While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate,
I cannot separate myself from life.
I can only be joyful and whole.
That is why I dance.
It was as if time was standing still. The Great Hall was empty, except me and a Remus I knew for sure was not one of my best friends. That it was the boy I had let myself get involved with this spring.
My eyes were glued to the sketch he had lined up… It was just like the sketches he used to draw when he was bored in the library. It was his way of drawing, there was no doubt.
I slapped him hard across the face, hoping he’d start crying like a child in pain.
He touched the spot in his face, mouth slightly open and eyes reflecting great surprise.
“What the…” he began.
“Spare me,” I said through gritted teeth. “I don’t know how you do it, but you can come out from there now.”
He looked at me with confusion, trying to hide the fact that he knew I was about to reveal him.
“I know you’re really Bryn,” I said hardly, trying to control myself.
He looked around in a hurry, starting to rise up from the bench. As he got up, ready to leave, I grabbed his arm in a firm grip, refusing to let him escape from what was coming. I hurried up, standing opposite of him.
“Don’t you dare leave me!” I said dangerously. “I want to know why.”
Then his skin almost melted out of it’s position. His features changed, he got taller and his face turned into Bryn Johnson’s.
I was almost out of breath, I put my hand on my chest to make sure I actually continued to breathe.
“You’re a metamorphmagus, aren’t you?!” I yelped.
Bryn looked back at me. His eyes had a mixture of sadness, shock, and anger in them.
“Yeah, I am,” he said in a strong voice.
My hand which rested on top of his sketch on the table was shaking.
“How? Why? when?” I said, uncontrolled.
Somehow, he smiled.
“I love you, Lily.”
I was sick.
“And now you turned into Remus to find out if I was about to break up with you? If I’m still in love with James?” I kept going. “You’re pathetic!”
Then something sunk in. This couldn’t be the first time Bryn had transformed into another person… he must have been changing into different people all year, to cause trouble and catch me into his web. And that meant…
… that James was innocent. That he hadn’t done anything against my will. That it was Bryn who had forced onto me for the sole purpose of me stopping to trust James, and break up with him. The puzzle added up.
“You … You… How could you?!”
Now my eyes were streaming.
James was innocent.
“You tried to rape me!” I cried.
James was as innocent as Jesus was on the cross.
“You destroyed me, you destroyed him… Are you aware of how broken I was after that?”
I was so mad I exploded.
“Of course I do!” Bryn defended himself. “I didn’t want to! And it was me you ran to! Me…”
“If you hated doing it, you should never have done it in the first place. You should have realised you were defeated!”
Then I suddenly saw no point of staying there, nagging on him and yelling. There was a noticeable distance between us, as I had glided further and further back as he spoke.
I walked over to him.
“If you really loved me,” I said slowly and carefully through gritted teeth. “You wouldn’t be so selfish, you would have let me be.”
Bryn almost reached out for me, placing his hands on my face. But he didn’t come in contact with my skin.
“We’re over,” I said determinedly. “For good. I don’t want to waste another second being your girlfriend.”
I almost saw a tear in his eye, and I wanted to smile in satisfaction. Maybe he felt the tiniest bit of pain I had felt.
I gave him a killing stare, starting to walk over to the end of the Great Hall.
“Lily!” Bryn yelled after me.
I stopped, not knowing why.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“Your ‘Sorries’ don’t mean anything to me. Be glad I have a heart so I won’t tell the world you’re really a manipulating form-shifting jerk,” I said hardly, without turning.
Waiting for the Marauders to come back from staying with Remus that night was the toughest thing I’d had to do. My body never stopped shaking, and I had big trouble staying normal as long as there were people in the common room. Not until one o’clock did people retire to their dormitories. . . Everyone except me.
I sat staring into the flames of the sparkling fire, listening to my own sobs. I didn’t know what to do, if I should run around in the common room or hide under my covers. If I should scream out in joy or desperation. My auburn hair felt dirty for ever being touched by Bryn. My skin had the need of being scrubbed after all these weeks.
