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Shades of Perfection by SincerelyYours

Format: Novel
Chapters: 9
Word Count: 18,763
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Romance, Angst
Characters: Lupin, Snape, Sirius, Lily, James, Regulus, Pettigrew, OtherCanon
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/Lily, Sirius/OC

First Published: 06/24/2007
Last Chapter: 09/15/2007
Last Updated: 09/15/2007

Summary:
Excerpt from Chapter 8.


"As much as I hated him, there was no denying how unbelievably attractive he was right now. Here I was, pressed up against a "bad" boy who is infatuated with me, in a small, dark broom closet, while hiding from Filch. If only I was living in another lifetime, then maybe I could've done something daring and completely amazing. Such as kissing him."


Chapter 1: Intrigued by the Head Boy
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There are four of them. Marauders that is. They are all unique and extraordinary in their own way, even Peter Pettigrew. There was Sirius Black, the womanizer. I'd be willing to bet my life that the phrase 'tall, dark, and handsome' was first said when looked upon Sirius Black. He was tall, athletic, a trouble maker, and witty. He had straight black hair that fell past his eyes, giving him the element of mystery. When he laughed or simply found something amusing, he tossed the hair out of his eyes, revealing two very striking, grey eyes. He had soft, pale pink lips that were always played out into a smile. He was the life of all the parties, the reason everyone smiled, and has never once seen to be sad. I had always made it a point to watch him from a distance. Memorizing every move, then analyzing it a moment later. He was interesting to watch, but at times he was simply boring. He was the kind of guy you wanted around, yet wanted to stay far away from. He was the kind of guy that could break your heart in an instance and not care. After all my years of watching him, analyzing and finding out bits and pieces to his personality, I ended up being wrong. There was more to Sirius Black than I ever imagined.. That I ever thought possible.

Then there was Remus Lupin. Sweet sophisticated, intelligent Remus Lupin. He was the brains of the group, always making up logical excuses for their misbehaving. He was kind, loyal and the kind of guy any girl wanted to have as a boyfriend. He was also simply gorgeous. He had short, yet not too short light brown hair and light blue eyes. His skin was fairly pale and despite the fact that he had dark circles around his eyes every now and then, his skin was flawless. He was the last Marauder I befriended, and possibly the hardest. It was true that he was kind, but it took a lot of effort to earn his trust. But once you did, it was worth it.

Peter Pettigrew was the sensitive one. He was shorter than the other boys, and wasn't quite as fit. He was charming in his own boyish way, but wasn't as popular with the female population of Hogwarts due to the fact that he was a bit self conscious. At first glance, you would've assumed that someone like Peter had to buy his way into the group. He was very clumsy and was embarrassed easily. But once I got to know him, I found out that I was very wrong. You see, Peter Pettigrew always kept up an act as the innocent, clumsy one of the group, while in reality, he was just as bloody brilliant as the rest. He did poorly in his school work but was very talented when coming up with pranks. He was always the first one to laugh at a joke and was the last to stop laughing. I confess, at first I wasn't too fond of him, but once I got to know him, I realized that he really was meant to be a Marauder.

Finally, there's James Potter. He's hands down the most complicated, and I'd hardly consider him a Marauder. He is simply a gentlemen. He holds doors open for others, his posture is perfect, he never puts his elbows on the table, always does his homework, and is never once late for class. He is quiet and observant, and rarely spoke. He is mysterious, calm, and gorgeous. He had messy, black hair that he had a habit of rumpling up, deep hazel eyes with thin, wired framed glasses, and soft lips that seem to take an eternity to part when he spoke. Every single one of his moves was graceful and his body magnificent. He spends hours outside playing Quidditch, but he is still a soft, pale color. He isn't quick and witty like Remus, or a womanizer like Sirius, and he doesn't think up of pranks like Peter. He is James Potter. I've known him for seven years, yet I've never spoken a word to him. But this year, everything changed. Everything changed greatly. James Potter went from being someone I observed greatly, to being the best friend I never had. And possibly, even more.


***


I watched him as he ever so slightly licked his thumb, then separated the two pieces of paper. He handed one to me, not even giving me a glance, then placing the other one in front of him. His quill ready in hand, he quickly, yet neatly wrote his name out at the top, then wrote Head Boy underneath it.

I found myself staring at his handwriting. It was a mix between print and cursive. I stared at how the letters were dedicatedly attached, yet somehow not at the same time. It surprised me that he could write so fast, yet so beautiful at the same time. But this was James Potter. Everything about him was beautiful.

"What suggestions do you have?" James asked, taking me back to reality.

It took me a few moments to register what had just happened. After seven years, James Potter had addressed me. Still in a bit of trance, I cleared my throat then replied, "I don't know. I'm thinking that we should do a Winter dance. With a Winter Wonderland theme."

He shook his head slightly, and I watched as his hair moved with him. Tonight, his hair was wet which caused his hair to curl at the ends. I had to admit, it was very attractive.

"We have the same thing every year." James said. This time, I got a chance to really hear his voice. It was soft and soothing, and I faintly imagined what it would be like to hear him say my name.

"You have a point." I agreed. "Maybe we should add a twist to it.. Make it outdoors perhaps?"

James nodded, yet barely. If I hadn't been watching him so closely, I probably wouldn't have seen it. He seemed to be in deep thought, then suddenly, shook his head. "It would be too cold."

It was bloody hard to get that boy to agree on anything.

"Do you have any suggestions?" I asked, a bit annoyed.

James thought for a moment, then a small smile tugged at the edges of his lips, but dissolved within the next second. "A trip to Hogsmeade."

A trip to Hogsmeade? That's what he was smiling about? I had expected something a little more interesting than that.

I opened my mouth to say no, but he held his hand up, silencing me.

"During the night. From sunset to around ten." He finally said.

"That's brilliant!" I replied. "We've all seen it during the day, but it would be so lovely to see it during the night.. With all the stars and lights up."

James nodded, then slowly made his way to get up. "I'll run the idea by McGonagall tomorrow." he said. He grabbed his paper, which he had written nothing but his name and Head Boy under, and tucked his quill behind one ear. And just like that, he was gone.

With no goodbye, no see you later, no nothing. I sat in the common room, replaying the events of what happened over and over again. He was so quiet, and every word he spoke was filled with passion. He intrigued me, leaving me wanting more.


***


I pulled my hair into a ponytail, frustrated at the fact that it was not cooperating with me today. The bad thing about wavy hair was that some days it decided to go frizzy on you. I looked into the mirror, not too disappointed with what I saw. Basically, I was what my mother called, an attention grabber. I had long, red hair that was wavy, with almond shaped, jade colored eyes, a 5'6" slender yet curvy body, and pale skin. To be honest, no one had ever called me beautiful or pretty. Sure, when I was a kid my grandparents called me cute, but other than that, I went unnoticed.

All my life I went unnoticed. I was the girl in the background, the one who never said a word. I have never even had a best friend, just people I knew and occasionally said hi to. I used to sit with Emmeline Vance but after listening to her talk about how pretty she was and her boyfriend of the week, I grew tired and abandoned her, sitting alone at the edge of the table. I went to class, came back, did my homework, occasionally read a book by the fire then went to sleep. I was the girl that didn't get attention nor wanted it.

It finally occurred to me how alone I truly was around May last year. My parents had just split up and my mother moved to America to live with her sister in Georgia or whatever the bloody hell it's called. My sister ignored me even more, and my father spent more time away at work. I cried a lot during school, wondering how on earth my life had just fallen apart, but it hit me even harder when I went home for summer. I spent my days alone at home with no one with me. My sister, Petunia, spent most of the day out with her friends and her sorry excuse for a boyfriend and my dad threw himself even more into his work. I had no one to owl with, no friend to have a sleep over with or have a girl's day in Diagon Alley. I was simply alone.

I bit back the tears, then took one last look at my reflection in the mirror, tugged on my skirt, then walked out of the dorm.

Chapter 2: Ravenclaw With a Limited Vocabulary
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I watched as James entrancingly poured himself more pumpkin juice, then taking a small sip, before going back to eating his food. Ever since two nights ago when he first talked to me, I have been staring more and more at him. Memorizing every single graceful move of his and listening intently to hear him talk again. I had formed an obsession and I knew it. It wasn't as though I was in love with him. No, I simply looked up to him. I had been so lost in thought, that I didn't even notice the bubbly, Ravenclaw prefect take a seat in front of me.

"You're Lisa Evans, the Head Girl, right?" she asked a little too fast. I slowly turned my attention towards her, taking in her appearance. Her cheeks were slightly red, her eyes opened wide and filled with excitement and she had a large grin plastered on her face. Dorcas Meadows. That was her name. She was a fellow 7th year and was known for being a flirt.

"It's Lily Evans." I corrected her. "And yes, I am the Head Girl."

Dorcas giggled a bit, pushing her straight as a stick blonde hair out of her face, then continued to talk in the same speed as before. "Oh, sorry! I just came to ask about the Winter Dance and when it is. Got to have a date all set up, you know?"

I smiled, but in truth, I didn't know. "Actually, we aren't having a dance this year."

Her face fell instantly and her blabbering began before I even got a chance to finish. "What? No dance? This can't be happening! I won't allow it! No way, no way! You can't possibly do this! What makes you think you have the right-"

"Listen," I cut her off before my head exploded from her high pitched rambling. "We've decided to do something a little bit more original. Possibly a trip to Hogsmeade at night time if McGonagall approves."

It was truly spectacular how this girl was able to change her emotions so quickly. One moment she was bubbly, the next she was about to bite my head off, and now she was so excited her face was turning red.

"That would be so bloody fantastic! I can already imagine walking down the snowy streets with the fantastic lights on, holding hands with whoever I'll be going! Oh this is going to be so fantastic!"

For a Ravenclaw, she sure did have a limited vocabulary. She went on about her already planned out evening and I listened absentmindedly, playing around with the food on my plate.

