Chapter 28 : You're Gonna be the One that Saves Me
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James and I stayed on Scorpius’ balcony the rest of the night. We just sat there, side by side, watching as the sun rose, while we finally just… talked. No judgment. No grudges. Just talking. And we talked about everything. Well… almost everything.
We still hadn’t discussed what exactly we were now. And to be honest, I was kind of glad about that. I didn’t know what we were and I didn’t quite want to. I preferred ignoring it all and only focusing on the feel of James’ hand on mine while we watched the sky slowly bloom.
Did that sound cheesy? Merlin, it did, didn’t it? But well… it was true.
“So,” James said, breaking the silence we’d been in for the past half an hour. And it wasn’t an awkward silence either. It had been one of those silences where the both of us just understand each other, and we didn’t need words to not feel alone. “We should probably get going.”
My eyelids, which had been getting particularly droopy, opened wider, as I turned to face James. “Yeah,” I agreed, nodding my head, “we probably should.”
There was a moment of uncertainty after that. Both of us didn’t know whether we should actually get up, but finally, I bit the bullet and stood up first with James following shortly after.
However, we faced the same problem of not knowing what to do after that. So, we both stood there, staring at the other, trying to come up with what to say. We both knew what we needed to talk about, and that was, of course, what all of… this meant. But neither of us wanted to be the one to bring it up. Finally, James began to speak.
“Corinne, I am really bloody pissed at you!” Dom announced, breezing her way onto the balcony without warning.
James and I snapped our heads to Dom, whatever James was about to say falling at the wayside, while Dom stood in front of me with her hands on her hips and her eyes narrowed. Her makeup had almost completely smudged off, her dress had unwanted creases along the bottom, and she seemed to be sporting a rather large hangover, yet she still looked beautiful.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, damn her veela genes.
“What? Why?” I asked, taking a step away from James and arching an eyebrow at Dom. James watched us, not knowing what else to do.
“Because,” Dom said, jutting out her hip, “you convinced me in an intoxicated state to go talk to Chaise. And do you want to know how that went? Do you?” Dom leaned her head closer to me at her last question, squinting one of her eyes.
“Um… not particularly—”
“Chaise is going to ask Mia out. And it’s all your fault.” Dom let out a huff as she said this, crossing her arms.
“What? How is this my fault?” I asked incredulously.
“Well when I went to go talk to him after your brilliant prompting,” Dom rolled her eyes to show her sarcasm, “He accused me of being jealous and well I mean, of course that’s ridiculous. So, you know, I had to prove that I wasn’t jealous so I set him up to go on a date with Mia.”
I couldn’t help it, but I immediately broke into fits of laughter. Dom was just so… Dom.
“Good one, but it’s not my fault,” I said, shrugging my shoulders while Dom glared at me. “Maybe you should’ve just told him the truth.”
“What truth?” James asked, sneaking his way into the conversation. The realization then came over me that he was mates with Chaise, whom we were discussing.
“Nothing,” Dom snapped, crossing her arms and glaring at the two of us.
“Dom doesn’t want Chaise to see other people,” I explained to James, while Dom huffed even more. “She won’t admit it, but it’s true.”
“It’s not true,” Dom said, looking like a petulant child.
“Then why does it bother you that he’s going to go out with Mia then?” I asked.
Dom shrugged and looked down at her feet. “I dunno.” And then it was silent. I guess it was finally sinking into Dom that her and Chaise were meant to be, but maybe that was just wishful thinking on my part. Just as I was about to tell Dom my theory, James spoke.
“You should tell Chaise you don’t want to see other people,” James said, looking at Dom. “Trust me.”
Dom seemed to think this over before shrugging her shoulders again, shaking herself out of the slump she had just been in. “No, it’s fine. He and Mia can have fun. He just better not come crying to me once he realizes that the fact Mia hates the Weird Sisters has ruined his life.” She straightened herself and looked directly at me. “Coco, let’s go. Scorpius has been trying to kick people out of the house for ages, since his parents are coming home this afternoon, so we should leave.”
