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Mesmerised by wudnulike2know
Chapter 3 : On Hallow's Eve
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 15


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Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, only Nia, Bella and anyone not in the books belong to me

A/n: I’m sorry this took so long, I knew there was reason why I refused to have to two WIP stories up at the same time.

**On Hallow’s Eve **

Lily walked into her dorm and flung herself onto her bed with a thud in a characteristic fashion. So characteristic in fact that neither Nia nor Bella paid much heed to her dramatic entrance.

A couple of minutes later, Lily rolled onto her back and silently watched her friends applying their makeup for a second.

"So what’s going on today?" she asked. The girls at the vanity table twisted round to gape at their red headed friend.

"Lily!" Nia cried in exasperation.

"Yes?"

"It’s October 31st"

"Is it really?" Lily mumbled distractedly, looking at a strand of her hair. Bella sighed at her lack of consciousness.

"October 31st is Halloween Lily. Although how you could’ve forgotten, I don’t know since you have a part in the preparations and everything" she said.

The Head Girl’s attention had been caught. She let go of the strand of hair and stared back at them blankly before rolling her eyes and smacking her forehead.

"Oh god, how stupid am I? You’re going to Hogsmeade, of course!" she mused out loud.

"That’s right my little petunia" Bella quipped, turning round to continue with her previous occupation.

Lily made a face at her remark, which the petite brunette caught through the mirror, she laughed and said "it’s just a saying, Lily!"

"I know"

"Jeans or a skirt? I’m going on a date" Bella asked. Lily tilted her head to the right.

"Mmmmm….if I were you, going on a date. I would….keep the jeans you have on but wear the v-neck blue sweater instead and have your hair down and wear that long silver necklace with the charms on it" Lily advised.

"The one my Nan gave me? Are you sure?" the other girl asked doubtfully.

"It’s what I would do but it’s your date" Lily said passively.

"Then I acquiesce and bow down to your superior knowledge"

" What about me, how do I look?" Nia said holding out her arms. The addressed girl scrutinised her closely.

"Gorgeous but take off the hat and the earrings, too much"

"Thank you"

As Nia did this, Lily quizzed "Bella’s on a date, are you priorly engaged, Nia or could you help me with a little retail therapy?"

"I’d love to but I have a date as well, sorry"

"Nah, it’s okay. It’s my fault, I would have known that if I didn’t spend all my time like some sort of dreamy twat" she muttered, rolling her eyes.

"But you are a dreamy twat; it’s what makes you Lily. Listen, I’ll give you the details at the feast, have fun, okay?" Bella said as she grabbed her bag, hugged Lily and dashed out. Nia exited in the same fashion and then she was alone.

Lily looked at her silver watch. She had ten minutes before the carriages left.

She picked out a fitted green sweater and a floral chiffon mini , slung a couple of necklaces round her neck, tied her hair up carelessly with a cream ribbon, put on some ballet pumps with tights, grabbed a tiny purse suspended on a gold chain and rushed out as well.

It had been a tough couple of weeks and so, as a result, she thought she deserved some new shoes, new clothes and whatever else she felt like buying.

She floated in and out of the shops, quite at her own leisure. When she felt like it, she had some ice cream and after shopping some more, decided she needed more sustaining refreshment.

Thus, Lily found herself strolling into the Three Broomsticks with her numerous bags and ordering herself some of Madam Rosmerta’s oak matured mead.

Lily looked around at the many students assembled in the pub. There were groups of friends and couples and a few people on their own, just like her.

"Here you are, love" came a voice. Lily smiled at her and took her drink.

"Thanks madam Rosmerta" she said and the barmaid walked away.

Lily sipped on her drink and sighed. A boy from her Astronomy class walked by, an extremely attractive boy. He caught her eye for the briefest second, simply because she happened to be there and then went to meet his date.

Lily sighed again and took another sip.

"Hey Lily" came a soft, deep voice. She looked up in surprise.

"Remus! Hey" she greeted.

"Mind if I sat down?"

"No, of course not" was the response.

"I haven’t had the chance to talk to you again properly since that party" he began.

She smiled and shrugged "I know, it’s not like we’ve had a lot of time, is it?"

"Exactly but I saw you alone just now and thought I’d come talk to you. You are alone, aren’t you? Not on a date or anything?"

She smiled her genuine, crooked little smile and shook her head. "No, I haven’t got a date. I’m one of those losers who can’t even get her best friends to hang out with her" Lily joked.

"You are not a loser, Lily. And anyway it’s not your fault, your friends aren’t with you" he assured.

"Yeah, I know. Have you seen them by the way?"

"Yeah they were in here earlier, Nia left about fifteen minutes ago actually" Remus said.

"I see. So you’re not Bella’s date then" she said quietly.

Remus looked at her and rolled his eyes. "No I am not"

"Why not?"

"Because someone got there first" he answered succinctly.

"I do believe that’s going to be the story of your life, my friend" it was out before she could stop it.

Remus laughed and Lily cringed "oh I’m sorry, that wasn’t nice, was it?" she amended.

"No, no, don’t apologise. I prefer that to your regular, prim self" he said.

Lily smiled at him. She felt comfortable around Remus, especially after that party. He was pretty much one of the very few boys in Hogwarts, she felt comfortable around. His genuine manner and reserved air putting her at ease.

"Why aren’t you with your friends?" Lily asked, nodding over to a table of familiar, rather puzzled looking, seventh years.

"I was supposed to be on my way back from the toilet" Remus explained.

"Oh, well you’d better go then"

"I guess" he replied and then looked thoughtful "unless…you’re alone right? No one to accompany you? Mind if we join you? We’re pretty much done, ourselves" he suggested.

"Oh no! No, please don’t. I mean, not that I-it’s just, just too much trouble. I’m only shopping, you’ll just get bored" she attempted anxiously.

"D’you know, I don’t think we will. Come on Lily, we’re not that bad. It’s ridiculous how we’re such good friends with Nia and Bella but hardly know you"

"No it isn’t, it’s the way it is, the way I like things" she said simply.

"But it isn’t though, and you’re not having a say in this, sorry" he answered firmly, with a grin and motioned for his friends to join them.

Lily sighed. Well there went her wonderfully comfortable day.

James, Peter and Sirius walked over with smiles "Hello! What’s going on here?" Sirius questioned, looking between Remus and Lily.

"Well Miss Evans here is all on her own today. And I’ve decided that it’s time we all got to know each other better. We don’t mind tagging along with her, right?" his friends shook their heads and sat down.

Sirius, who sat down beside the Head Girl herself, pointed to her drink.

