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“Wha-what?” I asked in a staggering and disbelieving voice. I could understand if someone saw and told him, like Madame Pomphrey. But he knew it was me all along? How the hell…?

“I heard you say my name but I didn’t move. I didn’t want to. I was afraid you’d stop and just walk away from me-”

“Listen, I didn’t mean to-”

“Just listen to me,” James almost shouts, his voice rising. My mouth shrivels into itself like a severed head. Sexy.

“You have no idea how amazing that felt,” he continues, putting his hand out, telling me to let him finish. “No. Idea.”

I’m so tongue tied that I can’t even speak. Hell, I can’t even remember my first name. I wish I could take it all back… I wish I was never there, taking care of him, while he was sleeping in the Hospital wing. I take it back! All of it!

Liar!
LIAR!
LIAR!

“I tried not to breath too heavily, because I wanted you to think I was asleep, or somewhat. But when you started to put my hand in between both of yours, my heart started to beat faster than it normally does around you. It was like I was nervous subconsciously,” he chuckles darkly. James looks at the ground, considering his words carefully.

“And yes, I know Emma spoke to you about what I said to my mates this morning. I’m not stupid about Sirius and his girlfriend. For the record, yes. I had something to ask you, but I‘ll talk to you about that another time. Right now, let me explain about the stuff in the hospital wing.”

I start to fiddle my thumbs, begging for this to stop.

He looking me straight in the eyes, he walks closer towards me. James is right in front of me. I can’t move back anymore and I collide with the wall, justified by the soft pat my back makes against the cold marble.

Why can’t I just say something!?

“I don’t know why I was nervous,” he starts again, “but I think it had something to do with the fact that you were there. And that I couldn’t tell between reality and what may or may not have been a part of my dreams. When I first felt you touching me I thought I was dreaming, but when you held my hand I was so afraid that as soon as I opened my eyes, you’d run away or get scared. And if it was dream, I thought the worst; I’d wake up and realize it never happened. I didn’t want to ruin it, no matter what dimension it was happening in - I didn’t want to jeopardize that amazing feeling of cloud nine. It was strange, to say the least. I usually only get nervous before really big Quidditch matches, too, so I felt unlike myself,” he states with such honesty, it almost knocks me off my feet.

I’m trying to regulate my breathing and focus on something else, like biting down on my lip…but it’s not working. I can’t tear my eyes away from him.

“When I get anxious and apprehensive, you of all people know I start to sweat.” I feel a smirk behind his voice, and then I get it.

I was the one worrying about him having a heart palpation while I was touching him, not thinking for one second that he may have been awake! I, of all people, knew that fact about him. How could I not? It’s like his nervous habit; he sweats instantly. I’m such a pinhead! How did I not catch that?!

James reaches for my hand. And at that second, my heart stops.

“My heart was beating so fast, and I was trying so hard not to gasp for air,” he confesses.

I really can’t breathe at this point.

“But do you know what I was thinking about? It’s quite ironic, really…”

I numbly shake my head.

“You and I, when we were mere adolescents. I thought about us when we were little kids, playing around outside.”

How interesting.

“And I know that when you ran your finger over that small, almost invisible scar on my chest, you were thinking about that time when I ran with the scissors after you told me not to.”

Merlin. Merlin…My chest feels ready to explode. My eyes, they may be watering, too.

“A lot has changed since then.” He gains some security and rests his right arm on the wall, a few inches from my left shoulder. If I turn right, there’s the column block attached to the wall. If I turn left, James’s arm is eye level to me. James is in front of me, and the stone wall is behind me. There’s no place for me to escape!

Oh, shit. 
“What do you have to say about those changes?” James asks me, his head leaning in oh so close to me. This length between us should be much larger. Much more voluminous. It’s never supposed to be this dangerously proximal.

I can hear his breathing. It’s rapid but calm at the same time. Like he’s panting, but is still expectant of something. Expectant of me.

“You know how I feel.”

James’s eyes are piercing through me so forcefully, all I see are the color of his irises.

“Do I?” He asks, almost annoyed but not quite. But he drops this face quickly and resumes murmuring to me. “Do I really know what you’re thinking? Do you think I’d ask you if I knew?”

“Things are different now. We grew up,” I mumble simply.

“We… Grew up? Is that really your excuse?”

“It’s not an excuse, it’s just… I don’t know. It’s a probable cause. Changes happened because we grew up, and growing up was inevitable.”

He leans in closer. Oh, God, I can feel his breath tickling my face. My heart is beating so fast I can’t even take it. This is all too much, too fast.

