other—both of us too stubborn to apologize.
But by the end of the second day, I missed him too much.
I found him sitting in a corner of the common room, his head bent over a piece of parchment. I slid into the seat next to him.
He didn’t say anything. His attention was fixed straight ahead, studiously avoiding my gaze.
“I’m sorry,” I finally said. He still remained silent. “I just—,” I hesitated. “There’s a small part of me that’s scared you’ll eventually get bored and lose interest,” I admitted quietly.
James looked up then, his eyes flashing with anger. “If we want this to work, you need to be able to trust me, Lily,” he bit out.
“I know.” My voice wavered slightly. “I do trust you, James. It’s just sometimes my insecurities get the better of me. I’m sorry.”
The anger in his eyes melted away and he reached over to tug my hand into his.
“Lily, believe me when I say that you are the only girl I will ever want.”
My face grew hot. I couldn’t find my voice as I gazed at James shyly and he must have understood. His hands reached to cup my face and I tiled my head up to receive his soft kiss.
Several catcalls sounded through the common but James ignored them, instead pulling me closer.
“What are you working on?” I asked when we finally separated, our breaths slightly ragged.
“Nothing.” James grinned when I raised my eyebrows. “Just Quidditch strategies.” He laughed when I wrinkled my nose. “Come on, it’s fun! Look, this is one where the first chaser tries to divert the other team’s attention by doing this—this figure right here.” He proceeded to explain the picture in front of me, his voice earnest as he pointed out the different strategies.
I gazed up at him, lost in the evenness of his voice, the confidence radiating from him. I couldn’t help but smile at his enthusiasm. “So what do you think?” James asked, his voice curious when he finished.
“Erm….it was good.” I paused. “Looks like it should be very…effective.”
James laughed, the deep sound booming through the room. “You didn’t listen to a word I said, did you?”
“Nope.” I stood, throwing him an apologetic look. He reached out and tugged me back, his arms snaking around my waist.
“It’s okay. I’ll love you anyways,” James said with a grin.
I froze. We stared at each other for a moment. James’s eyes were wide. The silence grew louder and louder as I stood blankly in front of him, not knowing what to say.
He coughed. “I didn’t mean it like that—you know that.”
I nodded, swallowing the lump in my throat. “Yeah. Of course not.” I leaned down to kiss his forehead quickly, desperate to ease the tension between us. There was no way he meant it like that. It was too soon. “I have a meeting but I’m free later.”
James raised his eyebrows, a wicked smile spreading across his face. “I’ll meet you in our broom closet then, Evans.”
I shoved him away lightly. “We don’t have a closet,” I informed him as I tried to keep a straight face.
“Not yet anyway.”
I could still hear his loud laugh as I stalked away, pretending to be offended by his words.
The sun painted vivid, golden and crimson images on my closed lids. I frowned when I felt a light touch on my cheek and I opened my eyes to see James, smiling down at me.
“What are you doing?” He questioned, amusement dancing in his eyes.
I spread my arms wide, looking around me. There were several other students laid out on the lawn, enjoying the unexpectedly sunny day.
“Sunbathing, obviously.” I raised my eyebrows at him.
He laughed again before laying down beside me. My face grew hot. I felt as if I was burning everywhere. His body was pressed right against mine, leaving no space between us.
“You’re going to get sun burnt, and then I’m gonna have to listen to your complaining,” he teased.
I nudged my elbow gently into his side. “Am not,” I protested.
He rolled his eyes, his lips lifted into a small smirk. “If you say so.”
I stared up at the sky, my eyes lazily watching the scattered clouds drift in the calm blue sky. A soft breeze floated by, gently caressing the strand of hair on my face.
“Can I ask you something?”
I turned my head to see James watching me, his eyes glinting with curiosity.
“What really made you change your mind?” He asked quietly. His voice was reluctant, almost as if he didn’t want to know the answer. “About me?”
I shifted onto my side to face him. Feeling slightly nervous, I reached over to push the lock of hair that had fell onto his forehead back. “I was being serious, James. You did. The things I’d see you do…,” I trailed off, my eyes scanning his face to make sure he understood me. I felt as if we were taking another step into our ever-growing relationship and I was still nervous, but I was learning to be okay with that feeling. And if I was being even more honest, I was learning to be okay with the fact that every day, I fell harder and harder for him.
“You stopped hexing people just for fun. You were a lot more serious about class, Quidditch…everything. And everyone could see that, even people who didn’t know you so well like me.” I paused again. “I saw how good you are.”
My hand trailed down to his cheek. His face was brimming with warmth as he watched me and I blushed, still feeling shy. My eyes dropped to his chest but he reached his hand to cup my chin and gently coaxed my gaze back up to meet his.
“I have to admit that I did somewhat feel the same way. About what you said the other day—how you were scared I’d lose interest.” His lips twisted into a wry smile. “I know we haven’t been together for too long but I still can’t believe this finally happened. It’s like a dream, Lily.”
My stomach jolted at his words. “Believe it,” I told him with a smile. James grinned. He shifted closer to me and his warm lips pressed against gently mine.
He pulled back and settled against the grass. My head drifted to rest on his shoulder and I closed my eyes again, enjoying the warm sun gently touching my face and then, the feel of his fingers laced tightly with mine.
A/N: AHHH, so much fluff!! I do have to mention though that the that rest of the chapter will be a little more serious. There will still be cute Jilly moments but I haven't forgotten that there is a war happening. But I do think that despite everything that was happening around them, they still found moments for it to just be about the two of them, especially as they got used to their relationship and hopefully this chapter showed that. Anyway, hope you liked it! Sorry it was short and for any mistakes, I don't have too much time on my hands right now--I will correct it eventually!