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My Reflection by Astrid Elisabeth

Format: Novel
Chapters: 55
Word Count: 115,470

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Dumbledore, Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Voldemort
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 10/03/2004
Last Chapter: 07/02/2005
Last Updated: 01/01/2012

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Lily Evans felt her leotard hug her curves. Her hands were placed in third position and her feet in fourth. She was standing there, prepared to turn and perform a hopefully triple pirouette in front of her audience. The smile of James Potter was on her mind. After all, it was because of him she was standing on this stage. She hated it, but that was the truth. This is a different James/Lily story with quite a few twists. Hope you like it! Banner by Iced_Cherriez.

Chapter 1: Prologue: Unable to Smile
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Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters related to the Harry Potter books, or the background setting in this story. (The wizarding world.) I only claim my own plot and the new original characters.

Prologue: Chapter One, Unable to Smile

What do you do when you meet pressure everywhere and all you want to do is just stop up and scream at the top of your lungs? When your days are so stressed and stretched you go from manipulating your brain in the morning to manipulating the limbs of your body in the afternoon?

Because that’s what I feel at this particular moment. Expectations everywhere, from everyone. Friends, family, teachers. Why can’t anyone see I’m about to collapse in the middle of it all? I can’t stand it anymore!

Lily this, Lily that.. It’s like I don’t have the time to be me. Right now, I just want to run away.

From homework.

From dancing lessons.

From Head Girl duties.

From everybody around me.

From being perfect.

From my solo.

Lindsay Oliver, my ballet teacher, has been so hard on me lately. I feel guilty every time my feet fall from underneath me and she comes over, pulling me up for the umpteenth time.

“You can do it, Evans! Let me see my Lily bloom..”

And I try doing a triple pirouette again.. and again.. and again.. But every time I end up on the floor, or looking like a drunk thirteen-year-old trying to find the way home after a particularly heavy night of partying.

I know she means well, but I just want to let the tears bursting to run down my cheeks let go every time I do something wrong in ballet. I don’t want to disappoint Lindsay … but I do. Over and over again.

All this work doesn’t give me many minutes off. Of course, ballet is a part of my leisure time, but nowadays it feels like anything but that. I have been watching friend after friend fade away from me since fifth year, when everything intensified with O.W.L.s and all. Seen the sadness in their eyes when I whispered,

“Sorry.. I have a ballet class that day.. and homework.”

And then they started hanging out with someone else. And they became good friends after a while ... and I became the fifth wheel. And they forgot most of the busy, clever Lily Evans.

I'm glad the few friends I have are people I know will stick with me till the end. They are friends I can rely on … trust. Thank God for them. If they hadn’t been there, I don’t even dare to thing of what would happen. I would probably be even more of a wretch than I am now.

Lately, I have been trying to avoid McGonagall’s looks. Avoid Flitwick’s glances, Slughorn’s praise. Even Frogley’s look of scepticism. I’ve tried not to be so keen in class. I don’t want to be flawless. I don’t want to be so clever. I just want people to see me for who I am, not who they think I am, not who they want me to be.

They know I’m here, but if I happened to disappear, or left … I know they wouldn’t miss me. Perhaps they would talk about me for a short while, and whisper amongst themselves about the ballet girl, the Head Girl, the Gryffindor girl. But I’d be nothing more than that. I wouldn’t be Lily in their minds.

I used to smile, I used to laugh. I found it easy to reply in a funny way or generally be a happy human being. But at some point that suddenly became very hard. Of course I smile when dancing, but it’s just thirty-two muscles in use in my face. I can’t put my finger on when that happened, but it probably had to do with all the major changes in my body when I became a teenager. Have you heard about that sort of thing? I suddenly lost control when dancing … my body just wouldn’t co-operate, the technique became impossible. My balance played tricks on me. It took years to get back to where I was … and all of it because my body decided it was time to turn into a woman. Of course everybody goes through this process, more or less, but I felt it was extra heavy on me.

My heart doesn’t smile anymore, either.

If you take a closer look, I’d bet anything my eyes don’t smile either. I don’t know what can really make me smile any more.

Another word familiar to me is confusion. I feel like I have never been able to be completely sure about something of importance. Never. I feel like I’m just drifting around, living life in a routine. I can buzz around, not really knowing what I am doing unless it has to do with ballet or school. That’s the only hags I can put anything on. Ballet and school.

Boyfriends and love have ended up the same way as my friends. I remember some temporary crushes I’ve had through the years, but never something serious. I had one boyfriend once, and that lasted for three weeks. I remember our last words so clearly..

“I’m so sorry, Bryn, but I don’t have time. You know what I mean.. I’m too busy for this relationship to continue.”

“Too busy, Lily? When will you stop being busy? How will you ever be able to live life when you’re so dedicated to everything but me? I thought I would be your number one priority... But the way it looks now, I don't think you'll be able to put any future boyfriends first either...”

I had stormed out of the dancing studio, still having dancewear on. He was so right. A part of me had turned him down because I knew I wasn’t really in love. My feelings for him had been too ‘friend-like’ when it came down to it. I had fooled myself, thought I was in love when I was really just longing for somebody’s arms around me, somebody who could understand me and love me. When he pointed out the busy-part to me I felt a whip of pain soar through my body. He was so right I was almost afraid to admit it..
I was so glad we only had one night of kissing and cuddling. I think it was then I found out it wasn't supposed to be us after all..

That is another one of my invisible mistakes. I hate taking risks. I never want to do something if I’m not sure exactly how it will turn out. I don’t even dare to fall in love any more. It's too risky. Getting hurt by a bloke I think is right for me is something that definitely won’t do my self-image a favour. Everything makes me feel less valuable. Even when I received top marks in most of my exams last year did I feel the jolt of joy inside me I ought to have felt. Horace Slughorn didn’t stop bragging around about the result of my Potions exam, as I was one of his three favourite students who received ‘Outstanding’. I didn’t exactly feel proud, I just breathed out in relief because now nobody had anything to put their finger on.

The mirror is my worst enemy these days. When I look onto the blank surface that shows me my reflection.. I don’t see anything worth being proud of. I have always despised the way I look. No matter how many times mother told me I had a beautiful face did I look any different in my own eyes.

I started taking dancing-lessons at five. It's been with me all the way and been a great help to clear my head and focus on other things. As I grew older and went to Hogwarts, my mother begged Dumbledore to let me continue to dance. I still don’t know how she did it, but Dumbledore didn’t hesitate to start a class. Doesn’t miss a thing, Dumbledore. At the school plays we started having little performances, and everybody loved it. That is one of the few things making me happy; to stand on a stage in front of an audience.

Soon we had three ballet classes at Hogwarts. Lindsay came along, and turned out to be a great teacher for all three of them. She always knows how to encourage her students. I was in the first class during my first, second and third year, then changed to the second class.

Now I’ve been in the third and best class for a year, with five lessons a week. I loved it. It used to be the one thing that cleared my head off everything else. But Bryn changed that. Now I know ballet can also be a burden..

“You can do it, Lily! Try once more!”

My eyes filled with silent tears as I sat down on the matt floor. I buried my head in my hands, feeling the blood rushing through my feet in the hard pointe shoes.

“I can’t do it, Lindsay. I can’t.”

She sat down next to me and stroked my back.

“I know you will be able to. Just have confidence!”

All the other girls in my class figured there was something wrong that day. When I sat down and gave up on that exercise. When Lindsay escorted me to the changing room and had a long, nice chat with me about confidence.

Now the delayed autumn-show is coming up. I have been practising all summer. Lindsay has given me another ballet solo. And I know it will turn out disastrous. With my mood and my lack of determination, I’m bound to collapse on stage and turn as red as a tomato in front of a thousand students.

I’m going to be remembered as the failure of the year.

A/N: That was the introduction, now move on to the second chapter for the story to really begin! I'd be very happy if you leave me a review and tell me what you think, if it’s the first or the tenth time you read this!
~Astrid Elisabeth

Chapter 2: Don't Remind Me
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Chapter two, Don’t Remind Me

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Ballet technique is arbitrary and very difficult.
It never becomes easy... it becomes possible.
~Agnes de Mille

I rolled my tights down my legs and folded them nicely in my bag together with the leotard and the warm dance slippers after the double ballet lesson I’d just had. I pulled a loose sweater with bare shoulders over my head graciously and jumped into a pair of jeans before swinging the bag over my shoulder.

I was about to stride off from the changing room, but decided to sit down on one of the benches running along the walls instead. For a moment, I just rested there, relaxing my tense muscles. I closed my eyes, imagining how it would be like to enter the stage which would be set up in the Great Hall in about two months with everybody smiling at me. How it would be like to do everything perfect and full of emotion, and feel the light of the spotlight warm me in the dark. The feeling of dancing without thinking, just feeling…

‘But how can I do that when all I feel is anticipation, fear and nervousness?’ I thought. I knew that was what it would be like. The solos I’d had before where parts of other dances, it had been for the longest only two lots of eight, or maybe three. Which was about maximum ten seconds. But this one … was huge. It was a dance of my own. A whole song just for me.

‘And I am going to destroy it..’

“Sitting here thinking of your dance, Evans?”

I quickly snapped my head up, looking into Dorothy Hill’s grey stare. Her perfectly shaped body was towering over me, with a handsome face surrounded by dark hair sat up in a casual, yet fitting mess. I felt rage building up inside me. There stood the girl who always found a way to make me feel miserable no matter what. The girl thinking her dancing was perfect, and everybody else’s wrong and detestable. I sat up straighter, seeing her look of disgust at my sprawled, laid-back position on the bench. I removed the bag from my shoulder and slipped it down on the floor again.

“As a matter of fact, I am,” I replied calmly. But I felt my fists clenching unwillingly.

Hill sat down next to me, looking towards the bag at my feet. My old, greying black bag, with “Lily” sewn on the top in lime letters. She pulled out her ash wand and tapped the letters, renewing the stings with a non-verbal charm.

“That’s better, isn’t it? Just drop by sometime if you want to, and I’ll help you with the parts of your solo you feel you can’t handle,” she said, smiling innocently. The atmosphere around her couldn’t be more false.

“That’s very sweet of you, but I don’t think that will be necessary,” I smiled back, leaning my head slightly to the right. “Besides, it’s my solo, I’ve been the one Lindsay’s been teaching it to. I don’t see how you can know it better than me, when you’ve just been watching from the sideline.”

My words had hit her right where I aimed. Hill rose and swung her own pink bag over her shoulder with a defeated look on her face.
Her weight was on her left hip and her hands were suddenly placed dangerously at her sides. She pulled out her hairgrip and let her dark curly hair cover her shoulders. With a satisfied little look she came close again, the smug smile damping of cruelty.

“If you think you can do every turn and every pose the way it should be done at the show, think again. If I were you, I would ask someone who knows what they’re doing for help. And we both know Lindsay is much too busy already. So don’t hesitate asking me for help. You know I’d be more than happy.”

She pinched my cheek motherly and left in elegant steps for the Great Hall.

I leaned back against the wall, feeling the need to smash whatever was in my reach. I breathed out heavily and stamped my foot.

Why did she have to be so despicable? Hill was the Gryffindor-girl I liked the least. I still didn’t get how she managed to avoid ending up in Slytherin. That would be the right place for a girl so self-centred, cunning and selfish as her.

I knew I didn’t know every part of the dance as good as I should. All I had to do was just practise and push myself further.

‘I will manage it,’ I told myself.

‘No way will I let that hag stand backstage, looking at me ruining the solo she has been longing for since day one. Knowing she would have done it much better. No way.’

I wiped a small tear from my cheek and looked determinedly at the poster on the wall. A perfect grand jeté … A split in the air, the arms of the dancer performing it stretching towards the unreachable. I refused to fail. Not this time.

In quick steps I left the changing room as well, my body still warm after two hours practise. I forgot all about Dorothy Hill, and in my head I went through the steps in Grande Allegro, wishing my balance would have held me up a little bit longer in the jumps.

I walked in my automatic, fast speed down the corridors of Hogwarts, heading for Gryffindor tower four floors up. Knowing it was only a month left, I started to calculate on how many hours I’d be practising before then.. I thought I’d ask Lindsay to have some extra lessons with me. So I could do well on stage. Make her proud.

But all the thoughts around my dreaded solo was washed away when I felt a sudden punch in my back and I was thrust down to the floor, my dancing-bag flying several feet away in a long arch.

“Lily! Are you ok? I’m so sorry!”

Remus Lupin summoned my bag into his arms with a flick of his wand and gave it to me, helping me up clumsily. In the back of my head I remembered all the times Lindsay had helped me up during lessons when I collapsed out of exhaustion. I met his blue, concerned eyes, and I saw the little smile hiding behind them.

He laughed down at me and embraced me.

“It’s okay, Remus. I’m fine. I’m just a little bit stressed, that’s all.”

“Ah.. Nervous about the show coming up? Worried about your solo?”

I nodded shortly, searching his face and feeling his hand around my shoulders.

“You’ll be great! No matter how many mistakes you make, it’ll still be brilliant … I know you’ll look fantastic on that stage.”

I squeezed his hand gently, smiling up at him. A real smile. Not one of those fake ones I used to force onto my face. Remus had become closer and closer to me during the years, and was one of the few male attendees of Hogwarts I trusted and found interesting to be around.

“Thank you, that means a lot to me. At least I’ll have you there in the audience to applaud after I’ve stumbled through those long minutes.”

“Don’t think like that, Lily. I know you will dance like a queen if you just have confidence!” he said firmly.

I removed his arm from my neck and looked sternly at him. Was he about to give me that same lecture Lindsay gave me every second week? Because I couldn’t stand having another person telling me what to do. They didn’t understand. At least Remus didn’t. He didn’t know the feeling of your feet screaming for air after being imprisoned in a pair of beautiful elegant shoes for hours at a time. If he only knew…

“You have no idea how often I hear that,” I mumbled through gritted teeth. “Lindsay likes to push that piece of information inside my head quite often.”

“I know this is all about Bryn, Lily. He made you fall after the end of last term.”

I felt my temper rising. If everyone was going to point out my nasty bruises to me every second, I just wanted to be deaf. But it was somewhat different with Remus. He really cared. He had been the only person I could count on one hundred percent, so why push him away as well?

I put his hand over my shoulders again and gave him an embarrassed smile.

“I’m sorry.. I just don’t like people pointing that out to me. That I don’t have a life.”

We just walked in silence up the stairs, Remus half reading a book in his left hand. Then I spotted someone in the corridor ahead of us, and I prayed to God we would be able to pass them without hearing a word emerge either of their lips.

Or his lips.

Depends on how you look at it.

James Potter’s messy hair flew all over the back of his head, his tall slim figure blocking parts of the narrow corridor. Next to him, Sirius Black was leaning against a stone wall, no doubt talking to Potter about the girl he got into bed the other night. His eyes were so full of life, and his lips moved rapidly, so I could not be mistaking.
I wondered who last night’s victim of the charming Black-smile was.

When we passed them, I was holding my breath. Remus knew only too well about my love for Potter and Black, so he didn’t hesitate to pass them without a hello. But still, we were very spotted.

Potter whipped his head around, a smirk spreading across his face as he saw my annoyed expression. He practically ran over to me, ripped me away from Remus, taking hold of both my hands. He started dancing around the little space available with me, singing something closely resembling to a Guffawed Boggarts song called “Flying Teapots”.

Naturally, I yelled his ears out, and struggled to get away from his grasp. But that didn’t happen. He continued to dance around with me, my dance bag leaving for a nap on the cold floor long ago. From time to other he would give me one of his characteristic Potter-winks, resulting in me rolling my eyes at him.

Remus just stood there by Black, shaking his head slightly. Sometimes he said something to his best friend, followed by a little series of grunts. Both Remus and I knew there was no use in trying to tell them off when this sort of things happened, so I didn’t feel offended by him not trying to rescue me from Potter’s hopeful dance.

“Done now, Potter? I’ve been dancing enough for one day already.”

I didn’t bother to make an effort anymore, didn’t struggle or raise my voice. If he couldn’t hear what I was saying because of his own yelling of a song, that was his problem.

“Come again, Evans?” he hummed.

“Forget it,” I said dully. “It was nothing worth ruining that truly charming song of yours.”

“Really? You know, I’ve started thinking about taking singing lessons. What do you think about that? I could sing, and you could do all your nice pirouettes!”

I felt sick even by the sound of the word pirouettes.

“Dream on, Potter. The best I can offer you is a seat at the back in the audience.”

Potter made a sad face and pretended to sob. It was truly pathetic, as always. Then his face changed suddenly, a satisfied grin spreading over his thin face.

“I was hoping to assist you in the changing room back stage, really. Think you can fix that?”

I forced myself out of his arms and went for my bag for the second time that day. I didn’t even bother to say goodbye to Remus, I just changed the direction and headed along the corridor in agony.

“Evans! I forgot one thing!” Potter yelled from behind me.

I stopped and turned around unwillingly. I gave him the coldest stare I could muster.

“What would that be? An apology? Or is that too much to hope for?”

He shook his head and shrugged.

“It’s better than that! One more guess?”

I rolled my eyes and continued to walk, not bothering to look back. I knew what was coming.

“Will you go out with me, Evans?”

There it was. The hundred-and-something-time Potter had asked me out over a period of about three years. I found my willow wand in my pocket and was tempted to stun him, but the distance was too big now. I refused to walk back again.

My reply wasn't very unfamiliar to him either.

No, Potter!”

Chapter 3: Lost in Thought
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Chapter Three, Lost in Thought

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You can dance anywhere,
even if only in your heart.
~Source unknown

The huge library was almost empty when I entered the double doors and seated myself at a table near the History section. I only noticed a couple of Ravenclaws and a bunch of Slytherins in the other end of the room, so I was close to guaranteed privacy to finish my work. The tall bookshelves towering around the room made me feel secure somehow.
I pulled up some parchment and a textbook before rumpling through my things for ink and quill. I traced beautiful letters on the yellowing paper, my mind being at a totally different place.

I sat there, humming on the classical piece my solo was put in. By now I knew every change of dynamics in the music. I concentrated on my essay on the use and definitions on Inferi while hearing the music play in my head. I wished to give it glory with my movements. A part of me wanted to leave the work behind and just dance there in the library, not bothering to think about the steps or the turns. That would have made people stare. That would have been the drop for them to think ‘I knew she was insane.’

But I resisted it and kept in contact with real life. With the tip of the quill resting on the paper.

There she was… There was no mistaking it was her. Her red hair collected into a big flower at the back of her head. Her pale skin making her face light up the room. Her graceful body almost dancing across the floor, even though there was no music filling the atmosphere.
From where I sat I could almost see the freckles decorating her face. Her green eyes were piercing when you looked into them.

She sat down and started writing only a couple of tables away from me. I wanted so much to join her, to whisper sweet words into her ear, words sweeter than the music filling her so often.

I knew she had always been hard to get. I wasn’t even in the same house as her. But I never got it to sink in … how a wonderful girl like her never had anyone special in her life to satisfy her and tell her how wonderful she was. As long as that jerk Potter didn’t fetch her, I was glad. He had been drooling all over her as long as I had liked her. He never let her alone. He was always there to destroy and kill her mentally in some way. Why she never smacked him in the face, was beyond me. She didn’t even seem to like being in his presence.

I sat there looking at the back of her head, wondering what her hair was like when she let it down. I didn’t see her hair fall loose often. Maybe during weekends, but from Monday to Friday her hair was always up. Maybe it was a part of her routine. That was what Lily Evans was known as. The routine-girl. And she was a very pretty routine-girl …

Suddenly I felt someone slip down next to me. I jumped a little, but calmed down when I saw Remus’s kind face beam at me.

“Sorry about last night,” he apologised.

“Don’t be silly! That wasn’t your fault … it was Potter again,” I said.

“Of course, but I could have stopped it.”

“I don’t want you to go mad at one of your best friends just because he likes taunting me! I survived. It’s not that big of a deal.”

I returned to my work, but felt his eyes on me. I bet he wanted to help me, like he usually offered, but I always refused. Especially because it was Defence Against The Dark Arts which were in work. Remus was even better than me on that subject.

I wanted to at least try to be independent. Even if a little help felt really tempting at the moment.

“Erm … Lily?” he said quietly.

“Yes?” I mumbled, still buried in homework and the music inside my head.

“Do you hate James?”

I turned around completely. Was Remus going to start this as well? It was enough having Black and Potter bringing up that topic several times a week.

“What do you mean? Did he tell you to ask me this?”

I started droodling in the corner of my parchment roll, not really wanting to meet his eyes.

“No, actually, he didn’t.”

‘Now, that was a surprise. He came up with that question all of his own.’

I often yelled at him about how stupid and self-centred Potter was, but we never got into chatting about what I thought of him when he didn’t ask me out or generally poisoned the moments I reluctantly spent with him.

“So.. Do you?” Remus asked again, stronger and more relaxed than the first time he posed the question. He actually gave me an interesting smile.

I sighed, not stopping to trace out a girl with my quill.

“I don’t know,” I answered truthfully, finally looking up with a slight frown between my eyebrows.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Remus mirrored my frown.

“Well, look at it from my side,” I began. “I don’t really know Potter. All I know is that he irritates the tutu off me when he acts like he does. Of course I despise him when he is like that, but I guess I don’t hate him. And besides, I only have those silly moments to judge on.”

“I see,” Remus smiled. “Deep and thorough answering. Good job.”

“If Black had been here he would have been the question-mark himself. Sometimes it amazes me how clever he is in class and how slow he is outside the classroom.”

We both laughed at that.

After an hour I got up and went for dinner in the Great Hall. I had no more business in the library. As I walked down the corridor I met Potter the other day I felt a cold chill run down my spine.

I had never understood that boy. He was one of the most confusing things I knew. I always knew what mood he was in for instance, it glowed from him even at a long distance. If he lost one of his precious Quidditch matches, he could be pissed the rest of the week. But if he was in a good mood, it resulted in a doubled prank-list and lots of jokes and hexes running down the halls when Filch wasn’t around.

But every time he asked me out, he had the same face-expression. One of deep annoyance, and a hurt trace that I never managed to read either ‘genuine’ or ‘fake’ from. And then there was me, and all the variations I turned him down with. If I had a good day, I would turn him down politely, but that was a rare occasion. The usual “Fly off on your precious broom to Egypt and eat rattle-snakes,” was a reply I was quite fond of.

I didn’t like the way he found it amusing to ask me out so often. It seemed like it was his way of a joke, a part of his routine consisting of a dash of School, loads of Quidditch, even more pranking, make girls swoon around him and last but not least, hit on Lily Evans. I found it strange.

But then, Potter played different roles around everyone. Around the other three best friends of his, also known as the Marauders, he was energetic and arrogant and a big blown up … thing.

Around girls he was a player. I didn’t know of any other person but Black who’d had more girls on his record then Potter. He flirted like mad every time a girl above the average-rank on the scale of beauty would pass.

In the classroom he was a hardworking student. He answered all the questions, was polite and talented. You could almost mistake him for being a nice guy. Of course he allowed himself to get close to crossing the line sometimes during lessons, but he never got out of hand. He knew where to draw the line.

But … I never knew what was going on inside him. He was kind of a mystery to me. I was always left wondering what was in the depth of him. And I burst to find out, at the same time I couldn’t care less. He was just annoying and frustrating. But a part of me always wondered …

I slipped down at the bench next to Hillary Liben, one of my best friends, finding my diet book from my school bag and flipped it open in a rush of stress.

“Could you pass me some salad, a hundred grams of chicken and some water?” I said, reading in the book at the same time.

Hillary rolled her eyes and put the things I asked for down at my plate.

“This is supposed to be your dinner? You’re going to be hungry when you leave this table, Lily. If that’s all you eat, you’re going to starve yourself.”

I put the book down and looked at my friend. She had no control of my eating habits. Of course I wouldn’t leave stuffed, but I wouldn’t be hungry.

“The trick is to eat little and often. Also try to stay away from sugar in unhealthy amounts. It’s not harder than that. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get an eating disorder. I’m not thick.”

Hillary just stared at me for a couple of seconds, then smiled at me. I knew what was running through her mind. It would be something along the lines of ‘Lily.. Why are you so hooked up in spending so much time in that studio? Why can’t you just forget about it and live some more?’

Well, my dear Hillary, I use dancing to escape everything else. Forget everything else. When I dance, I am free. Even when I fall and give up am I free. I have some mistakes, yes ... but I know how to do some things right.

When we left the Great Hall she linked her arm in mine and we walked up to Gryffindor Tower together. I knew she was always concerned for me, afraid I’d fall apart. But she was still there for me.

“You know what you need, Lily?” she said later that night, sitting in her night-gown together with me in her four-poster.

I smiled curiously at her while leading my hairbrush through the long soft hair of mine. I had taken it out of the usual hairgrip, letting it fall only in the evening before I went to bed.

“What’s that?”

“You need to get your mind off ballet.”

I rolled over and threw my brush down on the floor, letting my hair cover my face. Of course she had to come up with something like this, I was miserable enough already.

“Lily ... all you think about is ballet. All you care about is ballet, school, and some other few people allowed to enter your life. I know you say you feel free when dancing, but-”

I turned over again and looked at her, my eyes glowing.

“There is no but! I feel free when dancing. It’s there I find my energy! Just because you quit dancing because you couldn’t cope with it, doesn’t mean I’m going to do the same!”

I understood I had said too much. Hillary’s eyes filled with tears, but she didn’t break the eye-contact. Her wounds from realising she was falling off in the dancing-classes were still fresh.

Her excuse had been that she didn’t have time for dancing, but I had seen her. So had everybody else. I knew she lost hope and didn’t have the strength to carry on. I remembered how sad she was when she returned to out dormitory after telling Lindsay she was not participating in the next show.

“I know,” she said quietly. “I really respect you for still fighting, Lily. You are a fighter. But isn’t this going too far? Isn’t your dancing lessons overshadowing everything else?”

“I have to keep pushing myself … I have to make it that night the show is on, it’s my first big solo.”

Hillary gave me a hug and removed my hair from my face.

“But after that? Are you going to slow down or push yourself even further when the next show is coming?”

I didn’t have words. I hadn’t thought about that. But Hillary was right. There would always be more shows. At least another one or two before I graduated. What would I do about those?

“Lily ... Are you going to push yourself to the limit this last year at Hogwarts, or are you going to enjoy it and try to loosen the strings attached to yourself?”

I was lost in thought. What should I do?

Chapter 4: Playing With Fire
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Chapter Four, Playing with Fire

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The ballet toe shoe
is one of the few instruments of torture
to survive intact into our time.
~Source unknown

The wind sometimes played with the short pink skirt running up my thigh. The sky blue top hanging loosely around my upper body matched the trainers lying in the grass next to me. My feet were chilling in the cool water of the lake, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Hillary and Anna had forced me to take a weekend off dancing and work related to school, and I agreed so they would be satisfied. The result was that I was ten times more satisfied then them. I couldn’t recall any weekend being so wonderful.

September was blooming, but still the warm wind was having a last visit before leaving. It was lovely. I was lying by the lake by myself, supporting on my elbows so I could watch the other people having a good time. Luckily nobody noticed if the wind had a particularly great need to experiment on exactly how far it could bring my skirt up before I forced it down again. It felt great to actually wear something that didn’t stick to my body everywhere. Clothes showing off my figure from every angle.

My hair was falling heavily from my head.

No hairgrip or pins were holding it up. My hair was a playmate of the wind it had almost forgotten. A smile was playing around my lips, my eyes shining. I felt I existed. The wind caressed the naked skin of my legs and shoulders. It was the most intimate touch … I could have been lying there for hours flirting with the weather.

My feet was healing in the water element, forgetting all about the painful hours in the studio. They were singing with joy.

“Not often to see you spending time here during weekends eh, Evans?”

A mature, familiar voice pierced my little bubble of thought.

“Looking quite hot lying there as well, as I’m speaking.”

I turned my head and looked up in Sirius Black’s face. The usual grin dominated his face, his hair blowing in the wind as well.
I still smiled, not even Black could take away my mood on this beautiful day. It was too nice to be spoilt, even by his cocky comments.

“Thanks, Black. I guess I’ll let that comment pass the ‘rude compliment detector’ narrowly.”

He raised an eyebrow and sat down next to me. I noticed his eyes running over my legs and the short skirt, which sometimes rode even further up.

“You’re not going to kick me on certain sensitive parts of the body? What’s with you today?” Black frowned.

“I’m just in a happy mood, I’m not irritated as easily as other days.”

I leaned over to the side, facing him. I pushed my long red strands of hair away from my face.

“But that does not mean my limits are wiped out,” I added hastily.

Black looked somewhat disappointed, but kept his mysterious smiling at the ready.

“Too bad, I was hoping to have some fun.”

I laughed. ‘Black was intending to have some fun’. It didn’t surprise me one bit. If I was right, he didn’t even know it was me lying here when he came over, just some chick not wearing much clothes.

I laid down, resting my head in the grass, playing with it between my fingers. I looked up at the sky with a few white clouds decorating it, breathing in the smell of fresh air.

“You should have your hair out more often,” Black pointed out silkily.

He reached out and stroked my hair ever so gently. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought he even smelled it the way I was smelling the air surrounding us.

“What are you doing?” I asked, amusement in my voice.

“Just exploring … You’re one of the girls I know actually being fascinating. And I won’t miss the opportunity to explore you when you’re lying here so willingly.”

I heard his voice changing into the charming voice he used when capturing girls in his web. Silky, careful, controlled.

I raised my eyebrows.

“The ‘rude compliments detector’ is going mad,” I whispered. “Watch it.”

“Ouch, Evans. You’re scaring me. You happen to have the red hair temper, that’s for sure. Can’t you be gentle? Just this once?”

I laughed again. When Black was so certain to get what he wanted, it was fun to ruin it.

“Save it. Do I look like a slut to you? Do you really think you can get up my skirt still having all body-parts in order when returning to the castle? Watch your steps.”

“You sure are a challenge. No wonder Prongs likes to play around with you,” he smirked, picking up one of the last daisies clinging to life, twisting it between his index finger and his thumb.

“Pardon me?” My lips fell apart and surprise screamed from my eyes.

What was he talking about?

“Because.. The one being patient doesn’t end up waiting in vain. I think you are quite a wild thing under those elegant movements and all the innocence. I reckon he thinks you’re worth waiting for.”

He searched my face, looking for a reaction. His eyes lingered in mine for a brief moment before I shook my head and sighed.

“Potter? Thinks I’m worth waiting for? It’s only one of his sick little games, he’s just waiting for me to fall for his big head. Like that’ll ever happen.”

Black laughed and clicked his tongue. He placed the daisy behind my ear so motionless I almost didn’t notice, and sat up, looking at his masterpiece.

“You’re right, Evans. He’s just waiting for you to fall head over heels. My guess is that you won’t be able to resist him much longer.”

“Dream on,” I frowned, straightening my skirt and extracting my feet from the water. I looked at the strained red across the bridge of my toes. I was planning to visit madam Pomfrey soon, getting some healing herbs for the wounds.

“What’s that?” Black exclaimed, hurrying down to me again.

“I didn’t know there were Piraeus in this lake,” he joked, letting his eyes follow the length of my legs before leaning down, running his fingers over my feet.

I moaned unwillingly at his touch, feeling it hurt and sting as his hand felt the sore parts in slow motions.

He took his cloak off and dragged it over them carefully, the water soon being dried off.

“Careful, Evans. Maybe you should spend less time in those killer-shoes. I don’t think your feet are as fond of them as you are.”

He sounded gentle and caring. Even concerned.

I was thoroughly confused by then. Was this the same Black I was so used to be around? Was he like this for real or was it just one of his tricks?

I bit my lip.

“Why are you all of a sudden being a gentleman? What happened to the ‘All I want is to get you to bed and make you go wild’ attitude? Why am I suddenly a human being and not a toy?”

Black gave me a coy smile.

“I know if a woman wants me or not, Evans. You’re one of the few being able to resist me...”

His coy smile was by then replaced by a smirk.

“So why not be nice? Besides, you never know about females. They might change their mind. Why not reach them at the vulnerable level where they totally give in … ?” he continued.

He came up close to me, and my body stiffened at once. A boy being so close to me was something I was yet to learn how to handle after Bryn broke down my shelters.

I felt his breath against the skin of my neck.

“Would you give in, Evans?”

I furrowed my brows, looking at him lying there so dangerously close to me.

“Black, you’re about to be disappointed. Just stop it right now before I default your ego.”

“Oh, I don’t think I will stop just yet …”

His voice was barely over a whisper.

His hand moved and rested at my neck where his breath had tickled only seconds before. He started dragging them along my pale, soft skin.

“No, Black.”

“That ‘no’ doesn’t sound very negative to me,” he breathed.

Excitement flushed through my body as his face started to lean in the same path his hand had done … Oh, how much I wanted to give in.

His fingers caressed my neck, and all I wanted was to let him continue.

Just that one time …

His lips came in contact with my skin.

I awoke with a start from my own senses and jumped up. I grabbed my trainers and started walking back to the castle. If I had eyes in my neck I’m sure the satisfied and charming Black-smile would have slapped me in the face.

I has been so close to letting him get me. I guess I was not as strong as I thought. I had just played with fire. And the fire almost swallowed me whole.

I heard some whistles to my right.

Brilliant. Members of the ‘Black and Potter fan club’ worshipping Black lying there ‘so hot’ by the lake. I rolled my eyes.

But the comment following was apparently not for Black.

“Hey, Evans! Going for your extra rehearsal? Can we come watch you undress?”

More whistles.

“Can’t you just go and whistle at someone deserving it? God, you must be blind!” I flushed in their faces with an outraged voice.

They stopped dead at this. Apparently they weren’t used to such replies.

“I think you’re the one being blind, Evans! Take a look in the mirror!”

The smile of the blonde boy, Gatshaw I thought his name was, reappeared. The colours of Slytherin were bright on his clothes.

“I know perfectly well what my reflection looks like, thank you very much! And I think it’s up to me to consider myself worthy of whistles or not,” I hissed on.

I knew I’d drawn the line a bit too far already, but I couldn’t help it.

I sped up, soon being back in the safe castle. Red as a tomato I started to move in the directions of Gryffindor Tower. I took a longer way just to think and calm down, so people wouldn’t see any traces of red in my face when I returned.

I hated people giving me compliments. I didn’t deserve them. I had kept control when it came to Black, but I was in a good mood. Of course he managed to wipe the smile off my face, as always, but this was too much.

I was sick of people joking about things like that.

Why was it so fun to whistle at me and tell me I was hot when I was as far away as possible from it? That kind of irony and sarcasm was truly evil.

As I climbed through the portrait hole I felt goosebumps creep over me. It was much colder in the castle than outside, obviously. Also my happy bubble was gone. I couldn’t believe it. In thirty minutes I was back to being the miserable me.

I was hoping for a long shower.

Little did I know about what was waiting for me there. That shower became a very short one.

A/N: I loved writing this chapter, where Lily’s resistance is put to the test. Also I enjoyed describing the day and the situation at the lake. What do you think? I did some minor changes, one of them making Malfoy Gatshaw instead. (Where on earth did I get that name from?) because Malfoy was obviously older than Lily.
~Astrid Elisabeth

Chapter 5: Arguing
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Chapter Five, Arguing

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In life as in dance:
Grace glides on blistered feet.
~Alice Abrams

I was upset and cold when I climbed through the portrait hole. All I wanted was to sit in one of the chairs by the fire, warming up before running upstairs for a wash.

I walked over to the chairs, but they were all occupied … By none other than Potter, Pettigrew and Dorothy Hill. That didn’t stop me, though. I sat down on the floor not more than a foot from the fire, stretching out my fingers for warmth.

“Didn’t see you in class earlier, Lily?” Hill said sweetly.

I felt another happy bubble break.

“I know,” I mumbled. ‘I was having a much better time by the lake than any of you girls had in that extra lesson…’ I thought.

“Why was that? You’re the solo girl, right? Not very smart of you to skive off dancing lessons since that’s the case?”

And another happy bubble just shattered.

‘She is so evil. I could have strangled her right here and now.’

“I just needed a weekend off, okay? Nothing to fuss about!” I looked hardly at her, struggling to keep my voice down.

“It’s your solo,” the girl spat. “You clearly don’t know how to appreciate it, actually, it looks like you don’t even care!”

Another bubble of happiness killed ...

I edged closer to the fire to get further away from Dorothy. I stared into the flames, knowing they were a perfect match to my rising temper.

“I thought you were obsessed with dancing, Evans? Why the change of heart?”

I wanted to scream.


If he was getting into the discussion as well, it was bound to turn out as bad as it could. In other words, I was tempted to leave.
But my dislike of Hill was deeper than that, so I wouldn’t leave without the last word.

“Potter, who gave you the permission to judge me that way?”

“Hey! Sorry for the insult, but I thought you were.”

We were in another argument. Great. Just great.

“You make it sound so negative,” I hissed.

Potter chuckled and threw his hands up in surrender. “Didn’t mean to.”

Hill gave me one last cold glare and left her chair. My eyes followed her as she walked up the circular staircase, showing off her long legs.

I jumped into the unoccupied chair and closed my eyes.

“I just wanted to have a weekend off, that’s all,” I whispered to nobody. “Why did it have to turn into such a big thing?”

I felt somebody gaze at me. There was no mistaking.

I opened my eyes and met Potter’s hazel look, his face kind of amused. His hand jumped up to his temple and ruffled through his black hair. I was tempted to roll my eyes at him, but I had been enough rude for one day.

“Don’t worry, Evans,” he said, relaxing in his chair and focusing on the fire. “That weekend off can’t hurt. Actually it’s quite nice having you around some more, I had something to tell you.”

“If you want Remus to look over ‘his’ charms-work again, drop it. I’m not that easily fooled.” My voice drawled, I was exhausted even though I hadn’t moved a muscle too much all day.

“I meant to ask you something else, but ok, I’ll ask you myself next time I need your help in that subject.”

His voice was so smug I wanted to slap him. He just didn’t manage to press his ego down to an acceptable level.

“What then?” I was almost falling asleep. It was only seven in the afternoon, but still.

“Would you please go out with me? Just once? Please?” he smiled sheepishly at me. I raised my eyebrows.

“What do you think I’ll answer?” I sighed.


“Try again.”


“Try once more.”

“Hmm … I’ll think about it?”

“Not that, another answer. Shouldn’t be hard to guess.”

“No?” he whispered.

“You are quite correct. Now that wasn’t too hard, was it?”

I gave him a quick applaud and felt my eyes drop.

“Well, well … I’ll just ask some other girl to go out with me, then,” his voice had suddenly dropped.

Actually he sounded somewhat hurt, but I knew he was just pretending to be. He could date all the girls he wanted, as long as it wasn’t me.

“Be my guest,” I muttered.

He rose from his chair and left. I didn’t complain.

“Evans! You’re going to regret this!”

Hill’s voice echoed through the common room. I woke up form my short nap. It didn’t take long to notice her figure towering up next to me. She was holding something in her hands.

I gasped.

A pair of pointe shoes hung from her fingers. They were ripped and torn and … destroyed. Literally a mess. I sat up in my chair just surveying them for a moment. The whole common room held it’s breath in excitement of what would happen next.

“If… If you’re going to blame me for that, you’re … wrong,” I managed to force out, pointing at the shoes.

“Who else would? You knew I was about to get the ballet solo at the show so why not take revenge at me and destroy these? I don’t know of anyone else who would commit such a crime.”

‘Okay, first, it’s a pair of shoes. They are not made of gold.’

‘Second, I wouldn’t do that, I’m not a scheming rat like you.’

“And when would I have the time to do that? I had breakfast and then headed for the grounds, I was in the grounds all day!” I exclaimed.

“Prove it,” Hill said through gritted teeth.

“Ask anyone!” I said.

After second thought, I spoke again.

“Ask Black!”

Or maybe that was not a very good idea…

I heard him whip his head around at the sound of his name. “Any of you ladies want a word?” I heard him say next.

“Yes, why don’t you come over here, Sirius dear?” Hill said silkily, not taking her eyes off me.

I was tempted to roll my eyes again, but I didn’t dare. I was on the spot already.

Black came over, looking puzzled.

“Can you confirm that Lily was in the grounds all day?” Dorothy asked.

Black winked at me and took over the chair Potter had occupied earlier.

“Of course, she laid by the lake all by herself, looking very lonely, and very attractive …”

“Save the details,” she hissed. “So she was there all day?”

“Sure thing, couldn’t take my eyes off those legs…”

‘Oh … My … God …’

I kept myself together and pretended he didn’t exist.

“See? I have a .. eh.. witness. So you can’t blame me!” I said with false happiness.

“You’re not getting away that easily … I know you did it,” Hill said before leaving again, gladly showing off the killed shoed to anyone asking.

‘Why couldn’t she just hiss Reparo and the problem would be solved?’ I snapped in my head, wondering how Hill came up with such ridiculous attempts to stamp on me.

I rose to leave, to get away from this embarrassing scene. But I was held back, because Black took hold of my arm.

“Hey, Evans?”

Black was in his corner.

“Yes? Want anything, dear?” I said sarcastically, mocking Hill’s way of speech.

“If you want me to stick up for you some other time, just ask.”

He actually said it seriously. I was surprised.

“Thanks,” I said. He sure knew how to play his roles.

But the smile on his face as I replied said something else, apparently. Black didn't use that phrase the same way I did … All he thought about could be said in a word with three letters.

‘Of Course!’

I was tempted to say something rude again, but I held it back. I didn’t doubt for a second Black’s ability to ‘stick up’ for girls. I was glad he hadn’t done that for me. If he did, it would be the last time he ever did it.

I left for the showers.

Feeling the warm water stroke my back was much better then sitting in the common room arguing. For a moment I was back by the lake, and it was the warm wind surrounding me, not the water.

I could almost picture Black again, slowly coming closer.

No! Don’t think about that! Don’t you dare admit you liked it, Lily Evans!

You just did.

Oh no … Shit.

I was confused again. But now I had admitted it, that I actually found it exciting having Black where I had him.

But… hello! This was Sirius Black we were talking about!

And he just made me realise I had lust for something more than that stage and the tremendous marks.

I longed for someone to show me affection. And I longed for showing affection.

It scared me. I had become an expert of hiding my own feelings, even so deep I couldn’t reach them myself. And now this particular thing was welling back, making me afraid of myself.

Chapter 6: Dancing Out My Soul
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Chapter Six, Dancing Out My Soul

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To dance is to be out of your self,
larger, more powerful, more beautiful.
This is power, it is glory on earth
and it is yours for the taking.
~Agnes de Mille

“Lily, no!” Anna stopped doing her short brown hair and tried to hold me back.

I turned to face her, the disappointment was clearly all over her face. She had grabbed my wrist, and wouldn’t let go.

“Lily … you promised,” she complained. “Please, don’t go!”

I stopped up and hugged her. I could smell her perfume, her hair felt soft against my skin.

“I’m sorry, but this is my decision. I need it.”

“What do you think Hillary will say? She’ll go mad!”

I struggled to suppress a laugh.

“You’re overreacting! It’s not that big of a deal!” I said to Anna.

“I know… But you were doing so well. Please? Drop it. For me?” She pleaded. She folded her hands and looked at me with puppy-eyes.

“Sorry ...” I whispered.

“Lindsay? Are you here?” I yelled into the big, empty dancing studio.

She wasn’t there yet. Noon on a Sunday was probably too early even for a busy dance teacher. I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and went for the changing room.

It was empty as well. I was so relieved. For a moment I imagined Hill’s angry face yell that she had the studio for ‘personal training’ that day or something along those lines.

I quickly changed into dancewear, but I chose to let the pointe shoes have an extra day’s rest. Instead I found some white dance slippers and put them on my feet. I just hoped Lindsay would be there soon. I wanted to get back.

When I entered the studio I suddenly wondered why I had put on these clothes in the first place. All I wanted was to find Lindsay and ask for some extra lessons for the next three weeks. I wasn’t really intending to dance.

‘I know you want to..’ I heard a voice inside my head whisper.

I let my inner voice lead me for once. I went over to a little cupboard by the mirrors and found Lindsay’s things. With a tap of my wand I changed a little flat thing into a little box, and a little squeaky voice from within spoke.

“Please select a song,” it said automatically.

I looked over the list on the wall and spoke clearly:

“Number eight, Sunrise Colours.”

Three seconds later the music floated in the room. No speakers or disks like I had at home, the music simply existed. It was great, because it was so much easier to empathise with the music this way. You were totally surrounded by it, you were in it.

I felt my spirit lift me, and I danced.

I didn’t think, I just danced. It was as if I could actually imagine the colours of the sunrise, feel the morning air and breathe it.

I jumped.

I stretched.

I floated.

I turned.

I glided.

I felt the music.

And I knew I did everything right. There was nobody there to see me. Nobody there to judge my dancing. Nobody there to decide if it was nice or ugly movements.

With my eyes closed, I continued to dance my heart out. I felt every note and every chord in the music, I smelt it. I let the music decide if my movements were soft or hard, slow or fast, high or low.

I felt free.

The leotard on my body helped my body become flexible. The tights made my legs longer and softer. The shoes on me feet made them stretch. My own breath gave it life together with the music and my limbs.

I felt naked, in a free way. There was nothing but my body and the sound of the piano playing. Nothing else. The music was the inspiration and my body was the art.

I didn’t do art. I was art.

I felt the energy flow through me and give me life. I was alive.

I prepared, and turned. I didn’t care how many turns I did, or how fast, I just knew I turned and felt my body spin into emotion.

I was walking along the corridor on the third floor, on my way back to Hufflepuff’s common room. But something stopped me. I heard music. Where did that come from? I followed the sound, trying to figure out where it came from. After a good two minutes I found out.

Of course it came from one of the dancing studios. I should have figured that out long ago. But I didn’t hear that dance teacher’s voice from anywhere. In fact, I couldn’t see anybody around. Could she have left the music on? I wanted to get back to my friends, but out of politeness I decided to turn it off. But what if there was someone in the studio after all? That could turn out truly embarrassing. So I decided to use my wand.

I muttered some words under my breath and flicked it at the door the music came from. The door at once became invisible from my side, but to whomever was in the room, the door would look just as solid.

My eyes widened when I saw who was in there.

It was Lily Evans. Alone.

She was wearing dance clothes, the blue leotard glued to her slender body. Her hips were beautifully set off. Her feet lived their own life, it was as if they were painting a picture, and the music was what it was painted on. I was stunned.

I had seen Evans dance before, and she had always amazed me, but this was like nothing I had seen her perform before. I could have been sitting there for hours just watching her move. I felt the desire grow up in me again. Maybe I’d go over and sit by her the next time she was in the library. I didn’t expect her to be as nice to me as to that Lupin bloke, but just maybe.

I suddenly realised how much I wanted that girl. I thought I had forced her out of my mind for good a long time ago, but she was entering again. I wanted Lily Evans to be mine. I wanted to be the one in that mind when she was dancing. I wondered who was these days, who was in Evans’s thoughts.

Suddenly I was interrupted from my own ocean of thinking.

“Excuse me?”

Shit. It was that dance teacher. She was standing inches away from myself.

“Having fun?”

I felt my face grow hot. I lifted the spell on the door and turned around.

“Just watching,” I choked out.

“I could tell,” she smiled.

“Please don’t tell Evans?” I pleaded. I must have sounded quite pathetic.

“Ok, I won’t. But don’t spy on her from now on. I know Lily good enough to tell that would piss her off.”

“Sure,” I said, hurrying away from the studio.

As the music grew fainter, I realised what a fool I had been to let myself get caught. If Evans found out, she would yell at me even more than she had the last time.


I stopped. Just to be sure, I looked down on myself to make sure I was actually wearing clothes.

I walked over to Lindsay, who stood there in the door, speechless.

“I’m so sorry, Lindsay … I didn’t mean to,” I began. But she interrupted me.

“You’re sorry? Lily, I have never seen you dance like that! It was nothing less than brilliant!”

I gave her an embarrassed smile.

“You see? This is exactly why I gave you and nobody else that solo. When you want to, you dance with your soul, Lily, not your body.”

I sunk down on the floor, on the verge of starting to cry.

“But, Lindsay … I can’t do that in class. It’s too much pressure! I can’t manage to let myself go there.”

She leaned down and placed a comforting arm around me, lifting my face with her other hand.

“I know you can do it. Right now... when you were dancing…”

She sat down next to me, crossing her legs.

“Did you ever feel week? Did you ever think ‘I can’t do this’?”

“No, I didn’t,” I confessed. “I felt confident.”

Lindsay gave me a smile I seldom saw her use.

“That’s it, girl! Now, what did you really come here for?”

I grinned. “I was hoping for some extra lessons for the next three weeks, so I could practise on my solo.”

“Let me see,” Lindsay mumbled, finding her planner. “How many do you want? I don’t want you to get exhausted. Don’t overdo it.”

“A couple would do fine,” I said, watching her flip the pages.

“I can give you one extra on Wednesday, and one on Sunday.”

“Where does that leave me?” I asked.

“You’ll have one on Monday, two on Tuesday, and two on Wednesday. Plus the one on Sunday.”

‘That is a lot,’ I thought. ‘But it’s only for three weeks. I’ll handle it.’

On my way back to Gryffindor Tower after changing, I met Remus, who came from the library. He was heading back to the Tower as well, so we had a nice chat.

“More lessons, Lily? You are going to collapse before the show is over!”

“It’s only three weeks!” I explained. “I know six hours is very much together with my amount of homework, but I’ll be back to four after the show… I promise.”

Remus looked at me suspiciously.

“Take out the hairclips, Lily,” he said slowly.

“What?” I squeaked.

“Just do it for me.”

I gave in and removed them one after one, letting my hair run down my back. I dragged my fingers through it a couple of times to smooth it before turning to Remus again. I really didn’t see the point of this.

“What was that for?” I asked in surprise.

“Nothing, I just wanted to see Lily, not the ballerina for a moment.”

I became quiet. I didn’t dare to say a word. Was that the way it was?

“It’s just,” Remus began. “You need to take your mind off everything else sometimes.”

I sighed. Not again.

“Really, just try to be yourself. Don’t let ballet be so important you forget everything else around you.”

“Remus … I try, okay? This will be different after the show. I have to run fast now I’ve almost reached the goal. Have to give everything.”

“You promise?” he asked, slightly amused.

“I promise,” I replied, smiling warmly at him.

I reached down my pocket, putting my hair up again, to Remus’s disappointment. I just didn’t feel comfortable flashing my hair at everybody.

A/N: I was totally in my own world writing this chapter… It’s the way I feel when improvising.

Chapter 7: Gnabbler-hunting
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Chapter Seven, Gnabbler-hunting

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We should consider every day lost on which
we have not danced at least once.
~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

‘Am I in love?’ I asked myself, lying in my bed Monday morning.
‘That can’t be. Lily Evans doesn’t fall in love any more.’

A part of me knew I had feelings for him. That I always had. Another part of me said he was only a friend.

‘Damn it! Why do you have to get confused and overwhelmed by feelings now, Lily?’

He always made me smile. He made me laugh. I forgot everything else around him. I loved his shy smile. He was smart and funny…

Yesterday I thought I felt something when he kissed me on the cheek to say goodnight. I didn’t hesitate to do whatever he told me. Wasn’t that things you did when you were in love with someone?

‘It was just the same with Bryn,’ I told myself.

But Bryn was so different apart from that. He was the one taking the first step. Or steps. It was like I didn’t have any control. I just went with the flow, and suddenly we were a couple. And it ended as fast as it had started. I always wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t rejected him. If I had focused more on him and dropped some of the ballet.

‘It would not have been any different, you didn’t love him.’

Did I love Remus? Or was this just another confusion-thing? Would I end up finding out that I didn’t have feelings for him after all?
But I knew Remus. I didn’t really know Bryn. He just jumped into my life and disappeared shortly after. Remus was always there.

I sat up in my bed and found a mirror on my bedside table. I looked into it, seeing my own reflection stare back at me. My swollen tired eyes, my pale skin and my red hair untidy around it.

Could he love that face?

“Today, we are going into the forest,” Professor Cato Frogley yelled out over the class. “We’re going in there now in the morning, to a spot near the lake. It’s best to do it when the sun is brightest. It’s often used for studying, and it’s not very far from here,” he explained.

All the students trotted after professor Frogley, I with my Care of Magical Creatures book under my arm. Anna was walking next to me, talking to Remus. I felt a little stitch of jealousy, barely noticeable. We walked along the lake for a while and entered the forest surrounding it not very long after.

“Now, I’ll divide you into pairs and set you off. I trust you all have read the pages twenty to thirty-two on Gnabblers?”

The class nodded drowsily, some wondering what on earth we were doing outside half past eight in the morning.

I didn’t really have a great day, but I expected it to be much worse when Frogley paired me with Potter. His sickening grin came steadily closer as the professor pushed me over in his direction.

“I don’t understand why you would be having a problem working with Mr. Potter, Miss Evans, he is a very clever young man!”

“Yeah, sure,” I groaned, soon being face to face with him.

“Ready for some Gnabbler-hunting, Evans?” he laughed.

“Not really, but I don’t have a choice, do I?” I muttered.

“Come on,” he smiled and grabbed my arm.

I was tired, all I wanted was to be back under the covers in my four-poster. I let Potter drag me where ever we were going, I wasn’t enthusiastic at all.

“Hm..” he let out, stopping up after ten minutes of walking. “This way!” he exclaimed, dragging me with him.

After some time it was my turn to stop up.

“Potter, do you even know where we are going?” I yelled, looking around at the trees steadily closing up on us. I didn’t like this. I didn’t like this at all. There was not much light emerging from the sky above through the trees, and I jumped at every threatening sound.

“Why don’t we try this way?” I suggested, changing the direction. Potter followed, his brows almost touching together in scepticism.

“Are you sure about this, Evans? There’s even less light in there!”

“I just have to get over here so I can get a clearer vieeeeeeeeeeeeeeew..”

I slipped on some slippery green stuff and found myself hanging by my fingers not much longer. I didn’t dare to look down. I hadn’t noticed the ground just ending where I intended to go on. I had been too busy looking further ahead.

Potter to the rescue.

“Come on, Evans! Try to push yourself up!” he screamed, hurrying over.

“I can’t! It’s too hard..” I felt my voice shake. I didn’t find anything to place my feet on, I really panicked.

“Wait, I’ll help you,” Potter said, reaching out for my hand.

I took it, looking into his eyes. They were determined and dark. But I also saw concerned looks run over to me.

He knelt down and dragged me some inches up before grabbing be around the waist. I felt him use all his might to pull me all the way up again. I clutched my hands around his neck.

“Come on, I’ve got you!”

He pulled me up, and I landed on top of him. Both of us heaved for our breaths, and I rolled over and off him.

“Thank you,” I gasped, trying to brush some earth off my robes.

Potter crawled over to the edge a moment later. He came over to me a minute later, his smirk where I was so used to seeing it.

“Know what, Evans? You could have let go. The distance was minuscule.”

My mouth fell open as I went to see. If I had let go, there wouldn’t have been more than one or two feet before I hit the secure rock beneath.

I laughed. And I laughed…

“Now you’re freaking me out here, Evans!” Potter smiled, laughing himself.

“What?” I managed to squeeze out between the laughing attacks. “I freak you out? Haven’t I always?”

He shrugged and sat down next to me. ‘Just like Black did,’ I thought.

“Yeah, you kind of freak me out,” he said. “In a good way, though.”

This was not what I had expected.

“Really?” was all I managed to say.

“So.. Heard you had a little fling with Sirius this weekend?”

His smirk was back on.

I rolled my eyes the Lily-Evans-way.

“How can you say that?” I defended myself. “I did not.”

“Sure,” Potter said casually, “You laid by the lake, and let him kiss your neck, whispering sweet things in your ear.”

I was about to say something, but Potter’s hand jumped to my lips and stopped me.

“Wearing clothes little enough to fit a doll…”

I was speechless. Black didn’t keep anything from Potter. Not a thing, it seemed. He probably knew every word we had exchanged.

“Blushing, are we? Embarrassed?” His eyes were full of life. He was so enjoying this.

“Now that you mention it, I am pretty embarrassed,” I whispered, removing his fingers from my lips.

“I thought you were unreachable, Evans,” Potter continued, obviously not caring about what I said.

“But it seems even you have the weakness of giving in when you get too excited. You let him kiss you.”

I had never seen his smile so satisfied and intruding. His eyes were dancing in front of me, he had me on the spot. I couldn’t escape.

“I’m only human,” I concluded. “But I stopped Black from going any further then that kiss.”

Potter got dangerously close. If he was going to pull of an act closely resembling to the one Black sat up on Saturday, it would turn out pathetic.

But he didn’t. He did something else.

“If you had really not wanted to … you would have stopped him long before that. At least that’s what he told me.”

He never broke the eye contact. I knew he thought I would deny it, so I decided to surprise him. ‘Why don’t you?’ I heard my voice say inside my head. ‘Why don’t you show Mr. Potter here what you can really be like?’

“I have to admit I wanted him,” I whispered.

His face changed dramatically. He was the one being surprised now. He looked at me in disbelieve.

“Then why didn’t you just let him get you right there and then, Evans?”

“Because I want someone else even more,” I said clearly.

The moment these words emerged my lips I knew they were true. That was why I had pulled away after Black kissed me. It was because I wanted someone else to do just that. Not him. Even though his kiss made me tremble.

This confused me.

Because I wasn’t sure if it was Remus. He was not as clearly in my mind as I though he would be. He was there, all right, but there was somebody else as well. Who did I want? Remus was the one I had developed feelings for, and Black was the one pushing my limits. Bryn was the one I definitely was over with. It was not one of them. Who was it?

‘Potter…’ The voice in my head turned on again.

Potter watched my lips curl into a smile. He watched me hold my hand over my mouth. He watched my body starting to shake with laughter. I laughed so hard my stomach muscles were close to developing a cramp.

“What?” he yelled, his face expression was priceless.

“Yeah Right!” I laughed at myself ‘Potter? What were you thinking?’

“You should have seen the look on your face, by the way,” I smiled when I had managed to calm down.

“Why don’t we find the others and catch a Gnabbler or two?” he frowned, helping me up from the mouldy ground. He did this reluctantly, as if I was about to attack him if he came too close. It was hilarious.

I shrugged.


Chapter 8: The Triple Pirouette
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Chapter Eight, The Triple Pirouette

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Technique, bodily control, must be mastered only because
the body must not stand in the way of the soul's expression.
~La Meri

Potions was something I was good at, but didn’t like very much. Defence Against the Dark Arts was the subject I found most interesting, but didn’t quite manage, but Potions was something I never had the nerve for when professor Slughorn didn’t notice. This lesson was the worst I had ever encountered. My confused feelings made my mood swing like a roller-coaster. It was unusual to see me sit down on the stone floor in protest because the potion described on the blackboard was too complicated.

But I did so today.