“Changes happen whether we like them or not,” he fathoms. “I guess I learned that the hard way. But…

“Yes?” Gulp.

“That doesn’t mean things can’t change again.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“I think you do.”

I see him lick his lips in slow motion, looking at me. He contemplates his next move. Mind you, he’s still hovering over me and is still completely in control of the situation. James Potter’s face is fascinating and scary all at the same time. His eyes, so keen on figuring me out, have me pinned in an invisible steel cage. He’s staring at my mouth.

I’m staring at his mouth.

“Lily…”

He shifts his attention from my mouth up to my eyes. We stare at each other.

“James.”

He bites his lip and stares at my mouth again.

“I-”

James cuts me of so quickly that I forget what I was going to say in the first place. I don’t even know where I am. His lips collide with mine and it’s one of the most romantic kisses I’ve ever endured. It’s slow and thoughtful and he puts his entire heart in it.

Little does he know that my heart’s always been in it, it’s just been vacant. Like a volcano. God, he’s opened up everything for me. My ideas, my thoughts, they’re out the fucking window now!

He tastes like mint. We explore each other’s mouths like we did in the Room of Requirement, except we aren’t attacked by each other. And, you know, we’re coherent. James and I are in our own little world. We have each other; he knows I won’t leave and I know he won’t. We aren’t worried about losing each other right now. It’s a euphoric feeling.

James pulls away and closes his eyes, leaning his forehead on mine.

“You take all my energy away, you know that?”

Rhetorical question, I’m guessing.

Funny how the mood has changed. It’s familiar, not strange or frustrating - not even tense. It’s…easy. Second nature. Comfortable.

“It’s what I do best,” I respond with some wit.

He’s impressed, almost grinning.

I used to think this just happened in movies. Guy corners girl. Girl and guy talk. Sexual tension happens. There is frustration out the ass. Make out session ensues out of frustration. Wham-bam-thank-you, Ma’am.

But, of course, our situation isn’t all that simple. Maybe I don’t regret watching him sleep in the hospital wing. Maybe I don’t regret caring about him, mentally and physically. Maybe I wanted to kiss him back.

There are a million questions residing behind my mouth that I’m dying to ask. I need to get them out. They’ve been filling my brain up to the rim since August. I need to know things. We need to talk. Really, really talk.

This isn’t simple. It’s complicated, it’s a hot mess, and it’s as delicate as you could imagine. The last thing I want to do is leave fate up to it. Fate’s been a pain in my ass, so I’m going to get things straightened out.

James puts his lips on mine, but doesn’t kiss me. He simply just talks to me with my mouth on his. Damn him.

“You’re a mess and a half.”

“This is wrong.”

“To you, maybe.”

I shake my head. “Things aren’t okay, James-”

He pushes his lips closer to me so I can’t speak.

“Don’t, Lily. Just… don’t. Not right now. We can talk later.”

What am I doing here? What’s happening?
More so… How did I get into this position?
Why does my body feel so content with him this close?

The more I think about the, the faster I get angry. “You want to talk later? Before or after you tell the girl you’re dating that you kissed me in an abandoned corridor after Muggle Studies?”

He sighs. “Not now, Lily. We’ll talk about it later. I just… need time to think?”

James Potter stands up straight, shoving his hands in his pockets. My anger is slowly rising, though I try to hide it. He opens his mouth to speak. “I know you have questions, but I have them too.”

A sense of fairness hit’s the air; we’re at an equilibrium. “Fine,” I wheeze, crossing my arms. “Whatever.”

The bell between periods ring, signaling our next class.

“I need to go.”

I look at the ground, getting more and more annoyed by the second.

What the fuck is this.

It’s not a question, but a statement.

I hear his shoes scuff and he squabbles around nervously and stalks off, leaving frustration and incomplete words in the air. My eyes don’t leave the floor as he picks up his books. I’m left leaning on the marble, one foot crossed over the other, accepting the fact that what just happened, really did happen.

And that I just kissed someone else’s boyfriend.

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

The stairs to the girls’ dormitory creek in acceptance, as if saying: Ah, Lily Evans, back for a visit, are you? God, imagine the girls and the disappointing strides that had been taken on these stairs before me. All the walks of shames that found their way into their own beds. Just thinking about it makes me feel old. It’s been a tiring day. And my stairs are welcoming me back from that shitty but semi-amazing encounter in the hallway with Hogwart’s resident bad boy - James Potter.

