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Chapter 22 : Chapter Twenty Two
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I looked outside at the courtyard, where it was snowing heavily. “I know what you mean.” I said to Leah. “James should’ve cancelled practice.”
“I’m not going to be able to see my own nose. Imagine a quaffle.” Leah said, shaking head. “But still...Haven’t practiced during break, have you?” I shook my head.
“Maybe we should go then.” I said.
“Yeah.” Leah replied. Both of us just stared at the courtyard.
“There you are!”
Both of us spun around, Kat was standing halfway down the hallway behind us, gasping for breath.
“James told me to get you guys. What are you two doing?”
“Debating if we should go to practice today.” I said. Leah chuckled.
“Let’s go.” she said. We ran after Kat, who was already panting. We got to the grounds, which were freezing. I shivered, pulling my cloak around me tightly.
“Well. We held off as long as we could.” Leah said, grinning at me as we got onto the field. James was leaning against his broomstick, looking impatient.
“Finally! Where have you two been?”
“In the hallway, near the courtyard.” Leah said casually. I grinned at her.
“As opposed to being here.”
James rolled his eyes. “Okay, everyone on their brooms. Quick passes with the quaffle first.”
The practice went okay, except for the fact that it was freezing cold outside. There was also a time that Eve had come down to watch in the stands, making me drop the quaffle.
“Ugh. Sorry, I’ll get that.” I said, to no one in particular. My face flushing, I sped towards it, grabbing it in midair. Well, at least I wasn’t as cold anymore in the face...
James blew the whistle again, hardly bothered. Gaby glanced at me, but didn’t say anything.
“Quicker, people. C’mon...Evans! Pay Attention!”
“I’m sorry, dammit!” I yelled back at him as I dropped the quaffle again. His eyes widened for a moment, then narrowed at me as Gaby went to go get the ball. I stared defiantly back.
“Forget it.” he snarled at the team. What was his problem anyway? “Practice match. Everyone at their positions. Cecilia and Evans, go get the snitch and bludgers.” Great. Just what I needed.
“So,” Cecilia sneered, once we were both on the ground, going towards the crate which was near the edge of the stands. “How does it feel to be rejected?”
“Sod off.” I growled at her. She gave me a mock sympathetic look.
“It’s okay, Lily.” she said, giving me one of those horrible false smiles that I hate. “It happens to everyone. Even you.”
I was temporarily counting one to ten, so I wouldn’t reach into my pocket and jinx her. Not that she didn’t deserve it.
“I guess you’re not so special anyway. You think you’re so great, right? The only one who said ‘no’ to James Potter. Probably think you’re unique and everything. Well guess what? You’re just like all the others. You’re used, then thrown out.”
“What is your problem?”
Cecilia frowned at me, then said in such a low voice, I almost didn’t hear it. “You.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. I felt my face grow hot with anger, and I concentrated on looking down at the field, finally putting down the crate and opening it. I caught a small glimpse of the snitch, which followed the considerably larger bludgers, then grabbed a bat. Cecilia followed suit.
“Here.” I hissed, throwing the bat at Patricia. Patricia barely caught it, raising her eyebrow at me. Cecilia sped by, glaring at me. Pfft. So what? They were sisters. They were both prats.
“Chasers, try to score. Beaters, try to prevent us from scoring.” James said.
The whistle blew again, and I sped off towards Leah, who was guarding the goal posts. I passed the quaffle to Gaby, but Sirius sent a bludger at the last minute, knocking the quaffle in midair. Sirius whooped, while Gaby narrowed her eyes at him.
It had to be the worse practice ever. You could feel the tension...between Gaby and Sirius, between Cecilia and I...and then there was James. And his stupid little girlfriend watching as I kept on dropping the quaffle. She probably thought I was a real idiot...
Finally, James called it a day. I flew over to where Gaby was, who looked very disgruntled.
“Did you see that?” she said disbelievingly. “He did that on purpose.” When I continued to have the same blank look, she added, “He blocked my goal. He’s doing this just to annoy me.”
I tried not to point out that Sirius was supposed to be blocking our goals. “Oh.” was all I said. She still looked mad, though. “Listen, don’t get mad over him. Think about something else. Like...your date with Jack today.”
When I said this, Gaby slapped her hand to her forehead, looking horrified. “I can’t believe I forgot!” She burst out, gaping at me. “I got to meet him in the entrance hall in like five minutes and I still need to get ready! Listen Lily, can you go put my broom in the broom shed?”
“Sure.” I said, and she immediately pushed her broom into my hands.
“See you later.” She called over her shoulder, than raced across the grounds. I sighed, wishing a date could clear my mind off too.
I reached the shed, put stopped once I saw Sirius and Patricia there. I don’t think I was supposed to hear them, although I probably would anyways since Patricia were yelling.
“I can’t believe you’re still pretending!” Patricia screamed at him. Sirius folded his arms, looking hardly bothered.
“Merlin, just go away, Patricia.” Sirius said, rolling his eyes as he tried to open the door of the shed to put his broomstick in. Patricia put her arm out, preventing him. “Nothing happened.”
“Nothing happened?! I saw you two!”
Sirius looked at her, his face expressionless. “Okay, then.”