And with that, Dom pulled me by the arm before I could protest, and spun around, apparating me with her back to her house. The last thing I saw before the familiar being squeezed through a tube sensation began was James. James, who was staring after me as though we still had a lot to talk about.
And we did. But I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about it.
Going back to Hogwarts wasn’t really at the top of my to-do list. But then again, it never really had been. The only thing that was different about why I didn’t want to return to Hogwarts, was the reason.
Instead of me not wanting to return because I hated James (and Freddy), I now didn’t want to return because I, well…. I didn’t hate James (and maybe Freddy). And as weird as it sounds, this made me not want to return even more.
I just… well I didn’t know how to act around James now. Obviously we weren’t an item, I had just kissed him and yeah we had shared things with each other that no one else knew but… well I didn’t know where we stood. And I still didn’t want to know.
Because, well, if we were together, then everyone would know and everything would change and well… maybe James isn’t what I think he is and he’d turn back into what he used to be and yes I’m allowed to be scared of things like that. Okay? I’m allowed to be scared.
Because James fucking terrifies me. Alright?
And now as I stood on the platform of 9 ¾, ready to head back into a world that I just admitted scared the crap out of me, I found myself not really knowing what to do.
“Corinne, come on!” Dom said, snapping me out of my haze and pulling me through the rush of people. We had just said goodbye to her parents (and yes, it was full of French terms of endearment and watery eyes from Fleur) so she was admittedly a bit frustrated. Saying goodbye to her parents always did that to her. “We need to get on the train.”
And so, Dom elbowed our way through the crowd, getting lots of glares along the way, before finally pushing us onto the train, trunks and all.
“Well,” Dom said, fanning herself off from the clawing we had just done to get onto the train. “I’d say I did a pretty good job. Now let’s go find the boys.”
We continued walking down the train hallway, which was empty seeing as we were late getting on, so everyone was already in their compartments. Just as we came to the end of the train cart and were about to double back to look again for the boys, a compartment opened.
Needless to say, the people who came out weren’t the ones we were looking for.
“Well, isn’t it just lovely to see you again,” Madison stated, looking like she didn’t believe herself one bit as her eyes remained trained on me. Elise, who was standing behind her, crossed her arms and stared me down as well.
I sighed. I really didn’t need this right now.
“Yes, lovely,” I stated sarcastically, rolling my eyes. I really didn’t care what they had to say and I didn’t want to listen to them try to make me. I was over letting them manipulate me. So, so over it. I turned back to Dom. “Let’s go.”
“Um excuse me but you’re not leaving,” Madison said, putting a hand on her hip. “Did you just give me attitude?”
“I think she did give you attitude,” Elise chimed in, nodding her head.
“I thought so,” Madison said. “And what I can’t understand is why she would do that, hmm Corinne? Do you not remember what we can do?”
I noticed Dom immediately tense by my side, and I knew what was coming next. Oh, no.
“Are you trying to threaten my best friend?” Dom asked, anger entering her tone.
“Dom—” I warned, trying to get her to stop, but there was really no way of stopping Dom once she got started.
“Because if you are, I’m pretty sure I’ll be blowing your ass to Romania for trying to pull that bullshit in front of me.”
Madison didn’t look taken aback by Dom’s tone at all. I guess she was used to people flipping a shit on her. Something that doesn’t surprise me.
“Dominique, I really don’t appreciate your tone. Just because you’re bitter about Chaise doesn’t mean you should take it out on me,” Madison began again. Elise bit back a laugh at Madison’s words, and Dom clenched her fists.
How was is that people like Madison not only knew exactly what to say to hurt people, but actually had the nerve to say it?
“And just because you’re jealous that James wants nothing to do with you and everything to do with Coco, doesn’t mean you can take it out on her,” Dom snapped.
While Madison hadn’t shown any emotion throughout this exchange, I noticed her jaw clench and a hint of anger flash across her eyes at Dom’s words. I guess Dom had hit the nail on the head. Which just made me feel like this whole conversation was even more ridiculous. I mean, was everything Madison had done about… James? How sad was that?
And looking at Madison, I actually almost felt sorry for her.
