Chapter 3 : Chapter 3
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I stomp down the steps from the boys’ dormitory, still fuming at my conversation with them.
No one believes me. Fine.
But I know what I saw… I’m not going crazy and I’m not overly stressed.
Ok, maybe I am. But can you blame me?
And so what if they don’t want to believe me. I don’t care. James Potter exists somehow and he’s trying to reach me through my dreams. How else can you explain the mirror? He hadn’t told me about it before he died.
Had he? Oh Merlin, I need a drink.
Or better yet, I need a Calming potion. My thoughts are racing at a million miles a minute and I can’t think straight at all.
I yank on my uniform, not bothering to put on my cloak and walk swiftly through the common room and out the portrait hole, ignoring the looks of pity and concern that follow me.
Thankfully the hospital wing is devoid of any students when I walk in and I sink down onto one of the white beds.
Soon enough, Madam Pomphrey comes bustling out of her office, her eyes widening slightly as she takes in my appearance.
“Miss Evans,” she appraises me carefully, looking for any signs of physical damage. “What brings you here today?”
“I—I think I need a Calming Draught,” I stutter, my voice sounding squeakier than usual.
A flash of understanding passes through the old nurse’s eyes as she nods.
“Ah… of course,” Madam Pomphrey’s voice adopts a much more soothing tone. “You can just sit right there while I get it.”
She hurries away, shooting me one last furtive glance before disappearing into her office.
I’m starting to get sick of those pitying looks. The entire damn school has been walking on eggshells around the Marauders and I since James’s death. Suddenly we are the topic of everyone’s gossip.
What had actually happened the day James Potter died? Was it really an acromantula that killed him? Or was it one of his friends?
Or maybe Lily Evans had finally had enough of him asking her out all the time…
That is undoubtedly the worst rumor.
Madam Pomphrey finally emerges from her office with a small vile of some blue liquid. I eagerly drink it down, not even pausing to enjoy the subtle flavors of honey and chamomile. All I want is the release… I want the heavy emotional weight of James Potter’s death off my shoulders.
I feel the effects immediately. My head swims, making all of my thoughts unintelligible. Even my vision blurs slightly around the edges.
“Why don’t you stay here for a few minutes until the potion has settled in, then you may leave,” Madam Pomphrey says kindly, pushing me gently back onto the bed.
I sink down easily, my body feeling ten times lighter than it normally does. My fingers trace the hem of my robes idly as I wait for the draught to settle in my body.
I reach into my pocket, pulling out Sirius’s mirror. I’m surprised that he didn’t argue when I took it from him… although he did say that thinking about James was too hard for him. I can understand that.
It’s not that thinking about him is easy for me… but I think in some way, I’m terrified of forgetting about him.
I turn the small mirror over and over in my hands, watching as the light reflects off the surface, making patters on the walls.
“You promised, James,” I mutter thickly as another wave of the Calming Draught sweeps over me. “You promised you’d appear.”
“Well, I’m here now, aren’t I?” A voice wafts from the mirror and I almost drop it out of surprise.
I sit up quickly turning the mirror towards me, gasping as James’s face grins up at me.
“Alright, Evans?” He winks at me and my happiness at the sight of him quickly vanishes.
“I most certainly am not alright, James Potter,” I snap angrily at him and then glance over towards Madam Pomphrey’s office. The door is closed however, so I turn my attention back to James and hiss, “you were supposed to appear when I said your name earlier with your friends. Now they all think I’m crazy.”
“Would it help if I said I’m sorry?” James shrugs at me, his hazel eyes glowing with sincerity.
“No,” I huff, frowning down at him.
“What if I said I have a surprise for you?” James rolls his eyes as a smile creeps onto his face.
I chew on my bottom lip, trying to suppress the smile that is trying to break my angry façade.
“What kind of surprise?” I ask grumpily and that only makes James grin wider.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you,” James chuckles. “Just meet me by the owlery, alright?”
“You’re here?” I ask, my heart doubling its pace in my chest.
“Of course I’m here,” James raises his eyebrows at me. “Where else would I be?”
“Oh, I dunno… six feet under?” I quip and James’s responding laugh sends shivers through me.
“How many times do I have to tell you,” James chuckles again. “I’m not dead. Now come outside…”
I hastily shove the mirror into my pocket, glancing up at Madam Pomphrey’s office again. I’m glad she hasn’t seen me talking to Sirius’s mirror… she’d think I’m crazy. Just like everyone else.
I push myself off the bed, the Calming Draught making me feel light and carefree. I hurry through the empty corridors towards the front door. A warm autumn breeze meets me as I run across the grounds, eager to see James again.
I stumble up the grassy hill towards the owlery and my breath catches in my chest when I spot James leaning casually against the stone wall.
There he is, looking as real as ever.
“James, I’m so glad you’re here,” I say and without thinking I throw my arms around his neck. I immediately regret my overreaction at the sight of him, but his arms lace around my back and I can’t help but smile at his touch. The fact that the last time James and I actually talked – before he died, I mean—I had turned him down yet again for a date didn’t matter anymore. All of that was in the past. I can honestly say that there is nothing I want more at this moment than to be with him…
“Really? Because you seemed rather peeved before,” James grins as we pull apart.
“Yes, well everyone thinks I’ve gone mad,” I say, looking eagerly into his eyes.
As long as he is standing before me and as long as I can feel him, the way his hands slide down my arms and grasp my hands, I know he is real. And that is all that matters.
“Why do they think that?” James frowns at me, reaching a hand up to push a strand of my red hair away from my face.
“Last night when I saw you,” I say, blushing at his touch. “They all said it was just a dream.”
“And what do you think?” James asks me, tugging on my hand as we start walking towards the forest.
“I… I don’t know what to think,” I confess, shaking my head as we trek deeper and deeper into the forest.
