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Living Life by singing

Format: Novel
Chapters: 78
Word Count: 411,148
Status: COMPLETED

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

Genres: Humor, Romance, Angst
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 05/26/2004
Last Chapter: 09/01/2011
Last Updated: 09/01/2011

Summary:


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"Things are really getting out of hand..." Lily's one of those girls who doesn't believe in 'perfect', or 'happily ever after'. She's lost all her hope of happiness after her mother left her at such a young age. So naturally, when James comes along torturing her and asking her out countless times, she doesn't think much of it. Until things start to turn around, and the boy who she always thought meant nothing to her starts to mean everything to her.


Chapter 1: Chapter One
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Things are really getting out of hand.

My mom is gone, my dad already has another girlfriend, and my sister could care less. Why is everything going downhill?

The bathroom door opened and Petunia came out, looking at herself one more time in the mirror and applying, if possible, even more makeup.

“You going out?” I asked lazily. I heard her make a smacking noise with her lips and set her lipstick down on the counter.

“Me and Vernon are going to the movies tonight.” She said, smiling to herself. I rolled my eyes at the ceiling as I lay in bed. Of course. Vernon. Why else would my older sister leave our house?

“Well then. Have fun.” I said sarcastically. She either was too slow on the uptake, or decided to ignore me. I decided to go with both.

“You should get out tonight Lily. You’ve been two months and a half in this house.”

I ignored her and saw her cross the room and stop in front of the open window, looking down at the ground. She checked if the coast was clear and reached under her bed, taking a line of blankets tied up together and tying it to her bed. She gave me a pleading look not to tell and I nodded, rolling my eyes again. She probably didn’t know that our dad was already out with one of his girlfriends again. I wouldn’t have known either, if I weren’t in the kitchen at the time. Our dad always leaves without telling us. That’s probably where my sister got that habit.

I saw Petunia wave to someone downstairs, and I immediately knew who it was. Vernon, my sister’s steady one-year boyfriend, was a large guy who was overly boring and annoying. All he talked about was how he wanted to own his own company one day, and what sickened me even more was that my sister grinned fondly at him every time he mentioned this.

I sat up straight in my bed and looked at the window, she had already left.

“Okay Petunia. Just leave then. Without saying goodbye to your dad, or your sister and just move on with your life without even looking back.” I said grumpily to myself. I stood up and turned off the bathroom light that my sister always forgot to do.

I looked at my calendar by my bed and sighed. I still had a week to go until I returned to my most favorite place in the world. Hogwarts was my school that I went to for the past six years. It made me sad that this was going to be my last year that I got to stay there. I couldn’t possibly imagine me staying here for the rest of my life. Oh and just so you know, I’m a witch. That’s what Hogwarts is for really…a school for witches and wizards.

I glanced at my bed again where the letter I had been reading before still lay. I smiled to myself. It was a letter from Hogwarts, telling me I was Head Girl this year. This made me grin even more. Head Girl is what I’ve wanted to be ever since I turned prefect in fifth year. I’ll admit that I’m a perfectionist; my friends make fun of me for it all the time. There is a Head Boy too. And for some reason, this year it’s James Potter. How that git got that position I have no idea, but I’ll have to live with it. After spending six years having that kid annoying the hell out of you, you eventually get used to him. And sometimes you have to get used to your own neighbor.

Most people would have killed someone to just see James Potter everyday out on the streets walking with his irritating friend, Sirius, but I see this as a punishment. I must have done something wrong in my life to deserve this. I try to avoid him as much as possible, but every time one of my friends comes over, they insist on going over to that kid’s house. It’s too much. And then Petunia asks why I don’t ever have friends over and why I don’t have a life. Most girls at my school despise me anyway.

Two reasons: One, I’m Potter’s neighbor. Two, the kid is my stalker. It’s horrible! Having him stare at you from his windows in only his boxers as I go get the post or go for a walk around the block. It’s torture I tell you, torture. But it’s even worse when he goes up and talks to me. All he talks about is himself and how I’m missing out. Oh believe me, I am not missing out.

I sighed and walked downstairs, wondering if there was anything good to eat. Strangely the lights were already on. I took a deep breath and readied myself to ignore my dad. And there he was at the kitchen table, reading the post. He heard my footsteps and turned around, giving me a small smile.

“And how’s my little girl doing?” I rolled my eyes and walked to the refrigerator.

“She’s doing fine thank you, just like when you left three hours ago.”

“Sorry that I didn’t tell you guys about leaving. It’s that Carrie had plans already and…” he trailed off, knowing himself that he didn’t have a real excuse.

“Well good for you. I hope you had fun.” I said, using sarcasm twice in about half an hour.

“Where’s Petunia?” he asked, lighting a cigar. I grimaced and quickly took a can of pop, wanting to get out of the kitchen before I could smell that. I hated it when my dad smoked.

“I don’t know.” I said, making a mental note to untie the blankets and hide it under my sister’s bed again.
“That girl…” he muttered irritably. “Always leaving without even saying anything…”

I tutted loudly and left the room. Like he had any moral to say that.


The next few days were completely boring. As Petunia had said that day, I stay home the whole time I’m away from Hogwarts. What’s the point anyway? None of my friends live around here. And I’m not about to go to the Potters’ house. I don’t even know why they live near us. They’re so rich…and they live in a regular house. James always brags about having a manor and I always roll my eyes at him. But who’s going to believe me, it’s my word against the most popular boy in our school.

A day before school starts, I always go and meet with my best friend, Henn, at Diagon Alley to get all of our school supplies. My dad said he’d take me, since he was going to London anyway for a business conference. Even though I’m rather annoyed with my dad, I was thankful for not riding the Knight Bus.

“Bye Dad.” I said, getting out of the car and stepping out to wave at him. He smiled slightly.

“Have fun honey.” He said quietly. My stomach sank as I noticed that he was being truthful.

“Thanks. I’ll see you at six.” I gave him a true smile; I almost never smile at home. This made my dad grin even wider and wave, speeding out of the street. I waved one last time and walked slowly to a dark pub called the Leaky Cauldron, one only able to be seen by wizards and witches. I walked inside, and if this were my first time to come here I would jump up in fright. There were always the weirdest things in the Leaky Cauldron, like vampires and ghouls. I spotted Henn, who was talking to the bar tender, Tom.

“But I don’t think so Henn, the Chudley Cannon’s chaser was certainly cheating-“ Tom began, smiling and revealing his many lost teeth. I smiled at him also.

“Hello Tom.” I said. “What are you two arguing about?”

Henn jumped in surprise since her back was turned towards me. She spun around and gave me a tight hug, squealing.

“It’s great seeing you!” she exclaimed as she let go and beamed at me. My friend Henrietta, or whom everyone calls Henn, had dark brown hair and green eyes. What was great about her was that I could talk to her about anything. She always listens. She turned to Tom, raising an eyebrow. “And we’re not arguing about anything, Tom’s just insulting my team…”

“Not at all miss.” He said, grinning. “Nice to see you Miss Evans.”

“Nice to see you too.” I said, chuckling slightly. “Ready to go Henn?”

“Yes, what time is your dad picking you up?”

“Six. You?” I asked, as we reached a brick wall that I tapped with my wand in a strange order. It melted and slowly formed into an archway, revealing Diagon Alley’s cobbled streets.

“About the same time.” She replied, grinning at seeing Diagon Alley again. She was just as happy as me.

“I hope we meet Gaby and Grace here.” I said as we walked inside Florish and Blotts. Henn laughed.

“Yeah right. Gaby’s probably snogging Sirius right now.” Henn said, smirking. I laughed slightly and felt a little jealous. I hadn’t had a boyfriend since second year, and that was just holding hands down the hallway with Remus. I remember that James didn’t talk to Remus until we weren’t ‘going out’ anymore.

“Who’s snogging Sirius?” said a familiar voice behind us. Henn squealed again as I grinned and spun around. A girl with brown hair and brown eyes grinned at us.

“No offense Gaby.” Henn said apologetically. Henn and me embraced her at the same time, leaving her little room to breathe.

“Nice seeing you guys too.” She said, after we were done hugging each other. “But I don’t see you guys making fun of Grace.” She raised an eyebrow, teasing us.

“Why would we make fun of Grace?” I asked curiously.

“What is it that you know that we don’t?” Henn said, widening her eyes. I laughed at her expression.

“Didn’t you guys know? Grace is dating Remus!” Gaby said quickly, as if it was killing her that she had to keep this to herself for two months.

What?” I blurted out. “And you didn’t tell us?”

“How could she? None of us have owls except for Grace.” Henn pointed out.

“How could she not tell me? That traitor.” I said, furrowing my eyebrows. “The only letter I got this summer was my Hogwarts and Head Girl letter.”

Henn and Gaby exchanged looks, widening their eyes.

“You didn’t tell us you were Head Girl!” they said simultaneously. I grinned apologetically.

“Sorry.” I said, laughing slightly. “But guess who is Head Boy?” I said, changing my expression from guilty, to annoyed.

Henn started to giggle, and Gaby laughed.

“No way, it’s Potter isn’t it?” Henn asked, as if this couldn’t get any better.

“Not funny guys.” I said as I watched them laugh and blush slightly. I was the only girl who didn’t giggle when James Potter’s name was mentioned. Gaby had gotten better, but now that we mentioned Sirius’s name, she would grin nonstop and zone out.

“Well I got to go.” Gaby said, after talking for a while and gossiping.

“What? Why?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow.

“What else?” I asked sarcastically, smirking slightly. Gaby laughed. “So you already got your books?”

“Yeah.” She said, grinning. “How about I meet you guys at the ice cream parlor at four?”

“Sounds good.” Henn said. “See you later then.”

“Bye!” I called out to her retrieving back.

“Have fun snogging Sirius!” Henn said rather loudly. An elderly couple next to us looked at her, horrified. I stifled my laugh. Gaby looked back, looking thoroughly embarrassed.

“I can’t believe Black is going steady.” I said, grinning as I turned around and tried to look for the book I needed again.

“Yeah.” Henn said. “Good thing he’s with Gaby though. They’re perfect for each other.”

I nodded and took Standard Book of Spells: Grade 7 out from the shelf.

“What would you do if we saw Potter today?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No idea, probably ignore him like I usually do.” I said casually, laughing to myself.

“Now, you wouldn’t really do that, would you Evans?” said a deep and mature voice jokily behind me. I narrowed my eyes and looked at Henn, who was struggling not to laugh. I gave her a why-didn’t-you-tell-me-that-he’s-behind-me look and stood up straight.

“What do you want Potter?” I asked, turning around and glaring at him. For some reason looking at him again made me raise an eyebrow and study him for a moment. Although I always see him outside with Sirius, it was always far away and I didn’t notice a change in his appearance. But he had changed, he was taller and more muscular now, and he looked more mature. His voice had lowered an octave or two also.

“Wow Evans, every time I see you again you look even more breathtaking than the last time.” He said, grinning and stepping closer. I narrowed my eyes, he did not just do that.

“And wow Potter,” I said, stepping backwards so I could actually breathe. “every time I see you again you’re even more annoying than the last time you were watching me from across the street.”

Henn couldn’t stop herself anymore and burst out laughing. Potter continued to grin, although his cheeks flushed slightly.

“I knew you couldn’t ignore me.” He said, trying to give a charming and melting smile. Hah, wasn’t working.

“And I knew that my hopes were to high when I wished that you’d transfer schools.” I said, mocking a pleasant voice.

"Come on Henn." I said irritably, squirming out of Potter's reach.

"But I still haven't-" Henn began to protest. "Oh fine." she said after noticing that I was already at the cash register. "Bye James."

I rolled my eyes and glanced over my shoulder, looking at that prat for a moment. His hands were in his pockets and he was smiling slightly, still looking at me. There was something about the way he smiled that was completely different from the usual stuck up grin...


"I'm running out of money." I said after we finished buying our Potions supplies. I looked hopelessly at my purse that had only two sickles left. "Can we go to Gringotts?"

"Sure." Henn said, realizing that she had almost no money also. "But remember that we need to meet Gaby in half an hour."

We ran past the walking shoppers and finally were at the marble white steps of Gringotts, the wizard bank. We walked inside and saw many goblins talking to wizards and witches who wanted to take money out of their vault. I reached the nearest one, taking out my key.

"Vault 152 please." I said quietly. The goblin attending me glared at me for a moment before taking my key and examining it. To my right I heard Henn give another goblin her vault number. They both soon motioned over another goblin who took us to a cart, where it drove to our vaults.

I looked nervously behind me as I took a few galleons and knuts from my vault. Henn was waiting impatiently by the goblin, a sack of wizard money already in her lap. I looked at my small pile of gold and quickly came back out, the vault closing behind me.

"Ready to go?" Henn asked, as we walked out in the bright sunlight again. I nodded and dipped my money into my purse, Henn doing the same.

Gaby was at one of the far corner tables, under an umbrella with no other than Sirius. Henn and me exchanged disgusted looks, they were holding hands and talking quietly to each other.

"Hey Gaby!" Henn said loudly, waving her arms around crazily. Gaby's head shot up as her eyes searched for the source of noise. She grinned once she spotted us. Sirius gave a grim smile and put his arm protectively around Gaby, who motioned us over.

"I don't think Sirius wants us here." I said in an undertone as we approached the table.

"That's why I'm sitting here." Henn said, grinning and setting her bag on the table. She sat on Gaby's other side, while I sat by Sirius.

"How's it going Sirius?" I asked, exchanging looks with Henn.

"Well." he muttered. I raised an eyebrow at him, Sirius Black was not a man of few words.

Sirius grinned and brought Gaby slightly closer, whispering something in her ear again. She giggled and turned slightly red.

“I’m going to go get ice cream.” I drawled as him and Gaby started to kiss in our presence. “Anybody want anything?”

“How about a saliva bowl for these two?” Henn asked, scrunching up her nose. I smirked and got up to get my sundae. I scowled as I saw who was also ordering an ice cream. James Potter. For a moment I thought of just turning back and waiting for him to leave, but I’m not a person to hide. I rolled my eyes and walked over anyway, feeling like I was preparing myself for the worst.

“Yes, what would you like Lily?” the ice cream parlor man said. I smiled and felt James’s head turn sharply in my direction.

“I’ll have a strawberry sundae, thanks.” I said politely.

“Yummy.” James said quietly, smirking at me. I furrowed my eyebrows and narrowed my eyes at him, knowing that he wasn’t talking about my ice cream.
“Here you go James.” Said the man, giving him a chocolate ice cream cone. He left without even saying thank you. I scowled at him and watched as he made his way towards our table. Wait…no. Argh he was sitting in my seat.

“Thank you.” I said, as I took the ice cream that the man gave me. He smiled at me as I started towards our table.

“Wait! Lily!”

I spun around and saw a girl with red hair like mine, except not as vivid. Her eyes were ocean blue, and she was grinning. I smiled back.

“Grace!” I exclaimed, hugging her. Wow we sure do hug a lot.

“It’s great seeing you!” she said, pulling back. I noticed that she was slightly darker.

“It’s great seeing you too, where have you been?” I asked, raising my eyebrows and grinning. She chuckled.

“Hah. I’ve been at the beach.” She said, her eyes shining playfully. “Oh and did I tell you? About me and-“

“Remus.” I said, grinning. “Nope but don’t worry, Gaby over there told me all about it.”

Grace laughed, raising an eyebrow for a moment.

“What’s James doing over there? Don’t tell me you and him are-”

“Don’t start.” I warned her. She laughed.

“I had my hopes too high.”

“Yeah I think you did.” I said grumpily. “Anyway, where’s your boyfriend?”

“Oh I don’t know, he was last at Quidditch Quality Supplies. I told him that I wasn’t up to staring at broomsticks all day so he’s coming here later.” She said casually. “I’ll meet you at our table. Let me get my ice cream first though.”

I nodded and glanced over my shoulder at James, who was talking and laughing with Sirius. They seemed to be excluding Gaby and Henn, who both looked annoyed.

Henn turned her head and looked desperately at me to come over. I sighed disgustedly and made my way over there, thinking that the first opportunity that I got I would strangle Potter.

The day went great. We stayed at the ice cream parlor the rest of the day, just talking and catching up on everything that had happened over the summer. We stuffed our faces and laughed over our incidents. I was mostly listening than talking…since nothing really interesting or good happened at my house. And plus, the only person that I tell things is to Henn, and that’s hardly anything. I would have stayed more time, but my dad had a business dinner party today that I had to get ready for. I rolled my eyes at the thought as I walked out from the Leaky Cauldron, waving goodbye to Tom.

I had to wait only for a few minutes; my dad came soon in his shiny black car…with Carrie sitting in the front seat. I didn’t attempt to hide my scowl. Carrie hated me, I was sure of it. She definitely favored Petunia, but maybe that was because she never got in the way of her relationship with my dad. I knew that Carrie only wanted my dad’s money, after all there was such a huge difference in age. She tried having ‘girl talks’ or ‘bonding moments’ but it so did not work. She was as useless as my mom, and I would bet anything that she’d walk out on us too.

I only said ‘hi’ to those two and sat in the back, looking out the window at the streetlights, it was starting to get dark. Carrie was complaining about my dad’s boss and how he should be in charge of the business, not Mr. Whatever his name is.

We finally arrived home and I was surprised to see that my bedroom light was on. Petunia was home. That’s a first.

I walked up the dark staircase and opened the door, finding Petunia and Vernon talking on her bed quietly to each other while some music played on the radio. I heard my dad and Carrie argue downstairs and closed the door forcefully behind me, drowning out the noise.

“Ever heard of knocking?” Petunia said nastily. “We’re in the middle of something very important right now.”

“Well then go borrow Dad’s room, the bed is bigger.” I retorted, dropping my shopping bags on my bed. Petunia widened her eyes, looking horrified at the bags. Vernon didn’t know about my…erm ‘abnormality’, according to my sister.

“Lily, leave.” She hissed. I knew that she was trying to threaten me, but she couldn’t do anything about it. Hah, I smirked.

“No.” I said firmly, my eyes flickering to Vernon, who was dressed up in a suit and giving a smug smile. Petunia, was wearing a frilly lavender dress that was long sleeved and that flared just below her knees. Ack, that color looked horrible on her.

“Fine!” Petunia screeched, taking Vernon’s hand and opening the door. They left, leaving me to grin and close the door after them. I checked the clock and grimaced. I only had half an hour to get ready. I rushed in the bathroom and took a quick shower, forcing my legs in tights and putting on a dark green spaghetti strap dress, that I thought fit me pretty good. It went halfway down my legs and I hastily put on some matching pointy shoes. I winced at the fact of wearing those all night.

“Lilian!” Dad called from downstairs. “You ready yet?”

“Almost!” I called back. I looked hopelessly at my damp hair. I combed it through and noticed that I wasn’t going to have time to blow dry. Oh well. This was only my dad’s business after all. I put some gold earrings on and a golden necklace that my grandma had given to me when I was younger. It looked odd on a small girl, so I was glad to finally be able to wear it. There was an emerald in the center, my favorite stone and my birth stone. I smiled and was proud of myself for not looking too shabby and rushed downstairs, taking my matching green and gold purse.

“Ah.” Dad said fondly as I reached the last flight of steps. “Beautiful.” I blushed and looked at the ground, while Carrie looked impatiently at her watch. She was wearing a light blue slid off the shoulders dress that in my opinion was way too tight and way to short. I rolled my eyes at how she wore her fancy shawl and expensive silver earrings and jewelry that my father had bought her. Her dark brown hair was up in a bun with some strands falling in front of her pretty face. My dad was wearing a tux like Vernon, and his hair was combed neatly.

“Can we go now?” Petunia asked irritably. I glared at her.

“Why are you even here?” I spat. She frowned at me as her eyes flickered to my messy hair, to my peeling shoes.

“I’m here to support Dad, thanks.” She said coldly. I tutted as I began to understand. Vernon was always talking about owning a business…and he was unemployed. So, she wanted him to join Dad’s company. Like Vernon would want to sell of all things, drills.

We finally left and climbed into the car, driving past the Potters’, where all the lights were off. Hm, they were out.

The business my dad worked for was Grunnings. I think it’s the most boring job ever. But my dad likes it, for reasons unknown. We walked inside the elevator, descending to the basement where the party room was. I watched as Carrie looked at herself in her little portable mirror, while Petunia patted Vernon’s shoulder telling him not to be nervous. While everyone tried to make a good impression as we walked inside, I looked at the nearest couch and sat down. I hated introducing myself to all of these weird and boring people. And plus, my dad’s boss’s son was always hitting on me and making me want to puke whatever I was eating.

Dad didn’t seem to notice that I sat on the couch and took refuge. Petunia and Carrie were wearing their most false smiles, while Vernon seemed like he was close to fainting. This was going to be a long night.
“Ah, Ms. Evans. We meet again.”

I gritted my teeth and tried to smile at the same time, making me look like I had something up my nose. It was Andy, the prat that I was trying to avoid. He wasn’t ugly, in contrast with his large and grim looking father who was my father’s boss. Andy was actually quite good looking. He was slightly dark and he had chocolate brown hair that was always elegant and neat. He was holding a cup of wine while his other hand was in his pocket, revealing only his expensive watch. He took that hand and brought mine up to his face, kissing it softly. I tried hard not to roll my eyes. Now, most girls would have died right there on the spot, being kissed on your hand by a handsome and rich boy. But looks can be deceiving. All he talked about was his money. He was even worse than Potter.

I froze as he sat by me on the unfortunately two-person couch. Now that was odd. Right by the buffet, piling his plate with food…was James Potter.

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
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“Hu?” I said, confused. What was James Potter, a ‘pureblood wizard’ doing in a muggle dinner party? Andy raised an eyebrow at me, looking around the room.

“What was that?” he asked, checking his watch for the fourth time in ten minutes. I rolled my eyes. No one deserved this.

“I’m hungry.” I said, although I wasn’t hungry at all. “I think I’m going to the buffet.”

“Suit yourself.” he said, leaning casually against the couch. I nodded and rushed over there. Yep, it was him, you couldn’t mistaken his messy jet black hair. He was talking to a woman with shoulder-length black hair and light brown eyes.

“James, you didn’t even introduce yourself to anyone yet…”

“I’m going mum.” he muttered, looking uninterested. “Don’t worry.”

She gave him one last long look and turned around, almost running into me.

“Oh sorry dear.” she said apologetically, smiling slightly.

“It’s alright.” I said, glancing at James, who seemed to momentarily freeze. His greasy hand jumped up to his hair, making it shiner. I chuckled quietly.

“Evans?” he croaked, spinning around and looking at me. I crossed my arms and looked at him expectantly.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, looking nervously to the sides as if someone was going to pop out of no where, take a picture, and yell “SURPRISE!”

“My father works here Potter.” I said in a hollow voice. “Now what are you doing here?” I asked in a demanding voice.

“Whoa.” He said, pulling the bits of potato that was for some reason in his hair. He blushed and threw it aside. “Anyway, what are you getting all frustrated for?”

“I’m not frustrated.” I said, as if trying to prove him wrong in anything. Hm, why was I doing that? “I just was curious why you were here, in a muggle dinner party.” I said in a considerably nicer voice. James hesitated.

“My uncle works for Grunnings.” He said slowly, looking down at his food in an ashamed way.

“Your uncle?” I asked blankly. “But aren’t you pureblood?”

James’s face turned red as he looked side to side again. “He’s a squib.” He muttered.

Now, most would go laughing their heads of, patting James on the back ad saying “Ha! Good one!” But I could tell that he was telling the truth by the way he was completely embarrassed.

“Well that’s okay.” I said consolingly, putting my arm on his shoulder without thinking. “Grunnings is a truly…” I trailed off, trying to figure out what Grunnings actually was. “interesting business.”

James looked over at my hand on his shoulder, and grinned at me. I quickly retrieved it. Well the old James Potter was back.

“Enough about drills,” he said, wrapping an arm around my waist and pulling me closer. I narrowed my eyes and stepped away, looking murderous. “You know, you look hot in that dress.”

I glared at him and looked at my dress, pulling it slightly down so it wouldn’t show my legs as much. James’s eyes quickly looked up at my face again.

“Shut it Potter.” I snarled. James gave me a pained look.

“I love it when you get mad.” He said, grinning at me. I scowled at him.

“You know what, forget it. I can’t have one good conversation with you.” I said, spinning around and marching towards the couch. I stopped and looked at Andy, who was now showing his watch off to my dad. I hesitated and debated which prat would be better, Potter, or Andy?

Neither.

I walked out of the party room and took of my shoes, they were killing me. I held them and walked around the hallway, my hair loosening from the twist I had put it in. I went inside of the elevator and went into the main room, stopping by the window. Hm, it was raining.

I pressed my fingers against the glass and took a step forward, I loved the rain. Especially summer rain, when it was warm out. I walked slowly do the glass door and hesitated. It was real tempting but…

Ah what the heck.

I dropped my shoes and pushed the door open, my bare feet feeling the cold and rough sidewalk. I grinned and spun around, the rain drops falling rapidly on my clothes and skin, and making my hair look like a mess. I skipped around, laughing at how stupid I must look. I squinted my eyes, the cars kind of ruined the image. The sky was pitch black, except for the few patches of stars that weren’t covered by the clouds. I smiled and danced in the rain, all my worries fading into nothingness.

That is, until I jerked out of my reverie and looked at the glass door.

“Oh no.” I whispered to myself. “No. No. No way.” I repeated, trying to convince myself that I must be dreaming. No, this was a nightmare.

At the door, Potter was holding my shoes and grinning at me, raising an eyebrow. My jaw dropped as the rain kept drenching my face, I blinked and felt mascara and eyeliner soak into my eyes. Well he probably was getting a kick out of that.

“It’s okay Lily. He can’t get to you.” I murmured. “Just go over there, take your shoes, and-” I trailed off, staying in place.

I just had to go out in the rain, I just had to, didn’t I?

And my dad! I started to panic. I couldn’t go back in there, drenched with my dress clinging to me while my makeup ran down my face and my hair was a complete mess. I was ruined. Ruined.

Well whatever I was going to do, I couldn’t just stand there. I had to go inside, and dry myself and wait in the bathroom until everyone left. Yeah, that was what I’m going to do.

Potter smirked and beckoned me, and I reluctantly pushed the glass door, which ‘accidentally’ smashed into his face. He moaned and gripped his nose as I seized the opportunity. I took my shoes, saluting him and walking towards the bathroom, I had nothing else to do.

“Hey!” he called behind me, catching up. “Wait a second, you just waltz off?”

I stopped and turned around, looking at him and keeping a straight face.

“If you think I’m just going to erase completely the image of Lily Evans dancing around in the rain in public view,” he stopped for a moment, grinning at me. “you’re wrong.”

We stayed silent for a moment, and I furrowed my eyebrows. Me, Lily Evans, who always had something to say to James Potter when he offended me, was left blank.

And James was loving it.

“Are you going to tell?” I asked pleadingly. I didn’t mean to, I planning to casually ask if he thought it was a big deal, but it came out wrong. Very wrong. Lily Evans is not a girl to plead. James chuckled.

“Depends.” he said, leaning against the wall and coming closer to me. I glared at him.

“Forget it Potter.” I snapped. “You could ruin me in school, spread rumors about me, and tell everyone I’m a lunatic, but I’m never going out with you.”

“Who said I was going to ask you out?” he asked incredulously. I gave him an exasperated look.

“Are you telling me that you weren’t going to ask me out?” I asked expectantly. Potter didn’t answer. “That’s what I thought.” I turned to go to the bathroom and try to do something to my appearance, but he grabbed my arm. I narrowed my eyes at him.

“Wait Lily.” he said, now pleading himself. “Just give me a chance. Just one chance.”

“No.” I said immediately, without even thinking about it. I noticed how harsh I was and couldn’t help but feel guilty for his disappointed look. “I’m sorry but I can’t James.”

James, who was looking at the floor, suddenly looked up.

“Did you just call me James?” he asked curiously. I felt myself blush, but only a little.

“Yes.” I said in a would be matter-o-fact voice. James grinned at me, and again, it looked different from the grin he pulled off with all the Ravenclaw girls. “It’s your name.”

“But you always call me Potter.” he said, raising an eyebrow.

“And you always call me Evans.” I said snappishly. “So what?”

James finally let go of my arm, looking at me hard. I suddenly felt uncomfortable.

“Don’t put your makeup on again.” he said, furrowing his eyebrows in concentration. “You look better without it.”

Now, usually I would snap again for him bossing me around. But for some reason I didn’t say anything. Maybe it was because he wasn’t bossing me around.

I turned around without saying anything and slowly walked to the restroom, behind me I heard him say something.

“Don’t worry I won’t tell Lily.” he said quietly. I quickened my pace, I didn’t think he wanted me to hear that.


“I’m very disappointed in you Lilian.” dad said sternly as we drove away from the building. In the mirror I saw Carrie who looked on the verge of smirking. “What has gotten into you?”

“Out in the rain,” Petunia said, scrunching her nose at me. “are you absolutely insane?”

I crossed my arms and looked out the window. I heard Petunia whisper something to Vernon, who had looked much better after he had a conversation with my dad’s boss without excusing himself for being sick.

“And in plain view of everyone who was walking by,” Carrie said, frowning at me as she turned in her seat. I gritted my teeth, it took a while for that woman to say something. “you’re not usually like this, I just don’t seem to understand.”

“No she always has been.” Petunia said irritably. “Even when she was little she’d g out in the rain and-”

“Shut up Petunia.” I spat. Petunia gave me an indignant look and turned to Vernon, who they both started to talk amongst themselves.

“I’m sorry about my sister,” she said, obviously not caring that I was right there. “it won’t happen again.”

“It’s alright darling.” Vernon’s smug voice said. “Let’s just think about our future and me working at Grunnings, shall we?”

I rolled my eyes. They didn’t even notice that they were embarrassing themselves.

We finally parked in our garage and I opened the door quickly and slammed it shut, walked inside, still barefoot. I was already up in my room before they even finished closing the garage. I stopped for a moment at the doorway, throwing the shoes at the wall. I hope they left a mark.

After groaning and finally untying my hair from it’s demented twist, I went inside the bathroom and locked the door.

I stared at my reflection, my mascara and eyeliner was smeared making me look like I haven’t slept in days. My hair was all over the place, damp still and in front of my face. My dress was clinging to me uncomfortably, and one of my straps was hanging loosely over my shoulder. I looked like a mess.

I heard footsteps in our bedroom and sat down on the bathroom floor, looking sadly at my golden bracelet. I heard giggling from my sister in my room and Vernon chuckling stupidly. I rolled my eyes.

“Wait,” Petunia said, still laughing. “Stop it Vernon!” she said giggling hysterically. “Seriously, one minute.”

I closed my eyes as Petunia knocked on the door.

“Lily I know you’re in there. Get out.” she said in a I’m-in-charge-attitude. I didn’t answer. I didn’t want to sound like I was on the verge of crying. “Lily. Get out.”

I shook my head, even though I knew she couldn’t see me.

“Fine.” Petunia said, finally giving in. I heard her storming out of the room, Vernon following her.

I waited until I heard Vernon pull out of our driveway with his car and Petunia and slowly opened the door. The room was dark, and the door closed. I dragged my feet and fell onto my bed, covering myself and closing my eyes tightly. I was tired of this. Downstairs I heard my dad fighting with Carrie again. I rolled onto my side and faced the wall, my only comfort was that I was going home tomorrow.


The next day I woke up at eight o clock because of my alarm. I lazily turned it off and stood still.

I snapped my eyes open suddenly as it registered in my mind that today I was going to school. I quickly jumped out of my bed, rushing past Petunia who was snoring in her bed. I took a quick shower, washing away my makeup that was still there from yesterday.

I picked up my dress that was on the bathroom floor and threw it in my trunk. That was my only good dress and tights. I reluctantly put my shoes in there too.

Fifteen minutes after, I was already ready, sipping my coffee and eating a donut. I was wearing black cargo pants and a plain forest green t-shirt that fit me just right. I noticed that I was still wearing my necklace, and hid it behind my shirt.

I heard footsteps coming from up the stairs and I looked up, expecting my dad to come down but seeing Carrie, yawning and wearing low-rise jeans and a white halter top. I raised my eyebrows as she casually went and poured herself some coffee. Suddenly, everything clicked and I slammed my cup on the table.

“Wait, are you taking me to Kings’ Cross?” I asked incredulously. Carrie looked at me, furrowing her eyebrows.

“Yes.” she said sternly. “Your lousy dad wants me to take you.”

“I want my dad to take me.” I said firmly. I was not about to let her drive me to Kings’ Cross station. I hated her, and she hated me. So what was the point?

“Look,” she began irritably. “Don’t think that I’m excited about taking you either, it’s your good for nothing dad that wants me to.”

“You know if you don’t like my dad then why do you stick around?” I spat. “No one wants you here.”

“Correction, you don’t want me here.” she said in a sinisterly sweet voice. “And that’s obviously not good enough.” She paused and looked at me above her coffee cup, scowling. “You know what, you can walk to that stupid train. Because I’m not taking a spoiled brat who doesn’t have any consideration.”

“I have consideration for those who deserve it.” I said, glaring at her. “But fine. I don’t want a slut driving me either.” I turned around and felt something swivel past me, hitting the wall and leaving a coffee stain. I stared at the broken coffee cup on the ground, and then ran out the door, dragging my trunk with me that was beside the doorway. I slammed the door behind me, tears swelling up in my eyes.

Now what?

I looked across the street. Well I could just…

No. No, I couldn’t. Not as long as I still had my pride.

I tried holding my trunk and walking, but it was too hard. I tied my belt to it and tried dragging it along, but it wasn’t working. I groaned and looked at the Potters’ house again.

Well it was an absolute emergency, it was my last option. It was less embarrassing to catch a ride with the Potters’ than going and apologizing to Carrie.

There goes my pride.

I took a deep breath and dragged my trunk to the front door, buckling my belt and ringing the doorbell. Mrs. Potter’s image slowly grew larger through the glass and the door finally opened.

“Oh! Lilian, dear.” Mrs. Potter said, looking surprised. Victoria Potter was a woman that had shoulder-length black hair and light and kind brown eyes. James looked exactly like her, except for the fact that he was a boy and that he had hazel eyes, which he inherited from his father.

“Hello Mrs. Potter.” I said politely. “Um, I saw you at the Grunnings dinner party.” I said awkwardly. I noticed that I was looking at the ground, thinking ‘please James don’t come down here, don’t come down here.’

“Oh I didn’t know you were there! Here, come in.” she said, moving out of the way and glancing at my trunk questionably.

“Actually Mrs. Potter, I was wondering if I could have a ride with you guys?” I asked hopefully, finally looking at her. “It’s cause well my dad’s not feeling good and -”

“Of course!” she said, without letting me finish the sentence. I smiled. Mrs. Potter was always so nice and sweet…and then I wonder how James could be the prat he is. She helped me heave my trunk inside and gave me some orange juice that was from their breakfast.

I thanked her and stared at their walls, which I noticed didn’t have coffee stains on them. And just when I thought things were going well, Mrs. Potter called James down. I choked on my juice and started to cough.

“James!” Mrs. Potter said in a loud voice. “Come down here, look who’s arrived!”

I drank some more orange juice, to drown out my gasps as I heard jumping footsteps from the stairs.

Chapter 3: Chapter Three
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James appeared in the kitchen, freezing as he saw me at their table drinking orange juice. I blushed furiously, and so did he; he was wearing only pajama pants. Sirius came running behind him, grinning at me and not looking remotely embarrassed, even though he was only wearing boxers.

“Evans! What you doing around here?” Sirius asked good-naturedly. I want to die. “Wait, is Gaby with you?”

I shook my head, having trouble breathing. I coughed and drank some more orange juice. Sirius raised an eyebrow at me.

“James! Didn’t I tell you two to get ready?” Mrs. Potter snapped. “Do you know what time it is?”

James blushed and muttered, “Mum -”

Even in the embarrassment that I was going through I couldn’t help but laugh. James was uncomfortable.

“Go upstairs. This is no way to show up in front of a lady.” Mrs. Potter said sternly. Sirius grinned again and saluted her.

“Right on it Miss.” he said, nudging James. “You heard her Prongs, this is no way to show up in front of a lady.” He winked at me, and I chuckled. James glanced at me and followed Sirius out of the kitchen and up the stairs.

Mrs. Potter shook her head in disapproval and smiled at me.

“You know, your mother and I always talked about how we’d like to see you and James married someday.” she said kindly. This made me cough some more. She didn’t seem to notice that this was an awkward subject for me. She laughed slightly. “Imagine that.”

I nodded and drained the last bit of my juice.

“Thanks.” I said, putting the cup in the sink. Mrs. Potter didn’t hear me, she was using her wand to make some more eggs and ham.


Everything was going by in a rush. The Potters and Sirius were all late, eating breakfast and getting ready. James and Sirius were now clothed, Sirius didn’t seem to think that there was a point if Gaby wasn’t around. Everybody would be apparating, but turns out that neither Sirius nor James had passed the test, and I was still sixteen.

Once we were all seated in the car, James was seated on the other far end. Sirius was in between us. I thought it was unusual, but glad that I didn’t have to be tormented by him the whole ride. Instead, it was Sirius. He’d keep on winking at me just to make James mad and say stupid pick up lines like: ‘Someone call the police, ‘cause this women just stole my heart’, and ‘Did it hurt falling from the sky my angel?’. Well I thought it was funny, even though James was fuming and Gaby wouldn’t be too pleased.

“We’re here!” Mrs. Potter piped from the passenger’s seat; Mr. Henry Potter was driving us. Mr. Potter had chestnut brown hair, and hazel eyes. He was tall, and was just starting to bald. Even though it wasn’t very noticeable at his age, his hair stuck slightly upwards in the back, like his son’s.

Mr. Potter came out of the car, shouted for the boys to go get their trunks, and helped me heave mine towards the station and into a cart. James and Sirius grunted and exchanged looks. Mr. Potter ignored them even though Sirius insisted that he had broken a nail.

“Well have fun you three.” Mrs. Potter said fondly, kissing James on the head before he could escape. James squirmed out of her reach, blushing madly. Sirius smirked.

“Can I have a kiss Mrs. Potter?” Sirius asked, trying to pull off an innocent smile and voice. Mrs. Potter kissed him on the head too, embracing him.

“Owl us if you need anything, dear.” she said in a low voice, I don’t think she noticed that I was right behind them. She caught my eye and gave me a kiss too, hugging me. “The same goes for you.”

I smiled uncomfortably and thanked them for the ride. Soon they were in their car and driving away into the distance.

“I reckon that your mom’s the only person who’s kissed her for a while.” Black said in an audible whisper to Potter. I scowled at him. “Hope that’s not a bad omen.”

“Shut it you two.” I snarled as they started to howl with laughter. I rolled my eyes and walked into the barrier between platforms nine and ten, reaching the other magical side where the Hogwarts Express was, on Platform Nine ¾. I smiled and looked around, but saw no one of my interest. I passed by a few Slytherins, who smirked and called out to me, “Mudblood!” I tired my best to ignore them.

I found an empty compartment and put my trunk on the top part. I left my jacket there to show that anyone that the compartment was occupied and walked around, looking for someone familiar. I spotted Grace, under Remus’s arm and talking excitedly to him.

I hesitated, not sure if I should intrude. Grace glanced at my way and grinned, waving me over. Well I guess that was decided.

“How are ya Lils?” she said, giving me a one arm hug. “Long time no see.”

“I say.” I said, laughing slightly. “Hey Remus.”

Remus and I had always been kind of awkward, after the second year incident that we were a so called ‘couple’. He had called the whole thing off after a week, because James was feeling ‘depressed’. In fact, James Potter is probably the reason all the boys don’t ask me out. Still, Remus and I always compliment each other and don’t scrunch up our noses every time we’re in sight.

“Hey Lily.” he smiled. Remus Lupin was definitely a quiet boy. He wasn’t like his friends, Potter and Black, dating every single girl within sight. Nope, Remus was definitely the guy who liked to read in the corner of the common room. Most girls liked to call him ‘mysterious’, but I just would call it keeping to yourself. I suppose it was because of his light brown hair that fell into his dark ocean blue eyes, that looked like waves that made many girls fall for him. Grace liked him because he was kind and sweet though, which was true. If I had to call one of the marauders a ‘friend’, it would definitely be Remus. “Congrats on making Head Girl.”

I smiled and looked at him curiously. He laughed. “Grace told me.” he said, pointing to Grace, who grinned. “We’re both made prefects this year, see.”

“Cool.” I said, nodding my head. “Have you guys seen anyone yet?”

“Nope.” Grace said, shaking her head. “Did you find a compartment?”

“Yeah.” I said, pointing to the one I had picked out earlier. “Hurry and go put your stuff there.”

Grace nodded, and Remus heaved her trunk over his shoulder, dragging his own worn out suitcase.

I sighed and wandered around until I heard the train’s whistle. I climbed into the nearest entrance with a bunch of other rushing students. I grinned at the tiny first years.

I asked everyone politely to move out of the way so I could get to my compartment, and only shoved when I knew it was a Slytherin that I despised.

I kept passing compartments, until someone that I spotted made me stop. Hmpf. Potter.

James was in the middle of the compartment, laughing heartily on the floor and glancing occasionally at the girls’ legs that were surrounding him. Most of them were leggy blondes, but all of them were from Ravenclaw. Ravenclaw was considered the ‘hottie’s house’, as the boys liked to call it. James was looking extremely pleased, which made me scrunch my nose up in disgust.

Oh yeah I could just tell by looking at his smug face with all those girls...but who can blame him? He's got the money, he's got the family, he's got the popularity, and no one stands in his way.

That’s how it’s been my entire life that I’ve known him. I guess that’s why I’ve hated him for such a long time. I’ve always had the lousy life, where there were so many problems at home, and then there was Potter, swimming in money and having a perfect family. He even had the good grades, was liked by everyone, and was the most popular boy in the school. He’s such a jerk too, and no one goes up to him and says ‘hey cut it out’ because they’re too scared. I think I’m the only person in Hogwarts who doesn’t stand for it.

I rolled my eyes and kept on walking, running into Sirius, who was holding a butterbeer.

“Evans, what are you doing here?” he asked, for the first time I saw him look nervously to the sides.

“Looking for my compartment.” I said honestly. I raised an eyebrow at him. “Aren’t you supposed to be with Gaby?”

I saw him glance at the compartment where I had just seen James and the Ravenclaw girls. He nodded.

“Yeah, I was looking for her as a matter of fact. Have you seen her?”

“Nope.” I said, shrugging. “She’ll show up.”

“Yeah, I’ll just, go look this way then.” he said, pointing over to where I had just gone.

“I checked.” I said immediately. “Not there.”

“Oh. Right.” he said distractedly, glancing at the compartment again. I looked at him suspiciously. All of a sudden he grinned and waved at someone behind me. I turned around and saw Gaby, dragging her trunk and looking for a compartment. She spotted us and waved back.

“Hey.” she said, hugging me and kissing Sirius. Sirius put an arm around her. “Sirius, can you take my trunk?”

“Sure.” he said, giving her a ‘Sirius’ grin. He picked it up and marched wobbly towards the compartment that I showed them. Remus and Grace were already inside, talking with Henn who had obviously arrived.

“Looks like everyone’s here.” I said, announcing my presence. Everyone looked at me and Henn jumped from her seat, embracing me.

Sirius slid Gaby’s trunk on the top rack next to my trunk and sat down by Henn, Gaby following. I sat on the other side by Grace and Remus. Henn and me exchanged looks, we were the only people who didn’t have boyfriends with us. She chuckled and looked out the window, which was starting to blur because the train just started.

“Anyway,” I said, standing up. “I need to go the prefects’ compartment, Henn can you get me some pastries?”

She nodded and looked desperately at Gaby and Sirius, not wanting to sit with them for about two more hours alone. I started towards the door and glanced at Grace and Remus, who weren’t moving.

“We’ll meet you there.” Grace said, smiling at me. I forced a smile back and closed the door behind me, walking to the front of the train where the compartment was. Again, I passed James’s compartment full of girls and frowned. I tried to ignore him and turned into the front compartment, where there was chattering and the door was open.

As I walked in, everyone immediately fell silent. There were eight fifth year prefects, eight sixth year prefects, and eight seventh year prefects. All of them either exchanged looks or looked at me with loathing, the Slytherins did that of course.

“Are you Head Girl?” said a fifth year girl with curly blonde hair and blue eyes which were outlined by golden glasses. From across the room, Bellatrix Black snickered and exchanged looks with Lucius Malfoy, the other seventh year Slytherin prefect. I glared at them and Bellatrix glared back, I decided to ignore her.

“Yeah.” I said, smiling at the girl. “What’s your name?”

“Lydia Wood.” she said, beaming at me. “I’m one of the Ravenclaw prefects.”

“Oh okay. Well I’ll be starting the meeting once our Head Bo-” I began, but the compartment door opening interrupted me.

Potter came inside, grinning and winking at a few girls. I rolled my eyes.

“Right.” I said, looking at him disgustedly. “For those of you who don’t know this is James Potter.”

“Who doesn’t?” said a girl beside Lydia, who was a Hufflepuff sixth year.

“Hey Clara.” he said, grinning at the Hufflepuff. “And for those who don’t know, this is the beautiful and sexy Lily Evans.” he said, putting his arm around me. Some girls tried to force a smile, but only managed a grimace, others looked like they were close to tears, but most just glared at me.

“Don’t waste my time Potter.” I snapped, slapping his arm away. He grinned at me and I rolled my eyes.

“Anyway,” I continued, pretending that Potter wasn’t there. “prefects are to patrol the hallways every now and then. Fifth years patrol on Mondays and Wednesdays, Sixth years patrol on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Seventh years on Fridays and Saturdays. No one patrols on Sundays. For those of you who don’t know, first, second, and third years have to be in their common rooms by eight o clock. Fourth years and Fifth years are to be out of the hallways by nine o clock, and the sixth and seventh years can stay out of their common rooms until ten.”

“Unless there’s a party, then there’s no curfew.” Potter said, followed by some girlish giggles and a few hearty laughs. The Slytherins rolled their eyes. I glared at James.

“Do you mind?” I hissed. The compartment fell silent, waiting for what James would say.

“Not at all my beauty.” he said, putting his arm around me. I shoved it away again and looked at the prefects, feeling annoyed.

“There will be prefect meetings every Saturday in the Great Hall after dinner. Any questions?” I asked, looking around. The only person who had their hand up was Bellatrix. Narcissa Black, Bellatrix’s younger sister, snickered.

“What?” I asked in a voice of determined calm.

“Shouldn’t a mudblood learn to have some patience if she’s Head Girl?” Bellatrix asked smoothly, her dark eyes staring at me. My face flushed a little, but only a little.

“Well you should learn to respect other people.” I said, frowning at her. “Unless you want a detention.”

The Black sisters glared at me, and Malfoy sniggered. “Any other questions?” I asked, looking anywhere except for the Slytherin corner. “Alright, everyone but James can go.”

Everyone filed out, only a couple of boys and Lydia said goodbye to me. All the girls seemed to hate my guts and the Slytherins, well I was already used to them.

“Knew you couldn’t resist me Evans,” Potter said, jumping onto the comfy bench and laying on it, raising his figure with his elbow.

“Give it a rest Potter.” I said, sitting on the other side, wanting distance. “Just tell me that you won’t do that again.”

Potter raised an eyebrow. “Do what again?”

“‘My beauty’? The whole curfew thing?” I said exasperatedly. “If you stop it then all the girls will have a chance with you again and the prefects will actually respect me.”

“None of the girls have a chance with me.” he said, sitting and grinning at me. “Except you of course.”

“Honestly Potter.” I said, looking out the window. “Do you seriously think it’s funny to keep on insisting? Well it’s not.”

From the corner of my eye I saw him walk over to where I was sitting and seat himself beside me. I shifted uncomfortably, he was staring at me.

“I don’t do it to be funny.” he said seriously.

“Yes you do.” I said, frowning and looking at him. He was close, way too close. “You never did this with any of the other girls. Admit it Potter, I’m just some joke for all you friends. That’s all you do, make me look like an idiot and make all the girls hate me.”

I stopped and waited for him to say something, but he just stared at me. I rolled my eyes at him.

“Why do you do this?” I asked, trying to break the silence.

“‘Cause I like you Lily.” he said finally. “A lot.”

For some reason I suddenly felt nervous, and wanted to run out of the compartment. But why? Maybe it was because he was close…yeah he was way too close. I should just shove him or something

“Can’t you just give me a chance? Just one? I mean, I can’t be really that bad.” he said, looking at me in the eyes sincerely. He leaned in some more, and for some reason I didn’t move. What was happening to me?

“James, I simply don’t get you.” I said, trying as hard as I could to keep my voice steady.

“I can work with that.” he said in a low voice.

He was leaning in some more, and as my eyes started to close I jerked out of my trance and finally backed away.

“No James, I’m sorry.” I said firmly, regaining my reassurance. His eyes opened and he looked at the ground. I gulped, feeling for some reason horribly guilty and walked to the door, sliding it open and walking into the hall. I shook my head and started to stride quickly, very freaked out of what just happened.


I spent the rest of the time in our compartment, eating the pumpkin pastries that Henn had gotten for me. I mostly just listened to everyone talking, since I was lost in my thoughts. The only time I spoke was when I explained what happened in the prefects meeting, since Remus and Grace had forgotton to go. They must have been busy doing something I really don’t want know.

When it was dark already and we were pretty close to Hogwarts, Sirius and Remus had to get out of the compartment so we could change into her robes.

“Is something wrong?” Henn asked as she tied her dark hair up in a ponytail. I pulled my robe on and shook my head. Henn furrowed her eyebrows and put her hands on her hips, looking demanding.

“Nothing’s wrong.” I said firmly. Gaby exchanged looks with Grace.

“Spill.”Gaby said, joining in. Grace looked expectantly at me.

“It’s that…” I said, trying to think of an excuse. “it’s really bugging me that everyone is calling me a mudblood.”

Henn gave me a pitiful look and sat by me.

“It’s not everyone, it’s only the losers in Slytherin.” Henn said reassuringly.

“And you shouldn’t listen to them anyway.” Grace said. Gaby nodded.

“There’s nothing wrong with being muggleborn.” Gaby said. “The Slytherins don’t know what they’re talking about.”

I smiled, even though that wasn’t what was bugging me. It made me happy that my friends cared for me.

“Thanks.” I said truthfully.

“No problem.” Henn said, grinning at me.

After we waited out in the hallway, waiting for the boys to change for a considerably shorter time, (even though Sirius insisted that Gaby should come with him) we all waited in our compartment, waiting for the train to come to a complete stop. We left, knowing that the house elves that worked for Hogwarts would get our trunks and walked out onto the platform. It was raining lightly. I felt my stomach sink as I remembered that I was dancing in the rain and humiliating my family only yesterday.

Grace, Remus, and I had to help the first years and show them where to go, so we went one way, while Henn, Gaby, and Sirius all went the other way to say hi to Hagrid, a huge man that was the groundskeeper of Hogwarts.

I weaved my way through students, looking around to see if anyone was in need of help. I passed Bellatrix and her gang, and we both glared at each other. I must have been concentrating too hard in despising Black, because I bumped into someone. I looked up at the tall figure. Well of course. Potter.

I looked around to see if Grace or Remus would come in my time of need. But they were split up in seprate directions, motioning first years of where to go.

“Sorry Evans.” he said, grinning at me. No way, that guy still had the courage of talking to me? I flushed slightly.

“Just help the first years Potter.” I said, turning in the other direction and giving a second year directions on how to leave the station.


The rain started to thicken and I scrambled under a tree, looking out for anybody who was left on the platform. I saw Potter, Remus, and Grace start to run out into the station, it was raining a lot now. I lowered my eyes for a moment, looking at my shoelaces, and bending down to tie them. I stood up straight as I heard splashes not too far away.

My eyes flickered to a girl with dark brown hair, damp on her pale face. She was running, and didn’t look like she was any older than a second year. She slumped down on the station floor and buried her face in her hands.

I started towards the little girl, and lightning flashed. I grimaced and ran over to her quickly.

“Hello?” I said, bending over and putting my hand on her shoulder. Her head went up and her bloodshot hazel eyes shone brightly, reflecting the lightning. The girl’s face was red from crying so much, and she looked thoroughly miserable. “Are you alright honey?”

She shook her head, her messy pigtails going from side to side. I awkwardly put my arm around her shoulder . “What’s your name?”

“L-Lynn.” she stuttered, her tiny body shaking. “A-Are you Head G-Girl?”

“Yes.” I said kindly. “My name’s Lily.”

Lynn nodded her head in reply, and thunder erupted again.

“Listen,” I said, looking nervously at the sky. “we really should get you to a carriage before they take off without us.”

“But I don’t w-want to!” she wailed, starting to cry again. “The k-kids don’t l-like me, I know it!”

“I’m sure they do,” I said consolingly. “and if you don’t like the kids, then you can always sit with me.”

Lynn’s big eyes looked at me, her lip quivering. “W-will your friends make fun of me?”

I shook my head. “I have nice friends, don’t you worry.”

She gave me a weak smile and wiped her sleeve on her eyes. “Okay.” she said softly. I smiled and helped her up, walking out of the station with her and looking for a carriage. I started to approach one when the Lynn suddenly stopped. I looked over at where she was staring and saw nothing.

“Ready to go?” I asked. She looked up at me and nodded. I took her hand and ran from carriage to carriage, trying to look for Henn. I found her in one of the first carriages and hopped in. My eyes flickered to Henn, then to the person sitting across from her.

“What are you doing here?” I asked Potter as nicely as I could. But only because Lynn was there.

“Waiting for you.” he said, patting the area next to him. I scowled and once I saw there was no where else to go, I scooted away as possible from him. I saw him glance at my shirt, that was sticking to me because of the rain. Unfortunately, our uniform shirts are white.

“Stop it.” I snapped. Potter chuckled and put his arm around me. I scowled and pushed him away. “I mean it. Lynn, you coming?” I called out, she hadn’t come inside yet.

Lynn crawled timidly inside, sitting next to me and looking at the ground. “Just looking at the horses.” she said quietly.

“Oh.” I said suddenly. “This is my friend Lynn, guys.”

Henn smiled. “Hey, my name’s Henn.”

Grace waved happily and introduced herself too. “I’m Grace.”

“Gaby.” Gaby said, grinning.

“I’m Remus.” Remus said, smiling kindly at her. Lynn smiled slightly.

“She’s so cute.” Henn squealed. Lynn blushed and Lily laughed. “What year are you in honey?”

“Second.” she said squeakily. “I’m in Ravenclaw.”

“That’s good.” James said, chuckling. “All the Ravenclaw girls turn out to be hot.”

“James!” I said shrilly. Lynn flushed but grinned just the same. “She’s twelve!”

“Polluting the minds of young ones Prongs,” Sirius said, clucking his tongue disapprovingly. “that’s not right.”

They both laughed as Lily rolled her eyes at them. The carriage stopped abruptly and Henn opened the door, hopping outside and groaning. It was raining still.

James followed her out, extending his hand to help me out. I ignored him and jumped off by myself, Lynn close behind. Again, Lynn stopped in front of the carriage, and I doubled back, looking at where her eyes were fixed.

“What?” I asked, seeing nothing.

“These horses are weird.” Lynn said, chuckling and taking my hand. She led me up the steps as I looked curiously at the carriages. What?

“What horses?” I asked, stopping her.

“Those pulling the carriages, silly.”

“Nothing’s pulling the carriages Lynn.” I said, looking at her worriedly. Was Lynn seeing things?

Lynn looked nervously at the ground, shaking her head and leading me inside. We found as seat next to Henn and sat down. I scrunched my nose up disgustedly as I saw Sirius and Gaby kissing across from us.

“How do they do it?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Do what?” Grace asked curiously, already under Remus’s arm again.

“Kiss like that and not rip their tongues out…”

Remus chuckled and kissed Grace lightly, making her giggle. I rolled my eyes at them and looked at Pettigrew.

Peter Pettigrew was the least amusing person of the Marauders group. For one thing, Sirius and Potter were rather muscular, and all of them were tall, except for Pettigrew. Sirius and Remus were very handsome, and I guess Potter is too. While that, Peter was a plump, rather chubby boy with blondish brown hair splattered on his head. He follows Potter around, it’s actually rather funny. And he’ll die for James’s approval, the kid looks up to him for some reason. He was quiet and shy, and no one seemed to know he exists. No one seems to understand why Peter is a Marauder.

His watery blue eyes darted around the table, anxious for food to appear. I rolled my eyes at him and looked at the staff table.

Professor Dumbledore was the headmaster of Hogwarts. He was known for his long white beard, that was almost at his waistband now. Dumbledore was always smiling and kind, and no one dared to speak against him. Tonight he was wearing his purple robe which was embroidered with silver stars, and a matching hat. For a second his light blue eyes flickered to me, and he smiled gently. I blushed and smiled weakly back.

The Great Hall’s doors opened and a line of small and fragile looking first years filed into the room, following a stern looking witch with a tight black bun on the back of her head.

Professor Mcgongall was the head of our House and the Transfiguration teacher. In my opinion, she was the most strict teacher of Hogwarts. She was wearing forest green robes for the feast, and was holding a scroll.

In front of the staff table was a stool with an old and battered hat, and the first years looked curiously at it. I listened intently for the Sorting Hat song that was new every year, but someone tapped me on the back, making me spin around. It was Potter.

Chapter 4: Chapter Four
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“What?” I snapped. James grinned slyly.

“You need to come with me.” he said, tugging on my arm. I scowled at him. No one bosses me around.

“Excuse me?” I spat at him. “I don’t think so.”

“Head Boy and Head Girl duties Evans,” Potter said, smirking at me. I jumped from my seat, flattening my skirt and giving him a dirty look.

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” I said, frowning at him. “Where are we supposed to go?”

Potter beckoned me and I followed him out of the Great Hall and into a class room off of the entrance hall.

I stared at the empty room. “What the -”

Potter picked me from off the ground and gently pushed me against the wall. He was breathing heavily on me. I frowned at him.

“I can’t believe you’d lie just to get me in a room alone with you.” I said exasperatedly.

“You have no idea what I’d do for you Evans.” Potter said, grinning at me. I rolled my eyes at him.

“What do you want?” I asked in a disgusted voice. His arms were wrapped around my waist and I scowled at him, pushing him and only succeeding in making him move a few centimeters.

“You, of course.” James said, winking at me.

“Well then.” I said, clucking my tongue impatiently. “I’ll just go.”

I made my way towards the door, but Potter blocked my way.

“C’mon, just stay here a little longer.” he said, trying to sound pleasant but only managing to plead.

“Give me one reason,” I said, tapping my foot irritably. “why I should waste my time here with, of all people, you.”

James stepped closer again, pinning me against the wall. I knew he wouldn’t try to hurt me, but still, I felt violated. I frowned at him.

“Because of this.” he said, quickly pressing his lips against mine. I shoved him again, wiping my mouth on my sleeve. James looked rather taken aback. I think he was expecting a kiss that lasted at least five minutes, instead of merely two seconds.

“You’re gross Potter.” I said, scrunching my nose up in disgust.

“And you’re hot.”

“You’re so clueless Potter. Do you think girls like hearing that they’re ‘hot’? That’s just lust. Now if you said ‘You’re beautiful’ or ‘You’re gorgeous’, then it’d be slightly flattering. But no. You call me hot, or sexy or whatever else is in your vocabulary.” I snapped. Again, Potter looked taken aback. “Now leave me the hell alone.”

I opened the door and walked out into the entrance hall, hearing chattering in the Great Hall again. The sorting must have ended.

“Wait! Lily!” James shouted behind me. I scowled and continued to walk, but he caught up to me and grabbed my arm, spinning me around. “You’re beautiful.”

“And you’re a git.” I said, crossing my arms and frowning. James furrowed his eyebrows at me, stepping forward.

“Oh yeah? Well, you’re a bad kisser!” he retorted. I scowled at him.

“How am I supposed to be a good kisser when I don’t like the one who’s kissing me?” I said irritably.

“Are you telling me that you’re a good kisser?” Potter asked, smirking at me and raising an eyebrow. I blushed.

“Yeah I suppose so.” I said indignantly. Potter stepped forward again, breathing awfully close.

“Prove it.” he said in a low voice. For some reason he wasn’t grinning, smirking or smiling.

“You can’t force me to.” I said, frowning.

“Oh I see,” he began, returning the grin I hated. “well if you’re scared to -”

“Scared? Oh please.” I said, tutting. My embarrassment, hatred, and anger were all spiraling into one huge emotion that I couldn’t control. “You know what? Fine.”

I locked my lips with his, my hand finding his neck and pulling him closer. James’s eyes widened for a moment, but soon he relaxed and shut them while pushing me into the wall again.

I pressed my body against his, and James put his hands on my lower back, slowly rubbing my skin with his fingers. My hands moved from his neck to his messy black hair, ruffling it some more while James pressured his lips with mine, sliding his tongue inside. My head was spinning and he softly caressed my cheek.

I fluttered my eyes open once I noticed what I was doing. I pulled away and pushed him to the side, catching my breath. To the side I heard him breathing rapidly also.

My heart was pounding and I widened my eyes. I had no moral to tell Gaby and Sirius off anymore when they kissed. I was horrified.

“I cannot believe that just happened.” I said slowly, feeling my emerald necklace. James grinned at me and pulled my arm, making me face him.

“Want to do it again?”

I scowled and threw my hand at his cheek, slapping him. He groaned.

“Don’t ever force me to kiss you again!” I spat at him.

“Force you?” James repeated, grimacing in pain. “You were in you own accord Evans.”

“I was not!” I said indignantly. “You…you challenged me, provoked me -”

“And it worked.” he said, grinning at me again. “You can’t resist in proving me wrong, can you Evans?”

“Shut it.” I growled at him.

“Well, I didn’t regret it.” James muttered. I scowled at him.

“You’re a pervert.”

“Excuse me? I believe you’re the one who let me French you.” James said, raising an eyebrow.

“You’re a conceited prat.” I told him. “If you were thinking about someone other than yourself, than you’d think that maybe, just maybe I felt violated.”

For a second something stirred in James’s hazel eyes, they flickered to my necklace.

“That’s a nice necklace.” he said, pointing at my neck. I protectively clutched it with my fingers.

“Don’t try to change the subject Potter.” I snapped.

“It was just a compliment!” he said defensively.

“But that wasn’t just a kiss!”

“Oh come on, admit it, you liked it.” James said, grinning at me.

“I did not.” I said, my cheeks flushing.

“Yes you did, I could tell Lily.” James said, enjoying my embarrassment.

“Stop it James, I hate you!” I spat at him, without even thinking about it. James studied me for a moment. Finally, he spoke.

“You don't even know me, Lily.” he said, raising an eyebrow. “All you know is that I've been obsessing over you for the past six years.”

“I don’t think I want to know you James.” I said firmly.

“Why do you do this to me?” James burst out angrily. I widened my eyes and stepped back at his outburst.

“I don’t do anything to you James.” I said quietly, looking at the ground.

“Yes you do Lily.” James said, giving me a frustrated sigh and holding my arms, and making me look at him. “I’ve never felt this way before about any other girl. I just want to know, why the one girl who doesn’t like me back, makes me feel…” James trailed off, looking at my eyes. I couldn’t bring myself to look at his eyes. I hate looking people in the eye. Yet, I looked at him when he spoke again. “well, different.”

I blushed horribly and flickered my eyes to my shoes, not knowing what to do or say. Well who would know what to do? Potter just poured his soul out to me. Potter, the emotionless prat. Potter, the snobby, conceited boy who lived across the street. Maybe I really didn’t know anything about him.

So I did the only thing I could have done. I started to back away, ready to run for it, but James kept a firm grip on my arms.

“James, let me go.” I said irritably, trying to squirm away. He didn’t budge.

“Lily, will you go out with me?”

This answer was so abrupt and unexpected that I raised an eyebrow at him. He never looked so serious though. Again, my instincts made me look at the floor again.

“James, for the millionth time, no.” I said firmly to his shoes.

“Look me in the eye Lily.” James said, staring at me. I gulped.

“No.”

“Why not?” James asked incredulously. “You never do, I notice it. You don’t even look at Henn properly when you talk to her.”

What? Was James watching me that closely? It freaked me out slightly.

“I don’t want to.” I said, still looking at the floor.

“Don’t want to, or can’t?” James teased. Ah well, it didn’t take long for James to return to his regular self. He was challenging me again.

“You can’t force me to.” I said. I would have glared at him, but James was making me feel so insecure that I couldn’t.

“Well didn’t I supposedly force you to kiss me?” James said tauntingly.

“Oh shut it.”

“No, I don’t think I will.”

“Fine!” I said angrily. I forced myself to look at his hazel eyes, which were reflecting my stubborn ones. I gave him a satisfied smile. “See, I can do it.”

James grinned at me and stepped closer. I thought he was going to kiss me again, but instead he spoke up.

“Will you go out with me?” James asked, his grin fading. “And before you say no, say it to my face.”

I gulped, he had found my weak point. What was with that guy anyway? Was it any of his business if I had a slight problem with looking people in the eye?

“I…well -” I faltered, looking angrily at him. “You really can’t accept rejection can you Potter?”

James frowned at me, and I knew I had offended him.

“I don’t think you’re being truthful when you say ‘no’ to me Lily. If you were, then you’d say ‘no’ to my face.”

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. Who did he think he was? I was being truthful, I was absolute sure that I did not want to ever go on a date with him.

“No.” I said forcefully. I forced myself to look him in the eye. “I don’t want anything to do with you Potter and I don’t think I ever will.”

“Then why did you kiss me?” James smirked.

“I told you, you challenged me you stupid prat -”

Before I could call him whatever had crossed my mind about James, he gave one more step and kissed me again.

For some reason I gave in and kissed him back, but only for a few seconds…well actually minutes. I pulled away and looked at his smirking face. That. Jerk.

“Stop doing that!” I said shrilly.

“Why?” James questioned. “Because you’re scared that you liked it? Or are you afraid that you’ll like me if I keep on kissing you?”

I rolled my eyes and tutted. “Yeah right.” I said, crossing my arms. “That’s ridiculous.”

“No Lily, I don’t think it is.” James said, finally letting me go and walking into the Great Hall.

What?

That wasn’t supposed to happen. I was supposed to walk out on him.

Not fair. I should’ve insulted him more, I should’ve made him mad. But wait, why was I so annoyed anyway? Of course I didn’t like that…ha what a joke.

Why does it seem like I’m trying to convince myself?

I sighed and dragged my feet up the stairs, not even bothering to eat. The feast was almost over anyway. The hallways were dark, and if I hadn’t been so used to them, I would have felt scared wandering around in the hallways. But I just shrugged it off as I came to the seventh floor and down a familiar hall, where at the very end was the Fat Lady Portrait.

“Why are you here?” she asked me, narrowing her eyes in an accusatory way. “Everyone’s down there at the feast.”

“Just let me in.”

“Ha, do you honestly think I’ll let you in without the password? You don’t even know it -”

“Mimblewimble.” I said irritably. The Fat Lady stopped talking and rolled her eyes at me, opening the portrait with defeat. Since I was Head Girl, I already knew the password anyway.

I climbed inside the portrait hole, standing up straight in the cozy Gryffindor common room. I smiled at the lit fire place, and at the warm red arm chairs beside it. I was finally home.

I yawned and walked slowly up the stairs, looking for the room I had occupied with my friends that now had a sign saying : ‘Seventh Year Girls.’

Inside were six four poster beds, with crimson curtains and fluffy white pillows and blankets. I changed into my pajamas and climbed inside my bed, looking at the canvas at the ceiling.

I only had to wait for about twenty minutes for the sudden footsteps inside the common room, all going up their separate staircases and into their separate rooms. The dorm door opened abruptly and Henn waltzed in, jumping onto my bed and shaking me.

“C’mon I know you’re not asleep.” Henn said irritably as Gaby and Grace came inside, opening their trunks sleepily.

“Quit it.” I said, smacking her arm. Henn grinned as I sat up, frowning at her.

“So, what happened?” Henn asked excitedly.

“Nothing.” I said simply, turning around so I could finally get some sleep. “Can you go now?”

“What do you mean nothing happened? You didn’t show up for the entire feast.”

I heard the door close and noticed that Cecilia and Patricia Love were also in the dorm now, talking excitedly to each other.

“Hey Lily. Hey Henn and Grace.” Cecilia said, Patricia waving to us all. Gaby scowled at them and turned her back to them, ignoring the twins.

Cecilia was the taller girl, with curly brown hair that reached her shoulders and brown eyes. Patricia, on the other hand was more lanky and skinny and had white blonde straight hair with brown eyes also. You couldn’t really tell that they were twins, but almost all the Gryffindor boys had at least once had a crush on them. It was mostly Cecilia that got the attention, since she had more of a body. But Patricia was also flirted with. They used to be very nice to all of us, including Gaby, but after Gaby had decided to take Cecilia’s ‘man’, (aka: Sirius.) they had shown no mercy towards Gaby and had complete loathing for her. Gaby didn’t mind though, she always thought that they were quite annoying anyway.

We all waved back and they immediately started to talk amongst themselves again, not caring that they were being overheard.

“Did you see how Potter has grown?” Patricia said, followed by giggling. “He’s gotten more muscular too…”

“So much cuter.” Cecilia said in a dreamy voice. “He was looking at me at the feast you know.”

“No way!” Patricia said, grinning. “I’m so jealous.”

“Don’t be jealous! I could set you up with that other friend of his if you want.” Cecilia said, making Grace look up murderously.

“Ew, you mean Pettigrew?” Patricia said, scrunching her nose up in disgust. Henn and me exchanged looks.

“No Paty.” Cecilia said, rolling her eyes. “I meant that Lupin character.”

“Lupin…” Patricia said, trying to think of who he was. “Wait, is he that guy who only reads?”

“He doesn’t only read you know.” Grace said hotly. The twins flickered their eyes to Grace, raising their eyebrows.

“I didn’t mean anything by it Grace.” Patricia said apologetically. “Well I guess he’s cute.”

“Great. I can set you two up then.” Cecilia said, grinning. Grace glared at her.

“Thanks Cece.” Patricia said gratefully.

“He has a girlfriend.” Grace said, intruding in the conversation again.

“He does?” Cecilia asked, raising an eyebrow as if doubting her. Patricia scrunched up her nose.

“Who?”

“Me.” Grace said defensively. Patricia blushed furiously and Cecilia’s grin faded.

“Sorry.” Patricia muttered, climbing in her bed and through with talking. Cecilia didn’t say anything audible, she just whispered something to Patricia and climbed in her bed next to her.

Gaby rolled her eyes and brushed her hair, exchanging looks with Grace. Henn looked at me in what she obviously thought was a serious face.

“I’ll tell you tomorrow, OK?” I said, making Henn look ecstatic.

“Alright, goodnight everyone.” Gaby said not too far away, closing her curtains.

“Goodnight.” Grace said from across the room. Henn jumped in the bed next to me, not even bothering to change.

I turned in my bed and closed my four poster too, smiling in my pillow. I was asleep soon.

Chapter 5: Chapter Five
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That night I had a really pleasant dream. I had opened my eyes and found myself in a completely different room from that of my dorm. The walls were white with a fancy ivy border on the bottom, and my bed was at the far end from across the handsome dark oak door with a golden knob. To the right of the door was a white vanity with gold trimming. There was two glass doors to my right, that were wide open and letting in a breeze that was blowing on the translucent white curtains that when blown forward, revealed a nice balcony with a white railing and beige marble tiles. The bedroom’s floor was shiny wood, and there was a small crystal chandelier hanging from the center of the white ceiling.

My hands began to smooth out the white comforter that was covering me as I laid in bed, and I heard a soft yawn from behind me.

“Good morning.” a deep and pleasant voice said, and I felt someone inch closer to me and place his hands on my waist from under the sheets. I felt my stomach jolt for some reason as he softly kissed my neck. I sighed happily and caressed his hand, bringing it to my lips.

“I love you.” I said softly. My heart was pounding and the breeze came in again, making me have goose bumps on my arms.

“I love you too.” he said, rubbing my arms. I smiled.


Suddenly I heard birds chirping outside and my eyes fluttered open, and I was disappointed to see that I was in my dorm again. I sat up straight and stretched my arms, rubbing my eyes. To my right I heard Patricia snore, which made me chuckle and notice that it was very early, since the twins were always up early to do their hair and make up.

I pulled my curtains apart and squinted my eyes because of the sunlight poring through. I checked my watch. Six o clock. I decided that I should just take a shower and start to get ready for my first day of school, since I was never able to sleep again once I woke up.

I never really was a person to beautify myself when it was just an ordinary school day, so I just brushed my hair and put some eyeliner and lip gloss on, shoving all my new books in my battered bag and swinging it over my shoulder.

I started to hum tunelessly, walking down the stairs and stopping in my tracks as I saw that James Potter was on the couch, writing something on parchment and sighing in frustration. His head turned quickly as he heard footsteps from where I was. He grinned at me.

“Hey Evans.”

“Hello Potter.” I said stiffly, walking swiftly to the portrait hole and planning to not say anything else to him.

“Wait up.” he said, stuffing the note in his front pocket of his buttoned shirt and jumping over the couch. “You going to breakfast?”

“Actually I’m planning to go snog someone at this time of day in the library.” I said sarcastically, taking out a poetry book I owned and reading some pages that I had marked by folding the corners.

“Really?” Potter asked, frowning at me. I sighed and looked at him hopelessly.

“Why are you following me?” I asked exasperatedly, wanting him to just leave me alone. “Can’t you go snog someone from your fan club instead?”

“Fan club?” Potter asked interestedly. “I’ve been here only for some hours and I already have a fan club?” He sounded very pleased. “So, who’s in it?”

“Cecilia and Patricia Love.” I said automatically, not even thinking about it. “Actually, scratch that. Patricia wants Remus, not you.”

“Remus?” Potter said, chuckling. “Ah what a waste. At least I have Cecilia.”

“Yes, let’s all rejoice.”

“Tell me Evans, why aren’t you in my fan club?” Potter mused.

“Because I’m not as stupid as the next girl.”

James chuckled. “Yes I thought you’d say that.”

I rolled my eyes at him as we walked inside the Great Hall. I sat in the middle where there weren’t any students and James followed. I continued to ignore him and started to read again.

“I had a dream of you last night.” James said suddenly, making me remember a certain dream I had too. He chuckled. “No surprise.”

“And why are you telling me this?” I said icily.

“Because in the dream you liked me.” James replied with a superior tone.

“No wonder it was a dream.”

“Ah come on Evans, you know that you’ll end up falling for me someday.”

“You just keep on telling yourself that Potter.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Want to know what my dream was about?” James asked, resembling a boy who couldn’t hold a secret any longer.

“Not really.” I said simply.

“Great.” James said, taking an apple from the basket across from him and taking a bite out of it. “It was weird, I was in this room…”

I stopped reading, although I concentrated my vision on my book.

“And I was in bed with someone.” he said, grinning at me. I gulped. “Guess who?”

“No idea.” I said, shrugging.

“You know who I’m talking about Evans.” James said, giving me a smirk. “Don’t worry we weren’t doing anything dirty or anything. Not that I wouldn’t mind…”

From the corner of my eye I saw Sirius come in, and couldn’t be happier. Sirius would be able to drag James away from me. I was wrong.

Instead, Sirius sat across from us, and I tried to not groan. He was supposed to sit somewhere else, so James would follow.

“Morning.” Sirius said casually, taking an apple also. Potter nodded in reply.

“Good Morning.” I said icily.

“So how’s the hottest couple of Hogwarts?” Sirius said, grinning and exchanging glances with Potter. “Wait, scratch that. How’s the second hottest couple of Hogwarts?”

“You saying that you and Gaby are higher than me and Evans?”

Sirius chuckled as I frowned at Potter.

“We aren’t even a couple Potter so sod off.”

“Ooh redhead feisty in the morning?” Sirius said, wiggling his eyebrows.

“Funny Black, you aren’t this annoying when Gaby’s here.” I retorted.

Sirius shrugged, smirking. “Have to please my lady.”

“Because if she saw the real you, she wouldn’t go near the mischievous Black.” I said, glaring at him.

“Actually if all the girls saw the real me, I think they’d all be begging Evans.” Sirius said slyly. Potter sniggered.

“Guess who likes me?” Potter said, smirking. Sirius raised an eyebrow.

“Potter already has his lovers?” Black said, chuckling. “Oops sorry Lils, you weren’t supposed to hear that.”

“As if I’d care.” I said, returning to my book. Black gave a sarcastic sigh.

“Yep Prongs, maybe you should just give up on Evans and move on to whoever wants to snog you now a days.” Sirius said, making James give a mischievous smirk. “So who’s the girl?”

“Cecilia Love.” Potter said superiorly.

“I’d think that was more amusing if she hadn’t had a crush on me last year.” Sirius said, laughing heartily.

“Sod off Padfoot.” James said, although he chuckled also. “Oh and look who comes.”

The Love twins had just come in, with their usual shorter skirts and tighter shirts. I laughed slightly as James looked like he was about to drool.

“Hello James.” Cecilia said, smiling and fiddling with her red and orange tie.

“Hello Cecilia, looking lovely as always. As is your twin.” he said, winking at Patricia. Patricia blushed.

“Hey Sirius.” Patricia said, grinning at Black who was casually sitting with his legs stretched on the bench and his hair falling gently into his gray eyes. Okay I’ll admit, I could understand why shallow girls thought he was irresistible, but once I heard that kid’s first sentence all charm seemed to leave him. “Do you two know where Remus is?”

“Over there.” Sirius said, pointing over to the doors where, (to Patricia’s disgust) Remus was walking in with Grace under his arm. Gaby and Henn were behind, chatting and not looking very awake. I laughed at the twins’ look, and knew that they would soon start a grudge towards Grace too.

“Morning.” Henn said sleepily, sitting next to me. Gaby yawned and kissed Sirius, seating herself next to him and earning some glares. Grace and Remus sat next to Gaby and Sirius.

“Well, I guess we’ll go now. Bye James. Bye Sirius.” Cecilia said, smirking at them and turning on her heel.

“Bye Remus.” Patricia said, winking at him and following her sister. Remus raised an eyebrow.

“Did Patricia Love just acknowledge my existence?” Remus asked amusedly, reaching for some pancakes and pouring syrup.

“Yes I think so.” Grace said stiffly. Henn laughed.

“What you reading?” Henn asked, noticing that I wasn’t immersed in any conversation.

“Nothing really.” I replied simply, showing her the cover of my book.

“Poetry. Sounds interesting.” Henn said humorously she said while Professor Mcgongall passed out schedules. “Hm, Divination first. Not too bad.”

I nodded, Divination was my favorite subject, after Charms of course. James however, groaned.

“I swear that teacher is mad to think that we can actually see things in foggy crystal balls.” This comment was followed by my glare, and Sirius and Remus snickering.

“Oh by the way, Peter says he’s sick, won’t be coming today.” Remus said, looking at James.

“Nice way to start the new school year.” Sirius said, laughing.

“Can I talk to you?” I said from the corner of my mouth to Henn. Henn nodded, and followed me out of the Great Hall and into the loos, and earning suspicious looks from Grace and Gaby.


“Wait, what?” Henn asked for about the sixth time, her jaw dropped. “You and Potter…what?”

“We kissed.” I said desperately, looking myself in the mirror and gripping my hair. “Three times. Can you believe it?”

“No.” Henn said, awestruck. “I can’t.”

“What do I do?” I asked hopelessly.

“Well,” Henn began hesitantly. “Well, did you…well -”

“What?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows. Henn took a deep breath.

“Did you like it?” she asked in one quick breath as if trying to get over with it. I gulped. I was afraid she’d ask that.

“No.” I said automatically and a bit too quickly. “Of course not.”

“Oh.” Henn said in a relieved voice. “Then don’t worry about it. You were kissed against your will.”

“Right.” I said, looking guiltily at the ground. “Oh there’s another thing…”

I described my dream to her, how I was in what I thought was my future home and there was some mystery man that I couldn’t see. I didn’t mention to her that he was in my bed.

“And Potter had the same dream.” I said, frowning. “Do you think it can mean something? He told me he saw me in that room.”

Henn widened her eyes. “Well maybe…” she said thoughtfully. “But if that were your future home, it can’t be…”

Henn crossed her arms, furrowing her eyebrows in concentration. “As if.” she said humorously under her breath.

“Hu?” I asked, confused.

“Well if it was James in your future home, well you know what that means.” Henn said, raising an eyebrow. I stared at her.

“Like you said Henn, as if.” I said, trying to make it sound like it was some huge joke.

We stayed silent for a few moments, before the bell rang. We headed towards the bathroom door.

“Just don’t worry about it.” Henn said reassuringly. I gulped and nodded, but could feel like I was no where near that.


We went up to the seventh floor to the North tower, walking up the many staircases and finally one long spiral one that made us dizzy. We reached the top and saw a ladder that led up to the Divination room. We exchanged looks as we heard soft chattering upstairs. We were late. I looked at Henn again and decided that I would get busted first. I climbed up the ladder, followed my Henn.

“You’re late girls.” said a soft voice from the armchair beside the fire. Professor Lloyd was a short woman with curly gray hair that was tucked beneath her bandana, and had many rings and necklaces that hung from her necklaces. She always wore a old fashioned ugly dark gray dress and was found carrying her black cat with her everywhere. I glanced at everyone seated already looking at the Professor sleepily. Potter and Black were in the far back, chuckling and shooting glances at Cecilia Love. All of the Marauders except Remus were in Divination for some unknown reason. Remus was currently in Artimacy with Gaby and Grace.

“Of course I knew you would be.” Professor Lloyd said slowly, looking at us with mysterious dark gray eyes. She smiled kindly and motioned towards a table. “Have a seat.”

I smiled and took a seat with Henn, taking out my notebook and scribbling everything she said and drawing figures. As the bell rang I gathered my things and climbed down the ladder after Henn, and we both went to Transfiguration.

I hated Transfiguration. It was definitely my worst subject. I was horrible at it, and I thought it was completely useless. I knew it wasn’t, but anything I can’t do I tend to have a grudge against for a long time. What made me mad was that Potter was amazingly good at it, and always received top marks. Potter was good at everything, according to everyone else in the school. I rolled my eyes as he recited the spells that we had learned last year.

After what seemed forever, I walked out of Transfiguration, this time with Grace and Gaby too. We headed towards lunch, and I as glad for it. I was starving.

“Finally.” I said, seating myself and piling food on my plate. Grace and Gaby exchanged looks.

“Did I tell you guys that the Loves hate Grace now too?” Gaby said casually as if she was finishing a conversation.

“Uh, no.” I said, raising my eyebrow.

“Actually it’s only Cecilia really.” Gaby continued, putting some turkey on her plate. “Patricia isn’t actually all that bad. It’s Cecilia that has the evil grudges. Patricia just tags along.”

“Interesting.” Henn said humorously. Gaby shrugged as Sirius came to sit by her, giving her a quick kiss.

“Where were you?” Gaby asked, smiling at him.

“No where.” Sirius said simply, putting his arm around her. Gaby’s smile faded as she looked at her food.


The rest of the day was very uneventful. Right after lunch was History of Magic, then Double Potions, and afterwards was Charms, which saved me from my boredom.

“Excellent Ms. Evans!” Professor Flitwick squealed from his usual pile of books. I smiled and looked at the cat that I had succeeded in performing the Bubblehead Charm. It’s face looked strangely shaped and blurry, and from across the room Potter grinned and gave me a thumbs up, that I promptly ignored. “Alright that means you don’t have to practice the charm for tonight. Everyone else…care to practice please!”

The bell rang and I put my things in my bag, looking at Henn who scowled at the frog she was trying to perform the charm on and stuffing her wand in her pocket, putting her bag over her shoulder.

“Ready to go?” she asked, frowning and heading out of the classroom. I felt someone tug on my arm and I doubled back, looking at Gaby and Grace.

Gaby was looking extremely sad and looked like she was about to cry.

“I think that Sirius is going to break up with me.” she said quietly, looking at the ground.

“What?” I asked, laughing slightly. “C’mon Gaby, everyone knows that he’s crazy about you.” Grace nodded in agreement.

“He’s been strange all day.” Gaby said sadly. “I don’t get it.”

“Don’t worry about it.” I said, giving her a reassuring smile. “He’s probably just having a bad day.”

Gaby smiled weakly. “I hope so.”

At dinner I sat at my usual spot next to Henn, Gaby and Grace across from us. Remus was already there and was talking to Henn.

“That charm’s really difficult.” Remus said consolingly. “I didn’t get to do it either.”

Henn sighed and nodded, furrowing her eyebrows as she saw who was sitting next to Cecilia and Patricia.

“Why is Sirius sitting over there with James?” Henn asked curiously, looking at Gaby. Gaby’s lip quivered and she looked hopelessly at her food.

“Gaby, if you don’t like it, do something.” Grace said firmly, frowning at Sirius who was obviously flirting. “You’re his girlfriend.”

Gaby nodded, frowning also. She stood up and took a deep breath, walking over to Sirius and crossing her arms, tapping her foot. I watched for a moment as Sirius scowled at her, talking to her irritably. I sighed and looked at Remus, who muttered something.

“What?” I asked curiously. Grace and Henn turned their attention towards Remus too.

“Well the thing is…” Remus said, twiddling his fingers. “Turns out that Cecilia and Patricia fancy Sirius again.”

“So what?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. “Why do they even bother?”

“Well they were trying the same act on me.” Remus said, shrugging. “Except they knew that flirting wouldn’t get to me. Sirius however…”

“He’s dating Gaby.” I interrupted firmly.

“Hey, maybe he won’t give in.” Remus said, although it looked like he doubted it. “I’m just saying…Padfoot isn’t used to the whole ‘going steady’ thing.”

“Do you think he’ll cheat on her?” Grace asked incredulously.

“I’m just saying…Padfoot doesn’t resist flirting.” Remus said cautiously, looking at his food. I glanced at Gaby and Black fighting again and I winced. This wasn’t going too well. At that moment Gaby stormed out of the Great Hall without even eating anything, probably going up to the common room. Grace got up, and walked out also.

I watched Sirius as he bent down, whispered something to Patricia, then walked over to us, scowling and sitting where Grace was.

“What happened?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Nothing.” Sirius said moodily, looking at the food on the table and considering if he should eat it. “Never mind.” he muttered, standing up and walking out of the Great Hall. Henn shrugged and resumed eating. I looked at Remus, who merely shrugged and started to eat also.


The next day was even more boring than the first. In the morning there was Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, then Double Charms. Gaby and Sirius kept on arguing, which was very odd. They always got along, although they were very different from each other; no one thought that they’d last, even me, but as they started to get more steady and Sirius seemed to behave some more. So that day you could only imagine what Gaby was going through in the common room.

“Leave me alone.” Gaby snapped at the fifth person who had gone up to ask her if she and Sirius were breaking up. Grace gave her an anxious look. The startled fifth year jumped and stalked off, whispering something to Miss-Curly Hair, who whispered something to Miss-Gold Glasses. The three girls all glared at Gaby, who looked ready to bite someone.

“They should mind their business but no…” Gaby muttered irritably, extending the ‘no’.

“Don’t worry about it.” Henn said consolingly. She was painting her nails rather than writing their History of Magic essay. I snorted and shook my head disbelievingly, adding a scratch or two to my paper and looking it over.

“Shouldn’t you be doing your homework?” Grace asked, raising her eyebrows. Henn merely shrugged, then turned to me.

“Should I paint my toes bright pink or baby blue?”

I chuckled. “Neon green.”

“Good one.” Henn said, nodding in approval and taking her nail polish out of her bag. Gaby made one last irritated scribble and folded her parchment, stuffing it in her bag.

“Done.” she said in a satisfied tone.

“Hey Gaby!” called David Jordan from across the room, surrounded by his popular friends. “Heard you and Black are splitting up? Is it true?”

“Sod off Jordan!” Gaby retorted, her eyes flashing dangerously. David looked slightly taken aback and returned to talking to his friends again, carefully avoiding Gaby’s glare.

At that moment Sirius Black came in, laughing his bark-like laugh and followed by Patricia, who either by accident or on purpose, (this is what I’m leaning towards) touched Sirius’s hand and gave a girlish laugh.

“Oh Sirius,” Patricia said, laughing hysterically. “You’re so funny!”

If Gaby could’ve killed with glares, Patricia would’ve already been dead. Sirius seemed to notice and cleared his throat, moving to the side so Patricia couldn’t touch him anymore.

The whole common room was either watching Gaby or Sirius. Some were quiet, looking at the two in awe, but most were whispering to each other. Gaby grinded her teeth and put he last of her school supplies in her bag, swinging it over her shoulder.

“Good night Sirius.” she said coolly, marching to the girls’ staircase in a dignified way. Sirius’s jaw dropped, as he stared at her retrieving back.

“Wait a minute! Gaby!”

Gaby continued to ignore him, already up the first flight of stairs. Sirius frowned and started to follow her, but the stairs at which he was standing immediately melted into a slide, making Sirius flap his arms, trying to balance himself but failing. Some people laughed, most of the girls were giggling. Sirius turned his red face to the crowd watching him and muttered, “Forgot.”

Deciding that he was too frustrated or embarrassed to do anything at the moment, Sirius went up his own flight of steps, and we soon heard a door slam shut.

“Hm.” Henn murmured, looking at the girls’ staircase, then to the boys’. “Interesting.”

Grace shook her head then stood up, going over to where Remus was reading a book in the deserted corner of the common room. She whispered something to him.

Henn and I exchanged looks, and decided that we should go upstairs to comfort Gaby as soon as we were done with this essay. I looked sternly at Henn, who sighed in defeat, putting her nail polish away.

As time started to tick away, the common room slowly emptied. I looked at the clock drowsily. It was midnight, and the only people who were also in the common room with us were Remus and Grace, and about five other kids. I scrunched my nose at Grace, who was giggling furiously as Remus tried to tickle her midriff.

“Almost…done…” Henn muttered, her eyes itching with tiredness and started to become bloodshot. Her eyes were baggy, and I knew I couldn’t look better.

The portrait opened and twice in a couple of hours I heard two people laughing and flirting disgustedly. Potter came out, with Cecilia under his arm. Cecilia giggled and pulled his tie, and they both tumbled onto the couch, kissing madly. Henn and I exchanged sickened looks, and tried to return to our homework and ignore the slurping noises.

Some sixth years nearby the couch made whooping gestures at James, laughing heartily and then going up the stairs. I rolled my eyes. Boys could be so immature sometimes.

After half an hour or so, Cecilia had managed to drag Potter (not that he didn’t want to) into the shadowy corner that Henn and I had nicknamed the ‘GSC’, or the ‘Gryffindor Snogging Corner’. It was conveniently placed behind the bookshelf and under the girls’ staircase, and we wouldn’t have known about if Gaby hadn’t frequented it so many times with Sirius. Although Grace would frown and glare at us every time we accused her of using it too, and she’d assure us she didn’t, Henn and me were pretty sure that Grace did know about the ‘private corner’, which Gaby and Grace insisted in calling it, even though mostly everyone in Gryffindor called it the GSC.

“Aha!” Henn shouted triumphantly, which I’m sure carried out to the dorms, waking up several people. “Done!”

“Good job.” I said, giving her a mock proud pat on the back. Henn beamed in her I-wish-I-was-innocent voice.

I started to gather up my things, yawning and giving one last glance at Remus and Grace, who were whispering and smiling to each other.

“You coming Grace?” I said loudly, grinning at her. Grace blushed and smiled guiltily, glancing at the GSC.

“Actually, me and Remus are going to talk some more.” she said, looking at Remus who grinned. I rolled my eyes. Ha. Right.

The bookshelf covering the snogging corner moved to the side, and Love and Potter came tumbling out, grinning and looking messy. Potter’s shirt was unbuttoned and had kiss marks all over him, his hair messier than ever, and Love had her hair frizzy instead of curly, her make up smeared and her tie loose. I laughed at their appearance as Cecilia kissed Potter goodbye, passing me and Henn and hopping up the stairs happily.

“Hey Evans.” Potter said, grinning at me. My smile faded and I frowned at him as an instinct. I watched as Grace and Remus hurried over the bookshelves, pretending to look at the books. I rolled my eyes at them and started to follow Henn up the stairs. Potter grabbed my arm though, holding me so I could stay.

“For Merlin’s sake Potter! Can you not leave me alone even when you’re dating another girl?” I said irritably. Potter grinned slyly at me.

“Believe me Evans, I’d much prefer if it were you over there getting cozy with me.” Potter said, smirking.

“Well I’m glad it was Cecilia, not me.” I said indignantly. “Now leave me alone!”

“C’mon.” he said, trying to grin charmingly at me. “Don’t you want to go sit there and…talk?”

“No.” I said firmly. “Especially since it’s not only talking you’ll be doing.”

“Damn right.”

“Can I go now?” I said exasperatedly, tugging my arm out and going up the stairs. I frowned as I marched up the stairs, Henn snickering ahead of me. I stopped as I heard Potter say something. I turned around, looking from behind the wall at Potter below, talking to Remus.

"I don't get it." he said, furrowing his eyebrows at Remus. "All the girls are supposed to fall for me, what's different about this one?"

"This one you're actually trying Prongs..."

For some reason what Remus said had an impact on me. I shook my head and walked up to my dorm, being left just as confused as Potter was.


I woke up the next morning, stretching my arms and looking lazily at the closed curtains, which I pushed away, stumbling out of my four poster bed with a big THUD.

I heard Grace shriek in surprise and pop her head through the curtains, frowning at me. Soon enough Gaby and Henn were popping their heads out also, either woken up by me or Grace shrieking.

I shrugged a t them and Gaby groaned, squinting her eyes against the sunlight. You could tell she was still in a bad mood from last night’s events. She closed her eyes and fell back into her comfy pillow again, breathing deeply.

“If you want to avoid Black, he always gets to breakfast late you know.” Grace said dully, making Gaby sit up straight and rush to the bathroom. I raised my eyebrow as she furiously brushed her teeth and washed her face. I looked at Henn, who shrugged and climbed out of her bed also.

“Might as well.” she murmured, stretching and going over to the vanity which we inconveniently had to share amongst the Love sisters. I glanced at Patricia, who’s four poster bed was closed, and then at Cecilia’s bed, which was empty and its sheets were folded neatly.

“She obviously found someone to snog.” Grace said, scrunching her nose up in disgust as she noticed that Cecilia wasn’t in her bed.

“Potter, that’s who.” I said, snorting. Grace laughed, but Henn gave her a warning look, pointing at Patricia’s bed. Grace quickly shut up.

“You guys ready?” Gaby asked, grinning at all of us, wearing her school robes already and her hair tied up in a high ponytail. I raised my eyebrow at her and looked at Henn and Grace, who like me, were still wearing pajama pants and loose t-shirts.

“Does it bloody look like we’re ready?” Henn muttered, passing Gaby and closing the door with a snap. Gaby shrugged started to fold her sheets, since she had nothing else to do.

Soon Henn was out too, Grace occupying the bathroom. Soon I was the only groggy looking one, since now everyone looked well dressed and groomed. I walked into the bathroom, taking merely five minutes. I always was the one who took the shortest time to get ready.

“Let’s go.” Gaby said, opening the door and hopping down the steps. The common room was empty; everyone was probably still sleeping.

The Great Hall was nearly empty too, except for a few older students here and there. I noticed that Potter and Cecilia were awake, and I decided to sit as far away from the two, rolling my eyes at them.

“They make a good couple.” Gaby said, raising her eyebrows at them. “They’re both airheaded and conceited.”

Grace snorted, pouring herself some milk and cereal. Gaby was eating vigorously.

“Are things really that bad?” Grace questioned. Gaby shrugged.

“I’m just annoyed with him right now. I’m giving him the silent treatment.” she said glumly.

“That works.” Henn said. I grinned at her.

“Still,” Grace said sternly, furrowing her eyebrows. “I don’t want you to gag, so slow down.”

Gaby grinned and drained her orange juice. She put her cup on the table and narrowed her eyes as she saw Sirius come into the Hall, yawning and looking groggy. He looked over at Gaby and frowned, heading towards her. Gaby groaned and stood up, flattening her skirt and swinging her bag over her shoulder, ready to start her plan. She was interrupted though.

Sirius had strode over to her, grabbing her arm and saying in a low voice sternly, “We need to talk.”

“No, we don’t.” Gaby said coolly.

“Why are you doing this?” Sirius said, obviously flustered. “I’m not doing anything wrong and you’re giving me the cold shoulder -”

“‘Cause you deserve it.” Gaby interrupted irritably. “Didn’t I tell you that I didn’t like that you were talking with that Patricia Love girl?”

“I can have other girl friends you know.” Sirius said, shooting his hands up in frustration. His eyes widened as he noticed what he just said. Gaby glared at him. “That’s not what I meant.” Sirius said quickly.

“Oh really?” Gaby said, her eyes flashing dangerously.

“What I meant was that I could have other friends that are -”

“Shut it Sirius.” Gaby growled. “I don’t want to talk to you.”

“But Gaby!” Sirius exclaimed angrily. “I’m just talking to them.”

“No you weren’t.” Gaby snapped, wrenching away from his grasp. Sirius glared at us as if it were our fault.

“Listen, can’t I talk to you in private?” Sirius said in an audible whisper. I raised my eyebrow and looked at Grace, who seemed to forcing herself not to listen, but failing miserably.

Gaby frowned at him and walked out of the Hall, Sirius catching up to her.

The rest of the day Gaby had been ignoring Sirius, who was uncharacteristically trying to get her attention and forgive him. So at first, we would widen our eyes and raise our eyebrows questionably at Sirius, who ignored us.

But after two more days of this havoc between the two, we were quite used to it. So when Sirius came over to Gaby when we were doing our Potions homework, we pretended he wasn’t there and continued to write the ingredients of the complicated potion we had made yesterday.

“C’mon Gaby,” Sirius said pleadingly to Gaby, who was writing calmly as if no one was there. “I said I was sorry! What else do you want me to do?”

“Plead on your knees.” Henn suggested, snorting. Sirius made a movement as if he was preparing himself to do it, and Henn added nastily, “I was kidding Black.”

Sirius scowled at her, then returned his gaze to Gaby, who looked like she was on the verge of smirking in satisfaction. I felt slightly jealous. I’d love it if a guy was pleading for my forgiveness. I looked at Grace, who was lying her head in Remus’s lap on the couch in front of the fire. My envy burned some more. Or a guy who’d let me lay on his lap and play with my hair... My heart felt so vulnerable at the moment that I would take any guy that would ask me out right now.

“Hey Evans.” James said humourously, sitting on the edge of the table and grinning at me. I rolled my eyes. Any guy but him.

Chapter 6: Chapter Six
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

“What do you want?” I said automatically, snapping at him. Potter studied me for a moment, then turned to look at Sirius, who was saying sorry for the sixth time in ten seconds. “You might as well give up mate. Go snog Patricia, that’ll make you feel better.”

Gaby shot daggers at Potter, followed by Henn and I. Sirius looked at him murderously.

“Potter, go away.” I said dangerously, glaring at him. Potter grinned at me and hopped off, kissing me on the cheek before he left. I scowled at him as he hurried over to bug Remus, before I could do anything about it.

At that moment Gaby had decided to gather her things and leave the table, preparing to go up to the common room. Sirius grabbed her arm.

“Please Gaby.” he said seriously. “Forgive me?”

Gaby sighed, giving in. She kissed him lightly. “Fine.” she said sternly, making Sirius crack a grin. “But no more warnings.” she said sternly, looking like a mother telling her son off for drawing on the wall. Sirius nodded, indulging her in a passionate kiss.

“Never again, love.” he said through kisses, pulling her to an armchair and telling her to sit on his lap. Henn sighed in a hopeless romantic way, and I looked at her, raising an eyebrow. She quickly cleared her throat and returned to her homework.

“I want a boyfriend.” I said out of the blue, gazing at staircase behind Henn. Henn sighed, putting down her quill.

“Me too.” she said, looking around the room wildly as if to pick a sudden victim. “But who?”

“I don’t know.” I said thoughtfully. “But I want a boyfriend.”

“Well your problems are over Evans.” said Potter, who was behind me now. I rolled my eyes as he sat in my lap. “I’m all yours. Just don’t be too rough. Actually...be as rough as you want.” he added after thinking about it. I pushed him out of my lap disgustedly, and he groaned, rubbing his head that had hit the table.