"Drinking again, Lily? Come on now, we talked about this" he said in his best McGonagall voice. The boys laughed and Lily couldn’t help smiling either.

There was a rustling under the table as someone’s feet moved. This prompted James to look under the table and the sight made him widen his hazel eyes in incredulity.

"Bloody hell! How much did you buy?"

"I was stressed" Lily mumbled, biting her lip.

"There’s like ten bags under here!" he cried.

The rest of them looked too. Then they looked back up at Lily, wearing the same dazed expression. Like kids at a circus, Lily thought amusedly.

"Haven’t you ever shopped with a stressed girl before?"

"No" they replied in unison.

"Well if you’re set on coming with me, you will today" she said, draining her glass and getting up.

"Are you buying more?" Peter asked in awe.

"Yes I am, can we go?" she asked and they began to walk out. Half a dozen pairs of familiar eyes were on them at least. Lily was anxiously aware of the fact but she was trying her hardest to cover it up.

"Nice legs by the way" Sirius said as they stepped out into the street. Lily looked at him, confusion in her eyes.

"You didn’t expect me not to notice while I was staring at all those bags under there?" he said matter-of-factly.

"Oh. Um…thank you" Lily said quietly, feeling a little better about spending the rest of the day with the Marauders.

As they ambled along to Lily’s next destination, the girl turned to Remus, her eyes alight with curiosity.

"So when were you planning to ask Bella to Hogsmeade?" she asked.

"He’s planned to ask her out every single day for the past five years" Sirius chimed in.

"Shut up, rejected" Remus snapped and watched Sirius’ smile fade with satisfaction before turning back to the tall redhead.

"I was going to ask her out yesterday only I heard some sixth years moaning about how she’d said yes to Mark Pearce the day before"

"Oh dear. Well if you want my advice" she started.

"I do"

"Then don’t ask her out" she said.

"What? That makes no sense. Why not?"

"You need to stand out. To stand out, you can’t fawn over her, they all fawn over her. So stop paying her all this special attention. You’ve caught her eye, now spark her interest"

"By ignoring her?" he said, misgiving written all over his face.

"Precisely. But don’t be rude about it. Be nice but be unavailable. Homework, prefect stuff, dates, whatever. She’ll probably come to you herself after a week or so and then you can tell her all about how swamped you’ve been"

"And how exactly is that going to work?" Remus questioned, still sceptical.

"Bella Aldringham is never ignored. Never. Even if you’re busy, you make time for her. She’s not cocky about it, it’s just the way it’s always been for her, she doesn’t know that things can even be any different. That’s exactly why you have to ignore her, spark her interest, her curiosity" Lily explained patiently.
 
Sound as her advice was, she had her personal reservations about the entire issue. Remus might be interested in Bella, he might be infatuated with her but this, Lily only knew too well, did not automatically mean that he would be rewarded for his endeavours.

And if there was anyone, she thought half-wryly, who did not reward one for their unwavering devotion, it was an Aldringham.

There was sense in what she said, Remus thought. "Okay, I’ll do it. I just hope it doesn’t go wrong"

Sirius had been watching Lily with an approving glance and then he voiced "what about me? Can you help me out?"

"Maybe. What’s the matter?" the girl asked kindly.

"Nia. She can go on dates but not with me. What’s that about?" he demanded indignantly.

"But you don’t just want to go on a date with her, do you?" Lily pointed out.

"No, well you know…"

"You want her to be your girlfriend" the girl said understandingly.

"Right"

"The problem is, she can’t handle a boyfriend right now. Dates are just a bit of laugh for her, but the whole relationship thing, I don’t really think….that- that she can right now. Do you understand?"

Sirius looked at her thoughtfully and mulled over her explanation which was not dissimilar from what Nia herself had said "yeah I think I do"

They finally reached the shop and walked in. Lily, leading the way. There were a few people inside but not many. It wasn’t the kind of shop most teenagers would bother to look in but Lily knew every boutique in Hogsmeade and just where to find exactly what she wanted. A nearby saleswitch smiled at Lily.

"Afternoon, Miss Evans"

"Hello" Lily replied courteously with a matching smile. The boys stared again.

"How often do you come in here?"

"I come here a bit" Lily answered.

"A bit?" James repeated, eyebrows raised.

"Alright so I’m a regular, what does it matter?" she said defensively.

Throughout the course of the following ten minutes, the Marauders inadvertently became Lily’s servant boys. Having her numerous bags thrust upon them first and then the countless items she wanted to try on.

They had never seen Lily more charming than when she was shopping and they certainly hadn’t ever seen anyone shop with such vitality. As Peter put it at one point “it was actually quite scary”

Three hours later, all five of them piled into a carriage, James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were exhausted. Lily however, was in an excellent mood.

"Okay one last question" Sirius said.

"Go ahead" the girl replied patiently.

"If I asked Nia out on a date, not like anything serious, do you think she’d say yes?"

Lily thought about it, biting on her lip as she did so. She ended her fit of abstraction with an apologetic shrug of the shoulder. "I don’t really know, to be honest. It could go either way, I’m just not sure"

"Would it be worth a try?" he further enquired.

"It’s always worth a try. Date or not though, just be there for her because I think that's what she really needs" she ended matter of factly.

The carriage came to a firm halt and they piled out just as they had piled in a couple of minutes ago. Lily looked at them and opened her mouth but James spoke first "we’ll walk you up, it’s not like we have anything better to do"

"You don’t have to. Really you don’t, I’ll be fine" she attempted but to no avail.

"Come on Lily, let’s go" James merely said, firmness in his tone. As a result she gave in and they set off for the Gryffindor Tower.

The portrait swung open and they stepped into the Common Room. Once, again, all eyes were upon them and some of the girls started whispering, throwing them curious glances. Lily looked around in obvious discomfort but the four boys beside her seemed completely oblivious.

Upon reaching the girl’s staircase, Lily levitated the bags out of their arms and smiled at them nervously.

"Well Lily, I had a good time with you today, dunno ‘bout the rest of you" Sirius began, his friends smiled back at her and agreed.

"You had fun? Shopping with me?" she doubted.

"Yeah, you’re actually quite a lot of fun" Sirius said.

"Thank you, I think"

"Well thanks for letting us follow you around" James added. The whispers in the background grew louder and more excited.

"That’s okay, thanks for carrying my bags" she answered brightly, although her cheeks had started to pink by this stage at the unholy amount of attention they were garnering.

"No problem, see you at the feast"

"You too" and with that, she was off. Hurrying up the stairs as fast as she could with her brigade of bags slowly hovering away in front of her. Having finally trudged up the stairs, she was met with a new obstacle. The door was shut.

"Oh God!" she moaned.

