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Mirroring Happiness by emerald_moons

Format: Novella
Chapters: 3
Word Count: 6,476
Status: Abandoned

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Romance
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: James/Lily, James/OC, OC/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 06/13/2008
Last Chapter: 10/01/2009
Last Updated: 10/01/2009

Summary:
Banner by Em_ @ TDA  l  Rewritten l  beta'd by kaityb


They say you never really miss what you had until its gone. Not that you could ever say I 'had' James Potter. Who knew the he would eventually tire of his little escapade, consequently turning the entire school against me.

At the start of the year I had thought that would be my only problem. I hadn't suspected how that was just the beginning of an inevitable fall. In more ways than one.


Chapter 1: Shut Away
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Chapter One
Shut Away




You may know me as Lily Evans, the girl James Potter used to chase, but doesn't anymore for reasons that no one truly knows. You may also know me as that one girl that went lunatic on James Potter, and that you should avoid her and her friends at all costs, if you like being liked, that is. You may, finally, not know me at all, other than by the cruel things the students of Hogwarts called me.

Skank. Slut. Whore.

Those were the nicknames that I was labeled with by the end of my sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It all occurred because of the general assumption of what I said and did to James Potter, otherwise one of the most popular of boys at Hogwarts.

That assumption is a lie.

I'm not going to tell you what happened that night either. You will figure that out soon enough. All you can know is that of all the guesses Hogwarts has for James Potter's sudden detestation, almost all - if not all - of those guesses are wrong.

~ * ~

"Lily Marie, I am not going to repeat myself again. Get down here." my mother's voice rang out for the fourth time in a minute after I had not replied to her other calls to supper.

I snapped my book shut with a sigh knowing I could not ignore her any longer.

“Coming!” I yelled down to her, as I didn’t plan on finding out what she had planned for me if I did not come. My parents may not be wizards, but that fact came in to no consultation when I was faced with their fury. Generally they were very pleasant people, but only a fool would test their limits too much. My father especially was a force to be reckoned with.

Putting the book under my arm, I stepped down on the ladder to the main floor of the house from my loft bedroom. Quickly I made down it, moving with ease after living up there since the summer before my second year at Hogwarts. It made living with my sister much more pleasant when I didn't have to see her glaring at my magic books strewn across our bedroom.

My eyes slid over the rooms before me. Petunia, my petulant and only sister, sat on the couch in the living room staring at the wall absentmindedly, not caring that the food was ready. She always insisted on eating in that room when I had friends over.

Speaking of friends, I wondered where my best friend and her boyfriend were. They were to arrive through the Floo Network at one. Glancing at the clock on the wall, I noted that it was three minutes after one. They were, as usual, running late, if only slightly.

You hope, said an annoying little voice in my head. It sounded suspiciously like Petunia when she was in a right foul mood (an example was right now), and was beginning to sneak its little voice into everything lately, especially with the rising tension in the wizarding world and the constant whispers of war.

I shook my head, trying to shake off the worry that arose whenever my friends did not arrive exactly on time. It was stupid, I knew, to worry about silly things like that when I had only just owled my friends yesterday.

A startled shriek yanked me from my thoughts, and I found that my worries were, as always, foolish, and Petunia was clinging to her seat on the couch like it was the only thing keeping her to the ground.

“Lily!” Before I could attempt to reassure my sister that she was not, in fact, going to levitate off of the couch, I was attacked my best friend, Alice. I stood still in her embrace for a second, before leaning into her hug.

“Hey Alice.” Seeing Alice was both a joyous and depressing experience. Alice was not returning this year to Hogwarts with me and soon would be off to do Auror training. My other friend and Alice’s boyfriend, Frank, had been out of Hogwarts two years, so I knew what it was like to be missing him. But Alice had been my constant support since third year. It was going to be hard to go back without her. I had to force myself to let her go.

Frank pulled me hug also, and I thought numbly on how much like an adult he looked. I had acknowledged that he was nineteen in my head, but had never seen it so plainly before me.

“Long time no see, Lily, much too long.” Frank smiled kindly, and Alice nodded. Petunia sniffed disdainfully from her seat, but my friends were too used to her to pay her any mind. Frank moved past me to greet my parents and I could feel my father beaming from where he stood. He adored them both.

“You’ve been avoiding me,” Alice murmured accusingly in my ear before continuing on past to say hello also.