“I thought you said you wanted a boyfriend!” James exclaimed indignantly.

“I did.” I said casually, returning to work on the essay again.

“And that’s why I’m here.” James said, winking.
“Go away Potter.” I said, my temper rising.

“No.” James said simply, grinning at me. I raised my eyebrow at him.

“Where’s your girlfriend?” I sneered. James shrugged.

“Which of the six?” he asked, his lips turning into a grin. “Hey Evans? Want to be my seventh?”

“Now there’s an idea.” Henn said humorously. I glared at her.

“Sod off Potter.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Ah Evans, you break my heart,” James began, putting his hand to his heart as if he was reciting a poem. “my spirit, my soul -”

Henn giggled frantically, and James grinned, glad to know at least someone thought he was funny.

“Evans you’re so serious sometimes.” James said, clucking his tongue disapprovingly and shaking his head.

“Or maybe I just don’t find you funny Potter.” I said irritably. James stayed silent for a few seconds, just watching me do my homework. I frowned, I didn’t like it when people stared at me. “Stop it.”

“Stop what?” James asked, raising an eyebrow.

“You’re so immature.” I said, rolling my eyes. James looked at me in an offended way, frowning and looking thoughtful. He was silent for a few minutes, probably not wanting to sound stupid.

Henn yawned, stretching her arms.

“Be right back.” she said, standing up and looking around. “ I need to find Grace and copy her essay.”

She walked off in a zigzag, drowsy. I laughed slightly, shaking my head disbelievingly and writing another sentence.

“Hey Evans,” Potter said softly, which made me look at him, raising an eyebrow. “do you remember when we…you know, kissed?” He sounded tentative. Which is very not Potter-like.

Of course I remembered. It was four days ago, how could I forget? I don’t think he was really asking a question on memory though.
“Yes…” I said slowly, waiting for what he was about to say.

“Did you…” James said, ruffling his hair which made me want to roll my eyes at him. I hated it when he did that. “Er, feel something?”

“Yes.” I said icily. His eyes brightened for a moment. “But I’d prefer if you didn’t touch me there again.”

“That’s not what I meant.” James said irritably. “And besides, you didn’t seem to mind at the moment that my hands were all over you!”

I gaped at him, my eyes widening in horror.

“You did not just say that.” I said, trying to convince myself. “You’re sick.”

James took a deep breath, as if he was trying to be patient with me. This time I didn’t restrain myself from rolling my eyes.

“Did you feel something…you know, there?” James said, putting emphasis on ‘there’.

“What to do you mean?” I asked, raising my eyebrow and not so sure I wanted to know what part of my body he was referring to.

“You know what I’m talking about.” James snapped. I smiled, realizing what he was trying to say.

“Wait a minute,” I said, a smirk placing on my lips. “You mean, your heart?”

James winced for a moment, as if I said something that emotionally damaged him. I tutted.

“You need to grow up.” I said, rolling my eyes again.

“And you need to -” James stopped abruptly, as if he said too much. I raised my eyebrow at him.

“What?” I said suspiciously. “What to I need to do?”

James sighed deeply, looking me in the eyes, something I hate. How could he just look at someone in their eyes, so easily? He ran his hands through his jet black hair again.

“You need to loosen up.” he said finally. “I’m not always taunting you, you know. Sometimes I just want to have a normal conversation with you, figure out more about your personality, but you just shove me away. You do it to almost everyone. All the boys, it even took some time for you to loosen up to your friends. And I simply don’t get it Evans, because even though you’re so harsh on me, and even though you reject me, and try to humiliate me, ignore me, and play hard to get, I still find you captivating and I can’t stop looking at you.”

I felt a blush creep on my cheeks, and I quickly looked at my parchment.

“Er -” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“That’s what I thought.” James said, grinning in satisfaction. I glared at him as he walked off, glancing at me once or twice before seating himself next to Cecilia. From the corner of my eye, I spotted Henn, who was coming back but now carrying a piece of parchment with neat handwriting. Henn sat on her chair, her tired eyes traveling from Grace’s paper, to hers.

“He’ll probably find out.” I noted dully, Henn shrugged.

“Oh well.” she said, laughing slightly. I dropped my head on the cold table, my head pounding with questions. Before I knew it, I burst out.

"I swear that I'm going insane!" I hissed, tugging on my hair.

"Uh Lils? Insane as in 'this is too much homework', or insane as in 'I'm too tired I want to go to sleep'?" Henn asked thoughtfully.

"Insane as in Potter is driving me insane." I said exasperatedly.

“Oh?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. “What did he do this time?”

“He didn’t do anything.” I said, frowning.

“Right, I get it.” Henn said, nodding her head as if understanding. “Actually, no I don’t.”

“He made me think…about something…” I said absentmindedly, furrowing my eyebrows.

Henn raised an eyebrow at me, and I sighed, stuffing my things in my bag.

“I’ll see you later.” I muttered, climbing up the stairs.

I entered our empty dorm room and threw my bag into my trunk, falling onto my bed and staring at the canvas. Suddenly, loneliness overcame me. Why couldn’t I have someone to be sitting with in the common room late at night, like Grace and Gaby did? Why did every boy in the school except for that arrogant Potter pass me by and not even look at me?

It was all because of Potter. I decided stubbornly. He was always scaring boys away from me, just because he was the most popular guy of Hogwarts. What was his problem? Why did I have to be the victim that he had to choose from first year?

“Well he’s wasting his time.” I muttered, turning in my bed and closing my eyes. “Cause I’m never falling for him.”


“Lily. Hey Lily.” said a distant voice, snapping me to reality. I opened my eyes and immediately closed them because of the bright sunlight. I heard Grace speak again. “Lily, wake up you’re going to be late.”

This made me sit up straight abruptly, making Grace jump in surprise. I tugged on my hair, glaring at Grace.

“Why did no one wake me up before?” I asked, staring widely across the room at Henn and Gaby.

“We tried.” Grace said, shrugging. “Gaby even suggested in throwing water at you but Henn said that was too mean.”

“Well you should’ve.” I snapped, jumping out of my bed and rushing to the bathroom. “I’ve never been late in my life I can’t believe that you three -”

“Ah shut it.” Gaby said irritably, throwing my school bag at me, which I barely caught. I tied my hair up in a bun, not bothering to brush it; I didn’t have time anyway.

“But I’m Head Girl,” I began worriedly. “I’m supposed to be giving people an example -”

“Most of the school don’t even know that you’re Head Girl.” Gaby said, rolling her eyes. “And even if they did, they wouldn’t follow your example, especially with the kind of Head Boy we have.”

I gave her a hurtful look, marching indignantly out of the room. Henn, Gaby, and Grace followed me.

“Tomorrow’s finally the weekend.” Henn said happily. “Only a few more hours Henn…”

Gaby laughed. “I heard there’s a party this weekend.”

Grace widened her eyes, and Henn grinned. “Really?” they said in unison. I rolled my eyes.

“Honestly, it’s the first week of school and there’s already a party?” I said disbelievingly. “Who are the blokes behind this?”
“The Marauders.” Gaby said incredulously, Grace frowned at how I called them blokes. Henn chuckled.

“Figures.” I said, starting to jog my way to the Great Hall. I stopped as someone ahead of me slid down the marble staircase’s rail, landing on his two feet and brushing his hair out of his eyes. Henn bumped into me, because she was trying to keep up by jogging too, and couldn’t stop herself from bumping into me. Gaby and Grace were walking at normal pace, obviously offended at what I said about their boyfriends.

Henn craned her neck over my shoulder, looking at where I was. I heard her take a sharp intake of breath.

“Who is he?” Henn breathed excitedly. “Never saw him before.”

“Dunno.” I said as the boy turned around, noticing that two girls had stopped at the staircase and staring wildly at him. He had light golden blonde hair, with clear blue eyes and fair skin. His hair was shooting in different directions, but elegantly, not like Potter’s hair. He looked rather tall and wasn’t built, but wasn’t scrawny either. He grinned at us, and Henn and I sighed dreamily at the same time. That had to be the most charming grin I had ever seen. He stood awkwardly, but still grinning and he caught my eye, making my stomach jolt. I smiled back and his grin became wider. He turned around, taking one last glance back at us, and entering the Great Hall.

“Ohmygosh.” Henn said in one breath. “Did you see that?”

Of course I saw that. I had just spent a matter of minutes staring at that. Which was very odd, because I normally didn’t check out boys. Well before, I did, I’ll admit. But then I lost hope once Potter started to bug and threaten any boy that I found some interest in or vice versa.

“Wonder who he is?” I muttered, turning to look at Henn. She grinned at me.

“You know, he was looking at you.” Henn said slyly. I rolled my eyes.

“No, he was looking at us.” I said, starting my way towards breakfast again. “Actually he was probably grinning at some girls that were behind us.”

“There was no girls behind us. Nope, he was looking at you Lils, I noticed.” Henn said, raising her eyebrows. “I wonder what house he’s in? Can’t be in Gryffindor, I’d notice if a hunk like that came inside our common room...”

“Hufflepuff maybe.” I suggested. “Or Ravenclaw. I hope he’s not in Slytherin...”

“No he seemed too nice to be in Slytherin.”

“How could he seem nice? He didn’t even talk to us...”

Henn shrugged, sitting down and looking around. “Aha.” she said softly. “Look over there.”

I turned to where she was jerking her head, and saw him sitting and eating breakfast at an end of the table, alone. I narrowed my eyes as I saw a few giggling girls throwing meaningful glances at him.

“Hm. Ravenclaw.” I said. I was about to turn around to eat some breakfast and try to push him out of my mind, but at that moment he turned around, looking wildy around the Hall, then spotted me. He grinned and I blushed furiously, turning in my seat so I wouldn’t have to look at him.

“I saw that.” Henn said slyly. “See? He’s so into you!”

“No he’s not.” I said stubbornly. “He was probably just looking around for his girlfriend and spotted me...”

“Stop being so stubborn.” Henn said irritably, as Grace and Gaby sat across from us, not looking so irritated as before. “Hey, maybe he’s going to the party!”

“Who’s going to the party?” Gaby asked immediately, her eyes shining with curiosity.

“Lily’s admirer.” Henn said automatically, putting some sugary sweetness into her voice, mimicking a five year old.

“Oh.” Gaby said, less enthusiastic. “Well of course Potter will be there Henn, he’s the one who organized it.”

“Not Potter.” Henn said, making Grace look abruptly from her plate.

“What?” Grace asked, turning to look at me. “Who is he?”

“I don’t know.” I said, shaking my head. “Besides, even if he did like me I guarantee you that Potter will scare him away.”

“Then don’t make it obvious.” Henn said intelligently. “Discreetly go and talk to him when Potter’s not around. Before it hits him, you two will already be going out!”

I snorted. “Yeah right.”

“Lily, you are so pretty.” Gaby said irritably. “It’s stupid that you haven’t had a boyfriend yet -” I opened my mouth in protest. “- Remus in second year does not count.”

“Fine.” I said defeated. “I guess I could try talking to him, but I’m telling you, Potter will try to jeopardize things.”

I looked at my plate and couldn’t help but grin. Maybe I did have a chance...


“His name is Zach.” Henn said later that day in the common room, laying her bag on the table I was sitting at with a crash. “Zach Levin.”

“Who’s Zach?” I asked, although I probably knew who she was talking about.

“That kid that was staring at you today. Do you know why we never saw him? He’s new. Fresh from Beauxbatons.” Henn said with a sly grin.

My spirits dropped. Guys from Beauxbatons usually had heavy French accents that I couldn’t understand. Henn seemed to know what I was thinking.

“I heard him talk, it’s weird he doesn’t even sound French. He’s got a dreamy voice too...” Henn said, winking and nudging me in the arm. She sat down across from me, crossing her arms across her chest and thinking. “Hey! Why don’t you ask him to go to Hogsmeade with you?”

“No way.” I said automatically, shaking my head. “He’d say no.”

“How do you know that?” Henn asked incredulously. “By the way he was looking at you at dinner today, I’d say that he’s most likely going to accept.”

As she said this, I felt another unpleasant jolt in my stomach. “Really?”

“Yes.” Henn said impatiently. “You have such a good chance with him, and since he probably doesn’t even know who Potter is yet...”

I grinned. She was right. Potter couldn’t get in the way if he was a new kid...

“Henn, this is great.” I said finally. “All I have to do is think of some kind of strategy or something...”

There was only one problem though. I thought to myself later that night as I laid in my bed. I was the shyest girl I had ever met. I’d never have the courage to ask a boy out, especially this breathtaking guy who I couldn’t get out of my mind. If only he’d ask me out...That would be so much easier. But that wasn’t going to happen. He didn’t even know me.

“Argh.” I said, digging my face into my pillow. I had to think of something.

Chapter 7: Chapter Seven
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The next day I woke up early, I knew this because I could hear the Love twins snoring to my right. I snickered and sat up straight, pulling my curtains apart and looking out the window. It was very gloomy outside today, contrasting with all the other days I had been here. It had a light gray sky today, since it was cloudy. I pulled some jeans on and an ugly forest green sweater on, taking my books with me because I was planning to go to the library.

As I descended the stairs, I noticed that no one seemed to be up yet. The common room was empty, the butterbeers that everyone had been drinking last night were gone and the common room seemed to be in order again. I remember how many detentions I had to give out last night, even one to the Head Boy.

I wasn’t hungry, so I went straight to the library, where Madame Pince muttered something about how kids should be asleep this early. I looked at the clock, it was seven o clock, and I wasn’t even sleepy.

I took out my Transfiguration homework that I couldn’t finish yesterday and started to stare at the book I was reading, not taking in a word that it said. I frowned at it and pushed the book away, deciding that I should just look around the library for something interesting. I found it, except it wasn’t a book like I had planned.

At that moment as I was behind the bookshelves, I heard the library door open, and a boy greet Madame Pince, who grunted in reply. I craned my neck and noticed that it was Zach who had decided to study this early in the morning too. He dropped his books at a nearby table, giving my books and bag a curious glance before going to the bookshelf behind me. I heard him taking some books out and setting them on the table next to him.

I couldn’t help but sigh dreamily and shook my head furiously, wondering what had gotten into me and getting sickened with myself. Zach must have heard me because he paused for a moment, looking around his area to see if anyone else was there. Suddenly, he started to vigorously take books out of his shelf, and I stared at his face in horror, that was now in the gap he had created to see who was in my aisle.

At first he had a look of surprise on his face, but his expression softened and he smiled kindly at me, making me blush and wish that I had at least put some makeup on this morning.

“Hello.” he said. Henn was right. His voice was dreamy.

“H-hi.” I stammered. I wanted to kick myself. He looked curiously at me, raising his eyebrow slightly.

“I guess I’m not the only one who likes to study this early in the morning.” he said, chuckling. I laughed uneasily. “Sorry if I’ve never noticed you here before.”

“Oh I usually don’t come here this early.” I began, putting my hair behind my ear uncertainly. “I just wanted to see if I can finish my Transfiguration homework.”

“Yes, I think I’d notice if a beauty like you were in the same room with me.” he said, smiling at me from under his captivating blue eyes. “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“Lily.” I said a little too quickly. I blushed again.

“Pleasure to meet you Lily.” Zach said, giving me a charming grin. “I’m Zach.”

I nodded, putting my hair behind my ear again.

“So...” he said, and for once looking hesitant. “Er, nice meeting you Lily.”

I knew that wasn’t really what he was going to say, but I smiled just the same and turned again, scanning my finger through the books although I had forgotton what I was looking for.

I heard him close the gap with the books again and sigh as if he was disappointed in himself.

I smiled again at my fingers, returning to my table and looking at my Transfiguration homework.

“I’ll never finish.” I grumbled, as Zach came out of his aisle of books and smiled at me. I felt butterflies in my stomach.

“Need help?” he asked, shaking his head so his hair would get out of his face.

“Well, are you good in Transfiguration?” I asked, as he made his way towards me and sat next to me, pulling his chair closer than I had intended.

“Well,” he said. “We learned this spell last year in Beauxbatons.”

“Oh?” I said, trying to sound curious although I already knew this piece of information. “You were a Beauxbatons student?”

“Yes.” he said, smiling at me. “My family moved though.”

I nodded, daring a glance at him. He was truly handsome.

Zach helped me with my spell, holding my hand unnecessarily to help me with it. I smiled at him and blushed, and found myself giggle at almost anything he said.

For about the sixteenth time, I pointed my wand at the book and tried to concentrate. My wand shot out golden sparks but the book remained the same.

“Argh.” I said, rolling my eyes at the book and looking wildly at the page. “I don’t understand, it’s supposed to be turning into a flower...”

“Here.” Zach said kindly, taking out his own wand and pointing it at the book. Light green spirals wrapped themselves against the books, twisting and turning and slowly becoming a soft white lily. He grabbed it with his hands and gave me it. I blushed and smelled it. “I made it a lily because of your name.”

I blushed furiously, as the second time in an hour I heard the library door open. This time the visitor wasn’t as pleasant.

Unfortunately, Potter spotted me and made his way towards me, the librarian glaring at his retrieving back. I scowled as he sat down on my other side.

“Hey Evans.” Potter said, grinning at me. I rolled my eyes at him as he noticed that someone was with me. His eyes flickered to Zach, to the flower, then to me. I looked at Zach, who looked rather alarmed. “Listen, I’m sure you heard of my little party that I’m having.” he said, his voice deeper now and his glares turning to Zach every few seconds. Zach glared back.

“Yes I have Potter.” I said dully.

“Here’s an invitation.” Potter said, handing me a piece of parchment with where it was going to be and when it would start. “Hope that I’ll see you there.”

“I’ll see if I can go.” I said unimportantly. “Now, is that all?”

There was an awkward silence, and I looked at Potter, who seemed to be having a staring contest with Zach. My eyes shifted from one to the other, feeling uneasy.

“James, you can go now.” I said, staring at him meaningfully to show him that I was busy.

“Who are you?” James asked in a would-be-casual voice to Zach. Zach raised his eyebrows.

“Zach Levin.” Zach said indifferently.

“And why are you here with Lily?” James demanded. Zach furrowed his eyebrows.

“I don’t see that it’s any of your business.” he said coolly.

“Well it is.” James said coldly.

“Why, are you her boyfriend?” Zach asked incredulously, although he had some doubt in his voice.

“Practically.” James said, puffing out his chest. I gaped at him.

Potter, go away.” I said in a threatening voice.

James was breathing quickly, as if he was ready to pounce on Zach. He frowned at him and gave me one last look, before storming out of the library.

“Sorry about that.” I said, shaking my head. “Just ignore him.”

Zach nodded, looking at the table. It took him a while to talk.

“Look,” he said finally. “That Potter character...he’s not your boyfriend is he?”

It took me a moment for that to sink in. I laughed, grinning at him.

“Potter? My boyfriend?” I said disbelievingly. Zach laughed in relief.

“Good.” he said, his cheeks flushing slightly. “You deserve better.”

I blushed too, grinning at the floor. “Thanks.”

I talked with Zach for an hour, he was a great person to talk to. He was funny, handsome, and seemed to always want me to laugh. I was having such a good time with him I could’ve killed Henn when she came running in the library looking for me.

“Hey.” Henn said breathlessly. “I’ve been looking all over for -”

She stopped, looking at Zach curiously, then grinning at me.

“Hey.” Zach said, giving her a charming grin.

“Oh.” I said suddenly, understanding Henn’s meaningful looks. “This is Zach, Henn. And Zach, this is Henn.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Zach said kindly. Henn seemed to be restraining herself from jumping up and down.

“Same here.” she said, making the librarian scowl at her for being so loud.

“Well, I’ll see you later.” I said, grinning at Zach. He smiled back, and seemed disappointed that we couldn’t talk anymore. I left the library, Henn grinning widely at me.

“Ooh.” she said, nudging me with her elbow and wiggling her eyebrows.

“Oh shut up.” I said, although I grinned too.

“So what did you guys talk about?” Henn asked excitedly.

“Dunno.” I said, shrugging. “We just...yeah.”

“Right.” Henn said, chuckling. “Oh, did Potter give you one of these yet?”

I glanced at the parchment she was holding, which I had received from Potter this morning.

“Yeah.” I grunted. “Can you believe that git was threatening Zach in the library?”

“No way, he found out about him?” Henn asked exasperatedly. “They didn’t kill each other, did they?”

“Thankfully no.” I said in relief. Henn nodded.

“So, are you going?” Henn asked, waving the invitation around.

“I don’t really want to.” I said. “Not if Potter’s hosting it.”

“It’s not just Potter,” Henn said reasonably. “It’s a Marauder’s party.”

I shrugged. “Dunno. Maybe.”

I sat down next to Gaby, who was reading the Daily Prophet, muttering something. Henn sat across from me with Grace.

“Someone was murdered yesterday.” Gaby told us, frowning.

“What?” I asked abruptly, snatching the paper from her. At the top it read : Felicia Bones Found Dead. I scanned it with my eyes; apparently the woman was found dead in her apartment by her husband that was coming back from work that day. That day she had went and visited her muggle parents in London and was found laying on the floor with her grocery bags sprawled next to her.

“They think someone used the Killing Curse on her.” Gaby said as I stared at the grinning woman with freckles being hugged by a man who must have been her husband. “It has to be, I mean she wasn’t scarred or anything, no diseases either...”

“That’s so sad.” Henn said, blinking her eyes several times. Grace nodded, putting a comforting arm around her.

I turned the page, showing yet another bold headline article talking about another speech a guy named Voldemort had. I frowned.

Muggles are filthy creatures...Should be eliminated...” I read, furrowing my eyebrows.

“That man is crazy.” Gaby said, shaking her head sadly. “What does he have against muggles anyway?”

Grace shrugged. “All he does is trash talks about them...he never really does anything except talk, probably another insane coward...”

I nodded, giving one last glance at the man’s photo. He had dark hair, and looked to be in his forties. He would have been rather good looking for his age, if it weren’t for his eyes. I shuddered, his eyes were narrowed and had an evil look to them. I closed the newspaper, giving it back to Gaby.

I turned in my seat, looking for Zach to see if he had heard about them yet, but my lands fell upon the Marauders, who were entering the Great Hall now, giving out invitations to everyone but the Slytherins. My eyes flickered to Remus, who was talking to Zach and gave him an invitation, smiling. I smiled too, if Zach went to the party, I’d definitely go...

“Evans.” said Potter behind me sternly as if I was in a lot of trouble. “I need to talk to you.”

“What is it Potter?” I asked warily, turning in my seat to look up at his tall figure.

“Why were you talking to that guy over there at the Ravenclaw table?” he demanded, crossing his muscular arms and tapping his foot irritably. He reminded me of a five year old who was very irritated.

“Why is it any of your business?” I asked coolly.

“Because I have the right to know who you’re speaking with.” he said defiantly.

“What?” I spat. “Who are you, my father?”

“No, but I’m your future boyfriend so -”

“What are you talking about? You’re never going to be -”

“Evans, don’t talk to me like that -”

“No, you don’t talk to me like that!”

“Listen, do you want to go outside and talk for a minute?” Zach asked softly. I groaned inwardly. Was he going to say that he didn’t want anything to do with me? Ack, James ruined everything.

“Okay.” I said timidly, walking out of the Hall, our arms brushing against each other. I blushed, not sure if he knew or not.

He lead me out onto the grounds, sitting on the grass near the lake, propping himself on one elbow elegantly. I felt myself blush, and go totally silent.

“Well, sit down.” Zach said, chuckling. I gave a nervous laugh and sat next to him, although keeping a distance.

“So.” Zach said, looking at me, I focused my sight on the grass. “Has Potter been bugging you for a while?”

“My entire life.” I grunted. Zach laughed. “See, he’s my neighbor.”

“That sucks.” he said. “You know, I really don’t like him.”

My eyes flickered to his, which were narrowed in annoyance.

“What? Why?” I asked curiously.

“Well, he bugs you so much...acts as if you were an object that he keeps.” Zach said disgustedly. “How can you stand it?”

“Oh, he’s not really that bad, Zach.” I said, smiling. “Sure, he can be annoying...but he can also be very nice.” I don’t know why I was defending him, but I felt bad that Zach was saying something like that about Potter, and he wasn’t even here to defend himself.

Zach smiled. “Let’s not talk about him.” he said, waving his hand as if dismissing the subject. “So, are you going to the party?”

“Oh.” I said, grinning in an embarrassed way. “I don’t know. Are you?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Zach said, smiling slightly. “That Remus character invited me. Seems real nice.”

“Yeah he is.” I said, grinning at the thought of my friend.

“But...if you’re not going -” Zach began, grinning mischievously. “I really don’t see a point in going either.”

I blushed, and smiled. “You can go to meet new people, have fun...”

Suddenly, Zach moved a foot or so and clasped his lips on mine, bringing me closer with his arms. I didn’t like the fact that he interrupted me while I was talking, but that didn’t make the kiss lose its effect. I kissed him back, uncertain if I was good at it or not. It was odd, seventh year was definitely the turning point. I was here, kissing Zach as if it was completely normal, although I had never been kissed until Potter had practically pounced on me that one night. Not counting that one time I was playing with the older neighborhood kids and Potter on our street...I remember that this one girl named Gina dared Potter to kiss me. I don’t know why that memory that had been in the back of my brain suddenly came back to me.

My stomach was fluttering with butterflies, as he turned me around, so that I was under him. I smiled between his kisses and flew my hands through his hair, savoring the moment. He deepened the kiss, making it more passionate. He started to rub my waist with his soft hands, his light hair falling into my face. After what seemed hours but rather only minutes, he pulled away, although my eyes were still closed, wanting to remember the effect.

“Sorry.” he murmured. “I’ve been wanting to do that all day.”

I finally opened my eyes, smiling at him and blushing.

“I’ll go to the party.” I said clearly. He grinned at me, kissing me again. This time he slid his tongue inside, making my insides shiver. I pressed myself against him, by pulling him down closer to me. I pulled away, as he started to kiss my neck.

I giggled, as he made soft sucking noises, making my skin tingle. He stopped and looked me in the eyes, smiling.

“You’re beautiful.” he said softly.

Now that just made my heart jump out of my chest. He said I was beautiful. Ah, I could’ve died.

Then I thought of Potter, and annoyance poured inside of me. He had called me ‘hot’ when he kissed me. That git. Why was I even thinking about that? I liked Zach anyway.

Zach kissed me lightly, before looking at his watch and chuckling.

“I should get you back to the castle.” he said humourously. I smiled at him.

“Okay.” I said, taking the hand he had extended to help me up. I grinned at him and interlocked my arm with his. He walked me up to the steps until he reached the seventh floor.

“I’ll see you tonight Lily.” he said, grinning charmingly at me. I smiled and blushed, kissing him softly. I was still getting used to it.

“Bye.” I said quietly, turning the corner and making my way to the Fat Lady. I sighed dreamily and touched my lips, not believing what had just happened. I stopped in my tracks as I noticed who was ahead of me, telling the Fat Lady the password.


Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
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“Hey Lily.” Remus said as I caught up to him, following him as he climbed in the portrait hole. I smiled at him as we got out of the hole. “Are you coming tonight to the party?”

“Yep. Wouldn’t miss it.” I said cheerfully. Remus raised his eyebrow.

“Really?” he asked curiously. I shrugged.

“See you later.” I ran up the girls’ staircase, bursting into my dorm room.

“Hello!” I said happily and loudly. My eyes flickered to Grace, who was brushing her red hair in a bathrobe, to Gaby who was looking at the different options of clothing that were lying on her bed, to Henn, who was applying her makeup, and to Cecilia, who was banging on the bathroom door telling Patricia to hurry up.

“Uh...Lily?” Grace asked uncertainly. Gaby spun around, furrowing her eyebrows and holding up a skirt and a pair of jeans.

“Which one?” Gaby demanded. I raised my eyebrow thoughtfully, looking at the light blue peasant skirt and the sandblasted bellbottoms.

“Jeans.” I said, grinning. Gaby scowled at me.

“Why are you so happy?” she asked in an accusatory voice.

“What, can’t I be happy?” I said defensively.

“Well, yes...”

“Then stop asking me questions.” I said, jumping onto her bed. “I like the red top.”

“Yeah me too.” Gaby said absentmindedly. She looked at me abruptly. “Hey, don’t try to get off the subject!”

“Zach kissed me.” I said happily, as if answering a question. I heard Henn gasp and drop her lipstick, and Grace, who squealed. Gaby grinned, and from the corner of my eye I saw Cecilia stop in her banging attempts.

“What? No way!” Gaby said excitedly, hopping on her bed. “Is he going to the party?”

“Finally, Evans.” Cecilia sneered. “Maybe now you’ll stop flirting with my boyfriend.”

My grin faded, as I turned to look at Cecilia, glaring at her. She didn’t look very threatening with those curlers in her brown hair.

“Excuse me?” I said, narrowing my eyes. “I believe it was your boyfriend who was harassing me.”

Cecilia glared at me, and said nothing. She went over and sat on her bed, turning her back to us.

I grinned triumphantly as Henn coughed something that sounded suspiciously like ‘slut’.

Patricia came out of the bathroom, her hair up in a towel and wearing a bathrobe. She smiled at me.

“Hey Lily.” Patricia said. I always thought Patricia was the nicest of the Love twins, even though she had a flirting habit with Sirius lately. So, I greeted her with a wave.

“Geroff.” Grace grunted, trying to push Henn off of the vanity’s chair. Henn groaned as she sat on the floor now.

“Grace, you made me mess up my eye liner.” Henn said irritably, trying to rub off the big black line going down to her lips. Grace shrugged, snatching some eye shadow and putting a glimmery green. I glanced at Gaby, who was wearing the jeans and red halter top that I suggested. She was in front of the long tall mirror, checking if she looked alright.

“Lily,” Gaby said absentmindedly. “I need those earring you have.”

“Go ahead.” I said, smiling at her. Usually, I would snap at her, since I hated sharing...but this time I didn’t care. I just skipped to the bathroom and started to take a shower.

When I came out, everyone was nearly dressed already. Gaby was now wearing my straight dangling silver earrings and red platform shoes. Her brown hair was loosely hanging over her shoulders, and had a sliver arc. I looked at Grace, who was wearing a light blue tube top with faded bellbottoms and light blue platform shoes. Her read hair was also hanging over her shoulders and she was wearing golden bracelets and earring studs. Henn was nearly ready, she was wearing her light yellow spaghetti strap and loose top, with matching shoes and dark bellbottoms. Her hair was up in a ponytail, revealing plastic blue and circular earrings. She was applying some lip gloss on right now.

I turned around and noticed that the Love twins were also ready to go. Cecilia was wearing a strapless, low dark red dress that was very short. Her curly hair was straightened somehow, and she was wearing shiny makeup, with a thick silver necklace and matching earrings. Her platforms were dark red, and she was waiting for Patricia. Patricia was putting on her baby blue shoes, with a matching loose halter top and a short white skirt. Her earrings were gold like her bracelets, and her hair was up in a ponytail, making her look more innocent. Patricia always was the less...er well never mind.

“Hurry up, Lily!” Grace exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air. I nodded and quickly changed into some sandblasted bellbottoms, and a dark green tube top that matched my eyes. I let my hair down, wearing the necklace that my grandma gave me. Actually, ever since that dinner party, I haven’t taken it off. I put some old trainers on and put some rarely noticeably makeup. I grinned.

“Okay! Let’s go.” Henn said happily. All my friends have always loved parties...well except for me. I was only going because of Zach.

“You look great Lils.” Grace said admirably.

“Yeah it’s great that you’re finally going to one of these parties with us.” Gaby said happily, climbing down the stairs. The twins had already left.

I rolled my eyes, muttering, “Yeah, yeah.” In the first few years, I had gone to the lame parties that first and second years had made up to pretend to be cool and feel grown up. The hosts didn’t change either. Then I went to a party in third year...feeling slightly out of place and hiding in the corner for the whole five hours. Fourth year I went to one too, and that was the last one. This boy kept trying to make a move on me, and I found this as a sign that I shouldn’t attend the parties that the Marauders or anybody had anymore.

“Where is it.” I said dully, my ecstasy slowly dripping away.

Grace took the parchment from her pocket, staring at it. “Over here.” she said, waving us over through a hallway. I noticed as we turned a corner the hall had little gold banners on the walls, as if signaling that we were going to the right place. I squinted as I saw that the little banners were slowly changing colors.

We turned another corner, spotting Sirius at the very end, in front of a tapestry, greeting and welcoming people inside a room.

“Sirius!” Gaby exclaimed, running up to him and kissing him lightly. She pulled away, Sirius grinning at us.

“Glad you could come ladies. I see you brought someone new with you.” he said, jerking his head towards me. I laughed sarcastically as Henn and Grace snickered. He suddenly put on a stern face, and turned his back rigid, saying in a deep, sophisticated voice, “Invitations please.”

Gaby laughed, handing all the invitations. He bowed them inside. “Welcome to the R.O.R.”

I stopped my gasp from coming out of my mouth, looking at the huge room. It was if it was some big apartment, with balloons everywhere. There was a dark red couch in the middle of the main room, where several girls were sitting in some boys’ laps. There was a wooden floor, where there was a hall to the left, where other doors were open and several other people were chatting.

“Not bad, eh?” Henn said, looking around. “Last time it looked a bit different...they made it bigger this time...”

“What is this place?” I asked in awe. “I’ve been down this hall millions of times, and Hogwarts would never have such a room -”

“No idea.” Henn said, shrugging. She grabbed my shoulders, shaking them. “Now let’s just go and have some fun!”

She grabbed my arm and dragged me down the hall, into the last room where it was dark and full of music.

“Won’t someone hear -”

“Soundproof charm, Lils.” Henn said disbelievingly. “Potter isn’t that stupid, you know.”

“Not at all.” said a loud voice behind us, making me scowl. We turned around, facing Potter, holding a bottle of firewhiskey. I grimaced. I had never been to a party with alcoholic drinks. “So, Lily! You came!”

“Yes!” I shouted, since the music was so loud. Everyone was either dancing or by the bar.

“James!”

We all spun around, facing Cecilia who was coming through the door. She glared at me before tugging on James’s arm.

“Let’s go over there!” she yelled, pointing to the dance floor. He shrugged, passing me the firewhiskey with a wink. I scowled at him, as they walked away. Henn took the firewhiskey from me and nudged a guy who was dancing nearby. She gave him the firewhiskey, which he immediately took.

“Let’s dance!” Henn said excitedly, pulling me to the dance floor also. She started to dance with a couple of girls near us. I however, was looking wildly around for a certain person.

“Hey Lily!” someone said loudly behind me. I spun around, smiling at two sixth year girls, who were dancing with Henn.

“Hey, you guys!” I said, grinning at them. The girl with dark brown shoulder-length hair and dark eyes, waved at me.

“Guess what?” Leah yelled at me.

“What?” I yelled back.

“This is the first Marauder party I went to since fourth year!”

I laughed, Leah was usually in the common room with me playing Exploding Snap when there was a Marauder party. Ever since she went out with Sirius in her fourth year and his fifth year, she had stopped going to them.

The other girl, Mayna, or Kat, as everyone called her because of her middle name, had long caramel brown hair and blue eyes. She was eyeing a rather cute boy with dark brown hair, until he grinned at her and she turned away, blushing madly.

“Hey Kat,” I said, chuckling.

“Hey Lily!” she exclaimed. “I heard that you’re going out with that Beauxbatons boy!”

This time it was my turn to blush. I nodded, grinning.

“He’s cute.” Leah said, nudging me and winking. I noticed that she was wearing her prefect badge, even though she was wearing party clothes. I raised my eyebrow at her, although I had my Head Girl badge in my pocket. She laughed. “Just in case I need to set some order around here.”

Kat laughed, although she really didn’t know why. Kat laughed for no reason, I was quite used to it.

I spotted a blonde haired boy in the background, looking around for someone. I grinned.

“Sorry, I’ll have to talk to you guys later.” I said, pushing my way in the crowd and reaching Zach. “Hey!”

Zach grinned, saying loudly, “Nice to see you!”

I laughed, tugging on his arm. “Want to go talk outside?”

“Sure.” he said in my ear, so he wouldn’t have to yell anymore.

He slid his hand inside mine, and I smiled, leading him out of the room and going to one across from us, which was the only door that was closed. I opened it, and gasped, starting to laugh uncontrollably with Zach. I quickly closed it, as people started to yell and curse at me.

“I guess that door was closed for a reason.” Zach said humourously.

“Well I guess the saying ‘go get a room’ really doesn’t apply to this situation.” I said, laughing and pulling my hair behind my ear. Zach laughed, kissing me lightly.

“I wouldn’t mind being in there with you if it were just you and me.” he said, chuckling. I blushed, and grinned. “C’mon.” He tugged on my arm, leading me into the main room.

“It got worse.” I murmured. The main room was full of people, chatting and drinking together. I spotted Potter on the couch with Cecilia, and I laughed. I saw him pull away for a moment and I froze, looking uncertainly at Zach. Fortunately and uncharacteristically, Potter turned away and resumed in kissing Cecilia.

“Over there.” I said, pointing to the translucent curtains behind the couch. Zach nodded, and we went outside, seeing an enormous balcony, where many couples stood or sat together, gazing at the moon, which was nearly full. I pulled Zach into an empty corner, where he held me tightly, nibbling on my neck. I giggled.

I didn’t get it. I felt completely safe, and it seemed like no one else was near us. I smiled and turned around, wrapping my arms around his neck and pushing him against the shadows and into the wall. He grinned at me, pulling me closer and kissing me passionately.

He rubbed his hands on my waist, slipping his tongue inside and biting my lower lips, but careful not to hurt me. I could feel goose bumps where he was touching me, and fought the urge to shiver.

I don’t know how long we stayed like this, but I didn’t want it to end soon. I was trying to breathe through my nose, so I didn’t have to pull away for breath.

Finally, after playing with his tongue for a while, I pulled away, panting. He was breathing heavily also, his hair messed up because of my hands that were playing with it the whole time. I started to smile, but it faded as I noticed someone from the corner of my eye.

Potter. At the curtains, just staring at us. I bit my lower lip, afraid that he’d come charging over here. It was odd though, he wasn’t scowling, he wasn’t gaping in horror, he wasn’t grinning stupidly, and he wasn’t laughing. I was seeing James Potter the way I had never seen him before : stunned.

I wasn’t sure what to do, and I felt the tension, even though he was rather far away. I didn’t know if I should yell at him to go away, or if I should ignore him and continue doing whatever I was doing with Zach.

It seemed like for hours, that he was just staring at us in horror. Finally, he backed away, looking hurt, then walked out of sight, probably going to make out with Cecilia again.


Zach made a move towards me again, but I suddenly didn’t feel like kissing him. I squirmed out of the way, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Zach gave me a quizzical look.

“What’s wrong?” he asked me softly, pulling me into his arms.

“Nothing.” I said, shrugging. “Do you want to dance?”

“Sure.” Zach said reluctantly. I knew that he’d prefer that we’d stay here, but he agreed anyway. Only a couple of people were in the main room, and Zach grinned slyly at me, pulling me onto the couch.

I laughed, as he laid on top of me and started to kiss me madly. I smiled and pulled him closer as he kissed my neck again, making soft sucking sounds. People around us were starting to make disgusted noises and leave the room. I suddenly felt uncomfortable again and cleared my throat.

“Yeah?” Zach asked, touching my nose with his.

“Listen, there’s a good song right now. Don’t you want to dance?”

Zach furrowed his eyebrows at me. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s that, I don’t really like kissing in public...”

“Oh.” Zach said, smiling. “Sure let’s go then.”

I felt relieved that he understood, and we walked onto the dance floor, dancing along with everyone else. A good song by Wicked Warlocks was being played.

We danced for a while, and I tried ignore James who was dancing nearby with Cecilia. A slow song went on, by Tina Smith. Zach smiled at me, and pulled me closer, placing his hands on my hips.

I smiled too and wrapped my arms around his neck, stepping closer as we slowly swayed to the music. I felt slightly embarrassed because I was flushed from dancing so much.

“This is great.” I said breathlessly.

“I know.” Zach said, grinning.

“You know, I almost never go to parties.” I said, laughing slightly. Zach raised an eyebrow.

“Why not? I thought you were the party girl from the way you were dancing in here.” Zach said humourously.

“Me?” I said disbelievingly. “No way, that would definitely be my friends.”

Zach pulled me, if possible, even closer, touching my nose with his. “Don’t worry.” he said, grinning. “We’ll go to plenty of parties together.”

I smiled, kissing him lightly. He started to deepen it, which I noticed it was always him who took the initiative. He probably was more experienced than me.

It was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t believe that I was having so much fun at a party that was organized by James. After a long time of just dancing and holding each other close, Zach told me that he was going to get something to drink.

“Want anything?” he asked, kissing me on the cheek.

“Just water.” I said, shrugging. Zach laughed.

“Water. I’d like a water please.” he said, mocking me. I laughed.

“Quit it. I like it.” I said, smiling. Zach grinned.

“Okay then. Water it is.”

He pushed his way through the crowd, and I leaned against the wall, waiting for him. I didn’t feel like dancing if he wasn’t with me. Actually, I hardly ever danced, I was surprised with myself.

So I just tapped my foot and hummed to the music. I didn’t notice someone tap me on the shoulder.

“Oh. Hey Henn!” I said happily. Henn grinned at me, looking flushed also.

“Hey, looks like you’re having fun.” Henn said, winking at me. I nodded.

“Can you believe it?”

“Nope.” Henn said, shaking her head and laughing. “Hey, I noticed something.”

“What?” I asked, pulling my hair up into a ponytail.

“Potter’s been looking at you all night.”

“What’s your point?” I asked, rather snappishly.

“Nothing.” Henn said, backing away and putting her hands up in defensive. “I’m just saying. It’s kind of funny.”

I shrugged, not really caring if Potter was looking at me or not.

“What if he asks you to dance?” Henn asked excitedly. I stared at her in horror.

“I’ll say no.” I said stiffly. “I’m dating Zach, Henn.”

“So? It’s just a dance.” Henn said, shrugging. “I danced with three boys already, and I don’t even know their names.”

I laughed. “No thanks.”

“Suit yourself.” Henn said, grinning. “I’ll see you later.”

She went over to dance with Leah and Kat again, I noticed that Remus and Grace were nearby too.

Soon enough Zach came back with my water and his firewhiskey. We gulped down our drinks, since we were so thirsty.

“Want to go to another room for now?” Zach said loudly. I nodded, and we scrambled out into the hall, meeting Gaby and Sirius, who were laughing.

“Hey Lils!” Gaby exclaimed. I grinned and walked over to her. “Guess what? In that room over there...they’re playing spin the bottle.”

I raised an eyebrow, chuckling. “Spin the bottle? A little childish don’t you think?”

“It’s so much fun though!” Gaby said, glancing at Zach and waving. “Hey, I’m Gaby.”

“Hey.” Zach said, grinning. Sirius raised an eyebrow at him and muttered something I couldn’t here.

“So did you play?” I asked. Gaby shook her head, smiling at Sirius.

“Black didn’t let me.” Gaby said, kissing him lightly. “It’s okay Sirius is the best kisser I could ask for anyway.”

Sirius grinned slyly at her, pulling her and kissing her passionately. I raised an eyebrow at Zach, who shrugged and lead me to the main room again.

“Evans!”

I spun around, trying to suppress my groan.

“What do you want Potter?” I asked, as he staggered towards me, holding some kind of drink. I glanced at Zach, who was frowning.

“Everyone knows that, Evans.” Potter said, winking and putting his arm around my shoulder. Then he moved his head and whispered in my ear so Zach couldn’t hear. “You, of course.”

“Get away from him Lily. He’s drunk.” Zach said disgustedly, shoving Potter away from me. I frowned at Zach for ordering me around.

“Hey, what’s it to you?” Potter sneered. “You just got here, you don’t know how things work at Hogwarts...”

“Are you saying all the men at Hogwarts are drunken fools?” Zach asked, smirking. He looked around, and his smirk grew wider. “Yes I suppose you’re right.”

James looked like he was about to throw himself on Zach, so I threw my body in between the two, shoving them apart. “Potter, can I talk to you?” I growled at James. James smirked at Zach.

“Of course.” James said, draping his arm around me again. I shoved him into a room and closed the door before noticing that Zach looked very disgruntled.

“Listen, what’s your problem?” I spat, as James sat down on a red couch in the side of the empty room.

“You shouldn’t have held me back, he was asking for it.” James said, draining the last bit of his drink. I scowled at him.

“Why do you always have to interfere?” I said, balling my hands into fists. James raised an eyebrow at me.

“You shouldn’t be with the guy to begin with.” James said, shrugging. I gritted my teeth.

“Tell me Potter,” I said dangerously, grabbing the front of his shirt and bringing his face close to mine. “Who are you to tell me who I should be going out with?”

James grinned at me, and closed the space that was in between us with his lips. I shoved him away, looking disgusted.

“C’mon Evans.” James said, grinning at me and pulling me down to sit next to him on the couch.

“Stay away from me!” I said, pushing him away. “Why do you have to be so difficult?”

“I’m difficult?” James asked, rolling his eyes. “You’re the difficult one!”

“I am not!”

“Then why have you been rejecting me for the past six years?”

“Are you saying I’m obligated to go out with you?”

“Well, er...I guess...”

“Well I’m not!” I said shrilly, throwing my hands up into the air. “And I’m sick of you thinking that there’s some hope in being with me and trying to make me be single for the rest of my life! I’m sick of you being my neighbor! I’m sick of you being in the same school as me! I’m sick of you, James Potter!”

“That hurt.”

“It was supposed to.” I said nastily. We were silent for a moment, although while I was staring at the floor, fuming, James was looking at me.

“How long are you going to keep this up?” Potter asked suddenly, furrowing his eyebrows. I turned and glared at him.

“Keep what up?” I snapped.

“This whole ‘I’m hard to get and you’ll never have me’ act.” James replied, raising his eyebrow.

I gaped at him. “It’s not an act Potter!” I said shrilly, after recovering from what James thought I was really doing when I said ‘no’ to him all these years.

“It has to be.” Potter said simply. I gave him a sarcastic laugh.

“What’s wrong James? Never been rejected before? Well I’m not surprised. James Potter always gets everything he wants anyway. You’re rich, popular, and a quidditch player! I bet you’ve never had to fight for anything in your life. You’ve had it easy, James.”

“That’s not true.” James said, frowning. I glared at him.

“Oh yeah? Have you ever even had a problem? Tell me, James. What has been troubling you?” I said with mock concern. My fury was bubbling inside of me. He was such a conceited git.

“Well how about you? You’ve had nothing to fight for. You get everything you want too. You have good grades, top in every class I bet. You’re Head Girl, you were prefect, all the teachers just love role model Lily Evans -” James said furiously. I furrowed my eyebrows. How could he say something like that? He didn’t even know me, he didn’t know that I had a lousy dad, that I didn’t even know if my mom was dead or alive, that my sister hated me...How. Could. He. Say. That! “She’s a perfectionist, she’s smart, she’s -”

“Bloody well had enough!” I said angrily. James frowned at me. “You know what, fine!” I said, not really knowing that I wasn’t making sense.

I marched across the room, but James held me back.

“Next time, don’t talk about people if you don’t know them.” James said, frowning at me. For a moment his eyes softened, and he inched toward me as if he was about to kiss my lips...but then he tore his sight away from me and walked out the door.

I stood there, my blood boiling. I spun around, yelling back at him. “Same goes for you, Potter!”

He either ignored me or didn’t hear me, because I heard no response from him. I stormed into the hallway, people raising their eyebrows and staring at me. Gaby and Sirius were now torn apart, looking at me questionably.

I shoved my way past them, wrenching the door open and walking out into the hall. I was so angry, I wish I had punched him or something. How could he say that about me? He didn’t even know me...

Then the last words he had spoken to me flew past my mind. He was obviously feeling the same way...

Maybe I was wrong about him. Maybe Potter didn’t get everything he wanted.

Starting from me.

Chapter 9: Chapter Nine
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

The next day I woke up, hearing heavy breathing from all sides of the room. I dug my forehead into my pillow, my brain was pounding with a terrible headache.

If it was a ordinary Sunday, I would have gotten up and started my day. But it was not. I was still angry at everyone, for some reason. So I stayed in bed, just staring at my red curtains that were enveloping my bed.

I spent about two hours doing that, convinced that everyone would wake up and leave me alone in the dorm. But everyone was still asleep because of the late partying last night. So I felt my hand under my bed, grabbing my diary and scribbling.

Dear Diary,
Life sucks at the moment. Ever feel like the whole world’s against you? That’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. Potter has offended me yet again. I was at a party yesterday, (I know, big surprise) and he insulted me, saying that I was perfect and I have no problems.


I paused, not sure if I should mention that I was insulting him first. I decided not to.

Can you believe that git? Why does he torture me so much anyway? Why can’t he just LEAVE ME ALONE?

Love,
Lily


I finished my diary entry with a little doodle of me strangling Potter. I gave a satisfied smirk, feeling like I let some of my anger out. I put my diary away in its usual place and tore my curtains apart. I looked at the clock and grimaced. It was three o clock in the afternoon. Then again, I had left the party at two last night.

I changed out of my party clothes, since I didn’t want to last night. Instead, I put a jeans skirt and a cozy jumper on. I put my hair in two braids and left my bag in my trunk, thinking I’d just go outside and think to myself for a while.

The idea quickly walked out of my mind as I noticed that it was raining. So instead I just walked around the hallways, pretending to be looking outside of the windows if a student came walking towards me.

So, naturally, I didn’t notice that Zach was behind me when I was looking out the window yet again, since a couple of second years had just passed by.

“Lily?” he asked softly, as I turned around. My eyes widened in surprise.

“Zach.” I said, nodding my head. For some reason I didn’t feel like kissing him or wrapping my arms around him.

“Listen, I’m sorry for leaving you last night at the party.” Zach said apologetically. I nodded, although I knew I did the same thing to him too. He must have left before me.

“It’s alright. I’m sorry that Potter keeps on bugging us.” I said, biting my lip. “I was trying to tell him that I didn’t want anything to do with him but he’s so stubborn.”

“Yeah.” Zach said, agreeing. There was an awkward silence.

“Listen,” I said, dreading what I was about to say. “I understand if you want to...you know, break up with me or something -”

Zach silenced me by kissing me on the lips, pulling away and smiling. “I don’t want to do that.” I tried to smile at him, but I was still angry with Potter for trying to make us split up.

“I don’t either.” I said softly, as he kissed me again.

“I’ll see you at lunch, okay?” Zach said, after pulling away. I smiled at him.

“Sure.”

I tore my sight from his retrieving back, feeling the anger stir inside my stomach again. I didn’t ever want to see Potter’s face again.

The rest of the day wasn’t very interesting. After talking to Zach I had gotten a book from our dorm and walked down to the library, reading the rest of the day. I didn’t even bother to go eat lunch. I just felt like being alone.

Gaby and Grace had come and visited me a few times, but didn’t stay for long because they were occupied with Sirius and Remus. Henn, however, had come with them and stayed, although now she was talking to a boy she had danced with last night.

I readjusted my body since I had been sitting for so long. I looked up from my book and noticed that Potter was a few tables away from me, muttering something I couldn’t here. He was drumming his fingers on the table, glaring at the wood. Suddenly, my anger returned and I felt like throwing my book at his overly large head.

I was so concentrated in my plan on hurting Potter, that I didn’t see that Henn was sitting with him, whispering.

I stood up and stormed in between the round tables, reaching theirs and slamming my book on the wood. Madame Pince grunted and glared at me. I glared back.

As I returned my gaze to the two, Potter was now looking up at me, frowning. Henn was glancing uneasily at both of us.

“I’ll just -” she began, squirming out of the chair. “Yeah.”

She walked out of the library, and I took her seat, glaring at James.

“What?” he said rudely.

I was about to say something nasty to him, but I suddenly remembered why I had come to talk to him. I sighed and tried to muster all my self control.

“I’m -” I began, faltering. I sighed again and tried to make him look me in the eye. For some reason I felt like he wasn’t listening. “I’m sorry.” I said finally, which made his face abruptly face me.

He was looking at me questionably, as if trying to see a fault deep within me. He was searching for a trick.

“Okay.” he said finally. I raised my eyebrow at him. He looked questionably at me. “What?”

“Well I wasn’t the only one who said something offensive.” I said slowly.

“Oh.” James said, tearing his gaze from me. “Right.”

I waited impatiently for him to apologize, but it seemed like he was dreading what he was about to do.

“Uh, I’m...” James said uneasily, ruffling his hair in the back and looking at the desk. “Me too.”

I would have made fun of him for not being able to say ‘I’m sorry’, but whatever. I was just glad that I had gotten rid of my guilty conscious.

“Okay then.” I said, breaking the awkward silence.

“Right.” James said, nodding his head. Another awkward silence.

“I’ll...erm see you later then.” I said, standing up and tucking the book under my arm.

“Hey, listen.” James said, grasping my arm, but careful not to hurt me. I felt myself blush. “Try outs for Quidditch are this Friday, I know you’ve been wanting to be on the team since first year...”

I felt a little violated that he knew this piece of information that only Henn knew.

“Okay.” I said, looking awkwardly at the ground. “Thanks, I’ll think about it.”

I headed towards the door, except Potter called something out to me.

“You know, there is a Chaser spot open.”

I froze, my hand on the door knob. I slowly turned around. He had his hands in his pockets and he was looking at me curiously.

“Are you captain?” I asked suspiciously. James grinned.

“Yeah.”

I walked in front of him, looking at him in the eye.

“So...I have an equal chance to get in the team as much as anyone, right?” James raised his eyebrow at me.

“Of course, Evans.” he said, chuckling. “Why would you say that?”

“Well, because -” I paused, shaking my head. “Okay Potter. I’ll show up.”

He grinned. “Hope you make it Evans.”

I smiled. “We’ll see what happens.”

I finally walked out of the door, pondering. It was true, I’ve been wanting to be on the Gryffindor Quidditch team since I was introduced to the sport in my first year. And yes, it was true, that I wanted to be Chaser. What kind of annoyed me was that when I tried out in second year for the second time, James made Chaser on the team, and I didn’t. But how did he know that? It was actually a bit freaky. I looked around my shoulder and shuddered. Had James really been watching me that closely?


Gaby squealed. “Ah Lily, that’s great! Maybe you’ll be a Chaser with me!”

I smiled. “I hope so.”

“I know so. You’re really good, trust me.” Gaby said, grinning, “And you’ve got a plus side.”

“Which is?”

“The captain is madly in love with you.” Grace said, elapsing into giggles with Henn. I rolled my eyes.

“I don’t want to make the team because of that!” I said shrilly, although I laughed too.

Gaby shrugged as Sirius came to sit with his girlfriend. Henn leaned over the table and whispered in my ear, “Don’t they ever get sick of each other?”

I chuckled and returned to my poetry book that I had been reading the whole day.

“How can you read that?” Grace asked suddenly, furrowing her eyebrows as if trying to find the answer to a difficult math equation. “I mean there’s no story plot...just verses that don’t make sense but rhyme...”

“Not all poems rhyme.” Henn reminded her.

“Still...” Grace muttered.

“So, Evans.” Sirius said, grinning at me. “I heard you’re going to be a Chaser for our team.”

“Yep.” I said briskly, not wanting to be interrupted while reading. I doubled back and abruptly looked up. “Wait a minute, what?”

“Well Prongs said -”

“That I was trying out.” I completed sternly. Sirius shrugged.

“Well I mean, you’re probably going to make it...”

“Wait, did he say that?” I demanded, putting my book on the desk.

“Nope. But it’s obvious Evans.” Sirius said, smirking.

“I don’t want to be Potter’s favorite candidate, like everyone’s saying.” I said, frowning.

“Whoa calm down.” Sirius said, exchanging glances with Gaby. Grace was looking around the common room, narrowing her eyes as if she was trying to find someone.

“Does anyone know where Remus is?” Grace asked suddenly, turning in her seat to face us.

“He’s visiting his mum.” Sirius said automatically.

“Why?” she asked, furrowing her eyebrows.

“She’s sick or something.” Sirius said, shrugging. “Anyway, does anyone know how long that Potions essay had to be?”

“Why didn’t he tell me he was visiting his mum?” Grace said, rounding on Sirius again. Sirius chuckled.

“How am I supposed to know what’s going on in your love affairs?”

“Ha.” Grace said sarcastically. “I just thought it was odd....”

“I want to go outside.” Henn said randomly, looking out the window. I looked out the window too.

“It’s almost dark though...” I said, frowning. Sirius glanced out the window then turned to Gaby, kissing her on the cheek.

“I’ll see you later.” Sirius said briskly, standing up.

“Wait, where are you going?” Gaby demanded, furrowing her eyebrows.

“Down to the kitchens.” Sirius said, shrugging. Gaby’s expression softened.

“Hey will you get me a muffin?” Gaby asked, making Grace chuckle with a bewildered expression. Gaby shrugged. “I like muffins.”

“Sure.” Sirius said, kissing her on the cheek again. He stopped in front of the portrait hole and looked around the room. “Prongs, Wormtail, want to go and snack something?”

“Sure.” Potter said casually, jumping from the mist of the Love twins and joining Sirius. Pettigrew bit his lip and followed.

Time slowly passed by, and I decided to just start on my essay instead of waiting for Sirius to come back with food. I slid my hand through my hair and scowled at the nearly empty parchment. I hated Potions.

"They're not coming back are they?" Grace drawled, supporting the side of her face with her hand that was propped up by her elbow. It gave her a funny squished appearance.

"Nope." Henn said, stifling a yawn. "How do you get to the kitchens anyway?"

I shrugged as Grace and Gaby exchanged pondering looks.

"Hey." said Leah from behind Grace, sitting next to Henn and followed by Kat. "We're bored."

"Actually we heard that Sirius was bringing food." Kat said simply, starting to toss my quill around. "Ack Lil, that essay looks nasty."

"Don't take N.E.W.T.s Potions." Henn said warningly. "So did you guys have fun yesterday?"

Kat gave a lopsided grin and exchanged looks with Leah. I chuckled.

"Maybe I don't want to know what you two were doing yesterday." I said. Leah suddenly looked at me, widening her eyes.

"Hey, aren't you trying out for the Quidditch team?" I groaned.

"Why does everyone know?" I said despairingly.

"She's keeper." Gaby said knowingly.

"Oh. Right." I said absentmindedly.
I didn't really talk that much, since I was concentrating on my essay...well at least trying to. I was starting to get nervous for Quidditch try outs. I finally finished my essay and stuffed it in my bag, yawning and getting up from my seat.

"'Night everyone, I'm exhausted." I said, stretching my arms. I climbed up the stairs and laid down on my bed, rubbing my eyes that were itching with tiredness.

That night I was living in my memories. I was at my house in London, in the kitchen with the back glass doors open, sunlight streaming on the floor. I heard laughter and I turned around, walking hesitantly outside. Outside was a little girl with auburn hair that came a slightly past her shoulders, talking and laughing with my mom on a wooden porch. My mother looked truly beautiful, with her naturally beautiful shoulder - length blonde hair and light blue eyes. She was exactly how I remembered her when I was four.

She stopped laughing momentarily and gently touched my cheek, smiling radiantly at me with her perfect white teeth.

"Lily..." she whispered fondly. "You're going to be a such a beautiful lady."

I smiled as she kissed the younger me on the cheek, her eyes shimmering with tears.

"What's wrong Mummy?" I squeaked, my green eyes full of innocence. She smiled sadly at me.

"Lily dear, you know that I love you right?" she asked, holding my tiny hands.

"Of course I do Mummy, you don't need to worry." I said happily, sighing in relief because I thought that's what she was worried about.

"I love you and Petunia with all my heart darling." she said, wiping her tears away. "Just know that, alright?"

"What's wrong Mummy?" I said again.

"I just want you to know, that if I ever have to...well leave. If things get out of hand...I'll come back for you and Petunia. Remember that Lilian, please."

"Are you leaving?" I said quickly, my tiny heart pounding. "Please Mummy don't go!"

"I'm not going anywhere Lily." she said, as I flew my hands around her waist and hugged her tightly.

"Promise?"

"I promise."

Tears were welling inside my eyes as I saw the little innocent me falling for her tricks and promises. I wanted to scream and tear them apart, but what was the point? There was no point.

She had already ruined me.
I felt my heart pound and ran into our backyard, the sky quickly darkening. I stopped as I saw that there was a girl at the white gate, a girl with long auburn hair...

Wait. I squinted in the darkness, coming closer. It was me.

I was clutching a blanket around me because of the intense coldness and frost outside and I was holding a pot. I was probably throwing it in the trash in the frontyard since it was broken. I stopped as I saw bright headlights pull onto the driveway.

The door opened, the noise shooting across the silent house and a woman walked out, with a heavy wintercoat whose hood was draped over the woman's head.

"Who's there?" I said loudly, not feeling nearly as brave as I sounded. The woman stopped and looked at me, and I heard a dry sob.

"Who's there?" I repeated.
The woman walked slowly towards me, pulling down her hood. I gasped.

She was still beautiful, but there was something different about her. She looked older, more tired. And her neck was full of jewelry, that matched her earrings. She touched the gate with her gloved hand.

"Lilian?" she said softly, although I felt like wincing at the sound of her voice. "Is that really you?"

I didn't say anything, she stepped toward me as if she was going to embrace me, but I moved out of the way. I was breathing heavily and tears were swelling up in my eyes.

"Leave me alone!" I yelled at her. "Why are you here?"

"Lily, it's your mother." she said, furrowing her eyebrows in misunderstanding. "Don't...don't you remember me?"

Remember?! How could I not remember her? How could I not remember the woman who ruined my childhood? How could I not remember the woman who was the cause of me going to a counselor, the cause of my dad's loneliness?

"Get out." I said visciously. She stared at me, I couldn't read her expression...but it looked stunned.

"What?" she said hoarsely.

"You heard me." I said angrily, starting to turn around. "No one wants you here Virginia. No one."
And I saw myself run, dropping the already broken pot and rushing into the house. From the backyard I could still hear sobs.

Coming from my mum and me...


Chapter 10: Chapter Ten
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"Lily, are you awake?"

I opened my eyes drowsily, and glanced at Grace who was on the edge of the bed, staring at me. My eyes were feeling rather sensitive, and I quickly dug my head into my pillow, so Grace wouldn't see that I was crying.

"Now I am." I replied, my voice sounded muffled.

"Well c'mon then." Grace said. I felt the weight lift from my mattress. She didn't see my tears then.

I laid dazed, staring into the darkness that was formed after I pressed my face against the pillow. I was so confused...

The first part of my dream was recognizable, it was the day before my mum left us.

The second part however, I never had seen before. I didn't understand, were my dreams trying to tell me something?

What if my mum had gone to visit my dad? What if my mum was....

Alive?

Wait, was that even possible? We were practically positive that she was dead, Petunia and I had even planted a flower for her in our backyard after a year or so.

After about ten minutes of hearing people rummage through their trunks, getting dressed and brushing their teeth, I thought my appearance was alright. So I got up and walked over to the bathroom, trying to push the matter out of my mind. Gaby was already there, brushing her teeth vigorously. She had huge dark circles under her eyes, and her eye lids were drooping.

"You look tired." I said, glancing at her reflection. She spit out and flew water through her mouth.

"I was up till four last night," Gaby said dully. "Waiting for Sirius."

"I didn't know you liked muffins so much Gab." I said humourously. Gaby tutted irritably. She was obviously in a bad mood.
"He didn't show up." Gaby said, as if she was answering a question. "So I just gave up and went upstairs."

I shrugged, brushing my thick hair that was in knots. Gaby left the bathroom, muttering to herself.

I finished getting ready and followed Henn downstairs, Grace behind me and Gaby following us reluctantly.

When we arrived at the Great Hall we noticed that we were pretty late, since post had already been sweeping down on students. We seated ourselves at the first spots we saw, which were unfortunately next to Potter and Pettigrew.

They both looked like Gaby, dark circles under their eyes and looking extremely tired. Pettigrew's head was slowly descending, and almost landed in his porridge. James prodded him awake.

Potter however, looked tired but in his cheery mood. He yawned, stretching his arms and 'accidently' draping an arm around my shoulder, pressing me closer to him. He kissed my cheek and murmured, 'Morning Evans.'

I squirmed out of reach and noticed that Cecilia was glaring at me from a distance. I moved uneasily and started to fill my plate with eggs.

To make matters worse, Gaby leaned over the table and whispered in my ear, "Cecilia's seeker on the team, you know."

I shuddered involuntarily and seriously considered in not showing up at try outs on Friday. I knew that if I made the team, which I think if James is captain I probably will, that Cecilia would hate me even more. I don't like it when people hate me, especially if I haven't done anything to deserve this hate.

James started to scoot near me again, and I shoved him irritably. "Stop it." I hissed. James grinned at me, moving slightly away and taking a sip from his orange juice. He seemed to like it when I got pissed off at him.

I glared at him and for the first time that morning I noticed something missing.

"Where's Sirius and Remus?"

James shrugged, saying, "Hey do we have Divination today?"

"No! I mean...uh yes. But you didn't answer my question."

"How am I supposed to know, Evans?" James mused. I rolled my eyes at him, earning some interest from Gaby and Grace, who also wanted to know why their boyfriends weren't there.

"Maybe because you're Sirius's best mate and Remus's good friend?"

This time James ignored me, stuffing some ham into his mouth. I scowled at him.

After breakfast we hurried upstairs towards Divination, which for once, I was dreading. What if my dream had something to do with the future? I shuddered and looked at Henn, who already seemed to be dozing off.

Suddenly, I had an idea as we climbed up the ladder. Henn dragged her feet to a nearby table and immediately dropped her head in between her crossed arms. Professor Lloyd was by the fireplace, reading a dusty book. She closed it with a soft snap and turned to the class, which, like Henn, all looked extremely tired. I took a deep breath and raised my hand.

“Now today’s lesson...um yes Ms. Evans?” Professor Lloyd said after seeing that my hand was up in the air. Nobody was really interested that I had something to ask or say, so they all stayed in their sleepy positions. Potter was the only one who reacted, he stood up straighter and looked fixedly at me. Cecilia glared.

“Question, how often is it that the Ministry comes across a true Seer?” I asked, trying to ignore Potter and Love. I didn’t like it when people stared at me.

“It is very rare.” Lloyd said softly. “If I remember correctly, there is about two new Seers in the Wizarding Community every ten years.

I nodded, looking down at the ground pretending that I dropped my quill. I didn’t like making eye contact, especially with professors.


Transfiguration sucks. Transfiguration sucks. Transfiguration...

I kept on writing that until someone threw a paper ball at the back of my head. “What?” I snapped, looking behind me and trying to identify the thrower. Sirius was directly behind me, and was sniggering.

Aha.

“What?” I repeated, Sirius pointed at an area next to the chair’s leg, where the paper that had hit me was crumpled up. I raised my eyebrow and picked it up, trying not to be noticed by Professor Mcgongall. There were two different kinds of handwriting, in two different kinds of ink.

She’s my everything, Sirius. I don’t get it.

She obviously thinks you’re a git.

Yes, but WHY?

I dunno...

What do you reckon I should do?

Break up with Cecilia.

WHAT?

Break up with Cecilia. Oh and forget about all those other girls that you have.

All of them? Haha but there are so many...

You're a prat.

I'm just kidding. You know it's only Lily. Oh, and Cecilia, I guess, if you count her.

C’mon mate, don’t you like Evans?

Of course I do. Are you feeling all right?

Look Prongs, I'm a player but I'm not stupid. Girls like this 'I'll give up all my lovers for you' shit.

Uh I guess...she’s worth it though, right?

If you think she’s that great. Personally I don’t...

Oh shut it.

You shut it.

No you.

You.

I’m ignoring you now.

Fine, but don’t you want help?

I don’t need it, thank you.

Yes you do. Now tell me...why do you like Evans.

Have you ever seen her eyes?

Uh...excuse me?

Her eyes Sirius, you know those big round things that everyone has...

You mean all
girls have, right? Unless you mean--

Have you seen them or not?

Well of course I’ve noticed them but--

I mean her EYES Sirius, not her...well you know.

No I don’t.

Shut up. Anyway, her eyes are so...well...you know.

Right...

You know what I mean.

Uh I guess...

Okay so they’re not just cool. They’re beautiful, captivating, full of her emotions, do you know what I mean?

...

Anyway, if you ever look at her eyes, you’ll see just how beautiful she is. They’re like emeralds...and they just stand out. I think that’s what just reeled me in.

Her...eyes.

Yes.

Not her--

Sirius.

Not even her--

No.

They didn’t even help?

That’s not my point.

Oh yes it is you pervert.

I’m the pervert? How about you?

You know what would be funny?

No, I don’t.

I’m throwing this paper to Evans.


I looked at James, who’s cheeks were immensely red. He was pretending to write notes, and Sirius seemed to be on the verge of bursting out and laughing. James looked up slightly and blushed if possible, more once he noticed I was looking at him. I scowled at Sirius and turned in my seat, throwing the paper ball back at James.

I tried paying attention to what Mcgongall was saying, but it wasn’t working. Why did Sirius give me that note? That was so embarrassing...

Grace, who was my Transfiguration partner looked at me questionably as if saying ‘what was that about’?

I shrugged and mouthed ‘I’ll tell you later’, looking at Mcgongall again as if she said something that was very interesting. I couldn’t help but feel stupid. I saw from the corner of my eye Grace writing something on a scrap piece of parchment, and I looked over.

Why weren’t you here this morning?

She folded the paper neatly and discreetly put it on Sirius’s desk. We spun around to see his reaction. He opened the paper and read it, furrowing his eyebrows. He merely squashed it with his foot and ignored us. I saw Gaby looking curiously at his back some columns to the right.

The bell finally rung and I scrambled out of my seat, glancing at Potter who was walking rather quickly out the door. I don’t think it was because he was eager to get to lunch.

Grace, Henn, and I walked out of the classroom; Gaby was waiting for Sirius, probably demanding to find out about his absence.

As we were making our way to the Gryffindor table, someone called my name. I glance over at the Ravenclaw table, where Zach was grinning at me and waving me over.

“See you later.” I said to Henn and Grace, who were snickering. I ignored them and went to sit with Zach.

“Have fun with your honey!” Henn called out to me loudly. Younger students turn to look at us, laughing shrilly. I glared daggers at Henn.

“Hey.” Zach said, kissing me softly. I felt those familiar butterflies in my stomach again.

“Hey.” I said sweetly. I wanted to punch myself. I sounded like one of those airheaded girlfriends.

I quickly tore my gaze from him, not wanting to show him my flushed cheeks. I saw Lydia, who was a few seats away. She spotted me and grinned, waving at me.

“Hey.” she said breathlessly, as she walked over to sit across from me. I inwardly laughed.

“Hi.” I said, not knowing what else I should say. Head Girl should sound a little bit more interesting to a prefect, but...

“That prefect meeting went really well,” she continued. I nodded.

“Yeah.” I said.

“I’ve been patrolling like you said.” she said, glowing with pride.

“Erm, good job.”

Lydia was real nice and all, but I wanted to be with Zach. Maybe she didn’t get the point...?

Lydia’s eyes flickered to Zach, who was holding my hand, then to me. She widened her eyes.

“Are you two going out?”

“Yes.” I said. Maybe she would leave now. Lydia squealed.

“That’s great! What’s your name again?” she asked curiously to Zach. Zach smiled.

“Zach Levin.”

“Pleased to meet you. Are you the exchange student from Beauxbatons?” Lydia just was the talkative person I guess.

“Yep.” he said shortly. I could tell that he was feeling rather invaded too.

“So Lily,” she said, returning her attention to me. “I’ve been thinking...I think I would be a really good Head Girl. Not that you’re not a good one.” she added quickly, laughing nervously. I forced a smile.

“Well, that’s a good goal.” I said, trying to think of something to say.

“So, what do you think I should do? You know, I really want to work for it.” she said eagerly.

“But Lydia, that’s in like...two years...”

“But I want to start my prefect record now.” she said, grinning. Wow, this girl was worse than me.

“Well you can get good grades, um...help students?” I suggested uncertainly. Lydia nodded.

“I helped someone yesterday.” Lydia said enthusiastically. “That Livia girl...second year you know,” she pointed to a little girl with brown hair that was sitting alone. I recognized her immediately.

“Wait, you mean Lynn?”

“Whatever.” Lydia said, waving her hand as if it was of no importance. “She was crying you know, like she always is...so I went over there and talked to her.”

“What did you say to her?” I asked, I wasn’t so sure Lydia was the comforting type.

“I told her to get her act together, or people would just pick on her even more.” Lydia said simply. I raised my eyebrow.

“Then what?”

“She went up to her dorm and cried some more.” Lydia said, shrugging.

I glanced at Zach, who was raising his eyebrow.

“I don’t think you took that the right way.” I said hesitantly. Lydia blinked.

“Oh.” she said, lowering her head as if she was very disappointed in herself.

“It’s okay, everyone makes mistake.” I said quickly. “Listen, why don’t you try and being nice to her? Lynn’s a real nice girl, except she’s rather lonely.”

Lydia raised her head, looking to the side to see if Lynn was listening. She then said in an audible whisper, “But Lily, she’s so...weird.”

“What do you mean?” I said, this time not as kind. I really liked Lynn for some reason. There was nothing wrong with her, and I didn’t get why people found her odd.

“She just is.” Lydia said firmly. “Well, I guess I’ll see you later Lily.”

She stood up and left, sitting with some of her fifth year friends. I sighed and looked at Lynn again. Her head was bowed down and she was playing with her spoon in her soup.

“Do you mind...?” I asked Zach. He smiled and kissed me warmly.

“It’s fine.” he said. I smiled at him and got up from my seat, sitting next to Lynn. She jumped up, startled.

“Oh.” she said in her tiny voice. “Sorry, I’m a little...”

“Jumpy?” I suggested. Lynn nodded. I tried to find something to say. A couple of little girls about Lynn’s age were passing by, whispering and pointing at Lynn. The tallest dark girl laughed shrilly. I glanced at Lynn, who buried her head in her arms and started to sob miserably. I glared at the girls who were now all laughing at her. I stood up and walked over to them.

“Go apologize to Lynn.” I demanded to the four girls. They looked at me incredulously. The pale girl in the back with blonde hair looked slightly nervous though.

“Who are you to make us do that?” asked the tall girl, scrunching up her nose. I could tell that this little brat was the ‘leader’.

I smirked and pointed to my badge. “Head girl.”

The girl in the back now looked like she was going to pee in her pants. Lynn had lifted her head now, looking at the girls curiously.

“Sorry.” the blonde girl mumbled. A snotty looking girl with several freckles and frizzy red hair gaped at her.

“Shannon!” the girl said indignantly. I glared at her.

“You can’t make us.” piped another girl, with sleek and long black hair. I stood up higher.

“Go.” I said, the girls widened their eyes. “Now.” They scurried away towards Lynn, mumbling apologies. I smirked in satisfaction. This time the group of mean girls went and sat somewhere else. “Next time, I’ll give you four a detention.” Shannon was starting to look panicked.

I sat next to Lynn again, looking at the four superiorly. Lynn gave me a weak smile.

“Thanks.” she said softly.

“No problem.” I said, smiling back. “So, tell me about yourself. Have any siblings?”

“I have a half brother.” Lynn said, shrugging. “I’ve only met him once though, when I was a baby. I don’t remember him that much.”

“Is he a wizard?” I asked curiously.

“Probably.” Lynn said. “We have the same dad, and well he’s a wizard. About the only thing I know about him.”

Before I could stop myself, I said, “What do you mean?”

Lynn looked at me, her eyes pouring with sadness. “He’s back with his other wife now.”

“Oh.” I said, feeling stupid for saying that. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright.” Lynn said, waving her hand to push an imaginary fly. “I hardly even knew him.”

“My mum left me too.” I said, looking at her with sorrow. “It’ll get better, don’t worry.”

“Do you have a brother?” Lynn asked, her eyes were so cute...they were hazel and shining with innocence.

“I have an older sister.” I said unimportantly. “We’re not close though.”

“Just like me and my brother.” Lynn said sadly. I tried to change the subject, searching for anything to say. I gave up and poured some soup for myself. We ate in silence together, but I think it helped that Lynn has someone to sit with.

The bell rung and I smiled at Lynn. “What class do you have next?” I asked.

“Charms.” Lynn said, frowning. “I’m not very good at it.”

“If you ever need help, just ask me then. I love Charms.” I said kindly. Lynn smiled at me.

“Thanks Lily.”

I walked to History of Magic, sitting next to the seat Gaby saved for me. She was staring blankly at the essay she had written during lunch.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. Gaby didn’t say anything. I turned around and saw that Henn and Grace had exchanged glances. Henn tried mouthing something, but I didn’t get it. Grace sighed impatiently and wrote on the corner of her essay.

Sirius broke up with Gaby.

Chapter 11: Chapter Eleven
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I glanced at Sirius who was walking through the door right now, talking animatedly to Patricia. Patricia laughed girlishly and sat in the back, patting the seat next to her. Sirius took it, grinning.

How dare he.

Grace and Henn were looking like they were fuming too, for they kept looking back and glaring at Black. I gave the paper back to Grace and tried to reason what happened.

That was sudden. And unexpected. Just like Sirius Black himself.

I had to think of something, he was going to pay. Gaby was now frowning, but she wasn’t crying. That had to be a good sign, right?

Professor Binns drawled on and on about some war, and for once I wasn’t taking notes. The bell finally rung and I stood up quickly, but Sirius was already out the door. I think he noticed that Henn had her arm raised with a book.

I turned to Gaby. “Listen, he’s a git. He doesn’t deserve you anyway, I mean he’s a player! A good for nothing -”

Gaby raised her hand to stop me. “I know Lily. Don’t worry, I’m okay.”

Okay? Hello...you just got dumped by a guy who’s been with you for eight months!

“Hey at least now you can go and get a hook up with us!” Henn suggested cheerfully. I raised an eyebrow at her. When had we hooked up with someone...? “It’ll have to be just you and me though.” Henn said, grinning at Grace and I. “Those two losers are occupied...”

Gaby laughed. I would have retort, but I thought against it. I still was going to kill Black though.

We arrived in Potions and took our seats. Professor Harrison was at his desk, crossing his arms as if inspecting criminals that were going to be testified. I didn’t like him, none of the Gryffindors did. It was the same on his side too, since he was the Head of the Slytherin House.

We had Potions with the Slytherins, which consisted of Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape, Bellatrix Black, and Rodolphus Lestrange. Bellatrix snickered as I walked inside, whispering something to Malfoy, who smirked. I ignored them heatedly.

“Continue with your Fire Protecting Potions.” Harrison drawled, pointing to the chalkboard that already had the steps. I got up from my seat to get some basilisk fangs for Henn and I.

Sirius was up at the counter too with Potter, laughing at something Potter had just said. I walked straighter and tapped Sirius on the shoulder, making the duo turn around. Potter blushed furiously at my sight, quickly taking the fang he needed and rushing over to his table. Sirius chuckled.

“Kind of funny how nervous you make him.” he said, grinning at me. I frowned and poked him in the chest.

“I want to know,” I began, my eyes narrowing dangerously. “Why you broke Gaby’s heart.”

Sirius frowned. “I didn’t break her heart. She’s fine.”

“Yeah. Right. You know what Sirius? Maybe to you eight months of a relationship is nothing, but to other people, who actually have feelings -”

“Sod off Evans.” he said, turning his back on me. I felt anger bubble inside of me.

“No.” I said firmly, stepping next to him and trying to catch his eye.

“Just leave it Evans. Just leave it.” Sirius said through gritted teeth.

“What’s wrong Black? Oh right, I should’ve known. Couldn’t stand going steady with just one girl could you? You’re a player, you know that?” I said, scrunching my nose in disgust.

“What’s it to you?” Sirius sneered.

“You’re so selfish, I can’t believe you.”

“And you should mind your own business.” Sirius said, frowning at me. “Did Gaby send you here as her little messenger?”

“Gaby didn’t send me here!”

“Evans, Black.” Harrison said coldly from behind us. “Get to work.”

I gave Sirius one last glare before returning to my seat. Henn was looking at me curiously. I was huffing and looking furious.

“Let’s just finish the potion.” I said irritably.


The only thing that cheered me up that day was Charms, which took my mind off of my anger. James was avoiding me, which I thought was rather odd. Was he really that embarrassed about the note?

Embarrassment wasn’t like James. The only time I saw him really embarrassed like he was now was when he had to kiss me in Truth or Dare. He wouldn’t talk to me for a week...he’d hide in his house.

It was really bugging me for some reason, and I thought it was rather my fault. Maybe I should go say that I didn’t think anything of it and that I actually thought it was pretty sweet.

Wait, what?

Erm...scratch that. I didn’t think it was sweet.

I walked quickly to catch up to him, who was practically sprinting out of the Great Hall after he was done with dinner.

“Hey Potter.” I said smoothly. Well that wasn’t that...er nice.

“Yeah?” he asked indignantly, still walking. I struggled to catch up with him.

“Listen.” I said. “About that whole note thing...I’m not disgusted with you or anything.”

“I know.” James said immediately. He bowed his head a little, not able to look me in the eyes...for once.

I knew that he was still feeling stupid. I wanted to make him feel better...for some odd reason. “What you said...well it was -”

“Stupid? Nauseating? Disgusting?” James suggested, furrowing his eyebrows. I scowled at him for interrupting.

“Actually it was pretty sweet.” I wanted to slap myself, but whatever. I tutted irritably and pulled on his arm, forcing him to stop. He looked at my arm, then at my eyes. I remembered what he said about my eyes...I didn’t know one guy could feel all of that just by looking at them. “So, was it true?”

“What was?” James asked blankly. I rolled my eyes.

“What you said about my eyes. Do you really find them...” I struggled, trying to remember the word he had used. “Captivating?”

James blushed slightly. “Erm...yes, I suppose.”

I felt my heart soften. “That’s really nice what you said. One day when you love a girl, she’ll be very lucky.”

James looked uneasily at me. “Would you find yourself lucky?”

I paused, thinking for a moment. “Yes, I would.”

His eyes brightened, then he smiled sadly at me. “Have you ever had something you wanted so badly, but couldn’t have?”

I knew he was only trying to pull a move on me, try to sweet talk me into dating him.

“Yes.” I said finally. “But you get over it.”

I never got over my mum, though.

I had to think of something to get him mad, to get him to his regular self. But maybe this was his regular self...? “Tell me Potter,” I asked, being rather snappy. “Why is it, that you could be so incredibly sweet in one minute, and arrogant at another?”

I was surprised that I was being so straight forward, and he seemed to be too.

“You think I’m sweet?” he asked, a little incredulously. Ha, see? James doesn’t fool me.

“Yes I believe I said that.”

James smiled slightly. “Oh.”

That smile was really cute...

Whoa. What was I doing?

“Did I ever tell you that you’re beautiful?”

Now it was my turn to blush. I nodded. “You didn’t mean it though.”

“Yes I did.” James said. “You’re very kissable too.”

“I am?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “I thought you said I sucked.”

“I lied.” James said, giving me a lopsided grin. “You’re a good kisser.”

“Hey James,” I said, remembering a sudden childhood moment. “Remember that time we played Truth or Dare with the neighborhood kids?”

James blushed slightly. No way, he still got embarrassed about that? I smiled.

“I try not to.” he said softly. He was being so different, so quiet, so cute, so sweet. I didn’t get it. Then I snapped back to reality. The old James would be back tomorrow.

“Well, I got to go now.” I said slowly. I walked down the hallway, James didn’t say anything. At the very end I glanced back. James was sitting against the wall now, smiling at me.


“Is there such a thing as love at first sight?” Gaby asked suddenly in the dorm at night, sitting on her bed as Grace braided her hair. Henn looked uncertainly at the ground, Grace frowned as she continued to braid.

“I don’t know.” I said slowly. I was thinking along the same lines too though.

“I do.” Gaby said firmly. “I know there is.”

“What is he’s a little kid though?” I asked doubtfully. Grace tied the ends of Gaby’s hair and raised an eyebrow at me. “Or she.” I added quickly.

Henn shrugged. “Maybe it was puppy love at first, then things started to change as he got older.” Henn said thoughtfully. “Or she.”

Grace hopped on my bed, her red hair bouncing about. “Is this about James?”

I blushed, as Henn and Gaby focused their attention on me too.

“Yes.” I admitted.

“You like him?” Gaby asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No.” I said, shaking my head. “But...maybe he really does have feelings for me?”

“Oh I don’t doubt that, Lily.” Henn said. “Never have.” Gaby and Grace nodded in agreement. Wait...so everyone knew this except me?

“At first I thought it was an act,” Grace said, shrugging. “But this has been going on for seven years.”

“No one would waste their time like that.” Henn said, laughing.

“Maybe it was a joke at first, but it obviously isn’t anymore.” Gaby said.

I dug my face into my pillow. I was so confused.

“Oh Lily!” Gaby said, coming over to my bed and putting a comforting hand on my shoulder. “It’s okay if you like James...”

I abruptly looked up. “What? Have you gone mad?”

Henn snickered. I glared at her. Grace yawned and crawled into her bed. “‘Night.” she said. I guess this was a signal to all of us, because everyone went to their separate beds, shooting ‘goodnights’ around the room. I closed my eyes and tried to push James out of my mind.

To my surprise, the week sped by quickly. I went outside everyday and practiced with Gaby. She kept on telling me not to worry, that I was really good. Pfft. Easy for her to say, she had made the team in her third year.

It was Friday, and my stomach kept jolting unpleasantly.

“Want me to come with you?” Henn asked, not having a problem at all in eating. I shook my head.

“You’ll do great.” Grace said encouragingly.

“Don’t worry.” Gaby said, smiling at me.

Does no one understand?

I glanced at James, who for some reason wasn’t sitting with the Love twins. He was sitting with Remus; Peter was sick and Sirius was talking to Patricia.

He didn’t seem worried at all. That’s what I hated about James. He was always confident, he knew that he’d get his goal. It annoyed me.

He was a prat for making the team in second year, he was a prat for taking all his O.W.L.s classes. He was a prat for being good in absolutely everything.

And that prat was going to be deciding if I would make the team or not.

Life’s not fair.

Gaby finished her food and looked helplessly at my nearly full plate. She tugged on my arm. “C’mon.”

Henn and Grace got up from their seats and hugged me, wishing me good luck. I forced a smile and followed Gaby out of the Great Hall, feeling Potter’s eyes on me.

We got to the broom shed, taking out two brooms. I had used Gaby’s Silverarrow 280, which was pretty good. But since Gaby had to participate in try outs, I had to use an old school broom. I looked disgustedly at it.

“You have to.” Gaby said, furrowing her eyebrows. “I told you to get your own at Diagon Alley.”

“Can’t I use yours?” I asked, practically pleading. Gaby sighed.

“I can’t always lend you a broom. Plus, it’ll impress if they see that you’re good on this thing.”

See? She doesn’t even say broomstick...

“Fine.” I snapped, snatching the old tattered broom. I marched into the field, kicking off. I wanted to groan. It was so slow...I couldn’t get into the team with this thing that the school called a broomstick.

“Hey Evans!” someone called from below. I rolled my eyes, swerving in the air (or trying to) and landing on the ground. I looked at Potter. “I see you showed up.”

Well duh. But whatever. “Yeah.” I said simply.

“You’ll make it, don’t worry.” he said, winking at me. I frowned.

“James, I don’t want to make the team because you favor me.” I said sternly.

“Calm down, Evans. You sound like Mcgongall.” he said, grinning at me. I rolled my eyes at him. “And who says I favor you? My Quidditch life is completely different from my love life.”

First off, I’m not in your love life. Second, does anyone even have a Quidditch life?

“James,” Gaby said, running up to us. “Cecilia and Patricia are here.”

I inwardly groaned. I knew that Cecilia was going to glare at me the whole time. Patricia grinned at me and walked over to me, making her sister narrow her eyes.

“Hey Lily. I didn’t know that you were trying out.” she said, glancing at my broom. “You have to use a school broom?”

“Yeah.” I said, trying to ignore Cecilia and the blush creeping on my cheeks. Patricia laughed.

“I had to use one too. My parents only bought me one once I made the team.” she said, smiling at me. “You have as much as chance as anyone, don’t worry.”

I smiled at her as James started to take control of things. “Padfoot, Patricia. Go get the supplies, will you?”

Sirius grinned lopsidedly and looked at Patricia. “Aye Aye, sir.” he said, saluting Potter. I saw Gaby roll her eyes. They walked towards the dressing room, chatting to one another.

More people started to show up. I saw Leah, talking to two sixth year girls and a fifth year boy that was also trying out. I felt like wincing as I saw that they were all using proper brooms.

“Don’t worry, you’ll do great.” Leah said to the girls, who were probably her friends. She looked over at me. “Oh, hey Lily!”

I tried to smile, but felt those horrible jolts in my stomach again.

Sirius and Patricia took quite a while, but came with a wooden crate, setting it in front of James.

“Okay.” James said, standing up straighter and facing the other people trying out and me. “As you know, there’s only one spot open, and it’s Chaser. We’re going to start off by passing the ball to each other, and then we’re going to split up into teams. Try to score as much as you can and just be confident. You’ll do fine.”

The two girls sighed, making me scrunch up my nose and Cecilia frown. The boy with dark hair looked rather bored though, as if he had nothing better to do.

“Alright.” James said, grinning. “Mount your brooms then. Sirius, Patricia, you won’t need the bludgers out right now. Cecilia, no snitch for now, okay?”

Cecilia nodded, mounting her broom. Gaby grinned at me before kicking off from the ground, followed my Leah and the rest of the students.

I went up to the air, feeling extremely nervous. What if I didn’t make the team? I had to.

“Just pass the ball.” James said loudly, so everyone could hear in the field. He was carrying the quaffle. He shot a sharp pass to Gaby, who caught it and automatically threw it to Cecilia. Cecilia threw it not as forcefully, to the boy, who passed it to one of the sixth year girls, who passed it to me.

I wanted to sigh in relief as I caught it, but held back. I threw it to the nearest person, who was Sirius, who grinned at me and threw it to Patricia.

Patricia smiled encouragingly at the other sixth year girl, signaling that she was going to throw it to her. The girl was turning rather pale, and I felt a nervous jolt in my stomach for her as she dropped it.

“It’s okay.” James said, smiling at her. Cecilia was trying hard not to giggle. I glared at her. Gaby had sped towards the ground, picking up the quaffle and rising back to the level everyone was at. The girl looked like she was close to tears.

We started to pass the quaffle again, which made me very nervous. I didn’t want to humiliate myself and drop it also. This went on for some ten more minutes.

“Okay.” James said. “Let’s play a fake game. Leah, get to your position. Sirius, go let out the bludgers, but no snitch. You’re going to play as a Chaser today Cece. Patricia, don’t forget to get your bat.”

Leah flew over to one of the goal posts, circling them to keep her busy. We were split into two small teams. I was with James, and the fifth year. Sirius was the beater on our team, stealing glances at Patricia, who was tying her blonde hair in a high ponytail. Gaby was on the other team, with the two girls and Cecilia. Leah was the keeper for both teams. James had a purple whistle around his neck.

“On the start of my whistle.” James said, putting his whistle to his mouth.

The whistle blew and Gaby passed the quaffle sharply to Cecilia. It was obvious that she was a Chaser. Cecilia passed it to one of the sixth year girls, who dropped it. Cecilia didn’t stop herself from groaning.

The girl broke into sobs, making Leah fly over to her and put a comforting arm around the girl’s shoulder.

The quaffle was caught by the fifth year, who was spinning it like a basketball. Hm, probably a muggleborn.

The sixth year girl ended up wanting to stop trying out and walking back to the castle. Gaby offered to walk her down, but the girl wanted to be alone. I felt immensely sorry for her.

The games started again. This time the fifth year passed the ball to James, who shot it at me. I barely caught it, speeding towards the goal but a bludger sped by, making me drop it. I stopped in the air, looking at Patricia with her bat. Cecilia cheered.

Luckily, the ball was caught by the dark-haired boy, who swerved his way through the players, and throwing it at one of the goal posts. Leah moved sharply and blocked it.

James gave the boy a thumbs up, which he ignored. Sirius flicked him off when he turned around.

The game was resumed in play. Leah threw the ball into the crowd, where the sixth year caught it, flying towards the goal post. I flew in front of her, trying to block her. She stopped abruptly and looked to the sides, before throwing it and missing horribly.

The girl cursed, flying to her position again. Leah threw the ball again, which I caught, this time looking to see if Patricia was throwing a bludger at me.

“Ha!” I said rather loudly as I scored a point. Leah frowned but quickly grinned as she glanced at me. Cecilia was glaring at me again.

The sky started to darken, and we still played. I scored two points already, which encouraged me even though James had scored four. Gaby was back in action, and had scored three points. The sixth year girl hadn’t scored, neither had Cecilia. The fifth year scored one, but was a ball hog.

James blew the whistle again, signaling everybody to come to the ground. He was smiling, looking as sweaty as his team.

“You all did great. Too bad Val had to leave earlier.” he began. I felt my heartbeat accelerate. This was it... “I wish that I could take you all for Chasers, but I can’t.” Gaby snorted, exchanging glances with me. She gave me an encouraging grin. Leah was next to her friend, for moral support. The fifth year was alone, crossing his arms and looking bored. James paused, looking at us and beaming. Sirius rolled his eyes.

“Drum roll please.” he said, grinning at me. I chuckled. James glanced at him, his lips curling.

“Evans, welcome to the team.”

Gaby immediately squealed, embracing me. The girl was frowning at her shoes, Leah was telling her that she’d make it next year. The boy checked his watch, looking only slightly disappointed as he made his way back to the castle. Patricia smiled at me and Cecilia looked furious.

“Captain’s pet.” Sirius whispered in my ear, before winking at me. I blushed as he carried the crate with Patricia.

Leah and her friend were walking up the path now, but she looked back and mouthed ‘good job’, so her friend wouldn’t notice. I grinned at her.


“I knew it!” Henn said excitedly, after all the hugging had been done. Kat was at our table too now, drinking some butterbeer that James had brought up for no apparent reason. I glanced at Val, stalking up the steps. I felt a little bad for her.

“Great job.” Grace said. Remus had his arm around her, reading something with her. I smiled as Leah sat next to me.

“Okay, Violet’s gone now.” Leah said, grinning at me. “Congrats Lily.”

I beamed as I glanced at James. He was talking to Patricia and Sirius.

“He broke up with Cecilia.” Gaby said, noticing that I was looking at him. I looked abruptly at her.

“He, what?” I asked incredulously.

“After try outs.” she said. “I heard him saying that it wasn’t working and other bull. That’s what he always does when he breaks up with someone, pretending to be nice and everything.”

Grace snickered. Then she started to chuckle. She burst out laughing, making even Remus look at her oddly.

“What?” Henn asked, raising her eyebrow. She was trying to ignore Kat, who was now laughing too, even though no one knew why.

“Do you notice why he did this?” Grace asked, grinning.

“No.” everyone said, blank looks on their faces. Grace pointed at me, and everyone burst out laughing again.

“Stop it!” I said, starting to blush.

“It’s pathetic, yet funny.” Leah said, her face flushed from laughing so much. “He must really like you.”

“He’s in love with her.” Henn said exasperatedly, stressing the word ‘love’.

“He is not.” I said, trying not to fly out of control and snap at everyone. “Don’t you see? I’m just one huge joke, and you guys think it’s funny.”

“We think it’s funny because it’s not a joke.” Gaby said, smirking. “It’s funny because James, one of the bachelors of Hogwarts, has it bad for you.”

Henn chuckled, and for a minute I thought everyone would burst out laughing again.

To make things worse, James came waltzing over at that exact moment, making everyone’s laughing barrier break. I blushed furiously as James looked questionably at me.

“Good night.” I said indignantly. I marched up the girls’ staircase, the laughs only fading when I closed the door shut.

Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve
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“What time is practice?”

Gaby sighed and closed her book shut for the millionth time. “I told you already. After dinner. Stop worrying already.”

“I can’t stop worrying.” I said anxiously. Gaby gave me an exasperated look

“You’ll do fine. You’re a great Chaser.” Gaby said consolingly.

“I am not.” I said stubbornly. “Why did Potter pick me anyway? I wasn’t nearly as good as that fifth year.”

“Marcus wasn’t much of a team player.” Gaby said, shrugging. “He was always hogging the quaffle most of the time.”

“Did Potter tell you this?” I asked.

“Yes.” Gaby said firmly. “Now shut up, I have to finish this.”

“That looks complicated.” I said.

“It is.” Gaby said, scribbling some notes on Artimacy.

“That’s why I took Divination.” I said, grinning. “All you have to do is pretend you see things in tea leaves and crystal balls. It’s kind of interesting though.”

“Ugh.” Gaby said in frustration. “It’s no use. I need to go find Grace.”

She got up, flattening her skirt and scrambling up the hill that we were hidden at the bottom. I sighed, grabbing a stone and throwing it at the water, making it skip across the surface.

I heard someone’s footsteps and turned around. A certain someone with messy black hair was hopping towards me. It was a funny sight, he was trying not to fall as he approached me.

My expression didn’t change though. I just turned around and started to throw rocks again.

“Hey.” he said casually. No answer. “Erm...nice day isn’t it?”

I tried hard not to snort. It wasn’t working. I suddenly remembered what Sirius had said to me. Kind of funny how nervous you make him. I didn’t think it was funny, I thought it was disturbing.

“So.” he said, puffing out his chest a little as he sat next to me. “Your welcome.”

It wasn’t the honest ‘your welcome’, it was the ‘hello-you’re-supposed-to-thank-me-for-something’ ‘your welcome’.

That’s why I snapped.

“What? Why should I be thanking you?”

James grinned at me. I hated it when he did that. I was supposed to annoy him when I snapped, instead he found it funny.

“I could’ve had a grudge against you. For you rejecting me for all these years...I could’ve not wanted you on the team.” he said, scooting closer to me.

“What?” I sputtered. “You mean, that I didn’t earn my spot?”

“Course you did.” Potter said matter of factly. “You’re good, you’re missing the point.”

“No I’m not.” I said indignantly, my nostrils flaring.

“You’re cute.” Potter said out of the blue. He started to lean in, I shoved him into a tree.

“Why are you here?” I asked, scowling at him.

“Why else?” Potter said, raising his eyebrow.

“Go away.”

He stayed quiet for a minute or so, and just as I was thinking this was too good to be true, he spoke up.

“Did you hear?” he asked softly.

“No.” I said automatically, without even thinking about it. I doubled back. “Uh, hear what?”

“About me and Cecilia.” he said simply.

I blushed, I don’t know why. I just nodded, trying to shield my red face.

“Do you know why I did it?” he asked, sitting next to me again.

“Because you got tired of her?” I sneered. “I’m kind of surprised that you lasted two weeks.”

James grinned at me. “Yeah, I don’t have a good reputation.”

I snorted, crossing my arms. “Pretty much.”

“Is that why you won’t go out with me?” he asked curiously. I turned my head to look at him. “Because, I break up with all those girls because I don’t like them.”

“It’s part of it.” I said crossly. “Who would want to go out with someone who doesn’t like them?”

“Many, I guess.” he said, shrugging. “But, I hope that you know, that with you it would be different.”

“Oh, would I last three weeks, James?” I asked sarcastically, battering my eyelashes falsely. “I’m honored.”

He stared at me, but it was with a soft expression. My icy stare seemed to be slowly melting.

“I told you already, I like you Lily.”

“Why are you here?” I snapped. I really wanted him to leave.

“The lake’s public.” James said, smirking. He threw another rock, it went farther than mine. He always had to be better than everyone else, didn’t he? He suddenly frowned, giving me a frustrated look. “Why won’t you just go out with me already? All you have to do is say ‘yes’, it’s so simple!” He was throwing his hands up in the air, as if trying to demonstrate his point.

“You know what? Maybe if you weren’t fat-headed, thinking you’re better than everyone else, and if you didn’t hex anybody for the heck of it,” I spat. “maybe I’d go out with you! Have you ever thought of that?”

“But I try so hard, Lily.” James said despairingly. “You have to give me some credit.”

“Credit? For what? What have you done that is worth crediting for?” I said, narrowing my eyes. “I bet you haven’t done one good thing for someone other than yourself your whole life.” I knew I was exaggerating, but I wanted to offend him real bad, so he’d leave. I felt a little guilty that I was being mean. A little.

