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LOVE & BROOMSTICKS by StepUpx_Gryffindor

Format: Novel
Chapters: 35
Word Count: 216,870
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Humor, Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, F. Longbottom, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 07/23/2006
Last Chapter: 03/09/2015
Last Updated: 03/09/2015

Summary:



You know what I hate? Having James Potter as your playmate as a child, & then having him turn into an egotistical pig as soon as we both set foot in Hogwarts. All the jokes, teasing, cat-calling... I can't stand it! I can't stand him. James Potter may have that devlishly handsome grin going for him, but I'm not falling for it! I've survived him for 5 years & I'm sure I can make it through my Sixth Year without him... I think?


Chapter 21: False Accusations

A/N- I would just like to say that this chapter is in the views of the girls in my fic. I wanted to try something different :) Also, this chapter is based off a song called "Believe" by The Bravery because it's relative to what's really going on. It surrounds belief in a series of ways; time for you to figure out what.



 

_PRESENT TIME_

To be blatantly honest, I never pictured this as a part of my life. Not once did I picture this moment as something that could go on in reality. I never thought I’d have memories like this to look back on, let alone live through. But what was happening now, it was undeniable. It was happening partially because I wanted to inflict as much jealousy as I could on Amos Diggory, but most of it was happening because of ME.

Deep down inside, I know that there was a flame just itching to do this. To know what it would feel like to actually WANT it, because it was barely something I got to feel on my own accord. A part of me was just… curious… to how it would feel. And it feels indescribable. Because what’s happening now shouldn’t happen. Because what ever happened in that ‘basement’ should have never happened in the first place.

Because it feels so right it’s wrong.

But I can’t stop, because I’m afraid that if I break it off I’ll start crying. Not that it matters anyway – they’re bound to find us sooner or later. Either that or James will break it off first.

I absolutely hate the fact that right now, I actually want this. It goes against just about everything. But just for this moment, for this one time in my life, I want to be as reckless as possible. I want it more for myself than I do for Amos Diggory to see me doing it.

Little did I know that this would flick off and begin a chain reaction of unfortunate events.

_Lunch Time Outside The Great Hall_

Remus just slammed his arm on my freaking head, wrapping me around like he’s trying to snap my neck.

“Are you mad?! Clinically insane? Shut up!”

I refuse to believe what Remus is telling me. That I… wanted, to snog James? Hell no! No. I was absolutely sure at the time that it wasn’t what I wanted, snogging him in the Room of Requirement. It happened by itself, it did. I most definitely didn’t participate and I had nothing to do with it. Remus has his info mixed up. I am not going to be told how to feel a bout someone. Especially if I grew up loathing that someone.

“You honestly have a problem with realizing things and taking them well,” Remus spits out, as he walks me down the corridor away from the Great Hall.

I stay silent. What Remus just told me is not true. Nope. Never happened. Never. What basement? What love potion? Pfft…no. Nothing whatsoever. I don’t even want to think about it.

Think about the possibility of WANTING James in any way…

I’m not going to say anything about this right now, nor am I going to object to Remus about it right now. I can’t. It’ll only make it worse, and the last thing I want to do is think about the idea of me ‘wanting’ to secretly make out with James Potter in the Room of Requirement. It’s totally bogus. I’m almost frightened by the idea. If it’s true, then how could everything have been what it had been for so long? If it was true…?

No, it’s not true at all. And poor Remus Lupin thinks he knows what’s going on.
There’s no possibility that it’s NOT false. Because it doesn’t even make a remotely small amount of sense. Hmm…

Let me think about this once again: James is supposedly ‘in love with me’ (hah!), the love perfume was really a love potion in disguise made to torture innocent redheads (believable), we secretly wanted each other in the Room of Requirement (no comment), and James basically skipped school today to avoid me (affirmative until proven otherwise).

You know, this really is a shit list.

“Lily, calm down. Please. You make me want to gauge my eyes out with your inconsistency to keep a normal brain wave.”

I slowly turn my head in a Bloody Mary kind of way and crane my neck, as if it’s creaking into position. I look at him.

“In other words,” he continues with an eye roll, “your lack of stability does not surprise me, but it sure does wear my patience out.”

Remus lets go of me and we stand near the moving staircases.

“Re-”

“Wait, stop.”

I twitch. “Stop what…? Let me speak-”

“No, wait,” he interrupts. “Wait for what, Lupin?” I cry out.

“In about 30 seconds, your heart rate should decrease. Then I’ll be about to tell you more when you can handle it.”

…SHIT.

I throw my arms in the air and arch my neck. “There’s more?!”

What the hell could he throw on me now? ‘Oh, by the way, my calculations say you are two days late for your period’?

“…Are you calm?” Remus asks me after about five minutes of hyperventilation. I put my back to him and look at the wall, putting my hand on my waist. The other hand holds me up against the wall and I hang my head. Damn him.

“Yes, maestro-of-all-things-evil Lupin,” I try to say coldly, though I’m sure it didn’t sound cold. Remus ignores me and my assumption is affirmative.

He says, “I’ve found out where Prongs is. Or rather, where Prongs was all day.”

My head snaps. “Well…where the hell is he?”

“Let me explain first.”

“Okay,” I mumble hesitantly.

“Last night he slept in the basement, because he couldn’t go back to our dormitory.”

I try to stop my mouth from falling over. I put myself together and respond.

“…He stayed there?”