Each step I take towards the door to the Sixth Year Girls’ dorm is followed by the voice of two people getting louder and louder.

“TAKE THAT BACK!”

Is that Jessica?

“I will not! Admit it!

…Emma?!

“Okay, so I find him attractive, but that’s it…”

“LIAR!”

I bolt up the stairs and open the door to my dormitory and what I find is a sight for late night television. Emma Tebbon and Jessica Finelly are throwing things at each other! What is this, reality TV?

“Emma?” I turn to the blonde who looks absolutely frazzled, hands on her hips, head cocked to the side. “What’s going on?”

“Oh, gee - I don’t know. Jess, what’s going on?” An annoyed glare extends its way across the room to where Jessica, my best friend, is residing.

“NOTHING!”

Emma’s frustrating huffs and puffs prove Jessica’s statement to be false.

“I believe otherwise,” I say bluntly, my eyebrows rising all on their own.

“Funny you should say that, Lily. Because that’s what I said when she told me-”

“Shut up!”

Why do I feel like Jessica is going to throw more things? Oh, right. Because she has a history of mild violence. And anger issues. This worries me because I am now in the line of battle and what ever she may throw at Emma may also come in contact with my body. And I don’t want a clock shaped bruise on my face for the rest of eternity. Well, that’s technically impossible, considering Jessica already threw that and it’s now laying in pieces on the floor next to my feet.

“Can we start from the beginning, please?” I beg, trying to reason. I see her clock on the ground and get out my wand, charming it to put itself back together.

An irritable cry comes from Jessica before she ducks behind her mattress. Emma stomps her foot on the ground. “Jessica,” she firmly states. “Stop hiding.”

She throws Emma a very mean hand gesture. Actually, she’s been giving those out a lot lately. But that’s not the problem - the fact that my two friends are bickering in a mock battle over something incoherent to me at the moment is the problem! Because one, Jessica is yelling. Two, Emma… Emma is yelling back! Three, I feel very inadequate being the room and not knowing what in sodding bollocks is happening.

I throw my hands up. “Okay, now what is going on!?”

“Jessica Finelly HAS A HICKY!”

She gasps, her head popping up from behind her bed. Her mouth is hanging open in our direction and she firmly grasps her blue duvet. “You whore!

Emma’s on a power high and she fidgets and says, “Pft, yeah - Mmmhm, YEAH. I said it!” She then turns to me, moving her head around trying to convince me that her words are true. “Yeah, yeah- Mhm…

The expression WTF is thoroughly etched across my face. “Sorry?”

She. Has. A. Hicky.

…Really?

“She has a hicky,” Emma says to me again, in a snide and condescending voice. She crosses her arms. And that’s when I see it - another one of my best friend’s objects currently airborne and hurled in Emma’s direction.

Jessica socks a throw pillow at her face and Emma’s muffled sound of feather-in-mouth makes it debut. She’s knocked back a few steps but she soon regains her posture. Yet I, the one clueless about why Jessica has a hicky in the first place, feel like I’ve been knocked back a whole nine yards although both my feet are firmly planted on the ground.

Emma grabs Jessica’s throw pillow tightly, her nails entering into it like daggers, and slides it off her face, with a look that reminds me a bit like Petunia without her breakfast. Her eyes are still set on Jessica, whom is clearly planning on moving in under her bed. The wired and caged environment may actually help her out a bit. But the dust mites would be killer.

They have fangs, you know.

“Can someone please tell me-”

“FROM FRANK!” bellows Emma Tebbon, throwing the pillow on the ground with such force it actually thuds. Yes, a pillow with feathers thuds on our hardwood floor.

Unable to move my face, I pivot my feet and hear the awkward squeak of my sneaker against polished wood. This sound lasts for the entire distance it takes for me to turn towards Jessica. And it’s a really awkward noise. Like, almost as if someone is passing gas, though… not really. Is it bad that I still can’t change my face?

Still turning like a moving statue…

STILL TURNING.

Okay, done turning. Awkward sneaker squeak has ended.

I am still gaping at Jessica Finelly’s ponytail. She’s staring at the floor, hiding behind her duvet, on the ground. Because she got a hicky from Frank Longbottom.

I stare at her ponytail long enough to see it bop back up, and her face finally reveals itself.

“Meep?”

“He gave you a hicky!?” I bellow, throwing my hands in the air. “That’s impossible!”

I know, okay? I KNOW,” Jessica defends, exhaling. 