“I don’t get you!” James said, throwing his hands up in the air again. “Why do I even like you? You think I’m mean? At least I don’t force everyone out of my life!”

“I don’t!” I exclaimed indignantly.

“What is it then? Do you just hate the human species?” James snarled.

“I’m not like you James! Don’t you get it? We’re so different! I can’t trust people like you do!” How dare he say that I force everyone out of my life...that git. I hated him. I. Hated. Him. James didn’t say anything, he just blinked. “It’ll never work James! We’re just too opposite!”

“You didn’t think so when we were younger.” James said, narrowing his eyes.

“Get out of my sight.” I hissed.

“You didn’t run away either. You do notice, that by telling me to get out of here, you’re just running away from the truth.”

“Truth? What the heck are you talking about?”

“That you’ve changed! And because of that we’re not friends anymore! Because of that you’ve created this huge barrier around yourself, so no one gets in.” Where did he get these ideas?

“It’s called growing up James.” I said venomously. “It’s about time you go through that too.”

“I have Lily. And it’s about time you noticed that.” he said with a finality in his tone. He got up and started to climb up the hill, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

I buried my face into my hands, struggling not to cry. How could he have me all figured out? It wasn’t fair...I didn’t know anything about him, and he already knew so much about me.

What was his problem? Why couldn’t he just leave me alone? I never wanted to see his face again.

But what did happen? All these times that I thought that the whole world was changing and leaving me behind...was it really the opposite? Maybe I was the one who changed, making everyone back away from me.

“What’s happened to you?”

“What do you mean?” I asked, looking into those hazel eyes that were always shining. James’s young face was pale, with his glasses on crooked. We were on my swing set.

“You don’t laugh anymore.” James said wisely. I sighed, feeling like I was years older than five. “C’mon Lils, it’s your birthday.”

“It doesn’t feel like it.” I said sadly. “I’m supposed to be happy, Jamesy.”

I looked at him, he seemed to be debating on something. His eyes met mine, and he swung his lips quickly to mine.

I widened my eyes, as he pulled away after only two seconds. He was blushing horribly, I probably looked the same. He got up and started running towards my gate.

“Wait! Jamesy!” I started to run after him, stopping at my gate. He was on the driveway, furrowing his eyebrows at me.

“Happy now?” he called hopefully.

“Yes.” I said quietly, watching his retrieving back
.

I opened my eyes, touching my lips. He had kissed me when I was five too. How come all these memories were coming back to me now?

I couldn’t hold it anymore, my eyes blinked, tears rolling down my cheeks. What had happened to me?

People were always trying to make me feel happy, to make me soar again...but it never worked. I never let them. I hugged my knees, feeling like the helpless little girl again. I didn’t want to grow up, I didn’t want to be seventeen, I wanted to be five again, at that very moment when James kissed me.


Weeks passed by, and soon we were nearing Halloween. Sirius had started to wear earmuffs that had furry orange pumpkins to celebrate Halloween, and since everyone usually did what Sirius and James did, it had become a trend in the hallways. Of course, most of them didn’t get away with it.

“Black, are you listening to me?” Mcgongall snapped, Sirius didn’t flinch, he didn’t even react. “Black!”

Students were starting to swivel around in their seats, trying to get a good glimpse of Black. It was mostly girls, finally finding an excuse to look at the guy without making it too obvious that they wanted him. They obviously didn’t care that he was wearing those ridiculous earmuffs. I was one of the girls, but not because of Sirius’s looks...it was always amusing to see him find some stupid excuse not to get into trouble.

Gaby continued to work on her parchment, although she kept scribbling some words out with annoyance. Professor Mcgongall marched to his desk, narrowing her eyes and snatching his earmuffs.

“Hey!” he said indignantly. “Professor, I’m cold!” Right, sure.

“Mr. Black! This is Transfiguration N.E.W.T. level! I expect my students to be taking this seriously!” Mcgongall exclaimed, obviously flustered. Usually, none of the teachers would snap at anyone. Of course they would get annoyed...but Sirius seemed to be the line that they had to cross. “It’s about time you and Mr. Potter grow up!”

I grimaced, not because of the way she was frustrated, but because that was the exact same thing I had said to Potter the other day. Indeed, James looked at me before objecting.

“Professor, I’m not doing anything!”

“I’m cold!”

“THAT’S IT!” Mcgongall bellowed. “Detention! Both of you!”

I tried hard not to snicker, or else I would get it too.

“Someone’s PMSing.” Grace muttered.

“Someone’s on menopause.” Henn said, making Gaby stuff her fists in her mouth so she wouldn’t break out giggling. It was too late though, Mcgongall had already heard her. Gaby quickly put her fists to the side.

Except, Mcgongall rounded on me.

“And you, Ms. Evans, will be joining them.” she snarled, striding to the front of the class again. I imagine that my look was just as amusing as Potter’s and Black’s.

“What? But--”

“Silence. I didn’t expect this from you Ms. Evans.” Mcgongall said, regaining her controlled and stern self. Expect what? I didn’t do anything!

“Erm, excuse me Professor...” Gaby said quietly, putting her hand up, probably justifying that it wasn’t my fault.

“You too Ms. Sanchez. Would you like a detention also?”

That shut Gaby up. I gaped at her in horror. People were starting to whisper, probably about me. I had never gotten a detention in my life, I never even lost House points for Gryffindor.

“How could she do that?” I burst out angrily after we were halfway down the hallway and class was over. “I didn’t do anything!”

“Calm down, Lily. Gaby already went to try and straighten things out.” Henn said reassuringly.

I was so mad! And to make things worse Potter and Black come running to catch up with me, each putting an arm around my shoulder.

“Would’ve thought? Evans joining us in detention!” Sirius said, grinning at me. My temper was rising, I’d probably explode any moment now.

“Careful Black, she looks pretty mad already.”

“You’re not going to break down, are you Evans? It’s okay, it’s just one detention, it probably won’t even go on your spotless record since you’re such a good kid.”

“Shut it.” I snarled, trying to shove them off.

“Sod off.” Grace snapped, they ignored her. Remus was looking uneasily at them.

“Not going to cry, are you?” Sirius said, turning to the small crowd that was listen to them. James gave him a warning look, taking his arm off of me. “Evans is going to cry, everyone!”

“Sirius,” James said, trying to give him a warning sign. My anger was boiling up inside of me. I wasn’t crying!

“SHUT UP!”

Sirius looked rather taken aback, and backed away just in case I was going to slap him. James was staring at me in shock, he probably never saw me blow up before. I hardly do. Gaby was back now, widening her eyes. Soon she narrowed her eyes, glaring at Black and shoving past him.

I quickly turned the other direction, into an empty hallway. I heard Remus back there saying disgustedly, “Nice one, you two.”

Thankfully, no one followed me. I went straight up to the Gryffindor tower, sick of everyone. I was mad at the world right now. It wasn’t the detention, it wasn’t Sirius, it was just me keeping everything inside of me for too long. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I blew up on Sirius.

I was sick of them being immature. I hated them. I hated everyone right now!

I was so absorbed in my own thoughts that I jumped in surprise as I saw James in the common room.

“I thought that you’d come here.” James said matter of factly. I stared at him. How could he have the nerve to try and find me? “Listen, I’m sorry. I was just playing around, and Sirius took it too far.”

“That’s all you ever do isn’t it?” I said, noticing that I had been crying in the hall. Great, now he’d think I was a weakling that couldn’t even handle a detention. I wasn’t crying because of the detention though, did no one see that?! “Just play around.”

James moved from behind the couch, extending a hand out to me. I looked at it, then at him. For some reason, I took it.

He led me to the couch, making me sit next to him. He didn’t let go of my hand, I didn’t think much of it though.

“I’m sorry.” he repeated, looking down. I shook my head, wiping my face with my sleeve.

“It’s not you, or him.” I said, sounding immensely sad. How could I let this happen? No one has ever seen me cry in public since I was a little kid.

“What is it then?” he asked, lifting my chin up. I felt myself melting again, so I looked down.

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

I chuckled sadly. “You wouldn’t understand James.” I repeated. “Your life’s perfect.”

“Looks can be deceiving.” James said softly. I looked up. What was he trying to say? That he had problems too?

“You kissed me once on my birthday.” I said suddenly. I wanted to share that memory with him, to see if I was going insane, or if it really did happen. “Do you remember?”

“Of course I do.” he said, grinning at me. “I did it because you felt sad.”

“Yeah.” I said, nodding. My mom had left only about a week earlier.

“It was the day you got that,” he said, furrowing his eyebrows and pointing at my necklace. I looked down at the golden necklace. He was right...my grandma had stopped by and given it to me on my fifth birthday. How could he remember that? Not even I remembered that.

I laughed. “You know too much.” I said, smiling at him. He stared at me. “What?”

“You don’t laugh anymore.” he said. Now it was my turn to stare at him. Had he said that without thinking, or did he say it just to show me that he remembered? History was repeating itself...I was sad, James had come to comfort me. The only thing that was missing was the...

He closed the space between us, and I kissed him softly.

Chapter 13: Chapter Thirteen
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His lips slowly brushed mine, as I closed my eyes. It was a strange kiss, I didn’t want to pull away. It was caring and loving...and for some reason it wasn’t like Zach’s.

He pulled away for a minute, I felt his breath against my lips.

“Lily...” he whispered. His voice seemed to make me snap back to reality, and I backed away. I was staring at him in horror.

“Stop doing that.” I said, starting to panic. “I mean it.”

His cheeks flushed, and he looked at the ground. I felt a burning desire to go and wrap my arms around him again. I shook my head furiously. What was happening to me?

“I have to go.” I said, slapping my hand onto my forehead. “I’m sorry.”

I was at the foot of the staircase, I was almost there...I’d be safe soon.

“Lily,” James called out softly. I froze, turning around slowly. He had a sad look to his face. “I wish we were friends again.”

So I ran up the stairs, going to the dorm and shutting the door. I was breathing rapidly, up against the door.

“Me too, Jamesy.”



“I’m sorry, Lily.” Gaby said immediately as I sat next to her the next morning. “I tried telling Mcgongall! Then she goes all bitchy on me and says,” Gaby put her hands on her hips, imitating Mcgongall’s frowning face. “‘Ms. Sanchez, I’ve about had enough of this. It’s perfectly unacceptable to try and take the blame from Ms. Evans.’” Gaby paused, giving up on the Mcgongall impression. “And I told her, ‘But Professor! Lily hates James.’ And then she goes, ‘Well then I’ll be sure to put those two together! Now LEAVE!’”

Gaby inhaled quickly, since she had been speaking so rapidly.

“It’s okay.” I said dully. “I’ll just go to Mcgongall, defeated mind you, and get my detention.” Okay, so I was being a tad dramatic.

Gaby bit her lip, I looked at her in exasperation. “It’s okay, Gaby. It’s only a detention after all.”

Henn cleared her throat. “On brighter news...Guess what, Lily?”

“What?” I asked, not bothering to sound enthusiastic. Henn didn’t seem to notice.

“Let me tell!” Gaby exclaimed indignantly. She turned to me, grinning. “You know that cute Hufflepuff boy named Jack?” I blinked. “You know, curly blonde hair...sixth year, great body...”

“Uh huh.”

“I’m going out with him.”

I jerked out of my boringness.

“What?” I asked abruptly. Gaby grinned at me. “When did this happen? Who asked who? Details, please!”

“After dinner, he asked me, and we’re going to Hogsmeade together.” Gaby said happily, eating some eggs.

“That’s great, congratulations.” I said, smiling.

“I’m the only one single now,” Henn whined.

“It’s better to be single,” Grace said grumpily, sitting across from me and looking irritated.

“And why is that?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“I got in a fight with Remus.” Grace sighed. “He won’t tell me why he was gone that other night...I thought that maybe after a while he’d tell me, but he’s too stubborn.”

“It must be personal.” Gaby said.

“I’m his girlfriend though.” Grace said, furrowing her eyebrows. “I mean, shouldn’t I know what’s going on?”

No one tried to argue.

The bell rang and I got up from my seat, flattening my skirt. I heard someone call my name.

“Ms. Evans!”

I tried hard not to groan and forced a smile. Maybe if I sucked up, she would let me off the hook? “Hello Professor.”

I heard someone snicker, and I immediately knew that it was Sirius. I tried my best to ignore him.

“Careful Padfoot, you don’t want Evans to snap again.” I heard James say. I knew he was being sarcastic, which made me even angrier. He had been so sweet last night...he was such a fake.

“Your detention will be to scrub the Great Hall tonight. Meet me here right after dinner.” she said, frowning. I didn’t bother to ask if I was serving it with Potter, I knew already.

“Yes.” I said dully. She brushed past me briskly, and I took a deep breath.


“So, your detention’s tonight?” Henn asked me at dinner. I nodded grimly.

“I have to scrub the floors of the Hall without magic and with Potter...so try not to make much of a mess.”

They looked at me pitifully, and I frowned, not wanting to eat. What was bugging me the most was Potter’s mixed personalities.

Dinner ended rather quickly in my opinion, and soon the only three that were left were Mcgongall, Potter, and me. This was going to be a long night. Especially with the odd chills that kept on creeping up my spines.

“Okay,” Mcgongall said. “I’ll check on you two around midnight.” I tried not to gasp. I had to stay with him until midnight? No one deserved this. With a flick of her wand, buckets full of water, sponges, and mops surrounded us. I watched her retrieving back in horror.

“Better get going.” Potter said, shrugging. He whipped out his wand, which made me raise an eyebrow.

“She said no magic.” I reminded him.

“She did, didn’t she?” Potter said, grinning at me. I rolled my eyes at him. “Ow!”

I glanced at him unimportantly. His hand was turning to a slow shade of purple, and his hand was swelling up. The wand was on the floor, laid forgotton. I watched as he jumped up and down, clutching his hand.

“Ow, ow ow.” James said repeatedly. “That--” (James described Mcgongall with a few unpleasant words) “put a charm on these things!”

I chuckled, bending down and soaking a yellow sponge into the soapy water. I sighed and looked all around...it couldn’t be possible that students could make such a mess...I knew that I’d be much more careful with eating once I was finished with this detention. The four House tables were luckily pushed aside to the walls, which made it easier for us to work. I tied my hair up in a high ponytail and started to scrub.

“Are you going to ignore me the whole time we’re here?” James asked suddenly after about an hour of scrubbing, washing, and cleaning. I glanced at him, his hand was still slightly purple. He was on the floor, supporting his weight with an elbow as he laid lazily on the ground, his robe laying forgotton a few feet away, and his shirt clinging to him because of soap and water. I tried to look at his face and not his chest. I could tell that he was trying to make it look like he didn’t care if I was ignoring him.

So I didn’t say anything, turning around and bending over again, trying to scrub away a nasty tomato sauce mark.

“Lily,” James whined, crawling towards me. “C’mon.” Er, why was he calling me Lily?

What was he doing? We weren’t best friends, we weren’t buddies, we weren’t even acquaintances. And he comes waltzing up to me, acting like we’re all cool, like nothing whatsoever happened. He was either completely underestimating the situation or I was taking this too seriously.

... Ahem. Right.

I brushed some strands of my hair impatiently behind my ear, but it wasn’t working. I grunted and sat up straight on my knees, retying my hair. I jumped as I heard breathing in my left ear.

“ARGH!” I shrieked, hitting my shoulder into James’s chin by accident and knocking over a bucket of water in the process. The water spilled all over the place, soaking my socks, shoes, and skirt. As if I wasn’t wet enough.

“James!” I sputtered, looking at my messy state and paying no notice that he was on the floor, clutching his chin and grimacing. “Look what you did!”

“I didn’t do that!” James said indignantly. “You’re the one who practically murdered my beautiful face—” I snorted. “And spilled all the water!”

“I hope that leaves a bruise.” I said nastily.

“And I hope that your skirt will cling to you and show your underwear.” James said at first angrily, then breaking into a grin. I scowled at him and marched up to him, handing him a mop.

I’m going to get more water, and I better see this floor half bloody clean when I come back!” I said angrily.

“Relax Lily,” he began, grinning at me. “I’m sure that she charmed these buckets too, you know, to refill themselves.”

We stared at the metal bucket for a few seconds. I glared at him. “Sure.”

I strode out the door, carrying the bucket indignantly. I stopped as I entered the entrance hall. Everything was so dark...and creepy. I shivered. In all these years, I’ve never been into Hogwarts at dark.

I took a tiny step towards the staircase, then hurried back into the Great Hall’s light.

“Erm, James—” I said, trying not to sound desperate. James looked up at me, his sleeves rolled up from trying to prevent himself in getting more wet. “The thing is...I erm don’t remember how to get there...” I trailed off, noticing how lame of an excuse that was.

“It’s in the Transfiguration department Lily. You know...by our classroom.” James said, raising an eyebrow at me. I bit my lip.

“The thing is, the castle looks...rather different when it’s yeah. Dark...” I felt myself flush, and tried to ignore it. James grinned lopsided at me.

“You’re scared aren’t you?”

“No.” I said immediately. I tutted, as if it was a stupid idea. “Why would I be scared?”

“Because the castle’s dark, scary, and creepy, unless there’s a prince charming who’s going to accompany you.”

“Right.” I said, clucking my tongue. “Will you tell me then when one of those comes along?”

“Okay.” James said, grinning at me. “I guess you can go by yourself then.”

He turned his back to me, humming tunelessly as if I wasn’t there. Argh that git...

“Fine!” I said, stomping my foot. “I’m scared, now will you please come with me?”

James immediately got up from his spot on the floor, taking my arm and leading me into the entrance hall.

“You have no idea how satisfying it is to hear you beg,” James began. “...for me.”

“I wasn’t begging for you, it was for your company. And I wasn’t begging!” I said indignantly. James raised an eyebrow at me, then looked at my robes that were still on me.

“Why don’t you take your robe off?” James asked with concern. “You’re going to get sick.”

“No I won’t.” I said impatiently.

“Lily, I don’t want to take you to the Hospital Wing.”

“Potter, sod off.”

“Just take it off already!”

“No!”

We had stopped, glaring at each other in the middle of the hallway. “My shirt’s white, remember?” I said through gritted teeth. Potter looked at me for a minute, then started to chuckle.

“You think I’m going to look?” he asked humourously.

“Unless you suddenly confess that you’re gay.” I said grumpily.

“I won’t look,” he said, holding out his hand. “I promise.”

“I don’t trust promises.” I said, shivering and starting to walk again. Potter put his warm arm around me.

“Seriously Lily, you’re going to get sick. I won’t promise then...how about a handshake?”

“A handshake?” I repeated incredulously. James nodded. Well it was dark, and I was getting cold. So I took it off, folding it underneath my crossed arms. “I don’t need to shake on it.”

James grinned at me, pulling me closer to his body. If I wasn’t freezing, I’d object.

“Here we are.” James said, knocking on Mcgongall’s office. “Professor, it’s us.”

“What?” she spat, opening the door. “You two can’t possibly be finished.”

“We need more water.” I said, outstretching my arm and showing her the empty bucket. She scowled and filled it up again with a flick of her wand.

“It’s charmed now.” she said impatiently. “Now go.”

“Grumpy, I reckon.” James muttered as we took off, trying to hurry.

“C’mon James, I want to finish soon.” I said, tugging on his arm and running down the hallway. He caught my arm, forcing me to stop. “What?”

“Want to use a drying charm?” he asked. I felt like hitting myself on the head. Why didn’t I think of that before?

“Okay.” I said. “Once we get in there.”

We walked into the Great Hall’s light, and I crossed my arms tightly across my chest so he couldn’t see anything. I took my wand from the floor and started to force steam out of the wand’s tip, drying my uniform very slowly.

I started to scrub again, and so did James. We didn’t talk much, since we both wanted to get done as soon as possible. Scrub, scrub...This was so tedious.

“You going to Hogsmeade?” he asked.

“When is it?” I replied, unconcernedly.

“I don’t know...I think tomorrow or something.”

“Dunno, probably.” I said, shrugging as I dried an area I had washed with a cloth.

“Do you want to...” he began, I spun around, raising an eyebrow at him.

“I’m going with Zach.” I said softly. James flushed, looking down.

“Right.” he murmured. I couldn’t help but feel slightly sorry for him.

“Hey maybe you could go with Cecilia.”

“Nah, she hates me.” James said, grinning at me. I smiled.

“Patricia?”

“She only snogs with Sirius now.” James chuckled. I laughed.

“Are they going out now?” I asked curiously.

“I guess...”

Silence. Right...

I cleared my throat. “Erm, we better get this done.”


“Yes!” James said, throwing an arm into the air as he whopped. “Finally!”

“Shh!” I said, laughing hysterically. We had finally finished, at two thirty in the morning cleaning the damn Hall. “You’re going to wake everyone up.”

James shrugged, grinning at me. I chuckled nervously and picked up the buckets, putting them up against the wall next to the sponges and mops.

“Ready to go?” I asked, wiping my forehead with my sleeve. I was soaking wet again, so it didn’t make much of a difference. I noticed that he was looking at my chest and scowled. “Stop it.” I snapped.

James blushed, taking my arm and extinguishing the floating candles before walking out with me.

“Want to go outside?” James asked suddenly as he stopped me on the foot of the marble staircase.

“Now?” I asked incredulously. “We’re going to get caught.”

“Yeah, right.” James said, grinning at me. “Not when you’re with the famous James Potter.”

“I think that makes matters worse for me.”

“Ah c’mon Evans.” James said, winking at me. “You know you want to.”

“I bet it’s freezing outside.” I said, trying to argue my point.

“I’ll warm you up if it is.” James said, although it didn’t seem like it would matter how warm or cold it was.

“No.” I said firmly, trying to turn away.

“Evans, I’m warning you.” James said, obviously thinking he was being serious.

“What are you going to do?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.

“I’ll kiss you.”

I blushed furiously. He got me. “Fine.” I murmured.

“Man.” James said, dragging me outside. “I was kinda of hoping you’d say no.”

“Shut up.” I said, shoving him playfully. James grinned and shivered. It was windy outside.

“See? It’s cold.” I said in a I-told-you-so voice.

He tugged on my arm, as I tried to wipe the hair off of my face with one hand.

“You know, for someone who doesn’t want me to get sick, you’re not doing a great job.” I said, giving him a rare and true smile. He grinned at me, putting his arm around my shoulders. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, but didn’t want to snap on him in one of those weird moments that I was happy. “Erm…James.”

“Oh, sorry.” he said immediately, although he didn’t seem sorry at all. He still had his arm around me, so I shoved it off, wrapping my wet robes around me and shivering.

“I can’t believe that it’s three in the morning, and I’m taking a walk outside with James Potter.” I said, shaking my head. I couldn’t help but feel that I had sunken my moral slightly.

“Don’t complain Evans, millions would have killed to be in your position right now.” he said, grinning. I rolled my eyes and scowled. Why couldn’t he be mature for just one minute? Still, I didn’t leave. We reached the lake and he sat down on the grass, me following. We stared out at the glassy lake, where tonight there was no moon’s reflection. Tonight was actually very murky, dark gray clouds were hovering in the sky, covering the stars. Even so, there was a strange beauty to it all.

“It looks like it’s going to rain.” I noted, looking straight up at the sky. James glanced up too.

“Yeah, maybe.” he said, shrugging it off. He was always so easy going…how could he be like this? How could he not have a single care in the world? “Are you still scared of thunderstorms?” he asked suddenly.

I felt my face flush, remembering all the times that I had to run into my house every time there was lightning or thunder. Of course, that was when I was little. Although things still didn’t exactly change. Rain, I love. But thunderstorms…I shuddered at the thought.

“Of course not.” I lied. James raised an eyebrow at me, as if he could see through my stubbornness and into my fear. Just to get him back, I thought of something he was scared of before too. “Do you still have dreams about wolves?” I teased, wiggling my eyebrows. He didn’t flush though, the reaction I wanted and expected. He just grinned, something he always did now.

“Yeah, except now I pet the wolves, and don‘t run away. I’m not afraid of them now.” he said, with a touch of pride in his voice.

“You’re not?” I asked incredulously. Was this James Potter, the kid who left his light on when going to sleep because he was afraid of some monstrous creature that could possibly tear his limbs apart? “How? You used to be terrified.”

“I guess he’s my friend now.” James said, shrugging. He widened his eyes for a moment, then quickly added, “I mean they’re my friends now. In my dream, I mean.”

“Right.” I said, frowning at him in suspicion. Suddenly, the sky flashed bright and I shrieked before I could slow down my reaction.

“Ha!” James said triumphantly. “I knew it.”

I scowled at him, covering my heart which was beating rapidly with my hand. A few seconds later, I heard thunder. I couldn’t take it anymore, I started to whimper and cover my ears.

From the corner of my eyes I saw James’s look soften, and I knew he didn’t expect my reaction. He scooted closer and put his arm around me, pulling me towards his side.

“It’s okay.” he said soothingly. Just as he said this, another lightning appeared and the sky started to pour raindrops heavily. “It’s okay to be scared.” he said into my ear. I inwardly scowled. I hated it when people figured me out. No one knew that I was scared of thunderstorms, not even the girls in my dorm. I would just cover my ears and try to steady my breathing under my pillow.

I heard another thunder and started to shiver. James held me up from under my arms and lead me towards the castle.

“We better get inside.” he said. I looked at him, and if I wasn’t so scared, I’d laugh, His hair was wet and matted down to his forehead, and his glasses were foggy, full of vapor that had been caused by his hot breathing. His clothes were sticking to him and I tried not to stare, as he set me down on the stairs. I knew I couldn’t look much better either. I watched him wipe his glasses onto his shirt, making it clear for him to see again. He yawned, stretching his arms.

“I’m tired too.” I said, as if I was replying to a remark.

“Let’s go to sleep then.” he said, pulling on my arm and trying to heave me up the stairs. We reached the Fat Lady portrait, but she was sleeping. James prodded her awake. She jerked awake and scowled at him.

“What are you two doing out here?” she snapped. “It’s three thirty in the morning for Merlin’s sake. You two should be ashamed of yourselves…doing these things in Hogwarts is just not acceptable.”

I gaped at her in horror as I noticed what she thought James and I were doing. James chuckled and said, “Mimblewimble.” The portrait swung open, as I heard her mumble something about raging hormones.

“I can’t believe she thought that!” I sputtered unbelievably.

“It’s my reputation.” James said, shrugging. I rolled my eyes at him. “Are you going to be alright?”

“Yeah.” I said, starting up the stairs. I stopped in mid step and turned to look at him. “Thanks, by the way.”

“No problem.” he said quietly, smiling slightly at me. I smiled back and hurried up the stairs, shuddering as I heard another thunder.

I opened the dormitory’s door and instantly heard steady breathing coming from all directions of the room. I closed the door softly, trying not to make noise, and proceeded in changing my wet clothes, which were clinging to me uncomfortably.

James was a mystery to me now. I was sure that if he was sweet and gentle all the time, I would fall for him like all the other girls in the school. But it wasn’t like that. James cared too much about what other people thought of him, even though it didn’t seem like it. He pranked people, he made fun of the Slytherins, and scared all the first years to death because he felt like he had to. He was scared to act sweet, he was scared what people would think of him.

I laid in my bed, covering my head instantly with a blanket and trying to ignore the thunder.

“Oh James,” I whispered more to myself than to him. “If you weren’t so scared I might have liked you.”

Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
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I woke up the next day, feeling like I didn’t sleep at all. I heard someone humming to herself, and I separated my curtains. I looked grumpily at Henn, who was bouncing at around the room full of energy, and envied her for her good night’s sleep.

“Hogsmeade trip today.” Henn said, turning around and grinning at me once she saw that I was awake. “I can’t wait, can you?”

“Henn, it’s bloody six in the morning.” I said, after glaring at the clock above the door.

“I know.” Henn said, sitting near the vanity and tying her hair into a high ponytail. “How was detention yesterday?”

I yawned, stretching my arms and thinking about it. “Actually, it wasn’t that bad.”

Henn raised an eyebrow at me. “I thought you had a detention with Potter.”

“I did.”

Henn gave me a skeptical look. “Oh.” she said thoughtfully. “Want to go and get some breakfast?”

I turned to look at Gaby and Grace, who’s four posters were still tightly sealed around their beds. I wished that I was sleeping too.

“Okay.” I said, dragging my feet off my bed and stalking off to the bathroom. Henn came skipping after me, taking a good look at my face.

“You look horrible.” she noted.

“Gee, thanks.”

“What time did you get out of your detention last night?” she asked, applying some makeup on.

“Three in the morning.” I said, rolling my eyes at the thought of Mcgongall. I decided not to mention that I was actually let out at two thirty.

“Ack.” Henn said, scrunching her nose up. I nodded in agreement, while brushing my teeth. I looked at my reflection, I really did look horrible. My eyelids were drooping with dark circles underlining them, my red hair was flat and lifeless on my head, and my face was very pale. Henn looked at me tentatively before speaking up. “You know, you should go and get some sleep.”

“I can’t once I wake up.” I said, tying my hair into two braids and washing my face.

Henn shrugged, not arguing any further on this point. I walked out of the bathroom and put on my ugly maroon jumper with some decent looking pants, looking myself in the mirror. Well, there was little improvement, I guess.

“Let’s go.” Henn said happily, hopping down the stairs. She was so ecstatic today, sometimes I wondered how we were friends. She was always happy, and cheery, while I was depressing and rather quiet.

The Great Hall was practically deserted, and to my dismay, dirty again. There were two Slytherins, conversing in low voices at their table, a few Gryffindors chatting animatedly at our table, and apparently, no Hufflepuffs were early morning birds, because none were eating breakfast yet. And at the Ravenclaw table there was...

Hm, interesting. Now, what was Zach doing sitting with Aaron Smith?

Aaron Smith was one of those few guys who matched James’s and Sirius’s popularity. I often heard Sirius badmouthing him about how he won a fight over some girl that Sirius would get over in a day, how more people wanted to be his partner in classes sometimes, or if Aaron’s party had more people than Sirius’s. Smith was also one of those few that weren’t afraid of the Marauders, something I had to admire. Okay, I’ll admit, Aaron is very, (emphasis on ‘very’) good looking. He has outrageously charming blonde hair, that fell onto his rather tan face and gorgeous ocean green eyes. I would say that he had the best eyes in the whole school. He was pretty muscular, with a gold earring in his left earlobe. Aaron also seemed nice, something that James and Sirius usually weren’t. Naturally, he was surrounded my his friends and some girls, who were fluttering their eyelashes and giggling way too much for my liking.

I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Zach sitting with Aaron. I just thought it was strange. I mean, since he was new and all, he usually sat alone, or with me. I caught his eye and he smiled at me, waving me over. I walked nervously over there, followed by Henn. I never was too social, and I always had a problem meeting new people. As we walked over there, Aaron turned around and smiled at us.

“Hey.” Zach said to me, grinning his awfully gorgeous smile.

“Hey.” I replied, glancing at Aaron.

“Lily, this is Aaron. Aaron, Lily. And this is Henn, Lily’s friend.” I smiled as he said this, but he just kept on naming everyone else. “And this is Ralph, (he pointed to a rather snotty looking boy with dark brown hair and who was eyeing Henn, who seemed oblivious) Crystal, (this girl had bright round blue eyes with straight brown hair) Jeremy, (this guy had dread locks and dark skin and grinned at me) and this is Natalie.” The last girl also looked stuck up, with short and swishy brown hair and was extremely skinny. I forced another smile.

“Want to eat with us?” Aaron asked. I nodded and sat next to Zach, while Henn sat across from me next to Ralph. Ralph still was looking at Henn, and I had a feeling that it made me more uncomfortable than her. “So, you’re all going to Hogsmeade, right?”

I waited until someone responded, but then I noticed he was talking to Henn and I.

“Er...yeah.” I said, shifting uncomfortably.

“But are you going with anyone?” Ralph interrupted, not even bothering to smile at Henn when he asked this.

“Dunno.” Henn said, shrugging. She seemed more interesting in gulping down her eggs than giving Ralph the tiniest of a glance. He seemed to notice this, because he ran his hand through his hair frustratingly. I saw that Jeremy and Crystal weren’t paying much attention to us, they were talking amongst themselves and smiling pleasantly at each other.

I felt Zach’s fingers intertwine with mine, and I struggled not to pull away. He never really did that in public, and somehow I felt like he was just trying to prove himself to his new group of friends. I noticed that I was constantly looking at the clock, wanting Gaby or Grace to hurry down as an excuse for me to leave.

Gaby and Grace didn’t come down for a while, but James and Sirius did. I quickly turned away as he noticed who I was sitting with today.

I tried to pay attention to Zach, who was now talking to Aaron about Quidditch. They were both fanatics, I noticed. I heard Aaron mention something about hitting someone with a bludger last year at Ravenclaw’s final match, so I was assuming that he was a beater.

“So Evans,” Aaron said, grinning at me. “I heard that you’re the new Chaser on the Gryffindor team. You any good?”

He was kidding, but I didn’t know what to say. Oh yeah, I’m great. Then I’d sound stuck up. Not really. I think I got in with luck. Then he wouldn’t see me as a threat the next game.

“Er, I’m okay, I guess.” I said finally, shrugging. Aaron nodded.

“Who else tried out?” Aaron asked. I knew he could careless, and was just trying to be nice and start a conversation. I hated it when people did that...I felt like they were sorry for me or something.

“I don’t remember.” I said. Wow, I must have sounded real interesting. Even Henn was looking at me questionably. She knew that I didn’t have bad memory. Ralph was still looking at her, unnoticed because of Henn’s intense hunger. I tried hard not to roll my eyes.

Finally, I saw Gaby come in, and I felt relieved. I finally had an excuse to leave this table.

“I have to go.” I said, interrupting Crystal unintentionally. “Nice meeting you.”

I hopped out of my seat, rushing out to meet Gaby who was for some reason, proceeding towards the Hufflepuff table. Henn jumped out of her seat too, waving to Aaron’s friends, and following me.

I soon found out why Gaby was sitting with the Hufflepuffs today. She was chatting and giggling with Jack, her date to Hogsmeade.

“Hey Gaby.” I said, hopping in a seat across from her. Henn slid next to me. Gaby forced a smile.

“Hello Lily, hello Henn.” she said. She obviously didn’t want us there, but whatever. She’d have to deal with it. Henn seemed to be in oblivion again, since she once again had food in front of her.

“So, who are you?” Henn asked, gulping down her food, and pointing rather rudely at Jack. I snorted. I knew that she knew perfectly well that who the cute boy in front of her was, but she felt like annoying Gaby. Gaby scowled.

“This is Jack.” Gaby said, forcing some sweetness into her voice. Jack smiled politely back. Henn gave me a smug smile and swallowed her food again, perching her chin onto her fingers.

“You know what? You’re cute.” Henn said, pretending to flirt with Gaby’s date. Gaby glared daggers at her, while poor Jack flushed deeply.

“Stop it, Henn!” Gaby exclaimed incredulously.

“Yeah Henn, stop harassing minors.” I said, trying hard not to snicker. Jack was still blushing, but had a shy smile on his face as he looked at the ground.

“That’s it. Go. Now.” Gaby demanded, pointing to the Gryffindor table. I got up, watching Henn gulp down some orange juice before getting up also. We both shot flirtatious looks at Jack before leaving, making Gaby look very pissed indeed.

Henn snorted, finally sitting at our table across from Kat, Leah, and that kid who was trying out for Chaser also, named Marcus.

“Hey.” I said, pouring myself some pumpkin juice.

“Hey.” Leah said, closing the book she had been reading. Marcus immediately took it and started to read. “You guys going to Hogsmeade?”

“Yep.” I said. “You?”

“We’re all going.” Kat said, motioning to Leah and Marcus also. I noticed that Marcus was rather quiet, he kinda of reminded me of Remus, actually. He kept to himself also.

I watched as everyone ate until finally we all walked into the Great Hall, making our way towards Filch who was looking at our permission slips to enter Hogsmeade. A crowd of third years were looking quite nervous under Filch’s glare. I got in line behind Kat, hearing a voice behind me.

“Hey Lily!” Zach said, walking toward me. I smiled at him and felt relieved that Aaron and his friends weren’t there.

“Hey Zach.”

From the corner of my eye I saw Leah eye him, giving me her approval. I tried hard not to laugh.

“This place is pretty cool.” Zach said, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he saw Hogsmeade for the first time. I raised an eyebrow at him. Pretty cool? No doubt Aaron’s influence. “So, where do you want to go first?”

“How about Honeydukes?” I suggested. When Zach continued to look blank, I added, “It’s the candy store.”

“Oh, sure.” he said, as I tugged on his arm and lead him to Honeydukes. The little bell on the top of the door rung as we walked inside, looking around.

I was in the middle of trying a strange looking Bertie Botts that was yellowish green, when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Oh, hey Lydia.” I said, turning around and grimacing at what seemed to be ripe banana flavor in my bean. She must have thought I was grimacing at her, because she looked alarmed. Zach was looking at me with an ‘oh great, not her again’ expression.

“Is this a bad time?” she said hurriedly. “Because if it is I could leave -”

I waved a hand impatiently and she immediately fell quiet. “No, it’s not you.” I said. “What do you need?”

“Well,” she said, smiling smugly. “Remember that conversation we had a month or so ago?”

“Erm, yes.” I said, although not recalling at all.

“Well, you told me that Lynn was a real nice girl and everything, and she needed a friend.”

“Oh, that’s really nice Lydia, I’m glad that you’ve become her friend.” I said, smiling.

“What?” she asked blankly. Slowly, it dawned on her. “Ooh, no you got it all wrong. I’m not Lynn’s friend.”

I blinked. “Oh.”

“I just wanted to figure out why that girl’s so screwed up.” Lydia said, shrugging. “You see, I think that if we could just turn this girl normal, that she’ll be able to be social and have a whole new flock of friends.”

“Normal?” I repeated, raising my eyebrows. “Lynn is normal.”

“Anyway,” Lydia continued, as if she hadn’t heard me. “I asked a few people around in the Ravenclaw house, and I’ve figured it out.”

“Figured...what out?” I asked, scowling.

“Lynn’s mother died a short while ago.” Lydia said informatively, as if she was reporting to me as some secret spy. I gaped at her.

“What?” I sputtered. “Lynn’s mother died?” Lydia nodded, and I suddenly hated her. How could she act so cool about this all? This was a huge deal. I was even madder at the Ravenclaw house, gossiping about Lynn’s private and horrific life.

I looked at Zach, who was looking at the ground and not saying anything respectfully. I turned to Lydia again.

“When did this happen?”

Lydia shrugged. “I think just before this school year, actually. I don’t know how I didn’t recognize this before, it was all over the newspapers.”

“That poor girl.” I muttered, not noticing that they could here me. My head shot up, then I turned to Zach. “I have to go find her. Is it okay if I meet you at Three Broomsticks at three?”

Zach nodded, and Lydia looked incredulously at me. That is, before I turned on my heel and left.

I don’t know why it was so important for me to go and find her, but I found myself running up the grand staircase anyway. Then, it struck me how stupid I had been. This school was huge, how would I know where to look?

Okay, think Lily. Where would you be if you were not allowed to go to Hogsmeade, and it was a Saturday?

I thought of going outside, since it was pretty nice out and I saw a few clusters of younger students out by the lake on my way from Hogsmeade, but I knew that Lynn was like me, and I wasn’t social.

So I went to the most probable place I could think of. I found her in the library, sitting alone in a secluded corner, her head bowed to a book.

“Hey.” I whispered, practically gasping since I was running around the school. Lynn’s head shot up, and she returned my smile, although it was rather weak. I noticed that she hastily shut the book she had been reading.

“Hey Lily.” she said. I bit my lip, not sure what I should say. I wasn’t about to go : ‘hey, I heard about your mom, and I’m wondering if you’re okay.’ Of course she wasn’t okay.

“So, how are you?” I asked, ignoring the little edge in my mind that was telling myself to hug her and never let her go.

Lynn shrugged. “Hailey and her friends aren’t bugging me anymore.”

I didn’t know who she was talking about at first, but then I remembered four bratty girls that were torturing Lynn the day that I was eating lunch with her.

“That’s good.” I said, nodding. Lynn shrugged again. “Are you doing your homework?”

“Yeah.” Lynn said. Silence. “Why aren’t you at Hogsmeade?”

“Oh.” I said, trying to think of a quick lie. “Er, well you know, I got bored, so I headed back.” Which was half true.

“Is your sister nice?” she asked suddenly, crossing her arms in a professional manner as if I was at a job interview.

“Not really.” I said, chuckling. “She used to be, though.”

“What happened?” Lynn asked, frowning.

“My mum left.” I said simply, making Lynn’s expression soften. “My whole family changed when she did. Then, to make things worse, Petunia found out I was a witch.”

“What’s wrong with being a witch?” Lynn asked indignantly. I laughed slightly, although I felt hollow inside. Like every time that I thought about my family falling apart.

“Nothing at all.” I replied. “Petunia just doesn’t like things out of the ordinary. She doesn’t like change.” And neither do I.

“I have to go.” Lynn said quietly. I nodded. I knew how sometimes you just wanted to be left alone. She picked up her books carefully, cradling them in her arms.

“Take care, Lynn.” I said softly.

“Take care, Lily.” she said, walking out the library.


When I got back to Hogsmeade, I saw Zach in Three Broomsticks. He obviously got good directions. Unfortunately, he was with Aaron, Crystal, and Jeremy. I noticed that Natalie and Ralph were no where to be seen. For a moment I thought of turning back, and giving some stupid excuse to Zach. But he saw me, waved me over, and I had no choice.

“Hey.” I said, forcing a smile and sitting next to Zach. All the guys there was drinking fire whiskey, which made me rather uncomfortable.

“Do you want something to drink, Lily?” Crystal asked politely, she was sipping on the remainder of the water in her cup.

“Um, sure. I’ll go get it.” I said, getting up from my seat and going over the counter where Madame Rosemerta was sitting. “Hey, can I have a butterbeer please?”

“Sure thing Lily.” Rosemerta said, smiling as she filled a mug with butterbeer. I felt someone sit on the stool next to me, and I ignored it.

“Two fire whiskeys, Rosemerta m’dear.” said the deep voice beside me. I inwardly groaned.

“Now, James,” Rosemerta said, turning around and handing me my butterbeer. I hastily took out the money out of my pocket. “Don’t you think you and Sirius are a little too young for a fire whiskey?”

“Not at all ma’am.” James replied, grinning at me. I rolled my eyes. “Just turned seventeen in August.”

Rosemerta raised her eyebrows. “Is that so?”

“Yep.” James said, giving her a charming grin. I snorted. As if Rosemerta, a pretty woman in her twenties, would accept on going on a date with James. James was probably seen as a child in her eyes.

“Thanks.” I said, as she gave me my change and started to fill two mugs of fire whiskey for James.

“See you later Evans.” he said, glancing at me before I left. I ignored him and sat in my seat next to Zach again.

“So, Lily,” Crystal said, her blue eyes shining as she grinned at me. Today her hair was curled and put in a high ponytail, a few curly strands in her face. “Did you get your dressrobes yet?”

“Robes?” I repeated, blankly. Crystal gaped at me.

“You haven’t?” she asked. “You don’t have anything for the Graduation Ball yet?”

The Graduation Ball. Oh yeah...I had already started organizing it.

“Isn’t that at the end of the year?” I asked, raising my eyebrow. Crystal shrugged.

“I got mine with my parents last summer. Really, Lily, you should get yours soon or all the good ones will be taken.” she said, looking at me as if I didn’t hurry, I’d be wearing a rag for the Ball if I didn’t hurry. “So, what color do you plan on wearing?”

“Crystal, I don’t Lily’s into these kind of things.” Aaron said, chuckling. For some reason I was offended, then I realized that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t a rich, pretty girl who probably was spoiled and lived in a manor and had tons and tons of beautiful dress robes.

“To be honest, I haven’t thought about it.” I said, a little quietly. Crystal nodded.

“Well, do you want to check out the store after lunch?” Crystal suggested.

“Sure.” I said, although I already had used the majority of my money at Honeydukes. I wanted to prove to everyone, especially Zach, that I could be social and girly and dressy when I wanted to be.


“I was thinking that you should get a green dress.” Crystal said thoughtfully, as we walked down the cobbled streets of Hogsmeade, clutching our cloaks around our shoulders. “You know, to match your eyes. I’m so jealous of you, you have gorgeous eyes.”

I felt myself blush slightly, but couldn’t help but feel proud. If there was one thing that I liked about myself, it was my eyes. Probably because my grandma had the same colored ones.

“You have pretty eyes too.” I said, mostly to be nice.

“Yeah right.” Crystal said, tutting but smiling at me. “Mine are so boring, just blue.”

Her eyes were beautiful, and looked pretty with her hair, but I decided to just let the conversation die there.

“I’m so glad that they have a Giovanna’s here.” Crystal said, as we entered the store. I tried hard not to grimace. Giovanna’s had expensive written all over it.

“Did you get your dress here?” I asked, but Crystal didn’t hear me, since she was shrieking at a girl who was looking at herself in the mirror.

“Natalie! That dress looks great on you.” Crystal said admirably as we walked over to the snotty looking blonde I had met earlier. Natalie didn’t say anything, she just raised her eyebrow at me, as if asking ‘Why are you here?’

The dress Natalie had on was a baby blue one, that looked rather odd on her complexion, in my opinion. I guess everything was great to Crystal.

“I’m here to help Lily find a set of dress robes.” Crystal explained. Natalie nodded, returning her attention to the mirror once again. “Anyway, Lily come on, I think I know a dress that will look stunning on you.”

I followed her to the front rack, as she pulled out a silky magenta dress that had thin straps and a layer of translucent material lying over it. The money in my pocket could’ve screamed and ran out of the store, once it saw the dress and its price tag.

“It’s pretty.” I said finally. Crystal beamed.

“Okay, go try it on.” she said, stuffing the dress into my hands. I walked towards a dressing room, when a plump lady came running out to meet me.

“Can I help you?” she said, in an Italian accent. I gave her a weak smile.

“No thank you.” I said, then closed the curtain on her.

Once I was done changing, I looked in the mirror. Ack. It was definitely one of those things that looked better on the mannequins and clothes racks.

“Hm,” Crystal said, once she saw me. I could tell she was trying to think of something nice to say. “Well, it gives you a good figure, but I think the color clashes too much with your hair.”

After about two horribly tedious hours of trying on clothes that came from Crystal’s never ending enthusiasm, we finally got out of Giovanna’s, accompanied by Natalie, who was holding several bags. Crystal was also carrying a bag, of the magenta dress that didn’t look good on me but apparently looked great on her.

I had tried turquoise ones, (“No, I don’t think so.” said Giovanna, shaking her head in dismay.) every possible shade of red imaginable, (“Well,” Crystal said anxiously, pulling my hair up. “Maybe if we tie up your hair like this...”) and even a set of horrible yellow ones that I didn’t even bother to come out in.

Now, Crystal and Natalie were chatting animatedly about their dress robes, and that horrible feeling that I had been feeling since the moment I walked into Three Broomsticks sunk in again. I did not belong with them, and I don’t even know why I bothered to come with Crystal to an expensive store that I knew I didn’t have enough money for.

Was I trying to fit in? Looks like. Or maybe I just thought that I wasn’t good enough for Zach. More likely.

What was with him anyway? Why did he need new friends? And why did he just have to pick Aaron Smith, one of the most popular guys in the school? It was like hanging out with a nicer version of James. All guys were the same, I supposed.


“So,” Henn asked once I finally sat down next to her to eat dinner in the Great Hall. “How was your day?”

“Lousy,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I hardly spent anytime with Zach.”

“Oh?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. “Who were you with then?”

“With Crystal and Natalie.” I said nonchantly, starting to pile some ham and rice onto my plate.

“Come again?”

“You know, those two girls Zach was hanging with at breakfast today.” I said, waving my fork impatiently and making pieces of meat fly into a poor second year’s face.

“Ooh.” Henn said, comprehension riding over her face. “And why were you with them?” Henn asked, furrowing her eyebrows.

“Can you believe they were already shopping for their Graduation robes?” I said incredulously. “It’s at the end of the year! So Crystal drags me off to this place called Giovanna’s or Greta’s or something, and we spend hours looking for something decent but not totally expensive for me to wear, and it ends up that I’m the only one who doesn’t come out with a shopping bag when I was the person we were looking for a dress in the first place. What kind of girl already has her dressrobes for the Graduation Ball?”

I was speaking very fast, and I noticed as I said the last part, Henn seemed to stop chewing and blink at me. I slowly started to work my mind and I was horrified as I remembered that Henn had money and a good family who loved her. She probably had gotten her dressrobes in the summer as a ‘bonding experience’ with her mother. I wanted to grip my hair out.

“I’m sorry Henn.” I said apologetically. “I’m just really mad, that’s all. It has nothing to do with you, and it’s okay if you already have a dress.”

“I know.” Henn said, finally swallowing her food. “It’s okay though, you don’t need to apologize. I understand.”

I could feel myself shrink in my moral and wanted to tape my mouth shut. I am such an idiot.

“Hey.” Grace said as she sat next to me. “Lily, I haven’t seen you all day.”

“I was with Zach.” I said, not wanting to explain how my day went just in case Grace had already gotten her dress too.

“I see.” Grace said, nodding. “Well, my day was pretty stupid. Remus got mad at me, so I left him and hung out with Gaby for a while. Except Gaby was being disgustingly flirtatious, and when I finally found Henn I only had about an hour left in Hogsmeade.”

“Why did Remus get mad at you?” I asked. Grace shrugged.

“He’s been uptight lately. Oh and here.” she said, taking some sweets out of her purse. “Happy Halloween.”

“Halloween’s tomorrow.” Henn reminded her.

“I know.” Grace said, as I immediately took a chocolate frog and took a bite. “But I thought that this might cheer us up after such a shitty day.”

Henn nodded in agreement, and soon took Grace’s Halloween present. “Wanna haf a hurls’ niht?” Henn asked, with her mouth full.

“Uh, what?” I asked, rasing an eyebrow. Henn swallowed her chocolate completely before speaking again.

“Want to have a girls’ night?” Henn asked, this time more clearly.

“Sounds good.” Grace said. “No boys, though. I mean it. I need a break.”

“I think we all do.” I said, looking at Zach, who was laughing with Aaron and Crystal.


The girl’s night was a disaster. Gaby, who came to the dorm at two in the morning, laughing and giggling about Jack, sat down accidently on top of the popcorn that I had conjured and started to chat away about her date.

“I thought this was supposed to be a girls’ night.” Henn murmured in my ear.

“Are you drunk?” I asked incredulously. Gaby gaped at me. I knew she wasn’t, but for some reason I felt jealous that she had a great day, when I didn’t. Why did she have to be so pretty, anyway? Gaby, the Venezuelan girl with her long brown hair and eyes, earning some glaces as she walked down the hall. I wanted to hit myself for being so unfair.

“I’m not drunk.” she said, frowning at me. “What’s your problem anyway?” she said, talking to all us now. “I had a great time, and I was so happy about sharing it with you guys, and you all just blow me off.”

“We don’t have a problem, we’re really just so thrilled about your minor date Gaby, really.” I said, sarcasm dripping in my voice. Gaby rounded on me, scowling. But before she could say or do anything else, the door opened and Cecilia walked in, wearing her usual night partying revealing clothes. She raised an eyebrow at Gaby, who was scattered in popcorn, to Henn who had chocolate frog wrappers around her feet, and to Grace and I, who were wearing rollers in our hair and a beauty mask just for the fun of it. Naturally, she walked right back out and closed the door behind her.

“I’m leaving too.” Gaby huffed, standing up and following Cecilia down the hall. Henn yawned and walked over to her bed, closing the four poster.

“I’m calling it a night.” she said, through the curtains. Grace nodded, going to the bathroom with me and trying to take off the green mask that looked absolutely ridiculous on us.

I looked hard in the mirror, at my pale face, the curlers in my vivid red hair, my nose that I thought was way too pointy for my liking, and the big shirt that was my father’s. And all of a sudden, everything sunk in, I was unhappy, and I could do nothing about it.

“‘Night Grace.” I said, pulling my curlers out viciously and crawling into my bed. I closed my eyes, trying to stop the tears that were bound to come out soon. I didn’t know why this wave of sadness came over me, and I didn’t know why I wanted to cry so bad. But I was especially confused and didn’t know why I wanted James to be there to hold me.


The next day I woke up with candy scattered around me, with little pumpkin confetti in my hair and on my comforter. I opened my four poster and raised my eyebrow at Grace, who was wearing the same bewildered expression as me from her open four poster.

“Did you do this?” Grace asked. I smirked.

“Yeah, right.” I said, digging something under my pillow and throwing a bag of bertie botts at her. “Happy Halloween, by the way.”

“Same to you.” Grace said nonchantly. The bathroom door opened and Henn came out, towel in her hair and a light pink bathrobe. She grinned at us.

“Did you like it?” she asked, hopping on Grace’s bed and looking at the sweets.

“You gave us all this candy?” I asked incredulously. Henn shook her head.

“Sorry, I love you guys and all, but I met this really cute Hogsmeade villager yesterday and forgot to buy candy.” she said, taking a chocolate frog from Grace without permission.

“And where exactly did you get all this confetti?” Grace asked, motioning to her pillow.

“I found it on the Three Broomsticks’ tables last year and stuffed it in my purse.” Henn said nonchantly. I snickered as Grace looked at her in horror.

“Honestly Henn, those tables are so dirty!” Grace exclaimed indignantly. Henn shrugged.

“So, I’m guessing Gaby is the one who probably wasted two weeks of allowance on all these sweets.” I said, jumping off of my bed and shaking the confetti off of me.

It was a day full of sunshine, I noticed as we walked down to the common room, sunlight streaming through the windows.

I paused in my way towards the portrait hole when I heard someone yelling just outside the Fat Lady’s portrait. I listened in horror; it was definitely James. He kept on screaming the same words over and over again, having someone laugh in the background, probably Sirius.

The portrait swung open and James’s voice came out more clearly :

“Lily Evans, love of my life, go out with me you know you want to!”

Ah. I wanted to die.

James came tumbling out of the hole, Sirius scrambling after him and laughing heartily. Yes, they were definitely drunk.

James finally rose up, staggering towards me and putting an arm around me. I heard him whisper in my ear, “Lily, I’ve been wanting to talk to you.”

Henn was laughing so hard that she was supporting herself on the wall, while Grace’s lip kept twitching as if she was thinking if this was funny or nauseating.

“Lily! Hey Lily!” Sirius said, straightening his clothes as he grinned stupidly at me. “Guess what James said, Lily! He wants you to bear his children.”

I felt my cheeks flush as I saw Sirius act like a little kid. He walked over to Grace and gave her a big slurp sounding kiss on her cheek.

“I always thought you were hot you know,” he slurred, putting his arm around Grace who was now scowling. “Yep. Always jealous of old Moony.”

James, was slurring his words against my ear, and I instantly knew that he had too many fire whiskeys last night. Sirius looked at us and said in what he obviously thought was a serious voice, “Be careful Evans, he just told me that he wanted to make love to you.”

“Sirius, stop being an idiot.” Grace snapped, finally shoving him away and making him sit on a couch.

“C’mon.” I mumbled, putting my arm around his waist and trying to support his weight as I walked slowly up the boys’ staircase. “You need to go to sleep.”

“Beware, Evans! Don’t say that I didn’t warn you. Prongs could be vicious when he hic! wants to be.” Sirius said, hiccuping. He turned to Grace. “Will you carry me up to my room too?”

“No.” Grace said disgustedly.

It was slow progress, but finally we were in James’s dorm, and I was trying to make him lay on the bed.

“You are so damn frustrating sometimes.” I muttered, shoving him so he’d stay still. “I bet you didn’t even sleep yet.”

James grinned stupidly at me, and I knew I was right. His grin slid off his face, and he took a deep breath.

“Lily, I love you.” he said earnestly.

“No, you don’t James.” I said, fluffing his pillow. “You’re drunk.”

“No.” James said, sitting up. “I’ve loved you ever since we were four.”

“Okay, James.” I said, getting up from his bed and going to the bathroom, where boxers were scattered disgustedly on the floor. I hopped around them, grabbing a shirt that was lying around and putting it under the sink. I came back and wiped the sweat off his forehead.

“Do you love me?” he said suddenly, not taking his eyes away from mine. I felt my stomach drop.

“James,” I said warningly.

“No, do you?” he pressed on. I sighed.

“No.” I said finally. I noticed that one of the hardest things you could do to somebody was say that you didn’t love them. James’s face fell, and he laid back against the wall. “C’mon James, quit acting like a baby.”

“I’m not.” James said quietly. I sighed again.

“James, we both know that you don’t love me. You’re drunk, you’ll probably have a hangover and won’t even remember anything by tomorrow.”

James shook his head. “You’re wrong, Lily. I can’t possibly forget about this.” he said solemnly. “The first time my heart’s been broken. Let’s toast for you, shall we?” He made a motion of his hand as if he was holding a glass. “To Lily Evans, the girl who finally got to James Potter.”

I stared at him, not believing my ears. What was he doing? He was exposing himself, that’s what. “James, I don’t have to love you.” I snapped. James looked at me, his face quite expressionless.

“You’re wrong, Lily.” he said, shaking his head. “Because we were meant to love each other. Don’t you feel it?”

“Feel, what?” I asked, looking at him suspiciously.

“That the world is spinning, that I want to get close to you and never let go. You...don’t feel...anything?” he asked faintly.

I did. I wanted to wrap my arms around him, feeling his heart beat, but I’d never allow myself to. I sighed and turned to leave the room.

“Just wait, Lily.” he said, calling after me. “I’ll break through your ice some day.”

Let’s hope so, James.

Chapter 15: Chapter Fifteen
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Quidditch practices started to become more frequent, since the first match of the season was coming up. Every time I thought about it my stomach crumpled and I felt nervous. I would start to breath fast, or drop the quaffle. Gaby, who we were not annoyed at anymore, kept on telling me not to worry about it. Hmpf, easy for her to say.

Practices were also very awkward. Of course, James was captain, and I avoided him as much as possible. If I wanted to practice I’d ask Leah or Gaby, and I was always the last to reach the field. Several times I thought of quitting.

But there was no turning back now. The match was today and I felt that intense rumbling in my stomach. I wasn’t sure if it was hunger or anxiety.

“You’ll do great.” Henn said, patting my shoulder as I left the Great Hall from a hardly eaten breakfast. “I’ve seen you practice, you’re a natural.”

This lightened me up a little, but I felt like crying when Kat came and told me that I looked like I was going to be sick.

The dressing room seemed very small at the moment, and I felt my breath quicken as I barely heard James’s voice, telling us that we were ready. We walked out into the field, and a crowd of gold and scarlet cheered us on. I mounted the school broom and followed Gaby and James into the air. Gaby gave me a thumbs up as I went to my position.

“First match of the season, folks! Yep, I could see the tension between the captains already.” said the voice of Charon Lane, who was commenting on the match.

Madame Hooch flew through the air with her broomstick, finally blowing the whistle after the captains shook hands. I felt my fingers quiver as Gaby threw me the quaffle, which I barely caught.

Immediately I saw a Slytherin chaser coming at me, and I started to panic. I threw the quaffle back at Gaby, which hit her in the nose. She shrieked but still caught the ball, rubbing her raw nose. I gave her an apologetic look and she sped through the field as far as she could go, then throwing it to James.

James, being James, threw the quaffle at the Slytherin goal posts, which passed the keeper and scored. Of course, everyone cheered.

“10-0, to Gryffindor!” Charon said enthusiastically through the big, purple microphone. “Scored by James Potter, Gryffindor’s captain...”

Slytherin started with the quaffle, and I sped after the chaser, trying to elbow him to get the quaffle. He gave me a cheeky grin and flew in front of me with his faster broom, going towards Leah who had a concentrating face on. He throws. She catches. Ha.

“Whoo-hoo, go Leah!” Gaby cheered, from the other side of the stadium. I chuckled. Leah smiled modestly and threw the quaffle back to the game, being caught by James.

I glanced above me and saw that Cecilia was circling around the stadium, the Slytherin seeker on the other side. They both looked very concentrated, shielding their eyes from the sun as they looked below them for the snitch.

“Lily! Watch ouuuuuuuuuut!” Gaby yelled. I turned around and saw a bludger coming speeding towards me. Uh-oh.

Just as I was wondering how funny everyone would think it was that the new chaser got a broken nose on their first match, Sirius came swerving in front of me, hitting the bludger back to Slytherin with extreme force of his bat. Gryffindor cheered.

“Looks like the new chaser is out of that one!” Charon said cheerfully. I inwardly groaned for her not calling me Evans.

“Pay attention next time, Evans.” Sirius muttered to me, but he was smirking in a playful way.

There was some cheers from the Slytherins’ section, many green and white banners being waved around by students. I groaned; a boy which I recognized from my Charms class had just scored on Leah.

“1-1 mates! Haven’s point made it a tie...”

James passed me the quaffle which he had stolen from the other team, and I flew through the stadium towards the Slytherin Keeper. I ignored the calls from James in his captain voice that was saying : “Evans! Pass the damn ball!”

I shot it. I missed. I heard cackles coming from the two opposing beaters. Gaby was looking at me pitifully.

“Er, nice try.” Charon said through the microphone, to no one in particular. I wanted to throw the quaffle at her.

Soon the score was 20-30, we were losing, but not by much. Cecilia had spotted the snitch twice, but the first time a bludger came flying towards her, and the second she just lost sight of it. I was apparently not the only player who was frustrated.

“Another goal, to Slytherin. 20-40.” Charon said, except this time not as enthusiastically.

Gaby was in possession of the quaffle right now, and she spectacularly dodged a bludger and sped towards the goal posts. Almost there...

“Will you look at that, folks! Sanchez is truly playing well right now, already dodged a couple of bludgers, actually. And...what the?” Charon’s statement made everyone’s head turn to Gaby, who was just elbowed by Bellatrix Black, who was sniggering. “Foul! Not fair Madame Hooch!”

We got a foul shot, and luckily, Gaby made it even though she was clutching her side afterward. She gave me a thumbs up, signaling that she was okay.

“Quaffle in possession of Slytherin now!” Charon exclaimed. “Black is speeding towards the Gryffindor Keeper now. Yep, we can see her dangling in the air, preparing for defense now. Oh! Look!”

Charon pointed toward the sky, where Cecilia and Kayler, the Slytherin seeker, were speeding towards the sky, reaching out their hands for a glint of gold. I held my breath.

C’mon...

“Love catches the snitch! No, not Patricia, Cecilia. Excellent game, folks. Gryffindor wins!”

“Whoooo!” Leah said, thrusting her arm into the air as Gaby shrieked and flew over to me to give me a midair hug.

“Great job, Lily.” Gaby said to my shoulder. I didn’t know what she was talking about, I didn’t even score.


“Good job team.” James said in the dressing room, as everyone sat on the bench and looked up at him. “Chasers, great teamwork. Nice defense Leah. Cecilia, great catch, and Sirius and Patricia...you two broke a nose and an arm today.”

Everyone grinned and laughed as he said this...except me. James drank the rest of his water and wiped his forehead with his sleeve.

“Party in the common room?”

“Yes!” Sirius said, grinning. Cecilia and Patricia giggled.

We headed up to the Gryffindor tower, but I didn’t go to the party, I went to sleep.


It was starting to snow. I knew that there was a horrible storm last night, but I didn’t know there was snow involved. I drew myself away from the window, where there was about three feet of snow...no joke. It was a truly beautiful sight...it was like a winter wonderland, as corny as it sounds.

“Finally!” Grace exclaimed as she too jumped out of her bed and looked out the window. “It’s nearly Christmas and it only started to really snow last night.”

Patricia, who suddenly walked out of the bathroom and tying her hair up, smiled at us and said, “Did you guys see it? It’s gorgeous outside.”

“Yep.” I said. “It is.”

“So,” Patricia said, bending over her trunk and rummaging for a sweater to put over her uniform. “Where are you guys going for break?”

Grace raised an eyebrow at me, as if asking ‘Why is she being so nice to me?’ I was kind of wondering myself, since Patricia did want Remus before.

“I’m going to my sister’s.” Grace said finally. Hilda, Grace’s older twenty three year old sister, lived in London and worked in St. Mundgo’s Hospital as a Healer. “My parents decided to go on a second honeymoon, so I didn’t want to go home.”

Patricia laughed, and again, Grace gave me a suspicious look. “That’s nice. How about you, Lily?”

“I’m spending Christmas with my parents and my sister.” I said, shrugging. “Nothing special. You?”

“Oh, Cecilia and I are going with our family to Sweden.” Patricia said, smiling. “I can’t wait.”

“Sweden?” Grace asked, furrowing her eyebrows. “Maybe you’ll see Henn there.”

“Maybe.” Patricia said, putting a green sweater over her head. “Well, I’ll see you later then.”

“You know,” Grace said, after Patricia closed the door behind her. “I always thought that Patricia was bitchy like her sister.”

“Yeah, me too.” I said, shrugging. I pulled my buttoned shirt over my head and put on the gray skirt that flowed just below my knees.

“C’mon.” Grace said, going down to the common room where I saw James sitting on the couch, once again writing something. He was so concentrated that he probably wouldn’t have noticed us if Grace hadn’t said, “Hey Potter.”

His head flicked up, and he hastily folded the parchment and tucked it in his pocket. He immediately regained his charm. “Ah, how are you ladies?”

“Fine, how about you young sir?” Grace teased him. He jumped over the couch and walked over to us, putting his arm around my shoulders.

“I like your hair like that.” he said, absentmindedly touching my hair. I slapped his hand away and unconsciously touched my high and wavy ponytail. “So, Evans. Are you going home for Christmas?”

“Yes.” I said, taking my poetry book out.

“Excellent, me too.” Great.

I noticed that Grace was looking at me peculiarly, and I was horrified to know that James’s arm was still around me. I shoved it away nastily. He didn’t seem to notice. Actually, he put his hand on the back of my neck instead, massaging my skin with his thumb.

What was he doing? He was acting like we were a couple or something. I walked out of his reach and sat at the Gryffindor table, next to Henn.

“Did you guys see the snow?” Henn said excitedly. I nodded as someone tapped me on the back.

“Hey Lily.” Zach said as I turned around. As I looked at him, I couldn’t help but notice that he never put his hand on my neck like James just did.

“Hey.” I said nonchantly. It was weird, because I had been avoiding him ever since he started hanging out with Aaron. Zach seemed to be steadily changing, going to more parties and drinking more than usual when we were on a date. “You going anywhere for Christmas?”

“Just staying around here.” Zach said, shrugging. “Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Sure.” I said, getting out of my seat and following him out into a classroom off of the entrance hall. I felt awkward, since it was the room that James had kissed me on the day I arrived at Hogwarts this year.

“Listen,” Zach said earnestly. “I think...that we’re better off as friends.”

It took me a moment for that to hit me in the chest, making me want to fly backward.

“What?” I said blankly, although I knew perfectly well what he meant.

“I don’t think we should see each other anymore.” he said, looking at the ground and sighing. “It’s that, I don’t think this is working out.”

What? Was he too good for me now? Did he find another girlfriend? Did Aaron talk him into doing this? I felt my heart beating fast, and I wanted so badly to smack him right there.

I felt tears welling up in my eyes but I didn’t allow them to flow. I could never cry for a boy, it just wasn’t right, and I couldn’t let it happen.

“Lil...” he said, moving toward me and reaching his hand over to my arm. I moved out of his reach, he stared at me. He took a deep breath, starting over. “Well, I have to go. Friends?”

Who the hell did he think he was? Friends, yeah right. But I didn’t answer, I remained silent, staring at his hand that was reached out as a signal that I had forgiven him. I would never forgive him. Ever.

Zach finally dropped his hand, giving me one last look before turning on his heel and leaving the room. I felt my heart pounding, and I closed my eyes, slapping my hand onto my forehead as it sunk it deeper. Zach had broken up with me, he didn’t want me anymore.

It hurt too much. I couldn’t handle people running away from me anymore.

I ran up the marble staircase, not wanting to go to class today. I quickened my pace and ran for my life until I reached the Fat Lady.

“Mimblewimble.” I gasped, and she looked at me suspiciously.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at breakfast?”

My mind pondered, thinking of a lie. “I...forgot something. Something very important.”

She raised an eyebrow at me, then sighed. “Very well.” And the portrait swung open.

How could he do this to me? I thought desperately, falling down onto the sofa and gripping my hair. I wanted to laugh so badly, to prove to everyone that I was alright, that nothing happened, that Zach meant nothing to me.

But of course he meant something to me! He was my first real boyfriend. He seemed perfect...until he met Aaron. Yes, this was all Aaron’s fault. For some reason I felt better in blaming someone for our breakup.

“Argh!” I groaned, letting my head lay back onto the back of the sofa. I hated Zach. I hated everyone.

Especially that person who walked out of the portrait hole right now.

“Lily, are you here?” James said, looking around and spotting me in front of the fireplace. He looked confused. “Lily?”

“I’m fine.” I said, as if he asked me if I was okay. “I just forgot something.”

James raised his eyebrow at me, then sat next to me, in my opinion, too close. We were silent for a while, but my mind pondered wildly why he was still here.

“Did you find it?” he asked finally, looking into the fire.

“No.” I said slowly. “And I don’t think I ever will.”

I felt James’s arm around my neck again, and he gently rested his chin above my head.

“Maybe you’re not looking hard enough.” he said quietly.


The next day I was packing for the carriages that would take me to the Hogwarts express in about an hour. One of the tiny flaws in my perseverance to perfection was the fact that I always packed late. Since it was only for two weeks, I only had a small bag that I put my clothes and a few other things in.

“Here.” Gaby said immediately as I walked down to the common room, where all the students that were leaving for break were scattered around, saying goodbye. She handed me a parcel, which was wrapped in green wrapping paper, with little candy canes all over.

“Aw, thank you.” I said, smiling and giving her a hug. “Have a great time in Venezuela, by the way.”

“Thanks.” Gaby said, grinning at me.

“I’m so jealous of you.” Grace groaned. “You’re probably going to come back extremely tan.”

“C’mon Grace.” I coaxed. “We’ll have a great Christmas, in London.”

“Sure.” Grace muttered, as Henn gave me a present too. I dug in my bag and handed them two parcels also, another one for Grace.

“Lily! You shouldn’t have!” Henn gasped, taking out a pair of adorable clogs. “I can’t believe you actually bought it...!” She immediately took off her trainers and swapped them for the present I bought her, not caring if there was still a lot of snow outside.

“Ooh.” Gaby said happily, nodding as she sprayed some perfume onto her hand and smelling it. “I like it, Henn.”

“You better have,” Henn said darkly. “It wasn’t cheap, you know.”

Gaby had given me a nice warm quilt with a white lily on the front, with green background. It had my name imprinted in cursive on it. Henn, had given me some pretty golden earrings and a box of bertie botts. I had given Gaby a pretty tube top, and Grace got a cool orange hat that said ‘Chudley Cannons’, hers and Henn’s favorite Quidditch team.

“I’ll send you guys my presents with my owl, okay?” Grace said, everyone gathered outside in the chilly air on the Hogwarts steps. “It’ll be more fun to receive them on Christmas Day.”

Gaby and Henn nodded, and we each hugged each other again.

“Happy Christmas!” they both exclaimed, and started to walk towards Hogsmeade to go get the Knight Bus, since Gaby had to go to meet her parents at the airport and Henn had to go to a different train station than Kings’ Cross to go to Sweden.

From the corner of my eye I saw James, Sirius, and Peter saying goodbye to Remus, who was staying at Hogwarts for Christmas. I raised an eyebrow at Grace.

“Why is Remus staying here?” I asked. Grace shrugged.

“He doesn’t tell me anything anymore.” she said icily, but couldn’t help but grin as he came to give her a goodbye kiss.

The carriages came, and for some reason James came to sit with us in a carriage, sweeping snow off of his shoulders casually, as if it were no big deal.

“Hey, c’mon. I have no where else to go.” James said defensively as I eyed him suspiciously. I shrugged, too sad to say anything to him. Besides, he was really nice and comforting to me yesterday.

“Where’s Sirius?” Grace asked.

“In a carriage with Patricia.” James said briefly. “So, anything exciting happening on your break?”

“I’m going to see my sister.” Grace said nonchantly. James nodded.

The carriages arrived at the Hogsmeade station, and we scrambled into the Hogwarts’ Express, sharing a compartment. It was odd to have James there, and not trying to be annoying.

The ride was uneventful. We played Exploding Snap the whole time, and James kept on glancing at me. I tried to ignore him, especially since I felt so vulnerable now for telling him that Zach had dumped me.

It was dark now, and the train had come to a stop. We quickly jumped out of our seats and started to unload the racks, dragging our bags out of the train and onto the platform.

“That’s my sister.” Grace said happily, embracing me. I glanced behind her shoulder and saw an older version of Grace: same red hair, blue eyes...she just looked slightly older and didn’t have Hogwarts robes on.

“Happy Christmas.” I said, as she pulled away, swinging her bag over her shoulder.

“You too.” she said, grinning at me. I knew that she was just being polite in saying this; two whole weeks with Carrie and Petunia would not be fun. I watched her race across the platform towards Hilda, who grinned and hugged her tightly. You would never see Petunia get that excited in seeing me.

“Well,” I said, breaking the silence that Grace had left James and I with. “Happy Christmas.” I only turned slightly, to meet his eyes, which were already there to catch my gaze.

He smiled at me. “You too.” he said. At that moment, Mr. Potter walked through the barrier, that was the passageway to Kings’ Cross Station. He stopped momentarily, and waved at us. “Oh, I got to go. See you.”

I watched as he walked to his dad, giving me one last grin before Mr. Potter gave him a fatherly squeeze around the shoulders. Yes, James did look embarrassed, and yes, he did turn red and have a grim expression, but it didn’t loose the effect. Again, you would never see my father doing that.

Soon Mr. Potter and James were off the platform, as students around me slowly moved around me, trying to get to their family who was waiting for them at Kings’ Cross Station, or on the platform. I saw Lydia, who grinned and waved at me over enthusiastically as she went and met Mrs. Lydia’s hair and Mr. Lydia’s chin, I saw the Love twins too, Patricia smiled and mouthed ‘Happy Christmas’, but Cecilia just threw me a dirty look. Hmpf, whatever. Then there were a few Slytherins, who guffawed as they passed, laughing at my Quidditch performance at the last match. (I tried hard not to throw my shoe at them) A few prefects who I vaguely recognized wished me happy holidays, and a girl who I didn’t even know scrunched her nose up at me. (Probably part of James’s fan club)

“Hey Lily.” Sirius said, finally getting out of the train, after giving one last kiss to some Hufflepuff girl. I felt slightly bad for Patricia. Slightly.

“Hey.” I replied.

“Why you still out here?” Sirius asked, raising an eyebrow as he noticed that I was sitting on my trunk, in a practically deserted platform, looking bored.

“Why are you still out here?” I retorted. Sirius waved at the Hufflepuff girl, who was giggling and walking off the platform. “Ah, I see.”

“Well, I got these.” Sirius said, taking out some keys from his pocket. “Now, where’s your mode of transportation?”

I snorted at his reply, showing off his keys which probably belonged to a very expensive car. “I don’t have a car. My dad’s picking me up, or at least he’s supposed to.”

“Need a ride?” Sirius asked, wiggling the keys in his fingers again. I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Are you going to try and snog me?” I asked humourously.

“Ah, Evans. You know I’m not like that.” Sirius said, giving me a charming grin.

“Oh?” I said, mocking a surprised look on my face. “Then what was that?”

“What was what?” Sirius asked blankly. I rolled my eyes.

“That girl you were just with. I thought you were dating Patricia?” I said, emphasizing my point. Sirius’s eyes widened in comprehension.

“I am.” he said simply. “So what?”

I frowned at him, and he grinned again, squatting down so he was eye level with me.

“Okay, so maybe I am like that. But, that just depends if you want to or not.” Sirius said, winking at me.

“Oh I’m honored for this kind of respect.” I said sarcastically, although I smiled humorously.

“Well, you’re different from the others, aren’t you?” Sirius said, sighing and standing up again. I raised my eyebrow at him. “You’re Prongs’s girl. He’s got his name on you.”

“What?” I said incredulously. “I’m not his property, or claim -”

“Honestly Evans.” Sirius said, shaking his head. “I don’t get you. While there’s girls begging at his feet, you want distance from him. Why don’t you just go out with him? It’ll be so much easier.”

“Sirius, he doesn’t even like me.” I said exasperatedly, although a small part of me was telling me that I was wrong. “I’m just seen as a challenge for him, that’s why he hasn’t given up yet.”

“For Merlin’s sake,” Sirius said, flying a hand through his hair. He looked frustrated, because I didn’t believe him. “He’s liked you ever since you were four, Lily.”

Although I had heard this before, I felt even more horrified as Sirius repeated it. I didn’t reply on this one, and Sirius smirked. “But seriously,” he said earnestly. “He really does like you.”

“Happy Holidays, Sirius.” I blurted out, wanting him to leave. Sirius grinned.

“Happy Christmas, Evans. Sure you don’t want a ride?” he asked, dangling the keys again.

“No, I’m fine.” I said. He shrugged.

“Suit yourself.” he said, and he walked off the platform with his bag.

After an hour later though, I wish I had accepted Sirius’s offer. I decided to walk into the station, to see if my father or Petunia was there; but no one except a few people who were boarding a train were there.

He had forgotton about me. And neither Petunia or Carrie would remind him that one of his daughters was on Kings’ Cross Station, alone, and not able to drive yet.

“Thanks, Dad.” I muttered darkly to myself, sinking down onto the floor and earning some weird glances from passerby. I only had a sickle in my pocket, which wouldn’t work on a muggle pay phone. I couldn’t get a taxi, and no one that I knew was around anymore. Gaby and Henn had told us that they were going to ride on the Knight Bus, but had failed to tell me how I got on. I sighed, I could either wait, or walk several miles. Maybe my dad’s memory would shoot back towards him, reminding him that he had to pick me up.

It was starting to get dark now, and all the trains were gone now. I spent my time in boredom looking at the sky, where the stars were starting to stand out. It was full moon tonight, and was absolutely freezing. I tugged at my cloak, standing up and hearing the crunch of frost that was on the floor. I swung my bag over my shoulder, getting ready to walk now. It didn’t look like my dad was coming after all.

I was just walking out of the station, my feet already complaining in protest, when headlights came around the corner, blinding me. I squinted, shielding my eyes as a car stopped in front of me. But instead of a unshaven father, apologizing endlessly, it was James who was looking at me from the window. I raised an eyebrow.

“James?” I asked, confirming that I wasn’t dreaming.

“Hey, Evans.” he said, grinning at me. I rolled my eyes.

“What exactly are you doing here?” I asked, weighing myself onto one foot.

“Picking you up, of course.” he said matter of factly. “Get in.”

I was too tired and annoyed to argue, so I threw my bag into his fancy car, getting into the passenger seat.

“Why did you come?” I asked, putting my seat belt on.

“Your dad forgot.” he said, not noticing that it might have some sad effect on me. “He went out with what’s-her-face.”

“Oh.” I said finally. “Right.” The thought of James coming by to see me in my house was a vague detail inside my head. I thought that I should say something else. “Er, thanks.”

James didn’t say anything, just glanced at me for a brief second before returning his gaze to the road. I looked up from my window, at the now completely dark navy blue sky. I sighed softly under my breath and looked at my shoes.

We didn’t talk for the rest of the ride. I kept on giving him unnerving glances, thinking why he had bothered to come and pick me up, or even worry about me walking home. It really gave me a guilty feeling, since I was never nice to him.

I got out of the car, reaching into get my bag to swing it over it my shoulder again. I closed the door and looked up at the house that I was dreading to go into. All the lights were out; Petunia was probably out with Vernon too.

James was out of his car now, looking awkwardly at his shoes: something James never did. I sighed, feeling the deep sorrow sink into me.

“Thanks.” I said again, which made his head shoot up. He grinned at me, but this time it was a little weak. “Seriously, no one else would do this for me.”

“Anytime, Evans.” he said, taking his seat in the car again. “Sweet dreams.”

“‘Night.” I said, and his car pulled out of my driveway, only to drive the short distance across the street, where the Potters’ house looked like full of energy, with the lights on and the shadows moving across the lighted windows.

I finally turned my back to the street, walking towards my door and taking the key from beneath the door mat, unlocking the door and stepping inside.

Everything was dark, as my view came into familiarity. The chairs in the kitchen were still there, the table, the stairs, and the coffee stain was still on the wall where Carrie missed in trying to hit me. Even my house was lonely, waiting to be occupied by a happy family.

Home sweet, home.

Chapter 16: Chapter Sixteen
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The next day I woke up, glancing at Petunia’s bed which was still made neatly. My sister hadn’t come home last night. Downstairs I could hear the steady breathing coming from the slightly open door, where my father and Carrie were sleeping. No, there was no worried father at the kitchen table, wondering where his daughter was. Okay, then.

I poured myself some coffee, sipping on it and looking out at the porch, where there was a thin layer of frost. London wasn’t like Hogwarts, which was piled in snow right now.

The front door opened, and Petunia came in, wearing some out-all-night clothes. Once she saw me she scrunched up her nose, taking out her earrings.

“When did you get here?” she asked, making it clear that she was not worried at all. I decided not to answer her question, and just eat my toast. Petunia sighed irritably, rolling her eyes and heading upstairs.

Okay then. Nice welcome, Petunia. I’m just so lucky to be in this family.

I went out onto the deck, sitting in the cold and looking at the flower beneath the tree that Petunia and I had planted for my mother. I shivered at the thought of that woman. Virginia had ruined my childhood, and still ruined me today. All of this, and I didn’t even know if she was alive or dead.

Still, for some weird reason, the flower drew me over to it, and I went and inspected the pot, which had a large crack. I wondered how strange it was that the pot was still there, at the same exact spot that we had set it down. I picked up the pot and brought it inside, putting it over the windowsill. I went over to the shed, where there was a nice pot that was in pretty good shape. I swapped the pots, so that the flower was still in a pot. I hadn’t told anyone, but I had put a charm on the flower, making it resistant to cold. Unfortunately, the Ministry sent me a letter, sending my first warning of using magic outside of school. It had horrified me, since that was the only time I really got into trouble.

My father’s bedroom door opened, and Carrie stalked through it, with dark circles tracing onto her fair skin. Her blonde hair was tossed into a messy bun, and she looked like some sort of zombie in a bathrobe. She stopped once she saw me at the kitchen sink, washing my hands. Her eyes wandered to me, to my dirty hands, to the broken pot that was still on the windowsill.

“Throw that pot in the garbage.” was all she said. I watched as she poured herself some coffee and sat at the table, looking blankly at the tablecloth. Merlin, how I hated that woman.

There was stomping footsteps seconds later, and Petunia came storming down, with a towel on her head and pajamas.

“Lily, did you take my picture?” she said accusingly, narrowing her eyes. I raised my eyebrow.

“I just got here.” I said, speaking my first words this morning. I was planning on saying something like ‘Good morning’, or ‘Nice seeing you again’, but whatever. I thought incredulously why Petunia would think I stole her picture of Vernon. “Why would I -” I stopped in mid sentence, as Petunia came marching up next to Carrie, and I noticed for the first time that they both had rings on their right hands. “Huh?...Why- -What the hell?”

Carrie raised her overly plucked eyebrow at me, and I stomped over to Petunia, raising her right ring finger.

“Oh.” Carrie said, curling her lip. “I suppose that your father didn’t tell you.”

There was a pounding silence in the room, where Petunia narrowed her eyes, glancing from me to Carrie. “No.” I said finally. “I guess he didn’t.”

I picked up my coffee mug and put it in the sink as if in slow motion, then I walked out the door. I felt the crisp air against my skin, but I didn’t care. The warm visible air breathed in front of me meant nothing now.

I don’t know why I did it, but my bare feet carried me to the house across the street. Soon I was knocking on the door, only now thinking of the consequences and what exactly I was doing.

“Yes?” Mrs. Potter said, answering the door. She looked at who knocked and had a look of surprise on her face. “Oh, Lily dear. Is everything alright?”

“Yes.” I said, a little too quickly. I exhaled, calming myself. “I mean, is James there?”

Mrs. Potter was looking questionably at me, timing her answer. “No, actually dear, James went out with his father and...” She trailed off, not finishing her sentence.

“Oh.” I said, looking at my feet, which were very pale from the cold. “Okay. Nice seeing you, Mrs. Potter.”

“Lily, would you like to come inside?” Mrs. Potter asked, looking at me with concern.

“No.” I said immediately, sounding a bit rude. “No, thank you.”

“Okay.” she said, glancing at my bare feet. She didn’t ask, though. “Nice seeing you too, dear.”

I had no where else to go. I suddenly felt lonely inside, not even James, who always seemed to want to be with me, was gone.

Well, even though I hated Carrie, and at the moment I hated Petunia too, it was too cold outside. I looked at the window and noticed that Carrie and Petunia were no longer in the kitchen. Perfect.

I opened the door slowly, careful not to make any noise. I went over to the couch, not wanting to confront Petunia, and laid there.

Somewhere in that time of sadness and anger, I fell asleep on the couch, having nightmares of my mother the whole time. It was always me chasing after her back, and then she was engulfed in black, and we were both gone. I woke up, startled, and found that I was breathing fast, as if I had actually ran after Virginia.


“Lily? How are you, honey?”

My eyes snapped open and I found that my father was kneeling down next to the couch, where it was already dark outside and sunlight was no longer streaming in. My father looked about the same...except now he was shaving more often and his hair was a little trimmed.

“Hi.” was all I said. He smiled at me and sat on the couch, where I moved my feet to make way.

“Carrie told me that you walked out.” he said, suddenly looking stern. I scowled at him. Was that what he wanted to talk about? Stupid Carrie and stupid Petunia who didn’t even tell me that they were getting married? I mean, I did live in this house.

Not for long. Not for long.

“Yeah.” I said. “I did.” I was talking bolder than I felt: I never was good at talking back to my dad and being a smartass.

My father raised his eyebrow, and I knew he was just buying time to regain his authority. I didn’t feel like waiting for his reply, though.

“Why didn’t you tell me that you were getting married?” I said, not getting the attitude I wanted. Instead of snapping and telling my dad off, my question came out soft, and hurt. “And how about Petunia? Does it even matter that I know? Do you not want me in the wedding? Is that it?”

“Lily,” he said, frowning. “Don’t be stupid.”

I wasn’t being stupid, not at all. “I’m not.” I said quietly.

“Lily, you don’t like Carrie anyway. And Petunia, there’s nothing I could do to control her about her decision.” he said, as if this explained everything. “I do want you to come though.” he added.

I can’t stand Carrie! Can’t he just get it?

“When is it?” I asked, looking at my hands.

“In February.” he replied. My head shot up.

“In two months? How long exactly have you two been engaged?” I asked incredulously. By the look on his face, he probably proposed about only a week after I left.

“I’m sending you a note to get you out of school for a weekend.” he said, as if I hadn’t asked anything. He scowled at me. “God Lily, you’re not a child anymore. You have to grow up.”

I felt my heart pounding, and I suddenly wanted to cry. The tears were starting to well up in my eyes and I looked at the ground. There was nothing I could do anymore. My father was getting married. My sister was getting married. I was going to have an awful stepmother who hated my guts.

“I’m sick of you.” I murmured, but I knew he couldn’t hear. The doorbell rang and both of your necks cricked as we turned to face the door. My father got up and walked to the door, opening it with a surprised look on his face.

“Hey, is Lily there?” I recognized that voice, it was James’s. I jumped out of my seat and rushed to the door, where I immediately saw the ‘why-is-this-guy-here-to-see-my-daughter’ look on my father’s face. I recognized it because Petunia was always changing boyfriends. I bet he didn’t think that it would ever happen to him in my case though.

“Yes, she’s here.” I said, walking into view. My father turned his head and scowled at me: I was in pajama pants and a thin tank top, where one of the straps was falling off. James’s eyes lightened up, but he didn’t grin, which made me uneasy. Instead he gave my dad uncomfortable glances. I looked at one to the other, and noticed that my father would soon go to protective mode. “Do you want to go for a walk?” I asked. I didn’t wait for him to answer, I just took my coat, this time wisely putting on my shoes and shutting the door in my dad’s face.

“Hey.” he said, still looking over his shoulder as we went down the driveway.

“Hi.” I said, wrapping the coat around me because of the chilly air. “So, what did you want?”

I was being surprisingly nice to him, which probably was why he raised an eyebrow at me. “Well, mum told me that you dropped by...”

“Oh.” I said, suddenly remembering. “Yeah, I did.”

“Everything alright?” he asked, his arm brushing against mine for a slight moment. I was about to nod my head and assure him that everything was alright, but nothing was alright.

“No.” I said, not daring to look at him. “My dad’s getting married, and so is Petunia.”

James didn’t say anything for a while, which made me want to slap him or something. James always had something to say.

“Petunia is so...er she’s not pretty.” he said finally. I stopped in my tracks and gave him an incredulous look. He grinned at me. “Well, she’s not.”

“And your point is?” I asked, scowling at him in defense of my sister. “She’s always had more boyfriends than me, and I bet she already has slept with someone too.”

“Just because you’re a virgin doesn’t mean you’re less wanted.” James said, rolling his eyes in this area of expertise. “I mean, look at you.”

I put my hands on my hips, raising an eyebrow at him. “What does this have to do with anything?”

“You’re the one who brought up sex.” he said, shrugging. “I’m just saying that I’m surprised...Petunia isn’t pretty. And I couldn’t understand why she’s had so many guys in her life...and you’ve only had Zach.”

“And Remus.” I pointed out. James scowled at me.

“Don’t remind me.” he said, rolling his eyes and sitting on the bench near the park. I followed suit, shivering and wrapping my coat around me tighter. “Remus doesn’t count.”

“Yeah.” I said, nodding. “I guess you’re right.”

“So, what else has been bugging you?” James asked, scooting closer and casually putting his arm on the back of the bench behind me. I tried to ignore this, but I couldn’t help narrowing my eyes.

“Just that.” I said, feeling like I didn’t want to talk to him anymore.

“Okay.” he said, I wasn’t sure if he believed me or not. He was quiet for a few seconds, looking determinedly at the sidewalk. “Have you ever been in love?” he asked spontaneously. I raised my eyebrow at him.

“No.” I said, surprised that his face was so close to mine when I turned my head. “At least, I don’t think. Have you?”

James shrugged. “Maybe. It depends.”

“Depends?” I echoed. “Right.” James looked at me a while, not saying anything for a few seconds.

“That’s sad.” James said finally, looking at me intently. I scowled at him.

“What is?” I snapped.

“You don’t believe in love anymore.” he said, frowning at me as if he was disappointed.

“Of course I do.” I said, although I wasn’t exactly sure of it. “Are you telling me that you do?”

“Yes.” James said earnestly. “C’mon Lily, the whole school knows.”

I felt my heart flutter for a moment, but I quickly pushed the thought away.

"James," I said softly, but seriously. "How do you know that you're in love?" I knew it was a stupid question, but I wanted to know.

He paused for a moment, and soon smiled at me.

“You know that feeling you have when you're swept off your feet? When you feel that you're not ready for anything anymore? That your heart jumps out of your heart and it hurts so badly that you love that person so much?” James asked me, in a low voice as he touched his nose against mine. “That's when you're in love, Lils.”

“How did you know that?”

James grinned mischievously. “Read it off of a book.”

I scowled at him, finally pushing him away to make some distance. “See? I knew it. You’re just some prat who tells girls that you love them when you could care less.”

“That’s true.” James agreed. “I can be like that. And it works, doesn’t it?” He grinned at me, and I gaped at him in horror.

“How can you be so terrible? You make so many girls fall madly in love with you, and you just kick them away and say ‘see you later’?” I asked incredulously.

“Are you kidding me, Lily?” James asked, raising his eyebrow. “None of those girls fell in love with me like they say so. They’re just like me: we say we love each other but we actually don’t.”

“And you call me sad?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows.

“It’s a strange concept.” he said, shrugging.

“I don’t get it.” I replied, confusion spreading onto my face.

“Of course you don’t. You don’t believe in love.” he said matter-of-factly.

“What? You just told me that you break girls’ hearts and don’t care.” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.

“Yeah.” he said, nodding his head. “But...the girl that I came the closest into falling in love with...well she was never my girlfriend.” I knew he was talking to me, and I knew he was trying to put me on the spot or something. But I still couldn’t help but think about what he had told me that night he was drunk.

I’ve loved you ever since we were four.

It just wasn’t possible. We weren’t even friends. I mean, c’mon.

We were friends though. Before, that is. But that was such a long time ago...it wasn’t real.

It was a strange feeling as I looked into his eyes, which were coming closer. I wanted to kiss him so badly, I wanted him to hold me, and I had no idea why.

“Please, just one kiss.” he whispered, the space between us rapidly decreasing.

“I—” I faltered, not knowing what to do next.

I wanted to run away as his lips were almost touching mine, but for some reason I stayed put, my heart beat accelerating considerably as both of us breathed quickly. I suddenly felt warm, his skin touching my own and his fingers slowly rubbing against my neck. I finally closed the small space in between, and lightly.

How was all of this happening to me? I hated him one second, and now I was suddenly kissing him. This was really...weird. But his lips were soft...like, really soft...

It wasn’t one of those passionate kisses you saw in movies where the girl eventually sleeps with the guy, giving up her virginity. It was one of those sweet kisses that never showed in movies but meant so much. It was soft, and kind, and Zach had never kissed me like that.

I pulled away for a moment, feeling dazed, my eyes still closed. “I have to...go.” I whispered.

“But, you don’t want to.” he said, his voice equally soft. I shook my head, and I felt him smile as he kissed me again.

It was awkward walking home with James. We didn’t talk at all, at least I didn’t. James tried to start a conversation, or pull a joke on me, but I stayed quiet, just nodding my head or shaking it.

“Okay.” I said, as we were both at my front porch, me looking at the ground while James tried to catch my eye intently. “Thanks.”

“For what?” James asked, ruffling his hair in the back. It was strange thinking that once annoyed me real bad.

“For walking me home, listening...for everything.” I said the last bit faintly, but I was sure that he could hear me.

“For kissing you?” he asked humourously. My head shot up, and I felt my face blush as I noticed that his trademark grin was plastered on his face again.

“No.” I said hotly. “Why would I thank you for kissing me?”

“Because...” James said, stepping forward and putting his hands on my waist. “You liked it.”

I opened my mouth to retort, but he interrupted and kept talking. “And it made you feel better. Admit it.”

“Shut it.” I snapped, squirming out of his touch and turning my back to him. I soon felt his hands on my waist again, from behind me.

“You drive me crazy, Evans.” he whispered in my ear. I felt a shiver up my spine, and tried to shake it away.

“I...have to— I have to...” I muttered, turning towards the door and closing it behind me without finishing my sentence. I stood up against the door, breathing rapidly, feeling that horrible flutter in my stomach again. I inched towards the window and saw that James was standing in front of my driveway, and he was smiling to himself. And just seeing that, I couldn’t help but smile too.


“What do you mean by ‘nothing’, Lilian?”

I flinched for a moment, looking up at my father who was angrier than I had ever seen him be to me. His face was red, and he was pointing at me with his index finger as if I had done something very, very wrong. I hated being yelled at, so I stayed quiet.

“You— No this boy just shows at our doorstep, as if you’re old pals or something, and takes you off! Do you find this acceptable?” he spat at me. I just stared at him. “Do you? Answer me.”

I took a deep breath, steadying myself. “I...think, that you’re—” I began, searching for the right word. “Overreacting.”

“Lily, the Potters’ teenage boy was at our door, asking if you were home.” he said, scowling and crossing his arms as if he was disappointed in me. “I honestly didn’t think you were like this, I always thought that all those times you saw Petunia—”

“I’m not doing anything!” I snapped, not being able to control myself any longer. “I just went out to walk with him, we didn’t do anything!”

“Go to your room.” he said in a low, and even voice, a voice I only saw him use with Petunia.

“What?” I asked blankly, although I perfectly knew what he meant.

“You heard me.” he said. “Go. Now.”

“But—”

Go.”

Just then, Carrie came around the corner, fully dressed for the party she and my father were going to. She was in a sleeveless black dress, a dress I didn’t think should be worn by a woman who was about to get married.

“Honey?” she said in her oh-so-very-annoying sugary voice. “Are you ready?”

“Yes, darling.” he said, readjusting his tie. He intertwined his arm with hers, something they had been doing a lot lately, and walked out the door, only stopping to give me one last warning look.

This wasn’t fair. This. Was. Not. Fair.

I was alone in the house now, Petunia had gone to visit Vernon for the twentieth time today. I steadily went up the stairs and sat on my bed, looking outside, where it was lightly snowing now. My driveway was covered with frost, and right across the street...wait.

...hu?

No, it couldn’t be, not at James’s house. I rubbed my eyes and squinted, her retrieving back was making it’s way around the house into the Potters’ backyard...

I sprinted across the room and down the stairs, not paying attention because I ran straight into Petunia, who had apparently, came home.

“Watch it!” She screeched, we were both on the floor now, and Vernon had tumbled down with her, since he was there holding her hand. The sight sickened me, so I stood up.

“I have to go.” I said, moving down to the hall where the door was. Petunia shot out her arm and blocked me, looking stern.

“No, wait. I want to talk to you.” she said, frowning. I raised an eyebrow at her.

“I have to go.” I repeated impatiently. “Can’t this wait?”

“Dad called me,” she began, ignoring my comment and still blocking my way. “Says it’s my fault that you’re rebelling. What exactly did you do?” she asked, narrowing her eyes.

Rebelling? “I’m not.” I said hotly. “And I didn’t do anything.”

“Of course you didn’t.” Petunia said, rolling her eyes and speaking in a way she was thinking as sympathetic. “But you got in trouble. Something you never do. So this has to do with some boy. Who?”

It was obvious that she wasn’t worried about the fight at all, she being her usual nosy self and wanting to know who the boy was. I scowled at her.

“Can I go now?” I asked. “Don’t you have some wedding plans to talk about with your fiancee?”

Petunia narrowed her eyes at me, leaning back and letting me pass. She disappeared in the kitchen with Vernon, and I was finally free to go.

I walked swiftly towards the Potters’ door, the second time today. I knocked on it, stupid once again for not wearing a coat. Except this time, it wasn’t Mrs. Potter who answered it, but James.

“Evans!” he said merrily, and I raised an eyebrow at him as Sirius popped out behind him, as if out of no where.

“Evans!” he echoed. “What are you doing here?”

“Do you live in this house, Black?”

Sirius looked at me thoughtfully for a moment. “Pretty much.” he said.

“Can I come in for a moment?” I asked, ignoring Sirius’s perplexed face and talking strictly to James now.

“Ooh.” Sirius said, grinning at me. “I see what this is all about. Well Evans, just telling you, the condoms might be a tad too big for Prongsie here.”

“Padfoot!” James hissed at him, blushing madly. I tried hard not to laugh. Sirius shrugged, finally letting him be and walking out of sight. “Sorry.” he muttered.

“Can I come in?” I repeated, already trying to push through his arm. He raised his eyebrow at me, blocking my entry.

“Why?” he asked, furrowing his eyebrows now. I sighed, trying hard not to think about how nice his arm felt against my skin.

“I need to come in. I think I saw someone...someone I know, at your house and I need to get in, dammit!” I spat.

“Who do you think you saw?” he demanded. I looked at him questionably.

“You wouldn’t know her...actually you probably do since she’s at your house.” I added, thinking about it. “Please James, let me in.”

“Was it Lynn?” he asked, frowning at me. I stopped in my attempts in trying to barge in, and looked at him.

“How do you know—” I began, confused.

“I just do.” he said impatiently. He sighed, closing his eyes and running a hand through his hair. “She’s in the backyard.”

“Wait.” I said, putting my hand in front of the door to prevent him from closing it. “What’s going on?”

James just shook his head, and I moved my hand out of the way. He closed it, and I walked around the house to the backyard.

Lynn had her hair down today, her small body sitting on the deck with Mr. Potter. I stopped in my tracks, and I couldn’t help but listen to their conversation.

“I want my mum back.” Lynn was saying in her naturally quiet voice.

“I know.” Mr. Potter said, nodding his head and giving her a one arm hug. I stared at them curiously. “Your mum was...quite something.”