“You bitch,” Madison said, clenching her fists at Dom. Oops, there went my sympathy. “How dare you speak to me—”
And just as Madison was about to have what could only be constituted as a bitch fit, another person materialized from out of the compartment and into the conversation, laying a hand on Madison’s shoulder, startling her.
“Madison, do you think you could just lay off?” Freddy asked, causing Madison’s mouth to widen in astonishment. I guess she had never expected to hear those words out of Freddy’s mouth, and to be honest, I’d never expected to hear those words either.
I was staring at him with quite a lot of astonishment too.
“Just leave her alone, alright?” Freddy said, interrupting her once again. “It’s not worth it.”
Madison looked like she was about to protest, but after exchanging a glance with Elise (who we all knew was in love with Freddy and would do whatever he said), she sighed. “Fine. Whatever.” And then, with a toss of her mahogany hair she dragged herself and Elise back into the compartment, shutting the door loudly behind her.
Which just left the three of us. Dom, who was still staring at the spot Madison and Elise had once been in with narrowed eyes. Freddy, who now had his arms crossed as he looked at something unidentifiable in the distance. And then there was me. And to be honest, I had no idea what I was really doing.
It’s just… Freddy had kind of defended me, hadn’t he? And even though I knew the two of us weren’t the greatest of friends, I definitely owed him a—
“Thanks,” I spoke, my voice holding the slightest tone of uncertainty as I looked at Freddy.
Freddy didn’t respond. He just gave a nod, and then followed Madison and Elise back into their compartment. It then struck me that since James and he were no longer friends, those two girls were really all he had.
And that was kind of sad.
“Well,” Dom said, once Freddy had disappeared, raising an eyebrow at me, “I have a feeling Hogwarts is going to be a lot different for us nowadays.”
I couldn’t agree more.
It was almost funny how easy it was to fall back into a school routine. Classes. Homework. Studying. Sleep. It was only the second day back in classes, and Christmas break was already feeling like a distant memory.
So with the first break we’d had since we’d returned, Dom and I were sitting by the common room window, so that we could look out over the snow-covered grounds of Hogwarts, which were admittedly very pretty, and talk. Although, Dom wasn’t paying much attention, what with Chaise being in the room.
“Ew look at them; they’re all over each other,” Dom said, gesturing to Chaise. He was currently talking to Mia over by the fireplace, and they seemed to be laughing about something. In all honestly they looked like mates.
“Dom, they’re just friends,” I said, trying to draw her out of the pout she was sure to go in. This had been happening way too often for my liking whenever Chaise decided to have a conversation with Mia. They never got flirty, and from what I’d heard he hadn’t asked her out like Dom had said he would, but it didn’t cease to put Dom in a pissy mood for the rest of the day whenever she spotted them together.
“But look! He’s laughing. So is she! Next thing you know they’ll be dating and then they’ll fall in love and then—”
“Dom,” I said, cutting her off and giving her a serious look. “We all know how this can be avoided, don’t we?”
Dom gave me a dirty look. “I know your idea, but I also know it’s stupid.”
“Well then you can’t complain,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “It’s your own fault at this point.”
“No, it’s not,” Dom said, crossing her arms, “it’s her fault.” Dom then turned her head and narrowed her eyes at Mia. I followed her gaze, only to notice that Bailey, who had been sitting with Mia when Chaise approached her, was now looking over at me. Once we locked eyes, she excused herself from the two of them and started walking towards me.
“What is she doing?” Dom said, looking towards me with wide eyes. “She’s leaving the two of them alone! This is giving Chaise the perfect chance to ask her out!”
“Dom, chill. Nothing’s going to happen,” I said, just as Bailey walked up to us. Dom shut her mouth and crossed her arms tighter, remaining silent.
“Hey,” Bailey said, giving both Dom and I a half-nod in greeting. I couldn’t help but notice out of my peripheral vision, Dom keeping her gaze trained on Mia and Chaise.
“Hey,” I said, forcing a smile. We hadn’t spoken since I’d talked to her at the New Years party, so I didn’t really know how to act. “What’s up?”
Bailey looked at Dom, who was still glaring at Mia and Chaise, before shifting her gaze back to me. “Um, I just wanted to talk I guess…” Bailey said, still looking at Dom with a questioning look. Dom finally seemed to snap out of her glare, and notice that Bailey was trying to hint at her to leave.
