Chapter 55 : Chapter 55
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"I don’t know how many cracks I can take before it’s too much...and I know that you don’t, either...”
Luckily, Sirius managed to keep his temper over the next few days, which I was thankful for, because the teasing lasted much longer than the marks did. I did the write-up for my new spell (which actually took much longer than I was expecting it to) and handed it over to Dumbledore to check and send off.
At the same time as this was happening, James started acting quite strangely. I hadn’t really paid much attention to it at first, until Thursday night, when Peter, Sirius and I were sitting in the common room; Sirius and Peter playing chess while I proof-read a defence essay for Lily that I’d had for a few days.
“Don’t you think it’s a bit strange how James has been practically non-existent the last couple of days?” Peter suddenly asked.
I wouldn’t have thought much of it, but we’d barely seen anything of Peter either, so I instantly felt bad that he’d noticed and I had not.
“Yeah...come to think of it, he has been a bit absent,” Sirius agreed, scratching his head. “But so’s Lily. I’d thought they were just having some alone time together.”
I shook my head thoughtfully. “No...she’s been covering extra patrols for someone who’s been sick this week. But I’ve just been so wrapped up in everything that I hadn’t really thought about it until now.”
“It isn’t just that he’s been busy with Head Boy duties, I guess?” Sirius asked doubtfully.
I shook my head again. “No. And he certainly hasn’t been studying more.”
We sat in silence for a few moments more. “Well, I guess we should just ask him,” Sirius finally said, breaking our silence.
Peter nodded. “Yeah. He’ll have to come back soon. It’s getting late.”
We waited around in the common room for a couple more hours and still nothing. We finally decided to go up to bed and were all just undressing when James came sneaking in the door.
“Oh!” he muttered, not looking too happy. “I thought you’d all have gone to bed by now...”
“James, where have you been?” Peter asked tentatively. “We’ve been really worried about you.”
“Yeah, you’ve been so distant the last days,” Sirius added, concerned. “What’s going on?”
James flushed a brilliant red, which made my stomach leap with fear - James never normally blushed except when he’d been caught doing something he shouldn’t.
“What have you done?” I blurted out, unable to hold my tongue.
His eyes flickered to mine, then he sighed and sat down on the side of his bed. We all joined him.
“It’s Lily...” he began.
“You haven’t been cheating on her?” Sirius gasped.
James stared at him like he was mad, then started to laugh. “What?! No!” he exclaimed. “I want to marry her!”
A shocked silence fell upon the room and James flushed an even deeper crimson. “Shit! I wasn’t...that’s not how I was going to tell you guys...you’ve ruined it! I’ve been working up the guts to ask you guys what you think for the whole week...and all that for nothing!”
I let out a surprised laugh at that. “You’ve been working up the guts to tell us for a week? But James, that’s incredible news!”
“Y-you’re getting m-m-married?” Sirius stammered.
“When did you ask her?” Peter asked excitedly.
James grimaced. “Well...I haven’t actually asked Lily yet.”
“Oh but James, you know she’ll say yes,” I coaxed, seeing how much he was shaking with nerves even from telling us.
He caught my gaze. “You think so?”
I nodded swiftly. “Of course! Lily adores you.”
I felt Sirius grab my hand and realised that he was shaking too. I glanced at him and squeezed his hand. He looked pale and tired all of a sudden.
“So you really think she’ll say yes?” James asked me, a little excitedly, drawing my attention back to him.
I smiled at him. “How could she possibly say no?”
He beamed at me. “Well thank goodness for that! I mean...I was a bit worried you wouldn’t take it so well...I should’ve known you’d support me.”
Sirius smiled weakly. “Of course we support you. We’d support you no matter what.”
“Have you decided how you’re going to ask her yet?” I asked, intrigued.
James half shook his head. “I’ve got a couple of ideas but I haven’t made my mind up yet,” he admitted.
“Such as?” Peter asked eagerly, but James ducked his head, blushing.
“I haven’t made my mind up yet,” he repeated firmly.
Peter changed tactics. “So have you got her a ring yet?”
James smiled reluctantly. “No...but I’ve got an idea of the one I want to give her. It was my grandmother’s. My mum always told me she’d keep it for me; she said that I could only do something that special once, so I should have a really special ring to give a really special girl.”
I smiled, knowing that even though James was quoting his mother directly, it was exactly how he felt about Lily.
“I can’t believe you’re going to propose!” Peter grinned.
“See?” Sirius teased hoarsely, elbowing James gently in the ribs. “We always told you you’d win Lily over.”
Suddenly, James’ face lit up with the happiest smile I’d ever seen. “Yeah...you did, didn’t you.”
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