When she finally did decide to stop for air, I quickly cut in. "As lovely as this has been, I have to get to class. See you around."

Dorcas nodded, then quickly got up, obvious that she was about to go spread the word to her fellow hyperactive friends.

I faintly smiled, wondering what it must be like to be part of her group of friends. I quickly dismissed the thought. A few minutes with Dorcas was enough to give me a headache. I didn't even want to think about what would happen if I had to spend all day with her.

I grabbed my book bag and slung it over my shoulder. If I left now, I'd be around ten minutes early for class. Then again, I was in the good part of my book, so arriving early and getting to read a bit wouldn't be so bad.

But that wasn't what I ended up getting.

James Potter was truly one to surprise you. He's extraordinarily quiet, and has rarely every talked to me, then all of a sudden I see him in the hallway and he asks,

"What color signs should we put up?"

Again, I couldn't help but obsess over the little details about him. Such as how his lips took an eternity to part, or how softly he spoke, or even how his fingers softly rubbed his forearm after he asked.

It took me a while to understand what it was that he was talking about. Then when I realized that he must be talking about the signs to put around the school telling all 7th years about the Hogsmeade trip, I finally answered. "Whatever floats your boat."

I mentally slapped myself for saying something so stupid and childish. His right eyebrow slowly lifted, but quickly fell back down.

He cleared his throat, then pushed off of the wall he had been leaning against. Once again, he left without saying a word. He had that affect on me again. How he intrigued me. But this time, I didn't want to wait around and see when he would decide to talk to me again. Instead, I quickened my pace and followed him down the corridor.

After I had reached his side, I took a moment to collect my thoughts. He didn't once turn around and ask me what I was doing, or even acknowledge the fact that I was walking beside him. Instead, he kept walking as though I wasn't even there.

"So which class are you going to?" I asked him. Again, I mentally slapped myself for being so stupid. He was going to the same class I was, Charms.

He didn't reply, instead he pointed to the classroom on the left. He walked inside, me trailing behind him, and he took a seat in the back of the room, as usual, and took out his book. I placed my stuff at my own desk, then decided to give the talking another shot. I walked to where he was and looked at the book he was reading. I was mildly shocked when I saw that he was reading Shakespeare, but then the feeling quickly went away. This was James Potter. Of course he'd be reading something deep and meaningful.

"Is this your first time reading Hamlet?" I asked. I myself have read it countless number of times. It was my favorite play of Shakespeare's.

James slowly shook his head, not even lifting his eyes up to look at me.

It irked me that he could be so calm and quiet while I was here trying to nervously think up of things to say.

"Which part are you at?" I asked.

James sighed, then put his book down. "Do you mind? I'm trying to read."

I blushed red then took a deep breath and tried to collect myself.

Before I knew it, the words had escaped and I no longer had any control over my mouth. "How did you ever become a Marauder? You're so bloody stodgy!"

James didn't blush nor did his facial expression change. He merely sat there, staring at the his book. I stood there, waiting for a response but he didn't seem to want to give one. After a minute or so, he finally spoke, but when the words left his mouth, I suddenly wished he hadn't.

"Maybe you should shut the hell up about things you don't understand?"

If I had been red before, I didn't know what color to classify myself under now. His words stung me. They were spoken softly in a cold tone and it seemed as though it had sliced right through me.

I stood there, my feet glued to the floor. I wanted to move, walk away from the scene before I said anything else, but my feet refused to cooperate. After a few moments, I finally turned on my heel, and walked out of the classroom.

My insides were boiling with hot anger and I refused to meet anyone's eye down the corridor. The ones who did seem to get my attention, were rewarded with a very deathly glare.

I walked up to my dorm, still furious, and I kept replaying the events over and over in my head. I knew I must have hit a nerve, seeing as though James Potter would never say anything of the sort to anyone. At that moment, I hated him.

I hated his stupid glasses, his perfect posture, his neat, beautiful handwriting, his calm and collected facade, his quiet nature and his stupid hair.

Yet, I was still intrigued by him.

Chapter 3: A Regretful Kiss
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NOTE: Just to let you know, yes this IS a L/J story. It may not seem like it from this chapter though, but trust me, it is. :)

And a big huzzah! to all the wonderful reviews! And now, without further ado, I present to you, chapter 3:



He hardly seemed bothered. In fact, he didn't seem to even remember what had happened earlier today. I faintly wondered if I dreamt it all, if it had actually happened, but the memory of his cold eyes and how low and deadly his voice had gotten were enough to convince me otherwise. He cleared his throat, then continued with the rest of the speech he was giving the Prefects.

".. And finally, we will have a Hogsmeade trip the weekend before to allow students to buy their outfits for the occasion." He then turned towards me, "Is there anything you'd like to add."

I looked at him for a moment, somewhat startled that he had actually decided to notice me, then I turned towards the group of Prefects, cleared my throat, and said, "We might have a Masquerade for Halloween, although we aren't sure yet and have to discuss the details with Professor McGonagall. You can go to your beds now."

A few Prefects murmured a good night, while others gathered their stuff and dashed out the door. I picked up my quill and piece of parchment and placed them neatly inside my bag.

Without giving James a single glance, I turned towards the door and made my way out, not expecting him to say or do anything.

But then, he surprised me. It seemed as though the boy had a knack of doing that.

"Hey Evans, I want to show you something."


***

I stood outside, the cold wind blowing against my face, causing me to shiver. I had no reason to be out here and I don't know why I had agreed in the first place. All I knew was that I was standing outside of Hogwarts, after curfew, in the cold wind, with a boy I hardly knew.

I sneaked a glance at him. He was staring out into the lake, a thoughtful expression on his face. His hair was rather messy due to the wind and his cheeks had a pink tinge to them.

".. So what did you want to show me?" I finally asked.

He closed his eyes for a second, inhaling in the crisp air, then turned his attention to me.

"This." he replied, pointing towards the view.

"You brought me out here," I said slowly. "To show me the lake.. Something I've seen for the past seven years and something which I can enjoy without having my arse frozen off?"

"I didn't want to come alone." he replied simply.

"You're such a prick." I said before turning around and heading towards the door. He had brought me out here for nothing. I was risking suspension for this? It was completely absurd.

I gave the main door a good tug and went inside the castle. I couldn't help but get slowly more irrated as I walked down the hallway alone. I felt an urge to turn around and give him a good whack upside the head, but I thought better of it.

I had managed to successfully reach the portrait of the Fat Lady without being caught but then my luck ran short.

"Ms. Evans? Is that you?" Professor McGonagall's voice echoed throughout the empty corridor.

I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath, then turned around to face my fate.

"Yes Professor."

"What in Merlin's name are you doing out of your common room at such an hour?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"I, uh, I was just-"

"She was with me." James said, approaching Professor McGonagall. His cheeks were flushed red and he was slightly out of breath, as though he had just ran, which he probably had.

"And what were you two doing out of your beds?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"This first year dropped her doll outside earlier today and refused to go to bed without it. Evans and I volunteered to search for it." James replied. He said it with such ease that it took me a second to remember that it wasn't true.

Professor McGonagall eyed the both of us, then asked, "Did you find it?"

James shook his head. "We think it may be in the Forbidden Forest but decided that it wasn't wise to go check at such an ungodly hour."

Professor McGonagall nodded, approving the decision that we had supposedly made. "Very well. Now go back to your beds and next time, please, don't go searching at such an hour. You know what terrible circumstances we are under at the time being."

We both nodded and watched as Professor McGonagall walked away. I murmured the password to the Fat Lady and went inside, James shortly behind me.

"I suppose you want me to thank you." I said as soon as we were both in.

James shook his head. "I don't expect you to."

"Good." I replied. "Because I wasn't about to either."

I turned my back towards him and made my way up the stairs and to my dorm.

"For the record," James said, making me stop midway up the stairs. "I'm sorry."

I didn't turn around, nor did I say anything. Instead, I lingered in my spot for a moment then continued up the stairs.


***


He was practically a god, a gorgeous one too. Sometimes, I just have an urge to run my hands through his hair. Of course, I would never act on said urge. It wasn't as though he were a complete stranger though. We were friends since third year when we were forced to work together in Divination. The only way to keep ourselves sane was to play countless pranks on our Divination professor, an old fraud with a very bad set of teeth who always smelt like sherry wine and cigarette smoke. From then on, we'd been friends, occasionally talking in the common room, or playing a game of Exploding Snaps-

"Evans, are you even listening to me?" Emmeline asked, annoyed.

I quickly snapped my head back towards Emmeline's direction. "Er.. yes."

Emmeline rolled her eyes, then continued to talk. "My grandfather, the one that lives in America, sent this for me. He says that it's absolutely delicious and this flavor is only out in America so far."

"Fascinating." I replied absentmindedly.

Emmeline dug through her purse and took out a stick of white gum. "Try some. You'll love it, I swear."

I took the piece, smiling as though I were grateful while I did so, and unwrapped it and stuck it in my mouth. It tasted like mint, but only for a second, then transformed into tasting like saliva. It took all I had to not spit it out and vomit. I forced a smile and continued to chew, then finally said, "It's brilliant!"

"Of course it is. It's from America." Emmeline replied, placing a large emphasize on the word America. "My rich grandfather sent it. The one that owns a factory in Scotland and in that state called.. New.. Work I think."

I nodded, pretending to know exactly what she meant. God, what would it take to get me away from her?

I looked down at my watch, and pretended that I was late for something. "Oh! I have to go now, I can't believe I forgot! I still haven't finished my.. erm, Transfiguration essay!"

I was a terrible liar.

Perhaps that was why I was never able to fool Petunia into eating a slug when I was younger. People like me should never lie. I always ended up twisting my face slightly, something which gave me away.

Emmeline scrunched up her nose, apparantly dim witted enough to believe my horrible lie. "We have a Transfiguration essay?"

Oh sod. "It's extra credit."