“Miss Evans, get up from there. You have twenty seconds before you have to add the perfectly chopped fish tongue to the mildly stirred mix in your cauldron.”

I sat there, arms crossed, looking up at professor Slughorn. He was most displeased, but not angry … more scared, disappointed that one of his favourite students acted like this.

“Don’t be silly, Exceed Expectations is a way too low mark for you.”

I didn’t move.

“Ah, I’ll turn her around, Professor, just wander around the other students while you wait,” Black’s voice came.

“Thank you, Mr. Black, I’ll be delighted.” Professor Slughorn smiled, leaving me with a last concerned look.

“Having your period?” Black whispered as he chopped the tongue for me. “You know I’ll stamp your nice little fingers if you sit there much longer,” he continued.

I gaped at him, but I was slightly amused at the same time.

I watched many of the girls’ heads turn towards me. Many of them were undoubtedly thinking what I though I was refusing to take an order from the handsome, perfect Black with the amazing skills in bed.

When he finished that part of the potion for me I gladly stood up.

He shook his head and looked at me, disappointed.

“I can’t do the nasty bits for you many times more, Lily.”

I smiled at him with an eyebrow arched.

“So I’m Lily now?” I said sugar-sweetly, playing with the tip of my tongue between my teeth.

“I guess you are. But just so you know, you should feel honoured.”

He removed some hair from his face, still stirring my potion.

“Oh, really? Why is that?” I was tempted to jump up and sit on the bench next to my cauldron just to irritate, but I knew that would definitely make me fail this class.

“I think you’re the only girl I’ve ever referred to by first name without sleeping with her first, as a matter of fact.” He gave me a charming smile.

It would have melted any other girl’s heart, but not mine.

“I feel really special now,” I said sarcastically.

“You would have felt even more special if you had let me do my thing by the lake last weekend,” Black tried.

“Yeah, especially since I would be like … the hundredth girl going through that programme?” I frowned.

“Pretty much,” Black thought for a split second before adding casually, “Nobody has complained yet, and I’ve had the same programme for years.”

‘Yeah right,’ I thought in the quiet of my soul. ‘It wouldn’t surprise me if you were still a virgin.’

I pointed towards his own cauldron at the other side of the room, saying two words. But I didn’t manage to hide the amused smile on my lips.

“Just leave.”

He didn’t protest. He went peacefully. I was impressed.

I could see him getting into some discussion with Potter, probably something about how he got to do that without me just asking him to leave. But there was something about Black that amused me. I knew I’d thought that a million times, but he did. Potter was just annoying in a destructive way.

I stretched my foot as much as I could in derrière, pressing the leg upwards behind me while holding onto the barre running along the wall. I felt my back screaming in pain, and the muscles in my leg almost cramping. I knew I couldn’t hold it there much longer.
Lindsay walked along, finally reaching me.

“I can’t see you smile, Lily,” she laughed.

“Your whole body is tense,” she said, pointing at my hands clutching the barre as if I was clinging to life. “Concentrate on lifting the leg only, and let everything else go.”

I put a smile on my face and tried to balance more, doing as she said.

“That’s better!” she said, placing her hands on my leg, pushing it even further up. “I can feel your muscles pushing against my hand, try to let them use that strength to push upwards, so when I remove my hand you’ll be able to keep it there.”

I concentrated. I felt Lindsay’s hands being taken away and my leg drop several inches.

“Nearly,” she smiled. “You’ll manage next time.”

She went over to Dorothy, who gladly demonstrated how far up her foot could muster to be held. I saw her give me a little wink as if telling me ‘You can’t do this.. watch me!’

“Let’s move on to the turns, shall we?” Lindsay clapped when she had been all the way around.

‘Great. Turns. More humiliation.’

Lindsay walked over to the front in the centre and let us watch her in the mirror.

“Start in fifth position, then stretch your right foot to a tondu and bring your hands to first.”

She did just that and made sure we all watched her in the mirror.

“Lean onto the foot in fourth and open the arm. Be careful to find balance in the middle. Then you flick out your left foot, and bring it to the leg into a strong relevé.
And when going into that relevé, you turn and do a Pirouette en Dehors. Find balance, use your arms. And spot your head or you’ll eventually throw up.”

We laughed at that and went into the centre form the barre to try ourselves. We’d had that explanation a million times, but the steps were so important it was the exercise Lindsay explained the most.

Lindsay went over to the music box and found some music with a fitting tempo. When she returned, we stood there as candles in fifth position, hands in bras bas.

‘You can do this, Lily. You know turns is your weakest point … but you can do it!’

I prepared and turned with the others the way Lindsay explained us. I felt my body go around once.. twice.. please once more … but my leg was put on the floor before the third was made.

“Pretty close there, Lily. Try again,” Lindsay encouraged.

I watched Hill make more than three turns out of the corner of my eye. I wanted to do that as well. Bugger.

I tried again, maybe a little bit closer this time. But my balance and speed always stopped before I wanted it to.

‘You can do this!’ my voice said in my head.

I prepared and turned again in an even stronger relevé, looking confident. I collected my feet again, a wide smile spreading across my face.

“I did it, Lindsay, I did it!” I yelled, preventing myself from running around the room in pleasure.

“Great, Evans! Did any of you see that?” she looked at the other girls in the room.

Nobody gave any sign of seeing Lily Evans doing a triple pirouette.

“That doesn’t matter,” she whispered to me. “I’m sorry I didn’t see that, I was too busy trying to get Jennifer to control her arms… Do it again for me?”

I went back to my position and did another… a double.

“Sorry, Lindsay, I wasn’t concentrating,” I smiled, placing my foot forwards again. Lindsay nodded and watched me again.

But that triple pirouette never came. And I knew I did one before, even though nobody saw it.

The class was soon over, and I still hadn’t done anything triple. Hill ‘accidentally’ fell into me.

“Done some more invisible triple pirouettes lately, Evans?” she laughed.

Lindsay came over, placing a hand on my shoulder when we were the only two left in the studio.


I turned to face her, tears welling up in my eyes.

“Yeah?” I whispered.

“I doesn’t matter. That pirouette isn’t the most important thing in the world.. You did one today, that nobody saw, and you’ll do one again. I promise.”

I sighed. “I wanted to show you.. That I could do it as well. I feel so left behind when I can’t do it.”

Lindsay laughed at me.

“Lily, your turns are beautiful. Jennifer may be able to do a triple, but her hands are like a helicopter. Your double looks much better on stage then her triple ones.”

That was comforting to know.

“Dancing is about personal performance, Lily. Your dance is never going to look exactly the same as any other’s. And just know, that many women have kicked higher, balanced longer or turned faster. But even the split second of balance, or in your case, a double pirouette, can behold just as much passion.”

I left the dancing studio almost in a better mood that day than I had on Sunday. I had finally managed to do a triple pirouette. And I would do it again, for everyone to see.

I saw Remus in the common room when I returned. I was about go over to him when another girl came before me. I sat down in a chair not far away, curious what was going on.

“Remus? Could I ask you something?” the girl said, sitting down next to him. I didn’t like the way her hand was suddenly on top of his.

“Sure you can, Gwen,” he smiled at her, lying down his work at once.

“Would you.. consider going out with me?” she whispered.

But I heard her. I saw her skin turn pink around her cheekbones and Remus looking her deeply in the eyes… He smiled.

Chapter 9: His Kiss
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Chapter Nine, His Kiss

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Learning to walk set you free.
Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all:
to express your whole self, the person you are.
~Melissa Hayden

I sat there, listening to Gwen Jayson asking Remus out. Wasn’t guys supposed to do that? I guessed Gwen was a different case. It didn’t matter. She had asked him, and he was about to give her a reply.

I held my breath in anxiety. What would he answer? I was close to flipping my head back, I was afraid they’d see me watching.

“Maybe I will,” Remus told her, holding onto her hand a little firmer.

My heart skipped a couple of beats.

“Ok.. Just let me know,” Gwen said in her sweet and cute voice.

Gwen’s smile would have been noticed all over the common room if they hadn’t been sitting in a corner where the light didn’t succeed in winning over the dark. But in my vision they were standing out. I kind of knew Gwen fancied Remus, I saw her writing his name somewhere I didn’t remember. She was in sixth year, I figured. Or maybe she was a fifth-year?

They sat there chatting for a while, me sitting there paralysed in my chair. My heart was so loud in my own ears I was afraid someone might hear it. My mouth refused to close. I felt my hands shaking on my lap. Remus had just said he’d consider dating this girl. I couldn’t blame him, Gwen wasn’t exactly ugly.

I looked over at her. Her skin was still tanned after the summer. I could only dream of that colour even dropping by for a visit. Her hair was dark blonde and curly. She was what Black and Potter would have called ‘a classic beauty’. My hair was just wavy and uncontrollable at times. I had always wanted either curls or straight hair.

Her body was even under the category ‘good looking’. Why wouldn’t Remus want to date her? But one thing I didn’t get was how he would manage to hold onto her for more than a month. Full moon had been last week, and what would he do when it was that time again? Lie to her? That was what Remus hated. Lying to people. He was honest, so would he build a relationship based on lies?

Maybe I was putting too much into this, but it was still shocking to be there, watching them together.

Remus was popular because he was one of the Marauders, I knew some girls longing for him. But he always turned them down. I knew he had had at least two serious relationships, but both had been as short as mine with Bryn.

Gwen kissed him on the cheek and went up to the girl’s dormitory. He sat back, and didn’t finish his homework for a change. This was something different. I had to talk to him, even though I knew it would be a mistake.

“Remus? Sitting here by yourself?” I said, sitting down next to him, putting a strand of hair behind my ear, which had escaped from my ponytail.

“Yeah, kind of tired today,” he said, leaning his head in his palm.

“It isn’t full moon already, is it?” I frowned.

Remus looked over to me the same way he did when I told him I was in a bad mood. When I did that his look told me he could do almost anything for me to be happy again. That was what his look was like now. Concerned. Searching.

“What’s wrong, Lily?” He was at his full senses, sitting up straight and everything.

“Is there something wrong?” I tried, but I felt my voice going unsteady.

He searched my face, edging closer to me.

“I think there is,” he simply said.

“Why is that?” I asked, feeling stuck in a corner.

“You always know when my transformation is, I know for certain that’s one of the few things you’ve got straight.”

‘Shit. Remus knows me too well.’

“I just noticed you and Gwen earlier,” I said truthfully and quiet.

“Oh,” he said quickly. I saw a faint blush creep up by his ears.

“I didn’t know there were things going on between you two,” I said.

“Nah, just the last couple of weeks,” he smiled.

‘Last couple of weeks…? Why hasn’t he filled me in on this?’

“Are you going to go out with her, then?” I asked carefully.

“I think so,” he said, still searching my pale face. “How much did you hear?”

I pretended to be thinking. I didn’t want to seem desperate, and I didn’t want him to know I didn’t hear all that by accident. I had a feeling I was deep down in the mud already.

“Everything, give or take,” I said, smiling sheepishly.

“Lily…? What’s going on?

His eyes were dancing behind his sandy hair. I could get lost in them…

‘This is not good…’ I thought.

“I’m just worried about you,” I tried. “Are you sure Gwen has the right intentions? And are you sure about this considering what’s happening once a month?”

“Gwen has never been with guys with the wrong intentions as far as I know, at least,” he said almost hardly.

He didn’t stop searching my face. Then he suddenly softened. He reached out and put his hand on my cheek, his eyes concerned. As his hand rested on my face a warm wave rushed through my body.

“What’s wrong, Lily?” he whispered. “Usually you tell me to forget about being what I am and not let that come in my way. Why did you change your opinion?”

This was too much. How could I not be in love with him when he was like this? So caring and gentle … I wanted to put my hand on top of his, but I didn’t dare to. I could have sat there for ever feeling his warm hand against my skin.

“I mean, if I could only date the girls knowing about my secret, that would basically mean…”

His hand slowly dropped from my cheek, and I felt my eyes go red again. I missed his hand already, and I knew his brain was racing. I knew Remus wasn’t stupid.

He had understood.

His face and his eyes said it all..

“No, Lily..” he whispered so quietly I barely heard him.

None of us spoke for a while. We just sat there, looking at each other. Remus looked more ‘What do I do now,’ more than anything else.

“My beautiful Lily,” he then whispered, dropping his head.

I had a short intake of breath and all my senses were back on.
He said ‘Beautiful’.

“I’ll never be good enough for you,” he smiled, looking back into my face.

“What?” I forced out. “Why?”

“I’ll never give you the love you deserve. I’ve been too lost in my own thoughts of never loving anyone to love you enough.”

My hand closed over my mouth. How could he say that? Anyone to have Remus love them would be as lucky as they could ever wish for…

“And I don’t want to ruin out friendship, Lily,” he concluded. “You mean the world to me, I don’t want to lose you as a friend when you break it off with me.”

“No, Remus. I don’t intend to do that,” I said. I was almost angry with him for saying these things.

He took both of my hands in his own and looked into my ocean of deep feelings through my emerald green eyes.

“You don’t love me, Lily. You love someone else. I know you do. Just look into yourself and find out who that is.”

He didn’t let go of me. I wouldn’t let him either. I felt tears stream uncontrollably down my cheek, and I closed them to avoid his shining eyes.

“I’ve loved you for a long time, but I soon learnt to love you as a sister and not as a girl I wanted as my girlfriend. That’s what’s best for both of us, Lily…” His voice was almost as unsteady as mine by now.

“Understand? Don’t love me, Lily. I won’t let you.”

I removed my hands from his and dried my face. Why? I had been so worried he hated the thought of us being more than friends, when he really had thought about it so much he decided he was not worthy of me? It was so surreal I didn’t know if it was a bad dream or if I was actually sitting here, watching it happen.

“Maybe this isn’t a very good idea, but.. Can I kiss you? Just once?” he whispered. His blush had spread to all over the face by now.

I looked up, and our eyes met.

I nodded slowly. I don’t know why I did it, but I wanted him to. Just that one time. Even though I knew I would regret it and remember that kiss for ever…

He leaned in, and let his hand rest on my cheek once more. His other was placed gently around my neck. I just sat there, not really knowing what to do. I was so mad at him for doing this to me, but at the same time I was waiting.

He closed his eyes, and I did too as his lips came closer and closer to my own. I was still feeling wet tears emerge from my closed eyes as they came in touch with mine ever so gently. He held the kiss for a little while before letting go. As if I was a glass doll so vulnerable it could break any moment.

He pulled back, looking at me there I sat so shaken and wet of tears.

“Go and just be alone for a while, Lily. Just think. You’ll see it’s best this way,” he said softly.

I had not yet disobeyed a direct order from Remus, and this was not going to be the first time I did it.

I couldn’t help but lie there and cry on the top of my covers. He turned me down. Not because I was not good enough, but because he though I was too good for him.

This confused me, as so many other billion things did.

He really made me feel shitty doing this to me. This went against all my self-esteem. According to myself I wasn’t good enough for anyone. Nobody deserved having to get stuck with me. And Remus, the one I wanted to see happy more than anyone else, told me the exact opposite.

Everything faded away compared to this. All the ballet. All the troubles with Potter. All my confusion. All the friends leaving me to rot in dancing lessons. All my cries when I was about to collapse. This hurt so much more. He had broken my heart. I was not used to that. Last time, I was the one braking Bryn’s heart. Maybe I should apologise to him, because it really hurt. A lot.

Suddenly I remembered something else Remus had said.

“You don’t love me, Lily. You love someone else. I know you do. Just look into yourself and find out who that is.”

I would at least do him that favour. Maybe he would be happy if I found out who I loved. I couldn’t stand seeing Remus like that. I knew it would take some time to dare to dig that deep down, because I didn’t really dare to fall in love. It had been different with Remus, because I knew him so well and I felt secure with him. Finding out who else was hiding in my heart would take courage. Did I have that courage?

Chapter 10: I'll Change!
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Chapter Ten, I’ll Change

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I am seeking that dance which might be the
divine expression of the human spirit
through the medium of the body's movement.
~Isadora Duncan

“I’ve changed, Evans! Can’t you see that?” he exclaimed.

If Potter thought he could talk me into going out with him, he was even dumber than I thought at first. Now he had stopped me after my extra ballet lesson, almost pinching me up the wall. I was feeling kind of scared, actually.

“Let me go, Potter!” I screamed in agony. “Please!”

“Say you’ll go out with me first..” he said, sounding bored.

“Where were you heading for, anyway? Before dropping by here to torment me?” I asked.

“The Tower,” he said as if that was only too obvious.

“Why don’t we discuss this on our way back there, okay?” I tried.

Potter considered this for a moment and looked at me suspiciously.

‘Looking at me suspiciously … yeah right … he is checking out how I look wearing tight dancing clothes,’ I thought.

“Can I change my clothes first, at least?” I said tiredly, hoping I didn’t have to go four floors up wearing what looked like a swim-suit.

“Fine. But I’ll stand here, waiting for you,” Potter winked.

As soon as he let me go I hurried into the changing room. I couldn’t believe him … What was he up to now? He didn’t usually go this far. I thought he’d say something like ‘Nah.. I’m in a hurry, we’ll catch up later,’ but he actually agreed to walking back to the common room with me. Now that I thought about it, I kind of regretted making that suggestion. It took a good ten minutes to get there.

“Potter after you again, Lily?” Jennifer Bailey asked.

“Yeah, he is,” I said, resting my head in my hands. “He doesn’t get it at all.”

Jennifer stopped in the door before she left. “Looks like he’s actually waiting for you. Softening, are you?”

I threw it off. “No, of course not. If I hadn’t done that, I’d still be stuck by the wall with him hanging over me,” I laughed.

“Why not just go out with him?” she suddenly said.

I thought about that for a short moment, pulling off my leotard.

“You could just have that one date and tell him he wasn’t right for you,” Jennifer shrugged. “See you tomorrow!”

She left me sitting back in deep thought.

Why not say yes? Maybe that would make him stop. ‘And it would be all over school, and when you didn’t continue to date him you’d have a hundred howlers from the members of his fan club saying you’re the most stupid creature ever to walk this earth…’

Or was I afraid to actually like him? That was a scary thought. Of course I wouldn’t like him, he’d sit there chatting about all the girls who would die to be in my shoes and go on and on about his Quidditch-skills…

Or would he?

“Coming, Evans? I’m not that patient,” I heard Potter’s voice by the door.

I screamed and grabbed my jacket on the hag behind me.

“Nice bra, Evans.. Who gave you that?” he smirked.

He must have noticed the look of disgust on my face, because he quickly left the door and continued to wait outside.

“Why did you even bother to wait?” I spat when I came out, finding Potter still there.

“It was definitely worth it, you looked immensely hot in that bra you had on,” he smiled evilly at me.

“I don’t doubt you thinking that for a second.”

He was quiet for a while and we just made our way to Gryffindor Tower. Some girls gave us looks when we passed, and I kind of understood why. The rejecting, evil Potter-hating Evans, walking along with him in the corridors of Hogwarts as if she had forgotten all the times she stepped on his heart.

‘Isn’t that what you’re doing?’ the sly voice in my head said.

“So, what can I do to make you go out with me?” Potter spoke up.

“What do you mean?” I choked.

“I mean I really want to go out with you, and I wonder what I can do to make you consider that,” he said in one breath, as if I was stupid if I didn’t understand that.

“Potter, I am sick of people playing games with me,” I said honestly.

The words Black had said to me by the lake that day echoed in my ears… “You sure are a challenge. No wonder Prongs likes to play around with you…”

‘That’s it, Lily, clear it up once and for all. Just spill out your heart and make him understand why you keep saying no!’

“Playing games? What makes you think I would do that?” Potter said, frowning.

I pretended to get something down in my throat, and coughed loudly. I really overdid it and clutched his shoulder for support.

“Potter, you basically dump girls after a couple of weeks,” I exclaimed. “Why would I date you?”

I was surprised when I saw a shade of red creep up his face. He knew I was right. Maybe he was starting to understand, finally…

“And it doesn’t help much when you’re walking around, pretending to be Jesus himself. And your ego is so big it wouldn’t fit into any scale.”

I couldn’t believe I actually had this conversation with Potter. I guess I surprised even myself sometimes.

“Sorry,” Potter said, not looking the least offended.

“If you were more.. I don’t know, down to earth, kind and respective…”

Potter suddenly cut me off.

“You mean … more like Remus?

I fell quiet. That was exactly what I had wanted to say, but of course I couldn’t do that. Potter had more brains than I thought sometimes. At least he wasn’t slow to take hints.

“I know you fancy him,” Potter whispered.

I was the one turning red now. A very deep shade of scarlet to be exact.

“You can say it,” Potter said, suddenly putting an arm around my shoulder, just like Remus used to do … This caused the two third years passing to stare as if it was a chocolate cake floating in the air.

“You wish I was more like him.”

I escaped his grip and stared at him, my eyes embarrassed and angry.

“Fine, I wish you were more like him,” I yelled. “Happy?”

“Definitely,” Potter smirked, putting his hand back over my small shoulders. “All I have to do is go get Remus, and start copying all he says, does, and start behave like him in general.”

I rolled my eyes at him. This was pathetic.

“Maybe then I’ll be the one allowed to kiss you in the common room,” he whispered so close to my ear his lips almost came in touch with my skin.

Now I coughed for real. All the colour in my face drained away, it was totally extracted, leaving me even paler than usual. If that was possible.

‘Potter sure knows everything that goes on…’

“I saw you two love-birds, yes,” Potter continued. “I know he turned you down.”

“Do you have to confront me with everyting? Where do you even find out all this stuff?”

He let out a sigh and continued to walk with me under his arm. He didn’t answer my question. I was so paralysed I walked along automatically, almost immobilised. My mouth was constantly open and my eyes was noticeably widened.

“If you know all this,” I said slowly. “You should know how much that hurt me, and how emotionally unstable I am right now as well.”

“James Potter doesn’t miss a thing,” he laughed. “Of course I know, I’ve been through that so many times I can’t count.”

I looked up at him in surprise.

“Yeah right … you’re the dumper, not the one being dumped,” I pointed out.

“Oh really? What do you call the stuff you do to me every week? Isn’t that called to ‘turn someone down’?”

I shook my head and didn’t take my eyes off him.

“Please! Spare me Potter…”

“Don’t you think it hurts when you do that? When you say ‘no’ time after time after time…?” he said seriously.

“If every ‘no’ I’ve given you hurts as much as this, you wouldn’t be able to stand up right,” I almost cried.

“I have learnt how to deal with it, but that doesn’t mean I can run away from the pain …” he said quietly.

“Potter, stop it. I am sick of your games. You almost made me believe that, good job.”

I pretended to laugh.

“Okay, okay. You don’t believe me. Let’s drop this subject and talk about the thing I really wanted to talk to you about.”

He let go of my shoulder again and looked at me very seriously. So seriously I could almost see his soul through that pair of glasses and the deep hazel eyes beneath.

“I have changed, Evans. And I will change even more if that’s what it takes to make you go out with me.”

“Okay,” it just dropped out of me. I even surprised myself. Nobody had said that to me before. If he only meant it. But of course I knew he didn’t.

Maybe it would actually be fun to watch how far he would take this before he couldn’t take it any more. See how far he was willing to let his game go before he broke.

It was three days since Remus had turned me down that night. It was Tuesday, and next weekend was the weekend of the show. I felt the trepidation and anticipation and nervousness start to grab hold in my body. The show was on top of this emotional mess I’d managed to create.

‘So Potter is actually willing to change,’ I thought. ‘This could be fun.’

I had to admit he was taking this a step further then he usually did. The way he almost made me believe the things he said to me, actually scared me a little. He couldn’t be as hurt as this every time I either kindly or rudely gave him my no’s. That was not possible. It was too surreal to be true.

I was looking forward to see him squirm.

‘I am a part of the game too, now.’

Chapter 11: Fainting
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Chapter Eleven, Fainting

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We're fools whether we dance or not,
so we might as well dance.
~Japanese Proverb

“Great, Lily! That was fabulous!” Lindsay smiled when I bent down into the ending position of my solo. A big smile was curling onto my face.

I stood up, drying the sweat away from my forehead and rotating my feet to stretch. I had been given a whole day to bring the dance to perfection, something I was very close to doing. The two dances I had with the other girls were swirling very vividly in my head, and with only a few days left, I was really looking forward to performing on stage.

“Don’t press yourself with that pirouette, though.. Do a double if you feel like it. Don’t push it too much, because you’ve already done that,” Lindsay said seriously.

I didn’t know what to do but smile. Finally something was working out … And that helped. I still hadn’t spoken properly to Remus since the incident in the common room, and it bothered me a lot. I prayed it wouldn’t change anything. I cared about him too much to let that happen.

“Ready for Friday then?” she reminded me, tapping the music box so it closed.

“I think so, that’s the dress rehearsal, right?” I answered.

“Yep, that’s it. I reckon the stage will be up at around six o’clock, so I think we’ll start around seven-ish or something … That ok with you?”

“That’s perfect,” I yelled, leaving to change. I had to get down to the Quidditch-pitch to watch the game with Anna and Hillary.

Gordon Hacklesmith’s voice yelled through the cold air as the Quidditch-players mounted their brooms. Hillary and I stood there, dressed in all the scarlet and golden clothing we had. We cheered and yelled along with the rest of the students. Mostly there were Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors, since they were the ones playing, but Ravenclaws and Slytherins occupied some of the space as well to watch.

I was thrilled, I hadn’t watched Quidditch in ages. Madam Tylips stepped out on the pitch, the mass screaming extra loudly as the Quaffle was thrown in the air.

“Black is the first chaser to snap up the Quaffle! He throws it to Bruch … Oh! Watch out for that bludger, mate! Hufflepuff is in the possession of the Quaffle now.. Gets close, that was a nice one, Vinley! Vinley has the Quaffle.. she’s close to the goal now.. and Hufflepuff SCORES!”

A lot of booooo’s emerged from the Gryffindors, on the contrary, the Hufflepuffs were cheering and being jubiliant.

“Why did you come with me, Hillary? I though you didn’t like Quidditch,” I said as Gryffindor scored when the match had reached its fifteenth minute.

“What do you think? Hot players, or I wouldn’t bother going out in this cold weather…”

I laughed and heard Hacklesmith announcing Potter’s first goal.

“And who do you think is worth staying outside for?”

“Who do you think? Black, of course! That Conrad on the Hufflepuff-team isn’t too unfortunate looking either … not to mention Potter!”

I raised my eyebrows.

“Since when did you join the fan club?” I said, looking at her in disbelieve.

“It’s not only because of the looks, Lily! Haven’t you noticed how they’ve really started to get a grip? They were much more bullying and big-headed in their earlier years … I like that change.”

There was that word again. ‘Change’. It reminded me of the last conversation I had with Potter. How he claimed he had changed and would change even more. I let a playful smile find it’s way to my lips and yelled out as Gryffindor scored again:

“That’s it, Potter! You seduce that Quaffle with your handsome face!”

He happened to pass our stand just as my words floated out, and I could tell he didn’t believe his ears. He flew off, but turned around, staring at me with his eyebrows almost hidden behind the black hair falling down, covering some of his forehead.

I laughed. He was still very self-centred. He was in for a huge job if he still wanted to change for me… That ego was made for me to calm down.

Suddenly Hacklesmith’s voice went mad and commented the chase of the Snitch between the two very talented seekers. They looped and turned, but the snitch seemed stubborn today. Before it was out of sight again, Potter and Black had scored two goals each, making the Gryffindor supporters explode with applause and screaming.

We jumped up and down on the spot, encouraging the players on.

“Potter… Facklet… God, that girl can play! She scores another goal for GRYFFINDOR! Woooow… The Quaffle caught by Vinley again, going on to Hyde, who’s hit by a nice bludger from Thomas.. That must hurt!”

Suddenly I felt my vision become blurry … I tried hard to focus, only resulting in my eyes starting to water and my head to start aching. My feet collapsed under me as they had done in ballet-classes earlier, and everything went black as Hacklesmith yelled that Gryffindor was in the lead with 90 to 40 …

“Look.. I think she’s coming to it again!” I heard Remus’s voice faintly say. I felt a horrible taste in my mouth, which was all dry. I slowly opened my eyes again, trying to move, but not managing to. Things were as unclear as ever, and I didn’t manage to keep them up for very long.

“We have to get her to madam Pomfrey,” I heard Anna’s concerned voice next. I think most people around me were aware of what was happening, because the noise was not so loud anymore. But I could still hear the yelling and the cheering, so I assumed the game was still going.

I felt my body being lifted up and carried away by three or four people. I heard Remus talking to Hillary about watching my head. All I wanted was to say something, but my lips were as unmoveable as the rest of my limbs.

Everything went black again as they hurried up to the castle with me between them.

“Lily? Oh good, I was starting to get worried,” Madam Pomfrey smiled.

“What happened?” I said, trying to sit up in bed.

“No, no, no! You’re staying here for a little bit longer, dear,” she told me strictly.

“But I can’t! I have the dress-rehearsal coming up really soon!” I exclaimed.

Madam Pomfrey looked sadly down at me.

“We’ll see about that … You fainted down at the match, you’ve worked too hard for too long, Lily. Last time this happened you were so busy you forgot to eat!”

I probably had. I didn’t think about food, I just ate so I managed to have enough energy. But it wouldn’t surprise me if I had lost a few meals.

“It’s not serious ,is it?” I asked, looking at her with sad eyes.

“I don’t think so. But if I were you I would slow down the tempo. How’s your feet doing, by the way?”

I smiled up at her, stretching out my little feet, wiggling my toes.

“They’re fine, those herbs you gave me really helps. I can’t tell you how grateful I am …”

Then I heard knocking on the door to the hospital wing, and madam Pomfrey rolled her eyes.

“It’s probably your friends, I had to force them out so you could wake up in quiet circumstances. I will let them in now, but not for long!”

She moved over to the door and had barely opened it before Anna, Hillary and Black of all people entered with a blast.

“Hey girl! How are you? You really freaked me out there…” Hillary hugged me, looking up at my pale face.

“Yeah, don’t you ever do that again …” Anna said, sitting at the foot of my bed.

“It’s not like I had any control!” I exclaimed, sighing slightly. “Where’s Remus?”

Black smiled his well-known-smile.

“He had work to do,” he simply said, looking over at me.

Anna and Hillary noticed the very handsome Hufflepuff-player, Conrad, and hurried over to see how he was doing. According to their comments he received a bludger at a particularly painful place. It didn’t take long until they left, yelling a “see you later” at me.

‘Oh no. Alone with Black. Great.’

“Not happy to see me? I just wanted to let you know that Gryffindor won,” he said, kneeling down next to my bed.

“Ok… Why do I have the feeling that isn’t all you want to tell me?” I said, looking at him suspiciously.

“Yeah, that comment you yelled at James, too,” he stuck out his tongue playfully at me.

“What about that?” I laughed.

He screwed up his eyes and mocked.

‘That’s it, Potter! You seduce that Quaffle with your handsome face!’ … What was that all about?”

I looked at him innocently.

“I just wanted to see his reaction, honestly…” I said.

“Do you think I’m falling for that? You’re attracted to him, aren’t you? I knew you’d fall for him, just like I told you.”

I threw my pillow at him and sat up straight in bed.

“I am not! I just wanted to see his reaction! And I was correct, he’s just as attracted to himself as the girls in his fan club.”

Black laughed at that. And I couldn’t help it, I laughed with him.

“Lily,” he suddenly stopped.

I was on my guard. Him using my first name like that was not good. Either he was trying to make me admit something, or he was telling me something serious. The latter was the case.

“I heard about Remus… I’m sorry he rejected you,” he said.

I rolled my eyes.

“Come on! Aren’t you guys finished with that yet? I told you, I’m ok, and I just want things to be the way they were before!”

“That’s not what you told Prongs yesterday …” he said almost right after I’d finished my sentence.

The Marauder’s shared EVERYTHING … It was like they knew every word the others had ever said. It was freaking me out … thoroughly.

“I know, but I was just putting it that way to make a point, ok? It’s only … you know, the same old thing about James and me.”

I regretted saying that so much. Not only had I mentioned myself and Potter in the same sentence, I had said it with only one word in between. That word was ‘and’ of all words I could have picked. Plus, I had used his first name in stead of the usual bitter ‘Potter’. That was not good at all… And on top of that, Black noticed.

“The same old thing about James and me..”

He appeared to be thinking.

“Do you have to repeat everything I say? You make it sound as if I said something wrong!”

“No, this time you were actually very correct. James and you. Lily, you two have been at each other since … third year. Isn’t it time to mature?”

‘What?’ It exploded in my head.

“What exactly are you saying here?” I said slowly.

“You’re in love. And I mean that as the two of you, not just as you.”

I went berserk. There was no other way to describe it. If Black was there to tell me that I was in love, I had a right to yell at him for being such an expert on love when he had slept with close to every girl I knew. He had made me realise one thing, that the word 'affection' was hidden somewhere in my mind, and that was enough. If he was going to play the God of Love with me, he was playing a very dangerous game.

“I am NOT in love! How DARE you to come and… and… just SAY something like that? I’m NOT in love with Potter or ANYBODY.. Understood?”

That’s my problem,” he simply said. That forced me to calm down.

“Excuse me?” I said, creasing my eyebrows.

“You’ve said that for too long, Lily. I know you’re just hiding it all away, and that you’re really, actually … in love.”

“Fine! Pretend to be the shrink! Just tell me exactly what I feel, because I certainly can’t find out!”


“You just said it, Lily dear! You don’t know what you feel! So how can you say that you’re not in love?”

“Because! I’d KNOW, diphead!”

“Not necessarily,” Black said, looking assigned.

It was actually kind of hilarious. I was sitting there, denying everything he said, going crazy, and he sat there as calm as ever. It wasn’t hard to see who had problems coming up with what to say. That was me!

“Explain it to me then, mister-know-it-all,” I crossed my arms, sitting back, looking at him with my lips in a straight line.

“Fine,” he said, leaning onto my bed. “It’s like this. You’ve always thought Prongs was nothing but a prat not worth spending a single moment more than necessary with. Nod if you agree.”

I nodded.

“And then, he starts asking you out once in a while,”

“Once in a while…? Rephrase.”

“Ok, he asks you out very often. And you say no every time, because you think he’s still a big-head.”

I nodded. “Couldn’t have put it better myself.”

“Good. But then, he starts to change. He doesn’t cast hexes on dear old Snivellus so much anymore, and the girls chasing him around stops being so numbered. Nod if you agree.”

I looked hardly at him. But I nodded slowly.

“And then it happens that you start finding out you like being chased around by Prongs, and that you like him asking you out, and then reject him.” By now Black was telling this as if he was reading me a poem. It was silly.

“Objection..! I never liked Potter asking me to go out with him,” I said seriously.

“Ok, ok.. maybe not. But after Remus turned you down about a week ago, you’ve started to look for someone else to like as more then a friend.”

When I didn’t respond he went on.

“And there is Prongsie! Waiting so willingly, wanting to change for you and everything, and if you don’t find him good looking, you’d be the first female in school to think that, so there you go!”

I faked a yawn.

“Was that all? Good. I want to get some sleep so I can get this blasted head-ache off me for tomorrow.”

Black smiled and stood up to leave. But madam Pomfrey hurriedly came over before he had started to walk.

“Black? Just take her with you, she doesn’t have to sleep over here, she’ll be fine,” she said happily.

“Wonderful,” I said sweetly and got up, changing with a flick of my wand and smiling up at Black.

When we were on our half way to the portrait of the Fat Lady, we still hadn’t said anything to each other. But then…

“You didn’t object,” Black said out of the corner of his mouth.

“I know,” I answered, digging my hands down in the pockets of my skirt. “Don’t tell?”

“Sure thing,” Black said before we reached the portrait hole. His grin was even more Black-ish than I’d ever seen it, if that was possible.

A/N: I’ve had quite a lot of reviews saying that James was a Seeker. That is wrong, as it’s only the films that portray him as a Seeker, while he’s actually a Chaser. JK Rowling has said so herself, if in doubt, check The Harry Potter Lexicon on the web.

Chapter 12: Dress Rehearsal
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Chapter Twelve, Dress Rehearsal

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Dance is a song of the body.
Either of joy or pain.
~Martha Graham

Black was not Black anymore. He was Sirius. I couldn’t help it, it didn’t feel right to call him by his last name anymore. Yes, he was kinky as hell, and drooled after practically all the good looking bimbos in school, but he was nice when he wanted to. I doubted he ever had a girl as a real friend, because he eventually ended up dating her, and then dumping her. So I was happy to be his first. The conversation in the hospital wing was not going to be the last deep talk we had. It was the first of many.

Sirius promised he would help me to figure out the stuff about Remus, or at least make it more comfortable than it was. Because Remus and I were not speaking that much to each other any more… It was awkward. Because I had been rejected and knew I still had feelings for him, and Remus because he rejected me and had started to date Gwen.

The little talk I had with Sirius in the hospital wing was freshly in my mind. My head was racing about what I had said that evening, or more correctly, didn’t say… But I chose to let that rest in the waiting room of my head, because the dress rehearsal was getting closer and closer. I didn’t really have time to think about much but that.

I sat thinking in the library, hoping she might enter through the double doors. I just longed to see her face again, I hadn’t seen her in a long time. I felt as if I had become addicted to her bright face. It was as if she became more and more attractive every time I laid eyes on her, like the night she danced to that piano-music.

I made sure nobody saw me before sneaking over to the restricted section. But the grumpy librarian happened to pass just as I was about to slip in between the row of books…

“Johnson? What do you think you’re doing here?” she said, peering up at me. She was a very short woman with layers of clothes covering her, her rectangle spectacles resting on her long nose.

“I was about to go find you,” I smiled falsely at her, straightening the tie around my neck. “I wanted to ask you if I could get into the restricted section for a book on advanced flesh eating plants, I want to do better in Herbology. It’s getting quite hard now in seventh year, you know.”

She screwed up her eyes even more and searched for signs of dishonest features for a moment, before her face softened.

“Of course! I know you’re a trustworthy student, so I’ll let it pass. Just find your book and let me sign a sheet for you so you can have it for a while. The books on that subject are pretty thick if you want to do a thorough job…”

I thanked her and walked in.

Herbology… Yeah right. I read on the spines of the many dusty books running along in the shelves, almost desperate to find what I was searching for. I had read a lot about it already, but I had to be sure if I was going through with the idea that had developed in my mind the last few weeks. I was still unsure if I would be able to do it. It would take a lot of energy and even more risks.

After a while I carefully dragged out a book being placed next to “Moste Potente Potions”. I flipped the book open and hurried through the index to find the chapter.

“It has to be there…” I murmured.

My eyes widened and I pressed myself even further into the corner so nobody would notice me as I found it. I hurried through the paragraphs, trying to remember every word of what I read. After a couple of minutes I pressed the book back in place. I quickly found the book on flesh eating plants, leaving the restricted section.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised how hard it would be. I had to test it in some way, just to make sure it worked. Soon Evans would be in my arms… and nobody would be able to separate us.

It was dinner-time, and I was careful to have a real meal, after madam Pomfrey’s request. Hillary almost watched me with a stunned expression on her face as I tucked in. So did Anna, and Sirius, and Potter, and Pettigrew, and Remus, and practically all the people sitting along the Gryffindor table. I saw Dorothy Hill and her friends whisper among themselves, probably waiting for my body to grow three sizes as I worked my way through the food.

“Wow, I haven’t seen you eat like this in … ever!” Anna gasped. “It looks like you haven’t tasted food for weeks.”

I laughed and had another bite of my Yorkshire Pudding. It was delicious. For once I didn’t care about the calories. I didn’t care about my diet book. All that was on my mind was the food on my plate.

I ate so much we were one of the last people to leave the Great Hall. As we left I saw many people smiling at me, and I smiled back. Maybe they thought me normal now? Nah… Maybe that was too much to hope for. Hillary wanted to take a walk while waiting for the stage to be sat up later for the show, so we walked to the lake and back.

“Lily? Why didn’t you tell me about Remus?” she said, scanning my face.

Then I suddenly remembered I had been too busy to tell her. I had been so into dancing I forgot all about my two best friends.

“Honestly, I forgot. I was too busy … but yeah, I like him, and he found out. And then he said something that made me so confused I was down on the bottom for days. Practically, I still am, because things are not back to normal.”

“He told you it would never be the two of you, right?” Hillary whispered.

“Who have you been talking to? Remus?” I said, a little surprised.

“No … Actually, Black told me,” she said, avoiding my eyes.

“Why would he tell you that? It had nothing to do with you?” I frowned, curious to know what was going on.

“He was worried about you, Lily. And he told me so I could talk to you about it. Everyone has noticed the two of you aren’t really getting along the way you used to. You don’t laugh together the way you used to. You don’t hold each other the way you used to. You’re not spending as much time with each other as you used to. You’re more quiet and avoiding. Of course I’m worried!”

“Ok, ok…” I stopped her.

Hillary gave me a resigned sigh and stopped up, leaning onto a tree.

“On a scale one to ten, how much do you like him? One is a little, teeny weenie crush, ten is madly in love.”

I thought for a while, searching for the right number to put my emotions in.

“I’m not really sure… About six or seven, I think.”

“Ok, over five. That’s serious, in other words.”

“Pretty much,” I said, grabbing her hand and starting to walk back.

“Why do you think he’s all strange now, then?” Hillary asked me as we were almost back.

“Probably because he has something going on with Gwen, and he knows it’s hurting me. And I think he is mad at himself as well, for rejecting me, even though he meant it was best.”

I felt my eyes go wet again, I hated it when I couldn’t control my emotions. In this case, I had no control at all. That made me so unstable.

I found my wand and circled it around my pointe shoes, colouring them pearly blue. I opened the little closet in the room backstage, looking at the beautiful costume. It was a Royal Blue leotard, with kind of a short dark skirt attached to it. I looked at the tiara lying next to my shoes. It was stunning. Was I really going to wear that?

I was starting to get tired, the rush behind stage the last hour had been stressful. As the second class ran off stage, I walked onto it, preparing to do the final dance.

Lindsay sat in the almost empty audience, guiding me through my solo. I had my costume on with the matching enchanted shoes, but I didn’t bother to put on makeup or do my hair properly.

“Yeah, that’s great, but try stretching this hand a little bit more, and watch your turn-out in the pose after the balances… And be careful to remember tightening your stomach-muscles in the pirouettes, because that makes it easier to balance.”

She sat there casually in baggy trousers and a long sleeved jumper, kind of making her look lazy. I liked that look, it was so laid back.

“Yes, that’s much better. Lovely arabesque… We’ll have another run-through since this is the last dance in the programme.”

I went back to my starting position, waiting for the music to start.

Then I saw a familiar face in the end of the room…

Remus’s figure stood by the double doors, smiling at me. I was close to starting at the wrong place in the music, but I managed it narrowly. I jumped into an allegro and continued with the poses and turns. Next followed the pas de bourrée section, and I almost lost the count as Remus steadily moved closer. I didn’t know why I felt this nervous around him, but there was something different. I did the pirouette, only a double, and the jumps ending in a high pose. Remus sat down at the front row, smiling at me. I courou’ed over to the left side, did some balances and the arch with the back which I liked so much.

When I finished, he applauded and grinned.

“Brilliant, Lily. You’re free to go now,” Lindsay smiled, calling for the costume-assistants.

“Hi…” I said awkwardly, walking over to Remus.

“That was amazing, Lily,” he said in awe, standing up and hugging me.

I still felt awkward, and I think he noticed it. Why was he suddenly hugging me? He had been talking to me almost like he used to, just not as much, but physical contact he had been avoiding.

“What’s the matter?” he said, holding me at an arms length.

I creased my eyebrows in confusion. “Nothing,” I said, pulling him back into the embrace.

What was this? Had he forgotten about the not-daring-to-be-too-close-to-Lily-thing? Relief flew over me and I didn’t let go for a long time.

“So, what have you been up to?” I asked as we sat down.

He looked like he was caught off guard for a moment before answering.

“The usual, nothing else.”

He looked paler than usual. It was something about him that told me there was something going on. He looked tired, as if he had been struggling for a while and didn’t have that much energy left. And he avoided my eyes constantly.

“Ok, what week is it now, by the way?” I asked, thinking it might be full moon. On second thought, that had been what gave me away the night that changed everything between us, and I regretted saying that. Of course it wasn’t full moon in a while yet…

But as he answered anyway, I was even more suspicious something was different…

“I don’t know… why?” The look on his face was empty, as if that wasn’t relevant.

“It doesn’t matter,” I said, puzzled by his reply.

“But, can I ask you something?” I said brightly, starting to take out my hair clips. I was freezing in the little clothes I wore and I figured it might warm me if I let my hair loose.

“Do you, Pettigrew, Potter and Sirius share everything with each other? Because it really seems like it,” I laughed.

Again there was this awkward silence. I didn’t really know how it appeared, but it did.

“Pretty much,” he finally said.

“That’s kind of an imprecise answer, isn’t it?”

He seemed avoiding to me. He shifted between being relaxed and smiling and avoiding. First he hugged me as if nothing was changed, and then he was all locked in his secret self? Hm…

“If you want in detail what we tell each other and not, we’re going to sit here for hours. The telling-list is quite long.”

I laughed again. “So … Do you talk about girls a lot? I mean, are you really updated on the other’s love life and stuff?”

This was getting kind of fun. Did the Marauders have the kind of relationship I had with Anna and Hillary when it came to boys?

“Depends, but generally, yeah. We’re not that good at hiding those things from each other. But if there’s something I really don’t want them to know, they don’t stand a chance in finding out.”

I smiled. My Remus was back.

“So, are you going back to the Tower soon? I want to change and go back, I still have some work to do for next Monday. The weekend is occupied by the show, so I have to finish it tonight.”

He thought about it for a moment before agreeing.

I waved at him and went to change. I put the costume back in the closet and changed back into robes. I couldn’t help it, I was so relieved it seemed things were at least close to back to normal. But I was curious if he had decided to date Gwen or not. I wasn’t sure if that would hurt me. I used the door leading to the stage and sneaked down the side, the scene was occupied by the fourth-years.

But when I reached the audience I noticed Remus was gone. Where was he? I ran down the middle and looked down the corridors as I exited the doors. No Remus anywhere. Why would he do that to me? I walked back to the Tower alone, wondering why he disappeared like that. Maybe he just had work to do, and couldn’t wait any longer. Yeah, that had to be it.

I was correct, he was sitting by one of the tables doing homework with Potter. Kind of annoyed, I moved soundlessly over to them and gave Remus a hug from behind.

“You could have told me you were leaving, you know,” I said in a mocking baby voice. His hair was soft against my skin.

“Lily? You frightened me!” he said. He looked surprised … indeed.

“Tell me next time, ok? I was getting kind of worried.”

“Yeah.. sure,” he said, but he scowled horribly. It didn’t look like he knew what he was answering to at all.

“Ok, ok.. quit the joking,” I smiled, sitting down next to him. “I’ll go get my own books.”

“Evans, could you please help me with this charms-stuff? I’m kind of stuck here,” Potter pleaded, pretending to faint over his papers.

“You’re in luck today, Mr. Potter,” I answered.

He snapped his head up.

“Does that mean you’ll go out with me?” he said excitedly, grinning like a child.

“Sorry,” I said, sticking out the tip of my tongue while smiling. “Remembering the wanting to change thing, Potter? I suggest you forget that phrase and things that involve the words ‘go out’ or ‘date’ … okay? Then we might be getting somewhere!”

“Is it just me, or has she started to enjoy teasing me, and started to say things I want her to say, but in an ironic way? How mean isn’t that?” Potter said, sounding irritated.

Chapter 13: The Dark Wizard
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Chapter Thirteen, The Dark Wizard

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Any problem in the world
can be solved by dancing.
~James Brown

Professor McGonagall hurried along the rows of students, collecting our homework. She looked stressed, even tired. It was very unusual for her.

“We’ll just have theory today, so read the pages sixty to seventy on human transfiguration,” she said in her usual stern voice, but I noticed she was hiding something.

“What’s with her today?” Sirius whispered next to me, looking up at professor McGonagall sitting by her desk. “We always read before the lesson and do lots of tricky spells in class…”

“I don’t know, but it looks serious,” I whispered back while opening my book. “I hope it doesn’t affect the show later.”

When the lesson was finished, I stayed back so I could try to find out what was going on.

“Professor? I don’t mean to be rude, but you seem tired and not like yourself today,” I said carefully.

“It doesn’t matter, Miss Evans. You have a show to perform tonight, I don’t want to bother you with other burdens. And I don’t think this should become common knowledge until necessary.” She wasn’t hiding anything in her voice now.

“Please, professor, I need to know. After all, I am Head Girl and everything. You can trust me!” I said.

“Very well. But you have to keep this to yourself. I don’t want people to panic when we don’t even know if there is any need to.”

I nodded slowly and felt a little bit scared already. But I didn’t dare to show it. I had to know.

“There is …” the professor started, taking off her glasses and staring down on her desk. “There is a rumour going about a great wizard with exceptionally good skills in the dark arts. It’s said he’s aiming to rule the whole Wizarding World, and that he detests people born to muggles more than anything else. He hates witches and wizards who’s not pureblood, but half-blood or less. But especially muggleborns…”

She laid her head in her hands, sighing deeply.

“But, professor … Isn’t that very unlikely? Who would do such a thing? Isn’t that things that happen in stories, and not in real life?”

She lifted her face and looked me in the eyes.

“That’s what I thought at first. But it looks like professor Dumbledore heard of this before me as well, and he had no doubt about the matter. He knows it’s true. He is certain there is such a person.”

“Who is it?” I asked, my eyebrows creasing together.

“You probably wouldn’t know, but he is now known as Lord Voldemort. The Ministry is of course searching for him, but they haven’t succeeded in finding him yet. Dumbledore is concerned.”

I placed a hand over my lips. I was muggleborn. And Hogwarts would be a good place to control, after all, it was the best school for witches and wizards in Europe. What would this mean?

“Please don’t be worried, Miss Evans. I’m sure we will manage as long as we have Dumbledore around. He seems to have control over the situation,” she said, returning to our homework.

I knew professor McGonagall said I shouldn’t be scared or worried… But I couldn’t help it. I didn’t know why, but I had the feeling this wasn’t just some wanna-be Dark Lord. Just the thought of his name made me feel uncomfortable. I headed back to Gryffindor tower after the last lesson of the day, to rest before dinner and the show later in the evening. But when I got there, something was wrong. I knew it the moment I entered through the portrait hole. The atmosphere was dark and confused.

“Lily? Do you know where Prongs is?” Sirius practically jumped at me, his face full of concern.

“No, I have no idea … why?” I said, my feeling of worry going stronger.

“We think something’s happened. He’s nowhere to be found. Last time we saw him he was at the breakfast table, receiving his post,” Remus said next, also looking worried.

I could tell this wasn’t a joke. Potter and Black were known as the pranksters at school, but this was serious. Without thinking, I started moving over to the stairs to get my cloak.

“I’ll go look for him,” I said firmly.

“There’s no use, Lily. We’ve looked everywhere. The pitch, the grounds… he’s nowhere,” Sirius said, holding me back.

“I think I know were to look for him,” I continued.

“I’ll come with you,” Remus said, running up to the boys’ dorm. “Sirius, you stay here in case he decides to come back while we’re gone… I think he might need his best friend if he does.”

“I know. I’ll stay… Promise me you’ll look thoroughly wherever you’re going,” Sirius said, resting his head in his hands.

I had never seen him so concerned… Sirius and Potter really were close as brothers.

We hurried out the portrait hole, walking fast down the corridors to the entrance hall.

“What do you think happened?” I asked Remus.

“I think it might have been one of the letters he received. He didn’t open any, he brought them with him when he left. Then he didn’t turn up in classes.”

Now that I thought about it, I didn’t recall seeing him at all that day. Why didn’t I notice that?

“Any idea who sent it?” I continued.

“No, not really. He usually gets Quidditch news letters and stuff from his family, but I don’t know. It could be anything.”

I lead the way, and I didn’t know why, but I headed for the forest around the lake. I had a feeling he might be there, by no other reason than that’s were I would go if I wanted to hide away.

We searched along the most used paths, around the lake, and in the entrance to the forbidden forest, but Potter was nowhere to be found. Then I remembered the day in Care of magical Creatures when we tried catching Gnabblers. Maybe Potter would go to the place I fell? It was an absurd thought, but it was the only thing I had to go at.

“Where are we going?” Remus said, insecurity in his voice.

“Trust me, I know where we’re headed,” I said, continuing to go further away from the path we walked along. I struggled a while to remember where we went that day, but as I got further in it started to clear up.

The trees closed in and the light struggled to pierce through the tops, and I could tell Remus was very sceptic. But I insisted on continuing, and he followed. I stopped up a couple of times, looking around.

“Are you sure about this?” Remus said hardly. I ignored him and went on.

And then I saw his black hair in the distance.

I almost ran the last few feet, and laid a hand on his shoulder.

‘I can’t call him ‘Potter’ now… That would make it sound like I didn’t care..’ I thought.


My lips made out the word and it filled the silence.

He didn’t respond. He just sat there, hiding his face, not moving at all. Remus stood by a tree some feet away, looking sadly at him.

“Prongs? What happened? Please tell us…” he said carefully.

Suddenly my hand on his shoulder started shaking. It wasn’t because I was nervous, it was probably because Potter had started trembling under me, quiet sobs emerging from him…

“Go away,” he said unsteadily, but determined.

Neither of us moved. We stood there for quite a while, not saying anything, just listening to him sobbing.

“Lily?” Remus broke the silence, checking his wristwatch. “It’s almost five. Shouldn’t you get back and start getting ready? You have a show to participate in...”

I turned to look at him.

“Do you think I will leave him here like this? No way. I’m staying,” I said firmly.

I didn’t care about the show just then. The young man sitting there occupied my thoughts. What had made him run into the forest to hide, sobbing? The James Potter I knew would never do that. There was something serious going on, if it made him as sad as this.

Suddenly Potter’s hand was placed on top of mine, and he lifted his head. He didn’t turn around, though.

“Please tell me what happened, James? I just want to help. Sitting here in hiding doesn’t solve anything.” I spoke slowly and carefully, so only he could hear me. I leaned down so we were on the same level.

He then turned around and looked into my eyes. It almost frightened me. His eyes were so sore and red I started wondering how long he had been sitting there like that. His brown eyes were shining with sorrow and desperation. His face was wet with tears.

“She’s … S-She’s d.. dead, Lily…” he managed to force out.

I almost felt tears starting to push their way out as well when he spoke those words. Someone Potter loved was gone… He had lost her.

“Who’s .. Who’s gone?” I whispered.

He turned away again, hiding his face. But he was no longer hiding the tears or the whimpering.

“Laura, Lily… My six year old cousin,” he spoke clearly.

The moment he said this I heard a quick intake of breath from where Remus stood. I turned to look at him, and saw how shocking this was to him. He was paralysed. I was surprised when Remus started to walk away, leaving us alone. I think he understood who it was, and couldn’t bare to stay there any longer.

I started crying as well. I sat down next to Potter, wrapping my arms around his shaking body.

“No… How? When?” I forced out.

“She was.. visiting some muggle friends,” he said, sobbing horribly in between. It was hard to make out what he said.

“And… There came people… black people with wands … Death Eaters… and killed them with the Unforgivable Curses. They blew off the house … and the Dark Mark was hovering over the place when they left…”

I was confused. I didn’t know about any dark mark or hooded wizard-killing muggles.. Wait… Killing muggles… It couldn’t be?

“Who was behind it?” I whispered.

Potter turned around and met my eyes once more. They were full of hatred and despising. “Voldemort did, Lily… Voldemort did it…”

I rested my head on his shoulder.

‘Not him… Why? It was so unfair… I hate him!’

He escaped my arms and stood up.

“I swear, Lily… I’m going to kill him for this… He took my Laura away.”

The last few words came out unclear and blurred. I stood up as well, feeling the need to destroy something. Potter walked over to me again, pulling me into a deep embrace.

“They killed her… My sweet innocent Laura. I used to smile every time I heard her laugh. She was so beautiful… And now I’m never going to hear that laughter again …”

We cried together. I felt something rip and tear inside me, and I knew Potter must have been going through hell. My fear for the Dark Wizard was doubled, and hatred was added to the list.

“Lily, you have to go… You have to go and catch the show,” he whispered.

“Not without you… I’m not leaving you here, remember?” I answered.

He came with me. I was so relieved when I got back to the castle, with Potter by my side. Knowing he wasn’t out there anymore, alone and miserable.

“I look terrible...” I said, feeling my eyes sting.

“No, you don’t…” he smiled at me, performing a spell making my eyes look dry and normal again.

“Go dance, Lily. Don’t make me destroy your night,” he smiled again. “I’ll be watching, so you won’t be worried about me disappearing again.”

Chapter 14: Panic Back Stage
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A/N: This chapter is written through many people’s point of views, (Lily, James, Remus and Sirius) so try to keep it straight while reading! Look for the dots (...) which mark the changes.

Chapter Fourteen, Panic Back Stage

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The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music.
Bodies never lie. ~Agnes de Mille

The music filled the Great Hall and the attention of the audience was on the stage in front of them. The lights were brightening the scene, while the rest of the hall was filled with darkness. The teachers were sitting neatly on the front row, and the other six hundred students attending to the show sat quietly behind them. As a single eleven-year-old opened the first dance by carouing to the middle of the stage, the last whispering died out.

Soon there were lots of eleven-year-olds dancing around for the audience. I stood behind stage, sending concerned looks over to Jennifer. She wasn’t feeling well at all… her headache was starting to take control of her body. She had swallowed a couple of aspirins a while ago, but they didn’t have any affect on her yet.

Lindsay was constantly running around with her hands full.

“Valerie, I’ll get that done in a moment, it’s easy to mend. And Georgia, don’t forget your costume for the flower-dance, it should be over there somewhere…” she said quietly, but stressful.

I had changed into my red costume for our first dace. My hair was in two plaits, wrapped together on the back of my head, with ribbons hanging down. My lips were a rose-red colour and my lashes was so full of mascara it was almost exhausting to move them.

“Just try and relax a little, Jennifer, drink this,” Lindsay hurried over to her, giving her a glass of water.

The first-years ran off and loud applauding was heard from the audience… Then the music was on again and the fifth-years entered with huge grins pasted on their faces.

“She has to get better in … five minutes … or we’re going to have a problem,” I heard Dorothy Hill whisper to one of the Slytherin girls, looking over in Jennifer’s direction.

I couldn’t stand it. I had to do something…

“Isn’t that kind of mean? Shouldn’t you back her up and don’t push her down, talking behind her back? It’s not her fault she isn’t feeling well!” I said to Hill, looking hardly into her face. It was kind of dark behind stage, but I could tell she was surprised.

“Does it matter? She will definitely not be the one ruining the show anyway … You will be when you enter to perform that solo. Don’t you think I’ve seen you? It’s pathetic.”

‘Ouch.. That hurt.’

