Chapter 15 - Midnight Rendezvous
It has been exactly three weeks, four hours, and thirty two minutes since I punched James Potter and I am still reveling in my glory. Of course, my knuckles did hurt like mad for at least three days afterwards, but it was indeed worth it. The entire school was talking about James Potter's mysterious black eye for the longest time. But, sadly, no one seemed to believe that it was me who caused the imperfection in their Quidditch champion.
Even those who were present and first-handedly witnessed the deflation of James Potter's ego fail to recall exactly what happened. And that, my friend, is where the rumors begin. Oh, yes, over three weeks I have heard the most ludicrous stories. I mean, is it so hard to believe that I caused bodily harm to someone else?
Blunder of the Black Eye
001) Severus Snape -- Apparently, James Potter was getting fresh with Lily Evans and her steady boyfriend, Severus Snape, was sent over the edge in a manic rage of jealousy.
There is no way that Snape is a more likely possibility than myself. I sometimes question whether the boy eats, he is that gaunt. He brings new meaning to the term unhealthy. If for some reason, Snape and I happened to go and work out together, don't ask me why, I guarantee you I could do more chin-ups than him. Actually, I'd rather like to put that theory to test just to shut up the babbling birks of our school.
002) Slughorn Is On The Verge Of Being Sacked -- Dumbledore and the Ministry were seriously considering whether to keep Professor Slughorn on the staff, considering the fact that when an unwelcome James Potter tailgated the party, the Potions Master lost his cool and repaid the fourth year with a blow to the face.
Do I need to reinstate the whole, 'I Wish Slughorn Were My Grandfather' bit? Because, really, Slughorn is the most harmless being to walk this pathetic, easily misled Earth. And, for one, Slughorn losing his temper wouldn't really upset Dumbledore. It'd probably give him a good laugh. I know it'd make me chuckle. Quite a bit, actually. I'll have to suggest it to him next year. He loves me, as you already know. Wouldn't take much convincing.
003) Alcohol Intake -- James Potter got so sloshed he tripped and fell on his face, thus causing the disgusting war wound he carried around for an entire week.
Dear Merlin, James Potter sober is exceedingly annoying. Just imagine the prat drunk.
I hate Holly. She definitely just took a stab at my liberation. Although it's been three weeks, she hasn't had the will to discuss the events of Slughorn's most recent party with the likes of me. Instead, she's taken to allowing me to have extremely one-sided conversations with myself. Actually, normally I'm talking to her and she's merely pretending to listen.
When I finally demanded that she give me her opinion, she retorted with a, "You should really look into anger management."
Although this only caused me to get even more ticked off at her, she has a point. I have been displaying extremely violent behavior. But, really, I don't need any professional to explain why. All this anger has been directed towards a single entity; James Potter. Before this year, I was an innocent, harmless girl with a slightly askew personality. Now, not only am I exceedingly quirky, I'm also a menace to society.
Think I'll write mum about it. See if we can fit anger management into our expenses.
For the past eleven days, I've done nothing but divulge myself into my studies. And do you know why? I forgot about exams! I literally forgot about them. That is, until eleven days ago. I've been so preoccupied with my life that I've just let them slip my mind.
I don't even know what test I took this morning. I'm pretty sure it was Charms, so I guess I shouldn't be too worried. Or maybe it was Transfiguration. Well, I know it involved me using my wand.
Damn James Potter for being such a bloody imbecile. If he hadn't been such a moron at Slughorn's party, I wouldn't have punched him. And if I hadn't punched him, I wouldn't be contemplating whether I'll end up in Azkaban sometime down the road. But, now I don't really have to worry about Azkaban. My fate's been sealed. I'm destined to be expelled from Hogwarts. I'm going to end up living on the streets, alone and destitute. People'll end up calling me 'that old bag with the creepy one-eyed cat'. And I'll constantly reek of cabbage because I'll have to scrape through ol' Mrs. Figg's garbage.
I need to calm myself. Really, I do. For the past hour, I've been slumped over on my bed, in a state of numb shock. These exams are literally going to be the death of me. I won't even live long enough to become a bum.
Thank God that today was the last one though. I don't think I could handle repeating the process again tomorrow. But, the sad thing is, I'll be wracking through my brain and wondering what exam it was that we took today for the next three months.
I'm completely wrecked today. Completely. And no, Jules wasn't having nightmares again last night. It was worst. Much, much worst. Which means that it'd have to be the monstrosity of bad to be considered worst than my cat consistently scratching up my poor, innocent legs while she made loud, retching noises.