“Yes. He was as confused as I was over what happened between you two. He said he wanted alone time, I gave it to him. But it left my mind during school today, and I completely forgot until on my way to the library, just as I was rushing out of Muggle Studies with you first period, that I still hadn’t seen him. See, I was still contemplating how you two snogged-” I flinch, “and what caused it; I totally blanked out on everything else. I wanted to do research in the library before I owled my gran.”

I cross my arms and look him straight in the face.

“When I walked by that corridor… something clicked. And I remembered where I was walking, and I momentarily dropped my determination to find out more about the love perfume. Only the marauders know how to make the door to the Room of Requirement appear again while it is still in use. I used it both times when I locked you and Prongs in there. So I counter-charmed the door to appear while thinking about ‘finding James Potter in the Room of Requirement’ and it worked out better than I planned… I actually found him. He was still in there.”

“So you found him there and you let him stay? Why’d you leave him in there for the first half of classes?” I ask him in an impossible manner.

“He didn’t want to leave! Believe me, I tried. Prongs was in full uniform when I found him. He probably used the Accio spell to bring down all his stuff… I doubt he’d have an extra uniform in his bedroom… So Prongs obviously had the intention of leaving. He was munching on snacks when I found him in his bedroom, flipping thought his new issue of Wizard’s Quarterly. He’s been conjuring up food for himself- it doesn’t matter if he comes to lunch.”

I get a somewhat photoflash about the struggle I had to go through this morning. And I get annoyed very, very fast.

“So let me get this straight; I’ve been sweating bullets all day because your bro-ho was missing school and was no where to be found, while you found out after Muggle Studies, BEFORE you went to the library, and you come down to me periods later at lunch time to tell me this… and through all of that you kept him there the whole time.”

“Er-”

“That’s a sack of shit, Remus.”

“I’m sorry! I was very determined to go to the library! And give me some freaking credit, all right? I ran all the way down here just to find you. Not all of it is a sack of shit, thank-you-very-much.”

“Oh, no. It’s a complete set of sunshine and rainbows. Hell, through a bouquet of daisies in there, why don’t you.”

“I didn’t even do anything-”

“Hah! Exactly-”

“It is NOT my fault; I still had classes to attend-”

“Shut your gob-”

“He didn’t even want to leave-”

“I was a complete wreck, Remus. I lost my cool, and my state of mind vanished-”

“Your state of mind vanished a long time ago…”

“– And it took me so long to achieve that type of nirvana-”

“Isn’t that a place you go once you’re dead? Or…?”

“– And now I’ll never get it back!”

Shitballs. This conversation isn’t going anywhere. Man, what’s the point? Conversations with Remus Lupin never go anywhere.

“Let’s cut to the chase,” I bargain. He scratches the back of his head.

“You talk too much sometimes. I just gave myself a migraine.”

I roll my eyes and snap my fingers repeatedly. “Stay focused, Gryffie. I can’t live my life like a decapitated caterpillar… I need to settle this. Let’s go get James. Now.”

He doesn’t move. I have the urge to flick his earlobe like I’m swatting a fly.

“…You want to get James?”

I just said his name out loud, didn’t I?
Hm. I guess it just came so naturally, I didn’t even think of holding back.
But whatever, I don’t really care.

“You’re kidding, right?” I ask him sarcastically. “You’ve seen how horrid my day’s been and you find out where James is; riding shotgun on my back isn’t entertaining enough for you? All that and you’re surprised that I want to go get James?” I look around me for some common sense.

Nope, can’t find any.

“Well, I didn’t think you’d want to go face to face with Prongs and search for him yourself. He’s on this floor, sure…but it’s not like you could do it by yourself even if you tried. You don’t know the charm.”

“Come with me then, obviously.”

Really?” Did Remus honestly ask me that?

I exhale exasperatedly. “Yes. Obviously! I want to look for him. Why is that so hard to believe?”

Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have asked that.

Remus Lupin points to each of his fingers and names them off. “You’re the Queen of Freakouts; You don’t care for logic – which annoys me to no end; you don’t have much confidence to stand up for yourself; you aren’t outgoing enough to back yourself up if something bad happens; the guy that always used to make you tick has now become your weakest link.”

I purse my lips and raise my own hand and begin to count off my fingers, doing the same. “Freaking out his healthy; screw logic; I do too have self confidence…somewhere; not everyone likes to be outgoing; no comment.” I take a big breathe and start again.

“And if you want to analyze my character then I’ll do the same! You’re an Ancient Runes nerd; you do NOT know how to relax instead of studying; sometimes I think you’re going to bark at me like a freaking wolf – which I hate; you’re on Madame Pince’s Most Wanted List for her books on love potions; have you ever tried to have a conversation with yourself?”

Take that piece o’ cake, Remmy. And take it good.




_Lunch Time In The Great Hall_ 

“Emma! Are you even listening to me?” I ask, completely agitated. Here I am, trying to vent out my frustration by explaining why I want to annihilate Frank Longbottom and his stupid Potions partner, and Emma's not even paying attention to me. To think why someone as idiotic as Longbottom got into Hogwarts, is just beyond me.

“You know what; I can’t take it anymore, Jessica. You’re senile! You remind me of my Grandma Mildred when she doesn’t have her morning piss. I’ve tried to pretend being interested in your stupid obsession with Frank for long enough –”

“WOAH! Hold it right there, Tebbon. I do not obsess about Frank!” Does Emma have her bra on backwards? Or maybe her necklace is cutting off her circulation and her breathing isn’t coming out right and her brain feels deprived so she’s not speaking any sense?

