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Chapter Forty-three, In the Library

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Hillary looked at me in disbelieve. She was pacing around in my dormitory, a face filled with confusion and anger. Now and then she would stop up, just looking at me, before pacing some more.

“Say something,” I pleaded. “You’re driving me crazy here!”

Hillary walked over to me, looking me square in the eye.

“James went across all the lines you set up. James fetched you into a classroom, and tried to undress you. He then intended to shag you in there, but you escaped,” she said matter-of-factly with wide eyes.

I sighed, dragging a hand through my red hair for the millionth time.

“I already told you that,” I said quietly.

Hillary then looked distant for a second, before remaining focus again.

“It just seems so surreal. Like… something that would never happen. It’s not really possible,” she continued.

“Stop analysing the case and say something sensible! Something that will come in useful for me!” I said a little louder.

I picked up a cushion, squeezing it in my arms, looking down. No real thoughts entered my head, it just kept being empty. No reflections, no nothing.

Hillary sat down beside me.

“It can’t have been him,” she said firmly, cupping her head with her hands. “It’s impossible. He wouldn’t do that.”

I smiled ironically.

“ What can I say? All men are bastards, you never know them. They’re all insane deep down. At least I got to know his bad side before I married and had children with the chap,” I said in a bored tone.

“Have you even considered the possibility that it was someone impersonating him?” Hillary pointed out to me.

“Yes I have, in fact,” I said, looking into her eyes. “And there’s not much of a chance. It was definitely James Potter, just in a very aggressive and mad state.”

“So you’re absolutely sure?” Hillary said insecurely.

“No, you shall never say never. I know that now, I thought I could trust him with my life. And I couldn’t. So of course the tiny chance that it wasn’t James exists, but it’s minuscule.”

“You’re right,” Hillary sighed.

I started fiddling with my nails.

“Know what’s peculiar?” Hillary then said out of the blue.

I lifted my head, looking indifferently up at one of the best friends I’d ever had.

“No, what’s that?” I said automatically, expecting her to say something along the lines of ‘that he denied it.’ You wouldn’t say so? I didn’t notice that…

“You’re not crying. You’re not moping. You’re being all neutral.”

It was not what I’d thought she’d say. It was the first line that penetrated my little wall preventing thoughts from coming into my head. It was the first sensible thing she had said in thirty minutes.

She was right, as I thought over the matter for a moment.

‘I’m not crying…’ I whispered to myself. ‘I’m not trashing my dorm. I’m not screaming.’

I screwed up my eyes, setting them on Hillary’s blue gaze.

“You’re right,” I finally said, squeezing my cushion a little bit more.

Hillary shook her head, looking deeply worried. Even more worried than when I told her what had happened in the first place.

“Isn’t that a good thing?” I tried carefully, not really understanding her reaction.

She didn’t move an inch. Her face-expression didn’t change either. Then her lips moved before she left my dorm as if I was a dead person she had to mourn over.

“It’s not good, Lily… It’s not good at all.”



‘What was that nonsense about?’ I thought. ‘It’s bad that I’m not moping? That I somehow don’t show reaction? That I probably just finished all the mad feelings and tears the night it actually happened?’

For once, I didn’t find the answer I needed in my head. I didn’t find anything. It was plain empty. I realised that I didn’t think much of James anymore, but where were the feelings telling me I was supposed to break down completely after my boyfriend hurt me? They weren’t there. That left me with three options.

One: It hadn’t sunken in yet.

Two: They had hid somewhere I couldn’t even find them myself.

Three: I had really reacted differently to the situation than I would have thought.

I hoped it was the latter of the three. It would be so revealing.. so relaxing. So easy. I chose to believe it was the third reason.

Then I got an owl tapping my window. I hurried over to get it, hoping it was from mum.

I was correct.


Dear Lily,
I have been aware of what you have told us, about this Lord Voldemort in the Wizard World. Petunia too, even though she doesn't want to admit it. I will keep an eye out, and contact you if anything at all happens, or we hear something in the muggle world. Please take care. I are worried about you, but I’ll take yours and Dumbledore’s word that you’re safe at Hogwarts.

Love, mum



I laid it in my drawer, together with all the articles I’d collected from the Daily Prophet about different appearances Voldemort or his followers had made. Each and every one concerned me more.. but I knew I was safe at Hogwarts. What I found curious was that there had been nothing really big since February. Was I missing out or was there something going on? had Voldemort given up?


--

I had been quiet the whole day. If it hadn’t been a Saturday, I would probably have stayed in bed instead of getting around the school for classes. Sirius had tried to speak to me a dozen times about what had happened yesterday, but I never really gave him a decent reply. I just kept getting lost in my own thoughts and the image of the most beautiful girl I’d ever had.

My eyes were sharp, though. They noticed every move, every change in the circumstances around me in the library. As Hillary Nirmington came walking in a straight line towards me, I let my other senses come on, too. Her dark hair fuzzed furiously around her thin face, and her hands were closed into fists. Even her clothes were stirring around her body.

She stopped dead in front of me.

“You hurt her.”

I leaned back, placing my hands behind the back of my head.

“Has Lily sent you to hit me hard with well chosen words because she’s in a too bad state herself to do it?” I said to the angry girl.