“But- but…But, you two hate each other! At least, you pretend to!” I spit out hastily. I’m shocked! This is Jessica and Frank we’re talking about. Talking and arguing are two completely different things to them. They argue to talk and they insult to flirt. They do not SNOG and leave residue of their love on each other. That’s what actual couples do! They aren’t official.

At least, I don’t think so.

“Hey! We don’t pretend! We show our dislike for each other, but, I guess… sometimes we just wanna kiss each other so we just kinda…” She trails off.

“Take each other by the hair and go at it?” Emma quickly adds, jumping on her bed.

Jessica narrows her eyes. “I heard that.”

“You were meant to!”

I inhale and exhale slowly, and walk over to where Jessica has crawled. She still has the duvet in her grasp. I sit on her bed. It’s then that I notice she’s pulled a turtle neck over her head as to hide Frank's love bite. Oh, Lord, Jess.

She shimmies to me and hugs me around the waist like a toddler to a mommy.

“Jess, get off…”

“I don’t wanna!”

“Um…”

“Make it stop! She’s being mean!”

I awkwardly pat her head. “I think she’s just pissed that you threw your clock at her head and just missed her by a hair.”

Emma stalks over and crosses her arms. “Not only that, but she also called me some not so nice things. And threw one of my heels at my arse.”

“She just cursed!” Jessica squeaks, tightening her hold.

“Sorry, when did you turn into an infant?” I ask Jessica.

My best friend mumbles something before letting go and falling onto a heap on the floor. Her limbs are all over the place and she lets her head fall back on the hardwood.

“She needs to sort out her priorities.” Emma shakes her head, sighing.

Emma and I just look at Jess while she’s going through some sort of traumatizing experience. Needless to say, we’re worried, but too deadpan to really pester her about it. She’s bound to speak any second. We just need to let weird things like this run their course. I’ve learned this through many of the experiences and ex-boyfriends and breakdowns in Jessica Finelly’s life that I’ve witnessed.

“Should we just stare at her with our brows furrowed, or poke her with our wands?” Emma whispers to me, temporarily forgetting about her anger.

“She hasn’t fallen asleep,” I mention. “See, her eyes aren’t even closed.”

Emma takes a gander at her face. “Oh. Is she having a seizure?”

“Not quite. I think she needs to foam at the mouth for that to happen.”

“Right, but this is Jessica we’re talking about,” Emma reasons in a matter-of-fact tone.

I look at her and agree. “True.”

Our heads turn back to Jessica who’s still lying about. It takes a few more seconds, but then Jessica says something, finally.

“Do I like him?” She says this ever so delicately, almost in a fairy tale voice. The tone calls for complete desperation.

“YES,” Emma and I bark back in unison.

“But… how do I like him?” She ask herself, perplexed. “Ugh.”

“Jess, you’ve made up excuses to hate him just to be around him. No wonder you don’t know how to properly like someone. In your world, you have to pretend to hate him because of your attraction. I mean how messed up is that?” I point out.

“Not all of it was pretend though,” Jess tells me.

“In the beginning, I think you guys kind found each other fascinating, but also wanted to know how far the other would go without snapping. Ergo, you became each other’s entertainment,” Emma says, conveying her thoughts to Jess.

Jessica ponders this. “BUT- But, But… He’s a nuisance. Yet, I snog him.”

“Yeah, you're annoyed with him BECAUSE you like him,” I say lamely. “You guys like annoying the living shit out of each other. It’s your way of flirting, in a sick kind of way. It’s a tad demented, in my opinion. Yet, kind of kinky.”

“You’re compatible with each other. So you guys think the other is down right shag gable. Case in point, that’s why you guys snog all the time.”

“Woah, all the time?” I cut in, surprised. “I thought this happened only a few times!”

Jessica yells out “UGH!” and then turns away from us into the fetal position. She covers her face.

“Every weekday at five, after school. Third floor, in the old deserted classroom,” she murmurs at the speed of light, hoping we don’t catch any of it.

Emma’s mouth drops and so does mine.

“You guys have a place!?” Emma blurts, feeling left out. Her arms drop down to her sides in shock.
 
I stand up hastily. “EVERY WEEK DAY?!”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you guys! Gah! I just… I just thought that if I didn’t say it out loud, then it wouldn’t be real. Because it’s not like we’re going out-”

“This has been going on for a few weeks and I just find out about this!?”

“I’m sorry, Lily! Really! I didn’t think it would be every day after school…It just sort of happened.”

I am many things. Shocked. Overjoyed. Slightly pissed.

I think that Frank is perfect for her. They would be the perfect couple if they went public…if they even are a couple.

