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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 23: Bras, Confessions, And French Women



The room is quiet. Still.
As we both wait for the other to begin speaking.

I’d make a joke about how the birds chirping outside are having a better time than us, but the only thing I can think about is nothing. My mind is so blank I kind of don’t know how to think and how this is supposed to fall out. The ending won’t be good. It isn’t supposed to be good – I mean look at the statistics. Do I want to tell the truth?

James is sitting in a comfortable chair against the wall, while I’m sitting across from him on the back of the common room sofa. We’re looking at each other. He’s rubbing his chin and I’m crossing my arms.

“I’m not speaking first.”

I hesitantly raise my eyebrows. “You already did.”

His eyes are smiling for a moment, and he gives me a significant nod. “True.”

Another minute passes in silence.

“Okay,” he croaks. “Let me just say this: for the record, I’m sorry I acted like an arse this year. Everything was set off by the party, and after that, I got kind of weird…”

“You think?”

“Yes. And I’m sorry for that. I left you in the dark. It was one party, one night, that kinda meant something to me.”

I look at him completely dumbfounded. He really said that just now, didn’t he?

“I shouldn’t have taken it so far with Diggory, but at the same time I felt I had the right to. What I do take full responsibility for, is making you feel uncomfortable for all these months. I just didn’t know how to deal.”

“…Oh.”

He scratches the back of his head. I know that was hard for him to say.

“That night at the party, something happened for me, too,” I begin.

Everything changed, James.
All of it. All of it was turned upside down.

“It made me think about people and about friends…old friends…”

I love you– I loved you.
I loved you when we were kids. Yes.
You were my best friend.

“How did we end up like this?” He asks.

I crinkle my eyebrows, no response in my head. “I don’t know.”

“This whole situation is fucked up,” James concludes.

“Very,” I agree.

“I can’t decide whether to be completely honest, or just enough to tie loose ends. But if I’m not completely honest, I’ll feel like I’m cheating my way out. And at the same time I feel that if I told the honest truth, it would complicate things even more. Then things would definitely change.”

“It doesn’t have to-”

“It will,” he says strongly. “Trust me.”

My face tightens at his words. Trust me. He is saying it loosely, I know, but behind the face of those words is a door. And I can’t help but walk through it.

“How can I trust you when I keep handing it to you, only to have it thrown back in my face?”

Surprised by my snap, he leans back away from me.

“You haven’t trusted me in years. Why start now?”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“This isn’t making any sense,” I burst, shaking my head repeatedly. “Don’t give me a talk about trusting you and then tell me not to. Merlin, all you do is play with my head!”

“Hah! All I did was say to trust me about this. Don’t go off about how bad I am and how all this is my fault. I said my part.”

My mouth falls open. “I didn’t say it was your fault.”

He scoffs. “Like you’ve never thought up the reasons why everything happened? Like you never blamed me? Admit it. Blaming me is easier than dealing with all these changes.”

“Why are you all of a sudden just snapping at me?!” I annoyingly ask him. Anger takes me for a ride as I claw the couch cushions.

He looks off, and I’m left with staring at his profile.
I hate that I can see the contours of his face.
The way his nose leads down to his lips, down to his chin, and his strong neck.
I hate that I can’t look away.

“Why do you keep secrets, obvious ones, because you can’t tell me the truth?”

Frank told me you loved me, James.
It can’t be true.
Show me that.

“Why can’t you face me, ever, when you freak out? I remember when I used to be the one you went to when you had a problem.”

“We were kids,” he quickly adds.

He still hasn’t looked at me.

“I need you to tell me something.” My voice is shaky, and I know he notices this. But he still doesn’t move. Doesn’t even flinch from his position. I ignore the annoyance he is causing me.

“I need to know something about you that I found out about not too long ago.”

His jaw clenches.

“What is this regarding?” James Potter’s voice echoes off the common room walls. It sounds darker, deep…more intense.