Patricia stared at him hard, frowning and looking close to tears. She opened the shed, threw her broom inside, then stormed off, sniffling.
“Oh, hey Evans.” Sirius said, once he saw me coming over to put away the brooms.
“Whoa. She was mad.” I said, furrowing my eyebrows at him. Sirius sighed deeply.
“Yeah. She was.”
I raised my eyebrow at him. “Was it because of that train ride the other day?” I asked, but Sirius looked at me blankly. “When you were with that girl from Hufflepuff?”
“Oh. Right. That.” he said, as he closed the shed and we both crossed the grass to follow the path. “Yeah. It was.”
I couldn’t help but feel that I was on Patricia’s side. It must’ve been awful for her to see her boyfriend cheating on her. I mean, hearing it from someone is one thing, but actually seeing it, with her own eyes? Now, that must really suck.
We were quiet for a while, seeing Gaby in the distance running into the castle, probably running into Jack in the entrance hall when she still wanted to get dressed up.
“So.” he said, glancing at me. “Gaby was in a hurry.”
“Yeah.” I said, not really thinking it was any of his business if she was going on a date with someone or not.
“She’s not seeing that kid, Jason, is she?”
“It’s Jack.” I corrected him. Sirius shrugged.
“Whatever.” he said. There was a pause, before he added, “I never liked him.”
“I don’t really know him.” I said. I stared at the ground for a while. “Did you ever cheat on her?” I blurted out, before I could stop myself. It had been bugging me. He grimaced at me.
“If I did, I wouldn’t tell you.” he said. “But no, I didn’t.”
I couldn’t help but feel surprised. I mean, I assumed that was why he broke up with her. “Why did you break up with her then?”
Sirius avoided my eyes, jamming his hands into his pockets. “I just...did.”
“See you later.” he said, once he turned and walked into the Great Hall. He glared at Jack as he passed.
I slowly climbed up the marble staircase, my feet carrying me to the common room. I was feeling really tired, and just wanted to take a shower and go to sleep. But I suddenly felt wide awake when I turned the corner and saw James and Eve. I don’t really need to describe what they were doing.
I didn’t know what to do though, they were in my way. They would definitely notice me. Something that just cannot happen.
But it did.
I was just about to turn on my heel, to leave so I could hide. I never hid. But this time I just had to. And as I stared at them, he pulled away from kissing her, and turned his face to look at me.
It was as if I could feel my heart pounding in my head, and it hurt so much. I couldn’t bear to think about it...but we just looked at each other.
“I...er---” I mumbled, pushing through the tapestry that was behind them. (They finally moved) I moved quickly up the steps, and I heard James say behind it, “Um...yeah. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He was coming up the steps. I quickened my pace.
He still caught up to me though, pulling on my arm.
“Hey.” he said. I didn’t say anything, but frowned, wrenching my arm from his grasp. “Lily. C’mon, wait.”
I kept on walking, folding my arms tightly across my chest, and looking at the ground. I didn’t know why I was so mad at him. Who cares if he has a girlfriend? Why should I mind if he was kissing her, blocking my way? Why did it matter?
Then all of a sudden, I heard James laughing. He was laughing at me.
Now that got me mad. I stopped suddenly, turning around and fuming.
James stopped momentarily, his smirk fading. He quickly regained his balance though, and grinned at me. Not a real grin, but those grins he was using often now.
“I should’ve known that if I stopped asking you out, you would start liking me.”
“Excuse me?” I said dangerously, stepping down so I was face to face with him. I narrowed my eyes.
“Now you know how it feels, Evans.” he said to me, smirking. “To like someone, and they don’t like you back. Like it?” he sneered, and pushed past me, walking up the staircase and through a tapestry. I felt my anger boiling, and before I knew what I was doing, I was storming after him.
“You think you’re such a big shot, don’t you?” I yelled after him, making him spin around. “Maybe you haven’t noticed, but sometimes you’re wrong! I don’t like you, I’ve never liked you, and I never will.”
He furrowed his eyebrows at me, looking furious. “You know what I think, Lily? I think you’re scared. Scared of loving me, although deep down you already do.”
I clucked my tongue, feeling my cheeks burn. “I do not love you.” James walked fast up to me, and for a minute I thought he was going to push me or something, since he looked so angry.
“Well, I never loved you.” he said, inches away from my own face. I exhaled slowly.
“Good.” was all I said. Wow, I’m so great with words. He frowned at me, shaking his head, then started walking ahead of me again. Then he stopped, turning around again.
“Then why do you care that I’m dating Eve?” he shot back at me, looking into my eyes for an answer.
I knew I was supposed to be honest, since that’s what he was asking for, an honest answer. But I wasn’t.
“I don’t.” I said finally. He narrowed his eyes, making a disbelieving sound in his throat. He then turned around again, rounding the corner where the Fat Lady was.
“Mimblewimble.” he said, once I myself turned the corner. I watched him go through the portrait hole, scrambling inside.
And then it hit me.
I liked James. No, I couldn’t. No, of course not. I did not like James.
Pfft. Yeah. Right.
Oh my gosh.
I do! No, no, no! This cannot be happening. Why is this happening? Argh.