“Right,” Dom said, nodding her head. “I need to go ask Chaise something anyway. I’ll see you later.”
I rolled my eyes at Dom’s excuse. I knew she was just going to try and weasel her way into Chaise and Mia’s conversation to make sure nothing happened between them. Bailey didn’t seem to catch onto this however, and instead took the seat Dom had previously been vacating.
“So,” I said, leaning back in my chair. “What do you want to talk about?”
“I was just wondering how everything was, you know,” Bailey said, shrugging her shoulders like it was no big deal. “Things kind of ended funny at the New Years Party so I didn’t know if you figured whatever you needed to figure out.”
“What makes you think I needed to figure something out?” I asked, confusion etched across my face.
“Oh,” Bailey said, looking surprised by my question. “Nothing, really. I just… well you know, its kind of obvious isn’t it?”
I stared at Bailey, evidently lost as I tried to figure out what she meant. “I’m not following…”
“You and James,” Bailey stated, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“What about us?” I asked, cringing at my use of the word us. There wasn’t an us. We were only friends now. We’d both made that clear with the way we’d been acting since we got back to school. We talked to each other now and again, sure. But there wasn’t any of that touchy-feely couple-y stuff.
“Well, I mean, everyone knows how James feels,” Bailey explained. “But you know, it’d been kind of taking you a while to figure it out. I just assumed, what with the fact that you two are talking now, that you had figured it out.”
“Figured what out?” I asked, still a little confused.
“That he loves you.” I couldn’t help but be frozen by Bailey’s words. Sure I knew James liked me, but love? That was a very strong word. A word way too strong to describe us. I mean, we had just started having normal conversations with each other. “And you love him too.”
“You’re wrong,” I said immediately, shocked at her words. Love isn’t as easy as Bailey was trying to make it out to be.
Bailey shrugged. “You can think what you want, but everyone knows it. Why else would Rose have mentioned it? She was tired of you two beating around the bush. She was trying to get you to realize it.”
“Rose doesn’t know anything,” I said after a moment. “Me and James… we’ve just figured out how to be normal around each other.”
“Alright, fine. So let’s say I believe you,” Bailey said, sounding skeptical as she spoke. “Then explain to me why James tried so hard to get you and me to talk to each other. Guys don’t do that type of thing for just anyone, you know.”
I shook my head. My palms were starting to grow sweaty, and I felt my face growing hot. I didn’t like what Bailey was saying. I didn’t like it at all.
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” I said firmly, making it clear we were finished with this conversation. I couldn’t deal with this right now. I just couldn’t.
Bailey let out a sigh before finally conceding. But not before saying something else that stayed on my mind long after she left. “Fine. But you can’t let the fact that you’re scared stop you forever.”
If only she knew.
I didn’t respond.
I continued to look down at the homework I was currently doing, ignoring the voice.
“Corinne.” Only this time, the person calling my name was standing right in front of me, casting a shadow over me and giving me no choice but to look up.
“James.” I said back, mimicking the way he had continually called my name. James rolled his eyes at me, and pulled out the chair across from me, sitting down. I hadn’t invited him to sit down, but I guess that we had reached the point where he didn’t need an invitation.
I found myself wondering how that had ended up happening.
I also found myself realizing that I didn’t really mind. Much.
“What are you doing?” James asked, striking up a casual conversation. I wrinkled my nose. We both knew he wasn’t here to exchange pleasantries. Ever since my conversation with Bailey, I’d put as much distance between us as possible, trying to make it clear what we were, and he knew that. It wasn’t hard to figure out I’d been avoiding him.
“Homework,” I said, not being one to try and make him get to the point. I’d let him do that all on his own.
“Right,” James responded. He didn’t say anything for a while after that. I continued to do my homework, while James watched me.
“So I’ve been thinking,” James said, finally seeming to gather the nerve to tell me what he’d come over for. I looked up at him and cocked my head to the side. He ruffled the back of his hair.
“Thinking…” I prodded, which just made him fidget more.
“Well…. Have you responded to your mum yet?”
