Chapter 9 : May (pt. 2)
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Until I met him…
Monday, May 2
Numb. That’s truly all I feel.
Numb at what I thought could be it.
Numb as I silently sit on the couch, as the phone begs to be answered over and over.
Numb as I listen to desperation over and over.
Numb as I think about whether I want him to be it; if I wanted him to be the one.
And numb as I realized I did.
When I was with James, all insecurities fly out the window. All my fear of commitment, everything I valued breaks because he teaches me new ways to live, new ways to look at the world, and new ways to look at myself. I no longer look at myself as broken. He made me feel important. He made me feel worth.
I gave him power over me and he tore me down just like everyone else.
So I sit. No tears, no feeling. Just numb. Because I am just that squib yet again. I am not worthy.
Numb is a feeling you never forget.
An hour later, I open my eyes. I whip around to the clock, which says half past ten, and sigh in relief. Standing up to go get ready for work at the shittiest place in town, I hear a new voice on my answering machine.
One that is not dripping with guilt and remorse. One filled with comfort.
“Hey Lyds. Just checking up on you. I finished settling into my new home yesterday. Miss you lots and can’t wait for you to see the new place. You should be bloody proud of me, you know, I don’t hardly know how to use this ruddy thing but Lizzie says this is the only way to get a hold of you recently. Anyways, call me or better yet I’ll send my owl over later, yeah? Alright, bye Lydia.”
I let out a laugh…and another. All of a sudden I was on my knees in downright hysterics with misery piled on top. I wasn’t sure if the tears streaming out were from laughter or the downright sadness I felt, or maybe both. I slid down, leaning against the side of the couch grabbing the phone and dialing Mark’s number.
Whipping the tears from the corners of my eyes, I reply “What do you know about James Potter?”
“You mean the James Potter?” Mark asked.
“Yeah, that one.” I said, rolling my eyes.
“I dunno…Son of the savior of the world…Tall…Dark hair. Why?”
I scrunched my eyes together, already feeling the alcohol I had consumed earlier making me light-headed.
“I may or may not be in love with him,”
“Get in line,” Mark said with a chuckle.
“No, no, really.” I told Mark the entire story. All the way back to the first time we met at the book store. Mark has always been a good listener, never failing to add in witty comments when appropriate. Talking to my brother about it genuinely made me feel better. Even if it was something as superfluous as James Potter it still made a difference. This was one huge leap forward for our relationship.
“Well Lyds. Leave it to you to fall in love right under my nose,” Mark laughed, before growing serious and adding, “Are you sure your ready for this? I mean you haven’t had the best track record…”
I knew what he was saying. It was hard to forget my fleeting heart and quick mind; rushing in and out of relationships on a whim because of my inability to commit.
I took a deep breath before replying, “This is me asking for help. When have I ever done that before?”
There was silence on the other line. “Then go. Go to his family picnic. Go prove to me and to him that you know how to be in a relationship. That you know how to forgive. That you can be brave.”
“Okay,” Swolowing the urge to run far, far away.
“Lydia. I am so proud of you.”
Nodding silently I whisper, “I love you, Mark. I’ll see you soon.”
“Bye Lyds.” I click off the phone and lean my head against the couch.
Mustering up all the courage I could I stand up in search of my planner. Riffling through the pages, I find this week.
Wednesday is circled with the words, Thompson Family Picnic, written in the middle.
I can do it. I have to. Going to the picnic is showing that I was wrong. That I can accept. That I can forgive. That I can commit.
That I can love.
I smoothed down my favourite dress staring at my reflection in the mirror. My stomach was eating itself. You know when you’re not really ill but your stomach hurts so much with guilt, sorrow, or anxiety that you feel like you could retch at any moment? That’s how I felt as I prepared myself to show up and the Potter’s family picnic uninvited, unannounced.
Suddenly panic set through me as I realized I had absolutely no idea where the Potters lived. I mean, it’s not like I could just call a cab or look it up on Google like I do for normal human people. My heart fluttered as I grabbed the phone to call Mark. Surely Wizards had directories… right?
30 minutes I realized that was very, very wrong.
However, thanks for my brother’s excellent sleuthing skills, he was able to locate an address and offered to apparate me there… much to my dismay.