“You and me.”

He sighs, completely annoyed and agitated, but he still doesn’t move his face. I furrow my eyebrows.

What the hell? Could he be any more stoic?

“I’ve been talking to a friend.”

What ever you don’t have, James has. What ever he doesn’t have, you seem to be the reason it’s been taken away from him. I dunno if either of you have thought about it, but you both are very interesting people. And you two are more alike than either of you could imagine.

Frank Longbottom’s words echo in my head. He called me uncanny and indecisive. He also said that James and I were compatible because we were so different. I have to do this. I have to tell James what Frank said.

“Frank, actually,” I clarify out loud.

I have never seen James so rigid in all my life. His shallow breaths are being exhaled through his nose and I feel like he’s having a heart attack in front of me. Oh, jeez. I don’t think I should have said that… No, I have to say this. I need to know. It’s about time I grew a backbone.

“He doesn’t have friends,” James tells me. His voice is so harsh and low, it’s as if I can see the walls building up around him; he’s blocking me out.

“Yes, he does. He has me.”

And you have me, too.
Just look at me.

“He told me something very interesting, and I need to know if it’s true-”

“I can’t believe this.”

My breath hitches in my throat, and I look down. “What?” I whimper.

“You actually think we are going to talk about this here. Now.” He still hasn’t looked at me, and I have no idea how he must be feeling.

“Yes,” I answer honestly.

“You’re absolutely mad. You know nothing, that’s for sure.”

I cross my arms as he continues.

“What ever Frank said, or might have mentioned…don’t trust him. They’re all lies,” he almost roars. I ignore the ringing in my ears, and the silence his ear-splitting voice just broke, as he continues.

As if I haven’t already trusted Frank enough. I’d much rather trust him than you, you ass.

“Look at me, James.” The fact that he can’t look at me while talking to me is pissing me the fuck off, you have no freaking idea. I could just go up to him and rip his chin off, make him look in my direction. I’m doing one of the most hardest things ever, and he has the balls to look away from me the entire time. I momentarily forget what we are talking about: Frank, love, hate, us.

I get up, with strength I didn’t know I had, and walk up to him.

James’s body does an awkward movement between standing up and pushing the chair back at the same time. Now, he’s looking down at the ground, knowing he can’t get up and walk away without seeing me. Or even escaping me all together. I’m too close now and he has to deal.

I take his face in my hands and jerk his head so he’s looking at me. He looks so different. The hard shield he put on just seconds ago vanishes as soon as I stare into his hazel eyes.

“Why do you do that? Look at me when I talk to you!” I snap at him.

“I can’t!” James pushes me off and covers his face with his hands, his elbows resting on his knees. I calm myself and slowly get closer. I kneel down in front of him, put my hands on top of his, and slide his hands away from his face.

“Why can’t you look at me? Do I bother you that much?” I mumble.

James looks at me, and his eyes look so sad. Just like a puppy, only cuter. Woah, did I just think that?

Oh, dear.

“You think that your face bothers me?” he laughs blackly. “You have no idea how hard it is to look at you and not be able to…”

Oh, dear.

“Be able to do what?” I push. My eyes are pleading. Am I crossing the line? Should I be pushing him to tell me something that may be private? That may change everything?

He laces his fingers through mine and moves close to my face. He gazes at me, and he doesn’t mumble a thing; he’s just looking at my face. For some reason I feel like I wanna cry. I close my eyes and try to hold back tears. I wish I wasn’t such a cry-baby. A wimp. A loser.

He leans in and he puts his cheek on mine and it stays there for a while. I manage to forget about crying, but I keep my eyes closed anyway. I’m afraid to open them. He moves and puts his nose to my nose, and then rests his forehead on mine.

Oh, dear.

James moves his lips… and kisses me.