I gave her a tiny smile, resigning myself to her determined look. She may look like a fragile, gentle young woman, but she was fierce when she wanted to be. There was little use arguing with her.

“Come on Lils, time to eat.” I pulled up and chair, feeling ravenous.

I stared down at the food before me, feeling a grin creep up my face. Spaghetti. Frank’s favourite. I really did wonder if my friends noticed how much my parents were in love with them. I settled into the seat next to Alice and opposite of my father.

Petunia walked into view, on her way to the bedroom used to share with her.

“Petunia, dear, are you going to eat anything?” my mother asked tiredly.

Frank stuffed his face with food quickly, his eyes transfixed on his meal, whilst Alice looked on with disinterest.

“No mother, I’m not hungry now. I’ll eat later.” Even though she had not said it, we could hear ‘after they are gone’ being strongly implied in her words.

My mother nodded curtly, watching sadly as her older daughter sulked away. I gazed morosely at the floor.

“How I wish she wasn’t so stubborn,” She breathed out, starting to eat. “Excuse her. She and her boyfriend, Vernon, are fighting. I’m sure she doesn’t mean to lash out.”

It was a lie, an often-heard lie at that, but no one commented. Petunia was a touchy subject and it would never be a smart idea to prod at the thinly hidden truths of Petunia’s sourness.

“So, I hear you all are going out to Diagon Alley this afternoon to help Lily fetch her supplies and such?” my father asked. I silently thanked him for the change of subject.

“Yes,” Frank responded, his eyes alight. “I have not been there in so long. I wonder if it has changed. I hope not, it was always nice to have that consistently. It would wouldn’t be right if it were any different!”

Alice giggled softly, “Sure, dear, whatever you say. You just want to make sure you can have Florean’s Ice Cream, right?” Frank blushed a deep red, and I joined in.

“Oh no, he wants to see Madam Malkin. You know about that enormous infatuation he has always had with her?”

Alice gave in indignant squeak, “He better not be making eyes with some tart, or she may not survive the day.” She put on a cool smirk, “And now, darling, you wouldn’t want me to go to Azkaban because of a silly thing like that, isn’t that right?”

Frank watched his girlfriend nervously, “Of course not, Alice. No flirting for me!” he laughed tightly, eyeing her uneasily.

Alice grinned broadly, “No that’s my little whipped boyfriend. Good boyfriend.” She patted him on the like she would a dog. We laughed at the truth of it all.

“I sincerely pity you, Frank,” my father laughed mischievously. “These women - what are they doing to us?”

Frank shook his head, clicking his tongue against his teeth mournfully.

“Dad, don’t think I don’t know what you are doing,” I accused as I turned to look Frank square in the eye. “Come on, we need to save you” I stood, my chair squeaking against the floor as I did so. Alice followed in quick succession and we moved to either side of Frank.

“Now Frank, are we going to do this the easy way, or the hard way? I really would prefer if you came peacefully, but-”

He put up his hands in surrender, “I’m coming, I’m coming. No need to do stuff to me.” He forcefully said as he stood also and we flanked him like bodyguards. As we marched him across the room, he turned around and mouthed ‘save me’ at my father.

Once we had him safely away from those who could possibly turn him against us fine women, we burst into hysterical giggles.

“Oh, your face!” Alice said, kissing Frank lightly. He refused to kiss back, crossing his arms in annoyance.

“Don’t be like that, Frank. You know we had to save you from evil words my father was saying against us women,” I laughed lightly, settling down on my bed. Alice and Frank took the two chairs in the room.

“Uhuh,” Frank muttered back, clearly unconvinced. “So, when are we leaving for the alley? I admit it; I want that ice cream.”

Alice turned serious, “After I have a chat with Lily.”

I was about to protest, to tell her that this was unnecessary and did we really have to have this conversation here, but her pursed lips told me that she was not taking no for an answer.

Frank rose from his chair, “Okay, girlies. Girl chat on, boy out.” I smiled as he went back down the ladder again.

Alice leaned back in her chair, watching me skeptically and I resisted the urge to flee. I knew what this was about. I relaxed back into my pillows, glad for once that I had demanded walls around my loft space. It was moments when Alice wants to have ‘talks’ that I am glad I am closed away from everyone else.