Lynn didn’t say anything, she just looked at the frost beneath her boots, snow coming lightly down upon her brown hair. She was kicking at the small wall that was in front of their deck.

“Well,” Mr. Potter continued delicately. “Are you sure you want to stay out here?” Lynn nodded. “Okay. If you need anything, I’ll be inside.” He gave her one last squeeze, and walked towards the open screen door, shutting it behind him.

I heard a small and dry sob and directed my attention to Lynn again, who was looking at her boots, giving a small sigh. Well, better say something now.

“Lynn?” I asked, tentatively. I knew that when I was upset, I liked being alone, so I wasn’t entirely sure if what I was doing was right. Lynn’s little head shot in my direction, her eyes slightly bloodshot. She was very petite for her age, which made her look more hopeless and sad. She looked surprised to see me.

“L-Lily?” she asked, squinting at me as if to make sure that I was really there. “I didn’t know you...I -”

“I didn’t know you were staying here, either.” I said, smiling as a comfort for her. I went over there to sit next to her on the wall. “Everything alright?”

Lynn shook her head, looking at the ground. “I have...I have to live with my dad now.” her voice was muffled, and she gave a small sniff.

Whoa. What?

Mr. Potter...was Lynn’s dad?

James...was Lynn’s brother?

Oh boy.

“Because of your mum.” I said, slowly understanding as I looked at her. She nodded, and sniffed again.

I thought about how horrible it must have been for this little girl...who lost her mother, like me, who now had to live with a family she probably didn’t even know. I couldn’t help it, I pitied her.

A million questions floated through my mind, like how her mother died, or how Mr. Potter was her dad...but I kept my mouth shut. I suddenly knew how everyone felt when they found out about my mum.

We didn’t say anything else, we just sat there, knowing how it felt and feeling that it would be better if we just kept quiet. After ten minutes or so, the screen door opened again, and Mrs. Potter came out to see us.

“Oh, Lily dear.” she said, obviously surprised to see me. “I didn’t know you were here.”

I looked at Lynn, who was acting as if she hadn’t heard her, and stood up, forcing a smile.

“Just talking to my friend.” I said. “I have to go though, nice seeing you.”

“You too, Lily.” Mrs. Potter said, nodding at me.

“Bye Lynn.” I said. But Lynn didn’t look at me, she didn’t even flinch.


I was walking down the Potters’ driveway when I heard a car’s rumbling engine turn the corner and into our street, its headlights blazing. I gulped, hoping that it wasn’t who I thought it was.

But, as far as my luck goes, my dad did see me, in a bathrobe, at the Potters’ driveway, my hair thrown in a messy bun, and not looking that great. He scowled at me, and pointed his finger hard at our door, which I followed without a word. I opened the door and went up to my room, passing Petunia and Vernon, which were at the kitchen table, where some phone books were perched on top of.

I was in my room, sitting on my bed and looking at my window when my dad came in, furrowing his eyebrows at me, and for some reason, Carrie was behind him. She’s not even my mum.

“Explain.” he said evenly, although his eyes were full of anger. What was I supposed to say? My father didn’t know Lynn, and he was never friends with the Potters like my mum was. I didn’t say anything, just stared blankly at the wall behind him and Carrie. “Don’t ignore me, Lilian.”

The way he was talking to me, I just wanted to cry. He was looking at me like I had disappointed him so badly, when all I did was go across the street.

“I wanted to talk to James.” I lied. I didn’t feel like explaining that James had a little sister now, all of a sudden, because her mum died and blah, blah. I didn’t even know half the story. But maybe I should’ve told the truth, because he narrowed his eyes at me, frowning. Carrie was looking at her fingernails, obviously bored.

“You’re grounded.” he said finally, putting his hand on my door knob and ready to close it. “You’re not allowed to get out of this house, and you’re not allowed to contact your friends for a week.”

I shot my head up, looking at him incredulously. I didn’t say anything though, I kept my mouth shut as his eyes poured into mine. I wanted to scream at him, I wanted to throw something, but I stayed still, not saying a word.

After what seemed like forever, he closed the door, walking down the stairs with Carrie trailing behind him. Once I heard him downstairs talking to Petunia and Vernon in the kitchen, I pounded my fist into my bed and started to cry.

Chapter 17: Chapter Seventeen
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Dear Diary,

I didn’t even do anything. This is so unfair. I can’t believe he grounded me for nothing.

Love,

Lily.


I closed my diary and put it under my pillow, laying down and staring at the ceiling. That was basically all I did now, stay in my room and write in my diary. To tell you the truth, grounding me wasn’t so bad, since I never really went out with my friends, or wrote to them. It just really upset me, because my father had never really yelled at me like that, or grounded me. I had always seen Petunia sit in our room, crying into her pillow, but I never really fully understood until now.

“He’s being soft on you.” Petunia snarled to me on my first day. “One week is nothing, believe me.” Which was true. I had seen much nastier grounding with Petunia. But she certainly seemed happy, telling me things like “Finally, he blew on the favorite.” Or “It’s good for you to know how it’s like people being angry at you.” To Petunia, this was a cause for celebration.

Which was why I hated her. Which is why I hated my father. And of course, I already hated Carrie.

I heard a crash against my window and jumped, feeling my heartbeat accelerate. I spun around in my bed and opened the window, looking down at James, who’s hands were full of pebbles. Snow was falling down again, leaving soft white flakes in his jet black hair.

“Hey.” he said, grinning at me. I stared at him incredulously, checking my watch again just to make sure that maybe I was dreaming, and it really wasn’t twelve ten in the morning.

“James!” I hissed into the darkness, leaning out, while clutching the window sill. “What are you doing?”

James shrugged. “Sirius snores too loud.” he replied casually.

“What if you woke up my dad? Or Petunia?” I said, wanting to make him feel guilty. “What if I was sleeping?”

James’s grin became even wider. “I saw that your dad went to some party again with your step mum, and Petunia went away with her fiancee for a weekend.” he said, adjusting his jumper which was thrown over his pajama pants. “And I saw you from across the street, awake and writing something in your diary.”

I blushed, feeling violated that he knew everything that was happening in my house. I scowled at him. “What do you want?”

“Can I come in?” James asked, ruffling his hair. “I mean, we both obviously have trouble sleeping.”

“My dad could come home any second!” I said, frowning. “He’ll chop you up and hang up your carcass.”

“I’m willing to take that chance.” he said, throwing the pebbles on the ground. “C’mon, it’s cold out here.”

I tried to analyze the situation: James in his pajamas, me in my thin nightgown, at midnight in an empty house, and plus my dad could be turning the corner and into my street right about now did not seem like a good idea.

So why was I throwing my bathrobe over me, and carrying my feet down the stairs to the door?

James was already at my porch, grinning at me. “Knew you couldn’t resist.” he said. I rolled my eyes at him and let him in.

“Want some hot chocolate?” I asked, once I closed the door and locked it. James was sprawled onto the sofa in the living room, looking curiously at the empty basket that said CARMEN on it.

“What’s this for?” he asked, pointing at the basket which was empty except for a comfy red pillow. I walked over there and sighed, looking at it.

“We used to have a cat named Carmen.” I replied.

“What happened to it?” James said, raising his eyebrows at me. I looked at him incredulously.

“What do you think?” I spat. James’s confused face was replaced by a sudden understanding.

“Oh. Sorry.” was all he said. I shook my head.

“Do you want hot chocolate, or not?”

“Sure.” he said, pulling on his jumper again. He looked up at me. “Do you mind if I take off my sweater? It’s all damp and wet.”

“Whatever.” I said, turning my back and walking to the kitchen. I turned on the light and took some mugs out. I poured some milk in a pan and put it on the oven, waiting impatiently.

“Hey Lily, do you have a band-aid?”

I turned and gaped in horror, shrieking and dropping the mug I was holding.

“James, what are you doing?” I hissed, trying hard not to look at him, or rather his bare chest. He was built, too built. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that I wanted to run over to him and inspect every inch of his six pack, very nicely shaped. I cursed my hormones and forced myself to look at his face, instead. James raised an eyebrow at me, looking at himself up and down.

“What?” he asked blankly.

“Put that sweater back on!” I demanded, although a part of me was protesting as I said so. There’s only so much that I can handle.

“You told me I could take it off.” James said, his grin sliding back onto his face as he finally noticed why I was screeching at him.

“But I thought you had something underneath it.” I said, bending down and picking up the pieces of the mug that were now shattered onto the floor. I had to concentrate on something else...other than, well him. I saw his bare feet walking towards me, inching away from glass as he, too bent down and started to pick up the pieces. “Band-aids are in that drawer.” I automatically replied.

“Okay.” he said, his fingers brushing against mine as he took a piece of glass in a way he thought was discrete. He chuckled. “I should’ve brought my wand.”

We finally had picked up all of the pieces, throwing it in the trash and sweeping the floor just in case. I went and got another mug, but the hot chocolate was burned now. I cursed under my breath while James rummaged through the drawers, finally finding a band-aid and putting it on the cut on his foot. He had been walking barefoot, apparently.

I had to take out another pan, and start all over. I was so mad at myself, so I didn’t look at James as he sat at the kitchen table.

“Here.” I said bluntly, passing him a mug full of milk. I sat down next to him, but stared down at my mug instead.

“You don’t have to be so mad.” James said, and from the corner of my eye he was grinning again.

I did though. At the beginning of this year, seeing James half naked didn’t affect me at all. Now dirty thoughts were passing through my mind, and I was trying very hard to abolish them, but it wasn’t working.

“Seriously though,” James continued, ignoring the hot chocolate that I had made for him. “I wouldn’t be mad if I caught you without a shirt on.”

I shot my head up, scowling at him. It was a mistake looking at him though...I could still see his chest from here. Yes...I could definitely still see it...

“You’re sick.” was all I said.

“But charming.” James pointed out. “Or else you wouldn’t keep on trying to steal a glance at me.”

I gaped at him. “I’m not!” and just to prove my point, I looked at the table.

“I don’t blame you, really.” James rambled on. “I mean, I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off of me either if I was in your position.”

This time, I actually snorted. “Right.” I said. “My hands aren’t anywhere near you.”

“Them why don’t you look at me?” James demanded.

“You just told me I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you.” I retorted, giving me a chance to look at him again.

James merely grinned at me, leaning over and kissing me lightly. “Well, isn’t it true?”

He confused me so much. And why was I not protesting?

“So what?” I said.

Wait. I didn’t just say that. I did not just say that.

Oh man, I did.

James grinned at me again, the same grin I hated in September but now thought was adorably cute.

AH! What am I doing?

“Here.” I muttered, taking off my robe and throwing it to him. “Cover yourself.” That was a big mistake though. I was wearing only a night gown underneath...a thin white one that gave me way too much figure for my liking. And what was worse: his eyes were roaming on every inch of my bare skin revealed, and he wasn’t even trying to be discrete about it.

“Actually,” I said, scowling. “I’ll just take that back.” I extended my hand, but he didn’t give me back my robe.

“Not so fast, Evans.” he said, giving me an evil grin. “I think I’ll just keep this for now.”

“James!” I shrieked at him. “Give it back!”

“Why?”

“Why? Just look at me.” I said, frowning and giving him accidently an opportunity to look at me again. I crossed my arms over my chest protectively.

“What are you talking about?” he said, raising his eyebrows. “You look great to me.”

“James.” I said dangerously. “Give it to me.”

James took one step closer to me, leaning in barely an inch away from me. I felt his hot breath on my face, and couldn’t help but blush.

“No.” was all he said.

I don’t know what came over me, but I leaned over and kissed him hard, feeling his feet stumble in surprise.

“Ha.” I said, pulling away, and giving him a satisfied smirk. In my hand was my lavender robe. James’s eyes were still closed, his lips still partly opened. “You can open your eyes now.” I teased.

James’s eyes fluttered open, and his cheeks flushed. He looked at the robe in my hand and his eyes traveled to my grin. “You tricked me!” he finally blurted out.

“Yeah.” I said, raising my eyebrows humorously, stating the obvious. I started to slide one of my arms in my robe, but James stopped me.

“Wait.” he said, in my ear, holding onto my waist. I smiled. “Not yet.”

“Um-hum.” I said, barely listening to my surroundings.

“Not yet, okay?”

“Okay.” was all I said. We were quiet for a while, the only sound I could hear was his breathing in my ear. For some reason, I found it soothing.

“Remember when I told you, that I’d break through your ice someday?” he asked me quietly, leaning in and holding my face in his hands. I couldn’t help it, I smiled again. Widely.

“Yeah.” I said.

“I told you so.”

I laughed, feeling that feeling in my stomach again. Oh man.

He was about to lean in and close the small space in between us, when it hit me.

“Wait.” I said, and his eyes snapped open, grinning at me. “I thought you were drunk.”

“I’m not.” James replied, raising his eyebrows.

“No.” I said impatiently. “That day, when you said that.”

It took him a while to realize what I was talking about. His grinning face was replaced by a guilty smile.

“Well, I wasn’t entirely wasted, see...”

“James!” I said shrilly. “You and Sirius were pretending to be drunk?”

“No. Sirius really was drunk.”

“James!”

“I just wanted your attention.” he said cheekily, giving me another grin. “It worked, didn’t it?”

I shoved him to the side. “I can’t believe you.” I said, rolling my eyes. “So the thing about you wanting me to bear your children -”

“Sirius made that up.” James said immediately. “Although it would be nice.” he added.

“And the part of you wanting to make love to me...”

“Uh, actually.” James said, looking at me guiltily. “I was a little drunk.”

I laughed and shoved him again, making his glasses look crooked. He smirked at me and inched closer, leaning against my shoulder.

Before I knew it, his hands were on my waist and he was kissing me again. I wanted to squeal in excitement, and thought bitterly how I was turning into one of those mindless girls who were love crazy. I still didn’t pull away though. That is, until a car’s headlights shined through the window, and my dad was walking onto the pavement with Carrie.

I tried to ignore the fact that it was very cozy being underneath James on the couch (which I had no idea how I gotten there), that his bare chest was touching my own flesh, and that my bathrobe was hanging off of my shoulder.

“Shit.” I said, pushing him off of me. “Hurry, through the back door.”

James raised his eyebrow at me, not moving. I shoved him into the kitchen, practically throwing him and his jumper outside. I closed the door and hid the mug in a drawer, sitting down at the kitchen table just as James disappeared around my house, and my father walked through the door.

“Lily?” he said, raising his eyebrows and looking surprised to see me. “Why are you awake?”

“I couldn’t go to sleep.” I said, which was partly true. “So I decided to drink some hot chocolate.” I noticed that I was speaking entirely too fast, so I took a deep breath, desperately trying to change the subject. “How was the party?”

“It was alright.” My dad said, not catching on that his daughter was hiding something. Carrie however, was a different story. She had probably been in my position many times before. She was looking at me suspiciously, and then her eyes roamed the kitchen, wanting to find a tiny little flaw that would cause me to get into trouble.

I gulped down the rest of my milk, and put the mug in the sink, stretching and trying to look as tired as possible.

“Well, good night. I think the hot chocolate did the trick.” I said, forcing a smile to my dad. He smiled back. Oh man, I was good. I climbed the stairs, slowly, so I didn’t look guilty about anything. But just as I turned the corner into my room, I heard Carrie say,

“She’s hiding something from you.”

I guess she wasn’t as stupid as I thought.


“You’re too happy.”

I stopped humming and looked up from my diary, where Petunia was, hair curlers in her hair, and a suspicious look on her face.

“I’m not.” I said, although even that sounded singsong.

“You’re supposed to be grounded.” she told me, as if I needed reminding that I wasn’t supposed to have fun.

“I know.” I said, forcing a sweet smile just to agonize her. She raised her eyebrow at me, inspecting my face to find some kind of guilt, or lie.

“Wait.” she said, a dawning look of comprehension forming on her face. “This has something to do with the Potters’ boy, across the street.”

My hand stopped, ruining the doodle that I was making. I looked at my diary page in horror, it was full of little hearts. I closed it quickly, feeling my own heart beat horribly fast in my chest.

“You mean, James?” I said, trying to sound nonchalant.

“Ah-HA!” she said, pointing a triumphant finger at me. “I knew it.”

“Knew what?” I said, finally looking up and meeting her brown eyes.

“Look,” she said, coming towards me and sitting on the edge of my bed. “You can fool dad, but you can’t fool me. Heaven knows how many times I was hiding a boy from our dad.”

I didn’t say anything this time. I kept my mouth shut. “And you can’t trick Carrie either, Lilian.” Petunia drawled. For some reason the way she said my name stung me. “Or do you honestly think she’s being loyal to our father?”

“What?” I said, furrowing my eyebrows. “She’s cheating on dad, and you don’t even do anything about it?”

“Please, Lily.” Petunia said, rolling her eyes. “It’s not like dad’s a saint either.”

I narrowed my eyes at her, trying to remember when she became so cold, so uncaring. This was not the Petunia I loved, it was the one I hated.

“Well.” Petunia said briskly, getting up, and touching her hot rollers. “Better get these things out.” She walked over to the bathroom, shutting it behind her with a ‘click’.

Once I was sure she couldn’t hear me, I sighed and slumped down on my bed, locking my diary and putting it underneath my pillow. I looked out the window, where it was snowing yet again, and everything looked gloomy and gray outside. I saw Lynn out on the porch again, tracing her finger through the snow.

James had been visiting me continuously, when my parents or Petunia weren’t home. The last time he came to see me was yesterday, where I had finally asked him about Lynn.

“She’s the kid from my dad’s second marriage.” he had said, shrugging it off. “Then my dad came to live with my mum again, I guess.”

I didn’t push it any further, he didn’t seem to want to talk about Lynn, or his father. But still, I couldn’t help but think that the Potters’ weren’t giving her enough attention. I mean, her mother had died for Merlin’s sake.

Petunia came out of the bathroom again, her hair all wavy now. She gave me a wicked grin, before leaving the room and going downstairs to meet Vernon, who was waiting in the kitchen.

I closed my eyes and rolled onto my side, wanting to go back to Hogwarts more than ever.


Christmas was edging nearer and nearer. I hadn’t seen James that much, since Mrs. Potter forced him out of the house almost everyday to help her with Christmas shopping. I heard him complain loudly one morning when they were getting into the car. (James hadn’t learned how to apparate yet, since he failed his test.)

I had already bought my presents already, at the last Hogsmeade visit. I bought my dad a coffee mug, where the little snowmen moved about, throwing snowballs at each other, I bought Petunia a very nice scarf, that wasn’t magical at all. (Which would make her hate it a little less) I got Carrie a necklace, that could’ve been a nice gesture, if I hadn’t traded it for some earrings I had with a Hufflepuff girl. You could tell that they were very cheap, but my father had told me specifically to not be rude and get Carrie a present too. Hmpf.

Henn had already sent me a letter, borrowing her brother’s owl. She was telling me how great it was to see her family again, which she missed dearly, and how it was snowing like crazy in Sweden. I smiled as I noticed that she probably knew I would have a horrible break.

Then, in big contrast, Gaby sent me a postcard from Venezuela, where she was visiting family. It was a nice picture really, it looked very colorful, tropical, and warm. Grace was right, she probably would came back extremely tan. Speaking of Grace, I still had not heard from her.


I had always thought of Christmas, full of snow, making all the houses look like gingerbread. But the snow was already melting, leaving only frost on the grass. It sort of depressed me as I looked outside at the dewy grass and the spotless tops of cars. I sighed, just as Carrie came in, without even the courtesy of knocking.

"Your father says to get ready, we're going out to dinner soon." she said, in her new 'I'm-going-to-be-your-step mom-soon-so-you-better-watch-out' voice. I rolled my eyes, not trying to hide the fact that she was annoying me at the spot.

"Whatever." I said, just to get her mad. She furrowed her eyebrows at me, and I suppressed a smirk. She already was all dressed up like a Barbie: tight sleeveless dress with a cute little shawl. Her hair was in a French twist, and her eyes were sparkling with makeup. I tried hard not to notice that Petunia wore the same kind of clothes.

"Okay, then." She said finally, drawing herself up to full height and clutching her matching purse. She stalked out of the room; chin up in the air, the annoying clucking noise of her white heels on the floor as she stepped down the stairs.

I walked over to my door, and closed it shut, looking around the room at the dress that was laying neatly on my bed, my father had bought if for me a couple of days back. I grimaced at the sight of it; I hated dressing up, and I hated tights.

I went to take a shower, and combed out my hair, not really sure what I was going to do with it yet. As I crossed my room I noticed that the Mrs. Potter was already in their dining room, setting the many plates, which would help the Potter family feast upon. On the porch, I saw Lynn again, with a navy blue dress, looking like a little princess.

The dress I was wearing tonight was maroon, one that flew down way past my knees and slightly dragged against my ankles. It was a strapless, with a high waist bow and (to my utter dismay) matching gloves. I wanted to kill myself. The shoes that my father had bought me looked very uncomfortable, and the matching jewelry with pearls made me look like one of the Stepford Wives, except not blonde. I stuck out my tongue at myself as I inspected my reflection in the mirror.

"Lily -" Petunia began, barging in like Carrie without knocking. I didn't say anything; I just scowled at myself, hating how I looked. "Finally! You're dressed properly." She snarled. Her eyebrows rose up to her blonde hair as she circled around me, inspecting every inch of my dress. "Your hair's a mess. Let me do it."

She disappeared into the bathroom, before I could complain about anything to her. Maybe I didn't want her to do my hair? She came back, with a couple of combs, a brush, and several little flower thingys that were on bobby pins. Petunia was also already dressed up; she was wearing a sleeveless black dress, which flowed just above her knees. Her hair was in a bun, and she too had received the same jewelry as me.

Her hand immediately started to tackle my hair, combing it through, and obviously didn't care if it hurt. I winced as she tried to comb through a terribly difficult knot.

“Aaaargh!” I shrieked, as Petunia twisted my hair up with no mercy.

“Shut up.” She snapped, slapping my hand away that was inching towards my hair. “There. Done. See, that wasn’t so bad.”

I scowled at her, as I got up from my seat and looked at myself in the mirror. I had to admit, it did look cute. It was up in a shiny knot, where some strands were falling into my face, which I liked.

“Thanks.” I muttered. But she was already taking her purse, and going down the stairs. I sighed at her retrieving back and fell onto my bed, careful not to mess up my hair. I looked at the gloves with disgust; I was definitely not wearing those.

“Lily!” my father yelled, at the top of his lungs. “Come on!”

I rolled my eyes and slipped my feet into the heels, going down the steps in difficulty. My father was already disappearing through the front door, Carrie at his arm, and Petunia conversing in low voices with Vernon. I followed them out, closing the door behind me.

Chapter 18: Chapter Eighteen
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“Dad,” I moaned, for the billionth time.

“Lily,” he said, giving me a stern look, before waving at the Porters. Andy was giving me annoying glances, and I saw that once again he had a new watch.

“You didn’t tell me that we had to eat dinner with them.” I said, glaring at my father.

“They’re friends of the family.” He said, frowning at me as a warning sign. “So behave, and be kind. They’ve never done anything to you.”

Except be arrogant and terribly annoying.

My father shook his head and clucked his tongue impatiently, then walked over with Carrie to say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Porter, and Andy. Petunia and Vernon were close behind. I had no choice, so I followed suit, forcing my ‘I’m just so happy to be here’ smile.

“Hello, Lilian.” Andy said, immediately jumping out of his seat and smiling at me. I tried not to grimace as he pulled out the chair next to him, the one chair I did not want to sit in.

“Hi.” I said, sitting down and letting him push my chair in. On the other side of the table Petunia was giving me knowing glances. I stuck out my tongue at her.

“Oh, Charles! Your daughter has become truly beautiful.” Mrs. Porter exclaimed, earning an annoyed face from Petunia. “I remember when your father brought you to the dinner parties and you were still wearing diapers.” She said fondly, as if I had grown up on purpose. I blushed slightly, as Vernon gulped down his water, since he had started to gasp in laughter.

“How old are you now, Lilian?” Mr. Porter said, smiling politely at me. See? This is why I hate coming to my father’s business dinner parties.

“Er…I’ll be seventeen in May.” I said, looking down at my plate, which in my opinion was too clean, and too shiny.

“Only two years younger than Andrew!” Mrs. Porter piped in, giving Andy’s blushing face a smile.

“Will you look at that.” My father said, smiling over the rim of his crystal cup. I scowled at him.

“What can I get for you today?” said the waiter, who had appeared as if out of nowhere in an apron and a smug smile.

“I’d like the same as always, Terry.” My father said.

“Just water.” Petunia said, folding her napkin carefully over her legs.

“I’d like the white wine.” Vernon said, not really paying attention because he was looking at the menu.

“The same for me.” Mr. Porter said, nodding.

“I’d like your special red wine, please.” Andy said, sitting up straighter as if to announce to the world: ‘I’m a big grown up now because I can drink alcohol!’

“And you, miss?” the waiter asked Carrie, glancing at her legs for a very long time before looking up at her face.

“Water.” Carrie said, giving him a flirtatious smile. I felt like throwing my fork at my dad, to get his attention.

“How about you, Lilian?” Andy asked, folding his own napkin like Petunia, over his lap. I could just about start screaming right now.

“A Shirley temple, please.” I said. There was a big silence, where the waiter and Carrie exchanged glances, Vernon gulped down more water, and my father slapped the napkin over his mouth, to prevent himself from laughing. I turned red for a moment. Good job Lily…why don’t they just give you the children’s menu?

“We don’t have that.” The waiter said, breaking the silence.

“Then just water.” I muttered, turning redder by the second.

“Excuse me?” Terry asked, furrowing his eyebrows at me.

“Water.” I said loudly and clearly.

“Okay, then.” Terry said, scribbling it down on his notepad. “I’ll be right back.” He gave Carrie one last glance at her legs, then left.

“So,” my father began, not making any eye contact with me. “Anything new, Jeff?”

I looked down at my plate, sighing and wishing I were back at home. It did not feel like Christmas, it just felt like another lousy night where I had nothing better to do than study my fingernails.

“I hear that you two are getting married.” Mrs. Porter’s said, and I suddenly was attentive, looking from my father’s face, to Carrie’s.

“That’s right.” Carrie said, smiling. My hand inched toward my fork again. “We can’t wait.”

That bitch.
“When’s the date again?” Andy asked, in his ‘adult’ voice.

“February 14th.” My father said promptly.

“Valentine’s Day.” I whispered to myself, at the same time Andy acknowledged the date.

“Now, isn’t that romantic?” Mrs. Porter said, smiling fondly at my father and Carrie. I tried to block all noise out, to not pay attention to their conversation, which was making my mood steadily worsen by the second.

“Yes. Carrie chose the date.” Now, why don’t we just give her a medal, then? I mean, Carrie is just so perfect. Let’s forget the fact that she threw a coffee mug at my head!

“So, who are the bridesmaids, flower girls, ring boys, all that? I mean, have you decided?” Mrs. Porter asked, her eyes gleaming with interest as she addressed Carrie.

“Oh, well we haven’t taken care of the flower girls, or ring boys. I don’t really know anyone that is that young…but the bridesmaids are going to be some close friends of mine, and of course, my stepdaughters.” Carrie said, her sinister smile showing as she looked at me. I nearly choked on air.

I glared at my dad, who one again was avoiding eye contact. It was not on accident that he failed to tell me this. And since when was I Carrie’s ‘stepdaughter’? She certainly wasn’t my stepmother. She was just some expensive woman who my father had been dating for a while. Yes, that’s right.

“Well then,” Mrs. Porter said, smiling at me. “You must be excited too, aren’t you Lily?”

I could feel my father’s eyes on me, but this time it was I who didn’t look him in the eye. I felt my throat seizing up, and I suddenly wanted to cry.

“I—” I began, looking at my fork and knife. “I…I have to go to the ladies’ room for a moment, please excuse me.”

I didn’t care that Carrie was shaking her head and exchanging glances with Petunia, and I didn’t care that Mr. Porter had an amused expression on his face. All I cared about was that my father just adjusted his glasses, smiling at Terry as he brought the drinks.


I stayed in the bathroom for a good ten minutes, just staring at my reflection. My face was oddly pale today; especially because of the dark maroon I was wearing tonight. And for some reason, James’s grinning face came into mind, and I wanted him to be there with me. He always had something funny to say, something that made me want to laugh even though I wouldn’t admit it.

“I hate this.” I muttered, not really knowing what I was hating. It could have been the dress that I was wearing, the sour look on my face, my father, or even the constant butterflies in my stomach that were occurring because I thought of James. All I knew was that I didn’t want to spend Christmas with my father, or Petunia, or Carrie, and definitely not the Porters.

But I walked out anyway, taking my seat as my father frowned at me from across the table.

“I already ordered your food.” He said, giving me a stern look that was clearly saying that I shouldn’t have spent so much time in the loo. Okay then.

The food took a very long time, since the restaurant was so crowded tonight. I didn’t say much in the wait, just nodded or shook my head if someone asked me a question. My stomach was rumbling the entire time, and I was glad when Terry came back, holding two trays.

Apparently my father had ordered shrimp for me to eat, something I cannot stand. It was on a fancy plate, with some lettuce decorations, and I wondered how I could live so long with one man, and he didn’t even know what I liked to eat.

“Lily dear, is your food good?” Mrs. Porter asked, as she cut some steak, something I would eagerly trade for. I nodded, not willing to open my mouth and say that it was disgusting and I wish I could eat something else. Carrie smiled with approval.

“What time is it?” Petunia asked, suddenly. She hadn’t spoken the entire time with no one other than Vernon, so I raised my eyebrow.

Andy of course, took this as an immediate opportunity to show off his watch, making a huge show of swiveling out his arm, almost hitting his elbow in my face, and checking the time.

“11: 40.” He said clearly. Only twenty minutes to go, till Christmas.

“My, my.” My father said. “That is a nice watch, Andrew.”

Someone kill me, now.

“Thank you.” He said, smiling smugly. And I had to sit next to him…

“Only a couple minutes left.” Mrs. Porter said, sipping on her practically full drink. “Time does fly, when you’re having fun.”

And time inches toward the cliff, ready to fling itself, when you’re having a bore.
“Would anyone like champagne?” Terry asked, appearing yet again, out of thin air.

He poured a few glasses and I decided to try it. The glass was thin and fragile looking…and I was suddenly afraid of dropping it.

The twenty minutes passed when the most eventful thing that happened was that I spilled my water over my maroon dress, earning my father’s ‘rolling eyes’ expression.

“Merry Christmas!” He said jovially, taking a sip of his drink. Everyone followed suit. “Why don’t you all come to our house for a while, and we can open presents?”

Well, then. At least I could spend the rest of Christmas in my room. Sounds great. I took a sip of champagne and tried hard not to make a face. It had a really…weird….taste.

“Okay, I’ll pay the bill.” Mr. Porter said, taking out his wallet.

“No, no. I insist.” My father said, taking out his own. “I invited you.” After much arguing, they decided to split it.

Terry was back, to take the cash and probably make sure that they were giving him a tip. He gave Carrie a smile, which she returned.

Please.” I muttered under my breath.

“Ready to go?” Andy asked, getting out of his chair as if we were a couple or something.

“Er…yes.” I said, practically jumping out of my seat so he wouldn’t pull back my chair for me. I wrapped the ridiculous shawl around me, so I wouldn’t get could.

I rode in the backseat with Petunia and Vernon, looking out the window at the headlights that were following our car. I inwardly groaned as we pulled in at our driveway, taking our food out of the car. Across the street the Potters were still in the dining room, everyone laughing and drinking…everyone except Lynn of course. I found myself wishing that James would look at our house right now, to see that we had gotten home and maybe later come by to say hello. But he didn’t…he was having a great Christmas.

“Alright, who wants to go first?” my father said eagerly, sitting by the Christmas tree while everyone followed suit. We had done ‘Secret Santa’, something I did not know until my father told me in the car. He told me not to worry though, that he had already bought the present for me to give.

“I’ll go.” Mrs. Porter said, holding a box that was wrapped in green paper with little Santa hats. “Well, the person I have, is rather new to the family…”
“Carrie.” Petunia whispered, shaking her head because no one ever made the guesswork hard.

“She’s an excellent role model, and I’m sure she’ll be a very good replacement.” She finished off, beaming at Carrie. Petunia and I froze, glaring at Mrs. Porter. Although Petunia would never admit it, I knew she had missed our mother, and still has. She used to write letters to her when she was younger, and we both planted a flower for her in the backyard.

“Replacement?” she spat to Vernon as Carrie and Mrs. Porter hugged. “That slut is hardly older than me! She’ll never be my mother.”

“The person I have,” Carrie began, standing in front of the Christmas tree and speaking loudly, her fake smile on. “Can be slightly nerving,”

I immediately knew whom she was talking about. I stared back at her, boldly.

“But deep down, is actually very sweet. I’m delighted to have her for a stepdaughter.”

I hated her. I hated her with all my heart.

“Lily!” she finished off, and for some reason my father was grinning broadly. I stood up and took my present, but didn’t hug her. And by the way she was looking at me, I didn’t think she was planning to either.

“Okay,” I said, looking nervously about. I hated talking in front of people. I threw the present Carrie gave me aside carelessly and looked at the tag that was on the present that I had supposedly bought. “The person I have…er always has a new watch.”

A few people laughed, and everyone immediately looked at Andy, who was smiling at me. Argh.

“…And he’s truly a—” I tried to find a word that described him. “nice guy. Here you go, Andy.”

Andy went up there and gave me a one-arm hug, and I briefly patted his shoulder. My face burned as Mrs. Porter whispered to my father, “Oh look at them. They’re so cute.”

I wanted more than ever to just go upstairs and sleep, my eyelids were drooping and I had to rub my eyes constantly to stay awake. But one look from my father told me that I had to sit here until they left.

After ‘Secret Santa’ was done, the Porters decided to have a cup of coffee just before leaving. We all sat at the kitchen, mostly everyone content. Petunia was in a corner, and her and Vernon were whispering to each other about things I didn’t really want to know…and I wondered if Vernon had any family…since he practically lived here anyway. Petunia seemed so happy…and I knew that the minute she was going up to that alter to say ‘I do’, she would forget me completely along with Carrie and my father and possibly even my mother, and live a normal life, like she always wanted.

Life’s not fair, is it?

“Lily, goodbye dear.” Mrs. Porter suddenly said, and I found her walking over to me and giving me a kiss on the cheek. “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas.” I said, forcing a cheerful voice. Yes I was cheerful…cheerful for them to leave.

Then came Mr. Porter, who I shook hands with, then Andy. He was grinning, probably thinking that there was some chance in between us now that my father and his mother were plotting against me. He gave me a kiss on the cheek, a kiss that lasted too long in my opinion and I tried not to grimace.

“Merry Christmas.” He whispered in my ear. Argh. I didn’t even respond to that.

Finally, we were at the front steps and waving ‘merrily’ to the Porters, which drove away. I glanced across the street; the Potters weren’t in the dining room anymore, but all the lights in the house were on, so they were probably giving out rows and rows of new presents.

“Well, I’m off to bed.” Carrie said, yawning widely and tugging on my father’s arm. He smiled at her and turned to me.

“Merry Christmas, Lil.” He said, and gave me a quick peck on the cheek before retrieving into his bedroom with Carrie. Petunia and Vernon were out in the backyard, conversing in low voices. I slumped upstairs and fell onto my bed, moving slightly to look out the window. It wasn’t snowing; there was only some frost on the ground. The Christmas lights were shining brilliantly in the neighborhood, and I closed my eyes.

I woke up later, yawning and stretching my arms and still incredibly tired. I looked out the window and saw that it was still dark. There was a weird noise outside…

I got out of my bed, looking out the window. James was down there, a handful of little rocks in his hands. He had been throwing them at my window.

“What?” I asked, opening the window and squinting my eyes into the darkness.

“Can you come down?” he asked, grinning at me as he put his hands in his pockets. He was still wearing his party clothes, like me. I looked across the street, and the Potters’ house was finally completely dark.
“Why?” I asked, rubbing my eyes and yawning. Even in the dark, I could see James’s cheeks flush slightly.

“Just come.” Was all he said. I sighed.

“Okay, hold on.” I tiptoed past Petunia’s bed, where she was sleeping with heavy breathing. I put on my slippers (I didn’t care that it didn’t match with my dress, I hated those stupid heels) and carefully went down the stairs, opening the backdoor since the front door always creaked. I made my way around the house, and there was James, a basket in his hands.

“Hey.” He said, widening his eyes slightly. “You look…”

“Ridiculous, I know.” I said, rolling my eyes. I knew he was going to try and taunt me.

“No.” he said firmly. “You don’t.”

We were quiet for a moment or two, while I looked at the basket curiously. It had a red bow at the top.

“What—” I began, he grinned at me.

“Merry Christmas.” He said, and gave it to me. He gave it to me.

I suddenly felt so embarrassed, we weren’t even friends…(Although we did kiss quite a few times) And what was worse, I didn’t get him anything. I bit my lip and took it.

“Thank…thank you.” I said faintly, not looking at it, but him. “You know, you didn’t have—”

“I know.” He said, smiling as I sat down on the front steps. He stood in front of me, watching to see if I liked whatever it was. “But I did anyway.”

I gulped, looking at the little basket that held a small pile of blankets. I raised my eyebrow at him.

“It’s under it.” He said, not able to hide his excitement. “I had to keep him warm.”

Him? I looked at him, flabbergasted. “James, you brought something alive
“Just unwrap him already.” James said, waving an impatient hand. “C’mon, I want to see if you like it.”

I carefully took the few layers of blankets to the side and gasped. “It’s a…”

“Kitten.” James said, grinning proudly as if he himself had created it. The amber tabby was barely larger than my fist, but it was so cute.

“He’s gorgeous,” I whispered in awe. “How did you—”

“My aunt’s cat just got a litter.” James said, ruffling his hair. “I knew you’d like it.”

I looked up at him, and he was smiling. He rubbed his hands together and looked at me, hot air visible in front of my face.

“I just -” I began, looking at the kitten again and covering him up. “I just can’t believe you actually…”

James shrugged. “You seemed upset about your other cat. So I got you a new one…that way you’re not so lonely at your house.”

“I don’t…” I said, looking at the ground embarrassedly and blushing. “I didn’t get you a -”

James didn’t seem upset by this at all. In fact, he grinned broadly and stood up, rubbing his palms together again.

“It’s alright.” He said, and it looked like he truly meant it. “Just give me a kiss then.”

This caused me to blush even more. “A…what?” I asked faintly.

“A kiss.” He repeated, without any difficulty. I shook my head.

“That’s not a real present.” I said, frowning slightly. He tsced, as if he knew better and bent down on his knees, so we were face to face.

“To me it is.” He whispered. He stared at me expectantly, and I suddenly wanted to run away. “And it’ll be the best present I got so far.”

There was no turning back now. I was doomed. Doomed.

But I kissed him back anyway, and all worry was swept off my mind. For a moment I forgot about my father’s nasty stares, Carrie’s evil fakeness, Petunia’s carelessness. It was all gone…for now.

“James,” I said breathlessly, as we pulled away. I was shaking my head as I looked at his face, which was flushed from either the cold or embarrassment. “I can’t. I can’t -”

James looked me in the eyes, and I saw my reflection in his hazel ones. “Can’t, or won’t?” Both.
I couldn’t get hurt again, I couldn’t. Wasn’t Zach enough? My heart hadn’t even healed yet, and this was James, he’d dump me from his heart in a week or so.”

“I have to go.” I said, getting up and clutching the basket. For a moment I thought of giving back the kitten…but no. It was his present to me, right? I mean it would be rude if I just–

I turned and opened the door, forgetting about the creak. “Merry Christmas.” I said, and then I closed it in his face.

Chapter 19: Chapter Nineteen
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I was walking in the park by our neighborhood, where children were playing on the slides and swinging on the swing sets. There was a baby clinging to his mother’s chest, his older sister hanging onto the skirt.

“Mama, hold me too.” She complained, throwing envious glares at her baby brother. I chuckled, but no one seemed to hear me.

“Honey, I can’t. You know that your brother is only a baby.” She said. Her eyes were outlined in dark circles, and she looked exhausted. A part of her still shone though, her eyes were brilliant as she looked at her children, and she wouldn’t stop smiling.

“Fine.” The girl huffed, and she stalked off to the slide, where her toddler playmates were waiting for her. The mother turned to me, a startled look on her face as she noticed I was there.

“Oh, hello.” She said, smiling at me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.”

“It’s alright.” I said, as a little boy rushed past me, eager to get to the tire swing. “Wow. You seem so…happy.” I thought about the feeling, and wished I had more of it.

“Oh, I am.” She said, and her toothy smile never left her face. “It’s my children you know. You’ll have one too, and you’ll see. They bright up your day, and you will see truly, why you are living.”

“What?” I asked, and I knew I looked horrified. “I’m going…to have a child?”

“Not now, dear!” she said, at the look of horror on her face. “Later yes, a baby boy. Oh you’ll love him dearly, I daresay. His name will be Harry.”

“Harry…” I repeated, and found that I fell in love with the name at once. But then everything suddenly was turning black, and I was falling...


I woke up, looking up at the ceiling and hearing the pounding of my heart in my ears. I sat up straight, glancing about as I rubbed my eyes. It was a sunny morning, and light came flowing into the room, through the curtains. It hadn't snowed last night.

Last night...I was starting to recall. I couldn't understand why there was such excitement in my heart, it might have been my dream...that really made no sense. Harry was a nice name though, and I immediately knew that was the name that my son would carry.

I was starting to feel like it was finally Christmas, and I dunked under my bed, taking the presents out that I had hidden to give today. I put on a jumper over my nightgown, and I was beginning to walk towards the door when something caught my eye.

The basket was by my bed, still in the red bow, and still in a tangle of blankets. I bent over it and found that the cat wasn't there anymore, and I started to panic. Where could it be? What if it went outside and was run over by a car or eaten by a dog?

"Oh no," I began, starting to look desperately under the beds and drawers. "Kitty!" I whispered, since I hadn't found it a name yet. "Where are you?"

It wasn't in my room, or in the bathroom. I hurried into the hall, where it too was absent and went downstairs, where my father was at the table, drinking coffee. And at his feet...was the kitten.

"'Morning, Lily." he said, glancing over at me with the terrified look on my face. I ran over there and put the cat in my palm, stroking it as it purred at me. "Where did you get the cat?"

My mind pondered on what to say, and I bought time by getting some milk for it. "I er...." I started, thinking of what next. "Um...you mean this cat?" It was a stupid question, and I blushed once I heard it with my own ears.

"Yes," my father said slowly, looking at the newspaper. "This cat."

"I...got it, at well..." I said, stumbling over my words. The word 'James' was itching to come out of my mouth, but I knew that I would have to explain when James had come, and why he was here, and what exactly was going on... "Hogwarts."

"Hogwarts," he repeated.

"Well not exactly at Hogwarts," I said in a voice which I thought wasn't very convincing. "But in Hogsmeade, you know, the village by Hogwarts."

It took him a while to answer, and I knew he was thinking it over, to see if I was telling the truth or not. I knew my chances weren't good, since I wasn't being a good liar.

"Okay." he said finally. "Just take care of it, and clean up after it. I don't want fur all over the house."
"I know." I said immediately. I looked for something else to say. "Oh, here. It's your present."

I handed him over the wrapped mug, and he smiled at me. "Thank you." he said, and unwrapped it. His expression contorted in examination, as he turned it over, looking at the moving pictures. My father, unlike Petunia, thought that the magical world was fascinating.

"Lily," he began, finally looking at me. "I don't think you ever knew this but, I'm so proud of you, and all that you have done." I wasn't sure if he was talking about me being a witch, or if it had something to do with my mother. There was an awkward silence, we weren't used to complimenting each other.

"Well," I said, forcing a smile. "I think I should go give this to Carrie. Where is she?"

"In the bedroom." he replied, and returned to reading the newspaper. I nodded and turned right, and into my father's room.

Carrie wasn't in there though, the bed was neatly made and the lights of the bathroom and bedroom were off. I sighed in relief as I put the present onto the bedside cabinet...I didn't want to confront Carrie now.


Turns out that Petunia detested her present, (surprise, surprise) and Carrie hadn't even mentioned anything about the jewelry I got for her. We ate our Christmas dinner quietly, and I immediately knew that everyone was itching to go somewhere else. Petunia kept on glancing at the clock above the window, and Carrie's irritated sighs were staring to irritate me, and so were the looks that she gave my father.

"That was delicious." my father said, as I washed the plates in the sink. "You and Petunia did a great job, cooking."

I nodded, not saying much, like at the dinner. Petunia was already out the door, where Vernon was waiting for her at the driveway. My father cleared his throat.

"I was wondering," he said, looking down at the ground. "If it would be alright if Carrie and I stepped out for a bit? Carrie has heard of a party going on at a friend's house, and she's very excited about going." I put some dishes to dry, and nodded. That was all my dad needed. He gave me a peck on the cheek. "Excellent, I'll see you later, alright?"

"Alright." I said dully. He didn't seem to notice, and was out the front door, starting up the car. I heard footsteps behind me, and turned around. Carrie was already dressed into another dress.

"Put that pot in the trash." was all she said. She walked out after my father, closing it behind her. I glanced at the windowsill and saw the old and cracked plant pot that was still sitting there. I sighed and looked up at the sky, which was already navy blue and full of twinkling stars.

"Merry Christmas," I said to myself, and finished up with the dishes. I cleaned up the table and the counters, where there was still grease from the food. I hadn't bothered to dress up, so I was in some beige shorts and a pink tank top, my hair up in a messy bun.

When the kitchen was spotless, and sparkling clean, I turned to the windowsill again and winced. I never did what Carrie told me to, which is why I hadn't thrown it away the first time she told me to. But the muddy and broken pot was really bugging me. Now that I had spent a good one hour on it, the kitchen had to be clean.

So I wrapped a blanket around me that was on the couch, (I was too lazy to go get a coat) and took the pot, opening the screen door and grimacing. It was freezing outside, and I was stupid not to wear slippers or something. But they were all away upstairs...and I was way too lazy to get them.

I shivered and wrapped the blanket tighter around me, my messy bun coming loose and the tie coming out and falling to the floor. I grunted and wrapped it around my wrist, making my way to the white wooden gates that lead to my front yard, where the garbage can was.

But something made me stop. The driveway was empty now, since it had been a while that everyone left, but headlights were coming closer, up the street and pulling in. A light colored, shiny car, and out came a woman.

"Who's there?" I asked, my voice clear and piercing through the silence. I heard a sniff, and a sad little noise came from the lady. "Who's there?"

She was coming toward me, and somehow this all seemed familiar to me, like I had lived through it before. I gasped as the woman pulled down the hood of her winter coat, revealing her face.

No...it couldn't be. It wasn't possible.

"Lilian?" My breath came rapidly, and I was staring at her...thoughts pounding through my head. "Is that really you?"

She was alive. She was there, breathing in front of me. My mother was standing in front of me. My heart was pounding through my brain, it was practically all I could hear.

"Leave me alone!" I yelled. "Why are you here?" There was a strange silence...and again all I could hear was my heart as I glared at my mother. She furrowed her eyebrows at me, as if she wasn't comprehending...as if this was nothing to her. She left me...so what, right?
"Lily it's your mother. Don't you remember me?" I had dreamed about this moment since the day I woke up and ran to my mother's bedroom...her bed empty. But now, I wanted to scream and yell at her, although I couldn't utter a word right now. I hated her.

"Get out." I finally said, glaring at her with all the hatred I possessed. She looked like she was close to tears.

"What?"

"You heard me." I said, my voice stinging even myself. "No one wants you here, Virginia. No one."

I felt the broken pieces of the pot fall onto my toes, cutting through my skin, but I didn't care. I ran as fast as I could, as if Virginia was a monster that was running after me.

But she was a monster. And I was glad that she had stayed in place.

I closed the door as fast as I could, locking it and sobbing hysterically. When had the tears come?

My face was contorted in every emotion that I could bear. Love, hatred, and anger. The tears just kept on coming, and I felt as if I'd never stop. Everything was at a pause right now, as I cried and cried, and mumbled to myself. In the distance I could hear her car driving away.

"It's not fair...she doesn't know..." I knew that Virginia had crying outside too. Because I had seen it before. My dreams were coming true.

I pounded my fist to the ground, and let the pain flow inside of me, like poison.

Like poison.


I was still crying, when Petunia came into my room much later that night. She raised an eyebrow at me, as she noticed that my face was tear stained, and red from crying. I imagined to look like a big tomato, with my red hair and face.

"What is it?" Petunia asked, but her voice wasn't comforting at all. She still had her snappy manner, and she was looking at me as if she was forced to ask because she was my sister.

"She's back." I mumbled, but Petunia didn't hear me.

"What?" she snapped, looking at me as if I was the most irritating thing in the world.
"Virginia is back." I said, this time clearly. I glared up at her, to see her reaction.

"What?" she spat, narrowing her eyes as she put her hands on her hips. "That's impossible."

"I saw her." I said, and my voice sounded dead. "Tonight." This time her frown slowly faded away, and she stared at me blankly.

"No." she said faintly, shaking her head as if trying to convince herself. "She can't be." She closed her eyes and hid them with her palm.

I stood up, wiping my eyes with my sleeve. For a moment I thought of walking the short space in between us and hugging her...but something held me back.

"Petunia..."

"No." she said firmly, opening her eyes with her frown back on. "She's not. She's dead, Lily."

"She's not dead!" I said angrily. Petunia never believed me. "I saw her! Tonight...and she'll come back. So if you don't believe me," I continued, crawling back into my bed. "Then fine. You'll see tomorrow."

For a minute I saw a flicker of doubt pass through Petunia's brown eyes, but she quickly shadowed it with her hand. She stayed there for a moment, and I heard her sniff.

"Why are you doing this?" she asked faintly, finally looking at me. Tears were flowing down her face, and her weakness stung me. Petunia had never showed any strong emotion since our mother left. "I was almost...almost forgetting about her. And now-"

"You'll never forget her." I said quietly, looking at my knees that were folded up in front of me. "None of us will."

She frowned at me, and she suddenly looked older... "You're wrong." she spat, and then slammed the door behind her. I heard her footsteps down the stairs and out the door. Before, when I was younger, I'd always go to the window and see where she was going. If she was taking my dad's car, if one of her boyfriends was coming to get her, or if she was just walking. This time though, I stayed in my bed.


That night I dreamt about the playground again. The mother and her children were still there, and she was still smiling.

"You saw her, didn't you?" she asked, and I wondered why in the world was she looking so calm, so happy.

"Yes." I said hoarsely. "I did."
"How did it go?" she asked patiently, and held her baby boy onto her hip.

"Horrible." I said dully. I didn't know why I was emptying my soul out to her...I guess it was because this was all a dream. "I can't believe her."

The mother sighed, nodding her head. And her smile finally faded. "I can't either." She suddenly looked stony, and her gaze fell onto her little girl, who was playing hide and go seek with her friends.

"Who are you?" I blurted out, but she wasn't listening to me.

"No, don't do that honey." she called out to the little girl. "You'll get hurt, Virginia."



"You look tired, Lily." my father said the next morning, sipping onto his coffee.

"I didn't sleep well." I said, and I noticed that Petunia kept on shooting glances at the door, as if Virginia would burst out the door any second. "Nightmares." I said absentmindedly, taking my plate to the sink and going to the refrigerator to get milk for my kitten, who I still hadn't found a name for yet.

"Can someone get the post?" my father asked, raising his eyebrows at Petunia and I.

"I'll get it." I said, since Petunia wasn't making any signs of life. I went to the door and walked outside, this time being smart in wearing slippers and a coat. I hated how our door didn't have a mail slot, and we always had to go outside to see if it was on our porch. I bent over and picked up the letters, not bothering to look through them since I never got mail the muggle way. I heard some laughter from across the street and looked over my shoulder.

Sirius was running out the Potters' door, James following dully behind him and not looking nearly as enthusiastic.

"Do I really have to-" he stopped in mid sentence as he glanced across the street, at me. Sirius looked up also, to see what James was staring at.

"Evans!" Sirius exclaimed. "I suppose you came outside to see my motorcycle too, eh?" He made a sweeping motion with his arms, pointing them at the motorcycle that I had just noticed as if it were some huge prize in a game show. I rolled my eyes and already had my hand on the door knob. "Wait! Hey Evans, don't you want to see it?"

"Not really." I said loudly, as one of my neighbors stuck their head out of one of their windows, scowling at us for talking so loud.

"C'mon." Sirius said, grinning at me. James was being awfully silent, his hands in his pockets. Behind him I saw Lynn in the window, staring at us with her hand pressed against the glass.

"Fine." I said, rolling my eyes and smiling at Lynn. She quickly moved out of sight. I walked over to them, looking at the bike. It was completely black, and had more gadgets and buttons at the handles than most motorcycles. "It's nice." was all I said.

"Nice?" Sirius repeated in disbelief. "This is the best motorcycle you'll ever lay eyes on, Evans."

"It looks like any other motorcycle to me." James said, crossing his arms and smirking at me. I blushed.

"What's wrong with you two?" Sirius said incredulously, his voice becoming louder by the second. "This is not any ordinary motorcycle. It flies."

I couldn't help but feel impressed. "Sirius," James said dully, shaking his head. "This neighborhood is full of muggles. Keep it down, okay?"

"I suppose that your parents gave it to you." I said, looking at the shiny and brand new metal.

"Nope." Sirius said proudly. "A present from me, to me. A Christmas gift, see."

"You're insane." I said, shaking my head. "This must have cost a fortune."

"I sold my car for it." Sirius said, giving a sheepish grin. "The folks weren't too happy about it. That's why I came over here. Regulus though...ha he'll never admit it but he was burning in envy, I'm telling you."

"But you're flying it illegally." I pointed out. Sirius shrugged, as if that wasn't important.

"What they did to the motorcycle is illegal too." Sirius said. "It's illegal to put spells on muggle artifacts."

"Right." I said, pretending that this information wasn't new to me. "Anyway, nice motorcycle. I have to go though."

"Hey wait," Sirius called out, as I was half way across the street. He looked uncomfortable, and ruffled his hair, reminding me of James. "Have you seen Gaby, yet? I mean, I heard she's off in Venezuela but I'm not sure when she'll get back."

"No." I said suspiciously. "She'll be back a day or so before break ends. Why?"

"Just wondering." Sirius said, shrugging. James raised an eyebrow at him.

"Alright." I said, taking one last glance at James. "Bye then." And I ran up to the porch, and into the house.

I hung my coat up and walked over to the kitchen, handing my father the post. He smiled at me as he took it, looking through the many letters. He furrowed his eyebrows at the first few, throwing them immediately in the trash. Petunia was staring blankly at her coffee, very silent. She continued like that for the rest of breakfast, until she finally cleared her throat, her gaze on my father.

"Father," she began, and I grimaced, bracing myself for what was coming next. "Yesterday...Lily told me something."

My dad folded his newspaper and glanced at me, before looking at Petunia with a grim expression. "And what is that?" he said, talking directly to Petunia. His 'fatherlike voice' was coming on...the one he used for only rare and serious occasions.

"She told me," Petunia said, pausing and taking a deep breath. Her tone wasn't snappy, and for once, she sounded human. "That...our mother came to visit yesterday." There was an odd silence, and all eyes were on me. I looked unsteadily at my toast.

"Lilian," he said, looking at me seriously. I had no choice but to look up. "Is this true?"

"Of course it's true!" Petunia snapped, back to her usual manner. "Don't you ever believe me?"

"I just want to clarify things," he said calmly, slowly shifting his gaze to Petunia, then back to me.

"Petunia's telling the truth," I said quietly. "Virginia came yesterday...she probably wanted to talk to you or something, but you weren't home. I was." I wondered why I couldn't call her 'mother' anymore.

My father stared hard at me, with the impression that he was thinking over something.

"Well," he said briskly, standing up and pushing in his chair. "You were probably dreaming, Lily."

"I wasn't dreaming." I said evenly. He ignored me though, and continued to pace the kitchen, stopping at the door knob of his room. He looked at me as if giving me a chance to defend myself, to repeat that I wasn't dreaming, but I kept quiet. I didn't feel like arguing, and my family would see the truth soon enough. He sighed and opened the door, closing it behind him.

"Why didn't you tell him?" Petunia spat, looking close to tears again. "Now he probably thinks we're crazy or something, imagining dead people coming back to life."

"She was never dead!" I shot back at her, feeling my face grow hot with fury. "She's been lying to you, to me, to dad-"

"Shut up!" she yelled suddenly. And I widened my eyes, taken aback. "I don't want to hear it!" She knocked over her mug of coffee, spilling its contents onto the table. "I've had enough." she said, and took her coat from the back of her chair, making her way to the door in merely seconds.

I heard the door slam, and quickly dodged away from the table, where the coffee was about to spill on me. My legs felt like lead when I walked up the stairs, and into my room. I widened my eyes as I noticed that there was an owl at my windowsill, staring at me with its yellow eyes.

I walked steadily to the window, opening it and letting it land onto my bed, ruffling its feathers. It was a handsome black one, and it kept staring at me unblinkingly, and I knew I probably had to answer right away.

"Fine," I muttered, taking the letter that was tied to its leg. I unfolded the parchment, my eyes scanning what was written of the very short letter.

Lily,

I'm coming over your house whether you like it or not.

Love,

James.


Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
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"Argh." I groaned, closing my eyes and opening them to see if the writing had changed. Nope, didn't work. I grunted and fell down onto my bed, throwing the parchment aside. I felt something sharp pierce my ankle and I looked up, forgetting about the owl that was still ruffling its feathers on my bed. "I'm not answering." I said, not caring that I was being sort of unstable in talking to an animal. It pecked my ankle again. "Fine." I walked over to my window, peering across the street, where James quickly hid out of sight from his window. Sirius's face appeared instead, squinting at my house until he noticed I was watching. He grinned and waved, while I tore the parchment apart, taking the owl and shoving it off my windowsill.

Who did he think he was?

It had to be a joke. Yes, it was definitely a joke. Probably some sort of prank James and Sirius had wanted to pull on me to make me hide in my bedroom, in fear that he was coming over.

I was wrong though.
Indeed, James did come to my house at midnight, but Sirius wasn't with him. I looked nervously at my sister as I sat up in my bed, listening to him hissing my name outside, and throwing pebbles at my window.

"Lily! Hey Lily!" I glanced at my sister, who grunted in her sleep and rolled over in her bed. James threw another pebble. I groaned and got out of my bed, opening the window and letting the chilly wind hit my face.

"Lily, I'm not leaving till— Oh. Hey."

"What do you want?" I whispered, narrowing my eyes and careful not to wake up my sister, who was a light sleeper. Even though I looked like I was about to murder him, he grinned at me.

"I told you I would come," he said.

"But I didn't tell you that I'd let you in," I retorted, feeling grumpy cause I was very sleepy, spending the night watching my window for any signs of James.

"But you did say that you would come outside and talk to me," James said, raising his eyebrow. I scowled at him.

"I did not—" I began angrily, but Petunia rolled in her sleep again. "No, I didn't." I said, whispering now.

"Okay," James said, putting his hands in his pockets and kicking at the ground. "So you didn't exactly say it, but you did want to see me."

I couldn't help but snort, although I blushed. "Right." I said. He looked up at me, grinning and raising both of his eyebrows.

"Well? Aren't you coming?" he asked expectantly.

"What do you want?" I repeated slowly.

"I just want to talk to you." Why would he want to do that?

"Okay," I whispered. "But just for a minute, okay?" James nodded, and I closed the window slowly, grimacing as it creaked. I put on my slippers and walked carefully down the stairs, reaching for my coat. "What is it?" I said, closing the door behind me as I looked at James, who already was waiting for me in the front. He shrugged.

"Dunno." he said, and for some reason, I blushed again. "You do that a lot now, don't you?" he asked suddenly, and grinned.
"Do what?" I said, blushing even more as he took my arm and pulled me into the driveway.

"Blush." he said simply, and turned around to smile at me again.

"I've always blushed." I said defensively, and I hated my face for feeling so hot.

"But now you do it more." James said, stopping in his tracks. I noticed that he was taking me for a walk on the sidewalk, and I had been oblivious about it. He put an arm around by waist, and whispered in my ear, "Is it because of me?"

"No." I said hotly, and pushed him aside. He clucked his tongue, shaking his head.

"You're a difficult one, Evans."

"I just don't want your fingers all over me," I said, frowning, even though I knew that his hands on my waist weren't exactly 'all over me'. "You're not even my boyfriend!"

"Because you won't let me," James reminded me.

"And so what?" I snapped, and walked slightly faster. He caught up with me anyway.

"I mean think about it," James said, as if he was explaining some difficult Artimacy problem. "I've been asking you out for what...seven years?"

"About." I said, rolling my eyes.

"And I mean, not to brag or anything, but I'm a pretty good boyfriend—" he said, which made me snort.

"Let me remind you that most of your relationships last a week. Two at the most."

"I know, but they were happy with me, right?"

"I don't know."

"So why would you say no?" he persisted, furrowing his eyebrows as if he just didn't get it.

"Maybe," I said, leaning in to look at him face to face. "It's because you're a conceited prat."

"And yet you're here with me," he said, grinning. "Taking a walk at midnight."

"That's only because you insisted." I argued, waving my hand to slap away an invisible fly.

"Ho ho," he began, laughing. "Are you telling me Lily Evans, the stubborn girl who won't go out with me just to be different is that easily convinced? Admit it, you wanted to come out here."

"What? I don't say no to you just because—"

"I mean," James said loudly, drowning out my voice. "Why else would you want to come out at a very cold night, when it's snowing?"

"I'm not stubborn." I said heatedly.

"You're avoiding the question."

"Because you just insulted me!" I retorted.

"And you insult me nearly everyday."

"Oh shut up." I said, rolling my eyes. "You deserve it."

"And you don't?" James said, raising an eyebrow. I looked at him hard, frowning.

"No." I said firmly. James laughed.

"See? You are stubborn."

"I am not.”

"Then prove it." James said, reminding me of a little boy. "Tell me, that you wanted to come out here."

"I didn't, I already told you—"

"Merlin." James said, rolling his eyes. "Just say it."

I scowled at him. “You’re so annoying.” I finally said. James grinned.

“So are you.” He replied, I glared at him.

“Fine!” I burst out angrily. I didn’t know why I was even saying this. “I wanted to come out here.” James raised his eyebrow expectantly.

“With…” he said, encouraging me to continue.

“With you.” I said dully. James did a little whooping gesture and gave me a kiss on the cheek that lasted way longer than just a peck.
“See?” he said, putting his arm around my shoulder. “That wasn’t so hard.” I blushed and cursed myself inside my head, looking from the corner of my eye at his arm. I noticed that I was letting James steadily get away with more and more things. Like he said, he was breaking through my ice. “Anyway, I wanted to talk to you.”

“Right.” I said slowly, sitting down at a bench with him.

“What’s going on at your house?” he said, twirling a piece of my hair with his finger. He knows too much.

“Nothing.” I said, trying to make it sound nonchalant.

“Right.” He said, rolling his eyes. “Seriously, though.”

“How do you know all of these things?” I drawled, turning to look at him. Bad mistake.

“Dunno.” He said, shrugging. “You just seem…upset.” Upset was an understatement.

“Well nothing’s wrong.” I said confidently. “I’m fine.” He stared at me hard, and I forced myself to look at him in the eye, but he knew it was my weak point.

“Okay.” He finally said. “If you say so.”

“I do.” I said softly, and looked at my slippers. I felt him kiss my head, and felt my whole body shudder. “What time is it?” I said suddenly, feeling uncomfortable.

“Dunno.” He said, although it didn’t seem he was paying much attention. His arm was sliding around my waist and he was scooting closer.

“James,” I said in a warning tone. He sighed in my ear.

“What?” he asked innocently.

“Stop it.” I said firmly, scooting away from him. “I thought you wanted to talk to me.”

“I did.” He said casually. I turned to look at him, but he practically threw himself on me, kissing me hard. I shoved him away, making him groan in protest.

“I said stop it.” I hissed at him, he rolled his eyes.

“What’s your problem anyway? One minute it seems like you actually want something with me, then you’re back to treating me like scum again.”

I frowned at him, getting more annoyed by the second. “Are you saying I’m a tease?” I said disgustedly.

“Yes.” James said incredulously. I furrowed my eyebrows at him.

“Fine, then.” I said, jumping out of my seat and walking towards the sidewalk. Naturally, James followed.

Honestly, Lily.” James said exasperatedly, ruffling his hair. “What’s so hard?”

“We’re not even friends!” I spat at him. “Just stay away from me, okay?”

“You know I can’t do that.”

Yes, you can.” I said firmly, and walked up to my house. “I don’t like you that way.”

“You know, before I actually believed you when you said that. But now, I highly doubt it.” James said matter-of-factly. He sighed in frustration. “Will you ever give me a chance?” I stopped at my door, my hand on the knob.

“No.” I said slowly. “I can’t.”

“Then go ahead.” James said. “Go hide in your room.” I knew he had gone too far, but I didn’t say anything. I just opened the door, watching him walk down my driveway.

I knew I was losing something when I watched him ruffle his hair in the middle of the street, walking steadily up to his house. For a minute I thought he’d look back, but he didn’t. Not even when he reached his front door, closing it behind him.

Not that I cared. No, not at all.

I was being so stupid. I should just close the door right now. But I didn’t. I waited until I saw him in his bedroom, closing the curtains. I rolled my eyes and shut the door, pressing my back against it as I stared at my ceiling. I felt as if a rock was thrown at the bottom of my stomach, and my heart was beating rather loud. All of this, because of James.

No. It was not because of James. James had nothing to do with this.

I wanted to kick the wall or break something, but I knew I would be in even a worse mood if my father woke up.

Merlin, how I hated him. I hated him so much. Even if…it was only for a few seconds. I was starting to have second thoughts, maybe I should go over to his house and apologize?
For what? What did I do? I am completely innocent. Completely.



Well, so what if I’ve been rejecting him for seven years, possibly breaking his heart every time I did so? I had the right to say no. But…maybe I shouldn’t have been so mean to him. Maybe I could’ve said ‘no’, in a little nicer way. I blew air through my mouth, closing my eyes.

What was happening to me?

I took of my coat and hung it up, carefully walking up the steps and into my room. I left my slippers beside my bed and lay there, just…thinking.

I didn’t even know why I was spending so much time on him…James wasn’t a complicated person to understand. I was a complicated person to understand. Not James.

I hated him.


I was soon counting down the days back to Hogwarts, where my mind would be occupied by nothing but studying and friends. Gaby had sent me another postcard by muggle post, telling me how much she missed me and how it was great spending time with her cousins. Grace used her owl to send me a Christmas present, which was an emerald green scarf, where the letter ‘L’ was imprinted in gold in the corner. Nothing had really happened the day after I said yet another ‘no’ to James, except the entire house was disgruntled…full of worries of Virginia. My father would snap whenever we tried to say something, even if it was ‘Good morning’, and Petunia now looked torn apart…always trying to hide the fact that she was crying. Carrie was highly suspicious…since my father didn’t tell her what was going on.

But he couldn’t hide Virginia any longer. Not now, when she was at our door, ringing the doorbell.

My first thought was that it was James. Probably trying to get me into trouble because he was mad at me. I was practically chewing my fingernails when my father went and opened the door.

“I want to talk to my daughters.” Was the first thing she said, her voice bold and defiant. Petunia and I froze and Carrie immediately jumped out of her seat, raising an eyebrow at me before running to my father’s assistance. My father turned his head and looked at us, a frown on his face and a warning look not to come.

“You’ve got no business here, Virginia.” My father said. “And I don’t recall inviting you over.”
I gaped at his back, wondering why his reaction wasn’t the same as Petunia’s and mine; which was shock.

“You can’t block me away from them,” she said angrily, her voice quavering. Petunia’s eyes started to water again as she put her spoon down, not wanting to eat her cereal anymore. “I’m their mother.”

“A mother who walked out on them when they were children.” My father said coldly, and Carrie looked highly disgruntled. That shut Virginia up.

“I wasn’t happy with you,” she began after a few moments’ silence, and I knew my father was grimacing. “And I’m sure this girl won’t be either. You always liked younger girls, didn’t you Charles? First me, then this one.”

“Look here, lady,” Carrie began, her voice low and dangerous. “I don’t even know you.” I was trying as best I could to shut my ears out, and I knew it would be easier just to walk up to my room. I stayed put though. Petunia however, frowned at the table, knocking over her juice angrily and running up to my dad.

“Petunia!” Virginia exclaimed tearfully, and I watched as Petunia raced into her arms, sobbing hysterically. This was getting crazy. “Is he taking care of you, darling? Where’s Lily?”

“Petunia,” my father began, and I could feel him narrowing his eyes. “Go up to your room.”

“Let me talk to her!” Virginia said, and I could see pleading in her eyes as I put my dish in the sink. “Where’s Lily?” she asked again, and I sunk into the shadows, not bearing to look at her anymore.

“This is ridiculous.” Carrie spat at my father. “Tell this woman to get out of our house.”

“I’m going with you,” Petunia said suddenly. “Take me with you, mum. Please.”

“That’s it!” my father yelled. “Petunia, go up to you room.”

“I’m not going anywhere!” Petunia yelled back. “I’m leaving with my mum.”

“Petunia, this woman hasn’t been part of your life four nearly twelve years.” My father babbled, starting to sound comical. “You can’t possibly want to go live with her, when I’ve been here for you all this time!”

“You should listen to your father.” Carrie said in a warning tone, like she owned the place. Like she actually was our mother.

“Look what you’ve done,” he said angrily. “Petunia has gone hysterical now, all because of you. For the last time Virginia, leave. Or I’ll call the cops.”

“Fine,” Virginia hissed. “I’m leaving. But Petunia’s coming with me. I’ll come back for Lily, Charles. Keep an eye out.”

I heard my father slam the door, the sound echoing through the house. Soon there was a rumble of an engine. I peeked around the corner…Petunia was gone.

“What the fuck was that about?” Carrie immediately spat at my dad. “You told me that hag was dead!”

“Not now, Carrie.” My father said in his warning voice, glancing at me. “Lily, go to your room.” I stared at him, feeling goosebumps up my arm at the angry look he was giving me. “Don’t disappoint me, like your sister.”

I knew better than to stay put. The way his face was flushed with anger, it looked probable that he’d hit me if I said ‘no’, even though he never hit me before.

Go.”

I slowly walked up the stairs, hearing Carrie and my father yell at each other. I closed my eyes and stood up against the wall, putting a hand over my mouth.

Keep an eye out.” was what she said. And I knew that my father was smarter than ignoring that.


Sometimes I just felt like jumping out the window and running to Kings’ Cross…and wait there till Platform 9 ¾ was opened. My father and Carrie were fighting constantly, more than usual. Sometimes I thought they’d call off the wedding. (Not that I would mind) But even though I’d never admit it aloud…I could understand Carrie’s point. I mean, my father was telling her all this time they’ve been together that Virginia was dead…the same lie he head told me and Petunia. And now I knew why he wasn’t shocked to see her: He knew. I heard him talking (rather yelling) at Carrie the other day.

“I’m your fiancee and you still haven’t told me why she’s here!” Carrie yelled at my father, and I heard something crash against a wall. It didn’t surprise me; I mean she did throw a coffee cup at me before. “I can’t believe you! Why did you lie?”

“Because of your big mouth!” he bellowed back at her. “Petunia and Lily don’t need to suffer anymore than they already have. If I told you that she was alive, you would certainly let it slip to them. They don’t need to know.”

“Forget about them! For one second, forget about your daughters! How about me?” Hmpf. He already has, thanks to you dear Carrie.
“They were here first.” He said evenly. “Now I’m imploring you, let’s not talk about Virginia anymore.” Carrie laughed sarcastically.

“‘Let’s not talk about Virginia anymore’. Right. Let’s just let it die, shall we? I mean, I’m only your fiancee.”

“Yes.” My father finally said, and I heard the door creak open from my room. “You’re only my fiancee.” He slammed the door behind him, as I ran to the window of my room, watching him walk down the driveway and into our garage. He came out with his car moments later. James was with Sirius at the time at the front porch, just watching. I knew he knew something was wrong. But he ignored it.

I didn’t risk going down to eat lunch that day. Carrie would probably take it out on me…probably throw another coffee cup. Whatever. I had too much on my mind anyway.

Petunia hadn’t shown any sign of life, no call or nothing. My father had momentarily pretended that he only had one daughter…something he did often when she really pissed him off. But I heard something in his room the other day; he was holding Petunia’s sweet sixteen picture, and he was crying. It startled me to see him crying…and I wondered if I had ever seen him cry before.

I had no idea what to do…so I just walked back to the kitchen and sat down.

I was starting to think that Virginia wasn’t coming back…the day before I had to leave for the Hogwarts express. Everything was packed and ready…and Henn was meeting me at Kings’ Cross, in front of the barrier. I couldn’t wait to go back….and get away from all of, well this.

But just my luck, Virginia did show up that night. She was without Petunia, though.

“Ignore it, Lily.” My father said immediately at the table when we were eating dinner and we all heard the doorbell. “You too, Carrie.” Carrie grunted, holding her fork with her hand shaking with anger. The doorbell rang three more times, and Virginia didn’t leave. We could’ve at least be smart enough to turn off the lights. “Wait…one minute. Lily come with me.” My father said, after the third chime. He furrowed his eyebrows and pushed in his chair, walking steadily to the door.

I widened my eyes. “What? No, I can’t.” He raised his eyebrow at me.

“Yes,” he said slowly. “you can.”

“Don’t make me dad.” I said imploringly. “I can’t, please. I can’t face her.”
“Lily, stop acting childish. You will get the door, and you’ll tell your mother that you don’t need her…and to bring Petunia back.”

“I can’t—”

Go.” I gulped, slowly pushing in my chair as Carrie glared at me. Oh how she’d love to get the door right now. My hand was on the knob, as the doorbell rang once again. Okay. Take a deep breath.

The creak of the door seemed to be louder than before, the sound rang in my ears. Virginia was in the same expensive fur coat, and she stared blankly at me.

“Lily,” she said softly, blinking a fair few times. I swallowed the lump in my throat, I was afraid that I was too close to her.

“Yes.” I said slowly. “It’s me.” It was a stupid thing to say, but it was the only thing I could say right now.

“I—” she began, reaching out her hand as if to touch my hair. Her hand froze in midair though, and she brought it quickly back. She looked at the ground. “I’m so sorry.”

Sorry. Right.

“I-I don’t need you.” I stuttered. I felt my father’s eyes on my back, as he hid in the shadows. “I…don’t.”

She furrowed her eyes at me, and she looked grim. “Lilian, don’t be silly—” she said, and I immediately knew where Petunia got her snappish tone. “I know it’s your father who’s telling you to say that.”

I stared at her, taking every single detail into my memory that I had forgotton. She still had the same colored hair, a straw-colored blonde, but now she had bangs and her hair was to her shoulders. Her eyes were brown, like Petunia’s. She also had Petunia’s snappy voice, and a thin and bony structure. I tried to find something in her appearance, that I had inherited from her, but I found nothing.

“You really are beautiful, you know.” she said softly, and she looked down at my feet as if she was ashamed. Well, she should be. “You look like your father’s mother.”

I wasn’t listening to her that well...her voice seemed sort of faint and faraway. She looked slightly blurred, and my head was starting to spin.

“Um-hum.” I replied, but I didn’t even hear that. I tilted towards the wall, leaning against it for support. I felt dizzy...

“Lily?”

“Lily what’s wrong, honey?”

“She’s feeling sick...she’s feeling sick—”

I felt my head hit the floor, and everything turned black.


“Lily, are you okay?”

My head seemed heavier than usual, and I didn’t have enough force to open my eyes. I could tell that it was my father talking though.

“Honey. Are you awake?”

I made an effort to nod, and he sighed in relief. “What happened?” I said hoarsely. My eyelids slowly opened, and my vision came into focus.

“You fainted.” my father said.

“Where’s Virginia?” I asked abruptly, looking fearfully around the room. “She’s not here, is she?”

“She left already.” my father said, shaking his head. “Don’t worry about it. Are all your bags ready? After all, you’re leaving tomorrow.”

“Yes.” I said slowly, pressing my palm against my eyes.

“Then go to sleep.” he said reassuringly. “I’m sorry about making you confront her. I didn’t know this would happen. You were more nervous than I thought.”

I looked up at him, he was smiling sadly. “Yeah?” I croaked.

“You were always the stronger one, Lily.” he said, his smile fading. “I just think I put too much weight on your shoulders this time.”

Pfft. You think?

“‘Night, dad.” I finally said, turning around in my bed so I faced the wall instead. I heard him sigh, his footsteps heard towards the door.

“Goodnight.”

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty One
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It wasn’t fair.

My mother and sister were gone...two people who never really cared about me but for some reason had an effect on everything I thought. I sighed. Well, at least I was going home.

I tried to ignore the fact that James was in his mother’s car right in front of us, when we were driving towards London where Kings’ Cross was. I knew somehow that he knew I was there...but he didn’t turn back once. So I just sat there, studying my fingernails while my father asked me stupid questions in attempt of conversation.

Hogwarts...Virginia would never be able to reach me there. She didn’t even know I was a witch.

“Do you need help?” my father asked, when he took out my trunk and coat out of the back of the car and handed it to me. “I mean, would you like me to go onto the platform with you?”

“No, it’s fine.” I said, and gave him a hug and a kiss. He had only been on Platform 9 3/4 once, in my first year.

“I’ll miss you.” he said, smiling at me.

“Yeah, me too.” I said absentmindedly, already turning my back.

“See you in February then.” he called back, making me freeze.

“Yeah. Until then.” I said quietly, then watched him drive away.

I walked into the barrier, trying to find a place to put my trunk. I put it away, but held onto my nameless kitten, hiding it in my coat so it wouldn’t get cold. I hadn’t thought about what to call it yet.

I wrapped my coat around me tighter and got onto the train, where students were walking about, bumping into each other as they tried to find their friends. No sign of Grace.

Someone passed by, hitting my shoulder and shoving me into the wall. I grimaced, turning around to yell at whoever wasn’t paying attention. I felt the frown leave my face when I saw who it was though, it was James.

And he was holding the hand of another girl.

He paused, still clutching the hand of the skinny girl with beautiful blonde curls which I immediately envied. “Sorry.” he said, although I didn’t know what exactly he was apologizing for. He still was pushing past people though, laughing with the girl who seemed positively happy to be just intertwined with his fingers.

This didn’t matter. I don’t care. This is fine. Absolutely fine.

So what if he’s dating someone else? I mean, it’s not like I like him. Ha, what a joke. What an idea.

....

I definitely don’t care.

“Okay, Lily.” I said, shaking my head. Just stop thinking about it. It’s none of your business if James has a girlfriend.

I walked quickly to the other side of the train, looking into the compartments when finally I found Grace, sitting and reading with Sirius blabbering beside her. I let a sigh of relief and opened the door.

“And you won’t believe this baby, it’s smooth, great acceleration and it flies--” Sirius said intensively, grinning at the mere thought of his motorcycle.

Grace looked up from her book, a look of surprise on her face and a grin. “Lily!” she exclaimed, standing up to hug me. I hugged her back tightly...Merlin, I missed my friends. “How did it go?” she asked, her eyebrows raised to demonstrate her point just in case I didn’t get what she was asking. I knew though.

“Fine.” I said nonchantly. “How were things with Hilda?”

“It was great.” she said excitedly. “I was so happy to spend Christmas with her...I hadn’t seen her in two years! But she said she’d come for my graduation.” She was grinning ear to ear...winter break was probably loads of fun for her. I forced a smile. “Did you get my gift?”

“Yeah, I did. Thanks.” I said.

“Hey,” Sirius asked incredulously. “How come I didn’t get a present?” Grace rolled her eyes.

“Because you don’t deserve one.” Grace said, although she grinned at me. Sirius smirked and threw an arm around her shoulders. “Get off.” she said impatiently, shoving him aside.

“What’s he doing here anyway?” I asked, in an audible whisper. Sirius grinned mischievously.

“Just telling me about his stupid tricycle.” Grace said unimportantly, closing her book after she marked her page.

“Tricycle?” Sirius repeated disgustedly. “Motorcycle, Grace! And it’s not just any either, it---”

“---flies.” Grace and I said simultaneously, with a dull expression. Grace looked at what I was holding in my hands.

“What’s that?” she asked curiously.

I grinned, handing it to her. “It’s a kitten.” I said, and she widened her eyes, squealing.

“It’s so cute!” Grace exclaimed, smiling at it. “What’s its name?”

“I haven’t decided.” I said. Sirius cranked his neck to get a better look at it.

“Is that the cat Prongs gave you?” he asked slyly. I frowned at him, and Grace stared at me.

“He gave it to you?” she asked, not able to prevent a smile coming upon her lips. “Like as a Christmas gift?”

“Oh shut up.” I said, when both she and Sirius burst out laughing. I snatched the kitten back, which was sleeping peacefully in my palm.

“Sorry.” Grace said, once she quieted down. She was still grinning though. “How about you name it...Charles. After your dad?”

“What kind of person names their pet after there father?” Sirius asked incredulously. Grace grinned sheepishly.

“Tabby?” I suggested, and Grace shook her head at me. “Okay. Hm...Ginger.”

“Perfect.” Grace said. “Wait...it’s a girl, right?”

“Uh, actually...no.” I replied. Grace sighed exasperatedly.

“Ginger’s a girl’s name, Lily.”

“So?” I asked. “I like it.”

“No. Get a proper name, will you?”

“How about we name it after our favorite sweetest teacher?” Sirius asked innocently.

“And who is that?” Grace said, raising her eyebrows.

“Minerva.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“I know.”

“I know!” Grace suddenly burst out excitedly. “How about...get ready for it...Jinx?”

“Jinx?” Sirius repeated incredulously. “That’s the stupidest name I ever--”

“I like it.” I said loudly, drowning out Sirius’s voice. “Okay then. His name is...Jinx. Thanks Grace.”

“How come you accept her suggestions?” Sirius said, jerking his head sideways at Grace. Grace rolled her eyes, returning to her book.

“Because yours are stupid.” She said, shoving him slightly. Sirius shrugged.

“Anyone seen Prongs?” he said suddenly, once he decided that the room was too quiet for his liking.

“Er---yeah. I did.” I said, trying to sound casual about it. Sirius raised his eyebrows at me to continue.

“And—?”

“He was somewhere over there.” I said vaguely, pointing towards the corridor outside. “He was with...his girlfriend, I don’t know.”

Sirius laughed, more like barked at me. “What? Are you serious?” Somehow I didn’t find this funny.

“What do you mean?” I snapped, rolling my eyes irritably. Grace’s eyes steadily moved from Sirius, to me, and then back again.

“You’re jealous!” he said, pounding his fist next to him as if this was just too funny. I felt myself blush.

“What?” I spat. “I am not.”

“You are too. It’s written all over your face.”

“Why would I be jealous of James?” I said, pretending that this was just something too funny for belief.

There was a pause.

“Wait a minute...Lily, you like James?” Grace said, her voice dripping with disbelief. Sirius was currently doubled up, clutching his stomach from laughing so much.

“Let me make this clear,” I said furiously, standing up. “I do not like James Potter!”

Sirius stopped laughing momentarily, while both him and Grace stared at the door.

“Oh, really?” said a voice with amusement. “Then why are you making such a racket about it?”

I felt my face grow hotter, I wondered if I’d be able to throw myself out the window if I charged into it.

I slowly turned around, just in time to see Sirius’s face, which had elapsed into laughter again.

“Hey, James.” Grace said tentatively, glancing at me as she broke the ice. “Had a nice break?”

“Yeah.” James said, not taking his eyes off of me even as he spoke to Grace. Something flickered behind his eyes, but I couldn’t tell what it was. “It was great.”

The girl with the blonde curls wasn’t with him. He leaned against the door, his arms folded and finally turned his gaze to Sirius. His grin didn’t seem to reach his eyes, and for once it seemed like it was strained, like he felt as if he had to be good-natured about it all.

“I just wanted to come and tell you, that Patricia is looking for you mate. Doesn’t look too happy, either.” James said. Sirius didn’t seem to be worried about this, the contrary really...he was calm and collected, as always.

“Okay.” he said, stretching his arms. “My deepest sentiments ladies, but I’m going to have to leave.”

Grace snorted, trying to catch my eye so we’d share the same ‘rolling eye’ routine. I was looking at James, though.

“Oh, James.” I said quietly, although loud enough for him to hear me. He stopped on his way out, glancing at me.

“Yeah?”

“Um...how’s Lynn?” I said slowly, looking at the ground as his eyes met mine.

“She’s fine.” James said, forcing a smile again. “Later, Evans.”

He’s back to calling me Evans. I thought miserably. I didn’t know why I thought much of it though.

I mean, I couldn’t possibly like James. After all those years of pranks, of him making me angry for things like catching my hair on fire and stealing my homework, it just didn’t seem fair for me to be the one thinking about him, instead of vice versa.

Grace stood up and closed the door, while I let Jinx roam the compartment, exploring it and sniffing my shoes. She sat down and looked at me, raising an eyebrow.

“I don’t like him.” I said firmly, turning to look at her. “It’s just Sirius being stupid again.”

“Are you sure?” Grace asked, scowling. “You know what, Lily? You’ve always been turning James down, and telling the whole world that you hate him...I mean, you can’t blame him.”

“Blame him?” I repeated, feeling something at the pit of my stomach.

“I saw him with Eve, today.” she said softly. I exhaled loudly.

“Honestly, Grace! It’s not like I like him...I thought you would actually believe me but---”

Grace scoffed. “You’re so stupid sometimes.”

I felt my face flush. “I am not.”

“Whatever, then.” Grace said, leaning back in her chair. “Okay so you don’t like James.” Although she sounded like she didn’t believe me. “Let’s talk about something else. Want to play Exploding Snap?”

It started to rain sometime later, with bits of hail. I put on my sweater from the cold, and after we got tired of playing cards, we started to talk. Grace seemed to have had loads of fun over the holidays. She had gone skiing with Hilda and had bought an assortment of new robes, since they went shopping together almost every other week.

The whole time I nodded, and laughed, at all the right intervals. But my mind was wandering elsewhere....

Did I like James? Maybe after all those years of him pursuing me I finally got used to him...and possibly started to like him back? I wanted to tear my hair out. What was happening to me?

“Lily. Lily!” Grace shouted at me.

“Hu? What?” I asked, blinking at her. She rolled her eyes at me.

“I’ve been trying to get your attention. We’re here.”

I looked out the window, which was dark except for the snow that was now falling outside. I took a deep breath and scooped up Jinx, who was curled up in a corner, sleeping. Grace stood up and took her owl from the luggage racks, her book under her arm.

Students were already lined up in the corridor, eager to get outside onto the platform. I pulled my cloak around me, shivering in the cold as we got out of the station, and into the black carriages that were bringing us to the castle. Grace and I took a whole one for ourselves, stretching our legs out so we could dry them with our wands.

“There it is.” I said in relief. Hogwarts was looming nearer...and soon I was going to see Henn and Gaby again...and everything would be back to normal. Or at least that’s what I was planning to pretend.

Hopping out, we hurried up the stone steps and into the entrance hall. Grace checked her watch. “We have about an hour before dinner. Let’s go find everybody.”

I walked with Grace to the Owlery, where she let out her owl to fly around the circular room, or perhaps go stretch its wings onto the grounds. I took of my cloak and we steadily walked towards the Fat Lady portrait, so we could see if Henn and Gaby were in the common room. I stopped suddenly as I heard two familiar voices around the corner.

“—So yeah I just dropped her off in her common room. Told her I’d meet up with her at dinner.”

“Eve. Hm, I think I dated her in what...fourth year? Maybe fifth. I don’t remember. She’s some hot stuff, Prongs.”

“Ha, I know.” I heard James laugh. “I met her at the Hogwarts Express, and dunno. We just kind of...hooked up.”

“Just one question, though. Are you going for Eve just because....well I mean, to get Evans jealous?”

There was a pause.

“No.” James said slowly. “I just figured, you know. I can’t wait for her forever.”

“Although you’ve claimed that you would many times before.” Sirius reminded him. Grace scoffed, pulling my arm as she exposed us to them in the other corridor. “I mean, what happened— Oh, hello Evans.”

“Move Black.” Grace drawled. “You two are blocking the entrance.” Sirius made a sort of ridiculous bow, clearing the way for us. “Mimblewimble.” The portrait hole opened, and I hurried inside, not looking at James.

They weren’t in the common room, so we went up the girls’ staircase, bursting through the door and finding them both on Grace’s bed, looking through a magazine. Grace cleared her throat.

“I believe that’s my bed.” she said, grinning. Both of their heads shot up.

“Lily! Grace!” Henn said, grinning and running up to us to give us a big bear hug. “Oh, finally!”

“How was break?” Gaby asked eagerly, watching as Henn tried to strangle us to death.

“Good.” I said, massaging my neck. “Sirius asked about you, actually.”

“Oh really?” she asked coolly. “Anything besides that?”

She was extremely tan. Venezuela was probably much warmer than Hogwarts.

“Wow, look at you.” Grace said. “You’re so tan.” she added jealously. Gaby beamed. Henn suddenly squealed, pointing at Jinx. I grinned, handing it to her.

“It’s so cute!” she exclaimed, her eyes widening. “Who gave it to you?” Grace tried to catch my eye, while I blushed.

“Sorry, didn’t catch that.” Henn said as I mumbled my response. I glared at her.

James.” I said, a little forcefully. Henn widened her eyes, and her lips twitched, as if she was trying to hide a smile.

“Hm. Really.” Henn said, in a would be matter of fact voice. “That was...sweet of him.”

“Until he was acting like a total jerk in the Hogwarts Express.” Grace said irritably. I glared at her.

“What? Hu?” Gaby said blankly, looking from me, to Grace.

“He got a girlfriend.” Grace said dramatically. I blushed, and Gaby’s jaw dropped.

Another one?” Gaby said in horror. “Honestly, if he actually thinks this jealousy act is going to affect Lily--”

“Actually.” I said loudly. “I think he’s just getting over me. I mean...I heard him.”

“Oh.” Gaby said in a small voice.

“Which I mean, is totally okay.” I said, in a very convincing voice. Man, I was good. “He can’t wait forever. I mean...he shouldn’t.”

Grace scowled at me, as she too recognized the words that James had just said.

“Well that’s stupid.” Henn said. “Why did he wait six years...if he’s just going to give up?”

“Yeah, Lily.” Gaby said, furrowing her eyebrows at me. “Why don’t you give him a chance?”

“Maybe because he’s a conceited prat.” I said. It was automatic, I always said the same answer for the same question. This time, I actually didn’t mean it though.

“Well, I think he’s changed.” Henn said in a voice as if it settled the matter. “He’s grown up. I mean, sort of.”

“Can we talk about something else?” I drawled. “If James is going to be the subject of conversation? Tell me so I could just go down to dinner now.”

“Dinner!” Gaby exclaimed, checking her watch. “Let’s go now. I’m starved.”

We went down the spiral staircase, Gaby in the lead. Whoa. I guess she really was hungry. Fortunately, James and Sirius weren’t in the common room. Not that it really mattered...since I was going to see him at dinner anyway.

When I seriously thought my day couldn’t get worse, it did. We were at the marble staircase, when Zach strolled by, holding, get ready for it...Natalie’s hand.

I thought that the bottom of my stomach dropped. Wow. My life sucks.

I saw him as he glanced at me, but quickly avoided my eye contact, and walked into the Great Hall.

Henn’s jaw dropped. “What? I can’t believe that---” She stopped abruptly as Gaby raised her eyebrows.

“This isn’t happening.” I said slowly. “It can’t be.”

“Lils.” Gaby said, putting a hand on my shoulder. “It’s okay. Levin was a jerk anyway.”

“He wasn’t though!” I burst out. I couldn’t help it. “He was sweet, and nice, and caring...then he started hanging out with that Aaron Smith and his friends...this is all their fault!”

Henn gave me a sympathetic look. “Well. If that is true, shouldn’t you be glad that you got rid of him?”

I gave her an exasperated look. “Listen. Why don’t we just go eat? Forget about Zach. And forget about James.” Grace said, frowning at me. She tugged on my arm and I was soon being pulled into the Great Hall, where we sat in a corner. This was definitely not my day.

“And anyway. We have Quidditch practice to look forward to.” Grace said, piling some corn onto her plate.

“Yeah. Just what I need. James telling me what to do.” I said dully. Henn and Gaby exchanged looks, and immediately changed the topic to Gaby’s next date with Jack.

I sighed deeply. Well, things couldn’t get possibly worse.


But they did. It seemed like the whole world was trying with their full effort to ruin me. The teachers were piling us with homework, even more than usual, which was saying something. Professor Mcgongall scowled as Sirius complained loudly about the essay on human transfiguration which was required to be two rolls of parchment. Most of the class laughed about it...until Professor Mcgongall added one more roll as punishment.

“I cannot believe this.” Henn grumbled as soon as Mcgongall was out of earshot.

“How are we supposed to do all of this?” Gaby asked incredulously. “I mean, Harrison already told us to read that entire book by Thursday. And we have Quidditch practice on Friday! This isn’t justice.”

“Nope, it’s school.” said someone briskly from behind us. Sirius had returned from receiving his detention from Professor Mcgongall. “But school isn’t justice. So I suppose you’re right.”

Gaby merely nodded, looking stony faced. She was still pretending like everything was okay...but was strongly proven wrong once she quickened her pace and went to meet Grace and Remus, who were walking ahead.

“She’s still mad at me then, eh?” Sirius said nonchantly, but I saw his gray eyes narrow at Gaby’s retrieving back. “You should really tell your friend to get a move on, you know.”

Henn glared at him. “We could say the same for you.” she said coolly. Sirius rolled his eyes.

“All these break ups in the air.” Sirius said in a mock dramatic voice. “First me and Gaby, now you and Prongs...”

“James was never my boyfriend.” I said coldly.

“Nah. But nearly, Evans. Nearly.” We walked into the Great Hall and he sped off towards James, who was sitting with Eve at the Ravenclaw table. I couldn’t help narrow my eyes at the sight...Honestly, what did he see in her? She was just some skinny sixth year, she wasn’t even that pretty...

Then again...what had he seen in me?


“Time for the test, then.” said Harrison coldly from his desk, which he was leaning heavily upon. “If you have read the book entirely, than surely you won’t have a problem. Otherwise...” He smirked at our class.

I gulped. I always did my homework...but I didn’t read the whole book. I skimmed it mostly, skipping a few chapters which I hoped wouldn’t be of much importance. But how could I read the whole thing? I mean, the professors were giving us so much work to do...I glanced at Henn, who was sitting next to me, and by the way she was gripping the edges of the desk with anxiety, I guessed that she hadn’t read the whole thing either.

“You’ll be given a full hour.” he said softly in his menacing voice. “You may begin.”

Argh, what now? I grinded my knuckles on my forehead, trying to remember. Alright the Invisibility Potion...shouldn’t be too hard...

“Do you have any idea on what to do?” Gaby hissed at me from the front, looking panicked. I shook my head vigorously.

“Sanchez.” Harrison said, his lip curling. Gaby quickly looked at the front. “Alone, if you please. Fifty points away from Gryffindor. And your exam will drop a letter grade.”

I heard Grace calling Harrison something next to Gaby, but luckily Bellatrix Black had just raised her hand, asking a question.

“This sucks.” Henn said miserably, starting to cut some roots.

“Yeah.” I said. “I can’t believe---” I stopped in mid sentence, looking at James who was trying to catch my eye a desk away from us diagonally. My heart froze.

“Its billywig wings first, Evans.” he said, grinning at me and shaking his head. He had been listening to what we were saying.

“Er—”

He had already turned around though, because Harrison was coming. I felt my face flush as he winked at me once his back was turned.

Oh, man.

Chapter 22: Chapter Twenty Two
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“There’s no way I’m going out there.”

I looked outside at the courtyard, where it was snowing heavily. “I know what you mean.” I said to Leah. “James should’ve cancelled practice.”

“I’m not going to be able to see my own nose. Imagine a quaffle.” Leah said, shaking head. “But still...Haven’t practiced during break, have you?” I shook my head.

“Maybe we should go then.” I said.

“Yeah.” Leah replied. Both of us just stared at the courtyard.

There you are!”

Both of us spun around, Kat was standing halfway down the hallway behind us, gasping for breath.

“James told me to get you guys. What are you two doing?”

“Debating if we should go to practice today.” I said. Leah chuckled.

“Let’s go.” she said. We ran after Kat, who was already panting. We got to the grounds, which were freezing. I shivered, pulling my cloak around me tightly.

“Well. We held off as long as we could.” Leah said, grinning at me as we got onto the field. James was leaning against his broomstick, looking impatient.

“Finally! Where have you two been?”

“In the hallway, near the courtyard.” Leah said casually. I grinned at her.

“As opposed to being here.”

“Right.”

James rolled his eyes. “Okay, everyone on their brooms. Quick passes with the quaffle first.”

The practice went okay, except for the fact that it was freezing cold outside. There was also a time that Eve had come down to watch in the stands, making me drop the quaffle.

“Ugh. Sorry, I’ll get that.” I said, to no one in particular. My face flushing, I sped towards it, grabbing it in midair. Well, at least I wasn’t as cold anymore in the face...

James blew the whistle again, hardly bothered. Gaby glanced at me, but didn’t say anything.

“Quicker, people. C’mon...Evans! Pay Attention!”

“I’m sorry, dammit!” I yelled back at him as I dropped the quaffle again. His eyes widened for a moment, then narrowed at me as Gaby went to go get the ball. I stared defiantly back.

“Forget it.” he snarled at the team. What was his problem anyway? “Practice match. Everyone at their positions. Cecilia and Evans, go get the snitch and bludgers.” Great. Just what I needed.

“So,” Cecilia sneered, once we were both on the ground, going towards the crate which was near the edge of the stands. “How does it feel to be rejected?”

“Sod off.” I growled at her. She gave me a mock sympathetic look.

“It’s okay, Lily.” she said, giving me one of those horrible false smiles that I hate. “It happens to everyone. Even you.”

I was temporarily counting one to ten, so I wouldn’t reach into my pocket and jinx her. Not that she didn’t deserve it.

“I guess you’re not so special anyway. You think you’re so great, right? The only one who said ‘no’ to James Potter. Probably think you’re unique and everything. Well guess what? You’re just like all the others. You’re used, then thrown out.”

What is your problem?”

Cecilia frowned at me, then said in such a low voice, I almost didn’t hear it. “You.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. I felt my face grow hot with anger, and I concentrated on looking down at the field, finally putting down the crate and opening it. I caught a small glimpse of the snitch, which followed the considerably larger bludgers, then grabbed a bat. Cecilia followed suit.

“Here.” I hissed, throwing the bat at Patricia. Patricia barely caught it, raising her eyebrow at me. Cecilia sped by, glaring at me. Pfft. So what? They were sisters. They were both prats.

“Chasers, try to score. Beaters, try to prevent us from scoring.” James said.

The whistle blew again, and I sped off towards Leah, who was guarding the goal posts. I passed the quaffle to Gaby, but Sirius sent a bludger at the last minute, knocking the quaffle in midair. Sirius whooped, while Gaby narrowed her eyes at him.

It had to be the worse practice ever. You could feel the tension...between Gaby and Sirius, between Cecilia and I...and then there was James. And his stupid little girlfriend watching as I kept on dropping the quaffle. She probably thought I was a real idiot...

Finally, James called it a day. I flew over to where Gaby was, who looked very disgruntled.

“Did you see that?” she said disbelievingly. “He did that on purpose.” When I continued to have the same blank look, she added, “He blocked my goal. He’s doing this just to annoy me.”

I tried not to point out that Sirius was supposed to be blocking our goals. “Oh.” was all I said. She still looked mad, though. “Listen, don’t get mad over him. Think about something else. Like...your date with Jack today.”

When I said this, Gaby slapped her hand to her forehead, looking horrified. “I can’t believe I forgot!” She burst out, gaping at me. “I got to meet him in the entrance hall in like five minutes and I still need to get ready! Listen Lily, can you go put my broom in the broom shed?”

“Sure.” I said, and she immediately pushed her broom into my hands.

“See you later.” She called over her shoulder, than raced across the grounds. I sighed, wishing a date could clear my mind off too.

I reached the shed, put stopped once I saw Sirius and Patricia there. I don’t think I was supposed to hear them, although I probably would anyways since Patricia were yelling.