I gathered my stuff and got up, entirely too aware of the fact that Emmeline was still staring at me. I left the Great Hall, then pondered outside for a moment, deciding where I should go for a bit of peace and quiet.

Ah, the lake. The quiet, relaxing, beautiful lake.


***


I let the cool breeze wash over me, taking in the smell of the water and seaweed. The lake looked absolutely gorgeous during the fall. It was smooth, with small ripples here and there and you could see the reflection of the gold and orange trees through the water. A few places the leaves traveled gently across the surface water, making the whole scene look like a post card photo.

"I didn't think anyone else sat out here aside from me." a voice said from behind me.

I closed my eyes for a brief moment. It was the god himself. I'd recognize that voice anywhere.

I turned around and smiled at Sirius as he flopped down beside me.

"I myself thought that only I came out here." I replied.

Sirius smiled, looking out at the view I has just been enjoying. "I find it very calm and soothing here. It's a good place to get away from it all."

I couldn't help but laugh. "Who would've thought that Sirius Black, the trouble maker who loves attention, likes to have his alone time."

"Oh we all do." Sirius said. "The Marauders that is. James likes it out here too, but only at night. Don't see why it would be so enjoyable at night though. You can't see all the colors reflecting off the water, and besides, it's bloody freezing."

"I know." I said. "He brought me out here last week."

Sirius raised his eyebrows.

"I don't know. It was rather random. Seemed like a spur of the moment kind of thing for him." I said.

We both remained quiet, letting our surrounds sink in. I ran my hand through the grass beneath me. It was dry and slightly rough, a sign that meant that winter was coming soon. The grass was no longer a bold green, but now slightly lighter and fading.

"What are you thinking about?" Sirius asked from beside me.

I smiled slightly. "Oh, nothing. Just.. grass."

Sirius chuckled, throwing his head back as he did so. "Grass?"

"Well, not necessarily. I'm just thinking about how it's turning into winter so quickly."

He still had an amused smile on his face, but nodded in an agreeing manner. "You know Ms. Evans, you are quite different from most girls around here."

I turned my attention towards him. "How so?"

Sirius shrugged. "You just are. There's something special about you. For give me for sounding corny, but I have a feeling that you're meant to do something great, something extraordinary."

I felt my cheeks tinge pink. "Thank you. You yourself are quite remarkable too."

Sirius smiled. "Stating the obvious, I see."

"You're very modest too." I joked.

He didn't say anything, but continued to stare at me with an expression on his face that I couldn't explain. He had a small smile played across his lips, and his eyes were alluring.

Slowly, he brought his hand to my face and cupped my chin, bringing my face closer to his. He kissed me in a way that was exciting and frenzied, as though it were the last kiss he would ever have. The entire time I focused on how steadily hot I was growing, the tingling feeling in my stomach, and his smooth, soft lips.

I don't know why he kissed me; me out of all the girls. It's not like I'm ugly, but nor am I gorgeous. I'm just.. average. Someone like Sirius Black, practically a god, didn't seem like the type that would go for the average type. But I didn't spend too much time worrying about it, I was glad that he was kissing me. I had no complaints, and I wasn't about to push him off either to ask him why me!

What I didn't know now was that later on I'd regret this greatly. As amazing and magnificent as a kiss it was, it would someday ruin everything I'd worked hard for. This kiss, as simple and sweet as it was, would make me lose the one thing that I will ever cherish.

But for now, this kiss was everything and more. As I was losing myself in it something occurred to me.

I still had the saliva tasting gum in my mouth.



Chapter 4: Addiction
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CHAPTER FOUR.
Addiction


I gently let go, letting my hand rest on the grass beneath me. Sirius wistfully turned his head towards the lake once again but still let his hand remain on top of mine.

"I don't usually do that." he voiced.

I looked down at my lap, not sure what to say. I watched as a small bug crawled onto my lap, then went back down to the grass, burying itself under the green blades. I waited for him to continue but he didn't say anything, so I mustered up the courage and finally spoke.

"So.. does this mean we're officially together?" When the words left my mouth, I silently cursed myself for sounding so stupid.

He looked at me, his eyes a delicate blue as the sun hit them. "Do you want to be?"

Did I? Here was a boy that I had known for four years who had never showed any signs of affection towards me and yet that kiss had left me completely breathless and longing for more. Part of me wanted to say yes, but the other part of me kept nagging me about his reputation. He was a womanizer, a man of many beautiful words but none of which came from the heart. He had a reputation of a heartbreak, a prankster and someone who was just in it for the fun.

I don't know why I said it, but it came out before I planned it and as I said it, I felt a small flutter in my heart, as though it was telling me, "this is it, this is what you've been waiting for".

"Yes."


***



We parted our ways and I left for my dorm, still feeling the warmth of his hand on my cheek and the other gently squeezing my hand. My right leg was slightly itchy from being under the dry, brittle grass but I didn't care. I was happy and that was all that mattered.

I took a look at myself in the mirror in my dorm. My cheeks were flushed red and my lips raw from kissing. I ran a hand through my hair, then peeled off my clothes and changed into one of my nightgowns. The silk felt good against my skin as a slid onto my bed, my book in hand, ready to read then call it a night.

I faintly wondered what he was doing, or thinking. He was so unlike me in every way and I found it interesting. He was barely seen during the weekends, and sometimes during the week. He was always sneaking out of the school and going to parties in Hogsmeade, or walking around the Forbidden Forest smoking.

He had first started the nasty habit of smoking around the same time I met him; third year. He had come back from summer with his hair longer, his figure taller and slightly thinner and a pack of cigarettes tucked into his back pocket. He had managed to fall into the wrong crowd, smoking up at the Astronomy Towers after curfew and sneaking out of school at midnight to meet with some airhead blonde with a nice figure. No one was sure what had happened to him, aside from James Potter. He was suddenly quieter, more mysterious and had a bad streak in him. Finally, towards the end of third year he managed to lighten up, sneak out less and not get involved in as much trouble as he used to, but he still hadn't managed to put away his smoking habit and still had a bad streak in him.

I put my book on my beside and pulled the curtains around my bed, casting a Silencing Charm so I wouldn't be disturbed by my dorm mates when they came up for bed. Tossing and turning in my bed, I replayed the events of the day until I finally managed to drift into sleep.


***



"You'll die if you keep up the habit." I said.

Sirius shrugged and took a long drag, keeping the smoke in his mouth for a few extra seconds before exhaling. "Everyone dies eventually."

"You'll die sooner."

Sirius chuckled and flicked the end of his cigarette with his finger, letting a few bits of ash fall to the ground.

We were sitting up in the Quidditch bleachers and watching the Gryffindor practice, something that Sirius always did to show a bit of support for James. He had invited me along, insisting that it would be a nice change. He had a half empty pack tucked in his back pocket and had a habit of letting his fingers touch the packet every few minutes, assuring himself that it was still there.

"Why don't you try one?" he asked.

I took a look at the slowly burning cigarette in his hand. "No thanks."

"Come on," he said with a grin, pushing the cigarette closer to me. "Give it a go. It's better than you think."

My father did always tell me that I give in to peer pressure to quickly. He said I was too soft at heart and that I should toughen up. I never really cared about all this until that moment, when I found my hand edging closer to the white cylinder that was the cause of many deaths.

Sirius noticed this and brought his hand closer, letting my fingers slide around the cigarette.

"Just inhale, keep the smoke in for a bit, then let it go." he told me.

I nodded and brought the death trap closer to my lips. I brought my mouth on the tip where it was slightly moist from Sirius's lips. As I inhaled, the smoke traveled inside me, filling up my lungs. My eyes watered slightly and I fought the urge to cough. Finally, I exhaled and felt a relief in my body.

And just like that, I was addicted.


***



"I hear you're going out with Sirius." Emmeline said. She was sitting on her bed, her hair high up in a loose bun and was applying a coat of hot red nail polish to her toenails.

I looked up from my essay and shrugged. "I suppose."

"I saw you smoking with him too." Emmeline added.

"It was just one." I replied, going back to my essay. I tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear and tried to concentrate.

Emmeline leaned back against the wall. "I'm not saying it's a bad thing.. I just never thought you'd smoke."

I didn't reply and tried to focus hard on my essay. Just ignore her, I thought.

"He's not really you're type." Emmeline continued. "I mean.. I feel like I should warn you that he's a heartbreaker. He's only in it for the fun. I was the only person he was every truly serious about. You do remember when we went out for a few months last year, right?"

Of course I did. Everyone did. They were the couple everyone wanted to be like. They were inseperable and looked perfect together. She was the only girl Sirius ever cared about, and rumor has it that he broke up with her because he was falling too hard and didn't want to end up getting hurt. No one had ever seen Sirius look as happy as he did when he went out with Emmeline. But Emmeline was never serious about him, and Sirius knew it. Emmeline had always been in it for the fun while Sirius was willing to commit to something more, to something greater for once. When they did break up, Emmeline managed to find a new boy to go out with within a week. And that right there nearly killed Sirius.

"Yeah." I finally replied.

"The only good thing about him," Emmeline said. "Is that he's a good kisser. That's the only thing that kept me from breaking up with him."

Cold hearted bitch, I thought.

Emmeline got up from her bed and put on a pair of shoes. "Well, I have to go. Benjy's waiting for me."

I looked up and forced a smile. Benjy Fenwick was boyfriend of the month. He was the typical choice; Quidditch player, muscular, and not too bad looking. It was always typical of Emmeline to have a flavor of the month. She had more boyfriends then she could count and has never gone a week being single.

I sighed, pushing the thought out of my mind and tried to concentrate on my Ancient Runes essay. I managed to good in a good few sentences before I was interrupted.

"Lily, you there?"

I sat up on my bed and pushed aside my homework, tucking my quill behind my right ear. "Yes?"