I was jealous of Eve. I was mad at him for laughing at me. I was hurt by what he was doing. My mind was completely blank. All I knew was one thing, as much as I hated to admit it.
I definitely screwed up.
James Potter was right there. How could I not notice for so long? While I was mourning over Zach, James was there waiting for me. But he got sick of it. He moved on. Now it was my turn to sit and watch as my heart slowly rotted.
Then, BOOM! Thoughts were streaming inside my head again, anger bubbling inside of me. How could I have been so stupid? Why did I let James affect me this way? I hated this. I hated James Potter.
Okay, Lily. Breathe in...breathe out.
I had to calm down. I had to forget James. And Zach. Actually, I might as well forget the whole male species right now.
My life was definitely drawing to a close. There was way too much happening to live much longer. I mean think about it.
1. My supposedly honest father had been lying to me for many years, claiming that my mother was dead.
2. My supposedly dead mother came back on Christmas, demanding to my father days later that she had the right to take Petunia and I to live with her.
3. My supposedly cold-hearted sister broke down and ran into the arms of my mother, while she took Petunia away.
4. And now, my heart is supposedly broken because of a boy who has been living across the street practically my whole life, always putting me on the spot so I would break down because of peer pressure and finally say ‘yes’ when he asks me out.
Ahem. I don’t think I need to clarify that my life sucks.
I slid down the wall, drumming my fingers on my legs and staring blankly at the tapestry in front of me. I jumped when I heard footsteps from behind it, Henn pushing the tapestry away and brushing the hair out of her face.
“Oh, there you are.” she said cheerfully, oblivious to the fact that it wasn’t really that normal for me to be alone in a deserted corridor, sitting against the wall. “Where have you been?”
“I was...” I began, standing up and brushing invisible dust from off my robes and trying to look nonchalant. “Erm...I just left the common room, actually.”
“Oh?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. I nodded, and all suspicion was left from her face. “Well, then. I was just coming up to see if you were hungry for dinner, since you didn’t show up.”
“Oh, right.” I said, as Henn pulled the tapestry to the side, holding it for me to pass through. “Dinner.”
“Did you see Gaby?” Henn asked, once letting the tapestry down and hopping down the steps with me. “She took forever to get ready for her date, you know. I saw Jack waiting there by the entrance hall doors for at least half an hour.”
“Nope.” I said. “I didn’t see her. Where did she go with him anyway?”
“No idea. Probably went down to the kitchens, or something to get a bite of dinner. I heard Hufflepuff’s common room is near there.”
“Mmm...” I said, not really paying attention.
Then Henn started to launch into a description of how Ralph, Aaron’s friend from Ravenclaw, was still weirdly stalking her and trying to get her to say ‘yes’ to a date.
“I feel bad rejecting him, so I always make up some excuse like I have too much homework or something...but he just won’t lay off. And– Lily, are you listening?”
“Hm?” I asked, shaking my head slightly so I would stop thinking about the fight I just had with James.
“You’re not.” Henn said indignantly, puffing slightly. “Honestly, I’m trying to tell you something--”
“I’m listening.” I said immediately. Henn made a disbelieving sound in her throat. “No, really. I am.”
This seemed to convince Henn to talk more. “Good. So I kept on thinking...Ralph is incredibly like James, you know. He’s always asking you out but you keep on saying no...except you’re more direct about it. I feel bad if I actually say ‘no’.”
The mere mentioning of James, made me jerk out of my trance again. “Yeah.” was all I said. If only Henn knew, that I would’ve said ‘yes’ immediately, without even thinking about it, if James asked me again. But of course, that wasn’t going to happen.
“Seriously, I don’t know how you can do it so easily. But then again I would be so relieved if that guy just left me alone—Whoa. What’s going on?”
I wrenched my gaze from the ground and looked up, where Henn was referring to. She seemed to have been talking about Grace...who was passing by, actually more like storming by, and out of the Great Hall.
“Look.” I muttered, nudging Henn and jerking my head towards Remus. Remus was looking flustered, turning steadily red as everyone spun around in their chairs to look at him. I turned around, watching as Grace pounded up the marble staircase. “Let’s go.” I told Henn.
Henn bit her lip, glancing towards the piles of food that were still at the House tables. “Uh...well we can always go later—”
“Ugh. Fine.” Henn said bitterly, and we raced up the marble staircase which we just descended, chasing after Grace.
“Hey! Grace!” I called out, making her stop in her tracks suddenly, turning around as she was about to round a corner. “Wait up.”
To put it simply, Grace looked furious. She had probably gotten into a fight with Remus or something, because her face was still flushed with anger, making her look like a tomato, which was always a warning sign.
“Erm...what happened?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow as we caught up to her. Grace frowned.
“Remus,” she said, exhaling loudly. “Is going to visit his grandma next week.”
I stared blankly at her, trying to process it through my mind where the bad part was. So, Remus was being a good grandchild and visiting his grandma...wasn’t that a good thing? It just proved that Remus was indeed practically perfect with this now recent plus side that he was sensitive and cared about his family.
“Oh.” I said, nodding as if I completely understood, which I didn’t. “Right.”
Henn on the other hand, was much more open on what she thought of this. “And your point is?”