She couldn’t open it herself in case the grip on her wand slackened and the bags went tumbling down the stairs, she’d worked so hard to climb. "Guys! Open the door, I need a little help" she yelled.

"Coming!" came a voice presently.

The door swung open and she was met by Nia’s smiling face. However the smile soon faded as Miss Fletcher’s murky brown eyes fell upon Lily’s bags. She then rolled those eyes and stood aside to allow Lily entrance.

"Lily Evans and her court, ladies and gentleman" she announced dryly. Bella giggled and Lily looked sheepish but was grinning nevertheless.

"This is becoming ridiculous. You need help Lily Evans, I hope you know that" Nia said in feigned solemnity while Bella looked through the offending bags.

"I told you I needed a little retail therapy" Lily offered in way of explanation.

"A little?"

"Okay, I suppose I overdid it, whatever. My parents won’t ask about it anyway. Besides, that last load of stocks my dad invested in went through the roof so it’s all good really" the retail addict elaborated.

"I haven’t a clue what you just said" the other girl replied.

"It means my dad is very good at what he does" just then a cry was heard from Bella, both Lily and Nia turned their heads towards her. The brunette was holding a grey top she had spotted amongst Lily’s myriad of purchases.

"Oh my god, I love this!" she proclaimed with a sigh.

"I know. It’s for you" Lily said with a smile.

"No! Is it?"

"It is"

"You are the best friend ever, thank you Lily!"

‘I know’ Lily responded, nodding. Bella rushed off to the toilet to try it on.

"What did you do to all the money you earnt over the summer?" Nia persisted; the lectures apparently were not at an end.

"I gave it all to St. Mungo’s"

"Oh. Oh I’m sorry, then"

"That’s okay, I forgive you for thinking I was a spoilt little daddy’s girl, although you should know better" Lily said.

"I know, sorry"

Lily reached over to a large bag near her pillow and pulled something out "now, I know you wanted some new shoes so…." She handed the box to her friend who looked (pleasantly) astonished.

"You didn’t?" her friend asked incredulously.

"I did"

Nia opened the box and gasped "Lily! Oh I’m in love" she whispered.

"Good thing they’re yours then"

"I couldn’t"

"Yes you could. I can’t have them, they’re not my size so you’d best keep them because if there’s one thing I can’t be doing with, it’s wasted money" Lily argued.

"You make it all sound so logical, fine I’ll keep them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she cried just as Bella had done and hugged her best friend.

Lily laughed slightly and watched Nia put on her new shoes and admire the effect. A few seconds later, Bella walked out of the bathroom, beaming. As she went to put the top in her cupboard. Lily’s voice sounded again.

"So how’d your dates go?"

"Eh" Bella said with a shrug.

"Why, what happened?" Lily asked.

"I don’t know I managed to concentrate for like five minutes, no joke. He wasn’t boring; he just wasn’t…what’s the word"

"Remus?"

"What?"

"He wasn’t Remus. Is that why you weren’t too keen?" Lily suggested innocently, belied by her emerald eyes which danced with amusement.

"No”, that wasn’t-” she broke off suddenly, becoming suspicious “why do you bring Remus into our conversations so much anyway? You didn’t used to but I’ve noticed it recently, it makes no sense”

Lily looked back innocently “do I? I don’t think I do”
 
Bella opened her mouth to retort, eyes still narrowed, but then shook her head and left it.

Nia meanwhile, was studying Lily with a contemplative frown on her face and curiosity in her expression. Those emerald eyes held a familiar glint in them, too familiar. But she, like Bella, set her suspicions aside for a moment.

"Speaking of Remus, Lily. How was your day?" Nia asked with a smile.

"Oh. Heard about that, did you?" Lily replied as nonchalantly as she could manage.

"Heard about it? Try bloody assaulted about it! By like six girls, all wanting to know whether you and James were going out" Bella chimed in.

"James? Why James? I spent the afternoon with all four of them"

"It was bound to happen. Seems tongues have been wagging. Apparently, people have been wondering about all those practises he insists on having, why he’s suddenly your partner in Potions, why he singled you out at that party and what happens at these late night rounds you have to do" Nia listed.

"And now that you’ve spent the day with him and his friends, they’ve gone to fucking town with it all" Bella added rancorously.

"And conveniently, no one can say you spent the entire afternoon with all of them because no one was sad enough to follow you around. And of course the Marauders are bound to deny it so…." Nia trailed off and rolled her eyes.

"No!" Lily groaned "I knew something like this would happen. I just knew it. But they invited themselves, I swear they did"

"Lily, calm down. We believe you. Besides, it wouldn’t be that big a deal even if you were" Nia said.

"So did you have fun?" Bella asked conversationally.

"I kind of did, actually. I mean aside from the occasional staring from random people, I had a good time" the red head answered truthfully.

"Well of course you did. What did you talk about?" Bella said.

"Well, Sirius talked about Nia, quite a bit" Lily began "and James and Peter just talked about normal stuff’

"And?" the brunette prompted.

"Remus didn’t ask about you, if that’s what you’re getting at" Lily teased.

The brunette’s large eyes widened and she jabbed an accusatory finger “there! I knew I wasn’t imagining it, you did it again! What’s going on?” her expression dramatically changed to one of unmitigated delight “do you like him?”



Lily could have kicked herself. Poor Remus, his battle was going to be more uphill than he’d thought, if not slightly vertical. Perhaps (hopefully not) even summit-less.
 
“No, I don’t fancy him. It’s just that I think-” not quite sure what she was going to say without putting Remus into an awkward situation, she smiled dismissively “I was only messing, nobody fancies him”
 
“Oh” Bella said, slightly put out “fine then, I think I’m ready to go down. You two coming?”

"Save me a seat, I need to do my hair up again" Lily said.

"Yeah me too, I’ll go down with Lily" Nia added.

Their friend nodded and walked out of the dormitory. Lily took out the ribbon and let her red waves tumble down before going to the vanity table to set them back up again. While she was thus employed, Nia stood behind her, her eyes full of suspicion.

"What are you planning?" she demanded shrewdly.

“I’m not planning anything at the minute” Lily answered abstractedly but honestly as she focused on tying the ribbon.
 
Nia looked at her a little longer before saying “Remus fancies Bella, doesn’t he?”

“Of course he does” Lily answered, a little impatiently.
 
“Well I haven’t got your eyes for things but I’ve always suspected it, is that what you’re scheming about?”



The redhead sighed “I don’t know. It’s what I’m supposed to be scheming about, what he’s asked me to scheme about for him but I’m not sure anymore”
 
Nia sat down on the bed “why?”
 