The quill I was writing my essay with froze as I snapped my head to look back up at James. And while I should’ve expected the question, I didn’t quite know how to answer it.
Because I almost didn’t want to respond to my mum. Not because I didn’t want to see her. Of course I wanted to see her. But… I knew if I responded now, there was a very large chance that she wouldn’t respond to me and well… I didn’t know if I could deal with that. I’d rather have the future lay in my own hands than hers. That way, only I had the power to hurt myself.
“You haven’t, have you?” James asked, noticing my lack of response.
I exhaled sharply, blowing some stray hairs off of my face. “No, I haven’t.”
“You should,” James said.
“I know.” Because I did know. But knowing and doing were two separate things.
I think James knew that.
“Look,” James said after another beat of silence had passed. He leaned in towards me, pressing his hands together by the fingertips, and looked me directly in the eyes. “I just came over here to tell you to meet me tonight at the astronomy tower, alright? Do you think you can make it?”
“I have a lot of homework,” I stated, which wasn’t a complete lie. I still had another essay to write after this because for some reason, teachers found it acceptable to pile on homework right when you got back from winter hols.
“It won’t take long,” James said. “I just think we should talk.”
“We are talking.” Although I knew that’s not what he meant. And he knew I knew as well because he just gave me a look.
“I’ll see you tonight at nine, alright? Don’t be late,” and without waiting for a response he got up and left.
I sighed. I knew what we were going to talk about and I also knew that I wasn’t ready.
And I think I probably never would be.
“Coco!” Dom called, her eyes bright with excitement as she bounded down the hallway and up to me. I’d just been about to head to the astronomy tower, but Dom had caught me instead. Maybe this was a sign I shouldn’t go.
I inspected Dom’s bright smile, and bubbly expression skeptically.
“Why do you look so happy?” I asked, an eyebrow arched.
“Guess!” Dom said, her excitement still higher than normal.
“You won the lottery?”
“You won the lottery?”
“I already said no.”
“Well that’s my go-to question! I don’t know what else to ask.”
“Fine,” Dom said with a sigh. “I’ll tell you.”
“Good,” I said, with a nod of my head. “I hate guessing.”
“I talked to Chaise,” Dom said, but before she could say anything else I squealed.
“OHMIGOD! OHMIGOD! Are you two back together?! Did you profess your love for him?! Did he tell you he loved you too?!”
“Coco, calm down!” Dom said, resting her hands on both of my shoulders. “Let me finish.”
“I can’t believe you’re just telling me now! When did this happen?”
“It literally just happened,” Dom said. “But anyways, you didn’t let me finish. We’re not back together.”
“What?!” I asked, my voice coming out louder than I intended. “Why the hell not? And why are you so smiley about it?”
“Coco, you’re making me not want to explain it to you,” Dom said, taking her hands off my shoulders and crossing her arms. “You’re a terrible listener.”
“Fine, I’ll listen,” I said, pressing my lips together and gesturing her to go on.
Dom took in a breath to explain. “Well basically, I told him I didn’t feel comfortable with him seeing Mia or anyone else because I mean, obviously I still have feelings for him and I don’t want to see him with another girl. So, we agreed that we both wouldn’t see other people.”
I remained silent, letting Dom’s words sink in.
“What does that mean?” I asked, confused.
“It means, that we’re going to take things slow,” Dom said, rolling her eyes. “We’re going to stay mates and if something happens, so be it. But we’re not going to label anything with only half a year left, and we’re also not going to bring other people into the mix.”
“I don’t know how I feel about this.”
“I don’t care,” Dom said. “I want it to be this way, and so does Chaise, and that’s all that counts.”
I sighed. “Well then I’m happy for you, Dom.”
“Thanks,” Dom said with a smile. “I’m happy for me too.”
“Good,” I said with a nod. It was then that the reason I was heading to the astronomy tower came back to me. “But Dom, I have to get going, I’m supposed to meet someone.”
“Oh, right, you’re meeting James, aren’t you?” Dom said, which surprised me. I hadn’t told Dom my plans. She noticed my surprise and explained further. “Chaise told me. Him and James get on quite well you know. But yeah, you should go meet with James. I know he has a lot to discuss with you.”
