Authors Note: Sorry I haven’t updated, I’ve been so busy applying to uni that it swallowed my time. How are you all? I hope you like this chapter. I had a lot of fun writing it somewhat, I liked showing a different side to Lily. Please tell me what you think of it! We’ve got some good stuff coming up!
I’m a little behind with replying to reviews, but I will reply to them all this weekend! Thanks for all your patience. Also this chapter had bad language in it. Don’t read if offended.
Please excuse any mistakes, I’m sick and this chapter has not been beta’ed.
Chapter Twenty One - The One Where Lily Makes A Decision
There was just something about her. The way her eyes gazed over you like you were the most wonderful thing in the world. I saw hope in them instead of sadness. She was charming, far too charming for her own good and this would probably lead to her downfall in the future. Okay, sure, she wasn’t eloquent at all. She was brash and upfront. Occasionally she even muddled up her words.
I liked her, despite my all efforts to feel apathetic. I could never hate her, the notion seemed impossible.
She was pure, untainted and for someone as murky as myself, I couldn’t help but be drawn to her, even though her light scorched me. It was true that she was a bit of a stalker with psycho tendencies which sometimes left me fearful of her, but who am I to judge? I like cleaning too much and self sabotage. That isn’t exactly healthy.
And even sometimes, I envied her because she was her and I wasn’t. She effortless guided through life and I stumbled with my eyes firmly shut because I didn’t want to see, I didn’t want to feel again because having feelings meant I could get hurt again. Though I couldn’t banish my feelings, they existed, despite them repulsing me. Albus had hurt me. Damien had crushed me, despite my best efforts. Two people that I didn’t even give a damn about two months ago have managed to wound me. The only person that kept my happiness above his was Scorpius, but instead, I had managed to hurt him. It was a continuous cycle. People had hurt me, so it was only fair to carry on the link and hurt another, the only problem being I hurt the people that didn’t deserve it.
I was simply pathetic.
“Oi Pippa!” Lily poked in me ribs. “You’ve been staring at me for ages and I’m starting to feel weird. Do you fancy me or something?” She stared at me, grinning.
I scoffed. “I wasn’t looking at you; I was looking at the space behind your head actually.” I had gotten lost in my thoughts and now I looked like an utter creeper. Isn’t life just grand sometimes? “Someone’s got a bit of an ego aye?” I teased. No malice behind it, but something else…fondness perhaps? I shuddered inwardly. I didn’t know what to do, so I just sat there scowling.
That’s right Pippa, don’t look at all friendly. Act mean! It’s what you’re best at apparently.
…Sometimes it’s hell to be my head.
“Well, have you seen this face?” Lily joked. “It’s hard not to be.” I couldn’t help but laugh. There was a scab on her chin, part of her eyebrow was missing apparently due to her cauldron exploding in her face and a purple plaster in the middle of her forehead. Lily wasn’t exactly looking her best, but still, even in this state, you couldn’t deny that she wasn’t beautiful. She just needed a good scrub or something. “Anyway, the reason I have dragged you here is I need to talk to you.” Lily had found me eating dinner and dragged me outside to sit on a bench in the freezing cold at the start of December.
The dim sunlight had hit the frost on the trees causing them to glitter. It was a magic of it’s very own kind, no wand needed. I loved winter. It had always been my favourite season. Summer was manic; winter was calmer, more predictable. It would get colder until it hit spring. That was a given. I liked things that were givens.
“Why me though?” I questioned.
“Why not you?” Lily smiled before sighing. “My friends…” She paused for a moment. “...wouldn’t understand. My brothers have their own crap to deal with, Albus seems more off the rails lately and I don’t know why. It’s not like he’d let me help him anyway.” I had been avoiding Albus; I figured it was probably best for my health. I needed time to re group. Even from a distance, I knew he was playing the game better than I ever could and if I was to go against him again, I would lose and I was tired of losing. Plus my embarrassment still hadn’t slipped away. I still cringed whenever I thought of that night where I fell asleep next to him. I had gone over every tiny single detail of that night because I couldn’t stop thinking about it for reasons unknown. Albus no longer had his verbal punch bag, at least for now because right now, I simply didn’t feel like I could deal with it.. “And James’ time is being taken up by Damien’s problems or something. James feels bad that you’re still not speaking to him by the way.” I just shrugged at her. James and Fred had apologized countless of times to me, but I had ignored them all. I hadn’t even uttered a word to them. I figured if I ignored them for long enough, eventually they would give up. “But most of all, Albus and James try to protect me from everything…and I feel like you don’t.”