“All right Lily. I’m going to talk and you are not, got it?” Alice said, and I gave her a small nod. “You are avoiding me and Frank. Last year you wanted us over all the time, now you only had us over because this is what we planned mid-way through sixth year. I don’t need you to tell me why because I know that answer myself. Hell, I saw that answer. Ever since whatever the hell happened with Potter and you - that you won’t talk to me about for some stupid reason - you have barely talked with us. Digging your head in your books and trying to pretend no one exists.

“I saw the relief in your parents’ eyes when you were joking with us, Lils. You won’t talk about it and aren’t dealing with it.” Alice looked a bit helpless. A twig of guilt made me begin to open my mouth, to tell, but I shut it almost as soon as it opened. No. The guilt didn’t matter.

“Look, would you just talk to me? I don’t like leaving you at Hogwarts, alone, in less than a month, as is. If I knew what was so wrong…” Alice was offering to listen. But I couldn’t tell her.

I rose, avoiding her eye. “I think it would be a good time to go to Diagon Alley, don’t you think?” I started for the ladder.

“Lily… just answer this, okay?” Alice muttered quietly, and I paused. I would listen at least.

“Do you-” She broke off, looking for words. “Lily, James asked you this question since third year: ‘will you go out with me?’ You always said no. No thought, no hesitation, just no.” Alice hesitated herself; nervous I would run. “Would you say yes now? I don’t know what happened with you two but would you? If he asked you, what would you answer?”

I froze. That was not what I expected, of all the things she wanted to know. I thought for a moment, watching Alice approach me. What was my answer?

“Yes.”

The word had pressed itself through my teeth without my consent. But, I realised it was true. My answer was yes.



A/N: So, what do you think? This is a rewritten version of this story that had three chapters, but was not working very well for me so I changed the storyline a bit. If you have read the other version, do you think this is better? Is Lily's characterization correct? Do you like her?

Thanks for reading!


Chapter 2: Fine
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Chapter Two
Fine

With my Hogwarts letter firmly gripped in my hands, I slipped into the Leaky Caldron. Frank and Alice were behind me, quietly chatting about past trips they had made here. They had spent half of the journey laughing at the strange looks they had been receiving from Muggles. Once we passed through the pub, Frank greeting Tom warmly as he passed, I slowed down to walk beside them.

Alice leaned in over the letter that I was clutching, “Oh, fun! I always love shopping here. Next year we need to recruit another in-school student so we can shop.” Alice gave me a level look, “Make friends, Lil. Don’t do that reclusive act, okay? That little habit you learned from,” she paused as she wrinkled her nose, “Snape is, was, and will remain dumb.”

Normally, I would have defended my ex-best friend, but in this instance Alice was right. I had a bad tendency to turn to a book or an essay at the site of trouble.

“Come on, I thought girl chat was over,” Frank pouted from a few steps in front of us as he tapped his foot impatiently.

“We’re coming.” I assured him, starting again on my way to the Apothecary. Lowering my voice, I replied to Alice, “I’ll try.”

She nodded subtly, smiling at a passing girl who was, almost certainly, a Hogwarts student. The girl stared at me curiously before she yelled back at some girls behind her, telling them to hurry up. I watched them out of the corner of my eye, and saw the girls, who were only just teenagers, pointing at me and whispering. I could not help but sigh when Alice threw a fierce glare at them.

“It’s useless, Al. They think what they want to think,” I told her as I entered the shop, purposely stepping on Alice’s toes to get her to stop being so childish. It wasn’t worth it.

She huffed in annoyance, “I don’t like what they keep saying about you! How they think-“ Alice instantly cut off, her eyes widening. I followed her gaze and froze myself. James Potter, along with his friends, stood at the far end of the shop, laughing uproariously. I averted my eyes as I walked up to the shelf where I gathered my needed items for potions and rooted myself to the spot.

Alice edged slowly closer to me, “You sure you don’t want to leave and let me get the stuff for you? They’re standing right in front of the Potions book you need.”

“It’s fine,” I said tightly and glowered at the letter in my hands. Alice snatched it away before I tore it apart.

“No, it’s not. I’m going over there, and you gather stuff here. Where did Frank run off to?”

That question was answered quickly when Sirius Black laughed out, “Frank! I forgot about that dark sense of humour of yours. That’s-“

“-Terrible,” James finished as he chuckled lightly himself. Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin were adding their own comments, but I couldn’t hear it over Alice’s mutters of murder. I thought I heard ‘Gonna be dead, traitor, when I am done with you’ from her as she stalked over, but I couldn’t be positive.