Emma rolls her eyes. “Oh, what ever it is. You have to stop. It’s driving both Lily and I completely nuts!”

“Now, don’t just assume Lily thinks the same –”

“I’m not assuming, I know,” she chuckles. “You have an evil chuckle,” I tell her.

She tilts her head to the side and looks at me with that reverse psychology face. The kind that says ‘come on, I’m right, don’t make me say it’.

I put my shoulders back, chin up, and look in the other direction. “I’m not saying it,” I tell her in a voice that resembles a pompous eight year old.

She laughs. “Jessica. We all know.”

I give her my transition of early stages through the age of caveman face. “First, who is ‘we’ in this equation? And second, you all know what?

She gives me the ‘don’t make me say it’ face, again. By this point my bottom row of teeth are barred.

“You’re seething, Jess. You know that’s not cute. Wouldn’t want Frank to see you like that, would you…” Emma attacks with her innocent smile and cute little blue eyes.

My mouth drops. “You, tosspot. I don’t care what Frank thinks of me.” Pfft. She’s in denial. I mean she makes it seem like I care when Frank’s face pops up in my vision and my throat gets all dry and the only thing I can think about is how to insult him. It’s just so annoying.

You know what else is annoying? Frank’s nonexistent nose hairs. It would be bloody fantastic if I could make a joke about a guy’s nose hairs. And he has none! He’s practically a bum but he still has hygiene. Who knew?

“The ‘we’ in question is Lily, Remus, Sirius, James, Peter, and me…”

My heart has stopped. Not the kind of, oh my I’m so nervous, kind of stopped. The kind of, where’s my oxygen, bitch, kind of stopped.

“…And Frank knows, too.”

“W-what?” I squeak out instantly. What the heck… I don’t squeak. Get it together, Jessica Finelly. I’m not a freaking pansy. Lily kinda is, but she knows it. I don’t want to face that harsh reality. But back to my train-wreck life…

They know? Like as in… know about… that thing? The thing I don’t know what to do about?

No, that’s bullshit. They don’t know anything. And certainly not Frank himself. He doesn’t notice a lot. Well, actually he has the eyes of a cat in the dark, but he doesn’t notice a lot when he’s arguing with me. Hell, if I told him what color my hair was he’d say, ‘the color of dung’. That’s not charming. Then again a slug would be more charming than Frank Longbottom. And he couldn’t act that way around me if he knew. He’d make my life a living hell. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

He would.

“Emma. What is it exactly that they know?” I choke out slowly. How did they find out?!

“Do you really want me to say it?”

Goodness, no. Please tell me no. Tell me none of you know anything. And that you’re all just hairy little baboons.

Emma doesn’t look gloat-y. Hm, maybe it’s a trick thing? She’s looking at me like she- ah, shit. She’s looking at me like she… CARES about me. Sweet hot sauce covered penguins. If they know…

My life would be over and I’d have to retire from Hogwarts at barely sixteen and become a Jesuit priestess.

NO. THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS.

Emma gives me a little smile and leans down near my ear. “That you can’t stop thinking about Frank and it’s killing you because you have no idea why you fight with him so much,” she whispers as plainly as a sack of fucking potatoes.

OH MY GOD!
THEY KNOW!

“Oh,” I scoff, “that…”

“Come off it. It annoys you to even be around him and you know it. And here I am, telling you something you have yet to admit… and you say that? Get out of your training bra, sweetie. You can say it.”

“No, I have nothing to say.”

She almost throws down her newspaper. I eye her up. Why’s she gotten all feisty?

“I want to hear you say: I don’t know why Frank annoys me. I hate him because I do not know the reason why he annoys me. I do not hate him because of actual dislike, but because I get a rise out of him. And because he’s the one person I can’t understand. But I’ve been so immature that I haven’t had the time to think that maybe if I talked it out with Frank I’d be able to get along with him.” 

Screw it!

I retort, “I want to here YOU say: Oh, Jessica. I understand what you’re going through. I get it. I know that if you let him win in this by speaking first then you’ll be looked down on by Frank. You’ll be the weak one if he finds out that you, Jessica, the prettiest brunette in the world, hates him because you can’t figure out WHY he annoys you. He’d make fun of you. Because he also gets annoyed at you because you annoy him. Which is how this all got started. You’d be the blame for it all. He’d think you were an ill-tempered radioactive squirrel with rabies for starting a stupid war over the fact that you just can’t for the life of you understand why every time you see him, he gets under you’re skin.” I exhale very loudly.

Emma turns to me fully, accepting my challenge.

“I would appreciate it if you could say: Emma, I know. You’re such a great friend. You have the most perfect hair and the best bum I’ve ever seen on a girl… I’m so envious. This is why I’m going to try and be the mature individual in this situation and set things straight; so I can be just like you. I’ll talk to Frank and I know he won’t judge me, because people go to him for help all the time with open arms and not one of them has ever had a complaint.”

I swallow the nervous lump in my throat.

“Could you please say: But what if it all goes to shit, Jessica? Are you sure you want send yourself down a murderous road? See the boy that annoys you and tell him that he ticks you off because of some stupid reason you can’t figure out? Can you really talk to him in a civil manner?” I ask her, pretending to be Emma still.