“Are you guys a couple?” Emma asks suddenly, in half excitement/half bewilderment.

“Like I said, we’re not going out…We never talked about it. We were just kind of, I don’t know. Snogging? We were just snogging buddies, I think.”

“You guys need to talk about this! At least before someone gets hurt, because even though what you guys are doing behind closed doors is kind of awesome… it can turn ugly,” I explain.

“Yes, I know.” Jessica lifts herself up and sits Indian style, facing us. Her face is guilty. “I keep meaning to bring it up to him, but he always has to go to his meetings with his clients after we snog so I kind of don’t say anything. And I wanted to talk to you guys about it, but I was worried about what you guys would say. As in, everything you’re telling me now.”

“The stuff you needed to hear,” Emma corrects.

“Exactly, yeah. By the way, sorry for my passive aggressiveness.”

Emma accepts her apology as I ponder about this situation. Frank would want to talk about this. I mean, I know he’s a guy, but shit. He would want to talk about things with Jess! If not with her physically, then at least with me! I know he wants some reassurance on this subject, he just doesn’t know how to go about doing it.

“I need to have a heart to heart with him. I know he must be thinking about you the same way. You two like each other, but you guys just don’t know how to let it show. But it’s good that you have this frustration outlet of yours, you know- snogging. Good way to relieve the tension. I can imagine what the aggravation pretending to hate each other must do to you.”

Did that really come out of my mouth?

“We are a fucking complicated pile of crap,” My best friend confesses.

“I agree,” Emma chirps.

“Yeah, me too.”

There’s a silence that stays for a while, as the three of the us take in our surroundings and look for something else to talk about. We want to try to change the air around us, as we can all sense my best friend’s discomfort and prayer for a change of topic. Maybe no one can see the warning signs, but I can. And she needs a break.

I almost laugh. “So maybe this is the part where I should say James Potter kissed me ten minutes ago in the corridor?”

“What the crap?” The expression on Jessica’s face falls flat.

“Hah! Did he talk to you?” Emma winks, nudging me with her elbow.

“No, not really. He didn’t ask me whatever he was going to ask me. We mumbled some things, but it was weird. Yet, satisfying,” I confess. “But let’s talk about that later. Enough about snogs.”

“I couldn’t agree more!” Jessica exclaims. She points to her stacks of underwear and jeans and mittens.

“It’s for Hogsmeade,” she tells me. “Emma and I are packing ahead of time.”

“Oh.”

That’s exactly why I came up here in the first place!

“I came in to do just that, actually. I need help packing for this trip as well.”

Emma walks over to her four-poster and takes her packed bag from under her bed. “I’m almost done! I just have to pack my snow boots and scarves and such. My knits need their own bag entirely…”

“That’s not exactly a camping knapsack,” I observe, looking at the heavy bag that Emma Tebbon’s plopped on top of her bed. Anyone caught trying to carry that is going to have a coronary. That thing is MASSIVE. It’s almost six feet in length!

“More like a body bag,” Jessica giggles.

I laugh and high five Jessica. Ah, we’re back to normal.

Emma scoffs, laughing at our naïve selves. “Oh, these are just my clothes. I haven’t even packed my shoes yet! Or my pillows!”

“We have to bring pillows?” Jessica asks me. “I need a new one, I’ve been sleeping on my old hoodie for the past month. My pillow smells like mustard for some reason.”

Maybe we do need pillows, because if we have hard wood cabins, we’ll have to sleep on something.

“I don’t know, probably,” I shrug. “I think I read that it was on there, but we can check. I need to see the list anyways. I have the rubric for what to pack for this thing in here somewhere…”

Jessica hops up off the floor and gets out her extendable camping bag (which zips out and magically extends three extra feet long), and begins putting in her undies and her pants. “Well, help me choose what outfits to bring, while I dig for it,” Jessica offers, stopping to pick my school bag off the floor for me. It's next to the door, where I left it when I came in.

“Definitely the hot pink tank top, it shows off what little tan you have left and you look great in it,” I begin, as she walks back, my bag in hand.

“Nice, throw it in!” Jessica tears open my bag and scurries through until every compartment has been unzipped and turned inside out. Finally, she discovers it roaming around in my bag, at the very bottom under everything.

“And I love these grey distressed jeans. It’ll be great to wear when we have bon fires or nights on the town. They can be casual yet dressy!” I automatically throw it in her bag. I should be on the Style network because I have a great nag for stuff like this! I have a fab personality too, methinks. All those fashion feaux-pas wearing individuals would learn a thing for two.