I can’t think of anything. Nothing at all.
This kiss…we had kissed already moments ago, but why was this one so different? I had used him to piss off Amos Diggory, yes. But it was still a kiss, a meaningful one at that. We didn’t plan to feel what we did in that hallway when we parted. I need to understand why this is different.

WHY?

My heart is beating in my chest. He pulls away all too quickly and whispers with his eyes closed, “I wanted this one to be real.”

I gasp and open my eyes. He slowly opens his too.
I try to steady my breathing, letting his words sink in.

He knows. James knows that I had kissed him to make Diggory jealous.

We hear footsteps, and before we know it, half of Gryffindor comes pouring in, Sirius and Peter right in the front of the stampede. James gets up fast and his reaction causes me to stumble backwards on my bottom, but I don’t notice, because I’m still trying to control my breathing. He runs towards the stairs.

“Prongs?” Sirius calls. “Wait up!”

“Hey!” Peter tries to get James’s attention as well, but he’s already up the stairs. They notice me but don’t linger long.

The common room is no longer quiet.
The silence is shattered.
James kissed me, for real.

He kissed me now because he knew that before this, it wasn’t because of emotion or feelings, but because of someone else. This kiss, now, was because of the emotion and feelings we weren’t feeling before. So complicated, but yet – it makes sense. Two completely opposite kisses, same two people, two different reasons behind the actions. He wanted to show me it was there. In the room. It caused us to kiss.

I put my hand to my forehead. The ‘it’ between us.

Oh, God.

It’s there, isn’t it?
It exists.

(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)

I fell asleep for what felt like forever. But in reality, I had just blurred through the whole week. And the day I felt like waking up, and living outside of myself, was Hogsmeade day.

“Get up, get up, get up!” Jessica exclaims, bouncing on my four-poster.

“Ugh,” I groggily mumble, wrapping myself even tighter in my blanket.

“Come on! Get up!”

“Jessica, why are you so excited to go to school today? Bugger off.”

“I most certainly will not! I’m going to stay here and make sure you wake up extra early, so you can shower, get dressed, do your hair and make-up and look all pretty for the first day of Hogsmeade.”

Jessica Finelly, supposed best friend, lives for Hogsmeade, and always will, throughout all her Hogwartian life. She loves the village, the atmosphere, and most importantly – the shops. Jessica and I have always taken it upon ourselves to look our best, to have the best days of our lives… if that makes any amount of sense. We always wake up extra early, make sure we smell like peaches and mangos, and lotion ourselves up (exfoliate, even) because Hogsmeade weather is not for the faint of heart. And who wants to be around with someone who has clammy hands and dried up cuticles? No one. This is why Jessica had this day, like every first Hogsmeade day of each year, perfected down to an art.

“Muggle Studies, first period. Then Potions. Then-”

“Jess, you don’t have to tell me my entire schedule for today. I’m getting up, I’m getting up…”

_five minutes later_

“You’re not up,” she sing-songs, deciding to pounce on my bed. Her ass lands on my face.

“AHHHH! You broke my freaking nose with your ass bone!”

Breakfast was awkward. It was just as awkward as yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. I completely ignored James while I flanked the tables trying to find seats for Jessica, Emma, and me. Not only was it completely uncomfortable between James and me, but every time Frank Longbottom passed us, he completely looked the other way while Jessica just looked down at her plate. That had never happened before. And it had happened all week.

This wasn’t right.
Everything was fucked up and out of order.
Frank and Jessica were NOT acting like Frank and Jessica.
James and I were…well, what the hell were we?
Emma and Sirius even stopped talking because Sirius was so busy taking care of James.
The rest of the marauders were lying low and didn’t pull any pranks.
Nor did they even receive detentions at all throughout this week.

I’ve entered the twilight zone.
It’s like the entire school has gone nuts.
Everyone just goes quiet when any of us walk into a room.
What am I supposed to do with this?
I feel like this screwed up aura of some sort is so contagious.
It’s like everyone around me is latching onto it too.
Was everyone always this silent? The Great Hall…it was never emotionless.