“I’m sure you can say: I don’t know, but I’ll try.” She puts her hand on my shoulder, and gives me that look your great aunt throws at you when you know you did something wrong.

Fuck my life.





“Hey, sweetie. What’s going on?” My boyfriend says to me as he takes seat. I peck him on the lips.

“Oh, nothing. Just chatting with Jess.”

“Yeah. Emma’s taking a road trip down to hell. And guess whose riding shotgun with her?”

Actually, if I’m allowed to be correct, I’m not driving her. We aren’t going together.

In a theoretical sense, of course.

Because talking to Frank, I’m sure, is not a shotgun ride to hell.

“You’re being so melodramatic,” I tell her wisely. I flip a page through my Daily Prophet; I get bored quickly and grab the new issue of Enchanted on the table. I go straight to the horoscopes.

Sirius shifts himself towards me and whispers, “Em, did you talk to her about the ‘thing’?”

“Yes, but not a lot of it. Well, not the you-both-need-to-snog part.” 

Do I look like an idiot? Surely he didn’t think I’d just blab out to Jess and tell her why she feels the way she does towards Frank. I don’t understand why Sirius thinks it’s a good idea to just get on with it. Jess has to find out on her own. So she doesn’t kill us all.

Sirius rolls his eyes…his beautiful colored eyeballs. Oh, he’s so cute when he does that.

“Come on! She and Frank have the hots for each other. So what? Tell her and get it over with,” he blurts.

“They have to find out on their own, sweetie. It’s their lives, not ours. We can’t just lash out at them and tell them something they have no idea about. Besides, it’s so much more romantic this way!” I can’t help but give him a cheesy grin.

Before Sirius has the chance to respond, Jessica pops up from under the table.

…Under the table?!

“What are you two talking about? Why is there whispering? Did you two forget about me also being at this table?!”

“Holy blue. Finelly, did you just crawl under –”

Jessica’s arm marks contact with Sirius in a place I’d rather not talk about.

“Shut your pie-hole, Sirius. People can see me from this angle if you bend over any more!” she practically hisses. I don’t think she realizes that the reason he’s bending over is because she’s just hit him the gentiles. But I keep my mouth shut about that part.

I blink rapidly. “We were just talking, for not even a minute, and you crawled under the table because you thought we forgot you were here? Jessica…do you hear yourself?” I tell her impossibly.

“Well, when you put it like that…”

Her head is in my lap.

“I thought that whatever you two were whispering about, you didn’t want me to hear. I assumed you were conspiring against me. So I needed to pop up on you when you least expected it.”

“Oh, yeah. We’re preparing for your burning at the stake secretly behind your back,” Sirius hisses, bending over and cradling his… injured area.

“We were just having a normal conversation. You know, couples like Sirius and I can have private convos. And friends do not let friends punch their boyfriends where the sun don’t shine.”

“Oh, gimme a break,” she scoffs. ‘Like that’s even a virtue to follow.” Rising from the ground, she fits herself in between Sirius and me.

That’s just fabulous.

My friend, Jessica Finelly, just crawled on the ground, while she was only two feed away from me, and slithered under the table, and punched my man in the freaking crotch. And she’s telling me that it’s not a good rule to follow?

Is there any decency in the world?

Jessica looks at me, and her eyes almost pop out. “So what were you guys talking about?” She asks in a paranoid manner, while grabbing food off the Sirius’s plate, and eating it with her fingers.

Sirius is about to speak, but I cut him off quickly. “-Nothing! Just talking about our horoscopes.” I lay out the magazine in front of Jess and look for her zodiac sign, which is Leo. Very proper, don’t you think? Even if she isn’t like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz, at least she roars like one.

“Lemme see!” she squeals. Jessica sure does love her magazines.

I take it from her. “No, let me read it to you!” I say a little too loudly. Sirius looks at me weird, but goes along with it.

Jess might be a bit daft and should probably know where things are headed before she talks with Frank – just in case anything happens… so it’s time to become a matchmaker! I’ll inform Sirius after Jessica leaves. I know, I’m genius. Sirius can help out with Frank, and I can take care of Jess. Hopefully.

Leo’s are usually warm hearted creatures with just enough creativity to keep things interesting,” I read off. “They think outside the box and broaden their horizons mentally,” Merlin, that’s a lie, “and most Leos are enthusiastic individuals. Although they are loyal, faithful, and fun to be around, a lot of Leos can be pompous,” no comment, “and interfere with matters that have nothing to do with them. Very few grow up to become adults without experiencing being bossy in their teenage years,” well this is just excellent, “and many grow up without tolerance of other people. They have short fused tempers and can become patronizing when they feel threatened.”

“Wait, when they mean I’m intolerant, do they mean… lactose intolerant people? Or just people in general whom I find intolerable?” Jessica is deeply thinking, and I want to bonk her over the head with my shoe.

“The latter,” I inform in monotone. Honestly, lactose intolerant? What is going on through that head of hers?

Time to tweak it up a bit…

“Hold on, I’m not done.” I make sure Jess can’t peek over and look at the page.

“There’s more?” She asks.

“Oh, yes,” I lie.

Pretending to read off the Cancer horoscope, I make it up as I go.