I wanted to put her in the right place for her coldness and got something ten times colder in return. I felt her step on me mentally… I struggled to prevent it, but she still managed.

When we danced our way onto the stage, the smile on my face was the most fake one I’ve ever had to force up. Usually when I danced for a proper audience I felt joy in my heart, one of the best feelings in the world.

But not this time.

I wanted to run off stage immediately, but I knew I couldn’t do that.
It was a long two minutes … It was like going through the steps in slow motion. When I was off again I ran out of the extra door and down to the girl’s lavatory. I felt sick.

I leaned over the toilet, feeling the need to throw up, but I didn’t manage to. After a while I put two of my fingers down in my throat to get it all out. I had never done it before, and I knew it wasn’t the best thing to do, but I had to empty myself. I would rather throw up in the toilet then in the middle of the next dance.

I calmed down and then I hurried up again, meeting Lindsay as soon as I entered.

“Lily, get that off you and pull this on, now.. It’s only a minute left before your second dance is on! You were an hour late in the first place, don’t make it any worse!” she thrust a black long leotard at me with bare shoulders and a white rose to have in my hair.

‘Shit…’ I swore to myself.

I didn’t have time to get to the changing room, so I walked over to a dark corner to pull the leotard I wore off and put the other on. I stuck the rose in my hair and almost ran directly on stage again, feeling my feet shake with some sort of weakness under me.

I ran into the circle and did the first four eighths of the dance. When the opportunity came, I slipped off stage. I couldn’t help it, I didn’t want to be out there any more.

“Lily? What’s going on? Get back on!” Lindsay almost shouted at me.

“I - I can’t… Sorry,” I sobbed. “My body is just… not willing to follow me. My head is so full of thoughts. I just can’t do it!”

My eyes were almost dry when I sat down in the seat next to Remus, Sirius and Peter. None of them had spoken to me about what happened, but I knew Remus had told them what was going on. I still felt it sting and hurt inside by the thought of Laura’s beautiful, sweet face. Why did she have to go so soon? I forced myself to push that aside, for Lily’s sake. Just for a short hour… I promised her I’d come, and I had.

“Why are we here again?” Peter whispered as the hall darkened.

Sirius pinched him in the ribs. “What do you think? We’re going to watch the ballet show.”

“I know what we’re doing here… but why are we watching boring classical ballet?” he continued.

“Because.. There are many pretty girls, and they are wearing little clothes. That’s why,” Sirius smirked.

“No, no… maybe that’s why Padfoot and Prongs are here, but that’s really not why,” Remus cut in. “We’re watching Lily, remember?”

Peter fell quiet. “Oh. The pretty red-hair you just turned down?”

Remus’s face turned stiff as stone.

“Yeah, that’s her,” I said, smiling at Remus, laughing a little by Peter’s ironical comment. Of course he knew who Lily was, he’d been around her for years.

“Thanks a lot, James…” Remus said in a fake hurt voice.

I still didn’t understand why Remus hadn’t got together with Lily Evans when she came to him so willingly. How he could say he wasn’t worth her …? If I were him, I wouldn’t have cared if I deserved her or not, I would have enjoyed every moment with her as my girlfriend. But that didn’t happen … I thought he deep down regretted it.

We had talked it over, and he concluded that Gwen was nothing like Lily. Lily was so much more full of life, so real when it came to the point. Gwen was just… Too much like what everybody else was. She did all the right things, she acted just like she was supposed to, but she wasn’t something ‘out of the ordinary’, like Lily Evans was.

Music filled the hall and we snapped our heads around to watch the stage. Maybe I expected seeing Lily dancing her way out into the middle, but unless she had black hair and looked like a first-year, that was not the case.

“When is her dances?” I leaned over and whispered to Remus.

“It’s the third, the seventh, and the last dance. That’s her solo,” he smiled.

I loved this. For once I was allowed to look at her as much as I’d like. After all, when she was the only girl dancing at the end of the show, what was I supposed to do? Pretend she wasn’t there? I was looking very much forward to that last dance. And, she had to smile. No more mad face expressions to demonstrate her dislike of me.

The moment I saw Lily on the stage, I knew something was wrong. I had known her for seven years, and been a close friend in four of them. I knew that smile she had on her face. It was one of the fake ones. I had no clue about ballet, but it seemed to me like Lily was not doing anything but simply dancing. It was like she wasn’t there mentally, just physically.

“Can you see that, Prongs?” I whispered.

“What, Moony? The fake smile and the dead movements?” he replied.

“It’s that obvious… I was afraid so,” I sighed.

“It’s not because of me, is it?” he then said, sounding slightly concerned.

“What d’you mean?” I said, creasing my eyebrows.

“I don’t know … either because she knows I’m in the audience and that makes her mad, or maybe she’s sad because of, well ... you know what I mean.”

“Mad because of you? How can you think that after what she did in the forest for you only hours ago?” I said in disbelieve.

James shrugged and continued to watch the dance. Even the blonde girl at the back looking as if she was about to cry out in pain managed to smile a more real smile than Lily. It looked so forced. Almost painful.

When she was off stage, some bright yellow sixth-years came on in a dramatic opening.

“Wow… That dark girl to the left, what do you think, Prongs?” Sirius almost gasped.

“A fine example. Maybe a little bit too muscular though...” he replied in a bored voice. “But that blonde at the front, she really knows how to push her chest forwards… she looks like a proud hen.”

“A proud hen? Where did that come from?” Sirius exclaimed.

“Shhhh… This is not the common room, boys! One more sound and I will personally escort you out of here!” Professor McGonagall hissed two rows ahead of us. I had problems not to laugh, and I could tell the other three struggled as well.

The dances passed sloooowly… I heard several yawns from Peter before Sirius dared to bring us to his attention.

“Well well… the next dance is the other one of Lily’s. Maybe she’ll manage to look just a tad bit happier in that one?” I whispered as quietly as I could to Remus, James and Peter.

The music stopped and a soft floating violin started playing. I saw a brown-haired girl slowly enter the stage and perform what I thought was called a double pirouette. Then there came more and more and more… I recognised some of them from the first dance, but it was quite confusing now that they had different clothes on… [A/N: Soooo Sirius, don’t you think? Of course it’s exactly the same people!]

Then I saw Lily’s red hair again. The bright light made her look even paler than usual, almost as white as a sheet of paper. I watched her move for only a short time before her smile faded completely away from her face and she slipped off stage.

“Was that supposed to happen?” I whispered to Remus.

“Padfoot! What do you think? All the others are still dancing, do you think she’s supposed to go off after just a few seconds? Just her? How dumb can you get?”

I saw James rising up and making his way to the end of the row.

“Prongs! Where are you going?” I tried not to yell after him.

“I’m going back stage to find her,” he replied before disappearing into the dark.

“Promise me you’ll try?” Lindsay almost cried out next to me. “You know you can do it! What made you act like that? What? Who?”

“I’m pathetic, Lindsay…” I murmured. “Pathetic.”

“Lily!” She exclaimed, grabbing both of my wrists. “Get yourself together! Put those feelings aside, and just dance ok? Like you did that day to the ‘Sunrise Colours’ music ... can’t you?”

I didn’t respond.

“Ok, I am giving you ten more minutes to get your head straight,” she said, sounding almost desperate. “I have never done this before for anyone, Lily, but I’ll give the onlookers a ten minute break before the final dance, your solo. If you still don’t want to do it, I’ll do it. So… what’s it going to be?”

Hill entered the room, tapping Lindsay on the shoulder.

“Jennifer just threw up, you have to come and help,” she simply said, pointing at the exit door to my changing room. “She’s in the back-stage corridor.”

“Oh my God..” Lindsay slapped a hand over her mouth. “Sorry Lily, I have to go. But please? There’s thirteen minutes left until you’re on, so please, just…” she was ripped away and rushed out of the room to get to the sick girl.

I sat there, in my beautiful blue costume and the pearly pointe shoes on my feet that I’d changed into on Lindsay’s orders a few minutes ago. My hair was done with a swish of Lindsay’s wand, now in a high bun with strands of curly hair standing out some places. I looked at myself in the mirror, my skin matt from all the powder and the rough highlighting my cheekbones. My dark thick lashes fluttered and the green colour of my eyes were emerging from in between the dark of the mascara. I pressed my lips together and equalised the lipstick even more.

Then I almost lost my breath in surprise as a very familiar face was visible in the mirror from the door.

“Potter? What are you doing here?” I said in surprise, spinning around.

“What happened, Lily?” he said.

I shook my head and let out a deep sigh.

“That’s none of your business,” I muttered.

“Come on! I let you comfort me earlier, and now you’re obviously the one needing comfort! Look at yourself …” he lowered his voice considerably. “That’s not the happy and smiling Lily I’m used to seeing.”

“You mean I’m happy around you?” I creased my eyebrows.

“At least you’ve been more happy around me the last week than you used to?” he tried. “If you don’t call that happy, then that makes the contrast even more obvious.”

“Fine, fine… It’s just, I don’t think I can do it. I was stupid to actually think I could. I know I really can’t,” I forced out.

“Who said that?” Potter whispered. He came closer, standing right in front of the chair I was sitting on.

“Why do you want to know, Potter?” I asked.

“James. You can call me James if you’d like to,” he cut me off.

“Fine. James,” I corrected, but a little amused smile was creeping onto my face.

“I want to know because I care about you, and I want to tell you that person is very wrong, and I really want to see you dance that solo,” he said firmly in one breath.

“Dorothy Hill said it,” I finally let out, turning away from him and wrapping my arms around my knees.

“That wannabe-good-ballerina? The hot girl with no brains?” he exclaimed. “I see,” he added as an afterthought.

“Please dance, Lily? You’ve been brilliant in all the other shows, I think you should’ve had that solo long ago. And after all, you were the one who got it, not Hill.”

I didn’t move, I just gave him a stare. Potter threw his hands up in surrender like he used to when he was out of words.

“For me?” he tried.

“Yeah Right,” I muttered, crossing my hands over my chest.

“For Remus?”

“No way.”

“For… anyone, I don’t care, just dance!”

This was obviously very important to him. I figured it was so he wouldn’t be in depth to me anymore for finding him out there in the forest.

There was silence between us before he suddenly bent down and took both of my hands in his. He looked into my eyes almost like I had looked into his in the forest earlier. He leaned closer to me … getting nearer and nearer. It happened so quickly I didn’t have to time to react. And even if I had time to, I don’t know how I would have responded on him closing in on me like that.

He kissed me, on the cheek, only an inch away from my lips. Quite tenderly as I’m mentioning it.

“I’ll see you on the stage in…” He looked at his wristwatch. “ten minutes, then.”

He was about to leave when he turned around and gave me a genuine smile. “By the way… You look stunningly gorgeous in that you’re wearing.”

‘For God’s sake! I can’t just stand skive off my dance after that! That would be directly rude…’ I yelled at myself inside my head. ‘I guess I just have to do it then… Damn Potter for being so good at persuading people…!’

“Ready, Lily?” Lindsay asked gently, putting a hand on my shoulder.

I nodded and heard her signalise for the music to start. And the moment the tones and the piano were on, I felt it fill that empty space inside. I was back to the dancing studio. I was back to my own ocean of feelings to be exposed to the audience. I was back to being free. The smile on my face was genuine. My heart smiled. My eyes smiled. My body moved easily into the picture made by movements, music and feelings.

I felt the spotlight warm me just like I imagined it would. The stage was my own, I belonged there. I almost caressed the music as I became one with it. I stretched my feet and kept my turn-out in its painful position. But the pain was nothing compared to the fulfilled happiness within me those two minutes. I landed from my jeté and did the rélevés before getting ready for the next, most demanding part. I found my spot on the wall at the back of the audience, above the heads of the students and teachers.

I felt my leotard hug my curves. My hands were placed in third position and my feet in fourth. I was standing there, prepared to turn and perform a hopefully triple pirouette in front of my audience. The smile of James Potter was on my mind. After all, it was because of him I was standing on this stage. I hated it, but that was the truth.

I flicked my foot out and turned.



‘just one more time…’

Three times.

I collected my feet and jumped into the allegro with a smile shining as brightly as ever. I was close to laughing with joy. I stretched my arms and did the last five eighths. I bent down in my ending pose, breathing out as the roar of applause reached my ears and the last trace of the music faded out…

Chapter 15: The Metamorphmagus
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Chapter Fifteen, The Metamorphmagus

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Genius is another word for magic,
and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable.
~Margot Fonteyn

Hillary and Anna didn’t let go of the embrace. They almost cried with happiness. And when they cried, I cried.

“It was so beautiful, Lily. I started crying when you did that pirouette… I’m so proud of you, girl!” Hillary smiled into my shoulder.

I had been about to change when Anna and Hillary had stormed into my changing room, bringing flowers and beaming like the sun.

“But what happened before that? You didn’t seem like yourself in those other dances, Lily...” Anna pointed out, her face turning slightly anxious.

“Does it matter? She’ll be the next prima ballerina after that last one! I was stunned, I was amazed, I was… out of breath because it was so brilliant!”

We all collapsed on the floor, laughing and crying at the same time. It took a long time to calm down, because the minute we stopped laughing and exchanged looks, we started laughing all over again.

“I was almost afraid you’d never come onto the stage again after the second dance,” Hillary said. “What made you do it anyway?”

I almost stopped breathing. “I’ll just change, ok? I’ll tell you later,” I smiled.

Anna seemed reluctant, but agreed after a little persuasion.

I locked the door when they had left, sitting down on the floor.

The moment I had stepped out into the music I had forgotten all about what made me do it in the first place, for a short time. But now it all came welling back to me. How James had entered, placing a kiss on me before leaving.

‘Wait a second… Did I just think of him as ‘James’ and not ‘Potter’? Ok, maybe we’re more on terms now than we used to be. Fine.’

Then the shudder that had raced through my body when he had kissed me came back for a brief moment, and how it had calmed me down. His little smile when he passed through the door right across me…

‘You let him kiss you! How could you do that, Lily Evans?’ My inner voice whispered.

‘You were upset and miserable, that’s why,’ the same voice answered.

I sighed deeply and stood up, starting to undress with my head full of thoughts. I was about to put my leotard in my bag when I noticed the reflection of my own upper body wearing nothing in the mirror … I turned away, feeling my breath quicken.

“Don’t swim naked, Lily! You know people are just going to turn away and leave if they see you… Put some clothes on before someone gets disgusted!” My father hissed at me on the sunny day at the beach.

“You can’t say that to a six year old child, Charles!”

My mother scooped me into her arms, but tears were already running down my cheeks.

I wrapped my arms around myself, trying to hide as much skin as possible. The scars in my soul was not healed yet. Mother had told me over and over again that absolutely nothing was wrong with the way I looked. That my father didn’t really mean all those things he said. I knew she was right, but a part of me never forgot his words. It wouldn’t seek in. After all, I hadn’t always been the swan I was now, as my mother would call me.

I couldn’t take it when people gave me compliments about the way I looked. It didn’t seem right with me. Nobody could ever know…

I pulled some clothes on and walked in quick steps out in the narrow corridor leading up to the stage. I felt slightly shaken by the thought of that man. How he had tormented me… squeezed my confidence down to nothing. Telling me every day to lose weight, colour my hair or get a fake tan.

“That’s why we put you in ballet in the first place, darling! So you could get rid of that ugliness lying around on your body…”

I quickened my speed even more. An angry expression was dominating my face, and the grip around my bag got tighter.

It was a miracle I hadn’t developed an eating disorder, or become suicidal. If it hadn’t been for mum opening my eyes slightly to realise my body was perfectly normal and slim, I would have gone mad.

When I entered the door to the stage-area, I saw Lindsay walking around, picking up things and preparing to put the stage down.

“Lily! I was looking for you,” she said brightly, stopping me up and hugging me.

“I know what you are going to say,” I said hurriedly. “I was great.”

Lindsay creased her eyebrows. “You don’t sound very happy… You should be. Did you hear all the hands clapping for you? All the screams and yells? Did you see the flowers thrown onto the stage?”

“I know, but I have a lot on my mind right now,” I said sadly.

“You always have, Lily,” she sighed. “Just try to forget about it, and try to just live and have some fun instead of burying yourself in thoughts and problems.”

That was my problem. I always did. It was one of my best qualities. If that could be called a quality…

“I’ll try,” I whispered, giving her a weak smile.

When I saw James in the common room late that evening I was almost nervous. I didn’t say anything as I sat down in a chair, lying my pointe shoes on my lap to sew on new ribbons. I knew I could have done it magically, but it somehow felt better to do it by hand.

I saw him come closer and closer to me through the corner of my eye, and I almost jumped as he leaned down and rested his elbows on the side of the chair.

“Perfect, Lily. You were perfect,” he whispered.

I turned around and smiled at him, feeling a blush enter my face. “Thank you.”

I pulled slightly away because he was so close to me. I was almost afraid he’d kiss me again. I broke the eye contact and continued to rip the old stings away to remove the old ribbons attached to the shoes.

“I’m going home for a couple of days,” he then said, sitting down in the chair next to me. “Because of Laura, you know.”

I had almost forgotten about that.

“I’m so sorry, James… I think it will be good for you to calm down a couple of days now that she’s gone, though.”

He looked oddly at me.

“Why do you think that?”

“Because that was good for me when my father died,” I replied, smiling a little.

“You lost your dad? When?” James sounded surprised.

I felt it jump inside as he said ‘Your dad’… I never dared to, or wanted to, call my father ‘dad’. It simply didn’t fit his character.

“When I was fourteen, two years ago,” I answered.

“I’m sorry,” James said.

“Don’t be,” I whispered. “I’m all right.”

After a long silence his familiar grin was back on. He tapped my shoulder and I looked at him, almost piercing the tip of my finger with the needle.

“You didn’t feel uncomfortable earlier, did you? When I kissed you?”

I felt my face grow hot. I lowered my eyes and didn’t say anything to him. Then I decided to stand up to myself, and the pink colour slowly crept away.

“I wouldn’t have let you if I wasn’t in such a bad state,” I defended myself.

James eyebrows was raised and he looked at me in assignment.

“Sure you wouldn’t…” he said, finding an apple in his pocket.

“I would not!” I hissed, sewing faster. “I didn’t know what was going on, suddenly you just …”

“…Kissed me,” he finished for me. “So you’re saying that if I kissed you now, you’d react differently? You’d… slap me or something? Yell at me? Swear at me? Leave the room and despise me for all eternity?”

I laughed a little at that. “Probably.”

‘No, you wouldn’t. You would have loved it…’

I gasped at myself and slapped a hand over my lips. Before James realised what was going on, I had slipped out of the chair and hurried up the stairs to the girls’ dorm.

“That was risky,” I heaved at myself. “Too risky.”

‘And he didn’t even kiss me this time.’

I put the unfinished pointe shoes in the drawer of my cup board and sat down onto my bed. Why wouldn’t the familiar delightful shudder go away from my body? Why wouldn’t James’s hazel eyes disappear from my mind?

Wandering around in my own thoughts, I thought about Lily Evans for the umpteenth time that evening. Her solo had been perfect in my eyes, and I loved every minute of it, but something bothered me.

I had been sitting right behind Potter and his gang in the audience, and it had been disturbing. Parts of their conversation didn’t want to leave my head. Evans had obviously been turned down by Remus Lupin, for God knows what reason. But it had been even more disturbing to watch Potter get up from his seat to rescue Evans when she went off stage.

“I’m going back stage to find her…” he had said as he left.

I wondered what had happened. What they’d been doing there backstage, before Potter returned right after the ten minute break with a smile on his face.

“What happened?” Black had asked him.

“She’ll dance. I’m sure of it,” Potter had replied.

And it was something about the way they had exchanged looks. If they only knew I was sitting behind them… and even worse if they knew who I were. At least Lupin would give me ice-cold stares. I was sure of that.

I looked at myself in the mirror of my dorm, grinning at myself. I had really done it. After many attempts I could see James Potter staring back at me from the blank surface. I reached for my temple, rumpling up my now black hair the way Potter did when he was around the opposite sex. I was going to screw up their fresh friendship so badly Lily Evans wouldn’t even speak to him anymore. I knew which buttons to touch… I knew Evans in a way he didn’t. I was one step ahead of the great, perfect Quidditch-Captain Potter.

Remus Lupin was much easier to copy the appearance of, because we weren’t as different as Potter and I. Evans hadn’t hesitated when I came into the Great Hall on her dress-rehearsal. She really thought I was her beloved Remus. But what was really odd was when she asked me what week it was, as if that mattered. When I didn’t know she reacted as if I had said something wrong. But that didn’t count? It felt so good to embrace her slender body, knowing she wouldn’t turn away. I fooled her once, and I could do it again.

I couldn’t be busted, though. Professor McGonagall knew I was a metamorphmagus, and she forbid me to play around with it after I misused my abilities back in fourth year. I never told anyone about myself… I had always wanted it to be my little secret, that I could change my appearance without spells or polyjuice potion. I could change it at will. Just by concentrating and making an image in my head could I change my looks. Some people were harder to imitate than others, though. Like Potter… He had been a challenge. But I had been watching how he behaved, talked and how he was. After lots of attempts I had managed to copy the face hundreds of girls found attractive…

A/N: Starting to ring a bell anyone? Feel free to read chapter twelve once more to see the “fake-Remus” thing again if you’d like :)
If there's anybody who doesn't remember what a metamorphmagus is, it’s the ability to change appearance at will. Like Nymphadora Tonks.

Chapter 16: Busted!
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Chapter Sixteen, Busted!

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If you can talk, you can sing.
If you can walk, you can dance.
- African Proverb

Every second person passing me praised my performance on Sunday. I was happy every time they did, it really made my spirit rise. My face was one big grin.

When I was about to leave for dinner on Monday, I saw James come down from his dorm with his trunk. He looked like he was about to leave…

“Are you leaving?” I asked in surprise.

“Yeah, Laura’s funeral is tomorrow, back in London,” he said, setting his trunk down by the stairs for the house elves to find.

“I totally forgot,” I said, reaching out for him.

He held me close for a moment, I heard him sigh deeply. But when he finally let go, he smiled at me.

“It’s ok, Lily. Don’t let this kill your good mood, you have every reason to be happy after last night,” James said.

“Thank you,” I replied in a cheerful tone. “Are you having dinner? Or are you leaving right now?”

“I’ll stay for dinner.”

“Okay, how long are you going to be home? A couple of days?”

“Yeah, I’ll return on Wednesday, I don’t want to miss out on more Quidditch-practise than necessary.. We’re playing Slytherin soon.”

“Ah, I see,” I said, raising my eyebrows. “You enjoy being Captain?”

We climbed out the portrait-hole and started walking down to the Great Hall.

“I love it more than anything, It’s been my dream since before I started Hogwarts,” he laughed. “I guess it’s the same thing about you and ballet?”

I shrugged. “You could say that, it’s been what’s kept me going through hard times, even though I started it for other reasons.”

“Really? Like after you broke up with… what was his name? Bryn Johnson? And when your father passed away?”

My mood fell considerably. Yeah, that had been hard times, but I hadn’t been sad, I had been angry and hurt.

“Yeah, like those times,” I said shortly.

“Well … Johnson is on the Hufflepuff Qudditch team, I could kick his ass for you the next match we’re playing against them if you’d let me.”

I smiled, looking oddly at him.

“That doesn’t matter. I’m through with him anyway, I don’t want to rip up in old wounds again..”

“I can tell you don’t want to talk about this?” James said after some thought.

“Good observation,” I smiled.

“So.. Ballet. What were the reason you started? How old were you?”

I saw he started to play with the sleeve of his shirt, looking at me with interest. I often started playing with my nails, my hair, anything, when I was nervous. Was it the same thing with James? Was he nervous?

“I started when I was five,” I said, searching his face.

“OK, did your parents make you start? That would be understandable, even though it isn’t hard to picture a five-year-old Lily Evans beg her mother to start dancing to become a prima ballerina…” He laughed and smiled warmly at me.

Suddenly I was the one starting to get nervous and quickly found my nails to concentrate on. I felt that little something inside again, whatever it was.

“Yeah, pretty much. My parents made me start taking dancing lessons.”

I think James felt I was reluctant, and I hoped he would drop the subject. But that didn’t happen.

“Is there something you’re not telling me?” He suddenly said, lowering his voice. “You seem avoiding.”

“No, it’s nothing,” I protested, but my fingernails was heavily fiddled with.

He creased his eyebrows, but finally dropped the subject.

‘You don’t want to know, James.. I don’t need you to feel sorry for me too.’

“Dorothy is awfully quiet today, have you noticed?” Anna smiled at me when dinner was almost finished. “I think she doesn’t dare to pick on you because you really pulled that dance off, Lily.”

I noticed several heads turn and smile at me. Obviously people didn’t forget that too easily. I was glad.

When we walked back I saw from the corner of my eye James leaving the others to go to Hogsmeade to catch the train. He waved and said he’d give his mother his best from us. It seemed Remus, Sirius and Peter were not unfamiliar to the Potter family.

When we reached the Tower again, Remus stopped.

“Lily, could I talk to you for a second?” He said, dragging me slightly aside. “Or maybe a little more then a second…”

We ended up sitting outside in the grounds. We had found our scarves, it was chilly outside.

“I’m not seeing Gwen anymore,” he started.

It had only been a couple of weeks, and they weren’t together anymore? I couldn’t deny I hadn’t foreseen it. It was something that had stirred in my subconscious since they started going out.

“Oh,” I said, trying to seem understanding. “You didn’t tell her, did you?”

Remus snapped his head up.

“No, of course not! I just dated her for the shortest time, I don’t tell her something like that right away! She doesn’t know about me being a werewolf.”

“Ok, ok! I was just worried,” I exclaimed, trying to calm both him and myself down.

“Who broke it off?” I said quietly after a long break.

“I did,” Remus sighed. “She wasn’t right. Nothing felt right with her.”

I buried my head in my hands. “Why, Remus?”

“She wasn’t… Nah, just forget it.”

“No, tell me, Remus,” I said, not lifting my head. “You’re one my best friends, you can tell me anything.”

Remus laid down on the cold grass, placing his hands behind his head. He looked up on the steadily darkening sky.

“She wasn’t you, Lily.” He said quietly. “She wasn’t you.”

“Remus, don’t!” I exclaimed. “If you won’t let me love you, then you certainly aren’t allowed to love me either! Understand?”

I startled him with my sudden outbreak, and he sat up, not yelling back at me. He just looked into my eyes with his clear blue ones.

“I know, Lily. And I won’t. You’re as good as my sister, and I should treat you and love you thereafter.”

“Good,” I said, trying to keep steady.

I didn’t succeed, though. Soon we were laughing till our lungs were out of breath.

It was one of the strange things Remus and I had, that we could have an outburst of laughter in the most absurd situations.

We walked back to the castle, holding hands. Not the way a boyfriend and a girlfriend do, like brothers and sisters do.

That evening, I was buried in homework, just like the night before. When I was finished, it was almost two o’clock in the morning. I still found some time to write in my ballet-diary. I thought it was fun to have one, and I hadn’t written in it since the show. I was about to write about Dorothy’s despicable comments when I saw the portrait-hole open by itself.

I jumped in my chair, throwing my book aside.

It closed just as quietly, and I rose abruptly. Was it one of the ghosts? No, they never entered the houses using the doors. They went straight through them. I walked over to the portrait-area, and when I did, I heard footsteps.

I creased my eyebrows in concentration.

“Hello? Is anybody there?”

The noises stopped. I didn’t know where I had my very good hearing from, but is sure came in handy now.

“She’s coming closer, Moony…” I heard someone say from the stairs, it was so quietly you couldn’t even call it a whisper.

‘Moony? But that’s Remus’s nickname… It couldn’t be…?’

If it really was Sirius and Remus being invisible, I wanted to find them. I felt like I went into a little hide and seek game… I followed the sound, arms stretched out.

I heard them make nervous noises somewhere near the boys’ dorm stairs, and I continued to follow.

Then I felt something soft against my fingers… Something solid in thin air.

“Shit,” I heard Remus’s voice.

I grabbed whatever it was and shook it heavily. I heard both of them almost scream in unison, and then they stood there in front of me.

Sirius had a big cloth looking like a cloak in his left hand, and a bag over his shoulder. Remus had one of those as well, they kind of reminded me of Father Christmas.

“Now, now.. where have you been?” I said, crossing my arms over my chest, looking on them as if I was their mother.

When I went to bed that night I couldn’t stop laughing. It was really James’s job to fetch butterbeer from Hogsmeade together with Sirius for Halloween, but James was home in London, so Remus had to take over the job. It was James’s invisibility cloak they had been hiding under, and I was having so much fun catching them. I wouldn’t forget that in a long time..

I was hoping that Sirius and Remus didn’t tell James about me busting them, so I could annoy James to his wits telling him myself.

I pictured the situation so vividly.. “James? Do you think I could borrow that special magic cloak of yours? The one that makes you disappear? Like.. turning invisible?”

I smiled to myself, looking forwards to his return on Wednesday.

Chapter 17: The Funky Change
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A/N: I'm slipping in a note to clarify that the bad guy is indeed Bryn Johnson, the same Johnson who was in the library, spied on Lily etc. He was also the one Lily dated back in sixth year, but broke up with because she was too busy and she wasn't really in love... With that in mind, enjoy the chapter and the rest of the story!

Chapter Seventeen, The Funky Change

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Someone once said that dancers
work just as hard as policeman,
always alert, always tense, but see,
policeman don't have to be beautiful at the same time.
- George Balanchine

I looked down at the mark scribbled in the right corner of my Gnabbler-essay from Care of Magical Creatures.

An “Acceptable”.

I should have got at least an E. But it wasn’t my fault James and I had been sitting in the common room that night, laughing like mad remembering my panic-attack in the forest when we were supposed to find the small irritating Gnabblers.

That essay became short and not too detailed. But I included the most important things…

“I suppose you mean ‘Gnabblers usually let out a smell that stinks as a defence mechanism’ instead of ‘Gnabblers usually to let out a spell that links as a defence mechanism’? Apart from some small misses like the one mentioned, you have the main points and a good illustration of the Gnabbler. Acceptable.”

I smiled reading the comment form Professor Frogley. James had made me change some letters and words to see the new, hilarious meaning, and we ended up with stomach-cramps. But I didn’t remember to turn all the things back. Well well.. I survived. I’d make my next essay better.

“Hey, what did you get?” Remus bent over to me during lunch.

I shoved the papers away from him, almost afraid to make him see. I always got E’s in that subject and even some O’s. But this time it was a poor A.

‘Does it matter? It’s Remus after all..’

“Ok, ok.. I got an A,” I sighed, letting him grab the papers.

He shook his head playfully at me.

“Not good Lily.. What does “The Gnabbler is usually whine and fray in the winter-mouths” mean? Were you drunk when you wrote this? You should have got a ‘Poor’ on this, really..” He looked over at me in surprise.

“It was supposed to mean that the Gnabbler is white and grey in winter, but that was one of the sentences I didn’t have time to correct before handing it in.”

“Why did you write that stuff in the first place? You must have done it in the middle of the night or when you were having a hangover to pull off those spelling mistakes,” Anna asked.

“I was actually just in a good mood, so I changed them on purpose.”

“What? Just to sit there laughing at yourself?” Hillary joined in.

“No.. I did it after I’d gone over the Halloween-report with James Sunday night.”

Remus, Anna and Hillary looked very oddly at me.

“You two getting along well?” Remus asked to make me stop laughing. Just the thought of James howling in laughter when I red my manipulated essay was hard to push out of my head.

“Yeah, I think we are. I think it’s because he hasn’t asked me out for almost two weeks. Which suits me perfectly,” I said, smiling.

“By the way, I got a letter from him just now,” Sirius said, holding up a green envelope. He read out loud:

“Dear Padfoot, Moony and Wormtail,

The funeral was this morning, mum and generally everyone but me cried their eyes out. I was probably the saddest of them all, I just couldn’t manage to cry. It was a touching ceremony though. I wonder how many galleons they spent on all those roses and flowers?

Please let me know what Lily got on the Care of Magical Creatures essay? Don’t ask why. Maybe she’ll tell you if you ask, but wait till she’s finished laughing for the answer. As you know, I’ll be back on Wednesday, thank God I’m going to miss double potions on Tuesday. Have fun with that.

Padfoot, you’ll have to stand in for me as Captain on the team tomorrow on Wednesday, I’ll know if you cancelled the practise, believe me! Remember we’re playing Slytherin in a couple of weeks, and we’re having a run-through of the new tactics on Saturday. So we’ll have to be easy on the good stuff on Halloween on Friday. Too bad.. I know.

See you tomorrow night!


“I knew he’d say the stuff about the Quidditch and the drinking, and please share whatever it is Prongs is referring to, Lily?” Sirius smiled.

“I’ll tell you later, lunch is over so I have to get to my Arithmancy-class.”

“Sure sure.. I won’t forget. What did you get on the essay by the way?” He smirked.

“That’s none of your busi…”

“She got an A,” Remus cut me off.

“An A? Lily Evans! When did you stop doing your homework properly? Let me see that!” Sirius joked.

All three of us looked at the essay resting on the table, and I dived for it. Unfortunately, Remus got it before me and handed it gladly to Sirius, giving me an evil grin that wasn’t like him at all.

“What the…?” Sirius exclaimed. “…the female has a dangerous temperament when it’s love sick? Since when did Gnabblers become love sick? You tell me that? It didn’t say so in the text book… Even professor Frogley says you missed points on that one.”

Before he was half through the sentence I was having a fit of laughter again.

“I see what Prongs meant… This is obviously a touchy topic.”

“Oh shut up, Sirius!” I said, snapping the essay and linking with Anna’s elbow so we would get to class in time. Sirius just stood there, shaking his head and looking at me as though I was an alien.

“She’s going mad these days, I’m telling you. You should see her when she’s over-tired. I think it’s because of all the sleepless nights when she was all stressed over the show,” I heard Hillary say to Remus, Peter and Sirius.

“I heard that!” I yelled back as I exited the Great Hall.

It was Tuesday, and it was ballet-class. Lindsay had given us Monday off to rest after the show, but now we were going back on.

I had to say I couldn’t bare the thought of starting to train myself up for the ballet-exam coming up next spring… It was going to be very demanding.

But as the lesson started, Lindsay was praising us for our brilliant performance on Saturday, and had a sparkle in her eye I wasn’t that used to seeing. We all sat spread out on the floor, listening to her.

“I want you to listen to this piece of music,” she said, tapping the music box.

At first I creased my eyebrows at the sound of creepy laughter and wind blowing in the background. Then the music took a drastic change to a pop rock sort of thing. I wondered what the guitar and the catchy singing was doing in a ballet-studio, but I got excited by the look on Lindsay’s face.

“I reckon it’s time to drop the elegance and straight postures and have a little fun, don’t you think? I’ve set up a different, short dance for the fifth to seventh-years to do together on Halloween this Friday. All other dancing-lessons are cancelled, we only have two hour right after the normal school-lessons every day. So the other girls have this week off to rest after the show, while we have a little funky change.”

I grinned. Four days without ballet, but with some sort of funky jazz. And then dancing it on Halloween. I felt my body shake with anticipation.

“We will have the start of the dance, then the sixth-years will have the middle-part, and the fifth-years will go on stage after them again before all of us do the ending. Sounds fun?”

Even Dorothy smiled and nodded. I was stunned.

“We will learn this in three days?” Jennifer whined, a little worried.

“Don’t worry. You’ll have six hours to practise! And you’re not doing the whole song, you know. Just two of four parts of it. I know you’ll manage, you’re all so good at learning fast.”

That calmed most people down. I was ready for the challenge.

“Ok, we all start in different positions around on the stage. We’ll be wearing tall hats and have cloaks in the beginning, I’ve organised for some cauldrons with smoke to stand between us at the back as well.”

After a quick warm up, (no pliés or grand battements at the barre) Lindsay started to tell us more about the dance and start organising. She set us in different parts of the room, and told us to pretend there was a cauldron between us. Then she showed us some easy basic steps.

We had soon learnt a lot. In the beginning we were witches on Halloween, and then we threw our cloaks off, dancing to quick, funky music. We were supposed to wear tops that glowed in the dark, and Lindsay wanted to enchant our dance sneakers so they became glowing as well. And when the Great Hall was being all dark.. it was going to rock!

The room was warm and filled with an enthusiastic atmosphere.

“Brilliant, Lily, but keep your feet parallel and not turned out like in ballet. And keep your body weight forward. That’s it.”

Everyone was keen and learning fast, even though it was unusual. I had a couple of jazz courses in the summer on my back, so I wasn’t that bad.

“Now, drop that sweet smile, and give me some attitude!” Lindsay yelled, turning on the music to repeat the last section.

When we returned to the changing room we were sweaty and happy.

“Bring loose clothes tomorrow, let your leotards have a week off,” Lindsay yelled after us.

“That was like … the coolest!” Jennifer exclaimed as she took off her dancing slippers. “I can’t wait to continue that tomorrow.. Just imagine, we’re going to go mad on Halloween!”

“I know,” I smiled, finding my lime green socks.

I heard Fanny and Jill hum on the melody to the dance, marking the steps. This was going to be one Halloween I wouldn’t forget.

‘I miss him.’

How could I not? I knew he was only gone for two or three days, but who cared? I was not used to going to classes without seeing his smile by the breakfast table first...

I remembered staying up to one AM on Sunday night.. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to go down to the common room to do homework instead. And who was there?

James of course. He had a pile of books next to him, he was going away so he had to finish about five essays before he left for London.

At first it had been quite embarrassing, because I had left earlier the previous night when he started to bring up the kiss he had pressed onto my cheek. But when I sat down by a table of my own, he had soon moved over to me for company.

I found it disturbing at first, but then we started joking around because we were so tired and bored. When I was almost falling asleep over my books, the muscles in my face was sore from laughing.

He had played his game right that time.

He had kept his promise, he hadn’t asked me out like I thought he would. It was strange to laugh with him. I was so used to giving him rude replies and be mean it was unnatural to laugh and smile with him.

But I liked it. It felt good to do that. At the same time I didn’t dare to think about it too much. After all, he was playing a game, and I was a part of it. And I wouldn’t let myself fall for him. After the incident in the hospital wing with Sirius, I was being very aware of what I thought about James.

It would only get worse if I fell for him. If I said yes to one of his desperate suggestions to date me, he would dump me like he dumped any other girl.

So I was strict with myself.

‘But I’m allowed to like him. He can be my friend… But nothing more. I can’t be hurt at this point.. when I’m finally managing to get onto my feet again. That would kill me.’

‘The thoughts rushing through my head on Saturday night was just lust. I would have liked anybody to kiss me… not only James. That was why I ran off to my dorm. Nothing else.’

Chapter 18: A Virgin
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Chapter Eighteen, A Virgin

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Any problem in the world can be solved by dancing.
- James Brown

I walked down the corridor, knowing Lily Evans would soon come from her dancing lesson. I had overheard a giggling girl in the library during lunch break saying they only had dancing right after lessons every day this week, and I knew that included Lily. I saw the girl dancing with her in the show.

My mind was racing. What would I say to her? I hadn’t really spoken properly to her since we broke up, and that was almost half a year ago… We had exchanged a few words before the holiday, but that wasn’t many.

What would she do anyway, when I came along like that? How would she react? I knew for a fact that she hadn’t exactly been happy after she broke up with me. The two months remaining in sixth year was hard on her. She walked around not caring about anything, just burying herself in schoolwork and ballet. I knew that for sure because Hillary had told me once she was in a bad mood and needed someone to yell at. I hadn’t realised I had hurt Lily so badly saying those things. But my relationship with her had always been tense. I knew something was not right from the start, but I ignored it because I was head over heels... I forgot everything when she was in my arms. I missed that more than anything..

Then I saw her slender body emerge from the studio at the end of the corridor. But she wasn’t wearing the tight stuff she used to.. she was wearing baggy trousers and a black tank top. Her hair was in a ponytail, not in a bun like it used to. She was smiling brightly, and had clearly been working hard. Her water bottle had only an inch left in the bottom.

I felt my heart beat faster immediately. I decided I had to talk to her, if I was ever going to get her back I had to contact her soon. Everything depended on this conversation I was about to have, even though I knew it really wouldn’t change anything. No matter how it turned out, I wouldn’t abandon my little plan. I wanted her back.

She came out of the changing room, still smiling. She was wearing the green trousers I knew she loved, and layer upon layer of clothes on her upper body.

She had almost walked past me when I touched her arm. She turned around, and looked slightly surprised when she saw who it was.

“Bryn! I didn’t see you there…” she said awkwardly.

I smiled nervously at her.

“I just wanted to tell you, you were amazing in the show on Saturday.. You really impressed me.”

“Oh..” She said, stopping up. I saw her pale cheeks turn slightly red and her hands fiddle apprehensively with her hair.

“Are you going back to the Tower? I would love to walk with you some of the way, if you don’t mind?”

I was careful to seem confident and in a good mood, as if this was just a normal girl I found attractive. Not the one who made my knees go weak and my heart race when I saw her.

She seemed hesitant and reluctant at first, considering the possibilities. I was almost dying the five seconds she thought about it. It felt like ever. Couldn’t she just answer?

“Sure,” She said shortly, starting to walk only a second after she’s answered.

I ran a little to keep up with her, realising this was not going very good. But it could have been much worse…

“So… How was your summer?” I asked her, trying to engage her into conversation.

She looked oddly at me, obviously thinking that was a silly question.

“We’re getting very close to November, and you’re asking me about my summer?” She laughed.

I loved that laugher… I hadn’t heard it properly for months. It felt good to be the one talking to her when she laughed.

“It was good, I just spent it in England visiting relatives and chilling at home. How was yours?”

‘Extremely bad without you, but you don’t know that…’

“It was Ok, nothing special,” I said casually.

I knew we were getting to the point where we had to separate for different dorms, and I hated it.

“Well.. I’ll see you around,” Lily said, reaching the hall that would part us into different corridors.

“Yeah,” I said, scratching my neck, grinning at her. “I’ll come and talk to you some other time.. Ok?”

She gave me a little smile and walked down the high white corridor leading somewhere near Gryffindor Tower.

‘That didn’t go too bad…’ I thought, before continuing in the opposite direction.


‘What was that about?’ I thought, climbing through the portrait hole. ‘He actually dared to talk to me, what an improvement. It doesn’t really matter though, because I don’t want to speak to him.’

I sighed and eyes Sirius in one of the chairs by the fire.

‘What the…’ I thought in surprise.

“Sirius, what the hell are you doing?” I frowned down at him, almost gasping at what I saw.

There was Sirius Black, the prankster and the lady-lover, with a pair of glasses on his nose and an enormously thick book on his lap.

“Oh, er.. Lily…” He said, quickly ripping the glasses off and closing the book, putting it aside. “I was just.. trying some stuff out. Don’t bother to think about it. Perform a memory-charm on yourself, that’s probably best.”

My hands were placed on my hips.

“Tell me, Sirius Black, what was that all about? You know I’ll keep taunting you until you break, so spit it out!”

He looked daringly at me, raising his forhead.

"You think I'm that easily persuaded?" he said in amusement.

"Not really, but I could easily blackmail you if you don't tell me..." I said, feeling my grip on him tighten with each word.

"Really?" He said, sounding slightly more insecure.

"Well... I was going to try out that invisibility cloak of James' the other night, and I stopped at your dorm. I heard strange noises."

Sirius went slightly pink.

"And... I was practising this new hex the same evening. It's called the 'blushing-hex'. Not that you'll need one..." I smiled evilly.

“Fine Lily, FINE!” He said exasperatedly as I found my wand.

“There you go, good boy, you know what’s for your own good after all…”

“I was just reading.”

“I’m not buying that,” I laughed. “You never read unless it’s got to do with schoolwork. That was not a textbook as far as I know?”

“Ok, I was just trying to learn some stuff and try something new.”

“Not buying that either, Mr Black…” I smiled.

“Ok, ok, stop the miss-know-it-all attitude! It’s this girl…”

His voice was suddenly loud and half the common room turned their heads. That meant three persons. It wasn’t very occupied. He grabbed my blouse and pulled me down to him.

“I know she likes smart guys, so I’m trying to look smart with the glasses and the thick book. Do you think it’ll work?” He whispered through gritted teeth.

Who was the girl getting Sirius down on all four to get to bed with her? This had to be something special. Not even Sirius used to do that.

“Who is she?” I grinned.

“Tessa Valburg,” He said hardly.

I got away from his grip and laughed. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. Tessa Valburg? Should have figured. She was the pretty blonde who only dated shy and smart guys. She was actually a girl Remus had had a fling with a while ago.. And now Sirius wanted to get her? This was hilarious!

“What are you laughing at! I’m being serious!” He snapped.

“I know..” I choked out. “That’s the funny part. You’re after her? Since when did you get so desperate to sleep with Tessa Valburg?”

If I had known what went through Sirius’ head right then, I would have slapped him.

“Because she’s pretty,” he said, but I saw the lie shining in his grey eyes.

“The real reason, thank you?”

“You can’t know. I can’t tell you.” He simply said.

“Oh really?”

“Sorry, but this is one thing you’re not getting out of me,” Sirius protested.

I looked down at my wristwatch.

“Hm.. I have to go to Professor McGonagall to have a chat about my Head Girl duties… So I’ll talk to you later?”

“I can come with you if you want to?” He smiled. “I’m bored to death without Prongs…”

“Of course you can! But I don’t think Professor McGonagall wants you there.. so you’ll have to wait outside. Got it?”

“Yeah, whatever..” Sirius groaned.

As we passed the dancing studio I suddenly remembered Bryn.

“Know who came and talked to me after my ballet lesson earlier?” I said, looking at him.

“No idea.. Who?”

“Bryn Johnson,” I sighed.

“Oh no, Lily… Him? The twit on the Hufflepuff team? Wasn’t he the one you dumped because you didn’t love him and he was all mean and said evil stuff to you?”

I was surprised Sirius remembered that. It wasn’t like him to remember something so detailed unless it had to do with school or activities in bed. Or food, after second thought.

“Yeah, that’s him..” I confirmed.

“What did he say? Or DO for that matter.”

“He put on his charming smile and told me I was amazing on stage, then he wanted to walk with me back to the Tower, which I let him, no idea why, and then he said he’d come and talk to me again soon.”

I said all that in about one breath. It was really exhausting, but I had to get it out.

“He wants to get back together with you,” Sirius said at once. He was close to getting a light bulb hovering over his head.

“How do you know?” I pointed out.

“Because I do the same thing if I get addicted to a girl in bed. Have to start to be all nice to her and talk to her and stuff like that…”

He actually rolled his eyes. I was surprised. I knew he deep down was kidding, but I was surprised anyway.

“That can’t be it, because I never slept with the guy,” I said hardly.

“Oh? You didn’t? Why?” He said casually.

I gasped at him. “What do you THINK? First of all, I wasn’t even properly in love with him, and second, I didn’t feel ready.”

“Aha… Good one,” He said after some thought. “But really, Lily, don’t get back together with him, whatever you do.”

“I won’t! I don’t even like him any more, so how could that happen?”

“You never know with girls. They often do the exact opposite.”

“Fine, whatever,” I gave up.

“But why are you suddenly so keen to date Tessa Valburg? You gave up on her way back …”

“Promise not to tell?” He pushed his lower lip forwards and looked sadly at me. Like a little puppy..

“Of course!” I smiled sweetly.

“I had a bet with Remus in fifth year, and it’s still going on.”

“And? What was the bet about?” I said, eyeing him suspiciously.

“That I have to kiss, make out with and maybe even sleep with all the girls Remus ever dates at Hogwarts. He’ll let me get away with one, though.”

“That’s so disgusting! He doesn’t feel bad about that?” I said, shocked.

“No, Remus has this funny feeling about relationships. He doesn’t really care when he’s through with them. Of course that depends and varies, but then I just wait until he says I can have a go.”

“So where does this lead to…?”

“Well, I didn’t fetch Tessa after they made out, so she became the one I couldn’t shag. But THEN… you came along, dear.”

I laughed hard. Sirius was about to lose that bet because of me.

“So, I have no choice if I want to win! It’s either you or Valburg, and to be honest, I’d prefer you, but I know that would never happen. Valburg has a great body and all, but she doesn’t have any brains.. she’s as empty as a nutshell. Have no idea why Remus ever had a fling with her. Probably to challenge me...”

I shook my head. “So you do care about what the girls you sleep with have in their heads? Wow…”

“Come on, Lily. I care if I sleep with a Gold Fish. That’s how stupid she is. That’s why she dates clever guys too, so she looks smarter. Wouldn’t surprise me..”

“But… wait a second… Remus dated Gwen right after we’d… talked… and kissed…”

“Good observation,” Sirius smirked.

“Well?” I said impatiently.

“I already did her… Don’t you remember? I had her for a short week in sixth year. So I’ll pass, it’s just Valburg who’s on my list for now.”

“Aha,” I eyed him, amused.

We reached Professor McGonagall’s office and Sirius was quickly denied any access. So he had to walk back to the Tower by himself, because she refused to let him hang in the corridor as well.. Poor thing.

Chapter 19: The Look on My Face
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Chapter Nineteen, The Look On My Face

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Good choreography fuses eye, ear, & mind.
- Arlene Croce

Dorothy and her two other friends walked in front of me in the corridor, heading for the studio. I had just been in my dormitory, slipping my schoolbag on the floor and picking up my dancing-clothes for my lesson.

Today was supposed to be a lesson with all the fifth, sixth and seventh years participating in the Halloween dance, so Dorothy was for once followed by her friends from the year below. They giggled and joked, they had a lot of fifth and sixth-year factors showing. I was walking several feet behind them, half overhearing their conversation.

“I am so excited about this dance!” One of the girls said, giggling horribly.

“Me too.. It’s so… hot!” The other exclaimed.

Dorothy just laughed with them.

I was close to laughing myself when I heard that. I knew there were many girls taking ballet-lessons just for the exercise, and these two were definitely in that crowd. The dance was hot? They clearly wanted to show off and scream ‘Come and get me! Look at my body!’ … I really had trouble keeping my own giggling down now.

I knew those two girls weren’t the best of dancers, but I was positive they would improve greatly if they just changed that attitude of theirs.

“Hi, Lily!” Jennifer caught up with me, slightly out of breath.

I stopped up to giver her some rest, and the three girls disappeared out of my vision when they rounded the corner.

“Only a day left! I can’t wait… Friday is going to be a kick off!” She was all smiley and happy, and it affected me greatly, which I was thankful for.

“I know…” I smiled back, suddenly remembering something.

“You wouldn’t happen to have an extra white top for that evening, would you?” I asked her.

“I think I so, we’re about the same size as well, so I don’t think that will be a problem. I can bring it to class tomorrow if you’d like,” she explained.

“Great!” I said gratefully, linking my arm with hers.

‘This step is so demanding.. Or more precisely, this whole section.’

I grabbed my water-bottle when the music had died out, feeling sweat creep down my forehead. I sat down on the floor, marking the steps with my hands while Lindsay walked over to different people to help.

The people my year had just gone through our part of the dance, and the younger ones were about to stand up to do their parts.

“All of you are doing great, but some of you need to relax more, like I told you so many times before. Try smiling, your faces are all tense with concentration,” she told us.

“We’re learning the last section now when the fifth and sixth years are finished, the one we’re doing all together."

I watched as they did each their minute of the dance, and the funk-factor was high. Not as high as ours, but it wasn’t much less. The more I learned, practised and watched this dance, the more I liked it.

After the ten minute break, we all stood up to learn the last part.

It was of course a little bit more easy, considering that it was supposed to be with all of us, including the ones younger. After learning the last eight counts (Were we put the cloaks back on and joined in a ring being in different levels) all we had to do was practise, practise, practise…

“Good, everyone! We’ll have a double lesson tomorrow, all of us, to bring it to perfection. Then the evening comes… are you as excited as I am?” Lindsay smiled. “I brought you tops for the performance, I have them here in a bag. If they’re too big, just shrink them a bit with the shrinking-charm, should do the trick. I haven’t put the brightening-charm on them yet, because I want that to be a surprise. Nobody has told anyone about that, have they?”

There was a murmuring ‘no’ through the room before she started throwing the tops out.

“I don’t have to borrow that top of you anyway,” I said to Jennifer who stood right next to me the moment I caught one.

She smiled at me and held up her own, where black thick letters spelled ‘Jennifer’.

My name was on the top I held in my hand as well. The sleeves reached to about elbow-level, it was tight and long. I guessed it would have a length making it rest at my hips when I put it on. I grinned and looked at Lindsay.

“You did this?”

“Oh yeah, my dance teacher did that to us when I was younger, and I really loved that, so I figured you’d like it.”

“We love it!” A sixth-year yelled.

Everyone went quiet for a moment before Lindsay started laughing.

“Well.. what are you waiting for? Try them on!”

Three minutes later, everyone was back, wearing their white tops. It looked great, I was even keener than I had been.

“Let’s run through it a couple of times more, then? Find your places!” Lindsay spoke up and went over to the music box to put on the music.

“Hey, Lily! You doing all right?” James said cheerfully as he came down the stairs from his dorm, just finished packing out. “You’ve no idea how nice it is to come back with a trunk full of fresh, washed clothes… Mum really enjoyed that one.”

I smiled and watched him sit down next to me by the table.

“Heard you got an A on the essay? I’m impressed!” He laughed.

“Yeah, I don’t get that either. It was the most crappy thing I’ve ever written..”

I dragged a hand through my flames of wet hair, bending over my textbook again. I had just got out of the shower, it had been very refreshing after to hard hours of dancing.

“Have you ever considered dyeing your hair, Lily?” James suddenly asked.

“Get the girl to a hairdresser, Lillian! That colour doesn’t exactly make her attractive.. I want her to get married before she turns forty!”

My father’s yells soared through my head, and everything else was deleted. I grabbed some strands of hair and wanted to pull them out… Get rid of the hideous red…

“Lily? What are you doing? Stop that!” James said in surprise, reaching out to remove my hand from the hair. He closed his hand around my fingers, gently taking it away.

“No, James. I’ve thought about dyeing it, but I never did.” I said quietly.

‘I refused to change my hair colour just to spite him… I never wanted to obey that piece of dirt of a dad … Although sometimes I had to. I would rather go around with my hideous hair-colour than seeing him get his will.’

“Good, Lily. Never colour your hair, because that colour looks really good on you.. I’m sure there are lots of girls envying you that.”

He was relaxed, but determined at the same time.

I just felt myself closing in even more. I didn’t know how to handle compliments about my looks. They never felt right, they just reminded me of the things making me feel like a little grey mouse. I didn’t move a muscle. My hands were lying limply on the table in front of me, and my eyes were floating in thin air. My red hair was hanging down, hiding my face.

“Lily?” James said, sounding insecure.

“Lily…?” He whispered, reaching out his hand once more.

He almost took my hair aside as if it was a veil hiding something mysterious behind. He somehow made me look into his eyes, and then his face turned from being suspicious and anxious into a warm smile. A smile only James Potter could show.

I felt the corners of my lips rise a little, it was barely noticeable. But James saw it, and put my hair behind my ear.

‘Stop touching it.. It’s not pretty,’ my mind hissed.

“I think you’re the most mysterious girl I’ve met, Lily,” James said, still looking at me. “You’re so hard to predict.”

I separated my lips, and managed to speak again.

“Really? Girls are supposed to be unpredictable and hard to understand, that’s the way God created us, James,” I said, slightly amused, but not really knowing what to think about his comment.

“Then God put some extra thought into you, because you’re over the average mysterious. Quite challenging to be around, to be honest. You never know when you slap of when you smile.”

‘That’s why you even bother to be around me, James.. Because I’m a challenge. You like taking that challenge and playing the game. Can’t you see that you confuse me more than anything?’

“You’re confusing,” I said shortly.

“Confusing? How?” James asked, his eyebrows pressed together.

“I don’t know, you just are. I kind of never know when you’re being serious and when you’re just …” I sighed. “Playing around.”

James edged closer to me, resting his head in his hand.

“I know I’ve been playing around a lot, but I don’t mess up when I know it’s not the most smart thing to do.”

“What is the smart thing to do, then?” I looked down on the table, playing with my nails again.

“When you meet special people, which isn’t very often, you have to change your strategy. You don’t play when you want them to know you for real. You don’t want to leave them confused and not daring to trust you…”

He was dead serious now, I could tell. I wished I was one of those people he talked about. But I was not even sure if he managed to go through with his change of strategy when he wanted to.

I ran a hand through my hair again, and I saw James following my movement with his eyes.

“You can trust me, you know that, right?” James suddenly said, almost wearily.

“Yeah,” I answered, not meeting his eyes.

‘No, I can’t trust you James, because I know what you’re like. You’ve been false too many times, and I don’t want you to use me the way you use everyone except the ones in your inner circle. Which doesn’t include any other than Remus, Sirius, Peter and your mum.’

He smiled at me again, finding an apple in his pocket. He took a bite, and the scent and sound of apple floated around the table.

“I hear you’re setting up some sort of dance tomorrow? Sirius filled me in,” he said between swallows.

“Yep, it’s a … kind of … different thing. Not anything ballet, that wouldn’t look too good in the great hall on Halloween, would it?” I explained.

“Ah, I was wondering about that. Any solos in that one?”

“Nope, just a thing we’re doing all together… why?” I said, wondering what he was up to now.

“Too bad, I was hoping you would get cold feet again so I could come and kiss you onto the stage like last time,” He smirked.

“Potter!” I laughed, my hands jumping to his hair and pulling it playfully. “You were supposed to change, right? You’re not doing very well!”

“Ouch! Lily, stop it! You know my hair is really sensitive! Don’t do this to me …” He yelped.

“Stop saying those cocky things then! It’s a real turn-off…” I continued.

“Really? Why do you girls never say that? I’m supposed to learn from my mistakes, right?”

“You never learn from your mistakes, James… You should’ve realised that a long time ago!”

“Perhaps you’re correct, but some mistakes have to be done a few times before you understand it’s not very clever,” he said, trying to rip my hands away from his head.

“Whatever,” I said, giving him a last painful twig before letting go.

“God, Lily… That was kind of brutal?” He moaned, rubbing his temple.

“Nah, I don’t think so. You deserved it.”

I closed my book and was prepared to leave for bed. I was tired, and I didn’t want to end up fainting again because of too little sleep, too little food and too much work.

“Are you leaving?” James said, setting up a sad face.

“Yeah, got to get some beauty sleep,” I yawned.

“You just need sleep, Lily. Beauty sleep isn’t necessary for a girl being beautiful already!” he grinned.

“Get your ugly face down here, Lily! Now! You’re not staying home from school just because you threw up supper from last night!”

“You’ve got that look again,” James pointed out as I rose from my chair.

I looked oddly at him.

“What look?”

“The look that makes me think something’s on your mind, and you don’t want to tell. I’ve seen that a lot lately.”

I just chose to overhear that. I was preparing to leave, but James grabbed my arm and held me back.

“Please tell me?” He said, his eyes full of concern again.