Every time I just to think of a reason for why this is happening, I lose my train of thought almost immediately. It’s not that I’m afraid of going up to James Potter and finishing where we left off (with the talking, mind you, not the kissing part). It isn’t fear of what he’s going to say to me at all. It’s shame. I’ve ruined what was supposed to be ruined. I screwed up Frank and James; James won’t even speak to him. The day after the snog fiasco in the common room, I saw Frank with a black eye. And I know it wasn’t from Amos Diggory. I messed up my own friendship with Frank; he’s staying clear of me because he knows that I spilled James’s secret that he had told me in confidence. Merlin, everything’s a mess. And somehow, I feel like the relationships of my friends between other people are screwed up because of me as well. I feel like I’ve caused everyone’s discomfort.

I told myself I had to do it, tell James what Frank told me. But now, I can’t decide if I wanted to know just for my own personal gain or if it was something that I genuinely thought would fix this and make it better. Welcome to my life – double sided and treacherous, with a pinch of uncanny and indecisive. Want to know my snogging résumé? Hah, the only boys I’ve ever snogged are James Potter and Amos Diggory. Like I’ve said before, can’t you just smell the controversy from that sentence?

I walk into Muggle Studies with a ringing in my ear that has been following me since morning.

loveMEsomeCHEESE19: I cannot believe this!
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: I know!
loveMEsomeCHEESE19: Knitting I can deal with, but dancing? And then psychology after that?!
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: I mean if I knew that THIS was what Professor Franklin had planned for us, I would have second thought my decision on signing up for muggle studies! This is our last week with the PCs.
IxOWNxMRBECKHAM4ever: Oh, please. This is hardly the time to be dramatic. It’s just knitting, dancing, and psychology. These three things are…er…well they have to do with muggle life somehow, and this is what we signed up for! So suck it up and deal, you gits.
FOULLxxHOWLLxxRL58: Why are you so chipper all of a sudden? You’re always the one to add on to the arguing.
IxOWNxMRBECKHAM4ever: Excuse me, it’s Hogsmeade Day. I live for that little village, and I’m in a happy mood. Gosh, would it kill you to be in a happy mood too? Fake it, at least. All this complaint about Muggle Studies is just buzz kill.
EYEz0Fnaturex3EVANS: She’s right, guys. Come on now. It’s isn’t that big of a deal. So what? Our next lesson won’t have computers… we can live with that. And be happy today is Hogsmeade Day, okay? For Jessica’s sake.
FOULLxxHOWLLxxRL58: OH, YEAH. I’m so excited to replace my computer with knitting needles; I can hardly contain my excitement.
JPlittleQUIDDITCHboyx: The dancing should be…interesting.
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: Is that all you’re worried about?! PRONGS. We’ll be holding knitting utensils in our hands, and you think the dancing will be ‘interesting’? How about the ‘psychological studies’ lesson? Oh, I can’t wait for that. (Sarcasm)
EYEz0Fnaturex3EVANS: Yes, thank you. Because without the parenthesis I would have hardly understood what you meant. (Sarcasm)
loveMEsomeCHEESE19: Merlin’s beard, what are we even going to talk about? How the brain works and what makes us happy?
JPlittleQUIDDITCHboyx: And sad.
FOULLxxHOWLLxxRL58: And angry.
JPlittleQUIDDITCHboyx: And excited.
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: And then Professor Franklin will probably analyze us down to bits.
loveMEsomeCHEESE19: And scribble on a notepad about how we’re feeling.
JPlittleQUIDDITCHboyx: ‘Why do you think this happened to you, Padfoot?’ *scribbles on parchment*
FOULLxxHOWLLxxRL58: ‘And how does that make you feel?’ *peers over library glasses*
JPlittleQUIDDITCHboyx: ‘Ah, yes. I understand completely, Sirius Black.’ *looks at student with sympathy*
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: I love how I’m the example patient in all of this.
FOULLxxHOWLLxxRL58: (Sniggers) Basically, yeah. That’s how it’s going to go, guys. Get ready for it.
EYEz0Fnaturex3EVANS: Again (Sniggers), thanks for the parenthesis.