“Because on the one hand, they would actually make a good couple. On the other hand, I don’t think Bella will ever be able to look at him as anything other than a friend, you know?”
 
The other girl bit her cheek as she often did while thinking something over “and you don’t want to tell Remus that”
 
“Exactly. So what do I do?”
 
“I reckon, you might as well scheme. You’re very good at it and you get all your best answers when you scheme and then you can at least say you tried and Remus won’t have any of that ‘what if’ drama”
 
Lily tweaked the ribbon slightly and bit her lip, looking at her friend through the mirror “I think you’re right. It’ll be a shame though, if I am wasting my time.  What a pity Divination turned out to be such a load of shit”
 
Nia laughed “a shame indeed. We’d better go though; Bella will have a tizzy”

Lily agreed to it and they exited their dormitory. They were making their way down the tower stairs, when a loud voice sounded from behind.

"Well look who it is" Sirius called. The two girls stopped. His friends were with him, as per usual. "Nia and Lily, now where are you two lovely ladies dashing off to?"

"The feast" Nia replied bluntly.

"Shocking! We’ll go with you" he offered.

"How sweet. I don’t know how we’d have managed those staircases without you"

" I never let a damsel down"

"Damsel?" Nia repeated with a mocking grin.

"In distress. Are you not?"

The girl bit her lip and looked up at him with feigned naiveté as they carried on walking "d’you know, I rather think I am?"

"Aren’t you glad I found you?" he answered smoothly.

"How can I ever make it up to you?"

Sirius looked at her with a grin and said quietly "oh I think we’ll find a way"

Lily rolled her eyes at the pair and fell in step with James, Remus and Peter instead, leaving Nia and Sirius to their own devices.

"Make you sick, don’t they?" James said, shaking his head.

"Just a little" she replied sarcastically.

"Oh I meant to ask you, are you free tomorrow?" he asked.

"What day would it be…Saturday, yeah pretty much. Why?"

"I was wondering if we could have our first tutoring session. That essay we had to do for homework was a nightmare"

"Yeah, that sounds fine" she answered with a small smile.

"Great. Thanks again" he said. Lily nodded and then turned to Remus.

"Listen, I want you to make sure you don’t sit next to Bella" she ordered, following Nia’s advice.

"Okay, got it" Remus said.

"And try not to talk to her as much as possible, but be subtle okay?"

"Alright" Remus answered.

"Good"

They reached the Great Hall and took their seats. It was pretty routine. They got the spots towards the end but not quite. Sirius and Nia sat to Bella’s left while the other four seated themselves on the opposite side. Lily found herself in between Remus and James.

Their surrounding housemates were whispering excitedly, glancing at the Head boy and girl. Lily, noticing this, blushed and looked down at her empty plate, not wanting to meet the puzzled expressions of her fellow students.

How could they honestly think that she was going out James, it made no sense. Maybe it’d been a bit of a dry week.

James, finally noticing the pointing and giggling, remembered the rumour Peter had told him about, earlier.

He looked to his right. Lily’s head was bent over her plate. Her waves rested on her neck in their ponytail. Her cheeks were pink and her eyes seemed to be steeled and determined to focus on the plate.

He smiled and lowered his head to her level "you know those plates are pretty indestructible, you can’t make a hole in them, trust me" he joked.

Lily looked up at him, surprised "what?"

"Ignore them, they’ll get bored. Don’t look embarrassed though or they’ll pounce on you" he whispered. Some of the nearby girls narrowed their eyes.

Lily sighed at seeing this but smiled back at James nevertheless. "Have you heard?" she asked.

"Yeah, Pete told me" he said.

Lily looked at the girls who were still glaring at her "do they have nothing better to do?"

"No, not really"

"I know that. They’re all going to be so horrible to me now" she groaned.

"So give them a detention" he said casually.

"I can’t do that, I’ll manage. But it doesn’t even make sense, I mean come on!"

James raised an eyebrow "what? Am I that repulsive?"

"Oh it’s not that -It’s, I mean…You’re-you’re okay, well no you’re not you’re…but I" she mumbled feverishly.

"Lily, calm down. I was joking, I’m not offended" James said.

"Oh okay. So you see the impossibility of it?"

He looked at her for a moment, taking in her appearance. Her red hair tied up in its jaunty cream ribbon. The freckles across her slightly aquiline nose, her almond shaped emerald green eyes and the small, full lips, she chewed on so often.

"Yeah, I do" he replied quietly, after a pause.

Bella had been watching their exchange with growing interest. Long after that conversation and after the food had appeared, Bella tapped Nia on the shoulder.

"Yeah?" Nia asked.

"I think I see what you mean"

"About what?"

"Lily and James" Bella offered as an explanation.

"I told you"

"I’m not helping, but I won’t stop you either"



Nia returned to her food and Bella continued to covertly observe the Head Boy and Girl.

"Bella?" Remus said.

"Yeah?" she replied brightly.

"Could you pass the shepherd’s pie?"

"Oh. Yeah, here you go" she said, passing over the dish.

"Hey Bella" a voice called. She looked up again, not at Remus, but at Jacob Fitzroy, who apparently had called her name.

"Oh, hey. What’s up?"

"I was wondering if you were free tomorrow?" he began "because I thought maybe, if you are, then we could do something…together"

Bella looked at the boy appraisingly and thought about her options.

As it happened, she was free tomorrow. And Jacob was really nice and admittedly, more attractive than most. But tomorrow was a Saturday. And they couldn’t go to Hogsmeade so it would have to be a castle date. And she was thoroughly tired of castle dates.

"Sorry Jacob, I’d love to but I need to catch up on my homework. I’m falling seriously behind, I’m sorry" she lied earnestly.

The boy looked disappointed but smiled even so "oh right, okay. Some other time then" and with that, he walked away.

As Bella looked up, her eyes met with Remus’. He held her gaze for a second before returning to his plate. She continued to stare at him for a confused moment until her attention was commanded by Nia.

Lily set down her goblet and turned to James "don’t forget by the way, we have rounds tonight" she said.

"Tonight? I thought Jack and Robin were doing them tonight"

"No, Jack and Robin do them on a Thursday night" she corrected.

"Oh of course, it’s Friday, isn’t it? Great!" James muttered sarcastically. Lily smiled ever so slightly as she took a sip of her pumpkin juice. James however, had realised the force of his words.

"Not that doing rounds with you isn’t fun of course. It’s just, you know, Friday night. Not that there’s anything wrong in spending a Friday night with you" he rambled on hopelessly. Lily, seeing his evident distress couldn’t help but laugh.

James stopped digging himself into a hole and stared at her, laughing at him.