My heart longed for James.
Who was with Elizabeth Facklet.
“What’s she doing here?” I heard Sirius say softly in the distance. Then I felt a hand shake my shoulder.
“Lily? Are you there?” his voice called like an echo.
I had fallen asleep, being so tired after all the crying. The sun had begun to rise, the full moon had disappeared and taken its dangerous light with it.
I didn’t say anything. I opened my eyes, and they met Sirius’ warm gaze.
“You’ve been crying,” he said as a matter of fact.
I rose up, seeing James standing together with Peter close by. Remus was hidden under a cloak next to them. For a second, I just stood looking at James. He was frowning, looking confused. I suddenly saw him in a new light, knowing he didn’t do it. That he only had the best intentions for me, that he had never wanted to hurt me.
“Get him upstairs,” James whispered to Peter.
I watched Peter following an exhausted Remus up the stairs to the boys’ dorm. He was limping slightly, probably after biting himself. His eyes were dark, almost scary.
When they were out of sight, I walked over to James, putting my arms around him. I didn’t care if he had a girlfriend, I didn’t care if she was going to torture me after touching him.
I absorbed his smells, so secure and lovely. Felt his heart beating rhythmic and safe.
I felt my eyes going wet again… How could they not?
James let me embrace him, and he whispered my name.
I breathed in.
“I’m so sorry… I really am. For everything,” I forced out.
I didn’t let go of him.
He lifted me up, and carried me the short distance back to the chair. He held my hands, looking into my sore eyes.
“What do you have to apologising for?” he said softly. Sirius looked confused.
“For accusing you of forcing onto me…” I said, looking away. “You were right, it was Bryn.”
He let go of me in surprise, standing up straight next to Sirius. When I looked back at him, his face told me he didn’t believe what he heard. That I needed to say it at least a couple of times over again for the words to sink in.
“What?” he forced out.
“He’s a metamorphmagus, James!” I said clearly, yet vulnerably. “He changed into you! To break us up! To make me love him… and not you.”
He put his hands up.
Sirius was the first one to react.
“Wait, wait, wait… give me a break here. Are you serious?” he said, eyes wide.
I nodded, hiding my face with my hands.
“I’ve been so stupid… I should have realised… You’d never do that… And he was …” I mumbled.
Sirius bent down, taking hold of my wrists.
“I told you, Lily. I told you James wouldn’t do it…”
I smiled the first smile I’d smiled in hours.
Then both Sirius and I looked over at James.
His eyes were empty for a second, before they focused again.
“What?” he said quietly.
“Aren’t you glad?” Sirius smiled. “All charges cleared!”
“I just thought you’d figure out sooner,” he said, looking at me with slight disappointment.
I frowned, looking away.
“How should I have done that?” I whispered.
“Well, he is you boyfriend!” James said a little bit harder.
“Was would be the right term, Prongs…”
“Yeah, Ok, he was your boyfriend, so you’d have plenty of time to try figuring out?” James corrected.
“I-I…” I managed to force out.
“You know what, Lily? I don’t even know why you’re coming to me with this… I told you from the beginning I didn’t do it! I had figured out it was him all along, but you were so blinded by his handsome face. Don’t come here and crawl to me, you should feel ashamed! This is all your mess, Lily,” James said angrily.
Tears were rolling down my face.
“Really? Is it my fault he did those things to me? That he was so desperate? Is it my fault I believed it? I trusted him!”
Sirius was disappointed.
James was angry.
I was hurt.
“We’re not having this discussion!” James said. “It’s very good that you finally saw through him, Lily, so you don’t have to be used by him anymore. But what’s that to me?”
I didn’t believe my ears.
“I thought you l…”
“You thought I loved you?” James finished dramatically.
I looked away.
“News-flash, Lily! I’m with Elizabeth now!”
“I think she knows, mate,” Sirius said sadly. “Look at her…”
I must have looked like a mess. My eyes were red and sore, and I looked small crunched together in the chair.
