Chapter 5 : The One With The Change In Friendship
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It was in the beginning of the second week of September when I noticed how many times James now said ‘hello’ to me during the day, or acknowledged me in some way.
I wasn’t complaining. I enjoyed the attention.
I just found it extremely weird that it was happening. We weren’t exactly in any kind of acquaintance-ness or friendship that required this level of greeting. In fact we used to barely acknowledge the other. I wasn’t sure how I was feeling about this sudden change in our barely even there relationship; it just had to be his guilt over what had happened the other day. I was wondering when we’ll go back to basically ignoring the other; I’m not sure that I wanted it to end to be perfectly honest. I was really enjoying having him waving at me in the corridors, or saying ‘Hello’ to me in Muggle Studies when he sat a few seats behind me, or when he gave me a smile in Potions. Plus, it seemed to be making Michelle a bit jealous, especially as he wasn’t going out of his way to say hello to her.
“You should probably enjoy this while it lasts,” Michelle told me as we walked out of our Charms lesson. James gave me a nod in goodbye before he rushed off down the corridor, as though he was late meeting someone. “It won’t be long before he falls back into how we all were and goes back to ignoring you and joking around with those friends of his, who still haven’t apologised to you for what happened.”
I almost rolled my eyes at her comment. She had been sneaking little comments like this ever since James had given me the chocolate of forgiveness. Which, might I add, was actually delicious and didn’t contain any potion. I was trying my best to ignore her comments. I knew it was jealousy on her part and I knew that I shouldn’t have been relishing in the fact that it was making her jealous. Although she was right about Barry and Elijah not actually apologising to me properly for what had happened. I wasn’t too bothered, they were serving detentions for their part in it all and I didn’t particularly want to see them anyway.
“Maybe James won’t? Maybe he’s being nice because he wants to be?” I suggested. My hopes were getting too high thinking about how he might just actually want to start talking to me, because he wanted to be my friend.
Michelle pursed her lips for a moment whilst she looked at me like I was ridiculous. “The only reason that James even talks to you in the first place is because his idiotic friends put Love Potion in his drink. What other reason would James even want to talk to us?”
I decided not to point out that it wasn’t Michelle that he was seeking out to greet, it was me. I could detect the jealousy in her voice and I knew that she seemed to be wishing that it was her that James had declared his love to. I didn’t want to think of how she would have dealt with that situation.
“Unless you think that he has secret feelings for you and that’s why the Love Potion affected him like that?”
“I really don’t think that at all,” I told her, trying to keep the annoyance out of my tone. Although I knew that I had in fact been thinking that, there was no way that I’d admit to it, as I didn’t want her to make fun of me over it. She had thought my crush on James was hilarious and would constantly remind me of the fact whenever he seemed to be near me. Although now it seemed to be all the time.
“You keep telling yourself that, Abigail. You shouldn’t let your own feelings for James cloud your judgement on this," Michelle told me as she began to walk away from me, but still looking at me so she was walking backwards. “Enjoy your Muggle Studies lesson, yeah?” She gave me a wink and then a laugh before she walked away to go to her own lesson. At that moment I was glad that I didn’t have the next lesson with her, I would rather be in a lesson alone.
I gave an annoyed sigh before I entered the room, flopping down on the seat and cursing Michelle in my head. I seriously needed to get some new friends. Other friends wouldn’t make me feel like this, would they? Maybe I was just over reacting though? I raised my fingers to my mouth and began to chew on my nails as I thought about the possibility that maybe I was overreacting to her words and being too sensitive about it all.
“Hello, Abigail,” a voice said interrupting me. I dropped my hands from my mouth quickly and looked up at the voice I recognised to be James Potter's.
I gave him a warm smile, “Hey, James.”
“That was a very serious expression on your face, are you okay?” he asked me. He sounded as though he was actually concerned. He walked past me and I heard the scrap of his chair on the stone floor as he took his seat.
This was a new addition to his hellos; he didn’t normally ask me how I was. I turned around to face him and saw that he had taken a seat at the table behind me this time; normally we had an empty desk between our ones. I tried not to get my hopes up about this newest addition to our ‘friendship’ that had been developing or the fact that he had moved closer to where I was sitting.
“Yeah, I was just thinking about something that Michelle said earlier,” I told him.
“Anything I can help with?” he asked me. It was nice that he actually seemed concerned and that he seemed like he wanted to help me out. Maybe Michelle was wrong and he wasn’t just feeling bad about what had happened.
I shook my head slowly, but gave him a grateful smile. “It’s just that Michelle is making me feel bad about something. It’s nothing new.”
I wasn’t sure why I just offered up that piece of personal information about my friendship with Michelle. Normally, I kept our friendship troubles to myself. But I just felt myself able to talk to him easily and we’d barely spoken that much before. I probably shouldn’t talk this much about my problems, I don't want to scare him off.
“You shouldn’t let her make you feel bad,” James told me honestly. “No one should make you feel bad about yourself.”
“Thanks, James. I’ll have to listen to that advice one day.”
“Why don’t you listen to it now?” he asked.
I didn’t know how best to answer that. I didn’t want to tell him that the reason I put up with Michelle’s behaviour was because I was scared that I would be alone as I had no other friends.
“It’s not the right time to,” I answered finally.
“Why, do you owe her money? Is that why you’ve got to hang around with her? For punishment?” he joked. I gave a laugh, although I shouldn’t have.
“Nothing like that, it’s just hard to get out of a rut that I’ve been stuck in to be honest,” I said with a shrug, which was true. It’s hard to break a habit and that’s what mine and Michelle’s friendship had become, a habit.
“Ah, I see how hard habits are to break. Fair enough,” he said to me.
I turned around to face the front of the class as the Muggle Studies teacher, Mr Millican, called for the class's attention and he began to explain about Muggles hobbies.
I was trying to listen to the teacher, but I couldn’t help but think of the conversation that James had just had with me. Although I wasn’t thinking about his advice, I was thinking about the fact that our conversation had lasted a while. I probably shouldn’t be this hooked up on the fact that he was talking to me now. But, surely, that added to the theory that he was only talking to me because he felt sorry for me.
Well, whatever the reason for his sudden interest in talking to me more, it was nice. Putting a hand in my pocket, I pulled out my lip balm and began to apply it to my lips absent-mindedly, tasting the honey flavour of it.
“Abigail?” I heard James hiss from behind me quietly. I pocketed my lip balm before I turned around to look at him, whilst the teacher was drawing a diagram on the blackboard.
“Yes?” I asked him quietly.
“I know this is incredibly cheeky to ask, but is there anyway that I can borrow some parchment? I used all mine up in the last lesson. Feel free to say no,” he added quickly. He was biting his lip and he had a hopeful look on his face as he waited for me to answer him. The fact that he was biting his lip and it gave him a cute look on his face made me give in, not that I wouldn't have.
“Yeah, sure,” I told him, turning around to grab some parchment before turning to look at him again and pass the parchment to him. “I don’t mind.”
“Thank you, Abigail, you are a life saver,” he told me as he took the parchment and his face broke into a wide smile. He gave me a wink and I turned around to face the front before I blushed red in embarrassment. I felt my stomach swimming with butterflies and I tried to focus on the teacher in the hopes that they would go away.
Oh yes, I was really enjoying James talking to me.
A/N: I am so happy with the response that this story is getting from people! :D It makes me so happy.
Another massive squishy hug to my awesome Beta Sam! And to all of you for reading! (and I hope reviewing :P)
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