Chapter 4 : The One With The Chocolate Of Forgiveness
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I gave a sigh as I sat in the library alone.
After the whole Love potion incident with James yesterday, I had taken refuge in my dormitory. I was finally forced out due to my need to use a book to do my homework, which could only be found in the library. Michelle wasn’t too happy about the fact that I was hiding in the dormitory, especially because it meant she had to sit alone at dinner. But I stand by the fact that if she hadn't abandoned me in the first place, I wouldn’t have had the embarrassment of having James declare his love to me. Although to be fair, he probably would have found me in the Great Hall and caused an even bigger fool of himself there. So maybe it was good that it happened in the hallway?
Michelle found the whole situation funny, telling me that I had clearly enjoyed it and I couldn’t deny it. What was there to enjoy about James being under the influence of a potion? One that was causing him to declare fake feelings towards someone else?
She didn’t understand why I was getting so ‘uptight’ about it all, to use her words, stating that I had always wanted James to tell me that he loved me.
It took a great deal of effort to not throw the book I was pretending to read in the dormitory at her face. I chose instead to just change the subject to whether or not she had found Lucien. She had informed me that she had and that a Quidditch practice had been arranged for today. A little early in my opinion, but I bet that was down to Michelle. She really needed to learn that she can’t control other people’s lives. Not that I would tell her that.
So that’s why I was currently alone in the library. I had come down here early enough to avoid anyone in the hallways, in the event that the incident yesterday had spread around the school. Although, who am I kidding? Of course it would have spread around the school by now.
At least I could deal with it without little comments from Michelle. I was entirely thankful that she was at Quidditch training and had left me to my own devices. In all honesty, I was still a little annoyed at her over her comments yesterday, so I didn’t want to be around her. So, it was mainly my own choice to be alone. If I wasn't annoyed with her I'd be sitting down on the stands watching her do her Quidditch training, still alone. I guess this was better, at least here I could pretend I was doing work instead of looking like a lonely loser.
I don’t actually mind being alone though, as it normally meant that I could catch up on my reading. I had decided to come down to the library, where it was quieter then staying in the common room with everyone talking around me, or about me. People could be quite loud at times and after a while it did start to make it difficult to read when people were fighting to be heard themselves.
So, the library is where I had taken refuge. No one would be able to disturb me here and I could get away from the pity in the eyes of anyone who had heard about what had happened between me and James yesterday.
I could feel myself cringing again when I thought back to yesterday.
Eurgh, I just wanted to forget the whole thing.
I looked up at the sound of the voice that had interrupted my self-hatred and noticed with shock that James Potter was standing in front of me. I was definitely not going to be forgetting the incident yesterday in a hurry.
I looked around quickly for a sign of Barry or Elijah before looking back at James, who was looking a bit sheepish. I didn’t want to be the butt of another Love Potion prank gone wrong.
"I, er... I just want to assure you that I'm not under a Love Potion," James told me, as though he could read my mind.
This was a surprise, so was James's visit; maybe my whole day is going to be filled with surprises?
"Okay," I said unsurely, not knowing what James was up to, or what was going to happen.
"I just wanted to apologise for yesterday, I didn't mean to make you feel so uncomfortable and embarrass you like that," James said to me. His hand found his dark hair and began to ruffle it as an awkward and uncomfortable look crossed his face. Maybe he didn’t want to actually apologise and someone was making him? Or maybe he was actually feeling awkward and uncomfortable.... I knew that I was.
"I'm surprised you didn't run away."
"I was in shock over the declarations..." I told him. I was actually still in shock and also a little heartbroken that they hadn’t been real declarations. But he didn’t need to know that, did he?
"I'm honestly relieved that you didn't laugh in my face or slap me. I’m glad that William managed to get me to a teacher otherwise who knows how long I would have been following you and declaring my love for. I vaguely remember my mind trying to make up a poem about you, it’s a good thing that your name is a hard name to rhyme to," James admitted with a small shrug. "But I am truly sorry for any pain or embarrassment that I caused you. In fact, I’ve brought you a present to apologise as well, or to use to bribe you into forgiving me."
He rummaged in his robe pocket and pulled out a large bar of chocolate, sliding it across the table towards me. I looked down at it sceptically and then up to him, unsure what to do, or if I should even take it; what if it was another prank?
