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Chapter Forty-seven, Not Dancing

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Movement becomes dance when the emotions
brought about by performing the movements
are the reason for moving.
- Source Unknown

It had been approximately three weeks since I started dating Bryn. My foot was now healed, and I was about to go to the Great Hall. I had to return a library book before I went to the last practise, and I was dreading it. I had been so busy trying to figure out all about Bryn, what I was supposed to do or not do… I had missed a lot of lessons, even if my foot had got considerably better.

I had found the conclusion as well.. And it made me slap myself mentally. It was actually impossible to fall in love with someone new only days after you loved someone else. It went against everything, and I understood that I had been fooling myself. Bryn was so wonderful… but it was not right to be with him when I hadn’t extracted James from my mind completely.

I thought I was in love… but I had been fooling myself all along.

“There you go,” I smiled at Madam Brooks, placing the book on her desk. She smiled back, waving at me as I was about to leave.

But I stopped.

“James, are you sure about this?” I heard Remus’s voice.

I hid behind a bookshelf, closely listening to what they were saying. Did he say what I thought he said?

“I’m sure. I’m not deaf! She said what I told you,” James explained to Remus.

“Elizabeth Facklet? Told you that you were irresistible? That she wanted to go out with you?”

I held my breath.

“Yes! And I’m telling you, I don’t think she was joking. What do I do now?” James said slightly desperately.

“I don’t know… Depends on -”

“- Lily?” James finished. “What should I do, then? Go over to her and ask her if she’s Ok with me dating someone new?”

Remus looked uneasy.

“Well… I don’t know. You never know how she’ll react,” he said in a crisp voice.

James looked at him in disbelieve.

“Did she ask me if I was Ok with her dating Johnson?” James said a little louder than he should.

“No,” Remus said irritably. “But you know they’re faltering. You know they’re not really happy. Not nearly as happy as the two of you were.”

“Do you have to remind me? Right now, that’s the last thing I want to think about,” James snapped. “Should I date Elizabeth, or not?”

Remus shrugged.

“Are you in love? Do you really want her, or is it just to take revenge on Lily?”

James thought for a moment.

“I’ve made up my mind,” he said resolutely. “I’ll tell you later.”

I sneaked out of the library, almost unable to breathe. It was the second time someone I had been in love with had done this to me. First Remus, agreeing to date Gwen right in front of my nose, and now James, who was about to decide weather to date Elizabeth Facklet on the Quidditch team or not. I walked in quick steps to the Great Hall, knowing I was late already.

I stumbled out of the narrow changing room next to the stage, my pointe shoes in my hand. I heard the music to our dance coming nearer with each step I took. The light shone at me as I ran up to the others, sitting down in a corner. I dragged my shoes on, and started to warm up my feet as they continued to dance with grins on their faces.

As the song ended, they gathered in the middle, with Lindsay telling them what they needed to improve. I just stood slightly outside the circle, waiting for a sign.

“Where’s Lily going to be positioned? Will she be doing pirouettes from the corner as well?” Jennifer said as she opened the circle up to me.

“You weren’t in class this week, were you, Lily?” Lindsay asked.

“No, I wasn’t. I didn’t feel well…” I said, looking at the others.

“Do you know the dance?” Dorothy nearly spat at me.

“Well… No, not really. I just attended the first lessons,” I said warily.

“That’s going to be a problem,” Lindsay creased her eyebrows, surveying me. “I’m sure you somewhat know the first part, but what about the second one? You’ve only gone through that a couple of times, right? It would look strange if you just went off stage in the middle of the dance…”

“Why? She did it in the last show,” Dorothy smiled evilly.

“I don’t know,” I lowered my eyes, trying to make myself believe I only imagined the tears pressing behind my eyes.

Lindsay sighed. “We’ll have another run-through. Back to your positions!”

I didn’t hesitate to go and sit down in the audience. Lindsay was right, I would look stupid. I felt the tears unmistakably tense in my eyes as I watched the others dance through once more, with an empty spot at the back. They must already have given someone else my place in the front.

Back in the changing room, I tried to avoid the eyes of the other dancers. When most of them had left, I started pulling a loose sweater over my leotard and dragging a pair of old jeans on. I packed my things, ready to leave as soon as possible.

Jennifer came over.

“Aren’t you going to participate in the other dance either?” she said, lying a hand on my shoulder.

“I don’t know that dance either, do I?”

I couldn’t prevent the tears any more. They didn’t roll down my face, but I felt my eyes go red and my voice shaky.

“Come on? Carol and I can teach it to you now! Before we go on stage!” she said carefully.

“There’s no use, Jen… it’s two days left. I don’t want to stand at the back staring at everyone else because I don’t know the steps…” I cried, sitting down again. “I’d better be going.”

“Oh, Lily… I’m so sorry,” Jennifer bent down and hugged me. “I love you, ok?”

“Love you too,” I whispered before leaving the great hall for the common room.

“Lily? Aren’t you supposed to be dancing?” Sirius laid down his exploding snap cards and came over. “What’s wrong?”

He had spotted my sore eyes and my sad face.

“I-I’m not dancing,” I forced out.

Sirius embraced me, and I saw James over his shoulder sitting as a question mark with the rest of the cards. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see his face.

“Why?” Sirius let go, looking at me.

“I don’t know the dances. I made a complete fool of myself, showing up in dance wear and expecting to join. I feel so stupid, Sirius…” I sobbed.

“Don’t be,” he comforted. “Come and join me and Prongs for exploding snap!”

I looked coldly at him.

