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Chapter 35 : The Candles Are Lit
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 31|
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Step in and you can lock the door
The candles are lit and the clothes on the floor
. . .
You feel like you're making a big mistake
You should've waited
-Boys Like Girls
It took me only about a month or two to be accustomed to having a boyfriend. Oh, did I like the sound of that; even if it was James Potter. Actually, I shouldn’t say that. James was the best boyfriend I could have asked for.
Unlike Anna (though don’t take this comment as a lingering hatred for her, as there is none) I actually wanted a real relationship. She may have gotten by on snogging and otherwise acting like friends, but I needed someone to open doors for me, to pull out my chair, and tell me I was the most beautiful person he had ever seen.
James did exactly that. He always listened to what I had to say as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. He was surprisingly perceptive; I made a comment about how I was craving some chocolate pudding, the next day, there’d be some waiting for me at lunch. And most importantly of all, he never pushed my boundaries.
He accepted the fact that I had my morals to stick to, and I wasn’t readily going to give them up. While his hands roamed, I could tell that he was always being careful not to place them too low, always careful not to twist me the wrong way as we rolled over for fear of breaking me.
However, with the arrival of mid-January, I became curious.
What was sex life? Was it truly something I wanted to wait for? What exactly did I think was so wrong about it before marriage?
And I knew that James would never be the one to start it. I knew that if we got married, and I didn’t give the slightest indication that I was planning on making my way past the snogging and groping, the James wouldn’t even suggest it. (Well, at least to a point.)
And it rather made me want to try it some more.
So, one day, I had brought it up. Had I been a more bold person, I might have let my hands to the talking; however that was not my style. "James, I’ve been thinking. . . You must be getting tired of all this snogging."
Smiling sweetly with his glasses askew, James rolled over and looked at me. "Never with you, love."
I sighed. Perhaps this would be more difficult than I thought. After all, James was a bit thick. "No, I mean, wouldn’t like to try something . . . new?"
"And why would I want to do that?" The nonchalant tone of his voice made it apparent that he didn’t think I was quite as serious as I was.
"Just a thought," I said, sighing. Thickhead.
"A silly one," he concurred, putting his arm around my shoulder. Instead of beginning to snog again, he gently guided my head towards his chest and began to stroke my hair.
Whenever I began to doubt James’ suitability for me, it was always moments like that, that would make me remember.
A few days later, I was accosted by a wild, rampaging Anna. Well, maybe not wild and rampaging, but it was Anna.
It was rather late at night, and I was curled up on the couch, studying for my N.E.W.Ts. They weren’t for months, but just because I had a boyfriend didn’t mean that I was going to slack off. Sue me.
Just the manner in which Anna approached me (in that oh-so-subtle way of hers) tipped me off that she was going to lecture me. I often felt silly, being lectured and given advice by someone younger than me. And it wasn’t even as if she was mature, and seemed older. She was as immature as a Third year, and they were the worst!
"Don’t even think about doing anything with those hands, or James’, for that matter."
Being my perceptive self, I caught on immediately. "So the bugger did know what I was talking about the other day!"
Anna just shrugged and looked back at me with a look that plainly said ‘yes, you are quite the genius.’
"Listen," Anna said, before I had a time to argue about James and his damned ways. "I’ve just had some coffee and I’ve got to pee so badly right now, so we’re going to have to make this quick."
Unfortunately, no matter how perceptive I was, I couldn’t have guessed what was going to come next.
"Lily, I really don’t think you should get it on with James quite yet."
I was appalled. Who did Anna think she was, telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. Not to mention, she was being quite the hypocrite! And, she was younger than me! I voiced all of these thoughts to Anna.
She sighed and sat down. (She hadn’t been sitting before.) "And that’s all true," she admitted. The slightly defeated tone in her voice surprised me; it was one I had never heard before. I looked over at the younger girl and realized that she looked awfully tired and worn out. Somehow, older. Maybe it was just the slightly mature subject matter that gave her the appearance; I couldn’t be sure.
"So then. . . " I trailed off, hoping that Anna would elaborate.
"Of course you’re going to do what you want," Anna said. "I would never even dream of telling otherwise. I just . . . I just . . . Wow, this is going to be way harder than I thought."
She took a deep breath and turned to face me; she had been staring blankly out the window before, watching the snow fall.
