A/N: Can you believe it?? The final chapter??? WE'RE HERE! I hope you like it. I already had this written when I started, sort of basically almost. I wrote the kiss scene and then this. Eh? Also I have almost 100 reviews. That is SUPER-COOL!!
So, thank you so, so much for sticking with me throughout this whole story! I can't believe it. I will begin work on Fortunately, and hopefully will be better about updating that I was with this. I'm aiming for once or twice a week.
LOVE YOU GUYS! And, that's all for now, folks. -Bugs Bunny.
Today was the day.
Unfortunately : THE END
I had no idea where I was going, no idea what I was doing, and no plan. I only knew, somehow, internally, that this had to be done, that I had to do something, today, before it was too late. Exams, graduation, holidays, their meaning had ceased, paled in comparison to today. The value of today. Today was the day. I was about to change, I knew it. This was it, the climax I had direly predicted all those months ago.
My relationship with James was a tangible thing, the air separating him from me was heavy, like I had to part it with my hands, or cut it with a knife.
Although I didn't know what I was doing, I knew exactly what it was going to mean. I was ready. I was ready to change, ready for the pain to end, ready for James, for his kisses and his love and his warm, soft voice that wrapped around me like a caress.
I was ready to give myself to James, wholly and completely: unfortunate, raggedly dressed, rumpled hair, and out of breath. I was running blindly through the castle, over the grounds, towards the one place I knew he would be, needing to see him, to find him. I was ready.
"James!" I called, but my voice was just a croak, a whisper, rasping desperately against my burning throat. All that running—why, oh why could I not have tried harder to keep in some semblance of shape—and I was beat. Ready to collapse, here, on the quidditch pitch, during the middle of the game that I had just run into.
Wait, what, the game that I had just run into?
I was standing in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, looking at the tiny figures whizzing around. The final match, I thought dully. Gryffindor versus Slytherin. The entire stadium was full of students. Practically all the students in Hogwarts. My eyes started to film over with the tears I was so prone to lately. It was too late, now. I had lost him. We had exams and we were leaving. The window of opportunity to speak to him was closing.
The words echoed in my mind.
When would I find him again? Would he ever look at me again?
Speak to me again?
Laugh with me again?
It was strange, strange that no one had noticed a girl standing in the middle of the Quidditch pitch, her face red and sweaty, her hair disheveled, clothed in—oh dear merlin. A single player had dropped down from the sky, plummeting, whirling, chasing…something?
He alighted gracefully right in front of me. His hair was mussed from the wind, just the way I had always loved it. His face was whipped pink, hazel eyes sparkling. He was just exactly the James that I had always known, and now, loved. My heart ached, my lips trembled, I was bursting, desperately trying to convey my emotions—these intense feelings, the like of which I've never felt before. My whole body was shaking, every hair standing slightly on end. An current pulsated between us, and the air crackled with intensity. I was sure I could feel his heart beating, hammering, in time with mine, his breathing elevated with my nearness. It was just as it had been, all those months ago, when we had stood outside in the frozen air, and his lips had softly—softly—brushed against mine.
"I, I was so stupid, before," I said slowly, brokenly, trying to convey my intense regret in those simple words. Unnecessarily cruel echoed between us.
"I know," he said, but he didn't wait for an apology. His hazel eyes didn't soften with love and sympathy towards my pain. They were hardened, glazed over, his voice contained a cool edge. And I knew, in that moment, that it was my fault.
I had hurt him too much to repair it so simply. What he wanted from me was not something that I was ready to give. Was I? I was ready to change, I was changing, but was he asking too much?
"I guess it's goodbye, then," he whispered, slowly, sadly, achingly. He jumped lightly back on his broom, and began to fly back towards the game, which had paused momentarily in his absence. I watched him go, hair and robe waving in the brutal wind, a beacon of hope, light, and love.
Finally, after all the moping, the crying, all the years of being so completely alone, a dam inside me broke completely; the trickle becoming a roaring flood. I suddenly realized that almost all my energy was devoted to keeping me from falling to my knees. I couldn't do this. I couldn't do it. There was no way.
This was not me.
I was being pulled three ways, in physical pain.
I would not change. I could not change. Would not, could not, would not, could not, wouldnotcouldnot. I was Lily Evans.
Lily Evans. I changed for no one, bent for no person, but was my own person and being, owned or ruled by nothing, following the beat of my own drummer.
My stomach churned and roiled and I felt nauseous, dizzy, dehydrated, crazed. A vein in my head pulsated, and I saw black. Spots exploded in my vision, colors, sparkles, bright and painful. My brain was going to explode. I was going to die, I thought, and I wobbled and nearly fell.
Indecision clouded my eyesight, turmoil my vision and perspective.
And then, it was gone.
All the pressure, all the pain, all the intensity, the nausea, everything.
It was poured in to one single effort, one last attempt.
I was changing, I realized blearily, (against all the odds,) but those were not the right words. Something more like:
I had changed.
Change. Changed. Had I allowed it? That, which I had always strived so desperately against? For hadn't that been what I was fighting, fighting desperately, all these years, these long months: the refusal, the denial, the yelling, the crying, the fighting. I was a creature of habit. Had I really only been refusing to change?
Love. Was it really my love that I had been fighting? No, I had accepted that fact, long ago.
I can change, I realized. And so, I did.
"JAMES!" I bellowed, my diaphragm contracting with the effort, lungs wheezing. "STOP!" I saw him pause, and then slowly—oh, so slowly—turn, and fly back to me.
"Why?" He called, his voice faint, he was still far away. I gathered myself for one last breath, my body giving me no more room to second guess, overthink, decide.
"BECAUSE—YOU ARROGANT ASS—I LOVE YOU!" I screamed.