The way Dom said this just made my stomach turn more. “Right.”
“Don’t be nervous,” Dom said, sensing my discomfort. “Just go alright? And be a good listener for once. And don’t be the scared baby you usually are.”
“Wow, Dom, you’re really instilling confidence in me,” I mused sarcastically.
“That’s what I’m here for, babe,” Dom said, bumping her hip with mine. She then shoved me in the direction of the astronomy tower. “Now go.”
I rolled my eyes at Dom one last time before walking away, ready to head to the astronomy tower and finally get over the discussion James and I clearly needed to have.
“You’re late,” James said as soon as I walked into the Astronomy tower, startling me with his words.
“Right, sorry about that,” I said, laughing uncomfortably. “I bumped into Dom and well… you know how she is.”
James nodded, like he understood. I then wondered if he knew that Dom and Chaise had finally sorted things out. Probably not, since according to Dom it had just happened, but maybe he suspected something as much had occured.
“Soo,” I said, drawing out the vowel. “You wanted to talk.”
“Yeah,” James nodded. However, he didn’t talk and instead fidgeted in the pocket of his robes before pulling out a sheet of parchment and a quill. “But first, I want you to write your mum a letter.”
“What?” I asked, taken aback, feeling panic staring to course through me. This is not what I’d been expecting.
“Relax, Corinne, you don’t have to send it,” James said soothingly. “Just write her a letter, and see how you feel when you’re done. Okay?”
I looked back at the parchment and quill James was now holding out to me, and then I looked up at James. I guess I could humor him, couldn’t I?
“Fine,” I said, before grabbing the contents out of James’ hands and taking a seat on the floor of the astronomy tower. I brought my knees up to my chest to use as a writing surface, and then started to write.
Or, at least I tried to write. But after five minutes of staring at nothing as I tried to figure out what to say, I realized I couldn’t.
“I don’t think this is a good idea,” I said finally, looking up at James in frustration. “I literally have no idea what to write.”
James sighed before sinking down on the ground next to me. “All you need to do is say how you feel.”
I looked up from the parchment to James, and was startled when I realize his face was closer to me than I had thought. We were only a few inches away from each other, James’ eyes staring at me intently, and I felt the pit of my stomach twist.
Say how I feel… How did I feel? I didn’t know how I felt about anything anymore. And that scared the shit out of me. But since I couldn’t say that out loud, I said the next best thing.
“I think you should be friends with Freddy again.” It was something I’d been thinking about for a while now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to say it.
James seemed taken aback at my statement. “What?”
“You and Freddy. You should settle things. He misses you,” I explained.
“This isn’t about Freddy and I right now,” James said sternly. “It’s about you. Stop avoiding the conversation.”
“I’m not,” I responded. “I’m just saying how I feel. And I feel that best friends need each other.”
James pressed his lips together until they were in a straight line. “I don’t want to talk about this.”
“Well then I don’t want to write this letter to my mum,” I said, crossing my arms.
“That’s not fair,” James said, narrowing his eyes at me.
“I never said it was,” I shot back.
We glared at each other a couple of minutes more, my blue eyes burning into his hazel ones, before James finally broke.
“Fine. I’ll talk to him. But only if you write the letter,” James said.
I nodded my head, musing over the fact that I was agreeing to do something for the sake of helping Freddy, and looked down at the parchment again. It was blank. It was full of possibilities. Of a fresh start for my mum and I. And all I had to do was write what I felt in order to get there. Maybe this wouldn’t be so hard.
And so I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I laid everything out there on that parchment. Every single thought and feeling that had ever gone through me since I left Hogwarts was described in detail. I told my mum how terrible people had treated me at Hogwarts, how much it hurt to have to give her up to try and be happy, how much I’d missed her over the years, how my dad wasn’t who I hoped he’d be. I also told her how much it hurt that she hadn’t even tried to contact me until now.
And as I wrote, it felt like all of this weight and baggage was being lifted off of my shoulders. Every stroke of the quill made me feel lighter, and I kept writing until there wasn’t anything left for me to say. Half of what I wrote probably didn’t even make sense. But I didn’t care. It all needed to be said in the end.