“I can’t believe you’re still pretending!” Patricia screamed at him. Sirius folded his arms, looking hardly bothered.

“Merlin, just go away, Patricia.” Sirius said, rolling his eyes as he tried to open the door of the shed to put his broomstick in. Patricia put her arm out, preventing him. “Nothing happened.”

“Nothing happened?! I saw you two!”

Sirius looked at her, his face expressionless. “Okay, then.”

Patricia stared at him hard, frowning and looking close to tears. She opened the shed, threw her broom inside, then stormed off, sniffling.

“Oh, hey Evans.” Sirius said, once he saw me coming over to put away the brooms.

“Whoa. She was mad.” I said, furrowing my eyebrows at him. Sirius sighed deeply.

“Yeah. She was.”

I raised my eyebrow at him. “Was it because of that train ride the other day?” I asked, but Sirius looked at me blankly. “When you were with that girl from Hufflepuff?”

“Oh. Right. That.” he said, as he closed the shed and we both crossed the grass to follow the path. “Yeah. It was.”

I couldn’t help but feel that I was on Patricia’s side. It must’ve been awful for her to see her boyfriend cheating on her. I mean, hearing it from someone is one thing, but actually seeing it, with her own eyes? Now, that must really suck.

We were quiet for a while, seeing Gaby in the distance running into the castle, probably running into Jack in the entrance hall when she still wanted to get dressed up.

“So.” he said, glancing at me. “Gaby was in a hurry.”

“Yeah.” I said, not really thinking it was any of his business if she was going on a date with someone or not.

“She’s not seeing that kid, Jason, is she?”

“It’s Jack.” I corrected him. Sirius shrugged.

“Whatever.” he said. There was a pause, before he added, “I never liked him.”

“I don’t really know him.” I said. I stared at the ground for a while. “Did you ever cheat on her?” I blurted out, before I could stop myself. It had been bugging me. He grimaced at me.

“If I did, I wouldn’t tell you.” he said. “But no, I didn’t.”

I couldn’t help but feel surprised. I mean, I assumed that was why he broke up with her. “Why did you break up with her then?”

Sirius avoided my eyes, jamming his hands into his pockets. “I just...did.”

Right.

“See you later.” he said, once he turned and walked into the Great Hall. He glared at Jack as he passed.

I slowly climbed up the marble staircase, my feet carrying me to the common room. I was feeling really tired, and just wanted to take a shower and go to sleep. But I suddenly felt wide awake when I turned the corner and saw James and Eve. I don’t really need to describe what they were doing.

I didn’t know what to do though, they were in my way. They would definitely notice me. Something that just cannot happen.

But it did.

I was just about to turn on my heel, to leave so I could hide. I never hid. But this time I just had to. And as I stared at them, he pulled away from kissing her, and turned his face to look at me.

It was as if I could feel my heart pounding in my head, and it hurt so much. I couldn’t bear to think about it...but we just looked at each other.

“I...er---” I mumbled, pushing through the tapestry that was behind them. (They finally moved) I moved quickly up the steps, and I heard James say behind it, “Um...yeah. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He was coming up the steps. I quickened my pace.

He still caught up to me though, pulling on my arm.

“Hey.” he said. I didn’t say anything, but frowned, wrenching my arm from his grasp. “Lily. C’mon, wait.”

I kept on walking, folding my arms tightly across my chest, and looking at the ground. I didn’t know why I was so mad at him. Who cares if he has a girlfriend? Why should I mind if he was kissing her, blocking my way? Why did it matter?

Then all of a sudden, I heard James laughing. He was laughing at me.

Now that got me mad. I stopped suddenly, turning around and fuming.

What?”

James stopped momentarily, his smirk fading. He quickly regained his balance though, and grinned at me. Not a real grin, but those grins he was using often now.

“I should’ve known that if I stopped asking you out, you would start liking me.”

“Excuse me?” I said dangerously, stepping down so I was face to face with him. I narrowed my eyes.

“Now you know how it feels, Evans.” he said to me, smirking. “To like someone, and they don’t like you back. Like it?” he sneered, and pushed past me, walking up the staircase and through a tapestry. I felt my anger boiling, and before I knew what I was doing, I was storming after him.

“You think you’re such a big shot, don’t you?” I yelled after him, making him spin around. “Maybe you haven’t noticed, but sometimes you’re wrong! I don’t like you, I’ve never liked you, and I never will.”

He furrowed his eyebrows at me, looking furious. “You know what I think, Lily? I think you’re scared. Scared of loving me, although deep down you already do.”

I clucked my tongue, feeling my cheeks burn. “I do not love you.” James walked fast up to me, and for a minute I thought he was going to push me or something, since he looked so angry.

“Well, I never loved you.” he said, inches away from my own face. I exhaled slowly.

“Good.” was all I said. Wow, I’m so great with words. He frowned at me, shaking his head, then started walking ahead of me again. Then he stopped, turning around again.

“Then why do you care that I’m dating Eve?” he shot back at me, looking into my eyes for an answer.

I knew I was supposed to be honest, since that’s what he was asking for, an honest answer. But I wasn’t.

“I don’t.” I said finally. He narrowed his eyes, making a disbelieving sound in his throat. He then turned around again, rounding the corner where the Fat Lady was.

“Mimblewimble.” he said, once I myself turned the corner. I watched him go through the portrait hole, scrambling inside.

And then it hit me.

I liked James. No, I couldn’t. No, of course not. I did not like James.

Pfft. Yeah. Right.

Oh my gosh.

I do! No, no, no! This cannot be happening. Why is this happening? Argh.

I was jealous of Eve. I was mad at him for laughing at me. I was hurt by what he was doing. My mind was completely blank. All I knew was one thing, as much as I hated to admit it.

I definitely screwed up.

James Potter was right there. How could I not notice for so long? While I was mourning over Zach, James was there waiting for me. But he got sick of it. He moved on. Now it was my turn to sit and watch as my heart slowly rotted.

Then, BOOM! Thoughts were streaming inside my head again, anger bubbling inside of me. How could I have been so stupid? Why did I let James affect me this way? I hated this. I hated James Potter.

Okay, Lily. Breathe in...breathe out.

I had to calm down. I had to forget James. And Zach. Actually, I might as well forget the whole male species right now.

My life was definitely drawing to a close. There was way too much happening to live much longer. I mean think about it.

1. My supposedly honest father had been lying to me for many years, claiming that my mother was dead.
2. My supposedly dead mother came back on Christmas, demanding to my father days later that she had the right to take Petunia and I to live with her.
3. My supposedly cold-hearted sister broke down and ran into the arms of my mother, while she took Petunia away.
4. And now, my heart is supposedly broken because of a boy who has been living across the street practically my whole life, always putting me on the spot so I would break down because of peer pressure and finally say ‘yes’ when he asks me out.

Ahem. I don’t think I need to clarify that my life sucks.

I slid down the wall, drumming my fingers on my legs and staring blankly at the tapestry in front of me. I jumped when I heard footsteps from behind it, Henn pushing the tapestry away and brushing the hair out of her face.

“Oh, there you are.” she said cheerfully, oblivious to the fact that it wasn’t really that normal for me to be alone in a deserted corridor, sitting against the wall. “Where have you been?”

“I was...” I began, standing up and brushing invisible dust from off my robes and trying to look nonchalant. “Erm...I just left the common room, actually.”

“Oh?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. I nodded, and all suspicion was left from her face. “Well, then. I was just coming up to see if you were hungry for dinner, since you didn’t show up.”

“Oh, right.” I said, as Henn pulled the tapestry to the side, holding it for me to pass through. “Dinner.”

“Did you see Gaby?” Henn asked, once letting the tapestry down and hopping down the steps with me. “She took forever to get ready for her date, you know. I saw Jack waiting there by the entrance hall doors for at least half an hour.”

“Nope.” I said. “I didn’t see her. Where did she go with him anyway?”

“No idea. Probably went down to the kitchens, or something to get a bite of dinner. I heard Hufflepuff’s common room is near there.”

“Mmm...” I said, not really paying attention.

Then Henn started to launch into a description of how Ralph, Aaron’s friend from Ravenclaw, was still weirdly stalking her and trying to get her to say ‘yes’ to a date.

“I feel bad rejecting him, so I always make up some excuse like I have too much homework or something...but he just won’t lay off. And– Lily, are you listening?”

“Hm?” I asked, shaking my head slightly so I would stop thinking about the fight I just had with James.

“You’re not.” Henn said indignantly, puffing slightly. “Honestly, I’m trying to tell you something--”

“I’m listening.” I said immediately. Henn made a disbelieving sound in her throat. “No, really. I am.”

This seemed to convince Henn to talk more. “Good. So I kept on thinking...Ralph is incredibly like James, you know. He’s always asking you out but you keep on saying no...except you’re more direct about it. I feel bad if I actually say ‘no’.”

The mere mentioning of James, made me jerk out of my trance again. “Yeah.” was all I said. If only Henn knew, that I would’ve said ‘yes’ immediately, without even thinking about it, if James asked me again. But of course, that wasn’t going to happen.

“Seriously, I don’t know how you can do it so easily. But then again I would be so relieved if that guy just left me alone—Whoa. What’s going on?”

I wrenched my gaze from the ground and looked up, where Henn was referring to. She seemed to have been talking about Grace...who was passing by, actually more like storming by, and out of the Great Hall.

“Look.” I muttered, nudging Henn and jerking my head towards Remus. Remus was looking flustered, turning steadily red as everyone spun around in their chairs to look at him. I turned around, watching as Grace pounded up the marble staircase. “Let’s go.” I told Henn.

Henn bit her lip, glancing towards the piles of food that were still at the House tables. “Uh...well we can always go later—”

“Henn.”

“Ugh. Fine.” Henn said bitterly, and we raced up the marble staircase which we just descended, chasing after Grace.

“Hey! Grace!” I called out, making her stop in her tracks suddenly, turning around as she was about to round a corner. “Wait up.”

To put it simply, Grace looked furious. She had probably gotten into a fight with Remus or something, because her face was still flushed with anger, making her look like a tomato, which was always a warning sign.

“Erm...what happened?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow as we caught up to her. Grace frowned.

“Remus,” she said, exhaling loudly. “Is going to visit his grandma next week.”

I stared blankly at her, trying to process it through my mind where the bad part was. So, Remus was being a good grandchild and visiting his grandma...wasn’t that a good thing? It just proved that Remus was indeed practically perfect with this now recent plus side that he was sensitive and cared about his family.

“Oh.” I said, nodding as if I completely understood, which I didn’t. “Right.”


Henn on the other hand, was much more open on what she thought of this. “And your point is?”

Well said, Henn. Well said.

“He said that his grandfather died.” Grace blabbered, pacing around the corridor and still looking irritable. I gaped at her.

“And you’re mad because of that?” I said incredulously.

“You don’t understand.” Grace snapped, throwing her hands up in the air. “His grandpa died last month.”

Henn cleared her throat. “Um, well you know...there are two set of grandparents. One on each side of the family.”

“Don’t you get it?” Grace spat, her face steadily flushing again. “He’s lying!”

There was a pause. Henn and I exchanged looks.

“Um, no offense or anything–” Henn began. “But how exactly do you know?”

“You can just tell.” Grace said, narrowing her eyes. She took a deep breath, rolling her eyes up to the ceiling. “He’s always visiting his mum or something. Someone in his family isn’t feeling too well, or suddenly someone dies that he didn’t even say was sick in the first place. Don’t you think it’s odd?”

Henn sighed, crossing her arms. “No.”

“He’s probably having problems in his family,” I said quickly as Grace opened her mouth to feed more information of how she thinks Remus is some huge liar. “And you as his girlfriend, should be supporting him or something...”

“Do you think he’s cheating on you?” Henn said suddenly, a suspicious look on her face. Grace shifted her feet uncomfortably. “‘Cause I seriously doubt it.”

“Do you?” I persisted. Grace frowned.

“Well...it’d make sense wouldn’t it?” Grace said angrily.

“Grace, you’re dating Remus, not Sirius.” I reminded her.

“I know,” she said irritably. But I knew that she didn’t look as confident as she did before. There was a pause where Henn and I exchanged significant looks, and Henn’s stomach gave a loud rumble.

“Go on.” Grace said, once I opened my mouth. Her lip curled slightly. “I know you two are hungry.”

Well. Henn’s hungry, but whatever.

“Okay. We’ll see you later.” I said. We were walking down the marble staircase again, stopping and waving as she turned the corner.

“There better at least still be dessert...” Henn muttered, as we reached the Great Hall. The only people were the last minute dinner students, but most of them were already done eating, just chatting amongst themselves. Unfortunately for Henn, the desserts were already out and mostly gone. I heard her moan miserably as we sat down.

“You can still have some pie.” I said consolingly, pointing at an apple pie that was only half taken. As I said this however, one of the sixth years came down towards us, snatching the pie and jumping back to where his friends were, all digging their spoons into it. “Or...not.”

“Whatever.” Henn said, although somewhat sadly. I smiled at her.

“Were you really that hungry?”

“Yes! I didn’t even eat lunch properly because I had to finish that horrible essay for Flitwick...” she paused, suddenly cracking into an evil grin. “Hey, I know!”

I raised an eyebrow at her. “Know...what?”

“I know how to get some food.” she said brightly, pulling on my arm as she hopped out of her chair. I looked questionably at her as she raced down the Hall. I sighed, running after her.

“What is it?” I asked once I had caught up to her. She turned to me, grinning.

“We can go to the kitchens!” she said happily once we were at the marble staircase. She was obviously too concentrated on telling me her plan on getting some food that she ran into Ralph, staggering backwards and regaining her balance just in time.

“Oh.” I said, raising an eyebrow at Henn. “Hello, Ralph.”

Henn, blew her hair out of her eyes, looking at him. “Hello.” I had to admit, she was good at pretending. It was strange how enthusiastically she could just utter ‘hello’ to a guy she had been complaining about not too long ago. No wonder he didn’t get the hint.

“Hey, Henn.” Ralph said, not being discreet about how his eyes traveled up and down.

Henn grinned, although it didn’t exactly reach her eyes. “Nice to see you too.” she said shortly, then grabbed my arm again rather painfully since she was trying to rush me.

Once we were out of earshot, she rolled her eyes at me and exhaled loudly. “See?” she asked exasperatedly. I laughed.

“Where are we going anyway?” I asked, following her. “I heard the kitchens were downstairs.”

“They are.” Henn said promptly. “But hardly anyone knows how to get there.”

“So...who are we asking?”

“James, of course.” Henn said. My stomach dropped.

“Why him?” I said, not able to hide me being incredulous. Henn glanced back at me, still running.

“Because he’s a Marauder.” she said, as if this explained everything. I guess it did, though.

“So what?” I said, holding my hands out in protest. “There are other Marauders, you know.”

“Okay, okay.” Henn said, rolling her eyes at me and looking ahead again. She tore the tapestry out of the way, heading up the stairs. “We’ll ask the first one we see, then. James was just the first that came to mind.”

We were in the Fat Lady’s corridor, reaching the portrait. “Mimblewimble.” I said, and she let us through.

“Let’s see, then...” Henn muttered, her eyes scanning through the people that were sitting and talking in the common room. My gaze automatically fell on James, who was on the couch, talking to Kat, who was giggling. He was unfortunately the only Marauder in site. Henn turned to me, shrugging. “Sorry. He’ll have to do.”

“Go on.” I said, leaning against the wall and looking anywhere but the couch. “Go. Ask him, already.”

Henn didn’t say anything. She wasn’t suspicious, obviously, because she knew how normal it was me not wanting to talk to James. But I wasn’t only dreading talking to him like she thought...I was hiding from it too.

“Hey, James. Hi Kat. How are you?” I heard Henn say. Without waiting for an answer, she went, “Listen. I need to get to the kitchens. Tell me how to get there, will you?”

James didn’t answer immediately, while Kat waved and grinned at me. I pretended to not see her. “Why do you need to go to the kitchens for?” he finally said with an incredulous look on his face.

“To clean it.” Henn said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

“Oh. So you missed dinner then, hu?” Kat said, laughing.

“Yes.” Henn said grudgingly. She looked at James, with a pleading in her eyes. “C’mon, please James?”

“You really need to start getting to dinner on time, Henn.” James said, grinning. Once again though, his grin didn’t reach his eyes.

“It’s not just me though!” Henn said, throwing her hands into the air. “Lily needs to get a bite too...”

My face immediately turned red as I heard her say my name, making James look in my direction. Thanks a lot Henn. The whole point of me staying here instead of going there was for James not to see me.

“Okay.” James said, lowering his voice slightly after finally tearing his gaze from me. “You go down that door across the dungeons. Just tickle the pear, okay?”

Henn made a confused face. “The pear?” she repeated. James nodded, grinning. Henn sighed. “Good I thought you’d be vague about it...”

She turned, waving a thanks and a goodbye to them, then finally reached me. “What’s wrong?” she said, once she saw my face was flushed.

“Nothing.” I muttered. “Can we go? I’m hungry.” Of course I wasn’t, but whatever.

“Why do you think I’ve been running around the castle for?” Henn said irritably. “C’mon.”

I followed her through the portrait hole. “Can we not run this time?” I asked her.

“Fine.” Henn said, grinning slightly. We reached the marble staircase, turning towards the door which James indicated. “Okay.” she said. “He said a pear...”

The hallway was full of paintings of the wall, concerning food. I had never been down here, although I’ve seen Hufflepuffs come her all the time, probably to go to their common room.

“There.” I said immediately, pointing towards the very end of the hall. There was a very tall painting of a bowl of fruit, one of them consisting of a pear.

“Aha!” Henn said triumphantly, running towards it. She pulled her index finger out and started to tingle the pear, which started to laugh.

Okay...the pear was laughing.

It started to move around, until finally it became a giant door knob. Henn took it eagerly and pulled it open. My jaw dropped.

“What—” I began, looking at all the little creatures that were bustling about in the vigorously clean kitchen. “—are these things?”

“House elves.” Henn said promptly, beaming as they all squeaked, “Hello miss!” at us. When I looked at her curiously, she said, “My aunt has them in her manor.”

The nearest one rustled toward me, its huge tennis ball eyes looking adoringly at me. It was only wearing a tea towel. “Would miss like something?”

“Yes!” Henn said immediately, pushing me aside and smiling at the house elf. “Food please.”

The elf gave us a toothy grin, nodded towards the other elves, and at once they started to cook. They were all wearing similar uniforms, the same tea towels with a hogwarts crest.

“Wow.” I said, looking at amazement at the four long tables that looked exactly like the House tables a floor above us. I turned my gaze up towards the high ceiling. “So that’s how the food appears...”

“This is so cool!” Henn exclaimed, looking around excitedly. “Aw, they’re so cute...”

I couldn’t really see what Henn meant by ‘cute’. The house elves were very ugly indeed, with their bald brown heads, huge eyes, and pointy noses. The nearest one tugged on my skirt and offered me a plate full of muffins.

“Thanks.” I said gratefully, taking the biggest one I could find. The elf stared at me for a moment, blushing awkwardly as it scurried away. I don’t think it was used to ‘thank you’s.

We hardly waited ten minutes. Soon four or so elves were rushing towards us, holding a plate with at least thirty sandwiches. Whoa.

“Here you go, miss!” one squeaked at Henn, who beamed and immediately took the whole plate full. They bowed out of our way, as we opened the portrait and slid outside.

“Yum.” Henn moaned, taking a huge bite out of one. She handed me a turkey flavored one, which I didn’t notice till I was eating it that I was actually hungry. When we reached the Fat Lady, already half of the sandwiches were gone.

“Mmm...” I mumbled, my mouth full of turkey and mayonnaise. The Fat Lady raised an eyebrow at me, so I swallowed everything. “Mimblewimble.”

As the portrait swung open and we scrambled inside, Gaby immediately squealed and rushed over to us.

“My date was unbelievable.” she said, with great emphasis. She was speaking so enthusiastically and loudly that I wasn’t sure if she really was that happy, or if she was just trying to make Sirius hear her and get him jealous. I think it was a little bit of both. She looked at the plate Henn was holding and which I was grabbing another sandwich and said with a raised eyebrow, “Where did you get the sandwiches?”

“The kitchens.” I said, before taking another bite. Gaby looked hungrily at them.

“Let me have one?” she asked pleadingly. “I didn’t have time to eat because I was late for Jack’s date.”

“Sure.” Henn said, handing her one. “Want to go upstairs?”

“Okay.” Gaby said, following us up to the girls’ dormitories. We passed James, who momentarily stopped talking to stare fixedly at me. I blushed, pushing Gaby through the door that lead upstairs so I wouldn’t have to look at him. Gaby give me an incredulous look before saying, “Hey have any of you seen Grace?”

Henn shrugged. “I thought she was up here?”

“Guess not.” I said, once we entered our dormitory. The only person who was there was Patricia, who was uncharacteristically sitting and reading on her bed, her pretty blonde hair up in a messy ponytail, and her face looking red and tear stained.

“What’s she doing here?” Henn said in an audible whisper. I rolled my eyes at Henn, watching as Patricia gave a strong sniff and blew her nose with the box of tissues beside her.

“She sleeps here too, remember?” I whispered back, but in a much lower tone. Gaby watched Patricia for a few seconds, her face quite expressionless. I knew she was battling between helping the person who had stolen her boyfriend, and being cold and giving her revenge. But then again they were in the same boat now...

Gaby responded by setting her purse on the bed beside hers, sitting down and taking off her shoes. “Hello Patricia.” she said dully. I bit down a smile...I knew Gaby was very disgusted with herself in being a kind human being.

Patricia sniffed again, looking at Gaby with red, puffy eyes. “Hello.” she sniffed. I couldn’t help and feel sympathetic towards her...Patricia Love sitting out on a Friday night with nothing to do but cry over Sirius was something rather pathetic to see.

“So...” I said, taking off my own shoes as Henn sat on my bed, placing the plate of sandwiches carefully onto my bed spread. “Where’s Cecilia?”

Patricia wiped her face with her sleeve, looking down at her book again. “Out.” she said, with some sort of bitterness in her voice.

Gaby had changed into her pajamas, jumping onto my bed and taking a sandwich. I raised my eyebrow at her, and she vigorously shook her head.

“C’mon.” I whispered, jerking my head towards her. “She’s miserable.”

“I was miserable too but did she help me?” Gaby whispered back grudgingly. Henn and I stared at her. We had always thought that she had been sad, but Gaby never admitted that she had indeed been ‘miserable’. Gaby blushed, adding hastily, “Well not miserable, but I was down, wasn’t I?”

“Gaby,” Henn said urgently, shaking her shoulders and forcing Gaby to turn in Patricia’s direction. “Just look at her.”

We watched as Gaby bit her lip, debating between her consciousness again. She gave us a profound scowl then called out, “Hey Patricia, why don’t you come here and have a snack with us?”

Patricia looked up again, looking surprised. She sniffed again, sounding stuffy. “Really?”

“Yeah. C’mon over.” Henn said, waving her hand so she’d come. Patricia gave us a confused expression, as if trying to see if this was some kind of diabolic trick.

“Okay...” Patricia said finally, setting down her book and crossing the room towards us. She was looking slightly anxious, mainly because Gaby was looking determinedly at the sandwich she was holding as if it was very interested.

“You hungry?” Henn offered, shoving the plate of sandwiches under her nose. Patricia smiled weakly.

“No thanks.” She said quietly. “I already ate.”

I looked at her pityingly. She wiped her red eyes with her sleeve again, looking embarrassed and out of place. I don’t know why I was feeling so sorry for her, but I suddenly found myself saying, “You know, Sirius is a real jerk.”

Patricia looked at me, her lip trembling. Henn was behind her, her jaw dropped. Gaby was looking nervously at Patricia.

“Yeah.” Henn said finally, nodding as she swallowed down her food. “Yeah, he is.”

There was a strange silence, where Patricia stared at me. It was strange how even looking miserable and sad, she still managed to look beautiful. That’s probably why all those guys like her...I sighed sadly. Why couldn’t I be as lucky as her?

“You think so?” Patricia said, breaking the ice with a shaky voice. Gaby’s neck cricked, as she quickly looked at her with an incredulous expression on her face.

“Of course he is!” Gaby said, throwing her hands up in the air. “Look what he did to you.”

Patricia blinked at her, sniffing again. “He did the same thing to you.”

“No, what he did to you was much worse.” Gaby said firmly. There was a pause, where Patricia shifted uncomfortably. I suddenly understood, and looked quickly at Henn with panic.

“No.” Patricia said slowly. “We’re both in the same situation, actually.”

I watched as Gaby blinked, looking perplexed. Then, a wave of realization came over her face.

“He...cheated on me?” she asked. Her eyes were slowly growing brighter and she was looking at Patricia in disbelief. It pained me to see my friend like that...after all these months this was the first time I had seen her vulnerable after their breakup.

“Yes.” Patricia mumbled, looking at her fingers. “With...me.”

She couldn’t have said something worse. Of course everyone assumed that he had cheated on Gaby with her...but announcing it in front of us seemed to have made it a larger impact.

There was another pause, where Gaby frowned, looking defiant. “Argh.” she said, slapping her hand to her forehead and shaking her head. “I’m so stupid.”

I sighed. “Gaby—”

“I can’t believe this!” she said, standing up and pacing the room angrily. “I was so vague to actually believe him—”

Henn stood up, touching her arm lightly. “Gaby, it’s alright—”

“No!” she suddenly shouted, pulling her arm away. “It’s not!”

Patricia stared at her, silent tears streaming down her face again. Oh man.

“I—I...” Gaby faltered, sinking onto her bed and digging her face into her hands. “I hate him!”

I watched as she strode over to her beside cabinet abruptly, for a wild second I thought she was going to open the window and jump out. But then she took the flower vase and threw it forcefully at the door.

I looked at Henn, she was gaping at her.

“Er...” I began tentatively, looking wildy at Henn for support, who was still looking at Gaby with a stunned expression. “Gaby?”

“I—hate—him!” she screamed again, throwing everything that was on her bedside cabinet at the door, which included some books, her reading glasses, and her wand.

I had never seen Gaby react to something like that before. She had always been one of the strongest friends I had, making everything seem like it was impossible to get to, or hurt her. It made me miserable as I watched her sink down to the ground, clutching her face with trembling fingers. Patricia had stopped crying, standing up slowing and ducking her face as she steadily moved to the bathroom, shutting it with a click

“Gaby?” Henn said quietly after a while, both of us watching her breathing rapidly on the floor. As she said this, Gaby looked at us, looking weirdly expressionless. I thought she had been crying while hiding her face, but her eyes weren’t red, and her face wasn’t tear stained.

“I’m going down there.” she said slowly, standing up and crushing the crumbled glass on the floor with her shoes. She stopped at the door, holding the knob and looking briefly at us before opening it and passing through.

“What’s she doing?” Henn asked, as soon as we saw her heel disappear around the corner.

“I think...” I began, standing up and biting my lip. “She’s going to talk to Sirius.”

“What?” Henn said incredulously. “She can’t do that!”

“I know.” I said heavily, already walking to the door. “I hope he’s not here yet.”

“Yeah...” Henn said, looking uncomfortable. “Uh listen, Lily...”

“Hold on.” I said, putting my finger to my lips as I quickly went down the stairs and looked into the common room. There were a lot of people there, chatting and talking about what they were going to do over the weekend. Gaby was heading towards the portrait hole, ignoring the people who were shouting hello to her.

“Lily,” Henn whispered, more urgently. “I know where Black is, he’s with—”

But Henn didn’t have to finish her sentence, because the rest of the sentence had just walked through the portrait hole, clutching Sirius’s arm and giggling madly.

Of course. Cecilia.

Gaby froze momentarily, staring at the too. I suddenly dreaded the moment she would get back to her senses and walk over to them.

“Oh man.” I said slowly, looking at Henn. Henn nodded, looking at Cecilia with disgust. How did this girl manage to ruin so many lives at once?

Henn abruptly moved her legs, practically running to where Gaby was. I followed her.

“Sirius!” Cecilia squealed, squeezing his arm tighter. “You’re so funny!” I found this too ironic that a few months ago, her sister was saying the same thing to the same guy while the same girl was watching them. Sirius smirked, glancing at Gaby briefly as they passed by. Gaby shook her head as he looked at Cecilia again, looking as if she was trying to talk herself into something.

“Sirius,” Gaby said, her voice sounding strangely hollow. “I’d like to have a word.”

Cecilia’s giggles abruptly stopped, as Sirius turned around, giving her the coldest look I’ve ever seen.

“I have nothing to talk to you about.”

“That little—” Henn said under her breath, both of us glaring at him. Gaby narrowed her eyes.

“Actually, there are quite a few things we do need to talk about.” Gaby said coolly. “Like us.”

Sirius laughed, Cecilia joining in shortly after. “Us? There’s no more ‘us’, Gaby.”

Gaby took a deep breath, trying to steady herself. “Sirius, please. C’mon.”

Sirius’s gaze seemed to soften for a split moment, but he quickly regained his balance, frowning. “Fine.” he said, clucking his tongue impatiently. “But hurry it up.”

Gaby glared at Cecilia. “I don’t want her to hear.”

“You’re going to have to deal with it, Gaby.” Cecilia said, smirking.

She is so evil.

Cecilia looked at Sirius, but he didn’t say anything. He just crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, looking bored and as if he could have been doing something much more interesting instead right now.

“Okay.” Gaby said, her voice shaking slightly as she clenched her hands into fists, forcing herself to look at him. Sirius was looking at the ground though, not trying at all to make eye contact. “I heard...that...that you—cheated on me.”

Sirius’s frown disappeared from his face, and his gaze moved to Gaby’s feet instead. He still wouldn’t look at her. “Who told you that?” he asked slowly, and I could hear a bit of resentment in his voice.

“Yeah, who told you?” Cecilia spat, looking briefly at the girls’ staircase.

“It’s true isn’t it?” Gaby said, her bottom lip trembling. “You...cheated on...me.”

Sirius didn’t say anything, it was strange that he didn’t spat an insult at her, and be the usual jackass he is. He was quiet though, and for once, he looked ashamed.

“Say something.” Gaby said, her gaze moving from Sirius to Cecilia, who was momentarily quieted too. “Say something, Sirius.”

“Yes.” Sirius mumbled.

“Yes, what?” Gaby said, although I was pretty sure she knew what he was talking about.

“I—” Sirius began, looking up at the ceiling. “I was with another girl when I was dating you.”

Gaby blinked. “Oh.” she said softly.

There was an intense silence, where Henn whispered to me, “Maybe we should go.”

I shook my head. What if Gaby needed us? What if Sirius humiliated her?

“Gaby,” Sirius muttered, still looking at the ceiling. “I’m...sor—”

“No you’re not.” Gaby said firmly, interrupting him. “You’re not!”

The room quieted slightly, people swiveling around in their chairs, and staring from Gaby, to Cecilia, and to Sirius.

Sirius finally seemed to pluck up the courage to look at her. His gray eyes seemed disturbingly different, and something flickered behind them. I couldn’t put my finger on it though. He didn’t do anything, he just slowly took Cecilia’s hand, and doubled back where they came from.

“Fine!” Gaby shouted at their retrieving backs as they climbed through the portrait hole. “Go!” She spun around, glaring at everyone around her. “What? Get back to whatever you were doing!”

She then pushed a little second year who was by the portrait hole, storming through the portrait hole, her bath robe billowing behind her. I wasn’t sure if she was going to yell more at Sirius, or if she was just trying to be alone.

Henn made a sympathetic noise with her tongue in the back of her throat. “What should we do?” she asked, looking at me.

“I don’t know.” I said, biting my lip. “But I think she wants to be alone, don’t you reckon?”

“I suppose.” Henn said, shrugging as the people in the common room grew steadily louder. She suddenly frowned, narrowing her eyes at the portrait hole. “That Cecilia...”

“I know.” I said heavily, shaking my head. “I hate her too.”

“And you know what’s another thing that’s bad?” Henn asked, once we were heading up the staircase again, ready to discuss everything in private. “She’s not just doing this to one of our dearest friends...but she’s humiliating her sister too!”

“Yeah,” I said slowly, not really paying attention to what I was agreeing to. James wasn’t in the common room anymore, and neither was Kat. “I wonder where...Kat is?”

“Dunno.” Henn said, shrugging. “She was here a moment ago, eh?”

“Right...” I mumbled, closing the door to the girls’ staircase behind us.

“But then again, maybe Sirius wouldn’t have agreed to go out with Cecilia if it weren’t for Gaby.”

I suddenly jumped back to my senses. “What?” I said incredulously.

“You know...” Henn said, moving her hands to demonstrate her point as we opened the door to the dormitory and carefully moved around the shattered glass. “She was making quite a show about her date with Jack, wasn’t she?”

“I suppose.” I said. “But still...he shouldn’t have done that, even if it was to spite Gaby...”

“So,” Henn said, placing her hands on her hips as she stared hard at the broken fragments scattered on the floor. Patricia was out of the bathroom, but her four poster’s curtains were drawn. “What do you reckon we should do?”

“Let’s clean this up first.” I said, pointing my wand at the glass. “Reparo.” Instantly the glass flew together, forming the pretty vase that she had thrown at the wall. I walked to the beaker full of water which was on the windowsill and filled the vase, placing the daisies that Jack had given her earlier inside.

“I never expected Gaby’s reaction, you know.” Henn said vaguely, as she repaired Gaby’s reading glasses, putting them carefully in the container and setting them on the counter, next to the vase. “She always disguised her anger well.”

“Mmm-hmm.” I said, taking the book from the ground and marking the page again where she had stopped reading. Henn was sweeping the floor unnecessarily with the broom that was always kept in the corner.

“You know,” Henn began, as I sat on the edge of her bed, staring at the empty silver plate that we had brought from the kitchen. “I’m still rather hungry.”

“Oh please,” I said, rolling my eyes to the ceiling.

“Seriously!” Henn said, looking sadly at the plate. “If I had known we were sharing food with Patricia and Gaby I would have gotten more sandwiches...”

“Henn,” I said, raising my eyebrow at her. “We just ate.”

“But still!” Henn exclaimed, grinning at me. “Do you want to go back?”

“Do you think the house-elves are still there?”

“Of course.” Henn said, hopping off of her bed. “What else have they got to do?”

She was already walking to the door, her hand on the knob as she stared at me expectantly.

“No.” I said firmly. “No, Henn. It’s past curfew, anyways.”

“So what?” Henn said. “Gaby’s out in the corridors somewhere making vudoo dolls of Sirius, and Grace is probably in a shadowy corner with Remus.”

I snorted. “Well Grace and Remus are used to hiding from teachers.”

“C’mon.” Henn said, hopping on my bed and looking at me with puppy dog eyes. “Don’t you at least want some warm...steaming, delicious, hot chocolate?”

“It’s not working.” I said, grinning at her. She frowned at me.

“Fine.” she said, walking to the door and holding the plate waitress-style. “You can stay here then.”

“You’re going alone?” I said, raising an eyebrow at her retrieving back.

“Of course. I told you I’m starving.” she called out, then shut the door behind her.

I walked over the my bed, opening the trunk and changing into my pajamas. It was rather cold, so I put a jumper over them too. I sighed, staring at the canopy of my bed. Everything stirred in my mind...Grace thinking Remus was lying scum...Sirius actually being a lying scum to Gaby...and how James was just...err. James. Everything seemed out of place, how Cecilia was now clutching Sirius’s arm, and how Patricia was probably crying silently right now, behind her curtains. Life just seemed so...unfair.

I rolled onto my side, tugging on the curtains to close. Pfft. Why do we need hormones anyway.

Chapter 23: Chapter Twenty Three
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It hardly seemed like only a week had passed since break was over, and the weekend was already passing by so quickly. Before I knew it, I found myself sitting in Transfiguration, staring dully at the chalkboard behind Mcgongall’s head. This period was way too long...although I had just had Divination before, and that sped quite quickly. Although James kept on being obnoxious and insisting that he could see a naked girl in the tea leaves we were supposed to be looking at, I found most of the class enjoyable.

“I think it’s Evans, personally.” he said loudly, making Sirius snort. “I mean this girl has got a horrible figure...”

And so now, I could well say that Transfiguration was even more frustrating than usual, even though I had immense satisfaction in seeing James get two days of detention.

“Alright,” Mcgongall said so abruptly that I jumped, sinking back into the classroom instead of thinking of good ways of how I could torture James. “I hardly have to say that most of you are failing to transfigure your mice into chalk dismally. Therefore, I have thought of putting you into pairs, to see if it will be simpler and easier for you then to conduct the spell.”

I immediately looked at Henn, who grinned and nodded. But then I heard Patricia say behind me slowly, “Put us into pairs?”

“For those of you who are doing...worse,” Mcgongall said, putting a delicate stress on the word and her eyes flickering unmistakably at me. “I will then put you in further need of assistance, with the people who already mastered the spell.”

Already mastered...?

James was waving his wand boringly, the mouse shrinking rapidly to become a lifeless piece of chalk.

“So, Ms. Love, no not you, her. I shall put you with Mr. Black.”

I looked at Patricia, who was looking white and thoroughly miserable as Sirius grunted, making it clear he didn’t want to be her partner.

“Ms. Sanchez,” Mcgongall said clearly, making Gaby jump at being addressed. Clearly, her mind was elsewhere also. “You can pair up with Mr. Pettigrew. Ms. Love, you are with Mr. Lupin. Ms. Evans...ah yes. I think Mr. Potter will be able to help you, and Ms. Smith...you can partner up with Ms. Lawson.”

It seemed that he only people who were happy to be partners were Henn and Grace. Patricia was slowly losing her color that indeed, she looked like a piece of chalk herself, Remus was smiling politely at Cecilia, but rolled his eyes when she turned away, and James made such an obnoxious noise in the back of his throat when Mcgongall had told us we were partners, that it was clear that he did not want to help me with my spell at all.

“Alright. Get a move on then. One of you will have to get put one of the mice in the cage. You will only need one per pair.” she said, pointing at the cage at the edge of her desk, where the mice were squeaking.

Ugh. I have no luck whatsoever.

There was an instant bustling in the classroom where people moved along the desks, trying to get to their partners. James sighed loudly and took his books, lazily dropping his mouse in the cage and sitting next to me, not looking at me.

I didn’t say anything either, while Mcgongall cleared her throat, nodding her head curtly for us to begin. I rolled my eyes at the ceiling, and once I glanced at James, saw that he had done the same thing.

We still weren’t talking, even though students were constantly chatting and helping their partners with the spell. I looked uneasily at Mcgongall, wishing she would just come and order us to get at it, but she wasn’t paying attention as she filed the papers on her desk.

After five painful minutes, where we didn’t communicate at all, and James swivelled in his chair and started to talk to Sirius as they deliberately ignored Patricia and I, and found that I had no choice but to say something. I mean c’mon, he was supposed to be helping me.

“Right.” I said, looking at James and trying to catch his attention as he traced the letter E.C. on a piece of parchment. I narrowed my eyes at him, clearing my throat as he continued to ignore me. “Don’t you think we should start?” I said bitterly.

James looked up at me, looking expressionless and making it clear that he could care less.

“No.” he said plainly.

I looked at him incredulously. “You know, I know that you’re doing this on purpose.”

James stopped doodling on the spare piece of parchment he had, crossing his arms and looking at me with cruel amusement.

“Oh? And what is that?”

I felt my face flush, as he stared at me. As much as I wanted him to look at me before, I was wishing constantly that he was doodling again on his parchment.

“You...know I can’t do the spell.” I said lamely, both of us knowing that wasn’t at all what I was going to say. “You just want me to fail!”

James blinked at me, not saying anything for a while. “I could care less if you fail or not, Evans.”

“Pfft.” I said, making an irritable noise in the back of my throat. “Sure.” I knew at once I had struck his nerve, James hated being wrong.

“Why would I want you to fail?” he spat at me, immediately looking at me again and waiting for me to retort. I didn’t have a retort though this time...so I just said the first thing that came to mind.

“Because I’ve been rejecting you for all these years!”

“Ho ho,” James said, laughing. Luckily, people were too concentrated on performing their spell to pay any notice to us. “So, Evans has a guilty conscious, eh?”

“What?” I snapped, looking at him incredulously.

“You feel bad for rejecting me!”

“No!” I said, flushing again. “Of course not.”

“Ha ha.” James said, smirking at me. “I knew it.”

“I--don’t--feel--guilty!”

I didn’t notice how loud I was speaking until everyone stopped talking, turning in their seats to look at us.

“Potter and Evans,” Mcgongall said, sweeping towards our desk and our nostrils flaring. “Don’t interrupt the class.” James gaped at her.

“But, professor!”

“Out in the hall, both of you.” she said firmly, pointing at the door. James made a defeated sound and took his books angrily, stomping towards the door. Mcgongall looked at me. “You too, Ms. Evans.”

Fine!

I took my bag, slung in over my shoulder forcefully, and followed James out, who shut the door quickly on purpose. ARGH!

I wrenched the door knob open, and stepped outside, closing it behind me. James was sliding down the wall, glaring at me.

“Nice one.” he said coolly. “I really hope you do fail, now.”

I grunted, closing my eyes as I tried to calm myself.

“You know what?” I finally said, my anger boiling to the top of my head. I stormed towards him, where he was raising an eyebrow at me. I kicked his school bag, making it slide down the hallway forcefully as its contents spilled out.

“Evans!”

“Well you know what James?” I repeated, kicking his Transfiguration book and the ink bottle that split open and spilled all over the floor. “I’m sick of you treating me like scum!”

“Excuse me?” James said incredulously, standing up as he took my bag and tipped it upside down, making all my books and homework fall to the ground as he too, kicked the down the hallway. “Me treating you like scum? You’re the one who’s been treating me like crap for seven years!”

“Argh!” I said through gritted teeth, feeling angrier and angrier by the second. Then without warning, I took a handful of the neck of his robes, shaking him slightly. “What’s your problem?”

“You are!” he shouted back at me, and shoved me back. We stood there, panting slightly as we glared at each other. He stormed to the end of the hallway, picking up one of my books and tearing out the pages.

“James!” I shrieked at him, running to where he was demolishing my stuff. “No, don’t!”

But he wasn’t listening to me, he was just tearing everything apart with an evil satisfaction printed on his face.

Oh yeah? Well if that’s how he was going to play...

I took my ink bottle that was on the floor and opened it, spilling it on his entire school bag, flooding the floor with black ink.

James gaped at me for a moment, but quickly regained his balance. He frowned at me then took his wand out of his pocket, pointing at my school bag so that it ripped at the seam.

“Ugh!” I grunted, pulling out my own wand. But I pointed it at his face instead, where his eyebrows steadily grew, making him look like a gorilla.

James didn’t know what happened at first, until a portrait to his left said, “My dear, look at his face!”

“Tarantallegra!” James bellowed at me, making me start tap-dancing wildly. I glared at him, then hit him with a bat-bogey hex. James yelled, hitting the flapping things that were flying towards him. “Furnunculus!”

I saw as the jet came streaming towards me, but James’s eyebrows were fogging his eyesight and he missed aim...

The bell had just rung and Mcgongall’s class was coming out, followed by the professor herself. We watched in horror as it hit her square in the face, causing multiple boils to pop up on her face.

“Shit.” James muttered, gaping at her.

“POTTER! EVANS!”


I’m dead. I’m definitely dead.

I had never seen Mcgongall so mad before, as she paced around us, where James and I sat in the chairs in front of her desk. The hexes were lifted off of both of us, so I wasn’t dancing anymore and James’s appearance was back to normal. I bit my lip as I watched her nostrils flare, glaring at us.

“Detention.” she said slowly, making it seem that her voice was very loud and strong, but she was actually speaking quite quietly. “For both of you.”

“But—” I began.

“Professor I already got two detentions—”

“Then now you will have a week’s worth and two.” Professor Mcgongall said coldly. I gaped at her. A week’s worth?! “And fifty points from Gryffindor.”

“Professor!”

“Potter do not make things worse for yourself!” she said angrily. “Out. Now. I want you to clean up the mess you made in the corridor, and no I will not give you passes for you next class.”

I moaned, stepping out of her office as she slammed the door behind us. James didn’t say anything to me, he seemed to be thinking the same thing as me; we should stop talking to each other if we didn’t want another detention.

But I still wasn’t thinking properly. “Good going.” I said coldly, as we bent down to pick up our supplies that were not only ink splattered and ripped, but now full of footprints of people that stepped on them.

“It’s not my fault!”

“Right.” I said venomously. “Don’t talk to me ever again, Potter.”

He glared at me, but said nothing. At least until he burst out, “This is all your fault.”

“It is not! If you weren’t being an arse—”

“I already got two detentions!”

Before I knew what I was doing, I was angry again and whipping out my wand. James must have been thinking along the same lines, because he had his out too.

“I will jinx you.” he said seriously, looking at me. “I’ll jinx you so bad that you’ll have feelers sticking out of your head for a week in the hospital’s wing.”

I glared at him. “I’d like to see you try.”

James was looking uneasily at me, but didn’t mutter an incantation.

“Lily,” he muttered irritably, putting his wand back in his pocket. I stared at him.

“You called me Lily!”

James looked at me incredulously. “No, I didn’t.”

“You did!” I said triumphantly, pointing at him.

“I didn’t!” James exclaimed bitterly, although his cheeks were slightly flushed.

“Ha.” I said, still grinning. “You don’t hate me.”

James was shoving everything into his arms, the torn school bag hanging limply from his shoulder. “Yes, I do.” he said, frowning. “Merlin, just leave me alone, Evans!”

“I’m not doing anything to you!” I said, laughing at his panicked face. “Why are you blushing?”

“I’m not.” James said defiantly.

“You are too.”

“Shut it.” James said angrily as I laughed openly. He furrowed his eyebrows. “Merlin Lily, stop it will you? I was just starting to forget about you too...”

I stopped laughing abruptly. “What?” I said, although I heard perfectly what he said. “What did you say?”

James blushed again, frowning. “I said I forgot about you, so leave it.”

I looked at him suspiciously. “That’s not what you said.”

“That’s exactly what I said.”

“No, you said ‘Merlin Lily, stop it I was just starting to forget about you too.’” I repeated.

“That’s not what I said!”

Suddenly it was like someone else was talking for me, like some reckless soul was inside of me, telling me what to do. All I knew was that I was already in front of him, trying to process everything.

“James,” I said, stepping towards him. He backed away. “Do you still like me?”

“I’m dating Eve.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

“I’m dating Eve.” he repeated, looking at me hard. He wasn’t blushing anymore. “Why would I like you?”

“Because you’re trying to get me jealous.” I said.

James clucked his tongue. “Why would I do that?”

“Because you like me, you dimwit!”

“I don’t!” he said firmly, shoving past my shoulder and walking down the hallway. “Merlin you’re so difficult, Evans...”

I stared at his retrieving back, stunned. He still liked me...

I stood there, a smile creeping on my face. I thought that the detention would make me furious but I was acting completely cheery.

Ha! And I had a week’s worth of detentions with him. He’ll have to talk to me...

Heh.

Chapter 24: Chapter Twenty Four
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I sat by Leah at a table in the corner, where she was reading. I sighed, looking at her incredulously.

“Are you done already?” I asked, referring to her homework.

“Yep.” Leah said promptly, not looking at me. “Finished hours ago.”

It was already past midnight, and the common room was empty except for a few seventh years and Leah. Grace had already finished an hour ago, going up to bed to get some rest, while Gaby too went upstairs. James and Sirius had finished all of our assignments but were playing a game of Exploding Snap by the fire, while Peter bit his fingernails over the book we were supposed to have read yesterday, and Patricia was sitting by herself in another corner, doing her homework with drooping eyes, every so often glaring at Cecilia who was watching the boys play Exploding Snap and giggling whenever Sirius touched her leg. Remus had finished all our essays and such a long time ago, and had also went to bed when Grace left, and Henn and Kat were going for another trip to the kitchen, claiming that they weren’t going to be able to think without some brain food.

“I would’ve given anything to be in your place right now.” I said miserably, trying to imagine the quill in front of me to be a mouse so I could transfigure it into chalk. “Why aren’t you upstairs sleeping or something?”

“I felt like reading.” Leah said, shrugging. Then she looked up from above her book, changing the subject completely. “I heard you lost fifty points today with Potter.”

I grunted in reply, opening the book in front of me that James had torn the pages of. “Ugh James tore out the page I needed for our homework...”

“So what exactly did you two do?” Leah persisted, although I was trying to wander away from the subject. “I mean I heard you threw a tantrum but I didn’t hear any details...”

I groaned, leaning back and looking exasperatedly at the ceiling. I guess the whole school had already heard and spread what happened.

“Tantrum?” I repeated bitterly, returning to my homework and trying to do my essay even though I knew it was useless without those pages James had ripped out. “Great...”

“Seriously!” Leah said, laughing. “What happened? C’mon, you can tell me.”

“He just got on my nerves.” I muttered, staring blankly at the book in front of me.

“Typical.” Leah said, chuckling.

“Yeah.” I said. But it seemed that when I finally started liking James, he just got from bad, to worse. He spent the whole rest of the day depressing and tormenting me. Honestly....

As this thought came to me, I turned around, looking at James and his Exploding Snap game. For a fleeting second I thought James had been glancing at me a moment before...but when I turned he was laughing at something Sirius had said while giving Cecilia another kiss.

From the corner of the room, Patricia had stood up, throwing her quill to her Charms book frustratingly. She shoved everything into her school bag, flinging it over her shoulder as she distractedly ran her fingers through her messy and damp blonde hair, stomping out of the common room. In front of the fire, Cecilia and Sirius were continuing to kiss as if nothing happened. Leah, James, and I however, were watching Patricia progress through the portrait hole, where the Fat Lady said audibly, ‘You don’t look well dear...’

Leah sighed, her chin perched upon her chin as she looked warily at me. “I know it’s sort of stupid, but I feel really bad for her.”

“I know.” I said, understanding completely. These past days, I often felt bad for not only Gaby but Patricia....although I felt somewhat disgusted with myself when this happened.

“And Gaby, too.” Leah added, furrowing her eyebrows. She threw Sirius a contemptuous glance, then said, “Honestly...” I knew that she was reliving her fourth year, when she had went out with Sirius who also publicly humiliated her when they broke up in the middle of the common room.

Sometimes, Sirius was just evil.

The portrait door swung open with a loud creak, Henn and Kat crawling inside with a plate full of sweets like cookies, muffins, and little pies.

“Hey.” Henn said, stuffing a blueberry muffin in her mouth as Kat scrunched up her nose in disgust at the sight of Cecilia and Sirius. She swallowed the rest of her food in her mouth then said, “Want some?”

“No thanks.” I said. “Can I borrow your Transfiguration book, Henn?”

“Yeah.” Henn said, nodding and walking over to our table, where she set the plate full of food on the top. “Hold on a sec.” She was opening the girls’ door, climbing steadily up the stairs to get her book that was in our dormitory.

“We just passed Patricia.” Kat said, sitting down and not sounding as sorry for her as Leah and I were a few minutes ago. “Looked dreadful, poor thing.”

“I wonder if she’s coming back.” I said, dipping my quill in my ink as I scribbled the title of Mcgongall’s essay on the top of my parchment. I glanced at Sirius, who was still very involved with Cecilia and added in a lower voice, just in case, “She didn’t sleep in our dorm last night, you know.”

James, who seemed to find the fire interesting no longer, stood up, stretching his arms. I couldn’t help but notice that his shirt went slightly up, showing a strip of his skin. He yawned and ruffled his hair, unbuttoning the cuffs of his white shirt, where it was also unbuttoned at the top.

I watched as he moved past us, determinedly not looking at me and pausing in front of the boys’ dormitories door. His hand was on the knob, and he glanced at me for a brief second, but it was one of those glances that showed pure loathing. Pfft. Fine.

But he couldn’t possibly hate me...could he?

He then wrenched the door open, a moody expression on his face, and slammed it behind him. Leah was looking at me intently, a suspicious look on her face.

“Uh...” Leah said slowly, still not taking her eyes off of me. “Why were you staring at Potter?” she blurted out.

“She was staring at James?” Kat asked, raising an eyebrow at me.

“No.” I said, blushing. “No, I wasn’t.”

“You were too!” Leah said accusingly. “I’m not blind you know.”

“He wasn’t looking at her though.” Kat said humourously, not noticing that this might be a painful subject for me. She couldn’t help it though...it’s not like I told anybody about the new and founded crush I had on James. “Probably because of the fifty points you lost today.” For some reason she sounded bitter, something very unlike Kat.

“It wasn’t just me!” I said hotly.

“Lily, do you like him?” Leah asked slowly, almost hesitantly. She obviously though this was very far fetched.

“W-what? N-no...”

Honestly! Couldn’t I be a little better at lying at a time like this?

“What?” Kat asked, sounding quiet. “Lily...you like James?”

She was staring at me intently, and I felt myself blush more profusely.

I heard as Henn came rushing down the girls’ staircase, wrenching the door open and sliding in the seat next to me. She handed me her battered Transfiguration book, which somehow had grass stains, with a grin.

“There you go.” Henn said brightly, opening it to the right page. She paused, glancing at me. “Lily, why are you blushing?”

“She likes James!” Leah said absurdly, but in a thankfully, whispered voice. Sirius and Cecilia weren’t there anymore, probably still at it in the Gryffindor Snogging Corner.

“What?” Henn said, gaping with her mouth full of cookie crumbs. She looked at me, to Leah. “What? No, of course not...”

“If you saw the way she was staring at him right now you would be sure of it too.” Kat said dully. She was suddenly drained of energy, flipping the pages of her Charms book without her typical gusto.

“Lily,” Henn said in an astonished voice, which made me even more embarrassed, although it was only us in the common room.

“Ugh, stop it, all of you!” I said, as both her and Leah stared at me.

“It’s just...” Leah said in a hushed voice, but she never got to finish. Henn just started to laugh tremendously, and wasn’t being quiet about it at all. Indeed, we heard something hit the wall behind her that we were pretty sure that Cecilia or Sirius had just bonked their head on the bookshelf that was concealing them.

“Henn!” I hissed, feeling completely embarrassed. “Stop it!”

“I’m—sorry!” she gasped, clutching her stomach as she shook with more laughter. “It’s that...Ha!”

“What she means to say,” Leah said, being the only logical one at the moment, although a smile was creeping on her lips. “Is that it’s rather ironic that after six years of James chasing you around, when he finally gives up, you start liking him, after all the times you said you’d never fall for the ‘James Potter charm’, and you were crazy if you did.”

I stared at her for a moment, my jaw dropped. Then I picked up my school bag, flung it over my shoulder, and grabbed the essay that I hadn’t even started yet. “That’s it. I’m leaving.”

“Wait!” Henn said, grabbing my arm as I was passing her. “C’mon...hold on.” She steered me back to my seat, then shook her head, as if trying to stop herself from laughing. “So, what are you going to do about it?” As she approached the calmest and straightest expression she could possess at the moment.

“What?” I asked incredulously, as Kat sighed as if I were stupid or something.

“What are you going to do about you liking him?” Kat said darkly. I raised my eyebrow at her, still not sure why she was acting this way.

“Yes. Just as Kat says.” Henn said, glancing at Kat for a brief moment.

“I can’t do anything!” I said, throwing my hands in the air. “He’s going out with Eve, remember?”

“So?” Henn said immediately, looking incredulous. I glared at her, and she added hastily, “Oh yeah. Right.”

“But it’s obvious that James doesn’t really like Eve.” Leah said simply. Both of us looked at her, raising an eyebrow. Leah looked up from her book, shrugging. “Well, he’s been avoiding Eve all day. Today after Herbology she ran up to him but he just kind of shunted her away.”

“But he sort of...” I said, then finished lamely, “...hates me.”

“Right.” Henn said rolling her eyes. “He can’t be that heartless to forget you from one day to the next.”

There was a pause. Then Leah said slowly, “Yes, he can.”

“But he’s liked Lily for six years.” she said exasperatedly. “He can’t be that heartless.”

“This is James Potter we’re talking about, Henn.”

“He’s not that bad!” Henn said defensively. “I mean just because he’s a Marauder...C’mon. Remus is nice, isn’t he? And Peter...well he’s...unique, isn’t he?”

“Very.” Kat said sarcastically. Everyone looked at her, giving her curious expressions. She sighed, picking up all of her homework. “I’m going to bed.” she said, and opened the door to the girls’ dormitories...moving up the stairs.

“Weird.” Leah said, frowning slightly.

“Did something happen to her today?” I asked.

“No, I don’t think so...”

“She’s probably tired or something.” Henn said reassuringly. “Now, Lily. What do you tink we should do?”

“Nothing.” I said firmly. “I’m not even sure I like him...”

Leah and Henn gave me exasperated looks. “Well you have detention with him tomorrow.” Henn said, ignoring my comment. “Try talking to him, okay?”

But it was very clear that James did not want to talk to me at all, as I walked in the library for our first detention of the week. He was sitting moodily at one of the tables, and Madam Pince was eyeing him warily, probably to make sure he wasn’t doing anything fishy in her precious library. But James was being very uncharacteristic, not speaking at all as the librarian told us that we were to sort all the books that everyone left lying around. She also informed us that she wasn’t going to trust us being alone with her books, scrunching up her nose disgustedly as she said so.

Even if he wanted to talk to me, I would get to. She sent us in separate sides of the library, saying that we’d probably be talking instead of taking care of the detention in which we very rightfully, deserved. She probably said that because I spilled ink all over James’s books.

So here I am, a bunch of books on the floor stacked up high, so that all I had to do was reach for the book at my shoulder, and put it in the Invisibility section. If this was only one section, I didn’t want to think about how long we were going to be here.

“Good job Mr. Potter.” I heard Madam Pince say, although it seemed that she was forcing herself to say that. “I’m glad that you’re done already. Now go over to that shelf over there, but first look for the books that belong there.”

“Yes, ma’am.” James said, and I knew the way he was saying “ma’am”, that he was thinking that maybe if he sucked up enough, he’d get out earlier.

Stupid James. He’s just so perfect. Even in book sorting he has to beat me.

I shoved another book in the shelf, just as James came around one of the shelves, checking if the books in the chair across the row I was in now was part of his section. He knew I was there...but didn’t say anything or even look at me. I felt my stomach lurch and I forced myself to look at the shelf in front of me, breathing quickly. My heart was beating awfully fast...

“Move, Evans.” James coolly. I jumped, causing the whole stack of books I so neatly mounted to tumble down as my elbow collided with it. I cursed, for both knocking the books down and for not noticing he was next to me. James raised his eyebrow at me for a moment, as I bent down and picked up the nearest book.

I straightened, staring at him defiantly. “What?” I asked, my cheeks flushing.

“Move.” he repeated, pointing at the book that was in the row beside me, but I was apparently, blocking the way.

His hands were in his pockets, and he was looking at me coldly. I was about to side step, so that he could move around me and pick up the book, but suddenly I felt that familiar feeling just like when I told James that he still liked me.

“No.” I said.

James blinked, then scowled. “Why not?”

“You know why.” I said, starting to pick up the books in the aisle and taking up as much space as possible. “Go around, Potter.”

I didn’t see the expression on his face, since I was near his feet. “Fine.” he said, then moved down the aisle, disappearing around the shelves. Soon he was on my other side, glaring at me as he snatching the book from the ground, moving grudgingly around again.

I felt slightly triumphant, as I saw him move across the row in front of me, disappearing again. I picked up the rest of the books, sighing and started to stack them again.

We managed to finish by one o’ clock in the morning. I never fully appreciated how well ordered all the books in the library were, or how many sections there were. Of course James finished about three more sections than me, as Madam Pince was very clear in pointing out, as we were about to leave.

We had no choice but to walk side by side down the hallway, where the only light was coming from the torches. I suddenly remembered the last time we were stuck in detention together, where I was scared to go out in the hallways, where it was very dark.

Before I knew it, I let out a chuckle, even though I was trying very hard not to. James looked at me with an offended expression, he had obviously thought that I was making fun of him for something.

“What?”

“I was just remembering something.” I replied coolly.

“Oh.” James said, as we turned a corner. I knew he was trying to fight back his curiosity, but soon he said, “Remembered what?”

For a moment I thought of saying ‘Nothing’, just to make him mad. But I suddenly thought against it. “The last time we were in detention together.”

James pretended to be trying to remember, although I knew he wouldn’t forget easily. “Oh yeah.”

“Yeah.” I said.

There was a pause. “Which part were you remembering?”

I looked at him from the side, although there was quite some space between us as we continued to walk. “When I was scared of coming out into the hallway.”

James made a noise that was similar to a chuckle, but quickly tried to disguise it with a cough, as if he remembered that he was supposed to be ignoring me.

“Yeah, I remember that.” he said. “But you wouldn’t admit you were scared of the dark.”

“Yes, you’re right.” I said, although it was strange saying it out loud. I don’t think there were many times I told him that he was right. Even James had a short intake of breath, looking at me strangely.

“Right.” he said after another awkward pause, where we both stared at our feet.

And just like that, I suddenly felt like I wanted to cry. My vision was already fogging, and I felt strangely vulnerable, as sadness seeped into my chest.

James was my best friend when we were little, then I hated him, and now he hated me. And to make things worse, I started to think about my dad, Carrie, and Petunia.

Petunia! She didn’t even care anymore...I could die tomorrow and she would careless...She didn’t love me at all now. She was cold, and heartless, both effects of my mother leaving us and me becoming a witch.

Maybe I shouldn’t have become a witch...

“Lily?” James croaked, startled to look at me as tears streamed down my face. I made a little choking noise, and sobbed harder. We both had stopped in the deserted corridor, as he backed into the wall behind him, looking at me in alarm. It was obvious that he didn’t know what to do.

My heart was heaving with emotion, as it was thumping painfully in my chest. My shoulders were shaking, as I covered my face with my hands, just sobbing and crying...

“Lily?” James said again, looking around as if there were signs on the wall of what to do when a girl was crying hysterically in front of you. “Lily, c’mon don’t cry.”

He wasn’t being sensitive at all! I glared at him. “Y-yeah!” I said, sounding hysterical. “I’ll just d-do that!”

Something flickered behind his eyes again, but I didn’t know what it was anymore nor did I care...

No one cared about me, so why should I care about them?

Then suddenly James was stepping forward and in one movement, was scooping me into his arms and pressing me tightly against him. I started crying into his chest instead, as I clutched onto him for my dear life.

“It’s okay,” James said softly, stroking my hair. “I’m here, Lily.”

My breath was coming in short gasps, as I just cried harder and harder. I heard him sigh into my hair, and then say, “Why do you do this to me, Lily?”

This just made me cry more, as I felt the wet fabric of his shirt press against my face.

Chapter 25: Chapter Twenty Five
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“You okay?”

I felt my eyes sting as I looked up at James, who was standing awkwardly next to the wall across from me. He had held me and all, but seemed very jumpy about it. I noticed that he seemed very relieved once I let go of him and slid down the wall where I was at now.

I nodded, afraid of sounding weak and teary if I spoke. I wiped my face with my sleeve, sniffing quietly. James didn’t seem to want to look me in the eye, but I wasn’t going to ponder about it now. I wasn’t too keen at looking at him either. I felt so embarrassed, how did I just break down like that when usually I convinced everyone that I was a cold, heartless person?

James sighed quietly to himself and sat at the windowsill, looking out the window with a determined face that made it clear he didn’t want to look at me. I suddenly felt white, hot anger pulse through me. If he didn’t want to look at me than why didn’t he just leave?

I watched as the soft, white snowflakes came floating outside the window, showing its small shadows glide across the floor because of the moonlight. I found myself standing up and walking over to it, startling James as he edged away from me. I frowned, trying to ignore him. It was funny how much brighter night was with its beautiful white snow illuminating the grounds.

I sighed, sounding rather pathetic after I thought about it afterward. I looked at my hands, which looked even paler because of the moon that was only slightly showing through the thing clouds.

I was surprised to see that James was watching me intently as I glanced sideways at him. For someone who didn’t want to be here he was sure staring at me a lot...

I couldn’t take it anymore, so I turned around completely, so I could face him. I know I looked like a mess, my face still stung slightly and I knew I was still tear-streaked.

James for a moment didn’t look at me, but instead quickly coughed and looked down at his fist. I knew he wouldn’t keep it up for long though, because he lowered his fist and finally looked at me.

And then, his hand was reaching towards my face as his oddly warm fingers brushed my cheek for a moment. He bit his lip, and I could see his breath in front of me, coming rapidly.

“You have an eyelash.” he said softly, and indeed, there was an eyelash at the very tip of his finger, where he was waiting for me to blow.

I gulped, then closed my eyes, exhaling slowly, wishing in my head, I wish he’d kiss me. When my eyes fluttered open, I was wiping my face again, and the eyelash was gone from his finger.

James stared at me for a moment, where I stared boldly back. He cleared his throat, breaking the gaze and moving slightly out of the window’s light.

“We should get going.” he said, his face partially hidden from the moonlight. His hazel eyes were gleaming, and his glasses flickered as he moved yet more into the shadows, obscuring his face completely.

“Yeah.” I said finally, not taking my gaze away from him, although he wouldn’t meet my eyes. “We should.”


If James was avoiding me before, it was nothing compared to now. He wouldn’t even look at me in class anymore, even though we were still partners in Transfiguration. He just showed me how to perform the spell, and left me to it as he stared at his parchment. He wasn’t taunting me anymore, which had to be a plus side, but he wasn’t do much else either.

Detentions were even worse. The second day we didn’t have to go to the library, but instead make a clear path to the castle through the snow, without magic. Lucky for James, we didn’t have much time to talk since we were concentrating on getting through the snow as quickly as possible, since it was freezing in the dark out there. I kept on looking up at the bright half moon, but James kept on clearing his throat behind me, indicating that he didn’t want to spent much more time with me. I tore my gaze from the beautiful sight, and returned to shoveling the snow out of the way.

It didn’t even help that much either. While we were digging the path, it was snowing heavily, so naturally the next day the path was practically unnoticeable. I have got the worst luck ever.

The third day we had to scrub all the cauldrons in Harrison’s dungeon, with him breathing down our necks, again leaving us no opportunities to talk. James didn’t seem to mind though, he was being uncharacteristically quiet once again, just rolling up his sleeves as he took the sponge Harrison had thrust at him, scrubbing away at the bottom of the pewter cauldrons. He also didn’t complain once, which was very unlike him.

Then we had to polish the trophies in the trophy room, making sure it was sparkly clean, or at least as clean as Filch wanted it to be. Our fifth detention was to help Flitwick put down the Christmas decorations, and our sixth detention was to simply sit in a classroom with Mcgongall, copying lines for hours and hours...

Then finally, I walked in on Monday into the Hospital Wing, where we had to help Madam Pomfrey sort out all her potions and make the beds. We also had to scrub the floor, where Madam Pomfrey yawned and said she’d have to do something very important and would be right back. Stretching her arms, she went into her office, closing the door behind her while James wiped the sweat off his forehead.

He seemed to be watching out for something, and obviously had found that it was safe enough to do whatever he was planning on doing. He took something from his back pocket, a small and square mirror. It was silver, and he held it up to his face and muttered only just distinctively, “Sirius Black.”

I watched as wonderment as James waited impatiently, drumming his fingers on the bed beside him while he looked boringly at the mirror in front of him. I wondered vaguely what he was waiting for while I scrubbed the tile in front of me, when I heard James say, “Took you long enough.”

“Hey, mate.” I heard from the mirror with the unmistakable voice of Sirius Black. James gave him a weak grin, his eyes outlined with dark circles. “How you holding up?”

James shifted uncomfortably, glancing at me where I quickly looked down at the stain I was supposed to be scrubbing.

“Not too bad.” James said casually, or at least as casually as he could with me around him. “I’ve had worse detentions.”

I heard Sirius sigh. “Wish I was there with you, personally. Harrison’s got me writing lines for him. I was lucky though for some fourth year coming in here saying that Peeves was throwing things at the first years on the second floor.”

“Writing lines?” James repeated incredulously. “Harrison made me scrub his ruddy cauldrons!”

“Aw, shut it.” Sirius said, and I just knew by the way he was saying it, he was grinning. “You get to watch Evans for hours as she bends over scrubbing the floor. I mean you now get a full excuse to look at her arse!”

I blushed as I purposefully turned, so that I didn’t have my back to James anymore.

“Sirius,” James hissed. “She’s right there.”

“So? She probably can’t hear us.” Sirius said indifferently. “Ooh, lookie here. Jamesy is blushing.” I glanced up at him, and indeed, his face was crimson. When James continued to remain silent, without so much as a grin, Sirius sighed impatiently. “Honestly, James. What’s up with you?”

James didn’t answer right away. “Nothing.” he finally muttered.

“Right.” Sirius said sarcastically. “Is it because Evans is there? You don’t still fancy her, do you?”

“No.” James said immediately, and a little too loudly. I stood up, pretending to be soaking my towel in the bucket behind James, who quickly moved out of my way. I sighed, fully aware that they were staring at me and thinking of just ignoring them when Sirius spoke up.

“Evans!” he exclaimed, in his usual merry manner. I turned around, raising my eyebrow at Sirius’ unmistakable face that was in the mirror, grinning up at me. Behind him was the dungeons, were all the clean and scrubbed cauldrons that James and I had cleaned were in a row behind him. “How are you?”

“Hullo, Sirius.”

“Aw, c’mon. You and James need to cheer up.” Sirius said, giving James a meaningful glance. “Honestly if it were me...” He didn’t need to finish. We obviously knew that if it was him, the buckets full of water and towels would be laid forgotton as soon as Madam Pomfrey left. “Anyway, where’s Pomfrey?”

“Probably taking a nap.” James said, shrugging. “It is midnight.”

“Already?” Sirius said, checking his own watch for confirmation. “Yeah you’re right...Oh wait. I have to go. I hear Harrison coming down the hallway.”

“See you.” James said, and Sirius’s face slowly faded away, reflecting James’s profile instead. He slipped it in his back pocket, taking the towel he had left next to him, back to scrubbing the floor and ignoring me.

“That’s an interesting mirror.” I said, trying to break the ice as the water that was soaked in my towel fell down onto my feet. “Where’d you get it?”

“Sirius.” he muttered, still not looking at me. “It was his family’s, but he nicked it.”

“Oh.” I said, trying to think of something more interesting I could say instead. Nope, nothing.

“We’ll probably get out soon.” he said slowly.

“Yeah.” I said, kneeling down beside him purposefully and scrubbing the floor next to him. He widened his eyes as he noticed me sitting down next to him.

“You’re supposed to be over there.” he said, pointing at the previous spot I had been earlier.

“I’m done with that section.” I said, forcing myself to look at the floor, which was steadily looking cleaner.

“Then you should be over there.” he said, jerking his head towards the other direction, which was conveniently very far away from him.

I exhaled slowly. “I don’t think I will.” I finally said.

“Why not?” James suddenly spat at me, and I looked at him, raising an eyebrow.

“For someone like you I can hardly hear James Potter telling me to follow the rules.” I said coolly. James flushed slightly, muttered something undistinguishable, and then started to scrub again. I sighed, rolling my sleeves up. We had hardly enjoyed our weekend, since Mcgongall hadn’t even had mercy on us then, only giving us Sunday off. Well at least she was a little fair.

I looked at James, who was still not looking at me. I had to get him to talk somehow.

“Mcgongall must have been really mad.” I said suddenly, looking at him for a reaction. “I mean, giving us a week’s detention, and all.”

James grunted in reply, glancing at me briefly but quickly returning his gaze to the rag in front of him.

“Yeah.” I said, trying not to think how stupid I must be, having a conversation with myself. “I’m not getting that much sleep at all, have you?” To prove my point, I yawned, stretching my arms. I looked at him expectantly. He still didn’t say anything. “Why are you being so quiet?” I said, trying to be matter of fact about it. James looked at me incredulously.

“I’m not.” he said indignantly.

“Yes you are.” I said, frowning. “You haven’t talked practically all evening.”

“I just haven’t talked to you.” he said viciously. “Cause if I do, I know I’ll get you upset.”

I blinked at him, trying to process through this. “What?” I finally spat.

“Last time I talked to you, you started bawling all over me.” James said defensively.

“It wasn’t because of you.” I said, furrowing my eyebrows although I knew that he was the one who made me vulnerable in the first place. “Not at all.”

“Oh yeah?” James said, raising an eyebrow at me as if he seriously doubted it.

I frowned at him, turning around so I wouldn’t have to face him. That’s it. I was done talking.

James too, didn’t seem to want to talk either. He was scrubbing furiously on the tile in front of him, furrowing his eyebrows.

This was so...wrong.

After all this time James was afer me, while I ignored him, now I was the one chasing him, while he ignored me.

I never thought I’d sink so low.

“Is Eve telling you all of this?” I suddenly blurted out, frowning at him as I turned around. James gave me a blank look, clearly not knowing what I was trying to say to him. “Is she telling you not to talk to me?”

“Actually, Eve probably doesn’t even know who you are.” he said coolly.

“Of course she does.” I said nastily. “Thanks to you, the whole school knows me. Do you know how many random people used to stop me in the hall, pressuring me to go out with you? You managed to turn the whole student population against me.”

James scowled at me, turning around again and trying to return to his work. Argh...

“Why aren’t you saying anything?” I snapped. “Say something!”

“Evans!” he suddenly shouted, spinning around again. “What the hell is your problem?”

“What my problem is?” I repeated, laughing cynically. “What my problem is?”


“Well guess what?” he said, standing up, me following suit. “You don’t have to worry about it anymore! Because by tomorrow, I’ll have everyone forget about you, alright? I’ll tell everyone that I don’t like you anymore! That I could careless if you die tomorrow, I wouldn’t care...and everyone will just go passing by you, not knowing you exist, even me! Is that what you want, Lily? Is that what you want?

“‘Cause I can’t take it anymore! How am I supposed to know? I never know what you want! Is it my fault that I can’t make you happy? What do you want me to do?”

I blinked at him, feeling suddenly small and insignificant. With James’s tall figure towering over me, it didn’t help me feel more important either. He was looking furious, his face reddening with anger. I was surprised that Madam Pomfrey hadn’t waken up yet.

“You wouldn’t care if I died tomorrow?” I asked quietly, the only part that seemed to stand out at me, even though he had been yelling at me the whole time. I looked down at my feet. From the corner of my eye I saw James, looking flabbergasted, his jaw dropped and looking slightly stupid with his incredulous look on his face.

He cleared his throat, looking uncomfortably at his sponge that was still in his hand as he waved it around madly, trying to demonstrate his point to me.

“Well, maybe I didn’t– mean it well, in that way...”

“You said it though.”

I finally looked up, and for one long second, our eyes locked. He tugged on his collar, turning his face so I could only see his profile. He reached towards the back of his jet black hair, the part that stuck up. He glanced uncomfortably at me.

“Uh yeah. I did.” he said slowly.

“Why did you say it then?”

He was gaping at me again, his hair looking messier than usual since he had been ruffling it to save some time to give me an immediate answer. Drops of sweat were on his brow, slowly dripping down from his hair, his shirt looking just as messy.

I heard him murmur something, but I was positive that he didn’t want me to hear it. It had seemed a feeble attempt to try and get me to understand his point, but it didn’t work. I couldn’t hear him. “What?”

“Nothing.” He muttered, shaking his head and throwing the sponge in the bucket in between us, splashing water and soap onto our feet. “I’ll…go check if we can leave yet.”

I didn’t turn around as he passed by me, the mere wind that he was making as he walked giving me goose bumps. He was striding down the hallway towards Madam Pomfrey’s office, knocking and saying something softly.

“Ah yes, you can leave dear…”

James reappeared beside me, taking the sponge from my limp hand and briefly brushing his fingers against me. “Um, she said we can leave.”

“What?” I asked, jerking out of my trance as I felt a shiver up my spin when he touched me. “Oh? Oh, alright…”

We started picking up the towels and rugs that we had left scattered around the room, leaving a considerably cleaner Hospital Wing when James closed the door behind us with a soft click.

I opened my mouth to say something, but the look he gave me made me stop. He was furrowing his eyebrows at me as if to say something like ‘please, don’t say anything else’.

We walked in silence, me crossing my arms tightly across my chest. Like that day we had to scrub the Great Hall, I was shivering, my robe hanging from my arms moist and damp.

The hallways were dark, and it was snowing again. I suddenly stopped by one of the empty classrooms, making James look curiously at me from behind his shoulder.

“Go on.” I said. “I’ll go up to the common room later.”

“Right. Okay.” What hurt me most was that he said it immediately, as if he couldn’t wait to get rid of me and the awkwardness of it all. He left without another word, and I watched as he turned the corner, not glancing behind him as he went.

I sighed, turning towards the empty classroom that I had stopped in front of. It was a classroom with high and tall windows, making the moonlight sliver against the desks, making it look slightly eerie. I sat by one of the windows, looking down below. The snow was bright again, and the sky was completely cloudless. I could see the lake from here, and the moon reflected brightly. It was a full moon, and nothing seemed to be alive as the lake rippled with the cold wind that was shaking the trees.

I squinted my eyes, trying to hold myself from crying again. Sadness started to fill inside of me, as I remembered James’s words.

By tomorrow, I’ll have everyone forget about you, alright? I’ll tell everyone that I don’t like you anymore! That I could careless if you die tomorrow, I wouldn’t care...and everyone will just go passing by you, not knowing you exist, even me.

Even you James?

Is that what you want, Lily?

No! That’s not what I want at all James, I just want you to be able to find somewhere in your heart to forgive me…

Is that what you want?

No…

I never know what you want!

I know James, sometimes I don’t even know…

Is it my fault that I can’t make you happy?

No, of course not…

What do you want me to do?

I don’t know.

I sniffed, my eyes blurring again as the snow’s blinding color made me see only white. I finally blinked, letting the hot tears come down onto my face, as I hastily wiped them away. I looked at the grounds again…

…Hu?

I rubbed my eyes with my fists, trying to see if what I was seeing was actually what I was seeing.

It was.

There was a wolf running across the snow.

Chapter 26: Chapter Twenty Six
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Whoa.

I blinked, pressing my face against the glass as I tried to get a better view of the gray running figure that I was concentrated on completely. I had never seen anything more dangerous than bats on the grounds at night, and the only place that I could imagine would hold such beasts was the Forbidden Forest.

I grunted, positioning myself awkwardly as I leaned backwards, to see where the wolf was running towards. For a moment I thought of going to Professor Mcgongall, after all, a wolf was very dangerous to be on the grounds on the loose.

But the thought was wiped from my mind as another figure appeared, apparently after the wolf. It was a massive black dog, tumbling across the snow, and leaving huge paw prints. Something was scurrying behind it, something considerably smaller. With closer inspection I saw that it was a rat...

I stared as the wolf stopped abruptly, and I swore that I heard a sharp intake of breath. I froze, feeling coldness sweep into my stomach.

Surely thinking that I was caught by some teacher who would give me another week of detentions, I found that the classroom was quite empty.

I must be imaging things, I thought as I returned my gaze to the grounds, but nothing was moving except for the trees that were swaying softly with the wind. Hu?

CRASH!

I slapped my hand over my mouth to prevent myself from screaming. On the shelf behind me, the vase had apparently toppled over and fell to the floor, shattering.

“Oh no,” I moaned, flinging myself desperately onto the ground as I fumbled inside of my robes for my wand. I finally grasped it, pointing it at the broken pieces and muttering, “Reparo.”

Instantly, the blue and gray vase returned to its original form. I was placing it quickly on top of the shelf again when to my utter horror, I heard someone whispering down the hall.

“Yes, my sweet...I think someone’s lurking about--”

Oh no. It was Filch.

Panicking, I turned hopelessly in the classroom, looking for somewhere to hide. It was no use though, I was done for.

Then, suddenly, I was being grabbed around the waist, although I was sure I couldn’t be since I had been alone in the room. I was thrown under neath some sort of blanket. A rough hand was clutching my mouth, to prevent myself from screaming again.

Filch’s disturbing figure appeared at the doorway, holding a lantern. He nose was quivering, as he sniffed about, as if to try and smell what was wrong. Mrs. Norris, his skeletal cat, was hovering around his feet, her yellow orbs for eyeballs searching the room, then landing unpleasantly at us.

I still had not found out who had rescued me, and how he did it. I glanced upwards, and was thankful for him pressing his hand against my mouth, or else an audible gasp would have escaped. I looked up at James, who was pressing me tightly against the wall as the thin cloak covered both of us.

Ignoring the fact that it was disturbingly pleasant to have his body close up to mine, I pondered on how Filch had still not noticed us. I then looked in the tiny mirror in the classroom across from us, and widened my eyes.

There was nothing there. There was the desk next to us, the chalkboard to our right, and then the wall. I looked around, trying to confirm our surrounding but I was positive; we were invisible.

All the books I had ever read rushed with information into my brain, making me feel slightly dazed as I thought hard. This was...I was sure I read about it somewhere...yes! An invisibility cloak! How on earth did James get one of these?

“Nothing.” Filch said unpleasantly as he inspected the entire area around the room. Mrs. Norris was still glaring at us, and I felt at ease once he finally left the room, closing it behind him and muttering, “They must have gone somewhere else...”

James was still upright against me, probably waiting until Filch was actually gone. When his footsteps were no longer heard, he finally withdrew his hand as I panted for air, it was rather difficult breathing only through your nose.

He was tearing the cloak off of us, folding it carefully the silvery, soft material waiter style, as if nothing at all unusual happened. I gaped at him, waiting for someone to say something. When he was still avoiding my gaze, with a small smile on his face, I turned to him, taking a deep breath.

What are you doing here?”

I could tell that he was fighting back a grin, but failed miserably. He beamed at me, which was rather startling since he didn’t even want to utter ‘hello’ to me the whole day. I almost sighed out in relief, it was wonderful seeing his trademark grin after such a long time he had hidden his seriousness behind his fake smiles. He still wasn’t answering me though.

“Well?”

“I followed you.” he said, and his grin slowly slid off his face as he grimaced.

I let my arms fall down to my sides lamely, widening my eyes at him. “Why?”

“Dunno.” he said, shrugging. “You seemed to be upset.”

Trying to ignore the awkward pause, I looked for something else to say. He was actually talking to me, and willingly, I couldn’t pass this up. “Where’d you get that thing?” I finally asked.

“Oh. You mean this?” he said, and he gave me a brief grin. “My dad gave it to me.”

I bit back a snort. Of course. I forgot that James was rich.

I looked for yet another thing to say, so he wouldn’t have to leave. I eyed the vase and suddenly blurted out, “Why did you break that vase?”

James suddenly looked uncomfortable, and didn’t want to look at me as he stared at his cloak. I didn’t take my eyes off of him though, wanting to force a response out of him.

“Accident.” he muttered, coughing and trying to look convincing. Ha, wasn’t working.

“An accident.” I repeated slowly. “Right.”

“Yeah.” he said, clearing his throat and moving his feet inwards, than out.

“James!” I said incredulously. “I’m not an idiot, you know.”

“I know.” he said quickly.

“Just tell me, will you?”

“No.” he said. “I can’t.”

“Of course you can.” I persisted. “Do I look like someone who would spill a secret?” I snorted, rolling my eyes. “I’m not Cecilia.”

“I know you’re not.” he said earnestly, finally looking at me. “But I can’t tell you.”

Without really knowing what I was doing, I stepped forward, looking up at him in the face. His hair was untidy as ever, making it even worse as he ruffled it uncertainly as I came closer. His cheeks were rosy, probably from running up to the Gryffindor Tower and back, and his tie was hanging dangerously from his neck, about to come undone at any second.

Slowly, I picked up my hand and brushed a lock of his jet black hair that was falling into his hazel eyes, my fingers grazing his skin in the process. His breathing came more rapidly, and when I finally came to my senses, I dropped my hand uncertainly, already turning on my heel to walk away.

But then he was gripping my shoulders, with the clear indication that he didn’t want me to go. My heart raced, as his palms slowly rubbed up and down my arms, his lips coming closer to my own...

And then, there were footsteps. James looked above my head, grunting. He whipped the cloak from his arms and threw it around both of us, as Filch walked by again, peering into the room carefully before disappearing across the doorway.

“We better go.” he whispered to me, as we no longer could hear Filch’s footsteps. He took the cloak off of us, prodding me to walk out of the classroom. I felt anger fill into my stomach, and thought that Filch couldn’t have come at a worse time.


“You do notice that Valentine’s Day is only but a week away?” Gaby asked urgently, as we all clutched our cloaks tighter around our bodies, making our way through the Honeydukes’ door and allowing the fresh, cold air to blow onto our skin.

“Yes.” I said dully, as I was constantly reminded not only by my friend but by my father, who was sending me daily owls now, asking advice on the wedding preparations that were to come. This made me wonder about my father a lot, considering the fact that he didn’t even bother to send me an owl, telling me as soon as he could that he and Carrie were going to be married.

“What’s the color of your bridesmaid dress?” Henn asked, as Gaby ranted on about not knowing what to get her dearest Jack for a present.

“Mint green.” I said automatically, the color practically engraved into my mind by now. My father had sent me all the expensive catalogs that Carrie had asked for, the bridesmaid dresses circled with red ink to indicate which, (and only which) dresses I could pick to wear. In the end, it didn’t even matter what I thought, since Carrie had suddenly decided that Lavender would clash horribly with my skin, and that mint green was much more popular these days. I rolled my eyes at the thought.

“Do you know how Carrie’s dress will look like?” Gaby asked, momentarily releasing herself from the stress of finding a present and focusing her attention on me. I nodded. “Well, that was rather nice of her. She can’t be as bad as you think.”

I snorted at this comment, since I was almost positive that Carrie was only sending me the picture of her dress to show off how beautiful and expensive it was, and for me to dare not jeopardize her ceremony. Expensive dress would equal that the ceremony was also expensive, which meant that my dad was entirely serious about this whole situation.

“Do you think he’ll like these?” Gaby asked, stopping abruptly in front of the quill display and peering at the glass. Without waiting for a response, she pushed the door open and walked through, trying to find the Oh-So-Perfect gift that of course, had to be at a quill shop.

“Gaby,” Henn said in a strangely calm and collected voice. “I really don’t think that a quill would be the best present.”

“What do you mean?” Gaby said distractedly, fingering a scarlet quill between her fingers.

“I still think we should’ve gotten him chocolates.” I said darkly, shivering as another cold draft came through the store and two third years walked inside.

“Jack doesn’t like chocolate.”

“See?” I said incredulously. “Honestly what’s wrong with this kid? How can you date a guy like that, Gaby?”

“Like what?” Henn asked, furrowing her eyebrows. “Just because he doesn’t like chocolate?”

“All normal people like chocolate.” I said passionately.

“Jack’s not a pig, like you.” Gaby said coolly.

“Me the pig?” I said disbelievingly. “How about 'Ms. I-Can-Swallow-Cupcakes-Whole' over here?”

Henn laughed, as Gaby placed the quill back on the shelf rather forcefully, huffing as she once again left a store.

“Honestly,” Henn said, as we both followed her out, shivering as we had to step out onto the snow that the villagers had failed to get rid of. “It’s not that hard, Gaby. What does Jack like?”

Gaby stopped abruptly, making Henn walk into her and falling backward. I rolled my eyes and stuck out my hand, while people passing by us raised their eyebrows. Gaby however, was completely oblivious as she slapped her hand onto her forehead.

“Of course,” she said loudly. “How could I be so stupid?”

“How could you be so clumsy?” I asked, looking at Henn. She grinned guiltily, brushing snow off of her clothes.

“What is it that you remembered?” Henn asked, as Gaby made a sharp turn on the side street to our left, where much less people were walking.

“He likes taking photos.” Gaby said, her eyes roaming every shop that I had never witnessed.

“There’s a photo shop here?” I asked. But no one needed to answer my question, because we a small shop loomed by, and we walked inside.

It was a crowded, rather shabby place were several things were displayed at the window, like cameras and new types of potions that could be used on the film, making the pictures move. There was an old man who was balding white hair at the counter, his feet placed in front of him lazily as he read a magazine featuring the newest broom models. He didn’t even look up at us as we came in.

Gaby’s eyes were scanning ever shelf, ever corner, as she let out sighs of frustration, trying to find what she was looking for. As she let out another distressed huff, I said, “You know, maybe if you weren’t lying about being sick and gotten his present beforehand, you could be enjoying Hogsmeade with your boyfriend like Grace, and be at ease with a gift wrapped box hidden underneath your bed.”

She ignored me, as Henn and I exchanged exasperated look. She was looking at a table where some photo albums were being displayed, where black and white pictures of wizards and witches moved around in the front.

“I like this one.” she muttered to herself, then turned around wildly, handing the album to me. “Don’t you like this one?”

It had a velvet black cover, where there was a frame of gold embroidery. There was a single picture that could be placed at the front, and at least fifty pages where he could put more pictures.

“It’s nice.” I said, handing it back to her. “Are you going to buy it?”

“I think so.” she said, looking at the price. “Not too expensive either.”

“I like it.” Henn said, nodding in approval. Her eyes were flickering towards the door though, and I knew that she was probably just saying that so we could get out of there and actually go shopping for ourselves.

“Yes...” Gaby said, eyeing the cover with inspection. “Yes, I like it too.” She walked to the counter, placing it down as she dug inside her purse for the right amount of money.

“Boyfriends are too much work.” Henn said, as we walked out later, where it was now snowing heavily. “I know you probably don’t believe me when I say this, but I’m pretty glad I’m not dating someone right now.”

I didn’t get a chance to respond, because Gaby had flung herself at me, grabbing my arm and making me duck behind a garbage dump with Henn.

“What the--” I began, but she had pushed a finger to her lips, urging me to be quiet.

“Jack’s--here!” she mouthed, and Henn sighed with exasperation, as Gaby and I slowly moved our heads to the side, where Jack was laughing and talking animatedly with his sixth year friends.

Once they were well out of earshot, I stood up quickly, eyeing the overflowing garbage with disgust. Gaby was looking furious, crossing her arms and looking like a hawk.

“He told me he wasn’t coming!” she said, glancing at the bag that was in her hand as if she seriously considered in returning his gift.

“Relax, Gaby.” Henn said boringly. Gaby glared at her, tapping her foot irritably. “He’s probably here in secret to get you a present too.”

This thought had not occurred to her, as Gaby suddenly smiled, obviously pleased that it was indeed possible. I snorted, pulling on her arm as we walked onto the main street, looking at the shops as we walked to Three Broomsticks.

As we walked inside, with the bell clanging behind us, I offered to walk to the counter and get the drinks for us. I watched as Henn and Gaby struggled to get past the tables, passing a certain couple...

I felt the bottom of my stomach drop. James and Eve were sitting alone, holding hands and whispering to each other with smiles on their faces. I suddenly felt jealousy pour inside of me, as I glared at the two. James laughed at something Eve said, then went to get another sip of his butterbeer, turning in his seat and looking up at me, where I was suddenly aware of the intensity of my stare.

I coughed, breaking my gaze from the two as I marched to Madam Rosemerta, determinedly not looking at either of them.

“Yes dear?” Madam Rosemerta asked me, as usual earning many stares from the younger boys that had purposefully sat at tables near her. “What would you like?”

“Three butterbeers.” I muttered, tapping my fingers on the counter as she busied herself with getting the mugs out and filling them with butterbeer. She handed them to me, smiling. I handed her the gold, then tried to proceed through the crowd holding three butterbeers. Henn and Gaby had found a table where Leah and Kat were already seated, as they talked animatedly.

“Thanks.” Henn said, as she took a huge gulp of her mug, while I handed Gaby her own drink. She swallowed her mouthful, looking expectantly at me. “Did you see Potter over there?”

Gaby glanced at me, trying not to look too offensively sympathetic. Henn hadn’t bothered keeping my secret from her, telling her immediately the first chance she got that I liked James.

“Yes.” I said, trying to sound nonchalant.

“What are you going to do about it?”

“I can’t do anything about it.” I said despairingly. Kat raised her eyebrow at me, not saying anything. “Just stop with your crazy ideas, Henn.”

“I think Lily’s right.” Kat said slowly, finally speaking. “There isn’t anything she can do about it, really.”

“What if we...” Henn began mischievously, putting her two index fingers together. “Split them up?” She broke her fingers apart, an evil grin on her face. I gaped at her incredulously.

“Are you absolutely insane?”

It wasn’t me who said it though. Leah had opened her mouth first, giving Henn a very perplexed look as she clutched her butterbeer.

“No.” Henn said, shrugging. “James doesn’t even like Eve, everyone knows that.”

“Henn,” Gaby said, giving Henn a warning look not unlike the ones I gave her when she was out of it.

“Count me out.” Leah said hotly. She huffed, returning her gaze to the mug in her hand as she swallowed another mouthful. “Eve’s really nice. We have Herbology with her don’t we, Kat?”

“Hu?” Kat said suddenly, jerking out of some sort of trance. “Oh yes...yeah, she’s very sweet.”

“She can’t be sweet.” I said, laughing.

“Why not?” Leah said questionably, raising an eyebrow.

“Well...” I sputtered, waving my hands out to demonstrate my point. “She just...can’t.”

“Just because most of Potter’s girlfriends are mean, doesn’t mean they all are.” Leah said wisely, shaking her head. “Actually, I’d say that Eve has never been mean to someone in her whole life.”

“Yeah.” Henn said, clucking her tongue impatiently. “Right.”

“No one can be that nice.” I said pointedly. Henn and I exchanged looks, then both gave evil chuckles at the same time. Gaby too was struggling to hold back a snort.

“Honestly! You guys are out of order.” Leah said, frowning. She spun around at Kat, raising her eyebrow and indicating that she needed someone to help prove her point.

“Yeah.” Kat said dully. “Out of order.”

Leah rolled her eyes, staring at Henn and I with a stern expression. No wonder they made her a prefect. “Count me out.” she repeated, then calmly drank some more butterbeer.

“Well then I’ll do it.” Henn said promptly, her ponytail swaying eagerly as she said this. She didn’t seem to be unenthusiastic at all at the prospect of doing the handiwork by herself.

“What?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows at her. “Henn...you don’t have to.”

“You don’t want to split those two up?” Henn asked incredulously. When I still looked hesitant, she grabbed me at the shoulders and forced me to turn in the direction of James and Eve. They were kissing now, making people nearby give them disgusted looks. I suddenly felt jealous, my face heating up as I looked at Henn.

“Okay. Fine.”

“Knew you’d say that.” Henn said, grinning at me. Leah was looking at both of us with horror.

“You are you guys going to do?”

“Now, now.” Henn said, smirking as she looked at Leah. “You said you were out of it remember?”

“Lily!” she said, spinning at me, frowning at me in disapproval. “You’re Head Girl.”

“I’m not going to break any rules.” I said calmly, and couldn’t believe I was actually saying it. “Not any school ones, anyway.”

Gaby was raising her eyebrow at me, and I knew that she too wasn’t easily recognizing me at the moment. “You’re actually going to do this?” she said.

“Why not?” Henn answered for me. “It’ll be fun.”

Leah gazed from Henn, to me, then back to Henn with her jaw dropped. “I’m going to go get more butterbeer.” she muttered, then left the table.

Just then the door of Three Broomsticks clanged open, and Grace came in, Remus holding her beneath his arm. They stopped at James’s table to say hi to the couple, as Remus gave Grace a kiss then sat down. Grace waved goodbye to James and Eve, then looked for us in the room.

“There you are.” she said brightly, once spotting us and sitting down. Her cheeks were brightly pink, from the cold outside. She took off her cloak and set it on the back of her seat, looking at us. “What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing really.” Gaby said sarcastically. “Except that Lily and Henn have turned to the dark side and are planning on splitting James and Eve apart.”

“What?” Grace asked, looking slightly confused as she gave us a puzzled expression. “Why?”

“Because Lily likes James, of course.” Henn said automatically.

What?”

“Henn!”

“Oh!” Henn said, her jaw dropping as she covered her mouth. “Grace, you didn’t know?”

“No!” Grace said incredulously, looking from one face to the other. She turned to Gaby and Kat, her eyes bulging as she received this piece of I guess, startling information. “Did you know this?”

“Yeah.”

“For ages, actually.”

“How could you not tell me?” Grace moaned.

“Hey don’t look at me!” I said. “If it weren’t for Henn, Gaby wouldn’t know either!”

I glared at Henn, who grinned guiltily.

“Does Leah know?” Grace said darkly. She seemed to be very determined to find out that she wasn’t alone in the dark for such a long time.

“Yes.” I said dully. “Actually, if she hadn’t been such a curious git, no one would even know that I liked James.”

“Speaking of Leah,” Gaby said loudly, drowning out Grace’s continuous complaints. “Where is she?”

We all spun around in our seats, looking towards the counter where a few fourth year boys were plucking up the courage to talk to Madam Rosemerta. Leah wasn’t there.

Then, hearing Henn give a sharp intake of breath, she said, “Look!”

She was pointing towards the door, where Leah was talking happily with the fifth year boy that I had tried out with for Quidditch, not looking as sullen as the last time I saw him. I gaped at the two, watching as Leah walked through the door with the thought of getting another butterbeer or us swept out of her mind.

“I can’t take all these secrets anymore.” Grace said tonelessly, as we all recovered from the shock.

“Did you know she was on a date?” I demanded, looking at Kat, who was the only one who didn’t look surprised.

“Of course.” she said, shrugging.

“Why didn’t she tell us?” Henn inquired. “I mean, she could’ve. We were talking here for quite some time.”

“She was embarrassed.” Kat said. “She knew you guys would make fun of her or something.”

Henn pursed her lips, as she struggled not to snort.

Us?” Henn said breathlessly. “Make fun of her?”

“And...” Grace said, pushing her fists into her mouth to prevent herself from giggling. “Marcus?”

The four of us all exchanged looks simultaneously, then all burst out laughing.

“Oh stop it.” Kat snapped. “Let her be.”

I coughed, trying to not burst out laughing again. “Of course.” I said. I couldn’t help it though, I started snickering, followed by my friends.

“Fine.” Kat said, frowning. She picked up her purse and threw on her cloak. “I got to go to other stores anyway. See you later.”

She stormed out of the place, making Grace raise her eyebrow. “What was that all about?” she asked.

“Dunno.” I said, finally turning in my chair again so I was sitting the right way. “She’s been really weird, lately.”

“Maybe she...” Gaby began uncertainly, looking down at the table. I looked at her, raising an eyebrow. She shook her head at me, as if trying to convince herself that she was wronged somehow. “Never mind.”

“What are you and Remus doing on Valentine’s Day?” Henn asked, now looking at Grace.

“Dunno.” she said, shrugging. “We’ll see.”

“We have classes that day.” Gaby said gloomily. “Honestly.”

“I can hardly call snogging someone in the halls a reason for celebration, Gaby.” I said, rolling my eyes. Henn grinned at me.

“You’re just saying that because you don’t have a boyfriend.” she said, pretending to pout. I shoved her, frowning.

“By the way,” Grace said, furrowing her eyebrows. “Have you got all the wedding preparations set?”

My mood worsened, as I once again remembered that dreadful wedding. “Yes.” I said tonelessly. “I’m leaving this weekend or something.”

“You’re missing a few days of class.” Grace said, as if I didn’t notice this already. I mean, I’m Lily Evans, for Merlin’s sake. “Are you going to be able to cope with it all?”

“I’ll have to, won’t I?” I said, my fingers tightening around the butterbeer as I saw from out the window, James and Eve leaving the place, hand and hand.

“It’ll be over before you know it.” Henn said consolingly. “Just you wait.”

But the more time I struggled to slow down time, the faster it went. The classes seemed to be speeding by, and before I knew it, it was already Friday. I was sitting on the marble staircase with Henn, Gaby, and Grace, who had come for moral support or whatever. I had my trunk with me, where I had stuffed a few clothes and all my homework I had to do.

“I can’t believe,” I said moodily. “I’m going back.”

“I know.” Henn said, although I don’t think she did. After all, I hadn’t told anyone about my mum. “You’ll be back soon though.”

“It’s only a week.” Grace said, smiling at me.

Only a week. Pfft. Not at my house, where oh jolly! I had to go adjust the measurements of my dress with no other than Petunia, Carrie, and some of her snobby friends.

I don’t deserve this.

I stood up as Mcgongall came through the entrance hall doors, nodding pointedly at me. “The Knight Bus is waiting for you.” she said. “Don’t worry about your luggage, I’ll have Hagrid bring it for you.”