It was just as she’d laughed at that quidditch practise. It sounded musical and her eyes danced and her cheeks flushed slightly. And he wasn’t surprised when he found himself thinking that she had the prettiest laugh he’d ever seen or heard and when he soon found himself smiling as well.

"It’s rude to laugh at people, Lily Evans" he said.

"I know, I apologise but you just sounded so….like me, actually and so not like James Potter, I couldn’t help myself" said Lily.

"And what exactly is James Potter like?" he asked.

She glanced at him shyly and offered a small smile whilst tucking a small strand of hair behind her ear. "Oh I don’t know" she mumbled passively but he continued to look at her expectantly.

Lily sighed "well you’re loud and confident and so…I’m not sure what the word is but you’re it" she finished somewhat lamely.

"Well that was illuminating" he quipped. She smiled and shook her head but made no reply.

Nia watched the pair closely and then turned to the pretty girl beside her.

"D’you know, I’m not entirely sure I need to do anything" she whispered.

"What do you mean?" Bella asked interestedly.

"I mean if you watch him as he speaks to her, he gives off this-this sort of, captured air. As if she’s taken him in or something" Nia attempted ineffectively.

"What, like chemistry?"

"No, no. It’s not…not like a physical thing. Not yet anyway, it’s like she’s, she’s…oh, I really don’t know how to explain"

Bella looked over at Lily and James and observed as they conversed lightly on whatever it was they were discussing.

Lily was still Lily. A little hesitant, a little quiet but with that underlying fire which made her so damn loveable to those who knew her and so endlessly intriguing to the few who bothered to give her a second glance.

James however, was different when he talked to her. He wasn’t so in command and daunting, his whole manner was much softer, not weak and not like she was having a conscious effect on him. In fact, Bella thought, she wouldn’t be surprised if the change Lily brought out in him, was entirely subconscious.

"I think I might know what you’re on about. There’s just something, something that’s not supposed to be there or normally there. And, I’m not sure there’s a word for it as such but…yeah" Bella broke off, annoyed at not being able to perfectly articulate what she meant.

"Maybe that’s why he sounds so sure when he refuses being attracted to her. Because, he isn’t quite" Nia said.

"Not yet but I’m seeing more and more potential as the night wears on, Fletcher. I have to give it to you, you may just have spotted a “right one” or so my Nan would say, anyway" the brunette remarked.

"It’s too bad she’s got her guards up after this whole rumour thing" Nia added thoughtfully.

"Well they aren’t exactly doing damage control, are they? But you’re right, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. She’s so touch and go" Bella paused to look over at their subjects.

Lily laughed at something James had said, not a proper full out laughter, a little laugh but genuine even so.

"But if he keeps going as he is, he’ll do a lot to let her guards down again" Bella finished but then looked sternly at her friend.

"Now don’t, for God’s sake, Nia Fletcher, say anything to set his guards up" she warned.

"That might not be my fault" Nia said, casting a sidelong glance at Sirius, which made the other girl roll her eyes.

"Oh please, as if you couldn’t keep his attention occupied. I haven’t watched you two nauseatingly flirt with each other for three years without figuring out a few things" Bella said.

Nia’s cynical murky eyes gleamed with evident amusement as she turned from Bella to engage Sirius in conversation.

"What do you think Bella?" asked Peter. The addressed girl looked at him in some surprise.

"About what?" she asked in response.

"About the Wimbourne Wasps’ chances" he said.

"Oh, well Fred was telling me, in his last letter, how their new beater…Bagman, is it? How he’s a complete genius with a bat. I don’t know if that means their chances are looking up. Personally I don’t think a beater alone can do it. He needs to be accompanied by equally brilliant chasers or keeper or seeker but you never know"

"But the rest of the Wasps’ team are alright" Peter defended.

"Keyword being alright. They’re good but they’re not brilliant. Take the chasers, they’re nothing to the Arrows’. Bagman can stop them being knocked off and give them more chances but he can’t make them more talented"

"See? I told you. I personally think the tornadoes are in with a good chance this year’ Remus said, though he clearly addressed himself to Peter.

Bella frowned at this, unable to comprehend the change in his behaviour but decided to overlook it as she spoke again “I’m a bit of a Kestrels fan, myself”

"The Kestrels?" Peter repeated incredulously.

"Yeah, oh tell me this season’s line up doesn’t look good" Bella challenged.

Peter stared at her for a second before relenting. "Yeah okay, it does"

"I think we might win this year" she proclaimed confidently. Remus audibly snorted, she turned to him.

"Yes Remus? Do you have something to say?" Bella asked sweetly.

He looked up at her and offered her one of his charming and quietly confident smiles. "No, nothing at all" he said.

"Good" she replied tartly or as tartly as she could manage, which made Remus smile.

"Well guys” Sirius said, almost twenty minutes later “I’m going up to the tower. Anyone else coming?" he asked, looking around. They were all finished so they rose and left the hall together, not a rare occurrence.

"Rounds start in twenty minutes, I’ll meet you outside the library and we’ll finish here, okay?" Lily said to her counterpart once they’d reached their common room.

He nodded and fell onto the nearest sofa as she ran up the girls’ staircase. His friends joined him.

"Remus, what was wrong with you at dinner?" Peter started.

"What are you on about?" Remus asked.

"You refusing to talk to Bella, even when she was talking to us. Call me old fashioned but I thought it was rude" Peter said firmly.

"So did I, but it’s all part of Lily’s plan, remember?"

"Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that. But she definitely noticed. She was looking at you all weird, all through the feast" Peter informed his friend. Remus sat up in his chair.

"Was she? Was she really? Was it a good weird, like a ‘I wish he’d stop doing that’ weird?" he asked eagerly.

James. Sirius and Peter exchanged identical exasperated glances.

"There’s a word for people like you" Sirius said.

"What’s that?"

"Pathetic"

Remus cast a dark glance at Sirius before replying "I’m pathetic?"

"Oh shut up"

Peter shook his head at the both of them while James remained silently amused.

"Why don’t you guys go for girls in other houses, like the ones in Ravenclaw? They’re not too bad, even Hufflepuff’s lot are alright" the former suggested.

"Because the ones in Gryffindor are the only ones worth having" Sirius answered.

"Speak for yourself" James chimed in.

"No, look, take the Ravenclaws. They never shut up, have you noticed that? " Sirius said. The others grinned but no one could argue with him so Remus put his point forward.

"And the Hufflepuff girls are too bloody nice. Not one of them would hurt a fly, makes you want to kill someone" he reasoned.

"Yeah, well I’ll give you that" James conceded.

