I stare out of the passenger window, my father is whistling a tune that I’m struggling to recognize.
“You ready? Got all your, er, magical things packed up?” He asks me.
I abandon looking out my window, and, instead, watch the middle-aged man in the driver’s seat.
“Yeah, I’ve got everything packed, but, you know, questions like that should be asked before we leave our house. We can’t do anything about it now that we’re three-quarters of the way to the station.”
He shrugs, “Just making conversation, Scott.”
I start to feel guilty, “I’m sorry, it’s just that I’m really nervous.”
“I understand, it’s your last year right?”
I frown, “Yes.”
He takes his eyes off the road for a second to look at me, “You make the most of it.”
He looks back at the road and I stare at the side of his head. His words echo in my ears.
“How did you meet mom?”
My mother abandoned us as soon as we discovered my, er, special magical talent.
“Did you love her the first second you saw her?”
He chuckles, “Nah, I thought she had man hands the first time I saw her.” From my poor memory and the pictures I’ve seen of her, I mentally confirm that she does, indeed, have massive hands.
“You want to know something, Scott?” He continues.
“After I met her, I didn’t care.”
We pull up to the train station, I jump out of the car, and grab my trunk to put on a trolley.
“Hey, Scotty.” My dad leans out of his window.
“Remember what I said, boy: make this year count. I’ll pick you up, here, Christmas season.”
I wave at him as he drives away and haul my things into the station.
As I roll my trolley to get to platform nine and three-quarters, I pass a number of people, wizards and muggles alike. Particular people start to jump out at me: A little boy following his mother and holding onto her purse, a young couple sitting at a park bench, holding hands, and reading a newspaper, an elderly woman standing by a pillar, watching as people pass her on their way to their respective occupations.
When I arrive to the barrier that separates this world from the magical one, I glimpse back at the elderly woman. I wonder what her story is? Why is she here? Where is she going? I turn back to the barrier and close my eyes as I run through it. I do this every year, and yet I still get a queasy feeling about running towards a wall at full speed.
I open my eyes and feel my body relax. I’m now just a train ride away from home.
Smiling for the first time since the past school year, I push my trolley towards the train.
“Scott Thompson!” A voice booms behind me.
I turn around and see my best friend Fred Weasley, “Fred!” I exclaim and we embrace in a quick hug.
“Where’s your soul mate?” He teasingly asks me.
I smirk and punch his arm, “She’s your cousin, you tell me.”
He yelps at my punch and points at a group of redheads collected off to the side.
Okay Scotty, I tell myself, pull yourself together.
“Could you take my trunk and put it in our compartment?” I ask Fred.
He raises his eyebrows, “You’re going to ask her out already?
My dad’s words “make this year count” are still bouncing around my brain.
He shrugs, “Your funeral.” And drags my trunk onto the train.
I begin to pace, thinking of a way to ask her out that I’ve never done before. I stop when I see her walk away from her family, alone. I guess I’m just going to have to wing it.
I transfigure the muggle pencils I had in my pocket into white roses and run towards the girl in question. When I reach about ten meters away from her, I collapse on my knees and slide the rest of the way to her, holding the roses out in front of me.
Kneeling in front of her, I say, “Wow, Lily. You look more beautiful each year. Will you accompany me to Hogsmeade?”
She doesn’t hesitate, “No.”
I watch her walk away as I hold my smile on my face. It feels as though a train ran right across my chest.
There are worse things in this world: Genocide. . .cancer. . .papercuts, and yet Lily Potter’s constant rejection hurts every time. Every blasted time.
I sigh and get off the ground, wincing as my pants rub against my newly acquired blisters on my knees.
Everyone is staring at me, expecting for me to either break down in tears or kick something in frustration. Instead I surprise them by beaming and laughing out loud. They must think I’m insane. Well, I guess I am insane for asking Lily out as much as I do.
I know each time that she will most likely say no, but there’s always that place in the back of my mind that hopes that she might say yes the next time. The next time comes and I’m rejected again, but that damn part of my brain will always hopes for the best.
The train whistles as a warning for students to aboard, I nonchalantly throw the roses away in a trash bin that I pass and drag my feet aboard the train.
“So. . .how’d it go?” Fred asks me as soon as I enter our compartment.
I smile and shrug, “I think I’m starting to wear her down, she waited about a second before rejecting me this time around.”
He nods his head, I crash down across from him, and pull out my muggle chess board.
“You ready to be destroyed?” I ask him.
“In your dreams!” He accepts my challenge.
After about ten games ~I conquered each and every one~ we stop and I end up falling asleep.
I hear an explosion of a sound and sit up, abruptly, in my seat, hitting my head on the back wall. Rubbing the back of my head, I stumble off the cushions of my seat and slip on the corner of my robes, causing me to fall, heavily, on the ground. A nun would have blushed from the quality of words my mouth was spewing while I rolled around on the ground in pain.
The pain subsides and I get up from the ground and, to my extreme embarrassment, Lily Potter is standing in the threshold of our compartment. She has seen the whole thing.