I honestly can’t be the only one annoyed by such stupidity, right?

SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: No need to be hostile, Red ;]
EYEz0Fnaturex3EVANS: Kiss my ass.
IxOWNxMRBECKHAM4ever: Likewise, Black. Count me in on that, Lily.
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: Ass? Ew. What are you? American?!
EYEz0Fnaturex3EVANS: -_-
SIRxSNUFFLESxxSIRIUS: Sweet Circe, Evans. It’s spelled A-R-S-E!
JPlittleQUIDDITCHboyx: Um…
loveMEsomeCHEESE19: As I was saying.

(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)


After one of the most paranormal schooldays of my life, Jessica and I go off to Hogsmeade. Ah, time for me to relax. I’ve been itching to relax all day, and now that I don’t have to worry about people destroying my afternoon, or me destroying their trust issues with other people, I can. Why?

Because 1) James and Sirius are off with Quidditch so we won’t see them through the village, 2) Amos Diggory is in detention tonight for something that apparently happened during Charms yesterday, and 3) the rest of the marauders are off at one of those joke shops in the north, while Jessica and I are shopping in the Southern quartiles.

And that just leaves us to Frank Longbottom, whose unaccountable at the moment because no one knows where he is. I saw him disappear at the pub a few minutes ago when Jessica and I had just stepped outside, clad in our wool beanies and cute autumn boots. It’s not winter yet, but it sure feels like it.

“You seem really mushy,” Jess comments.

“Yeah, just a bit.”

“Things will blow over, Lily,” she promises. She gives me a small smile. “Things just always end up unraveling themselves, you know? Don’t worry, this is what all three of us needed; Hogsmeade. A time just for us girls, don’t you agree?”

“Sure, I guess you’re right. Where did Emma say she was meeting us?”

“Oh, she said something about buying some new undergarments somewhere…” Jessica looks off into the distance and soon points out a store. “Over there!”

Moby Arpel’s?” I ask disbelievingly. I’ve already got one too many memories involving underwear, I don’t need to go into Moby Arpel’s – they’re all about bras and panties and matching corsets, for crying out loud. What the hell does Emma think she’s doing to me? Is it everyone’s agenda to find me at a seizure-ific state when ever they see me? Because I’m going to pass out soon.

“Lily,” Jessica says strongly. “Don’t give me that look.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about-”

“Yes, you do! It’s ONE store. Not the end of the world.” Jessica drags me down the hill and into the store filled with intimate apparel, lingerie, and too many frills for my liking.

We walk in to the death trap and I am immediately bombarded by a French lady who has taken it upon herself to measure my breasts.

Brilliant.

“You need brassiere, yes?” She says in broken English, followed by another million incoherencies about ‘padding bra’ and ‘push up’, followed up, ‘…push up, WAY UP’.

I try to scram but the old lady’s got an iron hold. “No- no. Okay, that’s enough,” I swat away at her with my hands. “No poking please, I’m – OW!”

“Oops, ‘scuse me,” is all the French storekeeper responds with. Is that a needle she just poked me with?!

“Emma!” Jessica calls.

“Emma, I am going to kill you,” I say to her as soon as she walks over to us.

“Hi to you, too, Lily,” she scoffs, after showing us the new pajamas she’s just bought. “Someone’s in a more pissy mood than usual…”

“Well I’m not used to people coming up to me, mumbling French curses about how I should fix the padding in my bra, and repeatedly poking me. So excuse me for being a little hostile.”

My two beloved friends ignore me while I suffer the torture of the Frenchwoman with a hidden needle and thread. How you’re supposed to fix one’s bra with that utensil, I have no idea.