Madame Pigmy, the best Seer of the century, informs that all Leos will be going through a bit of life changing experiences this month, and should watch out for very obvious things. In the friend department-, apologize to those whom you’ve done wrong to…examples: violence, lies, betrayal, and stuff of that sort. In the school department-, things will be looking better for you and you will slowly achieve that short term goal you’ve been thinking about for a while. In the love department- beware that something you’ve had on your mind for a while will finally become clearer to you...” er, she’s looking confused… what do I say!? “And keep your eyes open for an admirer you might not expect,” I finish off excitedly.

Sirius catches on to what I’m doing, approves, and gives me a thumbs up behind Jessica’s back. The only person who hasn’t caught on is sitting right next to me.

“Huh, that’s weird. I have a boyfriend, in Australia, whom I like a lot… who else could I possibly be with? I know Jeff and I are going through a bit of a fight right now, but it’s because he’s a freaking nincompoop muggle. Did you know that he did a back flip, trying to dedicate his love for me? He broke his leg doing it. Now I’m confused. But I don’t like anyone else,” Jessica says confidently. “Besides, what’s so obvious that I can’t even see it? This supposed admirer? Whatever,” she waves off. I grind my teeth secretly.

“But the friend part,” Sirius smartly intervenes, “could be about Frank.”

“How does he know about my insecurity thing?” Jess whines, pointing to Sirius. I’ll scold her for pointing, and how rude it is, later.

“I told you that everyone knew,” I remind her.

“Ah. Right. Well that’s just perfect.”

“Exactly,” I beam, understand fully what Sirius has in mind.

“No, I wasn’t talking about the horoscope, I was being sarcast-”

“It says that in the friendship department, you have to apologize… its perfect!” I intended that one for my injured-down-under boyfriend, but this will suffice. What ever works, right?

“Oh…” She’s confused. Why is she confused? She just twitched her upper lip and she looks confused. Why is that… why!?

“Madame Pigmy says you have stuff to fix with friends, which totally fits in with Frank. If you go talk to him now, immediately, then you two can probably be friends,” or more, “Apologize to Frank Longbottom, and good things will happen! And then everything else, like the love and school stuff, will come together,” I explain.

“Ew, I have to talk to him now?” Oh, dear.

“Don’t act like a child,” I snap. I push her out of her seat and she shimmies away from me.

“I can’t believe you’re making me do this now,” she complains.

“Zip it!”

“But-”

“No more butts!”

Jess throws me a scowl. “Fine.”

She starts to walk out of the Great Hall but I call her name.

“Jess, wait!”

I catch up with her and take out my lipstick. Frank will definitely notice the difference… He’s a boy that likes red, I can tell. “Pout your lips!”

And before she can say, “What the fu-” I color her lips with a ruby red that’s dark enough to bring out the brown in her hair and compliment her face. I feel like I’m dressing up one of my dolls, so I think back on how I used to play mothers and daughters (I always won that game) to ease me up- and I pretend that Jess is my niece.

Call me Auntie. Auntie Emma.




_Lunch Time Outside The Great Hall_

I stare at the tapestry hanging from the wall, and wait for Remus Lupin to come back. He’s gone to get James Potter, finally. I couldn’t come with him. Remus kept bitchin’ about how it was his duty or whatever, and that he wanted to get James by himself and blah blah blah…

I stare at the tapestry some more. And some more. Then I get bored and start pacing down the hallway, contemplating what I’m going to say to him. All this trouble, just to have a conversation with James. How bogus.

If you ask me, he’s a coward who can’t come to terms. He needs to man up one day, I’m telling you.

I need this closure, because it’s the beginning of November, in my Sixth Year, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my days until Christmas worrying about his sorry ass. I’ve had to do everything; the thinking, the stupid crying, the one-night binging with alcohol, the strategizing… and what has he done? Nothing. It’s always me getting the piss! He doesn’t worry or strain about a thing, does he?

The Little Man inside my head tells me to be calm. But maybe I shouldn’t listen to the he/she/it living in my mind because it’s also telling me that I shouldn’t be nervous.

Which worries me because who said I was nervous? No one. In fact, that stupid voice just made me realize that my palms are sweating. Eh. Craptastic.

“Evans.”

I stop dead in my tracks. No more pacing, no more moving.

I know that voice. I also know the tall, blonde guy that belongs to that voice. I don’t want to turn around. But I can’t think of anything else to do. Am I going to run off and be scared? Go and look for Remus? No, that’s pathetic and ridiculous. I should stop being a sissy about things. Running from him is a cowardice thing to do, and it would make me just like James.

Out of spite for James Potter, I am going to show him how you truly go face to face with someone. So I turn around.

“Diggory.”

He’s walking towards me, coming from the boys’ bathroom.

“Why aren’t you at lunch?” I ask him, annoyed.

“Why do you care?” He retorts.

“I don’t.” My final reply echoes through the vacant corridor as I wait for him to walk up to me. He has something to say? Diggory can walk up to me and say it.

I’m patient, with my arms crossed, while he walks. Amos Diggory has that stupid smirk on his face. The one that reminds me of Petunia. It makes me feel a little sick, but I keep my shoulders back and chin up.

“I’m here to make a proposition.” He is now face to face with me. Just the proximity, and the sight of his face, makes me dislike him even more.

“I don’t want to be involved.”

“After what I have to say, Evans. I think you will.”

“How did you even find me here?”

He ignores me. “Shut your mouth and listen,” he dictates. “You and I both know that the first Hogsmeade visit of the year is coming up.” He pauses and looks at me. I give him nothing.