Well said, Henn. Well said.
“He said that his grandfather died.” Grace blabbered, pacing around the corridor and still looking irritable. I gaped at her.
“And you’re mad because of that?” I said incredulously.
“You don’t understand.” Grace snapped, throwing her hands up in the air. “His grandpa died last month.”
Henn cleared her throat. “Um, well you know...there are two set of grandparents. One on each side of the family.”
“Don’t you get it?” Grace spat, her face steadily flushing again. “He’s lying!”
There was a pause. Henn and I exchanged looks.
“Um, no offense or anything–” Henn began. “But how exactly do you know?”
“You can just tell.” Grace said, narrowing her eyes. She took a deep breath, rolling her eyes up to the ceiling. “He’s always visiting his mum or something. Someone in his family isn’t feeling too well, or suddenly someone dies that he didn’t even say was sick in the first place. Don’t you think it’s odd?”
Henn sighed, crossing her arms. “No.”
“He’s probably having problems in his family,” I said quickly as Grace opened her mouth to feed more information of how she thinks Remus is some huge liar. “And you as his girlfriend, should be supporting him or something...”
“Do you think he’s cheating on you?” Henn said suddenly, a suspicious look on her face. Grace shifted her feet uncomfortably. “‘Cause I seriously doubt it.”
“Do you?” I persisted. Grace frowned.
“Well...it’d make sense wouldn’t it?” Grace said angrily.
“Grace, you’re dating Remus, not Sirius.” I reminded her.
“I know,” she said irritably. But I knew that she didn’t look as confident as she did before. There was a pause where Henn and I exchanged significant looks, and Henn’s stomach gave a loud rumble.
“Go on.” Grace said, once I opened my mouth. Her lip curled slightly. “I know you two are hungry.”
Well. Henn’s hungry, but whatever.
“Okay. We’ll see you later.” I said. We were walking down the marble staircase again, stopping and waving as she turned the corner.
“There better at least still be dessert...” Henn muttered, as we reached the Great Hall. The only people were the last minute dinner students, but most of them were already done eating, just chatting amongst themselves. Unfortunately for Henn, the desserts were already out and mostly gone. I heard her moan miserably as we sat down.
“You can still have some pie.” I said consolingly, pointing at an apple pie that was only half taken. As I said this however, one of the sixth years came down towards us, snatching the pie and jumping back to where his friends were, all digging their spoons into it. “Or...not.”
“Whatever.” Henn said, although somewhat sadly. I smiled at her.
“Were you really that hungry?”
“Yes! I didn’t even eat lunch properly because I had to finish that horrible essay for Flitwick...” she paused, suddenly cracking into an evil grin. “Hey, I know!”
I raised an eyebrow at her. “Know...what?”
“I know how to get some food.” she said brightly, pulling on my arm as she hopped out of her chair. I looked questionably at her as she raced down the Hall. I sighed, running after her.
“What is it?” I asked once I had caught up to her. She turned to me, grinning.
“We can go to the kitchens!” she said happily once we were at the marble staircase. She was obviously too concentrated on telling me her plan on getting some food that she ran into Ralph, staggering backwards and regaining her balance just in time.
“Oh.” I said, raising an eyebrow at Henn. “Hello, Ralph.”
Henn, blew her hair out of her eyes, looking at him. “Hello.” I had to admit, she was good at pretending. It was strange how enthusiastically she could just utter ‘hello’ to a guy she had been complaining about not too long ago. No wonder he didn’t get the hint.
“Hey, Henn.” Ralph said, not being discreet about how his eyes traveled up and down.
Henn grinned, although it didn’t exactly reach her eyes. “Nice to see you too.” she said shortly, then grabbed my arm again rather painfully since she was trying to rush me.
Once we were out of earshot, she rolled her eyes at me and exhaled loudly. “See?” she asked exasperatedly. I laughed.
“Where are we going anyway?” I asked, following her. “I heard the kitchens were downstairs.”
“They are.” Henn said promptly. “But hardly anyone knows how to get there.”
“So...who are we asking?”
“James, of course.” Henn said. My stomach dropped.
“Why him?” I said, not able to hide me being incredulous. Henn glanced back at me, still running.
“Because he’s a Marauder.” she said, as if this explained everything. I guess it did, though.
“So what?” I said, holding my hands out in protest. “There are other Marauders, you know.”
“Okay, okay.” Henn said, rolling her eyes at me and looking ahead again. She tore the tapestry out of the way, heading up the stairs. “We’ll ask the first one we see, then. James was just the first that came to mind.”
We were in the Fat Lady’s corridor, reaching the portrait. “Mimblewimble.” I said, and she let us through.
“Let’s see, then...” Henn muttered, her eyes scanning through the people that were sitting and talking in the common room. My gaze automatically fell on James, who was on the couch, talking to Kat, who was giggling. He was unfortunately the only Marauder in site. Henn turned to me, shrugging. “Sorry. He’ll have to do.”
“Go on.” I said, leaning against the wall and looking anywhere but the couch. “Go. Ask him, already.”
Henn didn’t say anything. She wasn’t suspicious, obviously, because she knew how normal it was me not wanting to talk to James. But I wasn’t only dreading talking to him like she thought...I was hiding from it too.
