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Chapter 36 : The Letter From Nobody
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I am seeking that dance which might be the
divine expression of the human spirit
through the medium of the body's movement.
- Isadora Duncan
I woke up, feeling James taking hold of my hand next to me. We hadn’t bothered to put away the mattresses in the common room, at least James, Sirius, Remus and I hadn’t.
“Good morning, ballerina,” he whispered into my ear. “You want me to get some breakfast up?”
“That would be lovely,” I mumbled drowsily, removing some wild hair from my face so I could give him a short kiss before he got up. The others had gone for breakfast ages ago, only Jennifer had stayed in the shower.
I watched James moving over to his pile of clothes, holding up a black sweat shirt with a logo of his favourite Quidditch-team on the front.
“Do you have to?” I said childishly.
“Have to do what?” James turned around, looking oddly at me.
“Put clothes on. I would like you to walk around wearing only underwear all day,” I stuck out my tongue, teasing him.
James smiled amusedly.
“I’m sure you’d like to, but I might freeze. It’s winter you know?”
“Sorry, didn’t think of that,” I answered. “I’ll make you when summer comes.”
“Fine, if you still remember,” he laughed, pulling the shirt on and walking out of the portrait hole.
‘How did I ever become so lucky?’ I thought dreamily, returning to my warm bed. I wanted the holidays to last forever right then, it was so wonderful.
I was about to fall into a doze again when an owl I hadn’t seen before tapped my window with it’s beak. I hurried over to the window, letting it in before jumping straight back to bed.
‘Christmas always brings lots of owls… cosy, but very disturbing too,’ I thought.
I untied the letter, letting the owl warm up as I read it. It looked like it had travelled a long way.
I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas holiday. I figured since it’s Christmas and all, I ought to be honest.
The fact is, I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I think I’m in love with you. Who would have guessed?
I love to see you on stage, or laughing in the corridors between classes. It’s just the magic you spread around, it’s impossible not to be cheerful around you. I can’t wait to see you again in classes, and perhaps some other places too.
- Thinking of you.’
I frowned when I had finished it. Who was it from? It wasn’t signed, and I most definitely didn’t recognise the hand writing. The most ironic thing was that it arrived only days after I’d become James’s girlfriend. It reminded me of the silly love-letters James sent me in fifth year, except they were always short and laughable, saying something like ‘You’re gorgeous, be my girlfriend. PLEASE??!! –James Potter’
“What’s that you’re reading?” Jennifer suddenly asked, sitting down on my mattress. Her hair smelled shampoo, she had just got out of the shower.
“Nobody,” I answered, hiding it under my cover. “Just family wishing me happy Christmas, you know,” I added as I saw her suspicious look.
She accepted my explanation, brushing through her hair as she spoke.
“So, how does it feel not being single anymore?”
I hadn’t thought of that.
“Good, I guess. Good point,” I smiled.
“You’re definitely lucky with the catch,” she winked, disappearing up to the girls’ dorm.
There had been one thought that had been disturbing me a lot after what had happened. How did Remus react to all this? I wasn’t sure if he was really Ok with it, I hadn’t spent much time with him lately. Last time we had discussed feelings was in … September or October or something. It was a while ago.
I got up from bed, walking into my dorm, standing in front of my full size mirror. Not only did being with James lift my spirit, it strengthened my confidence, too.
‘It’s time to forget about Charles for good, Lily…’ I told myself. ‘It’s been years… And you still carry those wounds he caused you. Maybe James will be my cure.’
Why was it that every girl had this great gift of finding something wrong about their bodies no matter what? I had so many mistakes I couldn’t count. When I had turned fourteen, I had started gaining weight.
Now, misunderstand me right. Nobody saw those few extra kilos, but I could feel them. That was what it was like to be a dancer. If you put on weight, it affected your ability to dance. You would struggle more.
The time hadn’t exactly been right, either. Father had just died, I was gaining weight and my self-conscience was zero. Good combination? Don’t think so. I added a couple of more ballet-lessons a week, bought a diet book and bottled up my anger about Charles, my father. It worked fine, too…
… before people suddenly decided I obviously wasn’t that bad after all to tease. To play with. To give stupid compliments to. Wasn’t that just great? My anger and sore spots from when father existed welled up again, and who came to supposedly comfort me?
The one and only.
Not before had I walked into his web had I discovered how deceiving things can be. He was the boy I found most attractive at the time, and his winning smile had always scored points. Why wouldn’t I do what I did? Why wouldn’t I date him?
His kisses had been so dry, sort of. I had known as I walked back from the lake that day that something was wrong. Terribly wrong.
There were more kisses to come… but they were placed on cheeks, foreheads, chins, noses, hands… anything but my lips. I avoided his kisses on purpose. I was afraid I’d have that wrong feeling again, and then realise he wasn’t the right one after all. The result was that it became ten times worse when I finally had to make that decision.
And he hadn’t exactly let me go unharmed, either. He didn’t insult me as a person, he didn’t slap my looks … he insulted the way I lived. The way I functioned. The one thing that I at the time leaned on to --- ballet. School. When I started doubting that too, I was down under in no time. Thanks so much, Bryn.