"Okay, I’m going to tell you a little story, okay?"
I neglected to tell Anna that she said ‘okay’ twice. It was a fairly trivial matter. I nodded.
"Okay. One day, there was a girl. Her name was . . . Claire. Right? So Claire was seven years old, and the boy next door kissed her. It was shocking, but she found that she liked it very, very much. By the time she finally got to Hogwarts, she had already become a pro at snogging.
"She ran around doing all these things to guys, and having things done to her. Then, in Third year, she and some guy got down and dirty. Now, Claire was a very nice girl, but by the time she graduated, she had soooo many guys under her belt. However, no one saw anything wrong; it was just the way that she was."
I was entertained by the careful way that Anna was treading around the edges of the story. I had a feeling that the story she was telling me was true to some extent.
Anna continued. "Around the same time, there was a girl named, er, Alicia. Now, Alicia wasn’t quite like Claire; she never got that early start. She didn’t go around snogging or doing other things with guys until she was a bit older. But when she did, no one really saw anything wrong with it; she didn’t see it as a big deal, so they didn’t either.
"And then, there was Hannah. Now, Hannah was quite a shy girl. She was kind of sheltered as well, but she knew things. She knew that she wasn’t going to have sex before she got married, and she would be going with a guy for quite a long time before she did anything besides snog him. It was just her morals; the type of girl that she wanted to be."
‘Alicia’ and ‘Hannah’ seemed quite familiar. Anna and myself . . . possibly? Yes. And, as much as Remus would kill Anna if he knew, it seemed to be that ‘Claire’ was him. Through the pointed way that she was telling the story, I thought that I was probably have supposed to figure it out.
Sorry Remus, I thought, even though he’d never know what I’d thought, or what Anna had said.
"Then, one day, Hannah met a boy; she loved this boy a lot, everyone could tell. They were practically each others’ lives. Hannah knew she trusted the boy, so the longer the relationship went on, the more Hannah’s morals disintegrated, and the more she ignored that things that she had previously believed so strongly in. So, Hannah shagged the boy. They grew up to get married and have a bunch of gorgeous children. However, Alicia and Hannah were fairly good friends."
I put up my finger; I was going to interrupt Anna and tell her that I knew the story was centered around us, me specifically, but she waved me off and continued with her almost-truth.
"Alicia was a year younger than Hannah and had sort of looked up to the girl. They disagreed about many things, however Alicia thought that Hannah’s morals were the most incredible thing in the world - something to really be admired. She thought that virtue was a nice thing, it was a courageous thing to do in that time, and it really showed character. Although she would never had admitted it, Alicia thought that Hannah was sort of cool."
Here, Anna paused and gave me a direct look. I wasn’t sure how to interpret it, so I motioned for her to go on.
"After Hannah and that boy had shagged, Hannah very much regretted it. She had spent all her life living by those morals, only to have had them crumble in a few months. Her regret was deepened by Alicia who expressed her feelings to Hannah.
"I mean! It wasn't the worst decision she made, and, er . . . Her life wasn't ruined or anything, but, uh, she regretted it." She didn't seem to want to offend me or discourage me, no matter what choice I made.
Anna stopped and I waited for her to continue. She didn’t; the story was over. Anna got up and walked behind that couch, I remained sitting. She started walking away when she spoke, as if trying to make a quick getaway.
"Lily, it’s more than up to you if you want to do those things, I just want to let you know that I think the fact that you have morals is the coolest thing in the world, and I sort of wish I was like you. I think you’ll regret it once you’ve done something. Right, so I’m just going to go pee now, and if anyone asked, I never said any of that to you."
Anna took off up the stairs before I could have even gotten a word in edgewise. However, I did need one question answered. "Who was Claire?" I yelled up the staircase.
I heard a muffled sound of laughter and heard Anna say, very quietly and discreetly. "Exactly who you think it is."
A/N: I wrote this chapter on a whim one day - dedicated to my lovely older sister, and everything else. Stick your morals. (Unless, of course, you have none. Then, just be sure to not do anything else stupid.)
A/N2: A short, intermitent filler chapter. I wrote it, wasn't going to post it, and decided to anyways, since it gives a little bit more to the Anna/Lily relationship. However, since this is a filler/not that special chapter, the next one is going to follow in less than a week. Tuesday or Thursday, look out for a new chapter. (Sirius' POV. Yay!)
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