“There is nothing to tell,” I forced out.

“Yeah right, I know when you’re holding something back. It’s very obvious. That look always appears when you receive some kind of compliment. I’ve been watching. Why is it so hard?”

“Let me go?” I asked politely. I was scared of him now.

He dropped his hand and searched my face a little.

“No, dad! Let me go. Let me go! Please…”

“Good night, James,” I said, managing to come back to the real world and not the tormenting world I used to live in. “See you tomorrow.”

James, Remus and Sirius made me feel like a baby these days. They all looked confused and concerned when I closed in. Why were they so desperate to find those things out? Why were they always so keen to comfort me?

‘Because they love you?’

James’s face was very puzzled when I left. I knew I’d gone too deep, that he knew there was something else going on that he didn’t have access to. That he had managed to find my secret closed door, and he intended to open it fully to reveal what was hiding behind it. He knew it existed, and now he was probably working out which key to use to open it up …

Chapter 20: Halloween
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Chapter Twenty, Halloween

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So, I think I would say,
enjoy the process of learning to dance.
The process of our profession,
and not its final achievement,
is the heart and soul of dance.
- Jacques d'Amboise

When I walked down to the Great Hall for the feast from the common room, I was in a very good mood. Anna, Hillary and some other seventh-year girls were laughing next to me. Lessons today had been going slower than I could imagine, because it was Friday, and it was Halloween.

I was wearing my black hat, and a long dark cloak was swishing at my feet. When we reached the Hall, we were so astonished we gasped. There were enchanted fake spiders crawling around in sticky webs, there were carved pumpkins floating over the four house tables, lighting up the dark room. There were so many things decorating the Great Hall it was almost beyond recognition. And where the teacher’s table used to stand, it was empty. The cauldrons for our dance were standing at the back, and the whole naked area was floating in the air… it was magnificent. We were going to dance on a floating little stage surrounded by smoke.

The teacher’s table were placed by the stage, in front of the other tables.

We seated ourselves by the Gryffindor table, looking longingly at the empty plates. After ten minutes of chatting and welcoming people, Dumbledore spoke up.

“I’m not going to have a speech, because I know you are all waiting for me to announce the feast, so I’ll do that soon. When we are all so full of food our stomachs almost burst, we’ll let the older dancers take over the stage for their Halloween-dance. Tuck in!”

The tables filled up with all sorts of food, just like they did for the feast held every September first. There were decorations with empty oranges, a little blue flame was playing within. Small pumpkins were also used to have candles in. There were all kinds of sweets placed around. I reached out for a big sweet, but Remus reached out the second before me.

“Sorry, Lily! I didn’t see you there…” he said.

“That’s ok, I’ll just have this one,” I smiled and found a similar sweet not far away.

“What’s with the stylish top?” James said, looking at my chest.

“It’s what we’re wearing for the dance, it’s really cool, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, are you allowed to keep it afterwards? I really like you in that,” he smiled, taking a bite of his chips.

“Flirting, are you?” I said, an amused expression on my face.

“Kind of, is it working?” He smirked, swallowing.

“We’ll see,” I answered, helping myself with some roast beef.

We kept talking over the table, he was sitting across me next to Remus.

“Sorry if I stare a little at you, Lily, but girls are so cute when they eat,” Sirius winked. “You always have and always will be, no matter what..”

“Sirius! Stop saying things like that, now I’m starting to think about how I eat, and that’s really annoying when I really want to focus on other things!” I threw back.

“Have it your way.. Did I mention girls are cute when they’re angry as well? Nice combination… Eating and being angry at the same time. Double cuteness…” he smirked.

I put my sandwich down and smiled brightly at him.

“See? Now I’m not angry, and I’m not eating. So don’t you dare come here and call me cute, Mr Black!”

“Just wait, you’ll get angry and hungry again in a few moments.”

I stuck my tongue out and finished the food on my plate, constantly feeling Sirius’ and James’ eyes on me.

By the time I was stuffed, the table had refilled itself again and I was sick just by the thought and sight of food and people eating.

I was glad the food had started to sink in my stomach when Lindsay came over and tapped my shoulder.

“Ready, Lily? I think it’s about time…” she whispered, hurrying over to Jennifer and Dorothy.

“Here it goes,” I smiled at the chaps, Hillary and Anna before standing up, making my way over to the stage.

When we were all behind the big background, Lindsay moved along the crowd of dancers while muttering a spell making our footwear and tops glow. We put on our cloaks and hats, and slowly all the seventh-year girls walked onto the stage.

As the music ran through the tense atmosphere, every eye was set on the stage. The laughter of the witch pierced the air and the piano started playing. I walked around my cauldron together with Jennifer, Holly and Irma, making sure my cloak covered the glowing top underneath.

After a few simple steps, the laughter died away and we moved to the front of the stage. As the face of the music took a complete change, we threw the cloaks and the hats off, glowing on the narrow space. I saw the faces of our audience gasp in surprise and astonishment as our arms and legs literally went crazy with enthusiasm and funk. Big grins were pasted on our faces, and a twinkle in the eye was visible.

It was a dance with wide spectre and variation, with slow movements, fast movements, hard and soft, stretching highlights and rolling on the floor. This was definitely like nothing anyone had seen performed in Hogwarts. At first I was unsure of what Dumbledore and the other people of his generation would think of the dance, but I saw him faintly in front of me, obviously having the time of his life.

So was the guys over at the Gryffindor table. (And the other tables too for that matter.. their eyes were pasted on the dancing girls) I saw Sirius pick up his camera, and I felt a slight pink creep up my face as the blitz lighted up somewhere from the front.

We ran off stage, letting the sixth years on. I got my breath back the two minutes off stage before getting on again for the short ending together with all the others. We all put our cloaks back on after a short section, gathering in the middle like we had practised in class. The stage was now all dark, even the charm on the shoes was gone. (A brilliant time-trick of Lindsay’s…) Then the crowd in front of the stage gasped again as we withdrew our wands, pointing them high in the air and yelled “Lumos maxima!” as the music died out with a bang.

I’ve never heard such a long and hard applause in my entire life. I even heard the Marauders yell ‘GO LILY EVANS!’ from the Gryffindor table. I shook my head slightly at them as we walked to the edge of the stage to take our bows.

Dumbledore came onto the stage with us, looking at his strange watch with nine arms. “It’s getting late, I suggest you go back to your dormitories and keep the party going?” He said to the thousand students in front of him, including the thirty girls standing on stage in his company.

The Hall slowly emptied, we were the last to leave for our dormitories after Lindsay had dismissed all classes next week because we did so well. “You all need a good weekend off. You deserve it.. but remember to practise the splits every evening so you don’t return stiff as a tree!”

As the ten Gryffindor girls participating in the dance entered the Halloween-party of Gryffindor Tower, we were smiled at and praised by everyone. Half the guys coming over were people I’d almost never spoken to.

“Great, Lily! You owned that stage!”

“Perfect Evans… That almost turned me on…”

“Can you have a private show for us…??”

“Heeeeey… Lily Evans? You were the hot chick in the front, yeah?”

I just smiled embarrassedly at them and made my way to the stairs for the Head Girl dorm. When I dumped down onto my bed I sighed with relieve.

‘That went perfect… I didn’t expect people to go mad like that, but I guess it’s all fun. I really enjoyed that.. not so complicated and serious as the show last time.’

I pulled the glowing top off and hung it over one of the floating cloth-hangers I’d levitated to fly by my wardrobe together with the jeans I wore yesterday.

I started going through my clothes, wondering what to wear for the night. I pulled out my ponytail and let my hair fall loosely at my shoulders. As I held up what felt like the hundredth T-shirt, someone knocked the door.

“Come in!” I yelled as I unzipped my trousers and walked over to my bed with the T-shirt I’d chosen.

I heard the person enter, and come into my room.

“The pair of jeans is over there, if that’s what you wa--”

As I tuned around, my face went red as a tomato.

“James! What the hell are you doing here?! How did you manage to enter my dorm? It’s supposed to be impossible for boys!”

He just stood there, grinning and looking me up and down.

“I’ll just leave…” he still smirked, pointing to the door and not taking his eyes off me.

“What? Why?” I yelled.

“Well, I got what I wanted… To see you wearing a bra once more, and an unzipped pair of trousers as well as a bonus!”

I realised what he was saying and hurriedly closed the zip, covering my chest with my hands.

“Too late now, dear… Memorised it already!” he laughed at me.

My blush was turning into more anger than embarrassment.

“Say what you REALLY came for, or leave before I hex you!” I threatened, pulling out my wand from my back-pocket.

“I just wanted you to know that we’re having a great time downstairs, and I was wondering if you’d like to join. But I see you’re busy undressing. I could wait for you if you want to?” his pleased smile never left his face.

“Thanks, I’ll be down soon. Now get out! I’m not five years old! I can dress on my own!”

He pressed his lower lip out again and slowly turned around, leaving the room. That made me laugh… so he turned around and smiled shyly at me before he walked out of my vision.

I jumped onto my bed, breathing out, almost smiling.

‘James sure knows how to push my limits… damn him!’

I sat up, jerking out of my own sleep. I quickly glanced at my wristwatch before slamming my right hand on my forehead.

'Ten forty-five? I’ve been sleeping for two hours! Hillary and Anna must have been waiting for ages… Shit!'

I hopped enthusiastically out of bed, quickly dragging the T-shirt onto my upper body and checking my makeup before hurrying down the stairs to the common room.

'At least there’s only fifth, sixth and seventh years still up. The others had to be in bed by ten.'

“Lily! Come here, love! I have something for you!” Sirius bellowed, stretching out for something as I came down the stairs.

I walked over, giggling as he handed me a bottle of firewhiskey.

“Have a sip! It’s very refreshing.”

“Can I just taste yours first? I have had that only once before, and I threw it up… Nasty taste,” I smiled, taking the bottle in his hand.

The stuff soon running down my throat was really hot as fire. The first sip was like swallowing petrol, but it got better for every little sip I took.

“I think that’s enough for me… I don’t want to lose all my senses,” I laughed, giving it back to him not long after.

“Sure, Lily. Be happy this is my first, or I’d have forced you to drink the rest of it,” he smiled.

‘I vaguely remember you doing just that once you were drunk in sixth year, Sirius… I don’t doubt that for a second,’ I thought.

“That took some time!” James exclaimed, putting his hands around my waist. “You must be the slowest girl I know, Lily. But you’re very fast and effective on stage…”

I gripped his hands and threw them off me.

“What are you doing??” I hissed, looking him into the face.

“Sorry, I’ve had a couple of those,” James said, pointing to the bottles of firewhiskey under a table. “But I’ve had enough, I promise, I’m far from drunk. Just a little bit more … daring.”

“I can tell,” I said, arching an eyebrow.

“Hey Prongs?” Sirius suddenly rose, excitement in his voice. “I bet you don’t dare to have a go on Irma there? If you dare to kiss her, I’ll go shag Valburg!”

‘Good one, Sirius.. you have to do that anyway, because of your bet with Remus!’ I thought, smiling evilly.

“No problem,” James smirked. “Remus, give me that, you’ve had enough!”

He ripped the bottle away from Remus and placed it in Sirius’s hand instead. He then made his way over to Irma, who sat chatting with Elizabeth Facklet. [A/N: Yep, she’s one of the chasers on the Gryffindor Quidditch-team from chapter eleven!]

I sat down with Remus, watching James out of the corner of my eye.

“Where’s Hillary and Anna?” I asked Remus.

“I think they sneaked out about an hour ago together with Rutherford and Daggor,” he said, laughing in amusement. “The stars are soooo bright and romantic tonight you see..” he mocked.

“Aha.. guess I’ll have to hang out with you guys, then? That ok?”

I didn’t hear what Remus answered, partly because he spoke unclearly and partly because I noticed James going at it with Irma.

Their lips were at first just going on and off, but then she sat onto his lap and started to let her tongue glide in between his lips. I saw James let a hand from her lower back loose and showed Sirius a thumb up.

“Damn!” I heard Sirius swear. “Another reason to shag Valburg! She’s a tough one… why did you have to choose her, Moony?”

“She chose me, what can I say?” Remus smiled from my side. “Not too much of a challenge for you, is she Padfoot?”

Sirius threw it off. “Of course not! What do you think I am? Unskilled?”

I smiled coyly.

“Anyway, we’ll be having fun getting Irma drunk so she doesn’t remember this… I don’t think she’ll like the thought of herself making out with Prongs after what he did to her best friend..” Sirius sighed.

“What was that?” I said curiously.

“Dumped her,” Sirius said casually, taking another sip of his bottle. “After two freaking weeks. The girl was mad about him, no doubt about that… But she wasn’t as fun to be with after he got his way with her.”

I gasped. James had broken up with her after he’d got her into bed… I couldn’t think of anything more cruel.

“He took advantage of her? When was this?” I exclaimed.

“Middle of sixth year?” Remus asked Sirius.

“Yeah, around there,” he confirmed. “Misunderstand me right, Lily.. But that girl just wasn’t James’ type. Too kind and gentle. Even in bed she was too kind and gentle, after his opinion.”

His eyes then glided over to James and Irma on the couch.

“But that girl.. She’s something. Irma is known for her wildness when she makes out with people… know what I mean?”

I let my eyes follow Sirius’ glare. James’s hair was more messy than I’d ever seen it, because Irma massaged his head in a twisted way.. She was edging closer to him, but I couldn’t really see the point, because she was about as squeezed onto him as possible already… Not to mention the way it looked like she was about to eat him alive. I wondered how much spit she was washing into his mouth. I kind of felt sorry for James.. it didn’t look too comfortable. But at the other hand, I felt it bubble inside by the sight of the two of them.

‘I knew it. All the words he sneaked in on me yesterday was a totally false performance. If he ever really cared about me, he would surely not make out with a girl he’s hardly spoken to before now. How disgusting. James is even more desperate than I thought. What a fool I was, even considering our talks to have any meaning at all…’

Then I saw his hand going up her thigh, and I quickly changed my opinion. He obviously liked it a lot… I shivered with disgust.

“Give me that bottle?” I said drowsily to Remus. “I need to clear my mind.”

“I thought you didn’t want to end up like a dumb bread like the rest of us, Lily?” Sirius laughed, handing me another firewhiskey-filled bottle.

“I’ll let it pass for once,” I said when receiving it.

“Be careful, though. A girl as petite as you don’t get off easily if you get a little bit too much,” Remus pointed out. “Don’t blame us for your hangover tomorrow. Or the sudden disturbing flashbacks you might get.”

“I’ll survive,” I said, taking a large sip as I watched James’ hand going firmer and firmer at the back of Irma’s head, while his other was steadily on her thigh.

A/N: Anyone mad at James now, or what? That’s what you get when you’ve had more drinks than you think. Maybe you hang out with a beauty and wake up with a troll. *giggle*

Chapter 21: Surprises and Headaches
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Chapter Twenty-one, Surprises and Headaches

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A dance is a measured pace,
as a verse is a measured speech.
- Sir Francis Bacon

It was Saturday morning, and I constantly screwed up my eyes in pain. Anna had dragged me out of bed an hour ago, and now I was lying almost dead on the couch in the corner of the common room.

“You so deserved that…” Hillary came over, looking sternly at me. “That’s what you get when you’re hanging out with Sirius Black when he’s drinking.”

“What?!” I yelled, but quickly calmed down, because my head just ached more when I spoke louder. “I didn’t go to bed with him like any other girl would do!”

Hillary threw it off. “I’m sure you would have if you’d had only one more sip… what got into you? You’re the Head Girl for crying out loud!”

I looked at her, my eyes poisonous.

“What about the Head Boy? He wasn’t exactly sober either?”

Hillary just rolled her eyes and sat down next to me, wrapping her arms around my body.

“Lily… That was a bad, bad,BAD move. Do you even know what you did before we came and rescued you?” She whispered, keeping her voice down so I wouldn’t cry out in pain.

“Can’t say I do,” I sighed. “Unless Sirius or anybody tells me..”

“Do you call him a reliable source? He had been drinking too, you know.”

“Yeah, well, he wasn’t drunk! He probably remembers. I’ll go ask him,” I said firmly, trying to get up without getting the feeling of a thousand knives burying into my body.

“Oh no, you’re not! I’m getting him down here, you can’t even stand up properly,” Hillary exclaimed, getting up and making sure I settled down again. “Be back in a moment…”

“It’s the party-girl!” James came over to me, singing in a cheerful voice.

“Get away, James, your decibel-level is a bit too high for me right now…” I murmured. I pulled my blanket over my head, covering my probably hideous-looking face.

“Ok, sorry,” he whispered and came to my level. “Anything I can do for the tired girl with the worst hangover?”

“A glass of water would be nice…” I yawned.

“A glass of water it is!” James yelled, smirking and dancing up and over the floor.

‘What’s with him today? He seems unnaturally happy… Ouch, that yell hurt…’

Remus came over next, I didn’t get why I had to be so popular when I just wanted to hide away and sleep in the closest cupboard. He was looking tired as well, but not nearly as bad as I did.

“I’m surprised you’re still alive, Lily!” Remus said irritably. “Guess who dried up all the stuff you threw up last night?”

“Sorry,” I said, trying to reach out for a hug.

“Don’t think so, Lily.. you still stink I’m afraid. Don’t know what made me come over here in the first place!”

“Well, it was only a vanishing-spell, right? You didn’t have to put too much energy into getting that up?” I smiled.

“You’re right, but it took a while, I had trouble finding my wand. Performing a spell while everyone is going crazy around you while you’re not that bright in the head yourself complicates things you know..”

“Ah.” I blushed a little.

“Well, be glad you threw up, or you might have ended up in the hospital wing. You didn’t save any, to put it that way…”

“Hm… can I ask you a question?” I dared to say, still half-hiding my face.

“Sure, shoot,” Remus smiled, sitting down at my feet.

“What did I … er… do when, well, you know… the alcohol had started running in my veins?” I forced out.

Remus pretended to be thinking.

“Hard to tell how many bottles you had, but it sure came up again after some hours. Before that you lost it completely, you just messed around like drunk people happen to do, you know?”

“Meaning?” I said firmly, sitting up as far as I could manage without passing out.

“Well.. You noticed Prongs being a little… happy this morning?” he began.

‘Holy mother of God! I couldn’t have… That’s not POSSIBLE… Please tell me I didn’t sleep with him… Anything but that… Oh my GOD!’

My mind was going berserk. My eyes were widened into a shocked expression, and I held my breath as Remus continued.

“He made you… well… let’s just put it this way; you’ll slaughter him when you find out… that…”

“TELL ME!” I yelled, throwing myself down onto the couch again as the pain ate my brains out.

“Ok, Lily. He made you burn all the essays you’ve done for… well… practically every subject up till now. Then you had a nice little twisted game of exploding snap, or ‘strip snap’ as Sirius called it, ending with you sitting there in your underwear laughing like a little baby with your unfocused talking. When you were about to remove the straps of your bra, Hillary and Anna burst in and rescued you…”

‘What? Thank God they came in time.. thank God I didn’t sleep with James… Or showed him my more intimate places… Oh, the relieve!’

“And not to mention… You kind of went at it with Sirius.”


“WHAT? What happened! Am I still a virgin? Remus!!

He laughed at my desperate reaction.

“I must say Padfoot impressed me. The poor chap stopped you when you were half-way through pulling his trousers off. You went mad, Lily!”

‘No, no, no… this isn’t happening!’

“Lily, be glad it ended there. Be happy there weren’t that many seeing you behave like that. Because that could cost you your badge…”

I started crying. I was so super-sensitive these days it scared me.

“I’m sorry, Remus! I promise I’ll never, ever drink again!” I sobbed into his shirt, soaking it.

“Maybe I’m not the one you should apologise to?” he whispered, pointing at Sirius making his way down the stairs from the boys’ dorm. “By the way.. could you back away a little? You still stink.”

Sirius looked almost mad, like a dog longing for his prey. Don’t know how that expression came into mind, but that was exactly what he looked like.

“Lily, you should be damn happy. I think that’s about the first time I’ve managed to control myself, ever,” he groaned.

“I’m in awe,” I smiled, pulling him into a hug.

“You stink,” he whispered into my shoulder.

“I know, sorry about that,” I hissed.

“God, Lily! That was the hardest thing I ever did! You should be unbelievably thankful, because you weren’t exactly shy last night..”

“Sirius… calm down, you sound as if it was the end of the world!” Remus exclaimed, and I put my hands over my ears.

“So… Why didn’t you stop me when I was about to strip playing exploding snap with James?” I said sternly to Sirius. “You managed to keep me from shagging you just fine.”

“Lily… A bloke ought to have some fun, can’t let all chances pass by,” he smirked.

“Oh… you son of a--” I started, but Sirius finished for me.

“Bitch, I know. After you’ve met my mum that phrase gets a whole new meaning. To me it’s not offensive at all. More of a compliment. Reminds me of the fact that I am such a fine young man even though I have a bitch for a mother.”

I rolled my eyes and rested my head on the couch again. My head was about to explode.

“By the way…” I said by second thought. “Did you get your way with Valburg? I think you did because you were probably so turned on after rejecting me it got easier to have a go at her. Or were you just so pissed and fucked up you backed out? Which one is correct?”

Sirius’s smirk was back on, and I knew what he’d answer.

“I got her, all right! After getting her good and drunk… It would be best for her if she doesn’t remember, because she wasn’t the Tessa Valgburg she usually is to put it that way…”

When I saw James coming with my water, I gave him the coldest of stares.

“You had better re-write all those essays over again that you made me blow up, Potter! You evil big-headed twit!” I hissed.

“Who spilled…? Damn you, Moony!”

The water in the glass he held ended up soaking Remus’s face instead of easing my hangover..

I woke up three hours later from a refreshing nap. I rubbed my temple as was relieved to know it was slightly lighter than it had been earlier. I laid down again to sleep some more when I heard a conversation going on in the couch next to me. I peered my eyes open and noticed James and Sirius sitting there.

“How far did you intend to go with Irma yesterday, Prongs?” Sirius asked, interested.

“I don’t know, but she sure smashed her own bubble when she started whispering the names of other guys when we kind of got on the inside of things, you know… So it didn’t feel right to go any further,” he laughed.

“Oh? But if she hadn’t, would you have?” Sirius continued.

“Probably not,” James said casually. “She wasn’t my type.”

“Too brutal and fierce for you? Figured that. At least she was better than her best friend? Don’t even remember the name of that girl…”

“Better? Nah, they were about the same. Irma Lesley too brutal and Gilhart too quiet. Quite the contrary team, don’t you think?”

“Uh-oh… Do you think Lily’s sleeping?” Sirius stopped James.

I felt their eyes on me, and I made a satisfied, sleepy moan to make them think I was sleeping.

“She’s sleeping like an angel, believe me, after last night she could be sleeping through this century…” James smirked.

“Yeah, guess you’re right,” Sirius answered.

“Good job with… ehem… holding her at an arms length?” James chuckled.

“Don’t make me discuss that, Prongs… that was killing me.”

James patted Sirius on the back and probably gave him an evil stare.

“What exactly did she do?” James pushed. “I was busy in my corner…”

“You don’t want to know. If she did that to you, our beloved little Miss Evans would definitely not be a virgin any more,” he said slowly.

“I didn’t know for a fact that she was a virgin… How do you know?” James kept going.

Sirius looked relieved when James picked an easier topic to discuss. Though I was not very happy about them discussing my virginity.

“It slipped some day when we were talking. That’s another reason I stopper her, it would be a shame if Lily’s first time should be when she was drunk, and with one of her friends in addition. She’d probably throw up for the rest of her life just by the thought of it…”

James giggled softly.

“It’s good to know you care about her, Sirius… As long as it stops there.”

“Don’t worry, Prongs,” I heard Sirius tap James’s shoulder.

‘What was that about? As long as it doesn’t go any further? Was I missing something here?

“So you think I’d have her if she did the stuff she did to you? Tell me!”

‘Don’t tell him, Sirius… I don’t want to hear this…’ I thought desperately.

“No, I’m not telling.” Sirius sat his foot down.

“Hey, Padfoot, what is this? We tell each other everything, right?” James complained.

“Yeah.. but no… I’m not telling you this.”

“You’re going soft for her! I’m telling you!” James exclaimed.

“What? No.. I just don’t want anybody to know, because I know Lily wouldn't appreciate it if I told the whole world..”

“It’s just me! Is it such a big deal? You’re obviously becoming trusted friends or what?” James said irritably.

“Yep, and that’s the way I intend to keep it. I’m keeping so many of Lily’s secrets now I know they’ll all spill if I tell you this one.”

“Go go go go go!! Tell me a tiny weenie one, and the big ones will come rolling along?” James said excitedly.

‘No, Sirius… keep it together! Don’t you dare … Wait a second… I could just wake up! He won’t tell then…’ The bright idea enlightened in my aching head.

I yawned and stretched my arms, and intended to have some fun… So I pretended to be sleep talking before I woke myself up.

“No! Don’t you want to, Sirius dear? I promise you I’ll make you moan like you’ve never moaned before…”

I opened my eyes and saw James’s face expression reflect pure shock. Sirius was so red in the face I wanted to laugh out in amusement.

I yawned some more and looked over at the two boys.

“What’s with the faces? I know I look terrible, you don’t have to make a face at me…”

I smiled at them, knowing what was going through their minds.

A/N: Just for the record: Lily was drunk. She is not in love with Sirius, it was just the crazy Lily trying to make James jealous because he made out with Irma on Halloween ... Ok? Don't worry!

Chapter 22: Nightmare
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A/N: Really take your time on this chapter, it's one of my favourites... Enjoy!

Important: The chapter starts in Lily's POV, then it switches to Sirius POV before going back to Lily's. That's what the --- are for! If you don't have this in mind, the story gets messed up. Sirius isn't gay.

Chapter Twenty-two, Nightmare

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If I could tell you what it meant,
there would be no point in dancing it.
-Isadora Duncan

It was cold in the house, and I felt there was something that wasn’t right. I couldn’t sleep. I stood up from my double bed, lighting the tip of my wand. I heard noises downstairs. They were very vague, I couldn’t make out what it was.. I quickly found something to cover me before walking out of my room. I peaked down over the railing, looking down to the hall.

I slapped my hand over my lips, so terrified I couldn’t make a sound.

A tall, black hooded man with only the back visible to me stood down there, and someone I knew only too well was lying on the floor, whimpering. His eyes were screwed up in pain, and the cold laughter of the man filled the large entrance hall of the house. I quietly melted down on the floor, trying to make my shocked sobs as soundless as possible. I clung to the stands of the railing, feeling my whole body shake.

Normally I would have ran down there to fight him off, I knew the reason I had been put in Gryffindor was because of my courage in situations where the people I loved were threatened. I always valued their lives more than my own, and sides and strengths I didn’t know I had used to emerge in me. The old sorting hat had told me the day I sat there on the stool, as a terrified eleven-year-old.

But all that fainted away… I was so shocked, and I felt it kill inside me by the sight of him screaming out in unbearable pain on the floor below.

I saw him twitching, ready to surrender. His eyes were white in suffering. The tall man lifted the unforgivable curse and laughed again as he saw the
figure on the floor close up in cries.

“Any last words, Mr Potter?” the wizard’s high, cold voice spat.

For a moment, James’s eyes met mine up on the first floor, and his lips formed the words “Run, Lily!”

The tall figure raised his hand once more and the worst of the three unforgivables rolled off his tongue.. “Adava Kedavra!”

“Nooooo!! Not him! Not HIM! Jaaaames!” I yelled as I woke up abruptly, feeling my body ache in a strange way.

I was glad I had a dormitory of my own, because I would definitely have woken up any fellow seventh-years with that scream.

I wiped the sweat off my forehead, then dried my cheek with my hand, not surprised to find it wet with tears. Then I sat up, my mind racing. I just had to make sure he was still there..
I threw the covers off and walked out of my dormitory, walking down to the common room. There was nobody there, but the fireplace was lit.

Normally I would have found this strange, but not this night. I was too concerned and scared to think about that.

I walked over to the fire for a brief moment, warming my half-naked body and drying some more tears away from my face. I had totally forgot to put on my dressing gown, so I stood there in only my underwear. It didn’t matter though, nobody was going to see me anyway.

I hurried up the stairs to the area of the boys’ dorm. I localised the correct door and walked over to it. The door was ajar, so I hurried in unnoticed.

I walked slowly over to his bed, feeling my heart beating. I carefully let my slender hand draw the hangings aside, looking down at the boy lying there. My heart stabilised and I could breathe normally again at the sight of him, sleeping there so peacefully. I sat down on the edge of his bed, reaching out my hand once more. His covers weren’t covering him fully, and I saw parts of his body which normally were hidden behind clothes. I had always suspected he had a good-looking figure because of Quidditch-practice, and I had been right.

With a light touch of my hand I removed some wild black hair from his forehead, so I could see him properly. He looked exactly as I saw him every day, nothing was changed. Not a single scratch, no muscles pulled straight in pain. I saw his chest rise and sink as he breathed, and I was convinced it had only been a nightmare. I had really known since I wake up, but I just had to make sure nothing was wrong with him.

With a little smile across my face I put the covers over him and left his four-poster bed, trotting tiredly back to my own.

I just hoped that nightmare I so vividly recalled wouldn’t sneak back into my mind.. I knew why the outline of Voldemort as I imagined him had appeared in my head, but I had to be certain he hadn’t taken him away. I was afraid he’d come for James the way he had made his Death-Eaters finish off Laura…


I sat up in my chair, frowning at what I saw. I made sure James’s invisibility cloak was covering me fully as my eyes followed her as she walked over to the fireplace. Why was Lily coming down to the common room in the middle of the nigh, only wearing two thin pieces of clothing, tears rolling continuously down her pale skin? She had walked down very quietly, obviously not wanting to wake anyone. I couldn’t help noticing that years of ballet sure had it’s effect on her.. Her body was very well formed, indeed.

Should I remove the cloak and comfort her for whatever reason she was sad? But I didn’t have time to think that far, because she soon started walking up the stairs to our dorms, the boys’ dorms.

I rose, following her as soundlessly as I could.

She entered the Head Boy dorm. So that was were she was headed. To James! I knew they were going to get together, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. There was one thing I couldn’t put together, though. Why was Lily crying?

I stood by the door, watching her walk over to his four-poster. She took the hangings away, sitting down on the bed. She was looking down on the sleeping shape resting upon the mattress. What was that all about? Wasn’t she going to wake him up? Throw herself in his arms and eventually shag him any moment? I saw her remove some hair from his face, then drag her fingers nervously through her own hair, it almost looked black in the dark.

She sat there for a minute or so, just looking at him. Looking at James, lying there sleeping like an angel, his upper body totally exposed. I couldn’t blame her, I would have done the exact same thing if I was her, but I probably wouldn’t stop there.

‘Stop it, Sirius! Concentrate!’ I hissed to myself inside my head.

Then she stood up, giving him a last look before starting to walk towards the door in which I was standing. I managed to walk out of the way before she passed through.

She looked a lot calmer, at least she wasn’t crying anymore. It was hard to tell in the dark, but I though I could see a little smile on her face. She walked back to her own dorm, probably going back to sleep.

I figured I’d better go back to sleep as well, it was school tomorrow after all. And that hangover from Halloween hadn’t totally let go of my body yet… I wondered if Lily’s had. She had ended up quite shabby and drunk. I trotted back to my dorm, almost laughing at Peter and Remus’s strange positions in bed. Peter was half on the floor, and Remus had probably fallen asleep over the book which was still in his hand.


I crept into bed again, pulling the covers close. James was safe in his bed. I though about his satisfied face expression when he was lying there, fast asleep. He must have had a good dream.

Suddenly I felt that little something come back inside, it was bigger this time. I felt my heart start pumping blood around in my veins faster and faster as I saw his face clearly in my mind, his figure halfway under the covers.

I tried to calm down, closing my eyes. But I didn’t manage to sleep…Partly because I was afraid the nightmare with Voldemort would come back.

But Voldemort didn't come back... the memory from the show came back instead. I could see James coming closer to me, his eyes going from my eyes to my lips. Then I realised I wanted him to press his lips half an inch closer than he had done that evening.. I wanted him to kiss me on the lips.

And in my mind, he suddenly did. He didn’t kiss my powdered cheek, he kissed my lips. His hand jumped to my neck and he gently caressed it as he kissed me once more before pulling away. I drowned in his hazel eyes, they were shining and smiling at me.

I abruptly opened my eyes, gasping.

“Oh my God.. I’m in love with James Potter!”

I had been pushing those feelings down one after one the last months.. and I knew I had. I had really been struggling not to fall for the handsome boy who used to ask me out so often. And now all the brief moments of sparkles came back with such brightness I was almost blinded. My heart was beating so fast.. I couldn’t breathe properly.

‘No Lily.. Not this. Not now.’

But I couldn’t help but smile anyway. Being in love was the most wonderful feeling. I hadn't been in love since I had been going out with Bryn. And even then I wasn't really in love.

“Lily? Answer my question, please?”

I snapped out of another daydream, looking up in Professor McGonagall’s puzzled face Monday morning.

“Sorry, Professor, can you repeat the question?” I said, a little embarrassed.

“That won’t be necessary. Mr Potter? Could you answer?”

I sighed. Damn.

It was like I didn’t hear the sounds emerging from James’s lips, all I saw was his lips. His red, full lips…

I felt a small punch in my ribs.

“We need to talk, Lily,” Sirius said, sitting next to me.

“What’s up?” I said mindlessly as we walked out from Transfiguration, having a ten minute break before Potions.

“I saw you this morning,” he said, smiling at me.

I rolled my eyes.

“How many times do I have to tell you to stop sneaking into my dorm just to see me wearing underwear in the morning?”

“I did see you in your underwear, but I did that about five hours before I usually do,” he explained.

My face froze.

‘What? How?’

“The common room was empty …” I tried.

“Remember James’s cloak from the time you busted us getting butterbeer and firewhiskey for Halloween? Comes in handy.”

My eyes widened considerably. Sirius had known what happened. Shit.

“Fun looking at James while he’s sleeping? Sure made you stop crying..”

My mouth dropped open.

“What was with the crying anyway?” he added.

“I had a nightmare. I dreamt James was killed, and it made me really concerned. So I just checked on him.”

“Oh.. Who was the killer?” Sirius scowled, running a hand through his black hair.

“Voldemort,” I answered hesitantly.

“Lily? Voldemort is like.. more than thousand miles away! There is no way he can come into the grounds of Hogwarts … So why did you even consider the nightmare to be true?”

“I don’t know, I just had to be sure.”

“Fine, fine. If it was me that had been killed, would you do the same thing?” he teased.

I looked at him, his grin spreading across his handsome face.

“Maybe.. And I would have gone mad, by the way, because you wouldn’t have been in your dorm, but under the invisibility cloak in the common room,” I smiled.

“True… I’m glad you dreamt about Prongs and not me for once,” he laughed. “Do you dream about him a lot?”

‘Yeah, lately I have, but you’ll never know.’

“That’s kind of personal, isn’t it?” I frowned. “Why do you want to know?”

“You’re falling for him, Lily,” Sirius sighed. “You’re glowing.”

“I am not!”

“Of course you are.”

“No way!”

“Yes way…”

“Forget it!”

“No, I won’t.”

“I am not falling for James Potter!”

Suddenly James was right next to me, putting up a sad face.

“You’re not falling for me, Lily? Now you’re making me sad!” He pressed out his lower lip, pinching my cheek slightly.
“Relax, Lily. Sirius likes to tease. And we’ve been around girls long enough to know there is a fifty fifty percent chance you’re telling the truth when you’re asked a question like that. So there you go, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for this time.”

I rolled my eyes. He could be so confusing… but very handsomely so.

“It would be nice if you did, though,” James whispered in my ear so almost nobody else could hear before he disappeared into the dungeon, leaving Sirius to smirk even more.

“You’re head over heels, Lily Evans. Admit it.”

“No, I’m not..”

‘I’ll never admit that to you at this point… sorry!’

I was glad I managed to hide the blush and the little smile from my dear Mr. Black. He was too good at figuring these things out. I wanted to prevent that for as long as possible, because now there was actually something to figure out. There hadn’t really been before..

A/N:And so Lily has admitted to falling for the Potter-charm! Did I pull that off?

Hope you all understood the nightmare was kind of foreshadowing Godric's Hollow?

Chapter 23: Chocolate
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Chapter Twenty-three, Chocolate

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Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving,
the most beautiful of the arts,
because it is not mere translation or abstraction from life;
it is life itself.
- Havelock Ellis

The moonlight was shining brightly through the high windows as we walked in quick steps under the cloak. It was freezing cold in the halls, and all I really wanted was to get back to my warm bed.

“Lily? Why are we doing this again?” Anna whispered quietly. “Being under a magic cloak that Potter’s had all along but never told us about, and that you now have stolen, going to the kitchen to nick food?”

“Yes, that’s it, Anna!” I whispered back.

“He’s going to kill you when he finds out! You know that, right?”

“Very aware of that, but I will make sure he never knows.. this is life-saving, remember?” I chuckled.

“Life-saving? Yeah right! You’re having PMS, are out of chocolate, and now you’re going to smuggle it from the kitchen? You don’t even know if they have chocolate there!”

I heard Anna becoming slightly desperate, and I couldn’t help but find it amusing.

“Can’t we just go back?”

I gave her a venomous look and kept trotting on, turning around the corner as we had flown down the marble stairs.

Suddenly, I stopped. I heard footsteps coming closer, and I was afraid it was Filch. I dragged Anna with me and stood by the wall, hardly daring to breathe.

As the person drew closer I recognised his blonde hair and tall figure.. not to mention the handsome face that had make my knees go weak some months ago.

‘Him? What’s he doing here this late?’

It was none other than Bryn Johnson. He was walking around, humming on some song I didn’t know and obviously being in a good mood. I saw Anna make a face as he passed us, she almost disliked him even more than I did after what he did to me in sixth year.

“Let’s go on,” I whispered after he had passed, hurrying down a couple of more corridors before we reached the well-known painting of a fruit bowl that now had a completely new meaning to me.

I stretched my hand out and tickled the pear, Anna looking oddly at me, but seeming strangely excited at the same time.

Suddenly a door handle was visible, it was a little bit smaller than the other ones around the area. I opened it and stepped inside, hearing Anna gasping right next to me. In front of us was about a hundred busy house-elves, some still doing the dishes, others preparing food for breakfast or cleaning.

As I pulled the cloak off us, a very small elf wearing a pink piece of clothing came hurriedly over.

“What can Haffy help you with, misses?” she squealed excitedly, and then looked at the cloak in my hand. “Isn’t that Mr Potter’s magic cloak? Is he letting you use it too?”

She was smiling all over her face, not at all disturbed by the fact that unknown visitors were standing in the kitchen that was not allowed to let students in.

“Yes, I was wondering if you had some chocolate for me? I would really like that,” I smiled back, leaning down and looking into the huge bulging eyes of the elf.

“Of course, miss!” She said, and before I knew it she was gone. I looked around, wondering where she had gone.

“Lily, come on, let’s go? It’s very late, she’s probably not coming back…” Anna whispered.

“No… she will be back, just wait and see..”

I was right, because only moments later the little elf was back with a huge basket of different kinds of chocolate. It was dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate with all kinds of nice fillings.

“Is this enough, miss? I is very happy to get you some more if miss would like?” The elf said brightly.

“No, no.. this is more than enough, thank you very much!” I exclaimed.

“Haffy is happy to help you miss, hope to see you soon!” The elf squealed and disappeared to help some of the other elves putting some plates back to place.

“See? That went all right…” I smiled at Anna, who immediately grabbed the chocolate on the top.

I sat down in the common room with the basket on my lap, in the middle of the night, finishing my probably tenth chocolate. Then I suddenly remembered that I had to return James his cloak. What if he intended to use it sometime soon? I put the basked on the floor next to my chair, happy that Anna had gone to bed when we returned from the kitchen, or she’d probably finish all of it before I came back.

I took the light, big, silky cloak and made my way for the Head Boy dormitory. As I entered his room, I saw him sleeping there just like he had done a few nights ago when I had the nightmare.

I walked over to his trunk, and lifted some of his things to put the invisibility cloak at the bottom. Maybe I could just stay and watch him sleep when I had put it back in place? Knowing that he’d never know I did that.

But my little wish of that was suddenly shattered. I heard him stir in his sleep, and I was starting to get nervous. What if he woke up and found me here? What would he think?

I hurriedly walked over to the door, but as I was about to close it…

“Lily?” I heard a tired, groggy voice from within the dorm I was about to leave.

I ignored him and hurried down to the common room.

Not before had I returned to my chair before he got out of bed and followed me.

As his tired face came into view, I almost screamed because I was so surprised.

“What the heck are you doing up this late?” he questioned.

My mouth fell open and I said what first thing that came into mind.


He raised his eyebrows and sat down in the chair next to me.

“Yeah Right… where’s all the books then?”

“Erm… I just finished, but I couldn’t sleep.”

“Ok, one thing straight. What were you doing in my dorm just now?” He said amusedly.

“You don’t want to know,” I said in a hurry.

“Oh yes, I do,” He continued.

What was it about James that made it impossible to lie? This sucked. But I had an idea in mind.

“I was going to burn all your essays, just like you did with mine on Halloween..” I said proudly.

“No, you weren’t,” he simply said.

“I was,” I smiled.

“No, because you already made me do that, Lily.”

‘Shit. Staying up at three AM doesn’t make your mind work the way it should…’

“I did? Crap!” I leaned back in my chair, reaching out for another chocolate with white filling by the other side of my chair.

“What’s that?” James exclaimed, pointing at the chocolate I chewed on.

“Chocolate! What does it look like?” I laughed.

“Were did you get it?” James continued.

“That’s none of your business, is it? Last Hogsmeade weekend, why?”

“At Honeydukes?” James smirked.

“Yes, in fact I did,” I defended myself.

“That’s not possible,” James said, crossing his hands over his chest.

“Oh, really?” I said with extreme difficulty.

“Yes, because last Hogsmeade weekend they were sold out of that chocolate. The only place you can get that… Is in the Hogwarts kitchen…” His eyes were glowing with satisfaction.

“So?” I said, not really seeing the problem. It was too late in the night.

“You’ve sneaked down to the kitchen! You got that… basket of chocolate!” James exclaimed, jumping up and getting the basket from the other side of my chair.

“Want some?” I smiled innocently.

“Now… how did you get down there at this hour? How did you know how to get in?” James let his fingers rest at his chin, pretending to be thinking.

“You told me, Mr smart,” I smiled evilly.


“Well well… that theory was quite a waste of thinking, wasn’t it?” I said, taking a bite from the truly delicious big chocolate in my hand.

“You stole something from me, and you returned it just now, but I woke up.” James looked at me, sounding thrilled.

“Did I now?” I smiled, but couldn’t stop myself from laughing.

“You mini-marauder! You crazy unpredictable witch! You bad bad girl…!” James yelled. “You… stole… my… cloak!”

“I sure did,” I smiled, swallowing the chewed chocolate and feeling the taste run down my throat.

“Give me that.”

James stretched out his hand and pointed at the basket.

“You would never have that if it wasn’t for me…” he smiled.

“You wish! I went through a whole lot of things to get that chocolate! You keep your filthy hands off it!” I laughed.

“I’ll just have to take it by force then!”

Soon James was chasing me around the common room, me desperately holding onto the basket with the essence of life I had been longing for so long.

“Sure you ought to have some more of that?” James yelled while chasing me, I was laughing with enjoyment over my little night-adventure.

“You’re a ballerina, you know? All those calories aren’t good if you want your pretty dancing clothes to fit by Christmas!”

“You wish, James! I’m having this for myself!” I said back.

“At least share! I love chocolate too, you know?”

“You’re not having PMS, James? Heard of that? Chocolate is my medicine.”

I stopped up, throwing him a piece of dark chocolate over the couch.

“Happy?” I smiled at his tall figure.

“Try this, Lily.. The taste remaining in your mouth when you’ve swallowed is the best ever…” James cracked off a piece of dark chocolate and carefully pushed it in between my lips. He watched me as my teeth smashed it and spread the aroma around in my mouth.

His eyes were looking soft and deep from the light of the fireplace, and his handsome lines stood out.

We were so exhausted from running around we had finally decided to share. We ended up sitting on some cushions on the floor in front of the fire, experimenting with chocolate. I wasn’t tired at all any more, all I cared about was the fact that I was sitting in the dimly lit common room, right next to the boy I wanted so badly to kiss..

We were all alone, and I didn’t doubt that kiss wouldn’t taste bad after eating all the contest of the basket between us.

‘God, I want to kiss you now James…’ I thought, looking dreamily over at him as he went through the basket again for some more chocolate to try out.

I carefully edged closer to him, and stretched my hand out as well to put the half-eaten toffee-chocolate back.

Our fingers met as I laid it back, and he turned around and smiled at me. I returned the smile and found another one.

I straightened my vest top and leaned back onto the chair behind me, closing my eyes. The taste in my mouth was so delicious, yet it wasn’t enough. My lips were longing for his touch, they were bobbling with excitement.

‘Can’t you just kiss me?’ I daydreamed in my head.

‘I’ve been wanting to kiss you for ages, beautiful…’ James’s voice answered in my head…

A little smile appeared on my face as I felt his lips caress mine in my head. I wanted him to do it once more… In real life, this time.

But I knew that wasn’t coming, so I slowly opened my eyes.

‘You’re still daydreaming Lily, because James is inches away from your face…’ I told myself.

“Holy crap!” I exclaimed as I realised James’s face was in fact right in front of me.

He jumped back a little, smiling with puzzlement and surprise.

“Did I wake you?” he whispered.

I breathed out and relaxed back again, feeling my muscles going from tense to limp.

“I guess you did,” I grinned, looking over at the basket, which was now empty.

“I see you didn’t waste or save any?” I said, looking over at James sitting in front of me.

“No… Sorry, but Hafty gave you the same chocolates she gave me back in third year. It was so nice to taste them all again that way.”

“That’s ok, I’d had enough anyway… as you said, I’m on a strict diet..”

We both laughed at that, because both of us knew I wasn’t.

I let out a huge yawn and stretched my arms.

“Tired? You can go up and sleep if you want to, I’m not keeping you,” James said, sitting down again.

‘I could sit here all night with you… But you don’t know that.’

“No, I’m staying, I’m not tired at all!” I said, but my second yawn didn’t convince James.

“No, Lily.. You should get some sleep, really. I’ll follow you up.”

I gave him a charming smile and said I’d like that very much.

“But I’ll come slightly after you. Don’t want to give away the marauder-trick about how to get into the girls dorms,” he smirked.

“Fine,” I whispered, rising up and not breaking the eye-contact until I had to.

As I came up to my dorm, I opened the window and let the chilly night air make it’s way into the room. I just sat there in the big stone window-sill, thinking about the boy I had been sitting down in the common room with for two hours.

“Lily?” James whispered, coming over to me.

I smiled as he sat down in the window sill with me, and the wind ruffled through his black hair.

“I really had a good time down there,” he said quietly, not letting go of his smile that had that ability to melt my heart. “Come and borrow the invisibility-cloak whenever you want, unless we’re using it ourselves, of course..”

I let out a little laugh and looked into his hazel eyes. “I will.”

“I’m not going to steal any more hours away from you, so I’ll just say goodnight?” he said, standing up.

He leaned in, his eyes flicking from my eyes to my lips.. As he was only an inch from letting it fly from his lips to my own, he leaned slightly to the left and let it wearily down on the skin next to them. Not even an inch away. Right next to my lips..

He smiled at me as he left the room, just the same kind of smile he had given me the last time he kissed me.

‘Not on the lips.. Why not on the lips? He makes out with Irma just like that, but kissing me seems to be a lot harder… why, James?”

When I had left her dorm I let my hands drag through my hair in frustration.

‘Why didn’t I just kiss her the way I wanted to?’

Why was the mystery of Lily Evans always the thing that made my head spin around and not act coolly as it used to? I had been so close… I even saw her hold her breath as I leaned in. Her eyes dancing in front of me so alive and full of anticipation and anxiousness. The sweet smell of perfume from her elegant neck..

‘Why the hell didn’t I kiss her on the lips?’

Chapter 24: Shocked
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Chapter Twenty-four, Shocked

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Genius is another word for magic,
and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable.
-Margot Fonteyn

“God, I’m never going to get this done!” James exclaimed, referring to the Potions-essay resting on the table in front of him. “Not only is the essay really hard and complicated, the common room is stuffed with people!”

“Why don’t you join Lily and me? We’re going to the library, it’s open late tonight,” Remus suggested.

“You know what? I might just do that. At least there’s bigger distance between the tables there…” he said grumpily.

Remus and I waited for James to collect his books before we headed for the library.

“So… Finished with my transfiguration-essay? It’s supposed to be done by tomorrow,” I teased James as we walked.

“Lily, you know I am, you’re getting the whole bunch I burnt tomorrow, ok?”

“Fine, fine…” I said, throwing my hands up in the air. “Just wanted to make sure!”

I looked over at him, and our eyes connected. Both of us started laughing at the other’s face expression.

“Yeah, fine, stop the laughing!” Remus complained, who was walking between us.

But it wasn’t the last looks we shared before we entered the huge library..

The library turned out to be quite full, everyone was starting to get ready for their end of term tests.

“It’s going to be just as hard working here as in the common room, Remus…” James whispered as we sat down by a table together with the rest of the Gryffindor Quidditch-team, except for Sirius, who was doing his homework in the common room.

After half an hour with intense work, James suddenly had a short intake of breath.

“Holy shit! I have to go to McGonagall’s… I’m supposed to get Head Boy information… I was away when you had it, Lily… Remember?”

I looked at my watch. “Not supposed to be there at six o’clock, are you? That’s in five minutes…” Remus frowned.

“Oh no… I’ll have to finish this later, then,” James said, not even getting his stuff together before emerging to Professor McGonagall’s office, which was just down the corridor.

“I’m done when I’ve finished this essay in Charms, and that won’t take long.. I’ll just head back to Gryffindor Tower when I’m done, ok? Need some sleep, so I’m sorry I can’t wait for you guys…” I smiled shyly, looking over at the fellows sitting around my table.

I was glad I finished my essay soon, because I was really tired by the time I left the library to get back. I swung my schoolbag over my shoulder, and it felt oddly lighter than when I left for the library. It felt good to be done with all the homework.

It was getting cold in the corridors, it was starting to become winter. The autumn had said it's last goodbye as frost had started covering the grass in the grounds and the trees had started to become naked.

I dragged my jumper further down and pulled my cloak closer so I wouldn't freeze. As I passed the corridor which led to Professor McGonagall’s classroom, I saw James sitting on the floor outside it. I stopped, creasing my eyebrows.

Wasn't he supposed to be in there talking to her about Head Boy duties right now? Well.. I didn't mind seeing him sitting there, because I didn't exactly hate the sight of him. I started walking in to him, and he noticed at once. He got up, a smile curling onto his attractive face.

“Why aren't you in there?” I asked.

“Just finished, but I decided to sit down for a while to just collect my thoughts,” he said, his hands placed in his pockets. “Anyway, I'm done thinking now, why don't we head back to the tower together?”

I nodded, making sure my bag was placed steadily over my shoulder.

“Aren’t you going to go back to the library to collect your things?” I asked peculiarly.

“Oh… That’s right. It doesn’t matter, I asked Remus to bring them back for me,” James smiled.

I couldn’t remember him asking Remus that, but I guess I must have missed it.

“So.. What did McGonagall say?” I asked, because an awkward silence had fallen between us. It was so strange that we couldn’t find anything to talk about, we had had such a great time peeking at each other on our way to the library earlier..

“She started chatting about Christmas arrangements,” he chuckled. “Not a very serious talk, I was actually quite surprised.”

He smiled smugly, obviously happy with how that talk had turned out.

Then he laid a hand over my shoulders, looking distractedly around before meeting my gaze again.

“So.. How is love, Lily?” he asked softly.

‘What?’ I thought embarrassedly.

“Oh.. I don’t know,” I stammered, looking away. “Not too bad, I guess.. But I’m not seeing anyone, you know.”

I was wondering why he asked me that and what exactly he was doing.

He looked deeply into my eyes, and I felt myself drowning in his.

But then I felt my eyebrows tighten slightly… because there was something there I hadn’t seen before. His handsome features blinded me, but still I noticed the little change, which I couldn’t put my finger on.

I figured it had to be something different in a good way more than anything … It was a mystery to me.

Then at one point, as our looks steadily hooked more and more onto each other, I felt a fear starting to grip my mind. His eyes dug so deeply into my own, I was afraid my soul would be ripped open to reveal something I by some reason wanted to keep from James.

It was as if he searched hungrily for something inside me, something that was not mine to give to him. He had reached the mental wall I had built up, and he was close to tearing it down, even if I struggled to defend it.

I was afraid his beautiful eyes would shatter it. The little something in his look that I couldn’t figure out what was … it suddenly felt threatening.

But before I could think more about anything, before I managed to make up my mind about what to do, how do defend myself from his charm… James stopped walking.

He loosened his arm around my neck and took hold of both of my shoulders. He was no longer standing somewhat weak and humbled in front of me, he was determined and I read lust out from his shining eyes…

He turned me towards him, and placed one arm at the curve down on my lower back. He leaned in, and I felt my head rest on the wall behind me. I was able to stop up and breathe only for a second … before he pressed his lips on mine, very suddenly.

I felt the soft, but firm kiss make my head fill with a rush of emotions and feelings. He finished it quickly, but suddenly devoured my lips into a second kiss. It was more aggressive, longer and full of affection.

Then he pulled away… and I was left with a face-expression filled with a mixture of shock, satisfaction and weakness.

‘James Potter just kissed me…’ I screamed inside my head. ‘He… just grabbed me and kissed me out of the blue!’

Then his charming smile was back on.

“See you later, Lily.. have to go down to the Quidditch-pitch to check on some equipment.”

With a last longing look my way, he trotted off, leaving me still paralysed by the wall. I ran my fingers over my red, newly-kissed lips.

As I danced my way back to Gryffindor Tower, I felt every trace of tiredness being extracted from me as I vividly recalled my first kiss with James Potter. Invisible small hearts kept popping out of the air around me, and I was close to lifting my feet to fly up in the air.

That’s how light I felt.


Instead of taking left to head for the Quidditch Pitch, I took right and ran down the stairs, making my appearance turn into Bryn Johnson again. James Potter’s smirk was replaced by my own, and I felt my heart racing as I imagined Lily’s lips dancing on my own again.

The opportunity had been perfect… Potter had gone to his Head meeting, and he hadn’t said when it was going to be finished. Also Lily said she was about to leave soon… It was almost too good to be true.

I had the ability to make voices stand out even though there were many people speaking at the same time. It had come in handy now, because I had heard ever word the Gryfindors had exchanged, while I sat only a table away from them.

And when I had felt her lips caress my own…

It had felt so good.. I really had needed the feeling of having Lily close again. To actually be able to touch her pale skin and not just look longingly at her. And the best thing was that this could only turn out one way for the popular Potter… And that was the bad way.

After all, he’d deny any arguments Lily would put up about kissing her, and then she’d forget him at once if she ever had feelings for him… So what would be the next step in my brilliant plan? To befriend her. To get close to her… To make her love me again, as the person I really was. And this time, I would never let her go.


I sat in the common room, still not believing what had just happened. Flashing pictures and thoughts kept occupying my mind, and the frightening thing was that it didn’t really add up. But the fact that James had just kissed me like that didn’t make sense to me either …

James coming closer … so gentle and careful in the windowsill. Him kissing me so close to my lips I almost felt the edge of his lower lip come in contact with them.

Then James stopping up in the corridor, placing a kiss on my lips as if he would die a second later if he didn’t. As if it was the only opportunity he had to ever kiss me… It was kind of scary.

He chose such a strange moment as well…

And why did he have to disappear so suddenly afterwards? He was really supposed to join me all the way to Gryffindor tower, but then he decided to go check on quidditch equipment? Weird… well, maybe he just needed to get some distance and get his head straight.. that was something I certainly didn’t manage…

Would he be back soon, though? What would happen when he returned? I was packed up in blankets, droodling in my notepad. Tracing his name with a coloured pencil, and occasionally touching my own lips with my fingers to remember what it was like to feel skin against skin. Recalling the shape of his lips..

Then Hillary came tiredly down the stairs, noticing the dreaming look on my face.

“Something’s happened,” she said at once, running over to me.

I immediately ripped the paper off my notepad, crushing it together to a neat ball in my fist. I aimed at the flames in the fire, and threw it. I watched it turn into ashes, and so did Hillary.

“That was unnecessary, you know I’m going to find out what that note said anyway…” she sighed, looking at me challengingly.

“Ok, ok..” I gave up. “I’ve been kissed…” I smiled. Just saying those words out loud made me all restless and eager. Not to mention hyperactive.

“What? By whom?” Hillary exclaimed in surprise.

“Calm down,” I said hardly, but really knowing I had to calm down myself as well. I pulled her up to me, giving her a smile fit to burst into joyful laughter. “Why don’t you guess?”

“I’ve got NO idea..” Hillary said in despair. “A second kiss from Remus Lupin?”

“No! Not him.. someone else. But you were close,” I giggled.

“You didn’t… It wasn’t… It couldn’t be HIM…” Hillary said to me seriously… Then she slammed her hands over her mouth to prevent herself from bursting with excitement. She took distance from me, looking at my satisfied smile. “Sirius Black?!”

She was all whiny and couldn’t really control herself, she had to know…

I shook my head, almost screaming out his name to her. Almost screaming out in the common room that James Potter kissed me in that corridor…

Then she came close again, closing her hands around my ear so that nobody else heard when she whispered…

“James? James Potter?”

I didn’t even have to answer that. She knew it was him just by seeing my sparkling eyes and look that said everything.. that I was madly in love with James Potter, and that he had kissed me on the lips …

“Did you snog? Did you? DID YOU?” She was shaking me heavily as she screamed out the last few words.

I was crazy as it was, and this didn’t help any.

“No, I didn’t! It was a tender kiss… well… not THAT tender, but you get the meaning. He gave me a quite surprising one … or two, no snogging going on yet!”

She calmed down and smirked at me.

“You said it, girl… not snogging YET!” She gave me a breathkilling hug, hissing into my neck “You’ll get him, Lily… I know you will…”

I had this peculiar feeling, even as Hillary said that.

‘Just wait, and see what happens…’ I thought. ‘At least then you can’t do anything wrong.’

A/N: Was I mean now? Sorry! Please review and let me know what you think! I worked really hard on this chapter. Did anyone actually figure out it was the fake James before I disposed him? If you did… GOOD JOB!

And one more thing... please take a look at the fist chapter of Lily's Diary as you're at it. It's a new project.

Chapter 25: Hurt and Angry
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Chapter Twenty-five, Hurt and Angry

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Dance is a song of the body.
Either of joy or pain.
- Martha Graham

James’s game… How did it really work? When was he playing it and when was he real? That had been the question I asked myself the last few months. And now it was freshly occupying my head again.