I was glad I had memorized my list of things, for if I had not I would have had to come out of my spot to take the letter from Alice. It wasn’t that I was hiding or anything, I just liked it here. In the dark, damp corner of the room.

“Hey, Alice too! We got the pair,” I overheard Sirius say. I had to admit I was surprised the Marauders were so interested in the good friends of Lily Evans, but that was probably because Frank and Alice were the most likeable people I knew.

“Hi Sirius,” Alice said, and I could just imagine her scowl. She would not talk to then easily, I knew. I just hoped she didn’t openly involve me in this. “Excuse me, can you hand me one of those?”

There was shuffling as the book was handed to her.

“Why are you getting that, Alice? I wouldn’t think they forced textbook stuff all that much on Aurors-to-be. Thought it was more get out and do it,” asked Remus curiously and I cringed internally. I had gathered all I needed from here, Alice having gotten the last of it. Now I needed to escape, but I suspected I could not go by unnoticed.

“It’s for Lily. Frank and I decided to go along with her shopping.” Alice said casually, but her voice held some strain.

“Oh,” Peter voiced after a drawn out silence, and I winced yet again. I was already mentioned, so I might as well make my appearance. Straightening my back, I came into view of the others.

“Alice, Frank. I’ve gotten everything I need. You get the book?” I said coolly, pointedly ignoring the four boys next to them. Frank bobbed his head up and down frantically, grabbing the book from Alice and handing it to me. I balanced it on top of the other supplies with ease while he moved to my side, as if telling the others that he was picking his sides with me and it was surprisingly comforting.

When I tried to meet Alice’s eyes to silently tell her ‘let’s go,’ I accidently met hazel instead of blue. Tensing, I stared at James as emotionlessly as I could.

Alice got the hint of what I was trying to say, moving forward also, with a soft, “Come on, Lils, we have to go.” She pulled on my arm forcefully, making me have to turn away from him. I bought the things mutely, and then let myself by dragged away.

I made sure not to look back.

~ * ~

When it was time to say goodbye to Alice and Frank, whilst sitting at the ice cream parlour with sundaes, I was unsure of what I should feel. In some ways, I was glad to not be around them anymore. They had been watching me warily for the rest of the afternoon, waiting for me to break down and cry, and it was making me on edge. I loved them to death, but they worry all too much.

But on the reverse, I would do anything to make them stay with me. They were easy companions and didn’t judge. I knew I would lock myself away from my concerned parents and uncaring sister until the two weeks were up and I was at Hogwarts again.

I attempted to not let my mixed feelings show while we said our goodbyes. Alice promised to write whenever she could, but I knew better than to hope for much. When Frank had started to train he barely had any time outside of it to do anything, let alone sleep. Frank said that he hoped he would be able to come down to Hogsmeade for a weekend some time, maybe with Alice too.

With a loud pop they were gone. Discarding the remains of my dessert, I stood to leave also, bags full of supplies surrounding me. I glanced up, just to be shocked still. There was Potter, which a beautiful blonde girl talking animatedly at his side. I stared, wondering briefly who she was and where the other boys were off to.

Justine - that was her name. Justine Montgomery, a chaser for Ravenclaw and in seventh year with me. They did not see me, walking on past to the Quality Quidditch Supplies near Apothecary where I had seen James earlier with his friends. They stood close, but not closer than any good friends would.

I bit my lip. I needed to get home to start planning what I was bringing. Arranging and organizing that I had been procrastinating on. Not worrying about boys and their possible girlfriends.

I Apparated out, thinking about how many books of mine I would be able to pack, and most definitely not on the way James smiled at Justine.

~ * ~

“I’m home!” I yelled out as I stumbled through the door of my home, my books held tightly in my hands. It felt strangely empty and I found myself wondering why my family had gone out without me. Shrugging, I grabbed a piece of leftover pizza from the refrigerator, pushing my red hair out of my eyes. There was a note on it:

Lily-

Your mother, Petunia and I went out to eat tonight and will be back around eight or so. We were going to wait for you but Petunia insisted on going without you. Leftovers in fridge. An owl came in through an open window in the kitchen, scared Petunia half to death. Took a while, but we convinced the thing to just put the letter on the table for you. It’s from your school and is still on the table.