"Now look at the Gryffindor girls, you’ve got Nia, who’s just…hot, let’s be honest. Then there’s Bella, who is, without a doubt, the most gorgeous girl in the school. And then those blonde twins in fifth year…wow"

"They’re Bella’s sisters" James added.

"That explains it then. And there’s that Rose Mills in sixth year and then that other girl in fifth year, what’s her name now…they call her Gia but what’s her real name?"

"Pelagia, Pelagia Winslow, she’s Bella’s cousin" Remus supplied, Sirius stared at him.

"You’re joking! I need to meet the rest of that family’ Sirius said, his friends laughed and then Peter spoke up.

"Yeah but who else?" he contested.

"Alright, alright I’m getting there, I’m getting there. There’s Cara, have you seen that body? And then Lily, who’s not too bad" Sirius finished.

"Lily? Do you think so?" James questioned.

‘Well you can’t say she’s not decent because she is, she's not the kind of girl you ask out but compared to some of them, she’s alright" the other boy argued.  

"She’s got something else, don’t you think? I don’t know what, but just…something" Remus said.

"I know what you mean and she has amazing legs, did you see them?" Sirius asked and then looked at Peter “so what is that? Three of our seventh years, two sixth years and three fifth years and those are the ones that it’s okay to go out with"

Peter still wasn’t satisfied "still that’s only like seven girls. Six because James says that Mills girl is boring as hell"

"She is" James aserted.

"Well there you go. And five, if you think about it because you said yourself, Lily's not the kind of girl you ask out" Peter concluded smugly.

"If you like the Ravenclaw girls, go for it mate. All I’m saying is that the best ones are in Gryffindor" Sirius said.

Remus looked at his friends thoughtfully "d’you ever think, maybe, girls wouldn’t like us as much if they knew we talked about them like that?" he asked, conversationally. Sirius thought about it.

"Long as they don’t find out, doesn’t really matter, does it?"

"Fair point"







Lily was leaning against a large oak door which held behind it, the library. Her arms were folded and her eyes held a blank expression. She had arrived ten minutes ago, being five minutes early, as was her invariable practise. James was now five minutes late, as was his invariable practise.

Someone was waving a hand in front of her; she blinked and shook her head. "Oh, hey James"

"Hey, haven’t kept you waiting, have I?"

"Not more than usual" Lily replied.

And they walked out into the corridors to begin their tedious routine. After about five minutes in silence, James spoke up.

"D’you know, I was thinking about your description of me at dinner, or lack thereof" he started.

"Yes"

"And I remembered that lovely list of my charming attributes you compiled in fifth year"

"What list?" Lily asked, notably confused.

"Oh you must remember. By the lake, during OWLs, what was it you called me? Let’s see, you said I was an arrogant, conceited, bullying toerag and you wondered that my broom managed to get off the ground with my fat head and how I liked to hex people in the corridors, just because I could and ruffled my hair because I thought it looked cool"

Lily looked horror stricken. She blushed in shame of that memory and covered her pink face with her hands "oh don’t! Don’t bring that up. I don’t know what was wrong with me. It was horrible and of course I exaggerated terribly. It was right after you’d-" she broke off.

"-right after I’d asked you out" James filled in. Lily nodded curtly, her blush dying down.

"I remember, it was some sort of dare, wasn’t it? You told me afterwards, when you apologised" she recalled quietly.

"For which I apologise again. I was just so up my own arse. Never dreamed you’d say no. I even thought about bothering you about it afterwards until you said yes, to teach you a lesson" James said.

"Why didn’t you?"

"Well for two reasons. The first was that I did, hard as it may be to believe, have a lot of respect for you. The other-" but he stopped as he remembered the details of the other reason but the unfinished sentence wasn’t lost on Lily.

"Yes?" she prompted. He looked at her square in the eyes and was thrown off by the quiet, determined defiance in them.

"The other was that…that, well I found out later that you’d never had a boyfriend and that-that I had been the first person to ask you out and that made me feel like a complete git because you know, the first time and I ruin the whole thing by turning it into a dare"

Silence. He looked over to his counterpart. Lily looked furious but in her own way. Her face was white, her eyes were steeled and her lips were pursed. And for a couple of minutes, she didn’t say a word; the build up was all a little frightening.

"Who told you that?" she asked very quietly, so quietly in fact that he might not have caught it had it not been for the suppressed rage in those words.

For a second, he thought about declining to answer but decided not to cross Lily "‘Bella attacked me about it, later on in that week"

Lily gasped in angry disbelief. "She didn’t!" The boy suddenly realised what he’d told her and cursed himself for not lying.

"I shouldn’t have told you that. Shit, I’m such an arse" he said.

"How could she? How dare she?" Lily cried to herself.

"In her defence, she only did it for you. She didn’t want me messing with you anymore. And it worked too, I felt like a complete prat, if it helps"

"No it does not help. I don’t need your pity, thank you" she snapped. James was rather surprised, seeing this side of her for the first time.

"No, no, no. You’ve not understood. We didn’t think less of you, really we didn’t" he assured her.

"Bollocks! You could at least be  nice enough not to lie about it" Lily retorted. James really was at a loss as to what to do.

"Look, I’m making things worse, aren’t I? So I’ll say it again, I’m sorry, I should never have taken a bet like that. I was a dick. And you were perfectly right to say those things, they were all true. They were. I’ve accepted it and you’ve accepted it so let’s pretend it never happened and start again" he proposed.

Lily glanced at him and sighed "okay, you’re right, that is the best thing to do. We should have done this in September, it would have made everything so much easier for me" she said.

"You should’ve told me that" James replied.

"I didn’t know that that was what made me a little uneasy around you"

"You’re uneasy around everyone, if you don’t mind me saying" he commented.

"No, I’m just not open. Waste of my energy" she explained politely.

He looked at her but burst out laughing. Now Lily was confused. "Why are you laughing?"

"I don’t know. You’re just the most" he paused to think of the right word.

"Yes?"

"The most…different girl, I’ve ever met" he finished.

Lily thought about this label for a second and looked at him, a little naively he thought.

"Is-is that a good thing?" she asked quietly.

"Yeah, I think it is" he said thoughtfully.

Lily didn’t get a chance to reply, a sound from behind a nearby door making her jump and throw open said door. A couple of fifth years sprang apart out of surprise at having a light (from the Heads’ wands) shone in their eyes.

"Get out" Lily ordered and she and James stood aside to let the offending boy and girl walk out. "You know you should be in bed, get going and don’t let me catch you out after hours again" the Head Girl chided.

"Whatever. As if you two didn’t just want that closet for yourselves" the boy said darkly, his girlfriend winced. James’ eyebrow rose.