The door opened and there stood Margaret Finning, a Gryffindor 6th year. I knew her well, we had patrolled together for a quite a bit last year when Remus was sick. She was a small, shy girl with brown hair cut into a pixie cut and bright blue eyes. She was a bit wiry but tended to gain a few pounds around the holidays.

"The Head Boy's looking for you." Margaret replied. "He said something about a Head meeting."

Oh sod. I hastily grabbed a piece of parchment and put on my shoes. "Thank you Margaret! I nearly forgot!"

"S'no problem." Margaret said. "Bye Lily."

I smiled a thank you while I tied my shoelaces then darted out the door, running a hand through my hair.

Chapter 5: Timing's Everything
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CHAPTER FIVE.
Timing's Everything



"Sorry I'm late," I said as I sat down on the armchair next to his. "I lost track of time."

James gave me a small smile and shuffled through a few pieces of parchment that were placed on his lap. I watched as he continued to scan each parchment rather quickly, then move on to the next one. He stopped at the third sheet, spending more time reading it. He then frowned, and reread it.

"It seems as though we won't have a Masquerade this year." James finally said.

"Oh?" I replied. Truthfully, I was a bit relieved. The less organizing I had to do, the better. "Why?"

"Dunno."

"So we're just doing the Hogsmeade trip?"

"I suppose." James replied. "We need to set a date on that."

"I'll talk to Professor McGonagall about it." I said. "Is that all?"

James shook his head. "We're also having issues with the Prefects. It seems as though they are taking off too many points for no reason. It's mostly between Gryffindor and Slytherin, but a few Slytherins are still coming down hard on the Hufflepuffs. The head's of the houses are complaining, especially McGonagall, because they keep on having to lodge points back to the houses because the reasons were far too pathetic. McGonagall reminded me to find a way to stop all the unnecessary subtraction of points."

I sighed. Stupid house rivalries. Couldn't everyone just get along and make my life easire. "I'll take care of it."

"What're you going to say?" James asked.

I shrugged. "I dunno. I'll think of something, don't worry."

He pursed his lips, nodding as he peered over his pieces of parchements again.

"Is that all?" I asked him.

James nodded, putting the pieces of parchment back in his school bag. "We're done for tonight."

I smiled and bid my goodnight and walked towards my dorm stairs.

"Is that a lighter in your back pocket?" James asked from behind me.

I turned around, slightly uneasy. "Er, yes.

"You know Evans, I never thought you'd be the type who'd smoke." James said in an almost mocking tone.

I stared at him, not sure what to exactly say. Who gave him the right to decide what type of person I am? "Well I guess I'm full of surprises."

James remained his gaze on me, his eyes steadily going over ever physical detail about me. "I guess you are."


***



I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned, tried to count sheep, and squeezed my eyes tight, hoping to at least get a small amount of sleep. No such luck.

Finally, after turning and rustling around in the sheets for what seemed like half an hour, I got up from my bed and put on a large sweater over my nightgown. Running a hand through my hair, I grabbed one of my favorite books and walked down the dorm steps, making my way to the center of the Common Room where the armchairs were.

I took a seat on the armchair next to the fire, feeling the faint heat of the flames. I opened up my book and began to read. For some reason, I couldn't focus on it. My thoughts, oddly enough, kept going back to my mum. I don't know why tonight, of all nights, I was thinking of her so much, all I knew was that I just was. I tried to remember the last time I talked to her, or the last time I even saw her. She moved on and away, just like that. She never tried to stay here and make things work. And she hadn't even bothered to stay in touch with me or Petunia.

A small tear moved down my cheek, cool and salty. I closed my book and placed it on the side table next to me, then wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and ran a hand through my hair again. I wondered if she missed me at all. If she ever even thought of me. I had always been told I look just like her. The same bright eyes, the same fiery hair, and the same petite figure.

I hated her for causing me so much pain.

And most of all, I hated her for not caring. Not even a bit.

I could hear a faint pair of footsteps coming my way, but I was in no mood to turn around. It was probably some third year who couldn't go to sleep. I kept my gaze on the fire and only turned when the person took a seat on the armchair next to mine.

"I didn't know you came down here so late." I said.

James shrugged, picking off a piece of lint that was on his sweater. "I couldn't sleep."

I nodded, observing him for a moment. He had on a pair of plaid red pajama bottoms and a black sweater. His glasses were off, showing off his hazel eyes that looked almost green as the light cast by the flames hit it. His hair was slightly wet which made his hair even wilder then usual. He looked.. attractive.

"Why aren't you wearing your glasses?" I asked him.

"I don't need to wear them all the time, I just choose to do so." James explained. "I'm near sighted, but I can still see things from afar, but just in a slightly blurry way."

"Oh." I replied. We sat in silence for a while, both of us gazing at the fire as it kept growing larger than dying out.

"Why are you down here?" James asked.

I didn't answer for a while, but kept looking at the fire. Then I finally turned towards him and shrugged. "Just thinking about a few things."

James didn't say anything but continued to look at me in a way that said he was expecting for more of an explanation.

"It's nothing." I said.

"If it's nothing, why are you awake thinking about it?" James asked.

"Why couldn't you sleep?" I turned on him.

James mussed his hair. "I just couldn't."

We sat in silence for a while, both of us staring at the fire and it's luminous glow. Finally, he spoke.

"You never told me what you were thinking about." James said.

I closed my eyes for a moment, taking in a deep breath. Did I really want to get myself into this? I barely knew him.. And here was a secret that I'd kept to myself for months. Something that tore at me every night and day.

"My mum."

Too late. I already did.

James remained silent, an unreadable expression plastered across his face, expecting more.

"My folks got divorced last year. My dad stayed here in England while my mum decided to go to America to live with my aunt." I explained.

I didn't know why I was telling him so much, all I knew was that it was hard to stop. Here was a boy I hardly knew, a boy who had told me to shut the hell up, a boy who I hadn't said a single word to me before this year.. Yet here I was.

I learned at that moment that timing was everything. If I hadn't been thinking of my mum at this time, this night, this very moment, I wouldn't have been down here with James Potter telling him the major event that ruined my life. And part of me.. Part of me wanted him to be there. At that moment, I felt as though we were closer. As though I could trust him. It felt as though we now had an unspoken bond, a trust, a feeling of comfort around each other now that some of my secrets were spilled. Until that moment, no one had known about the divorce.

"I'm sorry." James replied. I'd heard many "I'm sorry's" within those few months, yet his sounded the most sincere. It made me feel good, it made me feel as though someone cared. "Why?"

And it finally occurred to me. I could back out now, leaving the conversation and any hopes of starting a friendship with this boy. I could go back upstairs and be alone forever, let the memories and the divorce run through my mind and my mind only...

"My mum never approved of me being a witch," The words tumbled off my tongue, not giving me a chance to have second thoughts or stop. So easily, so naturally. As though it were meant to be. "But my dad thought it was a bloody amazing opportunity. He went to Diagon Alley with me, he bought me everything I needed and bought me an owl so we could owl each other back and forth. He loved the idea of witchcraft and wizardry and had me explain everything that happened here in great detail to him." I paused, taking a deep breath and collecting my thoughts. "But my mum.. She was against the whole thing. My mum and my sister, Petunia, hated me for being a witch. I turned out to be the base of the arguments and lies between my folks. It first started with them arguing about me going.. Then it led to stupid, silly fights about pointless things and soon my parents were always at each other's throats every second of every day. It got so bad that my mum couldn't handle it anymore and packed her bags and moved to America to live with her sister. Since then, Petunia has always blamed me for it and has never let me live it down. And now.. Me and my dad barely talk anymore because he has to deal with his job and new girlfriend, my sister hates me, and I haven't talked or seen my mum in over five months."

It was all out. All of it. All the words that I'd rehearsed over and over again in my mind were finally out in the open, revealing themselves for what they really were. My eyes felt hot and watery and I brought my right hand up to rub the corners of my eyes. I took a deep breath, a feeling of relief hovering over me.

"It's not your fault." James finally said.

And that was the last word that he ever said about my mum, about the divorce, and about the fights. Those simple words made me feel as though everything was okay and as though it really weren't my fault.

It wasn't my fault.


***



An hour later, and we were still downstairs talking about everything and anything. Conversation came easily with James. The words flowing out of my mouth naturally, easily. Within that hour I learned that James's birthday was on April 4, his favorite color is grey, he thinks his ears look funny, his mum gave birth to him at 11:11 PM, and that he'd been friends with Sirius since he was four years old. All of it in great detail of course.

"What do you want to be when you graduate?" James asked me.

I smiled. "I want to work for the Daily Prophet. I've always had an interest in journalism. It's what I like to call my natural calling."

"I can see it now, 'Reporter, Lily Evans, caught trespassing while uncovering a scandal at the Ministry'." James said in a serious yet mocking tone.

I laughed, shaking my head as I did so. "So what about you? What do you want to be when you grow up?"

"I don't have much of a choice." James replied. "My father already has a future set up for me. The family business, he calls it."

"Oh?"

"I'm set out to work for the Ministry. Work as the Advisor to Minister, perhaps someday even the Minister of Magic like my father." James finished.

I nodded, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear. "Is that what you want to do?"

James solemnly shook his head. "I've always wanted to be an Auror, but that's out of the question. For me, I'm destined to be noble. My family comes from royal blood and it's expected from me to be someone big in the Ministry. It would be a disgrace for me to want to be anything lower. Some would say that having so much power and respect is a gift. I say it's a curse."

"You should be an Auror," I said. "You'd be amazing at it."

James sighed. "I wish I could."

"You will one day."

Chapter 6: The Broom Closet
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I took off my shoes, placing them on the parched grass beside me, and dipped my feet into the icy cool water of the lake. I leaned back on the palms of my hands and closed my eyes, letting the wind brush past me. I missed the hot, sunny days of summer and the breezy days of spring. I hated the cold and bitter weather.

I tugged on the sleeves of my coat as I realized it was getting a bit chilly now. I took my feet out of the water, drying them off with a quick spell and I put my shoes and socks back on. I sat there for a while, enjoying the peace and quiet.