“Err,” Jessica groggily says, pulling out my rumpled list of things we need.

“Sorry, it’s a tad bit gross. It’s been at the bottom of my purse since the beginning of last week.”

“Ew.” She makes a gross face and holds the folded paper with two fingers. It has ink blotches and random pencil scuffs and I think even gum stuck to it.

“My bad.”

“I’m not sure if I can open this paper without getting Hepatitis…”

“Let’s use yours, then.”

“Did you seriously just suggest that? Lily, I lose everything. I never even opened this paper when they handed it to us, let alone kept it somewhere I remember,” she states impossibly.

“And I threw mine out this morning, sorry!” Emma intervenes ever so slightly, all the way across the room, picking out which shoes belong to her from the mondo pile scattered on the floor. “But I do remember most of what was on there.” The poor thing is so busy trying to find the matching partner to her missing shoe that she’s been absent from our entire conversation.

“Need help?” Jessica asks.

“No, I can manage. Don’t worry, I got this!” She reassures us.

“My rubric it is then!”

“Ew. Fine.”

I stick out my tongue and take the paper out of her hands, placing it under my arm. I pack in her clothes more and make more space in her duffle bag, while Jessica checks the clock.

“Guys, I know it’s a good thing that we’re packing ahead of time, but we’re leaving tonight. If we want to beat rush hour traffic of a million girls jamming in here trying to get ready for the next five hours, we’re gonna have to pack quickly. It’s almost five and we’re leaving at eight tonight from the Great Hall.”

“Yeah, let’s try to get ready before five fifteen. That way, we’ll be packed before dinner at six thirty. It’s going to be messy, trying to get back to our dorm after dinner. There will be girls everywhere,” I say, opening up the paper. “World War III, even,” I mumble to myself, reading the list:

Pillows
Sleeping Bag/Bed Cover
Extra Blanket
Warm Clothes
Undergarments
Towels
Waterproof Jacket
Gloves
Scarves


“Yep, pack the mustard pillows,” I say to Jess.

“Damn it.”





I pick up a few of the shirts and pants I have lying around the room and throw them on my bed. I step on a periwinkle sock and I swear to Merlin it bites me back; it must be Peter's... I ignore it regardless and start folding a few of my clothes.

I can’t date her.
I know I can’t date her.
But I have to.
I should have told my mates.
But they’d be so pissed…

Nothing good came from what I just did. I just snogged Lily. Damn, it was great. And I mean damn. It. Was. Great. But nothing good came from it. Here I am, making stupid selfish actions again. Why is it that I always mess up my chances?

I had a choice. I could have asked her: Hey, Lily. I need to know… Do you care about me?

That’s all it would have taken. That’s all I could have asked. Okay, maybe not in the middle of random conversation, but still. I was a total pansy! Christ, I looked at her in that corridor and cornered her. It’s not my fault though, she has this thing on me. I forget why I want to speak to her sometimes, and I just wanna kiss her. It’s natural instinct. I knew I had something important to say but I ignored it and went for an instinct.

But we still…found an equilibrium for just a moment.

Kind of?

“What the fuck do I pack for this!?”

I turn around mid-pant-folding to Sirius who has just burst through the doors of our dorm.

“I have a copy of the rubric, Paddy. Calm down,” I tell him smiling, turning back around. I knew that was him. “I’m actually surprised you’re here early, mate. I thought you were playing wizards’ chess with Wormtail down stairs.”

“Yeah, well I saw you walking up the staircase to our dormitory and I knew you were packing ahead of time. I thought: Shit, the tosser’s smart. I should probably do the same.”

“I just needed to get my mind off of something so I thought the easiest thing was to pack for tonight’s departure. What did you tell Pete?”

“I told Pete he was boring me and left. Besides, I don’t wanna still be in here when every dude in Sixth Year’s gonna be fighting to pick their dirty crap off the floor so they can spray the living crap out of it with Axe, before packing it in their bags.”

“Sirius. You still do that.”

I’m not even sure if he knows what ‘laundry’ means.

He guffaws. “Yeah, but I wear them right after. I don’t pack them in bags,” he scoffs. “It’s gonna be a hotbox of cologne and crap, and I do not want to be the middle of that. No one’s gonna make it out alive, I reckon. My lungs will explode.”

He’s quite right, actually.

Sirius Black walks over to his four poster, which is right next to mine, and begins going through his trunk. “My cheetah boxer shorts! YES!” He throws them on his unkempt bed and declares that he’s going to take them.