"There's no Love Potion in there, I swear," he informed me holding his hands up in defence. "Which I know doesn't sound good coming from a guy that was under a love potion not too long ago. Although you probably won't accept it in fear that I might put a love potion in it... Ah, I'm going to stop talking now before I become creepy."
I gave him a smile. "Thank you," I told him, unsure what else to say.
“I wouldn’t blame you if you think I’m a stalker now, you’re probably going to avoid me, which you should. Although I must admit that I’m quite good at becoming invisible and hiding, I have the potential to be a good stalker.”
I raised my eyebrows at his words and he seemed to realise what he had said as he struggled to backtrack. “Not that I’m going to turn invisible and stalk you. God, I’m terrible at this, I just wanted to come over here, apologise, give you some chocolate and make sure that you didn’t hate me. I didn’t plan to come off sounding like a weirdo who talks about his potential to be a brilliant stalker.”
“It’s alright, James,” I told him, trying to help him out with his rambling. “We all say things we don’t mean.” I gave a shrug.
James looked at me as he processed my words, knowing that I meant what he had said yesterday as well as just now.
“I don’t want you to think that I would only say nice things to you because I was under a Love Potion. Because honestly, I think that you’re a really nice girl, even though we haven’t really talked over the years. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t noticed you around.”
I didn’t know what to say, he was being so nice. I wasn’t sure I could handle this without actually getting up and hugging him tightly and bounce around in excitement at his words. Who would seem like a creepy weirdo then? Me.
Instead, I just turned the chocolate around in my hands, trying to ignore the voice in my head that was telling me that he was only saying these nice things to apologise for yesterday. After today he wouldn’t speak to me and we would go back to how we were.
“You don’t need to do this James. You gave me chocolate, and I wasn’t even expecting that,” I told him honestly, shrugging again at him.
“Which I can assure you isn’t tainted with anything; in fact to prove it, I can eat some of it in front of you if you like?” James said quickly.
I gave a smile as I looked up at him.
“I believe that you haven’t put anything in it,” I told him. Although I was still slightly scared of the chocolate, maybe I’ll get Michelle to try some first - a bit of a harsh idea, I know. But it’s her own fault for making me angry at her.
I wouldn’t actually make her eat any; I’m not that mean.
"Good," James said with a nod. "Good." He looked at me for another moment, as though he was going to say something else, but he decided to begin walking backwards so that he could leave. "I'm glad that we'll be able to get through this and that my jerks for friends didn't cause too many problems. In all honesty, I don't even know why I put up with those two," he said, stopping and continuing to look at me intently.
"Only you can choose your friends, James," I told him, knowing that I probably shouldn't be giving friendship advice. Especially with the amount of friends I have that would make me a sudden expert in the field of friendship. A whole one friend, go me!
"I probably should have chosen better ones," he said before giving me a wave and then walking away.
I watched him go before looking at the chocolate in my hand, turning it over and looking down at the packaging, noticing that he had written on the label, 'chocolate of forgiveness'. I gave a smile and thought of how nice and yet strange it was that he came to me personally to apologise for his declarations of love. I was happy enough to avoid him for the rest of the year until everyone forgot what had happened. Yet, there was a part of me that didn’t trust what had just happened.
I still wasn't sure how many people knew about the love potion. But judging by some of the looks and whispers that I was receiving now that James had gone, it was safe to say that the students of Hogwarts were spreading the news. Rumors were what seemed to be keeping the student body alive during this school. The amount that I had heard over my time here from Michelle whom 'didn't care much for gossip' was ridiculous. The amount of times that she had told me "have you heard that Richard dumped Julie?", "did you know that Stacey asked out Elizabeth?"
In all honesty, I had no idea who these people were, or why their personal life should mean so much to me. But I was still inundated with information I didn't need to know, all due to gossip.
I gathered my stuff and put the chocolate in my pocket. Maybe I’ll eat this chocolate away from people’s prying eyes, that way if I do end up making a fool of myself, it’ll only be in my dormitory.
Although, if it’s been laced with Love Potion I should probably lock myself in the bathroom in case I start spouting declarations of love for James or someone else.
The alternative was that I could always just not eat the chocolate, but it looked really yummy.
A/N: A new chapter for you all! Did you like it? How did you feel about James's apology? Do you trust him? Would you trust the chocolate?
Let me know in a review! :D
Another massive thank you to my amazingly beautiful Beta Sam :D
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