“And I don’t have a date. Since your little fiasco hit base with my House, almost all the females have been interrogating me and sneering since.”

I try not to smile too wide. Diggory notices and glares.

“And I figured… you owe me.”

I let the words ring down the corridor for what seems like forever. I hear a ringing sound in my head. Or maybe it's the smoke coming out of my ears.

“Sorry?” I menacingly ask. “What did you say?”

He steps closer to me and I want to step back before I punch his lights out, but I don’t. That would mean defeat. And Diggory is NOT winning.

“I said you owe me. Since we both still have our reputations on the line, we can help each other out. In fact, by going with me, we can show everyone how you came back to me. Which should have happened by now… because the girls always come back. I can get my winning streak back with the ladies.”

Unbelievable. The girls always come back? Winning streak? What, is he going to seduce every girl and make them fall for him again? What a lowlife.

“There’s money involved. Hell, I’m starting a bet with some people –”

“Get out of my sight.”

“I’ll pay you in full.”

“Get the hell out of my sight.”

“Now, now, that isn’t a nice thing to say, sweetie.”

Diggory tries to caress my arm but I shove him roughly.

“You and I both know we can fix our social status and the gossip ladder.”

Is that all he thinks about? Reputation?

“You can’t buy people. Or popularity,” I snap. “And you having to come to me to try and start some sort of bet, which you haven’t explained to me yet, and trust me I’m glad you haven’t, isn’t going to make you a better person or seem like one. Stop acting like a boy, Diggory. And start acting like a man. You’re just a self-righteous bastard with hormonal retardation.”

Did those words really come out of my mouth?!

…Where did they come from?

If that was the Little Man in my head, I am eternally grateful. As long as I can rely on him to help me out in dickhead situations, like the one standing in front of me, he can stay. Little Man, you piss me off, but you sure do kick some ass.

“Let me explain something to you, bitch-”

“Let me explain something to you, Diggory.” I gasp and turn around.

“Frank!”

I walk to him. I wonder how he knew I was here.

Who cares! Now is not the time for questions! You’re being incompetent, Little Man!

“Hey, Lily,” Frank mumbles in the crook of my neck. His eyes are on Amos.

“You might want to leave before something starts.”

“I’ll leave when I wanna leave,” he tells Frank.

“You’ll leave when I say you will.” He releases me and becomes dangerously close to Amos. “Because if you start something here and now, you might just realize how much you can’t take.”

He looks at me and sneers. “That would be the manly thing to do, wouldn’t it, Lily?”

Frank takes him by the collar in reaction to him talking to me. Don’t ask me how I know that… I just do.

Oh, boy. Diggory’s tie is messed up. That kid is anal about his uniform. I haven’t really noticed this before… but they are such polar opposites when it comes to clothes. Frank’s shirt is rolled up to his elbows, his tie is let loose, his white beater is showing through the top of his shirt, his school shirt isn’t tucked into his pants… and yet he looks five times more classy than Amos himself. And what he’s doing for me explains what the difference is between a man and a boy.

Because that’s a man right there.

“Maybe you didn’t hear me. Clean the dirty lies from your ears and open them wide because I won’t repeat myself. Do not talk to Lily, do not speak her name. Best not run into her like you did today, or you’ll be lacking in the manhood department more than you already are-”

“Why don’t you find yours before you talk about mine, Longbottom.”

Frank laughs blackly. “Don’t be insecure, Diggory. You’ll find yours some day. Here’s a hint: Look between your legs. It’s like a penis, only smaller.”

Diggory shoves his shoulder against Frank’s.

Ho-ly-Crap. Diggory versus Longbottom…
They’re going to fight right here if I don’t do something!

“Hey. Come on, break it up.” I hesitantly try to find my voice, and try to yell, but it doesn’t go through their heads.

“You Gryffindor losers think you’re hot shit, don’t you? Let me tell you what, baby boy. You stay away from my business.”

“Lily is my business.”

“Oh, so Potter’s sharing now?”

My mouth drops. My vision becomes blurry. But I don’t let them see. I turn around immediately and purse my lips together. Get a grip, Lily. Get a fucking grip. He destroys. He insults. He pushes buttons. He’s not worth your tears.

I hear a loud thud, and I look over my shoulder at the site before me.

Frank has Diggory pinned against the wall, his arm pushed against the jerk’s throat. And his wand is in his other hand. A piece of snapped twig lay on the ground between him and Diggory, and I can only assume that Frank has snapped his opponent’s wand in half.

I start breathing heavily. No. I’m not allowing this to happen.

“Frank. Let him go.” I’ll be damned if Frank get’s detention because of me.

“Lily-”

“Frank. He’s not worth it,” I finish.

Frank gives Amos one long, scary look, before pushing him out of his sight.

“This isn’t over yet,” Diggory smugly finishes. “I’ll be right back, you watch.” He turns to me. “I know you still like me. And you can’t prove me wrong.” But he curtly leaves before I can make a sound out of my dry throat. He thinks I like him. He is so full of himself he’s insane. And I can most definitely prove that.

While I see his retreating figure walk down to the Great Hall, I notice two very unfortunate things happening at the same time.

One, I see Jessica walking up the hallway from a far distance. In the same direction Amos is walking towards. That means Jessica just came from the direction of the Great Hall. Amos Diggory and Jessica Finelly are going to pass each other. And I know Jess can see Frank and me down the corridor. I just hope Amos was joking about coming back quickly…

Two, on the other side of the hallway (where Diggory had come from), I see two boys. They had just emerged from the corner, walking down the hallway towards me. And they’ve just walked passed the bathrooms. One is walking in front of the other. Remus and James.