"That’s detention for you, tomorrow" he said coolly.

"What for?"

"For showing us cheek. Now, you can meet Professor Slughorn in the dungeons at eight. I think I remember him saying that he needed a fresh batch of toad’s intestines extracted, right Lily?"

"Oh I don’t know, I could’ve sworn it was bladders he wanted" she said thoughtfully. The boy made a face and stalked away, muttering under his breath.

James was grinning "the bladders was genius!"

"Thank you" Lily replied absently "why would they think we were going out?"

"That’s really wound you up, hasn’t it?"

"Yes, no, well it’s just that I don’t like unpleasantness, especially if it’s directed at me. That probably isn’t even a word but you understand. And I know you don’t believe me but I really do prefer the background"

"Why?"

"I’m sorry?"

"Why would you prefer the background?" he persisted.

"I-I don’t know" she faltered.

"But you do"

Lily looked him in the eye. She had expected there to be cynicism in his face, a mocking gleam in his hazel eyes. But there wasn’t. There was only sincerity and a natural curiosity. He wasn’t laughing at her and she hadn’t expected it.

"Because it’s safer" she answered without deliberation, the words just came to her, prompted by his sincerity. James was thrown off by the innocence and doubt in her eyes. He could only nod in response to her answer.

They carried on walking in silence. They had nothing else to say for the time being. It was short lived however, as soon, a new predicament presented itself.

They turned into a new corridor and Lily stopped immediately and held out a hand to stop James too. She then began to sniff the air around her, her eyes full of suspicion.

"Do you smell that?" Lily whispered. James inhaled deeply and detected something different in the air.

"Yeah but what is it?"

Lily sniffed again. It was a very sickly smell. Very flowery and sugary and fruity, all at the same time. The kind of fragrance little girls love to wear. It wasn’t familiar to Lily but the description rang a bell.

"That’s a love potion" she murmured.

"Are you sure?" James asked, his brows furrowed.

"Yes, very sure. It’s not a really strong one but the scent’s really fresh. It’s either brewing or it’s just finished brewing" Lily explained and then beckoned for him to follow her.

They trod through the corridor, as quietly as they could. The smell getting stronger with every step. They halted at a door, Lily peeked in through the glass panes, briefly and then turned back round to James.

"They’re in there, come on" she said and opened the door with a bang to surprise the offender.

There was a loud gasp as a girl jumped a mile into the air. She looked to be in fifth year, James thought.

"What do you think you’re doing?" Lily demanded in her most awe inspiring Head Girl voice. The girl turned to stare at Lily. As her eyes fell on the person beside Lily, she gasped again and the measuring cup full of pink liquid, dropped from her hand and smashed on the stone floor, adding rather nicely to the dramatic tension in the room.

Lily’s question remained unanswered and it looked as it was going to stay that way, seeing as how the girl’s wide and fearful eyes were fixed on James and she stood as though she’d been paralysed. Lily tried her hardest to keep a straight face as she continued.

"The use and brewing of love potions is strictly forbidden in this school unless, in the case of brewing only, the student is supervised by a member of staff or the exam board" she cited and then said disparagingly "it’s common knowledge. You realise you could get expelled for this?"

No response. Lily went on.

"However, since I don’t particularly want the ruin of a person’s education and its effect on their future on my conscience, James and I will cover for you and you can serve two months’ worth of detentions. Professor McGonagall will tell you the details

"Now get out before a teacher comes into this corridor" the red head ordered.

The girl still didn’t say anything.

"What? Are you thick or something? Didn’t you hear anything Lily’s said?" James asked. The girl nodded.

"Well, run then!" he said. And so she did. The girl whimpered and bolted out of the classroom in sheer mortification.

Lily stood aside to stop herself from being mauled. Once she’d gone, Lily shut the door, leant against the back of it and burst into a fit of laughter.

That mesmerising, melodic laughter. That laughter. James had never seen anyone who suited hysterical mirth more, it was simply astounding. He gazed at her subconsciously for a second before wondering what he was doing. And for that matter, what she was doing.

"What are you doing?" he voiced.

Lily threw her dancing, emerald gaze upon him, bit her bottom lip in an attempt to stem the flow of hilarity and took a deep breath.

"Did you see her face when she saw you?" she managed, a rare and charming smile remained still and it had somewhat of an allure to it.

"What do you mean?" he asked slowly, studying her face.

"You must have seen! She was petrified, couldn’t move a muscle. I thought she was going to faint from shock" Lily recounted.

James felt distinctly uncomfortable, he had noticed but he only now realised that it must’ve been because of him. "It’s not my fault" he said defensively.

"Of course not, well actually it is. But not directly. Come on, we’d better clean this up before someone else sees"

They walked over to the desk and knelt down to examine the spilt liquid. Lily, hesitantly, touched the substance with a finger and smelt it again.

"Yep, I was right" she said and got back up to look at the things on the desk. A card, a quill and an open, but full, bottle of firewhiskey. A thought crossed Lily’s mind.

"James? What’s your favourite drink?" she asked.

"Firewhiskey" he answered distractedly as he cast a repairing charm on the pieces of the measuring cup.

Her smile had returned, James observed when he looked up to find Lily picking up the card, which this girl had obviously been writing in. The Head Girl cleared her throat before reading off it.

"Dear James" it began "I know how much you like firewhiskey, I had a bottle lying around and thought I’d give it to you. Hoping you’ll think of me when you drink this and when you need a date for Hogsmeade. Love, Calan"

Lily looked at him, he’d stood up by now. "So that’s why she froze up like that. Know this Calan?" she questioned, plainly enjoying every minute.

"No!" James exclaimed in outrage. Lily giggled at his response.

"Calm down, it’s not like she got away with it"

"I know. But what a twisted thing to do!" he said disgustedly "you know, I think we went too easy on her. She should get expelled after all"

"James, you wouldn’t really want her expelled" Lily reasoned "I mean, yes, it is rather a weird and disturbing thing to do but the poor girl’s obviously just confused and besotted"

"Lily, she wanted to give me a love potion! That’s not besotted, that’s obsessed!"

"Alright it is, but a lot of girls feel like that"

"How come I’ve never heard of anyone else being poisoned by love potion, then?" James challenged.

"Normal guys don’t get such devotion, I meant that....a lot of girls feel like that" and here she started blushing "about you"

James stared at her blankly "they do? Why?"

Lily looked at him despairingly but he persisted in looking confused.

She sighed and tried her best "well, it’s just that you’re. I mean, there are…good looking guys and everything but people like Sirius and Remus and yourself are…well, you know, you’re popular and, and" but she broke off, trying to find the right words.