I didn’t know what to say.
Lily took a packet of bubblegum out of her pocket, slowly unwrapped a piece before shoving it in her mouth. “Want one?” I shook my head. “I mean, my brothers interfere in my life so much, first thing Albus said when I told him I was dating Emmett was ‘dump him’. I suppose it’s just the older big brother thing right?”
“I guess.” I muttered, but I had never really felt that way about Damien for a long time. He had protected me when I was younger but it was never stifling. It was almost endearing. He left me alone to find my own way the moment he stepped on the Hogwarts express. “But I suppose it could be worse, I mean it’s better than them not caring at all.”
“Damien cares about you, Pippa.” She said it so certainly that I almost believed her for a moment. “It’s just he’s lost his way of what’s important.” I thought back to the moment he accused me lying. Even though in that moment, when I was hazed with fury, I felt like he cared about me again.
“Sure, Sure.” I brushed her off. “Anyway, we’re not here to talk about me, I’m freezing my ass off because of you, so start spilling or I am going to start walking.”
“I want to break up with Emmett.” She let the words hang there for a moment before continuing. “It just doesn’t feel right. He likes me, but he sees me as a trophy. I mean, a lot of people treat me weird cause of who my dad is and that’s okay because people are stupid, but I don’t expect a boyfriend to do it.”
“Why would people treat you differently? It’s not like you saved the world or anything.” My words came out a bit too bluntly but Lily graciously took them with ease.
“Exactly, I am not my father nor am I my mother. I’m not carbon copies of them, sure, I have their genes, but I am not them.” She sighed, this clearly got to her. “You see Pippa; this is why I like you.”
I looked at her oddly. I wasn’t used to people saying they liked me. It was weird, but kind of nice in the same breath.
“You’ve never treated any of us differently because our last name. You and Cassie will call Rose up on her bitchy behaviour and not let her get away with it like most people. You’re one of the only people who don’t treat Albus like he’s king. You once were proudly sick on James’ shoes and me? You focus on the fact I stalk your brother, rather than the fact I’m a Potter.” Lily grinned at me and I didn’t know what to do with myself.
It had never occurred to me that I treated them differently to others. From a family from the wrong side, I had never idolized Harry Potter. Sure, I respected him. Who wouldn’t respect a guy that stopped an ugly maniac from taking over the world? I had pride and sucking up to people wasn’t something I ever wanted to do. Albus was a bastard and more people needed to tell him that. The sick shoe incident was one my finest moments even though my mother said she would never get over the embarrassment and Lily stalkerish tendencies outweigh anything else about her. I suppose that because I realized that Scorpius was nothing like his dad very early on, I realized that the Potter kids were different people too from their parents.
“Sucking up isn’t my style. I see it how I see it.” I told her, though I couldn’t help but think how many times I had teased Albus about his parentage. It was an easy weapon because it seemed to get to him that I couldn’t help myself. “Do people do it a lot then?”
“Yeah, I mean, they think that being our friend can get you somewhere when it really can’t. I mean, what if we all graduate and we’re all failures? I mean, the press will still follow us, but I’m annoying sometimes, is hanging around with me all the time really worth getting your face in the paper?”
“You’re not that bad.” I whispered. “But I can see your point.” I decided to steer the conversation back to Emmett. “So why are you worried about breaking up with him?”
“I’ve had my heart broken and I never want to cause that pain for someone else. I mean, what if I’ve misread it? What happens if Emmett has deeper feelings for me than I realize and I cause him pain? I couldn’t do that.”
“He’ll get over it.” I muttered. “If not straight away, then eventually. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. You can’t stay in an unhappy relationship.” I sighed as I thought about my own relationship. I couldn’t help it. One little thing and it slips to the forefront of my mind. It was always there, but the memories had started to shift, I was seeing things I never noticed while I was love struck and that scared me.
