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Escaping the Friend Zone by jess94
Chapter 21 : Busted
 
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 Chapter Twenty-One

The next day was my first tutoring session with Lily though we hadn’t once met up to discuss any ideas or plans; we were going to wing it and all because of a bit of awkwardness. I didn’t suppose the second years minded, that year was the doss year after all, but I did feel kind of bad that Lily and I probably wouldn’t be much help towards them. It was my birthday that Thursday with a party in the common room planned for the Saturday night, which also coincided with the Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff game, so the party was most likely going to be a double celebration. Or just a really sombre one of the team loses which would probably be my luck. It was late November now and the cold weather was settling in; even Astoria Lestrange had decided to cover up and she liked to show as much flesh as decency allowed

“Can’t you just tell me what my present is” I whined as Hugo, Rebecca, Louis and I walked down to the library for a revision session, mock exams were coming in January

“No” came the reply from all three. They’d all clubbed together and bought me something amazing apparently but stupidly they’d involved Melissa who couldn’t keep a secret for her life and accidentally told me over dinner the night before. Louis was sporting a black eye having ‘accidentally’ waked into a door but Roxy and Dom both reckoned he’d been punches by somebody and was behaving very secretively. The black eye only made him more popular with the girls though but for once he didn’t seem keen on being lusted after and even seemed shy. I, of course, had my own problems as later that day I’d be forced to spend an hour alone with Lily (and several 12-year olds) and was dreading it. I still hadn’t told anyone what had happened at Halloween but I really needed to but I knew nobody who could be neutral on the whole situation

“I wouldn’t worry about these tutoring sessions Oliver” Rose said as she joined us at the table about five minutes later “The second years will have a basic understanding of the course, and they want to be there as much as you want to be”

“That’s what worries me” I replied “What if they like kick off and throw things at me? I can’t defend myself; Lucy punched me in the stomach last week”. Hugo burst out laughing but I still maintain that Lucy is damn powerful for an eleven year old. And she fancied my brother who was still blissfully unaware and, if he was anything like me, would continue to be for five years.

“The second years will not attack you” Rose chuckled “They’ll most likely just sit there and look at you with vacant expressions whilst you and Lily try to teach them… or is Lily the problem here?” she added when she saw my expression at Lily’s name. Louis, Hugo and Rebecca were also looking at me now

“What?” I asked “It’s not like it’s new that she and I aren’t talking”

“We know that” said Rebecca rolling her eyes “But we still don’t know why Oliver, what exactly did happen between you two”. As much as I wanted to tell them everything because it was eating me up inside I had to remind myself I was surrounded by three of Lily’s cousins and her best friend

“I… we just… had a fight” I managed to stumble out. Lame

“A fight about what?” asked Hugo “Dude, you’re my best friend you CAN tell me”. I felt bad about lying to everybody I really did but if I told them the truth they’d probably never speak to me again and I couldn’t have that. Life at home hasn’t been great for years and I’ve come to think of Hugo, Lily and their family as my second family. I couldn’t risk losing them

“Just something stupid” I shrugged “Can’t even remember what it’s about now”. This didn’t seem to satisfy them but sensing how uneasy I had become nobody asked anymore questions about Lily and I thought it was clear I was lying. The worst thing that could happen now is if one of them asked Lily; she hadn’t said anything yet but I doubt that she’d lie if she was asked outright

 

“Let’s get this over with then” Lily sighed about four hours later as we arrived at the classroom to find Castle and several second years already sitting down. Castle got up and led Lily and I to the front of the classroom where she warned the second years that if they misbehaved then we would give their names straight to her. So much for getting them on our side then

Castle left not long afterwards and Lily and I were left standing awkwardly at the front of the class; after two minutes we began helping the second years with their swish and flick movements for Wingardium Leviosa, I remember how challenging I’d found that action in second year so could emphasise greatly with the one girl who got teary eyed when she was the only remaining student who hadn’t mastered it yet

I crouched down to her level and patted her on the back. “It’s alright” I said giving her a smile “It took me ages to get it as well; you’ll get there someday”

“No I won’t” the girl wailed making some of the immature boys smirk. Lily hit them on the head for laughing; I smiled slightly as I’d almost completely forgotten that Lily had that side to her

“Yes you will” I said rubbing her back affectionately “Come on you and I can practice this together ok?”

The girl nodded through her tears and took her wand and followed my wrist movements exactly and to her delight, and my relief, the feather she’d been trying to levitate duly lifted up

“I did it! I did it! I did it!” she shouted with glee embracing me in a massive hug which was unfortunate seen as though she only came up to my stomach so I was kind of winded but happy for her. “Thank you Mr. Bensons” she repeated over and over again as she and the other second years all left the classroom

Smiling to myself partly because I had helped a younger student out but mainly because I’d spent the last hour being called sir, I began clearing away the feathers and books we’d been using well aware the last time Lily and I had been alone in a room we’d ended up kissing. Lily watched me as I locked the cupboard and turned away

“You were amazing just then” she said as I reached the door “That girl was really grateful, I forget how good you are with little kids sometimes”

“It was nothing” I said with a shrug “I’m here so my job applications won’t look shitty because I’m quickly realising I’ve done nothing with my school life”. Except get myself caught in a very complicated love triangle

“Oh come on you care” said Lily with a laugh “I know you care, you care way too much that’s your problem”. I knew where this was going so tried to turn away but Lily pulled me back towards her

“Lily we’ve been here before” I said in a fast whisper “And I told you that I’m not doing this, I have a girlfriend and too much to lose”

“I know that” sighed Lily “And I know that I’ve been a cow all this year but it’s only because I love you Oliver. I think you’re incredible, the amount you’ve had to do because of your dad you’ve had to grow up so quickly and it isn’t fair. You haven’t been a teenager Ollie, you’ve been a dad to your younger brother but you need to start thinking about what’s good for you. What you want, screw everyone else?”

Unfortunately I agreed with everything that Lily had just said; I had spent the last few years fretting about Jack and mum and not giving a spare thought for myself. I couldn’t help it, as long as they were happy I was happy or so I thought. Though I’d been expecting it since the second we’d been left alone together I was still a bit shocked when Lily planted a kiss on me. I was about to pull away when a voice rang out

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO DOING????”

Shit.


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