A full two weeks had passed since my midnight encounter with James and we hadn't said much since. We'd pass by each other in the halls, occasionally glancing at each other and giving a small smile. Only subtle gestures that you had to pay close attention to to be able to catch, otherwise left unnoticed.

Today was my one month anniversary with Sirius, and also the two week anniversary of my addiction to cigars. And right on cue, I stuck my hand in my back pocket and pulled out a cigar from the pack Sirius had given me. He wasn't necessary the best influence on me, but we were good together. He made me happy and that was all that mattered.


***


I didn't want him to kiss him.

His lips on mine, it just didn't feel right. I slowed the kiss, and slowly started to push him off. His breathing slightly heavy, Sirius looked me in the eyes, a bemused expression on his face.

"Something wrong?"

Yes. It was all wrong. He was going too fast, his tongue darting in and out too rapidly. His hands groping my sides, pulling down on the hem of my skirt. I was too aware and uncomfortable by the fact that his right hand was now tracing over the front of my knickers, while his other hand was working my bra clasp. It just didn't feel good anymore. It felt as though I was kissing the wrong person.

"No," I lied. "My mind's just a bit scattered tonight."

He pulled his hand out from underneath my skirt, then held my small hands in his larger, warmer hands while his other hand that had been working my bra clasp pushed back a few strands of hair from my face.

"Something I can help with, love?" Sirius asked me earnestly.

I smiled, pushing his hand off mine slightly. That felt wrong too. "No, just some Head business. You know, the usual question of what happened to all the detention slips and such."

Sirius chuckled. He cupped my chin with his hand, bringing my face closer to his. "You worry too much." And just as he was about to kiss me, I turned my face slightly, making Sirius stop in his tracks.

What was wrong with me tonight?

"Lily.." he breathed.

His voice provoked a new sense in me. We were previously pressed up against an alcove, but now I grabbed his hand and lead him up the stairs to the boy's dormitory. Sensing where I was going with this, he brought his body closer to mine, pressing his front against my back as I lead the way to his room. I pushed the door open, thankful that no one else was there. He then took charge, leading me to his bed. I laid down and he came up on top of me, caressing my body. He left hot, sultry kisses against my neck as his hand moved to undo the buttons to my shirt. My hands, which had previously been entwined in his hair, worked their way to remove his tie, then his shirt. We were both topless, and he was now working his way to undo my clasp. I dragged my nails down his back and smirked as I heard him groan.

Suddenly, I was hot. All over. I worked to undo his belt buckle as he pushed down my skirt. We were both in our undergarmets now. His hard, firm body was now pressed against mine as his tongue darted in and out of my ear.

Then, my subconscious mind kicked in and I was fully aware of what I was doing and what it was leading too. I didn't want my first time to be like this.. I didn't want it to be with him. I wanted it to be with someone special, someone whom I love. Not him.

I slowly pushed him off, shaking my head slightly. "I'm sorry.. I just.. I just remembered that I have patrolling tonight."

Sirius groaned, tightening his grip around my waist. "What would happen if you skived off just once?"

I slowly started to let go, pushing his arms off me. "I can't. I'm the Head Girl, I can't skive off. What kind of an impression would I have on others if I do?"

"Hmm.. Let's see," Sirius said in a cold tone. "That you actually have a life?"

He bent down to capture my lips but I swiftly moved my head, causing him to miss.

"Maybe later." I said, deciding to ignore his tone.

Sirius let go of me, then rolled off and laid on the bed, crossing his arms across his chest. "Yeah, maybe later. You better run along for now. I would hate for you to be late for your patrolling."

I ignored him and hastily threw on my shirt, then started to walk away. But before I could leave completely, I couldn't resist turning around once more to glare at Sirius. "You're really mature, you know that?"


***


It was just me tonight, all alone, patrolling the large castle. I had found James half asleep on his Potions paper and decided to spare him, just for tonight. He also had an assortment of other essays around him, some half finished and some barely begun. It gave me the itching feeling of uneasiness knowing that I hadn't even begun to research the material needed for my own essays.

I walked down the dim corridors of the seventh floor, feeling a slight draft. Just as I turned the corner, I spotted the usual misbehavers.

"I don't recall the Slytherin common room being on the seventh floor." I said coolly.

The suspects stopped dead in their tracks, then Lucius Malfoy turned his head, a small smirk on his face. "For a moment, I was worried. I thought someone that actually mattered said that."

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Ten points from Slytherin."

Rudolph Lestrange laughed beside him. "Ten points? Is that the best you could do mudblood?"

I could feel the colour rising to my face, but I tried to remain cool. "Would you prefer fifty?"

A short bark of laughter came from Rudolph. "You really don't get it, do you? I quite frankly don't give a damn about points. There's quite a bigger world out there, much bigger than your precious little Head Girl badge or house points. And it so has it, that the powerful chunk of that world wants people like you dead."

He moved closer to me, until he was an inch from my face. He brought his mouth close to my ear, his breathe hot against my skin. "Such a shame that your a mudblood.. We could've had a lot of fun."

I pursed my lips together and moved away from him, anger boiling up inside me. "Get lost, now." I commanded.

Just then, I heard a footsteps approaching us.

"Is there a problem?" someone asked.

I froze, realizing who the footsteps and the voice had belonged to. I watched as Severus Snape and Theodore Nott made their way out of a room that I hadn't noticed was there before. I was easily outnumbered, which was not a good thing.

Here I was, a muggle born Gryffindor surrounded by four muggle hating Slytherins. If there was a time to believe in God, it would've been now.

I reached my hand to my pocket, gripping my wand. "I don't think McGonagall would be too happy to know that there were four Slytherins walking around after hours." I said, trying to remain calm.

Snape glared at me, a look of sheer disgust on his face. It was common knowledge that Snape had hated me the moment he had laid eyes on me. It must have been the fact that I easily out did him in all subjects, including his favorite; Defense Against the Dark Arts. "What are you doing here mudblood?"

I remained my icy glare on him, gripping my wand even tighter. "Ten points for language. I advise you to all go back to your Common rooms before I take drastic measures."

Nott laughed a high pitch laugh, causing me to jump slightly. "My dear mudblood Head Girl, I advise you take a look around you before you start giving commands. If you haven't noticed, it's four of us and one of you."

"Don't make me have to repeat myself." I said, ignoring his comment.

Rudolph, who had backed off, walked closer to me. He placed his hand on my hand that was gripping my wand. He tightened his grip so hard that I could feel the blood circulation being cut off of my hand. He yanked my wand out of my pocket, throwing it down the steps.

"You were saying?" he said in my ear. He still had his hand on top of mine, but he had loosened his grip slightly.

"Hey Rudolph, you gonna take care of her? We still have to go down to the third floor." Nott asked.

Rudolph smiled. "My pleasure."


***


I woke up, from what felt like an endless sleep. The nape of my neck hurt, as did my right wrist and head. I struggled to pull myself up from the ground, memories of last night coming back to me.

After Nott, Malfoy, and Snape had left, Rudolph had pushed me inside a broom closet, one that I didn't know was on the seventh floor. I remember him gripping me by the back of my neck as he pushed me down on the dirty floor, and I could remember my head slamming down on a bucket filled with cold water. He had said the usual words to me, calling me a mudblood and other assortments of disgusting words.

At one point, I remember him touching my hair, fingering through my fiery locks. Then, he had had his lips on mine. He was forceful and rough and I remember biting his tongue, his blood in my mouth.

At that point he left, spitting a bit of blood on the floor beside me before locking the door.

Then, everything went black.

I strained to see where I was, for it was still dark. I held my hand out, trying to feel for a door knob, and just like that, one appeared before me. I turned the knob, and pushed open the door.

Sunlight spilled inside the closet and I pushed myself off the floor. My body hurt terribly from being pushed onto the ground so roughly. I could see a bruise forming on my elbow and one on my calf.

Then I saw him, looking right at me. He was staring at me, trying to figure out what to say, not moving a muscle. So I did what any sensible seventeen year old girl would do. I ran into his arms, and started to cry on his shoulder.

I didn't want him to seem me look so weak. But he had, and he was still here, holding me tightly. He smelled good, just like the wind and trees and forest. And that's when I knew that I wanted him to hold me forever.

That I wanted to be in James Potter's life.

Chapter 7: Lord Voldemort
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The fire filled me up with warmth, giving me a false sense of happiness. I blew on the cup of tea in my hand, taking a small drink. After I had been discovered by James, he had taken me into his arms and comforted me, then led the way to the kitchens. I was thankful that he had because I had missed breakfast and my stomache was growling fiercely with hunger.

I could sense James staring at me intently, almost pushing me into telling him what had happened.

He opened his mouth to speak, and I was expecting him to say something such as what happened or who did it, but instead, he surprised me by asking something else. "Why didn't you wake me up?"

I glanced up at him. "Pardon?"

He cleared his throat. "Why didn't you wake me up when it was time for our patrol?"

I shrugged, taking another sip from my tea. "You were asleep, and it seemed as though you were swamped with assignments, so I decided to spare you."

James didn't say anything but continued to keep his eyes on me. "What happened?"

Finally, the question I had been waiting for was asked. A part of me didn't want to tell him, I was scared to. Not for the threats that the Slytherins gave me, I could handle those. But for my pride. My ego was telling me to shrug it off, to not tell him. How would it look if the Head Girl couldn't handle a few misbehaving Slytherins? Not good. Yet I wanted to tell him, confess everything that happened. Part of me was hoping he would sympathize with me and hold me tightly again.

But I wasn't ready to tell.

"I.. I don't really want to talk about it." I finally said. Great, now he probably thinks I'm weak.

James gave me a look of understanding, and for a moment I thought that he was just going to leave it at that, but I was wrong. "You have to tell me, this isn't something to just ignore."