“Hey, Padfoot...”

“Yes, baby cakes?”

“Okay, don’t call me that,” I point out exasperatedly, getting off topic.

“How about muffin delight?”

“I actually have a dilemma, you know. I’m seeking brotherly advice,” I push, my head leaning forward with my eyebrows raised.

“Oh, alright… Shoot.” He takes out his monster bottle of Axe and starts out spraying his camping bag thoroughly inside and out, then spraying his pillow.

“If you were dating someone, and it was kind of exclusive although not completely official that she was your girlfriend…would it be okay to kiss someone else?”

Wait, why am I asking him? He’s been kissing girls since he was four and every time he’s kissed someone it’s always been a new girl. Except for this year, that is. Because of Emma. He’s been great with her (He usually doesn’t hold relationships that well but I’m proud of him).

He turns to me, face distraught. It’s weird how he can change his facial features so quickly. I forget that when I’m talking to him sometimes.

With his eyebrows put together and his lips in a hard line, he asks, “Prongs… did you kiss Lily today?”

“Just a bit,” I squeak, as I hide myself in my trunk, looking for more clothes to pack. Could I just hop in here?

“Merlin,” he sighs, setting down the Axe. “Why would you do that?! If it was any other girl at any other moment during any other year, I’d say yes. It would be totally fine. But it’s not. Because it’s Sixth Year. And it’s Lily.”

I pop my head out of hiding. “Why is it not fine?” I pout.

Out of all of my friends, Sirius is the most passionate about my thing with Lily. He cares too much about me some times and I think that he cares a great deal who I love, because they may or may not hurt me back - and he cares about my well-being in that sense, too.

He’s the only marauder I could ever talk to about this.

“You git, you’re screwing yourself over and over! She’s making you crazy. You’re letting things get fucked up in your mind, mate. You’re supposed to like Leslie Toudren, yet you’re in love with Lily Evans. That, on it’s own, should do your head it. But then you kiss her while dating someone else!”

I have to tell him.
But I can’t.
No, he’s going to be so pissed.
But he needs to know!
I don’t wan to date her.
But I have to.
He’s going to sucker punch my face.

“Why do you keep doing this to yourself? Do you think the guys and I like seeing you distraught and always thinking about Lily-”

I bite my bottom lip like a toddler and stand up from my crouched position.
Shit.
He’s going to roundhouse kick me in the face when I tell him.
Shit. 
Maybe I shouldn’t…
But he’s gonna think I’m a whore!

SHIT.

“And we’re really trying to understand what’s going with you but you never talk to us! NEVER! Not even about this girl you’re dating and all that! We always talk about girls to each other. Now you won't even look at me when Leslie's name is even mentioned. And I’m your best friend-!”

Oh, Christ.

“I DON’T LIKE LESLIE.”

“Ah-” Sirius gurgles and then stops. Literally.

He stops…everything. Including blinking and breathing.

I try to smile but only my mouth does and not my face, so I look like a zombie. “Er, ha-ha?”

“What the fuck!” Sirius throws his hands in the air. “What does that even mean?”

I take a deep breathe and nervously try to get this out. “I never liked Leslie Toudren. Sure, I snogged her once. But that was because I was freaking depressed over Lily and need to snog someone. She was just…there.”

“Not following…” Does he seem angry or is that just his tone?

“I never liked her?”

Sirius looks pissed off. “I’m sorry, but why are you dating her then?” He asks with a bit of hostility, walking closer to me.

“Because…Uh-”

“Yeah?”

“Because I wanted to make Lily jealous, okay!? I wanted to make her think I was the same old guy she’s always known. The guy from last year. The guy that wasn’t in love with her. And I mean really in love. You know that I always liked her, but when I found out I loved her this year after the party, everything changed man! I can’t even look at another girl.”

Sirius is just staring at me, less passive aggressive and more content. He’s considering my words carefully. I can only imagine what he’s thinking; how I could let him go through all that shit with the guys about Leslie, dealing with Leslie - hell, even dealing with her laughter…

“I had to make Lily think I was still the same guy, that I didn’t change. Because she knows- she knows I’m different. And I just wanted to make her jealous, for once. So I asked Leslie out. And now we’re exclusively dating. So I guess - yeah, maybe she’s my girlfriend although we never talked about it. Lily maybe thinks Leslie’s my girlfriend but we aren’t in a serious relationship. That Toudren girl is just hellish-ly needy for attention and doesn't leave me alone. She makes everyone around us think we're serious but we're not.”