“Okay.” I said, then turned to my friends, forcing a smile. “Thanks for everything, guys. Really.”

“We’ll miss you.” Gaby said, giving me a tight hug. I then proceeded towards Grace and Henn, embracing them. I tried not to cry, as I thought of what I was leaving for what I was going to.

“See you.” I said, not able to hide the sadness from my voice. I followed Mcgongall, who was leading me towards Hogsmeade, through the path. There was a large, triple-decker bus that was purple, where the conductor was waiting for us at the door.

While I said goodbye to the professor, I walked inside and took a seat in one of the chairs, watching as Hagrid came with my luggage on his shoulder, as if it was as light as a pillow. They loaded it up and the conductor closed the door behind him. I felt someone poke me in the back, and an elderly man with a wheezing voice said, “I think you should hold on to something, dear.”

Before I could register what he had said, the bus had jerked forward, making me topple over in the process. I clutched at the windowsill, glancing around at the people who were holding on the things such as candle brackets, or other people’s hands. Although all were quite startled, I knew they weren’t displaying the same horrified look as me.

I struggled to get up, and pushed my chair upright, sitting down and still holding on to the windowsill. Whoever was driving wasn’t doing a good job at all.

After many jerked stops, and halts, I finally reached my street, where I was supposed to take a subway. I muttered a thanks to the conductor and hurried out, dragging my trunk towards my house. The lights were on, shining through the darkness, as I saw some scattered people through the living room window.

The house was in havoc, I noticed, once I opened the door. The people in the living room were all of Carrie’s bridesmaids, which were in total, five. I gave an exasperated sigh as I looked around the room, where Carrie was giving hysterical orders, and I dropped my trunk with a heavy thud.

I didn’t mean to make that much noise, but apparently I did. The whole room quieted as they spun around at me, raising their eyebrows and whispering to each other why this redhead was here. My father came racing out the kitchen, looking disgruntled.

“Lily!” he said, trying to sound cheerful but failing miserably. He gave me a brief hug as he addressed the room. “Everyone, I believe most of you haven’t met my daughter, Lily?”

There was a murmur as all the young women greeted me, some almost boringly, and others over enthusiastically, as if to say, ‘Oh, look at the little cutie!’

“Good, Lilian. You’re here.” Carrie said brightly, opening up her arms and making a huge scene of hugging me in front of her friends. She was wearing her false smile, pulling me into the group of ladies as if inviting me to join their little circle of friends. All of them smiled warmly at me, as if all thought of Carrie screaming at them moments before were swept out of their minds.

It was so strange how this woman could manipulate people.

“Okay, I’ll just leave you to it then, honey.” my father said, smiling and heading back into his kitchen.

“Alright everyone!” Carrie barked as soon as my dad was out of sight. “I am getting hysterical here! The wedding is in a few days and we still haven’t worked this out. Helen, I thought you had figured it out about the whole jewelry thing?”

“Carrie,” she said, frowning at me. “You told Kathleen to order it.”

The woman who was obviously, Kathleen, glared at Helen. “What? Of course not! If it were me, I’d order it weeks ago!”

Just when Helen was opening her mouth, Carrie interrupted, rubbing her temples as if she was asking for patience. “Honestly, why do all of you have to be so incompentant?”

“There are other things we have to worry about,” said a woman who had black hair and bright blue eyes. “How about her dress?” She jerked her head towards me, as once again, everyone turned their gaze at me.

“Oh yes.” Carrie said, slapping her hand to her forehead. “Of course. How could I forget?”

She didn’t thank the woman at all, but marched to the end of the room, opening box through box until she found the right one. She carefully took out the dress, and came back to me.

“Try it.” she ordered, crossing her arms and tapping her foot irritably.

For dad, I told myself. For, dad.

I grunted and took of my coat, taking off my tank top and sliding it over my chest and sweeping over my jeans. I looked in the mirror, and tried not to grimace. As much as I hated to admit, it was beautiful.

“It looks marvelous.” said one of the women fondly. But Carrie was quick to make criticism, walking around me as if she was stalking a prey.

“It’s too tight here.” she said. “We’ll have to get it loose.”

“And too long.” prompted a plump lady, who seemed to be built on the same lines as Carrie in regards of bitterness.

“We’ll have you get it fit tomorrow.” Carrie drawled, already walking to the other side of the room where there were several catalogs on the cakes. I was quick to take off my dress, putting my shirt on again. Everyone was already crowded around Carrie, barking out suggestions as again, Carrie seemed to be on the outburst of stress. She looked at me, as if she was daring me to say something. I shrugged, and then she said coolly, “You can leave.”

Right, okay.

Without hesitation, I quickly turned on my heel and walked up the stairs, finally reaching my room where Petunia’s bed was still made neatly. I wondered where she was, since she obviously hadn’t come home yet. By the way that my father didn’t say anything about her, I was guessing that he was still denying her existence.

I fell down onto my bed, thinking as I looked up at my ceiling. I wondered how I was going to get through all of this, without going utterly insane.

I sighed, then turned onto my side, drifting off to sleep.

Chapter 27: Chapter Twenty Seven
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“I can’t believe this! I can not believe this!”

“For Merlin’s sake,” I muttered under my breath, trying to concentrate all my attention on the cereal in front of me.

“What do you mean there’s no hotel reservations? There has to be hotel reservations!”

“Honey,” my father began soothingly. “Let me talk to him.”

“No!” she yelled at the phone, as she circled around the kitchen. “You must be doing something wrong! Check again!”

It had been going on like this all morning. Apparently, the fancy hotel that my dad had made reservations for in the mountains, where they were going to spend their honeymoon skiing, had lost their reservations or something. This is why I’ll never get married.

“Carrie, let me talk to the manager.”

“Charles, just stop it okay? Leave me alone for one second.”

I picked up my bowl of cereal and put it in the sink, muffling my father and Carrie’s yells after closing the kitchen door behind me and heading up the stairs. I walked in my room, where everything was already neat and tidy, with all my clothes stacked perfectly into my trunk which was at the end of my bed. I sighed and fell down onto my bed, pressing my face into my palms, and trying to steady myself.

By tomorrow, Carrie would be Mrs. Charles Evans, and what was worse; my stepmother, but only by law. She’d still be the cruel woman my dad had decided to marry and let live in our house.

Sigh.

I sat up straight, pulling the curtain slightly to the side and stared across the street, at the Potters’ home. Hm...James...

Argh. Snap out of it Lily. Get him out of your head.

I forced myself to close the curtain and tried not to remember all the times I got to see him up close, and where he was acting so sweet, so great, so wonderful...

I stopped immediately once I noticed that I had a glazed expression in the mirror, and decided that I should try to find something else to do. I passed Petunia’s empty bed, and crossed to my closet, where the bridesmaid dress was hanging, standing out because of its bright colors. I sighed and took the plastic cover off, feeling the fabric between my fingers. It was soft, and I scowled at myself for thinking it was pretty.

I put the dress back on its hanger, not bothering to put the cover back on. I sat on my bed, glancing at the picture of me as a baby on my headboard. My dad said Virginia had taken it...

The picture was the only photo in my room that wasn’t moving. My father was holding me in his lap, while Petunia gripped onto his arm and grinned at the camera. I was surprised that my dad hadn’t come in here and taken it away, since there was his ex-daughter in it. I glanced at the bed on the other side of the room, wondering where she was. I wasn’t too worried about her safety...I knew Virginia wasn’t a mad woman, at least I didn’t think so. What worried me was that she thought that she wasn’t loved...because I did love her. Even if she hated me in return.

“Lily!” my father bellowed from the kitchen, which was considerably quieter now that Carrie had stopped screaming. “C’mon, honey!”

I furrowed my eyebrows and walked to the door, stopping at the doorway for a moment. He deserved waiting for me a little bit longer...since he was trying to make things sweeter and more enjoyable by calling me ‘honey’. I waited, but he didn’t call me again. He opened the door and walked onto the pavement, his voice muffled as he closed the door and started to argue again with Carrie.

I scoffed, seriously considering that maybe I should just lock myself in here, just to mess up the whole wedding ceremony that Carrie had so carefully planned to be the ‘perfect’ wedding. Ugh, how I hated her.

“Alright, Lily.” I murmured to myself, and then walked down the stairs to the door.


The priest was waiting by the altar, while we rehearsed for what seemed the hundredth time. Again, I walked carefully down the aisle, forcing a grin at the invisible audience as I tried to get to the priest as fast as possible without making it seem too obvious. I looked anywhere but where Andy and all the other groomsmen were standing, one giving me too many obvious looks.

“Argh!” Carrie shrieked, waving a flower around as she glared at me. “Lilian, you’re doing it wrong.”

The bridesmaid behind me rolled her eyes at me, as if to say ‘get it right, kid’, and my father shook his head disapprovingly. I tried to concentrate on the ceiling above me, so I wouldn’t get upset too easily.

But it was too late, Carrie was already stomping down the aisle, not caring about steps or anything and put her hands on her hips. “Honestly, we’ve rehearsed this about ten times and you still can’t get it right! You’re not stupid, I know you’re not.”

I scoffed, rolling my eyes and looking grudgingly towards my dad, who was finding his fingernails very interesting. Er...

“Ms. Simon.” the priest said soothingly. “There’s no need to fret.”

“But, Father!” she sputtered, her face steadily growing redder. Her blonde hair was coming out of its bun, and she didn’t look to attracting. Exactly what did my dad see in her?

Oh yeah, nice body, younger, and blonde. My daddy’s favorite.

“I know she’s doing this on purpose,” Carrie said, shooting me a hard look before returning her gaze to the priest. “I hate to say this, but the girl doesn’t like me too much.”

And of course, Carrie is a saint. She doesn’t do anything wrong.

“Nonsense!” the priest said jovially, smiling at us from behind his round glasses. “If that were true, Ms. Simon, then she would not have agreed to participate.”

Actually, I was forced. Since I still am underage. But hey, who cares, right?

“Why don’t we try again?” my father said, just as Carrie opened her mouth. “Lily, try to do it right, sweetie.”

Sweetie. The names just keep on getting better and better.

Okay, rehearsal number hundred and one. Keep up with the steps, Lily. I noticed that it was even harder to smile this time.

I concentrated on the back of Helen’s brunette head, whose’s hair was put half way up. I resisted the temptation of rolling my eyes as I stepped onto the alter, next to a redhead who I didn’t know the name of, and tried to look as happy as possible. Because, of course, I was completely supportive of my father’s relationship and am ready to take on any responsibility that will help them along the way.

Finally after the whole line of bridesmaids, and too many stares from Andy, Carrie came in, not so fantastically, since she was huffing and trying to smile at the same time. The music wasn’t playing either, I suppose, so I guess that could have an effect. I stared at her and tried to picture her as Mrs. Charles Evans, the one who would soon be exchanging rings and kisses in front of everyone with my father.

Argh. I tried not to think about it.

And then, just when I started to think things were going way too peacefully, Carrie stopped abruptly, a few feet from the altar, and broke out sobbing.

“Carrie?” my father asked, half-exasperated, half-trying to be thoughtful.

“It’s all w-wrong!” Carrie sobbed, covering her face with her hands. Her maid of honor, Jacklyn, ran down from the altar and handed her a handkerchief. Carrie took it, without thanking anybody and continued. “It’s just...it’s just--”

“Just what, Ms. Simon?” the priest prompted politely.

“The bridesmaids!” she shouted hysterically, pointing at our row. All the women exchanged nervous looks, straightening their outfits as if there was something wrong with them. I rolled my eyes. “The groomsmen! Everything!”

I looked at her, perplexed. This woman was such a drama queen.

“It’s all because of that Petunia,” Carrie continued to mutter. “That horrid Petunia...”

“What has Petunia have to do with any of this?” I said loudly, before I could stop myself. My father gave me a warning look, while Carrie looked up, glaring at me.

“Carrie, dear.” my father said soothingly, walking over to her. “I thought you were over that? I even got rid of one of my groomsmen so it could be balanced out...”

“Six’s such a horrible number though!” Carrie wailed. “Seven looks so...so much better--”

“What’s wrong with six?” the priest asked curiously.

“It was supposed to be s-seven! Seven’s a-a lucky number!”

I suppressed a snort with difficulty, as Carrie continued dreamily, “And our first date was on the seventh.”

Merlin. This woman was too much for me.

“You know,” I said irritably, ignoring my father’s look. “If you really are prepared to get married, luck shouldn’t matter.”

Carrie gave me a look of pure loathing, while my father said, “That’s enough, Lilian.”

I shrugged, while the all the bridesmaids gave me disgusted looks. Pfft.

“I’m just saying,” I said matter-of-factly. “Marriage is much more than luck.”

“Like you’d know!” Carrie shrieked at me. “You’ve...” she began dramatically, pointing an accusatory finger at me. “You’ve been against this wedding from the beginning!”

She looked like a little brat, yelling at me for no reason. Her eyes were watery and red...and her face was tear streaked. I was pleased to say that she looked a mess.

Which I did.

Which is why my father told me to wait outside.

Which is why I now have to sit on the steps in front of the church, waiting till my dad goes through another hundred rehearsals.

I wrapped my coat tightly around me, staring vaguely at the frosted trees as the chilly air hit my face. All this trouble of having a wedding indoors while everyone freezes to death outside, waiting till the bride and groom run down the steps of the church, was too much of a hassle for someone who just wanted their wedding on valentine’s day.

Which I’d be spending alone, by the way. Because my father is completely selfish. Not that I’d have a date anyway.

Stupid James. Stupid Carrie. Stupid dad.

The church doors opened, and everyone from the rehearsal filed out, chatting about how this would just be a wonderful wedding. I waited till Andy passed by, trying to catch my eye, and till my father stopped next to me, giving me a cold look.

Carrie was looking much happier, I noticed. She was even grinning and laughing with her bridesmaids as if nothing happened. But I couldn’t avoid my dad any longer, I looked up at him, trying to look innocent.

“What was that?” he asked, in his calm yet angry voice. I stared up at him. “Are you trying to ruin this, Lilian?”

Well, I suppose. I mean, I do hate the woman. Not that it matters. Not that he cares. Who cares if I hate her? Who cares if she’s a total, horrible, woman?

“No.” I said, trying not to grimace as he looked at me hard.

“Tomorrow’s a very special day for me.” he said, crossing his arms as Carrie slowed down considerably, probably to eavesdrop. I watched as she dropped her purse, bending down to pick it up. “You’re being very selfish if you’re planning to make it all about you.”

“Wha--”

“I expect you to be grown up. In a few months you’re legally an adult. Act like it.”

“But– dad!”

“Lily!” he roared, making a few pigeons nearby jump and scatter in fright. Carrie wasn’t trying to hide the fact that she was listening now, she was staring at the two of us, looking interested. “You’re not a child!”

I stared at him, feeling hurt but making sure that I wasn’t showing it. “Fine.” I muttered, looking at the ground. My father made an irritable noise in the back of his throat, then turned on his heel and left. I felt my insides burn with anger when I heard Carrie ask what was wrong.

I forced myself to stand up, and walked over to the car where my dad was already sitting in the driver’s seat, Carrie spinning around in her seat to look at me. I stared at my dad’s reflection defiantly in the rear view mirror, until finally he started the engine and headed towards the road. I crossed my arms and stared out the window, watching the cars and trees pass by.


For some odd reason, Carrie had picked out a church about two hours away, which meant plenty of time to nap while my father and Carrie fought in the front. Unfortunately, I was not done with the day yet. Carrie had called the woman who made the dresses to come and adjust my bridesmaid dress to my body, so it looked perfect. Carrie was quick in saying that she should’ve picked yet another color, and complained about how I was too pale. As if I did it on purpose.

I laid down in my bed later that night, not even bothering to eat dinner and feeling exhausted. I closed my eyes and tucked myself into bed, digging my face into my pillow and falling asleep. It wasn’t a very peaceful sleep though, because I had nightmares the whole time.

There was this one that my father was driving away on the Knight Bus with Carrie, waving at me as they both laughed and yelled at me that I was now going to live with someone else. I turned around, feeling miserable, to encounter no other than Virginia, beaming with Petunia under her arm. She launched into how I was going to be sent to another boarding school, telling me how she hated how I was a witch and why wasn’t I like everyone else in the family, while Petunia shrieked with delight in my ear.

It took me a while to steady myself in the morning and convince myself that Virginia didn’t even know I was a witch, and that if my father was sending me to anybody, it certainly wasn’t going to be Virginia and Petunia.

Carrie burst through my door, throwing me a yogurt drink and walking to my closet to have closer inspection of the dress. “Your father already left,” she drawled. “He’s getting ready for the wedding with his friends. He looked dreadful though, probably because of the stag party last night.” She scowled, putting the dress onto my bed carefully.

“Everyone’s going to be shortly arriving. Start drinking your breakfast, take a shower and change into decent clothes. We’re getting our hair done soon.”

Without further ado, she left the room, jogging down the stairs and punching numbers into the phone in the kitchen. I listened as she barked some more orders at other people, while I closed the door, walking into my bathroom.

I wasn’t very awake when I was taking a shower, feeling drowsy and weary. I tried to imagine me watching the wedding and being happy for everyone else, but it was too hard. Ugh.

“Hurry up!” I heard Carrie yell from downstairs as I was changing into some clothes and drying my hair as fast as possible. I groaned and threw my towel onto my bed, rushing down the stairs and putting on my trainers. Carrie was already waiting by the door, tapping her foot impatiently as she crossed her arms. I rolled my eyes, then followed her outside.

“I told you not to wash your hair.” Carrie said grudgingly, although I was pretty sure she didn’t. She sighed, sounding exasperated. “We’ll just ask them to blow dry it, I suppose.”

I didn’t say anything, just sat in the car, which was demanding all my self control so I would spit anything at her. I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples, trying to concentrate on what I had to do. I needed to fully prepare myself for everything that was coming.

We pulled in a fancy looking salon, Carrie rushing out of the car and slamming the door behind her. I followed suit, then walked inside the salon, which smelled heavily of hair spray. Carrie walked to the counter, to talk to the lady with overly huge eyelashes and started to talk rapidly.

“Where are my bridesmaids? Are they already inside?”

“Yes, Ms. Simon. You can just go right in.” the woman said, giving a strained sort of smile. I followed Carrie into the back, where the whole row of chairs were filled with Carrie’s bridesmaids, as they got their hair done, and were getting manicured. I sighed as Carrie pushed me into one of the chairs, apologizing to everyone about how slow I was in the morning.

This was going to be a very long day.

The woman who was attending me had dyed blonde hair that was put up with a complicated sort of hair do, which seemed to include lots and lots of hair spray. I winced, wondering if that was the same hair do I had to wear for the wedding.

“Terri, over here.” the woman said in her nasal voice, snapping her fingers and making a plump lady come immediately with a stool. She sat down on it, and grabbed one of my hands, filling it down furiously. I tried to close my eyes and relax, but the salon woman was tugging too hard on my hair for me to do so.

“Your hair is so...” the salon woman said, scrunching her nose up in disgust. “...red.”

Ahem. No comment.

“My name’s Lily by the way,” I said, trying to keep things as friendly as possible.

“Tina.” the woman said promptly, sticking a comb through my hair. She started to tug on all the knots, a disgruntled look on her face. I rolled my eyes and started to look at the lady next to me instead, but she was too concentrated on my fingernails to be interested in anything else.

I started to drum my free hand on the arm of the chair instead, but soon Terri was done with my first five fingers and was now proceeding to the next. I started to think if I had been at Hogwarts, how it would be different. I’d probably be making fun of Gaby in the common room with Henn while we pigged out on candy. Gaby would be somewhere exotic and romantic with Jack, and Grace would be having some fun with Remus. And James...ahem. Well he’d be somewhere with Eve. Not that I cared. Not at all.

But instead, I was here, in a salon, waiting as I was turned into the perfect bridesmaid and stepdaughter for dear, Carrie. I had to wait here for an hour or so, as Terri muttered under her breath how my fingernails were horribly short, and Tina was close to pulling my hair from my scalp.

Some of the bridesmaids were already getting their makeup done, now that their hair was up in a perfect bun and their nails were perfectly clear. They were now getting their toe nails painted, leaning back in their chairs as they closed their eyes and let the salon girls do their magic. This was going to take way too long.

“You like?” Tina asked, in her annoying voice, turning me around and giving me a mirror so I could look at my hair. Without waiting for an answer, she spun me back again, and started to take out her makeup, studying which colors would look best on me.

About two hours later, I was standing up and looking myself in the mirror, studying my reflection at my now perfect complexion, and stylish hair. I didn’t get to admire myself for too long though, because Carrie was already rushing us out of the building, piling a bunch of money into one of the salon lady’s outstretched hand and rushing to her car.

All the bridesmaids were to meet Carrie at her house, where we were already going to start changing for the wedding and heading off to pictures. I scrambled into my room and took my dress from the hanger, joining the rest of the ladies in the living room where everyone was putting on their tights and shoes.

Ugh. Tights. Too many flashbacks.

I put on my pointy matching shoes that looked horribly painful and slipped on my dress, asking Helen to zip it up for me in the back. Carrie had given us all matching jewelry, which consisted of small, diamond earrings, and a matching glittering necklace. I took my grandma’s necklace off grudgingly and put it in my matching clutch, knowing I’d probably put it back on after the ceremony.

The bridesmaids were done and were now all scattered around Carrie, which of course, had the most complicated dress. Some of the women were already starting to sniffle, telling everybody that they only wouldn’t cry now to not spoil their makeup.

We were now standing back and admiring the effect, except for me. I didn’t want to admit it, but Carrie looked beautiful. Her dress was gorgeous, a scoop neck with a see-through fabric on the bottom, where it flared out. Jacklyn was now helping her put on her veil, which was long with a sparkling tiara at the top. Everyone was already taking pictures, using up almost all of their roll of film.

“Let’s get off to pictures, then.” Jacklyn said to everyone, while Carrie admired herself in the mirror.

There was a limo waiting outside, so all the women climbed in, chatting excitedly as we all sat in the comfortable seats. While that, I stared out the window, wondering how much longer it’d be till it was all over. Carrie and her friends were conveniently ignoring me, so I got some time to think for myself.

My dad and the groomsmen were already leaving in another limo, but it was only until my father was completely out of site that Carrie went outside, followed by her minions and me. The photographer was already in front of the church, smiling as we came closer.

“Ms. Simon, is it? The new, Mrs. Evans?” he asked merrily.

“Yes.” Carrie said sweetly, smiling.

“Good. Very, good.” he said, nodding towards all of us. “Now, I think the first picture should be of all the bridesmaids and you, so if all you young women could stand in the back, with Carrie in the middle...”

Everyone scrambled towards the steps, positioning ourselves and standing up straight. All of us grinned at the camera, which flashed, making us all blink rapidly.

Photos took another good hour. I never knew there were so many positions for so many pictures. When my photographer finally said that for now, that was enough, I felt exhausted. But I didn’t get any time to rest, because the priest was coming out, signaling us to come inside.

We had to wait in a separate room until all the guests arrived and my father had come too. I was, as usual, sitting in a chair by the window, staring out onto the snow. I was daydreaming so profoundly that I jumped when Carrie addressed me.

She was alone, wearing that false smile of hers as she looked at me. All the other bridesmaids were still talking at the other side of the room, but I suspected that they noticed that Carrie had come here. Actually, she probably told them all not to interrupt.

“Lily?” Carrie repeated, making sure I was paying attention. I blinked at her.

“Carrie.” I replied, although without the false cheeriness. Carrie smiled at me, with that little smile parents always use when their children think they know best but really don’t. Carrie was using that same, agonizing smile.

“How are things?” Carrie asked, and without waiting for an answer, she sat down in the chair next to me, looking at me expectantly.

Without knowing what else to say, I said, “Good.”

Carrie raised her eyebrow. “Oh, really?” she said interestedly, as if she actually cared how ‘were things’. She crossed her legs, folding her hands in her lap. “Well, that’s actually slightly odd, Lilian. Because I thought that since it is you, things wouldn’t be good at all.”

I looked at her, trying to decipher what she was saying. She just smiled at me, a smile I was starting to see as a sinister, evil one.

“This thing is,” she continued, waving a gloved arm in the air. “I know you’re not happy with this situation. With this wedding. Not at all.”

Okay...

“It’s alright dear,” Carrie said slowly. “You can admit it.”

I didn’t say anything. I just stared at her, wondering what evil plot was going through her head now.

“I know you’re not.” Carrie said softly, leaning in so she could look at me better. “But this isn’t your wedding. I don’t want you to interfere, as I know your father doesn’t want you to either. Not everything is about you. And I don’t want you to ruin our special day.”

I scowled at her, feeling that indeed, her kindness was too good to be true. Carrie was giving me a smile that clearly said, ‘I won’, and was now standing up, brushing her dress and already walking to the other side of the room.

“One day,” I finally said quietly, but not quiet enough to not hear, “He’s going to see who you really are. And I hope that it’ll be soon.”

Carrie paused, turning around with the same smile. “Oh no, dear. He’s already seen who I am. And let me assure you, he quite enjoys it.” She then turned around and joined her friends again, as if nothing even happened.

Before I even had time to react or even think about it, the door opened and Carrie’s aunt came in, smiling at her niece. As far as I knew, Carrie wasn’t close to any of her relatives, that’s why she didn’t want her aunt in any of the photos. Her parents had died, like my father’s.

“Carrie, honey.” she said. “It’s time to go.”

All the bridesmaids gave excited squeals and started to line up, Carrie checking her reflection in the mirror before proceeding. I sighed and stood up, walking over to my position and already practicing on my smile. I had to look absolutely convincing...think happy thoughts.

We were already practicing our steps in the hall, finally reaching the doors which were going to be opened. I heard soft music playing and a choir singing in the background, but other than that, it was very quiet.

Carrie’s aunt was waiting by the door, which were now opening from the inside, where I heard everyone swivel in their seats and take several pictures. The rest of the bridesmaids and I waited around the corner, unseen, as Jacklyn headed on, her gorgeous smile already plastered on her face.

One by one, Carrie’s aunt ushered us to go, and soon I was feeling nervous butterflies. What if I broke down in the middle of the aisle? What if all of a sudden, I started to bawl right there, in front of everyone, when I saw my dad? What if I missed a step or something and my father got angry at me? What if I tripped?

The woman was staring at me expectantly, and I knew I had to go now. I took a deep breath as she handed me the bouquet of white lilies that I had to carry and I turned the corner, attempting a smile and hoping for the best.

Everything was very bright, there were lights everywhere, since so many people were taking photos and a crew was videotaping the whole thing by the altar. I gulped and looked at my dad, feeling as if the aisle couldn’t get any longer. He was wearing a tuxedo and looked absolutely handsome with a rose tucked in his chest pocket.

This is my last chance, I thought. Please dad, look at me, and try to read my expression! I’m unhappy, you’re making me miserable, please stop this before it’s too late...

But as much as I tried, even when my father looked me in the eye, he beamed. I wanted to run up there and scream at him for not understanding, for never understanding, but it was no use. He thought I was perfect, just like I had practiced to be all my life.

After what seemed ages of stepping slowly on the carpet and reaching the final bench, I turned, not daring to look at my dad and stepped onto the altar where four bridesmaids were already placed. I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried not to concentrate on what was coming, but I could no longer avoid it when the music suddenly changed into that tempo that was so familiar to everyone in the room.

The audience stood up, their cameras at the ready. Carrie was standing there, beaming, and alone. Her veil was brought over her face, and she was holding a bouquet of beautiful red roses. She started the step, and was almost immediately indulged in flashes, as the crew whispered frantically to one another and rushed farther down the aisle, zooming in on her face.

I glanced at my father, and felt my stomach drop. His grin had widened, and it was one of his rare, true smiles. The ones that crinkled his eyes as he showed all his teeth and grinned. I had only seen him use it once; when I told him about me becoming a witch.

This wasn’t fair! That was my smile, he only smiled like that for me. But Carrie had to take everything away! Ruin my whole life. This was so unfair, I couldn’t believe I was actually here, waiting for it all to happen.

I blinked back the tears, staring defiantly at Carrie’s face. She didn’t look at me until she finally reached the altar, and I saw her eyes narrow slightly. Before I registered it, she had turned to my father and had taken his outstretched hand.

“Please, sit down.” the priest said, smiling at the audience. Simultaneously, everyone sat down in one sweeping motion, gazing onto the altar. I forced myself to look at the priest as he spoke, his meaningless words passing through my brain. Love...pfft. This couldn’t be love.

I noticed that I was looking terribly grim so I looked at my bouquet instead, wondering what sort of spell I could use to make it burn. Or maybe I should just throw it out onto the ground, yell, “So long, suckers!” and run out of the church. Then I could break into my own house after hours of walking, get my stuff, and ride back to Hogwarts in the Knight Bus. Yes, it was the perfect plan...

What was I kidding? I must be a seriously messed up person to actually consider it.

“...and I pronounce you, husband and wife.”

What? Was it that quick? Indeed, it was, because everyone was clapping, practically all the women crying their eyes out as they smiled at the couple. I couldn’t help but stare as my father kissed her passionately right there, in front of everyone. I tried not to think of how my face would turn out in the pictures.

I could run after him now. All I had to do, was shout after him, telling him how unfair all of this was...how he was expecting too much of me to actually think I’d cope with this. All I had to do was yell out his name...

But it was too late. He was already out the church doors, hugging Carrie as she jumped onto him, giving him thousands of kisses. The groomsmen and bridesmaids were already descending the altar to join them, and I had to go soon. Helen tapped me on the shoulder, giving me a prodding look, so I had no choice but to sigh and follow the others. Of course, I had to smile while I was doing it. He is seriously asking too much of me.

“Lily dear,” Carrie’s aunt said, although I had no idea how she knew my name. “Stand here with everyone, you’ll have to shake their hands.”

I stood by the redhead and forced myself to look at the people that were now filing out of the church, talking and hugging each other. Once spotting us, the immediately rushed towards the bride and groom eventually shaking my hand as they moved through the line.

I put my fixed smile, showing everyone how happy I was for him. Really.

Most of them shook my hand, congratulating me as if I was the one who got married. Some strange people actually jumped and hugged me, as if we were best friends or something, and some didn’t even acknowledge me after talking to the people they knew. I rolled my eyes and glanced at the door, to see if I had to act friendly to anybody else.

But then I felt my eyes widen as I stared at the person who was now currently shaking my father’s hand. Merlin, he looked so good in a tux.

But the question is...What was James doing here?

He was now shaking hands with the redhead, when he finally reached me. He obviously didn’t look as surprised to see me as I had been seeing him. He paused, looking at me for a moment, looking quite expressionless. Something stirred behind his eyes, until he finally took my outstretched hand, and shook it. I felt goosebumps rise on my arms, trying to think about how this could be possible.

“You look nice, Lily.”

Chapter 28: Chapter Twenty Eight
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I stopped in mid-handshake, staring at him. James Potter was at my father’s wedding. James Potter was standing in front of me, actually shaking my hand without glaring at me. James Potter was in a tux.

Needless to say, this definitely brightened my mood.

“James?” I said, aghast.

James finally let go of my hand, looking uncomfortably at the floor and ruffling his hair. Before any of us had anything else to say, Mrs. Potter was coming towards me, her arms outstretched.

“Lily, dear!” Mrs. Potter exclaimed, running up to me and giving me a tight hug, with Mr. Potter smiling in the background. “How are you honey? Isn’t this great? I love weddings, don’t you?”

“Uh...” I said, still astounded that James was here, and not at Hogwarts. “Um, yes. I do.”

“Lily,” Mr. Potter said, acknowledging me and shaking my hand. “I suppose we’ll see you at the party, then.”

“Yeah.” I said, blinking and always returning my gaze to James, who was talking quietly to his mother.

“I heard it’s a nice party room in a hotel.” Mr. Potter continued.

“Yeah,” I said again, watching as James and his mum walked out, with only one glance from James before he left. “It’s real nice.”


“...And let me just say, I know that Charles and Carrie will go far in life. To the new Mr. and Mrs. Evans!”

There was one sweeping motion as everyone raised their glasses up, laughing and whooping as my dad and Carrie stood up, beaming. My father’s best man, who’s name was Harvey and a co-worker at my dad’s business, was standing up and grinning at them, the last one to take his sip of champagne.

I looked around and noticed that everyone was sitting down so I followed suit. I placed my clutch under my chair and stared at the plate in front of me. It reminded me of the plates in the restaurant that we had went to for Christmas. A shiny, expensive, plate, that made me wonder what would happen if I broke it.

There were two tables that fully occupied all of the groomsmen and bridesmaids together. I was at a table Jacklyn and her boyfriend with Kathleen, and three other groomsmen with their wives. Of course, Andy just had to be one of the selected few. Actually, I was starting to think that since Petunia wasn’t actually his daughter any more, that he was trying to get me to marry instead as soon as possible. And to make matters worse, his assigned seat was next to mine. Not that he wouldn’t sit next to me anyway. I tried not to roll my eyes as he gulped down his whole champagne and asked if I wanted mine. Pfft. I know he’s older and everything, but not even he’s legally allowed to drink.

Everyone was chatting and having fun, while I tried to look discreetly as I could for James. He was seated in a table in the way back with his parents and his uncle, and was laughing as he talked to a girl. She was extremely pretty, with long, shiny black hair that was waist length.

I huffed and turned around in my seat, forcing a smile at Andy and hoping that James would notice. There were caterers coming around, with bored expressions on their faces and asking us if we’d like the chicken or steak special. I tried concentrating on my water, which looked the least expensive. Without really thinking about it, and with Andy’s voice droning on and on, I wet my finger and started to glide it across the rim of my glass, stopping abruptly as it made a squeaking noise.

I stood in my seat, as the room quieted slightly and looked at me. I blushed horribly and soon enough, they started to laugh and talked amongst themselves again. Jacklyn was rolling her eyes at me and applying her makeup at the same time in the small compact mirror she had brought.

I muttered, ‘I have to go use the bathroom’, and then raced out of there, moving along the tables until I finally reached the loos. I took a deep breath as I looked myself in the mirror, pressing my palm against my forehead so I could ease the pain.

Then suddenly, one of the stalls opened and a lady came out, in a golden dress and a purse. She looked up and gasped slightly once she saw me. She gave a squeal of glee.

“You’re one of the bridesmaids, are you not?” she asked eagerly. I thought it was a rather stupid question to ask, since I was wearing a mint green dress, but I nodded. “Ooh! I just loved the ceremony, didn’t you? I think all of you did such a nice job. It was a truly beautiful wedding, don’t you think?”

“Oh, yes.” I said, nodding and forcing a smile. “It was very nice.”

The woman was now washing her hands, and giving some final touches in makeup. “Well nice meeting you...Ms?”

“Evans.” I said, shaking her hand. She gave another squeal and clasped her hand over her mouth, looking thoroughly excited.

“You’re Charles’ daughter?” she asked.

“Yeah, I am.” I said, growing more tired of this woman by the second.

“But I was pretty sure he had another daughter...she wasn’t here though, was she?” she asked. I could already tell this was a very nosy woman.

“No, she couldn’t come.” I said. When she continued to stand there and eye me interestedly, I added, “Her school wouldn’t let her leave for a few days, since she had exams.”

Ho, ho. I was good.

“Oh really,” she said, smiling at me. I nodded. “Well, that’s too bad. Once again, great job. I suppose I’ll see you at the party one time or the other.”

She turned on her heel and left, making me sigh in exasperation. I had no privacy in this place.

Noticing that there were a few other stalls that were occupied, I walked out of there, jumping once I saw that James was waiting by the table across from me, where the cake was displayed. I stopped abruptly and stared at him.

He had his hands in his pockets, and was looking at me expectantly as if he was waiting for me to say something. When there was a long and awkward pause where we just stared at one another, I finally said, “James,”

“Lily,” he said tonelessly.

I scowled at him, finally able to move my legs so I could walk straight up to him. “James, what are you doing here?”

Possibilities were flowing through my mind. Maybe he was here to see me and help me out with the wedding, maybe he had broken up with Eve and had come because he couldn’t possibly not see me on Valentine’s day. But the answer I got was something I didn’t expect at all.

“My mum made me come.” he murmured.

Oh. He wasn’t here to see me. He was here because his mother made him come. Why would his mother want James to come? I mean the only relation our family had with his was that his uncle worked with my dad, and that we were neighbors. The only reason that the Potters were probably invited was because of Mrs. Potter’s brother who was a co-worker of my dad’s.

James...he looked so nice...

Without really knowing what I was doing, I jumped and threw my arms around him, hugging him tightly. I knew it was totally unexpected, but James finally curled his arms around my waist after a few seconds or so. I inhaled deeply his scent, that smelled so wonderful.

“James,” I said softly into his shoulder. “I’m so glad you came.”

I felt him inhale slowly, and swallow something in his throat. “Really?” he asked into my hair.

“Yes.” I said immediately. “It’s been awful, so far.”

“Awful?” James repeated, and I knew he was furrowing his eyebrows. “Why would it be awful?”

I finally pulled away, as James’s arms limply fell to his sides. His face was slightly flushed as he stared at me.

“Are you blushing?” I asked incredulously.

“No.” he said, which made him blush even more. He tugged on the collar of his shirt, looking around. “It’s just sort of hot here.”

I wanted to kiss him so badly right there, but I couldn’t. He wouldn’t want it, because he didn’t like me anymore. He was dating Eve now, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

Suddenly, Helen was coming down the hall, looking disgruntled. “Lily, hurry up.” she said, scowling. “Your father was wondering where you were.”

She stood there, furrowing her eyebrows with her hands on her hips. I sighed and gave James one last look, before taking after her.

I sunk into the chair I had to use before, and noticed that the food was already here. Andy was going through another glass of champagne, finally finding something more interesting than talking and flirting with me.

My father was walking from table to table, posing for pictures with Carrie and chatting with his friends. All the guests were jumping up and waving their cameras around, so the new couple could look their way and take a picture.

“They look lovely don’t they?” I heard Jacklyn say breathlessly to Kathleen.

I hated to admit it, but they did. Even though there was quite a difference in age, they were always hugging and kissing each other passionately, and looking thoroughly happy. And to think, they were fighting just yesterday. It was funny what marriage could do to you sometimes.

I pressed my palm onto my forehead, I was feeling a terrible head ache. I tried eating my food and drinking water, until finally the couple reached our table.

“Hello, dear.” my father said jovially, patting me on the shoulder and smiling at a camera. I forced a smile also, so the picture would turn out good that one of the groomsmen’s wife was taking.

“Oh, Fiona can you...?” Kathleen started, giving a pleading look towards the woman who was taking pictures. She ran up to join the picture, an arm over Carrie’s shoulder.

“Say ‘cheese’!” Fiona exclaimed excitedly.

“Cheese.” I said dully.


Everyone was now done eating, and music was starting. A few women and men were now walking to the dance floor, looking slightly embarrassed as their husbands or wives picked them out to dance. Of course, Carrie and my dad joined everyone else, as a fast tune started.

Andy was staring at me, his forehead with drips of sweat as he looked slightly stupid with his mouth opened. Knowing I couldn’t ignore him any further, I glanced at him impatiently.

“What?” I asked. Andy gave me a grin.

“Dance with me.” he said, standing up and outstretching his hand while stumbling over his chair in the process.

“Aw,” Kathleen said in an audible whisper to Jacklyn, who was standing up to also go to the dance floor with her boyfriend.

Andy raised his eyebrow at me, waiting for an answer. I coughed slightly and tried to busy myself in straightening the folds of my dress. “Um, I really can’t now, Andy. I have to finish eating.”

I then glanced at my plate, and to my utter horror, it was already taken. I inwardly groaned and forced a smile at him. “Heh, I really can’t dance.”

“I don’t believe it!” Andy said loudly, taking my hand now that he realized he looked foolish with his outstretched hand. “C’mon.”

“Andy!” I hissed at him, as he pulled me to the dance floor. “I–don’t–want–to!”

“Sure you do.” Andy said, still speaking quite loudly as if he didn’t know he was shouting to the world. He was staggering a bit, and smelled strongly of alcohol. I started to think that maybe all his times he went to the bathroom were actually visits to the bar.

“Andy,” I groaned in exasperation as he made me spin and threw me out, making me bump into several people. I gave them an apologetic look as he spun me back in, moving his body in a weird way. Merlin.

After a few torturous moments that my dad and Carrie laughed at me, the song slowly faded and turned into a slow song instead. Andy pulled me close, as I tried to breath through my mouth so I wouldn’t smell his horrible breath.

“You know,” he murmured to me as his hands slid a little too down my back and his body was pressed against mine. “I’ve always thought you were...pretty. Yeah, real pretty.”

I scrunched my nose up in disgust as I tried to move slightly back, but he had a firm grip on me. “No,” he moaned. “Don’t leave.”

“Andy,” I snapped at him, but no one heard me since we were by the speakers. “You’re drunk.”

“I am not.” he said stubbornly, moving his hands lower still. We were in a corner, so no one was really paying any attention to us.

“Andy,” I said angrily, as he pushed me roughly into the wall and leaned into my neck. “Get off.”

“No...” he groaned, breathing heavily. He looked up at me and without warning, smashed his lips onto mine. I squirmed in front of the wall, shoving him off. He staggered slightly, pressing his hand onto his forehead and swaying.

“I don’t feel so good...”

He then slapped his hand over his mouth and ran in the other direction, where the bathrooms were. I smiled in satisfaction as his parents stopped dancing and stared curiously after his retrieving back. I guess their Andy wasn’t so perfect...

I sighed and was already starting across the floor, when someone grabbed my arm. I looked up at James, who was furrowing his eyebrows.

Before I could even open my mouth to say something, he said angrily, “What was that about?”

“What was what about?” I spat back, pulling my arm away from him.

“Don’t you give me that,” he said, stepping in front of me as I tried to go the other way. “I saw you kissing him.”

“Did you also see me shoving him too?” I asked tiredly. James laughed sarcastically.

“Yeah, right. Are you telling me that you didn’t want that?”

“Yes.” I said, rolling my eyes. “Andy was drunk.”

“You know his name?” James asked with disgust, an incredulous look on his face.

“Don’t be stupid!” I said angrily. “Of course I know his name. His dad works with my dad.”

James laughed again. “Well good then! That must be great for your dad, eh? It’ll be perfect if you two marry each other.”

“You’re insane.” I said exasperatedly. “Why do you care so much, anyway?”

James paused in mid sentence, the angry look on his face slowly fading as he was found dumbstruck. “I don’t.” he finally sputtered.

“Yeah, right.” I said sarcastically. I was already turning on my heel, shoving my way through the crowd and into the empty hallway by the bar. I heard James finally come after me, grabbing my arm, and spinning me around.

“Don’t do that.” he said angrily. “I don’t care.”

“Then why were you acting like a complete psycho over there?” I asked incredulously.

“I was not!” he said, his cheeks flushing slightly.

“And you don’t even have any moral to say anything to me!” I continued angrily. “You were all over that girl at your table during dinner!”

James gaped at me, silent for a moment.

“She’s my cousin.” he said slowly, a revolted look on his face.

I flushed, feeling dumbstruck. Way to go, Lily.

“And it’s different,” James said, frowning and crossing his arms. “You just shouldn’t be kissing other guys.”

He was kissing me!” I snapped.

“And you didn’t seem to care much, did you?” he spat at me.

We both were breathing heavily as we stared at each other, angrily, fire blazing through our eyes. And then, without warning, James grabbed me on the shoulders and brought his lips to mine roughly.

I staggered slightly as he pushed me to the wall, where his body pressed up against mine. Unlike Andy though, I didn’t mind too much. His lips roamed my own with such ravish that I had to pull away, stunned at his suddenness. We were both breathing rapidly, his lips wet from me kissing them.

I swallowed the lump in my throat, as I looked at him, my eyes tracing every detail in his face that I had loved so much, and without even knowing it. He was breathing quickly with me, his chest heaving up and down against mine. He held my face in his hands, and I wished he’d kiss me again but he didn’t.

“Why can’t I kiss anyone else?” I asked, mostly because I didn’t know what else to say. James touched his nose against mine, his breath quickening even more so. My hand on his chest could feel his heart beat thump faster.

“You can only kiss me.” he said softly, but I didn’t have a chance to respond.

His lips felt so great...and the way his hand was slowly rubbing my back, ah. I could’ve died right there. James, I love you James...

He wasn’t letting me stop for breath, he just kept on kissing me faster and faster, as if he couldn’t do enough in time. I kissed him back, and I felt my insides go tingly as his hands rested on my waist. I slowly rubbed his arms while one of my hands reached towards his hair, twirling a lock with my finger.

I finally pulled away, my heart practically the only thing I could hear. I stepped closer and hugged him tightly, smelling his fresh scent again. Hm...

“Lily?” he croaked.

I looked up at him, my face flushing and my heart beating with excitement. He held my chin so I could face towards him more, as he looked directly into my eyes.

“What?” I asked, trying to read the strange expression beneath his eyes again.

“I--” James began, gulping. “I...”

He paused, looking incredibly uncomfortable. “What is it, James?” I asked softly, prodding him to continue. He shook his head, dropping his hand from my chin and keeping a distance.

“I don’t know.” he said, shaking his head again.

I would’ve laughed if he didn’t look so serious. I wanted him to start kissing me again so we’d be close together...but he was ruffling his hair uncomfortably, making it even messier since I had been playing with it too. I tried to find something that I was doing wrong, but everything seemed so perfect...

And then, it hit me. I stared at him, feeling my heartbeat thump loudly in my ears. No, he wouldn’t...he couldn’t.

“Did you break up with Eve?” I said, my voice hoarse.

I dreaded his response, but none came. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it, giving up on trying to explain himself.

“You didn’t?” I said incredulously. When he still didn’t say anything, I felt anger bubble inside of me. How could I be so stupid? James didn’t like me at all. He was probably just asking for a good snog. I was such an idiot for thinking that he actually would break up with sweet, innocent, Eve for...me.

Am I that revolting?

“How could you do this to me?” I spat at him. “What did you think I was? Just some little slut who you could come to whenever you’re bored?”

“What?” James said, scowling at me. “It’s not like that!”

“Oh yeah?” I snapped. “Because, honestly, I think it is.”

“No,” James said, shaking his head and looked truly apologetic. He stepped closer, but I moved out of the way. “No, Lily. It’s not like that.”

“Just stop!” I said angrily. “Just stop, messing around with my head, okay?”

James’s jaw dropped. “What? I’m not--”

“James!” I shrieked, throwing my hands up in the air. “I’ve had enough, okay? Just leave me alone!”

I stormed into the bathroom, breathing heavily against the wall. I heard footsteps and was startled to see James appear at the doorway.

“Had enough of what?”

He just strolled in there, I am not kidding, as if we were continuing our fight. I stared at him.

“James,” I said. “This is a girls’ bathroom.”

“Yeah, I know.” he said nastily. “But you’re going to have to hear me out.”

“I’m done listening to you.” I said, turning and facing the mirror and leaning against the sink. I saw James come from behind me, looking at my reflection.

“I couldn’t stop it, even though I tried.” he said slowly. “You know, I couldn’t.”

“Yes, you could have!” I said loudly, close to tears. I pressed my face to my hand. I couldn’t let him see me like this, no one could see me like this.

“No,” he said firmly, and I felt him close his hands onto mine. “I couldn’t.”

“What are you playing at, James?” I said, turning around and squirming out of his reach. “What are you trying to do to me?” James blinked.

“I’m not trying to do anything to you.” he said.

“Yes, you are!” I yelled at him. “You – know how I feel...I mean, there’s no way you can’t. And you still...you still...”

I jumped, as one of the stalls suddenly opened. I stared as Jacklyn stepped out, glancing from James, then to me, then back to James. James coughed and gave me an uncomfortable look.

“I think I’ll just leave.” he finally said, after Jacklyn was staring at me unblinkingly. I didn’t say anything as he walked out. Jacklyn was now at the sink, washing her hands and touching up on her makeup. She closed her purse and stopped at the door, looking at me. Her lip curled, and I knew she was just like Carrie.

“Next time, please take your trivial teenage arguments somewhere else.” she said coolly, then turned on her heel and left.

Chapter 29: Chapter Twenty Nine
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Warning: Rating 15+



“Hurry up!” a lady snapped behind me, her teenage daughter shining with ecstasy as her and a few other women waited eagerly. I quickened my pace until I reached the dance floor, where I crossed my arms and waited moodily.

Carrie was already swiftly coming to the center, beaming at all her guests with her bouquet in her hands. In truth, I didn’t even want to try to catch it, but my father had given me a prodding look that clearly said, ‘be polite to the guests, and especially my new wife’.

“Here it goes!” Carrie called, her hands rising up in an arch as she threw with all her might the flowers. I watched as all the women here, some single and yet, some married with children, followed the bouquet with their eyes, narrowing them as it started coming towards them. All at once, everyone dived underneath it, their arms flying as they tried to desperately catch it. I took a few steps forward, decided it was a lost cause, and watched with interest as everyone shrieked and wrestled for it.

Two women were shoving and pushing each other as it somehow reached the other side of the dance floor, one was a fourteen year old whom I had to listen boringly as she told me about her oh so tragic love life as my father urged me to talk to her. The other, was my father’s co-worker who was well into her forties. I rolled my eyes.

Then suddenly, the teenage girl gave one humongous shove to the poor lady, who stumbled and fell back into the wall. She smirked in triumph but the only problem was, as she pounced forward, her foot had hit the bouquet, making it fly once again in the air, coming right at me.

I widened my eyes as it almost hit my face, so by instinct, as all other women would, I put my hands in front of me and caught it. I felt my fingers clasp around the rose petals, crushing them beneath me. I brought my hands down and stared at the bouquet that was somehow in my hand, as I tried to remember how it got there.

Most of the women were grinning and starting to applaud, but it soon died out. Suddenly we all heard a dry sob, and in one single movement, everyone turned around and stared at the crumpled heap on the floor, which consisted of the fourteen year old which was crying hysterically and pounding her fists on the shiny wooden floor.

“Shirley!” said one of the women, which I assumed was her mother. She shoved her way through the crowd and bent down to put her arms around her, rocking her like a little baby. “It’s alright, sweetheart, you’ll catch it next time...”

“There won’t be a next time!” she wailed, as the woman who was battling furiously with her before gave her a look of pity. “Of course, Lily had to get it! She always get’s e-everything she wants!”

I truly had no idea what she was talking about, since I had just met her about an hour ago. But she was still giving me and the rest of the ladies venomous looks, as if they had to do something with my diabolic plan too.

“Honey,” her mother said soothingly, but giving the group of women a stressful look. Carrie was being unnaturally quiet, although her eyes were fixed upon me. “You still have time to get a bouquet...you’re only fourteen...”

“Almost fifteen!” she contradicted loudly. I glanced at James who looked like he was in deep thought, but was really covering his mouth to hide his laughter. “In November!”

And this is...February?

Shirley’s mother took her by the arm, and led her back to where their table was, earning many incredulous stares as they noticed how much of a spoiled brat she was. Her mother took her purse and prodded her to go to the bathroom to wash up while she bawled, “She’s not even pretty!”

There was a stunned silence, as everyone heard a distinct snort as James tried to disguise it with a cough. Apparently, no one noticed, so everyone turned to Carrie, who was giving her wide but deep down, she was feeling very grim because of her catastrophic wedding.

“Well then!” she said, smiling at everyone while her eyes darted continuously towards me. I looked uncertainly at the bouquet, wishing I’d never caught it and let it just beat me in the face. “I guess we’ll just have to do it over...”

She was already coming towards me, but a lady who I had recognized was from my dad’s work, said, “How come? The girl caught it.”

“Yes, it’s not as fun if you do it a second time, is it?” another petite woman said. I watched as Carrie froze, narrowing her eyes at me before turning towards her guests.

“Yes, I suppose you’re right.” she said in her cheery voice, and I knew that I was in trouble when we were out of here. “Let’s do the garter then! Lily just take the bouquet with you, alright dear?”

Everyone chatted and some women tapped me on the shoulder, as if I won a marathon or something. I was dreading what I’d have to do, though. I wish she’d just throw the bouquet again.

I sat down as a chair was brought to the center, where Carrie sat down and smirked at my father. A few of his friends whooped, standing out and shouting out things like, “That’s a good one, Charles!” and “Man, I wish I was you!”

Everyone laughed as my father bent down, Carrie’s dress pulled up as he took the garter by the teeth, sliding it down her leg. I scrunched my nose up in disgust and concentrated on the bouquet instead, wanting to tear it apart so badly.

The garter part was finally finished, as Carrie stepped away, giving my dad a quick kiss and all the men walked onto the dance floor. I watched as James bit his lip for a moment, looking uncertain, until his cousin poked him in the back, raising her eyebrows at him. James laughed and walked rather jumpily towards the floor, looking nervous in the crowd.

“Ready?” my father said. “One, two, three!”

The men were much less violent than the women, although they did reach up their hands and try to catch it. It was probably because it was Carrie’s, but whatever.

My gaze was concentrated on James, who had dived wildly for it as it came down, but missed and crashed into the wall as another man caught it instead, making a few people laugh. James gave a feeble chuckled and ruffled his hair, looking embarrassed and narrowing his eyes as the man looked at me, waving the garter around wildly and beckoning me forward. It was grotesque sight, since the man was the age of my dad, and had two sons and a wife. This guy had to touch my leg?

I tried not to look too grossed out as I sat on the chair and lifted up my dress only slightly. The man took some time putting it on, his hands taking way too much time as he slid it up my leg, leaving his hand there for a moment or two before letting go. Ew...

The music had started up again, and I left the chair that they put me in gladly. I crossed the room feeling someone’s gaze on me as I sat down. I glanced, my heart thumping as my gaze landed on James, who had still not left the spot that he had hit the wall in trying to catch the garter.

I felt a pain in my chest and looked down at my hands in my lap, twisting them around and glad that everyone at my table had gone to dance. I sighed and touched my hair uncertainly, where it was still hard from all the hair spray.

I couldn’t help but look at James again, but his cousin just punched him playfully and took him out to dance. I watched as he laughed as she did a weird spiral move, and even though my reason was telling me that she was just his cousin, I couldn’t help but narrow my eyes.

I was so concentrated on the heel of the girl’s shoe, which I wanted desperately to snap in half so she could tumble onto James and embarrass herself, that I had not noticed that someone was watching me. I turned my head slightly, pretending I was taking a sip of my water and glanced at the a boy that was a few tables away, sitting alone and gazing fixedly at me. Once he saw that I was returning his eye contact he gave me a grin, so I gave him a weak smile in return.

But what surprised me was that he had left his seat and was coming my way, and I couldn’t help but notice he was extremely handsome. I stared, my mouth slightly open with stupidity as I still held my glass in midair.

“Hi.” he said, smiling at me. I looked down at my hand and thought I was looking rather idiotic holding my water for such a long time, so I set it down on the table, smoothing out the folds of my dress and smiling back at him.

“Hi.” I said, very pleasantly mind you, since I was hoping James was looking at us.

He chuckled, putting his hands in his pockets and looking rather shy. “Listen, I’ve been looking at you all night, and I was wondering if you’d let me dance with you?”

He didn’t look embarrassed at all though, but his shy look was convincing. I smiled at him and let him take my hand, saying, “Sure, I’ll let you.”

He laughed, then took me to the dance floor, where it was now a slow song. I wrapped his arms around his neck, although distantly, but he pulled me closer, whispering in my ear, “We need to stay like this.”

I laughed, a little too loudly, since I knew James was behind me. I must’ve sounded like a drunk idiot, because many older couples gave me strange looks.

“What’s your name?” I asked, trying to keep my attention on something other than the people around me. He smiled at me.

“Luke.”

His hands however, like Andy’s, could not keep to himself. As he talked, he kept on going further down. He kept on coughing and sliding them lower and lower, until they were far from my waist and now on my hips, his fingers spread. I grimaced, thinking of how men were idiots, when I heard James’s cousin say something.

“Ow, James! You stood on my foot!” she said, making both us turn around to look at her as she pulled away, jumping slightly as James glanced at me quickly then back at her.

“Sorry...” he muttered. I could’ve laughed out loud, but I bit my lip and tried to look mildly interested. This was even better than her heel snapping in half.

I glanced at Luke, to resume our dancing and my jealous attack on James, but he was staring at James’s cousin, as if she was under some light or something. I widened my eyes as I switched my gaze to one, then to the other, who was taking off her shoe to see the damage her cousin had done to her foot, and realized with horror what was happening.

“Would you like to dance?” Luke said, in the same gentleman manner he had used with me. James’s cousin looked up, surprised in seeing that we were still watching her, and gave me a puzzled look, as if to say, ‘Aren’t you dancing with him?’

“We’re just friends.” I said quickly, although I had no idea why. What was happening? He was ruining my chance in getting back at James...!

“James, do you mind?” she asked, both of us looking at James, who was gaping at her in horror. He shook his head, as if he just noticed what he was doing, and murmured, “Whatever.”

“Alright.” his cousin said brightly, seizing Luke by the neck. I stared at him, as he just said with the false shyness he had used on me, “You know, I’ve been looking at you all night.”

I noticed James was looking at me, as I tried to casually and uninterestedly glance at him. He was frowning though, so I had no choice but to look at him.

What?”

James didn’t get to answer, since his cousin had just turned her head to look at him, and saying, “James, why don’t you dance with her? She looks lonely.”

“What? I’m not--” I began.

“That’s an excellent idea.” Luke said, glancing quickly at me. He obviously didn’t want me to be mad at him. “Why not, right?”

James gave a feeble chuckle. “Yeah...why not...”

I gave James a furious look, as if it was his fault. James was watching as Luke and his cousin slowly drifted away from us, and soon from the crowd, and then from the room.

“Thanks.” I snapped. I was turning on my heel and ready to storm out of there, when a couple that I had been blind to see, came by and shoved me back, falling right into James who had caught me just in time. The couple furrowed their eyebrows at me, clearly thinking I should’ve watched where I was going. Which I should’ve, I suppose.

But all I could concentrate on was James’s firm arms that were holding me up, and how I was still not making any attempt in getting to my feet again. I heard him cough slightly, one of those fake ones, that are trying to tell you something, and then my cheeks flushed red. Really red.

I wrenched my arms away from his grasp, as if I didn’t want to be there at all and turned around, staring up defiantly at him. This was a mistake, because my face just turned even hotter.

He rolled his eyes at me, and without warning, grabbed my waist and pulled me close. I couldn’t help but making a weird gasping noise, which made him chuckle into my hair. I couldn’t believe how embarrassing this was, and yet felt so good...

But I was still mad at him. Of course.

Remember Lily: He’s dating Eve. I knew I had to keep on reminding myself or else I would do something incredibly stupid.

I closed my eyes and reached out my arms so they encircled around his neck. Unfortunately, and yet, fortunately at the same time, we had to look at each other for this. Somehow our feet kept on moving, as we rocked slowly together with the music. But all I could feel was his hazel eyes on me, and how my blushing face was reflected in his glasses.

I felt that familiar flipping sensation in the pit of my stomach, and I thought how he could make me fell all of this at once. Was this how James had felt every single time he looked at me, knowing he couldn’t have me? Is that why he tried so hard? Because he couldn’t control all these horrible feelings that kept on stirring inside of him?

How could I be so stupid? This was just too ironic.

His fingers grazed my face as he tucked a strand of my red hair that was falling into my face behind my ear. I closed my eyes and felt his touch, suddenly wanting to cry. I was being so weak and feeble, that I couldn’t even take anything anymore. I broke our eye contact and came closer to him again, so I would have to stare above his shoulder instead of at his eyes that kept on stirring, unread emotions hung in the air.

The song ended too soon for my liking, but I pulled away anyway. I blushed again as he looked at me, hard. I felt like he was seeing right through me, like how he knew how I felt, how I was feeling now, and somehow, in my naive mind, I thought that he wanted to put an end to my misery, but just didn’t know how. I swallowed the lump in my throat as he stepped closer, but the suddenly my dad’s voice was filling the room in maximum volume, since he was holding the microphone to his face.

“Hello, can everyone hear me?” There was a murmur of laughter through the crowd, where my dad beamed and continued, “Well, I know we’re having a lot of fun, at least Carrie and I are.”

I turned back to James, and saw that he was still looking at me. I tried hard not to breath too loudly or hard, like I felt my lungs wanting to desperately do so.

“First of all, we’d like to thank everyone here for coming. We loved the presents, and of course, your company.”

A few people laughed as he said this, and some of the groomsmen actually shouted out sarcastically, “Yeah, sure!” I found myself averting my eyes away from James, and focusing on my dad, who sounded like he was the happiest man of the world.

“I know that today was one of the most blessed days of my life. I wish I could share to all of you, how I feel about this wonderful woman, who I am so glad came into my life.

“Again, I’d like to thank every single one of you here, for making this day special for us. Thank you for everyone who volunteered to help, for all our bridesmaids and groomsmen, the pastor, who unfortunately had to leave for another mass. I’d also like to thank of course, my daughter, who I need all of you to take care of and watch over when I’m at my honeymoon with Carrie.”

As he said this, all heads turned towards me, studying the girl who they thought was probably just an second cousin or something, with the mint green dress and the messy vivid red hair and pale skin. Almost all smiled at me, a few laughed, but all I could see is my dad, who was just smiling at me, that same smile he used when I told him I was going to be a witch, the smile that now wasn’t my own anymore.

I can’t tell you how much I wanted to run away then, hide in the bathroom or lock myself in a closet. But I forced my feet to the ground, my eyes filling with tears as I looked at my dad, who had no idea, and never did, how much I had suffered for him.

I could’ve cried if I wanted to, everyone would just think that I was crying from happiness, that I was happy that my dad had finally found ‘the one’. The moment that seemed like it was eternity was probably a brief second to everyone else, as my dad soon continued his speech.

“Well, Carrie and I have to head off and catch our plane.” he said, checking his watch. “And of course, we’ll be sending our greetings from the ski resort that we’re going to!”

There were a few hearty laughs, and everyone applauded. I couldn’t help it, my tears were running down my face already, as the people around him crowded in towards the couple and embraced them. And while everyone was experiencing this moment of happiness, I was the only one there, that was crying not out of happiness, but of sadness.

I felt someone clasp their hand onto my shoulder and say softly, “Oh it’s alright dear! Your father will be back in a couple of days, don’t you worry.”

I looked up and saw that it was a woman I didn’t even know, but was looking at me as if I was a precious granddaughter or something. I forced a laugh and made a choking noise instead, where she then suggested that I should go to the bathroom and freshen up.

I nodded, feeling very glad that I could escape. I hurried past James and made my way to the bathroom, which was easy because everyone was clustered around my father. I walked into the empty bathroom and felt everything sink slowly inside of me, making me cry even more as my heart tore apart.

I slid down the wall and dug my face into my hands, wanting to just let it all out. I whimpered and choked on my tears, completely bawling in the bathroom. I didn’t ever want to stop, I just wanted time to stop so I could just let everything out, without anyone staring at me for my reaction.

When finally, I felt like my eyes were going to dehydrate if I kept crying, I stopped, sniffing and closing my eyes, so they wouldn’t hurt as much. I didn’t even want to look at myself in the mirror, because I knew I looked horrible, with a blotchy red face.

I slowly got up, staggering slightly and turned on the faucet, splashing water through my face. I turned the sink off and dared a look at myself, staring at what I’d become. I looked completely miserable, and I noticed that I had looked this way all along, inside of me.

I dried my face and blew my nose, trying to look presentable. I just wanted to go home and take a deep sleep, forgetting any of this ever happened. I heard footsteps and looked up, seeing Carrie’s aunt who was beaming. She stopped suddenly when she saw me, clutching her mouth.

“Oh dear,” she said pityingly, which made me grit my teeth in anger. “Are you alright?”

“Yes.” I said hoarsely, forcing a smile. “What’s a wedding without crying, right?”

She laughed, although it was a false sort of chuckle. She was still looking at me sadly, as if she didn’t know what to do with me.

“I’m fine.” I said reassuringly. “I’ll go talk to my dad now, I suppose.”

“Your dad?” she repeated, confused. I stared at her, as realization spread over her face. “Oh no dear, your dad already left. He was almost late for the plane, I thought you already had said goodbye to him?”

I stood there, stunned for a moment. I quickly regained my balance though by forcing a smile and saying, “Yes, I did. I just...wanted to talk to him again since he’s leaving for a couple of days.”

“I understand, dear.” she said, smiling kindly at me. It looked like Carrie’s smile though, so it actually wasn’t too kind.

There was a awkward silence, where we both looked ourselves in the mirror, as she applied some makeup and I just stared at myself. Feeling like I couldn’t feel helpless any longer, I left the bathroom without another word.

My eyes scanned the crowd in the hallway, as I searched for a ride home. I didn’t want to stay until the end of the party. I wanted to leave, as soon as possible, and go home to sleep.

Just then someone touched my shoulder gently, making me jerk around and stand face to face with James. He wasn’t smiling, and his eyes looked different. He cleared his throat and adjusted his tie, looking as if he wanted to say something.

“Are you,” he began, ruffling his hair and looking down at me. “Are you okay?”

“Yes.” I said automatically. “Why wouldn’t I be?” I couldn’t help but not leave the sarcasm out of my voice, but I noticed it only too late. He raised an eyebrow at me, trying to survey me.

“Lily?”

I turned around and saw a woman I vaguely recognized as a co-worker of my dad’s. She was rather old, and looked like a kind grandma who would bake cookies for her grandchildren, and always looked like she was willing to help. I didn’t feel threatened by her, and I knew that she probably wasn’t trying to be nosy and finding out what was happening between me and this boy.

“Hello.” I said, forcing a smile. She smiled back at me, already wearing her coat and holding her purse.

“You are Charles’s daughter, correct?”

“Yes.”

The old lady chuckled softly, smiling at me. “I’m sorry, dear. The last time I saw you was when you were about this high.” she showed her hand at her knee’s length and smiled. “Forgive me, if I wasn’t sure who you are.”

“It’s nothing.” I said, blushing slightly how everyone was making such a fuss how I grew up.

“Anyway, Charles asked me to give you a ride to your house.” she said. “But if you don’t want to dear, that’s fine--”

“No.” I said quickly. “It’s alright. I’m tired anyway.”

She raised an eyebrow at me, as if she wasn’t expecting this at all. After all, kids my age were always willing to party, right? Well, not me. Especially now.

“Okay, then. Get your things.” she finally said. I smiled gratefully and left to get my coat, not noticing that James had followed me to the closet. I looked sideways at him and jumped.

“What?” I asked. James smiled slightly at me and put his hands in his pocket, looking adorable.

“I just wanted to say, that you look really beautiful, Lily.”

I clutched onto my coat, freezing as I looked up at him and blushed. That was out of the blue. One minute there’s this awkwardness, and all of a sudden he’s telling me I’m beautiful. Like it’s nothing!

Sometimes I complain too much.

“Um.” I said unintelligently, making me blush even more. “Thanks.”

And then I ran away.
 


Chapter 30: Chapter Thirty
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Warning: Rating 15+

 

I pressed my forehead against my palms, breathing quickly. I felt my stomach twist again and whimpered. I ran to the bathroom, where I leaned over the toilet and vomited. I had been feeling sick ever since I had woken up, when I felt cold sweat on my forehead. I didn’t know what exactly I had, it was probably a virus or something, but I still felt like shit.

Especially because of yesterday.

When I got home yesterday, I felt so horrible and depressed, until I saw an owl on my bed. I thought of who would possibly send me letters now, and saw that Henn, Gaby, and Grace had all sent me a box of chocolates and a card telling me happy valentine’s day. I smiled, feeling slightly better and glad that I would leave soon.

I had already eaten all the chocolates, which was a mistake, since I was already feeling sick. I think that’s why I might be vomiting. Ugh, not even chocolate could help me feel better.

I had packed already, of course. I didn’t know if James was coming home today either, but he had come to my door already, ringing the doorbell. He didn’t look too awake, he actually looked like he had just woken up. I think that he had left the party way later than me. Of course, I didn’t answer the door when he came. I just laid in my bed, sorting out my socks and putting out my clothes that I would wear.

And then, when I was eating a sandwich for lunch, the doorbell rang again. I tried tip toeing towards the living room, so I could peek who it was through the window, but James had already seen me through the windows by the door, which were unfortunately, not stain glass.

I rolled my eyes, seriously considering I should just run upstairs and try to convince James he was hallucinating, but I just opened the door forcefully, letting the cold air hit my face. I gritted my teeth and looked at him.

“Hey.” he said quickly.

“Hi.” I said, rubbing my eyes because I was still tired, and felt horribly sick.

“I just wanted to know, if it’d be alright if we got the Knight Bus together.” he said, glancing to the side.

“You’re going home today too?” I asked, widening my eyes.

“Yeah.” James replied.

I tried considering what I should do. Either way, I’d have to see him anyway. I sighed, not wanting to think about it, but saying anyway, “Okay, sure.”

“Alright.” James said, nodding.

“Okay.”

There was a pause, where we both looked to the sides uncomfortably. “Yeah, I’ll be here in an hour, is that okay?”

“Yeah.” I said. I was already almost done packing anyway.

“Alright.”

“Mm-hmm.”

Another pause. “Okay.” he said. “See you then.”

I closed the door immediately, feeling my cheeks flush. I walked to the kitchen and slowly finished my sandwich, then ran upstairs so I could fold the rest of my clothes, take a shower, and change my clothing. James was already outside, rubbing his hands together as his trunk sat beside him on my driveway. I dragged my own trunk down the stairs, then after checking everything was locked and the lights were off, I walked out and locked the front door. For a minute I thought of leaving a note for my dad, but thought against it.

I set my trunk by James’s, as he stood up. “You ready?” he asked me, his cheeks flushed from the cold. I nodded. He stuck out his right hand, which was holding his wand, as we both looked down the street. There was a big, crashing noise and the Knight Bus came streaking down our street, stopping in front of us with a sudden halt.

“Welcome to the Knight Bus.” said the conductor, who had jumped out of the bus with a dull expression. He looked like he was in his twenties, and it seemed like he had the worse job in the world. He dug something from his pocket and looked at the piece of paper he had. “Are you two mates...Lily and James?”

“Yes.” we both said simultaneously.

“The two kids from Hogwarts?”

“Yep.” James said, raising an eyebrow. This guy was hardly older than us.

“Okay hop inside.” he said, tucking the paper in his pocket. As James started inside, the conductor stuck out his arm in front of him, not wanting him to go forward. “Not you, mate. I can’t exactly take all this luggage by myself. I meant the lady here.”

James gave him a disgruntled look, but stepped aside so I could get inside. I sat in the nearest chair, holding onto a candle.


Fortunately, (or maybe unfortunately, I don’t know) James had to sit in the floor above me because there was no more seats available on the first floor, where I was sitting. Of course, the trip was hectic and uncomfortable, like the last time I had to go on it. But when there were those rare moments that my mind wasn’t fully occupied in trying to figure out how to keep my balance while the bus shot forward, I was thinking about James, and how he was doing upstairs.

Pathetic, I know.

And it just depressed me more that when we would arrive at Hogwarts, everything would be the same again. James would continue to ignore me, I would continue in pretending that I didn’t care, and it would be like the kiss never happened. Sometimes I wonder if it actually did happen though. But I’m not going crazy, I don’t think.

It was dusk when we drove through the cobbled streets of Hogsmeade, where it was raining heavily, the drops pelting onto the windows. I stood up shakily, still feeling like my body was being thrown forward, just as the conductor stepped outside and opened the luggage rack, throwing down our two trunks carelessly.

I jumped off the triple decker as the driver called out to me, ‘have a good evening’, and stood next to my trunk. The conductor was waiting with a bored expression for James, who was now making his way across the first floor and jumping off as well, clutching his cloak around him.

“Here, kid.” the guy said, putting my trunk upright so I could drag it with its wheels. He tipped his hat towards us and jumped onto the bus again, the doors closing behind him. There was a huge BANG and the Knight Bus was off again.

I was already dragging my trunk under the arch which separated Hogsmeade from the Hogwarts’ grounds, hearing James huff behind me as he had to drag his own. I was panting myself, since the hill that lead up to the castle was no laughing matter.

I heard James behind give an irritable grunt, although I don’t think it had to do with the hill. I didn’t think he’d talk or anything, since I mean he kissed me while he was going out with Eve, but he just stopped in the middle of the hill, and said like it was no big deal, “So, are you going to pretend nothing happened?”

I stopped and turned around, narrowing my eyes at how he was just standing there and looking at me expectantly, his arms crossed. I opened my mouth to retort and say something, but decided against it. I was already in a bad mood, and I didn’t want to make myself even madder.

So I spun around and grabbed my trunk again, except I wasn’t looking at what I was doing so instead of taking the handle of my trunk and just continuing up the hill, I grabbed air and kicked my trunk with my foot.

And of course, we had to be on the hill.

“I cannot believe this.” I said, as I watched my trunk thumping down the hill, falling past James and somehow opening, so that the contents inside were flying everywhere. I gaped as I watched this, wondering if there was some sort of conspiracy or something against me.

James followed the trunk’s path with his eyes, his eyebrows raised in an amused sort of way. I guess he thought I deserved it. Which I totally don’t.

Finally, the trunk reached it’s destination. Which was unfortunately, very far away from me and the hill. I stood there in horror, blushing as I noticed that my underwear was spread on the grass too. Of course, James noticed this too, because as soon as he saw this item of clothing, he looked at me, his lip curling.

“Shut up.” I said, even though he wasn’t saying anything. I stomped past him and bent down to get the nearest thing that was near me, which was my bathrobe. I jumped down the hill some more, and took anything that was in my reach there too.

“36B.” I heard James say. “Not bad, Evans.”

I glanced to the side and flushed, since he was holding my bra. My white with red polka dots bra. The bra that Petunia had given me because it wasn’t padded. I only used it if it was my absolute last option.

I stormed right up to him and snatched it out of his hand, descending the hill so I could get my underwear before he got his hands on that too. I heard James snicker and watched as he went in the opposite direction, taking a hold of my nightgown.

“What are you doing?” I asked incredulously.

“Helping you.” he replied, and bent down to grab my slippers. I stared at him, my jaw dropped. Why was he doing this?

Not knowing what to say, I just mumbled unintelligently, “Um, okay.”

“Maybe this way,” he called over his shoulder. “You won’t hate me as much.”

“Right.” I said, as I passed him to get my Hogwarts robes behind him. “I really don’t think feeling my bra and underwear will make me like you more.”

“Well it obviously has.” James said, stopping to look at me, grinning. “Since you’re talking to me, now.”

I chose not to say anything to this, as I reached my trunk, turning it upright and stuffing everything I had inside. I stood up and looked around, not wanting to make eye contact with James. I saw one of my shirts lying around that we had missed, and walked over to get it.

James was stuffing the clothing he had collected in my trunk as I came back, putting the shirt in too. I put it on the ground, laying it horizontally and shut it.

I stood up straight, brushing the hair out of my eyes. James was staring at me intently, his hazel eyes narrowed in puzzlement.

“Thanks for helping me.” I said, forcing a smile.

“Sure thing.” he replied.

And just like that, the momentary lapse that we had, was gone. I bit my lip and turned around, dragging my trunk again.

The hill was murderous, but I finally pulled through. I let my trunk fall down with a thump, then opened the hall doors, where the entrance hall stood, empty. I looked to the right and saw a sliver of light, coming from the Great Hall. There was some noise coming through there, but I dragged my trunk to the marble staircase instead.

“Ah. Ms. Evans, and Mr. Potter.”

James and I turned around, to see that Professor Dumbledore was walking swiftly out of the Great Hall, closing its doors behind him. He had a kind smile on his face, as he walked towards us.

“I trust that your vacation went well?” he said, glancing at James as his eyes crinkled.

“Yes, sir.” I said, standing up straighter, as I always did, when I was around the headmaster.

“How were things with us gone, Professor?” James said, grinning. “Managed everything alright here?”

My jaw dropped as I glared hard at James, who was laughing now. How could he talk to the headmaster like that? Has he no respect at all?

Why did I even like him?

I furrowed my eyebrows as Professor Dumbledore smiled, chuckling softly as if he was amused. “I think you’ll find, Mr. Potter, that everything is in order. Now, dinner is almost over, but I’m sure you can get a bite or two, and of course, have some dessert. You can leave your trunks by the staircase, I will bring them up for you.”

“Okay.” I said, glancing at James.

“Sure.” he said, shrugging.

We left the entrance hall, walking into the Great Hall where everyone was chatting and eating. I spotted Henn and Grace, sitting with Remus, Sirius, and Peter. I groaned, I thought that I was finally able to get away from James, so I could have some peace of mind, but I suppose I was far from doing that.

Grace was the first to spot me. She looked over and grinned, exclaiming, “Lily!”

“Hi!” I said happily, giving her a tight hug, and then embracing Henn.

“You’re back, that’s great.” Henn said, smiling at me. She looked at James, and smirked. “Had fun, James?”

James turned slightly pink, but only for a moment. He was soon sitting by Remus, and talking in low voices with his friends, ignoring the girls. I gaped at him, then stared at Henn.

“You knew?” I said incredulously.

“Of course we knew.” Henn said casually, piling some potatoes on my plate. “He asked us where you were, and we told him. Then he had this really weird expression, and the next day, he was already gone.”

“Isn’t that cute?” Grace squealed.

“Cute?” I repeated, disgusted. “You told him where I was?”

“Why shouldn’t we have?” Henn asked, looking confused.

“It’s not like we actually thought he was going after you.” Grace reasoned. “You didn’t tell us not to tell him anything.”

“Wait, wait.” I said, taking some deep breaths and glancing at James before continuing. He was still talking to his friends about something, and laughing about it. He probably wasn’t listening. “Are you telling me...that he went on his own accord? His mum didn’t make him or anything?”

“Why would his mum make him?” Henn asked, scrunching her nose up. “Honestly, Lil. You can be so dense sometimes.”

“Well, his parents are sort of friends with my dad...” I stopped, thinking hard about it. What was I saying? No, they weren’t, not really. But James’s uncle worked with my dad...maybe that’s why they were invited. But still, it wasn’t as if James would be obligated to go. I mean, c’mon. Mrs. Potter is a really nice woman.

“Oh, man.” I said to myself, putting my hand over my mouth. Henn exchanged glances with Grace, then leaned over, so I could hear her whisper.

Now do you understand that none of us believe that James really likes Eve?” she said.

I blushed, noticing that it was very true. I mean, c’mon. He left school to go to a wedding that he didn’t have to even go to, because of me. Maybe he’d do the same thing for Eve, but if he would, he probably wouldn’t do it for me too.

And that poor, girl. He was totally leading her on! James probably didn’t care how that girl was feeling...Poor, Eve. Poor, poor, Eve.

...Okay. So maybe I’m not feeling that sorry for her. But I do have a heart. Really.

“Where’s Gaby?” I asked, wanting to think about something else.

“Where else?” Henn said, in an oh-too-casual voice. But then she gave Grace a dark look. I looked from one to another, confused.

“What?” I asked, completely clueless.

“Well,” Grace began, looking over her shoulder at where Gaby was at, sitting next to Jack. “Remember when we saw Jack at Hogsmeade? When Gaby was totally paranoid that he was cheating on her or something?”

“Yes...” I said slowly.

“Well, we think that Jack forgot to get her a present.” Henn said.

“Hu? Are you saying he didn’t get her anything for Valentine’s day?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows. “‘Cause if he did that, he’s a total git.”

“No, he did.” Grace said carelessly. “He gave her some stupid card that he made himself and a necklace that looks really cheap. Gaby keeps on insisting that he said that it was his grandmother’s or something, but we doubt it. They’ve only been dating for a little while, he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would want to give her something that important after so little time.”

I stared at her, then glanced over my shoulder at Gaby, who had a forced smile on her face at the Hufflepuff table. “So, you think that...he’s cheating on her?”

“Well,” Henn said, sighing. “I mean, she told him that she was sick and she didn’t want to go to Hogsmeade, because it was so cold. So he said that he won’t go either. Then Gaby goes, and sees him there, but he didn’t even get her anything from Hogsmeade for a present. So...I dunno.” She bit her lip, looking as if she didn’t want to believe it.

“Cheated on?” I said hoarsely. “Again?” As I said this, I saw Sirius’s eyes dart towards me for a brief moment, but he looked away quickly.

“We don’t know if we should tell her.” Grace said heavily, making me avert my eyes from Sirius.

“Maybe he changed his mind, and went to Hogsmeade anyway.” I said, trying to be rational. “He probably already had a present picked out for her, and he went out with his friends. He doesn’t necessarily need to have been cheating on her with some girl.”

“Yeah,” Henn said. “We thought of that.”

“That’s what Gaby thinks, anyway.” Grace said. “But, I think she’s just avoiding what might be the truth. After all, she has gotten...hurt before.”

We all looked at Sirius for a moment, but he was deep in conversation with Remus. “Yeah, maybe.” was all I said.

“And I think she’s just sitting with him today to prove us wrong. That he really likes her.” Grace said. “But even she said that lately he’s been sort of distant.”

“Are you guys done with that pie?” Remus said suddenly, making all three of us jump. We were so deep into our conversation, that we had forgotton that the boys could have been listening. Grace shuddered and shoved the half finished blueberry pie, that was immediately attacked with the four boys’ forks.

“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about this here.” I said, reading Henn’s face.

“Yeah, you’re right.” Grace said, just as Remus looked over, his mouth full.

“Talk about what?” he asked, furrowing his eyebrows in puzzlement. Grace rolled her eyes, not even turning to look at him.

“Nothing,” she said, exchanging glances with me and smirking.

Soon enough, dessert was over with and everyone was lifting off of their seats, heading towards the entrance hall where everyone was chatting loudly.

“Lily!” I heard Gaby exclaim behind me. I turned around and saw her racing towards me, lunging at me with a hug. She looked for a moment like she was tearful, but soon smiled and looked at me. “I’m so glad you’re back. I’ve missed you so much.”

“I missed you too.” I said, smiling as she linked arms with mine, ignoring Jack who looked like he didn’t even care. We walked up the marble staircase, and then Henn asked, “So, how bad was it?”

I knew she was talking about the wedding, and I felt a sickening sensation in my stomach. Instead of telling her all that I was really feeling, and how I was disgusted with my father and Carrie right now, I said, “It was okay.”

“That’s good. I’m glad you had a ‘okay’ time instead of a bad time.” Henn said happily.

“Ooh, look.” Grace said in an undertone to me. I looked at where she was looking at and saw Eve, running up to James and giving him a big, long kiss. I watched as James pulled away quickly, and just gave her a hug instead.

“What was that about?” Gaby asked. She turned to me, then beamed, her eyes gleaming with excitement. “Did Grace and Henn tell you–?”

“Yes.” I said, interrupting her. She looked rather disappointed that she hadn’t told me first, but didn’t say anything.

“Isn’t it cute?” she asked. I rolled my eyes.

“What is?” Remus asked. Grace laughed and put an arm around his waist, giving him a kiss on the cheek.

“You need to listen more sometimes, hun.” she said, giggling. I glanced at Sirius, who was kind of far away but looked like he was about to gag anyway. I laughed.

“So, as James talked about it with you yet?” Gaby asked pressed on, obviously wanted to know every detail of what happened.

“Talked about what?”

“How he came to your rescue, as a knight in shining armor.” Gaby said dreamily. Henn raised an eyebrow at her.

“I don’t think we should go as far as calling James a knight in shining armor.” I said.

“C’mon, you like him.” she said, elbowing me as we walked through the tapestry that led to the Fat Lady portrait. “You know it.”

“Shut up!” I hissed at her, looking behind me. “I don’t want that going around.”

Gaby giggled, as Remus walked in front of us and said, “Mimblewimble.”

The common room looked very welcoming, even though I had only stayed away from Hogwarts for a few days. There were already some people doing their homework by the fire, or just chatting. Gaby looked at Grace and Henn and said, “Okay, we should start on that essay, don’t you think?”

Since I already had finished that essay, that was given to me over the break I took from school to see the wedding, I just sat on the empty couch and stretched my arms, sighing happily. Suddenly, I felt someone tap me on my shoulders, startling me so much that I actually jumped.

“Sirius!” I hissed at him, once I had turned around. His furrowed his eyebrows at me, his hands in his pockets. I think it was the most serious I had ever seen him.

“Honestly, Evans. You make such a racket.” he said, jumping over the couch so he was sitting next to me.

“You scared me.” I said defensively.

“Obviously.” he said sulkily. I raised my eyebrow at him, finding his behavior very unusual.

“What’s up?” I asked. “You’re not your normal self.”

Sirius turned his head slightly so he looked at me for a brief moment, then looked at the fire instead. I had to admit, even mad he looked extremely handsome. I guess I could kind of see why so many girls allowed themselves to put their hearts in risk for him. He dug his hands deeper into his pockets, then turned to look at me again, as if he was preparing himself to say something.

“Listen,” he said, glancing at Gaby in the corner table for a moment before continuing. “I just want you guys to know...you’re right about Jack.”

My jaw dropped as I noticed what he was talking about. “You heard us?”

“Of course I did.” he said impatiently. “You three were right next to me, for Merlin’s sake.”

“You shouldn’t have been paying attention though!” I accused.

“Well I did,” he said heavily. “And I just want you to know, that you should talk to Gaby. Because she’s not dating the right guy.”

I found this rather ironic since he hadn’t been exactly the right guy either, but I sill prodded him to tell me more. “How would you know?”

Sirius rolled his eyes, leaning his head back as he looked up at the ceiling. “Don’t ask me that.” he said.

“You have to tell me, though.” I persisted. “I can’t exactly just go up to Gaby and go, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know that Jack is cheating on you, although I have no idea how because Sirius won’t tell me.’”

“She’ll believe you.” was all he said.

“No, I really don’t think she will.” I retorted, reaching out and putting a hand on his arm that was resting on the couch. “C’mon, tell me.”

Sirius gave me a weird look, that made me pull my arm back. Also, James had just walked in and let his eyes rest a little too long on how I was holding Sirius’s arm.

“Right.” I said, coughing. This was awkward.

“Look,” he said seriously. “Just tell her, okay?”

“But--” I began. He was already standing up though, walking over to the boys’ staircase. I cursed under my breath.

What was he playing at?
 


Chapter 31: Chapter Thirty One
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Henn’s reaction was pretty much like mine when I told her in Transfiguration the next day. She widened her eyes then glanced at Sirius from across the room, who was laughing at something Remus had just said. How could boys do that? Pretend like they’re completely clueless to our feelings and act innocent when really THEY KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT US?

And poor Gaby, who doesn’t even know that Sirius knows everything about her personal life. If she really knew, she’d probably hide her relationship more from the prying eyes of Sirius Black, or maybe just show off Jack more now that she was positive Sirius was paying attention to her. Whatever, same thing.

“He was eavesdropping?” Henn asked slowly. She shook her head, frowning. “What if he tells someone? I don’t want the whole school knowing that Gaby has a horrible boyfriend.”

“Maybe we should write notes,” I said from the corner of my mouth, since Mcgonagall was looking at us with piercing eyes. Henn nodded, then took out her notebook, pretending to look at the chalkboard where we had to write down the information about how to be able to turn the balloon into a rat.

A balloon into a rat.

But, whatever. I took out my own notebook too, and actually started to sketch the diagrams that were on the board, when Henn tapped her quill rather loudly on the desk, causing the whole class to spin around to look at her.

“Please be less obnoxious, Ms. Lawson,” Professor Mcgonagall said, pursing her lips. Henn nodded apologetically and looked up at the board, while glancing at me from the corner of her eye.

--Right. I think this is better, since we don’t want more people overhearing us. So. What are we going to do?

Good question, I said to myself. I actually had no idea.

--I dunno. I guess we should...tell her?

Henn had a very convincing and concentrating expression on, since Mcgonagall was staring at her particularly. I noticed that Sirius had looked at us for a brief moment, but soon just glanced back at Remus, who was obviously doing something very funny.

“Black, quit your barking!” Mcgonagall said suddenly, making a few students jump in surprise. Sirius turned to look at her, grinning.

“I’m sorry, Professor, I’ll try to sustain myself.” he said in an oh-too-innocent voice, which just mad him and Remus laugh even more. Professor Mcgongall moved in one swift movement towards his desk and snatched whatever was by Remus’s notebook, which looked like pictures. And by Mcgonagall’s crude expression, they weren’t very nice to look at.

“Detention, both of you.” she said, glaring at the two of them. Her eyes landed on Remus and her frown intensified. “Honestly, Mr. Lupin, you are supposed to be a prefect. I would think that your badge would keep your behavior impeccable, but apparently, I was wrong. Just look at Mr. Potter here, how his Head Boy position has kept him out of trouble lately.”

As she said this, the whole class let out snorts and snickers, while James looked at her in horror. It was true, he had been kind of quiet, well for him anyway, for the whole period, but being a Marauder, this was not a good thing to be acknowledged of. Sirius threw his head back and started to laugh tremendously, causing his whole body to shake. Remus was sitting up straight and looking at the Professor, trying and failing to keep a straight face.

“Ha, ha!” Sirius continued. “Prongsie is a goodie boy now!”

“Imagine that,” Henn muttered, smirking at me. “Remus is actually getting in trouble when James isn’t, that’s a first.”

Two detentions, Mr. Black!” Mcgonagall said furiously. “And if you don’t silence yourself right now, I will make you serve a week’s worth, writing for hours the lines: ‘I will not disrupt the N.E.W.T.s Transfiguration class any longer’!”

Whoa, outburst. What’s with her anyway?

Sirius shut up, although probably because of shock. Although the Marauders had always sort of tested the Professor’s patience, she hardly ever yelled. Sure there were those other times in Transfiguration that she totally blew up on me and gave me a detentions with Potter, but she was known to be cool, and collected, and of course strict. No one could really analyze what was happening though, because she was already striding over to her desk and writing up the detention slips.

I felt Henn pushing her notebook against my elbow and looked down, to see what she had written.

--You know what I just noticed? Pettigrew’s not here today.

I looked at her incredulously, and she just shrugged. I took my quill and scribbled furiously, Honestly, Henn! After all of that, you’re thinking of Peter Pettigrew?

--I just noticed, is all.

--Whatever. So, what are we going to do about the whole Gaby situation?

--I suppose we should tell her. We have to talk to Grace first though. She would know how to break it to her the most gentlest way possible.

--Yeah, I guess you’re right. But we better stop writing to each other, Mcgonagall’s looking at us and I don’t want to join Black and Remus in detention tonight.



“Did you see the way Professor Mcgonagall was looking at them? If staring could kill, Sirius and Remus would be dead. Especially Sirius.”

“Yeah. She was really temperamental today.” I said to Grace, who since was sitting in the back with Gaby during the Transfiguration class, wanted to discuss what we thought of Mcgonagall’s temporary madness.

I glanced at Henn, who by the expression was thinking the same thing I was: We had wanted to discuss what we should do about Gaby with Grace during our lunch time, but for some reason Gaby wanted to sit with us. She said that she wanted to catch up with me and stuff, (right, okay I only was away for a few days) and that she missed me but I seriously doubted it. C’mon Gaby, I’m not that clueless.

“I wonder what’s going on, anyway.” I finally said, furrowing my eyebrows as I looked up at the staff table. All the teachers were looking extremely grave, many of them ignoring their food completely and conversing in low voices instead. As I said this my three friends turned their eyes towards the teachers, looking perplexed.

“They look like somebody just died.” said Gaby.


I leaned my chair back against the wall and propped my book on my knees, sucking the end of my quill as I read the passage that Harrison had assigned us on the different kinds of leeches you could use in Potions. The common room was being strangely quiet today, probably because of the absence of two of the Marauders, Sirius and Remus. James of course, looked very bored without his partner, since he was staring into the fire and not saying a word. Then again, he did look like he was thinking hard about something. Henn had noticed it too, since she kept on grunting and looking up, as if wanting someone to say something.

“Okay, I know this sounds crazy,” Henn began. “But I can’t concentrate on my homework without a little bit of noise. It’s just...weird.”

I raised my eyebrow at her but said nothing; James was coming our way.

“Evans,” he said slowly. I was quite used to his nonchalant manner that he was always using around me now, since he was pretending that he didn’t even go to the wedding to see me. Pfft. Whatever.

“Potter.” I replied curtly. Henn gave us a strange look, but soon just returned to her Potions book.

He was crossing his arms and looking intently at me, as if he was trying to think of saying something. He was looking very serious. He coughed, buying his time.

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” he finally said, in a surprisingly soft voice. I stared at him for a minute, before muttering, “Sure.”

He lead me out of the common room, where I left a perplexed looking Henn. We were outside of the Fat Lady portrait, and we were turning the corner in the corridor. He stopped abruptly, standing in the shadows with a silver of the moonlight shining a side of his face.

“So, what’s going on?” I asked, trying to sound casual.

“I just wanted to know if you were alright.” he said.

I stared at him, not knowing what he meant. I instantly thought of the wedding, but I thought I had been covering up pretty well. Could it be possible that he was referring to that? Maybe I wasn’t putting a convincing act after all.

“Yes.” I said, wanting to regain my pride so he’d think everything was okay. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Because of what happened last week.”

I continued to look stunned, since I had no idea what he meant. “What happened last week?”

James sighed, ruffling his hair and looking impatient, as if I was stupid or something. He glanced at the window and then at the floor, finally saying, “Didn’t you see the Daily Prophet?”

My heart stopped for some reason. I took a deep breath, steadying myself. “No, I didn’t.”

“It was on the headlines.” he said.

What was?”

“You didn’t hear?” James asked, narrowing his eyes at me with puzzlement. “About half a muggle town near where we live was assaulted, and well...murdered.”

My hands dropped to my sides as my chest tightened. Murder? When? Why was I always so oblivious to everything that happened in the world?

“When did this happen?”

“Last week, like I said.” James replied. “I can’t believe no one told you yet...”

“What was the town?” I said urgently. “Tell me the town’s name.”

“Brunswick, I think.”

I calmed down, my breath coming down with relief. Brunswick, I’ve never even heard of that town. Surely none of the people I loved were affected by it.

“What exactly happened?”

“I don’t know too many details,” James said, ruffling his hair and looking to the side as he struggled to remember. “I’ve heard bits and pieces by people I know. What I heard is that the muggle town was attacked at night, by wizards apparently, since no one was bleeding or anything.”

“Do you have the paper?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows.

“Remus has it somewhere upstairs.” James said, shifting his feet. Without giving him any time to say anything else, I took him by the arm and led him to the common room again, passing Henn who was looking even more confused as I wrenched his arm through the door of the boys’ staircase. Girls, unlike boys, were allowed in the opposite gender’s dormitories because of some old fashioned rules.

“Hey, hey!” James protested. “Are you going up to my room?”

“Yes.” I said, looking around. The staircase wasn’t very different from the girls’, but the dormitories I passed were much more messier than ours.

“Here we go.” I said, pushing open the door that said, ‘Seventh Year Boys’. I walked in and tried to ignore the scattered dirty underwear and socks that had to be of the Marauders’s. Peter was on his four poster, scribbling something down, but stopped as he jumped at our abrupt entrance.

“Oh, it’s only you two.” Peter said, returning to whatever he was doing as if James brought girls up here all the time, and always talked about doing so with me. James gave me a weird look, but I tried to ignore it.

“So, which bed is Remus’s?”

“Remus’s?” Peter said, perking up. “What do you want to do in Remus’s--”

“That one.” James said, giving Peter a disgusted look. “Look in the trunk by his bed.”

I went to the only bed that was tidy and neat, and opened the trunk. It had an assortment of stacked books mostly, and newspapers. I picked up the first newspaper I saw, that read the headline: DISASTER FOR MUGGLES: DEVASTATION IN A SMALL TOWN.

I sat on Remus’s bed and opened it up, James looking over my shoulder:


It has been recently discovered that a muggle town near London, named Brunswick, has had a nightly attack, whereas the muggles could do nothing.

“They were unprepared, of course.” said Arnold Peasegood, an official Obliviator for the Ministry of Magic who had stayed the whole night sweeping the minds of the surviving muggles so they wouldn’t remember the incident. “And even if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be able to do anything without magic.”

There is no doubt that the Avadakedavra, the Killing Curse and one of the Unforgivable Curses that is illegal, had been used. There was no evidence of any other torture on the dead bodies. It is also possible however, that the other Unforgivable Curses were used as well.

But why would Brunswick be in danger? Experts try to find out why a massive group of wizards would even want to kill about a hundred muggles in one night.

“Personally, I think they were just doing it for fun,” Peasegood says when we asked him that very question. “Everyone knows that many wizards have something against muggles, and would love to torture them for the fun of it. It’s evil, but true.”

It is strange however, that no one knows who or whom is behind the murder. The surviving muggles were asked who had been the commander of the wizards and had been in charge of the terrorism, but they would merely shake their heads in horror and whisper. One particular muggle, who’s memory already has been wiped, said in a terrifying voice, “He must not be named.”

Currently the case is still a mystery, although Ministry officials are still looking for clues.



I stared at the black and white photo of the many coffins that were being stacked up in the small town. My head pounded, trying to think of who would do such a thing.

“I don’t understand,” I finally said slowly. “Who could’ve done this?”

“And why, right?” James asked, leaning against the wall and looking pensive. “Yeah, I’ve been wondering that myself.”

“There’s no point at all,” I continued, looking at him and my eyes watering slightly. “The Ministry official is right, they were just torturing for fun.”

James sighed at my look, sitting beside me. “I know.”

“Why did you want to see if I was alright?” I asked. James bit his lip, looking at his shoes and clearing his throat.

“Well, I wasn’t sure if you had any muggle relatives there...” he said slowly and in an unconvincing voice. I raised my eyebrow at him but said nothing.

“Well, thanks for telling me about it.” I said, smiling weakly at him. I handed him the newspaper and turned to see that Peter was staring at me. “What?”

“Nothing.” Peter said quickly, looking down at his paper again. He bit his lip, his quill poised on the parchment, not scribbling anything.

I looked at James, who shrugged. Peter wasn’t making any eye contact, so I walked to the door so I would be able to leave. But as I made my way down the staircase and into the common room, I remembered something that Henn said.

Peter wasn’t in class today.


“Alright,” Henn whispered, her wand tip lit close to her face as she looked at both of us. “Meeting in session.”

“Why are we doing this again?” Grace asked.

“Shh.” I said in a hushed voice. “We don’t want to wake up Gaby.”

“Hu--”

“Shut up,” Henn said to both of us, since I was about to open my mouth to explain. She turned to Grace, glancing at Gaby’s closed four poster before continuing. “We’re here to discuss...that thing we were talking about a couple of days ago at lunch.”

“Right.” Grace said, still not getting it.

“Jack.” I explained.

“Ooh.”

“Lily was talking to Sirius the other day,” Henn said. “And he told her something...strange.”

“Like what?” Grace asked, looking at me.

“He told me that he heard us at lunch, and that we were right about Jack cheating on Gaby.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

There was a pause, where we all looked at each other, then at Gaby’s bed again. “So,” Henn said, finally breaking the silence. “What do you we do, Grace?”

“How should I know?” Grace asked incredulously.

“You’re the smart one.”

“You two are smart too.” Grace said, furrowing her eyebrows. “I’m surprised you haven’t figured out what to do yet.”

“And that is...?”

“Tell Gaby everything.” Grace replied simply. She said it so casually that I actually laughed. Like Gaby would listen. Hah.

“Right.” I snorted.

“No, seriously.” Grace said. “She’ll find out sooner or later, and I think that if she found out we knew, she’d get really mad. I know I would. Wouldn’t you two?”

I thought about it for a moment, and knew that she was right. “Yeah, I guess.” I said sheepishly.

“We can’t just tell her, ‘Hey Gaby, your boyfriend’s cheating on you’.” Henn said. “How are we going to do it?”

“We should tell her gently.” Grace replied. “But there’s something else we have to consider too...about Sirius.”

I looked at Henn, who had an expression of pure confusion. “Hu?”

“Well, have any of you thought,” Grace began. “That maybe, Sirius is lying?”

There was a silence. “Why would he do that?” I asked incredulously.

“Because he still has feelings for Gaby.”

“What? No he doesn’t.” I said, snickering. Grace rolled her eyes.

“Actually, yes he does. Haven’t you ever seen the way he looks at her?”

“And how is that?” Henn asked.

“Must I describe it to you?”

“Yes.” Henn and I said simultaneously. Grace sighed.