I certainly felt I had been played with.. Because things were exactly as they had been.. even after the kiss. He didn’t mention it. He didn’t show any sign of it ever happening.

James had come back to the common room late that night over a week ago. He had been grumpy and complained about Professor McGonagall’s expectations and long to-do-list.

“Help Dumbledore, deciding how the Christmas Trees are going to be positioned in the Great Hall, set up lists on who’s staying for Christmas, in ALL the houses, and lots of other things… she’s driving me MAD…”

I sat there in my chair, looking strangely up at him.

“Weren’t the two of you discussing Christmas preparations in a pleasant tone?” I asked carefully.

“I wish! Stop joking around, Lily… Can’t you see I’m in a bad mood?”

He apparently didn’t have any nice chat with her after all.. Had he said the opposite just to make me in a good mood earlier? Just so he could kiss me? As that last comment emerged his lips, the flying butterflies in my tummy had stopped fluttering and died. How could he be in a bad mood after kissing me like that just a little while ago?

He hadn’t mentioned anything about what happened in the corridor for over a week. Nothing about kissing me… He just acted completely normal.

Too normal.

As soon as I had realised he’d tricked me and had just forgotten all about it, I wanted to pull away from him.
I smiled and laughed and pretended not to notice James’s not at all changed behaviour around me for some time. We had been flirting a little bit more than usual after the chocolate-night incident, and I was starting to believe he was real to me. But that hope was smashed as he “forgot” about the kissing in the corridor. I couldn’t take it anymore, I knew he had played me. And I couldn’t stand up with my hurtful play any more… So I extracted myself from him, and partly the rest of the Marauders, slowly but securely.

“Lily? Want to come and sit here with us?” James smiled at me a morning by the breakfast table, gesturing at the seat next to him.

“No, thanks… I’ll just sit here with Jennifer and Anna,” I said casually.

He gave me a sad expression and turned back to his conversation with Peter. I probably hadn’t been sitting with them like I used to for days.

It was almost the end of November, and I was stretched out on my bed, sobbing like I had done so often lately. I just didn’t understand it, how could he do this to me?

‘I knew I shouldn’t have let myself fall for James like that,’ I screamed in my head. ‘He just threw me away as soon as he’d kissed me… I’m glad he didn’t go any further..’

“Lily? Stop scaring me like that! Please stop crying…” Hillary came over to my bed. “He’s not worth it.”

I just looked sadly at her, sighing deeply and squeezing my pillow even harder.

“Forget him, Lily. He’s just an arrogant, playing virgin-killer,” Hillary said hotly.

“H-How can you… s-say tha-that?” I sobbed. “You don’t… don’t… know if he’s a virgin-killer!”

She raised her eyebrows and wrapped her arms around me.

“I know… But it feels better to put him in a dirty light, don’t you think? Makes it easier to get over him.”

“Maybe… But I know he’s not like that! But… He played me!” I cried.

“I know he did… And I despise him for it. For hurting you like that…” Hillary whispered. “But you need to get out of your dorm. Come to the match? Please?”

“I don’t feel like it…” I muttered.

“Lily Evans! I am not letting you rot in here over a boy! Stop this nonsense!” She said hotly.

That made me react. And she was of course right… So I decided to come to the match anyway. It took a good thirty minutes to get down there, but I still managed with Hillary’s help.

Shacklebolt’s voice was back on the speaker as we stood by the pitch, watching red and green players zoom around. I wasn’t as cheery as I used to be at matches, naturally. It stung to just see him fly handsomely up in the air on his Zoom Star, dressed in Gold and Red.

As the Slytherins scored their fifth goal, the Gryffindors started to be more aggressive. I knew what happened when they became aggressive, and so did everybody else. Bludgers were flying dangerously around, and the Chasers worked harder.

“Goyle gets a nasty bludger in the head! Time out! Somebody check it out!” Shacklebolt cried.

I watched as some teachers checked out Goyle, who laid bleeding on the ground near the goal post.

“Hey, Lily? Careful not to faint this time…” Sirius came flying next to our places as the break was still going.

“Promise,” I smiled weakly, seeing him fly off again.

“Yeah, don’t you dare freak me out like that again!” Anna added from my side, looking sternly at me.

Then I saw James’s figure zoom in our direction as the game started again, and I felt my heart jump as he dived and caught the Quaffle, handing it over to Gryffindor’s third chaser.

I couldn’t help it, I felt my lower lip tremble in sadness as he enjoyed himself on the pitch. I sat down, leaning my back towards the fence. I dragged a nervous hand through my hair, afraid tears would erupt my vision again.

“Lily! Are you ok?” Hillary leaned down. “You’re getting extremely dirty when you’re sitting there, you know…”

“I don’t care..” I whispered. “I have this horrible headache.. I have to relax.”

“I’ll follow you up again if you’d like me to? You shouldn’t be sitting here,” Hillary continued. “You’ll get a cold.”

I curled up in the common room as I did so often, feeling my headache increase. I just couldn’t get James out of my head. I couldn’t get that kiss out of my head.

I pulled something out of my pocket, and opened the paper surrounding the last chocolate from the basket I had nicked. But as I tasted it, I felt it rip inside me. I laid it down, resting my head on my knees, which was pulled up close. The night James and I had spent in the common room that night was vivid in my head as I felt the taste spread in my mouth.

I don’t know for how long I sat there, but I knew people around me got concerned and stopped up a couple of seconds to see what was going on. Nobody dared to disturb me. I think Hillary told them to leave me alone.

When the sky outside was totally black, I didn’t have any more energy left to cry. My eyes were stinging horribly. I curled closer up in the chair, dragging the blanket over me. My sobs were almost suffocated, I was exhausted. I closed my eyes, feeling my body crying for sleep.

Then I felt a hand slowly dry my wet cheeks.

‘You must be very concerned now, Hillary… I can’t count the hours I’ve spent in this chair crying..’ I thought.

She continued to stroke my face, I heard her sitting down next to the chair.

“I’m sorry, Hillary…” I whispered, lying my hand on top of hers. “I know you must be disappointed in me, crying so much over such a silly thing… But it really hurts.”

“What hurts?”

My eyes were opened violently as I heard a voice who didn’t belong to Hillary at all.

Of course it had to be James.

If I had had any energy left, I would have let out fresh streams of tears and new sobs. But I couldn’t. His face was there in front of me, reminding me of the insecurity and pain struggling inside me.

I closed my eyes again, removing his hand from my cheek. It was warm and gentle, and I wanted to hold on to it, but I didn’t dare to.

“Please tell me?” he whispered, resting his chin on the edge of the chair. “You’ve been crying for hours. Nobody’s had permission to come over to you. So I decided to wait until Hillary and Anna had gone to bed.”

My heart smiled at his words. He was really concerned about me… So why did he pretend he never kissed me? I didn’t dare to tell him that. I didn’t dare to mention it or confront him… I didn’t understand anything about the beautiful boy in front of me.

“You… y-you should go to bed too…” I sobbed tiredly, opening my eyes slightly. “It’s probably late.”

“It is… But I’m not leaving you. You didn’t leave me in the forest, remember? So I’m not leaving you now.”

‘Why do you have to do everything right, James? Why do you make it so damn hard to get over you?’

“You’ll have to stay here the whole night then, because I’m so exhausted I can’t move a muscle,” I said quietly.

“Fine,” James smiled. “Tell me why you’re crying?”

“No. You can’t know,” I said sternly.

“I told you about Laura.”

I could almost see his eyes turning red… Was it because of the memory of Laura or because I wouldn’t trust him enough to tell him what was wrong?

‘Make my conscience bad, way to go! Really make me struggle…’

“I can’t!” I said, closing my eyes again. “I just can’t..”

“Ok. So you can’t tell me what made you feel like this,” he said, thinking. “At least tell me what you feel? Maybe I can make it easier for you.”

‘How? You were the cause of this…’

“I feel hurt. I feel… insecure. And I’m angry. I’m tired of everything,” I squeezed out.

“Right… It doesn’t have anything to do with that Hill-girl, does it?” James creased his eyebrows.

“No,” I smiled slightly. “It’s not her this time.”

“Good,” he sighed, resting his elbows on the seat. “Well… I s’pose some chocolate would help, but Sirius got the cloak. I don’t want to wake him.”

I tried to laugh, but I didn’t manage to.

“Anyway… Just forget it, Lily. Whoever made you feel this way isn’t worth wasting thoughts and energy over.”

‘What the hell? It was you, you pretty, delicious butt-head! YOU!’

I was thoroughly confused. If he didn’t understand this was about him, than he obviously didn’t expect it to hurt when nothing more happened between us after the kiss. Did he expect me to just think of it as ‘fun’? As some sort of crazy fling that wasn’t serious? Hm… But I could swear I felt something more from his side in that kiss. Did he really mean nothing by it?

“Maybe…” I said. “But it’s going to be hard…”

‘I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.’

“This is probably going to sound pathetic, Lily…” James started. “But the last few months I’ve felt we’ve got this new connection. Some weird sort of friendship.”

I saw a faint blush creep up his cheeks, it made my heart jump again. Silly me, I was so in love.

I nodded slightly at his comment. This was much more like the James I had got to know. A little bit shy when it came to the point. Not aggressive and spontaneous…

“Yeah, who would guess… Evans and Potter,” I smiled.

“Well… since we’ve become friends, it’s really making me feel bad seeing you in this state, and even worse when you say you’re going to spend the night here.”

I removed some hair from my face, finally daring to look him into the eyes.

“Can I please, please, please… just carry you to your bed? I’ll even undress you if you’d like, but I know you’ll go mad if I even make that suggestion,” he smiled charmingly.

I couldn’t help it, but I smiled as he said those words. It was so like James to say something like that, and I liked the way he had learnt how to say it in a way that wouldn’t make me go crazy at him like I’d used to do.

It was the change I liked most about him. He had changed in a way that suited me perfectly, but he was still in character. He was still James Potter…

‘God, you’re making this hard. Do I dare to open up to you again?’

I thought, what the hell. I didn’t care if I walked into another of his traps, I had to give in. I had to… Just this once.

“Ok, I’ll let you,” I smiled shyly.

Chapter 26: Childish Fun
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Chapter Twenty-six, Childish Fun

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We should consider every day lost on which
we have not danced at least once.
- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

I was stressed and in a bad mood. I had changed after ballet class in an amazing speed, practically running off to the library. I was supposed to help some boy from fifth year prepare for his Christmas-tests in Charms on professor Flitwick’s order.

“I’ll give you the double lesson on Friday off if you help me out with this pupil…” He had squeaked to me in his usual weak voice a couple of days ago.

I had gladly agreed, I didn’t mind having that lesson off in the end of the day.

‘Professor Flitwich knows me so well now he’s figured out how to make me play on his team…’ I giggled softly in my mind as I made my way through the corridors.

I had spent an hour concentrating in the ballet studio, which practically meant I hadn’t had any time to think about James during that time. But now I had. I saw him in my head, flying on his broom in the cold air, smiling brightly as he scored another goal. I continued daydreaming as I walked, forgetting everything else except the fact that I was headed for the library for some reason. I felt my spirit rise as I remembered his strong arms carrying my tired body to bed last night…

“Liiiiiiily?” A sweet voice called, I was not completely in the real world.

Was it James?

“Yes?” I replied, looking around.

The person in front of me had a charming smile, black hair falling down into his face and a pair of gentle eyes. But it wasn’t James.

“Sirius!” I beamed, throwing myself in his arms, giving him a long hug.

“Wow, you’re in a good mood today! Yesterday you were so sad we were afraid you’d cry your eyes out..”

“I know, I am kind of happy!” I giggled softly, looking dreamily out on the clear sky through the tall windows.

“So..” Sirius smiled at my answer, grabbing my hand and swinging it back and forth as he walked along with me. “You’re heading for the library, right?”

“Yep, that’s where I’m going. To help this kid with Charms-work. Professor Flitwick has apparently given up on him!”

I stretched my shoulders, letting out a little happy sigh. Sirius observed me.

“Are you going to tell me who he is anytime soon?” Sirius looked down at me.

“What?” I said jokingly, looking back up at him, puzzled by his comment.

“Who you’re in love with, honey…” Sirius bent down close and mocked.

“Well… no,” I smiled teasingly, continuing to swing our hands.

“You’re too mean for your own good, Lily. Every single soul in our year and a few below have noticed your drastic change in moods and far-away-looks. Tell me who he is!”

I looked at him in disbelieve.

“You wish!” I laughed, dropping his hand and starting to run down the corridor.

He sighed, but gave me a wide smile as he took up the chase, starting to run after me. When he caught up, he grabbed me around the waist, making me struggle to break free. An attack of laughter and giggles filled the hall in front of the library as Sirius forced me down on the floor, tickling me like mad.

“St-Stop Sirius! Siriuuuuuus! I can’t breathe! Please stop!”

“Fine, if you tell me who he is,” he laughed evilly at me.

“Y-You know who he is!” I forced out, trying to remove his hands from my stomach.

Suddenly, Sirius stopped ticking me and got up from the floor. He gave me a last look before running through the library doors, a satisfied smirk on his face. “Catch me if you can!” he yelled back at me.

I dragged my bag up in a hurry, slipping it down by an unoccupied table in the library.

“Sirius Black! Get back here!” I half screamed half yelled, scanning the library. But I couldn’t see him…

“Miss Evans!” The grumpy librarian sat me back in place. “This is a library!

“Oh, sorry madam Brooks,” I apologised, leaving her and starting to walk in between the bookshelves to find Sirius. It didn’t take long until I started to feel desperate. The library was huge, and Sirius was an expert on hiding from people whenever he’d like. If he had figured out it was James that was stuck on my mind, I was in some kind of trouble, I had the feeling.

He would probably find some silly person to spill to, I was sure of it.

“Liiiiiiiily Eeeeeeeeevans is in loooooooooove!” It suddenly roared from the other side of the library. I was so shocked I almost grabbed something to hold onto.

Then I suddenly saw Sirius come into view, and he was running towards me in great speed, his arms open.

I didn’t have any time to panic before he had grabbed me, swinging me around.

“My Lily’s in love!” He screamed, almost blasting my ears out. “She’s in love… She’s madly in love!”

“Mr Black! Miss Evans! I’ll have you both suspended from the library after this outrageous behaviour!” Madam Brooks hissed.

“Thanks a lot, Black!” I said sternly to him as we stood outside in the library hall. But my stern expression soon softened and turned into giggles.

“Well, miss Evans? Wasn’t it fun? Should we repeat that sometime soon? So I can scream out WHO’s stuck on your mind?” he smirked.

“No, absolutely NOT!” I said. “I was supposed to meet the fifth-year boy, remember? You screwed it all up!”



Sirius shrugged. “Too bad.”

“You’re so evil!” I said next, taking hold of his baggy T-shirt by the neck, shaking him in playful rage. It didn’t have the effect I wanted thought, to be honest.

“Get me back in there!”

“Madam Brooks?” Sirius said carefully, titling the door.

I saw her come over, looking at Sirius as if he was a bug which needed to be smashed, squeezed and killed immediately.

“Yes, Mr Black?” She frowned.

“Erm… That blouse really suits you…” He tried, looking down at the lime-green blouse she was wearing with pink flowers.

“Really?” She replied, giving him a highly doubtful look.

‘God, Sirius.. That trick doesn’t work on women over thirty!’ I thought desperately.

“Well, to be honest, I was wondering if Lily Evans could come back in? She’s calmed down a lot now… She was supposed to help a fifth-year with work,” Sirius smiled brightly.

I slapped a hand over my face as I saw the librarian look evilly at Sirius before giving him her answer.

“No, she’ll have to come back tomorrow, I’m afraid,” she said, obviously satisfied over her victory.

She locked the door with a slam.

“Thanks a LOT, Sirius.. that was really helpful,” I rolled my eyes at him. “I had a quite good relationship with that old grumpy librarian-woman! It took YEARS to gain her trust…”

Sirius pushed out his lower lip, setting his puppy eyes on me. “Sorry,” he whimpered falsely. “Can’t you just invite her to a private ballet-show? Sure she’ll love it. Make that beautiful smile of yours flash over to her…”

I shook my head at his silliness.

“Go, Sirius… Before I hunt you down and kill you with my bare hands!”

He must have noticed the dangerous sparkle in my eye, because he didn’t protest. He walked slowly away, whistling and taking his time. Before he rounded the corner, he stopped up, smirking at me.

“Good luck with Prongs, by the way…”

"Thanks," I said automatically, slapping my hand over my mouth as I realised I'd let him corner me.

I punched myself in reassignment, leaving my lips in a straight line as Sirius's head turned up again, winking before he was out of view.

‘I knew it!’

After half an hour of intense persuasion, I was finally allowed to enter the library.

“I’m going to boil him for this…” I hissed at myself.

It took a while to find the right pupil in the now crowded room. Then I finally found him, sitting by a table of his own, scribbling on some parchment. Even thought I was exhausted, I still felt a little trace of happiness in me.

“Hello, I’m Lily Evans,” I smiled, sitting down next to him.

“I’m Mark Johnson,” he murmured, shaking my hand loosely.

‘Johnson? He isn’t Bryn’s brother, is he?’ I thought, creasing my eyebrows.

But as I took a closer look, it became apparent that he was. Same body structure, same hair colour and the same mysterious eyes.

“You’re not Bryn’s ex-girlfriend, are you?” He asked me before I even had time to open my lips to ask him about his brother.

“Well.. Yes, I am,” I answered, feeling blood rush into my face.

“I think he still likes you,” the boy continued, as if we were discussing whether to have milk or sugar in our tea.

My blush got even more violent, and I seriously wondered how I’d manage to help him through Charms after this.

“Why?” The question just popped out before I could control myself.

Mark scanned me before he answered.

“Well, you’re kind of hot,” he said casually, arching his left eyebrow.

I pretended I didn’t hear that, and took a deep breath.

“I really have to go to the girls’ bathroom, why don’t you just start? I believe you’ve read chapter seven? Read it again, and be done when I return.”

I really struggled with Mark. I just couldn’t get his words away from my head… but then again, he was the one saying I was ‘kind of hot’ … Bryn hadn’t told him that, had he? Mark kept mentioning him all the time, and told me he had a lot of trouble getting over me. All in all, I thought it was cute of Bryn.

But I knew he wasn’t in my heart any longer.. James was. If I liked it or not. I didn’t fight my own feelings any more, I knew I was in love with him. It still hurt when I thought about the kiss… But after his performance in the common room last night, I was having new hope. Or did he think of me as nothing but a friend?

‘But would you have kissed someone you thought of as just a friend? Say… Sirius?’

I shivered.

‘Sirius is very handsome… and I care so much about him.. but no. He’s my friend, and nothing more.’

For once I actually let out a relieved sigh. Because I knew I was telling myself the truth. And it made me calm.

“Hey? Are you going to show me the wand-movement again or not?” Mark said irritably next to me. “Stop looking all lost!”

A/N: I noticed I haven't been writing much about Sirius lately, so I figured I'd make him have almost a chapter of his own. Isn't that last comment by Bryn's brother amusing by the way?

Did you notice "Kissing Me"? A one shot songfic I wrote, to all you readers of My Reflection!

Chapter 27: Herbology
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Chapter Twenty-seven, Herbology

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To sing well and to dance
is to be well educated.
- Plato

“Remus, are you sure you should attend to any more classes today?” I watched him from across the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.

He looked peaky, and he had started getting dark areas around his blue eyes. It was full moon tonight. I saw him continue to eat his lunch stubbornly, but he seemed weak at the same time.

“Yes, Lily, stop pretending to be my mum!” he said hotly.

I rose, looking over to him. “Sorry, but I care about you a lot.. You’re one of my best friends and I know you’re tired. Have the day off,” I told him through clenched teeth.

I walked out of the Great Hall, heading for Herbology together with the Hufflepuffs.

‘Remus doesn’t know what’s for his own good,’ I hissed to myself. I slipped down onto the bench in the theory-room next to the Greenhouse we would be in, looking around. I was the first to come. I opened my bag and pulled out my Herbology-book, scanning through some parts of chapter seven.

As I went on, I noticed something lying in between the pages. It was a photograph of me and James, taken the week after the show. It always made me laugh… It was of me sitting in the common room, reading Witch Weekly. Then James came into view from behind, snapping it out of my hands and sticking out his tongue playfully at me. We were both smiling happily… Sirius had taken it. He had named the photo “James and Lily flirting” which stood in black curly letters on the back.

I stopped up reading completely, watching the photo move again and again with a little smile on my face.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and I noticed the person lying it there sitting down next to me. I closed the book with the photograph in with a slam, getting slightly nervous. I let a graceful hand slip the wild strands of dark red hair behind my ears, setting up an embarrassed smile as I looked to the person next to me.

“Hi, Lily, how are you doing?” Bryn Johnson smiled charmingly at me.

A little bit surprised, I let my hands tightened the grip on the book in my lap.

“Just fine,” I said firmly, but kind. “It’s so early, I didn’t think anyone would be here..”

“Well, Herbology is my favourite subject, so I always come before everyone else. Sometimes I even help professor Sprout with the plants.”

“That’s really kind of you,” I smiled, seeing him drop his gaze.

“Lily? I was wondering if you could do me a favour?” he then said unsteadily after a break.

“Sure, what would that be?” I asked.

“I was wondering if you could help me with some Charms-work,” he said quietly.

I laughed a little at the humble way he spoke.

“Charms isn’t the strongest subject of the Johnson-family, is it?”

“Why d’you say that?” Bryn defended himself, rising an eyebrow.

He had never been good at receiving criticism, so I wasn’t surprised by his reaction. On the other hand, he had probably spent some time managing to get himself together to ask me that. Bryn had never been a man to admit his faults.

“It’s just that I helped your brother Mark with Charms only a few days ago,” I smiled. “I’d be happy to give you some help too if you’d like me to.”

Then I noticed he had stopped up completely. It was as if he had frozen in that moment. He just gazed at me in a relaxing way, not saying anything. I lowered my own eyes as I felt his look starting to hold on tighter to me, just like James’s had the night in the corridor.

‘Don’t think about that,’ I blushed at my own thoughts.

Bryn finally let out a cough before getting back to me.

“What about Wednesday? Around six or seven?” he said automatically.

“Six is fine with me,” I confirmed.

He then flashed a smile back at me, and I think his eyes rested by my lips for a split second, but it could have been my imagination.

“So, did you read the chapter for this lesson?” he said brightly.

“Yes I did, but there was one paragraph that didn’t really make sense…” I frowned, opening my herbology-book without thinking.

The book opened automatically at the page with the photograph.. I inhaled some air and tried to turn the pages. But Bryn had already snapped the photo, and was playing with it between his fingers.

“You and Potter, is it?” he said faintly.

“Yes, that’s James and me,” I answered somewhat hardly. I somehow didn’t like his tone as he said that. I tried taking it back, but I didn’t succeed.

“The two of you are going out, right?” Bryn said, looking from the photo and expectantly over to me.

I gave him a confused stare.

“No… Why did you think we were?” I said quizzically.

He answered my question with a question.

“Really? I would think so after the kiss he gave you?”

I felt my cheeks go dangerously hot.

“What kiss?” I said, my voice shaking slightly.

“The one in the hall a couple of weeks ago,” Bryn clarified.

“How do you know?” I said defensively, lowering my voice, even though we were the only ones in the room.

“Both Potter and I play Quidditch, right? Huffelpuff was training down at the pitch one night when he came down. I think he was checking on some equipment. Anyway, he told me he kissed you.”

‘I didn’t believe my own ears …’

“What?” I let out, a little louder than I had intended.

“He sounded satisfied about it, so I thought that would lead to something more. You weren’t interested?”

I shook my head slightly to try and get that straight. To Bryn it might look like I meant I hadn’t been interested in James, but that was really Bryn’s problem and not mine.

“He hasn’t mentioned it,” I said shakily, almost breaking down again. I took the photo from Bryn, looking at it with sad eyes. “Nothing has changed.. I thought he meant something by it.”

‘Lily, what are you doing? You’re not going to open up to Bryn Johnson, are you?’ I thought desperately.

“Lily, I thought you were different,” Bryn finally said after a long break.

I broke my eyes away from James and me on the piece of paper in my fingers, meeting his blue eyes.

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve let yourself get played by the number one player in school. Can you honestly say you didn’t see that coming?” he explained.

‘I had, actually,’ I admitted to myself. ‘But it just happened. It wasn’t like I planned it or something!’

I nodded shortly, lying the photo back into the book.

“You’re too special to end up with a jerk like James Potter, Lily…”

I felt my heart beat faster. I just couldn’t handle it when he said that. Bryn and I were over for good, so why would he? Even if he meant it, he could have kept it to himself.

“Don’t mention it to him. Don’t let him know he hurt you. Just pretend it didn't happen. Apparently that’s what he does,” Bryn finished.

I couldn’t prevent it, tears started pushing their way out of my green eyes. They ran down my red embarrassed cheeks.

“I was so hurt, Bryn,” I cried. “Why did he do that to me?”

He let his hand stroke my hair gently, and I didn’t care if it felt strange and unnatural. As he started moving his hands down to dry my cheeks, I stopped him, though.

“No…” I whispered.

“Why not?” Bryn said tenderly.

“You hurt me too. You know we’re over… I’m not in any position to try again.” I muttered.

“I understand,” he smiled. “It wasn’t like I wanted to make that suggestion, or anything… Maybe we should go inside? People are coming for the lesson soon, you know…”

I nodded, wiping away the tears Bryn had wanted to remove. I put the book back in my bag and did the spell James had taught me that removed red and wet eyes.

As his name appeared in my head, I closed my eyes in pain and love.

We walked inside, Bryn even had his hand over my shoulders. Like James, Sirius and Remus used to… And I knew he shouldn’t have. No matter how hard he tried, he would never replace any of them. Professor Sprout stood by the plants, which looked red and fierce. I removed Bryn’s hand, walking over to her. I wanted to get some distance from him.

‘But you have that extra lesson with him on Wednesday…’ the voice in my head reminded me.


I looked over at Lily as professor Sprout explained how to take care of flesh eating Trifides. She looked shaken, naturally, which I knew she was. I had hit her vulnerable spot..

Even though she had half rejected me, I was at least many steps ahead of Potter. When I confirmed that the kiss with “Potter” had really happened, she felt even more hurt and angry towards him. I had put him in such a bad light she would never get together with him now.

Not even consider it.

My plan was working perfectly. Lily got closer to me and further away from James Potter. Finally I’d have something he didn’t… The beautiful and talented Lily Evans. When we got closer, she’d forget all about what happened late in sixth year. All of that would be washed away.


I tried to listen to professor Sprout, but it was close to impossible. My own voice was mixed with James’s and Bryn’s inside my head. I was the one who should stay away from classes today… along with Remus, who fought his way through lesson after lesson.

I didn’t dare to look up from where I stood, afraid I’d meet James’s eyes somewhere.

My hands were shaking.

Then and there I decided once and for all: I had to stand up. I had to stand tall, and stay there. And there was only one way to do that, and that was by getting over the kiss. It would consume me if I didn’t.

I lifted my eyes, and I felt weak as I saw James treating his plant, concentration written all over his face.

‘James… Why did you do that to me? Why did you brag about it to the other players? Why did you pretend it never happened? How can you be such a jerk, but still manage to cling onto my mind no matter what?’

Chapter 28: The Marauders
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Chapter Twenty-eight, The Marauders

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The way people move
is their autobiography in motion.
- Gerry Spence

I was playing with the ball in the end of my hat as I walked down to Rubeus Hagrid’s cabin.

The half-giant was ok, but I didn’t have any close relationship with him. The reason I was heading down there was because one of the cats had five kittens last week. I was excited as a child, kittens were one of my weak spots. I had volunteered to help him take care of them, not because he didn’t manage to do it on his own, but because they were so adorable.

The sky was steadily going darker, and I knew the full moon would be up soon, transforming my Remus into a monster. I shuddered by the thought…

I stopped, knocking on Hagrid’s door.

“Who’s there?” his voice called from within.

“It’s Lily Evans!” I replied, opening the door and stepping inside.

My eyes widened when I saw who was with him. It was James, who sat by the small cats stroking their fur, making them start purring.

“Hi, Lily,” he smiled at me, coming over and giving me a hug.

As his arms closed around my body, I forgot all about the anger I had built up towards him during that day. It just felt so right.. I pushed the kiss away from my head and pretended it never happened.

“Lily!” Hagrid smiled broadly. “I’m jus’ goin’ to go out fer some more wood, so please jus’ make yerself comf’table, ok?”

As he left the cabin, I sat down by the fire, warming my freezing hands.

“You were so quiet today,” James frowned. “Not like you use to be.”

“I know,” I said, looking into his face. “It’s because of the thing we talked about in the common room that night after the Quidditch-match,” I said.

“Can’t you just tell me? You always keep something back. Let me uncover at least some of the mystery that’s you?” James asked carefully.

“No, I can’t. Stop pushing the matter,” I answered, my voice going sterner.

“Ok, I won’t,” he gave up.
I walked over to the kittens, holding up a silver-grey female.

“They’re so pretty,” I whispered into her fur, scooping her up close.

James came over, stroking the kitten in my hands on the head with his index finger.

“This is the cutest one,” James grinned. “She’s usually very playful, but also the one who’s calmest when you cuddle with her,” he said, looking into my eyes.

Was he talking about me or the kitten?

‘Stop imagining things, Lily..’ I said dreamily to myself.

“Come again?” James looked curiously at me.

“What?” I snapped my head up.

“You mumbled something about stopping to imagine things… what’s that?”

‘Oh.. Did I say that out loud? Oops…’

“It’s nothing,” I waved it off, feeling my cheeks go warm.

James continued to stroke the little cat in my arms, but his eyes were on me.

‘God, he’s gorgeous…’ I sighed inside my head. ‘But I can’t give in.. he’ll just hurt me…’

“You said it as if you were daydreaming… Are you really in love, like Padfoot keeps hinting at, but not really allowed to spell out loud?” James teased.

I smiled embarrassedly, lowering my eyes.

“Maybe,” I said quietly, the little smile playing around my lips. “Why do you want to know?”

“Just wondering,” James replied casually, biting his lower lip slightly.

I let the kitten carefully down in James’s arms, and went over to the table to get the mother something to eat.

The smile twinkling on my face wouldn’t let go of it’s grip. Just being in this warm cabin when it was snowing slightly outside, together with James, taking care of kittens was too good to be true.

When I turned around with a plate full of fish on it, I saw James swinging his cloak around his shoulders.

“I best be off,” he said.

My eyebrows tightened together slightly.


“Just a pile of homework waiting, and I have some new Quidditch-strategies to plan out as well,” he said, still moving to the door.

“O-Okay,” I said, hurrying to set the fish down to the cat in the basket by the fire. “Good luck, then.”

‘Good luck? What’s wrong with you?’

“Thanks.. See you, Lily,” he smiled, leaving me behind.

I walked over to the window, expecting to see James hurrying up to the castle again. But instead, he rounded Hagrid’s cabin, heading for somewhere else. I felt my mouth open slightly as I saw his figure disappear.

‘Why would he lie to me about that? And where is he going?’

As soon as I’d finished feeding and watching over the kittens for a very short while, Hagrid came back.

“Leavin’ so soon, Lily? What’s with the hurry?” he asked.

“Sorry, I have some other things to look after…” I said hurriedly before heading out into the chilly evening.

I started walking in the direction I saw James leave, hoping I’d find out what he was up to. I walked around for some time, feeling the coldness start to take hold of my body.

‘Drop it, he’s probably just out for some prank with Sirius…’

I was about to turn back, when something white in between the trees caught my eye. I stopped up, focusing on the moving thing to see what it was.

‘It’s some sort of reindeer!’ I exclaimed to myself. ‘I haven’t seen one in ages…’

I slowly moved closer, and the creature noticed my presence. It stopped up, setting it’s eyes on me.

“Come here… I just want to have a closer look…” I whispered.

The creature didn’t move, and I steadily got closer to it.

Then I saw it was a proud stag. It was extremely beautiful, and something about the eyes just made me want to get even closer…

As I reached my hand out, it moved closer to me instead of further away.

My fingers came in touch with it’s soft fur, at least it was soft for being a stag. A smile curved onto my face as I patted it.

“You are really beautiful, you know that?” I whispered into its ear. I looked it kindly in the eyes again. “You even remind me of someone I know.”

I realised the eyes were the same colour as James’s eyes. The same hazel type. I felt warm just thinking about that..

The stag started moving slowly out of the forest, lifting it’s head up at the full moon. I followed it, continuing to stroke it gently.

“I’m going back to the castle now,” I said, remembering Remus could be out there somewhere. Even if I knew he was far away, I wanted to be sure I was safe.

“Go back to the other animals, ok? Maybe we’ll meet again sometime,” I whispered. “You really are stunning.”

I saw the pearly white colour of the male stag shine at me as I left for the castle. Something about it just made my head spin around… Something about that creature fascinated me.


I made myself comfortable in the Gryffindor common room together with Padfoot and Wormtail. It had become winter, and we couldn’t stay with Moony all night because the moon didn’t disappear until the morning. It was the middle of the night, and the fireplace was warming our cold, exhausted bodies.

“James, never forget the invisibility cloak again.. ok? What if we had been spotted going back to the castle after we’d transformed back?” Peter said nervously to me.

“Hmph… I know,” I replied irritably. “It won’t happen again, I promise!”

“You’re lucky it’s winter, and not summer,” Padfoot smirked. “We would have been seen as easily as a white unicorn in a clearing.”

That reminded me of Lily. I had seen her follow me after I’d left Hagrid’s cabin, and I didn’t want her to find me. So I had transformed quickly into my animagi-form, hoping she’d turn back.

But she hadn’t… I had got her attention even more … when had I ever been able to resist the charm of that girl? Of course I wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to have her close in any way…

“We were spotted,” I said hoarsely, breaking out of my thoughts.

“What?” Sirius looked disbelieving at me. “You’re joking, right?”

“Nope,” I confirmed, warming my hands on the warm cup I was holding. “By none other than our prima ballerina…”

“Lily Evans?” Peter choked.

Sirius shook his head in assignment, his black hair swaying down to cover some of his face.

“Indeed,” I said, smiling wryly. “She saw me as a stag.”

“Did she understand it was you?” Sirius quickly snapped his head up.

“Hard to tell,” I said insecurely. “She said some things.”

“She talked to you? She talked to a stag?” Peter laughed a little.

“Actually, she did,” I said sternly to him. “She said I reminded her of someone.”

“Well, it could be anyone, couldn’t it?” Sirius shrugged.

“I think she thought about me,” I protested. “I know you told me once my eyes didn’t change as a stag. We have at least some characteristics holding on even when we transform.”

“You’re sure you’re not imagining this? That it’s not wish-thinking?” Sirius said amusedly.

‘Well.. Lily and I have had some deep looks at each other.. wouldn’t she recognise my eyes? I know I would remember how her green ones look like.. Her brilliant emerald eyes…’ I thought.

“She said some other things as well,” I continued, grinning at the two friends sitting with me.

“Oh, really?” Sirius gave me a look, probably expecting what was coming.

“She said I was really beautiful…” I quoted, fiddling with my cup.

Sirius let out a bark-like laugh and Peter let out a snigger.

“Well, at least your animagi-form is somewhat more good-looking than ours?” Peter joked. “Can’t say Padfoot’s dog-form would get thought of as ‘cute puppy’ …”

“Look who’s talking? At least a shabby dog is better than a rat..” Sirius replied defiantly.

“Anyway… I don’t reckon she put the puzzle together… if Lily ever finds out we are unregistered animagis… What do you think would happen?” I said, concerned.

“Wait! Quiet…” Padfoot suddenly let out.

His eyes travelled around the room, looking for something. He rose up from his chair to get a better view. He even sniffed the air a little.

“No… Just forget it, it wasn’t anything,” he breathed out, dumping back into the armchair.

“Do you think someone was there?” Peter suggested.

“No, I think good old Padfoot would have noticed,” I smirked, looking over at my best friend.


Slipping James’s invisibility cloak off my shoulders, I had a hard time breathing. Did I hear what I just thought I heard? Was James, Sirius and Peter talking about them being animagi? About them being outside just now? That they had done this illegally and that they kept it from everyone?

I was as quiet as ever as I slipped under my covers again, my head spinning in thought. Those eyes… Could it be that exact same pair of eyes I usually drowned in? The same hazel gaze?

‘You’ve just revealed the big Marauder-secret, Lily… And it’s a bit scary.. Knowing they’ve been changing into animals all this time.. Was that white stag really James?

Chapter 29: A Discomforting Letter
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Chapter Twenty-nine, A Discomforting Letter

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Music is an invisible dance, as dancing is silent music.
- Source Unknown

I was walking back to the common room, having just finished Charms-work together with Bryn. He was a quick learner, which suited me perfectly. I was glad Christmas was getting closer by the day, because that meant resting. Lots of resting. If I were lucky, Petunia would spend it at her boyfriend’s like last year, making it only me, mum and her parents. It had been a brilliant holiday last year, I was hoping for history to repeat itself.

Apparently there weren’t many staying at Hogwarts this year, the ones I’d spoken to were going home, except for Jennifer. The relaxing conversation I’d had with Bryn just then flashed in my head as I got closer and closer to the portrait of the Fat Lady.

“Going home for Christmas, Lily?” Bryn had said.

“Yeah, I’m hoping for a quiet relaxing Christmas this year with mum,” I replied.

“Me too. I thought you had a sister as well?” He pointed out.

I had noticed how little he really knew about me. We had dated, and he didn’t know I had a sister?

“Yep, but she was with her boyfriend last year. Hope she will be this year as well.”

“She’s bad? Probably doesn’t beat Mark. When he’s home, he’s all loony. Can’t stand him. All he does is to annoy me beyond possible madness…”

I laughed. Bryn could be funny when he wanted to. Too bad he didn’t show that side of himself as often. It was one of the things I like about him.

I got back, noticing an owl sitting on my bed with a letter in it’s beak.

Dear Lily,
Christmas is coming soon, and I was hoping you would spend it here with us like you did last year. Petunia has promised on her life she’ll behave, she’ll probably be occupied with her boyfriend. She asked if he could stay with us for Christmas.

I have a little surprise for you, baby… Grandma and Grandpa is coming too! Together with your aunt and uncle and their families… won’t that be great? It’ll be the first time we gather together properly after dad passed away. I’m sorry, but Granny and Papsy can’t come… they promised they’d go to Scotland to visit aunt Ylva.

Please come home, Lily? I’ve missed you, and I need you here with me.

Love, Mum.

I put the letter from my mother into the box with letters I’d received from her over the years, giving the tawny own who brought it a little treat. I was tempted to just crumple the letter up and tear it to pieces, but I controlled my emotions.

‘Sorry, mum… but I won’t come home to you. Not when they’re there,’ I thought bitterly.

Anything that reminded me of my father reopened the old wounds. His parents were all right, but they were a lot like him still. And with my aunt and uncle together with their numerous kids? Don’t think so…

“Going home this Christmas, Anna?” I said as she entered my dorm.

“Yes, I’m pretty sure I am,” she smiled. “Anyway, I was wondering if you’d come to Hogsmeade with me this weekend. You’ve had a rough time lately, so I figured some make-over would do?”

I walked over to her, giving her a hug. “You’re my angel, Anna! We can shop Christmas presents as well while we’re at it!”

“Great idea,” she said. “I have to go back to the library, actually… Have lots of work to finish. See you later?”


I put the box back in my closet, fetching a book to read by the fire. It was a book I’d borrowed from Lindsay about dancing history.

As I trotted down the stairs wearing a pair of comfy jazz trousers and a loose sweater, I saw some familiar faces in the common room. It was none other than Sirius and James, two of the animagis I’d just uncovered. I expected Remus to be in bed, being a werewolf during winter was a tough business.

A smirk I usually didn’t show was on my face as I walked over to them, hands on my hips. Was I going to have some fun, or what? This was going to be even more fun than busting Sirius and Remus under the invisibility cloak before Halloween.

“James?” I said questionably, looking down on him.

“Yes, ballerina? What do you wonder about?” he said cheerfully.

“You disappeared somewhere else than the castle last night … after you were in Hagrid’s cabin with me… Where did you go?”

He exchanged some brief glances with Sirius before answering, somewhat faint.

“That’s really none of your business, is it? But if you are so curious to know, I was just having some fun with Sirius…”

‘Yeah, that strictly isn’t lying. I bet you were having fun…’ I smiled to myself.

“Ok,” I said problem free, squeezing down between them. “I went to look for you, you know.. I was slightly worried because of the moon.”

“How sweet,” Sirius grinned, setting his grey eyes on me.

I pretended to go all excited, as if I remembered something just then.

“And you know what? You know what?” I said, eyes shining.

“No, Lily? What? What?” James mocked.

I ruffled his hair in irritation, but didn’t really get the least bit offended.

“When I was about to turn back, I saw this very special animal…”

“Really, Lily? There are so few special creatures out there… what was it?” Sirius said ironically and almost casually. I sensed he tried to put up a play now… to pretend this was very new to him.

“It was a stag, actually,” I answered, fiddling with the tips of my hair.

“A stag? Lily, there are probably tons of stags out there.. c’mon? You saw a stag? Well, guess what? I saw a blast ended screwt in Hagrid’s garden the other day… isn’t that great?” Sirius joked, and I saw he was getting slightly nervous, he struggled to keep me from seeing that.

“I didn’t just watch it, it allowed me to come over and touch it…” I said in awe, looking over to James.

His eyes were confused and not really knowing how to react, and I understood him fully. As I looked into his eyes, there was no doubt it had been him. The stag was really James. I recognised that look now… and it was definitely identical.

“How… nice,” he simply said, but I felt him tremble slightly next to me.

‘I’ve got you now, Prongs… no turning back…

“And… it was so beautiful.. I could’ve stood there for hours just looking at it’s handsome features and feel my fingers go through that fur…”

Sirius was looking oddly at me, and James was finally coming out of his trance. He smiled at me, raising his eyebrows.

“It was that sexy? Who would know? Are you having some sort of continuously secret moon-rides with this stag, or what?” he said smugly.

‘I wish…’ my heart sighed.

“No… but I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. It had the most amazing eyes.”

I sighed for real, looking dreamily up in the ceiling.

“Ok, stop talking about that animal, Lily. You’re talking about it as if it was a real person, not an animal,” Sirius laughed.

I saw James looking sternly at him from beside me. I prevented a giggle from erupting my lips.

“Oh, it is a real person,” I said matter-of-factly. “I’m sure of it.”

“Yeah right, all you have to do is kiss it, and it’ll turn into Prince Charming?” James sniggered, straightening his sweat-shirt.

“Don’t be silly!” I snapped, hitting James playfully in the ribs. “I don’t need to kiss it.”

“Funny… so it can just turn into a person like that?” Sirius laughed.

He must have forgot what he was talking about, because he suddenly was on his guard. He fell quiet only after a short dog-like laugh.

“I know who that stag is, too…” I smiled charmingly.

James looked apprehensive, but then his face softened, I think he thought I was joking. How could I possibly know?

“Ok, let’s hear it,” he said exasperatedly.

I looked into James’s eyes, trying to reveal any weakness. There wasn’t any. I pushed my index finger into his ribs, smiling evilly at him.

“Ouch! What was that for? It hurt!” he moaned.

“It’s you, James!” I said, thinking it was something very obvious.

“It’s me? What did I do now? I didn’t do nothing!”

James kept on protesting, and I was surprised his mind was so slow. Sirius’s wasn’t, though. His face was strangely pale, and he didn’t say anything. But James was too occupied with teasing me to notice.

I bent close, calming him down. I removed some wild hair from around his ear. He didn’t really understand what was going on, and it was highly amusing.

I whispered softly into his ear.

“You’re the stag, James… You’re an animagus, aren’t you?”

His eyes were glittering in front of me, totally stripped of every emotion. He just looked at me in shock.

“W-what did you say?” he said slowly.

I just nodded, confirming my argument.

“How the bloody hell do you know that?” he suddenly let out.

Sirius slapped a hand onto his face, looking thoroughly embarrassed and assigned.

“I borrowed your invisibility cloak this morning, and had a little walk down here.. Hearing something very interesting… and it all made sense…” I whispered, not taking my eyes off his surprised lines.

“I knew it!” Sirius said exasperatedly. “You… You… eavesdropping little…”

I just smiled satisfied at the two boys at either side of me.

“Stop barking, Sirius! People could think you were a dog…” I winked at him, leaving him even more confused, shocked and irritated.

Chapter 30: The Dark Mark
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Chapter Thirty, The Dark Mark

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Movement becomes dance when the emotions
brought about by performing the movements
are the reason for moving.
- Source Unknown

James shook his head, looking over at me sitting across him one morning in the Great Hall. My look flicked occasionally from my plate with scrambled eggs and toast to his face, giggles emerging every now and then.

The Great Hall was fairly empty, it was Saturday, so most people hadn’t got up yet. There were some younger Gryffindors sitting at the far end of the table, but except from that, James and I had the entire table to ourselves.

“So, now you know,” he said, finishing his glass of pumpkin juice.

“It was even more fun figuring this one out than discovering your invisibility-cloak…” I smiled mischievously.

“How did you know I was that stag?” he stopped me. His eyes were clenching onto mine.

“Doing exactly what I’m doing now,” I said quietly, letting my fork scoop together the rest of my breakfast.

James looked questionably at me. “And what would that be?”

“Looking into your eyes,” I explained. “I don’t know how, but the eyes of that stag seemed familiar to me. It reminded me of you.”

“Really?” James said, looking at me while creasing together his eyebrows. “How come?”

“How come? Come on, I recognised your eyes, James! I remembered their hazel colour! Is it so much more to it?”

“So… You think I was beautiful in stag-form, did you?”

He smirked a little, making me feel warm and embarrassed.

I nodded to my plate. “Yeah, you were.”

“Thanks for the compliment, then.”

“Tell me, are you always fishing for compliments like that?” I suddenly said. “Usually that’s girls’ area of expertise.”

“You certainly aren’t…” James smiled wearily. “You seem to avoid them.”

“Are we having this conversation again?” I said, rolling my eyes. “When are you going to stop?”

“When you tell me, obviously,” he rested his head in his hands, looking expectantly over to me.

“Oh, you think I’ll do that, do you?” I teased. “Don’t think so…”

“That’s what you’re saying now.. Just you wait till I sit here with the contents of your soul in my hands.”

I laughed. “You sure have high expectations, James.”

“I usually get my way, though,” he looked daringly at me.

“Do you, Mr. Potter? How come I never accepted any of your dating-propositions, then?”

‘What a fool I was..’

“Because… my usual tactics obviously didn’t work on the ballerina,” James whispered. “But just you wait… she’ll turn around.”

I gave him a look.

“What makes you so confident?”

“Lily? Have anyone ever resisted my charm? My Quidditch-skills? My smile? My handsome face?”

“You’re so stuck up,” I said, almost disgusted. “I thought you’d changed?”

I was almost disappointed.

“Relax, Lily… I’m just joking about it all. To be honest, I’m not really all that confident any more.”


“Come again?”

“I said, I’m not really that confident anymore,” he repeated.

“Why not?”

James shrugged. “I don’t know…”

He scooped the Daily Prophet towards him, and the moment the headline became obvious to his vision, he scowled.

“Lily… Look!”

He turned it over so I saw the front page.

In thick black letters the headline read “More Muggle Killings in England”.
A burning house was portrayed on the moving black and white photo underneath it, and what was unmistakably the Dark Mark hovered over it.

I covered my mouth with my hand, looking at James with horror in my eyes. He looked shaken, too.

He looked at it once more himself before sending it along the table.

“Bastard..” he mumbled, digging his gaze down in the wood of the table.

“Are you alright?” I said wearily, putting my hand on top of his on the other side of the table.

“Yeah.. Yeah, I’m fine,” he stuttered. “Can we go up to the common room? Or the library? The grounds?”

“Whichever you’d like,” I replied.

“Common room, and then the grounds,” James suddenly grinned.

I looked up on the note board in the common room, noticing that a note about ballet classes was pinned next to the Quidditch-note.

All ballet classes have been back to normal since Halloween, but now you’re all in for another change.

After a long December break, it’s time to start training for exams.

Up till now we’ve only had lessons with all of you together, but after Christmas we’ll start to have lessons in smaller groups according to which exam you are taking.

Below is a list of the Gryffindor dancer’s groups, and the timetable you will follow up till June.


“Where are you on that list?” James asked curiously, looking over my shoulder.

“The grade eight exam,” I said, pointing at a short list consisting of me, Dorothy and Jennifer.

“You’re only three?”

“No, there are seventh-years from the other houses as well, James,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Oh. Whatever, I don’t know anything about ballet, except that I’m short of breath every time I see you dancing, because you’re so brilliant.”

I blushed, not knowing what to say.

“Is it just me or have you been blushing quite frequently lately?” he laughed, looking at my avoiding eyes and red cheeks.

“It’s not really helping me to calm it down when you say that, you know,” I said embarrassedly, feeling my blush increase.

“It doesn’t matter, I think it’s cute,” James smiled down at me. “Lessgo, I want to get to the grounds while the snow is still fresh.”

I turned around completely, looking at him with puzzlement.


“We’re going to have the year’s fist snowball-fight, ballerina!” James squeaked excitedly like a child, shaking me slightly.

“Oh no, we’re not!” I protested.

“Of course we are! I’m giving you a minute to put on something warmer, or I will drag you out the portrait hole anyway. So hurry up!”

I knew James good enough to know he would actually do that if I didn’t do as he said, so I followed his order. Three minutes later, I returned to the common room, ready to go.

“Girls are so slow..” James muttered when we climbed out of the common room.

It was still just ten a.m. in the morning, and the sun was glittering on the white carpet covering the world outside. I smiled brightly, remembering the countless fights I used to have with Hillary and Anna some years back. After we had entered our fifth year, we suddenly didn’t have time for that sort of fun because of O.W.Ls and everything.

But now, I was happy James had brought me out in the cold grounds. Somehow I found this strangely romantic, and I wondered if he thought the same.

“I want to build my defence over here,” I said firmly, walking over to a higher level with tons of snow.

“No fair! Ok, I’ll let you since you’re going to lose terribly when I’m through with you..” James teased.

I started scooping up large amounts of snow, packing it together to a nice wall around me. With some help of my wand, I made it thick and hard as ice when James wasn’t looking.

“I will beat you, James… just watch!” I whispered to myself as I made a snowball, muttering ‘dobleus’ under my breath. The snow ball quickly started copying itself into many, many more snowballs, giving me a good amount to throw over to James’s defence place.

“I’m rea-” I started, but then I noticed the little castle James had built himself.

“Thought you were clever, ballerina?” he smirked. “I’m the master and commander of this game.. should have thought of that when you built your two and a half feet high ‘thing’ to protect yourself behind?”

I gasped. The castle was six feet high, and it had some sort of cellar where James had stored what looked like a hounded snow-balls in all sizes. On the top he stood, as the proud stag he was, looking at me with an excited grin.

“This is so unfair!” I cried over to him. “You’re going to soak me, freeze me out, KILL me!”

“Oh, you didn’t notice until now? Don’t worry, I’m gentle with the ladies,” he smiled charmingly.

I flicked my wand at my snowballs, which now seemed like a much less reliable amount. They flew over to James, ready to fall over him like bombs in the air. But before I saw how it turned out, thirty snowballs soared through the air in my direction, banging down my perfectly built protector.

I now stood there almost stripped of defence, and out of things to throw. The answer? I started sending James’s snowballs back at him, to avoid them hitting me. I didn’t really succeed though, because they were too many. Some were aimed at my neck, other’s at my head or my stomach.

After five minutes, I made a white flag erupt from my wand, crying out I surrendered.

“Ha! I told you!” A perfectly dry and warm James came over to me. “Don’t mess with James the snow-lord!”

“O-Ok, can we go back to the co-common room now?” I said shakily, feeling some more snow run down my neck. “I’m freezing to death here..”

“Sure, Lily!” James smiled, running over to me and putting a hand over my shoulders.

The minute he had done that, I took my revenge. I grabbed him when he didn’t expect it, and threw him in the ground right into a pile of snow.

He was surprised, and looked up at the laughing me, wearing a priceless expression on his face.

“You-You…” he forced out. “Do you really think you’re getting away with this?”

He straightened up slightly, pulling me down with him. I felt the cold frozen water-crystals find my bare skin and cool it down with a rush of screaming.

“How dare you!” I yelled, scooping up some snow and throwing it at James lying next to me. He moaned slightly as the snow soaked him, but laughed and had a good time at the same time.

“Would you believe me if I said my mind was playing with the thought of burying you in that lovely little hill of snow over there?” he whispered to the giggling dancer next to him.

Without thinking, I hurried up, running in the opposite direction, laughing.

I heard James getting up as well, chasing me around like he had done with the chocolate basked in the common room some time ago.

“You know I’ll catch up, Lily!” he laughed.

“Prooooooongs!” A roar came from the other side of the grounds by the castle. “Wait for me!”

‘Oh NOOO… It’s Sirius! I’m as good as dead!’ I thought desperately.

James had stopped, grinning at his best friend. “Come help me catch Lily! She’s asked for it!” he said, pointing at his wet neck and hands red with cold.

I was caught a minute after Sirius entered the stage, unwillingly paying the price for ever messing with James..

“Isn’t the common room the best?” Sirius smiled happily, pulling close his blanket in front of the fire.

“I love it,” James agreed, sitting under his double cover. “It’s so warm and cosy… All we need, really… Right Lily?”

They both looked over at me, chuckling slightly.

“Y-y-atcho!” I sneezed, feeling my red nose. I was still icing cold, even though the common room was so warm everyone had emerged to the library or the Great Hall. “Absolutely the best..”

“Want another blanket?” Sirius suggested.

“Don’t you think four is enough?” I yelled, sneezing again.

“Oh, bless you!” James sniggered.

I laughed and suddenly remembered what I was supposed to do later that day.

“Oh no! It’s Hogsmeade weekend! And…” I looked at my wrist-watch. “It’s noon already! When are we going there?”

“At one o’clock…” Sirius said casually. “In an hour.”

“Holy crap! I’ve got to take a shower and get ready! I’m supposed to do Christmas shopping with Anna…”

I ran out of the blankets, shivering as I escaped the warmth. I walked wobbly up the stairs in great speed.


My plan wasn’t working the way I’d have liked it to. Apparently, Lily didn’t detest Potter as much any more. She was on the contrary close to getting warm about him again, after what I’d heard and seen.

The kiss wasn’t strong enough to make her make a permanent decision about him. What was I going to do?

Our time in the library together was something I always looked forward to, and it didn’t look like Lily felt any different about it. Maybe I should tell her how I felt, to some extent?

But I couldn’t do that before the Christmas Holidays were over.. because I was leaving Hogwarts tomorrow. Heading home for two weeks, to my family to have a nice break off school… Then I’d come back and capture Lily Evans’s heart.


A/N: What Bryn doesn’t know, of course, is that James is perhaps going to capture it first…;) *wink*

Chapter 31: Just Do It...
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A/N: This chapter is written trough Lily’s POV, then Sirius’s POV. Ok? ;)

Chapter Thirty-one, Just Do It…

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Dance is the poetic baring of the soul through motion.
- Scott Nilsson

“Why haven’t you packed your trunk?” James said, coming into my dorm to ask if I was going to join them for dinner.

“Because I’m staying here, silly,” I smiled.

“Oh… But you always go home?” he pointed out.

“Yeah, but my dad’s parents are coming this Christmas, and I don’t want to hang around. Besides, Petunia’s staying home as well. Total disaster.”

“Okay. You mean your grandparents, right? You obviously don’t have a good relationship with them, do you?” he said carefully.

“They’re Ok, really… It’s just that they remind me a lot of my dad,” I said slowly.

Then I realised what I’d said. Said out loud. Had I partly revealed my weakness to James?

“Lily, I’m so sorry,” he said, giving me a comforting hug. “You must miss him terribly?”

I fell quiet, not answering his question.

“God, Lily… I’m so sorry!” he whispered, holding me a little longer.

He thought I was sad and missed him? In real life I was to mad and angry to answer. I didn’t miss him at all… I just wished he’d passed away sooner. If I ever met that man driving the car who hit him two years ago, I would have thanked him.

“So, who’s staying?” Anna asked the other’s around the dinner table.

“I’m staying,” Remus said at once. “Christmas at Hogwarts is always magical.”

“Yeah, obviously,” Peter laughed. “I’m leaving. We’re actually going to be twenty people celebrating Christmas at our house. Don’t want to miss out on that.”

“You always go!” Sirius moaned. “You miss out on the best pranks when you just disappear every Christmas…”

“I’m staying too,” James said cheerfully. “Me and Padfoot decided we weren’t that keen to spend Christmas with my parents and old aunt Guffy, right? Besides.. I’m Head Boy, and after all the fuss about Christmas Decorations, it would be sad not hanging around to enjoy them.”

Sirius looked confirming over at him, nodding.

“I wanted to stay, but I haven’t been home for Christmas for two years, so I promised dad I’d come home this year,” Anna said sadly.

“Me too,” said Hillary, looking at me. “Sorry, Lily… but mum practically said she’d die if she didn’t see my face this season.”

“That’s ok..” I smiled insecurely. “Don’t tell me I’m the only seventh year girl staying? You’ve got to be kidding… I haven’t seen anyone else showing signs of not packing.”

“Jennifer’s staying behind,” Remus said on second thought. “Decided about an hour ago. Wonder why…”

“Yay! What a relieve…” I sighed.

“Why? Wouldn’t it be fun if it was just you and us, Lily? That would be highly amusing…” Sirius said, slightly offended.

“You reckon? Well I don’t!” I laughed.

After saying goodbye to all the people leaving, the few Gryffindors left went back to the Tower or out in the grounds.

“Please, Lily? Another snowball-fight?” Sirius begged.

“You go on! I’ve only just warmed up again from the torture you put me through yesterday, so don’t count me in…”

“You’re so boring, Lily!” James said grumpily.

I gave him a stare and lifted my head, intending to go back straight away.

“Come on, Lily! You know I was just kidding!” he said pleadingly after me.

“Of course I know..” I winked, ruffling through his hair before leaving.

What was I going to say?

‘Dear mum, I don’t want to be home for Christmas because grandma and grandpa is coming? You see… They remind me all too much about all the stuff dad put me through…’

Yeah, that would definitely make her suicidal.

After sitting with my quill in the right hand for fifteen minutes, I managed to scribble down a quick note consisting of a white lie.

Dear Mum,

Sorry, but it’s my duty as Head Girl to stay here for Christmas. We have to make sure everything goes right. Really sorry about that… Hillary and Anna are staying, and I want to be with them this Christmas because it’s our last year and all. Give my best to the others.

Love, Lily.