“Hey, James. Hi Kat. How are you?” I heard Henn say. Without waiting for an answer, she went, “Listen. I need to get to the kitchens. Tell me how to get there, will you?”
James didn’t answer immediately, while Kat waved and grinned at me. I pretended to not see her. “Why do you need to go to the kitchens for?” he finally said with an incredulous look on his face.
“To clean it.” Henn said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.
“Oh. So you missed dinner then, hu?” Kat said, laughing.
“Yes.” Henn said grudgingly. She looked at James, with a pleading in her eyes. “C’mon, please James?”
“You really need to start getting to dinner on time, Henn.” James said, grinning. Once again though, his grin didn’t reach his eyes.
“It’s not just me though!” Henn said, throwing her hands into the air. “Lily needs to get a bite too...”
My face immediately turned red as I heard her say my name, making James look in my direction. Thanks a lot Henn. The whole point of me staying here instead of going there was for James not to see me.
“Okay.” James said, lowering his voice slightly after finally tearing his gaze from me. “You go down that door across the dungeons. Just tickle the pear, okay?”
Henn made a confused face. “The pear?” she repeated. James nodded, grinning. Henn sighed. “Good I thought you’d be vague about it...”
She turned, waving a thanks and a goodbye to them, then finally reached me. “What’s wrong?” she said, once she saw my face was flushed.
“Nothing.” I muttered. “Can we go? I’m hungry.” Of course I wasn’t, but whatever.
“Why do you think I’ve been running around the castle for?” Henn said irritably. “C’mon.”
I followed her through the portrait hole. “Can we not run this time?” I asked her.
“Fine.” Henn said, grinning slightly. We reached the marble staircase, turning towards the door which James indicated. “Okay.” she said. “He said a pear...”
The hallway was full of paintings of the wall, concerning food. I had never been down here, although I’ve seen Hufflepuffs come her all the time, probably to go to their common room.
“There.” I said immediately, pointing towards the very end of the hall. There was a very tall painting of a bowl of fruit, one of them consisting of a pear.
“Aha!” Henn said triumphantly, running towards it. She pulled her index finger out and started to tingle the pear, which started to laugh.
Okay...the pear was laughing.
It started to move around, until finally it became a giant door knob. Henn took it eagerly and pulled it open. My jaw dropped.
“What—” I began, looking at all the little creatures that were bustling about in the vigorously clean kitchen. “—are these things?”
“House elves.” Henn said promptly, beaming as they all squeaked, “Hello miss!” at us. When I looked at her curiously, she said, “My aunt has them in her manor.”
The nearest one rustled toward me, its huge tennis ball eyes looking adoringly at me. It was only wearing a tea towel. “Would miss like something?”
“Yes!” Henn said immediately, pushing me aside and smiling at the house elf. “Food please.”
The elf gave us a toothy grin, nodded towards the other elves, and at once they started to cook. They were all wearing similar uniforms, the same tea towels with a hogwarts crest.
“Wow.” I said, looking at amazement at the four long tables that looked exactly like the House tables a floor above us. I turned my gaze up towards the high ceiling. “So that’s how the food appears...”
“This is so cool!” Henn exclaimed, looking around excitedly. “Aw, they’re so cute...”
I couldn’t really see what Henn meant by ‘cute’. The house elves were very ugly indeed, with their bald brown heads, huge eyes, and pointy noses. The nearest one tugged on my skirt and offered me a plate full of muffins.
“Thanks.” I said gratefully, taking the biggest one I could find. The elf stared at me for a moment, blushing awkwardly as it scurried away. I don’t think it was used to ‘thank you’s.
We hardly waited ten minutes. Soon four or so elves were rushing towards us, holding a plate with at least thirty sandwiches. Whoa.
“Here you go, miss!” one squeaked at Henn, who beamed and immediately took the whole plate full. They bowed out of our way, as we opened the portrait and slid outside.
“Yum.” Henn moaned, taking a huge bite out of one. She handed me a turkey flavored one, which I didn’t notice till I was eating it that I was actually hungry. When we reached the Fat Lady, already half of the sandwiches were gone.
“Mmm...” I mumbled, my mouth full of turkey and mayonnaise. The Fat Lady raised an eyebrow at me, so I swallowed everything. “Mimblewimble.”
As the portrait swung open and we scrambled inside, Gaby immediately squealed and rushed over to us.
“My date was unbelievable.” she said, with great emphasis. She was speaking so enthusiastically and loudly that I wasn’t sure if she really was that happy, or if she was just trying to make Sirius hear her and get him jealous. I think it was a little bit of both. She looked at the plate Henn was holding and which I was grabbing another sandwich and said with a raised eyebrow, “Where did you get the sandwiches?”
“The kitchens.” I said, before taking another bite. Gaby looked hungrily at them.
“Let me have one?” she asked pleadingly. “I didn’t have time to eat because I was late for Jack’s date.”
“Sure.” Henn said, handing her one. “Want to go upstairs?”
“Okay.” Gaby said, following us up to the girls’ dormitories. We passed James, who momentarily stopped talking to stare fixedly at me. I blushed, pushing Gaby through the door that lead upstairs so I wouldn’t have to look at him. Gaby give me an incredulous look before saying, “Hey have any of you seen Grace?”