And as my wonderful brother showed up at my door, I squeezed my eyes shut terrified at the thought of apparating after all these years refusing to. I shiver as I grab Mark’s arm with terror as we start to spin.
When I open my eyes again, I feel a very strong urge to pass-out or faint or retch. Thankfully I do none of those as Mark grabs my arm to steady me. I look up and find myself at the end of a long drive and an abnormally tall house.
“Alright sis, tell me how it goes later, okay?” He asks, giving me a small smile before kissing my head.
I nod, breathing deep and making my way up the drive.
As I reach my hand up to knock on the front door, I find the door cracked, laughter ringing inside.
I push the door open a bit and peer in. I see a woman with bushy brown hair and an older, plumper one with graying hair. They are preparing dishes in the kitchen.
I clear my throat and the two look up, startled.
“Hello. I’m uh looking for James Potter,” I say uncertain. I didn’t think it was right to just walk into a strangers home like this but I had to find him.
“And who are you?” Asks the younger one, her hands placed delicately on her hips, lips pursed, eyebrows raised.
“Lydia Storben.” I felt myself cowering under her eyes when suddenly James walks in to the kitchen. He freezes when he sees me.
“Lyds?” He asks, his face a mix between surprise and relief.
“Hey,” I say lamely. He takes my arm and pulls me farther into the house down a hallway. I stare down at the ground kicking myself for not knowing what to say.
Luckily, James jumped in before I could. “Look I’m so sorry. I should have told you the truth right from the start since I thought you were a muggle but I was scared that you would find out before I could tell you, but it’s okay now because you are a wizard and you understand and now we can go on normal dates in the wizarding world and quidditch oh please say you love quidditch!”
I scrunched up my face at the overload of information. I shook my head ashamed. “I’m not a wizard, don’t call me that.”
“What?” James asked, shock running over his face. “Then how did you…but…you knew,”
I looked up at him his eyes filling with… disappointment.
Staring at the ground I muttered, “I’m a squib.”
“What?” He asked again, coming closer in an attempt to hear clearer.
“I’m a squib!” I said, whipping my head up to face him, my eyes watering. Ashamed, I began to walk down the hall in route to the front door.
James didn’t follow. It was silent in the house except for my heels clicking against the floor. And every click that was unaccompanied by a large thud, made tears well in my eyes. I stopped at the door turning around and saying, “Thank you very much for allowing me into your home,” as I always did after visiting a wizarding home. Blinking back the tears, I slowly opened the door and clicked it shut behind me.
I didn’t make it off the front stoop before tears overflowed in my eyes. Sobs erupted in my chest.
I heard the door click open and felt large arms wrap around my waste. He whispered in my ear, “Lyds I love you, I love you so much, I can’t bear to be without you sometimes,”
He turned me around in his arms, “Sometimes, I need time to process things okay?”
I nodded through my tears. He pulled me to his chest and stroked my hair.
“I don’t care, Lydia, you know that right? I was in love with you when you were a muggle, I’m still in love with you now that I know you’re a squib. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, you have to stop thinking of yourself as lower than everyone,”
“I’ve been an outcast my whole life, James. I can feel magic… like something is crawling in my veins. I can’t bear to go to the wizarding world, everyone knows in an instant. All my family… I’m the black sheep, I’m tired of not being enough. So when I found you, I thought maybe this was my way out; my way back to the muggle world. But of course not, I’m in love with a bloody wizard.” I said exasperated.
I pull myself away and sit on the pavement.
“Okay,” He says, coming and sitting next to me. “I’ll take you to cafés and stupid little muggle restaurants that take forever to bring you your food because they bloody have to actually cook it. I don’t care. Lydia, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
James sits in front of my, digging around in his pocked before pulling out a black box. My breath catches in my throat.
“Will you marry me?”
A/N: GAHHHH! I just love cliff hangers :)
Hopefully this will have been validated before the queue closure and chapter ten will be in right when it opens again!
Guys, only one more chapter left. *sniff sniff*
Thanks to everyone who has been so faithful to this story, as it truly has been a work in progress…
Review and tell me your favourite line from this chapter or the entire story! What do you think of James being so accepting? And Mark? (He is the brother I always wanted!) Let me know!
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