As I send the letter with one of the tawny school owls, I felt slightly guilty. But no matter how much mum begged and tried to persuade me, I wouldn’t come home for Christmas. I was staying right were I was.

“Hey, what are you doing up here, looking all sad?” Remus said, stroking my back.

“Sending a letter to mum telling her I’m not coming home today,” I sighed. “Grandma and Grandpa are coming.”

“I totally understand, Lily. It’s not your fault at all, ok? Don’t blame yourself for your father’s mistakes,” he comforted.

“I know, I’ve been trying to do that for as long as I can remember,” I replied, looking at the dark sky.

“You know you can talk to me about these things, right?” he asked.

“Yes, you’re about the only person who knows, Remus…” I smiled wearily. “Thanks for everything.”

“Coming back? I think James and Sirius have their plans ready already for what’s happening the next few days.”

“Hm.. I was really going for the library, but since you’re asking so nicely, I’ll come,” I beamed.


I sat over a game of wizard’s chess with James, my mind racing on anything but the game. James sat there in full concentration, trying to decide whether to move his pawn or his knight.

“Gosh, will I ever finish this, Padfoot?” he moaned.

I barely heard him.

Was he ever going to get together with Lily? I had watched them flirting for weeks and weeks now, but they somehow never got there. I saw the way Lily swooned whenever James called her ‘ballerina’, and the way her eyes sparkled when he was around.

I noticed James’s endless attempts to make her smile. Sometimes he even said slightly rude things, just to get some sort of reaction. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

They went crazy around each other, there was no other word for it.

But what was really bugging me was how Lily suddenly had withdrew herself from him. Around Halloween, I was sure the time was right. But then… Lily had taken a total one-eighty turn.

At the same time, everyone could tell she had been really hurt by someone or something. Anyone who had seen her face wet with tears from last month knew what I was talking about.

Was there a connection? I would have bet my broomstick it was.

I knew she had been trying to hide it, but something made me feel James had done something he absolutely shouldn’t have. If there was one thing I had become good at, it was reading Lily’s looks.

Had she found out something that made her have a change of heart?

James had certainly noticed all these signs.

Endless times had he asked me if I knew something, anything, that would explain it. He had tried lurking it out of her, but he hadn’t succeeded.
Sometimes I had been close to telling him about her nightmare, about her dreamy looks I so often caught her in having. And the answer was always the same when she had them..

“What are you thinking about now, Lily?”

“What do you think?”


And then there used to be a fit of giggles.

Why hadn’t James just told her outright how he felt? What about all the love-letters he sent her in fourth and fifth year? Why was it suddenly so hard? I was almost scared to discuss it with him. He never answered that question.

Things seemed to finally loosen up between them, though. If they didn’t become an item soon, it would never happen. They would both burst with exhaustion after chasing each other, giving up.

“Sirius? You there?” James said irritably.

“Wha—Oh, yeah.”

“What were you thinking about?” he said curiously.

“You and Lily. The stupid game you’ve both put up. Are you aware of how exhausting it is? Can’t you just kiss the girl and tell her you fancy her? I’m sick of waiting.”

It was so good to get it out, at last. James looked sadly at me, letting out a sigh.

“I don’t know, Padfoot…”

“What? Are you having second thoughts about her?” I said in surprise.

“No! Nothing like that… It’s just that I’m finally starting to understand what Remus meant.”


“What if she doesn’t want me? What if she pulls away?” he said wearily. “Do I deserve her?”

“Stop the nonsense! When have a girl ever made you say that?” I groaned sternly. “You always did things first and then asked later.”

“I know.. But she’s so confusing! One second she smiles and doesn’t deny I was the hottest stag ever, (James smirked a little at this thought) and the next she looks really lost, like she has a huge killing snake inside herself.” James dragged a nervous hand through his hair. “How am I supposed to handle such a unique and complicated girl?”

“Just kiss her, ok? Can’t hurt. You’ve kissed her before, right?”

James waved his hand at me.

“On the cheek, that’s a totally different thing!” he said, resigned.

“How did she react? Tell me.”

“Well… her eyes were kind of flickery, and I definitely sensed a spark. She even held her breath… Like she was awaiting something huge. But after I’d kissed her, she sort of pulled back.”

“Exactly! She wanted you to kiss her for real, like… snogging, and she was disappointed when you didn’t.”

“Really?” James spirits rose.

Then they suddenly fell.

“Well… How do you explain what happened next week, then? The week she cried and cried.. looked like someone had ripped her heart out.”

I looked exasperatedly over at my best friend.

“Maybe she started doubting your feelings after you didn’t kiss her properly,” I suggested, knowing it must be far from the truth. Something much worse had to be the cause of the hell of a week Lily had been through. Or was it two weeks? I didn’t reckon she was THAT mad about James.

There were really two options. If it was anything about James, it had to be worse then him making out with and almost shagging Irma on Halloween. What could possibly be worse? The other was that something terrible had happened that didn’t have anything to do with James at all.

“You reckon?” he said insecurely.

“YES! So tell her! Give her a nice Christmas present! Kiss her! Get together with her!” I yelled, slightly out of breath.

The minute I’d finished the sentence, Lily and Remus came into view from the portrait hole, apparently coming from the library. I saw James eyeing her longingly, watching her throw her long red hair over her shoulder, laughing at something funny Remus had just told her.

“You two having fun?” she said happily, leaning down to the chessboard. “I think you’re going to win this one, Sirius…”

“Fully aware of it, Lily. Why don’t you try and help me beat Prongs even faster?” I suggested.

“Sure!” said Lily, dragging a stool with a gold and scarlet pillow on the top over to our table. “Watch me win you over, James!”

“Er… I think you already have,” he replied, looking at her with a sigh I knew was not about the game.

“Huh?” she said in puzzlement.

“Never mind,” James smiled, knocking over my bishop with a firm hand.

A/N: Ok, everyone. The next chapter, “Christmas Eve”, was originally REALLY long. I would guess around 4000 words. So I decided to split it… Resulting in two updates. How is that? So think of the two following chapters as ONE chapter. Got it? I just split them so they would be easier to read for you all. =)

Chapter 32: 24th December
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Chapter Thirty-two, 24th December

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Dancing is like bank robbery,
it takes split second timing.
- Twyla Tharp

I looked down on the pile of small presents lying on the table in front of me. I had decorated them with all kinds of wrappings and ribbons, they looked quite colourful. I bent down over my drawing again, humming on a Christmas carol.

Suddenly I felt two strong hands on my shoulders, making me jump.

“James! You startled me!” I laughed. “Guess which one’s yours?”

I pointed at the little amount of gifts on the table. He sat down next to me, pretending to think.

“Well, obviously it’s this one, with pink paper and purple ribbons. Am I right?” he joked, picking it up. “It’s something soft. Jelly-sweets?”

“No…” I whispered. “It’s for Hillary. You know she likes pink. It’s a top I bought her in Hogsmeade.”

“Ah… I see. What d’you get for Padfoot and Moony?” he asked, leaning his head in his hand. “Promise I won’t tell.”

“And you think I’m telling you? Sirius came and asked about your present earlier. I think you’re plotting something against me!”

James sighed, picking up the drawing I was working on.

“Ok, you’re right. I didn’t know you were doing art?” he said excitedly.

“I’m not, it’s just some sketches. I’m not very skilled,” I said.

“ I think you are… Could I have it? If you’re finished, that is.”

I looked at James. Did he really want that black and white sketch of a unicorn? It wasn’t very good, but I was getting better at shadowing.

“Sure you can,” I smiled.

He smiled back at me, taking the drawing. He dragged a hand through his dark hair before saying,

“Get the presents away, you’re coming with me.”

“What?” I said curiously. “Why?”

“We’re nicking some more chocolate for tonight. It’s Christmas Eve you know,” he beamed before getting up and hurrying back to his dorm.

I gathered my things and slipped them back into my own before meeting him by the portrait hole.

“Where are the others?” I said, peering up at James as we started walking.

“In the grounds, I guess, having another snowball-fight,” he smirked, looking daringly down on me. “Sure you don’t want another?”

“Positive,” I settled, drawing my cloak closer. The halls were getting very cold these days, and it made it much more unpleasant to walk around in the castle.

We walked in silence, both of us freezing from the bitter coldness in the air.

‘Can’t you just hold around me? So I won’t freeze?’ I dreamed. ‘It would feel so nice…’

“You cold too?” James quietly asked next to me, as though he had read my mind.

“Y-yes,” I stuttered, hoping we would reach the portrait with the fruit bowl soon.

“Let’s warm up, shall we?” he smiled, placing a hand around me, pulling me close. “Feeling better?”

“Mhm…” I smiled coyly, almost feeling my knees go weak as I felt his warm body so close to mine. I could feel him breathe.

His eyes were so vivid, and it just hit me how immensely good he looked today. He smelt so nice, I couldn’t figure what fragrance he used. It sure suited him perfectly. At that moment I never wanted to reach the kitchens with the squeaking house elves. I just wanted to walk like this with James for ever through the corridors…

“Lily? What did you do last Wednesday night, exactly?” James suddenly asked. By the looks of it, he had been thinking about asking that question for a while.

I frowned, trying to think back to where I had been. It took a while to figure out, and it wasn’t easy when all I thought about was how warm I felt in James’s arms.

“I don’t remember,” I said calmly, but felt my face grow hot all the same. I was hoping James wouldn’t notice.

“You sure? Try to think,” he pushed.

I didn’t want to answer that. I had figured out what I’d done that night, but somehow I didn’t want James to know.

“Really, I don’t know!” I exclaimed.

He looked at me, almost irritably.

“By the sound of it, you’d think you already know,” I added, looking slightly down on my feet.

James was quiet for a moment before saying somewhat lower,

“You were with Bryn Johnson, weren’t you?”

I had a short intake of breath. I knew James didn’t like him at all, and that I had told him about how much he’d hurt me. Was James going to play dad like Sirius had done?

“Perhaps..” I said carefully.

“Perhaps? I think you were,” James said, and now he almost definitely sounded like a parent.

“So what if I was? What’s that got to do with you?” I said exasperatedly.

“Touchy topic?” James smirked. “What were you doing?”

“That’s none of your business,” I said defiantly.

“Did you have a good time?” James continued to tease.

“As a matter of fact, we were,” I continued.

“Hm… what could that mean? Did you… kiss?” James said, searching me.

I broke apart from James, feeling cold immediately after his cloak left me. The cold corridor showed no mercy.

“How can you even think that?” I said, almost hurt. “After what I told you? After what you know he did?”

I walked faster, knowing James was coming up behind me. I hoped he regretted that.

“Lily, I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have said that…” he said tenderly.

I turned around, not hiding my angry eyes. It made him stop abruptly, almost running into me.

“Fine. Don’t ever do that again. And what I do with Bryn is not your business …” I hissed. “Let’s move, I want to get back before I freeze my ass off.”

Suddenly, James grabbed me again, letting me feel his warmth once more. At first I struggled, but I soon relaxed against my own will. I was like a wild animal giving in to surrender. We didn’t say anything. We just stayed close, warming each other as we continued our way to the kitchens.

“We were just studying in the library,” I whispered at last. “I helped him with Charms.”

“Ok, ballerina. I was just wondering, that’s all,” James answered in the same low voice I had used.

The painting of the fruit bowl was visible, and I longed for the taste of chocolate by the sight of it.

“Gimme that!” Sirius yelled, grabbing the full basket of chocolate later that evening. I was sitting with him in the common room, watching Jennifer and Remus decorate the Christmas tree by the fireplace. It looked marvellous, and sent sparks of hope, sparks of love and sparks of Christmas out in the room. It was just plain magic.

“Fine, Sirius. But save the nougats for me, ok? They’re my favourite,” I smiled childishly.

“Fine, Lily love. But you’ll have to watch out, because I just eat what comes along. Maybe you should sort them out,” he joked.

I looked around the room, not seeing James anywhere.

“Where’s James?” I said quizzically. “I haven’t seen him since we returned with the chocolate.”

“Oh, he’s around. Think he’s in his dorm fixing something. God knows what,” he answered in a mysterious way.

“Well, I’d better go send the presents off and put the ones for you under the tree,” I smiled, grabbing the handle of the chocolate basket.

“Hey? Where d’you think you’re going with that?” Sirius said in fake rage.

“Away from you, if not it will be finished in half an hour. It’s for later, Sirius!” I laughed.

“Fine, whatever,” Sirius said grumpy, crossing his hands over his chest, looking very miserable.

‘Dear Anna,
Christmas at Hogwarts will probably be the best. I hope you enjoy your present, and your stay at home. Happy Christmas!
Love, Lily’

I put the card with her present, before returning the owl from her which had brought a present for me only minutes ago. I knew she’d love the handbag I’d bought her, she had been drooling over it for a while now.

After sending off more presents, I returned to the common room with the ones for Remus, Sirius, James and Jennifer. I knew her boyfriend would be there too, but I didn’t really know him that well.
Sirius had the exact same expression on his face as he had when I left, and it gave me a fit of giggles.

“I haven’t brought the chocolate, Sirius. Stop looking like you’re mistreated.”

“Ok, if you come here,” Sirius said mischievously.

“What are you up to now?” I said sceptically before crawling up in the couch with him.

The moment I did so, he covered my eyes with his hands, not letting me go. He also started singing a hideous carol about an ugly house-elf, so I wouldn’t hear whatever was going on.

“Sirius! Let go, you fool! Stop singing… you’re killing me, here!”

I suddenly stopped as I felt something crawl up in my lap. I screamed.

“What the--- there’s an animal here! Get it away!” I yelled, but Sirius just held me tighter.

Then my hands came in contact with something very soft, and I understood that the animal crawling onto me was quite nice to stroke.

“What is this?” I said curiously.

“You can let her see, Padfoot,” I heard James’s voice, and I opened my eyes.

“Hagrid’s kittens!” I squeaked excitedly, lifting my favourite grey up in my arms. James was sitting there too, cuddling with the tiny cats. He looked extremely cute doing so…

“You brought them?” I asked.

“Yeah, Hagrid let me take them up here after some persuasion,” he smiled at me.

‘And then he leaned over, placing a warm kiss on my lips, telling me I could keep them all for ever…’

“Lily?” James said, waving a hand in front of my face. “You there?”

“Sorry, I blacked out for a moment,” I said, embarrassed. ‘Or more precisely, had a short daydream.’

Chapter 33: Christmas Eve
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A/N: Quick update! This chapter is really connected to the last one, so think of them as one chapter, ok? *smile*

Chapter Thirty-three, Christmas Eve

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Music begins to atrophy when it departs
too far from the dance.
- Ezra Pound

After an amazing dinner in the Great Hall, we all gathered to play exploding snap and wizard’s chess in the Tower.

I watched Jennifer as her boyfriend placed small kisses on her cheek and lips, sitting with his hand over her shoulder in one of the couches. I wished I was her, having someone kissing me.

The Christmas tree was beaming at us, and we had all placed our presents under it. I saw Sirius eyeing them hungrily.

“Lily, reckon we should go put on our dresses?” Jennifer asked, giggling a little extra as Niles kissed her neck.

“Yeah, why don’t you? Would be nice, it’s Christmas Eve after all. As long as we don’t have to wear dress robes, I’m perfect,” James chuckled.

“Ok,” I smiled, walking up the stairs together with her. We could dress in my dorm, it was more room there.

I found the red long Christmas dress I bought, which I had intended to wear at home this year. But that didn’t happen… Because of Petunia and the others. At least I’d wear it for a couple of hours at Hogwarts.

“Wow, I wish I had a dress like that!” Jennifer beamed. “You look great, Lily..”

I giggled. “You too! Where did you get that golden fluffy dress? It’s amazing..”

“I got it at the shop in Diagon Alley last year,” she said.

I looked at my make up kit, wondering if I should get out the make-over stuff Hillary had bought with me. In fact, we had a full day in Hogsmeade the weekend I was so sad about the … kiss.

I felt it twist and twirl inside as the same feeling welled up inside me again. How James had… had… done that.

“You Ok?” Jennifer said, concerned, placing a hand on my shoulder.

“Yeah… Yeah, I’m fine,” I said. “Let’s do my makeover!”

I suddenly changed my mood, not bearing the thought of going miserable again.

“Brilliant!” Jennifer exclaimed.


My eyes were pasted on the girl walking down the stairs, and I managed to close my mouth as she came down, beaming at us all with a new spark.

Lily was wearing a red, long dress which was so indescribable I didn’t have any words. Her hair was done in a neat style, with curls falling down her back. Her cheeks were pink with blush, and her eyes were the diamond of the whole masterpiece. They stood out so beautifully, and I could get lost in them. So, so, lost…

She came over, sitting down next to me on the couch. She straightened her back before smiling at me,

“How do you think I look, James?”

“A-a-a… I mean.. You look absolutely amazing, ballerina,” I said slowly and foolishly.

She giggled, giving me a short hug that made my heart race and my body go all warm.

“That’s so sweet,” she said with a smile.

She lifted up one of the kittens I’d brought her, talking to it as if it was a little baby.

“Hullo little sweety! Why don’t you go stay with James for a while? I don’t want you to use your claws on my new dress…”

I just sat there, amazed. Lily had only looked so beautiful once before, and that was when she danced her solo in the show. She was glowing with not only with a dashingly beautiful appearance, but inner beauty, too. I was close to drooling all over her.

If I had ever doubted my feelings for her, they came back as strong as ever right then. She was just… an angel from heaven. No wonder I went mad around her, no wonder I felt like I lost control every time she said something approving.

“You… really look beautiful,” I stuttered once more.

“Thanks,” she said slightly nervously, handing me the kitten, which jumped off my lap because I didn’t give it attention. Lily had it fully. “But I think you said that just a while ago.”

‘Get yourself together, James! Don’t look like a fool!’

I pasted a grin on my face, looking smug. Lily gave me a weird look before walking over to Sirius to play exploding snap.

‘What? Why do I have to do everything wrong??’ I yelled at myself. ‘You should know by now she hates that cocky look. Stupid, stupid, STUPID!’


It was getting late, and we’d stayed up for so long I was feeling a tired, drowsy headache start rolling over me. We had been eating so much candy and drunk so much butterbeer I was about to burst. A couple of empty firewhiskey bottles lay over by the fire, which had made us all in a good mood. I was also exhausted, we had been dancing like mad, and played all kinds of silly games. The most funny one was when James dressed up as Father Christmas, claiming I hadn’t been a good girl at all this year.

The Christmas carols were still humming in my head as I sat down in one of the chairs by the walls, watching the others dance enthusiastically in the big middle space of the common room. We had shoved all the furniture out of the way, making it brilliant for all sorts of activity.

“Maybe you should go to bed?” Remus suggested, coming over and removing some hair from my face. “You look tired.”

“No, no, no! It’s Christmas Eve, I don’t want to sleep just yet,” I protested.

“Tell you what? I think I’ll talk to Sirius about this little idea he had. Might come to your advantage,” Remus smiled.

“Ok, as long as it isn’t anything mischievous,” I smiled suspiciously.

“No, it’s not. It’s very cosy and Christmas-ish,” Remus laughed before going over to Sirius.

Then I saw my tawny owl peck the window, with a letter and a present tied to the leg. I ran over to the window, opening the it to let her into the warmth. As I read the letter, I gave her some hazelnuts to eat.

‘Dear Lily,
Happy Christmas!
I miss you sooo badly, baby! Another Christmas without you, I wish you could come to our place this year like you did in fifth. But for some reason you wanted to remain? Am I correct to assume your reason was a very handsome and charming Gryffindor boy?
I’ll let it pass, because you certainly are in love this time.
I haven’t opened your present yet, but it looks really amazing! I see you’ve put a lot of work even into the paper surrounding it.
Love you lots, don’t forget that!
- Hillary -’

I blushed as I read the letter from her, knowing she was very correct about my choice of staying. I looked over at James, who still looked great even after hours of activity and messing around. He looked slightly tired too, I noticed.

Then he noticed I was watching him, and he gave me a weak smile before leaving the others. He came over to where I sat, taking my hand in his warm one.

“Lily? Go back with Jennifer and get your dress and make up off, get ready to sleep,” James looking me into the eyes.

“And what make you think you can command me like that?” I said teasingly. But I heard his gentle voice, and knew there was no commendation in it at all.

“Come on, Lily. It’s a surprise,” he smiled.

“Ok, if you say so,” I replied, standing up and walking out of the common room with Jennifer.

I found my pyjama, a pink silky one. Hillary had let me borrow it. As I started removing my make up, Jennifer looked at me with an expression I found disturbing.

“James likes you,” she said matter-of-factly.

“He does?” I said, feeling a smile creep onto my face.

“He really does…” she continued, pulling out her hair pins.

“How do you know?”

She looked at me unbelievingly. “How can I not know? The looks he gives you, the way he talks to you, just his whole behaviour when he’s around you. He’s glowing.”

My heart made a little jump as she said that, but at the same time insecurity found a sneaky way to enter my head too.

It was time to reveal my secret to her.

“Then why did he kiss me in November, and then pretend it never happened?” I said sadly.

“What?” Jennifer moaned.

“That’s right. We were really getting somewhere, and then one day in the corridors, by the library … he kissed me.”

“But what’s the problem, then?” Jennifer pushed.

“Well.. after he’d done it, he sort of disappeared. But that’s not the worst part,” I sighed. “After that … nothing changed. He behaved like it never happened, he didn’t mention it, and he never kissed me like that again.”

“That.. That… fool!” Jennifer said in rage. “Why? What got into him?”

“That’s what I don’t know, Jen!” I said, feeling my body shake. “He can’t really have feelings for me when he did that!”

Jennifer sat down next to me, calming down.

“It must have been a mistake,” she concluded. “Because I haven’t seen James act like this around anybody.”

“What if it happens again?” I whispered.

“It won’t. And if it does, don’t hold anything back. Really let him know how much it hurt and that you’re throwing him off. Because then you’ll know it wasn’t a mistake…” Jennifer explained.

“Ok, but I still can’t believe it.”

“Listen… maybe he backed off because he panicked. He didn’t know what to do. That’s got to be the solution,” she sighed.

“So I’ll just forget about it, too?” I said.

“Yeah… Start over fresh. Don’t let that hold things back.”

I hugged Jennifer approvingly.

“Thank you… You’ve no idea how much this means!”

When we returned to the common room for the third time, it had changed completely. I was really amazed by how the boys had turned it into what it was in such a short time…

“You did all this?” I gasped.

“Yep,” the four boys said in unison, big grins on their faces.

There were now six mattresses with lots of pillows and covers in the middle of the common room, looking soft, clean and comfortable. There were candles levitating over the whole room, just like it used to be in the Great Hall.

“Now we can have a real sleep over party! Isn’t that great?” Niles smiled at Jennifer.

“It’s great!” she beamed.

I didn’t hesitate to choose the bed longest away from the tree, where it was darkest and most cosy. I crawled under the cover, hoping I’d fall asleep immediately. Because the sooner I fell asleep, the sooner it would be Christmas Day…

“Where do you think you’re going?” Sirius said in surprise, throwing the cover off me.

“Dreamland?” I said drowsily, trying to fetch it back.

“No, you’re not! You’re not sleeping until we are…”

“Have some respect! I want to sleep, I’m tired!” I screamed.

“Not after you’ve tasted this,” James whispered next to me, showing a special chocolate from the basket we got earlier. “That’ll make you wake up.”

I grinned as he broke off a piece, giving it to me. As I ate it, I remembered very vividly the night we’d stayed up together eating chocolate. It seemed ages ago…

The feelings that had sprung up in me that night came back, and only one thought soared through my head…

At that moment, I did exactly what Jennifer had told me to. I forgot completely about the forgotten kiss, the kiss that haunted me every night. I couldn’t count all the times I had been desperate to feel his lips again after that day. Every time I did, it had hurt even more.

But now, it was all gone. I longed for him as never before, but there was no triggering kiss on my mind. There had been no hurting days and tears spilled because of it. There was nothing.

Chapter 34: The Broomstick Ride
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Chapter Thirty-four, The Broomstick Ride

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Nothing is more revealing than movement.
- Martha Graham

It was quiet and still around me as I woke up, and I was lying in a particularly comfortable position on the mattress next to James.

‘Next to James…’

I stretched and moaned slightly, not bothering to think about the fact that it was Christmas Day, and there were intriguing little things under the Christmas tree. I just didn’t want to wake up from that sweet dream just yet. Contrary to my wish, I was abruptly woken by Sirius’ enthusiastic wake-up.

“Pressies!” exclaimed Sirius, jumping out of bed and sprinting over to the Christmas tree. I heard him rumple through the presents, returning with five or six in his arms. A hungry expression was on his face as he ripped the papers off.

“Awww… Thank you, Lily!” he crawled over James to get to me, lifting me up to hug me.

“Sirius, I’m still asleep. Gerroff.”

“Merry Christmas,” he grinned, not listening to what I was saying. “I really liked the socks with snitches across… It was the best.”

“Lovely… Happy Christmas to you too…” I mumbled, extracting myself from his grasp and finding my pillow again.

Then James suddenly lifted his head, growling.

“Sirius? Presents? Christmas?”

“Yeah, Prongsie! Pressies!” Sirius bellowed.

Soon everyone was awake, opening presents and wishing each other happy Christmas.

“What’s this?” I said curiously, picking up James’ present.

“You’ll see,” he grinned, opening one of his presents. “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans again, Remus? I get them every friggin’ year!”

“Sorry, I’m not that creative,” he blushed.

“It doesn’t matter. They taste just as good every year.”

I ripped the paper off, soon sitting with a green book in my hands. A picture of myself was on the front, sitting back stage at the show. I was putting on my pointe shoes, looking both expectant and anxious.

“It’s… beautiful, James,” I smiled at him. “But how did you get this picture?”

James turned around, looking mischievous. “Sirius took it, as always. He sneaked in back stage that night.”

I rolled my eyes, opening the book. My eyes widened as I saw James neat hand writing on the bottom of every page. He had written down quotes and poems, all about dancing.

A dance is a poem of which each movement is a word…” I read out loud.

The whole book was decorated magnificently, and I could only imagine how many hours he must have put into this.

Without knowing what I did, I suddenly wrapped my arms around James, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Thank you… It’s extraordinary,” I whispered.

I saw him blush fiercely as I let go of him, putting the diary together with the scarf and sketching pencils I got from Sirius and Remus. Jennifer had given me a very naughty set of underwear I had hid under my cover.

It took a while to finish the present-opening, but we somehow managed to remember we ought to eat as well. The six of us were moving down the corridor to the Great Hall as Sirius suddenly held me back.

“Lily?” he said excitedly. “Can I have a word?”

“Sure! What are you up to?” I smiled.

“What I am up to? I’m not up to nothing?” he sniggered.

“Oh, really?”

“I just wanted to tell you that I am in no doubt anymore…” he said matter-of-factly. “About yourself and James.”

I sighed.

“How many times have we had this discussion?”

“About a million. Do you think I care?” Sirius scowled.

“Apparently not…” I muttered.

“Can’t you just admit it? Like, once and for all?” he smiled. “I know it’s the truth, you know it, I think even James knows it’s the truth by now. It’s just that he’s had a hard time accepting it.”

“Accepting what?” I said fiercely.

“That the girl he’s in love with returns his feelings?” Sirius smiled warmly. “Tell me… How many hours a day do you spend day dreaming about the two of you?”

I gave up. I was tired of Sirius’s constant, pushing bullying about that matter.

“Too many hours. Happy?” I said sternly, but I felt a giggle starting to threaten me.

“Ah. There it was. The confession. The long-wanted confession. Come again?” he teased.

“I think about him a lot. I dream about him too… I even have nightmares. As you know. And my heart jumps when he’s around. Happy now ??” I said happily.

“Indeed,” Sirius smiled. “I won’t tell,” he added as I gave him a look.

We entered the Great Hall, but it felt as though we didn’t spend a minute in there. All I remembered was walking out of there with a satisfied smile as my stomach was full of food.

I was walking in my own thoughts on my way back, as usual. Could I ever feel more happy? Sirius had told me James was in love with me. And for once, I actually believed him. It was the most wonderful feeling, knowing there was a chance (a rather big chance) that James felt warm towards me too. It made butterflies flutter in my tummy just thinking about our skin connecting.

I turned my head suddenly as I felt a hand slip between my fingers as that very thought lingered in my head. James’s eyes were reflecting my own as he kept holding onto it as we walked.

“Want to join me for a broomstick ride in the grounds?” he said casually, as though he was asking if he could copy my notes from Charms.

I wasn’t sure if my voice would work, so I just smiled and nodded. He didn’t let go of my hand, and we kept walking back to Gryffindor Tower together. I was almost afraid to look him into the eyes, afraid I’d drown in them. My head was spinning around, concentrating on our connected hands.

The snow was glittering beautifully as I mounted James’s broom, wrapping my arms around his waist.

‘I must surely be dreaming,’ I thought as we lifted from the ground, soaring through the air. Even though there was snow everywhere, the air wasn’t really that cold today. The sun was in a very happy mood, affecting everyone as she shone so brightly.

“Are you Ok back there?” James asked, flying over the trees around the lake.

“I’m perfect,” I laughed, absorbing his smell as well as all the visions I wanted to capture. I had the time of my life.

I couldn’t help but feeling my heart beat approvingly as I sat there.

If this had been three or four months ago, I would have jumped off the broom, regretting ever sitting so close to my sworn enemy. I would have yelled something insulting, I would have narrowed my eyes as I looked at James… Had it been two months ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible. Me? On the broomstick of the famous and charming Quidditch player? No way. I wasn’t supposed to have that kind of pleasure.

And yet I had.

“Ready for a loop?” James smiled evilly in front of me.

“N-no? Won’t we fall off?” I said nervously.

“Just try to relax, and hold on. We have to speed up, or we will indeed fall off.”

I held my breath as he leaned forwards, me doing the same. I felt the wind swish my face as we went faster and faster. Then he steered the broom up and over, and I almost screamed as the world around me turned three hundred and sixty degrees. I felt the adrenaline rush through my blood.

“Cool, eh?” James said, slowing down a little.

“Yeah, but I feel slightly dizzy,” I choked.

“Not used to turning from ballet, ballerina?” James teased.

“Of course I am! It’s just you can’t spot when you’re on a broom.”

“What did you say?” James suppressed.

“Never mind,” I smiled. “I’ll teach you about that some other time.”

“Ok,” James agreed. “Want to have a peak in the Forbidden Forest?”

“What? No! I don’t have the guts for that. Besides, it’s illegal,” I protested.

“Come on, Lily! Don’t be such a wimp,” he said, not caring about what I said. He zoomed down, entering the forest from Hagrid’s cabin.

“James! No… please!” I said warily, holding on tighter to him.

“Don’t worry, Lily… I’ll protect you,” he said approvingly.

Somehow, I believed him, and I felt more secure. As a matter of fact, I felt secure almost anywhere as long as he was with me. Scary.

The light emitted into the forbidden forest too, but not as much as in the grounds. It was matt and low, and it made the wood stand out beautifully. We soared through the trees for a while, sometimes up through the trees to see where we were.

Then I glimpsed something white in between the trees..

“Wow! We have to have a look,” James smiled, ducking down again so suddenly I almost lost my grip.

‘A unicorn,’ I thought, a wide smile spreading across my face as it stood in the little clearing.

James landed in a big tree not far away from it, letting me slip off to one of the thick branches before he dismounted it himself.

“I’ve never seen any so close before,” James whispered, sitting down next to me.

The silver-white unicorn made the snow look grey as it jumped around, playing with it’s golden foals. It was the most extraordinary sight.

“You know, Lily?” James smiled at me. “I had a dream once about the two of us going on a broomstick ride like this.”

I blushed as he said that, feeling slightly nervous about what to reply.

“I’ve dreamed about you too, but it was a nightmare, really.”

‘You’re telling him about your nightmare? Really clever and romantic!’ I hissed in my head as I’d realised what I had said.

“Really? What was it about?” James said, amused.

“Oh… Sorry I mentioned it. It was really terrible. Don’t want to talk about it really,” I stuttered.

“That’s Ok,” James said, placing a hand around my shoulders. “Feel free to come into my dorm if you have another…”

A grin spread across my face, I couldn’t prevent it. James offered to comfort me if I ever had another one. How heroic and noble..

The unicorns left the clearing, and I suddenly realised how dark it was. The animals had been lighting everything up so nicely.

We climbed onto the broom again, and I placed my hands around James once more. As we took off, flying up over the trees, I gasped in amazement. The sky had become all dark, and glittering sparks as bright as I’d ever seen them shone from it.

“It’s pretty, isn’t it?” James said, hearing my little surprised gasp.

“Beautiful,” I whispered in awe, almost afraid I’d shatter it if I spoke too loudly.

We hovered over the castle just looking at the stars for a little while longer before getting down to the entrance again.

As we walked back to the Tower again, both of us quiet and full of images and new memories, James said,

“Thanks for the present, by the way. I really loved those Quidditch-gloves.”

I flashed him a winning smile. “You’re welcome.”

Chapter 35: My Turn
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A/N: Short chapter... but I have the next update ready!

Chapter Thirty-five, My Turn

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In dancing one draws nearer to oneself.
- Jean Dubuffet

After a refreshing shower, I trotted over to my mattress by the tree, lying down on my stomach. I felt slightly sleepy. So much had happened the last few days, and James kept swirling in my head, constantly. All the tender words he’d said, the enchanting ride on his broom, the way he had held my hand. I felt my body being tense, tired from all the dancing and all the activity. Though it was it a good way… sort of.

James came over from the window, sitting down next to me.

“Everything all right?”

“I’m perfect, just a little bit tense and tired,” I smiled.

Then the most relaxing feeling came over me as James put his hands on my body. They were warm and nourishing, calming the muscles of my back.

I felt my body go into a trance of a doze as I laid there on my stomach right next to James, feeling his fingers run gently and affectionately over my shoulders and my neck. It caused strange shivers I hadn’t felt before, and I could have stayed there for ever.

I was almost crying with longing by then. It had been too long. Much too long. I was going crazy for his touch, and I wanted so badly to tell him exactly how I felt. It had been bottled for what felt like an eternity.

‘Kiss me, James… Kiss me now… I don’t want to wait any longer.’

I turned around on my back, just to look at him. I needed to see his face now… I just did.


His voice was like music in my ears.

“What?” I said shakily.

“You have tears in your eyes,” he whispered.

“Yes.. It’s just… I need something. I long for something. But… you can’t really know,” I replied.

‘What is it that you’re saying? God, you must be confusing.’

“Maybe I do,” he said seriously. “Because if it’s what I think it is, I have the same need.”

‘If that’s the case, then why are you still talking? Just kiss me… please…’

Then he sat up, speaking tenderly to me.


I smiled weakly, not really having any energy left.

His eyes didn’t break our connection as he bent down to me, leaning onto his elbows. A strange shiver made it’s way through my body as he caressed my face with his warm fingers.

“I … want to kiss you,” he said slowly, a sparkle visible in his eye.

My heart started racing. Racing as fast as it had never done. I didn’t know what to say, how to respond. What I had been waiting for so long was finally going to happen… My mind was going crazy, constantly yelling at me, hissing ‘say something! Anything!’

“I’d like that,” I finally whispered, entwining my fingers with his.

He gave me a weak smile before getting closer. His gaze flickered from my eyes to my lips before closing. He was inches away from me when I stopped him, placing a finger on his lips.

“Don’t,” I breathed.

He opened his eyes, looking confused, but not saying anything.

“James… I don’t want you to kiss me.”

He pulled slightly away, looking at me with a hurt expression on his handsome face. He was about to say something again, but I stopped him once more.

“The thing is,” I started. “That all the times I’ve been kissed, I wasn’t really there mentally. It was always over so quickly, and I never realised what had really happened until later…”

He looked oddly at me, waiting for the words coming next.

“So that’s why–” I said carefully, “I want to kiss you. You’ll receive my first kiss… ever. I want to be present this time. Fully.”

He looked at me, and I had never seen his eyes so beaming.

I sat up slightly, feeling my whole body shiver, but at the same time I felt calm and ready. I placed a hand on his face, smiling at him as he rested his eyes in mine. I leaned in, before kissing his warm lips. It felt soft… it felt right.

A delightful wave of warmth and magic went through my entire body as I continued to kiss his delicious lips, feeling him kissing me back.

I never wanted to pull away, ever.

Every trace of bad thoughts and destroying memories were deleted, non-existent. All I knew was what it was like lying next to the Christmas tree with the boy I was madly, unhealthily in love with… feeling James Potter caress my face with a love I didn’t know existed until then.

If I had managed to, I’d have breathed into his ear that I loved him, but I was too caught up in the moment, not thinking, just feeling.

After a while, we broke apart, and I relaxed in his arms under the cover. It was so secure and safe, and my heart didn’t want to stop fluttering. At that point, I knew this was not going to be anything like last time. James wouldn’t leave me, or forget, or pretend it didn’t happen.

“You’ve no idea how long I’ve wanted you, Lily…” James said slowly.

I stopped him, looking into his eyes.

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean?” James said maturely, holding onto my eyes. “That those kisses have been dreamed of for a long time. Those lips… the smell of your hair.”

I smiled.

“Really? How long?” I teased, admitting I was curious for the answer.

“I think I’m to embarrassed to admit that… You’ll say I’m obsessed with you or something, surely.”

“No way! Come on?” I said sweetly, kissing his lower lip.

“Oooh… I think you might get your way when you’re using that trick,” James surrendered. “I’ve guess longed for caressing that face for years, and dreamed about you a couple more…”

I was quiet. That long?

“It was definitely worth it. Just kissing you like I have now will last a life time,” James smiled.

I turned around, putting his hands around me once more. I had to think for just a little while.

It was something that was very strange about all this.

James had ‘longed for my lips’ for years? And it was worth it? He said it as if this was the first time he kissed me. Well… maybe he just wouldn’t remember the kiss in the hall, because it was so embarrassing. Understandable.

Something that made me a lot calmer, was the fact that I noticed the difference between the kisses we had exchanged tonight and the ones in the hall in November.

I had felt almost … mad when kissing James tonight. Like I never wanted to let go, ever. I had felt those kisses rock my body with emotions, shivers and just plain enjoyment. The kisses in the hall didn’t do that, even if it was the same person placing them on me.

Maybe this was just another sign that this time it was right, and it was real. I could rely on, and trust these kisses to be true to my heart.

Then I heard steps as someone came in from the portrait hole.

“Holy crap!” I heard Sirius’s voice scream … actually it was kind of girlish.

I giggled.

“You… the two of… James… Lily… Well… congrats!”

He was almost out of breath, sort of. His face reflected pure shock, but he looked pleased too. He ran a nervous hand through his black hair and rushed up the stairs, not saying another word.

I was about to run after him when James held me back.

“Shouldn’t I just tell him what happened? Why we’re lying here like this?” I asked.

“No.. won’t be necessary. Sirius understood very well what happened. Just let him be,” James whispered.

“But…” I uttered.

“I want you here. Padfood can figure it out on his own,” James grinned, pulling me down again.

Chapter 36: The Letter From Nobody
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Chapter Thirty-six, The Letter from Nobody

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I am seeking that dance which might be the
divine expression of the human spirit
through the medium of the body's movement.
- Isadora Duncan

I woke up, feeling James taking hold of my hand next to me. We hadn’t bothered to put away the mattresses in the common room, at least James, Sirius, Remus and I hadn’t.

“Good morning, ballerina,” he whispered into my ear. “You want me to get some breakfast up?”

“That would be lovely,” I mumbled drowsily, removing some wild hair from my face so I could give him a short kiss before he got up. The others had gone for breakfast ages ago, only Jennifer had stayed in the shower.

I watched James moving over to his pile of clothes, holding up a black sweat shirt with a logo of his favourite Quidditch-team on the front.

“Do you have to?” I said childishly.

“Have to do what?” James turned around, looking oddly at me.

“Put clothes on. I would like you to walk around wearing only underwear all day,” I stuck out my tongue, teasing him.

James smiled amusedly.

“I’m sure you’d like to, but I might freeze. It’s winter you know?”

“Sorry, didn’t think of that,” I answered. “I’ll make you when summer comes.”

“Fine, if you still remember,” he laughed, pulling the shirt on and walking out of the portrait hole.

‘How did I ever become so lucky?’ I thought dreamily, returning to my warm bed. I wanted the holidays to last forever right then, it was so wonderful.

I was about to fall into a doze again when an owl I hadn’t seen before tapped my window with it’s beak. I hurried over to the window, letting it in before jumping straight back to bed.

‘Christmas always brings lots of owls… cosy, but very disturbing too,’ I thought.

I untied the letter, letting the owl warm up as I read it. It looked like it had travelled a long way.

‘Dear Lily,

I hope you’re enjoying your Christmas holiday. I figured since it’s Christmas and all, I ought to be honest.

The fact is, I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I think I’m in love with you. Who would have guessed?

I love to see you on stage, or laughing in the corridors between classes. It’s just the magic you spread around, it’s impossible not to be cheerful around you. I can’t wait to see you again in classes, and perhaps some other places too.

- Thinking of you.’

I frowned when I had finished it. Who was it from? It wasn’t signed, and I most definitely didn’t recognise the hand writing. The most ironic thing was that it arrived only days after I’d become James’s girlfriend. It reminded me of the silly love-letters James sent me in fifth year, except they were always short and laughable, saying something like ‘You’re gorgeous, be my girlfriend. PLEASE??!! –James Potter’

“What’s that you’re reading?” Jennifer suddenly asked, sitting down on my mattress. Her hair smelled shampoo, she had just got out of the shower.

“Nobody,” I answered, hiding it under my cover. “Just family wishing me happy Christmas, you know,” I added as I saw her suspicious look.

She accepted my explanation, brushing through her hair as she spoke.

“So, how does it feel not being single anymore?”

I hadn’t thought of that.

“Good, I guess. Good point,” I smiled.

“You’re definitely lucky with the catch,” she winked, disappearing up to the girls’ dorm.

There had been one thought that had been disturbing me a lot after what had happened. How did Remus react to all this? I wasn’t sure if he was really Ok with it, I hadn’t spent much time with him lately. Last time we had discussed feelings was in … September or October or something. It was a while ago.

I got up from bed, walking into my dorm, standing in front of my full size mirror. Not only did being with James lift my spirit, it strengthened my confidence, too.

‘It’s time to forget about Charles for good, Lily…’ I told myself. ‘It’s been years… And you still carry those wounds he caused you. Maybe James will be my cure.’

Why was it that every girl had this great gift of finding something wrong about their bodies no matter what? I had so many mistakes I couldn’t count. When I had turned fourteen, I had started gaining weight.

Now, misunderstand me right. Nobody saw those few extra kilos, but I could feel them. That was what it was like to be a dancer. If you put on weight, it affected your ability to dance. You would struggle more.

The time hadn’t exactly been right, either. Father had just died, I was gaining weight and my self-conscience was zero. Good combination? Don’t think so. I added a couple of more ballet-lessons a week, bought a diet book and bottled up my anger about Charles, my father. It worked fine, too…

… before people suddenly decided I obviously wasn’t that bad after all to tease. To play with. To give stupid compliments to. Wasn’t that just great? My anger and sore spots from when father existed welled up again, and who came to supposedly comfort me?

Bryn Johnson.

The one and only.

Not before had I walked into his web had I discovered how deceiving things can be. He was the boy I found most attractive at the time, and his winning smile had always scored points. Why wouldn’t I do what I did? Why wouldn’t I date him?

His kisses had been so dry, sort of. I had known as I walked back from the lake that day that something was wrong. Terribly wrong.

There were more kisses to come… but they were placed on cheeks, foreheads, chins, noses, hands… anything but my lips. I avoided his kisses on purpose. I was afraid I’d have that wrong feeling again, and then realise he wasn’t the right one after all. The result was that it became ten times worse when I finally had to make that decision.

And he hadn’t exactly let me go unharmed, either. He didn’t insult me as a person, he didn’t slap my looks … he insulted the way I lived. The way I functioned. The one thing that I at the time leaned on to --- ballet. School. When I started doubting that too, I was down under in no time. Thanks so much, Bryn.

I shook my head, still surveying myself in the mirror. It was almost like reading my own mind. Watching the girl’s reflection, and know exactly how she felt, and what she thought.

‘Stop thinking about his actions last Spring… He’s so different now. He’s even Ok to be around. How surprising.’

“Breakfast, lovely?” James suddenly came into view over my shoulder in the mirror. “Not standing here judging yourself, are you? You women do that way too much.”

I smiled shyly.

“You know, there isn’t much to put a finger on, here,” he continued, looking at me in the mirror, walking over to me and standing right behind me.

“Bright, beautiful face.”

He pointed, smiling approvingly.

“Soft hair with the most gorgeous colour, smelling like roses.”

He glided his hands through it, exaggerating a bit as he sniffed it, setting up a dreamy face-expression.

“Small, perfect and slender hands.”

He let his own hands run down my arms, tickling me as he did.

“Elegant neck.”

He kissed it lightly.

“Nice chest.”

He put his hands under them, lifting them up, kind of the way girls did when checking out what their boobs looked like wearing a push-up.

“Smooth, flat tummy.”

His hands glided down, stroking my stomach under the thin top I was wearing.

“Well formed backside.”

His hands changed the direction, tracing my bum.

“And long, hot legs.”

He gave my shoulder a quick kiss before turning around, smiling at me before leaving my dorm.

I sighed. This was all new to me.

Then I saw his head in the door again, an impatient curve in his forehead.

“Are you coming down to the common room for breakfast, or what?”

As I ate the last piece of the toast James had brought me, I saw Remus coming through the portrait hole. I smiled at him genuinely, and he returned my smile. He came over to us, looking pleased. James and I had had breakfast in the now known as the “common room-bed” since Christmas day. Today James had got almost enough food to feed the whole Quidditch-team, because the next day would be the day everyone returned to school.

“Hey, Moony! Breakfast good?” James grinned, buttering another piece of toast.

“Brilliant,” he replied, looking amusedly at me as I was humming on a Christmas carol with food in my mouth. “I see Prongs has bad influence on you already?”

“M-hmm...” I smiled. “James? Why don’t you try finding that favourite pair of trousers of mine? The green ones, you know?”

“Sure, if you tell me where to find them…”

“I’m not really sure. Check under the bed, in the bedside table, in the wardrobe? But I don’t really have a clue. They could be in my underwear-drawer for all I know,” I answered.

“Wooo! I don’t want to miss out on this. Be right back,” he said excitedly.

As he disappeared, I turned to Remus.

“Lovely, distracting act,” he smirked.

I laughed. “Yeah, it worked really well, didn’t it?”

“So.. what did you want?” Remus said next.

“Ask you how you feel about me and James being an item,” I said casually. “I want to know.”

Remus thought for a couple of seconds.

“In which state of mind? As ‘is he really a good match for me,’ or like ‘how do you feel about us being together?”

“The latter,” I said expectantly, helping myself with some pumpkin juice.

Remus sighed, and he suddenly seemed worn and tired.

“I really don’t know, Lily.”

“Oh? Just tell me. I want to know,” I said, taking a sip.

“I was surprised, but at the same time I saw it coming, obviously.”

“And you thought…? Felt?” I pushed.

“He’s my best friend, and you’re the girl I had, and probably still have, some unrecognisable feelings for as more than a friend. So it wasn’t my dream situation, to be honest.”

The whole time he spoke, he avoided my eyes. He was occupied with his hands, and kept looking over to the stairs constantly.

“So… you still have feelings for me?” I asked quietly. “And you feel uneasy about me and James?”

“Well… not really. I mean, you couldn’t end up with anyone better when it comes to the point. If you’d been any other girl, I wouldn’t say that. But James has a special thing for you, Lily. It shows miles away.”

I blushed slightly at his words.


“Yeah. I am perfectly fine with it, Lily. As long as you don’t pity me and start playing match-maker, I’ll be good!”

I let out a relieved sigh. I pulled him into a hug, whispering in his ear,

“Thank you, Remus… you’ve no idea how much it means to me. I know I can trust you..”

“With anything. Anything at all…” Remus added with a smile as he pulled away.

James came triumphantly down the stairs, with the right pair of trousers for a change. And… well.. something else.

“I got it for you, ballerina!” he grinned, sitting down with us again. “Can you put on these too?” he added, throwing over the underwear Jennifer had got me for Christmas. It was sea-green, slightly transparent, and tiny.

“I think not!” I said indignantly, hurrying to put in away. “I am saving it for some other time.”

James came awfully close. Not that I minded… at all.

“Ohh… any special occasions?” he smirked.

“No, not that I have planned, anyway?” I said suspiciously.

Remus laughed at the two of us, standing up. “I think I’d better go find Padfoot. I want to make sure he hasn’t messed himself up in anything.”

As he left, James snuggled up even closer to me, resting his head on my shoulder as we laid down, cuddling.

“I’m sure going to miss this bed…” he moaned.

Chapter 37: Jealous
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Chapter Thirty-seven, Jealous

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Dance is communication, and so the great challenge
is to speak clearly, beautifully, and with inevitability.
- Martha Graham

“Look.. here they come…” James whispered as he sat down next to me in the couch. The common room looked so immensely big now that our mattresses were back in our beds.

“Lily! There you are, love!”

Hillary came into view, running over to us. She grabbed me into a tight hug, almost suffocating me.

“I’ve missed you so much… I had a brilliant Christmas, though! And I loved you present!” she squeaked. “I just have to go get Anna, she’s outside in the corridors somewhere.”

She emerged as quick as she came, leaving James and me sniggering.

“What do you think they’ll say when they find out?” James said.

He entwined his fingers in mine, whispering in my ear.

“I really just want to start snogging you right now, but that would be kind of inappropriate, because there are so many people around…”

I giggled, placing a soft kiss on him. “I know… we’ll have to wait a little bit longer.”

“Just a little bit? I don’t think I can control myself much longer,” he moaned.

“Oh… Ok, just for a short while!” I said amusedly, grabbing his lips with my own. I felt his soft tongue caressing my lower lip, trembling to enter. The thing was, that whenever I was with James, I forgot everything else. Including a crowded common room.

As this thought came into mind, I broke apart, drying some lip gloss away from his lips with my thumb.

“Oh… My… God!” Anna screamed, standing over by the portrait hole, staring at us. “You’re kissing? Going out? Boyfriend-Girlfriend?”

James looked pensive.

“Well, officially I haven’t asked you yet,” he said thoughtfully, looking over at me. “Would you go out with me, Lily?”

I grinned at him, remembering the last time he’d asked me that. It was starting to get a while. And for the first time, I was glad he asked me.

“Yes, I will.”

I gave him another juicy kiss, making Anna blush with embarrassment.

“Hullo, by the way!” she said, walking over to us, hugging me. “Had a nice Christmas?”

James and I exchanged looks.

“Don’t even answer that question,” she rolled her eyes, bringing Hillary with her to their dormitory.

James just looked at me for a minute.

“What is it?” I finally said.

“You said yes… You’re my girlfriend… and practically all my dreams became true as you said that.”

He squeezed my hand reassuringly, kissing my cheek.

“When are you starting ballet-lessons again, exactly?”

“In a few days. I’ve really missed it…” I said brightly.


I was so anxious to see Lily after the holidays I was almost feeling my feet shake with curiosity. I looked at my wrist-watch, noticing it was time for lunch. I went through the secret door of the Hufflepuff common room, accompanied by my little brother.

“Do you have to join me for lunch?” I said irritably.

“Why can’t I? You survived several other meals at home with me last week…” Mark answered.

“Fine. But don’t cling onto me.”

As I entered the Great Hall, I scanned it for Lily’s red head. She was nowhere to be seen. I shrugged, still on my guard as I sat down by the long table, trying to decide what to eat.

“Looking for the Evans girl?” Mark asked next to me.

I sent him a venomous look, grabbing the platter with roasted potatoes.

“As a matter of fact, I was,” I said hardly.

“Well… I think she’s over there,” Mark said carefully, looking at me doubtfully.

I snapped my head up, looking in the direction Mark had pointed out to me. All the blood in my veins froze, and my breath was suddenly leaving me as I saw her happy face, and her hand linked with Potter’s.

“Isn’t that one of the chasers on the Gryffindor team? Potter, right?” Mark said thoughtfully.

I didn’t answer, I just tightened the grip on my fork. They both sent each other looks full of attraction and affection, sitting down in their crowd at the table next to ours. I didn’t take my eyes off them, as Lily let go of him to help herself with food.

‘What the hell?’ I screamed to myself.

I saw several girls start to chat interestedly with Lily, and her face never stopped beaming. Then she rested her head on the shoulder of Potter, and placed a hand around his waist.

I felt more and more dead.

“They must be going out,” Mark said indifferently, picking up a carrot, chewing it.

Potter turned Lily’s head towards him, placing a number of kisses on her lips. Lily returned them, closing her eyes in delight, giggling joyfully as she pulled away, returning to the food on her plate.

My fists clenched until they became white, but then Mark nudged me hardly in the side.

“Bryn, get a grip. She’s a girl, not a Goddess.”

If we hadn’t been in public in the Hall, I would have spat some poisonous words at him and given him a good punch.

As the lunch was ended, I saw Lily and Potter leave the hall together just as they had arrived. I swallowed hardly and walked over to Lily as we all were in the corridor.

“L-Lily?” I said, and I didn’t sound as firm as I’d liked to.

She turned her head around gracefully, looking at me with those magnificent eyes of hers.

“Yes? Oh, hello Bryn,” she said friendly.

I saw Potter noticing to whom his girlfriend was speaking to, and he looked judging. His eyes connected with mine for a second, and it didn’t reflect anything else than ‘stay away from her’.

“Why don’t you start going back?” Lily said to Potter, noticing the looks we had exchanged. “I just need to have a short chat with Bryn.”

He looked unbelievingly at her, but was obviously so weak for her he was about to agree.

“O-Ok… But be quick,” he said through clenched teeth, looking at me before trotting off.

“What do you want, Bryn?” Lily said, straightening her sky blue skirt.

“I was just wondering… When we would see each other in the library for Charms next,” I said.

“Oh,” Lily said, thinking. “I think the day after tomorrow fits, is that fine?”

I nodded at once. “Yes, that’s perfect.”

“So.. how did your charms test go?” she continued, eyeing me expectantly.

“Oh… pretty lousy. I managed to get an Acceptable,” I lied. “I still have a long way to go, if I want them to match my other marks.”

Lily looked amusedly at me.

“How curious, that you do so well in all other subjects, for Christ’s sake, even potions, but a simple subject as Charms is more difficult for you.”

I dug my toe down in the stone floor, blushing a little.

“Yeah… We all have our weaknesses, I guess,” I smiled.

‘And one of those weaknesses is you…’

“Well, I best be off. James is waiting for me,” she said, flashing a smile at me before leaving.

‘James is waiting for me… how sweet,’ I mocked in my head. ‘The perfect, handsome, kind, gentle, loveable, talented James.’

My face turned into a grimace by the thought. How was I supposed to handle this? The only strength I had now was the extra lessons in Charms. The only shot I had was making her feel insecure and doubtful again, but how? She had obviously put the fake kiss behind her, and read his signs anyway. So what now?

Just the thought of the two of them kissing made me sick. Lily wasn’t supposed to be with James Potter, she was supposed to be with me


“As you know, you will have your end of term test back today,” professor McGonagall said in her stern voice. “It was about spells which transform humans, their origins and different combinations as you might recall?”

He tapped the parchment-rolls, and they all flew out to their person.

I grabbed my test, rolling it open anxiously, peering down on my mark.

I let out a relieved sigh, turning to James.

“What did you get?” I smiled.

“See you got a mark you’re happy with? That smile is very obvious…” he grinned.

“A strong Exteed Expectations. And you?”

James placed a kiss on my nose, his eyes sparkling.

“Outstanding,” he whispered into my ear.

I opened my mouth in awe, giving him a congratulating kiss.

“Will I get a kiss like that every time I get Outstanding?” he teased.

“You can have three…” I said sweetly.

Professor McGonagall sat by her table, watching us in silence for a moment before coughing slightly.

“Mr Potter? Miss Evans? You might want to stop that and save it for after this lesson,” she said, but an amused little undertone revealed that she didn’t actually mind that much.

“Yes, professor,” I said politely, sitting back straight.

“Thank you.”

James took my hand under the table as McGonagall started going through a new spell to turn an animal into another animal. She explained how easy it was to end up having half and half of each animal, and that it was important that we managed to make them transform fully.

“What did Johnson say to you yesterday?” James suddenly whispered.

I frowned slightly at him.

“Why do you want to know?” I asked, almost irritably. “You’re not jealous, are you?”

James broke our eye contact, squeezing my hand a little.

“Well.. not really, but you’re my girlfriend now, so am I not allowed to be at least a little bit more possessive?” he excused himself.

I sent him a small smile.

“Come on, I’m helping him with charms, is that such a big deal?” I whispered.

I was almost touched by the way James wanted me all to himself. I didn’t manage to be strict with him any more.

“You’ve helped him with charms for a while now, yeah? When will he stop needing it?” James said in the same low voice.

“How am I supposed to know? When he gets his marks together.”

“What if he’s just pretending to be bad at charms, just so he has an excuse to spend time with you?” James continued.

I raised my eyebrows.

“Bryn is pretty decent, I don’t think he would have done that. On the contrary, I would assume he wants to get it over with, so nobody will know he isn’t great at everything.”

James looked doubtful.

“I’m still septic,” he concluded.

“Think of it this way…” I began. “Do I do… this when I’m with Bryn Johnson?”

I put my arm around his waist, resting my head on his shoulder.

“Probably not,” he said, his spirit rising slightly.

“What about this, then? Do I do this?” I continued in a whisper.

I started caressing his knee playfully under the desk, making him smile dreamily at me.

“No, I don’t reckon so.”

This, then?” I whispered, kissing his warm lips a little bit less innocently than I should have in a transfiguration-class.

“Definitely not,” James said as he looked into my eyes, our foreheads touching.

“I’m really starting to lose patience when it comes to you two,” professor McGonagall said from the front of the classroom, looking assigned.

Chapter 38: Awkward
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Chapter Thirty-eight, Awkward

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For though man has sorrow and grief in his soul,
at once he forgets his dark thoughts and remembers not his troubles.
Such is the holy gift of Terpsichore.
- Hesiod, 7th century BC

I laughed happily as I entered the library the next day, with James grinning next to me. His hand was around me, resting there so naturally you’d think it was born to be there. I scanned the library for Bryn, and eyed him sitting by a table close to the restricted section.

“See you later,” I said to James as we broke apart.

“Sure I can’t come with you?” he asked, looking at me.

“Come on? We’ll never concentrate if you and Bryn will sit there looking like you want to kill each other.”

James shrugged, finding Sirius and Remus reading at a table close by. That is, Sirius didn’t read. He was playing with his parchment roll.

“You there?” I said to Bryn as I sat down across him. He looked emptily out into the air, probably far away in his own thoughts.

“Oh, hello,” he smiled as he saw me. “I didn’t expect you to come so soon!”