Henn shrugged. “I thought she was up here?”
“Guess not.” I said, once we entered our dormitory. The only person who was there was Patricia, who was uncharacteristically sitting and reading on her bed, her pretty blonde hair up in a messy ponytail, and her face looking red and tear stained.
“What’s she doing here?” Henn said in an audible whisper. I rolled my eyes at Henn, watching as Patricia gave a strong sniff and blew her nose with the box of tissues beside her.
“She sleeps here too, remember?” I whispered back, but in a much lower tone. Gaby watched Patricia for a few seconds, her face quite expressionless. I knew she was battling between helping the person who had stolen her boyfriend, and being cold and giving her revenge. But then again they were in the same boat now...
Gaby responded by setting her purse on the bed beside hers, sitting down and taking off her shoes. “Hello Patricia.” she said dully. I bit down a smile...I knew Gaby was very disgusted with herself in being a kind human being.
Patricia sniffed again, looking at Gaby with red, puffy eyes. “Hello.” she sniffed. I couldn’t help and feel sympathetic towards her...Patricia Love sitting out on a Friday night with nothing to do but cry over Sirius was something rather pathetic to see.
“So...” I said, taking off my own shoes as Henn sat on my bed, placing the plate of sandwiches carefully onto my bed spread. “Where’s Cecilia?”
Patricia wiped her face with her sleeve, looking down at her book again. “Out.” she said, with some sort of bitterness in her voice.
Gaby had changed into her pajamas, jumping onto my bed and taking a sandwich. I raised my eyebrow at her, and she vigorously shook her head.
“C’mon.” I whispered, jerking my head towards her. “She’s miserable.”
“I was miserable too but did she help me?” Gaby whispered back grudgingly. Henn and I stared at her. We had always thought that she had been sad, but Gaby never admitted that she had indeed been ‘miserable’. Gaby blushed, adding hastily, “Well not miserable, but I was down, wasn’t I?”
“Gaby,” Henn said urgently, shaking her shoulders and forcing Gaby to turn in Patricia’s direction. “Just look at her.”
We watched as Gaby bit her lip, debating between her consciousness again. She gave us a profound scowl then called out, “Hey Patricia, why don’t you come here and have a snack with us?”
Patricia looked up again, looking surprised. She sniffed again, sounding stuffy. “Really?”
“Yeah. C’mon over.” Henn said, waving her hand so she’d come. Patricia gave us a confused expression, as if trying to see if this was some kind of diabolic trick.
“Okay...” Patricia said finally, setting down her book and crossing the room towards us. She was looking slightly anxious, mainly because Gaby was looking determinedly at the sandwich she was holding as if it was very interested.
“You hungry?” Henn offered, shoving the plate of sandwiches under her nose. Patricia smiled weakly.
“No thanks.” She said quietly. “I already ate.”
I looked at her pityingly. She wiped her red eyes with her sleeve again, looking embarrassed and out of place. I don’t know why I was feeling so sorry for her, but I suddenly found myself saying, “You know, Sirius is a real jerk.”
Patricia looked at me, her lip trembling. Henn was behind her, her jaw dropped. Gaby was looking nervously at Patricia.
“Yeah.” Henn said finally, nodding as she swallowed down her food. “Yeah, he is.”
There was a strange silence, where Patricia stared at me. It was strange how even looking miserable and sad, she still managed to look beautiful. That’s probably why all those guys like her...I sighed sadly. Why couldn’t I be as lucky as her?
“You think so?” Patricia said, breaking the ice with a shaky voice. Gaby’s neck cricked, as she quickly looked at her with an incredulous expression on her face.
“Of course he is!” Gaby said, throwing her hands up in the air. “Look what he did to you.”
Patricia blinked at her, sniffing again. “He did the same thing to you.”
“No, what he did to you was much worse.” Gaby said firmly. There was a pause, where Patricia shifted uncomfortably. I suddenly understood, and looked quickly at Henn with panic.
“No.” Patricia said slowly. “We’re both in the same situation, actually.”
I watched as Gaby blinked, looking perplexed. Then, a wave of realization came over her face.
“He...cheated on me?” she asked. Her eyes were slowly growing brighter and she was looking at Patricia in disbelief. It pained me to see my friend like that...after all these months this was the first time I had seen her vulnerable after their breakup.
“Yes.” Patricia mumbled, looking at her fingers. “With...me.”
She couldn’t have said something worse. Of course everyone assumed that he had cheated on Gaby with her...but announcing it in front of us seemed to have made it a larger impact.
There was another pause, where Gaby frowned, looking defiant. “Argh.” she said, slapping her hand to her forehead and shaking her head. “I’m so stupid.”
I sighed. “Gaby—”
“I can’t believe this!” she said, standing up and pacing the room angrily. “I was so vague to actually believe him—”
Henn stood up, touching her arm lightly. “Gaby, it’s alright—”
“No!” she suddenly shouted, pulling her arm away. “It’s not!”
Patricia stared at her, silent tears streaming down her face again. Oh man.
“I—I...” Gaby faltered, sinking onto her bed and digging her face into her hands. “I hate him!”
