Chapter 16: Memories
She was sat in a compartment on her own, which was unusual. I decided to take my chances and went in.
"Hi," I said.
She looked up from her book, her eyes widening as she took in the changes in my appearance.
"Hi," she said back, sounding surprised.
I decided to go straight into it. "I'm sorry about last year… I treated you badly, I know, I don't have any excuses."
She just said, "ok."
"I'm Quidditch captain now," I said after a few minutes of silence.
"Great," she said. She wasn't saying much. Better get out now.
"Look, I'm really sorry. I'd like us to be friends." More than friends. But I didn't say that. She needed time to warm up to the idea.
"Ok," she said again. I thought it was best to leave.
In the corridor I leaned against the door and sighed. It was the best I could hope for.
It turned out we had Potions together again this year. I was an idiot to hope she'd sit with me though. She sat next to Finch-Fletchley instead, a new addition to our class. I watched her chat with him, smile at him, was she flirting with him?
As much as I'd changed and was trying to be positive, I couldn't help but think that Finch-Fletchley was just a pretty boy with no brains. It was hard not to be jealous. Two months ago those smiles were mine. I wanted them to be mine again. I didn't deserve her, and he probably did, but if I ever got her back, she'd be treated like a princess every damn day. I saw him notice me watching her but I didn't care.
Later on, I spotted her in the library and went over to find out what was going on between her and Finch-Fletchley. She snapped at me, of course she would. She's still beautiful, even when she's angry. She's definitely still pissed off about last year.
I thought I'd better keep my distance for now, but that was easier said than done when I spotted her with Finch-Fletchley walking into Hogsmeade that weekend. Everyone's gossiping about them. Patricia Parkinson took the opportunity to throw herself at me. Emily was never so obvious. I let Parkinson carry on anyway. At least it meant that someone wanted me.
I got up early for a fly around the Quidditch pitch, and a shower after.
Suddenly, the water went cold. Someone else must be in here. I grabbed my towel and stepped out of the cubicle to see who it was.
Oh. She'd come in for a drink from the tap.
Her eyes travelled over my body, significantly different from the last time she'd seen it. She had the same look on her face though. She wanted me. I knew she did.
Fuck it. I walked over and kissed her. She kissed me back, and it was pure ecstasy. For a minute we weren't broken up. We'd never broken up. We were just one. My hands were pulling off her clothes, and she took off my towel.
A low moan escaped my lips. I wanted her so badly, she had no idea.
This was better than last time. We fit together perfectly. No planning, no thinking about what to do next. Just doing it.
I was aching to tell her that I loved her, as we sat there afterwards, saying nothing. I hoped she didn't regret what had just happened.
Eventually she left. I'd missed my chance to tell her how I felt.
I'd had enough of Parkinson chucking herself at me. I told her where to go. I only wanted Emily.
I tried to push her too far. I told her straight up that I wanted us to get back together, I even tried to duel Finch-Fletchley over her. She was mad. Of course she would be. She's not an object. I'm sure I've wrecked it now.
I decided to go outside to do my homework at the weekend. I'd spent too much time in my head this summer and I needed to get out.
She came and found me. I was dreading this. She was going to tell me that she'd chosen him.
She sat down next to me. "I'm choosing you," she said.
Happiness exploded inside me. I'd never felt like this before.
I opened my eyes and there she was, looking worried.
"Are you ok?" she asked, panicking.
I stroked her face to calm her down. I told her I was fine and sat up.
I drifted in and out of consciousness a few times. She was talking to me. I can't remember what I said. I remember trying to stand up and falling straight back down.
I was watching her work in the library once I'd recovered. She kept getting annoyed, but I couldn't help it. Every time I kissed her, she thought I was trying to copy off her. To be honest, I wasn't even attempting to do any work.
She shivered, and I gave her my Quidditch jumper. I stood up as she was putting it on. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to tell her.
I finally said the words, and left. I didn't want to give her the chance to tell me she didn't feel the same way.
She caught up with me in the corridor. I knew my face betrayed my fears.
She said it back.
She loves me.
I couldn't help but lift her right off her feet.
I woke up suddenly. She was facing away from me, her body shaking. I touched her, and she couldn't help but cry out loud then. She'd been keeping it from me, how she was really feeling.
I held her and we both grieved for our lost baby.
We'd stayed awake all night, crying, talking, just holding each other. She'd finally exhausted herself and fallen asleep. I watched her slow, deep breathing, she looked more rested than she had done in a few days.
I wished she hadn't hidden how she was feeling. I know why she did, she was trying to be strong for both of us. But now she was so tired of it. It was time to let me be her strength for a while.
Her head was on my chest, and she was stroking my scars. She looked guilty, I knew she thought it was her fault. She realised I was awake and opened her mouth to say it.
I covered her mouth with my hand. "Don't say it," I said. "I'd go through it again, a thousand times, even if it was to be with you just once more, because I fucking love you."
She looked like she was about to argue, but instead she just sighed and moved closer to me. I let go of her mouth and slipped my arm around her.
"I love you too," she said, and the words made butterflies in my stomach.
I still couldn't believe that after years of watching and wanting her, and losing her, this girl was finally mine. We were tied together forever now. She couldn't leave. More than that, she didn't want to leave.