I suppose I should walk you through it. Bring the entire effect upon you. Because, trust me, diary, you won't believe it even after I write it down. I'm having trouble comprehending it myself.
Last night, I was having a particularly difficult time getting to sleep. My mind was racing through the exams I'd taken, how I'd done on them, and answers I'd provided. And, well, I was still trying to recall what exam I'd taken that day. It was rather hazy and would not stop bothering me. Holly, who was still giving me the cold shoulder, refused to put me out of my misery. I don't know what's wrong with her. That girl is exactly the opposite of an open book. Holly "Closed Book" Spinnet should be her new title.
And so, naturally, I was the only person who saw a dark, tall figure approaching the main window to our dorm. And let me tell you, it scared the living blazes out of me. I couldn't move. I was frozen. But, well, I did move. Eventually. It took the intruder quite some time to catch his balance. Plus, I found that Beater's bat that Holly had been swinging at my head before the Slughorn party and well, thought it'd make for a useful way to defend myself. I wasn't going to just sit there, helpless, although I'd thought about it.
And as the figure opened our window, I could literally hear my heart beating in my chest. I thought it was going to jump right out and clobber the guy. That'd be an interesting headline. 'Intruder Taken Down By Pacing, Manic Heart'.
But, this wasn't exactly a stereotypical break-in. The intruder wasn't stealth in the least. Honestly, he wasn't even wearing a turtleneck. It's an unwritten rule that when performing some sort of illegal and/or frowned upon activity, one is required to wear a dark, slimming turtleneck. I remember thinking, "Obviously, this guy didn't get the turtleneck memo."
I'm not even lying when I tell you that the intruder literally fell through the window. I don't know how, but he managed it. And I swear to you, there were limbs..everywhere. And immediately, I knew who it was. No one else was that lanky, that awkward around me. So, I dropped the Beater's bat and sighed in exasperation, walking over to help the stupid git to his feet.
But, not before I heard Holly scream from her sleep, "Get the bloody hell out of here!"
Obviously, she wasn't all too concerned about whether the intruder was ready to kill her in her sleep. She simply rolled over and continued snoring.
Once James Potter had regained his composure, he muttered under his breath while running a spare hand through his already messy hair, "Good lord, she snores worst than Sirius."
Thankfully, Holly's snoring was only the focus of James Potter's attention for mere seconds because I distinctly heard someone scream, "James! Did you get through? Is Evans awake?"
Following James over to the open window, I spotted the three other Marauders huddled down on the ground, their wands out and panicked, curious looks about their normally relaxed faces. I didn't even bother asking how James had gotten up to the dorms, but I'm assuming they levitated him up. If only I had gotten out of bed earlier. That would have made my year, seeing the Marauders levitate James Potter onto the window ledge.
"Padfoot, stop screaming," he half-whispered, half-shouted down. "Let me talk to Evans, you blustering sausage."
Obviously, Holly and I aren't the only best friends who abuse one another with horrible pet names. Potter and Black seem to have an interesting relationship as well.
Before Potter attempted to shut the window, I distinctly remember hearing squeals of girlish laughter protrude from the ground below. Could have been my imagination, but really, I don't think it was.
Slamming the window shut in infuriation, he practically woke up the entire dorm. And, of course, Holly proceeded to insert her extremely horrific commentary that would surely make any intruder back off, "Go jump off a broom, you lousy lard."
I swear, she says the oddest things when she's half-awake. If the determining factor between my life and my death resided in Holly's ability to ward off a murderer, well, let's just say I wouldn't be too well off.
It was really, really odd having James Potter in my dorm room. I probably looked like a complete mess. I mean, if I'm a mess during the day, it's nothing in comparison to how I look when I go to bed. And, of course, I decided to suddenly feel self-conscious. Stupid Potter and his abilities to make me feel uncomfortable.
He eyed the forgotten Beater's bat at my feet and an amused grin crossed his face. "Were you going to hit me with that, Evans?"
Biting my lip, I shook my head. Of course, I was lying. But, I really didn't know what to say to him. He'd just gotten over the last black eye I'd given him. Did I really need to tell him that I was planning on giving him another?