Ah, of course. How could I have not seen this coming? Of course the wise and sensible James Potter would insist on telling an authority figure and making sure something like this never happened again. Of course James Potter would do everything in his power to make sure that everything was better.

"Would Sir and Miss like some more tea?" a small house elf asked from beside me. I could tell that it was a female house elf, judging from the high pitched voice, and she had her hair braided down her back. She had very large, purple eyes and large, crooked nose. She was quite unusual looking, with her apron that had Hogwarts written in gold at the bottom fastened around her nonexistent chest, and she was smiling widely as though she wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world.

Thank merlin she was here though, it was quite a good distraction. It would give me more time to think up a story, something less embarrassing.

"Actually, I was wondering if you could bring me some cake?" I asked, trying to use up time.

The house elf bowed down low. "Of course, Miss."

"Wait," I said before she left to go get cake. "Do you mind telling me what flavours you have?"

"Certainly, Miss! We have vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, chocolate mousse, carrot, fudge, fruit-"

"A carrot cake is fine." I replied. The house elf bowed low then walked away. I could still feel James's eyes on me, but I chose to ignore him. So I asked him the question that I'd been dying to ask since last night.

"Can I ask you something?"

James nodded, taking a sip from his own cup of tea.

I shifted in my spot a bit, then placed down my cup of tea on the side table next to me. "How powerful.. and dangerous.. is Voldemort getting?"

James looked startled for a moment, but then quickly covered it up.

"What?" I asked.

He slowly shook his. "Erm.. Nothing. It's just that, I didn't think you'd be the kind of person who'd say his name."

I smiled slightly. "Why shouldn't I? What's so scary about a bloody name?"

James shrugged. "Voldemort has that effect on people. You see, the wizarding world isn't like how it is in Hogwarts. You have people cowering in fear as they walk through alleys, through neighborhoods. People are scared to be out past dark, scared that they might get cornered by a Death Eater. You have people questioning the safety of their own homes.. People quitting their jobs in the Ministry because they're scared that they might be the next target just because they're too close to the Minister.

"Voldemort's been gaining power slowly.. There's at least one persons death mentioned in the papers everyday. People are living in fear.. In fear that today could be there last day, or tomorrow.. or perhaps even next week. No one really knows when it's their time to die anymore, not since Voldemort showed up. He's had everyone doubting their safety.. He's created mass problems, problems that the Ministry hasn't been able to fix.

"Many say that he's immortal.. That he can't die, which is frankly the scariest thing out of everything that's going on. Imagine living life everyday and knowing that there's a madman out there, someone that's been killing mass numbers of people just because he can and knowing that there's no way to stop him. That's why so many people are scared of him, because they know that no matter what they do, it's never enough to stop him."

"So that's it? He can't be stopped, ever?" I asked, slightly shaky.

James shrugged. "I wouldn't say that he can't ever be stopped. I'm sure there's a way.. I'm sure that there's someone out there who can and will stop Voldemort."

At that moment, the house elf showed up beside me, and stretched out her hand, a carrot cake loaded with frosting on a clean, white plate balanced on her palm. "There's Miss's cake!"

I smiled slightly, taking the cake from the house elf. "Thank you."

The house elf smiled widely. "Anything else for Miss?"

I shook my head. "No, nothing at all."

The house elf bowed down low, then walked away.

I had suddenly lost my appetite, so I placed the cake on the side table and leaned back against the chair. I finished up my cup of tea, placing it down on the side table. I looked up, meeting James's eyes. I'll admit, I was a bit startled at first. His eyes seemed flat, distant.. I couldn't exactly explain what it was about his eyes.. his emotion. It seemed as though he had a fight going on inside himself, like he was debating on what he was going to say or do.

"We should go," James said in a tone I couldn't exactly place. "Sirius is probably looking for you.


***


He brushed past me, pretending like nothing ever happened.. That he didn't even know me. Fine by me, not like I cared. He could be a stubborn git if he wanted to.

But part of me was nagging at me, telling me to call out to him, explain to him that I had been having an off day. But what was the point of further lying to him? It was obvious that I hadn't wanted him to kiss me, that I hadn't wanted him to even touch me.

Yet, the other part of me took over and convinced me to talk to him.

"Sirius," I began.

"Save it." he replied, not even bothering to look at me.

I grabbed his shoulder, then in one swift movement, spun him so he faced me. His face was cold, practically unreadable and he refused to meet my eye.

Deciding that the common room wasn't the best place to discuss our relationship in, I grabbed his hand and pulled him to a small alcove and felt my breath get caught in my throat. He was very close, I could fell his body against mine. It wasn't good for one's mind to be so close to such a gorgeous boy. It was intoxicating; it made me forget why I was even here.

I gathered my thoughts, then blushed as I realized I was still holding his hand. I dropped it quickly. "I'm sorry. I was really off the other day.. I don't know what came over me. I shouldn't have done that, I shouldn't have gotten so carried away when I knew that I wasn't going to.. Well, you know."

We remained in silence for a while, and I decided that I had to take a more drastic measure. I let my hands rest on his chest and I looked up into his eyes. His very alluring eyes...

"I miss you," I breathed.

I gently brushed my lips against his. It was barely a kiss. I was just leaning my slightly parted mouth against his motionlessly, feeling his hot breath against my lips and chin.

He shook his head slightly, then gently pushed me away. "You can't just kiss me and expect everything to be okay again."

I looked up at him, meeting his eyes. I took a sharp intake of breath. I had forgotten how beautiful his eyes were. Like two crystal clear lakes.. A faint blue, almost grey colour. They were truly breath taking.

"I'm sorry," I said again. "I was just.. I don't know. All this homework and assignments and Head duties have really been weighing me down lately. I've just become so stressed out.. I can't operate right or think straight."

Sirius hesitated for a moment, thinking over what I had just said. It was partly true, even if I wasn't under major stress. Finally, a small smile flickered across his lips. He bent down and kissed me on the forehead and I relished the feel of his soft lips against my cool skin.

"Are we good?" I asked him.

"Yeah, we're good." he replied as he bent down to meet my lips.

As he kissed me, I couldn't help but think of James. How sweet he'd been to me, and most of all, his eyes. They were so unlike Sirius's. Sirius's eyes were light with an air of mystery, while James's wear a dark hazel colour that filled you up with warmth. I don't know why I was thinking about him while I was kissing Sirius, I just was. And I couldn't get him out of my mind.


***


Days passed by, then soon months. Before I knew it, it was the first week of December and I found myself with only five days left until the Hogsmeade trip. If life had been hectic and stressful before, things tripled by the time the trip came.

By that time, James and I had managed to get a handful of Prefects to help out with the occasion and we ended up making many changes to the trip. We decided it would be from seven until midnight, therefore, only permitting fifth year students and higher to go. We had managed to get as much protection, with the help of teachers and Aurors, set up in Hogsmeade. We had made it impossible for any visitors to come by. Hogsmeade would only be for us and the shop owners that night.

Meanwhile, I found myself swamped with Head duties, homework, and Sirius. I was quite, and still am, surprised that we had lasted so long. Sirius Black was known for flings, not long relationships.

But I couldn't help but smile at the thought that he had wanted an actual relationship with me. It made me feel special.

Three days before the Hogsmeade event, I found myself sitting in the common room with numbers of books and parchments sprawled around me. I frowned as I debated on whether to start my Transfiguration essay or Potions essay first. I finally went for the Transfiguration essay, since I always have the most trouble in that class.

I felt an arm wrap around my waist as I leaned forward to get my quill, and smiled as I turned around and faced Sirius. He placed a soft, quick kiss on my cheek then turned and faced the textbooks and parchments in front of me.

"Why are you doing this much work?" he asked, his nose scrunched up in disgust.

I laughed. He was always so carefree. "I don't want to leave it all until the Holidays. I'd much rather enjoy my vacation then have to worry the entire time about getting my work done."

Sirius shook his head in mock disapproval. "Almost as bad as Prongs."

I smiled. "So, what's up?"

Sirius sighed as he leaned back against the couch. "You aren't going to be happy about this."

"What?" I asked him, slightly panicked.

Sirius looked uneasy. "It wasn't my fault, honest I mean-"

"Sirius Black, spit it out."

He looked at me sadly, a small frown etched across his face. "I got banned from the Hogsmeade trip."

"What?!" I asked, outraged.

"It wasn't my fault!" Sirius said, his eyes wide. "I accidently kicked Filch's cat.. I mean, why the hell was it hiding in a broom closet anyway?"

I narrowed my eyes at him. "Why were you in a broom closet?"

Sirius shrugged innocently. "I was only trying to hide Snivellus's books."

I closed my eyes, rubbing my temples with my index fingers. I opened my eyes and found Sirius still on the couch with his eyes wide. "You bloody git! Who am I suppose to go with now?!"

"Look, you can go with James and Remus." Sirius replied. "Peter already has a date but the rest of the guys just wanted to hang out. I already asked them and they said they would love it if you went with them."

He had obviously been giving this a lot of thought.

Sirius wrapped his arms around me, then whispered in my ear, "I promise you you'll have fun."

I glared at him, even though he couldn't see me. "I better."

Chapter 8: Evan Rosier
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Evan Rosier was probably the only guy in school that could truly give Sirius Black a run for his money. He was tall, slick, gorgeous, witty, and cunning. He was a few inches over six feet, with sleek, short black hair that was always messy, a milky white complexion, and two very alluring gold eyes that had flecks of light brown in them. He was an easy charmer, intelligent, and very popular amongst the female population of Hogwarts. Even though he was in Slytherin, no one cared. All the girls craved his attention and the guys tried their best to get in his close group of friends.

It just so happened that Evan Rosier was and still is infatuated with me ever since third year. The first time we met was on a cloudy November day, the air crisp and the leaves turning a delicate golden colour. I had found him harassing a first year and I instantly rounded on him. We ended up arguing and somewhere in-between, I had ended up punching him in the gut.