“I don’t know. He just...looks at her differently. Like...if he could, he’d stare at her all day and hope no one would notice. It’s just...I don’t know.” She blushed, looking down. Henn smirked, but I smiled inwardly.

“Is that how Remy looks at you?” Henn teased. She ducked, as Grace threw a pillow at her.

“Shh.” I said, looking at Gaby again. “Shut up, both of you.”

“Well, is it?” Henn persisted, ignoring me. Grace’s smile faded, as she looked at her hands.

“I wish he did.” she said softly.

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “Remus is crazy about you.”

“Yeah, of course he is.” Henn said.

“I dunno.”

“Don’t be stupid.” I said. “You guys have been going out forever, and he hasn’t shown any signs that he doesn’t like you. He might even love you.”

“Yeah, right.” Grace scoffed. “I doubt it.”

“Grace,” Henn said heavily. “You’re being an idiot.”

“Shut up.”

“Yeah, shut up.” I said. “C’mon, we need to figure out what we’re going to do.”

“We should tell her.” Grace said, rolling her eyes. “Don’t you two ever listen to me?”

“Not really.”

“Henn, be quiet.”

“I think we should just go along with Grace’s idea.” I said. “She’ll get mad, but she’ll be even more mad when she finds out we didn’t tell her.”

Henn looked thoughtful for a moment, but then just sighed and said, “Okay.”

“Agreed?” Grace asked.

“Agreed.”

The problem was, was that Gaby was constantly around her ‘perfect’ and ‘flawless’ Jack, and by the time the weekend rolled around, no body had talked to her yet. She would always get to the common room pretty late, when the rest of the girls had already done their homework and were too tired to argue with her anyway. The weekend was pretty bad too, since she spent even more time with Jack on dates. Everyone was getting pretty anxious.

“I can’t believe this.” Henn hissed at me as we stood by the courtyard window, watching a few people throw snowballs at us. (The Marauders, figures) “It’s been days and Gaby is still oblivious that Jack is cheating on her.”

“Yeah.” I said heavily. “Gaby still doesn’t even know yet--”

“Know what?”

We both froze, me turning around to look at Gaby who had a curious expression her face, her eyebrows raised. Of course Jack was there, looking pretty uncomfortable. I glanced at Henn who very interested in the fabric of her scarf, muttering something like, “I wonder if this is 100% cotton?”

“Know that Binns is giving us a pop quiz on Monday.” I said quickly. Hey, it was the first thing that popped up in my mind. Gaby widened her eyes, letting go of Jack’s hand and clasping her mouth.

“We have pop quiz on Monday?” she asked, panic stricken. “But I don’t know any of it at all!”

“Yeah,” I said seriously. “You better go study.”

“You’re right.” Gaby said slowly. She looked at Jack, tugging on his hand. “C’mon, we have to go to the library.”

As soon as she left, Henn turned to me saying, “We have a pop quiz on Monday?”

I rolled my eyes at her. “No, we don’t. That was a cover up.”

“Oh, right.”

I looked outside the courtyard again, noticing that Sirius, Remus, and Peter weren’t throwing snowballs at us anymore. Their new target was James, who was sitting at a bench with Eve, conversing in low voices. I looked at Sirius who nudged Peter and winked, then with all his might threw the snowball, that hit James at the back of his head. He stood up, shaking his shaggy hair out of his face that was now covered in snow, and glared at them. Eve tried hiding her laugh by hiding her face, but her whole body was shaking.

“Sirius! Do you always have to be so annoying?” James spat, before taking Eve’s hand and storming out of the courtyard. Sirius raised his eyebrow, exchanging looks with Remus who looked equally perplexed.

“Whoa. Someone’s temperamental.” Henn said in an audible whisper as James stomped past us with Eve. He suddenly stopped, but didn’t turn around. Eve glanced back at us, letting her gaze land on me. She stared at me for a while, until it was starting to get uncomfortable and I coughed, looking in the other direction. I was relieved when James got out of there, ignoring everyone that was snickering at him.

“Did you guys see how James was PMSing right now?”

We turned around to look at Sirius, who was back inside with Remus and Peter. All of them had snow in their hair that they were shaking off, their cheeks red from the cold.

“As a matter of fact, we did.” Henn said.

“I don’t know what’s up with him lately.” Remus said suddenly, scratching his head and leaning against the wall. “He’s been real different, hasn’t he?”

I suddenly jerked out of my range of thought, that involved Eve and the way she was looking at me. “He has?” I asked. I knew that he was acting differently, but I thought it was only around me. “How?”

“He’s been quiet.” Remus replied. “If you can imagine that.”

“He never wants to have any fun, and he’s not all over Eve like he was with all his other girlfriends.” Sirius added. “Which means he’s in a bad mood.”

I tried to ignore how Sirius noticed when James was in a good or bad mood, so I said, “Maybe he really likes this one.”

Sirius snorted loudly, while Peter raised his eyebrows at me. “Hah, right.” Sirius said. He then leaned forward, as if this was a secret between only us two and added, “The only girl that he ever really liked was you, Evans. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he still does.”

“What do you mean by that?” I asked, trying to sound casual. Sirius rolled his eyes.

“You’re the most naive person I’ve ever met.”

“Yeah, she really is.” Henn sighed.

“I think we’ve all discussed this enough.” Remus said, glancing at Sirius with a warning look. “Do any of you know where Grace went?”

“To the Owlery.” Henn replied. “She went to send her weekly letter to her mother.”

“Okay. I think I’ll go meet her, then.” Remus said, then disappeared. Peter left too soon after, joining a few Slytherin boys in the corner of the courtyard saying he had to ask them for help on their Potions essay. After he was long out of ear shot, Sirius turned to look at us, narrowing his eyes.

“You still haven’t told her yet.” Sirius said, in a strangely serious voice.

“We’re working on it.” I said tiredly.

“Well hurry up.” he said.

“Why don’t you do it if you’re so anxious?” Henn retorted.

“Because she won’t believe me.” Sirius said, rolling his eyes. “We’ve already gone over this.”

“But we don’t even have proof.” Henn persisted. “You have to tell her.”

“Henn,” Sirius sighed, leaning on his arm that was up against the wall. “Who do you think she’ll believe: Me, her ex that is horrible and cruel; or you two, her best friends that she has always gone to for help?”

“You don’t understand.” I said. “Gaby is stubborn. She won’t believe us other way but if we gave her some proof--”

“I do understand.” Sirius snapped, making me shut up to look at him. He was acting so differently...why? “I was with her for a while, I know how she is. And I know that she won’t believe you. But she at least needs a warning. No, she deserves it.”

“Sirius,” Henn began. But Sirius cut her off, holding up his hand.

“Just try, okay? Then tell me how it goes. If it really does go as badly as we think it will, I’ll consider in trying. But I’m not promising anything.” he said. He sighed, digging his hands into his pockets. “Look, I care about her okay? I know she’ll be even more heart broken if she hears it from me.”

Henn and I exchanged looks, then stared hard at him. He wasn’t looking at us, but it seemed like he was embarrassed. He sighed again and finally made eye contact. “It’s sort of ironic isn’t it? That her ex that cheated on her is the one that ends up finding out that her boyfriend now is cheating on her, and finds it wrong. I mean, I don’t even have the right to think that.” he furrowed his eyebrows, flushing slightly and looking at me intently. “Look, forget it. Just talk to her. I’ll see you both later.”

He then left, muttering to himself and raking his hair with his fingers. I actually felt sort of sorry for him, although he had been pretty much like a bastard to Gaby before. Henn looked at me then, sighing in frustration.

“We really are screwed up, aren’t we?”


During dinner Eve was looking at me again. What was with that girl? It actually bugged me even more because she wasn’t looking at me with dislike. She was just simply looking at me, as if she was curious about something. She didn’t narrow her eyes and mouth some curse words at me, or jump out of her seat and scream at me. She looked completely calm, which was really starting to piss me off.

“Why is Eve looking at me?” I mumbled out of the corner of my mouth. Grace looked over where James was sitting, keeping his eyes down and just looking at his food. She glanced at Eve, then turned back to me.

“Dunno.” Grace replied, then returned talking to Remus.

It bothered me the whole time. I was relieved when everyone decided to leave, so I could stay away from her. The only problem was, was that Eve followed us out.

Oh my gosh. She was going straight at us.

“Lily?” she said. “Can I have a word?”

Henn gave her a weird look, thinking the same thing I was. Why?

“Um, sure.” I said. I turned to Henn and everyone else. “I’ll see you later.”

“Here.” Eve said, after everyone had left. She brought me to a corner, looking around to see if anyone was near. The entrance hall was deserted though, so she soon looked at me and said, “Sorry about this.”

“Uh-huh.” I said, unable to say anything else. I was sort of scared that she was going to be mean like Cecilia was, but for some reason I didn’t think Eve was that kind of person. I looked at her defiantly though, forcing myself to look casual and calm.

“Yeah.” Eve said finally, twirling her hands together. “Look, I know this is really awkward. But I just feel...that I need to talk to you, since I’m...well, going out with James.”

She paused, looking at me hastily as if checking to see if I was offended or not. Of course I felt slightly hurt, since I didn’t like being reminded that James was going out with someone who wasn’t me. But I didn’t show it.

“Yeah, I know.” I said, wanting this conversation to be over soon.

“The thing is,” Eve began. “I’ve...felt sort of, well uncomfortable around you.”

My jaw dropped, as I stared incredulously at her. “Why?” I blurted out. I couldn’t believe that I was actually intimidating to someone, and that I made them feel uncomfortable. Why in the world would Eve, perfect Eve, be uncomfortable around me?

“I know, right?” Eve said, laughing nervously. “But, I mean, you can’t blame me. Everyone knows...how James felt about you.”

“Nothing ever happened.” I said immediately. I knew it was a lie, but no one ever had to know what I felt for James. I wanted everyone to think that it was only James who liked me, and he was the only one who actually wanted something. That’s what mostly everyone thought anyway, and I wanted to keep it that way.

“I know.” Eve said reassuringly. “But, I don’t know. I just feel like, I have to talk to you. I mean, I know you’re not a bad person, and I shouldn’t feel intimidated by you. And I think...that the only way I could do that was by talking to you.”

I stood there, stunned. I couldn’t believe my ears. Eve wanted to be friends with me. Or at least on speaking terms. But still.

“Well,” I finally said. “I’m not really intimidating am I?” I sounded doubtful, I wanted to make sure if I was or not. Eve smiled at me.

“No, not really. Well, not anymore. You’re actually quite nice.” she said. I didn’t really know what to say to that, since I barely uttered two sentences to her. She laughed slightly, still smiling. “Look, it’s just this weird thing I have.”

“Right.” I said. Her smile faded, and she coughed.

“Okay, then.” she said. “I guess...I’ll see you later then.”

“Yeah, okay.” I replied.

“Bye.” she said, smiling at me again. She then walked back to the Great Hall, turning to wave at me.

Okay...


“You didn’t tell me she was a freak!”

Leah turned to look at me from the couch she was sitting with Kat, raising her eyebrow. “Who’s a freak?”

Eve!” I said, still looking stunned as I jumped over the couch and sat in between them. I turned to Leah and added, “You cannot believe what just happened right now.”

“What?” Leah asked, closing her book and sighing.

“Eve went up to me, and told me she wanted to be friends.” I said, laughing slightly. I stopped, looking at her since she wasn’t showing any signs of interest. I coughed, furrowing my eyebrows at her. “Well? Isn’t that weird?”

“Yes. But I already told you she was an extremely friendly person.” Leah replied.

“Yeah, but you didn’t tell me she was so...strange.”

“Friendly and weird are quite different characteristics, Lily.” Leah said, holding her face up with her hand as she leaned against it. “So, what’s the problem? She didn’t harass you or anything.”

“In a way she did.” I said darkly. “Although I don’t think she knows it.”

“She’s really open.” Leah explained. “But she’s really nice. She already told me that she wanted to talk to you, before you left for the wedding and stuff.”

“You knew?” I asked disgustedly.

“Yeah.”

“And you didn’t tell me? So I could at least be mentally prepared?”

“Don’t be stupid. She didn’t do anything wrong.” Leah said casually, opening her book again. I turned to Kat, who was copying some notes from her Transfiguration class.

“Do you think it’s weird?” I asked Kat, who jumped suddenly and turned to look at me.

“Sort of.” Kat said, shrugging.

“Ugh, forget it.” I said, crossing my arms and leaning back against the couch. Leah had already begun to read her book again, completely ignoring me. Kat was being uncharacteristically quiet, but that was sort of like her recently. I sighed as Henn came into the room.

“Hey.” Henn greeted us, throwing herself on the carpet in front of us. “What’s going on? What did that Eve girl want?”

Leah snorted, which made Henn look at her curiously. “What?” Henn asked again.

“It was really weird.” I said, shuddering slightly.

“Hm. Okay.” Henn said, shrugging it off. “Listen, I’ve been thinking of you know, our...plan.”

“Oh no, not that again.” Leah groaned.

“Shut up.” Henn said, grinning mischievously. “It’s necessary.”

“No, it’s not!” Leah contradicted. “She’s really nice, Henn.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Well, why don’t you ask Lily what Eve just talked to her about?”

Henn looked at me, laughing. “What did she do?”

“She told me that she wanted to be my friend.” Henn’s reaction was much more satisfactory, since her jaw dropped and she gave me an incredulous look.

What? Why?”

“She told me that I made her uncomfortable.” I explained. “Which doesn’t really make sense, but she said that it was because James liked me before.”

“He probably still does.” Kat said suddenly, although she didn’t sound very enthusiastic.

“Well, duh.” Henn said, laughing.

“Shut up.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Well, who cares?” Henn asked casually. “We can still break them up.”

I thought about it. Yes, we could still break them up...

Without thinking about it I said, “Sure.”

“Sweet.” Henn said. “And of course, what we’re doing isn’t wrong. Because you and James are meant to be.”

I bit my lip. “Right.”

Leah rolled her eyes and frowned, not saying anything.

“Okay, so I’ve been thinking...” Henn began. “We had to figure out what James likes about Eve. Then, take that away.”

“Easy. She’s blonde, cute, and petite. Unless there’s a potion that turns her into an ugly and gruesome brunette, we can’t really do anything.”

“Actually, there is a potion like that--”

“Leah, I thought you weren’t helping us.” Henn said in a mock innocent voice. Leah furrowed her eyebrows and said nothing. She turned to me again, smirking. “Well, there has to be something else he likes about her. Is she not annoying? Sweet? Nice?”

“Yes.” I said grudgingly.

“Then maybe if we make her...” Henn said, then suddenly stopped. “Wait, I got it.”

“What?” I asked.

“We can make her think something, that isn’t true.” Henn said in a low voice, smirking.

“I don’t get it.”

“Honestly, Lily. You’re so dim. All we have to do is--” she stopped, because Leah was glaring at her. She coughed. “Never mind. I’ll talk to you later about it...when others aren’t listening.”

I looked at Leah. “Ah, okay.”

As we got up and started to walk up the stairs, Leah said, “I can’t believe you guys are doing this.”

We ignored her, smirking at one another although both of us felt slightly guilty.

Chapter 32: Chapter Thirty Two
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A/N: Wow, sorry I took so long to update to this chapter. It's rather long...but I'm too tired to check over it and see how I can shorten it in any way. I might split it into two chapters later on, I'm not sure. This took a real long time to write though, so I apologize again. Hope it's worth it, though. :-)


I suppose we really were all talk when we discussed the ‘James-Eve breakup plan’, because March came in and February left, taking the snow with us. We still hadn’t done anything. But how could I? Every time I would see Eve in the hallway between classes, she’d wave and smile at me like we were friends or something. She even asked me if I’d like to spend the next Hogsmeade trip with her and James. (She’s a nut, I swear) Even though I felt slightly harassed and would get very embarrassed when James was with her at these lapses, I would always have that guilty feeling in my stomach that I knew what I was planning to do to this poor girl was wrong.

But then I saw them kissing...and oh, man. Then my conscious would leave me with a snap, and I’d get back to schedule with Henn. She told me that all they had to do was make Eve think James was cheating on her, although we couldn’t think of a suitable girl. All the trashy girls weren’t friends with us, and they were the only people who would do the job for free.

And then there was James. Sigh. Honestly, every time I saw him anywhere with anyone, it was like my heart was breaking all over again. I’d stare at him for a while in all our classes since we were taking the same N.E.W.T.s classes. Once I had been looking at him in Herbology, when I suddenly jumped out of my gaze when Professor Sprout asked me a question. Unfortunately, I just gave her a glazed expression and shook my head when she asked me if I was listening.

But in some ways he was so perfect, and in others I’d just get frustrated that I still had not forgotton him. I hate men. I hate them ALL. Especially when they completely ignore you, and you still pine for him when they obviously don’t like you.

Right?

There was always that little doubt in my head though (or maybe hope), that maybe James did like me. But, I mean, why would he date Eve?

“Because he wants to forget you, you stupid dimwit.” Henn put oh so nicely one day when I mistakably gave her information on my deepest thoughts. “I mean, you only turned him down and threw him insults like everyday of his life.”

Wow, thanks Henn.

It was stupid, really. Of course he didn’t like me. Even if he did look at me at times. But he probably was looking at the wall behind me or something. And then one time, he actually smiled at me.

Even though he kind of shook his head violently as if he sincerely regretted it. He did it in a very sexy way though. Hm...yeah, very sexy.

Snap out of it, Lily. You have to stop saying that.

Why was he doing this to me?! Why?!

“Because you treated him like crap like everyday of his life,” Henn explained, while eating a cookie outside while we did our homework.

And why am I friends with her again?

“Henn,” I said through gritted teeth, “Must you always be so bluntly honest?”

Henn shrugged, brushing the crumbs off of her cloak. I groaned and dug my fingernails into the roots of my hair, just when James himself came out of the castle, looking smug. He did that often, didn’t he?

“Oh there he is,” Henn said in a breathless voice, unmistakably trying to mimic me, “the love of Lily’s life. Her reason for living.”

Shut up.” I hissed at her while James passed right by us, without giving us a glance. He was making a beeline towards Sirius, Remus, and Peter, who were sprawled on the grass under a tree, the books laid forgotton except for Remus. They were now laughing about something...and James was brushing the hair out of his eyes, which were hazel, by the way...

“You there?” Henn said suddenly, waving her hand wildly in my face. I turned to her quickly, since James’s eyes had finally landed on my stare.

“Yes, I’m here.” I said in a uncharacteristically high voice. Henn gave me a tired look.

“Lily, don’t an idiot.” she said irritably. “You two are obviously meant for each other.”

“No we aren’t.” I argued, shaking my head and concentrating on his shaggy black hair from behind again.

“Lily!” she said, shaking my shoulders violently. “Yes, you are. C’mon, think about it. You marry the person who was pursing you for seven straight years...until he finally gets you at the end of seventh year. Wouldn’t that be perfect?”

“If I actually had a chance,” I mumbled in my pessimistic view.

“You’re pathetic.” Henn groaned, shaking her head.

And maybe I was. But my heart was broken, I had the right to be. I was so out of it that I wasn’t even paying attention to where I was going as I made my way back to the common room from dinner. Of course, I had to bump into him.

“Oh,” he said, ruffling his hair uncomfortably as he saw it was me. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay.” I said, in this really strange, squeaky voice. Then we did that really weird thing that when I go one way, he goes that way too, and then I try to move out of the way, and then James is there again. I hate these weird situations. It went on for like a minute, which was really embarrassing until he reached out and held onto my arm, to stop me from going the other way again. I blushed deeply as I felt his contact against my skin.

“Whoa, calm down.” he said, laughing slightly. He grinned, although once again it didn’t reach his eyes. But it didn’t matter. Because of course, I didn’t care.

“Sorry,” I said awkwardly, looking down at the ground but liking very much the way he was still holding my arm. I could smell him from here, and suddenly I had a flashback of when I was kissing him under that same, heavenly smell...

Snap out of it, Lily! You did not just think that.

“Well,” James said softly, his voice breaking through my thoughts of him, himself. “I’ll see you later, then.”

“Yes.” I said, nodding vigorously. I hope so, at least. He gave me a half-smile and was already turning around to continue on his way, when I suddenly was leaping forward and calling out, “James!”

He stopped suddenly, turning around to find that I was throwing myself on him, my arms encircling his neck as I hugged him tightly. I breathed in his cologne, (which was probably the reason for my madness) and smiled slightly, standing on my tiptoes and whispering in his ear, “I’m sorry.”

I think he was too stunned for a reaction, because he stayed motionless for a while, only holding a strand of my hair that he immediately released once I said that. He took a hold of my arms and put them to my sides, a stony expression on his face. He was backing away, putting his hands in his pockets and looking grim.

“Lily--” he said in a somewhat moody voice, shaking his head. His meaning was clear and simple, although in someways hard to understand: No, I can’t. I was expecting that nevertheless, once my consciousness returned to normal and I had an inkling of what I was doing. But somehow, I was still hurt.

I felt my eyes brim with tears but held them back, wanting to look away but knowing I couldn’t. Right then I was trying as hard as I could not to cry, because if I did, I’d reveal to everyone that I wasn’t as emotionless as I seemed.

“James, you need to understand that,” I began in a shaky voice. I sighed, trying to start over. “I messed up, and I just want you to know--”
“No.” he said firmly, stepping forward and grabbing my arms. “I don’t want to know, Lily. Please, don’t do this now.”

I stared at him, looking into his hazel eyes that I loved so much. “But I have to,” I finally whispered, and then without warning to even myself, I stood up on my tiptoes and kissed him.

His body stiffened, but he didn’t let me go. After that he just kissed me back, pushing me slightly against the wall.

And oh my god. It felt so good.

That is...until someone particularly loud and cheery was heard around the corner.

“Hey, Kat.” Eve said, making both of us jump apart. I bit my lip as I knocked headfirst into the wall behind me, while James blushed deeply as he looked at me.

“Hi, Eve.” Kat replied absentmindedly, sounding distant like she always did these days.

“Have you seen--” Eve began, but stopped shortly as she rounded the corner with Kat and stopped, grinning once she saw us. “Oh, James! There you are!”

“Oh, hi--” James said, glancing at me uncomfortably as Eve threw his arms around him, like I had done a few minutes ago. She turned around and held him around the waist, looking at me and smiling.

“Lily, how are you?” she asked politely. I blushed, as Kat crossed her arms moodily and leaned against the wall, her eyes moving from me, to Eve, and then to James. She wasn’t helping in the slightest.

“I’m...er--” I stuttered, looking at James who was avoiding my gaze and putting an arm around Eve’s shoulders.

“Great?” Kat suggested, giving me a suspicious look.

“Yes.” I said quickly, forcing a smile. “I’m great. How are you, Eve?”

“I’m good.” she said, beaming. Ugh, this would be so much easier if she wasn’t so innocent. “Me and James are just off to...” she stopped suddenly, her eyes lighting up as she was struck with an idea. “Hey, why don’t you two come with us?”

“No, thanks.” I said immediately. But Kat was looking at me, smirking in an evil way I had never seen her use before.

“Yeah, we’ll go.” she said, grinning at Eve.

“Wait, no--”
“That’s great!” Eve exclaimed, glancing at James who had a very grim expression on his face. “We were going off to Hogsmeade right now--”

“No, I really can’t--”

“Hogsmeade? How are you guys getting to Hogsmeade?” Kat interrupted, looking overly interested. I groaned, but no one took notice.

“Well, there’s this passageway on the third floor that leads you there.” Eve explained.

“What?” I suddenly said, forgetting for a moment that I was angry. “Who told you that?”

I looked at James, who was very interested in his fingernails. I rolled my eyes. “Figures.” I muttered. I turned to Eve, my Head Girl demeanor on. “Well, I’m not sure any of you know this...but it’s forbidden to leave the castle after dark. And you are most definitely not allowed to go to Hogsmeade whenever you please. That’s why we have scheduled visits.”

Eve raised an eyebrow at me, with a politely incredulous look. Her calmness was starting to annoy me.

“Listen,” I suddenly snapped. “Have you two been sneaking out all this time?” I was mostly mad because they were together while sneaking out, but no one needed to know that.

“Whoa. Chill, Evans.” James said, furrowing his eyebrows at me.

“Stuff it, Potter.” I retorted. “It’s against the rules. But I should know better, since you never followed them even when you’re Head Boy.”

“Hey, I’ve been doing my rounds and everything so don’t even start--”

“Yeah? How do I know that you’re really patrolling the halls? You’ve probably been sneaking off to Hogsmeade this whole time!” I spat, putting my hands on my hips and trembling with fury. Eve and Kat were looking from me, to James, then back to me, looking mildly confused. James stopped in mid sentence, gritting his teeth.

“You’re just jealous!” he suddenly blurted out. I stumbled backwards, looking as if I was slapped.

Why would I be jealous?!” I cried.

“Because now that I don’t want you anymore, you just are running back! It’s reverse psychology, Evans!”

“Excuse me?!” I shrieked at him, walking up to him and poking him in the chest. “Not everyone’s lives are revolved around you!”

“I’m not saying that!” he roared.

Yes--you--are--!

“What is the meaning of this?”

All four of us turned around, just as Mcgonagall came pacing down the hall, her lip in a tight line. “Mr. Potter and Ms. Evans, the hallway is not a place for you two to be causing such a commotion!” she snapped, straightening her glasses.

“Oh, it’s nothing Professor. Just a little argument.” James said nastily, narrowing his eyes as he spun around and glared at me.

“Don’t look at me like that, it’s your fault too---”

“Evans, SHUT UP!”

“Professor, are you listening to what he’s saying?”

“No, wait! Professor, I didn’t do anything---”

“He’s not even doing his Head Boy duties—!”

“Both of you, be quiet!” Mcgonagall yelled, and both of us shut up immediately. She spun onto Eve, who was the nearest and looked like she wasn’t sure what exactly was happening. “Ms. Harriot, what is going on here?”

Eve jumped at being addressed, then calmly said, “They’re just arguing, is all.”

Mcgonagall narrowed her eyes, making Eve smile weakly in reply. She turned to James and I instead, the same furious expression on her face. “Well, then. Ms. Evans, and Mr. Potter, kindly retrieve yourselves from here and go up to your common room. You’ll be having no more fun tonight.”

“Um, Professor?” James said incredulously, having no respect at all. “It’s not even close to curfew---”

“I am aware of that Potter.” Mcgonagall snapped. “Now go, both of you. Go before I lose my patience and put you two in detention together, again.”

James grunted, glancing at Eve who didn’t look as distressed, and actually looked like she was on the verge of laughing. Kat was being awfully quiet, smirking. James turned to Mcgonagall, looking at her awkwardly, then glanced at Eve again. “Well,” he began, fidgeting around. “I guess I’ll see you---”

“Potter! Go now!”

“Alright!” James said, then took off behind me.


“Ah!!” I shrieked, walking into the dorm and grabbing the nearest bedpost and shaking it. “He—is—such—a—git!”

“Lily! That’s my bed!” Grace exclaimed, a toothbrush hanging from her mouth as she gaped at me from the bathroom.

“Grace!” I said suddenly, turning to glare at her. “I hate him! I hate him!”

“What the hell?!” Henn grumbled rom behind the curtains of her four poster, pushing them aside and narrowing her eyes at me. “Lily! Stop screaming like a banshee!”

“Do you know what Potter did to me?”

“Do I want to...?”

“He said I was jealous! Jealous! Can you believe that?”

“Well, Wily, you sowt of awe.” Grace said through a mouthful of toothpaste.

“Grace, SHUT UP!”

“Please stop screaming,” Henn moaned, covering her ears.

“He said it was reverse psychology! That he did this on purpose! Oh, man but no way am I running back to him! No way!”

“But it is reverse psychology—”

Grace!”

“Lily, listen to me!” Henn exclaimed, making me stop to blink at her. “Don’t you get it? He’s doing this on purpose to you. He wants you to get jealous. That is the whole purpose of Eve.”

“But—I...” I trailed off, gaping stupidly at her. Grace let out a relieved sigh and spat out her toothpaste, washing her mouth. “It’s not fair.” I mumbled.

“Why were you two talking to each other anyway? Usually you avoid the other.”

“I know, but we got into this fight into the hallway.” I sighed. “And...” I paused, contorting my face into fury. “Just because I told him off!”

“For what, exactly?” Grace asked slowly, raising an eyebrow and leaning against the door with her arms crossed.

“For sneaking off into Hogsmeade---”

“Whoa, you can sneak into Hogsmeade?” Henn asked suddenly, grinning at the inevitable thought of taking all the sweets she wanted from Honeydukes.

“I’m not surprised.” Grace said tiredly. “I mean, they sneak into the kitchens, and no one knows where that is...”

Henn smirked at me, but I ignored her.

“Anyway, I think what you did is right.” Grace continued. “I mean, you’re Head Girl. James should know better, since he is Head Boy, though. Why would he want to go to Hogsmeade, anyway?”

I frowned. “He was going on a date with Eve.”

“Eve? When did get into the picture?”

“Well, she was about to walk in on us when we were---” I stopped suddenly, slapping a hand over my mouth and widening my eyes as I realized what I just said.

What?” Henn blurted out, jumping and crawling to the edge of the bed like a hawk staring down at her prey. Grace let her arms drop and gaped at me.

“You kissed him?”

I blushed, reaching my hand towards my hair and grimacing. “Uh...”

“Lily, he has a girlfriend!” Grace sputtered, as Henn started laughing her head off. “How could you...?”

“This is great!” Henn exclaimed.

“Henn, don’t encourage her---”

“Grace, you need to break some rules sometimes.” Henn frowned. “It’d do you some good.”

“No, Henn.” I said, shaking my head. “I shouldn’t have kissed him.” I said that, but a big part of my brain was telling me that I didn’t regret it.

“Are you mad?” Henn asked, her eyes bulging out as she gave me an incredulous look. “Lily, you’re crazy about him!”

“But Grace is right---”

“Ha, see?!”

“—it was wrong for me to kiss him.”

Henn snorted. “Right. I’m sure you’re thinking that.”

“Calm down, Henn.” Grace said, rolling her eyes. “Okay, Lily. So...I know that it’s a big deal that you kissed him, but why are you mad at James?”

“Because he was being completely unreasonable!” I exclaimed, throwing my hands into the air.

“Well, what did you say to him?”

My hands dropped to the side, as I leaned against the bed post and gave her a guilty look. “I told him he wasn’t doing his Head Boy duties.” I muttered. Grace snorted.

“I’m surprised you didn’t kill him after all these years.” Grace sighed.

“Or kiss him to death.” Henn smirked. I took Grace’s pillow and smacked her with it. “Ow!”

“I probably would’ve—" I began, making Henn giggle. “Not kiss him but kill him, Henn...but Mcgonagall came around the corner and threatened to put is in detentions.”

“At least he’s not going to Hogsmeade with that hag, though.” Henn reminded me. I nodded grimly.

“She’s not a hag, Henn.” Grace said, shaking her head. “Eve is nice, and both of you know it.”

“Grace, do you always have to be so neutral?” I moaned. “It’d be great if you can just once say something bad about someone for me.”

“She’s not neutral with Remus.” Henn said, rolling her eyes. “She gets mad at him for the stupidest things...”

“Shut up, Henn.” Grace growled.

“I can’t believe this.” I groaned, dropping onto Grace’s bed and pressing my palms against my forehead. “Why is this happening?”

“Lily, did he kiss you back?” I felt someone sit on the edge of the bed and heard Grace talk nearby.

“Yes.” I said stonily.

“He obviously likes you, Lily. He’s probably just afraid of getting hurt again.”

“But I’m not going to hurt him.”

“He doesn’t know that.” Grace replied calmly. I sat up, frowning.

“Yes, he does.” I said grumpily. “I even apologized to him.”

“Boys are stubborn.” Henn sighed.

“Lily,” Grace said, her voice suddenly stern and firm. “I think you should forget about him.”

There was a pause, Henn and I exchanged looks while I felt my stomach drop.

“And why should she do that?” Henn asked incredulously.

“Yes, why?” I asked, frowning slightly.

“Because you’ve done your part.” Grace explained. “If he wants to come to you, he will.”

“No, he won’t because he’s stubborn.” Henn argued. “He’s a boy.”

“You can’t do anything else though!” Grace said, throwing her hands up into the air. “Wouldn’t it be better if you just forgot about it all?”

“It’s not that simple,” I said nastily.

“I know it’s not. I know.” Grace said, raising an eyebrow at me. “But...it’d be easier on your heart.”

“She can’t just give up—!” Henn began.

“She’s going to have to.” Grace said, frowning and then looking at me again. “Look, it’s up to you...but think about it, okay?”

And maybe she was right. What else could I do?


“Lily. Lily.”

I jerked out of my trance, looking away from my quill and concentrating on Gaby instead. She looked impatient, frowning at me with furrowed eyebrows.

“I’ve been calling you for the past ten seconds. Where were you?” she snapped. I rolled my eyes at her, glancing for a moment at James before quickly returning to my essay. I kept my lips firmly shut, forcing myself to bite back a retort. “Anyway, I was going to tell you…Lily, are you listening?”

“Yes.” I said tiredly. Gaby made a noise in the back of her throat that sounded like a growl. I sincerely regretted the fact that I was doing Grace a favor by sitting with Gaby in Transfiguration today…turns out that Grace was on the edge of her patience also, which was saying something since she was always calm. I bit my lip and tried to make my face look expressionless as I gave her my full attention.

“Here.” She said roughly, thrusting an envelope at me. I gave her a perplexed look, holding the thin paper in my hands.

“What is this?” I asked, but Gaby was already turning in her seat and facing Mcgonagall, who had just walked into the classroom with the shut of the door.

“Alright, all of your essays should be done. Pass them forward, please.” Mcgonagall said promptly, walking over to her desk and giving the class a piercing look. Almost at once there was a shuffling of papers, signaling that the students were passing in their essays, which were mostly done all last night. It was the hardest homework she had ever given us, since it had to be three rolls of parchment on the complexity of the bones, which transform when a person is an Animagus. I made an irritable noise in the back of my throat and gave Patricia, both our papers, annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t squeeze in another sentence. As Patricia passed the mountain of parchment in front of her to Henn, I discreetly opened the envelope and peeked at the writing inside. There was a pretty design on what looked like a card.

“When did I get this?” I muttered from the corner of my mouth to Gaby, so Mcgonagall wouldn’t see me.

“This morning, but you weren’t at breakfast.” Gaby murmured, although she still looked quite peeved. “Were you sleeping in or something? That’s very unlike you.”

“Yes.” I lied. The truth was that I didn’t want to go down to the Great Hall to eat, and decided that I’d feel better about myself if I had another half-hour in the dormitory alone. “I was very tired.”

Trying to avoid Gaby’s piercing look, I carefully took out the card out of the envelope, which said: “To Miss Evans”. The card was white and had two golden bells in front with blue ribbons, and I knew instantly that it wasn’t a card from a wizard or else it would be moving. My eyes narrowed as I saw the heading on the inside, in fancy cursive letters.

“‘You are invited to the Dursley-Evans wedding…’” I trailed off, my heart pounding in my ears.

Gaby peeked over my shoulder while Mcgonagall took all the rolls of parchment, setting them on her desk. Gaby widened her eyes at me, then gave me an incredulous look.

“Are you going to that?” she asked. Gaby knew that the animosity between my sister and I had grew over the years but she wasn’t aware of what I really found was strange. Gaby didn’t know that my sister had broken all ties with my father and I. Gaby, nor anyone else, knew that Virginia wasn’t dead at all, and that she had decided to take Petunia with her to Merlin-knows-where. But what both of us didn’t know, was why Petunia had sent me an invitation.

“I dunno.” I whispered back, the invitation card suddenly feeling heavier along with my chest. If I went…I’d have to see Virginia again…

“Ms. Evans and Ms. Sanchez, quit chit-chatting.” Mcgonagall suddenly snapped behind me. I quickly hid my mail from view.

“Yes, Professor.” Gaby said obediently, as I stuffed the invitation in the back of my bag discreetly.

“Ms. Evans,” Mcgonagall said crisply, pursing her lips. “You have some thinking to do about what it means to be quiet in class.”

I nodded. “Yes, Professor.” I said.

Yes, I definitely had some of thinking to do.


The whole week my mind was preoccupied, and I was distant from everyone and anything. Everyone noticed it; they would worry that I wouldn’t ever show up at breakfast anymore, and that I’d call it a night right after dinner, which I seldom ate, but really just laid in my bed for hours thinking about what the outcome would be.

That’s what I was doing right now, actually. I had already changed out of my school robes, not bothering to take a shower as I stared up at the canopy of my bed. My mind was wandering elsewhere now…as millions of thoughts ran through my head.

I felt my way with my hand under my pillow, clutching the invitation and looking at it hard again. It was actually a very simple card…with the date and the time of the wedding, and where it would be. It also said that there would be a party afterwards and a sort of small brunch the next day. There was no little note in Petunia’s writing, and there was no indication if Petunia really wanted me there or not.

I pressed my palm against my forehead. I wondered if maybe, just maybe, I was a bridesmaid, or the Maid of Honor…

I snorted, stuffing the card beneath my pillow again. For a moment I had forgotten that Petunia hated me. But then again, it seemed that she too had forgotten for a moment, and sent me the invitation. Maybe she was starting to have a heart? Or at least a conscious, maybe. I suppose that Virginia really was doing her some good.

And then my heart sank. Virginia. Every time I thought of that woman, all possibilities that I might go to the wedding sank back into my head and I started to doubt again. I would unmistakably have to confront her again…and I knew it wouldn’t be a good outcome since the last ones weren’t either. I groaned, but quickly pursed my lips as suddenly I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and the door slamming open. I quickly turned onto my side and feigned asleep, just as someone wrenched open my four posters forcefully.

“Lily, you better not be asleep.” Henn said viciously. I braced myself after she started to shake me, although I let out no response.

“Henn, leave her alone.” I heard Grace say tiredly, from somewhere by the door. “She obviously doesn’t want to talk to anybody.”

“She’s been doing this all week, though!” Henn said angrily, her hands still on my shoulders but she wasn’t shaking me anymore.

“Just let her be.” Grace replied, and Henn grudgingly got up and closed the curtains again.

“I doubt that she’s asleep.” Henn muttered.

“Maybe she’s tired.” Grace reasoned.

“And maybe you’re bloody stupid.” Henn retorted. “Of course she’s not asleep.”

“Henn,” Grace suddenly said, sounding impatient. “We’re all worried about her, okay? You don’t need to go all snappy on me.” Henn huffed, like she always did when she was about to apologize for something she didn’t want to.

“I’m sorry.” She muttered. “I’m just nervous, that’s all.”

“I know.” Grace said calmly. “C’mon, though. I still have to finish that homework Flitwick gave us.”

“Fine.” Henn sighed, as the door creaked, ready to be closed. “I wonder if Lily’s even been doing her homework? She doesn’t even go to breakfast anymore…”

The door closed and I sat up, perking my ears to see if there was anyone else coming in. I sighed and pressed my face into my knees that were folded up in front of me, as tears started to roll down my cheeks. I squinted and wiped them away, sniffing. I had to hold myself together, and the time to break down definitely was not now.

I lay back down and closed my eyes, snuggling into my blanket and putting my hand underneath my head. I turned to my side and felt the rubber band on my wrist that I had taken out of my hair earlier and by accident, caught one finger underneath it and let it go. I winced as I felt the snap contact with my skin, biting my lip. Then suddenly, I opened my eyes and stared at it, my skin reddening slightly where my veins were. For a moment I had forgotten what I was feeling about the wedding as the rubber snapped onto my skin.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was taking the rubber band again and holding it as far as I could, then let go without warning. I bit my lip again, as my skin became irritated slightly. I closed my eyes and took a hold of it again, falling asleep with my skin raw beneath it.


The next day I woke up with the shuffling of papers and books, as everyone in our dorm was getting ready to head down to breakfast. I stretched my arms and blinked at the red curtain in front of me, my heart beating loudly in my chest as I thought of how I had to get up for another day of school.

But then again…I didn’t have to go…

“Do you think we should wake her up?” I heard Gaby ask.

“She’s probably already up.” Henn said nastily.

“Henn, give it a rest.” Grace said. “Look, she hasn’t gone down to breakfast for the past week, what makes you think she’s going to today?”

“I suppose you’re right.” Gaby sighed, as footsteps made their way over to the door.

“She’ll show up later, don’t worry.” Grace said consolingly. “You coming, Henn?”

“Yeah, yeah…” Henn muttered moodily, then the door slammed shut.

After a while I heard Patricia and Cecilia getting out of bed also, then heading down towards breakfast after Cecilia was finished beautifying herself in the bathroom. Once I was sure that I was alone, I sat upright, leaning against the headboard and thinking to myself.

I was really not feeling good to go to school today. All I had to do was tell someone that I was sick…that I was throwing up in the bathroom or something and I thought it was best not to go to the Hospital Wing because I was afraid I’d start getting sick in the hallway too. It seemed perfect, but…

Would it be considered skipping?

No, of course not. I really was sick. In fact, I was starting to get a stomachache right now…

I sank back into my bed, bringing the blanket up to my chin and weighing the two sides of my conscious. I really was not well. I couldn’t go to school today, I wasn’t mentally all right because of all this stuff going on at home…

I grunted and turned onto my side, already decided. It would be fine if I didn’t go to classes today, I’d be able to make up all the work. But the fact that I had never missed school before because I was sick was still bothering me. I looked at my wrist, and gave it an uncertain look. Well, it sort of worked yesterday…

I held it with my index finger and let it contact with my skin. I did this continuously until the whole section of my wrist was pinkish.

I sighed, feeling better about myself. I closed my eyes and slept all through the day, until sometime around lunch. Henn, Gaby, and Grace had come to visit me then, and I decided that it would be strange if I was still sleeping. I sat up once Henn wrenched open the curtain like last night, looking furious.

“Where have you been?”

“Obviously, right here.” I replied tiredly. “I was feeling sick.”

Henn’s expression changed slightly and her frown slid off her face. “Oh.” She said in a tiny voice, and I felt the immense satisfaction of being able to trick her and make her feel guilty.

“Are you alright?” Gaby asked worriedly. I nodded, just as a plate of food was stuck under my nose.

“Eat up.” Grace ordered, furrowing her eyebrows at me. “You haven’t eaten something all day.”

“Ugh, no thanks.” I said, pushing the plate away from me. “I’m feeling so nauseous right now, that I’ll probably throw up if I eat that.” Of course, this was a lie. But I didn’t feel bad about it because I really wasn’t hungry at all.

Grace furrowed her eyebrows at me, sighing and putting the plate onto my cabinet, after pushing away the stuff on it. “Okay, I’m leaving it here though, just in case.”

“Thanks.” I said, smiling weakly. “So, did I miss anything in class?”

“Well, you’re going to have a lot of homework to do.” Henn said. I winced.

“Yeah, I thought so.” I replied, shrugging.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Gaby asked.

“Yes, I’ll be fine by tomorrow. I probably just got a virus or something.”

“Why don’t you got to Madam Pomfrey?” Grace suggested. I gulped.

“Well…I’m too weak to get out of bed. And I was afraid I would start throwing up in the middle of the hallway.” I said slowly.

“Hm.” Henn said thoughtfully. Suddenly, she grinned, her eyes widening at an idea. “Hey, we can get some medication for you from the Hospital Wing! How about that?”

“What--”

“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Gaby said. “Good thing we came up to visit you.”

“No, it’s okay.” I said in a rush. “I’m alright. I hate taking medication and I’ll be fine by tomorrow, honest.”

“We can’t take that chance, though.” Grace said, already taking her school bag and hitching it up on her shoulder. “I’ll go now. Who wants to come with me?”

“I’ll go.” Henn said brightly, and before I could refuse they were both out of the door, shutting it behind them. Ugh…no….

“I think I’m going to take this chicken wing.” Gaby suddenly said, and took the chicken that they had put on my plate. She grinned at me guiltily. “You don’t mind, do you? I’m terribly hungry.”

“No, go ahead.” I said absentmindedly, still thinking in horror what I had just done.

“Thanks.” Gaby said gratefully, taking a bite out of the chicken immediately. I stared at, thinking to myself. I hadn’t eaten all day, and I still had no inkling that I was hungry at all. In fact, the chicken was making me nauseous, making me look away.

“So,” I said, trying to make my mind wander elsewhere so I wouldn’t have to think about the medicine I’d have to take. “What happened today? Anything new?”

“Well,” Gaby said, swallowing all the food in her mouth and clearing her throat. “Sirius was bugging me today.”

“Really?” I said vaguely, picking up the book on my cabinet absentmindedly, sine I wasn’t really interested in anything Sirius and Gaby related.

“Yeah.” Gaby said, furrowing her eyebrows, oblivious to the fact that I was uninterested. “He asked me about Jack...”

Suddenly I was very aware of what she was saying, my neck turning so fast that it cracked as I looked at her. “Asked what exactly?” I said nonchantly.

“Something about how if we were dating or not.” Gaby shrugged. She then frowned, scowling at the chicken wing in her hand. “Like it’s any of his business.”

“Yeah.” I nodded.

“I mean, why wouldn’t I be?” Gaby scoffed. “He better not try anything stupid.”

“Right.” I said, trying to change the subject. “So, was there really that much homework in our classes? I hope you guys were exaggerating. I didn’t even do Flitwick’s essay yet.”

“Yeah.” Gaby said thoughtfully. “He mentioned you too, you know.”

“Flitwick?” I said incredulously.

“No.” Gaby snapped. “Sirius. He talked about Henn too. He asked if we were talking lately.”

“That’s strange of him.” I said, my voice cracking slightly. Gaby didn’t notice.

“Yeah, I know.” she said. “It was so weird! I mean, we don’t even talk. We’re definitely not friends, and we’re barely acquaintances anymore.”

I was saved the option of replying when Henn came in with Grace, gasping. “Here.” Henn said, throwing a bottle of pills at me. “Take one.”

“We have to go.” Grace said, clutching the stitch in her chest. “The bell’s about to ring, Gaby.”

“Okay.” Gaby said, putting the bones she was holding onto the corner of my plate. She was about to walk out of the door, and I was actually thinking, YES! Maybe I didn’t have to take it after all...but then Gaby stopped, turning to look at me. “Oh, wait. You need water for that, don’t you Lil?”

I stared blankly at her. “Uh...”

“Hold on, then. I’ll get it for you.”

“Gaby,” Grace groaned. “We’re going to be late.”

“It’s okay, go ahead. I’ll do it myself.” I said reassuringly, trying not to look too eager.

“No, you’re probably too weak to get out of bed.” Gaby said, and ignoring further complaint, she stepped into the bathroom and took the cup that was next to it, filling it halfway. “Here.” she said, shoving it in my face. “Now, take it.”

I gulped, as she took out a pill for me from the bottle and handed it to me. I stared at it, thinking of what I got myself into. I’ll never lie again, I thought pleadingly, although I didn’t know who exactly I was talking to. Never. Then I took the pill she gave me and gulped it down with water, wiping my mouth on my sleeve.

“Well, see you later, Lil.” she said, and was out of the door, closing it behind her. I laid back down and twisted my fingers together, a horrible feeling sinking into my stomach. I hoped nothing would happen to me because I took medicine that I wasn’t supposed to. I knew I didn’t have a virus, and I’m sure if Madam Pomfrey came here she’d see it too.

Everything was suddenly wrong. Well...it was always wrong but now it was worse. Now, I was actually breaking down, and falling to pieces. I was hopeless. I was weak.

Before I knew it, I was crying again, my heart beating loudly into my chest. I sobbed into my pillow, my fingers reaching towards the rubber band that was on my wrist. I made a little chocking noise once I let it snap, and stopped crying, to look at my skin. I brushed my tears away and sat upright, hurting my wrist again.


“Good, you ate lunch.” Grace said, taking the empty plate that I had conjured so that the food had vanished and replacing it with another. This one was full of food too, from dinner. “I’m sure you’re hungry though, so eat up.”

I smiled weakly at her. “No, thanks.”

“Lily, c’mon.” Gaby snapped. “You’re going to get worse if you don’t eat.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You look awful, though.” Henn said conversationally, sitting on the edge of my bed and taking a bite out of the apple she brought. “I hope you’ll feel better tomorrow, cause look how much homework we have tonight.” She pointed at the stack of books that they had all brought, their book bags overloaded with papers and other things. I grimaced and then looked at the food, my stomach feeling nauseous.

They were all staring at me, so I slowly brought the fork to my mouth and chewed on the food they gave me. I forced myself to swallow, even though I didn’t feel hungry at all. Grace gave me a relieved smile, then hopped onto the edge of my bed.

“Do you mind?” I asked, as I turned around to look at everyone still staring at me. The door opened and Patricia came in, looking teary eyed, as usual. Her eyes landed onto the strange sight of me eating with the covers over me, and my three friends around me staring at the my face and the plate of food. I swallowed the food and went, “Hey, Patricia.”

“Hello.” she said slowly, walking over to us and wiping her eyes. “Are you alright? I noticed that you weren’t in class today.”

“Just feeling slightly sick.” I replied, avoiding eye contact from everyone and concentrating on my food instead.

“Oh, that’s too bad. We had quite a lot of homework--”

“So I’ve heard.” I muttered.

“Anyway, hope you feel better.” Patricia said, smiling slightly although still looking incredibly sad. She started to rummage through Cecilia’s things, looking as if she was searching for something.

“What are you looking for?” Henn asked.

“Oh, Cecilia asked me to get her book because she’s with--” she stopped suddenly, looking like she was going to start bawling any minute.

“Sirius?” Henn finished for her in an apologetic tone. Patricia nodded, swallowing the lump in her throat.

“Well,” she began, blinking. “I think I’ll just make a quick trip to the loo before--” She didn’t finish and slammed the bathroom door behind her. Almost immediately we heard loud sniffling. Henn rolled her eyes.

“Honestly, it’s been...what? Three months?” she suggested, Grace nodding in reply. I thought about how I was still not over James after three months and sank lower into my sheets, stuffing my mouth with chicken.

“Let her be.” Gaby sighed, shaking her head with a knowing look in her eyes. “Sirius can be very destructive sometimes.”

There was a silence after this statement, everyone carefully avoiding each other’s eyes. Grace cleared her throat and changed the subject. “Anyway, I think I’m going to start doing my homework.” she said, trying to sound quite casual. She picked up her bag and reached towards the door, giving Gaby and Henn an expectant look. “Coming?”

“Yeah.” Henn said heavily, following suit.

“We’ll see you later then.” Gaby said, giving me a tight hug before departing. The door closed softly behind them while I conjured the food to disappear. I then put the plate onto the floor, sinking still lower. Patricia was coming out now, her eyes red and watery. I tried to ignore her as she walked slowly to her bed, taking Cecilia’s book and staring at the cover for a few seconds. But then my conscious got the better of me and I felt obliged to ask.

“You alright?” I asked tentatively. Now, when someone asks you this question, what you’re supposed to do is give a convincing or not-so-convincing smile and say, ‘Yes, I’m fine.’ and not start bawling and wailing right in front of you, which is exactly what she did.

“It’s not...fair!” she wailed, looking like a little baby, something I always associated with her hair. Her knees gave way and she dug her sobbing face into her pillow, muffling her voice slightly but still effective enough for me to cover my ears.

“Ugh...” I groaned, watching as she endlessly cried right in front of me. Once again, my conscious was slowly growing louder in my head, with a voice that sounded suspiciously like Grace’s. I got up grudgingly and dragged my feet to her, patting her awkwardly on the shoulder. This was a big mistake though, since the moment I did so she threw her arms around me and started to cry into my shoulder, soaking my shirt.

“It’s just– ” she hiccuped, finally pulling away from me with her face completely red. “How could she – hic – do this to me?”

“Cecilia, you mean?” I asked, keeping my voice soft and gentle, just in case she started to cry again.

“Yes!” she moaned loudly. “She’s supposed to – hic – be – hic – my sister!”

“I know,” I said consolingly, using the voice that Grace would always use on me when I was out of my mind.

“It’s not even him anymore!” she rambled on, making wild hand gestures in the air and looking slightly insane. “I’m over – hic – him! But she makes it so much – hic – worse, and I’m just...”

She stopped, sniffling. I walked to my bed and took the whole tissue box that was next to it instead of just one. She took it gratefully, wiping her eyes and sobbing into her pillow again. I took this as a cue to leave, quietly and quickly returning to my bed. Her wails grew louder and I closed the curtains of my four poster, digging my own head into a pillow.


“Lily, how are you?” my grandmother asked me, smiling at me from across a table in a backyard I had never seen before. She was sipping tea with one of her hands carefully folded against her lap, her eyes shaded slightly because of the pink hat she wore. She didn’t look as tired as I saw her in the playground, she looked more refreshed and shone even more. The younger Virginia was sitting on a quilt nearby, holding her baby brother and giggling. They seemed oblivious that I was there, as Virginia tickled him in the stomach. I blinked, forcing myself to look at my grandmother instead.

“Not so good.” I replied, smiling weakly. My voice sounded distant, and it echoed slightly.

“Yes, I can understand why.” she said, her smile fading as she set her cup down, giving me a serious look. “You’re probably wondering why I’m here.”

“I thought you died years ago.”

“Yes.” she said, nodding and confirming that I was right.

“I never met you.”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Why are you here?”

“Lily,” she said, laughing. “Do you know what happens when someone dies?”

I widened my eyes, feeling my heart beat quicken. “Am I going to die?” I blurted out.

“No.” she said, her laughter dying out. She looked serious again, and her hand reached towards mine. They were surprisingly cold, for a woman who seemed to have spread so much warmth in her life.

“What is it?” I panicked.

“You’re going to need me soon.” she said softly, hooves echoing in the distance. I felt my conscious self struggling to wake up, but I didn’t want to. I couldn’t. No, not now.

“Soon?” I croaked.


I gasped, my forehead sweating as I started to recognize my surroundings. I still heard hooves pound in my head, a door creaking rather loudly in my ears.

“Ugh, what--” I groaned, turning to my side. I opened my eyes and screamed, coming face to face with two round eyes of a tall stag, staring right back at me.


A/N: Yep, another cliffy. *holds up shield* I'm almost done with 33 though! So don't...throw tomatos just yet. *grins sheepishly* Tootles, hope you enjoyed this one.

Chapter 33: Chapter Thirty Three
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A/N: Okay, first off, I'd like to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone here who celebrates it, and I hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year. May 2005 bring much happiness and joy to everyone! I hope this chapter is a good present...but I'm not sure it's that good. Please leave me some reviews though, it helps me a lot with the writing and stuff because of all the encouragement. :-) Thanks for everyone who's sticked with this story so far and Merry Christmas/Happy New Year once again!


The moment I had turned to my side and stared at it, the stag immediately took off, its hooves pounding on the stairs as it pounced. I sat up straight, stunned, when suddenly everything was clicking inside of my head and I ran after it, wrenching the door open and ignoring the pounding in my head.

“Lily! What the--” Henn yelled as I dashed past her, seeing but the edge of the white tail as it rounded a flight of steps.

“Someone get it! It’s running away!” I screamed, my hands reaching blindly in the darkness towards the rail. I heard doors opening everywhere, confused people coming out of their dormitories to see what the commotion was about.

The pace of the hooves quickened, as I tripped over my robe and fell headfirst into the wall. I shrieked, clutching my face but still running down the steps, feeling my body ache.

“What’s going on?!” I heard Gaby yell from upstairs, as I rounded another flight of stairs. I was almost reaching the common room; I could see the firelight on the carpet…

I stumbled as my feet suddenly felt the stable ground, my eyes blinking as I let go of my face and looked around. My eyes widened as it took in what I was seeing. I heard in the distance a door slam shut rather than creak open, but my mind was immediately occupied by something else. People were spilling out from the staircases, filling into the common room as they stared at me. I looked around, trying to find my voice and clutching the stitch in my chest.

The common room was empty. No one but the people who were now coming in were to be seen. Where was it? I was sure, sure that it wasn’t too ahead of me…

“Where is it?” I cried desperately, sinking into the carpet because my head was hurting even more now from the crash it took against the wall.

Move out of the way, move it. I’m a prefect!” I heard Grace push some people behind me and rest a hand on my shoulder, looking around. “Lily…what’s happening?” she asked in a worried tone.

“I--” I stammered, the intensity of my headache growing as I tried to speak. “I--”

“What’s going on?”

I turned around quickly, despite myself, and saw that James was standing in the doorway of the boys’ dormitories, pulling his bathrobe on over his pajamas. If this were any other time I’d be glad to see him in only pajama pants and a robe, but my head was pounding enough as it was.

“Wasn’t he just--” I heard a younger boy say, followed by Sirius muttering gruffly, “Shut up, kid.”

“What’s going on?” James asked again, looking around and furrowing his eyebrows. His eyes landed on me, and his incredulous expression grew more prominent. “And why is Evans on the ground?”

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out, Potter.” Grace said tiredly, and turned to me again. James crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, now concentrating on practically the whole Gryffindor tower that was no situated in the common room, muttering to one another. He scowled, reaching his hand in his pocket.

“Why is everyone here?” he scolded. The few first years that were in front of the crowd and were nearest to him backed up slightly. “Go back to your dormitories.”

“Potter, get a grip.” Said a sixth year boy loudly. James flushed slightly and stormed up to him, poking him in the chest and taking out his Head Boy badge, which I had never seen him actually use.

“I’m Head Boy.” He growled. “Get moving, buddy.”

The boy gave the badge a raised eyebrow look, although he was already starting to lose it. “Do you want a detention?” James barked. “Get going!”

Immediately he and his buddies left, making the rest of the people there follow suit. Soon enough almost everyone was gone, door after door slamming shut as a few people muttered how they were going to miss the show.

“Aren’t you leaving?” a boy asked Sirius, who was leaning against the wall and giving a few glances towards Gaby’s direction. Sirius smirked.

“I’m Head Boy’s best friend.” He said, mimicking James who glared at him. “Privileges.”

“Black,” James said in a low voice, just as the boy shut the dormitories’ door behind him.

“What, are you going to put me in detention?” Sirius smirked. James opened his mouth in retort, but soon just gave up and looked at me again.

“Okay, first off, I think we should get Evans to the Hospital Wing.” He said, as Remus came by to stand by Grace and Peter sank into the nearest couch. Henn was biting her lip as she looked at me, and Gaby was by the door to the girls’ staircase, closing it shut so no one eavesdropped.

“I’m fine.” I said, clutching my head as I leaned over, a lump slowly forming on my head.

“I’ll go and get the Madam Pomfrey.” Gaby said, ignoring what I said. James nodded, as she reached the other side of the room, ready to crawl out of the portrait hole.

“Wait, I’ll go too.” Sirius suddenly said, making Gaby stop in midair as she stuck one leg into the hole. She gave him an incredulous look.

“What?” she blurted out making everyone look at her oddly.

“Don’t want you getting lost, do we?” Sirius said nonchalantly, walking towards the hole and giving her an expectant look. “Are you going or not?”

Gaby gave Grace a weird look, which is promptly ignored with a roll of eyes. “So, what happened, Lily?” Grace asked me. Gaby sighed and pushed open the portrait, Sirius following close behind.

“Lily?” Remus said, giving me a worried look.

“Maybe she’s going crazy.” I heard Peter say in an audible whisper to James.

“I can hear you, Peter.” I said loudly, regretting it because my ears pounded afterwards. Peter gave a small gasp, making Remus and Grace simultaneously roll their eyes.

“Stuff it, Peter.” James sighed, kneeling down so he could be at eye level with me. For the first time in months he looked at me in the eye, without even flinching. “You alright?”

“Yes.” I said hoarsely, feeling the lump on my head and wincing. “I just ran headfirst into the wall.”

“Why did you go yelling like that anyway?” Grace asked, making James finally break eye contact with me to look at her. As she said this, my head shot up and I stood up so fast that I stumbled, trying to catch myself. Lucky for me, James held onto my arms and prevented me from falling.

“Easy, Evans.” He said in my ear, then let go. I felt that familiar shiver up my spine, but tried to ignore it.

“Okay--” I sputtered, looking at Grace and Remus who were raising their eyebrows high up in their forehead. “I saw…saw something, but I’m not sure, no of course I’m sure--”

“Saw what?” Remus asked.

I took a deep breath, steadying myself. “A stag.”

As I said this Remus quickly looked at James, who coughed and said, “When you say a stag…do you mean, like…the animal?”

“Of course.” I snapped at him, but he seemed unperturbed.

“There’s no way there could be such a large animal in here.” Grace said, in her logical voice. “There’s no way.”

“I know, I know.” I said, pacing around the room and furrowing my eyebrows as I felt my temples. “It’s crazy, I know, but…” I trailed off, sinking into an arm chair just as the portrait door opened and Madam Pomfrey rushed inside, followed by Gaby and Sirius.

“Where is she?” she said wildly, looking around the room. Her eyes landed on me and she rushed towards me, feeling my temperature as I flinched in protest.

“I don’t have a fever!”

“What happened here?” she asked, ignoring me as she turned to the rest of the students, which merely shrugged. Madam Pomfrey gave them a hard look, putting her hands on her hips. I felt relieved once James cleared his throat, making her immediately give him her full attention. I didn’t want to explain what happened all over again.

“I think Evans was hallucinating, Madam Pomfrey.”

My jaw dropped, my hands gripping the edges of my chair as I stared at him. “No, I wasn’t--”

“Shush, Ms. Evans.” Madam Pomfrey snapped at me. “Is this true?” she asked Grace, who jumped at being addressed.

“Um…well…” she said, scratching her head and avoiding eye contact with me. Remus was sticking his hands in his pockets and looking moody.

Is it?”

I gave Grace a desperate look. She had to defend me….

“Well,” Grace began, crossing her arms and looking uncomfortable. “I don’t know if you’d call it hallucinating…”

“Grace!”

“Ms. Evans, you’re spending the night at the Hospital Wing.’ Madam Pomfrey said in a cooing voice, as if she thought I was insane or something.

“Wait, Madam Pomfrey--!”

“Ms. Evans, you’re clearly going through some kind of virus. Did you even take that medicine I gave you?” she said sternly. James’s head shot up, his neck cracking.

“What? What medicine?”

“James, haven’t you caused enough?” I cried, but he ignored me and turned to Gaby.

“Evans had to take some medicine?”

“Well, she wasn’t feeling too good…”

“Come with me.” Madam Pomfrey said, wrenching me by the arm and shoving me through the portrait hole.

“Hope you feel better, Evans.” Sirius said, smirking at me as he struggled not to laugh.

“SHUT UP!” I yelled, but Madam Pomfrey was already shutting the Fat Lady portrait, which was looking quite perplexed, taking a hold of my arm and dragging me down the hall.


I was still protesting when we reached the Hospital Wing, where she shoved me onto a bed and disappeared into her office. All I could think was; Oh…when I got my hands on Potter, I’d probably…

Kiss him?

NO! No, I was definitely going to kill him instead. Kill him, not kiss him.

I was moving around in my bed but was feeling dizzy, so as I was trying to get up so I could calmly explain in my rational voice that I was not hallucinating, and that there really was a stag in our common room, I tripped over the blankets and fell, taking the my bedside cabinet with me.

“Aargh!” I shrieked, making the person next to me that I recognized vaguely as a fifth year Slytherin, jump in surpise and glare at me.

“What is it?” Madam Pomfrey said, running out of her office with a vial in her hands. She looked around and scowled at me, uncharacteristically reminding me of Mcgonagall. “Ms. Evans, if you don’t stop making such a ruckus, you’re going to wake up the whole school!”

The Slytherin boy groaned and clutched his stomach, making Madam Pomfrey’s little eyes dart towards him instead. “Mr. Black! Stop fidgeting, please! Did Ms. Evans wake you up?”

My neck cracked as I turned quickly to him. “Hu? Your surname’s Black?”

“Don’t talk to me, Mudblood.” He growled at me.

“Mr. Black!” Madam Pomfrey scolded, her own voice getting higher itself. Soon enough there were two or three other students that had been in peaceful slumber, waking up suddenly and jerking around. Madam Pomfrey let out a shriek of frusteration, thrusting the vial at me. “Drink that.” She said gruffly, then rushed towards the other students, that were moaning and yelling things like, “I’m dying! I’m dying!”

I looked uncertainly at the vial, which had some greenish liquid inside. The Slytherin was still staring at me unblinkingly, causing me to feel uncomfortable. “What is it?” I snapped at him. I was nice in general to the people I didn’t know, even if they were a Slytherin, but since he had called me a Mudblood I wasn’t too keen on being kind to him.

The boy merely smirked and leaned against his pillow, although grimaced shortly after because his abdomen still hurt. Looking at him closely, he reminded me of someone, although I couldn’t really place my mind on it.

I shook my head, since it was already pounding and I didn’t want to make it worse by thinking too much. I crawled into bed and covered myself from the waist up, still giving the vial a suspicious look. I couldn’t have been hallucinating…could I?

“Why didn’t you drink that yet?” Madam Pomfrey barked at me from across the room as she tended another patient. “Go on! It’s nearly two o’ clock in the morning!”

I nodded, unscrewing the top so she would look away and stop glaring at me. I looked at it hard, trying to think about what I had seen but half an hour ago.

Those eyes at the side of my bed looked very real, I couldn’ thave been hallucinating. And I could hear distinictly hooves, even in my dream before…

But how about when I got there in the common room? No one was there. Stags couldn’t apparate, and even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to on the school’s grounds. And an animal as big as that woulnd’t be able to hide so easily out of sight…

I closed my eyes, trying to think of some sort of possibility…any at all…

I suddenly opened my eyes, gasping as I put a hand over my mouth. No, but it couldn’t be…that was just too absurd…

Without really thinking about it, but accepting defeat, I drank the potion in one gulp and slumped onto my pillows, feeling drowsiness overcome me.


I woke up with sunlight in my eyes, making me blink at the sudden brightness. I sat upright and looked around, squinting. The patients in the back were gone, but the Slytherin Black boy was sleeping soundly on his side, turned away from me.

I tried to look for a clock somewhere, to see how much time I had left to get ready for class when suddenly Madam Pomfrey came out of her office, looking flustered. Once she noticed that I was awake she jumped slightly, looking hard at me. “Have you slept enough?”

“Yes.” I said immediately. “Madam Pomfrey, what time is it?”

She raised an eyebrow at me, walking towards the boy next to me and checking his forehead for any fever. “Oh, I’d say it’s about lunch time, dear.” She said absentmindedly.

“What?!” I sputtered, making a move to jump out of bed but Madam Pomfrey was too quick for me, as she took out her wand and made me slam back onto my pillows.

“Ms. Evans, you should know that what you took is the Sleeping Draught, that makes you fall into a very heavy sleep.” She said matter-of-factly, coming towards me and bending down so she was at eye level with me. “How many fingers am I holding?”

“Two.” I said, rolling my eyes. “Madam Pomfrey, I wasn’t hallucinating!”

“Oh, I see.” She said knowledgably, nodding and smiling. “You still don’t feel too good, do you?”

“No, that’s not it!” I protested, as she moved her hand to feel my temperature. “Okay, I know it’s crazy but--”

“Excuse me?”

I turned around wildly, thinking I must really be hallucinating if I was seeing Remus by the door, knocking timidly and holding flowers in his hand. I gave him an incredulous expression, as Madam Pomfrey smiled and said, “Oh, Remus dear! I didn’t expect you…” she stopped, plunging her hand into her pocket and taking out a little calender. “…this week.”

“Hu?”

“Ms. Evans, shush.” Madam Pomfrey said, turning to Remus. “Mr. Lupin, young Ms. Evans here is very, very distressed right now, so why don’t you come into my office?”

“Actually,” Remus said, smiling pleasantly at me. “I was here to see Lily, if that’s alright with you.”

She gave him a politely incredulous look, but then sighed. “Well, I suppose you could. Go ahead, and if she starts screaming any nonsense I’ll be in my office…”

“I wasn’t screaming any nonsense…” I muttered, just as she closed the door and Remus came in.

“How are you?” he asked, handing me the flowers. I took them and stared at him; he was rather different looking without Grace around. I suddenly knew why I liked him in second year…

“I’m good, I suppose.” I said awkwardly. “Although, how come she was so pleasant with you? All you had to do was ask to come in and she was suddenly nice and calm…”

Remus laughed. “I’m here often.” He replied, shrugging. He coughed, looking at the Slytherin boy behind me for a moment, then darting his eyes towards me. “So…”

“Yeah, so. Why are you here?” I asked, trying to sound nonchalant. Remus squirmed a bit, then put his hands in his pocket.

“Um, is it alright if I sit down?”

“Sure.” I said surprisingly, then moved a bit so he could situate himself on the edge of my bed. “So, what’s up?”

“Well, I just wanted to make sure you were alright and all.” He said, shrugging. “Oh, and I brought some of your homework, since you have quite a lot of catching up to do.”

I grimaced. “Don’t remind me.” I sighed. “Missing two days…”

“Well,” he said, looking awkward as he handed me a pile of parchment. “I did all of today’s homework for you, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it.”

I stopped looking through the parchment and stared at him. “You did?”

“Yes.” He said, shrugging and avoiding eye contact with me.

“Why, though?” I blurted out. “I mean, you didn’t have to…”

“I know.” He sighed. “I just…wanted to.”

I continued to stare at him, stunned. Remus and I had always been on speaking terms, but we were never really per say friends. Sure, I thought he was nice and everything, and perfect for Grace, who was one of my best friends…but still. This was extremely strange.

“Wow.” I said, clearing my throat and looking at the parchment instead. “This probably took you a while…”

“Yeah.” He said, waving it off. “Just make sure you copy it in your own hand writing, or else they’ll notice.”

“Won’t they notice that we have the same exact thing written?” I asked, perplexed.

“Well, I’m going to rewrite mine.”

“Remus!” I gasped, then shoved back all the homework at him. “No, no…I feel too bad, you didn’t have to…”

“Lily, don’t worry about it.” He said heavily, dropping the pile onto my cabinet and sighing. “Listen, you’re going to be doing a lot as it is, and I just wanted to help out. Grace told me you haven’t been feeling too good lately…”

“Grace doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” I said dismissively. “I’m fine. I would even be in school today if it weren’t for that pyscotic nurse.”

“She also told me you haven’t been eating…”

“I have, too!” I protested. “Grace is just being paranoid, like usual.”

“Okay, maybe.” Remus said earnestly. His dark blue eyes looked at me, making me blush slightly despite myself. “But I know that you’re probably going through a lot of stress, and I just wanted to faciliate things for you.”

I continued to look stubborn, which is why he added, “Listen, just look through it, okay? You don’t have to copy it, but just consider it one of your options.” He sighed, looking at his watch. “Okay, I have to go now, lunch’s almost over.”

“Okay.” I said, nodding. He smiled at me, getting off of my bed and hitching his school bag over his shoulder.

“Hope you feel better.” He called over his shoulder, as he closed the door behind him. I looked guiltily at the pile of parchment on my bedside cabinet, sighing in frustration.


“More visitors?” Madam Pomfrey said impatiently hours later, just as I was eating the dinner that she gave me. I looked over to where she was by the door, scowling at whoever was in the corridor. “Fine, fine…but make it quick.”

She moved out of the way, and in came Gaby, Grace, Henn, and surprinigly, Sirius and Peter.

“Hullo.” Sirius said merrily, jumping onto my bed and crushing my legs, making him contrast violently with Remus’s demeanor. “Feeling better, Evans?”

“Not really, since you probably just broke my legs.” I grimaced, shoving him out of the way. He grinned at me, as Grace brought over a chair and sat on it.

“So, did Remus come over here earlier?” she asked. I stared at her.

“You knew?”

“Of course I knew. I was going to come up here at lunchtime but he said that he wanted to come alone.” Grace shrugged.

“Oh.” I said in a small voice, coughing. “Grace, he came here with his homework…”

“I know.” Grace interrupted. “You accepted it, right?”

“Yes.” I sputtered. “But, don’t you think it’s weird?”

“No, he just wanted to help.” She replied simply.

“And you don’t mind?”

“Of course, not. Why would I mind?” she said, laughing. I blushed, and she stared at me. “What is it? Did you think he fancied you or somehting?”

“Well…yes.” I said, frowning. “Do you think so?”

“No.” Grace said, shaking her head. “He just felt bad, that’s all. Don’t really know why he was getting so worked up about it, though. He’s the only one who doesn’t think that you were hallucinating, if that comforts you at all.”

I frowned, looking around at everyone. “All of you think I was hallucinating?”

Henn coughed, looking uncomfortably. “Well…Lily, there couldn’t possibly be a stag in the common room.”

“But there was!” I said loudly. “I swear there was!”

“She’s still like this?” I heard Gaby mutter.

“Shut up!”

“Sorry…” Gaby said apologetically, while Sirius laughed.

“C’mon, let’s not get Evans worked up--” he started, then stopped suddenly when the Slytherin boy stirred and blinked at all of us.

“You guys, stop making so much noise.” I said, glancing at the boy. He frowned at me.

“Hm, still in here, are you?” Sirius said loudly all of sudden, but looking far from cheerful like he usually was. His grey eyes were narrowed in utter dislike, and the grin was swept off of his face as he stared at the boy. The Slytherin crossed his arms and gave him the same look of hatred, of loathing.

“Yes, but I’m afraid the jinx you threw at me didn’t quite finish me off like you’d hope.” he answered coolly.

Gaby and I exchanged confused looks, not following any of this at all. We had heard that Sirius was in detention for two weeks for jinxing a fellow classmate, and I suppose it was that Slytherin boy that everyone was referring to.

“Unlike the rest of our rotten family, Regulus.” Sirius sneered. “I don’t kill for enjoyment.”

The boy who was named Regulus suddenly clutched his arm, a moment of panic ran across his face before he looked at Sirius hard. This time he was left motionless though, without any retort.

“But I will admit I was quite pleased that I hit you so well you ended up here in the Hospital Wing.” Sirius continued.

I was starting to wonder what exactly was the connection between these two young men. They were obviously related somehow, although by the look of them, they weren’t exactly close in any sort of relationship.

Regulus narrowed his eyes, his lips forming into a grim smile, tutting. “Well, well. First you are sorted into Gryffindor...leaving our family in shame, and then you run away from home. I’m not too surprised mother blasted you off the family tree and father is growing more ill every day.”

Sirius glanced at the ground for a moment, not saying anything. Regulus laughed. “See? I knew that would get to you. Guilt has always been your weak point, hasn’t it?”

“Listen here, you little--” Sirius began, advancing onto Regulus with his wand swishing out of his pocket.

“Sirius, no!” Gaby suddenly said, grabbing his arm and pushing his wand the other way just as sparks flew out of it and missed his target.

“Gaby, sod off!” Sirius growled at her, trying to shove her out of the way.

“Madam Pomfrey!” Grace said loudly, as Regulus shook with laughter. “Someone please, help!”

“What is it?” Madam Pomfrey said suddenly, rushing out of her office, her cloak billowing behind her. She stopped and narrowed her eyes as she saw what was in front of her. “Mr. Black, I think it’s about time you leave.”

Sirius wrenched his arm out of Gaby’s grasp, brushing dust off of his robes and pocketing his wand. With one more glare towards Regulus, who was giving him a defiant smirk, he walked out of the Hospital Wing with Peter behind him. It was quite unusual for him to obey someone at once, which I think most noticed since Gaby gave him an incredulous look at his back.

“Are you alright?” Madam Pomfrey asked Regulus, who suddenly put on a pout face and tried to look innocent and hurt. He nodded, although grimacing slightly.

“Well, I’m sort of having a pain again, Madam Pomfrey...”

I scowled at him; I was disliking this boy more and more by the minute. Madam Pomfrey sighed and looked at all the people that were visiting me, then at me. “Alright. Ms. Evans, I think it’s alright if you leave now. Just all of you, go before I lose my mind.”

“Yes!” I exclaimed, jumping out of my bed and putting my bathrobe on. “Bye, Madam Pomfrey.”

She didn’t reply, since she was already in her office again. Regulus was studying his fingernails, his concentration on something elsewhere now. Henn frowned then opened the door, us following her out.


“Back, Evans?” James called out from the couch, where now Sirius was situated beside him while Remus and Peter played chess. Remus looked up and gave me a small smile, which I returned. I then looked at James, suddenly frowning.

“I’ll be right up.” I muttered to Henn, who shrugged and started to go up the stairs with Gaby. Grace was heading towards the Marauders, sitting with Remus while I confronted James. “Listen up,” I said, poking him in the chest as he sat on the sofa, smirking slightly. “I don’t appreciate what you did to me, Potter.”

“Still like that, are you?” James sighed. “I thought you’d realize you were only hallucinating once you stayed a day in the Hospital Wing...”

“James!” I said through gritted teeth, pulling on my hair so I’d stop from yelling at him. I glared at him, looking him straight in the eye. “Look, I know that you’re hiding something. I know that you had something to do with this. And I’m going to find out.”

As I said this, Peter looked quickly up from the chess board to look at me. Was he panicked? Hm, maybe not. James, however, just smiled easily and turned away, leaning back against the couch with his feet onto the table in front of him.

“Whatever you say, Evans.” he said, with a trace of laughter in his voice. “Whatever you say.”


Once I had a rather ravaging battle with my conscious, I decided that Remus was a very sensible person, and that I should just trust him and do what he says. I tried not to think about it as I copied all of the work he gave me, word for word. Sometimes I’d try not to feel so guilty by changing a word like ‘a’ to ‘an’. Who cares if it’s grammatically incorrect, right?

The rest of my homework was done with Grace, who stayed up most of the night with me in our dorm, helping me out. Henn had gone down to the kitchens with Gaby earlier, returning with a basket of apples, which we both ate hungrily at three in the morning. Henn had gone to sleep around one, saying that she wasn’t functioning and wouldn’t even be able to help me out anymore. Gaby had turned in also at that point, leaving us alone to do our homework with the only noise of Cecilia’s snores.

“Wonder what Sirius would say if he heard his deary right now,” Grace snorted, just as Cecilia turned about in her bed and made a choking noise with her saliva. I sniggered, shaking my head as I wrote another line.

“He’s probably snoring too right now.”

Grace laughed, closing the Transfiguration book and sticking it in her bag. She yawned, stretching her arms. “Well, we’re done with that.”

“I still have to do that one essay in History of Magic though...” I began uncertainly, biting my lip.

“You can do it during lunch.” Grace said, already hopping off of my bed and going over to hers. She gave me a reassuring look. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you, okay?”

“Fine.” I said, not really that grudgingly though since I was very tired also. “I swear, I’m never going to miss another day of school again...”

“We’ll see about that.” Grace said, laughing and then closing her four poster. “‘Night, Lily.”

“‘Night.” I said, closing my own curtains and laying down face up. Unconsciously I reached under my pillow and took out the invitation again, looking at it. I scowled, shoving it back. “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” I muttered to myself, then turned over, falling asleep.

I felt so relieved to be able to turn in all my homework the next day, finally getting rid of it. Most of the teachers gave me a peculiar look, asking me why I wasn’t in school for the past few days. When they did this I usually looked down and muttered something about a virus, shortly after returning to my seat.

Grace helped me with my essay at lunch, like she promised, and we actually were doing pretty good. Remus had come over also, giving me a few facts as if he knew all of it at the top of his head. By the end of lunch it was pretty sloppy, but finished, which was good. I was finally done with all my make up work.

“Didn’t expect anything else really from Head Girl.” Grace winked at me, as we walked out of History of Magic. I grinned, feeling lighter already. Things were looking up, they really were.

That is...until the end of classes. I had to do some patrolling down the halls, which I always regretted because there was always that chance I would run into James. We never really talked during these patrolling sessions, since he went one way and I went the other. Usually Grace would go one way with Remus, probably not even doing what she was supposed to be doing, but whatever. This time however, she decided to go one way with me, while Remus and James went the other way.

“So, how is everything with Remus?” I asked, once she gave Remus a quick kiss and was rushing towards me.

“They’re okay.” she said, shrugging. She then added darkly, “He’s going to visit his grandmother again next week though.”

“How come?”

“She’s apparently sick, again.” she muttered. This was the side of Grace we hardly saw, which was the side she was when she was jealous. Usually Remus was involved somewhere.

“Are you sure he’s not the one who’s sick?” I asked, looking back at Remus who had just turned a corner and was now out of sight. We passed Patrick Martin and Halley Trinket, the Ravenclaw prefects, who nodded at us in return once we smiled at them.

“What do you mean?” Grace asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Well...he looks sort of peaky, doesn’t he?” I asked her. “And he told me yesterday that he’s in the Hospital Wing often...”

“What?” Grace suddenly said, looking confused. “Remus hasn’t been in the Hospital Wing all year.”

“Oh, well maybe I heard him wrong or something.”

“Or maybe he’s hiding something.” Grace frowned.

“Grace,” I groaned. “C’mon, don’t do that.”

“How can I not?” Grace said, rather loudly because Martin and Trinket looked back at us from the other side of the hallway before we rounded the corner. “He’s gone every month...” She stopped, putting her hand over her mouth. She had stopped moving, making me backtrack since I had not.

“What is it?”

“He’s gone every month...” she said softly, looking as if she was comprehending something for the first time. She didn’t look at me but straight ahead, although no one was there. I raised my eyebrow at her.

“Grace?” I said, touching her arm and making her jump. She backed into the wall, gaping at me.

“Lily, I can’t patrol right now.” she said hurriedly. “I have to go to the library.”

“What? Why?” I called out, as she started to spontaneously run down back the way we came from, passing the Ravenclaws who were giving her peculiar expressions. She didn’t answer me, but just kept on running in the direction of the library.

“What was that about?” Halley said loudly from the other side of the hallway, looking at me. I glanced at her and shrugged, quickly rounding the corner again and continuing to patrol. I didn’t quite understand what Grace meant, but I supposed that whatever it was, the answer was in the library.

I sighed, continuing my way down towards the dungeons, the part which I hated the most. Even in March it was terribly cold down there, and it was just plain creepy. Sometimes I’d see Harrison, glaring at me suspiciously but then not saying anything once he saw my Head Girl badge on my chest.

And then there were the Slytherins, who only seemed to be hanging around the dungeons at night. They’d always taunt me and threaten to jinx me because I wasn’t ‘worthy to stand on the same ground’ as them. I hoped I never looked intimated as I told them I’d give them all a detention and dock some house points if they didn’t leave me alone. But deep down, I knew I was scared they’d do something to me.

I stopped suddenly, hearing voices. I was about to turn the corner when I heard my name and backed against the wall. Someone was laughing about something.

“Evans is going to get it now...” It was Bellatrix, sounding extremely pleased.

“Not just her, but all the filth like her.” said another cold voice. It sounded like Rodolphus Lestrange, another Slytherin who was as nice as Bellatrix. I had heard they were dating, but I wasn’t sure if it was just a rumor or not.

“There’s a meeting then?” Bellatrix said eagerly. “Tonight?”

“Yes.” Lestrange drawled. “Now stop questioning me, I need to see Black in the Hospital Wing.”

Their voices were coming nearer, and I didn’t want to get caught. I looked from side to side, thinking of my options. There were no rooms anywhere that I could just dive into and hide. Their footsteps were coming into the fork in the hallway, so I prayed that they wouldn’t come this way. I stuck my back to the wall, trying to look invisible behind the suit of armor.

Both of them came into view, stopping into the middle fo the hallway in between the three ways they could go. Bellatrix was leaning in towards a kiss, but Lestrange pushed her away gruffly and said, “Stop it, Bella. Not here.”

“Whatever you say.” Bellatrix said in a singsong voice, cackling as he rolled his eyes at her and turned towards the staircase that lead to the entrance hall. Bellatrix stood there for a moment, looking down the hallway I was hidden and then suddenly turning the other way.

I noticed that I was holding my breath and finally let myself breathe once she was gone. My heart was beating quickly in my chest. What were they talking about? What meeting?

I tried to think of what to do, as I slid down the wall still hidden behind the suit of armor. I kneaded my knuckles against my forehead, when suddenly I knew what I had to do. Just as I was standing up so I could go up the stairs and talk to Dumbledore, someone was breathing down my neck and making me jump.

“Ms. Evans, aren’t you supposed to be doing rounds right now?” Harrison sneered. Honestly! How could this man just pop up out of no where?!

“Yes, that’s what I’m doing, Professor.” I said in an innocent voice. Harrison raised an eyebrow at me unpleasantly, shoving me into the middle of the hallway.

“Then get going!” he barked at me. Without hesitation, I immediately took off in a slow but steady pace, going up the stairs and not looking back.

I had to tell Dumbledore. But where was his office...?


“Have any of you seen James Potter?” I asked a few fifth year girls, who raised their eyebrows at me. A few started to giggle, and other just glared at me.

“What’s it to you?” one of them sneered, in a bratty two-year old voice.

“I’m Head Girl.” I growled at her. “Don’t be a wise ass with me.”

“We haven’t seen him.” she said coldly. I rolled my eyes and walked up the stairs, going randomly in the direction they had gone earlier.

James Potter would surely know where Dumbledore’s office was. Rumor was, was that he went there every other day because he got into trouble. There was also Sirius, although ever since the scene with Regulus Black in the Hospital Wing, (are they brothers, cousins, or what?) Sirius had been very moody and unwilling to talk to anyone.

So James was my only option. I raced down the hall, looking for a head of shaggy black hair. I hadn’t seen where I was going because as I rounded a corner I bumped straight into Remus, who caught me just in time.

“Oh–hi.” I said breathlessly, catching my breath as I clutched the stitch in my chest. “Have you–seen...James?”

“Yeah, he just went that way.” he said, furrowing his eyebrows. “Have you seen Grace?”

“Uh...no.” I lied.

“Weren’t you doing rounds with her?” he asked suspiciously.

“No.” I said quickly. “I mean, yes! But...we split up.”

He was still looking suspicious, but said nothing of it. “So, where did she go?”

“That way.” I said, pointing in some random direction. “I think she said something about going towards the...Transfiguration wing.” That was very, very far from the library. Remus definitely wouldn’t find her.

“Okay.” he said uncertainly, then took off in that direction. As soon as he was out of sight I started to run again, turning to corner and finally seeing James...

What was he doing with Eve?!

Okay, Lily. Calm down. It doesn’t matter. Of course not. Just go over there and casually ask where Dumbledore’s office is...

“Potter!” I barked. “Where’s Dumbledore’s office?”

Well that was subtle.

James stopped kiss...well doing whatever he was doing with Eve and looked up at me, scowling. “Evans, what do you want?”

“Oh, hi, Lily!” Eve perked up, but I ignored her.

“I need to talk to Dumbledore.” I said, frowning. “Where’s his office?”

James smirked. “How would I know?”

“I know you know. So just tell me.” I snapped.

“Well,” he sighed, pretending to be thoughtful about something. Pfft. As if he was every thoughtful. “You know, you’ve been really mean to me lately...”

“James,” I groaned. “This is important.”

“Is it, now?” he asked, raising an eyebrow and finally letting go of Eve. “What is it...about?”

“I don’t need to tell you.” I spat.

“Then I guess I’m not helping you.”

Why are you such a prat?”

“Why do you two always have to fight?” Eve suddenly asked. We both looked at her; she was leaning against the wall with her arms crossed, looking uncharacteristically sulky. Well...that was new.

“Because I hate him.” I said nastily.

“And I hate you,” he said pleasantly.

“James,” Eve said, looking serious. “Just tell her where his office is.”

I was on the verge of laughing, but knew that if I did so I might look like the mean one instead. I gave James a calm look, but he was looking furious.

“Eve, you’re not helping.” he said, narrowing his eyes.

“Maybe you should trust your girlfriend’s judgement.” I suggested innocently. James gave me the purest look of loathing.

“Yes, maybe you should, James.” Eve said, surprisingly taking my side. “Why don’t you ever listen to me?”

“Uh...I--” James sputtered, apparently taken by surprise also at Eve’s reaction. “Well, honey bee...” he muttered, reaching towards her arm. She moved out of the way, furrowing her eyebrows. I was still recovering from the disgust of the way he said ‘honey bee’.

“C’mon, Eve.” he said soothingly, as he touched her shoulder. I scowled, crossing my arms and looking equally disgruntled. “Don’t do that.”

“James,” she said warningly, stepping out of his way. James coughed, glaring at me momentarily before backing away and scowling. “Just tell her, I’m sick of you being so immature.”

Ha! See James? I was starting to like this girl.

Moments later, I was standing in front of a statue of a gargoyle, extremely pleased yet disgusted how spineless James could be sometimes. I stared at it straight in the eye, wondering how I was supposed to get inside of his office.

“Uh...” I said, inspecting the sides and seeing that indeed there was no way around it. “Open?” I said hopefully, it didn’t move.

I cursed under my breath, kicking the statue and regretting it because my toe started to throb. There was obviously something James forgot to tell me. Or maybe he lied. I mean...he had told me just to go to the statue and it’d open by itself.

“James!” I hissed, kicking the floor and stomping around. I was going to kill him.

I sat on the bottom of it, sulking as I put my chin in my hands, my insides writhing inside of me with anger. I’m so going to kill him.

Even if he was an incredible prick, I wouldn’t be able to get in even if I was cursing him. I stood up and stared at the gargoyle again; thinking that maybe it wasn’t even the entrance to the headmaster’s office.

I sighed, walking slowly down the hallway and making my way to the Gryffindor Tower. It was almost time to end the patrolling anyway. I was trying to think of ways I could seriously hurt James, when I bumped into him, himself.

“Well, well.” James smirked. “How was that talk with old Dumbledore?”

“It was fantastic.” I growled, shoving him out of my way. “I’m getting you back for this.”

“I’d like to see you try.” he taunted. It was a very ten-year old line, but it worked anyway.

“Are you challenging me?” I said, whirling around to face him and narrowing my eyes.

“Go ahead.” he continued, tilting his head to the side and grinning. “Try.”

“Potter, don’t start.”

“Why not?” he said, suddenly looking serious. “You just made a complete fool of me in front of my girlfriend.”

“You deserved it.” I said pleasantly.

“What?” he spat. “Why are you doing this?”

Hm. I wonder?

“Just, leave me alone.” I said, shaking my head and turning away. “I don’t want to talk to you.”

“Fine.”

Fine.”

“Mimblewimble.” James and I said simultaneously to the Fat Lady, who quirked her eyebrow as we both exchanged incredulous looks.

“Go on in.” she said, as both of us tried to go through the portrait hole first.

“Get out of the way, Evans.”

“I was here first!”

What?”

“James, just shut up!”

“You do not make any sense.”

“Just let me through!” I screamed. James blinked at me, backing away slightly.

“Fine, go.” he said moodily, making me smirk as I climbed through the portrait hole. I walked as fast as I could towards the girls’ dormitories, since I didn’t see Henn, Grace, or Gaby anywhere. That was odd. Usually they were to be found in the common room together, either doing homework, or (in Henn’s case) eating. I looked at my watch uncertainly and wrenched the door open, closing it quickly so I wouldn’t have to talk to or interact with James.

I steadily made my way up the stairs, vaguely aware that two nights ago I had seen the stag that everyone claimed to be a hallucination. I kneaded my head forcefully, already frustrated again. For some reason I thought that I was hearing yelling somewhere...

Wow. I must be really sleepy.

No, wait. There definitely was some yelling, and screaming, and bellowing...

I stopped in front of the door that said ‘Seventh Year Girls’, hovering around it and uncertain if I should open it. The screams were definitely coming from behind that door.

I took a deep breath and reached towards the door, pushing it open slightly and peeking inside. Gaby was the one who was yelling, her hair coming out of her ponytail and her eyes darting around the room looking slightly madly. Henn was trying to calm her down by getting a grip on her arm, and Grace was by the wall, closing her eyes and trying to look patient.

“Lily!” Gaby yelled, her eyes popping out slightly out of her head. This definitely wasn’t good screaming, which usually meant that she got a good grade or her date went well or something. This was definitely bad, probably consisting of something like getting dumped or...

Why didn’t you tell me about Jack?!” she screamed, her lip quivering as her eyes overflowed with tears.

I stared at her, my mouth slightly open.

Chapter 34: Chapter Thirty Four
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A/N: Hey, guys! I hope this chapter is good, I've been writing like crazy so I could get it done. It was fun to write, although I'm not sure about the ending. I just kept on writing and writing and I didn't know how to just end it. Anyway, hope they're good. Tell me what you think!

Hope everyone had a good and safe New Year too. ;-)


I froze at the doorway, paralyzed it seemed. My eyes darted towards Henn, pleading for help, but she looked just as hopeless as me. How did she find out?

“Why?” Gaby cried, sinking to the floor and looking up at me with watery eyes. It startled me to see her like this, vulnerable, and weak. Perhaps there was a side to her that never was shown except for rare occasions like this, when her brave and strong shield would break down and crumble. “Why?”

“Gaby,” I said softly, stepping forward and trying to look comforting. I bent down and slowly reached towards her shoulder, which was shaking as she dug her face into her hands, sobbing. My fingers barely grazed her shoulder when she backed away suddenly, standing up and trying to look defiant in her feeble state.

“How long?” she said loudly, turning around and stumbling slightly in her robes. She looked at each of us, as if we were criminals, and I suppose we were. She cricked her neck towards me, stepping forward so that she was right in front of my face. “Tell me, Lily. How long have you known?”

I wanted desperately to lie to her, to tell her that I had just recently found out but I was still mustering the courage to tell her. But the way she was staring at me with such anger blazing through her eyes, you could still see that deep down she was hurt. I looked down at my hands and said slowly, “For a while.”

I backed away into the wall, glancing at her and saw that her lip was quivering. I thought that maybe her knees would give way again. I looked at Henn, who was trying to approach her, but Gaby moved out of reach.

“Don’t you get it?” Gaby said angrily, spinning around again until her eyes landed on Grace, who looked solemn. “You three, you’re supposed to be my friends! How could you do this to me? How could you?”

“We tried--” Henn started, but was cut off. She glanced at me, then at Grace. Had we really tried? Were we really that brave to do so? The truth was, we were afraid of hurting her feelings, or that she would get mad at us like she undoubtedly would. But this was much worse. Henn gulped, starting over. “We tried to, Gaby--”

“You tried?” Gaby screeched at us. “You didn’t try! When did you try?”

I stayed silent; I knew that she was right. Gaby glared at Henn, who swallowed and looked down at her hands. She was ashamed, like I was.

“You could’ve told me! Are you telling me there weren’t enough chances?” Gaby asked incredulously. “We share the same bloody dormitory!”

“Okay, Gaby.” Grace suddenly said, looking furious. “Maybe we didn’t try hard enough. But tell me; would you have believed us?”

Gaby opened then closed her mouth, looking sulky. “That doesn’t matter.” She growled.

“Yes, it does.” Grace said, finally moving to the center of the room and facing her. “It does matter, because you know, and all of us do also, that you wouldn’t at all. You’d be mad. You’d hold a grudge. You know you would.”

“You still could’ve told me!” Gaby screamed. “That’s what friends do!”

“We were trying to protect you!” Grace yelled back.

“Stop it!” I yelled. “Stop!”

“You’re supposed to be my best friend, Grace!” Gaby’s eyes were watering again, and she wiped her tears away. “You’re worse than Jack!”

“That’s—not—true!”

“It is! You know it is!”

“Gaby…” Henn said weakly.

“I hate you!” Gaby screamed, then turned to Henn and I. “I hate all of you!”

She shoved me out of the way, sobbing and slamming the door shut behind her with such force, it knocked the vase that was by the door over. I heard her staggering through the hall, wailing as she went. I had never seen Gaby cry like that.

I turned to look at Henn, who was squatted down by Grace, holding her in her arms. Grace’s shoulder shook as she sobbed also, her face contorted as tears overflowed her face and raced down her neck.

“It’s okay, Grace.” Henn said soothingly in her ear, as I bent down also so that I was at eye level with her. Her blue eyes looked back at me, red and swollen. She opened her arms and I immediately reached over and hugged her tightly, her salty tears soaking my shirt.

I had never seen Grace cry like that either.


I don’t know how the next day everyone woke up to another day, when the night was so much worse. The sunlight still soaked through the window, shining through the crack in my curtain and illuminating my skin. I opened my eyes groggily and reached towards my rubber band, feeling that it was necessary.

“Lily?” I heard Grace say as I shifted in my blankets, opening the curtain and seeing that Gaby’s bed was empty and neatly made, just as she left it. Grace was sitting on the edge of her own bed, looking far different from the state that we left her to sleep in. She wasn’t crying, but she looked grave and dark circles were left under her eyes.

“Morning.” I said, snapping the rubber band one last time before getting up and going to her. I sat next to her, patting her shoulder slightly.

“Are you okay?” she asked me. It was rather ironic that she was asking me that, since she had felt the worse the day before. But she was still Grace, depressed or not.

“Yes. Are you?” I said, just as I heard Cecilia turn over in her bed and let out a snore. I winced, rolling my eyes and then returning my attention towards her. She didn’t answer me; instead she looked at her fingernails, studying them. I was guessing that she had wakened up much earlier, since she was already in her robes and her hair was brushed and clean. “You don’t have to go to school today.” I reminded her. She looked at me, widening her eyes.

“That would be considered skipping.” She said, in her stern prefect voice. I felt rather ashamed to be advising her that, since I was Head Girl and was always bashing James for not being a responsible Head Boy. I cleared my throat.

“Yes, but maybe you need a resting day.” I said slowly. Once I heard my voice, I cursed myself.

“Is that what you did?” Grace asked, although I knew it was more of a statement because she already knew the answer. She was looking at me suspiciously. “You weren’t really sick, were you?”

It was another trick question. Damn it.

“No.” I said heavily. “I wasn’t.”

“But Gaby--” she began, but stopped. She frowned, furrowing her eyebrows. “She gave you the medicine.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“You didn’t need it.”

“Yeah.”

“Lily,” Grace groaned, leaning her head back and closing her eyes. “Why do you do these things?”

“What do you mean?” I said, suddenly offensive.

“You know, these things.” She said meaningfully. I narrowed my eyes at her. Right. By ‘these things’ she meant dumb things. Stupid things.

“Well. I’m going to get ready now.” I said sulkily, standing up. Grace stood up also.

“I’ll see you later. I’m going down to breakfast to see if I could find Remus.” She said, looking down. “I want to tell him what happened.” She finished softly.

“Okay.” I called out to her retrieving back. “I’ll see you later.” I thought of how usually Grace would go down to the Great Hall with Gaby, since she was more of a morning person than Henn and I. I sighed, walking into the bathroom and brushing my teeth.

“Good morning.” Henn yawned at me, just as I was going to flick my wrist again. I cursed inwardly.

“Morning.” I said, taking the brush that was set on the table and going through my hair.

“How’s Grace?” Henn asked, trying to sound nonchalant so that none of us would worry as much. I shrugged, but she got the message. She looked at Gaby’s neatly made bed and sighed, noting the same thing I did.

Once we were both ready to go down to breakfast, which I noticed, I hadn’t eaten in a very long time in the Great Hall; Patricia woke up and staggered towards us, her blonde hair messy in a bun. She smiled slightly at me and I smiled back; today I felt like I should be nice to the girl.

“Let’s go.” Henn said, and we both made our way towards the door. Before leaving I pointed my wand at the broken vase, so that it came together again and looked unharmed. We shut the door behind us and slowly walked down the stairs, feeling a sick feeling in both our stomachs.

As we were passing by the sixth year girls’ dormitory, the door opened and out came Kat and Leah, looking quite awake. I suppose they were morning people like Gaby and Grace.

“Good morning.” Leah greeted us, Kat looking quite grim. I noticed that each day she’d steadily grow more and more unkind to me, something that sort of hurt. I tried to look indifferent though, smiling at both of them.

“Morning.” Henn said. Leah bit her lip as she closed the door, following us as we made our way down the spiraling staircase. As we arrived in the common room, Leah moved so that she could walk alongside with us, and that’s when I noticed she looked rather grim also.

“Listen,” Leah said, before either of us could open our mouths. “Gaby didn’t want me to tell you this; but last night she came to sleep in our dormitory.”

“She’s up there now?” Henn said quickly, turning so that she was facing the staircase again, then looking back at Leah. Leah nodded.

“Yes, we got some extra blankets and we made a bed for her on the floor.” Leah said. “We also stole some pillows from the common room…”

“Didn’t your dorm mates disagree?” Henn asked. It was common knowledge that practically all the sixth year Gryffindor girls were rather like the Love sisters, always looking up to them and wanting to be the new ‘it’ twins although know of them were twins. They all hated Gaby, except for Leah and Kat, probably because they were jealous that she dated Sirius and Jack from Hufflepuff, a boy they all found to be very handsome in their year.