I watched as she strode over to her beside cabinet abruptly, for a wild second I thought she was going to open the window and jump out. But then she took the flower vase and threw it forcefully at the door.
I looked at Henn, she was gaping at her.
“Er...” I began tentatively, looking wildy at Henn for support, who was still looking at Gaby with a stunned expression. “Gaby?”
“I—hate—him!” she screamed again, throwing everything that was on her bedside cabinet at the door, which included some books, her reading glasses, and her wand.
I had never seen Gaby react to something like that before. She had always been one of the strongest friends I had, making everything seem like it was impossible to get to, or hurt her. It made me miserable as I watched her sink down to the ground, clutching her face with trembling fingers. Patricia had stopped crying, standing up slowing and ducking her face as she steadily moved to the bathroom, shutting it with a click
“Gaby?” Henn said quietly after a while, both of us watching her breathing rapidly on the floor. As she said this, Gaby looked at us, looking weirdly expressionless. I thought she had been crying while hiding her face, but her eyes weren’t red, and her face wasn’t tear stained.
“I’m going down there.” she said slowly, standing up and crushing the crumbled glass on the floor with her shoes. She stopped at the door, holding the knob and looking briefly at us before opening it and passing through.
“What’s she doing?” Henn asked, as soon as we saw her heel disappear around the corner.
“I think...” I began, standing up and biting my lip. “She’s going to talk to Sirius.”
“What?” Henn said incredulously. “She can’t do that!”
“I know.” I said heavily, already walking to the door. “I hope he’s not here yet.”
“Yeah...” Henn said, looking uncomfortable. “Uh listen, Lily...”
“Hold on.” I said, putting my finger to my lips as I quickly went down the stairs and looked into the common room. There were a lot of people there, chatting and talking about what they were going to do over the weekend. Gaby was heading towards the portrait hole, ignoring the people who were shouting hello to her.
“Lily,” Henn whispered, more urgently. “I know where Black is, he’s with—”
But Henn didn’t have to finish her sentence, because the rest of the sentence had just walked through the portrait hole, clutching Sirius’s arm and giggling madly.
Of course. Cecilia.
Gaby froze momentarily, staring at the too. I suddenly dreaded the moment she would get back to her senses and walk over to them.
“Oh man.” I said slowly, looking at Henn. Henn nodded, looking at Cecilia with disgust. How did this girl manage to ruin so many lives at once?
Henn abruptly moved her legs, practically running to where Gaby was. I followed her.
“Sirius!” Cecilia squealed, squeezing his arm tighter. “You’re so funny!” I found this too ironic that a few months ago, her sister was saying the same thing to the same guy while the same girl was watching them. Sirius smirked, glancing at Gaby briefly as they passed by. Gaby shook her head as he looked at Cecilia again, looking as if she was trying to talk herself into something.
“Sirius,” Gaby said, her voice sounding strangely hollow. “I’d like to have a word.”
Cecilia’s giggles abruptly stopped, as Sirius turned around, giving her the coldest look I’ve ever seen.
“I have nothing to talk to you about.”
“That little—” Henn said under her breath, both of us glaring at him. Gaby narrowed her eyes.
“Actually, there are quite a few things we do need to talk about.” Gaby said coolly. “Like us.”
Sirius laughed, Cecilia joining in shortly after. “Us? There’s no more ‘us’, Gaby.”
Gaby took a deep breath, trying to steady herself. “Sirius, please. C’mon.”
Sirius’s gaze seemed to soften for a split moment, but he quickly regained his balance, frowning. “Fine.” he said, clucking his tongue impatiently. “But hurry it up.”
Gaby glared at Cecilia. “I don’t want her to hear.”
“You’re going to have to deal with it, Gaby.” Cecilia said, smirking.
She is so evil.
Cecilia looked at Sirius, but he didn’t say anything. He just crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, looking bored and as if he could have been doing something much more interesting instead right now.
“Okay.” Gaby said, her voice shaking slightly as she clenched her hands into fists, forcing herself to look at him. Sirius was looking at the ground though, not trying at all to make eye contact. “I heard...that...that you—cheated on me.”
Sirius’s frown disappeared from his face, and his gaze moved to Gaby’s feet instead. He still wouldn’t look at her. “Who told you that?” he asked slowly, and I could hear a bit of resentment in his voice.
“Yeah, who told you?” Cecilia spat, looking briefly at the girls’ staircase.
“It’s true isn’t it?” Gaby said, her bottom lip trembling. “You...cheated on...me.”
Sirius didn’t say anything, it was strange that he didn’t spat an insult at her, and be the usual jackass he is. He was quiet though, and for once, he looked ashamed.
“Say something.” Gaby said, her gaze moving from Sirius to Cecilia, who was momentarily quieted too. “Say something, Sirius.”
“Yes.” Sirius mumbled.
“Yes, what?” Gaby said, although I was pretty sure she knew what he was talking about.
“I—” Sirius began, looking up at the ceiling. “I was with another girl when I was dating you.”
Gaby blinked. “Oh.” she said softly.
There was an intense silence, where Henn whispered to me, “Maybe we should go.”
I shook my head. What if Gaby needed us? What if Sirius humiliated her?