Dad


I smirked at the thought of Petunia flailing around the kitchen in terror while an owl chased after her. It made me wish I had witnessed the event. I could imagine my mother’s shock when she came in and found a lunatic bird dirtying up her clean kitchen. Dad would have been laughing on the floor, of course, trying to assist futilely while his women screeched.

It was easy to spot envelope on the table. It was set away from the oriental bits and things set on the dark wood’s shiny surface, a single owl feather lying neatly on top. Tucking the feather in one of my bags that lay about my feet, I ripped into it. Sitting down at the table, I flattened the letter eagerly before reading.

Dear Miss Lily Evans,

You have been selected for Head Girl at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We have seen great effort and pride in your work and we would like to congratulate you for your many achievements. The Head Boy alongside you will be James Potter-


You have got to be kidding me. Potter? Head Boy? He wasn’t even a Prefect! He was one of the worst troublemakers in the school and surely would let anything his friends did slide because, well, that’s just Potter.

I resisted the temptation to burn the obviously wrong letter. Dumbledore, for his… unique ways, was clearly not that nutters. Well, if this was true, he at least gave me the position of Head Girl.

Wait. I’m Head Girl! I got the position I’ve been vying for three years!

Holding the letter in my hand, I rushed up to my bedroom and located my parchment in an instant. I scrawled out my message clumsily to Frank and Alice, excitement pumping through me.

I attached it to my owl, an unfortunate male snowy owl by the name of Princess of the Snow - now changed to Prince of the Snow and otherwise nicknamed Pots - who hooted contently and disappeared out of my window.

I collapsed down on my bed, for the first time eager for the start of school all summer. So who cares if Potter was alongside me in my duty as Head? I just had to learn how to work around him and talk as little to him as I could. This year was going to be good, no one could stop that. I would find friends and move on. Moping over someone that does not like you is useless and a waste of time.

This would be good; I didn’t care what people thought of me. This was my year.



Chapter 3: Heads Up
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A/N: Alright, you are going to have to forgive me for the errors. My beta has not been on the forums in almost a month, and she hasn't answered my email to her. If she continues to not be around I will simply get a new beta, but until then I just wanted to get this chapter up. It's been written for quite a while, and it has been bothering me to not post it. So, here it is.


Chapter Three
Heads Up




“Mum!” I yelled, fixing my hair into a disastrous ponytail. It was time to go to school at last, and I was bursting from jittery energy that made me act, embarrassingly, like a first year. “What time is it?”

I grabbed my trunk and pulled it up close next to my ladder. With a swift wave of my wand, it was levitating down to the floor below my bedroom. Mum and Dad stood waiting for me by the ladder. As I came down myself, Mum replied, “Much too late for us to take you. You will make it fine Apparating, dear.”

“Good.” I grinned, digging my hands into my pockets as I stared at my parents before me. They returned grins, Mum crying as usual. Dad reached for me first, hugging me tightly, “Final year at Hogwarts, I can’t believe it. It feels like I just took you as a first year. Thankfully we know a bit more about this magic stuff than we did then. Hope you have a good year, Lily.”

“I’ll send an owl your way when I can. You remember how to manage owls, right? Pots won’t attack you, I promise.” I pulled away, to be ambushed by Mum. Dad chuckled in amusement.

“You better, or I’ll find out how to do those Howler things you always are laughing about.” Mum threatened lightly, her voice muffled against me.

“Sure, sure.” I said back, disbelieving. I glanced at my watch when I was freed from her embrace. “I have to go or I’ll be late.” The two nodded, chorusing their goodbyes. I concentrated on the three Ds and spun on the spot, my parents smiles the last thing I saw before I was surrounded by shouting voices and an odd sense of home.

It was strange to open my eyes and not see Alice or Frank searching the crowd for me, to not hear their shouts of recognition. It gave me a feeling of loneliness, but I shook myself to get my smile back on my face. All I needed was to find a familiar face to talk to.

And familiar faces I did find. A large group of girls from my year were standing nearby, one of which was Dorcas Meadows, a halfway friend of mine and good friend of Frank. I was about to approach when one of the girls, Becca Ark, turned and glared fiercely at me. I took a step back, startled. So the tension between those girls and I hadn’t gone away like I hoped. I cursed Potter under my breath.

There were few lower years that I knew, mostly through Alice, but I didn’t feel like striking up a conversation with them.

The Marauders and few others stood a little to the left of me, Justine standing in the centre of the group next to James. I promptly decided that I should simply search for a spot on the train. I’ll find friends at the feast tonight.