From that day on, he made it obvious he was interested in me and found every single way possible to get me to go out with him. None of his Slytherin friends questioned why he was interested in a Muggleborn like me. Evan was far too popular, powerful, and dangerous to be questioned. I had, of course, always denied him. He was a bully in my eyes, someone who found amusement in other's pain. In all four years, he had never once given up on me. I detested him with every bone in my body.

It just so happened, with my luck, that we were paired together for our Potions assignment.

"Are you still going out with Black?" Evan asked in a casual tone.

I continued to still write, not even bothering to look up at him. "Yes."

Evan leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms across his chest. "Why?"

I shrugged. "Oh, I don't know.. Maybe it's because I like him?"

Evan chuckled, then leaned forward and rested his elbows on the table. His face was a few inches away from mine and I could feel myself redden a bit. As much as I hated Evan, there way no denying the fact that he was gorgeous. "Aren't I more attractive?"

Yes.

But obviously, I couldn't say that. "I find Sirius more attractive."

Evan raised his eyebrows at me. "I do believe that you just agreed to the fact that you find me attractive."

I looked up at him, trying my best to glare. "I never said that."

"Clearly, you did. I asked you if I'm more attractive, and you replied back saying Black is more attractive. If you pay attention, you'll see that you never denied me being attractive."

Bugger.

I narrowed my eyes at him, then dropped my head down to my paper again. Bloody git.

"So this is what it feels like to be found attractive by Lily Evans.." Evan mused. "Tell me, who else do you find attractive, aside from Black and myself."

I lifted my head again. This boy didn't seem to realize that we had an assignment to do. "Why would I tell you?"

Evan grinned. "Because then I can deform all their faces until I was the last person that you found attractive."

"Rosier, sod off. I'm trying to bloody work here." I replied back coolly.

Evan shrugged innocently. "You asked."

I gave him one last, good glare then returned to the task at hand. I could hear Evan fidgeting beside me. He was bored. Well, that's his fault, isn't it? He could be helping me do our assignment instead of sitting there staring at me like an idiot.

"What are you two still doing here?" I heard a shrill voice ask from behind me. I turned around, already knowing who it was. Madame Pince of course.

"Working on our Potions assignment." I replied back.

Madame Pince stared at me with her small, beady eyes. "The library closed half an hour ago! You two should already be in your common rooms by now. Out, NOW!"

Evan and I hastily gathered our stuff, shoving it in our book-bags. I quickly exited the library, Evan trailing behind me. Had time gone by that fast already? I glanced at my watch and practically shrieked. Twenty minutes past curfew! What if we got caught by Filch?

We both turned the corner, facing the main staircases. I was about to go up the staircase, the way to the Gryffindor common room, and Evan was about to go down the staircase to the dungeons where the Slytherin common room was, when we both heard a pair of footsteps. I stopped dead in my tracks and I saw from the corner of my eye Evan had froze too.

Before I had time to think, Evan had grabbed my arm and we were sprinting towards a small broom closet a few feet away from us. I picked up the pace, both of us running fast, then we finally hid inside the broom closet.

It was small, dark, and dirty. I could barely see anything and to my dismay, I had accidently placed my hand on Evan's lips when I was trying to feel around for a light switch. I blushed a deep shade of red, suddenly thankful for the lack of light, and I immediately brought my hand to my side.

"I'm so-"

Evan placed his hand over my mouth. "Shh," he said quietly.

I silenced myself, hearing a pair of footsteps from outside. Evan suddenly moved closer to me, way too close for my comfort zone. His body was slightly pressed against mine and he bent his head down to my ear. "Sorry," he said so quietly that it was almost inaudible. "Something was digging into my back."

I nodded silently.

"No one's here, my sweet." I heard Filch's voice from outside. "But it's best to stay a few more minutes in case they come back.. I swear I heard footsteps."

We both remained silently, barely moving. I cursed at the lack of space in the broom closet. Was it just me, or was it suddenly getting hotter in here?

As much as I hated him, there was no denying how unbelievably attractive he was right now. Here I was, pressed up against a "bad" boy who is infatuated with me, in a small, dark broom closet, while hiding from Filch. If only I was living in another lifetime, then maybe I could've done something daring and completely amazing. Such as kissing him.

I took a deep breath as I heard Filch walking away. Thank Merlin.

I felt Evan shuffle. "You know, you look very attractive right now.."

His hands were placed on my forearms, and his body pressed up gently against mine.

Intoxicating.

Without any warning, he had suddenly bent his head down and captured my lips with his. I remained stiff under him, my brain fogged up.

What was happening? I could barely think. His lips felt good against mine.. too good. For a moment, I was ready to kiss him back, but then I remembered that this was [i]Evan Rosier[/i] and that I was taken, by Sirius, and I was happy with him.

But then, I lost my train of thought as Evan continued to kiss me fiercly. I found myself giving in, letting him kiss me. It felt amazing. He let one hand slide up my shirt and let the other graze my thigh.

Then, common sense took over and I realized what was happening.

I pushed Evan off of me, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I tried to make my face seem disgusted. There was no need for him to know that I had actually enjoyed it..

"Don't you [i]ever[/i] do that again." I said in a low, dangerous voice.

Evan opened his mouth to say something, but I pushed the door open, not in the mood to hear what he had to say. I walked quickly, almost running, up the stairs.

What was wrong with me? I had a boyfriend, and I was happy with him.. Right? If I was happy with Sirius, why had I been so eager to kiss Evan back? It couldn't be because I was unhappy with Sirius.. Could it? How else would it explain how much I wanted to kiss someone else.. to be with someone else?

I gave the fat lady the password, then made my way inside the common room. It was empty, save for one person. The one person that I was actually glad to see.

"Lily?" James asked. He was sitting on an armchair, his hair wet and his glasses low on his nose. He was wearing a short sleeved shirt and a pair of cozy looking pajama bottoms. Even in that attire, he still looked handsome.

"Hi, what are you doing up?" I asked him.

James shrugged. "I couldn't sleep. Where were you just now?"

"I got out of the library late," I replied. It was true.. partly.

As I took a seat in the armchair next to his, James frowned. "You look a little frazzled. Are you okay?"

I remained quiet for a moment, thinking about his question. Was I okay? No. I was confused beyond belief. I needed to talk to someone, someone I could trust. I could trust James, right?

"No." I replied truthfully.

James suddenly looked alarmed. "What happened? Was it the Slytherins again? If it was, Lily we really have to re-"

"James," I cut him off. "It's nothing like that, honest. I'm just a bit.. confused about something."

James settled down in his seat again, looking calmer. "Oh.."

I looked at him, straight in the eye. I felt a warm feeling in my stomach. His eyes were really beautiful.. They made me slightly dizzy. They were brown with flecks of green and gold, all merged together into a beautiful colour. They made me very, very dizzy.

"Can I trust you with something.. something you wouldn't tell Sirius?" I asked him.

James frowned. "I can't promise that."

I turned my gaze to my lap, playing with the hem of my skirt. I wanted to tell him, I wanted to tell someone. I wanted to share my feelings with someone very badly.

"Okay." I replied. I took a deep breath. "I did something today.. Rather, received something.. And I.."

"Lily, just tell me." James said, a soft expression on his face.

I sighed, still staring at my lap. "Evan Rosier kissed me."

James shifted uncomfortably next to me.

".. And I liked it," I said quietly. "Not because it was Evan. No, I hate that bastard. Well.. Because he wasn't [i]Sirius[/i]."

"Lily, I-"

"I know, I sound like such a.." I kept going on. "James, I don't know what I want anymore. I'm just so confused.. Part of me wants Sirius very much, more than I've ever wanted anyone. But then, part of me is tired of him. I know deep down that this [i]thing[/i] between me and him won't last long.. And.. I just don't know what I'm feeling anymore." I laughed bitterly. "I don't know what I'm even saying anymore!"

I looked up, meeting James's eyes. I couldn't read his expression. He dropped his gaze on me and looked down at his own lap. "Lily.. I don't think we should talk about this."

He looked up at me. I tried to catch his eye, but he refused. He got up from his seat, then kissed my forehead. "Good night Lily.. I'm sorry."

And with that, he left, going up the stairs to the boy's dormitory.

Chapter 9: Hogsmeade at Night
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I rubbed my temples, then leaned forward to grab my wand. The other night had left me in a complete daze. I realized that I no longer wanted Sirius.. Not in that way. I wanted him to be my friend, I wanted to be with him, but I wasn't interested in him romantically. That's all our relationship would ever come to; just friends. It pained me to say this because I could tell that he did in fact like me. But it wasn't fair to him for me to pretend to like him; he deserved someone better, someone who could actually give part of their heart to him. I couldn't do that.

Then there was James. He had seemed so pained, so distant when I had told him all this. Did he feel bad for his best friend? Or was it some other emotion that I didn't know of? I tried not to think about him much, I already had enough on my mind.

I groaned as I continued to rub my temples. I felt like shite today. My head was throbbing, my neck was stiff, I had a runny nose and I was pretty sure I was working up a fever. But I refused to believe I was sick. Tonight was Hogsmeade night! I, Head Girl, could not be absent from the even that I had planned!

I flopped back on my bed, then pulled the covers up to my chin. I could do with a little more sleep, right? Surely I'd feel better afterward..

After tossing and turning restlessly, I finally managed to doze off.

What felt like minutes of sleep turned out to be hours. I stumbled out of bed and quickly threw on some clothes. It was six thirty, a half hour left before the big Hogsmeade trip. I ran a brush through my hair, thankful that I had showered earlier today. I still felt sick, my head felt thick and my nose was still stuffed. Instead of a fever, I now had the shivers. I threw on a pair of jeans, my boots, and a thick sweater. I grabbed my jacket, hat, and scarf and put them on, but I was still cold. I ignored this and quickly ran out the dorm room, then made my way to the Great Hall.