Lily blew a bubble and it popped all over her face. She crudely stuffed in back into her mouth quickly. “One day that gaping wound will scab over.” I tried to play the confusion card but Lily saw right through it. Lily may play the fool occasionally but it was clear that she was anything but. I felt exposed. The skin itched and the familiar need to run evoked me but I made myself sit more firmly. For my own sanity, I needed to hear this and it was time I stopped running.
One day, I hoped I would not be held down by him, I would be able to untangle myself from his scolding grip. His mark will have faded. The bruises would be no more. I will stare at him and feel nothing. It will be pure nothingness, no room for sadness, longing or anger. I crave nothingness. Maybe I could even love again, someone with eyes that are nothing like his and hands that don’t let go when it gets a bit messy. Someone who doesn’t find it a task in loving me, rather he will cherish the idea. These thoughts were daunting, fresh, unlike the ones I had thought before. Someone with a conscience that’s so dirty that it matches mine, we’d an extraordinary pair, woven from the same cloth and the understanding will be there naturally. I wanted that listen to everything and not just what they want to hear. He will be just another stranger that I walk past and never think of think of them again; someone ordinary and dull. Not the masterpiece I had created in my mind.
I would stop letting him get to me. I will stop letting him control me. He was a distant memory that was getting fuzzier every time I thought about it and my mind was deceiving me. I didn’t know the truth anymore; I had warped it so much in my teenage melodrama. It was life changing; that could never be denied. At least it was life changing for me. For someone, it would have been nothing, but for me, it wasn’t. It had changed me into something grotesque and I wasn’t sure anyone would find me beautiful again. I could pick up the shards of my past self but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I hated me now, but I hated me then. I was never good enough, I always missed the mark and that’s why I relished in what I saw in his eyes. I was her, but I also wasn’t. He saw the things I showed him and not the blackness that hide underneath the sweet smile, until it was too late and blackness started seeping everywhere, consuming him and consuming me. He got out just in time, but for me, it was far too late.
Truthfully, I had been lost years ago.
I carried him wherever I went, in my little cracked heart that had been demoted to its basic function, keeping me alive in the physical sense, but not in the emotional sense but my emotions were slipping out of the bottle I kept them in. It was slow at first, drip, drip, drip and now I was locked in a tidal wave.
But I would fight against it, like I always would.
And I would sink eventually.
“You have to do it.” I told her firmly. “You deserve someone that doesn’t give a shit about your last name because he wants to give you his.”
“I’m scared.” She muttered.
“Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with him?”
“That’s your answer.”
Lily thought about it. ”But what if I’m wrong? What if I think I don’t want to when in reality I actually do? Or what if he’s the one and I haven’t realized?”
“Cassie has this saying that every boy you ever meet has the potential to be the one until you realize he’s not.” I breathed in the crisp air. It stung my lungs but I kind of liked it. “So what if you’re wrong? You’re young. You’ll find each other again.”
“Do you believe in destiny?” Lily asked.
“No.” I shrugged. “I hate the thought of my whole life being mapped out for me because someone in the dirty clouds decided it’d be a nice thing for me to take this path and not the one that would have led me to a jolly good time.” Sometimes I used to believe in destiny, I was now firmly against it and everything it stood for. I made all my choices. It wasn’t part of a big plan because I was just a little bug that didn’t matter. If I disappeared tomorrow, would I mess up some big cosmic plan? I’m saying no.
Lily sighed before smiling. “I think I still believe it.”
“Of course you do, you’re not bitter like me.” I stuck my tongue at her. “And this ‘the one’ is total bullshit by the way.”
“Right, if you believe that there is only one person in this whole entire world who will complete you, you’re screwed. What if you never meet them because they live in a different country? What if they die before you even get to meet them? You’re left being a sad old lady who dies, doesn’t get discovered for weeks and when someone finally does discover you, you’re thousands of cats have eaten half your face off.”
“I’ve never known any cats that are into cannibalism.” Lily giggled and I frowned at her. “And anyway, you meet them cause of destiny.”
“You’re so full of crap sometimes.” I rolled my eyes and Lily grinned at me. “Anyway, you and Emmett are not soul mates. He’s a leech…he is in Slytherin after all.” I joked.
“I try not to hold any house prejudices.” Lily ran her fingers through her hair, which resulted in them getting stuck. “Ah hell, keep talking why I try to untangle myself.” She started unwrapping her tangled waves from around her dirty fingers. It was painful. It seems that Lily had never been acquainted with a brush or just decided that they were a stupid idea. Either way, I bet she was regretting not brushing her hair this morning.