“Aren’t you curious about your surprise?” James grins down at me, elbowing me playfully in my side.
“Of course I am,” I say, carefully stepping over the hazardous roots of the forest floor. “But I’m more curious as to where you keep going… I’m starting to think you actually are just a dream.”
"Well, if I were a dream, would I be able to take you here?” James pulls me through an overgrowth of bushes into a small clearing. My vision suddenly turns blue as the forest floor in front of us is carpeted with thousands of Forget-Me-Nots. Green vines creep up the enormous trunks of the trees, the delicate flowers clinging to the bark.
“Well, yes actually,” I breathe as I stare around me at flowers. “But it’s so lovely I don’t even care.”
James chuckles quietly, taking a few steps ahead of me. The Forget-Me-Nots bloom into life wherever he steps like he is some kind of angel. Maybe he is…
“It’s all for you…” James says, looking back at me but I can’t tear my eyes away from the breathtaking garden surrounding us. “The Forget-Me-Nots… you said they were your favorite.”
“You remembered?” I breathe, running my hands over the flower-covered tree trunks.
“’Course I did,” James shrugs. “You only said it a few days ago. I also remember you saying that you didn’t want me to give up…”
“Is this you not giving up?” I ask, gesturing idly at the garden.
“I guess you could say that, yes,” a smile tugs on James’s mouth as he
pulls me down to the ground next to him. I fold my legs underneath me, the flowers gently tickling my bare skin and James sits facing me.
Something has changed indefinitely between us. Of course, he is still the same James, and I the same Lily, but I don’t have to say anything for him to know that my resolve is wavering. And because he knows me, he doesn’t push it. He knows that if he asks again—when he asks again—my answer will be yes. And maybe that is enough for him for now.
I stare at him with a calculating look, crossing my arms over my chest as a cool breeze sweeps through the forest, making me shiver. James quickly drapes his cloak around my shoulders, his golden Head Boy badge glinting in the dim sunlight.
I hug the cloak tighter around myself, trying to memorize his intoxicating scent and I feel James’s finger lace lightly through mine.
“How can I convince everyone else that you’re still here?” I ask quietly, a familiar melancholic feeling sweeping through me as I study the way his hand encloses mine.
“You can,” James responds just as quietly and my eyebrows pull together slightly in confusion.
“How?” I ask and James’s mouth turns up in one corner in a lopsided smile.
“All you have to do is wake up,” James breathes and the smile vanishes immediately from my face.
“No…” I mutter, wrenching my hands from him. “Not again…NO!”
James vanishes in a swirl of Forget-Me-Nots and I gasp, throwing myself forward as I sit up and my eyes adjust to the bright lights of the Hospital Wing.
My arms are wrapped tightly around myself and I stare wildly around me for James. The only thing I see is Madam Pomphrey helping a second year who has sprouted antlers from his head to an empty bed on the other side of the ward.
I shove myself away from the bed and pause when I notice I am wearing a cloak… with a gold badge pinned to it.
I quickly inform Madam Pomphrey that I am feeling much better and tear down the halls towards the Gryffindor common room.
This has to prove it. How else could I have gotten James’s cloak? And he had been buried with his Head Boy badge so unless they think I dug up his grave they’ll have to believe me.
The Marauders and Mary are sitting on the large red couch in the common room when I burst through the portrait hole. They all glance up at me, startled by my entrance.
I drop down onto the floor in front of Mary, clutching at a stitch in my side from running.
“Lily, are you alright?” Sirius asks, exchanging a worried look with Mary.
“I saw him again,” I say breathlessly. “In the forest. And his cloak, and a garden…”
“Woah, slow down,” Remus places a hand on my shoulder and I take a few deep steadying breaths. “You were in the forest?”
I shake my head and see Mary and Sirius exchange an anxious look.
“I was in the hospital wing,” I explain hastily. “But James appeared in your mirror, Sirius. He said to meet him outside, so I did. And he was there, and he was real. And we went to a garden. Merlin, that was the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen…”
“What did you say you were in the hospital wing for?” Mary asks delicately, pulling me off the floor to sit next to her.
“Calming Draught,” I shrug, and I see the Marauders and Mary exchange another look. They really need to stop doing that.
"Er, Lily,” Peter ventures, leaning forward to peer at me around Sirius. “I think you were just dreaming again…”
I shake my head vigorously. “It wasn’t a dream. He was really there.”
“Lily,” Remus leans forward grasping both my small hands in his. “Listen to me carefully. What you’ve been seeing… James, this garden… it’s all just a dream. And the sooner you realize this, the better.”
“It’s not a dream,” I burst angrily, shoving myself off the couch. I wrench off James’s cloak and toss it at Remus. “Look, James gave me his cloak. Look at the badge; It’s his. Now, how on earth would I have gotten that?”
Remus glances down at the bundle of fabric in his lap, the gold badge gleaming up at him.
“Lily…” Remus says slowly, holding the cloak back out to me. “This is your badge.”
I look down incredulously, preparing to prove him wrong but stop. Head Girl is embossed in the shiny badge making my heart plummet. I glance up at my friends who seem to be in the middle of a silent conversation.
Sirius nods at something and pushes himself off the couch, taking the cloak from my hands and draping it over my shoulders.
“Come on, Lily,” Sirius says gently, grabbing my hand and pulling me towards the portrait hole. “I think we should go back to the hospital wing…"
A/N: Hi everyone! Back with another chapter! Sorry this is a bit on the short side, I promise the next 2 chapters are much longer! I want to thank everyone for their wonderful reviews so far! They really mean so much to me! And I do try to respond to them all!
So Lily saw James again, and STILL no one believes her! What IS going on here?
Leave your thoughts and any questions you have! Cheers!
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