As I looked around the Great Hall, I spotted the small group standing by the entrance. Sirius was leaning casually against the wall, a bored expression on his face and his arms crossed across his chest. Remus was standing beside him, fiddling with the zipper on his jacket; it appeared to be stuck. I spotted James a few feet away from them, talking to a small first year. He looked different today, but I wasn't sure why. After staring at him for a moment, I realized it was because he was wearing a black long sleeve; I'd never seen him in black.

I plastered a smile on my face, then walked towards the group.

"Hi guys," I said. I saw that James had finished talking with the first year, who was now looking sad, and was making his way back to the group.

Sirius walked towards me and threw an arm around my waist. "Hello yourself. You're not looking too well, are you sick?"

I sniffled. "A bit."

Sirius pressed his hand against my forehead than frowned. "You're a bit hot. Are you sure you're okay?"

I forced a smile. I would give the world if I could go back to bed and lie down. "I'm fine, really. Just a bit of a cold is all."

Sirius looked uncertain for a moment, then finally smiled. "Ah, well okay. I'll trust that Prongs'll take good care of you tonight. Don't listen much to Moony though, he tends to get a bit loopy after his second butterbeer."

Remus glared at Sirius. "I do [i]not[/i] get loopy after two butterbeers!"

Sirius ignored him and turned towards James, "Take care of her, okay?"

Remus muttered something incoherently under his breath. I smiled slightly, then looked up at James. His eyes were on me, and the second I looked up, our eyes locked immediately. He had beautiful, hazel eyes. They were swirling with colour and made me slightly dizzy. He had dizzy eyes, I decided. They were brown with flecks of green and gold swirling around in them.

"Sure thing," James replied, now looking at Sirius. "But I have to say, we're [i]all[/i] going to be in danger after Moony's gotten loopy."

"I do not get loopy!"


***



"It's beautiful," I breathed.

Hogsmeade looked even more magical than usual. A gentle sheet of white snow covered the town, and the lights twinkled brightly against the black of the night. Set up at the Three Broomsticks was a chance to go sleigh riding down the hills that surrounded the town. Many students were lined up and were eagerly awaiting their turns.

On the other side of town, near Madame Puttifoots, was a fortune telling booth set up. The line consisted mostly of chatty girls, but I made a mental note to stop by and have my fortune taken. As usual, many were heading over to Honeyduke's and Three Broomstick, and an occasional few over to Zonko's. It was only the couples that seemed to be walking hand and hand down the street, just enjoying the moment and being together. It made me wonder if I'd be doing the same if I were with Sirius.

"This is all your doing," James said kindly.

I smiled at him. "I can't take full credit for this. After all, it was your idea to have this."

"Ah, correct," James replied, a boyish grin plastered across his face. "But you were the one that spent hours doing nothing but perfecting every last detail."

I blushed a delicate pink, and was immediately thankful that it was cold. Hopefully, my pink cheeks could be mistaken for being cold, not a blush.

I looked down at my hands and noticed that they were slightly red from the cold. I rubbed them together, hoping the friction would warm up my hands. It didn't work. Why hadn't I brought gloves with me?

"Would you like to borrow mine?" James asked, breaking my train of thought.

"Oh, er," I smiled clumsily at him. "No, I'm fine. Besides, you're hands'll get cold."

He eyed my faintly coloured red hands. "Are you sure? I'll be fine, honest. My hands don't tend to get that cold. You're also sick, so it wouldn't be a good idea to leave you cold."

I smiled thankfully at him as he took his gloves off and handed them to me. They were the type of gloves that was leather at the top of your hand, but cotton where you're palm would be. They were a black colour and slightly large on me, but they felt very nice against my freezing skin.

"Thank you." I replied.

He smiled at me. "Anytime."

We walked in silence for a bit, taking in our surroundings. It was truly beautiful, and I decided that I liked being here with James and Remus. After a while, Remus finally broke the silence.

"Shall we go to The Three Broomstick first?" Remus asked. "I'm rather thirsty and wouldn't mind a warm, toasty environment."

"Yes, let's." James replied.

We stepped into the warm pub and made our way to an empty booth. I sat on one side, and Remus and James sat opposite from me. I felt a twinge of loneliness, but I dismissed the feeling.

"Hello boys," Madame Rosemerta appeared at our side. She was a very good looking waitress, with blonde ringlets, honey coloured eyes and a slim, curvy figure. She was the main reason as to why so many men dropped by here. "I see we have a new addition to the group," Rosemerta said as she turned her attention to me. "Nice to see a lass amongst you boys. Incidentally, where is the rest of the group?"

"Sirius got himself banned and Peter has himself a date," James replied. "And this here is Sirius's girlfriend, Lily Evans."

I smiled at Rosemerta as she shook my hand. "So nice to meet Sirius's girl! He hasn't had too many girlfriends ever since that awful Vance girl. That's so typical of Sirius to get himself banned though.. And Peter finally managed to grab himself a girl? Who's the lucky girl?"

"Marlene McKinnon." Remus filled in.

Rosemerta smiled. "Aw, she's a pretty girl. A bit hyper at times, but very sweet. Anyway, a round of butterbeer good for you?"

"Sounds great." James said.

I watched as Rosemerta walked towards the counter to get us our butterbeer. I was a bit annoyed that James had introduced me as "Sirius's girlfriend". I was more than that to him, right? I wasn't just his best friend's girl, I was his friend as well.. At least I hoped.

James and Remus talked about the last Quidditch match until Rosemerta came back with our drinks. I had stayed quiet the entire time, just stealing glances every now and then from James and Remus from the corner of my eye.

Rosemerta set down our drinks and I reached for mine, taking a large sip.


***



After many butterbeers, we were all slightly tipsy (save for James) and making our way out of the pub, the cold air hitting us as we walked out of the warm atmosphere.

"What do you want to do?" I asked, or slurred. I had drunk six glasses of butterbeer.

James, the responsible one of the group, held my hand and guided me as I continued to tilt sideways. "Anywhere, you choose."

"Fortune tellers!" Remus exclaimed, then burst out laughing. He was the looniest out of all of us, even though he only had four butterbeers.

For some reason, I started to laugh too. Was laughing always this contagious? I couldn't remember. I couldn't think that well either. I was sure that I was leaning into James a little too much, but I didn't care. He felt good against me, and his hands around my hand and the other around my elbow made me feel warm and happy.

"Let's go!" I said and quickened my pace.

James quickened his as well to catch up with me. "Go a little slower Lily; I don't want to get murdered by Sirius when I bring you back all scratched up and hurt."

I stuck my tongue out at him. I was suddenly aware of the fact that my face was very close to his and that the tip of my tongue was nearly touching his cheek. "You're a mud in a stick."

"I think you mean stick in a mud." James corrected.

I thought for a second. "Whatever.. Just get me to the fortune teller!"

"What are you two blabbing about?" Remus slurred beside me.

James rolled his eyes. "Nothing. Let's just go to the booth and get this over with."

After many lame jokes, a few trips, and a couple quick stops at different stores, we finally found ourselves in front of the fortune teller's booth. There wasn't a line, everyone was already on their way to the horse sleighs, so Remus went in first, leaving James and I sitting on the bench outside.

I had my head leaned against his shoulder, breathing in his scent. Our thighs were slightly touching, and our hands were merely an inch apart from each other.

I brought my hand closer to his, then took hold of them.

"You're hands are freezing." I whispered. I don't know why I whispered, it just seemed appropriate.

James chuckled softly. "I gave my gloves to you."

"Do you want them back?" I asked.

"No, keep them." he replied. "I'm fine."

I could feel his breath against the top of my head. It was warm and comforting.

A breeze pasted us, causing me to shiver violently. James took his hand away from mine and wrapped it around my shoulder, bringing me closer to him. I smiled thankfully, feeling warmer already.

My head was still on his shoulder, but I turned my head up towards him to meet his eyes. "James."

"Yes?"

I took a deep breath. "Do you.. Do you ever get the feeling that I shouldn't - that I shouldn't be with Sirius?"

He frowned slightly. "What do you mean?"

I frowned myself. "I'm not sure. I.. I don't know. Just forget it."

"Oh, okay." James replied.

As we sat there, I felt warm on the inside. I felt happy and carefree and loved. Only a few months ago, I'd been mad beyond belief at the boy who was now holding me. But now? We were close. Closer than ever.

That night, I decided that I wanted James to be in my life for a long time. I wanted him to be there beside me no matter what and I wanted him to always be able to talk to me, and I to him. He was my own personal savior; he had saved me from a life of solitude and loneliness.

James Potter was my best friend and nothing would change that.

"That was a HOOT!" Remus exclaimed from behind us. We both jumped, and James quickly took his arm off of me.

We both looked up at him. He was standing behind us, his face flushed with a wide smile plastered across his face. "I'm telling you, bloody FANTASTIC!"

"Er, really?" I asked. I'd sobered up a bit by now, but it seemed as though Remus was still as tipsy as ever.

"Yes. Lily, you've got to go in and give it a try!" Remus exclaimed.

Before I had a chance to say anything else, Remus had grabbed my arm and was hoisting me up to my feet. He dragged me towards the booth and pushed me in. He was a nice boy, really. Sure knew how to a treat a girl.

"Have a seat." a voice came. It was eerie in here; dark and smelled strongly of perfume and tobacco.

I walked towards the center of the room and took a seat. There was a table in front of me with a large crystal ball on it and across from me sat a strange looking women.

She had a purple hijab wrapped around her head, but here and there poked out frizzy, brownish red stands of hair. Her eyes were large and brown with many wrinkles and framed with thick black glasses. She had on a purple poncho over a white shirt with many sequins, and a multiple gold rings on each finger. Her lips were covered with dark red lipstick, and on the center of her cheek was a large mole.

She looked up at me, meeting my eye, then smiled a knowing smile. "The eyes reveal nothing of the soul; it is the heart and the language of the body that tells all that you feel."

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