A/N: So, I didn't plan on continuing this, since I usually suck at happy endings. But then I went to bed and suddenly it seemed way to depressing to just end it there. Plus, some reviewers encouraged me to continue. Which I have now done. I hope you won't be disappointed. Please tell me what you think after reading, I really appreciate any reviews!
You have tried not to look at him for the past months. You have tried very hard not to notice the way he has changed since you finally made him give you up. He's become less annoying, but still there's nothing really positive about this change. He's stopped being a bully, but really he had already stopped that back then. He's not cocky, but somehow maybe that would be better than this new greyness.
It's not obvious. He still walks the corridors with his head held high, and most girls still swoon and sigh as he passes by. He still laughs with his friends, joking, but not so much pranking anymore. He laughs, yes, but he doesn't smile. Not really, not like the old James Potter used to smile. Not that lazy grin that you used to hate so much. Not that hopeful beam when he used to ask you out, because he doesn't. Not once since then. You never thought you'd miss it.
But of course you don't miss it, you can't be silly! You hated him and his stupid smiles and stupid pranks and stupid ways of asking you out. You're glad he's changed.
Except you're not. You're getting a thud of guilt shut at your stomach each time you see his eyes. They used to sparkle. They've lost it. Your fault.
That's it, you're just feeling guilty. Nothing more. Guilt is that powerful.
But it's not your fault! You can't be blamed for not wanting to go out with him, it's not like there's anything mean about just not fancying someone! You're not able to convince yourself, and the knot in your stomach is still there.
You look over at him, sitting by the fire with his friends, his marauders (as you think of it, you're not even sure if he calls them that anymore). You look away as though the sight stung you. He's not playing part in their discussions, his mouth is shut (just that is a huge sign of changing, since he never ever seemed to shut up before). His dull eyes stare into the fire, seemingly lost in deep thought. You hate yourself.
No, you don't hate yourself; that would be ridiculous. You hate him for doing this to you. Except he's not really doing anything to you anymore. Well, you hate him anyway. Hate, hate, hate.
You're in your seventh year now, it's the first month of the semester. Over the summer you almost forgot. Those times he did enter your mind you told yourself that he would change back over summer, that you had nothing to worry about. Even if it had turned out he did care about you once, it couldn't have been so bad that he wouldn't get over it in a summer.
Turns out you were wrong. He arrived back, as shell-like as ever. He was made Head Boy to your Head Girl to everyone's surprise, but he didn't really seem to care all that much. His friends patted him on the back, congratulating, but he just stared at you, pain shining from his eyes and you hated yourself.
You sigh and stop your eyes before letting them wander to his corner again. Nothing good will come from seeing him like this.
As you stop yourself, your eyes stick to Sirius, his best friend. To your surprise, he glares back at you intensely. Before you've turned away he makes a gesture that you two should go out of the portrait hole and have a talk. Your heart stops and you shake your head. His eyes get even blacker and he repeats the gesture, making clear that this is not a question.
On shaky legs, you walk. Just outside the portrait hole, he drags you carelessly into an empty classroom.
"Just what is wrong with you, Evans?" he spits out, stunning you.
"Wh-what do you mean?" you stutter, feeling you might know what he's talking about, but not wanting to admit to it.
"See, this is what I'm talking about!" he exclaims in frustration. "You know perfectly well what I mean, but you're in denial. Always in this stupid denial!"
You stay quiet, not knowing how to respond and not make this worse by denying even more (because you obviously can't not deny this, you just can't!).
Sirius sighs loudly, waving his arms around, starting to pace. You're starting to get even more nervous than you already were.
"Evans," he says semi-calmly after a while of taking breaths. "You know you like James."
You want it to come out with disdain and disbelief, but all you manage is confused uncertainty.
"Evans, listen!" he snaps, annoyance shining through his eyes and behind it something deeper. "James likes you. That you can't deny, at least, even though I know you tried that last year. And even though he's too busy sulking about you to notice, I've seen the way you've been looking at him."
"What way?" you ask, hints of your old fire back in your tone, but Sirius seems completely unaffected by this, he doesn't even bother to answer you. "What way?" you demand, a little stronger.
Sirius just scoffs. "Don't be so damn stubborn, you're wasting my time."
"If you have so many important things to do, then why are you still here?" you say coldly.
"Because you seem incapable of coming to your senses on your own," he states simply.
"Coming to my…?" you start, but he waves you off.
"Wasting my time again, Evans. You know, I never thought you of all people were so slow!"