“No problem,” I said happily, flipping my charms books open. “Now, tell me what you don’t understand.”

A curve appeared in his forehead as he scanned the book.

“This part right here,” he pointed, looking very tired.

“Oh… that one. I know a very good book to describe that more precisely, just wait a second,” I said interestedly, getting up to get madam Brooks.

When I got back, Bryn looked uninterested and dull, lying on top of his books.

I handed him the book I had got, telling him what page to open it on.

“Is there… anything bothering you?” I said carefully, looking into his tired face.

“No, not at all,” he forced a smile to decorate his lips. “I’m brilliant.”

I narrowed my eyes, placing a hand on my chin.

“You sure? Is it just because charms is so hard, or is it something else?” I asked again.

As he met my eyes once more, I read exactly what I had said in his eyes. Assignment. Irritation…

“Well, I have to admit it came as a surprise seeing you end up with Potter,” he confessed.

“Oh,” I said in an undertone.

“Erm… maybe we should get back to that later…” I said, not meeting his eyes. I pointed at the paragraph in his book, and hoped he would start reading instead of starting this conversation.

He put his hand on top of mine, stealing my look. I extracted my hand from under his, almost as if I was burnt. I felt his gaze holding onto my eyes like there was a force connecting them. I broke the eye-contact, almost feeling scared.

“You’re not frightened of me, are you, Lily?” Bryn said softly.

“Of course not!” I protested, setting up a tense face.

“I think you are.”

‘Am I, really? What is there to be frightened of? Why?’ I whispered to myself, dragging a nervous hand through my hair.

“I thought you were determined not to get together with Potter?” Bryn said irritably.

“What’s it to you?” I snapped, almost a little bit rude.

Bryn leaned back, surveying me with narrowed eyes.

“I care about you, Lily… I only want what’s best for you,” he said just as gently.

“Really? Then why have you avoided me, only daring to take contact last autumn?” I said hardly.

Bryn sighed, almost shrinking by my comment. He rested his elbows on the table, clearly looking for words to express what he was thinking.

“Guilt. Fear. Cowardliness,” he said quietly.

I calmed down, trying to get things straight. I wasn’t sure why, but something was wrong.

“So you’re saying, that you felt guilty for hurting me the way you did. That you were scared I’d fly in your throat and… whatever. And you were a coward, so you didn’t dare to contact me. Is that it?” I said coldly.

“Yes… That’s it. And I really regret that.”

I almost felt my temperature rise.

“At least you could have said you were sorry? We could have stayed friends, didn’t you figure that much? I hate avoiding people. I hate to walk around, carrying old conflicts.”

“I’m sorry.”

‘There it was… The sorry I’ve been waiting for, which should have come months ago.’

“That took a while,” I whispered.

“I know,” Bryn smiled sheepishly. “But I really care about you, Lily. I’ve changed.”

I smiled weakly.

“Why Potter?” Bryn said slowly.

I shook my head. “I fell for him, full stop.”

“That simple? So you just forgot about the kiss he gave you, the one that didn’t mean anything?” he blurted out.

I shivered. Just thinking of that kiss made me feel insecure.

‘No, don’t, Lily. You know how James feels about you. It won’t happen again.’

“We started over,” I said simply. “I believe in second chances.”

Bryn suddenly lightened up. “Does that mean for me too? Can we be friends again?”

I sniggered softly. Would that be a good idea?

“I guess we can,” I said, pointing at his book again. “Now we have to get back to charms work.”

“I just want you to know, you can rely on me, Ok? I’m here for you whenever you want,” he said charmingly.

‘Yeah, whatever…’

“I really appreciate that,” I said, pointing at his book once more.

The whole day had consisted of homework, but I still had more to do. James, Hillary, Sirius and I sat in the common room late that evening, finishing an essay for professor McGonagall. All the teachers had loaded us with work over Christmas, and I was pretty exhausted already.

I smiled as I wrote more paragraphs, thinking about Bryn’s apology. It had somehow lightened my heart, because I felt I could finally start putting that behind me now.

“He apologised,” I suddenly said to James, who sat next to me.

“What? I’m not following,” he said quizzically.

“Bryn Johnson. Apologised for what he did to me last year.”

Hillary let out a sigh, shaking her head slightly.

“He’s still a bad one,” she muttered.

“Come on? He said he was sorry!” I said to her.

“So now what, you’re best friends?” James said bitterly.

I sent him a disappointed look.

“We’re friends, yes, am I not allowed to have him as a friend?”

“Well, he’s a boy, and he was your former boyfriend. Am I not allowed to be at least a little bit concerned?” he continued.

“Why are you fussing over this? Don’t you trust me?” I said irritably.

James leaned closer, hugging me loveably.

“Of course I trust you, but I don’t trust him…”

“You don’t have a problem with me being close to best friends with Sirius and Remus, though?” I pointed out.

“I know they won’t touch you when you’re with me,” James smiled matter-of-factly.

“I have a feeling I went much further with Sirius on Halloween than I ever went with Bryn…” I said evilly.

“Ok, stop that. Now you’re making ugly images pop up in my head,” James sniggered. “But I still don’t like you seeing that crazy Quidditch-player.”

I gave up.

“Ok, but you’re not allowed to beat him up or send him dirty looks or anything because of this,” I sighed.

“I do that already, so technically, nothing will change.”

I scowled, scribbling on with my quill on the parchment.

Hillary just sent me doubtful looks.

“Come on, ballerina! I hate it when you’re being all moody and mad. I like it much, much better when you smiiiiiile…” James moaned.

I rested my head on his shoulder, smiling as he commanded.

“Happy?” I grinned, looking at him with angle eyes.

“Yeah, that’s better,” James laughed, playing with my hair.

Dorothy came over seconds later. She pretended she didn’t see James looking at me like he did. Her hair was perfectly done in a complicated style, probably heavy with hair-spray. Her eyes were glittering with coloured eye-shadow.

“Don’t forget it’s ballet tomorrow,” she smirked at me. “Looking forward to it?”

I looked at her thoughtfully. Was this supposed to make me feel unhappy? Was she somehow hinting to me dreading going back to classes? I must have missed out on something.

“How could I not know? I’m looking forward to it as a child on Christmas Eve!” I smiled. “Aren’t you?”

She didn’t see that coming.

“Well.. of course! I have nothing to be worried about, I’ve practised the exam-exercises every day during the holidays!” she smiled smugly.

“This is starting to look like a smiling competition…” James whispered carefully into my ear.

“How good for you! I’ll see you tomorrow then!” I beamed back again, almost feeling my face going tense from smiling.

She nodded, and walked away. She seemed somewhat irritated.

“Good one, Lily!” Sirius laughed, giving me a high-five.

Chapter 39: Back to Ballet
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Chapter Thirty-nine, Back to Ballet

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Learning to walk set you free.
Learning to dance gives you the greatest freedom of all:
to express your whole self, the person you are.
- Melissa Hayden

I found my pointe shoes, placing the pads on my toes before pulling the hard shoes onto my foot. I led the ribbons in circles around my ankle before tying them in a neat knot which I hid under the ribbon. I found hair-pins to place my hair up in the neat bun on the back of my head, before trotting into the ballet-studio.

I was again wearing my navy ballet leotard, and it felt like it had been years since last time. It felt like it was years even since Halloween, because so much had happened. It felt like ages ago I’d felt the refreshing smell of the ballet-studio renewed my senses.

“Back to the old grind, guys,” Lindsay said as we were all gathered together on the floor around her. “Ballet exams are coming up in May, and we have a lot of polishing to do.”

A tired sigh was heard from the group of dancers, and Lindsay looked amused.

“You’ve been through this before, so you know I’ll push you hard. There’s only one thing to do, and that is to be determined and confident.”

Lindsay sent me a brief glance before continuing.

“You know this is your last exam, for grade eight. Let’s start by the barre?”

We all stood up, lining up by the barre to do the fist exercise, Pliés.

I could feel my body being weaker than it had been. My stomach muscles trembled as I kept my posture straight, pressing my legs down in the familiar diamond-form. I tensed up all the muscles in use, yet still kept my shoulders and arms relaxed. It was starting to get routine, but I knew the first weeks would be a struggle.

As all the barre exercises were finished, we moved into the centre, bodies warm.

“I think we’ll go through the study-dances, because they are very important. A high percent of your mark relies on this solo-dance, so it is important to put a lot of work into it. Who wants to start?”

She didn’t look surprised as nobody made any sight of wanting to dance a solo they had learnt just recently.

“Ok, I get the picture. We’ll do it all together.

When the almost horrible ballet-lesson was over, I felt myself being in a good mood. I had really done an effort, and my body thanked me for being in proper exercise again. I grabbed my water bottle, emptying it in one shot. As I left the studio, I smiled mysteriously as I saw who was there.

“There’s a face I think I’ve seen before? But from where?” I joked.

James grabbed me around the waist, swinging me slightly around before setting me down again. He placed a gentle kiss on me. Lindsay didn’t miss this.

“Got yourself a boyfriend, Lily?” she grinned, coming out from the studio. “Though I must admit that after all the hours you’ve spent on complaining about Mr Potter, here… I’m surprised you ended up together.”

“Oh… Lily never really hated me, did you now, love?” James said sweetly.

I raised my eyebrow in amusement.

“I guess not,” I laughed. “Can’t resist the Potter-charm, can I?”

James placed another kiss on my lips.

“Well, congratulations then, Lily!” Lindsay said before returning to the studio for another class.

I looked apprehensively at Sirius as they prepared to leave. Peter, Sirius and James had warm black cloaks around them, ready to go out into the bitter cold evening. They looked like this was routine, like it was not dangerous at all. And to some extent, they had to be.

But I wasn’t used to watch them set out into the night like this, disguised as animals. I didn’t want them to go, something wanted me to have them stay.

I looked over at James, searching for some kind of weakness. I found none.

“So let me get this straight. You’re going out there to the Shrieking Shack, to ‘meet’ Remus as a werewolf to keep him company? So he won’t be lonely?”

“Don’t worry, Lily. We’ve been doing this for years, we’re pretty used to it,” he said soothingly.

Sirius came close, looking down into my eyes as James went to get his invisibility cloak. His gaze was gentle, yet determined.

“It isn’t exactly easy for Remus to be a werewolf, Lily, as you might understand…”

I felt like a little, worthless, clueless child as he said that.

“I know that… I’ve known just as long as you! I know he struggles and it tears him apart,” I hissed at him.

He winced slightly as I attacked him in that way, but kept calm.

“He can sense our presence, we know this even though he doesn’t remember any of it. Just that he knows that we’re there for him when he transforms has made the whole world of a difference to him.”

“I understand,” I said, slightly less aggressive.

“It’s about loyalty, Lily. Loyalty to your true friends.”

“And you’ve never been caught?” I whispered.

Sirius lowered his head, not meeting my eyes.

“Yes, we have.”

“Then you shouldn’t,” I settled.

“We were put back in place as we tricked old Snivellus once. We didn’t get any punishment, McGonagall said it was enough just to live some time in regret and shame. And we did.”

I gasped. “When was this? You shouldn’t have….”

Sirius broke me off.

“We know very well, Lily. It was in fifth year. We knew the risks. And we took it. And we’ve learned our lesson, Ok?” he said firmly, almost annoyed.

Like he felt offended by the fact that I doubted him, or didn’t believe in him.

“O-Ok… just go. Where is Remus now, by the way?” I asked.

“He went out early. At this time of the year, the moon is up almost twenty-four seven. It takes all his energy, so he insisted on us coming later.”

I nodded.

“Can I come?”

Sirius sniggered slightly at this suggestion.

“Really? I didn’t think you’d have the nerve, Lily. If you want to be chased around and bit, sure, I would recommend it. But I would suggest you stay here and finish your homework.”

“Don’t get all full of yourself! Even if you fly out in danger every month, it doesn’t mean you’re any better than anyone else!” I hissed. “I’m not your daughter or anything. You can’t boss me around.”

Sirius suddenly became quiet. He retracted himself, walking over to Peter. I stood there, just looking at his hurt ego. He had deserved it. Sirius was great, but sometimes he could be so self-centred it was disgusting.

“So.. can I come?” I said carefully.

James jumped down from the stairs.

“If you hurry. You can join until we come to the Womping Willow, then you’ll have to return. I don’t want anything to happen to you,” he said, kissing my forehead in a hurry. “Go get your cloak.”

The weather was getting warmer, and the snow was almost gone. As we hurried down the grounds, through the slippery wet snow, I shivered from the cold wind. Peter didn’t say much, he just stayed somewhat behind.

As Sirius saw I was freezing, he put a warming hand around me as we walked quickly down to the big wind tree. James was many feet ahead.

“You Ok?” Sirius asked gently, warming my hands.

“Yeah, I’m perfect,” I answered.

“Sorry for being kind of… overprotective. I know you’re strong, really.”

“It’s fine, I’m glad you apologised,” I smiled, seeing my breath turn into damp as I spoke.

“Lovely, Evans,” Sirius said seriously as we kept walking.

“What, I’m suddenly Evans now?” I said in disbelieve.

Sirius sniggered.

“Just wanted to see how you reacted. That whole section got so sentimental I had to do something.”

“You’re hopeless!” I exclaimed.

“I know,” he said proudly.

As we finally reached the tree, I watched what was happening next. Peter found a very small place in the tree, pressing what seemed to be a button or something. Then an opening revealed itself, and it was time for them to creep down into the dark.

“See you later, Lily,” James said, getting ready to climb down.

“Can’t you turn into the stag?” I suddenly stopped him. “Just for a second? I want to see it again…”

James rolled his eyes, but finally turned into the white stag I remembered him as.

Sirius surveyed him for a second.

“He is kind of a good looking stag, I’ll agree on that,” he figured.

I smiled, looking into the hazel eyes of the animal.

“Can I… Can I have a ride? Just a short one? Before you leave?” I said softly.

James just stood there, doing nothing but blinking.

“Oh, look at him! He really wants you to, but he doesn’t want to admit he’s going soft. He wants to play strong and brave now, really…” Sirius said with a smirk.

James seemed a little annoyed by Sirius’s comment, but signalised to me that I should get on with a move of his head.

I climbed onto his back with a little difficulty, holding onto his silky neck.

Then he ran off with me clinging onto him. He took a few turns around the tree, then a little longer away before Sirius was starting to get impatient.

“Enough, now! You can have a romantic ride in the moonlight some other time!”

I slipped off James as Sirius and Peter turned into their animal-forms. Sirius was a shabby black dog, but he seemed kind when he didn’t flash his teeth at me. Peter was almost impossible to spot, but I reckoned he was around in the wet grass somewhere.

“Be careful,” I whispered in James’s ear, kissing his pearly neck before he transfigured back to himself. They went down under the Womping Willow, and I couldn’t help feeling a little scared as they disappeared out of my vision.

I was extremely cold when I came back to the common room. Hillary sat in a chair chatting to a chap, so I didn’t want to disturb her. I retired to my dormitory, deciding to tidy my wardrobe or something to make time pass quicker.

‘What’s the use? They won’t be back until tomorrow morning…’ I thought with a sigh.

When I entered the room, the first thing I noticed was that the window was open. I hurried over to close it, and shuddered as the wind swept past me. Second I noticed there was a letter on my bed. I looked curiously at it, maybe it was an update from mum?

But as I took it in my hands, I realised the letter within was hidden by the same type of envelope another letter I had received had. A letter I got on Christmas Day. I opened it, drawing out the paper smelling of fresh flowers. It reminded me of summer.

‘Dear Lily,

Not long ago you got my first letter. It said… that I was in love with you. What I didn’t know, was that someone else had captured your heart. I was hoping I would be the one to hold it tight.

I can see that you are happy with the Quidditch-captain, James Potter, and if that’s the way you want to stay, than I won’t prevent it. As long as you’re happy. But know this; if he ever hurts you, I’ll be waiting around. My door is always open. All you have to do is enter…

- Still thinking of you’

Who was this secret admirer? He sounded so noble and loving, and I couldn’t help but die out of curiosity for wanting to know who it was. I must obviously know him, because he said in his first letter that he hoped to talk to me soon.

‘How exiting!’ I thought against my will. ‘Someone I know, someone I walk past maybe everyday writes me these unsigned letters. I wonder who it might be?’

Even though it was intriguing to get these fancy letters, I knew the writer was right… I was happy with James. He was all I ever dreamed of.

Chapter 40: Other Girls
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Chapter Forty, Other Girls

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It takes an athlete to dance,
but an artist to be a dancer.
- Shanna LaFleur

I had just come back from another hour with charms work together with Bryn Johnson. Anna was sitting with me in the common room, finishing her homework as I told her about my day.

“And I thought it would be very strange having this lesson with Bryn right now, because it got so awkward last time, when he found out I was dating James…” I sighed. “But it didn’t! It worked out fine.”

Anna looked up from her papers.

“How often do you have these meetings in the library, Lily?” she said slowly.

“Two times a week, sometimes three,” I said brightly.

“Isn’t that … a lot? You’ve helped out students in subjects they have problems with before.. and that was only once a week.”

“I know, but Bryn wanted more lessons. He’s aiming for a good mark, and you know him. When he sets his eyes on a goal.. he gets there,” I explained.

“Yes… so what is his goals nowadays?” Anna said suspiciously.

“A good Charms-mark… and to beat Gryffindor for the Quidditch-cup. But we don’t discuss that. I’m a Gryffindor after all.”

“Are you sure that’s all?” Anna continued in the same tone.

“What are you trying to point out here?” I exclaimed.

“That he wants you back. That can be called a goal. And according to you… he usually gets there.”

I laughed, looking at Anna almost in disbelieve. She thought Bryn would rip me away from James?

“He wouldn’t do that,” I said shortly.

“But he does want you back, doesn’t he?”

“I don’t know… It could be. He didn’t blurt it out loud, but he does show some kind of interest.”

“There you go!” Anna said loudly.

“Do you think I’m going to let him take me away from James? I’m devoted to James, I wouldn’t do that. Besides, I’m not interested in Bryn. Of course I’m not,” I said defiantly.

“It’s just…” Anna grabbed my hands. “I don’t want things to be messed up. You’re so happy now, and I don’t want anything to spoil it.”

“I agree…” I smiled.

“But James has picked up on the fact that you spend time with Johnson. With other boys. Strictly as friends, of course, but you are…” Anna said.

“Yeah… he can get kind of jealous. I don’t do it that much, do I?” I added in a whisper.

“Let’s just say that… you’re doing it enough for him to start… copying you.”

“Copying me? What’s that supposed to mean?” I said with creased eyebrows.

“He’s got himself quite a bunch of friends, lately.. noticed that? Like… girls?” she said carefully.

“Who?” I asked, but I felt a little apprehensive.

“Let’s see… Elizabeth Facklet,” Anna counted on her fingers.

“She’s on the quidditch-team,” I said.

“Yes, but they’ve been hanging out. Then there’s Gwen Jayson,” she continued.

“But she’s Remus’s ex? How did they become friends?”

“Oh.. you know… When she dated Remus she was quite a bit with the rest of the gang, too.”


“And… Who else… Nancy Benetton.”

“That French chick? That had a huge crush on him a while back?”

I must have sounded quite desperate.

“Yes, her,” Anna finished.

I leaned back, crossing my arms. He had said he was meeting Elizabeth some days back, but I had thought that was strictly professional, not as friends hanging out. And that day he was meeting Remus.. Gwen must have been with him. They were still friends.

“Why is he doing this to me?” I suddenly asked Anna.

“It’s easy…”


“He’s trying to make you understand even clearer that he doesn’t like you hanging out with Bryn so much. He’s trying to play it your way. Make you jealous.”

I gasped.

“Would he do that?”

Anna nodded. She didn’t look doubting at all. More determined and sure.

“I’m certain.”

“Where is he now?” I exclaimed.

“Quidditch-practice. He left right after you went for the library.”

I didn’t hesitate. I went to my dorm to grab my cloak before getting down to the pitch myself. The weather was clear, but it was still chilly.

‘He’s being with girls just to take back at me for doing some lousy work with Bryn?’ I hissed to myself. ‘What kind of nonsense is that?’

When I got closer to the quidditch-pitch, I saw they ended the practice by collecting the balls and dismounting their brooms. In firm steps I walked straight over to James, who looked about as sweaty as I did after a good ballet-class. The other players had gone in the showers, but James stayed back to tidy up. I followed James into the equipment-room, where brooms were lined up and old uniforms kept in closets.

“There’s a face I don’t see often around these tracks!” he smiled happily as I came over to him. Obviously he didn’t notice the absence of a grin on my face.

He grabbed me, giving me a heart-melting kiss on the lips before talking my hands. “What brings you here?”

I let my hands free, looking seriously at him.

“What’s with the face?” he said, pushing his lower lip out.

I was about to let a smile decorate my face, but then I remembered why I was there.

“Does the names Elizabeth Facklet, Gwen Jayson and Nancy Benetton ring any bells?” I finally said.

“No. Should they?” James said, thinking slightly. “Hmm.. they’ve all had a crush on me?”

I rolled my eyes.

“No! Well… maybe, but that’s not it.”

“What, then?” James said curiously.

“You’re jealous on Bryn Johnson, aren’t you? And now you’re trying to make me jealous in return, by spending more time with the girls I just mentioned?” I said in one breath.

James raised his eyebrows.


“You sure do! Why do you do that?” I jumped slightly.

James sniggered, closing the wrappings around the last bludger.

“I’m not avoiding you, if that’s what you think,” he said. “I spend no less time with you.”

I opened my mouth to speak and protest, but at second thought, he was right. He hadn’t spent less time with me.

“Listen, ballerina. I’m really proud of having you as my girlfriend. If you haven’t noticed, I show you off all the time. Why would any other girls threaten our relationship?” he said casually.

“So you admit it!” I said with my chin raised high.

“Maybe…” he said pensively.

I crossed my arms over my chest.

Then Elizabeth, the chaser, one of the girls in discussion and one of the most popular seventh-years of Gryffindor, came over half-dressed.

“James, you don’t happen to have stolen my top? I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve asked Carol,” she said in irritation. “Hi, Lily,” she added as she noticed me.

James glanced quickly at her before replying.

“Sirius, no doubt about it.”

“Oh, right. Why didn’t I think of that?” Elizabeth exclaimed, hurrying back.

I watched her trot off, her tanned slender back looking appealing to anyone of the opposite sex. Her dark hair was long and shiny, her legs never ending.

You are jealous,” James said slowly. He had been watching me all along.

I jerked back to him, focusing my eyes again.

“Maybe…” I mocked, just like James had done with me earlier. “But you’re jealous of Bryn Johnson, right?”

James sat down onto a bench, looking at me with interest.

“You spend three evenings a week with that bloke.”

“He needs help with Charms,” I said. “And it’s only an hour. It’s only three hours in total.”

“That’s three hours too much. Plus, he talks to you in every opportunity he gets,” James said fiercely.

“We’re friends.”

“He’s obsessed with you.”

“He’s not. He just likes me.”

“He likes you too much.”

I sighed. “Why is this a problem?”

James took my hands again. He looked me deep into the eyes, making me shiver.

“You’re my girlfriend. Not his. I don’t like that bloke,” he said caringly, slipping a strand of hair behind my ear. “Can’t you reduce it to two times a week?”

I gave him a disapproving sound.

“Please? For me?”

I narrowed my eyes at him.

“If I stop being so much with the three girls you mentioned, let you copy my transfiguration-essay and give you a massage every evening this week?”

A smile curled onto my face.


“Brilliant!” James said, hugging me tightly. “It worked with the girls, you got jealous,” James whispered into my ear.

“Ok, I was jealous.”

“That’s my girl! Now I have to shower, I stink,” James laughed.

“You do,” I said indifferently.

“As if you’ve never been stinking before!” James teased. “Let’s see.. Halloween?”

“Come off it!” I giggled, pushing him slightly away from me. “That didn’t happen, remember?”

“Sure, just keep believing that…” James said before leaving for the changing room.

I sat down where James had sat, a little smile playing on my face.

It felt very nice to finally have got the air clean between us. As I laid in his arms later that night, it felt comfortable as never before. The way he stroked my stomach in the most tickling way was so lovely I was afraid I’d fall asleep.

“James?” I broke the silence.

“Hmmm?” he replied drowsily.

“Do you… want to know what’s been triggering my mind so often? What you wanted to find out some while ago?” I said quietly.

He sat up slightly, and I turned around to face him.

“I would like that,” he said with slightly narrowed eyes, removing some hair away from my face.

“The reason I’ve been so sensible about comments about my look…”

“Compliments,” James corrected.

“Well, yes, that,” I agreed. “It’s because of my father. He wasn’t very… nice to me.”

James eyes went wide, and he took my hand gently in his own.

“He didn’t… abuse you, did he?” he said carefully.

“No, no… nothing like that. Well, kind of. But not physically,” I said warily.

“What, then?” James continued.

He kept making me relax by giving me gentle caressing touches, and I felt very safe as I dug into the story about my late father. James was calm as I told him, and he did all the right things. When I was finished, I was resting my head in his lap. It had been exhausting, but it felt good to finally tell him.

“Ballerina…” he whispered, bending down, kissing my lips. “I didn’t know. Why did you of all people have to go through that? You, who deserve it the least…”

My eyes were a little blurry, and my cheeks red. As James pulled away from the kiss, I put a hand on his face.

“Don’t stop…” I whispered.

And he bent down again, caressing my face as I had wished him to. It was as if I was thirsty, and needed to drink. My thirst didn’t stop. But at the same time, I knew my boundaries. I knew I would have to stop him at some point if we continued… I wasn’t ready.

“James… I’m not ready,” I whispered into his ear.

I took the blouse he had removed, putting it on over my bra again. I looked up into his eyes, afraid I’d see disappointment.

There wasn’t any. There weren’t anger, expectations or lust either. There was mildness.

“Ok, I understand,” he said to me, and his voice wasn’t negative. “When will you be?”

I bit my lip, and pulled him down again.

“I don’t know… but I’ll let you know when I am.”

“Perfect,” James smiled, devouring my lips once more before lying down next to me.

Chapter 41: Heart Ripped
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Warning: This chapter is brutal and contains scenes of a mind sexual nature, mild violence and emotional mess. Be aware.

Chapter Forty-one, Heart Ripped
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I was a ballerina.
I had to quit after I injured a groin muscle.
It wasn't mine.
-Rita Rudner

I straightened my sweater as I walked from the common room, preparing to meet Bryn in the Great Hall for a nice chat and maybe some school-work. I was constantly thinking about James. Today we had been together for four months. He had pulled himself together considering Bryn, but he still showed signs of jealousy.

‘Does he really have to be so immature and untrusting? Not to mention jealous…’

I sighed, finding a lip stick in the pocket of my jeans.

‘He was almost distracting and avoiding when I spoke to him yesterday… even after we almost went further than just kissing and cuddling again. Maybe I’ll just do as he said and stop seeing Bryn so often? Just so he’ll get satisfied… Even though I reduced it to two times a week a while ago, as he requested.’

But that thought somehow seemed unattractive.

‘And let yourself be controlled? You know he’s just being paranoid. He should learn how to deal with it.’

James sure could be frustrating when he acted like this, but at the same time.. totally to die for. He had been so gentle and understanding the night I told him about my father.. Not to mention the way he was Ok about me wanting to wait about sleeping together. A triumphant smile crept onto my face.

‘God, I love you…’

Then I felt a hand grasp me and pull me out of the hall I was walking in. I was dragged into an empty classroom, which was tall and almost empty. Only a few desks were lined up against the wall. I felt my heart in my throat as my body struggled against the stranger.

“Let go of me!” I screamed, meeting the strangers eyes.

A wave of relieve washed over me as I looked into the hazel gaze.

“James.. don’t ever scare me like that again!” I breathed dangerously.

“Sorry,” he said darkly. “But I needed to see you… to apologise for the way I’ve been so paranoid about you helping Johnson with studying lately..”

He must almost have read my mind.

“Really? But I thought you apologised about that before?”

“Well, yes, but I want to apologise some more,” he smiled.

I was still confused. “We were supposed to meet later and celebrate us being together for four months… so wh-”

I was stopped mid-sentence.

He scooped me into his arms, kissing me tenderly. Suddenly he was so intense I could hardly breathe.

“James.. calm down,” I stopped him, giving him a sceptic look. “What’s the rush? And in a classroom, for God’s sake.”

James shrugged, placing his hands on my face.

“I don’t know, I just suddenly missed you so badly.. wanted to hold you right away.”

‘What?’ I thought.

He started kissing me again, and his hands travelled down my body.

“James…” I whispered. “We’re in a classroom…”

He chuckled softly.

“Isn’t it much more exciting when there’s a risk of being discovered?”

“I don’t know,” I concluded, as he kissed his way down my neck. “I’m supposed to meet Bryn, you know?”

He met my eyes, and a smile was on his face.

“Forget about Johnson.”

He took hold of me, lifting me up onto a desk by the wall. His lips never left the surface of my skin.

“What are you doing?” I repeated. “You’re downright perverted.”

As I saw his eyes again, they were written with lust.

“I want you, Lily… right here, right now.”

I felt my heart in my throat again.

“What? James, we’ve already discussed this,” I said breathlessly.

My body felt warm as he continued to caress me, but I didn’t like it. I wanted to pull away.

“What do you mean? Don’t you want me?” he whispered.

I tried to roll my eyes, but it was getting harder as my body started losing control slightly, and I got more and more frightened.

“Of-of course I do, it’s not that. You know how I feel… I-I want to wait,” I stuttered.

He took no notice.

Suddenly, his hand jumped to my jeans, and the zip came open.

“Stop it!" I said, and there was a very sharp edge in my voice. “I said, stop, James! I don’t want to!”

My words didn’t seem to reach in to him.

“Come on, Lily! I can feel your body being aroused!”

There was a touch in his voice that had never been there before, and I almost felt tears in my eyes. How was I going to make him stop? I was unwillingly scared of him, and very angry.

“Don’t go any further,” I said shakily.

As he straightened up, I was even more scared than before. As he advanced on me again, I saw him lift his hand. His eyes were lightening.

I rolled off the table, and gave him a poisonous and angry look, full of fright.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I cried.

“Lily Evans!” my father roared.

The ten year old me walked into the living room, meeting his dangerous eyes.

“This milk… it tastes disgusting,” he said hardly.

I shivered as I walked over to him to apologise.

“I-I’m sorry, father… I didn’t check the date…” I stuttered.

Suddenly I saw his massive arm lifting, ready to fall upon me with force.

A tear rolled down my cheek as I ran away, narrowly avoiding the hit.

“I hate you, father!” I screamed in rage and fear.

As he rose, walking after me, I ran in quick steps to my secret hiding place in the attic, where he couldn’t reach me.

‘Father tried to hurt me…’ I thought, scared. ‘He has never done that before.’

Jerking back to real life, I saw James was trying to grab my arm again, but I was quicker. Just as I had done almost eight years ago, I slipped away, out of the classroom. I managed to grab my schoolbag lying outside it, and running away from him.

I didn’t even bother to zip my trousers. Tears were rolling continuously down my pale cheeks as I ran through the corridors, not knowing were I was actually headed.

“James… James… James…… JAMES!” I screamed, all other words blacking out but his name. The few students walking in the corridors looked apprehensively at me as I ran past them, some even yelling after me.

Finally I tripped over, right outside the girls lavatory. I staggered inside, clinging to the wall.

“Why did you have to do that?” I yelled, my voice echoing through the room. “I love you! I love you… And I thought you loved me too… For real,” I added in a whisper.

Breathing heavily in anger, I heard someone come out from one of the toilets.


At first, I startled, because it was a man’s voice. Then I took a look around, and noticed I was in the boys’ toilets, and not in the girls’ as I assumed.

Never before had I been so happy to see his face. His eyes were as concerned as I had ever seen them. He scanned me, lying in a messy position wearing only a thin vest top over my dark bra. My trousers were unzipped, and they were showing off my underwear.

He bent down, holding my shaking body.

“It’s all right, love. Don’t worry,” he whispered into my hair. I could smell him, he smelled exactly like he used it. It felt safe.


I took a deep breath, sitting down on a chair in the classroom. A part of me was deeply hurt by what I had to do, the other was immensely satisfied. I just hoped Lily wouldn’t head to the Great Hall, where she would find that Bryn wasn’t there. That I wasn’t there.

“Told you, Potter..” I whispered, my own smirk replacing James Potter’s. “I know Lily’s weakness… And it sure came in handy. Now she’ll never have you back. If that kiss I placed on her in November didn’t make her doubt you, this certainly will…”

I regained my strength, feeling a lump in my throat tell me what I did was wrong. The scared look on Lily’s face as I practically forced onto her… The anger in her voice. It was making me die inside. But I had to do it.

It was the only way… The only way I could make her turn away from him.


Sirius lowered my head down onto a pillow on the couch in the common room, holding my hand firmly. He had already shooed away all the others in the common room, so they wouldn’t stare or ask questions.

I didn’t sob any more. I just looked deadly out into the empty air… Feeling my body still warm from the touch James had placed on me against my will.

“Lily…” Sirius said very shakily. “What … What happened to you?”

I hid my face with my hands, but Sirius pulled them away again so he could see my face.

“You’ve got to tell me,” he said, frightened.

I swallowed hard.

“He… He tried to force onto me…” I whispered violently.

“Who?” Sirius questioned, and his voice was full of hatred.

I didn’t take in what he said.

“He… He felt me up! He unzipped my trousers and… when I refused he tried to hit me…” the last words came out in a blur, Sirius had problems understanding what I was saying.

“And…” but I didn’t manage to continue. I just let out a sob, turning away from Sirius’s gentle yet furious face.

He rose up, and I heard him getting Remus and Anna over to me. Anna laid down next to me, wanting to hold me in her arms. But I didn’t let her. I was too angry for anyone to come near me. Remus reached out, but I politely said no. I felt so tricked. And I was hurt. My heart was splattered in a thousand pieces.

I heard Sirius leaving the common room through the portrait hole, and I wondered where he was going.

I felt myself go drowsy and tired after all the wild thoughts, so I fell asleep there, on the couch, with Remus and Anna watching over me.

A/N: Not the most cheerful chapter, I'll admit. It took a while to make it work. But it's important to the story!

I hope you all figured out that it was Bryn Johnson as James who grabbed Lily into the classroom...

Chapter 42: Looking Through
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Warning: This chapter is brutal and contains language of a mind sexual nature, mild language/swear words and emotional mess. Be aware once more.

Chapter Forty-two, Looking Through

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The way people move is their autobiography in motion.
- Gerry Spence


I woke up from my dreamless sleep, feeling someone caress my face with their fingers. I opened my eyes, and I met the hazel eyes again. I startled, sitting up abruptly. Sirius was sitting next to his best friend, but the concerned look he had on his face was nothing compared to the one on James’s.

“James,” I said slowly and shakily, looking at him with wild eyes.

“I’m here now, Lily.. who did this to you?” his voice was shaking, too.

I grabbed his hand, throwing it away from me.

“You… bastard!” I yelled. I hated what came out of my mouth, it felt like I was being poisoned by the words I spoke.

James backed away from me, looking at me, puzzled.

“W-what?” he choked out. Sirius looked just as surprised as James did.

“What are you saying, Lily? You’re clearly not well, you’re misunderstanding…” Sirius said as gently as he could.

“I’m fine, thank you!” I said hardly. “He did it! James did it!”

James’s eyes looked angry and furious. Almost like they had just a short while ago…

“Lily, you’re doing a mistake. I wouldn’t… I couldn’t..” he forced out.

I laughed, not really knowing how to respond to that.

“How could you?” I cried, my voice high and uncontrollable. “I thought you loved me, James! You told me over and over again, that you would never hurt me, or force me into anything… And still you hurt me ten times more than Bryn Johnson ever did?!

I leaped up, but Sirius caught me before I managed to run away. I wanted to run away. I hated the way he controlled me and made me stay.

I love you, for God’s sake! I’ve never loved anybody like I love you.. and you waste it? Like I was another slut you just slept around with?” I yelled to James.

James was so shocked he wasn’t able to move. His face must have been stinging horribly, I had just blamed him for hurting me like I’d never been hurt before, and I had blurted out that I loved him for the second time ever. Under very different circumstances, though.

“I didn’t try to get into your pants, Lily,” James said firmly. “I would never do that.”

I looked at James, my boyfriend. He looked pathetic. If he was going to make me look crazy by pretending he didn’t do it, he was even more desperate than I thought.

“Oh yeah? Mention one more person who has the same black, messy hair, the same hazel eyes, the exact same body-structure, voice and look like yourself, then?” I hissed.

“Lily, I DON’T KNOW! I only know that I DIDN’T DO IT!” he screamed back at me.

“You’re pathetic…” I said venomously. “How could you?”

Tears rolled down my cheeks again, and I felt all energy drain out of me.

“You tried to rape me, James! Do you know how severe that is? I thought you respected me, I thought you cared, I believed all you said about … about… about me being the best thing that happened to you…” I sobbed.

“You are the best thing that ever happened to me! Do you really think I’d lie to you about that? DO YOU?!” James was just as upset as I was by now.

I stared at him.

“So what’s coming next? Are you going to deny ever kissing me in the corridor, too?” I roared.

“What kiss? The one last week? What was wrong with that? Did I have my hand on your bum a second too long?” James spat.

I cried even more, too stunned to speak for a few seconds.

“I’m talking about the kiss after you came from Head Duties meeting with McGonagall, in November,” I said slowly.

James put his head in his hands.

“The fist time I ever kissed you for real was on Christmas Day! Do you remember that, ballerina? How happy you were?”

“Don’t call me that…” I said through gritted teeth, struggling to say every word. “So you deny that, too? That was why I was so sad that week, you know. Because you kissed me, and I thought you didn’t mean anything by it… obviously I was right.”

James gasped, looking at me with horror-struck eyes.

“I’ve never kissed you without meaning to… I’ve meant something with every single little kiss I’ve ever placed on your beautiful self.”

“You kissed me in November, and you never mentioned it. You pretended it never happened! You didn’t mean anything by it! You played me, like you’ve played every other girl you’ve been with!” I hissed.

“The reason I never mentioned it, was because it didn’t happen!” James said angrily. “You’ve lost your mind, Lily!”

I broke into new sobs, feeling more extracted of energy for each sound and tear appearing.

“You were everything I ever wanted… I thought we were meant to be,” I muttered.

“We ARE meant to be, ballerina!” James cried.

“Don’t call me that!” I said even more shakily. “All you wanted… was to have me in your bed!” I screamed, shaking violently at my own words.

“You’ve no idea what you’re talking about…” he said through gritted teeth.

A single tear rolled down James’s cheek. He looked unbelievingly at me, before walking back to his dorm in firm steps.

“Then maybe we shouldn’t be together anymore!” I yelled. My words reached him right before he reached his dorm.

He didn’t look back, he just turned and walked up the stairs up to his Head Boy dorm, slamming the door.

I could hear him lock it.

I ran off before Sirius could stop me.


“Colloportus,” I muttered with my wand pointing at the key-hole.

After slamming the door to my dorm shut, I locked it with a secure charm. I still heard Lily’s voice inside my head, yelling at me in furious anger. I threw myself onto the bed standing right in front of me, dragging my hair in agony. Then I grabbed my pillow, screaming loudly into it. Nobody would hear anyway.

My mind was racing.

The way Lily had screamed to me as if I was a monster. The way she said I had played girls, the way she said she thought she was one of them.

One of what?

There had been only one girl I had ever “played”, as she called it. All the others had been girls I soon found out wanted nothing but a body to love. They didn’t love me… They didn’t love me like Lily did.

“Of course you would lose her, James… She was too good to be true,” I whispered quietly. “But it wasn’t my fault. Something is very wrong here…”

I sat up, finding the sweater I wore yesterday. I smelled it. Lily had fell asleep in my arms, and the scent of her perfume was still in the fibres of it.

I jumped up, kicking the thing lying closest, which turned out to be my Transfiguration book.

“WHY, Lily? What’s got into you? Blaming me for trying to have sex with you against your will? God dammit!” I yelled, looking at myself briefly in the mirror. My eyes were red, and my hair even more messy than it used to. I wanted to break that mirror too, because Lily hated that face now.

“It wasn’t me! So who was it?” I kept screaming, kicking what came in my way.

Then I stopped, and fell quiet.

“No…” I whispered.

I threw myself onto my bed again, lost in thought.

If I was not mistaking, the person in my mind wanted Lily away from me. He wasn’t exactly bad looking, and he had spent a lot of time with her lately…

“Johnson,” I muttered to myself. “But how?”

My fists clenched.

‘Of course. That.. devil! That piece of shit… he did it. He took her away from me with one of his sly tricks,’ I thought. ‘But what made Lily think it was me?’

I rolled over on my back, narrowing my eyes in concentration.

‘Lily said the person who did it was me… or at least looked like me. But she knows me, now… he must have been pretty much my twin to manage that without getting busted.’

I picked up a piece of paper on my cup board, scribbling down a quick note.

Bryn Johnson. Polyjuice Potion.


‘You’ve got to be there… You’ve got to…’ I cried inside my head as I ran as fast as I could through the corridors of Hogwarts. As I saw the doors to the library, I sighed in relieve. I hurried over to them, opening the doors. I peered around in the library, looking for him.

I started walking around, looking and asking.

“Bryn? Are you here, Bryn?” I said as controllably as I could manage. “Are you here? Bryn?”

Madam Brooks came over, a little surprised as she saw my red eyes.

“Are you looking for Mr Johnson? He’s over there, dear,” she said carefully.

“Th-thanks,” I replied, hurrying over to the place she’d pointed out.

The minute I sat down by his table, his eyes lit up. He dropped his quill, which he had been using to doodle on some parchment. He was quite good, I liked his very detailed, yet rough way of sketching.

“Lily? What’s wrong?” he said, concerned.

I broke down again. Tears and sobs emerged uncontrollably, not letting go of my body. Bryn hurriedly collected his books, helping me out. We sat down on a bench outside the library, and he stroked my back.

“Lily… tell me what’s wrong.”

“You were right! You were right all along… I should never have kissed James… I should never have become his girlfriend… I should never have loved him.”


“He hurt me! He injured my very heart, it seems… It stings so horribly…”

“No…” Bryn said, giving me a long hug. “Lily, I’m so sorry.”

I buried myself in his arms, knowing it was wrong, but still it felt comforting as the person I really wanted to be close to didn’t love me like I thought he did.

“What did he do?” Bryn said.

I lifted my eyes, looking into his.

“He felt me up… He tried to force onto me. He… wanted to enter me. Yet we discussed it only days ago, and I told him I wasn’t ready,” I sobbed.

Bryn’s eyes stiffened, and he seemed angry.

“That… jerk,” he said through gritted teeth. “I’m going to get him for you, Lily. I will beat him up so thoroughly he’ll regret ever touching you.”

“No!” I exclaimed. “No… I don’t want you to meddle in. Let it just be. I’m through with him… He’s not worth it.”

Bryn nodded, stroking my hair gently.

“I just want to die,” I whispered. “I want to die.”

“No! Don’t say that, Lily… I’m here for you, I’ll never leave you,” Bryn comforted me.

“Thank you so much, Bryn… I really appreciate that. Please don’t let me get fooled by that player again.”

“I won’t…” he said, making me look into his eyes. “Remember my second letter?”

I held onto his eyes. I wasn’t ready for this.

“It said my door will always be open for you. So just… Don’t forget that, Ok?”

I didn’t say anything.

A/N: It will become cheerful again sooner or later, I promise. Misery over soon.

A/N 2: I know some of you have been upset because you noticed the similarities between my story and alisia_cameron’s story “Try it Again”. I want to inform you that I have contacted her, and looked through her plot. I find the similarities to be only coincidences, she has used her own ideas. She has not stolen my plot. We just happen to think very alike when it comes to dancing. Later in her plot the similarities will more or less disappear. So don’t flame her! :)

Chapter 43: In the Library
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Chapter Forty-three, In the Library

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Dance is the poetic baring of the soul through motion.
- Scott Nilsson

Hillary looked at me in disbelieve. She was pacing around in my dormitory, a face filled with confusion and anger. Now and then she would stop up, just looking at me, before pacing some more.

“Say something,” I pleaded. “You’re driving me crazy here!”

Hillary walked over to me, looking me square in the eye.

“James went across all the lines you set up. James fetched you into a classroom, and tried to undress you. He then intended to shag you in there, but you escaped,” she said matter-of-factly with wide eyes.

I sighed, dragging a hand through my red hair for the millionth time.

“I already told you that,” I said quietly.

Hillary then looked distant for a second, before remaining focus again.

“It just seems so surreal. Like… something that would never happen. It’s not really possible,” she continued.

“Stop analysing the case and say something sensible! Something that will come in useful for me!” I said a little louder.

I picked up a cushion, squeezing it in my arms, looking down. No real thoughts entered my head, it just kept being empty. No reflections, no nothing.

Hillary sat down beside me.

“It can’t have been him,” she said firmly, cupping her head with her hands. “It’s impossible. He wouldn’t do that.”

I smiled ironically.

“ What can I say? All men are bastards, you never know them. They’re all insane deep down. At least I got to know his bad side before I married and had children with the chap,” I said in a bored tone.

“Have you even considered the possibility that it was someone impersonating him?” Hillary pointed out to me.

“Yes I have, in fact,” I said, looking into her eyes. “And there’s not much of a chance. It was definitely James Potter, just in a very aggressive and mad state.”

“So you’re absolutely sure?” Hillary said insecurely.

“No, you shall never say never. I know that now, I thought I could trust him with my life. And I couldn’t. So of course the tiny chance that it wasn’t James exists, but it’s minuscule.”

“You’re right,” Hillary sighed.

I started fiddling with my nails.

“Know what’s peculiar?” Hillary then said out of the blue.

I lifted my head, looking indifferently up at one of the best friends I’d ever had.

“No, what’s that?” I said automatically, expecting her to say something along the lines of ‘that he denied it.’ You wouldn’t say so? I didn’t notice that…

“You’re not crying. You’re not moping. You’re being all neutral.”

It was not what I’d thought she’d say. It was the first line that penetrated my little wall preventing thoughts from coming into my head. It was the first sensible thing she had said in thirty minutes.

She was right, as I thought over the matter for a moment.

‘I’m not crying…’ I whispered to myself. ‘I’m not trashing my dorm. I’m not screaming.’

I screwed up my eyes, setting them on Hillary’s blue gaze.

“You’re right,” I finally said, squeezing my cushion a little bit more.

Hillary shook her head, looking deeply worried. Even more worried than when I told her what had happened in the first place.

“Isn’t that a good thing?” I tried carefully, not really understanding her reaction.

She didn’t move an inch. Her face-expression didn’t change either. Then her lips moved before she left my dorm as if I was a dead person she had to mourn over.

“It’s not good, Lily… It’s not good at all.”

‘What was that nonsense about?’ I thought. ‘It’s bad that I’m not moping? That I somehow don’t show reaction? That I probably just finished all the mad feelings and tears the night it actually happened?’

For once, I didn’t find the answer I needed in my head. I didn’t find anything. It was plain empty. I realised that I didn’t think much of James anymore, but where were the feelings telling me I was supposed to break down completely after my boyfriend hurt me? They weren’t there. That left me with three options.

One: It hadn’t sunken in yet.

Two: They had hid somewhere I couldn’t even find them myself.

Three: I had really reacted differently to the situation than I would have thought.

I hoped it was the latter of the three. It would be so revealing.. so relaxing. So easy. I chose to believe it was the third reason.

Then I got an owl tapping my window. I hurried over to get it, hoping it was from mum.

I was correct.

Dear Lily,
I have been aware of what you have told us, about this Lord Voldemort in the Wizard World. Petunia too, even though she doesn't want to admit it. I will keep an eye out, and contact you if anything at all happens, or we hear something in the muggle world. Please take care. I are worried about you, but I’ll take yours and Dumbledore’s word that you’re safe at Hogwarts.

Love, mum

I laid it in my drawer, together with all the articles I’d collected from the Daily Prophet about different appearances Voldemort or his followers had made. Each and every one concerned me more.. but I knew I was safe at Hogwarts. What I found curious was that there had been nothing really big since February. Was I missing out or was there something going on? had Voldemort given up?


I had been quiet the whole day. If it hadn’t been a Saturday, I would probably have stayed in bed instead of getting around the school for classes. Sirius had tried to speak to me a dozen times about what had happened yesterday, but I never really gave him a decent reply. I just kept getting lost in my own thoughts and the image of the most beautiful girl I’d ever had.

My eyes were sharp, though. They noticed every move, every change in the circumstances around me in the library. As Hillary Nirmington came walking in a straight line towards me, I let my other senses come on, too. Her dark hair fuzzed furiously around her thin face, and her hands were closed into fists. Even her clothes were stirring around her body.

She stopped dead in front of me.

“You hurt her.”

I leaned back, placing my hands behind the back of my head.

“Has Lily sent you to hit me hard with well chosen words because she’s in a too bad state herself to do it?” I said to the angry girl.

“No,” Hillary said. “It’s not like that at all.”

I bit my lip for fun. “Really? She’s ten times as angry as you then? And you refused to let her go herself, so you came instead?” I said sarcastically.

“Listen,” Hillary begun. “I’m going to ask you this question once. And I want an honest answer,” she said much calmer.

I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, shoot.”

Hillary bent slightly closer, looking into my eyes. It almost scared me, the girl’s eyes were triggering and almost threatening.

“Did you hurt her? Was it you?”

I raised my eyebrows, dropping them at once as I remembered I had to look serious as I gave her the important reply.


She straightened up, pointing her chin in the air.

“She’s not crying. She’s not angry. She’s nothing,” she said.

“Really?” I said, leaning forwards, forgetting all about being cold. “Why?”

Hillary quickly sat down next to me, holding her hands collected in her lap.

“I think she’s hiding it all away. It’s the only way to prevent a break-down. It’s so… destroying, she’s avoiding her own feelings,” she said softly.

“Girl-talk,” I said with a sigh. “Why do you always have to be so complicated?”

She looked hardly at me.

“Just because we have feelings? Because we’re sentimental? I thought you were different, James. But maybe you are really as cold as you are now, maybe Lily has a point.”

She rose, walking away as quickly as she came. I shook my head.

‘Is it my fault? I don’t care how people think of me right now. I’m allowing myself to be cold. Lily just broke it off with me. She accused me of things I wouldn’t even think of doing,’ I hissed in my mind. ‘Nothing matters anymore.’

I laid down onto the bench by the table in the library, occupying four or five seats. It didn’t matter, though. Saturdays weren’t days for hanging out in the library if you weren’t reading out of interest.

Bryn Johnson. He was the cause of this. He was the cause of everything.

Then I was brutally shoved off the bench, ending up on the hard floor. I let out a cry of surprise, rubbing the back of my head as I sat up.

“Padfoot! What the heck was that about? You’re mad!” I snapped.

“I’m mad?” he said, leaning down to me. “I’m not the one giving a fuck about everything, leaving myself miserable as hell.”

That woke me up. Sirius never used to use as strong swear-words as that.

“So? Can you blame me?” I said in the same angry tone. “Lily just left me. For something another bastard did. And she’s blaming me. Life sucks.”

Sirius scowled. “At least you can do the best out of the situation, and stop moping, not caring about anything.”

My best friend was really disappointed in me, I could tell. But he didn’t know how this felt.

“Lily’s not moping. She’s happy,” I said bitterly.

“What? Isn’t she crying her eyes out?” Sirius said in surprise. “How do you know?”

I sat up.

“Hillary told me only a minute before you came. Lily’s just happy to get rid of me. She’s not hurt at all, bet she’s just faking.”

Sirius took hold of me in a firm grasp and pulled me up violently. His eyes were on fire, his face was unrecognisable.

“Don’t say that,” he said hardly through clenched teeth. “You know Lily loved you. You know she didn’t fake it, she’s not like that at all.”

I took hold of Sirius’s hand and released myself, sitting hardly down onto the bench again. I put my head in my hands, and I felt my eyes go tense.

“I know,” I said shakily.

Sirius sat down beside me, putting a hand on my back.

“I’m so sorry, mate,” he said seriously. “Let her go. Let it all go.”

I looked quickly up at him.

“I can’t. Someone did that to her, to us,” I said slowly, weighing every word. “It’s none of our faults. I can’t let it go, never. I’m going to find out who did it.”

“Good luck,” Sirius said after a moment’s silence. “I wonder how you intend to do that. Find your own supposed twin among the whole school.”

I let a sly grin spread my face. I don’t know how it appeared, it just did.

“I know who it is,” I whispered, pulling Sirius’s face so close our foreheads touched. “Bryn Johnson.”

Sirius sat up straighter, looking at me with a frown.

“You sure? How do you know?”

I put my hand to my face, locking my eyes with Sirius’s. I didn’t want him to miss a word of what I was saying.

“He’s still keen on Lily. She told me herself. She was even about to meet him in the library when “I” came and fetched her. He’s a brilliant student, I’m sure he’d manage to pull it off, just so he could have her.”

Sirius’s face wasn’t tense anymore.

“How do you think he’d do it?”

“Polyjuice potion. It didn’t take an hour in that classroom, and he knew where she was going to be,” I said resolutely.

“Could be,” Sirius nodded. “But it takes a month to brew the stuff.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Did you miss out on the part “brilliant student”?”

Sirius swallowed hardly.

“It’s not an indifferent accusation you’re raising against the bloke, James. What if you’re wrong?” he said.

“I’m not wrong. And I’m going to make Lily uncover him,” I said mischievously.

Sirius let out a little snigger.

“A little detective, are you? How do you plan to do that?” he said unbelievingly. “And why does it have to be Lily who uncovers him?”

“Because that’s the only way her eyes will open up. And you, my friend,” James said slowly, “are going to help me.”

A/N: Some people said they thought Sirius was Bryn in this chapter. That's not the case.. he just needed to be strict with James to get his point through! Don't worry :)

Chapter 44: The Pointe Shoes
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Chapter Forty-four, The Pointe Shoes

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Toe dancing is a dandy attention getter,
second only to screaming.
- Agnes de Mille

Jennifer looked at me as I wrapped the ribbons of my pointe shoes around my ankles before ballet class.

“How are you feeling?” she suddenly said.

I met her eyes, puzzled. “What do you mean?” I replied.

“I mean… how do you feel after the break-up with James?”

I sighed.

“I’m Ok, really,” I told her, starting to put on the other shoe. “Don’t worry.”

She sat down next to me, surveying me.

“Do you have to start searching me? Everybody’s done that already,” I snapped.

“Sorry… I’m just worried about you.”

“Don’t be… I’m perfectly fine.”

We trotted into the dancing studio, seeing Lindsay doing the register.

“Ah, Lily… There you are. I haven’t seen you in classes lately?” she peered down on the sheet in her lap.

“Oh… I haven’t been feeling well,” I excused myself.

“You have been ill for a month?” she said with a suspicious look.

“Yes,” I said normally, moving over to the barre.

We warmed up our feet, and when we were about to start the real lesson, my feet were tired already. It was probably because of all the classes I’d missed. . .

“Today we’re definitely doing the study dances one by one, like you’ll be doing in your exam. I’m sorry we’re doing them in a pointe class, but time’s running out. Who wants to go first?” Lindsay said brightly.

Dorothy stepped forwards, securing the elastics on her feet before getting ready in a corner.

Lindsay nodded, putting the music on.

Dorothy danced beautifully. I didn’t really want to admit it, but I was dreading the moment it was my turn to do that dance. I had barely learnt it, I hadn’t had time to bring it to perfection.

Dorothy did the allegro on pointe so controlled and steady I was amazed. Lindsay noticed this too, and gave her praise after she was finished. For every girl doing their dance, I felt the lump in my stomach become bigger. I stared, gazed, inhaled every possible detail of the dance, trying to remember it.

“Lily? Will you go next?” Lindsay smiled, putting the music on again.

My heart somehow beat faster. I straightened up, walking over to the corner. I had the feeling of staggering through the dance, all eyes on me. I just wanted to get it over with. To stop before my feet started to bleed with pain.

I almost held my breath as I jumped into a grand allegro, concentration making my smile fade away. I felt a soaring pain run through my system as I collapsed in the landing.

“Lily!” Lindsay screamed, running over to me. I whimpered, holding my shaking hands over the foot which throbbed with tension. I sat crunched on the floor, hearing the music go on without me dancing to it.

Lindsay bent down, removing my hands clutching my right foot. She untied the ribbons, carefully removing the warm shoe from my foot. She let her fingers run over the ankle, and I had a short intake of breath.

Her eyes met mine, and they were written with concern.

“You’ve hurt your ankle, Lily…” she said softly, picking up the point shoe lying next to me. She bent the front area, showing it to me as she did.

“Your shoes are broken… Why did you use them? They don’t give you the support you need now you’ve broken the sole from within because of over-use.”

I put a hand to my face, peering down on my foot.

“W-will I be able to dance in the next show? Do my exam? How serious is it?” I whispered.

“The exam is next week… I don’t reckon it will heal that quickly. And besides, after an injury like this, you should probably take it easy for a while,” she said gently. “But I assume you’ll be able to take it later. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be well enough to do the show.”

A little tear rolled down my cheek.

“How long?” I stuttered.

“I’m not certain.. you’ll have to ask madam Pomfrey, but I’d guess around
three weeks… If you dance before that it’ll just get worse and you might get seriously injured.”

I sat watching the rest of the class. The others looked at me through the corner of their eyes, and I felt a bolt of ice in my chest as I watched them.

No dancing for three weeks or more… How would I ever survive that? I had skipped quite a few lessons the last month, but that was for other reasons.

“Are you Ok, Lily?” Lindsay said after the lesson when everybody else had gone for the changing room.

“No, I’m not,” I mumbled.

“You landed that grand allegro with a straight foot instead of with your foot bent into a plié. You overexerted your foot, and your shoes were broken. No wonder you’re not Ok.”

I didn’t say anything.

“How’s things with James Potter, by the way? You doing Ok?” she smiled.

I looked quickly up at her.

“We’re over. Didn’t you know?” I said bitterly. “I’m so tired of telling people..”

Lindsay sighed.

“I’m sorry Lily.. long ago?”

“Three weeks now… feels like a lot more,” I continued in the bored tone.

“Do you miss him?” Lindsay said carefully.

I looked at her with raised eyebrows.

“What? No, I mean, he was the one who screwed it up…”

“You sound like you miss him,” Lindsay said as she collected her papers.

“Well, I don’t!” I said loudly, rising and leaving the room with a limp.

I felt Lindsay’s eyes in my neck.

“Lily… come back. Sit down.”

Something about her voice made me want to return. It told me that she wasn’t after me, that she only wanted what was best for me. So I stayed.

“You can’t deny you miss him,” she said to me as we sat down by the wall. “You dated for quite a while, and your love looked quite genuine to me…”

I shrugged.

“Sure, It’s strange not having someone to kiss and hug anymore, but I’m not suffering.”