My head snaps back and forth as I try to decipher what to do. Amos just left but Jess is going to catch on that something happened and I just can’t deal with her right now… and James. James is finally here. I have to talk to him and I have no time to explain to Jess what did or did not happen at the same time. I came out here to talk to James Potter, damn it. And I’m going to do it. Remus is going to have to leave, won’t he?

And Frank will… what will he do? Right now he has his thinking face. His eyebrows are furrowed and he wants to help. He’s up for anything, I can tell. He’s the only person I can really understand at the moment. I hear Frank mumbling but I’m too busy to respond; I’m trying to pan this out in my head first.

“He’s an arse, Lily. And I’m sorry Diggory had to come here and assault you like he did. He has no right, the pompous jerk...”

I look at him but I don’t respond. “Can you- can you do something for me?” I ask him quickly.

“Are you alright?” He asks worriedly.

“I’m fine. Really. Thank you for…that. Diggory’s gone, but he was the least of my worries. I have some stuff to clear out and I need you to go distract Jessica.”

Frank’s eyebrows perk up. “What?” He looks around and his eyes finally fall on the two people close to walking passed each other in the hallway. Amos Diggory’s figure is slowly disappearing while Jessica’s slowly coming into full view.

“Go over there and persuade her to leave, or to not meet me at the moment. I have too much to handle right now and Jess will explode if she hears what’s just happened with Diggory. So please… just… postpone her for me. I can’t talk to her right now.”

“…Okay.” He takes a deep breath and gives me a little smile. “You owe me.”

We’ll see about that. “Go,” I push him. But not without giving him a little smile in return. He doesn’t know I’m talking to James. And this means I’ll tell James before Frank can tell him that he broke his promise to him… I’m a genius! As confusing as it sounds, I’ll be able to talk to James. I’ve reached him before Frank, and I know he already has enough people’s trust to worry about. This is between James and me. I respect Frank too much for him to put himself up for blame. This is my responsibility.



_Lunch Time Outside The Great Hall_

What’s Lily doing with Frank? And why is Amos Diggory, dickwad extraordinaire, walking away from them? This has DISASTER written all over it. I have to find out what’s going on! I know Emma kind of pushed me out of the Great Hall, but hey… I could just tell her that something bigger came along…

And I wouldn’t have to deal with Frank! It’s not exactly a lie. And if something bad really is going on, or has already happened, I need take care of the bigger issue. Don’t I?

I steadily stare at Amos Diggory while he walks passed me. And he’s looking arrogant. He gives me a smirk and I suspiciously return his glance. We walk passed each other and I can already feel my head spinning.

I tilt my head away from his patronizing stare and look ahead of me. I’m going to find out what just happened. He’d better not have given them, or rather – given Lily a hard time. I’ll give Diggory hell for it.

Frank is heading my way, and I see Lily walk around the corner. Why did they split up?

“Finelly,” Frank fake smiles.

“Longbottom,” I address curtly. “Where’s Lily off to?” I try to push passed him but he blocks me with his arm against the wall. I am not moving over the other side of him just to move. To hell with it, just because I’m stubborn doesn’t mean I can’t have some dignity. I’m not moving until he moves his arm. I look into his eyes and my neck feels like it’s on fire. It’s doing that annoying thing again. The annoying thing I can’t figure out.

“Don’t worry about her.”

“Move.”

“I don’t think so.”

He’s relaxed, almost as if he thinks there’s no problem. Longbottom has it coming for him if he thinks that – let me assure you. He most likely did this on purpose, because he knew I wouldn’t move until he moved first!

“Move your damn arm. Before I break it off.”

Today might not be the right day to tell Frank. Can start tomorrow…?
I can’t pass this up. Who would I be if I did?

“Let’s have a chat like civilized adults, shall we? Come with me for a moment.”

“Don’t push it, Dungbottom. I’m busy. Chat up some other chick.”

He puts his face close to mine and I can see he’s already pissed.

“If I want to chat you up, I’ll chat you up. Understood?” I am momentarily paralyzed.

Bounce back quickly, Jessica! You are Lady Finelly. Witch extraordinaire. Do not be fooled by his strong facial features, his strong neck, his strong chest…

GET IT TOGETHER, WOMAN.

“Now isn’t the time. Don’t be an arse about it,” I say. That wasn’t too nice, right? I don’t want to seem like I’m getting soft.

“It’s not a choice,” he responds.

His eyes don’t break contact with me and I want to stomp on his foot. Frank Longbottom takes my hand and basically drags me down the hallway at a lightening speed. I don’t even see the motion of the dim lights surrounding me until I rip from his grasp. Did he just fly down this corridor? How the hell did he do that!?

We’re in some old, vacant classroom with dingy lighting. The only light is the one that’s shining from the hallway into the room.

“What the fuck was that, Longbottom?” I rub my wrist. It doesn’t hurt, but I feel like scowling down at my hand where he grabbed me. How could I have been dazed enough for him to just take control like that? Oh, hell no. I am not the person Frank Longbottom can just drag around.

“You know what? I don’t like your attitude.” He’s trying to start a fight in an abandoned classroom? Are you serious?

“I don’t like your non-existent nose hairs.”