“I absolutely adore those pajamas!” Jessica coos.

“I know, I got them on sale! Fifty percent off, over here,” Emma guides Jess to the closest table marked ‘sale on pajamas’. Great, of course they would leave me here.

“Try on. This,” the French lady, whom I now know as ‘Marion’ thanks to her nametag, says. She tosses a black silk and laced size B bra my way. I look back at her, horrified.

“No, no. I’m not here to buy any forms of intimate apparel,” I tell her slowly. She simply looks up at me as if I hadn’t spoken at all. I sigh and try again. “Me. No. Want.” I put the bra back on the shelf.

Marion laughs and grabs the bra from the shelf again. “No, no. You want. You want!”

“Jessica!” I call over.

Emma goes off to pay for another set of pajamas she’s decided to buy, while Jess sees me struggling and excuses herself from Miss Tebbon. But not fast enough – Marion’s thrown me into a dressing room; I am now forced to change into the hell they call a black silk and laced bra.

“I hate this!”

“Don’t worry, she just wants to see how you look in it. Come on… make her happy,” Jess reasons.

I look at her skeptically before Marion slams the dressing room door in my face.

“Well if I’m forced to try on some stupid bra, then you’re going to have to confess some things to me, because I’m not going through all this pain for nothing. Especially if can’t get something out of it.”

“Oh, Lily Evans. Just try on the damn bra-”

“What’s going on between you and Frank?”

It’s silent for a while and I can almost hear her sighing from behind the door.

“He pisses me off.”

Ah, the usual.

“No. Spill the beans. You haven’t argued with him all week! It’s almost making me upset.”

“Alright, who said I was upset?” She asks me, as I fall over the chair in the dressing room while trying to hook the clasps of this bra correctly.

“Jess, if you aren’t arguing about Frank or arguing TO Frank, they you have to be upset about something! Did you two have an even bigger fall out than usual?”

“Not exactly…”

“Well what’s the problem then?”

“I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t stand him anymore, is all.”

Marion slams the door wide open, almost making me crap myself. She’s lucky the dressing rooms are in the back of the store!

“Are you crazy!?” I roar, trying to cover myself up. I’m in a bra and jeans; this French lady is completely nuts! I’ve just been violated of my privacy, and no one seems to find this alarming. How do I know this? Because the couple seconds it took good ol’ Marion here to blast the door off it’s hinges and start cupping my breasts while wearing this black bra, Jessica just kept continuing on about what she didn’t like about Frank. She’s just leaning against another dressing room’s door frame, only a meter away from Marion herself, and yet – she’s in a completely different world.

Shitballs!

The French woman takes my boobs in her hands, and counts the beading on the cups. Yeah, this black piece of crap has embroidery. Story of my life. Marion starts mumbling something in French and frantically whips out the tape measure. Sweet Mother Of Pearl!

“…I mean, he’s always contradicting me. He even insulted my hair color, relating it to dung! Frank is just this mysterious…arse. Yeah, that’s it. A mysterious arsehole with an anti-brunette attitude, don’t you think?” Jessica asks me, crossing her arms. Mind you, the dressing room door is still wide open, but this particular cubicle is in the corner so no one can see us, thank God.

“Well, gee. It’s hard for me to really pay attention to what you’re saying when someone has my boobs cupped into their hands!” I hiss behind me. Marion snaps at me in her native tongue. And then she looks at my confused face and sighs.

“Non-talking. Shush!” she tells me in English (what ever kind of English she knows), with impatience.

The next hour resulted in Jessica doing nothing but talking about Frank, me getting poked in inappropriate places, and some Frenchwoman treating me like some sock puppet. I ended up buying four pairs of the same bra.

“Thanks, Marion!” Jessica calls, while Emma and I walk out of the shop.