For the number of people still loitering around the station platform, it was hard to find a seat. Most seemed to be insisting on sitting alone, but I suspected that they were waiting for others to arrive like I sometimes did in past years. Most of them I didn’t know, and I was starting to get helpless when I was nearing the back of the train and I didn’t have anywhere to sit. I had enough pride that I would not go around sitting with first and second years.

“Hey, you need a spot?” a female voice said behind me, and I silently thanked the heavens. I spun around awkwardly in the small space. The girl was one of the many I had passed before, a pretty dark-skinned girl wearing her hair in long plaits. She was already dressed in her robes and had a gentle smile on her face.

I sighed in relief, “Yeah, I do.” At that, she gestured for me to follow her into a compartment a few back. Inside, I set my stuff up and shut the door gratefully, falling into my seat with a soft ‘oof.’

Looking up, I saw the girl studying me closely. I squirmed slightly under her calculating gaze, but she didn’t let up.

After she saw what she was looking for, she leaned back in her seat, smirking knowingly. I raised an eyebrow at her, a silent question.

“You’re not a shank.” She said simply. “And my name is Vanessa, by the way. Call me that, and I’ll hex you. It’s Nessa.”

I stared. How were you supposed to answer to that? “Okay, I guess? I’m Lily.”

Nessa snorted, “Well, duh, you’re Lily. Everyone knows that. But I know you aren’t what they say you are. It’s a lie. I also know that you aren’t going to tell me what really happened, but I’m okay with that. You don’t know who I am because I don’t want people to know who I am. I’m in your year, Hufflepuff.”

How did she do that by just staring at me? She seemed more like a Ravenclaw than a Hufflepuff. The upward curl of her lips made me wonder if she knew what I was thinking. Probably.

“So I’m famous, am I?” I asked, because Nessa’s quizzical stare was a bit unnerving.

Nessa laughed, “More like infamous.” There was a knock on the door, and we both looked up. A tall, lanky, blond haired boy stood at the door, smiling crookedly. I didn’t recognise him but, after all, I hadn’t recognised a girl that was in my own year. Nessa clearly knew him, as she grinned brightly his way and motioned for him to come in. I studied him when he sat down next to me, searching without avail for his face in my memory.

“My favorite Lovegood.” Nessa said to him warmly. “How are you? What about that crazy cousin of yours, Xeno?”

The boy looked at his fingers, blushing darkly. “’M fine, Ness. Xeno is being, well, crazy. As usual, he’s off in some tiny country searching for things of story tales.” The two laughed good-naturedly and I felt like was intruding on some private joke.

Xeon’s - whoever that was - cousin seemed to realize that and turned to me, “Hey, Lily Evans, right? My, my, what’s royalty like you doing with us commoners?” Nessa giggled a bit at that, but the boy continued on, “I’m Credamor Lovegood, otherwise known as the ‘cousin of the oddity that runs the Quibbler’. Call me Cre.”

“He may be too nice to jinx you if you call him Credamor, but I’m not. He hates being called his real name. Something we have in common.” Nessa flashed a grin that was mildly terrifying. I nodded.

“I’ll keep that in mind, then. Nice to meet you Cre.” I shook his hand, a bit uncomfortable at the angle, pondering over the royalty thing. What did that mean? “What’s the Quibbler?”

Cre’s face lit up and he instantly starting on in about some paper that his cousin was editor of and how it was all a bit of a joke. Somehow it was getting enough people reading to keep printing, though Cre had no clue how they were managing it.

I found that I liked my new companions. Nessa was had similar humour to Frank and I wondered if the looks she would send me occasionally were supposed to make me feel uneasy. Cre, for his abnormal name, was blessedly normal. He balanced Nessa out and it was actually fun to watch them bicker back and forth.

A knock on the window startled us out of a conversation about what ridiculous things Cre’s cousin would think was real in the next issue of the Quibbler. There staring bashfully at us was Remus Lupin. Behind him stood Potter, whose expression was blank.

I blinked, staring right back. Luckily Nessa wasn’t as shell-shocked as I was and opened the door. “What do you want?” There was a sharp edge of rudeness in her voice that startled me.

“Err, Lily. We have a Prefects meeting that starts in a few minutes. The Heads are supposed to meet.” Remus muttered, obviously wishing to be away from this compartment and back at his own. I hadn’t even noticed that the train had started to move.