I couldn’t help but smirk.
“So, to sum it all up, you need to break up with him. He wasn’t a good choice after all.”
“Did you really think he’d be a good choice for me, you know when you asked me to ask him out?” Lily asked. “Ah ha!” Lily had managed to unlock her fingers from her hair.
In all my moodiness lately, I had forgotten that I had instigated this whole situation. I felt guilty that I had asked Lily to forgo a task that had only ended up with her being miserable. But I was getting her out of it now. That’s what mattered right? Even though I was doing this because of my deal with Albus or maybe I would have done it anyway? It’s a nice thought. I kept receiving the weird notes that bugged the hell out of me. I now had a whole box full of them, each one getting viler than the next. I still had no idea who would send them to me, but once I knew, they would suffer.
“Yeah.” I cringed and I hope Lily didn’t notice. I liked the fact that she found something good amongst my flaws. After a long life of criticism, it’s nice to get a compliment. She saw me as something I knew I wasn’t but I could keep hoping that one day I would develop into the person she perceived me to be. “I heard some good stuff, obviously they weren’t true.”
“I’m going to do it.” Lily said out loud. “I’m going to do it.” She breathed in slowly, trying to convince herself that she was strong enough to break up with a leech.
“You can do it.” I told her. “You might even find it piss easy.” I laughed bitterly, thinking of how easy he found it breaking my heart.
Lily looked at me, frowning. I could see the hurt sketched in her face. “I will never take pleasure out of hurting someone’s feelings Pippa.”
The mood changed instantly then. It became heavy and Lily just stared at me, almost as if she was seeing past everything, looking at the ugly monster that I kept inside. It was like I transparent and Lily was seeing right through me.
I faked a cough as I tried to save the situation. I would never admit it out loud but I had kind of liked this chat. It made me feel important, I was focused and it was like I was more than nothing. And I really wouldn’t mind if it ever happened again, though I would hiss and complain all the way. “I know you couldn’t.” I said softly as Lily turned away from me. Somehow my hand escaped on its own freewill and found itself on Lily’s shoulder. It then started patting her shoulder the same way you would pat a dog. “You’re one of the good ones, Lily. Don’t ever lose that.” For the first time in a long time, I had given a compliment and I had actually meant it.
My hand dropped from her back to my side in astonishment.
Just the plain old truth.
Wow. This was weird.
Lily threw herself at me like a rabid animal. She was hugging me. I hated hugs, I really do, I see no point in them. This is how you pass on germs and get sick. I couldn’t bring myself to hug her back. I just sat there, wondering when how long these things last. My arms felt heavy at my side.
Lily pulled away from me awkwardly. “You’re supposed to hug back you know?” I looked at her blankly. “Never mind, we’ll work on it.”
Oh crap. There are more hugs in my future? I really needed to start upping my vegetable intake to help battle all the disgusting germs I was going to be exposed to. I didn’t trust some of the people I had seen Lily hug before, some of them smelled like they belonged on a farm.
Bitch, thy name is Pippa.
“Thanks for talking to me.” Lily beamed, suddenly happy again. It had seemed she had switched back to her default setting; happy. That little moment before was gone, it was all forgiven.
Lily is crazy.
“No problem.” I stood up. “I’m going back in now. You coming or?” I asked. I literally couldn’t feel my fingers. I actually didn’t think they ever would be the same again.
“I’ll stay here for a little while.”
“Okay.” I said, feeling a little awkward.
“I’ll tell you what happens.” She nodded to me.
I looked at her for a moment, “If you want to.”
I walked away then. There was a sinking feeling in my stomach that I couldn’t shake off. I shouldn’t have felt like that, I had been in presence of pureness. I should feel light instead I felt weighed down by a pitiful angst. I pushed it away as I strolled clumsy down the hallways of the castle. My feet felt like ice blocks and I felt like a child just learning to walk.
I must have looked like an idiot.
Even helping Lily didn’t make me feel good. Maybe it was because I was the reason she was in that situation. Maybe it wasn’t. I had completed my task. For once, I could say that I wasn’t a loser.