“Yes,” I mumble, cradling my bag full of four laced up contraptions. “Thanks.”

Emma laces her arm through mine while we stroll through the shops of Hogsmeade.

“Lily. Smile, will you?” Emma exasperatedly sighs.

I grunt.

“Don’t even bother. She’s gone on her pissy/sulking mood for the day. She’s not going to budge unless…” Jessica trails off and then looks away.

She does this because I know what she was about to say.

Unless…I talked to James and fixed the screwed up situation with Frank.

I pull my wool hat father down across my forehead until my eyebrows are covered. No, you know what? No. I pull the entire hat down all the way to my chin.

Emma stifles a laugh.

“What are you doing?” She pulls the cap up.

I pull it back down.

“Don’t worry about it,” I reply.

“You are not going to go hiding from the world,” she pulls up my hat again.

“This isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to you,” Jessica clarifies.

“Doesn’t make it any better! How can you two be nonchalantly cool about this? I’ve screwed everything up, and I feel like you two are being affected by my very ill/terrible choices.”

“We’re friends, Lily. We aren’t going to leave you like this. Right, Jess?”

“Right. And besides, you’re not affecting us. The boys are acting like prats, anyway. You’re not making it hard for us or anything, if that’s how you feel.”

Oh, gosh. Why do I have such fantastic friends?

“But I am making it hard for you guys! WAH! Just let me wallow…” I pull my cap down until my entire face is covered.

Before Emma has a chance to yank it up again, I trip over a rock and fall flat on my face because I couldn’t see where I was going. I hear Jessica’s barking laughter as I struggle to get up.

“Er… that was delicate,” Emma comments.

(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)(*)

Walking back down the dormitory for dinner, I could say that my mood lifted a bit, but I’d be lying. I wasn’t as sulky, but I was still a bit agitated about the tripping in Hogsmeade. I now have a bruise above my left eyebrow. Not pretty. I covered it up with my bangs, though. A bit of fringe will cover up my bruise. Jessica said she’d meet me down there. While I was getting changed I heard some girls talking about owls coming in for tonight. This meant mail. I will at least hear from my father, and see how he’s doing. He’s the only one that really cares about me and my self-destructive life.

*cries*

Alright, that’s a lie. My dad knows nothing.
But the effect works, no?

I open the doors to the Great Hall and I’m basically flanked in the face by someone’s owl. The professors at the table were yelling for people to clear their owls away immediately as soon as they received their letters, because bird droppings were making their way onto people’s plates. As the flocks of birds clear out, I spot Jess alone at the end of the corner by herself. She’s eating crackers, moping at the end of the table. I’m about to go over and ask her what’s wrong when I notice it.

Oh, no.

Right next to her wrist lays a letter, and right next to that, is her fake cheetah skin purse on the table.

“Jessica! Why is your cheetah bag making another appearance?” I ask, alarmed.

“He broke up with me,” Jessica groggily mumbles. It doesn’t look like she’s crying…no…it seems as if she’s…disappointed that this had to happen now. Does that make sense?

“Are you sad?”

She shakes her head.

“So you’re glad?”

She shakes her head again.

“Well, that’s clears everything up,” I put my hands on the table.

Frank Longbottom passes by, and just like a teenage cliché high-school flick, he looks at us and the world is in slow motion. His eye is no longer black but it does look at bit dark above his cheek. He looks at me and then passes by Jess quickly. His eyes are inexplicable. It makes me want to blink twice; the intensity he’s staring at Jess with could break glass.

Jess starts to go through a coughing fit.

I start to pat her back. “Jess, are you…”

“FINE, fine…” She squeals.

Frank takes a seat a couple meters down from us. Then the marauders walk in.

Sweet Circe, this is just my day.

Instead of taking their time and picking out their seats carefully, they sit near Frank is sitting, because it’s the closest thing near them…and because they’re the only seats available now that the Great Hall is filled up. Tension = right now.