“No,” Hillary said. “It’s not like that at all.”

I bit my lip for fun. “Really? She’s ten times as angry as you then? And you refused to let her go herself, so you came instead?” I said sarcastically.

“Listen,” Hillary begun. “I’m going to ask you this question once. And I want an honest answer,” she said much calmer.

I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, shoot.”

Hillary bent slightly closer, looking into my eyes. It almost scared me, the girl’s eyes were triggering and almost threatening.

“Did you hurt her? Was it you?”

I raised my eyebrows, dropping them at once as I remembered I had to look serious as I gave her the important reply.

“No.”

She straightened up, pointing her chin in the air.

“She’s not crying. She’s not angry. She’s nothing,” she said.

“Really?” I said, leaning forwards, forgetting all about being cold. “Why?”

Hillary quickly sat down next to me, holding her hands collected in her lap.

“I think she’s hiding it all away. It’s the only way to prevent a break-down. It’s so… destroying, she’s avoiding her own feelings,” she said softly.

“Girl-talk,” I said with a sigh. “Why do you always have to be so complicated?”

She looked hardly at me.

“Just because we have feelings? Because we’re sentimental? I thought you were different, James. But maybe you are really as cold as you are now, maybe Lily has a point.”

She rose, walking away as quickly as she came. I shook my head.

‘Is it my fault? I don’t care how people think of me right now. I’m allowing myself to be cold. Lily just broke it off with me. She accused me of things I wouldn’t even think of doing,’ I hissed in my mind. ‘Nothing matters anymore.’

I laid down onto the bench by the table in the library, occupying four or five seats. It didn’t matter, though. Saturdays weren’t days for hanging out in the library if you weren’t reading out of interest.

Bryn Johnson. He was the cause of this. He was the cause of everything.

Then I was brutally shoved off the bench, ending up on the hard floor. I let out a cry of surprise, rubbing the back of my head as I sat up.

“Padfoot! What the heck was that about? You’re mad!” I snapped.

“I’m mad?” he said, leaning down to me. “I’m not the one giving a fuck about everything, leaving myself miserable as hell.”

That woke me up. Sirius never used to use as strong swear-words as that.

“So? Can you blame me?” I said in the same angry tone. “Lily just left me. For something another bastard did. And she’s blaming me. Life sucks.”

Sirius scowled. “At least you can do the best out of the situation, and stop moping, not caring about anything.”

My best friend was really disappointed in me, I could tell. But he didn’t know how this felt.

“Lily’s not moping. She’s happy,” I said bitterly.

“What? Isn’t she crying her eyes out?” Sirius said in surprise. “How do you know?”

I sat up.

“Hillary told me only a minute before you came. Lily’s just happy to get rid of me. She’s not hurt at all, bet she’s just faking.”

Sirius took hold of me in a firm grasp and pulled me up violently. His eyes were on fire, his face was unrecognisable.

“Don’t say that,” he said hardly through clenched teeth. “You know Lily loved you. You know she didn’t fake it, she’s not like that at all.”

I took hold of Sirius’s hand and released myself, sitting hardly down onto the bench again. I put my head in my hands, and I felt my eyes go tense.

“I know,” I said shakily.

Sirius sat down beside me, putting a hand on my back.

“I’m so sorry, mate,” he said seriously. “Let her go. Let it all go.”

I looked quickly up at him.

“I can’t. Someone did that to her, to us,” I said slowly, weighing every word. “It’s none of our faults. I can’t let it go, never. I’m going to find out who did it.”

“Good luck,” Sirius said after a moment’s silence. “I wonder how you intend to do that. Find your own supposed twin among the whole school.”

I let a sly grin spread my face. I don’t know how it appeared, it just did.

“I know who it is,” I whispered, pulling Sirius’s face so close our foreheads touched. “Bryn Johnson.”

Sirius sat up straighter, looking at me with a frown.

“You sure? How do you know?”

I put my hand to my face, locking my eyes with Sirius’s. I didn’t want him to miss a word of what I was saying.

“He’s still keen on Lily. She told me herself. She was even about to meet him in the library when “I” came and fetched her. He’s a brilliant student, I’m sure he’d manage to pull it off, just so he could have her.”

Sirius’s face wasn’t tense anymore.

“How do you think he’d do it?”

“Polyjuice potion. It didn’t take an hour in that classroom, and he knew where she was going to be,” I said resolutely.

“Could be,” Sirius nodded. “But it takes a month to brew the stuff.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Did you miss out on the part “brilliant student”?”

Sirius swallowed hardly.

“It’s not an indifferent accusation you’re raising against the bloke, James. What if you’re wrong?” he said.

“I’m not wrong. And I’m going to make Lily uncover him,” I said mischievously.

Sirius let out a little snigger.

“A little detective, are you? How do you plan to do that?” he said unbelievingly. “And why does it have to be Lily who uncovers him?”

“Because that’s the only way her eyes will open up. And you, my friend,” James said slowly, “are going to help me.”


A/N: Some people said they thought Sirius was Bryn in this chapter. That's not the case.. he just needed to be strict with James to get his point through! Don't worry :)

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