James was having trouble not laughing. Watching her try to explain and get all embarrassed was very amusing. "And?" he prompted.

"Well you’re, girls tend to think that you’re…particularly good looking" she finished.

"‘I see" he looked at her again, enquiringly "have you, ever, I mean?"

"About you? Oh God, no!" Lily said sincerely and then winced at how sincere she’d really sounded "oh no, that came out wrong, didn’t it?"

"Why is it, that whenever I talk to you, I always end up with a badly wounded ego?" he commented, grinning, making Lily sigh in relief.

"I don’t know. I apologise in advance for anything else I might say" she said worriedly "I can’t understand, I manage to hold my tongue around everyone else"

"Do I make you nervous, Lily?" he asked in a low voice but smirked even so.

Lily hadn’t noticed the confident smile or the change in tone as she opened the door to leave the classroom "make me nervous? I shouldn’t think so. You’ve never made me feel more nervous than anyone else has" she replied thoughtfully.

This perfectly naïve remark wounded his ego more than anything else she’d said. For a second there, he had fully thought she had a secret crush on him.

Lily noticed the meditative frown on his face "are you okay? Have I said something wrong?"

He glanced at her face and was somewhat arrested by it. Her brow was slightly crinkled in enquiry; the corners of her mouth upturned to give a hint of a smile but her eyes struck him the most, with their expression of concern and innocence.

He stared at her "no, I’m fine"

Her smile grew but her eyes held confusion ‘Why are you staring at me like that? Have I got ink on my face?"

"Huh? Of course you haven’t. I was just…thinking about something I’ve forgotten to do"

"Oh right"

And they continued to walk in comfortable silence. After a couple of minutes, James spoke up.

"Let’s talk about something light" he suggested.

"Such as?"

"What’s your favourite colour?"

"Rose. A dusk rose, rather" she replied promptly.

"Pink?" James said dubiously.

"Not pink, exactly. Dusk rose, it’s a little warmer and much darker" she described.

"Oh. How come you don’t wear pink, then?" catching her eye, he quickly amended "or any of its variations"

She smiled and shook her head "I can’t, can I? It’s so annoying" she muttered, clearly expecting him to comprehend. Which, he was ashamed to admit, he didn’t.

"Um-why can’t you?" he asked sheepishly.

"Because of my hair" and upon seeing his look of confusion, she sighed. "It’s red. Which of course, clashes badly with dusk rose. I only ever saw one red haired girl pull it off in my entire life" Lily finished wistfully.

"Who?"

"I don’t really know her, she was in an ad, you see"

"How do you know you can’t pull it off?" James asked.

"Because"

"Because?"

"Because I know"

"How can you?"

"It’s a girl thing, most girls just know about things like that" Lily explained patiently.

"What about the ones who don’t?" the boy asked again, intrigued.

"They look stupid" was her response.

"Who does? Give me the name of one person who doesn’t know"

"I really shouldn’t" Lily said.

"But you want to" James persisted. She looked up at him and they tried to out-stare each other. Lily sighed and gave in.

"Fine but please don’t tell anyone I said this" she pleaded.

"Who would I tell?"

"Oh alright, well, Iris Hamilton could do with a little help" Lily admitted.

"That wasn’t too bad, was it?"

"I suppose not" she said grudgingly.

"Why don’t you try to help her?" James asked.

"Sorry?"

"Iris Hamilton, why don’t you help her? I’m assuming you can because you look pretty good in your clothes"

"Do I?"

"Yeah. At least I think so. I mean you look okay most of the time, I don’t remember all of the stuff you’ve worn"

"Understandably" she interjected.

"I do remember the other day, when you wore this top, can’t remember the colour. Was it white? I dunno"

"It was navy with a gold cardigan" Lily answered, roughly knowing where this was heading.

"It was the shorts. Denim and scruffy and the ends looked a little rolled up but they were short and then you’d put on tights, I think, under it. But I remember the shorts, vividly" he recalled with a slight smile playing at his lips.

"Well, you would" she muttered dryly, her cheeks a slight pink.

"Shame you wore tights though"

"It was part of the look" she explained.

"Still a shame" he finished, grinning at her. She looked at him disbelievingly and got a sudden, unexpected urge to…

"Ow! What was that for?" James demanded, rubbing his head where Lily had smacked it.

"For saying idiotic things" Lily replied, quite pleased with herself for actually going with instinct for once.

"What? Is it my fault you have nice legs? No, it's your mother's"

Lily looked at him. Her lips twitched but she shook her head and carried on walking. James was still smirking. Suddenly though, the look of amusement in her face was erased and replaced by one of anxiety.

"James?" she voiced sheepishly.

"Yeah?"

"I-I didn’t look like a slag, did I? No one thought that, did they?"

"No, ‘course not. You wore those tights for a start and you were wearing a fuck load of necklaces, weren’t you? If you want to be a slag, you don’t cover up your ti-top half" he amended hastily “with necklaces, they distract”

"That’s charming, James" Lily said.

“I’m only being honest” he replied and then noticing her reflective expression, added “trust me Lily; you didn’t look like a slag. You looked good. Don’t start thinking you should stop wearing those shorts. It’d be a crime"

Lily looked at him "I’m sure" she answered sarcastically, James grinned at her and they carried on walking.

Five or maybe ten minutes later, they didn’t keep count, they finally came full circle to the Library and then walked back up to the common room together.

"Finally, god I’m knackered" James said, yawning.

"So am I. Make sure you get to sleep immediately" Lily instructed.

His eyebrows rose and he smiled "why? Worried about me?"

"Well we’ve got that tutoring thing tomorrow and it wouldn’t do for you to be falling asleep, would it?" she reasoned.

"Oh right, yeah. I suppose" he said.

"Okay, well I’ll meet you in the library then"

"At nine?"

Lily wrinkled her nose slightly, making him smile again.

"Not a morning person?"

"Not really but half past ten shouldn’t be too bad, if you want it early" she suggested.

"Half past ten it is then"

"Great, well…goodnight James, I’ll see you tomorrow" Lily said.

"Yeah you too, night"

She nodded and started to make her way up the girl’s dormitory stairs, longing for her bed. James waited for a minute, watching her disappear up the steps, without quite realising what he was doing or registering how much attention he’d been paying the Head Girl of late.



A/N: So nothing much happens in this one, apart from the further growing of Lily and James’s relationship which is good but apart from that, it’s a little blank. Sorry about that, loads was supposed to happen but I went way over on the length so it’ll happen in the next chapter.

I hope you like it anyway. Plot suggestions, opinions, critiques, I appreciate them all so just tell me what you think!


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