“What was that bloody noise?” I ask her, sitting down and stretching my legs and look around, Fred has left the compartment.
She’s staring at me with wide eyes.
I sigh, “Did I stutter?”
She shakes herself out of her trance, “I just opened the compartment door with more force than necessary.”
I nod my head, “That would do it.”
She shifts in her spot and glances behind her. I wait impatiently for her to explain what she is doing here in my compartment, the boy she has rejected 12, 483 times.
“Well?” I snap at her after five minutes.
She looks down at me and frowns.
I decide that waiting for her is getting us nowhere and get up from my spot.
“Lily?” I breath and walk, slowly to her.
Her eyes widen and she bites her lip.
I grab her waist and pull her into the compartment, sliding the door shut behind her.
Once I let her go, I round on her, “What do you want? Are you not happy enough with rejecting me verbally? Are you here to kick my manhood to get your point across?”
She folds her arms across her chest and glares at me, “I’m here because I want to know why you won’t give up.”
“Woah. Was that you that spoke, or am I hearing things?” I snarl at her.
She raises her eyebrow, but is otherwise unaffected by what I said.
“Answer the question, Thompson.” She replies, coolly.
I fall back into my seat and rub my hands across my face, “What exactly are you asking?” I ask her.
She sighs and sits across from me, “Why do you keep asking me out?”
“I feel as though the answer to that question is so blatantly obvious that everyone and their dog could answer it.” I grumble into my hands.
She reaches out and removes my hands from my face, “It’s not that obvious.” She whispers.
“Lily,” I stare into her beautiful brown eyes, “I’ve been hopelessly in love with you since our third year.”
She lets go of my hands and crosses her arms over her chest.
“You don’t believe me?” I ask in complete confusion.
“No.” This must be her favorite word or something. I wince inwardly whenever I hear her say it, but that’s not what frustrates me.
“Are you freaking kidding me?!” I shout, startling her, “I’ve asked you out every day since the beginning of our fourth year and you don’t think that I’m in love with you?!”
She doesn’t respond, but stares out of the window at the darkened landscape.
I stand up and kick my seat causing my toe to pound in pain, but I ignore it and pace around the cramped compartment.
“Okay,” I say in a calmed voice, “how about you tell me why you don’t believe me.”
I sit right next to her, forcing her to look at me, and wait for her to answer my question.
She hesitates, “Well, you’re. . .you, and I’m. . .me.” She stutters out.
“Should I get an interpreter, or are you going to explain that so that the simple minded guy sitting next to you can understand it?”
She bites her lips and shakes her head, “Look,” She gets up, “never mind. sorry I woke up you.”
Oh no, you are not leaving.
“Potter, if you leave without so much as explaining yourself, I will personally see to it that Headmistress McGonagall finally learns who stole a pair of her knickers.”
Lily stops and turns back to me, confusion, anger, and, finally, worry flicker across her face, “Fine.” She sits across from me.
“Good girl, now, why don’t you believe me when I tell you that I love you?”
“Because you’re blasted Scott Thompson! You have everything going for you. You’re the quidditch captain, you earned ten O.W.L.S., and your smile attracts girls from all over the world.” She says in a rush, throwing her hands in the air.
I couldn’t help it, I started to laugh, really hard.
“What?” Lily grumbles, pouting at me.
“Oh Merlin. . .Lily. . .you couldn’t be more wrong.” I choke out between snorts.
Her face softens, “How so?”
“I’m the worst quidditch captain ever, Rose is the one that takes charge, I just wear the badge. I don’t even know why you think I got ten Os, but I only earned seven. Oh and where are all these girls that like my smile?” I’m wiping tears from my eyes from how hard I laughed.
“Are you really so ignorant? Scott, you’re the best looking bloke at our school. Girls literally throw themselves at you in the hallway.”
“Oh, is that what that was? I just thought I was extremely clumsy and somehow ran into all of them.” I tease her.
She looks out of the window again.
She doesn’t look at me, so I gently grab and turn her chin, “You are the only girl that I have, and will always, love.”
I blink, “What?”
I slide down my seat and kneel right in front of her, “Lily, I’ve only ever loved you and will only love you.” I try again.
She doesn’t look at me, “Shut up, or I will punch you.” She threatens.
I try a different approach, “Remember our third year when a bunch of us got together and convinced the house elves to only serve scrambled eggs every meal for a week?”
She laughs and looks at me, “Of course I remember that.”
“You looked so determined, I remember thinking ‘Damn, this girl is the one for me.’” I tell her.
“Well, you were very beautiful, just like you are now, but it was the look in your eyes that got me going head over heels. Its the look you had when the elves agreed to the plan. You were so happy and I remember thinking that I would do anything in this world to have you look at me with that twinkle in your eyes. I still want that, Lily.”
Tears start to flow down her cheeks and I wipe them away with my thumb.
“Lily?” I whisper.
“Will you go out with me, love?”
I beam and kiss her.
All that intense pain from being rejected is nothing when compared to how intensely exuberating it feels to hear her, finally, agree to go on a date. I’m going to make the most of this year, and the rest of my life.
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