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Chapter 30: James And Jane Sitting In A Tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Not only did that punch to James’ face earn me a detention and subsequent suspension of my Head Girl title, it also lead me to miss – what I have now been informed was – the “greatest matched ever played”, which led Gyffindor to a record-breaking 40-340 win against our arch rivals, Slytherin.

Which also happened to be my best friends first ever match…during which, I’m also told, she was spectacular. The golden goal-saver. And however much I told her I was sorry, I knew she wasn't happy with me.

So yeah. I was a little pissed off.

As the victory party raged on around me, I couldn’t help but sulk a little, curled up on the cushiony red lounge. I mean, while I was scrubbing cauldron bottoms, these people were enjoying my two best friends playing their best match ever.

An I’m pretty sure James took his shirt off. That’s what I’ve been told.

Exactly.

And I wasn’t even drinking, like the rest my house, because the taste, smell and overall presence of firewhiskey made me recall memories much better forgotten.

So I couldn’t even drink my problems away. Really, was that all the wizarding world had? Firewhiskey?

Really.

Oh, and did I mention I could see James snogging Jane in the corner? And I won’t mention that my life ‘couldn’t get any worse’ because knowing my luck, it probably will.

Ella was being passed around the room, Marissa hanging off her arm, wide smiles across their faces. Sirius and Remus stood back talking in hushed whispers; Sirius seemed agitated, jerking his arms about, and Remus was frowning. Occasionally they looked up at the girls, faces drawn shut.

Jesus Christ, could we get through a day without drama, please? Well, I couldn’t really talk, but still. It would be nice.

Somewhat interested now, as much as I could be in my moping, I carefully scrutinized my friends faces, looking for any sign something wasn’t right – and then I saw it. Their tight smiles, the way their eyes flicked back and forth from the Marauders to each other...

Great. Now they have problems? Even more reason to keep my mouth shut about this whole James ordeal.

I sighed, sinking back into the lounge. I really didn’t need this. I was going to stay out of it, I didn’t want to know a thing

The lounge shifted, weight settling on the other end. I glanced up quickly and let out an internal groan – who would it be, but Remus Lupin? Honestly, it’s like drama has a tracking spell on me.

Remus smiled, face drawn and tired. “Hi, Lily,” he said.

I simply smiled back. I glanced pointedly at Sirius, who was downing a shot. “What happened in paradise?” I teased, a light smile on my face.

“None of your concern.”

I was a little taken aback at his terse reply, but I brushed it off to save an argument. “Fair enough.”

We slid into a slightly uncomfortable silence. I quickly took back up my previous pastime of staring at James and Jane.

Okay, so they kind of looked cute, what with him being all tall and dark and her all small and blond…And yes, I really didn’t have much reason to hate her – the comment about my hair had been years ago and really I didn’t care too much about it anymore. But God, they were really going at it! After one drunken night of sex, you’d think he’d learn his lesson…I mean –

“Lily?” I snapped out of my reverie, only to see Remus regarding me critically. When he opened his mouth, I already knew exactly what he would say. “You know, Lily, he really –”

“Remus, I’m really not in the mood for one of your sermons,” I snapped. The words came out a lot harsher than I intended, and I instantly felt a little guilty but I pushed those feelings down, eager for him to leave me alone.

However, I would have no such luck. Sirius appeared out of nowhere, regarding me with a sneer.

“Would you stop with the act, Evans?” he snarled. I arched an eyebrow, glancing at him disbelievingly – since when was it his problem? Maybe it was the alcohol on his breath doing all the talking. “Just bloody go and tell him and let the rest of us get on with our lives.”

“He’s right, you know,” Remus said, shocking the look I was giving Sirius right off my face. “You’ve dragged this sorry little love story out long enough.”

God, was it pick-on-Evans day, or something?

“Okay, that is enough!” I said, and – as much I regret to admit – tears began to well up in my eyes. I rubbed them furiously with one hand. “I’m really not in the mood guys, I’ve had a rubbish day –”

Remus’ eyes gentled. “Lily, we just want you to talk to him.”

“For Merlin’s sake, Evans, quit being such a drama queen.”

“Okay, Black, what is your problem?” I snapped, forgetting my tears.

“I’ve had enough of you, Evans! All you do is play coy and act like a bloody princess while the rest of us have to put up with it – all James wanted for seven bloody years was one date and you –”

I flared up, anger bubbling. We were starting to draw attention but I really didn’t care – all I could think of was Sirius’ words and how much it hurt to hear them. “And I did what? Said ‘no’? Is that a fucking crime? I didn’t want to go out with him! That was my choice!”

The common room was silent by now and I felt like the whole world was watching. I knew James was watching on but I couldn’t meet his eyes.

Sirius laughed humourlessly. “And now what? You suddenly do?” I sucked in a breath, shock thrumming through me. My eyes slid to James, tears spilling down my face. He told him. “Right when he gets over you? You’re a joke, Evans. A selfish cow that’s thinking about no one but herself.”

His words stabbed me like a knife and all I could do was stare as he practically ripped out my heart for all to see. My voice was weak and nasally when I spoke next and the tears continued to pour. “You’re a bastard.”

No one stopped me as I left the room, and out the corridor. Not one voice spoke as I left, not a sound was made. But I didn’t noticed at all. I could barely hold myself together and I struggled to keep upright as pain and despair washed over me, almost crippling me.

As soon as the portrait hole closed behind me, I collapsed, my legs unable to support my weight anymore. The weight of my anguish came crushing down on me, tears flooding down my face. I couldn’t believe he told him what I said – and then, for Black to say it to everyone?

It was too much. Everything that had happened during the week, everything that I’d been through – it was too much. I heard the portrait open and close quietly, but I didn’t look up; it couldn’t be him, wouldn’t be him – why would it be him?

“Lily?”

Oh God, oh God, oh God. Why?

“Merlin, Lily, are you alright?” James asked. I must have looked a mess, I realized dimly – hair everywhere, skirt bunched up around my thighs, mascara running. He crouched in front of me, taking my hands in his, trying to make me look at him. “I’m so sorry Lily, he shouldn’t have said that –”

“Why Jane?” I asked softly, cutting across him. I didn’t look up, but I knew he'd heard me by the way his hands stiffened in mine.

“Pardon?” His voice sounded surprised.

“Why her?”

He sighed, and his voice was strained when he spoke again. “Lily, please, don’t –”

“I love you,” I whispered, meeting his eyes. “I still love you.”

His eyes were pained and tormented, an internal debate raging behind them. “Lily,” he breathed, anguish lacing his voice. And then he did the unthinkable – he pulled away from me. “I can’t do this. Not anymore.”

And then he walked away.

So maybe I wasn’t back – but James had broken me. How could I come back, when I didn’t know if I was even there?

A/N: My apologies for the delay, I was a bit stuck as to where I was wanting this to go. Please leave your thoughts in a review! And for real time updates as to what I'm doing, and where I am in the story progress, please visit my blog! Link on Author's page :) Thanks for reading!

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