I look at my best mate and hold my breath.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you guys. I just wanted to do this on my own.”

His faces goes through many different expressions before landing on this one: his smile is cocked to the side, and his face is relaxed. He walks over to me and puts his hand on my shoulder.

“You sly bastard.”

I exhale, relieved.

“Merlin, I thought you were gonna punch me or something,” I say to him.

Sirius thinks to himself. “Well, I was ready to. But I was more angry that you said you didn’t like Leslie and was still going out with her, than anything else in the conversation. So I got mad pretty quick. But after hearing you explain…I’m kind of proud of you. I mean, Remus would probably kick my arse for saying this, but you are definitely ahead of the game! Man, you really had me for a piss there…”

I laugh. “Yeah, I’m sorry. I know you guys don’t like her. I can hear you guys making kissy faces when she’s talking to me. I just pretended I couldn’t see any of that stuff, I ignored it. Just like I ignored her bland personality and conceitedness to look in a mirror every five seconds.”

“Hah! I knew you couldn’t stand her! I kept telling myself that you had to have been ready to pull your own hair out, that Prongs couldn’t handle that kind of crazy, but you never showed disinterest!” Sirius shakes his head. “Damn, am I glad that you don’t like her. That crazy bint was driving us up the wall. Now we have something in common again.”

I’m really glad I told him. I thought this was going to explode back in my face! Man, I love Sirius. I wanna go to the top of a mountain and exclaim my love for Sirius Black. Except I’d have to yell out: Disclaimer - I am not a homosexual.

I mean, people do that, right?

“I love you, man,” I hug him, taking him off guard.

He pretends to be macho and not hug me back for like ten seconds but then he succumbs to my love taco.

“Gah, I LOVE YOU, TOO!” he yells back, responding to my embrace with a bone crushing hug.

“This feels so right,” he says airily.

“Totes magotes,” I reply.

And then…I feel my head beginning to pop off by the lack of oxygen. I tap him to let got and he does a little.

“So, are you going to break up with Leslie?” Sirius Black looks me in the eyes for this question. Guh, I knew this was coming.

I look at the ground. “I don’t want to… Not that I enjoy being with her, it’s just…I at least had someone there. Even if it was a fake someone,” I confess.

“Leslie doesn’t know about this, right?”

“Hell no. I never spoke much, it was usually just her in conversation anyway. I’m slowly trying to break it off, just not yet. Maybe at the Hogsmeade trip.”

“Oh, well I guess that sounds good, mate,” he shrugs, turning back the clothes on his bed.

“Yeah. I mean, I hope it’s not gonna be a difficult break-up. Leslie is quite oblivious to people not liking her, but she isn’t stupid. She’ll see this coming; I’m just hoping she’s not going to explode on me. We weren’t serious, I mean I only snogged her for show - in front of other people. That was it.”

Right then, Wormtail and Moony come into the dorm. They’re laughing and eating caramel drops, joking to each other.

“There you guys are! Pete said you guys were packing ahead of time. I’m proud of you guys, I’ll make sure to write to your mum, James,” Moony says to me. They walk over to us. “Wanna play exploding snap?”

Sirius Black stops folding his clothes and spraying them clean with Axe, and directs himself in my line of sight. “Should we tell them?” He mouths.

I nod.

“Alright,” he says out loud, “Let’s tell ‘em…”

The door to our dorm opens again, and Frank Longbottom pops his head in. "Oh, shit. It's a party!" He smiles and walks right in.

Sirius raises his eyebrows at me, as if saying 'intruderer alert' but I just shrug my shoulders.

"He knows," I say lamely to Sirius. Sirius just quirks his eyebrow back in response, and then turns to Frank.

"Homeboy, how thee be?" Frank salutes, raising his hand up to me; we do our cool secret handshake which is no longer secret.

Sirius narrows his eyes in jealousy and I almost laugh.

"What are we talking about, boys? Looks like a major heart-to-heart is about to occur," Frank observes, stepping back.

Sirius and I share a look. "Women," we say in unison.

Frank's face surprisingly falls, and he sits on top of Sirius Black's four poster. "I think I need to stay for this."




A/n - WOW I SUCK. SORRY FOR THE LONG WAIT!

My computer has a virus :[ Hope this chap satisfied you! If you have any questions about the next chapter, or what else I'm working on, please go to my blog. The url is on my author's page so check it out! Because if one more person asks me to 'update soon' I may have to bang my head against my desk lol. All my updates are posted on that site, so please take a visit!

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