“Gaby,” Sirius muttered, still looking at the ceiling. “I’m...sor—”
“No you’re not.” Gaby said firmly, interrupting him. “You’re not!”
The room quieted slightly, people swiveling around in their chairs, and staring from Gaby, to Cecilia, and to Sirius.
Sirius finally seemed to pluck up the courage to look at her. His gray eyes seemed disturbingly different, and something flickered behind them. I couldn’t put my finger on it though. He didn’t do anything, he just slowly took Cecilia’s hand, and doubled back where they came from.
“Fine!” Gaby shouted at their retrieving backs as they climbed through the portrait hole. “Go!” She spun around, glaring at everyone around her. “What? Get back to whatever you were doing!”
She then pushed a little second year who was by the portrait hole, storming through the portrait hole, her bath robe billowing behind her. I wasn’t sure if she was going to yell more at Sirius, or if she was just trying to be alone.
Henn made a sympathetic noise with her tongue in the back of her throat. “What should we do?” she asked, looking at me.
“I don’t know.” I said, biting my lip. “But I think she wants to be alone, don’t you reckon?”
“I suppose.” Henn said, shrugging as the people in the common room grew steadily louder. She suddenly frowned, narrowing her eyes at the portrait hole. “That Cecilia...”
“I know.” I said heavily, shaking my head. “I hate her too.”
“And you know what’s another thing that’s bad?” Henn asked, once we were heading up the staircase again, ready to discuss everything in private. “She’s not just doing this to one of our dearest friends...but she’s humiliating her sister too!”
“Yeah,” I said slowly, not really paying attention to what I was agreeing to. James wasn’t in the common room anymore, and neither was Kat. “I wonder where...Kat is?”
“Dunno.” Henn said, shrugging. “She was here a moment ago, eh?”
“Right...” I mumbled, closing the door to the girls’ staircase behind us.
“But then again, maybe Sirius wouldn’t have agreed to go out with Cecilia if it weren’t for Gaby.”
I suddenly jumped back to my senses. “What?” I said incredulously.
“You know...” Henn said, moving her hands to demonstrate her point as we opened the door to the dormitory and carefully moved around the shattered glass. “She was making quite a show about her date with Jack, wasn’t she?”
“I suppose.” I said. “But still...he shouldn’t have done that, even if it was to spite Gaby...”
“So,” Henn said, placing her hands on her hips as she stared hard at the broken fragments scattered on the floor. Patricia was out of the bathroom, but her four poster’s curtains were drawn. “What do you reckon we should do?”
“Let’s clean this up first.” I said, pointing my wand at the glass. “Reparo.” Instantly the glass flew together, forming the pretty vase that she had thrown at the wall. I walked to the beaker full of water which was on the windowsill and filled the vase, placing the daisies that Jack had given her earlier inside.
“I never expected Gaby’s reaction, you know.” Henn said vaguely, as she repaired Gaby’s reading glasses, putting them carefully in the container and setting them on the counter, next to the vase. “She always disguised her anger well.”
“Mmm-hmm.” I said, taking the book from the ground and marking the page again where she had stopped reading. Henn was sweeping the floor unnecessarily with the broom that was always kept in the corner.
“You know,” Henn began, as I sat on the edge of her bed, staring at the empty silver plate that we had brought from the kitchen. “I’m still rather hungry.”
“Oh please,” I said, rolling my eyes to the ceiling.
“Seriously!” Henn said, looking sadly at the plate. “If I had known we were sharing food with Patricia and Gaby I would have gotten more sandwiches...”
“Henn,” I said, raising my eyebrow at her. “We just ate.”
“But still!” Henn exclaimed, grinning at me. “Do you want to go back?”
“Do you think the house-elves are still there?”
“Of course.” Henn said, hopping off of her bed. “What else have they got to do?”
She was already walking to the door, her hand on the knob as she stared at me expectantly.
“No.” I said firmly. “No, Henn. It’s past curfew, anyways.”
“So what?” Henn said. “Gaby’s out in the corridors somewhere making vudoo dolls of Sirius, and Grace is probably in a shadowy corner with Remus.”
I snorted. “Well Grace and Remus are used to hiding from teachers.”
“C’mon.” Henn said, hopping on my bed and looking at me with puppy dog eyes. “Don’t you at least want some warm...steaming, delicious, hot chocolate?”
“It’s not working.” I said, grinning at her. She frowned at me.
“Fine.” she said, walking to the door and holding the plate waitress-style. “You can stay here then.”
“You’re going alone?” I said, raising an eyebrow at her retrieving back.
“Of course. I told you I’m starving.” she called out, then shut the door behind her.
I walked over the my bed, opening the trunk and changing into my pajamas. It was rather cold, so I put a jumper over them too. I sighed, staring at the canopy of my bed. Everything stirred in my mind...Grace thinking Remus was lying scum...Sirius actually being a lying scum to Gaby...and how James was just...err. James. Everything seemed out of place, how Cecilia was now clutching Sirius’s arm, and how Patricia was probably crying silently right now, behind her curtains. Life just seemed so...unfair.
I rolled onto my side, tugging on the curtains to close. Pfft. Why do we need hormones anyway.
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