You are about to spit something out, but a small hesitation stops you. Sirius sees your mouth fall open and close.
"Ha!" he exclaims, pointing. "You're doing the open-close-mouth-thing. Finally. Now, will you admit you're in freaking love with him too, finally?"
Your voice is wavering and you hate yourself for not being able to keep it steady.
"He's been in love with you since forever and now you're in love with him," he says like it's obvious facts. "You've been ever since he's stopped asking you out and you realized you missed it."
"I don't miss it!" you screech. "I just… feel… bad that he's… you know, because of me…"
"Bullshit," he states calmly. "You know it's not just that. You want him to compliment you and make stupid scenes in class again."
You try to protest, but he doesn't let you. "Don't," he just says and you fall silent. "Just save both our times and go talk to him."
Your head is spinning. Sirius must be wrong. He can't be right, you'd know if you were in love, of course you'd know it yourself, and he can't know anything about you because he doesn't even know you.
"You don't know me," you try feebly.
"I know enough of you, since about 90 percents of James's words since first year have been about you, and he's spoken quite a lot, and unfortunately I've been there to listen. I'm sick of it. He should be speaking to you and you to him and the only thing stopping that to happen is you, which is why I've taken it upon myself to un-stop it," he explains, his eyes boring into yours.
"Why?" you whisper breathlessly.
"Because he loves you and you love him and true love should always be fixed in the end," he says mockingly. "Because I want my best friend back and you're an idiot!" he then adds, sharpening his eyes.
"I… can't…" you mumble, before turning around, running away away away. As you stumble down the corridor your vision is blurry. You wonder why until you feel something wet run down your cheek and figure that might have something to do with it.
Your head is spinning. You can't be in love with him. Just because you kind of wish he'd smile like that at you again, that doesn't mean anything, just that you're a good-willed person who doesn't like seeing unhappiness. Especially not one caused by yourself.
Sirius can't be right. Just because you're not sure how you'd respond if he did ask you out again, that doesn't mean you're in love or anything. It just means you might be a tiny bit interested. And anyway, that doesn't matter, because he won't ask you out again, you've made sure of that.
You've ran and you've cried and now you've dried your cheeks clumsily. You're about to go through the common room quickly, not meeting anyone's eyes. You're just gonna go straight to bed and sleep and dream and forget this stupid day ever existed.
You tell the password to the Fat Lady and you enter with a deep breath.
You have no idea how many people are in there, you have no idea how many people might be watching what you're doing. Blindly you walk, focused on one particular spot that happens to not be the stairs to your bedroom.
He's sitting by the fire still. You don't even bother to check if he's alone. Your vision has apparently only come back to you exclusively to look at him and his bowed head that doesn't even look up at your entrance nowadays.
You have no idea why you're doing this. You might have lost your mind. Why else would you get so lost on the way to your dormitory that you ended up over by James Potter? Temporary insanity is all that explains it.
Because you don't just walk over to him.
You don't talk to him. You don't say a word. You just take his head in your hands and kiss him fiercely, so intensely that you don't even hear Sirius's wolf-whistles the first few times. You're so in the moment that your cheeks don't even redden when you finally let go of his lips to breath and you realize that it's about the whole Gryffindor House that has witnessed this lack of sanity of yours and that they're now applauding and cheering.
You don't really care. Your eyesight is still somewhat out of order and the only thing you really see is the hazel eyes that are inches from yours; those hazel eyes that are finally glittering and shining again. The whole boy in front of you is actually glowing, as though someone has turned on all the lights and colours somewhere inside him again, but so much better and brighter than ever before.
His smile is back and it's directed at you and it's not just one but many at the same time. It's surprised and shocked and disbelieving and goofy and for a second you see a little cockiness in there too, but it is quickly wiped away by pure happiness.
Many moments have passed and he hasn't found any words. He just beams at you, and you look, taking in all his sparkling glittery-ness, and you can't help but let your own lips curve upwards too.
Then he just pulls you in a deep embrace, hugging you tight and holding you like he'd never let you go, seemingly trying to grasp the fact that it is actually you he is holding. You lean your head towards his shoulder and internally you admit that it does feel kind of nice to let him smell your hair.
Somewhere your eyes found Sirius's and he smirks at you, happily, but still with that I-told-you-so.
"Oh, shut up," you mouth to him and he just grins.
You roll your eyes and let your hand find its way into James's messy hair. The messiness that you've always hated suddenly seems kind of right. Kind of him. And it feels kind of nice beneath your fingertips.
A/N: Read it? Like it? Hate it? Comments are very welcome!