“We cut them off.” Kat said, waving her hand impatiently. “They’re all dimwits anyway.”

“Hm.” I said.

“Anyway, don’t be surprised if she cuts class today.” Leah said, and then glanced at Henn. “And don’t go up after her; I don’t think that will do her any good.”

“Alright.” Henn said uncertainly, following us out of the portrait hole, where Jinx was roaming about and purring at our legs. I patted his head as we passed by, jumping into the hallway so the Fat Lady wouldn’t close the portrait on me.

“What happened?” Leah suddenly asked. “I mean, anyone who was in the common room could hear someone screaming in the girls’ dormitories, but no one knows who and why.”

“A lot of rumors are probably going to be spreading today.” I said grimly. Leah nodded.

“What I don’t get,” Henn said slowly, looking thoughtful. “Is how did she find out? The only other person who knew was--”

“—Sirius.” I finished for her, just as we rounded the corner and saw Sirius himself. I narrowed my eyes at him, then without thinking, Henn and I both simultaneously started to run the hallway to meet him.

“What? Wait!” Leah called behind us, but we ignored her and kept running, leaving her behind with Kat.

“Black!” Henn said loudly, making him stop his conversation with James and turn around with raised eyebrows. I gritted my teeth once I noticed James was smirking at me, still triumphant from the night before. I scowled at him and turned to Sirius instead.

“Hullo Henn.” Sirius said pleasantly, grinning at both of us.

“Did you tell Gaby?” Henn demanded. Sirius grimaced, scratching his head slightly as we both stared at him in horror.

“Well, not exactly…” he started. Without warning Henn grabbed his shirt, bringing his face towards hers.

“What?” she spat at him.

“Whoa, take it easy.” Sirius smirked, looking far from uncomfortable. Henn shoved him away, crossing her arms and glaring at him. James was giving me that ‘look’ again.

“Black, what did you do?” I asked tiredly.

“I didn’t tell her.” He said, rolling his eyes.

“Yes, you did.” Henn scolded. Sirius gave her an innocent look, but she was still glaring at him. He then sighed in defeat, shrugging.

“Well, not in person…”

“Black!” Henn and I yelled at the same time.

“What did you do?” I asked incredulously. “Send her a note?”

“Yes, actually.” Sirius replied simply. I stared at him.

“What did you write in it?”

“I said that she should talk to her friends about her boyfriend.” Sirius said in a rather casual voice for someone who just committed a heinous crime. “Hey, I left it anonymous.” He added in a defensive voice.

“You left it anonymous?” Henn asked incredulously. “What are you--”

“—A five-year old?” I finished for her, but noticed that I wasn’t the only one who said that. James and I quickly averted our eyes, blushing. Sirius laughed openly.

“Shut up.” James growled.

“Whoa. Is it your time of the month or something?” Sirius snickered. “Ha…Hey!” Sirius ducked, the spell barely missing him. James pocketed his wand grimly.

“We’re off the subject here.” Henn said, rolling her eyes. “So, what? I don’t get it. She didn’t talk to any of us about Jack.”

“What exactly…happened?” Sirius asked, looking from me, to Henn, then back to me.

“None of your business.” I snapped.

“Of course it is, I caused it didn’t I?” Sirius said humorously.

“What’s wrong with you?” Henn asked in a disgusted tone. “You should regret what you have done.”

“Regret?” Sirius repeated incredulously. “Hey, you were asking for it. I’ve been warning you for a whole month--”

“Well it’s not exactly easy to go up to one of our best friends and go ‘Hey, how are you? Oh, by the way, you’re boyfriend’s cheating on you’.”

“What? Gaby’s boyfriend is cheating on her?” James asked in a confused voice.

“James, shut up.” I snapped at him.

“Hey, don’t start with me, Evans.”

Both of you shut up.” Henn said through gritted teeth. I gave her an offended look, but she ignored me and turned to Sirius again. “Okay, so what happened? She didn’t talk about Jack with us.”

“How am I supposed to know? I just sent her a bloody note.”

“A note that made her want to stop being friends with us!”

“That’s your own fault.” Sirius said decisively, crossing his arms indignantly.

“Henn, calm down.” I said, getting a grip on her arm as she stepped towards Sirius, looking as if she wanted to slap him. “If this dimwit didn’t tell her directly--”

Dimwit? Dimwit my arse.”

“—then she must’ve seen something.”

Henn widened her eyes. “You’re right.” She said slowly.

“Sirius,” I said suddenly, turning to him. “Who is the girl Jack’s cheating with?”

“Why ask me? I’m a dimwit, remember?”

“Stop being a git.” Henn growled at him.

“Merlin. Are you having your time of the month, too?” Sirius asked, having to duck again because this time two jinxes went flying at him. He stood up again, furrowing his eyebrows. “Okay, fine. But why do you think I know?”

“You have to.” I said matter-of-factly. “You’re the one who found out about this whole fiasco.”

“So? That doesn’t mean I know who the girl is.” Sirius replied.

“Then how did you find out?” I asked. Sirius looked reluctant to answer. “Sirius, tell me.”

“Fine, okay.” Sirius said finally, sighing in defeat. “I didn’t see the girl, but I heard him and his mates talking about the arse meeting her during that one visit to Hogsmeade.”

“Which visit?” I asked suspiciously.

“The one in February, a few days before Valentine’s Day.”

Henn gulped, exchanging looks with me. We were helping Gaby shop for Jack’s present that day in Hogsmeade, when we saw him with his friends. We thought he was getting a present for her.

“Oh, no.” I said softly.

“We need to figure out who this girl is.” Henn suddenly said.

“Why would you want to?” James asked, surprising me because he had been uncharacteristically quiet practically the whole conversation. “Ignorance is bliss, remember?”

“So we could make her life a living--”

“Henn.” I said warningly. “We don’t want to do that.”

“Of course we do.” Henn said, frowning. “Then maybe Gaby will let go of her grudge.”

“You know that she won’t.” I said. Henn grunted in reply.

“Look, I did my part.” Sirius said.

“I guess your part was ruining everything then.” I spat.

“Evans! I told you to tell her, this is your own doing.”

“You know what?” I said, narrowing my eyes and poking him in the chest. “You’re helping us.”

Sirius raised his eyebrows. “With what?”

“What else?” Henn asked incredulously. “With finding the girl!”

“Why should I?” Sirius asked in his quirky manner.

“Because we’ll tell Gaby you sent her that note.” Henn said. James and I gave her an incredulous look.

“That’s blackmail.” Sirius said, but looking far from threatened. He actually looked quite amused for us thinking of something as low as that. “But okay, I guess I can help.”

“You too.” Henn said suddenly, jabbing a finger at James.

“What? Why?” James asked indignantly. “I’m not romantically tangled with Gaby or am I friends with her.”

“I’m not romantically tangled with her!” Sirius protested.

“You heard this whole conversation.” Henn narrowed her eyes. “You’re definitely helping, Potter.”

“He doesn’t have to, Henn.” I said quickly. I didn’t want to spend extra time with James. James however, looked at me with amusement.

“Don’t want me to come along, Evans?” he mused.

“No, that’s not it--” I began heatedly.

“Okay, I’ll help.” James said, cutting me off. I gaped at him.

“You’re doing this just to get on my nerves.”

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“Okay, no one breathes a word of this to anyone.” Henn said, preventing me from talking any further. “This is going to be a surprise attack.” She had a mad gleam in her eyes of adventure, reminding me slightly of a commander telling his troops in battle their attack plan onto the enemy.

The bell rang, followed by Sirius’s groan. “Look what you ill-tempered girls did? I missed breakfast.”

“You’ll live.” I said breezily, turning around so we could walk to Transfiguration. I was still thinking of how James was smirking at me, though.

“Right, okay.” Sirius said. “I’m just telling you, this plan better be good.”

“It will be,” Henn said, grinning at me. “Just wait.”

She opened the door to the Transfiguration classroom, and we all walked inside. I sat by Henn, glancing at the seat that Gaby usually sat at, next to Grace. I was pretty sure she wouldn’t sit there, if she even showed up at all. James and Sirius went to sit in their seats also, James glancing at me for a moment as he did so. My heart gave a painful throb but I ignored it.

Soon enough, the people who ate breakfast were filing in, chatting to one another. Grace came in with Remus, cradled under his arm and clutching tightly to him. I found it cute but rather strange, since Grace hardly ever liked to depend on someone. She usually was the one comforting her friends and giving them advice, not the other way around.

“Sit with me.” I heard Grace say from the back of the room.

“But Gaby--” Remus started.

“She’s not going to sit with me.” Grace interrupted. “I know it, trust me.”

Remus was rather reluctant, but sat anyway beside his girlfriend, holding onto her hand. Peter walked inside and looked panicky once he saw that Remus was sitting with Grace; not knowing if he should go sit behind the other two Marauders by himself.

“Go ahead, Wormtail.” Remus said softly. “I promise to sit with you in Herbology, alright?”

“O-okay.” He stuttered. I looked hard at him as he sat down, looking jumpy. And I mean more than usual.

“Doesn’t Peter look a bit…twitchy today?” I asked uncertainly.

“Doesn’t he always?” Henn grinned. The grin slowly slid off her face though once Mcgonagall came in, closely followed by the last student of the class. Gaby wasn’t skipping class like Leah had suggested, but was now looking around the room, frowning and avoiding eye contact with any of us. She glared at Remus as she passed, probably for taking her seat although she probably wouldn’t even sit there anyway. That was how Gaby’s mind worked though…if she had arrived earlier and sat elsewhere, she’d be the one to hold the grudge. But this time Grace was the first offense, and Gaby had no choice but to sit in the only empty spot, which was by Peter.

The bell rang and Mcgonagall took attendance as she usually did. When Remus assured her that he was present though, her eyes roamed to the back of the room where he was situated. She said nothing however, since she wasn’t very big on seating charts. Her rule was if you could behave and pay attention to the lesson in the same time, it didn’t matter where you sat.

“Alright, today you all have a pop quiz.” Mcgonagall said, once she was done with the roll. The class groaned simultaneously, and Mcgonagall narrowed her eyes. “No complaining. This is a N.E.W.T.s class so this should be expected. First however, I am going to pass out your essays. This may relieve some of you…but a few have gotten abysmal grades. I’m ashamed to call you my advanced class, since everyone here should have gotten something close to perfect.” She cleared her throat, being straight to the point like she always was. I heard James snicker from the other side of the room.

She walked over to her desk where a pile of parchment was stacked, about a foot and a half high. “Ms. Evans, come here please and help me pass out your essays.”

I immediately left my desk and took the rolls of parchment she gave me, which I had to tilt my head to look at the name. I walked over to Patricia and handed her essay to her, then with a quick glance saw that my essay was next. I dropped it carelessly onto my desk and moved onto the next person, not really worrying about it.

After I was done with helping Mcgonagall with the papers, I sat down on my desk and carefully unrolled my parchment. My heart stopped. A big, red capital D was written on the top.

Dreadful. I had gotten a Dreadful on my paper.

“Ooh, I did much better than I thought.” Henn said happily to herself, and then tried to glance over at my paper discreetly. I rolled it up quickly and stuffed it in my bag, my eyes filling with tears.

How could I have done so horribly? I thought I had gotten it down right, I mean it was only on Animagi… I even exaggerated a bit and wrote another half page! I had never gotten a worse grade than an Acceptable, and I didn’t think I would now.

But what did I expect? Not this, I thought, even though Transfiguration was my worse subject. Was I really letting all this stress get to me? Dumbledore definitely wouldn’t make me Head Girl if he knew I was such a nut case.

I turned around, pretending to look at the clock but instead glancing around the room. Everyone looked pretty happy and relieved about his or her grades…except for Peter, who looked close to tears like I was. Gaby gave him a disgusted look, but looked pleased when she found out her grade.

“Class, settle down.” Mcgonagall said strictly. “Alright, now time for that pop quiz…”


“What did you get?” Henn asked eagerly at the end of class, where we walked to the back of the room to meet up with Grace and Remus. Gaby had already left in a hurry, glaring at us as she went but not talking to us, which was expected. I hitched my bag higher onto my shoulder and stared gloomily at the parchment that Grace was holding, as she showed Henn her grade. I noticed that she was considerably happier than that morning, as Henn widened her eyes in astonishment. “An Outstanding! How do you do it, Grace?”

“What did you get, Lily?” Remus asked. I looked up at him, opening and closing my mouth. I probably looked like a goldfish.

“Uh…” I said. I swallowed. “Um, what did you get, Remus?” I asked, throwing the question right back at him.

Remus didn’t look perturbed though. “An E.” he said nonchalantly, not getting very into it. He didn’t look too triumphant either. I love that guy.

“That quiz wasn’t too brutal either.” Grace said, as we walked out of the classroom and headed down towards Herbology. “I think I did alright on it.”

“Yeah, me too.” Henn agreed. They continued to chat, while Remus and I walked behind them.

“So, are you alright?” Remus asked softly. I didn’t know what he meant though, if it was the essay or the quiz. Because of this I started to tear up again.

“What do you mean?” I asked in a rather chocked voice. I coughed, trying to hide it.

“The whole dilemma between you three and Gaby.” He replied. Oh, that. Another worry, how great.

“I suppose I can’t really do anything about it.” I said slowly.

“You can apologize.” He offered. I scoffed.

“You don’t know Gaby, do you?” He smiled.

“Grace said that too.” He replied. He sighed, as we walked out onto the grounds towards the greenhouses. “I’m worried about her.”

“Yeah.” I said. “Me too.”

Remus glanced at Grace who was up ahead, but she wasn’t listening to what we were saying. “You know, she nearly started crying all over me at breakfast today.” He said in a low voice.

“She did yesterday.” I said. “It was sort of shocking, since I had never seen her cry before.”

“Yeah, that worries me too.” He said, frowning.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, I think that since she hardly ever shows any horrible emotion at all…when she really does need to she just…explodes.” He said slowly. “It’s overwhelming onto her.”

“I never thought about it that way.” I said thoughtfully. “I just thought she was a cold-hearted bitch.” I laughed, and so did he. Remus had a nice laugh.

“Seriously though,” he said, once he stopped laughing. “I really do hope you and Henn are alright.”

“Thanks.” I said, smiling at him. “That’s nice of you.”

He chuckled. “Just watching out for you guys.” He said softly, and then grinned at me. “So, are you sort of okay?”

Well, ignoring the fact that I was doing horribly in Transfiguration, the whole Gaby ordeal, and the wedding that was coming up that I still had not decided if I was to go or not, “Yeah.” I said, forcing a smile.

I’m not entirely sure if he believed me, since his smile faltered for a bit before returning to his face. “Good.” He said, nodding. He then speeded up so that he could walk next to Grace, putting an arm over her shoulder. She stopped talking to Henn momentarily and smiled at him, before continuing.

I sighed. At least Grace had Remus.


“She is the most stubborn person I have ever met.” Henn said, shaking her head. Gaby had just arrived in the Great Hall for dinner, quickly avoiding everyone’s gaze and swiftly taking the seat next to Kat. She didn’t look at us or even acknowledged our existence. “This is going to go on for a long time.”

And she was right. What if she held this grudge until the end of the year? What if we graduated without even speaking to one another? What if I was going to get married and I sent her an invitation, asking her to be one of my bridesmaids, and she didn’t even respond, or didn’t even go to the wedding? Well, I suppose that was unlikely since I would never get married. No one would want to stay the rest of his life with me, during sickness and in health, till death do us part. No one who was sane, that is.

I sighed. “Yeah, you’re right.” Henn didn’t seem to have heard me though, she was actually looking at someone sitting at the Hufflepuff table, and I had actually a pretty good idea of whom.

“Look at him,” she said in a low voice, narrowing her eyes as Jack laughed along with his friends. He looked fine. You wouldn’t even have known they had broken up. “I bet it’s one of those gits that are with him.” She was of course, referring to the girls that surrounded him and his friends, who were giggling madly and reminding me of James and Sirius with their usual cronies. I rolled my eyes but felt angry nevertheless.

“Do you even have a plan yet?” I asked, raising my eyebrow as Henn gritted her teeth, her hand twitching towards her wand.

“Not really.” Henn said nonchalantly, chewing extra hard on the meat she stuffed in her mouth. She swallowed, looking thoughtful. “Unless…”

“What?” I asked curiously. Henn widened her eyes suddenly, slapping her hands on the table with a loud smacking noise and leaning forward.

“Quick! Do you know anyone at the Hufflepuff table?” she hissed.

“Uh…”

“Oh! I know! Diggory, that dimwit will fall for anything.” She said, scratching her chin and answering her own question. “Okay, I’ll be right back.”

“Um--” I began, but she had already hopped off the bench was proceeding towards the Hufflepuff table, where Amos Diggory, another seventh year, was chatting with his friends and letting out his loud and rough laugh. He was rather dim, and was easily tricked. Most people didn’t cross him though because his dad worked for the Ministry, and could fire any of their parents in a heartbeat. He stopped chuckling at what his friend said when he saw that Henn was coming over, smiling at him. I smiled too; she was so evil.

I watched discreetly as she sat next to him and pretended to be flirting with Amos, her eyes darting towards Jack who was nearby every so often. He had just noticed that she was there, and had abruptly stopped talking once he saw that she looked at him. Jack’s friends all looked at Henn too, although that didn’t stop them from chatting. They probably didn’t know Henn was Gaby’s friend.

Diggory however, was laughing animatedly at whatever Henn had said, while his friends were let in on the joke. I caught Henn’s eye for a moment and she grinned.

“What’s your evil little friend doing now?”

I turned around and saw that Sirius had gotten up from his usual seat near James, Remus, and Peter, where Grace had decided to sit there also. I grinned as he smirked at me, sitting down.

“Noticed, did you?” I mused. Sirius’s lip curled as his eyes darted towards Henn, where she was now giggling in a very uncharacteristic way, while once again her eyes moved towards something Jack had said.

“Is Gaby still mad?” Sirius asked casually. My smile faded and I narrowed my eyes at his tone.

“Yes.” I said.

“Hm, figures.” I rolled my eyes at him.

“Don’t you ever show any emotion?” I asked coldly. “Like remorse, perhaps?” He grinned at me.

“No, not really.”

“You and Grace would do well.” I noted.

“We would, wouldn’t we?” he said amusedly. “But nah, Moony’s crazy about her.”

I laughed, just as Henn decided to say goodbye to Amos and return to the Gryffindor table. She sat down happily, grinning at us.

“Diggory, eh?” Sirius laughed. “Isn’t he a bit stupid for you?”

“Oh, shut up.” Henn said, as she stopped smiling and started to blush. “You guys know I wouldn’t go out with him.”

“Oh, really?” I teased. I looked over at Amos, who had a wide grin on his face as he talked to his friends. “I believe he thinks otherwise.” As I said this Sirius slapped both his hands at the sides of his face, fluttering his eyelashes as he pretended to be a girl.

“‘Oh, Amos! How strooooong you are!’”

“Stop.” Henn murmured, blushing. “Who do you think I am? Cecilia Love?”

“No, or else I’d be dating you.”

“Sirius!” I said, laughing.

“Okay, do you want to listen to what I saw or not?” Henn said crossly.

“Go ahead, dear.” Sirius said easily, leaning against the table and grinning. Henn pursed her lips, but said nothing.

“Alright, I think it’s one of the girls that was over there, cause she kept on touching his leg and smiling at him.” Henn said, pretending to gag. “It was disgusting.”

“Name, please?”

“I don’t know.” She said, frowning at Sirius. “We’ll have to figure that out.”

“Which one is it?” I asked, turning around in my seat so I could get a better look at the flock of girls that surrounded Jack and his friends. My eyes landed on a petite and thin blonde girl that was giggling and indeed touching his leg. My mouth dropped. “Henn! That’s Natalie!”

“Natalie, who’s she?”

“One of Aaron Smith’s cronies.” Sirius said grimly. “Hate that kid.”

I rolled my eyes, since Sirius’s hatred towards Aaron was common knowledge. “Remember, Henn? We sat with them at breakfast once.”

“I thought she was dating your ex.” Henn asked in a confused voice.

“You mean that French, scrawny, blonde kid?” Sirius said, his eyes lighting up. “The one that Prongs hated?”

“Yes.” I said, rolling my eyes, although deep down I sort of wished James was still jealous of my boyfriends.

“The one we played that one prank on?”

“You played a prank on him?” Henn asked incredulously. I smiled. Even though I wouldn’t admit it, whatever the prank was, it was good enough.

“Yep.” Sirius said proudly. “Let’s just say that’s one of the reasons that he broke up with you.”

“What?!”

“Whoa, I thought you liked Prongs now.” Sirius said, widening his eyes. I blushed.

“I do not.” I said indignantly. Sirius and Henn gave me the same annoying, knowing look. “Stop it!”

“Okay, after we’re done with this evil doing,” Sirius said, smirking at me then grinning at Henn. “I think we’re going to have to find a way to make James break up with Eve so he and Lily could get together.”

“That plan is already in process.” Henn said, grinning. I gaped at her, while Sirius laughed.

“Good.” Sirius said pleasantly.

“You guys, stop it.” I said through gritted teeth, my face getting redder by the second.

“It’s alright, love.” Sirius chuckled. “First, we got to get rid of the blonde twig.”

Henn cleared her throat. “How are we going to do it, though?”

“We can turn her hair blue.” Sirius said, taking his wand out of his pocket and taking aim on Natalie’s head. “With bronze streaks, since she’s a Ravenclaw and all.”

“No, we need something worse.” I said thoughtfully, furrowing my eyebrows.

“How about we turn her upside down like Snivelly so her knickers can be on display?” Sirius suggested in an innocent tone.

“No, that’ll be just for you and all the boys’ enjoyment.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“No, not really. She’s so skinny I hardly think it’ll be a good sight.” Sirius said, pocketing his wand. “I like a little meat on them--” he said, pinching my waist unexpectedly and making me jump. I glared at him, while both him and Henn laughed.

“Wait,” Henn said suddenly, widening her eyes as she grinned. “I have an idea.”

“Do you?” Sirius smiled.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Come here,” she said, making us lean closer so that it looked like we were huddling or something. “Listen up…”

Chapter 35: Chapter Thirty Five
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The plan was sort of brutal in my opinion, but Sirius and Henn quickly quieted me and said they were doing it no matter what. Sirius said he had detention the rest of the week and half of the next, so we would have to wait to proceed, since he said something along the lines of ‘There’s no way I’m missing out on this’.

Meanwhile, I was somehow surviving through the continuous battles throughout my head, telling me one thing then the other. The invitation of the wedding was still secure under my pillow, where I looked at it every night and wondered what I should do. Conveniently enough, (or not) Petunia’s wedding was set on one of the days I was on Easter break, something I found very unusual. I would think that Petunia would try her hardest so it would be nearly impossible for me to attend, but I suppose I was wrong. I wondered if Virginia was influencing her, and what was happening with my father at the moment. Maybe he was still acting cold and indifferent with Carrie, pretending his eldest daughter didn’t exist. Even though I always pretended that I didn’t care too much about him, it made me sad what my father was doing to himself and his family.

Although I wasn’t exactly killing myself, I was constantly during classes zoning out and wanting to cry, getting one bad grade after the next. During Transfiguration I had gotten another Dreadful on my pop quiz, and scrawled at the top in Mcgonagall’s handwriting was: See me after class.

I made some excuse that Mcgonagall was just giving me more Head Girl duties to Henn, who merely shrugged and exited the room with Grace and Remus. I delayed as long as possible with my bag until everyone had left the class room, Mcgonagall shuffling papers at her desk. I swallowed the lump in the back of my throat and hitched my bag over my shoulder, heading over to her. She didn’t look up at me.

I cleared my throat. “Um, Professor?”

She looked up at me. “Oh, yes. Ms. Evans.”

“You said you wanted to talk to me.”

“Yes, as a matter of fact I did.” She said sternly, adjusting her glasses and sitting down at her desk. She folded her fingers together and gave me a perturbing stare. “I think you can imagine what I want to talk to you about.”

“Yes.” I mumbled. Those damn Dreadful’s. Mcgonagall gave me a hard look.

“Ms. Evans, during the last six and a half years you have spent here, you have always given me exceptional grades,” Mcgonagall began. I lowered my head and looked at the ground, not willing to respond. “That is why when I found out you were applying for my N.E.W.T.s class, I wasn’t surprised in the slightest.”

She was starting to make me feel lower than myself, which was saying something. I kept my head down.

“But this year, you’re grades have been steadily dropping—”

“Professor,” I suddenly sputtered. “I’ll do better, I just misread some of the stuff…”

“That may be it,” Mcgonagall sighed. She adjusted her glasses again and looked at me, her look softening slightly. “Ms. Evans, I was just wondering if you were going through…let’s see—difficulties.” She seemed to get that last bit out slowly, as if she wasn’t used to doing this often. My eyes filled with tears, so I looked down again.

“No, Professor.” I murmured. “Nothing besides academic.”

I could feel her eyes on me, but she seemed to finally believe me. “Alright, Ms. Evans.” She said, taking a deep breath. “You may go.”


I was going crazy. There was no other explanation. I could see Henn talking beside me but I couldn’t hear a word she was saying. My hand was holding my fork in midair but I wasn’t anywhere near eating anything. My stomach felt hollow, my head felt hollow, my gaze did too. I stared at the table counter, not really looking at it.

Even the teachers were starting to notice something was wrong with me. My teachers just started to catch on, while my father didn’t even know. He didn’t know what I was going through, even though I was supposed to be his daughter. He was supposed to be taking care of me. But he didn’t. He didn’t even try.

My eyesight was fogging up, and I blinked, trying to hold the tears back. Remus was looking at me oddly, making me uncomfortable to see that he had noticed something different about me. I cleared my throat suddenly. “I…er—need to go to the loo. Excuse me.”

I could feel Henn and Grace staring at me, Gaby did too when I passed her at her spot next to Leah and Kat. I fumbled with my fingers as I clutched my wrist, needing badly to do something to it.

I stumbled into the bathroom, stuffing myself in a stall and locking the door quickly behind me. I sat on the toilet seat and looked at my wrist, rolling my sleeves up. I wasn’t necessarily doing anything bad…I mean it was only a rubber band. Okay, so it would hurt a little. But it’d heal the next day, no big deal.

I started to snap it over and over again, but found that it wasn’t enough. I tried harder so it would be more effective. It still didn’t work.

“Damn it,” I cried, wiping the tears off my face and flicking my wrist continuously. It was very pink now; I could almost feel my skin tearing. Soon enough, I started bleeding, only a little, but still satisfactory. For some reason I had an evil satisfaction as I looked at its reddish color, the little blood marks which I quickly wiped away with my sleeve. My wrist was stinging now, but only a little. I pushed my sleeves down again and quietly left the stall, stopping to look myself in the mirror.

I was getting worse and worse, you could see it in my face. I was almost scary to look at. I wasn’t taking care of my skin or hair, making me look pasty and my hair greasy. I had hastily put my auburn locks in a bun, without even brushing it. My skin was oily under my eyes and nose, and my eyes were sunken in because of my dark circles. My lip quivered. My eyes…

I leaned in closer, so that my nose was touching the mirror. I stared at my own eyes, seeing hurt and sadness in them. I always had liked my eyes; they were a different green, brighter than most greens. But now…they were dull, lifeless. There was no sparkle in them. They hardly seemed green anymore; they looked more like murky, grassy water.

I started to cry again, my eyes looking even more horrible because now they were red. I forced myself to turn around and slid down to the floor, clutching my face.

What was happening to me?


“Lily, are you okay?”

I looked up at Remus’s worried face. He had stayed with Grace, even though everyone else had already left after the prefect meeting. I had to stay another hour or so with James, (Lucky me) so that we could decide what we were going to do about the Graduation Ball. I was relieved to let my mind think about something other than having to stay another hour with James, but even the sight of Remus wanted to make me cry.

“Yes,” I said, smiling. I knew it was a false one. “Why?”

“You haven’t been yourself lately.” Grace said, biting my lip. I wanted to scream at her for saying that. How did she even know how I really was? She had met me when I was eleven, when I was already screwed up. By then, I was already not myself.

“I’m just tired, is all.” I said, stretching my arms. “And I’m not looking forward to all these preparations I have to make.” I glanced at James who was by the door, talking to Eve. My mood worsened. Unconsciously I reached under the desk and flicked my wrist with the rubber band, which I kept on me all times. It was a habit now.

Remus gave me a searching look, and I knew that he knew I was lying. He was smarter than that.

“Seriously, I’m fine.” I said, as they both continued to look unconvinced. “Just go on, I want to get this done quickly and you guys are going to distract me.”

“Okay.” Grace said slowly. “I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, Lily.” Remus said, waving before heading off into the hallway with Grace. I sighed and leaned back in my chair, my head pounding. As Remus and Grace left, Eve saw this as a sign that she should go too, so she did. I noticed that she looked a bit peeved, something that wasn’t very Eve-ish.

“Ready?” James sulked, looking quite annoyed also. He pulled out a chair and sat in front of me, taking out some things out of his bag. “Okay, well I have some ideas that I jotted down a few days ago…take a look at them.”

If this was before, I’d be surprised that James was actually doing his job without anybody telling him to, but this was now, and nothing seemed interesting anymore.

“Okay.” I said, without another comment. I took the paper he gave me, while he raised his eyebrow.

“No nasty comments?” he asked, almost as if he was relieved.

“Nope.”

“None at all?”

“Do you want me to say something, Potter?” I snapped. He smiled.

“That’s more like it.” I ignored the flutter in my stomach.

“Professor Dumbledore told me that we couldn’t decorate the Ball in any House colors,” I said after reading the list of things he had written down, which were actually quite good. “So we can’t put up red and white banners.”

“Why can’t we use House colors?” James asked incredulously.

“He said that the Ball has to be neutral to all Houses.”

“He’s off his rocker.” James said, rolling his eyes and leaning back in his chair. “Okay…how about light blue and white banners? And then we could do that silver confetti that Dumbledore was talking about earlier.”

“Okay.” I said, shrugging and giving him back the list. “What else?”

James looked taken aback. “What do you mean?”

“Do you have any other ideas?” I asked, clarifying what I meant.

“Well…” he said slowly. “Don’t you?”

“No.”

“Are you alright, Evans?” he asked, furrowing his eyebrows.

I hated how everyone was asking me that lately.

No.” I growled, without thinking about it. James gave me a perplexed look, and I quickly added, “Sorry, I’m just really tired right now.”

“It’s nine o’ clock.” James said, tilting his wristwatch at me.

“Yes, and I’m just not sleeping well lately, alright?” I snapped. “What’s everyone’s problem?”

James sat upright in his chair, giving me a confused look. “Why aren’t you sleeping well?”

Merlin. “Just because.” I said nastily. James’s lip curled.

“Any more hallucinations?” he asked in a would-be-innocent voice. I glared at him.

“I never had a hallucination and you know it.”

“How would I know?” he asked amusedly. “All you said was that you saw a stag, and that’s impossible…”

I rubbed my temples, trying to calm down. “Potter, I don’t want to talk about this.”

He raised his eyebrow at me. I never gave in that easily to a fight, especially one with him. “Are you sure nothing’s wrong?”

“James!” I hissed. “Just leave me alone!”

“Okay, okay.” James said, looking taken aback as he put his hands up in defensive. He was annoying me more and more by the second. I flicked my wrist under the table again. “Just making sure…”

I groaned, knocking my head on the table and pressing my forehead against the wood. I knew that James was probably looking at me oddly, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t do this right now.

I sat up. “I have to go.” I said, getting out of my seat and hitching my bag over my shoulder. James looked up at me incredulously.

“Have to go?” he repeated disbelievingly. “Lily, we have work to do.”

I looked at him, and I noticed that he was just starting to see the change in me. I wasn’t the old Lily anymore. I was worse, far worse. I took a deep breath.

“I don’t care.” I said, as I walked out of the classroom and into the hall. And I truly was saying what I thought. I meant what I said. I didn’t care what he thought, I didn’t care what the teachers thought. I didn’t care what my dad or Virginia thought of me.

I really didn’t.


I opened the door to our dorm and groaned inwardly once I saw that Grace and Henn were both in there, giggling at something they were reading in Witch Weekly. I went over to my bed and threw myself onto it, hoping they would ignore me. Of course, I had forgotten that Henn and Grace were my friends, and they were good ones too.

“How did it go?” Grace asked interestedly. “Got much done?”

“No, not really.” I replied tiredly. “You know Potter, slacking off as usual.”

I felt slightly guilty, since James was the only one who had contributed to the Head Boy and Girl meeting. While that, I hadn’t done anything useful. Apparently however, it was a good lie because none of them looked suspicious.

“That’s James.” Henn mused. “Hey, do you want to come here and read with us?”

She was being kind, knowing that I had probably had a bad time at the meeting with Potter, which I did, and she wanted to cheer me up. I got up from my bed and walked into the bathroom. “Not now, Henn.” I said, somewhat coldly. I glanced at her and saw that she looked slightly hurt, but quickly pushed it out of my mind. I seized my toothbrush and rolled up my sleeves, starting to brush my teeth. Soon enough, Henn followed me in, taking her own toothbrush.

“I heard that we get our tests back from Flitwick.” She said conversationally, although she still looked somewhat offended. She was annoying me more and more by the second. “You probably did really good.”

Now she was trying to flatter me so that I wouldn’t be in such a bad mood. I spat into the sink, washing my mouth. The water hit my wrist and I drew back quickly, since it stung.

“You okay?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow and still holding her toothbrush in her hand.

“Yeah.” I said, grimacing. Henn’s eyes traveled downwards towards my wrist, stopping there. She stared at it.

“You have a bruise there,” Henn said, pointing at my wrist. Suddenly she took my wrist and looked closely at it. Her eyes lingered for a moment on the rubber band I had on. She stared at me. “How did you get that?”

“I dunno.” I lied, shrugging. “I probably bumped into something but I don’t remember.”

“You bumped your wrist against something?”

“Yes.” I spat. “Is that a problem?” Henn scowled at me.

“No, I just think it’s weird, that’s all.” She replied crossly. “What’s wrong with you?”

“There’s nothing wrong with me.” I snapped, turning my back and getting out of the room. “Nothing except that you’re terribly annoying.”

“Annoying? I didn’t even do anything except ask why you have a bruise.” Henn said defensively. “It’s not my fault you’re acting like a prat.”

“I’m not acting like a prat!”

“What’s going on?” Grace asked.

“Nothing.” I said nastily, and stormed over to my bed. I shut the four-poster forcefully, so I wouldn’t have to look at anyone.

My anger was bubbling inside of me. It was only a matter of time before I completely blew it.


Henn was hardly talking to me now. The only time she would say something to me was when she asked stiffly what our homework was, or if she could borrow my textbook. I would always grudgingly respond her, although we both knew that each other’s company wasn’t pleasant anymore. When I was actually making sense it saddened me a little, since Henn and I had never gotten into a serious argument or fight before. I had never spent so much time without having a real conversation with her.

My grades were still dropping, even though I was trying my hardest in everything. Even in Charms I had gotten merely an ‘Acceptable’, when usually I got an ‘E’ or an ‘O’. I was getting mad at the world, and everyone who was in it.

One night, when I was in the common room by myself, sitting in the corner and staring blankly at my book, I was surprised when someone decided to sit across from me. I looked up and saw that it was Sirius. Figures. Only a mad man like him would want to sit with a girl who was completely out of her mind right now. At this point everyone thought I was slightly insane for two reasons: 1.) The whole ‘hallucination’ deal, and 2.) I didn’t talk to anyone anymore, just sat by myself in the common room, thinking of my doom.

“How are you, Evans?” he asked merrily. I stared at him with the clear indication that I did not want to talk to anybody right now, but he didn’t seem to get the message or just ignored it. “Can I have a word?”

What?” I said through gritted teeth. He raised his eyebrows at me.

“Well, well, Evans.” He said, shaking his head and tutting at me. “You mustn’t be so moody all the time.”

“And you mustn’t be a git all the time.” I retorted irritably.

Sirius grinned at me, leaning back so that he was supported on the hind legs of his chair. “Alright, alright. I won’t be a git, if you’re not being moody. Deal?”

I grunted in reply, which made his grin widen. “Okay. Listen, yesterday was my final detention, so we can go through with the plan tonight.”

“Tonight?” I asked tiredly. “Why tonight?”

“Because I want to do this as soon as possible.” Sirius said briskly. I raised my eyebrow.

“Why?”

Sirius paused for a moment, looking thoughtful. “Because it’ll be fun.” He finally said, but I distinctly saw him glance at Gaby afterwards.

“Fine, whatever.” I snapped. “Go get Henn then.”

“Wonderful.” He said happily, and then went go get Henn by the fireplace, where she was talking to Leah and Kat.

“Just a second,” Sirius said once Henn had come over, and we were both standing by the portrait hole. There were only a few people in the common room at this time of night, since it was around midnight and we had school the next day. We watched in silence as Sirius went over to James, who was frustratingly doing his homework, but stopped to listen to him. He rolled his eyes and nodded, Sirius scrambling up to the boys’ dormitories. James closed his book and went over to us, frowning.

“I’m really not in the mood for this.” He said, digging his hands inside his pockets as Henn and I glared at him.

“Neither are we.” We said at the same time, and then quickly covered our mouths. James watched in confusion as Henn and I narrowed our eyes at one another then quickly looked away.

“Here we are!” Sirius said jovially as he reappeared at the foot of the staircase, something bulging in front of his chest. The few people that were still doing their homework or studying jumped and turned around to stare at him, since he was being so loud. I rolled my eyes.

Sirius seemed to be the only one that was being enthusiastic about the whole thing. I asked him what was underneath his robes but he just shoved me out of the common room instead.

“Lily dear, you’ll see.” He said, grinning at me. I saw James’s jaw tighten.

“What are you four doing out here?” The Fat Lady snapped once she saw that we were coming out. She narrowed her eyes as she saw Sirius and James. “Not going down to the grounds again, are you? An old lady at the entrance hall told me she saw you sneaking down there.”

“Don’t worry, my lady, we’re just going for a little stroll.” Sirius said, giving her a ridiculous bow. James rolled his eyes as Henn grinned, and I just crossed my arms, saying nothing.

“I’m warning you, Black!” we heard her call out as we turned the corner. He stopped us as we came in front of the tapestry, which lead to the other parts the school.

“Alright, come here.” Sirius said, taking out a silvery cloak from under his robes. “We have to get under this.”

“Wait, is that a—” Henn started, but I already knew what Sirius was holding. It was James’s invisibility cloak, the one he had saved me from Filch in.

“Yep.” Sirius said, grinning.

“How did you get it?”

“It’s not his.” James and I said simultaneously. I blushed, as James looked quickly at the ground.

“Well, I don’t really want to know what you two were doing under here,” Sirius said mischievously, as Henn laughed loudly. “Shh, Henn. We’re out over curfew, remember?”

“Sorry.” Henn said, grinning. “Are we all going to fit under there?”

“We’ll have to.” Sirius said, shrugging. “It’ll be awfully slow work, though. Okay, now get in.”

He threw the cloak over us, but it was very small for all four of us. We crammed underneath it, making sure it covered our feet.

“James, get behind Lily.”

“No.” James said defiantly, blushing.

“Yes. I don’t want you standing right behind me—”

“Sirius, shut up!” I said, blushing also.

“Well, it’s true. Honestly, we’re both guys, I don’t want him to be pressing against me with his—”

“Sirius!”

“Sorry, Lil.” Sirius grinned at me.

“Okay, okay, I get it…” James muttered, and got behind me. This really wasn’t going to work, since I could smell him really well from here.

“Alright, moving…” Sirius whispered as he moved the tapestry out of the way.

It was real slow progress. When I was underneath the cloak with only James, there was plenty of room. But with Henn in front of me, giggling with Sirius, and James right behind me…it was getting unbearable how crammed we were.

“This isn’t working.” I finally panted as we moved down the staircase onto the third floor.

“Hold on, we’re almost there…”

In silence, we slowly made our way down to the entrance hall, taking a left into the door that led to the kitchens.

“Can we take this off now?” James moaned. I knew he was just as uncomfortable as me.

I saw Sirius look to the sides, scanning the hall we were in, that lead to the kitchens. “Alright.” He finally said. “Coast is clear.”

We gladly ripped the cloak off of us, making sure that we were far apart enough. James was at a completely different side from me, as Henn and Sirius exchanged annoyingly knowing looks.

We reached the portrait at the end of the hall, Sirius tickling the pear. He took a hold of the knob and pulled it open.

It wasn’t surprising anymore the way the house-elves moved about in the kitchens, squealing in delight once they saw that they had visitors.

“Sir, would you like something?” the nearest one squeaked to Sirius, who grinned.

“Yes…I was wondering if I could look at what you were serving for breakfast?”

The house-elf looked at him curiously. “Well, yes, sir. I suppose you could…”

We scrambled after the wobbling little creature, who reached the cabinet on the other side of the room and opened it. Each shelf had hundreds of pastries, cereal bowls, donuts, and porridge…

“Maybe this is a little mean.” I said uncertainly as the elf left us to it.

“Not at all.” Henn said, while Sirius and her ignored James and I. They were pointing their wands at the food and muttering incantations.

“C’mon,” Henn said irritably.

I sighed. Well, whatever, right?


I woke up the next day and strode over to the bathroom, avoiding my reflection and brushing my teeth to my back to it. As usual, Henn came in wordlessly, pretending I wasn’t there as I pretended she wasn’t there either. Grace had already left of course, probably with Remus down to breakfast, having no idea what was going to happen that morning.

Henn left without saying anything, leaving me alone. I took three rubber bands from my drawer and put them around my wrist before taking off.

I was surprised to see Sirius waving me over when I walked into the Great Hall, where he was sitting next to his usual gang and Henn. I sighed and moved into the seat he saved for me, grinning. “Can’t let you miss the show, eh?” he said eagerly.

“What show?” Remus asked as Grace raised her eyebrow at me. I pretended to look just as clueless as she and took the nearest bowl of porridge towards me.

“What did you guys do?” Peter asked, looking slightly hurt that he was left out of a prank.

“You’ll see.” Sirius said proudly, and both him and Henn turned completely around in their seats, waiting for a certain girl to come into the Great Hall with a certain boy.

Natalie and Jack came in simultaneously, giggling and holding each other. Natalie looked very smug, making me want to throw something at her. She’d get what she deserved though, sooner or later.

I glanced at Gaby, who once seeing Jack enter the Great Hall, quickly turned in her seat and looked at her cereal instead. Grace was starting to put two and two together, since her eyes were slowly narrowing as they followed Natalie and Jack’s steps. She turned to me, scowling.

“What did you guys do?” she hissed at me. I said nothing, since I was completely concentrating on Natalie, who was sitting down now.

“This is it,” Henn breathed. Sirius’s grin was fading from his face as he continuously glanced at Gaby, then back to Natalie and Jack.

At first I wondered if it worked, but a moment later, when Natalie was reaching towards the porridge that was in front of her, smirking at something Jack had said, the porridge came at her instead; slowly levitating into the air.

People around her, including Jack, stopped in mid conversation. They were all staring at the bowl, which Natalie was aimlessly still reaching out for onto the table, although it was far from it. I held my breath as I watched the bowl high above her head slowly tip over.

SPLASH. The whole thing came pouring over her head, and she shrieked. The Hall went silent, the whole Hufflepuff table turning in their seats to look at her as her scalp started to burn.

“Aargh!!” she screamed.

“Oh my god.” Gaby said in a would-be-silent voice, except that no one was speaking in the Great Hall, so it was quite otherwise.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Soon the pitcher of orange juice was zooming at Jack, spilling its contents onto him. The school watched in horror as every kind of food or drink was thrown at them without warning; the jam, which spread itself magically across Natalie’s face, the milk, which was poured into Jack’s shirt, and the various kinds of toast, which threw themselves at their bodies.

Sirius couldn’t stop himself from laughing, and soon enough, other people started to too. The High Table was in confusion, the teachers still stunned for any kind of authorized response. Actually, for a moment I looked at Dumbledore and it seemed like he was restraining himself from smiling. He unmistakably looked at the Marauders, and me, and his eyes twinkled with amusement.

He’s a strange man, Dumbledore.

“Jack!” Natalie shrieked. “Jack, do something!”

But Jack didn’t know what to do, so he did the only thing he could do; he ran.

No joke. He ran out of there so fast like he had seen a ghost or something. His face pale, (Except for the marmalade plastered on his face, that is) he was chased out of the Hall with the food trailing behind him, not only by the food we had jinxed, but by the stuff people were now throwing at them, purely out of amusement. Soon enough Natalie had run after him, screaming something about lunatics while a loaf of bread continuously beat her on the head.

Finally, the teachers thought they should do something. Professor Sprout ran after them, while Professor Mcgonagall muttered incantations under her breath to stop the food in midair, making them fall to the ground unceremoniously. The whole Great Hall was laughing now, screaming to imitate Natalie’s shrieks.

“Vengeance,” Sirius said, stretching his arms and leaning back casually against the bench. “Is sweet.”

“Very sweet.” Henn grinned. I wasn’t listening to them; I was looking at Gaby, who looked too stunned for any response. Soon enough though, her lips curled into an unmistakable smile. Sirius noticed this too, and his own grin faltered slightly.

I was positive that was Sirius’s real goal anyway.

Chapter 36: Chapter Thirty Six
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A/N: Okay. Here it is...Chapter Thirty-Six! Voila! You'll probably kill me by the end of it... *Grins sheepishly* Sorry about that. You'll see what I mean...the scene that follows it is very, very good though. One of my favorities, if I do say so myself. Oh, and just so you know...I'm going to edit like crazy some time soon, (well maybe not that soon, but whatever)meaning the chapters are going to be changed and all that. I noticed, (too late, I admit) that the chapters are all different sizes, and I want them to be sort of similiar, you know? Anyway, enough ranting. Here we go...the long-awaited chapter.


Another week passed by, April strolling in. The teachers were piling us with even more homework than usual, insisting that we wouldn’t do well on our N.E.W.T.s exam unless we started to shape up on our work. This caused me to get even more jittery than usual, since I wasn’t doing very well in my classes. Well, that was no surprise.

As for Jack and Natalie, they seemed to be permanently traumatized. They would show up at the meals in the Great Hall very late, when almost everyone was finished. I suspected they thought something disastrous would happen to them again. When Sirius noticed this he laughed in a little evil way and glared at the two, as if to say that they were probably right if they didn’t watch their backs. Gaby seemed extremely pleased by this idea, and knew that we were somehow involved in it. The Marauders were infamous this way, and she knew that her friends would’ve helped somehow if they could.

So naturally, she apologized to us.

It was very relieving, really. She had come towards us during breakfast, where we were sitting by the Marauders, which was sort of a habit now. (We had gotten to be better friends with both Sirius and Remus) Grace stopped talking with Remus immediately as she noticed her coming, and couldn’t help smiling.

“Look.” She whispered to me. I turned around and saw Gaby walking straight towards us. I watched from the corner of my eye Sirius stop chewing for a moment on his food, but then quickly turned so that he was able to talk to James still, who was smirking in a knowing way to his friend.

“Hi.” Gaby said quietly, stopping in front of us. She was still looking slightly solemn, like she always would when she was about to apologize. Gaby hated apologizing, like me.

“Hi.” Grace said, raising an eyebrow.

We all waited to see who would speak first. Grace, of course, took the initiative. “Gaby,” she sighed. “We’re really sorry.”

Gaby blinked, looking like she was going to cry again. “I know,” she said softly. “Me too.”

I stood up, without even thinking, and hugged her. Gaby looked rather surprised, since we weren’t holding any grudges and were already taking her back into our group. She smiled anyway though, laughing and hugging me back. Soon Henn and Grace were getting up too, hugging us both.

“Oh, how touching.” Sirius sighed in a mock girly voice from behind us. Henn laughed, looking back at him.

“Oh shut up.” She grinned, as we all let go of Gaby and sat down on the same bench. “You’re just jealous cause you don’t get a hug too.”

“So true.” Sirius smirked. I saw him glance at Gaby, and then quickly resume his conversation with James. It was rather funny, since James had nothing to say, and it looked like Sirius was talking to himself. I looked at Gaby, who was staring at Sirius until she got his attention. Sirius seemed to be avoiding any eye contact though.

“Sirius,” Gaby said softly, yet loud enough to hear. I watched as Sirius froze in mid sentence, turning around to look at her hand, which was on his own. “I want to thank you too.”

He didn’t blush, (Because later when we discussed this, Sirius had said gruffly, “I do not blush.”) but his cheeks did get a tint of pink. He muttered a “No problem,” then quickly retrieved his hand, looking down at the table as he drained his orange juice.

The post came and I found out that I had gotten yet another invitation from Petunia, with a phone number scrawled inside this time.

I hid it in my pocket, forcing a grin at Remus as he cracked a joke with me. Everything was almost perfect.

Almost.


With Gaby back, our friendship with one another seemed even stronger than before, especially now that Henn and I were talking again. We had both seen the whole fight as a warning not to start our own, so we were both in good terms again, with a silent agreement that is. Now, there were only a few things for me to resolve.

James, I had seen was a lost cause. He was dating Eve, and I could nothing about it. I decided to take Grace’s advice and try to forget about him. After all, I’d just get hurt even more otherwise. Besides, he hardly seemed to care, so what would be the point? I carefully avoided his eye contact and tried to stop thinking about him in my head. Hey, it was a start.

Then there was the wedding, that I was still trying to decide if I should attend to it or not. I tried consulting my friends on this one, since I really had no idea what to do.

“Well, Lily. I know that you and your sister aren’t exactly on the best of terms,” Grace said one breakfast, after yet another invitation had arrived, as if to remind me of what was to come in a few weeks. “But you two are family. I’d say even more so that my sister and I, since you don’t have your mother with you.”

I swallowed the lump in my throat and nodded. I looked down at my porridge, while James stared at me uncertainly. I couldn’t bring myself to say what I wanted to tell them all for so long; that my mother was not dead at all, and that she was actually the woman hosting the wedding for my sister.

“Right.” I said.

“It shouldn’t be too bad, right?” Henn said uncertainly, since she didn’t know how bad it was going to be at all.

“And you’re still sisters.” Gaby said. “Regardless if you hate one another or not.”

Just as I was going to open my mouth to say something like, ‘Yeah, whatever’, Sirius interrupted me. “Sort of sounds like my brother and me.” Sirius said cheerily. I raised my eyebrow at him.

“You have a brother?”

“Yep. You’ve met him too. He was that bloke in the hospital wing, remember?”

Henn accidentally spat her pumpkin juice. “He was your brother?” she asked incredulously.

Even though it seemed like a rather unbelievable thing, since the boy in the Hospital Wing was from Slytherin and Sirius hated Slytherins, it did actually make a little sense. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen the resemblance before; they had the same stylish, black locks, the same way of holding themselves, and the same handsome features. Personality wise however, they were quite different.

“Well, you did say that he was part of your family.” Grace said conversationally. “I expected him to be more like a cousin or something, like that Bellatrix girl in Slytherin.”

“She’s not my only cousin.” Sirius said, frowning. “Narcissa goes here too, she’s a third year, and so does my cousin Andromeda, but she’s a nice girl.”

“Andromeda, she’s a fifth year prefect, isn’t she?” I asked. “Yes, she is nice. She’s in Ravenclaw though…”

Sirius laughed. “Yep, we’re both considered blood traitors to not be in Slytherin.” I noticed he was wearing a pained sort of smile.

“Let’s not talk about your family, Sirius.” James suddenly said grimly. “Always makes me feel sick.”

“Yeah, yeah…”

There was an awkward silence. “Uh…” Grace finally said. “I think I’m going to go now. I have to go to the library.”

“Again?” I asked. She had been in the library practically every day now, although no one really knew why. When we asked her she’d mutter absentmindedly something about homework, although when I’d offer to help her out, (or ask her to help me out) she’d always refuse.

“Want me to come along?” Remus asked, raising his eyebrows.

“Oh, Remus. You’re so kind.” Sirius said, battering his eyelashes at him. Remus rolled his eyes.

“It’s alright.” Grace said uncomfortably. “I’ll…see you guys later.”

“I’d keep my eye on your gal if I were you, Moony.” James said briskly, taking a sip of his chocolate milk. “You never know what she’s doing in the library so much…”

“I doubt that she’s snogging someone senseless, if that’s what you mean.” Henn said coolly.

James smirked. “You never know.” He said, shrugging. I was about to open my mouth to say something when I suddenly remembered I wasn’t supposed to making any sort of contact with him, verbal or not.

Sirius seemed to notice my hold of tongue. “No verbal assaults on the defensive of your friend, Lily dear?” he asked amusedly. I scowled at him.

“I think we all know how responsible and loyal Grace is.” I replied coldly. Remus smiled at me and put an arm around my shoulders, earning a scolding look, I noticed, from James.

“It’s alright, Lil. I don’t believe all the rubbish they say.” Remus said, chuckling. I gave him a weak smile.

“Hey, Sirius.” Gaby said nonchalantly, looking at him above her coffee mug. “I was wondering if you could help me with that Charms homework Flitwick gave us yesterday?”

“Why ask Sirius,” James asked incredulously. “When Lily’s right here—”

Ignoring my constant inner battle with myself, I kicked him under the table, causing him to howl in pain. Gaby ignored him, and I looked at Sirius, who frowned.

“James is right, though.” Sirius said slowly. “Lily’s the best one in our class.” He glanced at me, his lip curling. “Don’t flatter yourself, Evans.”

“Wasn’t going to.” I said, narrowing my eyes at him. It would be too suspicious if I kicked him too.

“Yes, I know.” Gaby said, smiling at me. “But I already asked her, and she has enough to think about as it is. So I was wondering, since you’re not too bad with Charms yourself, if you could help me out.”

Henn was uncharacteristically quiet, trying to hide a smile as she bent over her porridge. Remus was looking at the Daily Prophet, not really paying attention to any of us.

“Sure.” Sirius finally said, although it seemed like he really was trying to avoid it. “I can meet you in the library after dinner, if you like.”

“That would be great.” Gaby said, grinning at him.

“What’s so interesting, in that paper, eh?” James asked interestedly to Remus, who had hidden himself behind the paper and occasionally hitting me with it since I was next to him.

“Another muggle attack.” Remus muttered, but only I heard him. I widened my eyes and scooted next to him, so I could read what he was reading.

“What was that?” Henn asked, furrowing her eyebrows. “Another attack?”

“Look for yourself.” Remus said, frowning. He spread the paper on the table and all of us bent over to read it. Peter, I noticed, mumbled something about having to go to the Hospital Wing and didn’t get a chance to see the title.

“Oh no.” Henn said softly.

The headline was: YOU-KNOW-WHO STRIKES AGAIN.

“Who’s—” I began, but Sirius quickly shushed me as we all read it silently.


It is recently to be believed that the continuous attacks on the non-magical community (Commonly known as Muggles) are somehow linked to one another, possibly, and probably, at the hands of Dark wizards.

When Ministry Official, Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody was questioned about these attacks, he proposed the idea that the attacks were the work of the same Dark Wizarding group, given the deadly nickname of Death Eaters.

“Well of course it’s the same Death Eaters who are the cause of these attacks,” said Moody, when we asked him if there could possibly be another answer to this mystery, “No one knows who’s the leader though, do they? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

When the surviving victims were brought into the Ministry for questioning, they all have the same look of terror, and always refuse to say who had caused the havoc. All the victims have called the man ‘You-Know-Who’, or ‘He-who-must-not-be-named’. This could possibly be the effect of a curse put upon the victims that does not allow them to give the name of the wizard.

Coincidence or not, there has recently been attacks on Ministry officials, who have all died untimely deaths. None have survived to be brought into questioning, although investigations have already been made.



“That’s horrible.” Gaby said finally, touching her stomach as if she was feeling sick.

“I wonder who this could be.” I said faintly. “I mean, who could do all of this?”

“Probably some pure blood maniac.” James said darkly, as Remus folded the paper carefully and tucked it in his school bag. “Practically all pure bloods hate muggles and muggle borns.”

I saw everyone’s gaze flicker towards me as he said this, making me scowl and look at my breakfast instead.


“Hello.” Henn said later that night in our dormitory, as Grace came in, looking very tired. She didn’t seem to be paying much attention though, since she closed the door and slowly walked to her own bed. Henn scowled at her. “Uh…Grace?”

Grace jumped at being addressed, stopping halfway in pulling her robes over her head. “Oh, sorry.” She said, shaking her head and taking her robes off and changing into her pajamas. “I’m a little out of it.”

“Tired, are you?” I asked, raising my eyebrow.

“Yeah…” Grace said slowly, and then plopped on her bed. She looked to the side. “Where’s Gaby?”

“Getting tutored by Sirius.” Henn said, her lip curling. Grace didn’t look as amused however.

“Okay.” She said, rolling to her side.

“Grace, are you okay?”

Grace looked distractedly at me. “Yes.”

“Well, listen up then.” Henn said, and then jumped on Grace’s bed, making her groan. She told Grace all about the story in the newspaper, and by the end of it she widened her eyes.

“Do you really think the attacks are linked?” Grace asked, sitting up and looking intently at both of us.

“It seems like it.” I sighed.

“That’s horrible.” Grace said faintly. She looked at her palms for a while, and then quickly shot her head up at me. “Lily…are you going to the wedding?”

I looked at her oddly, sinking into my pillows and unconsciously flicking my wrist with my rubber band. I had thought about it a lot, but I still was very clueless in what to do. I reached under my pillow and took out the invitation. I looked at it, hard.

“Yes.” I finally said hoarsely.

“Really?” Henn asked incredulously. I looked up at her.

“You guys are right.” I said slowly. “I need to confront my sister.” And my mother.

“Lily, that’s great.” Henn said, smiling at me. Grace however, looked grim.

“Be careful.” She said, and I knew why.

“Not all muggle villages are attacked.” I said reasonably.

“I know.” Grace said, sighing. “But still.”

“Grace—” I began, but abruptly stopped. Someone was racing up the stairs, slamming the door open shortly afterwards.

“Oh my god.” Gaby panted, her chest heaving up and down as she clutched a stitch in it. She was leaning against the doorframe, and was for some reason grinning widely.

“Are you okay?” I asked, looking questionably at her. She wiped the sweat off her forehead and beamed at me.

“Yes, but you’ll be even better.” She said happily. Both Henn and Grace had gotten up from their beds, and were now giving her curious looks. I raised my eyebrows at her incredulously.

“What do you—?”

“Lily,” Gaby said, taking a deep breath. “James just broke up with Eve.”


My heart pounding, I looked at James. He was just sitting there, taking notes, which was very uncharacteristic of him. Mcgonagall droned on and on, but I didn’t take in a thing. What did it matter? I sucked at Transfiguration anyway.

Did he have that heart-broken break up look? Or did he have a relieved look on his face? Did he even look like he was broken up with someone?

Oh my god. I think I’m going to freak out.

“Ms. Evans.” Mcgonagall suddenly said, and I jumped as I noticed that she was right in front of my desk. I tried to look innocent and not blush when James and the whole class looked at me. Mcgonagall’s lips were tight, and she looked grim. “I was under the impression that you were not paying attention.”

“No, I was.” I said quickly. Maybe a little to quickly, actually.

Mcgonagall took out her wand and slapped it on my pile of parchment. “Let me see your notes.” She said sternly.

I fumbled with my fingers and turned the nearest one over, but of course there was nothing written. Her lips grew even thinner, and she lectured me for about ten minutes.

Wow, she could be a real bitch sometimes.

“Do I make myself clear?” she said, making me hit reality again.

“Yes.” I said sulkily. She narrowed her eyes at me and went back to the blackboard. From the corner of my eye I saw Sirius laughing. I scowled and sunk deeper in my seat, grudgingly taking out my quill and copying what she had written.


“When are you going to do something?”

I gave Henn an exasperated look. “Henn, I don’t even know if he likes me anymore.”

“Of course he does.” She said impatiently. “Why else would he break up with Eve?”

“You don’t know if he broke up with her.” I said, opening my little poem book and trying to ignore her.

“Right.” Henn snorted. “Like Eve would break up with him.”

“She could have.” I said. Even when I tried, I couldn’t help but feel pessimistic. “Things didn’t seem to great for the both of them when they were dating.”

Henn gritted her teeth, rolling her eyes at me. “But you like him.” She insisted.

“Henn, usually a relationship includes two people’s feelings, not just one.”

Henn opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted with Sirius came sliding into the seat in between us, grinning at me. “Ladies,” he said smoothly, taking my orange juice and draining it. I scowled at him.

“Black, can you not always be so obnoxious?” Henn said, although she said it with a small smile.

Sirius shrugged. “I could try, for you.”

I rolled my eyes. Sirius was such a big flirt.

“So, Lily,” he said briskly, taking a hold of my unfinished bagel and stuffing it in his mouth. “Wahall bout Jahmess.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, raising my eyebrow. Sirius swallowed.

“What’s all this about James?” he said in a clear voice. I narrowed my eyes at him, staring at my book instead, pretending to read.

“What about him?” I asked nonchalantly.

Sirius and Henn scoffed at the same time. “I see. You’re trying to pretend like you’re stupid, aren’t you?” Sirius said, nodding his head.

“Oh, shut up.” I said, rolling my eyes.

“Am I going to have to lock you two up in a compartment together so you could just start snogging and be done with it?” he asked exasperatedly.

“Then maybe we could actually move on with our lives—”

“And then you can marry,”

“And have lots of babies,”

“And I’ll be the godfather—”

“—And me, the godmother.”

I stared at them. “Are you both mad?” I asked incredulously.

“C’mon, Lily.” Henn said, narrowing her eyes. “Now, we’re serious. Why can’t you just go up to him and—”

“Hello.”

All three of us swung around in our seats to look up at James, who was smiling. He was actually smiling. It was so strange to see him like that, since he hadn’t in such a long time.

That had to be a good sign, right?

“May I ask who you are going up to?” James asked. He raised his eyebrow at me, and his smile slowly faded. I stared at him.

“No one.” I mumbled. “Uh, I have to go.”

And without another word of explanation, I got out of there before you could say ‘done for’.


“Let me get this straight,” Gaby said later on that day, crossing her arms and furrowing her eyebrows at me. “You ran?”

“Yes.” I said sulkily.

“Lily,” she said, rolling her eyes. “You have to stop being such a chicken.”

I knew she was going to say that, and I didn’t even want to talk to her initially. I was actually looking for Grace, who turned up to be in the library again, but she kicked me out and said she had work to do.

Feeling desperate, I went to Gaby.

“It’s not my fault.” I muttered, as we both took a hold of the grass in front of us and pulled it out of the ground. Gaby gave me a questioning look. “Well, c’mon.” I snapped. “First he likes me, and then I like him. I’ve been traumatized, alright?”

“James,” Gaby sighed. “Never stopped liking you.”

“How do you know?” I snapped. “It sure didn’t look like it, now did it?”

Gaby gave me an exasperated look, as if I couldn’t be any slower. “Lily, James is one of those guys that…doesn’t like to be rejected. So he finds some lame bimbo to go out with, who’d never say no. Oh, and you can’t really blame him. I mean…he waited seven years for you.”

I sighed. “Gaby, you’re not helping.”

“I’m just trying to be realistic with you.” Gaby shrugged. She looked up at me. “But now you have a second chance. Go up to him, Lily. You won’t regret it.”

Pfft. Yeah, right. She didn’t know what she was talking about, I mean any guy she had liked before, had gone out with her. Sure, she didn’t have the best of luck with them…but it was still something. The only boyfriends I had were Remus and Zach. Remus didn’t even count because that was in second year. And Zach…well I tried to not think about him.

I should’ve taken everyone’s advice, which was to talk to him. But I was scared…really scared. I avoided James as much as possible. I no longer ate with the Marauders, but with Kat, Leah, and their sixth year friends. Sure, no one really talked to me but Leah, but whatever. I also didn’t do my homework in the common room anymore, but either in the library or in my dormitory.

I didn’t even know why I was so scared. I just…was.

And if James and I really were ‘meant to be’, it wouldn’t work out. My life was so different from his…and we were nothing alike. And there was also that whole wedding thing. What kind of guy would want to put up with a girl who was constantly depressed, and who hurt herself? He’d find out sooner or later. I doubt he’d keep things friendly.

Yes, it was definitely best to keep a distance, and try to forget about him. It was very hard, though. Even when we were packing for the Easter holidays, I was thinking of him.

“You just spilled all of your perfume in your trunk.” Grace said distractedly as we all stood in our dormitory, stuffing our things in our trunks. I yelped as I noticed that I indeed had somehow unscrewed the cap of my perfume, spilling its contents everywhere. I took the bottle and pointed my wand at my clothes, instantly cleaning them again.

“Where have you been, anyway?” Grace asked me. Henn grinned, and I ignored her.

“In Jaaaaaa-mes Land.” Henn said in this dreamy, girly voice. I threw my pillow at her.

“Shut up.” I said through gritted teeth.

“What?” Henn said, laughing as she took the pillow off the floor and threw it back at me. I caught it with a scowl. “Are you telling me I’m wrong?”

I was about to answer a bold ‘yes’, when Gaby suddenly opened the door and came in, clutching her book bag. She looked extremely pleased, and I could only roll my eyes as she skipped happily to her bed, dropping her things onto it.

“You seem extremely happy.” Grace said suspiciously. Gaby grinned.

“I’m taking this has something to do with Sirius.” Henn said, raising her eyebrow. Gaby shrugged.

“Yeah, you got me.” She said. Gaby wasn’t like me; she didn’t beat around the bush. She just came out and said whatever she had to say, which wasn’t always good.

“That’s nice.” Grace said, smiling slightly at Gaby. Gaby raised her eyebrow at her, leaning back on her elbows as she sat on her bed.

“How about you?” Gaby asked, looking at her expectantly. “Are you okay?”

I found this extremely unfair, since I should’ve been the one everyone was concerned about. I knew it was a selfish thing to think, but still!

“What do you mean?” Grace asked, looking perplexed.

“I dunno, you just seem… distant, lately.” Gaby suggested. Henn nodded in agreement.

“Just stress from school, and all.” Grace sighed. I noticed that something flickered in her eyes, but it was gone as quickly as it had come.

“Yeah, you’d think Easter break meant that you’d actually get a break…” Henn muttered irritably. I smiled at her.

“Oh, did you guys hear?” Gaby said conversationally, as she slid out of her shoes and got into slippers instead. “About the Ministry attack?”

I narrowed my eyes. “What Ministry attack?”

“Well, Sirius told me about it.” She said, and I rolled my eyes at how breathless she sounded when she said his name. “You know those investigations earlier? They found out the attacks really are linked. And now…” she gulped. “The killers leave a sign over their victims.”

“What kind of sign?” Henn asked slowly.

“The Ministry calls it the Dark Mark. It’s a skull…with a serpent coming out of its mouth.”

I shuddered at the thought. “What about it?”

“Well, whoever the killer, or killers, which is more probable, are, they left that…sign over the victim. They found it over two Ministry officials.”

“Do they really have no idea who’s behind all of this?” I asked, scowling.

“No, not really. Well, they have leads…” Gaby bit her lip. “Sirius reckons that a few of the kids on our school are involved in it.”

“Why is that?” Henn asked.

“Well, don’t you ever wonder why sometimes they don’t even show up at school at all?” Gaby scowled. “And those Slytherins are always talking about Dark Magic too…”

It was true; many of the Slytherins were absent quite frequently, now that I thought about it. Grace shook her head. “That’s horrible.” She said. I however, was thinking of something else.

“Black.” I said suddenly. Henn looked at me oddly.

“Sorry?”

“You mean Sirius?” Gaby asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No, not Sirius.” I said, shaking my head and leaning against my bedpost. “Bellatrix. That Slytherin girl in our year.”

“Oh. Her.” Grace said, narrowing her eyes. It was common knowledge that most people did not like Bellatrix for her cruelty towards others. In many occasions, which I was most likely not going to forget, she had called me a mudblood.

“What about her?” Gaby asked. My head was pounding though, how could I have forgotten? It was so…so important…

“She was talking about a meeting.” I said quickly. “With Rodolphus Lestrange. I was going to Dumbledore to inform him but stupid Potter didn’t let me…”

“What?”

“Quick.” I said hurriedly. “Do any of you know where the headmaster’s office is?”

All three of them looked equally blank. I groaned, throwing my head back. I definitely wasn’t going to ask James again, especially now. I thought of whom else I could go to.

“Sirius would know.” Gaby said, reading my thoughts. I jumped suddenly, muttering thanks and leaving the room in a rush.

Sirius was of course, sitting with James and the rest of the Marauders. I hesitated, wondering what I should do. Well, I really had no other choice. All I had to do was ignore James completely…

I wondered if that would be too hard.

“Evans.” Sirius said, grinning at me. James looked up at once, and I was startled to see that he was petting Jinx, who had grown an awful lot in the past few months. He raised his eyebrow at me, as if daring for me to say something about my cat. Trying not to glare at Jinx at his sudden betrayal, I looked at Sirius instead.

“Sirius, can you tell me where Dumbledore’s office is?” I asked quickly. Sirius raised his eyebrow.

“Dumbledore’s office isn’t for girls like you.” Sirius said conversationally. “Why do you want to go there?”

“Just tell me.” I said, rolling my eyes. “C’mon, Sirius. This is important.”

Sirius was enjoying his little torment on me though. We were both surprised when someone else suddenly answered my plea.

“The entrance is on the second floor.” James said slowly. I turned around, grimacing as I noticed that he was being polite, meaning I had to do so also. “It’s a gargoyle on the end of the floor.”

I looked at Remus, who didn’t seem like he was the type to let James misguide me. Remus merely shrugged at me.

“I’m not lying.” James said, as if he could read my thoughts. “The password is ‘cauldron cakes’.”

I looked at his suspiciously. The last time he had given me directions to Dumbledore’s office, it didn’t turn out right at all. In fact, he wouldn’t even have told me if it weren’t for Eve bullying him. (How very unlike her)

“Uh, okay.” I said awkwardly. To regard my composure I said angrily, “You better not be.” Then strode off with a last look at Jinx, who mewed innocently.

My heart pounding in my throat, I practically ran to the second floor, noticing that most people were either outside, enjoying the sunshine, or inside packing their bags for their leave tomorrow. I found the gargoyle that James was talking about, and found that indeed; it was the same one that he led me to before hand. Except this time, he had told me the password.

James was going to be in a lot of trouble if he tricked me again.

“Um,” I said uncertainly, staring at the gargoyle, which was frankly, quite ugly. “Cauldron cakes…?” I said it in a hopeful tone, sure that it wasn’t going to work. I was really surprised however, when it did work. The gargoyle sprang aside and behind it was a revolving staircase, which must have led into some sort of tower. I stepped on it cautiously, and I was brought upwards with it.

I tried calming myself down, but I couldn’t help feeling jittery. After all, this was the headmaster’s office, I continuously reminded myself. He probably didn’t even want to see me, thinking I was just complaining about some kid who got a detention.

The staircase came to a stop, and I found myself staring at a handsome door with a griffin knocker on it. I took a hold of it and knocked uncertainly. I could hear soft voices from inside abruptly stop.

“Come in,” I heard Dumbledore say. I swallowed the lump in my throat and took a deep breath, before opening the door.

It was a beautiful, circular room, with many things that I did not know the name of. I jumped once seeing that a pretty bird was on a perch by the door, gazing beadily at me. By closer inspection I saw that it was a phoenix, a very handsome one, actually.

“Ah, Ms. Evans. I’m surprised to see you here.”

I turned around and fumbled with the sleeves of my robes, as I noticed that Dumbledore was sitting at his desk, alone. The portraits around him were of all the previous headmasters, since I had read Hogwarts: A History beforehand. They were all sleeping. Dumbledore motioned me to sit in the seat in front of him, and slowly, I lowered myself onto it. I twisted my fingers in my lap nervously.

He smiled benevolently at me. “Is there something I may assist you with?” he asked kindly. “Does this have to do with the Graduation Ball?”

“No, sir.” I said in a small voice. Okay, I admit, I was intimidated. How could I not be? He was the headmaster.

“I see,” Dumbledore said, peering at me from his half-moon glasses. “Then, what is it that you are concerned of?”

I stared at him, not sure of how to begin. I swallowed hard, knowing he’d probably get angry that I didn’t tell him immediately of what I heard. Well, if it weren’t for that damn Potter…

“Professor,” I said, sighing deeply. “I think you should know something.”


Well.

That had to be the strangest conversation in my life.

Okay, so I tell the headmaster what I overheard, and all that. He didn’t even seem to be worried. Actually, he wasn’t worried at all. Do you know what he did instead?

He offered me a lemon drop.

A lemon drop.

I was completely stunned, first at him being so calm, and second for him even knowing what a lemon drop was. So I blurted out, “What?”

He merely told me that it was all right; he already had had some suspicions on Bellatrix Black and Rodolphus Lestrange, although he wouldn’t tell me why. He was grateful in telling me about the meeting however, although he didn’t seem very surprised. Actually, it seemed like he already knew what was going on under his own roof.

Well, whatever. I warned him, so now he knew. Or at least, he was reminded somewhat.

I was so confused.

“How did it go, Evans?” Sirius drawled once I entered the common room again, the Marauders were still in the same spot. I looked at him warily, ignoring James and that wretched cat.

“Fine, thanks.” I said, rolling my eyes. He chuckled; Sirius always seemed to find my manner amusing instead of insulting. I huffed. “Bye Sirius.”

“Bye Lily.” He said, his lip curling into a smile.

I sighed, reaching the staircase and closing the door before I anyone else could talk to me.


The next day the Hogsmeade train station was bustling with students, although not nearly as much as September 1st. Most students at Hogwarts would stay at the school, since the Easter holidays weren’t as important or fun as the Christmas ones. I always had gone home during the holidays, although I was sincerely regretting it now that I stood in front of the compartment, wondering if it was too late to turn back.

“Lily, other people need to get in too, you know.” Grace said behind me, although I could tell she was trying to be nice about it. I heard faintly the people behind us complaining gruffly that I was holding the line to get in, so it was with some reluctance that I carried my bag and Jinx onto the train, so we could find an empty compartment to sit in.

“Here we go.” Gaby said brightly in front of me, sliding the compartment door open and walking inside. She stuffed her things on the luggage rack above us, and then sat down by the window. I dropped Jinx onto the nearest seat, where Gaby immediately took the job of keeping him from running away. Jinx had become quite reclusive over the months that I kept him, always wanting to sleep under the bed or just spend the night in the common room. He didn’t really like people petting him, which was why I was surprised that he let James do so.

Grace came in with Henn close behind her, who shut the door. Grace put her tawny owl next to Gaby’s bag, then took a seat also. She and Gaby had both taken to stare out the window, where the gray, depressing clouds gave the grounds a murky appearance. There was no doubt that it would be raining, sooner or later.

“Is anyone going to be doing anything remotely interesting over break?” Henn asked, no doubt being bored out of her mind. People were still streaming past the door, bustling about and making quite a racket. I shook my head, as did Gaby and Grace. Like I said, Easter holidays weren’t nearly as exciting as the Christmas ones. Henn sighed. “I’m hungry.”

I grinned at her, watching as Jinx clawed and hissed at the closed door, clearing wanting to get out. I rolled my eyes at him, grabbing him around the middle and placing him next to me. Naturally, he jumped off quickly and decided to sit on the corner of the floor instead, glaring at the population that was occupying his space.

“Your cat is sort of weird, you know.” Gaby said conversationally. “Maybe it’s cause you never pay attention to him.”

“I do too.” I said defensively. “I give him food, don’t I?”

Gaby rolled her eyes, clearly meaning how often I played with or petted him.

“We’re moving.” Grace said in a bored voice. Indeed, the window was blurring slightly as little tiny droplets of rain came running down the glass as we moved south. I inwardly groaned; there was definitely no chance I could get out of anything right now. I thought about how I sent a letter to my father, saying how I wouldn’t be coming home this time for the holidays, since I had a lot of er—homework. I then thought about how the many invitations that Virginia or Petunia sent me, tucked away in the pocket of my jumper, some of them scrawled with the phone number I should call if I was coming or not. Of course, they didn’t know that yet. But eventually they would find out.

A big surprise for them, I’d say.

“So, Lily,” Henn began, as if she could read my thoughts. “Are you going to be Petunia’s bridesmaid or something? Hey, maybe you’ll be Maid of Honor, eh?” She grinned excitedly as I smiled weakly.

“Er—I don’t know.” I said, shrugging and trying to look like I didn’t care in the slightest. Henn raised an eyebrow at me.

“You don’t? Haven’t they gone over the plans with you?”

“Well, I haven’t seen them in a while.” I said, averting my eyes. “We haven’t exactly had a chance to talk about it.”

Henn seemed to buy my lame excuse. Or maybe she didn’t, but didn’t get a chance to question me further, since the compartment door slid open and Kat, Leah, and Marcus came in. Surprisingly, they had someone else with them. Someone I did not want to see at the moment, even if she was nice and whatnot like everybody said.

“Hey, guys.” Leah said, sweeping her hair out of her face and standing on her tiptoes to push her bag onto the luggage rack above my head. Henn grabbed Jinx just in time before leaving the room in a flash, while Leah looked around the room. “I’m not sure if you all know Eve?”

Eve stood there, looked somewhat awkward as Kat threw herself next to Henn, offering everyone if they wanted a piece of apple pie she had taken from breakfast. I however, tried not to look too astonished.

“Nope, I don’t think we know each other.” Eve said hesitantly, outstretching her hand and shaking hands with Henn, Gaby, and Grace. Of course, all my friends knew about her, and I was pretty sure Eve knew that too, since she bit her lip awkwardly and sat next to Kat. Leah and Marcus sat by me, and suddenly our compartment was rather crowded. I noticed Henn raising her eyebrows at me and grinning, jerking her head towards Leah and Marcus, who were undoubtedly dating now, since their heads were together and they were whispering to one another. Henn’s wicked grin made me saw what was coming.

“So, I don’t think we know you, now do we?” Henn said, raising her eyebrow at Leah while darting her gaze back to Marcus, who blushed at the sudden attention. I knew he had tried out for Quidditch with me, although I hardly ever heard him spoke. I felt sort of bad for the kid.

“It’s Marcus.” He muttered at Henn, smiling weakly. He was actually sort of cute, in his own, awkward way. Henn grinned.

“Boyfriend, perhaps?” she asked. Grace rolled her eyes disapprovingly, while Gaby tried restraining a grin. Marcus blushed even deeper, glancing at Leah, who was actually looking unperturbed.

“Yes.” Leah replied, and Marcus gave her a weird look, although he smiled too. I suppose it was the first time she admitted in dating him, which I guess he was grateful for. She cleared her throat. “So, is anyone doing anything during break?”

“Nah.” Henn said casually, taking a piece of the pie Kat offered.

“Same.” Kat said simply. I looked at Eve, who was looking uncomfortable.

“How about you, Eve?” I asked. Well, I couldn’t help feeling bad for her. She was glancing at me nervously every now and then, unsure of what my reaction of ‘the break up’ would be.

“Uh, nothing.” She said. It was so strange of her to not talk or be social. She was actually looking at Jinx now, since she didn’t want to look at me. “Oh, whose cat is that?”

“Oh, that’s mine.” I replied, eyeing Jinx, who was hissing at Marcus’s feet. Eve however, looked like she didn’t mind him in the slightest, and actually started to pet him.

And Jinx liked it.

I couldn’t help but feel jealous. I mean, first she manages to make James like her, and now my own cat likes her better than me. I glared at him, who was uncharacteristically mewing as Henn gave me an incredulous look.

“He’s cute, isn’t he?” Eve said, grinning and not looking as uncomfortable anymore as she scooped up Jinx and placed him in her lap.

“Not usually.” Grace said, raising her eyebrow. “That cat is usually really mean, you know.”

“Really?” Eve said, scratching Jinx beneath his ears. “Doesn’t seem like it.” Well, of course not. Everybody likes Eve.

It wasn’t long before Remus found our compartment, obviously looking for Grace. I found it rather unusual that she didn’t look for him before, but she went with him anyway, saying she’d come right back. As she said this Gaby eagerly offered to go with them, probably to look for Sirius, who was avoiding her uncharacteristically.

“See you,” Grace said. I couldn’t help but notice she sounded a little gloomy, especially if you compared her to Gaby, who was grinning and practically skipping out of the compartment.

“Bye, Lily.” Remus said, grinning at me. I found his grin a little suspicious, especially after he glanced at Gaby and they both laughed a little. “We’ll be right back, then.”

He slid the compartment door shut and they disappeared out of sight. Henn and Kat were now finishing up their pie, with a few pastries that Kat had also snitched from breakfast. Eve was quiet in the corner, sitting contently with Jinx in her lap, and Leah and Marcus were having their own little ‘conversation’, making sure none of us heard them.

I decided to look out the window, looking rather bored although my mind was quite preoccupied. I had practiced a speech over and over in my head, planning out every little thing I’d say to her, when I got on the phone…

Of course, I had half a mind to just call my father and tell him there was a change of plans in my holidays. Then I reminded myself glumly that him and Carrie were probably a very ‘happy couple’, and wouldn’t want me around. I sighed.

“Lily, Kat and I are going to check if the trolley is coming anytime soon, alright?”

“Sure.” I said automatically, glancing at them as they exited the compartment, Jinx dashing after them. Hah, even if he was with Eve, he was still insensitive.

“He does that, sometimes.” I said smugly, pleased at the way Eve was looking rather hurt at the way Jinx had left her.

“Does he?” she said, scowling slightly. “Oh, well I guess I’ll go after him, then…”

She immediately got up, probably not wanting to spend any more time with me. She dashed up the corridor and I heard her calls for Jinx slowly fade away.

My gaze was fixed outside again, where it was raining heavily. The dark, gloomy skies made me feel even worse, as the heavy raindrops pelted onto the glass, as if trying to scare me away from the window. I scowled and jumped as I heard the door softly click. I turned around and saw Leah and Marcus quickly getting out of sight. I rolled my eyes; they were probably going to make out in the loo or something.

My mood definitely worsened, as I noticed that all of them abandoned me. Oh, weren’t they the best of friends, eh?

I crossed my arms tightly across my chest and leaned against the window, taking a hold of my sleeve and rubbing the fog away. My hand felt cold and damp as I touched the glass, trying to look farther outside. The hills were blurry and hard to see, and looked like gray boulders from where I sat.

Unconsciously I touched my wrist, but found that there was no rubber band. I cursed inwardly. I had forgotten that Henn was looking at me suspiciously as I put it on my wrist, so I quickly disguised my intentions by putting it in my hair instead. I reached towards my high ponytail, and decided against it. It had taken me a long and hard time to get my hair just the way I wanted it to that morning, and I liked how some of my auburn strands fell into my face. For once, I had actually thought I looked good.

I suppose I wanted to make a good impression.

I folded my hands in my lap, absentmindedly touching the ruffles in my gray skirt. I glanced at my shiny black shoes, with the neat and white socks. I looked like a remodel teenager, the one that any mother would want. One that didn’t do drugs, or drink…although had the slight problem of hurting herself. Although know one would be able to see that, since I was wearing a long-sleeved and comfy button-up jumper, with a dark pink flower pin at my chest, that matched with the baby pink background. I scowled at myself for wanting to be such a perfectionist, and returned my gaze outside. It was still looking rather dark.

I couldn’t believe that I actually thought about this; but suddenly I was thinking of how I overheard a few fifth year girls in the common room, talking about a muggle exercise called yoga. It was a mediation sort of thing, which calmed you down. I had heard of it before, of course, but I hadn’t actually tried it, nor did I think it worked.

Thinking that I had nothing better to do anyway, I closed my eyes and leaned against the back of my seat, trying to clear my mind of anything and everything, so it would stay blank. I tilted my head upwards and relaxed my arms, thinking of nothing but clear, blue skies…that was something we surely weren’t going to get today.

I furrowed my eyebrows as the door slid open, and cursed Eve for getting in at such a bad moment. I was actually succeeding in this yoga/meditation thing, and now she was here to ruin it with that stupid cat…

“What?” I asked tiredly, as the person continued not to say anything. I noticed that I was probably looking rather odd, my head tilted against the seat and me not saying anything, as my eyes remained closed.

“It’s me,” he said, and my heart suddenly stopped, and all thought of relaxation and no stress zone was gone. My breath turned ragged, as I opened my eyes.

It was James.


Okay, now dont' kill me! I'll try finishing up Chapter 37 as quickly as I can...it should be ready in a week or so, alright? DON'T BE MAD. *uses Jedi mind tricks* Trust me, it'll be worth the wait, okay? Thanks for all the reviews, everybody.

Chapter 37: Chapter Thirty Seven
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A/N: Alright! YEAH! Chapter 37, baby! Okay, just so you know before you read this; This is a MAJOR turning point. I know, there are so many, right? Well this is like the climax, or whatever you call it. At least, that's how I sort of see it. It might change later on. *shrugs* Who knows.

I'd also like to inform all of you that I really do answer your reviews, at least most of them. Sure, I mean, I can't respond to ALL of them. But if you ask a question, or are curious about something, I'll make SURE I answer it. So if anyone is confused, review and ask the question, okay? I'll be happy to answer it. *grins*

Another note on reviews: Well, let's just say a lot of you are being nasty. I don't think you intend to or anything, and certainly not all of you have been doing it...but some of you are. So I'm not saying names or anything, but just keep it on the friendlier note, okay, guys? I'd appreciate it, even if I probably will get flames after this.

A lot of people have been offering me all these songs; they tell me it reminds them of this fanfic. This is SO cool. I actually have gotten around to hearing some of them, just so you know. I can see how you think it fits and all. :-D

There is one song however, that all of you MUST listen to at least once while reading this story: and that song is called "Daughters", by John Mayer. I'm sure most of you have heard it, although I started liking it a lot before it got on MTV and all that. (This was when "Clarity" was popular instead, remember?) Anyway! I was listening to it on my CD, which is AWESOME, and I looked at they lyrics, which I have always loved and I go, "OMG! It's Lily!" So, please, PLEASE listen to it. Especially for this chapter. It has Lily screaming all over it. It suits her perfectly. PERFECTLY!

So here's a disclaimer for John Mayer. DISCLAIMER FOR JOHN MAYER.

Alright! Enough ranting. Most of you probably skipped this, anyway. For those of you hung in there; Here we go....37! YES!

-Kaiit-aay. (or singing)




I sat there, stunned. I hoped I looked cool, calm and collected, but that was nothing like I was feeling now. I uncrossed my legs and tried not to gap at him, as he stared at me fixedly.

Then, my heart was beating rapidly again, although much more quickly than before. It was almost unbearable how I felt; like it was going to jump out of my chest any second now and splatter the floor with blood, and oh, great, also ruin my wardrobe, which I so carefully picked out.

But at least I’d be dead. And then, I wouldn’t have to talk to James.

I looked around the room and with the sudden realization, noticed why we were alone. My friends had left on purpose, knowing something was going to happen. Which meant…oh, god…

I had to take a deep breath, and just calm down. I forced myself to look up at him, at his eyes, which was very hard. He knew I didn’t like to make any eye contact, which would just show him how strong I was to do so.

“What are you doing here?” I asked slowly, so I wouldn’t sound hoarse or anything. I was entirely serious about the whole thing, so I crossed my legs again and tried to look professional and standoffish. I wanted him to leave, so I could actually start breathing again.

He didn’t even answer me. He just strode over to the seat across from me and sat down, staring at me with a solid gaze. I couldn’t help it anymore; so I looked down at my hands instead. I saw his lip curl from the corner of my eye; he knew I had lost it now. Damn him.

I looked at him, (or rather, at the seat behind him) folding my arms and leaning back, frowning. My heart was drumming in my ears, although I couldn’t let him know that.

“Jam—” I stopped, cursing myself inwardly for falling for such a stupid trap. “Potter.” I corrected myself, “You still haven’t told me why you’re here.”

James frowned at me. “Potter, hu?” he asked testily, although he looked quite angry. He leaned against his seat too, scowling at me. “Is that all you have to say to me?”

“What do you want me to say?” I asked coolly.

“Maybe that you’re sorry.” I gaped at him.

“Sorry?” I said incredulously, and then suddenly felt myself get angrier. “Why the hell would I be sorry?”

“Maybe because you’ve been treating me badly this whole time.” James scolded. “Are you telling me you aren’t sorry?”

“Yes!” I huffed, although I knew I was lying very badly. “I didn’t do anything.”

“Of course you did.” James said, in a rather calm voice, although he still looked peeved. “Don’t say you didn’t.”

“Look, Potter,” I spat. “If you think this is going to change anything, then you’re very, very—”

“Lily,” James said, and I was so surprised to hear the way he said my name softly, and not my surname, that I shut up. “Would it help if I said I’m sorry?”

“Somewhat.” I said nastily, and looked away when I noticed at a shadow of hurt flickered through his eyes. I stared out the window, at the rain outside that was still hitting the glass. “I think you should leave.” I said quietly.

“I’m sorry.”

I shot my head up, staring at him. “What?” I asked stupidly.

“I’m sorry,” James repeated, looking solemn. “I didn’t…I didn’t mean it. I never wanted to hurt you, Lily.”

I continued to stare at him, although it was hurting my eyes to look at his hazel ones, which were flaring with intensity. Was he apologizing to me? It couldn’t have been happening.

“You never wanted to hurt me,” I said, trying to sound gentle and kind like he did but just ending up angry. “Do you expect me to believe that? All you did was hurt me.”

James furrowed his eyebrows, frowning at me. “That’s not true.” He said firmly.

“Yeah,” I said, trying not to shake my voice, and sounding slightly hysterical, “Right!”

“Listen here, Lily. I never had the intentions of making you upset—”

“Shut up!” I yelled at him, standing up. “Don’t you dare make up a lie like that.”

“No, you shut your mouth,” James said, standing up also and glaring at me, although now his calm demeanor was gone. “It’s not a lie, and I’m trying to apologize to you but you’re being such a bitch—”

“I don’t want to talk to you,” I said nastily, and started stomping towards the door and nearly tripping on my high heels as I reached the sliding panel. “You know what? If you’re not leaving, I am.”

I pulled on the handle but it wouldn’t budge. I looked at James, whose hand was on the door, holding a firm grip. He looked the angriest I’d ever seen him. “Let go.” I said, and now I couldn’t help it, my voice really did start shaking. James’s lip curled into a sneer.

“No,” he said.

“You can’t lock me up in here—”

“I’ll do whatever I want, Evans,” James said briskly, and he actually started to look amused at his sudden power over me. “And you can’t stop me.”

“James,” I began, starting to lose it. “If you don’t let me go right now, I’ll—”

“You’ll what?” James asked, and to my utter horror, he stepped up. Was he going to slap me? No, he wouldn’t…

“I’ll—” I began, my knees feeling wobbly as he stepped even closer, so that his arm and legs were touching mine. “I’ll have to—” I stopped, as he did something I didn’t expect him to.

He grinned.

And my chest felt like shuddering with relief, as I noticed what was happening. It was his actual grin, the one he hadn’t used since December. It was a real smile, not the fake ones I grew so tired and frustrated with, not the sad ones he’d use every time he looked at me. No, this was the real thing. It was his trademark grin that I grew to love, just like his hair, which in the beginning had annoyed me endlessly.

Without warning, he grabbed me around the waist, and I noticed that he wasn’t going to slap me at all.

No, what he was going to do was much, much worse.

“What are you going to do?” he asked me again, his face inches from mine. I stopped my own breathing, feeling the heat rise in my lungs and sink into my mouth, which was feeling inexplicably dry.

“I—”

He looked expectantly at me.

“James,” I said, and I saw him smile as he noticed I was using his first name now, “I’m…sorry.”

I didn’t know exactly what I was apologizing for, although I knew that I had done a lot of crap to him over the years I turned him down. I couldn’t help but feel helpless also, at the way he was holding me close and staring down at me with his hazel eyes.

“Okay,” he said, a small grin appearing on his face. “You’re shaking, you know.” I frowned at him for sounding so amused.

“I am not.” I said defensively, and curled my toes so I could hold my ground and my body wouldn’t betray me. I stared down at my feet. “James—” I said hoarsely, my heart drumming loudly. How could he not hear that? He had to. “Please, just…” I blinked, suddenly feeling like I wanted to cry.

“Leave?” James asked, and his hand reached towards my face and tilted my chin up. I blinked again, as I stared up at him. James looked hard at me. “You don’t want me to leave.”

That was true, but…

“James, I don’t want you to hurt me again.” I said quietly, my voice wavering slightly, although not nearly as much as before. I tried to look cold and indifferent, so he’d just back off and let me be.

It didn’t work.

He didn’t even respond, at least not at first. He just leaned in, his nose touching mine and he said, “I’m not going to.” And that’s when he did it.

He kissed me.

And my mind really did go blank.


In a short span of twenty minutes, I had gone from miserable and sad, to inexplicably happy. Who cared really, if I had to go to that stupid wedding? At the moment, I was the happiest girl ever.

When he was done kissing me, which were probably the most heavenly moments of my life, Henn, Gaby, Grace, Remus, Sirius, Peter, Leah, and Marcus, had all bounded into the compartment and started yelling. I blushed as Henn grinned and embraced me, while Sirius patted James on the back like he had won the marathon or something. I covered my face, and tried to look angry. “Were you guys watching?” I asked, practically dying of embarrassment.

“We didn’t mean to,” Henn said passionately. “But you were yelling so loud we thought you were having an aneurysm or something.”

“Yep.” Sirius said, beaming at me. “But honestly, Lily. Why can’t I ever date girls like you? As soon as he wanted to, you let his tongue right in—”

Sirius,” I said through gritted teeth, my face growing, if possible, even redder. Leah smacked him in the arm.

“Ow! Well, it’s true…”

Gaby grinned, situating herself while everyone followed suit. The compartment was even more crowded than usual, so Leah and Marcus decided to go and find Eve and Kat, who hadn’t shown up. They left, leaving the rest of us to occupy the compartment.

“You know,” Remus said conversationally. “I was wondering when you two would just give in. We’ve been waiting ages.”

“Oh, shut up.” James said, and then moved his hand around me so it held me at my waist. There was a low ‘oooh’ from the boys (And a few of the girls, well okay, just Henn) as he did this, which just made me get even more embarrassed. He pecked me on the cheek and rolled his eyes at Sirius, who was making disturbing sucking noises in Peter’s ear, who laughed, although rather nervously.

I felt James’s fingers squeeze slightly at my waist. Well, he was wasting no time. He really wasn’t joking when he said he had waited for this for a long time.

“Is this okay?” he whispered in my ear, near my hair. I grinned.

“Yes.”

Watching his friend, Remus seemed to get the idea that he should earn some points too. He reached for Grace, tugging on her arm lightly but she pulled away, sipping her pumpkin juice and not wanting to look at anyone. She didn’t notice that I was looking at her, or that Remus looked slightly hurt. Sirius didn’t seem to notice either the bad moment for the couple, because he eyed Henn gleefully and said in a somewhat offhand voice, “I wish I could cuddle,”

“I bet you do.” Henn said, glancing at Gaby who was looking at Henn curiously. Henn coughed, looking to the side and stuffing her mouth full with Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

I meant to give Sirius a warning look, but was distracted the next minute by James’s lips touching my cheek.


It had to be the best train ride I had ever had. Everything seemed to be in place again…at least most of it, anyway. I had James now, James had me; my life wasn’t completely over as I thought.

Most of the ride the Marauders had played Exploding Snap, something Peter seemed to be very good at. I thought it was rather odd, since I always sort of thought Peter wasn’t really good at anything, even though he was part of the infamous Marauders. He didn’t talk much, I noticed, and when he did, it was only remarks towards his friends.

During the games James kept on getting frustrated, although cutely so. I could tell he was trying not to lose face in front of me.

Eventually it darkened and the train came to a halt, knocking over the pieces of the game, making Remus uncharacteristically curse. I noticed that he had been rather moody, well for Remus anyway, and I was pretty sure it had something to do with Grace and her standoffish-ness. While that Sirius jerked awake, since his head had been resting against the corner, where he was sleeping and snoring most of the way; Henn choked as a piece of candy nearly got stuck in her throat; Gaby merely yawned and looked up from her magazine; and Grace stopped reading her Charms book, which was part of our homework that Flitwick had given us over the holidays.

“Here already, are we?” Sirius asked, rubbing his eyes and blinking at the lights above us. I stood up and reached towards my bag, which I had stalled in the luggage rack above us, when I suddenly realized with panic, that I didn’t have Jinx. As if coming upon my thoughts, the compartment door slid open and the rest of the gang came in, including Eve, who was holding a satisfied and purring Jinx in her arms. I took it from her and muttered grudgingly thanks.

“No problem.” Eve said, smiling slightly and quickly averting her eyes from James. As soon as she came she walked out of the compartment with her stuff, Kat following her out and looking quite grumpy.

“Well, I suppose we’ll see each other on the station, eh?” Leah asked, trying to break the awkwardness that had just been installed there.

“Sure.” I said, nodding. She smiled and headed out with Marcus trailing behind her, looking nearly as sleepy as Sirius, who was now stretching about the compartment while people streamed past us in the corridor.

“C’mon,” James said, and without the least bit of hesitation, he grabbed my hand and led me out of the compartment with everyone behind us. Jinx growled as I held him with merely one arm, since James was holding the other. I imagined it to be sort of uncomfortable, although I felt quite giddy as I saw that James was carrying my bag, along with his.

“Honestly,” I heard Henn scoff behind me. “They’ve only been a couple for a few hours and are already all over each other.” I couldn’t help but grin, like I knew she was doing too.

It was dark and rather humid outside, making me regret in wearing my sweater. Suddenly I was struck by the idea of exactly why I had worn it, and my heart sank.

Virginia, I noticed, was still oblivious to my return, since I had still not gotten back to her or Petunia.

Something was obviously imprinted on my face, since as we waited for one of the conductors to hand us our luggage; James looked over at me and asked, “Something wrong?”

“I’m just feeling a little stuffy,” I said, feeling bad that I was already lying in such an early step in our relationship, or whatever you called it. “You know, since it’s so humid and all.”

I suppose it was a good lie, since he didn’t question me about it any further. Instead James pulled me aside as we got a hold of our luggage and went, “Listen; feel free to stop by any time at my house, okay? It’d be great if you did.”

I smiled at him, weakly. “Thanks.” I think he was waiting for my permission to show up any time at my house when he wanted to (not that it would really matter, since he’d gone there in the past without so much of a warning) …when something horrible suddenly occurred to me.

I wouldn’t be at my house.

Which meant, that James would go over there, see I was not home, and probably earn another grudge from my father, who by the way, thought I was staying at school for break. Then eventually James would know I was lying, (although I never really told him I was staying at my house, although I’m sure he assumed I was) and he’d already want to break up with me, thus ending my life all over again.

It’s funny how I got so weirdly attached to this guy.

So, quickly I said, “Hey James, would it be alright if I just went to your house? Because you know, the last time you came over it didn’t turn out that great.”

James furrowed his eyebrows, probably recalling the last time I went to take a walk with him, (just to get away from the havoc that was going on in my house, because at that time, I still sort of hated him) and I’m pretty sure James didn’t forget how mad my dad looked. “Alright,” James shrugged. “If that’s what you want.” As if to say, ‘I’m really not scared of your dad, you know’. Which was pretty brave of him.

“Thanks,” I said, and he grinned, pulling on my arm slightly and planting a kiss on my lips.

“Oh great, they’re at it again.” I heard Sirius groan as he passed by us, Peter snorting alongside of him. I ignored him, closing my eyes and bringing him closer, inhaling his cologne through my nose.

“Hormones are strange things, you know.” I heard Henn say amusedly as she too, passed by us.

“Oh, shut up.” Grace snapped. “Let them, already.”

“For someone who believes so strongly in kissing,” Remus said in an offhand voice, “You sure don’t seem to want to get near me.”

Sirius burst out laughing at this comment, followed by Henn who was snorting heavily. I broke away and James groaned against my neck, glaring at our friends which were behind us; two of which looked like they were having a ‘moment’, and the rest laughing their heads off.

“I’m leaving.” Grace said stiffly, closing her heavy charms book with a heavy thud and tucking it beneath one of her arms. “Bye Remus,