I shook my head, still surveying myself in the mirror. It was almost like reading my own mind. Watching the girl’s reflection, and know exactly how she felt, and what she thought.
‘Stop thinking about his actions last Spring… He’s so different now. He’s even Ok to be around. How surprising.’
“Breakfast, lovely?” James suddenly came into view over my shoulder in the mirror. “Not standing here judging yourself, are you? You women do that way too much.”
I smiled shyly.
“You know, there isn’t much to put a finger on, here,” he continued, looking at me in the mirror, walking over to me and standing right behind me.
“Bright, beautiful face.”
He pointed, smiling approvingly.
“Soft hair with the most gorgeous colour, smelling like roses.”
He glided his hands through it, exaggerating a bit as he sniffed it, setting up a dreamy face-expression.
“Small, perfect and slender hands.”
He let his own hands run down my arms, tickling me as he did.
He kissed it lightly.
He put his hands under them, lifting them up, kind of the way girls did when checking out what their boobs looked like wearing a push-up.
“Smooth, flat tummy.”
His hands glided down, stroking my stomach under the thin top I was wearing.
“Well formed backside.”
His hands changed the direction, tracing my bum.
“And long, hot legs.”
He gave my shoulder a quick kiss before turning around, smiling at me before leaving my dorm.
I sighed. This was all new to me.
Then I saw his head in the door again, an impatient curve in his forehead.
“Are you coming down to the common room for breakfast, or what?”
As I ate the last piece of the toast James had brought me, I saw Remus coming through the portrait hole. I smiled at him genuinely, and he returned my smile. He came over to us, looking pleased. James and I had had breakfast in the now known as the “common room-bed” since Christmas day. Today James had got almost enough food to feed the whole Quidditch-team, because the next day would be the day everyone returned to school.
“Hey, Moony! Breakfast good?” James grinned, buttering another piece of toast.
“Brilliant,” he replied, looking amusedly at me as I was humming on a Christmas carol with food in my mouth. “I see Prongs has bad influence on you already?”
“M-hmm...” I smiled. “James? Why don’t you try finding that favourite pair of trousers of mine? The green ones, you know?”
“Sure, if you tell me where to find them…”
“I’m not really sure. Check under the bed, in the bedside table, in the wardrobe? But I don’t really have a clue. They could be in my underwear-drawer for all I know,” I answered.
“Wooo! I don’t want to miss out on this. Be right back,” he said excitedly.
As he disappeared, I turned to Remus.
“Lovely, distracting act,” he smirked.
I laughed. “Yeah, it worked really well, didn’t it?”
“So.. what did you want?” Remus said next.
“Ask you how you feel about me and James being an item,” I said casually. “I want to know.”
Remus thought for a couple of seconds.
“In which state of mind? As ‘is he really a good match for me,’ or like ‘how do you feel about us being together?”
“The latter,” I said expectantly, helping myself with some pumpkin juice.
Remus sighed, and he suddenly seemed worn and tired.
“I really don’t know, Lily.”
“Oh? Just tell me. I want to know,” I said, taking a sip.
“I was surprised, but at the same time I saw it coming, obviously.”
“And you thought…? Felt?” I pushed.
“He’s my best friend, and you’re the girl I had, and probably still have, some unrecognisable feelings for as more than a friend. So it wasn’t my dream situation, to be honest.”
The whole time he spoke, he avoided my eyes. He was occupied with his hands, and kept looking over to the stairs constantly.
“So… you still have feelings for me?” I asked quietly. “And you feel uneasy about me and James?”
“Well… not really. I mean, you couldn’t end up with anyone better when it comes to the point. If you’d been any other girl, I wouldn’t say that. But James has a special thing for you, Lily. It shows miles away.”
I blushed slightly at his words.
“Yeah. I am perfectly fine with it, Lily. As long as you don’t pity me and start playing match-maker, I’ll be good!”
I let out a relieved sigh. I pulled him into a hug, whispering in his ear,
“Thank you, Remus… you’ve no idea how much it means to me. I know I can trust you..”
“With anything. Anything at all…” Remus added with a smile as he pulled away.
James came triumphantly down the stairs, with the right pair of trousers for a change. And… well.. something else.
“I got it for you, ballerina!” he grinned, sitting down with us again. “Can you put on these too?” he added, throwing over the underwear Jennifer had got me for Christmas. It was sea-green, slightly transparent, and tiny.
“I think not!” I said indignantly, hurrying to put in away. “I am saving it for some other time.”
James came awfully close. Not that I minded… at all.
“Ohh… any special occasions?” he smirked.
“No, not that I have planned, anyway?” I said suspiciously.
Remus laughed at the two of us, standing up. “I think I’d better go find Padfoot. I want to make sure he hasn’t messed himself up in anything.”
As he left, James snuggled up even closer to me, resting his head on my shoulder as we laid down, cuddling.
“I’m sure going to miss this bed…” he moaned.
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