I’ve never been in such a tension filled room. Sirius, Peter, Remus, and James don’t even look at us. Emma said she was sitting her with Hufflepuff friend for dinner so there was no reason for Sirius to say hello to us, other than that. Remus and Peter do as their told, really, so they didn’t mumble a word. But James…there was something eerie about James. He’s like a completely different person; it’s like he went under a personality switch from the zombie that I had seen this morning in Muggle Studies and throughout this whole week. As Jess and I eat in silence I can’t help but stare at him. He looks so indifferent. Cocky, even. It’s like his aura has been replaced with someone’s arrogant facial expressions. He has no emotion around him and you can’t really read his face. Like I said, it’s like he has no aura at all. Not even a bit of ‘welcoming’ to his look; with his broad shoulders and unwelcoming posture, he almost looks antagonistic. And this scares me.

Half way through the meal Jessica starts to talk to me.

Obviously, still upset over Jeff’s break up, she puts her head in her hands. “I didn’t think this would really happen.”

“I know, me neither. I wasn’t even thinking of it. It’s so random… Why did he do it?”

“He said the distance was a bit hard on him, and that he had kind of lost interest in me. Not that he meant this in a mean way, but still.”

“Awe, sweetheart, I’m sorry.” I pat her shoulder affectionately and refill her goblet with cranberry juice.

“I just don’t get it, you know? It’s like Hogwarts is this one big puzzle, and Jeff breaking up with me is another revealing piece…”

I furrow my eyebrows. “Er, Jess? Um, what are you talking about?”

Her eyes snap open in realization. “Nothing!”

“What the hell is going through your head?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” she dismisses quickly.

“Jessica.”

“Great, completely superb. Totally fantastic-”

“Jessica Finelly!”

“I don’t. Want. To talk. About it,” she whispers viciously. My face is completely blank as Jessica returns to her mashed potatoes and pretends she didn’t just coarsely whisper to me in a tone that could kill.

Huh... I am very lost.

I spot Frank looking at Jessica from where he’s sitting, and I swear, I can almost hear his eyes twinkling. There has to be something going on!

“He’s looking at you,” was all I told Jess. It was Jessica’s reaction that was quite interesting. “Why is Frank looking at me?” She immediately glares in his direction.

I smirk. “How did you know I was talking about Frank?” I cross my arms as my best friend drops her fork in defeat. I turn her head and make her look at Frank, and he, too, soon begins to have a coughing fit. I’ve totally pegged this awkwardness thing down pat, haven’t I?

But, it seems that I’m not the only one that’s caught on.

A few seats down from us, Sirius Black had noticed the awkward looks between Frank and Jessica. His face said it all; he knew something was up. It’s as if someone’s hit his head with a mallet…a mallet of realization. Because Sirius looks horrified and I can’t help but look horrified as well- because I know Sirius Black. And this can’t be good. I was surprised when I looked down the table and saw his face mirroring mine. I was then surprised when his neck had began to snap back and forth between the two. But what I wasn’t expecting at all- not in the least, not even in the SLIGHTEST, was what happened next.

Sirius remains in his seat but points to both Frank and Jess.

“YOU TWO ARE DOIN’ IT!” He roars.

And then Jessica charges at his head.



Author's Note: Fun fact? I wrote that scene with Lily and Marion at Hogsmeade years ago :) ahah. gotta love it... ;D I'd just like to apologize for the long wait for this chapter. Seriously... it's the end of April and the last time I updated was February :( I'm sorry!

I'm working on a whole bunch of new stories and I wrote one-shots, and when I did finish this chapter... the queue wasn't cleared because I had already submitted something.. IT WAS A MESS! But I'm thinking that I'll update again during the month of May :D Be proud of me!

Also, I've got a but load of one-shots coming! What can I say, they satisfy my inspirational cravings lol. Make sure to check out my other novellas on my page!

Leave me reviews? I love you.

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