“Fine,” I said through gritted teeth. “Go be with your girlfriend! She sure won’t like the idea of you having a minute-long conversation with your ex!”
James arched his eyebrows.
“Good night, Lily.”
He crossed the room, ready to go up the stairs to his head dorm.
“Are you going to yell at me for falling in love too, while you’re at it?” I suddenly called out without thinking.
“No.. That’s about the only thing I can’t blame you for. Nobody decides who they fall in love with,” he said thoughtfully before trotting up the stairs.
I didn’t stay around to chat with Sirius. I went for my bed as well.
Tired from only a few hours sleep, I walked through the halls of Hogwarts Saturday afternoon the next day. Anna had tried forcing out of me what had happened, because everyone knew there had been something going on.
“Where are you going?” she demanded.
“Out,” I replied, gathering my bag.
“Are you going to see Bryn? What’s happened? Is it something with James?” she said, starting to get desperate.
“No, I’m not seeing Bryn anymore.”
I heard Anna gasp behind me.
“You’ve broken up again?” she said.
I didn’t reply, I just slipped my bag over my shoulder. I left the dormitory in a hurry, not wanting to get stopped by anybody.
I needed to dance.
Stepping into the dark, big studio, I peered over at the timetable. All the studios were unoccupied this Saturday. Not until the next one did the extra lessons for upcoming exams start.
I turned on the light and the music-player, absorbing the smell and the atmosphere. I dragged a pair of old pointe shoes on, pressing the front down into the box of harpies on the floor. I didn’t want to take the risk of slipping again.
I jumped into the music, feeling nothing but the music guide me. Improvising was one of my many therapies against depressions. Just to give myself completely to the music, to my own body was so revealing. I turned across the room, I let my arms go soft with movement. The dark green leotard helped me balance and keep my posture, the shoes laughing with joy. My plait caressing my back because I didn’t bother to put it into a bun.
I made a lot of frozen positions, just feeling the emotion and the soul of each movement. Going from slow to quick, from hard to soft, from advanced to simple steps. The music was so varied, I would have thought it changed with my feelings and needs. It was beautiful. The violin represented my irritation and my desperation, the piano the sadness and love deep down my heart. I was completely in my own world.
I almost fell in the middle of a series of chaînés, as a man’s voice came from the door.
‘James..’ I thought as I turned to look into his face.
Sirius came walking over to me, hands in the pockets of his jeans. A black jacket hung on his shoulders.
“Thought I was Prongs?” he smirked.
I nodded, turning off the music.
“You could have left it on, I love to see you dance,” he simply said.
“What do you want?” I said, and I noticed how my voice was back to its normal self.
“I fancied a chat,” he smiled, sitting down in the centre.
I raised my eyebrows.
“What do we have to chat about?” I said amusedly.
“I think you know,” he looked at me.
“Why do you want to talk about that? As James so gently pointed out to me this morning, this is my mess.”
“He’s out of himself. He didn’t know what he was saying.”
“I think you’re wrong,” I said, sitting down next to him.
I loosened the ribbons around my feet, removing the pointe shoes and the pads protecting my toes. There were some red areas on my tights. Some stained blood and some fresh.
“Just like in September,” Sirius sighed. “Your feet are still tortured, I see?”
I smiled, remembering my terrified self when Sirius hit on me by the lake that time. When he commented my short skirt.
“I think he meant it, Sirius,” I suddenly said, very seriously. “I think James meant what he said. That it’s of no importance to him whatsoever.”
“Remember what he said before he left?”
I looked up at him.
“He said that nobody chooses who they fall in love with,” Sirius said.
“What are you saying?” I asked.
“Prongs still loves you. Despise everything, he hasn’t managed to extract you from his mind. No matter how much he’d like to.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Nonsense. You’re just trying to make me feel better. And besides, why would he date Elizabeth if he still has feelings for me?”
Sirius walked over to the door.
“Let’s swap the roles. Why did you date Johnson when you were still in love with James?”
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