Did I just say that out loud? Oh My God – he’s laughing. I’m a fucking idiot.

“Goes to show people can truly hate things that are non-existent. Like your personality. I hate it already,” he chuckles.

But I made him laugh.
What? Who cares? I mean so what – I made him laugh.
Gosh, I am so weird. Like that’s even something to be proud of.

“Listen up, dirt bag. Take you’re stupid insults and shove it!”

“Come up with something creative, Finelly. I’m getting bored.” He’s even ballsy enough to pretend to be interested in his cuticles to show the point.

Oh, I can’t do this.

I surrender. Fuck it all. My boobs hurt, and I think I’m getting on my period. My best friend’s just stalked off and it probably has something to do with Amos Diggory. The boy in front of me is making me feel guilty for reasons I don’t know why. And I don’t even care about Jeff at the moment.

“Fine, Frank. You win.” I look around me, my head snapping in different directions. I know I seem timid but I just don’t want to look at his face right now.

“What?” He whispers disbelievingly.

“I said: You win. Go ahead. Insult all you want. I don’t really care because my boobs-”

“Did you just call me by my first name and said ‘I win’ in the same sentence?”

I don’t say anything for a minute and he continues with, “…And what about your boobs?”

Er… What should I say? Emma’s mentally scolding me, and I know she’s telling me I need to tell him the truth. The reason why I give him a hard time. It isn’t fair. And I’m done arguing because my head feels dizzy from the dust in this room and for once it wouldn’t kill me to give in, right? I’m premenstrual and I don’t want to bitch just because I’m emotion and feel fat. It’s for the common good anyways. Who knows how great I’ll feel if this happens? And we become friends?

“I think the reason we fight so much is because of me. I have to tell you, there’s a reason I mess with your head-” I rush it out all in one breathe but I get cut off.

“You are so predictable.”

My eyes land on Frank quickly. “Excuse me?” I snap. I cross my arms hastily.

“You know, I knew that you knew what was going on. But I thought, hell – she might be creative and do something else. But no, you’re here to surrender to me just like I predicted. I know that there’s no reason for you to dislike me. Other than the fact that I get under your skin. I also know why I get under your skin. And it’s because you can’t find something about me to dislike. And that annoys you.”

My mouth drops open in disbelief. How did he just do that? Did he know all this time what the reason really was? I thought he just knew we annoyed each other!

Anger runs through my veins as I get closer to Frank to make sure that he’s not going to back away, and that he’s going to stand behind what he’s just said. I didn’t even see this coming. And what I hate the most about this is that HE noticed this about me, because he’s stupid Frank and knows everything. But here I am, and I didn’t even predict this. Damn him.

“What’s funny, though, I must say,” he starts devilishly (no seriously, I can see the horns), “is that we both share that annoyance. You didn’t pick up my hints that I argued with you for the same reasons. I was hoping you’d make this fun. But no. You gave up. And you started telling me something I already knew. You are so bloody predictable, Finelly…”

I see red when I look back into his face, and all I want to do is prove him wrong. I get dangerously close to him and catch him off guard. I take a hold of his tie, and pull at his neck.

“You can’t predict shit, Longbottom,” I say, and I kiss him.

Take that, you son of a bitch.




James walking towards me feels like a film going through slow motion. My eyes take in his feet, his hips, his shoulders, and his face. He’s not looking straight at me, but he’s not looking at the ground, either. There’s a shadow on his face from the lack of shaving this morning and I can’t stop staring at his hazel eyes. James is wearing his school pants, school shoes, but no school shirt. No, he’s just wearing a plain white tee. A very tight plain white tee. Jess and Frank have apparently disappeared, thank goodness. So now we can get on with it.

I ask Remus to leave as soon as they both reach me. He doesn’t argue and leaves. James looks into my eyes for the first time since, what feels like, forever. And I secretly feel at home, though I don’t show it. I swallow hard and being to speak. Why do I feel like I’m breaking down? I need to spit this out.

“Listen-” My voice cracks and I can’t even look at him. James looks so… innocent. I almost expect him to hug me, which makes me mentally scold myself. Out of the corner of my eye, though, I see someone walking down the hallway.

God, damn it. Can I not get a break today!?

But when I look to see who it is I wish that I hadn’t looked at all. It’s Amos Diggory, walking back to me, with a wad of cash in his hands. I guess he was serious when he said he’d be right back…

He can see us and I can see him, even if he’s a gazillion yards away from us. James follows my stare weakly. He looks back at me, and I can almost see disappointment in his face. James hasn’t even spoken yet.

But then I stop myself, because some asshole is making his way over us and all I can think about is Amos and his false accusations. That I still like him. That he thinks he can buy me over it.

You know what; Diggory can go screw himself because I’ll prove to him that I don’t like him. That I don’t need him. And that he can’t buy me or his reputation.

Everything is in slow motion; I can almost here my heart beat and nothing else. I try not to breathe too loudly and get close to James. He’s paralyzed and doesn’t know what’s going on. But he’s looking me in the eyes, and I see his pain.

This is selfish of me, I know. But Amos is going to ruin my plan and throw it down the shitter, so I can do the same to his.

I blink, I stare at James’s lips, I take a step closer.
And I kiss him fully on the mouth on my own accord. 




 


But what are we waiting for, what are we waiting for?
So give me something to believe, cause I am living just to breathe.
And I need something more to keep on breathing for;
So give me something to believe.

- The Bravery


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