But with each heavy step I took I realized, it didn’t really matter anymore.
It was James.
I ignored it.
It was Fred.
I ignored it.
I just had to make it to the common room and I would be safe from them. I wouldn’t let them trick me again into thinking they were decent humans and I know if I let them speak, I would start to waver.
And I wasn’t ready to waver.
Also, I needed to check all of my clothing when I got into the dormitory because wherever I hide or go, James, Damien and Fred always knew where I was or how to find me. It was becoming an annoyance and I swear they must have jinxed me or something.
I wouldn’t have put it past them.
I could hear them walking behind me.
It was getting irritating.
So I turned around and told them to piss off. It wasn’t one of my most eloquent moments I admit. I just stood there looking at them, seeing the hurt in their faces and I tried to feel something but I couldn’t. I refused to let myself. I was tired of being weak.
“We’re sorry.” James put his hands in his pockets as Fred looked frustrated. “We just went a long with Damien and didn’t see how it would look from your point of view.” He stepped closer to me and I took a step back. It was my warning.
“We didn’t mean to hurt you.” Fred said, it was the most sincere thing I had ever heard out of anyone’s mouth, but I shook my head forcefully.
“Yes, because I was never supposed to find out was I?”
James looked confused. “What?”
“This was a whole big game? Attempt to forge a friendship with me so you could learn stuff and feed it back to Damien wasn’t it?” I couldn’t help myself. I trusted them but they had hidden motives. It seemed everybody in my bloody life did. No one did anything without wanting to gain something from it.
“That wasn’t it Pippa and you know it.” Fred looked angry at the fact I had suggested it but no one likes to be discovered, their masks ripped and their real sides shown to everyone.
“Oh really?” I laughed. “James you barely talked to me before this year and neither did you Fred, yet suddenly, you became best friends forever with Damien and then suddenly you’re the first person who offered their help.” There was a deep ache behind my rib cage.
James and Fred stared at each other for a long time; I quickly grew tired of this and turned to leave.
“Wait.” Fred yelled.
I turned around. “What?”
James breathed in slowly. “I wasn’t allowed to be friends with you. No one was.”
I looked at him confused.
“Your ex.” James shrugged.
“I don’t understand, what the hell has he got to do with this?”
“I talked to you once, your ex thought there was something more in it and threatened me, so I didn’t bother again, maybe that was wrong decision.” James stared at me and I was searching for the lie, in his face, in his words but I couldn’t find anything. “He hated anyone speaking to you. He put up with Cassie because she wouldn’t piss off, despite him trying to get rid of her.”
“I mean, he saw Scorpius as a threat and who even does that? Scorpius would lose a battle against a butterfly.” Fred told me and I absorbed his words.
It was suddenly so different. I remember him planting doubts of Cassie’s loyalty in my head. Whenever Scorpius tried to talk to me, he swooped in, I always thought of him as my saviour but I was so wrong. People would talk to me once and then reappear with a fresh bruise across the eyelid but I was so blind, I never saw it. He didn’t want to share. I wasn’t a person to him, I was a possession.
“I never saw it.” I whispered.
“Of course you didn’t.” James said softly.
I am so stupid.
While I was manipulating him, how could I not see that he too, was manipulating me? I obviously thought too much of my skills. He and Cassie would always argue a lot but I thought that was because of their clashing personalities, not because he was trying to delete her from my life and she saw straight through that. He would often send Scorpius away from me, but I didn’t like Scorpius then, how could I blame him for not liking Scorpius when I acted like Scorpius was the bane of my existence. I tried to think whether someone had ever tried to warn me or peal back my eyes a little bit but I couldn’t. People might have tried but I had always ignored any criticism about him. Anyone who criticised him was just jealous of what we had.
And I just stared at James and Fred, unsure of where to go now. I had no idea where we all stood with each other anymore.
“I need to go.” And I left. Just like that. No more words needed to be said, I had already learned too much. I didn’t want to hear anymore.
The love I held for him crumbled just a tiny bit. The memory of him was shattered in an explosion and I had ended up being burnt. A casualty in it all.
I wondered who the fuck I was actually in love with all that time.
I loved his illusion. He loved mine.
In a sick way, I guess we were kind of perfect together.
It was over.
It wasn’t real.
None of it really was.
So why did it still hurt so much?
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