"Now, this might sound a little crazy, but has anyone ever suggested that you receive anger managemen-"
"Don't finish that sentence," I demanded, ignoring Holly's protesting grunts voiced in the background. I knew she wouldn't even remember what had happened in the morning. "You're the one who broke into my dorm. If anyone should be suggesting therapy, it should be me. Now, why are you here, Potter?"
I could tell that he'd only been trying to avert the attention off of his more than unwelcome appearance in my dorm. I should have been sleeping. But, of course, James Potter was set to ruin everything from my social life down to my sleeping cycle.
"I just wanted to talk to you," he told me, refusing to look me in the eye. He looked slightly intimidated by me, which is rather odd considering he's a good five inches taller than me. But, then again, he's also been the outlet of my frustrations all year. "And since tonight's our last night at Hogwarts, I figured this was my only chance to talk to you. Alone, you know?"
"You're not alone!" Holly called from her bed, raising a limp arm quickly, but letting it fall pathetically back onto the sheets and continuing to drool into her pillow. I thought I was a mess at night.
"What do you mean this is our last night at Hogwarts?" I inquired quickly, my hand going to my hip in concern.
"I mean that today was our last day of school," he told me, laughing a bit at the fact that I obviously was too stupid to know such a thing. Or, at least, that's the way it looked to me. "How could you not know that?"
"Potter, I don't even know what exam we took this morning," I confessed, my voice tired and irritated.
"Charms," he told me, to which I responded with a celebratory fist in the air. "Now, please, can we talk? It's rather important."
Who was he to get antsy? Rather in a hurry to spit out whatever it was that he'd wanted to say. Although, I should have realized that it was important. He had gotten levitated up to my dorm and fallen through my window.
"And what more do we have to say to each other?" I asked him, sounding a bit more dramatic than I'd intended. So, the wounds weren't exactly healed. I personally hated him for starting the entire Snape rumor in the first place.
"Well, I don't know what you have to say to me," he told me. "But, I have a lot I have to say to you. And, well, I knew that I wouldn't be able to say it all without sounding like a prat. And so, these words have been brewed over for three weeks, Lily. And, believe it or not, Peter was the one who had the best advice. He told me to just say what I felt. And normally, this is a problem. But, I guess I should just say it. I'm really sorry, Evans. About it all."
That had caught me off guard. James Potter was genuinely apologizing to me? And, even worst, he'd had to spend three weeks figuring out how to say those measly two words?
I let the first thing I could think of slip out of my mouth, "Do something to make me hate you."
I couldn't just forgive him. Not after all he'd done, all he'd said. Not after this year of hell he's put me through. The transition would just be too difficult.
"I could hiss if you'd like," he offered, which actually caused me to snort a bit.
"Kicking my cat would suffice," I insisted, knowing he very well wouldn't. Not after all the bonding the two of them had done this year. Which still creeps me out, might I add.
"Can't do. I've formed an unholy conspiracy against you with your one-eyed cat. Currently, she's torn between sucking the breath out of you while you sleep or planting a rat in your bed. Personally, I recommended the latter because, let's face it, I'm a lover, not a fighter."
And, for once, we actually shared a moment of laughter with one another. I mean, there were no hard feelings between the two of us. I could actually tolerate being within three feet of James Potter. But, of course, it didn't last.
"Listen, Evans, maybe we could do something over the summer? You know, like a date?" he asked hopefully, tugging on his ear nervously, but bringing his eyes to mine.
And, as expected, I let out an exasperated sigh. "Couldn't just leave it alone, Potter?" I asked him, grabbing his arm and dragging him out of my dorm. I believe I heard Holly clapping. Girl's odd, I tell you.
"Lily, wha-?" he asked me before I shut the door in his face. He didn't even get it. I'd finally been willing to at least forgive him for being a prat and well, he goes and acts like one yet again. It's like he'll never learn.
And now, I'm dead tired because he spent the entire night knocking on my door. At least he'll have a whole summer to mull over what he did wrong and maybe, just maybe, he'll learn from his mistakes.
But, I'm not counting my chickens before they've hatched. I never do. Alright, I do, but at least now I've learned from my mistakes.
Until next year,
A/N: Over 2700 words for your reading pleasure. I've been doing pretty good with the length, I must say! Well, that was the last chapter of this story. The sequel should be out sometime within the next two weeks. Haven't decided on a title for it yet, so please keep an eye out. Hope you enjoyed the story! Please review.
Also, just wanted to say that I'm truly appreciative of all the support I've received with this story. It's grown into something I love writing. Couldn't have done it without you guys!