A part of me wanted to be as close to James as possible, but the other one said clearly that I was not supposed to do that. I was with Bryn, and James was probably with Elizabeth.

“I’m leaving.”

I trotted over to a chair at the opposite side of the room, fiddling with my dance-slippers.

I was close to collapsing. Things had been building up to a storm for so long, I wasn’t sure if I was able to control myself much longer.

My foot was healed, but I had been so caught up in my own confusing web of emotions I hadn’t been able to dance. I hadn’t attended many lessons, I had been spending those hours thinking instead. And what came out of it? Nothing. Nothing at all.

I felt cold tears roll down my cheek again, and I swore under my breath.

‘No! I don’t want to cry… I don’t want to be weak anymore. I can’t cry, I refuse to cry.’

I sat there for a while, just concentrating on not crying. I hadn’t really done that before, being determined on not crying. I’d usually just let it flow. In rage, I threw my pointe shoes down on the floor, letting out a little hiss as I did it. I dragged my hands through my red mane, taking a deep breath.

Sirius left, and James kept sitting where he sat.

‘Aren’t you coming over? To comfort me? Play the hero as always? Make me love you again?’ I thought dangerously in my head. It would be so like him.

He rose up, sending me a glance.

‘There you go! I knew you would! How unexpected!’ I kept on talking to myself in my head, sarcastically evil.

“Lily?” his gentle voice said, almost advancing on me as if I was a flesh-eating plant.

“What is it?” I said, a combination of firmness and shakiness coming from it.

“I was just… sorry you didn’t make it. That you’re not participating in the show this time,” he continued, coming a tiny bit closer.

“That’s Ok, it really is,” I lied.

Then James came close. I knew he would the moment I entered the common room. Just like I had known I didn’t really hate him at all, though I should.

“Don’t try to hide it, you never manage to hide things from me,” he said carefully.

‘No.. Don’t cry. Please don’t start crying again, Lily..’ I hissed to myself. ‘You promised to let go.’

But James didn’t avoid seeing my red eyes again, even though I did everything to hide it. I wanted to be angry, not sad and down. He sat down next to me, wrapping his arms around me. He let his cheek come onto mine, like he used to do when we were together.

“I know it hurts you, I just do. It’s the way it is between us now… I’ll always know. No matter how much you try to hide it,” James said softly into my ear. “I still care a lot about you, even though we’re not together. I miss your smile.”

Somehow, those words hurt as much as they comforted. It ripped open again, that I wasn’t with James, I was really more with Bryn. My heart lied to me.. Everyone considered Bryn and me a couple. Even me.

And James… The day he tried to force onto me… He wasn’t himself. There must have been an explanation. I knew the James holding me right then would never push my limits.

“Why are you holding me?” I let out, not loosening my grip on him. A tear struggled it’s way slowly down my cheek.

“I care about you, Lily. We’re good friends. And I’m there for my friends when they’re not Ok.. when they need me.”

I swallowed hardly.


James sighed, and I felt his breath tickle my ear as he did. I wish it was a happy sigh, not a tired sigh.

“What is it that you’re not telling me?” he said slowly.

“Nothing, there’s nothing,” I said hurriedly.

‘What are you saying? Of course it’s something.. you feel your heart beating again, aren’t you?’ I said to myself.

“How’s things… with Johnson?” James slipped in.

I couldn’t believe he could ask me such a question. It was like slapping me in the face, really.

“We’re doing Ok,” I said shortly.

“Good,” he confirmed, but we both knew that was a very awkward topic.

“I’m going to bed,” I said next, loosening his arms around me.

As I did, a silent tear from inside exploded in my heart. It felt wrong letting go.

“Ok.. good night, Lily,” James said.

“Good night to you too,” I replied.

As I was about to walk up the stairs, I remembered my pointe shoes still lying there somewhere by the chair.

“I forgot my…” I started, but James saw them too.

We both reached for them, our fingers touching as we thought the same thing.

“Chocolate,” James muttered, and I saw a faint blush creep up his cheek.

I smiled shyly, pretending I didn’t hear that. I had thought the same thing, actually. Chocolate.

As I pressed the shoes tightly to my chest before leaving, I looked him in the eyes.

“It’s not going to work out with Bryn,” I said in a rush.

“Really?” James said in a way I didn’t manage to read.

“Yeah… I don’t think I love him.”

‘What are you doing?’ my mind hissed at me again.

James moved uneasily. He sat down in the chair I had just sat in, and he looked at me with searching eyes.

“Lily… This is wrong,” he said tiredly.

“What’s wrong?” I said quickly.

“Me holding you. You crying. Then you telling me that you’re not OK in your relationship. I know we were thinking the same thing…”

I was very curious on what his conclusion was going to be. I just looked back at him.

“And…?” I said slowly.

“Well, I haven’t really told you… but… I’m dating someone else.”

My heart was splattered into two.

“W-who?” I said as normally as I could muster.

“Elizabeth Facklet,” James said with a little smile playing around his lips.

“Good for you,” I said awkwardly.

I turned, walking up the stairs to my dorm. Hillary was there, already.

“Sirius told me about the show,” she said with concern. “Are you Ok?”

I dumped down onto my bed. I didn’t say anything. Then my mouth burst open.

“I can’t take it ANY more…” I started. “Not ballet in the show, I’m in a sick mood, Bryn messes it all up… And James confusing me, making me angry as hell!”

Hillary came over, like she used to. I felt safe as she sat down with me.

“So… Do you still love James?”

I looked over at her.

“Of course I do,” I whispered.

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