Cre joined in, “Lily’s a Head?” I was sure he rolled his eyes. It reminded me of the royalty comment and my face heated up.

“Yes.” Remus said, nodding his head earnestly, and I felt a bit of pity for him.

“And you’re the other one? What’s Potter tagging along for, then?” Nessa questioned, and I stared at my fingers. I knew why and guessed that Nessa knew too. She just wanted to rile things up, and I was quickly finding out she had a habit of doing that.

I attempted to speak before Remus, just to tell him that Sure, I’m coming, but he beat me. “No, James is the Head Boy. I’m just, well, delivering the message.”

Nessa smirked and I internally cringed. “Oh, I see. Big, bad, Head Boy Potter can’t talk to Lily Evans because of some stupid thing that happened last year.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I bet you are the one that will be talking in-between for them in their little Head meeting before the prefects come along.” I caught James’ gaze from where he stood behind Remus. He seethed at Nessa’s next words, a murmur of ‘royals, can’t do a thing for themselves.’ Before I could react, he pushed past Remus.

“James, don’t-“ Remus said when James fixed me with a glare. “We have a meeting. Come or not, I don’t care.” He sauntered away, leaving Remus to smile at us weakly before following with drooped shoulders.

I stood, grim. “I have to go.” Cre half-smiled sympathetically. Nessa merely looked like she had proven that everyone was all a bunch of idiots. Maybe she had.

~-~



Upon arriving in front of the Prefects compartment, I was dreading having to face Potter. But that was silly. Our… event last term was, well, last term. It should be done and over with.

But the fact was, it wasn’t. People were still assuming the same things they had started to last year. And James and I were not being any more civil than then either.

Sliding the door open, I was greeted by James slouching in the corner seat, glancing up to give me a dirty look.

“Hi.” I said, sitting down swiftly at the other side. He offered me no comment and I knew that this was going to be a one-sided conversation. So be it. “Okay, since you aren’t going to talk to me and you have never been apart of these meetings before,” I decided against making a remark on that, continuing on with distant niceties, “I will talk to the Prefects. All you have to do is sit there and look pretty.”

James huffed, leaning back. “Oh, come on, Evans. I know you like to steal the spotlight, but you have got to let me do something.” He spoke so quietly I also didn’t hear him. I debated on pretending that I hadn’t.

“Fine. What do you want to do?” Maybe I could be the one to sit back and watch James talk to the Prefects like he knew anything.

James thought for a moment, and I inspected him from under my eyelashes, looking him over while ignoring the feeling in my gut that told me I shouldn’t. He clearly was healthy, being a Quidditch player. The defined muscles that his t-shirt clung to and tanned skin were evidence that he had been training up over the summer, most likely with his friends. There were shadows under his eyes though, and he looked a bit sickly. He reminded me a bit of Remus, actually, on those certain days of the month leading up to his transformations. Not that I was supposed to know that fact.

I adverted my eyes away from James and went for staring at the water droplets of the rain that was starting to come down. I was almost too caught up in observing how they would slide down the window that I didn’t hear James move closer to me, clutching a piece of parchment.

“This was sent to me along with the letter informing me that I was Head. I’ll separate the Prefects into their pairs for patrolling.” He said, raising the paper for me to see. It listed the Prefects, a year and house next to every name. James still was talking in that quiet, resigned tone. I hated it.

“Okay.” I replied simply, and at that moment Prefects started to enter in. James rose and moved back to his spot, smiling evenly to Remus and Justine. I had forgotten she was a Prefect also. I smiled widely to ignore the anger stirring in me. I had no reason to feel angry.

The meeting with the Prefects went smoothly. If I ignored the looks of distaste on the faces of the students around me, I could easily babble without worry. James did his part and I did mine. We didn’t talk over each other and the one time I had to correct James it didn’t seem to affect anyone.

James politely asked if they had any question, which was answered with silence. I thought that a good enough cue to leave as any. I dismissed them, keeping back to grab the parchment with the names on it. As Head Girl, I was expected to know who the Prefects were. I couldn’t just point the entire time.

Everyone left, eager to get out. Everyone, that is, except James. He paused at the door, turning his head to watch me with an unidentifiable expression. For a moment, I thought he was going to say something. James seemed to think better of it because he followed the others out, shutting the compartment door softly behind him. The parchment lay where he had sat.

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