“Finished,” I said, after signing my name with a flourish at the end of the parchment. I had had to cram my writing to be really small at the end, and it was only then that I realized how much I had actually wrote. It had probably taken me a good half an hour just to write this letter, and James had sat silently by the entire time.
“Good,” James said, sticking his hand out and grabbing the parchment from me. I figured James was going to read it and was about to protest, but he rolled the parchment up instead and used his want to seal the letter. He then walked towards one of the open windows of the Astronomy tower, and brought his fingers to his mouth to do a two-fingered whistle. I followed him.
“What’re you doing?” I said, but before he could answer a snowy white owl swooped its way onto the window ledge, and blinked its large blue eyes up at James.
“We’re going to send it,” James said simply.
I felt myself immediately begin to panic. “No,” I said, shaking my head profusely as I snatched the letter out of James’ hand. “No, no, no, no, no. You told me all I had to do was write it.”
James sighed at my outburst. “Corinne, you need to send it. If not for yourself then for your mum. Think about all this time she’s been waiting for a response.”
I bit my lip. He was right, which was something I still wasn’t used to. I didn’t like the fact that he was right.
“I’m scared,” I admitted, my voice small. I looked down at my feet.
“Corinne, look at me,” James began, putting his hand under my chin and tilting my head up to look at him. His hazel eyes were full of determination. “It’s okay to be scared, alright? But it’s not okay to let it stop you from being happy. I want you to be happy.”
I sucked in a breath, weighing James’ words over in my head. He wanted me to be happy. He was doing all of this… for me.
My stomach twisted again.
“Okay,” I said softly, nodding my head. “You can send it.”
The smile James’ face broke out in after I said this made me feel ten times more confident. “Good. But I think you should be the one to send it.” He then gestured to the white owl, which I now assumed was his, and then gestured to the letter I was still holding in my hand.
I slowly walked up to the owl, which stuck its foot out to me, and tied the letter around it, my hands shaking as I did so. But soon enough, I was done and all I had to do was tell the owl where to take it.
“Take it to my mum,” I said, as the snowy owl blinked at me. As soon as I finished my sentence, it took off.
And there it went. Free as a bird. Soaring up into the sky and out into the unknown. And as James’ hand laced through mine, I felt like I was free too.
“You did the right thing,” James said, turning to me and offering me a smile. I felt myself smile back.
“I know,” I responded, still watching the owl as I gave his hand a squeeze. “Thank you.”
And as I watched the owl disappear into the distance, well that’s when I realized Bailey was right. This thing that James and I had… it was so much deeper that a will he or won’t he instance. He done all of these things with the intent of making me happy, he had sacrificed so much for me, and people didn’t just do that for one another without feeling something big.
So, I decided it was time for me to get rid of whatever shred of resistance I still had in me. It was time for me to stop being scared, and go after what I wanted. And if I was being honest, what I wanted was James.
Without another thought, I turned to face James head on, bringing my arms to wrap around the back of his neck and pulling him towards me. James didn’t protest and gave in easily, resting his forehead against mine, as he wound his own arms around my waist.
“I think that you should kiss me,” I stated, which caused James’ lips to pull into a smirk.
“I’ll raise you, and say I think we should go on a date,” James responded.
“Well I think I’ll say yes, but you still have to kiss me first,” I said easily.
“Deal.” And as James’ lips rested against mine, I finally felt like Hogwarts was the best place for me to be.
A/N: So I'm going to start off with apologizing for this chapter taking so long for me to put out. Lots of stuff started happening which made me not have time to edit this until now, and even now I'm super sick and probably didn't edit this chapter as well I should have. But I owed it to you all to get it out.
So this is the last official chapter. Next chapter's the epilogue. I really hope you like where this went, and so please please let me know in a review. You only have two more opportunities to let me know your thoughts, and I love to hear them. And even though it's been taking me a while to respond to reviews, I will respond to them all.
So yeah... I guess I'd just like to dedicate this chapter to my Aunt Mary. She was the best person in the entire world, I swear. I will never know another person like her again.
Thank you all so much for sticking with me, I love you guys
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