Lindsay laughed a little.

“That’s what you want to make yourself believe. I had an experience that was a lot like yours. I fooled myself,” she said gently.

“You don’t know anything about my case. It’s not like the one you had, believe me,” I began, looking somewhat hardly at her. “I’d better get to madam Pomfrey… I want her to have a look at my foot as quickly as possible.”

As I came somewhat more unsteady back to Gryffindor Tower later, I was dreading everyone’s reaction.

I sat down in a chair, pretending nothing had happened. I found a book, starting to look up some things for the next lesson. As a nasty throb emerged through my foot, I let out a painful whimper.

It’s impressive how some people have animal-qualities. Especially the hearing of a dog. Sirius Black, for example.

“Was that a sound of enjoyment or pain?” he said a second later. I bit my lip, looking apprehensively at my foot.

“What’s wrong?” he said, sitting down next to me.

It was impossible to hide stuff from Sirius.

“Don’t tell anyone, Ok?” I said slowly.

He narrowed his eyebrows, looking over at his other best friends.

“Ok, I won’t tell, unless I have to.”

“Unless you have to?” I said doubtfully. “I hurt my foot.”

“That’s all?” Sirius said, not seeing the problem.

“I hurt my ankle in pointe class. I’m supposed to have a ballet-exam in a week. So don’t come here and say “That’s all”, ok?”

Sirius looked at my foot.


I nodded. “I can’t dance for three weeks. Minimum.”

“Does Prongs know?” Sirius said carefully, looking at my foot, which looked swollen.

“No, why would he want to know?” I asked.

“Because he - just forget it. It doesn’t matter. Why don’t you want him to know?” Sirius pushed.

“Because I don’t want him to feel sorry for me,” I said resolutely.

Sirius raised his eyebrows, shrugging. “Ok, fine.”

As he left me, my head started spinning with thought again. I wasn’t going to dance for three weeks. What would I do in the meantime? It would be bothering to watch the others practise for their exam. That would be torture. Then his name popped up in my head again.

I stirred in my sleep. I rolled over to the left, pulling the covers closer. I started breathing heavier. I remembered meeting Bryn earlier. What he had said… How he had behaved.

“I sent you the letters, Lily,” Bryn had said, playing with my hair as I was secured in his arms. He looked at me with anticipation.

“You did?” I said in surprise. “The love letters?”

“Mhm…” he answered.

I looked up at him, seeing the sparkle in his eye. He was the one who had started sending them since Christmas. He was the one who admired me and wanted me. He was the one who had been in my mind all since the break off with James… He was the one...

Chapter 45: Making a Decision
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Chapter Forty-five, Making a Decision

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The one important thing I have learnt over the years
is the difference between taking one's work seriously
and taking oneself seriously.
The first is imperative and the second disastrous.
-Margot Fonteyn

I was sitting by a table in the common room, a quill steady in my hand. I saw a drop of ink balancing on the tip, waiting to fall onto the yellow paper beneath it. I didn’t know where to start, there were so many things waiting to flow down into the diary. I put the quill down again, scanning over what I’d written last time.

5th March
Today James and I brought our homework outside instead of doing it in the library. He brought me to a nice spot near the lake, it was almost like a homework-picnic. We laughed and had the best time. It’s extraordinary how James always manages to find that exact right spot to kiss over and over again, or the most sensitive parts of my skin to touch. His kisses never change; they are all as trembling and heart-melting as our first kiss. I’ve never been so in love with anybody… I know I’ve been writing that in every paragraph since Christmas, but who cares? It’s the truth. I don’t know what I’d do without him… And the best thing is that I trust him fully. He would never hurt me, he wouldn’t let me go if I ever fell. I even miss him now, even if I saw him only an hour ago. It’s a strange thing, love.

I wanted to rip the page out, but knew I wouldn’t be able to. I felt a lump in my throat, I felt my heart beat as I read what I had written. I had really loved him… The strange thing was that it seemed ages ago I had scribbled down that paragraph in the diary James gave me for Christmas. It had only been a month, and it felt like months. It hadn’t been that long since our break-off, and yet I felt like I’d had all the time in the world to get over him.

What was I going to write? On Friday almost four weeks ago I broke up with James because he tried to shag me, when I didn’t want to. It hurt. He pretended it never happened, just like the kiss. He’s really not who I thought he were.

That had got to be it. Simple, straight facts. No deep emotion-stuff, thinking or analysis of the happening. I wouldn’t be able to, anyway. I still felt as empty and careless as I’d been before.

I dipped the quill again, scribbling what I’d just thought out. As the full stop was putting an end to it, I heart someone’s voice.

“I’m sorry you had to write that,” Sirius said, sitting down next to me, looking at my diary.

“You read over my shoulder?” I sighed. “That’s not very decent.”

He dragged a hand though his hair, looking at me.

“You’re right, it wasn’t. But sometimes curiosity gets the best of you.”

I closed the diary, looking briefly at the picture on the front. It was just as I’d seen it the last three months… myself before the show. The green fabric covering the book made my eyes look astonishingly green and bright. I loved that picture.

“Why aren’t you sad, Lily?” Sirius asked.

I looked over at him, supporting my head with my hand.

“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “I’m just not. Life goes on, I guess…”

“I don’t think it was James who did it,” Sirius said. “I really don’t.”

I looked around in the room for a moment, trying to take in what he said.

“Why do you think that?” I said with narrowed eyes.

“He’s my best friend. He’s mourning over you as if you were dead… He’s out of himself. He doesn’t know what to do.”

I raised my eyebrows. Was that supposed to change my mind? Just like that? Ah, I understood what it was about. Sirius was going to try get us back together, mix us up, talk me into taking the accusation back.

“It’s called regression?” I said stubbornly, looking at Sirius in assignment.

“He wouldn’t do that, Lily. James is a good man. He’s never loved anyone more than he loves you. Maybe he would even put you over his best friends. That’s how much he loves you,” he said seriously, yet softly.

Normally, I would have felt tears sting in my eyes. But it just came to me like anything else would have. I suddenly didn’t want James to love me.

“Sorry, Sirius. The effort is worthless, it won’t change my mind,” I said clearly.

“Lily… Don’t you honestly think it was someone else? I thought you knew James better than this. I thought you knew he wouldn’t to that.”

I came closer to him, looking him in the eyes.

“It’s called being in love, Sirius. I was in love, I was blinded. I was naive.”

“You weren’t,” Sirius said, but he was starting to sound as if he was about to give up.

“You were in love, yes, and you didn’t see the truth, yes, but it was a different truth than the one you think you’ve discovered.”

What Sirius said, actually made sense. But it wouldn’t change my mind.

“Ok, so what’s that truth? If James supposedly didn’t do it, who did?” I challenged.

“Bryn Johnson.”

I laughed, I couldn’t help it. Sirius looked at me in disbelieve, in surprise.

“Are you blaming him for everything, now? Keep going wild with these assumptions and conclusions,” I giggled ironically.

“He could’ve used the Polyjuice Potion,” Sirius continued in the calm, rational voice.

I stopped. He could’ve, actually. Except it took a month to brew it… and I wasn’t even sure if all the ingredients were available. Would he do that? Sure, he wanted me back.. he had even sent me secret love-letters. But would he be that desperate? It seemed unrealistic.

“He didn’t do it,” I said matter-of-factly. “Would I consider dating someone who I believe impersonated my prior boyfriend to get me? Hurting me as hell in the process? No.”

Sirius looked like he had been slapped in the face. He took my hand, almost panting.

“What? You can’t be serious!” he exclaimed.

“Does it look like I’m joking?” I said with a little smile.

“Tell me you’re kidding. Tell me it’s all a prank to take revenge on James.. tell me that you’re not for real considering to date Bryn Johnson again?”

“Calm down,” I said softly. “What’s the problem? I said I might date him. He’s a good chap.. he’s handsome, he’s nice, he’s caring…”

“Stop the nonsense!” Sirius broke me off. “He’s neither of them.”

I sat back, perfectly calm.

“Don’t judge the blokes I date. Should I judge all the girls you’ve been going out with? That would make the speech long.”

I knew I had him in a corner now.

“It’s nothing like that. Listen, Lily…” Sirius said, putting a hand on my shoulder. “You’re not being reasonable. It’s just a need of love, a wish of not being alone after losing James…”

“I didn’t lose him! He lost me!” I cut him off.

Sirius rose.

“You’re not yourself, Lily… Go to one of your dancing-studios, relax and have a real think-over,” he said seriously, almost bitterly. “You’ve never been a girl to deny your feelings like that… You should be ashamed.”

Sirius walked away, straight to his dorm. Two girls tried to stop him to chat, and Peter tried to summon him, to engage him in conversation, but he didn’t listen. He just went.

His words had hit me like a knife in my chest. Sirius had always supported me, been there, listened. But now he took distance from me. He told me to be ashamed of myself… when I had felt proud. I felt proud for the decision I’d made. Getting up and over James, and starting over fresh.

I eyed Sirius up in the air, hovering on his broomstick. He was still mad at me, but I hoped he wouldn’t tell anyone about our conversation. Remus was next to me, cheering Gryffindor on as well, as the quaffle and the bludgers were zooming around the players.

I had just arrived to the game, and I wasn’t that interested, for a change. My eyes just followed one particular player. As he flew up there, empathising with the game, I knew what I had to do. I had to talk to him. Had to tell him what I really felt. I suddenly realised I could have saved many thoughts if I’d just realised this sooner. I wanted to date that Quidditch-player again… to forget what happened in the past. I was tired of all this mess with James…

I could put an end to it all.

I didn’t know how to do it, after all that had happened, and all he knew. I had to act soon, though. What if he cooled down? What if his feelings for me disappeared? What if I was too late…

Remus suddenly walked behind me as I left the whole game. I didn’t need to be there anymore. My decision was made. It had changed many times, yes, but I had come to one point where I had settled.

“Lily? Where are you going?” he said in a rush.

“Back to the tower,” I said casually.

“Aren’t you going to watch the game?” he continued.

“No… I don’t feel like it. I want to go back.”

Remus shrugged his shoulders, continuing to walk back with me.

“Are you joining me?” I said with a smile twinkling on my lips.

“Yes… we haven’t spent that much time together lately. Time to catch up,” he grinned, putting a hand around my shoulders.

As we sat down in the common room with a cup of tea, Remus grew serious.

“Sirius told me you’re considering dating Bryn Johnson,” he said seriously. He struggled to keep his mood up, but it was very obvious he had found our little quarrel disturbing.

I sniggered slightly, taking a sip of my cup.

“Forget what Sirius said, forget it all. I’ve come to a new conclusion,” I smiled. “ You see.. when I saw him at the match today, I realised what I have to do. What I want. I should have listened to myself much more… I was stupid..”

Somehow, Remus found this new information pleasing. He edged closer to me, putting his cup away.


“I’m going to date him again,” I said mysteriously, sending him a look.

“What?” Remus said at once, before smiling at me. “I knew you’d come around, Lily… That you’d figure it out.”

I gave him a hug, slightly taken aback by his reaction.

“You’re Ok with that? You don’t think it’s a bad idea?” I exclaimed excitedly.

“No! Not at all.. James will be pleased,” he continued to smile.

“You think he will?” I said nervously. “I thought he’d start yelling at me after all that’s happened.”

Remus shook his head.

“Are you crazy? He won’t hesitate. He’s wanted you back since the moment you broke up with him,” he beamed.

A big curve appeared in my forehead.

“What did you say?” I said slowly.

“He’ll be ecstatic when you tell him you want to have him back, that’s what I’m saying,” Remus said in the same happy voice.

“I’m not going to have him back,” I said seriously. “I was talking about Bryn. I saw him at the match today… he was seeker on the Hufflepuff team.”

Remus’s face fell. He looked at me with deep eyes, not believing what he had heard.

“Why? I thought you loved James.”

I wriggled in my seat, not meeting his eyes.

“No.. I think I’m in love with Bryn. I want to try dating him, not James.”

Remus stood up. He suddenly seemed a lot taller than he used to.

“I know this is going to sound harsh, that it will sound like I’m commanding you. But please, Lily.. I don’t want you to go out with Johnson. You usually listen to me, Lily… will you listen this time, too?”

I felt my eyes sting, for the first time since I had turned James down. This was so strong, so unexpected… Remus knew my weak points. And he knew how to use them.

“No, Remus…” I whispered. “I think this will be the first time I’m not going to listen to you.”

Chapter 46: Confrontation
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Chapter Forty-six, Confrontation

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I should not believe in a God who does not dance.
- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


“Miss Evans? May I have a word?” Professor McGonagall held me back after the last lesson of the day.

“You have become less concentrated and alert the last few weeks. I need you to improve if you want to keep your mark…” she said strictly.

I looked absent-mindedly into the air, before meeting her eyes again.

“Any particular reason?” she suggested.

“Ballet, I guess. It’s almost time for the next little show, and it’s exam time, and I’ve been working a lot.”

The professor shook her head.

“No, I’m not talking about your homework. I’m talking about your performance in class.”

I blushed a little.

“What about it?” I said.

“You’re so serious. But at the same time, your incantations and transfigurations are done with less satisfying results. Have any… personal happenings effected this?”

I thought about the person responsible. McGonagall must be a mind reader.

“Potter, is it?” she concluded. “Am I right in saying he is the reason?”

I shrugged.

“Perhaps, but not really. I don’t know what the reason might be.”

Professor McGonagall looked highly doubtful.

“I’ll let it pass, if you improve and get to the level you had earlier,” she smiled a little. “I’m expecting you to put more work into it.”

I nodded. “Thanks, professor.”

My eyes were wide open, peering down the table in the Great Hall. James was down there, chatting with Elizabeth Facklet and her gang. They were laughing and having fun.

‘So he has moved on?’ I thought. ‘Good for him… I’ve moved on, too.’

Hillary sat opposite of me, noticing the directions my eyes went.

“Looking at James?” she said, slightly bitter.

I snatched my head up, leaning back again before returning to my food.

“Yes, I just wondered who he was with,” I answered.

“Not jealous, are you?” she tried me.

I shook my head, not even answering.

“I can’t believe you’re dating Bryn Johnson. I guess he threw himself over you as you told him how you supposedly feel two days ago?”

Hillary was still extremely anti-Bryn. She didn’t like the chap at all, and the fact that he was now my boyfriend made her very irritated around me.

“Stop the fussing. We’ve had this discussion a million times,” I said tiredly. “And no, he didn’t jump onto me. He was very gentle.”

Hillary leaned over to me, lowering her voice.

“You haven’t seen him since, have you? You’re together now after all…”

I narrowed my eyes, putting my piece of bread down.

“I’ve been busy with dancing and stuff, Ok? I’m seeing him tonight. In the grounds.”

Hillary rolled her eyes.

“Ballet never stopped you from being with James… you even let him watch sometimes. You don’t let Bryn do that,” she said defiantly. “And your leg is hurt. All you do is watch the others having lessons.”

“Come on… I had been dating James a while first, I’m just in the start phase with Bryn. It’ll come along,” I replied.

Hillary crossed her arms over her chest.

“Your relationship will end as soon as it did last time.”

I rose, not wanting to listen to Hillary anymore.

I headed straight for the library.

As I was right outside it, a girl I never knew before fetched me.

“Lily Evans?” she said sweetly, yet firmly.

“Yes, are you talking to me?” I said to her in my normal voice.

“Yes… I was just wondering something. You’re not dating James Potter anymore, are you?” she said casually.

I hated questions like that…

“No, I’m not,” I said a little harder than I had intended. “We broke up a month ago.”

“Ok, just wondering. Is it true you found him in bed with another Gryffindor girl?”

I opened my mouth before I could think twice.

“No! Where do you have that from? It was nothing like that,” I hissed.

“What was it then?” she said keenly.

“That’s none of your business, ask him if you’re so curious!”

I swept into the library before she said anything else. My head was boiling. Why couldn’t people just leave me alone? It had been a month, and people still dug into this.

I sat down into a corner, opening a fantasy book about dragons. It was light reading, one of my favourite books. One of the books I could always escape into. I felt myself relax and calm down as I sat there, smiling at what I read.

“You’re going to lose Hillary if you don’t get yourself together,” a male voice suddenly said.

I peered over the pages, noticing James standing there, alone.

“Go away,” I said with control, diving into my book.

“I mean it. Stop acting like a … stuck up… thing.”

“Why are you meddling into this?” I cut him off very suddenly.

He sat down next to me, and I wanted to pull away. But it wasn’t possible. I was sitting towards a wall.

“Because it’s gone too far,” he said almost shakily.

“What’s gone too far?” I asked, paying attention, but not intending to let him know.

“You’re dating Bryn Johnson.”

I was quiet for a moment. He hadn’t mentioned that until now. Remus had told him, and I knew that he knew, but he never mentioned it in front of me. In fact, James and I almost hadn’t talked at all since our break up.
I shut my book and looked straight into his face.

“Can’t you people stop tormenting me about that?” I almost screamed. “What’s your problem?”

James actually chuckled a little. I didn’t see why.

“First, you accuse me of something I didn’t do…”

I opened my mouth to protest, but James hand was quicker. He put it over my lips, preventing me from speaking. I didn’t bother to remove it.

“Then you break up with me, then you don’t cry. You act heartless. You go back to the person who hurt you before, giving him a second chance.”

He removed his hand.

“What about me? Don’t I deserve a second chance? I’m willing to bet I treated you loads better then he ever did,” James finished.

“We’re not having this discussion here,” I said firmly.

“Fine,” James said brightly. “We’ll go somewhere we can have this conversation. Have your pick.”

“Stop it,” I simply said.

“How about the Grounds? The Great Hall? One of our dorms?”

“I said stop it!

James stopped. He paused for a moment, then got closer to me. Closer and closer … I tried to lean even further back, to avoid him, but that didn’t work. When James stopped, he was very close to my face.

“You’re holding your breath,” he whispered.

I breathed out. I wasn’t aware I had held my breath before James had pointed it out to me.

“Did you have strawberries for dessert?” he continued. “I can tell.”

His eyes flickered from my eyes to my lips once more.

I swallowed.

He pulled back again, scanning my face.

“You want me to kiss you,” he said quietly, looking away.

“I don’t,” I said.

I was surprised by how weak my voice was. I had expected it to be firmer.

“What about Johnson? Has he kissed you yet?” James said vulnerably.

No, Bryn hadn’t kissed me. I hadn’t let him yet, strangely enough.

I chose not to answer his question.

“There you go! You don’t even want him to, do you?” James said strongly as I was as quiet as a statue.

“Of course I want to!” I protested.

“Then why haven’t you? You’re dating, aren’t you supposed to walk with hands linked and looks never letting go of each other?” James said. “That’s what we were like… I couldn’t take my eyes off you. We even kissed before we were officially dating. You see, this is what I don’t get. I assumed you got together with Johnson because you missed the cuddling, the kissing, the closeness. But when you haven’t, I start to wonder. ”

I rose up, grabbing my book.

“Get out of here, James,” I said angrily.

“Oh, did I press a button?” he said amusedly, going quietly.

As he came out of my vision, I banged my fist into the table.

“Damn you, James!” I hissed under my breath. “Can’t you leave me alone? Let me figure this out on my own? I hate when you're telling me what to do.”

“Aren’t the stars beautiful?” Bryn whispered into my ear as we sat on a bench in the grounds that evening.

“They are,” I smiled, feeling his hand glide in between my fingers.

I met his eyes, his pale blue eyes.

I felt my foot sting for a second, but didn’t winch. Didn’t tell Bryn about it. I didn’t need him to feel sorry for me. Somehow, I didn’t want anyone to know about that injury … especially not him.

I let my head drop onto his shoulder, breathing out uneasily.

“What’s wrong, Lily?” he said.

“Just James. He keeps … being a problem.”

Bryn breathed out, too.

“Just forget about him. Let’s focus on us, Ok? I can’t believe I have you back.”

I lifted my head, smiling at him.

I kissed him.

I rested my head on his shoulder again.

‘Just like that…’ I thought. ‘As easy as that.’

I stared blankly ahead of me, almost forgetting where I was. We just sat there for ages, before Bryn lifted my head once more.

“I’ve missed you…” he said softly as he kissed me more.

I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless. Not because I was stunned and impressed and touched, because I honestly didn’t know what to think or say.

“I’ve missed you too…” I said quietly and automatically.

It felt wrong. I hadn’t missed him, not at all. Not until… under a month ago. I had missed him for slightly less than a month, and that was it. He had missed me for almost a year.

“I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time with you yesterday, and the day before that,” I excused myself all of a sudden.

Bryn smiled.

“No problem, I understand it’s different. But you were busy with ballet exams, yes?”

‘Well… not really,’ I thought, guilt spreading like fire in dry grass. ‘I was watching instead of doing homework.’

“I was,” I said, rising up.

“Are we going back so soon? We’ve only been out here since sunset,” Bryn laughed.

“Sorry, I have Transfiguration to catch up on.”

We walked back, parting at the hall leading to the fat lady.

“Goodnight, ballerina,” Bryn kissed me, a little bit more intense than earlier.

“G-Goodnight,” I stuttered, leaving him.

I was lying on my bed. It all felt… wrong. I had traced my time with him. It didn’t pass as quickly as it should have. His kisses… oh, his kisses.
And him calling me ‘ballerina’ as we parted. It was all different… in a way that wasn’t good.

The passage in my diary suddenly consumed my mind.

"It’s extraordinary how James always manages to find that exact right spot to kiss over and over again, or the most sensitive parts of my skin to touch. His kisses never change; they are all as trembling and heart-melting as our first kiss. I’ve never been so in love with anybody…"

I cried.

A/N: Lily is still having a tough time, I know, but it's getting there!

Chapter 47: Not Dancing
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Chapter Forty-seven, Not Dancing

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Movement becomes dance when the emotions
brought about by performing the movements
are the reason for moving.
- Source Unknown

It had been approximately three weeks since I started dating Bryn. My foot was now healed, and I was about to go to the Great Hall. I had to return a library book before I went to the last practise, and I was dreading it. I had been so busy trying to figure out all about Bryn, what I was supposed to do or not do… I had missed a lot of lessons, even if my foot had got considerably better.

I had found the conclusion as well.. And it made me slap myself mentally. It was actually impossible to fall in love with someone new only days after you loved someone else. It went against everything, and I understood that I had been fooling myself. Bryn was so wonderful… but it was not right to be with him when I hadn’t extracted James from my mind completely.

I thought I was in love… but I had been fooling myself all along.

“There you go,” I smiled at Madam Brooks, placing the book on her desk. She smiled back, waving at me as I was about to leave.

But I stopped.

“James, are you sure about this?” I heard Remus’s voice.

I hid behind a bookshelf, closely listening to what they were saying. Did he say what I thought he said?

“I’m sure. I’m not deaf! She said what I told you,” James explained to Remus.

“Elizabeth Facklet? Told you that you were irresistible? That she wanted to go out with you?”

I held my breath.

“Yes! And I’m telling you, I don’t think she was joking. What do I do now?” James said slightly desperately.

“I don’t know… Depends on -”

“- Lily?” James finished. “What should I do, then? Go over to her and ask her if she’s Ok with me dating someone new?”

Remus looked uneasy.

“Well… I don’t know. You never know how she’ll react,” he said in a crisp voice.

James looked at him in disbelieve.

“Did she ask me if I was Ok with her dating Johnson?” James said a little louder than he should.

“No,” Remus said irritably. “But you know they’re faltering. You know they’re not really happy. Not nearly as happy as the two of you were.”

“Do you have to remind me? Right now, that’s the last thing I want to think about,” James snapped. “Should I date Elizabeth, or not?”

Remus shrugged.

“Are you in love? Do you really want her, or is it just to take revenge on Lily?”

James thought for a moment.

“I’ve made up my mind,” he said resolutely. “I’ll tell you later.”

I sneaked out of the library, almost unable to breathe. It was the second time someone I had been in love with had done this to me. First Remus, agreeing to date Gwen right in front of my nose, and now James, who was about to decide weather to date Elizabeth Facklet on the Quidditch team or not. I walked in quick steps to the Great Hall, knowing I was late already.

I stumbled out of the narrow changing room next to the stage, my pointe shoes in my hand. I heard the music to our dance coming nearer with each step I took. The light shone at me as I ran up to the others, sitting down in a corner. I dragged my shoes on, and started to warm up my feet as they continued to dance with grins on their faces.

As the song ended, they gathered in the middle, with Lindsay telling them what they needed to improve. I just stood slightly outside the circle, waiting for a sign.

“Where’s Lily going to be positioned? Will she be doing pirouettes from the corner as well?” Jennifer said as she opened the circle up to me.

“You weren’t in class this week, were you, Lily?” Lindsay asked.

“No, I wasn’t. I didn’t feel well…” I said, looking at the others.

“Do you know the dance?” Dorothy nearly spat at me.

“Well… No, not really. I just attended the first lessons,” I said warily.

“That’s going to be a problem,” Lindsay creased her eyebrows, surveying me. “I’m sure you somewhat know the first part, but what about the second one? You’ve only gone through that a couple of times, right? It would look strange if you just went off stage in the middle of the dance…”

“Why? She did it in the last show,” Dorothy smiled evilly.

“I don’t know,” I lowered my eyes, trying to make myself believe I only imagined the tears pressing behind my eyes.

Lindsay sighed. “We’ll have another run-through. Back to your positions!”

I didn’t hesitate to go and sit down in the audience. Lindsay was right, I would look stupid. I felt the tears unmistakably tense in my eyes as I watched the others dance through once more, with an empty spot at the back. They must already have given someone else my place in the front.

Back in the changing room, I tried to avoid the eyes of the other dancers. When most of them had left, I started pulling a loose sweater over my leotard and dragging a pair of old jeans on. I packed my things, ready to leave as soon as possible.

Jennifer came over.

“Aren’t you going to participate in the other dance either?” she said, lying a hand on my shoulder.

“I don’t know that dance either, do I?”

I couldn’t prevent the tears any more. They didn’t roll down my face, but I felt my eyes go red and my voice shaky.

“Come on? Carol and I can teach it to you now! Before we go on stage!” she said carefully.

“There’s no use, Jen… it’s two days left. I don’t want to stand at the back staring at everyone else because I don’t know the steps…” I cried, sitting down again. “I’d better be going.”

“Oh, Lily… I’m so sorry,” Jennifer bent down and hugged me. “I love you, ok?”

“Love you too,” I whispered before leaving the great hall for the common room.

“Lily? Aren’t you supposed to be dancing?” Sirius laid down his exploding snap cards and came over. “What’s wrong?”

He had spotted my sore eyes and my sad face.

“I-I’m not dancing,” I forced out.

Sirius embraced me, and I saw James over his shoulder sitting as a question mark with the rest of the cards. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see his face.

“Why?” Sirius let go, looking at me.

“I don’t know the dances. I made a complete fool of myself, showing up in dance wear and expecting to join. I feel so stupid, Sirius…” I sobbed.

“Don’t be,” he comforted. “Come and join me and Prongs for exploding snap!”

I looked coldly at him.

A part of me wanted to be as close to James as possible, but the other one said clearly that I was not supposed to do that. I was with Bryn, and James was probably with Elizabeth.

“I’m leaving.”

I trotted over to a chair at the opposite side of the room, fiddling with my dance-slippers.

I was close to collapsing. Things had been building up to a storm for so long, I wasn’t sure if I was able to control myself much longer.

My foot was healed, but I had been so caught up in my own confusing web of emotions I hadn’t been able to dance. I hadn’t attended many lessons, I had been spending those hours thinking instead. And what came out of it? Nothing. Nothing at all.

I felt cold tears roll down my cheek again, and I swore under my breath.

‘No! I don’t want to cry… I don’t want to be weak anymore. I can’t cry, I refuse to cry.’

I sat there for a while, just concentrating on not crying. I hadn’t really done that before, being determined on not crying. I’d usually just let it flow. In rage, I threw my pointe shoes down on the floor, letting out a little hiss as I did it. I dragged my hands through my red mane, taking a deep breath.

Sirius left, and James kept sitting where he sat.

‘Aren’t you coming over? To comfort me? Play the hero as always? Make me love you again?’ I thought dangerously in my head. It would be so like him.

He rose up, sending me a glance.

‘There you go! I knew you would! How unexpected!’ I kept on talking to myself in my head, sarcastically evil.

“Lily?” his gentle voice said, almost advancing on me as if I was a flesh-eating plant.

“What is it?” I said, a combination of firmness and shakiness coming from it.

“I was just… sorry you didn’t make it. That you’re not participating in the show this time,” he continued, coming a tiny bit closer.

“That’s Ok, it really is,” I lied.

Then James came close. I knew he would the moment I entered the common room. Just like I had known I didn’t really hate him at all, though I should.

“Don’t try to hide it, you never manage to hide things from me,” he said carefully.

‘No.. Don’t cry. Please don’t start crying again, Lily..’ I hissed to myself. ‘You promised to let go.’

But James didn’t avoid seeing my red eyes again, even though I did everything to hide it. I wanted to be angry, not sad and down. He sat down next to me, wrapping his arms around me. He let his cheek come onto mine, like he used to do when we were together.

“I know it hurts you, I just do. It’s the way it is between us now… I’ll always know. No matter how much you try to hide it,” James said softly into my ear. “I still care a lot about you, even though we’re not together. I miss your smile.”

Somehow, those words hurt as much as they comforted. It ripped open again, that I wasn’t with James, I was really more with Bryn. My heart lied to me.. Everyone considered Bryn and me a couple. Even me.

And James… The day he tried to force onto me… He wasn’t himself. There must have been an explanation. I knew the James holding me right then would never push my limits.

“Why are you holding me?” I let out, not loosening my grip on him. A tear struggled it’s way slowly down my cheek.

“I care about you, Lily. We’re good friends. And I’m there for my friends when they’re not Ok.. when they need me.”

I swallowed hardly.


James sighed, and I felt his breath tickle my ear as he did. I wish it was a happy sigh, not a tired sigh.

“What is it that you’re not telling me?” he said slowly.

“Nothing, there’s nothing,” I said hurriedly.

‘What are you saying? Of course it’s something.. you feel your heart beating again, aren’t you?’ I said to myself.

“How’s things… with Johnson?” James slipped in.

I couldn’t believe he could ask me such a question. It was like slapping me in the face, really.

“We’re doing Ok,” I said shortly.

“Good,” he confirmed, but we both knew that was a very awkward topic.

“I’m going to bed,” I said next, loosening his arms around me.

As I did, a silent tear from inside exploded in my heart. It felt wrong letting go.

“Ok.. good night, Lily,” James said.

“Good night to you too,” I replied.

As I was about to walk up the stairs, I remembered my pointe shoes still lying there somewhere by the chair.

“I forgot my…” I started, but James saw them too.

We both reached for them, our fingers touching as we thought the same thing.

“Chocolate,” James muttered, and I saw a faint blush creep up his cheek.

I smiled shyly, pretending I didn’t hear that. I had thought the same thing, actually. Chocolate.

As I pressed the shoes tightly to my chest before leaving, I looked him in the eyes.

“It’s not going to work out with Bryn,” I said in a rush.

“Really?” James said in a way I didn’t manage to read.

“Yeah… I don’t think I love him.”

‘What are you doing?’ my mind hissed at me again.

James moved uneasily. He sat down in the chair I had just sat in, and he looked at me with searching eyes.

“Lily… This is wrong,” he said tiredly.

“What’s wrong?” I said quickly.

“Me holding you. You crying. Then you telling me that you’re not OK in your relationship. I know we were thinking the same thing…”

I was very curious on what his conclusion was going to be. I just looked back at him.

“And…?” I said slowly.

“Well, I haven’t really told you… but… I’m dating someone else.”

My heart was splattered into two.

“W-who?” I said as normally as I could muster.

“Elizabeth Facklet,” James said with a little smile playing around his lips.

“Good for you,” I said awkwardly.

I turned, walking up the stairs to my dorm. Hillary was there, already.

“Sirius told me about the show,” she said with concern. “Are you Ok?”

I dumped down onto my bed. I didn’t say anything. Then my mouth burst open.

“I can’t take it ANY more…” I started. “Not ballet in the show, I’m in a sick mood, Bryn messes it all up… And James confusing me, making me angry as hell!”

Hillary came over, like she used to. I felt safe as she sat down with me.

“So… Do you still love James?”

I looked over at her.

“Of course I do,” I whispered.

Chapter 48: Transformation
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Chapter Forty-eight, Transformation

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Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.

I wasn’t living anymore. My head was so full of thoughts that it didn’t have any connection to my body. Ballet lessons went by automatically… When I was dancing, my overgrossed mind got time to relax and focus on something else. I would have gone mad if I hadn’t had ballet lessons the next month. I spent less and less time with Bryn, just delaying what I knew was coming.

‘Why would James sit there and hold me the dress-rehearsal night of the show when he had just started dating Elizabeth Facklet? Why would he let me say the things I said?’

I walked around like a zombie, completely gone.

‘It must be serious between them. I said I didn’t think I loved Bryn after all, so I expected James to ask me when I was going to break it off, or at least do something else than just ignoring it. Ignoring me…’

I sat thinking about it one evening in our dormitory. Hillary was there with me.

“Lily, you’re so torn it shows,” she said seriously, letting her hair fall down her shoulders. She started removing her makeup with a warm wet towel.

“What?” I replied drowsily, looking up from my Charms-book. I was still fully dressed, not even the least bit tired. It was Friday, and my wristwatch told me the time was over nine.

“You can’t handle the fact that James is dating Elizabeth Facklet.”

She turned around.

“Oh really? It’s not like he can’t date anyone but me. Why should I care?” I looked at her.

Hillary sighed.

“I’m going to put my pyjama on, and I want you to come up with a good answer to that when I come back,” she said, slipping out of the room.

I rolled over on my bed, looking puzzled. Hillary was getting ready for sleep this early already? She must be exhausted after this week. When she returned, she had an expectant look on her face. Wearing a black pyjama, she looked like a black cat.

“Answer please? Not that I don’t know what you’ll answer, but come on,” Hillary said.

“I-I dated him,” I simply said.

“You sure did,” Hillary confirmed. “But not any more.”

“You don’t have to tell me,” I laughed. “I’m perfectly aware of it…”

I closed my book, staring at the cover for a couple of seconds… not really knowing why. I put the Charms-book aside, sighing before looking over at Hillary again.

“What’s with the outfit? Going to bed?” I asked, looking at her as she surveyed herself in the mirror.

She smiled her happy, yet mysterious smile.

“I just missed my silky pyjama, that’s all,” she said. “I’m going downstairs to spend the evening with Howard Rutherford.”

I sat up as quick as I could, clutching my sheet with my hands in excitement.

“In your pyjama? Like you’re intending to spend the whole night there with him? I knew you had something going on with him!”

My eyes were wide by then.

“Calm down! You were in discussion, not me and my love life…”

I felt a little jolt race through my body.

“Drop it,” I said casually, returning to my stomach-position.

“No,” Hillary dared me. “I haven’t talked properly to you for a really long time… especially about Johnson.”

I smiled.

“Sure, what do you want to know?”

She looked me square in the eye.

“Have you done it yet?” she asked excitedly.

“Isn’t that kind of bold?” I frowned. “Some other time, honey.”

Hillary was so keen she almost had trouble standing on one spot. “How far have you gone?”

I sat up again.

“I was more intimate with James then I’ve been with Bryn, if that’s what you want to hear,” I grinned.

“Ok, ok…” she giggled.

She just stood watching me for some time, trying to understand what that meant. She didn’t look like she found the answers she was looking for as she started becoming restless.

“Are you coming down with me?” she asked. “Don’t sit here being pensive all evening.”

I followed her down. I had a weird feeling in my stomach as I walked down the spiral staircase… And with good reason.

In a sofa, very obvious to spot, sat James with his new girlfriend. The way she looked at him … The way his lips smiled whenever they came in contact with hers. His hand playing with her dark hair.

They had been dating for a month, but something told me James had purposely been very careful with Elizabeth in front of me. I had seen them flirting, seen them together… but seeing them so suddenly after just talking about James made it all so much worse.

Without knowing, I had stopped dead at the end of the staircase. Flashes kept reviewing themselves in my head… James’ voice whispering sweet things in my ear. His fingers playing with the curve of my neck. I didn’t think, I just started walking towards the portrait-hole. I blocked both him and Elizabeth out of my vision.


I stopped as I reached it, whipping around. I met his eyes in the middle of the room. It was he who called me.

“I… I’m…” he stuttered, still having Elizabeth’s hand around his neck.

I didn’t hang around to hear whatever he had to say. I went straight for the grounds.

The sunset was playing with the treetops and the leaves which had started to grow on them. My mind was about to explode. James with Elizabeth like that had been a bit too much for me when I wasn’t prepared for it. I hadn’t been able to think straight.

‘Here I am, being so jealous it tears me apart, and I’m still Bryn’s girlfriend.’

It sounded ridiculous in my own ears.

I knew what was wrong in our relationship. But I hadn’t been able to face it entirely until that moment. As the sun kept going down together with my mood, I noticed something that came soaring through the air over me.
It was one of the school owls, with a note tied to it’s left foot. It had brown, shiny feathers, obviously a barn owl. As it landed next to me, staring at me with it’s amber eyes, I realised the note was for me.

Would you mind meeting me in the Great Hall right away? Thought we’d catch up…

A little smile appeared on my tired face. Remus hadn’t been like the used to around me since our fight about Bryn. I really missed him. I left for the Great Hall with a little happy bubble on the inside, smiling to everyone I met. He sat at the end of the Gryffindor table, reading. As usual.
The hall was fairly empty, it was Friday after all. Not many bothered to hang out in the Library or the Great Hall when it was almost weekend.

“Hi,” I smiled to the sandy-haired boy.

He smiled back, his blue eyes twinkling. He gestured to the seat next to him with his free hand.

“How are you?” he started, giving me his full attention.

“I’m fine, but I could have been better,” I said honestly.

His eyebrows went up.

“Tell me?”

I was so relieved when he said those words. So I started lightly, telling him about all those small things that bothered me these days, carefully avoiding the topic of Bryn. I babbled a lot about all the work in ballet, and just talking to Remus again was so delightful. After sitting there a good while, I felt I couldn’t hold it back anymore.

“Remus… there’s something else as well,” I started.

He just looked at me, and nodded.
“You know what it is…” I told him. “Haven’t you noticed?”

He rested his head in his hand.

“Your boyfriend?”

I collected my hands, wondering how I could word it all.

“Yes… Things aren’t quite as they should be,” I said almost sadly. “It’s not the way I want it to be.”

Remus sighed.

“What is it now, Lily? What’s making it troublesome?”

“It’s just…” I looked up at the never ending ceiling of the Great Hall. “It keeps feeling wrong. And I keep comparing him…”

“To James,” he finished for me.

I nodded.

“I mean, how could I not? We broke up so suddenly, and he was still fresh in my mind, despite what he did, when I started getting involved with Bryn.”

Remus looked pensive.

“So… It’s not working? What are you going to do?” he said at last.

“I don’t know,” I said, feeling relieve for every word.

“I’ve been waiting for things to go either one way or the other, so I can decide. But it gets harder and harder.”


“Well, I can’t keep him waiting much longer. I’m sure he must know something’s up by now. I haven’t exactly crawled into his bed, to put things on the edge.”

Remus’s expression suddenly became very out of character. It looked almost as though he was pained by hearing that. But his face softened almost immediately.

“I don’t know, Lily. It’s up to you.”

I was certain he was going to say I should dump him, throw him away and forget him. And still he left the cards open. How kind.

“It’s not getting better now that James has got together with Elizabeth,” I raised my eyebrows.

“Oh?” Remus said, looking at me.

“I have so mixed feelings for him these days,” I explained. “Some part of me says he would never have forced onto me like he did, and the other wants to put him behind forever.”

It would have been a perfect opportunity for Remus to tell me again that James would never have done it. That it was some kind of influence over him that day, that there was an explanation.

But he didn’t. He stayed silent.

“He says he’s innocent,” Remus told me.

I tried to make it sink in. James still said he was innocent. Did he do it to get away, or was he telling the truth?

I looked up at the stars reflected through the enchanted roof of the Great Hall, as if they had the answer. They were silent, as usual. As was the full moon.

The full moon.

I looked quickly at Remus sitting next to me. My whole body was suddenly tense and on it’s guard, as if those blue eyes would suddenly turn into red vicious ones.

He looked normal.

Something told me to not say anything. Not break into total hiatus. I just focused on breathing.

“Does he, now?” I said as calmly as I could, trying not to panic.

“Yeah, he still says he’s innocent,” Remus answered.

It sounded like he doubted him… My mind was racing like never before. Why wasn’t Remus in the shrieking shack, being a werewolf ?

“I just need to calm down, to think,” I excused, hoping he wouldn’t react to my fumbling.

“Ok, take your time,” he said, finding a scrap bit of parchment he started doodling on.

‘First of all, we’ve been sitting here for almost thirty minutes now,’ I thought. ‘And it just can’t be Remus sitting next to me. There’s no way. If it had been the real Remus, the first thing he’d say would be that he had found some miraculous way of avoiding turning into a monster every month. And he didn’t even comment it.’

A time turner?

The thought jumped to my head, but I saw one important flaw. Even if Remus had used a time-turner, he would turn into a werewolf. It didn’t make him immune…Then I thought of something I could do to get some answers.

I looked up, reaching for his loose tie.

“Can I check something?” I asked gently.

Remus looked surprised.

“Sure, go ahead,” he answered.

I opened the two first buttons of his shirt, with various reactions from Remus. There was nothing.

“What was that for?” he asked curiously.

“Just checking if you were wearing the necklace I gave you for Christmas,” I smiled.

‘I never gave you a necklace,’ I thought. ‘Let’s see how you react.’

“Oh, that one,” Remus smiled. “I have it in my dorm, promise.”

I smiled a smile as genuine I could muster.

“What about your pockets? Do you have it there?” I said daringly.

“No, I haven’t,” he laughed, turning them out.

No time turner.

‘I’ll have to see if I can keep him here for over an hour. If he’s using polyjuice potion, his true self will be revealed. Just have to keep him busy, so he forgets,’ I thought cleverly.

“Do you think I should break up with Bryn?” I asked him.

Remus’ body shrugged.

“It’s really up to you, Lily… But you know I don’t like him much,” he said, still doodling on the parchment.

“Yeah… I’ll have to see,” I concluded.

The next twenty minutes I had problems finding stuff to talk about. It was hard acting natural, when I knew it wasn’t Remus sitting in front of me. When there was almost no time left, another thought came to my mind.

‘Why is this person pretending to be Remus anyway? Why does he or she want to talk to me?’ I thought next.

“What did you really want to meet with me here for?” I asked honestly. “I mean… Why now?”

Remus thought for a moment.

“We haven’t seen each other as much as we used to, and I just wanted to catch up, talk it over,” he said casually.

‘Nicely done,’ I thought. ‘Whoever it is, he has done his homework.’

“It was nice of you,” I smiled. “Where are Prongs and Padfoot? And Wormtail?”

The reaction was priceless. He had obviously never placed those names on anybody.

“Around,” he just said insecurely.

I nodded, looking up at the ceiling again. The full moon was there as never before.

I looked at my wristwatch. I had now spent an hour with Remus in the Great Hall, and he still hadn’t changed a bit when it came to looks.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Who are you?” I said with narrowed eyes.

He turned, looking at me in disbelieve.

“What do you mean? I’m me?”

I laughed slightly.

“No, you’re not. I’ve been watching you being out of character the whole time we’ve been here. You’re definitely not Remus Lupin.”

I was almost scared of the thought of finding out who it was.

“Lily, stop playing around. You’re scaring me!”

Suddenly, there came flashes from everywhere. It was as if my mind reminded me of all those things I had experienced and tried so desperately to forget. There were also things that made the puzzle complete… So complete.

‘James Potter just kissed me…’ I screamed inside my head. ‘He… just grabbed me and kissed me out of the blue!’

Then his charming smile was back on.

“See you later, Lily.. have to go down to the Quidditch-pitch to check on some equipment.”

“The two of you are going out, right?” Bryn said, looking from the photo and expectantly over to me.

I gave him a confused stare.

“No… Why did you think we were?” I said quizzically.

He answered my question with a question.

“Really? I would think so after the kiss he gave you?”

“Why Potter?” Bryn said slowly.

I shook my head. “I fell for him, full stop.”

“That simple? So you just forgot about the kiss he gave you, the one that didn’t mean anything?” he blurted out.

Suddenly, his hand jumped to my jeans, and the zipper came open.

“Stop it!” I said, and there was a very sharp edge in my voice. “I said,
stop, James! I don’t want to!”

My words didn’t seem to reach in to him.

I was thrown into the present again, trying to absorb it all. Trying to get things straight, once and for all. I stole Remus’ look, and searched his eyes. They were stern, in a way Remus could never make them look. My eyes travelled to the piece of parchment he had been drawing on. I picked it up, looking at the landscape he had been drawing up very roughly.

As if I were burnt, I let go of it, looking back into Remus’ eyes. Except I knew who they belonged to now.

It was Bryn Johnson sitting opposite of me, not Remus Lupin.

Chapter 49: Please!
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Chapter Forty-nine, Please!

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While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate,
I cannot separate myself from life.
I can only be joyful and whole.
That is why I dance.
--Hans Bos

It was as if time was standing still. The Great Hall was empty, except me and a Remus I knew for sure was not one of my best friends. That it was the boy I had let myself get involved with this spring.

My eyes were glued to the sketch he had lined up… It was just like the sketches he used to draw when he was bored in the library. It was his way of drawing, there was no doubt.

I slapped him hard across the face, hoping he’d start crying like a child in pain.

He touched the spot in his face, mouth slightly open and eyes reflecting great surprise.

“What the…” he began.

“Spare me,” I said through gritted teeth. “I don’t know how you do it, but you can come out from there now.”

He looked at me with confusion, trying to hide the fact that he knew I was about to reveal him.

“I know you’re really Bryn,” I said hardly, trying to control myself.

He looked around in a hurry, starting to rise up from the bench. As he got up, ready to leave, I grabbed his arm in a firm grip, refusing to let him escape from what was coming. I hurried up, standing opposite of him.

“Don’t you dare leave me!” I said dangerously. “I want to know why.”

Then his skin almost melted out of it’s position. His features changed, he got taller and his face turned into Bryn Johnson’s.

I was almost out of breath, I put my hand on my chest to make sure I actually continued to breathe.

“You’re a metamorphmagus, aren’t you?!” I yelped.

Bryn looked back at me. His eyes had a mixture of sadness, shock, and anger in them.

“Yeah, I am,” he said in a strong voice.

My hand which rested on top of his sketch on the table was shaking.

“How? Why? when?” I said, uncontrolled.

Somehow, he smiled.

“I love you, Lily.”

I was sick.

“And now you turned into Remus to find out if I was about to break up with you? If I’m still in love with James?” I kept going. “You’re pathetic!”

Then something sunk in. This couldn’t be the first time Bryn had transformed into another person… he must have been changing into different people all year, to cause trouble and catch me into his web. And that meant…
… that James was innocent. That he hadn’t done anything against my will. That it was Bryn who had forced onto me for the sole purpose of me stopping to trust James, and break up with him. The puzzle added up.

“You … You… How could you?!

Now my eyes were streaming.

James was innocent.

“You tried to rape me!” I cried.

James was as innocent as Jesus was on the cross.

“You destroyed me, you destroyed him… Are you aware of how broken I was after that?”

I was so mad I exploded.

“Of course I do!” Bryn defended himself. “I didn’t want to! And it was me you ran to! Me…”

“If you hated doing it, you should never have done it in the first place. You should have realised you were defeated!”

Then I suddenly saw no point of staying there, nagging on him and yelling. There was a noticeable distance between us, as I had glided further and further back as he spoke.

I walked over to him.

“If you really loved me,” I said slowly and carefully through gritted teeth. “You wouldn’t be so selfish, you would have let me be.”

Bryn almost reached out for me, placing his hands on my face. But he didn’t come in contact with my skin.

“We’re over,” I said determinedly. “For good. I don’t want to waste another second being your girlfriend.”

I almost saw a tear in his eye, and I wanted to smile in satisfaction. Maybe he felt the tiniest bit of pain I had felt.

I gave him a killing stare, starting to walk over to the end of the Great Hall.

“Lily!” Bryn yelled after me.

I stopped, not knowing why.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“Your ‘Sorries’ don’t mean anything to me. Be glad I have a heart so I won’t tell the world you’re really a manipulating form-shifting jerk,” I said hardly, without turning.

Waiting for the Marauders to come back from staying with Remus that night was the toughest thing I’d had to do. My body never stopped shaking, and I had big trouble staying normal as long as there were people in the common room. Not until one o’clock did people retire to their dormitories. . . Everyone except me.

I sat staring into the flames of the sparkling fire, listening to my own sobs. I didn’t know what to do, if I should run around in the common room or hide under my covers. If I should scream out in joy or desperation. My auburn hair felt dirty for ever being touched by Bryn. My skin had the need of being scrubbed after all these weeks.

My heart longed for James.

Who was with Elizabeth Facklet.

“What’s she doing here?” I heard Sirius say softly in the distance. Then I felt a hand shake my shoulder.

“Lily? Are you there?” his voice called like an echo.

I had fallen asleep, being so tired after all the crying. The sun had begun to rise, the full moon had disappeared and taken its dangerous light with it.

I didn’t say anything. I opened my eyes, and they met Sirius’ warm gaze.

“You’ve been crying,” he said as a matter of fact.

I rose up, seeing James standing together with Peter close by. Remus was hidden under a cloak next to them. For a second, I just stood looking at James. He was frowning, looking confused. I suddenly saw him in a new light, knowing he didn’t do it. That he only had the best intentions for me, that he had never wanted to hurt me.

“Get him upstairs,” James whispered to Peter.

I watched Peter following an exhausted Remus up the stairs to the boys’ dorm. He was limping slightly, probably after biting himself. His eyes were dark, almost scary.

When they were out of sight, I walked over to James, putting my arms around him. I didn’t care if he had a girlfriend, I didn’t care if she was going to torture me after touching him.

I absorbed his smells, so secure and lovely. Felt his heart beating rhythmic and safe.

I felt my eyes going wet again… How could they not?

James let me embrace him, and he whispered my name.


I breathed in.

“I’m so sorry… I really am. For everything,” I forced out.

I didn’t let go of him.

He lifted me up, and carried me the short distance back to the chair. He held my hands, looking into my sore eyes.

“What do you have to apologising for?” he said softly. Sirius looked confused.

“For accusing you of forcing onto me…” I said, looking away. “You were right, it was Bryn.”

He let go of me in surprise, standing up straight next to Sirius. When I looked back at him, his face told me he didn’t believe what he heard. That I needed to say it at least a couple of times over again for the words to sink in.

“What?” he forced out.

“He’s a metamorphmagus, James!” I said clearly, yet vulnerably. “He changed into you! To break us up! To make me love him… and not you.”

He put his hands up.

Sirius was the first one to react.

“Wait, wait, wait… give me a break here. Are you serious?” he said, eyes wide.

I nodded, hiding my face with my hands.

“I’ve been so stupid… I should have realised… You’d never do that… And he was …” I mumbled.

Sirius bent down, taking hold of my wrists.

“I told you, Lily. I told you James wouldn’t do it…”

I smiled the first smile I’d smiled in hours.

Then both Sirius and I looked over at James.

His eyes were empty for a second, before they focused again.

“What?” he said quietly.

“Aren’t you glad?” Sirius smiled. “All charges cleared!”

James shrugged.

“I just thought you’d figure out sooner,” he said, looking at me with slight disappointment.

I frowned, looking away.

“How should I have done that?” I whispered.

“Well, he is you boyfriend!” James said a little bit harder.

Sirius coughed.

Was would be the right term, Prongs…”

“Yeah, Ok, he was your boyfriend, so you’d have plenty of time to try figuring out?” James corrected.

“I-I…” I managed to force out.

“You know what, Lily? I don’t even know why you’re coming to me with this… I told you from the beginning I didn’t do it! I had figured out it was him all along, but you were so blinded by his handsome face. Don’t come here and crawl to me, you should feel ashamed! This is all your mess, Lily,” James said angrily.

Tears were rolling down my face.

“Really? Is it my fault he did those things to me? That he was so desperate? Is it my fault I believed it? I trusted him!”

Sirius was disappointed.

James was angry.

I was hurt.

“We’re not having this discussion!” James said. “It’s very good that you finally saw through him, Lily, so you don’t have to be used by him anymore. But what’s that to me?”

I didn’t believe my ears.

“I thought you l…”

“You thought I loved you?” James finished dramatically.

I looked away.

“News-flash, Lily! I’m with Elizabeth now!”

“I think she knows, mate,” Sirius said sadly. “Look at her…”

I must have looked like a mess. My eyes were red and sore, and I looked small crunched together in the chair.

“Fine,” I said through gritted teeth. “Go be with your girlfriend! She sure won’t like the idea of you having a minute-long conversation with your ex!”

James arched his eyebrows.

“Good night, Lily.”

He crossed the room, ready to go up the stairs to his head dorm.

“Are you going to yell at me for falling in love too, while you’re at it?” I suddenly called out without thinking.

“No.. That’s about the only thing I can’t blame you for. Nobody decides who they fall in love with,” he said thoughtfully before trotting up the stairs.

I didn’t stay around to chat with Sirius. I went for my bed as well.

Tired from only a few hours sleep, I walked through the halls of Hogwarts Saturday afternoon the next day. Anna had tried forcing out of me what had happened, because everyone knew there had been something going on.

“Where are you going?” she demanded.

“Out,” I replied, gathering my bag.

“Are you going to see Bryn? What’s happened? Is it something with James?” she said, starting to get desperate.

“No, I’m not seeing Bryn anymore.”

I heard Anna gasp behind me.

“You’ve broken up again?” she said.

I didn’t reply, I just slipped my bag over my shoulder. I left the dormitory in a hurry, not wanting to get stopped by anybody.

I needed to dance.

Stepping into the dark, big studio, I peered over at the timetable. All the studios were unoccupied this Saturday. Not until the next one did the extra lessons for upcoming exams start.

I turned on the light and the music-player, absorbing the smell and the atmosphere. I dragged a pair of old pointe shoes on, pressing the front down into the box of harpies on the floor. I didn’t want to take the risk of slipping again.

I jumped into the music, feeling nothing but the music guide me. Improvising was one of my many therapies against depressions. Just to give myself completely to the music, to my own body was so revealing. I turned across the room, I let my arms go soft with movement. The dark green leotard helped me balance and keep my posture, the shoes laughing with joy. My plait caressing my back because I didn’t bother to put it into a bun.

I made a lot of frozen positions, just feeling the emotion and the soul of each movement. Going from slow to quick, from hard to soft, from advanced to simple steps. The music was so varied, I would have thought it changed with my feelings and needs. It was beautiful. The violin represented my irritation and my desperation, the piano the sadness and love deep down my heart. I was completely in my own world.


I almost fell in the middle of a series of chaînés, as a man’s voice came from the door.

‘James..’ I thought as I turned to look into his face.

Sirius came walking over to me, hands in the pockets of his jeans. A black jacket hung on his shoulders.

“Thought I was Prongs?” he smirked.

I nodded, turning off the music.

“You could have left it on, I love to see you dance,” he simply said.

“What do you want?” I said, and I noticed how my voice was back to its normal self.

“I fancied a chat,” he smiled, sitting down in the centre.

I raised my eyebrows.

“What do we have to chat about?” I said amusedly.

“I think you know,” he looked at me.

“Why do you want to talk about that? As James so gently pointed out to me this morning, this is my mess.”

Sirius sighed.

“He’s out of himself. He didn’t know what he was saying.”

“I think you’re wrong,” I said, sitting down next to him.

I loosened the ribbons around my feet, removing the pointe shoes and the pads protecting my toes. There were some red areas on my tights. Some stained blood and some fresh.

“Just like in September,” Sirius sighed. “Your feet are still tortured, I see?”

I smiled, remembering my terrified self when Sirius hit on me by the lake that time. When he commented my short skirt.

“I think he meant it, Sirius,” I suddenly said, very seriously. “I think James meant what he said. That it’s of no importance to him whatsoever.”

Sirius rose.

“Remember what he said before he left?”

I looked up at him.


“He said that nobody chooses who they fall in love with,” Sirius said.

“What are you saying?” I asked.

“Prongs still loves you. Despise everything, he hasn’t managed to extract you from his mind. No matter how much he’d like to.”

I raised my eyebrows.

“Nonsense. You’re just trying to make me feel better. And besides, why would he date Elizabeth if he still has feelings for me?”

Sirius walked over to the door.

“Let’s swap the roles. Why did you date Johnson when you were still in love with James?”

Chapter 50: Another Type of Solo
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Chapter Fifty, Another Type of Solo

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To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,
and a time to dance.
- The Bible.

Leaving behind all the things James had said to me and all that happened with Bryn was hard. It was there constantly, racing, circling around, tearing me apart. Not even my last ballet-exam could make it slip away from my head. It was plain impossible.

My heart was beating non stop. My hair was manipulated into a tight bun high on my head, and my lashes were covered in a natural brown mascara. My exam leotard was showing off my figure, sitting over my hip bones. Pink tights were running around my legs. Softblocks were on my feet instead of pointe shoes, and my hands were shaking.

‘My last exam at Hogwarts… Maybe even my last exam ever,’ I thought as I sat in a chair in the changing room. Other anxious dancers were panicking around me, and Lindsay and McGonagall were busy putting people’s hair up.

In all the anxiousness my head was boiling. The words that I had been slapped in the face with a week ago were still echoing inside it.

“You thought I loved you?”

Suddenly I felt Jennifer drag me out of the chair. Her eyes were as confused and worried as mine.

“Come on, Lily! Ten minutes left! We have to warm up, so we can do our best in there!”

I let go of James’s negative and piercing voice, focusing on the pretty blonde in front of me.

“Yeah, yeah… I’m coming.”

I walked automatically over to the training barre Lindsay had put up, resting my leg on it.

“You thought I…”

“Lily, what are you doing?”

“… loved you?”

I looked over at Jennifer again.

“You’re not supposed to stretch.. what’s got into you? These are some serious exam-nerves, darling! Focus! Do a plié exercise or something!”

I was totally out of it. How was I ever going to go through with this? My head was not yet worked out after what had happened. Just seeing Bryn’s face in the corridors and the halls made me feel uncomfortable. I felt his eyes on me, and it made me want to hide. And then there was James… he had acted as normal as possible around me, but hadn’t really managed. It was so strange and weird to be around him.

“Five minutes, girls!” Lindsay came over and told us. She gave me a weak smile. “Cheer up, Lily! This is your tenth exam or something, don’t look so lost!”

I continued my pliés.

‘Dear God, please help me let go of this! Just for the next hour, so I can do my exam properly!’ I thought.

I sat down, and took ten deep breaths. Then I rose, knowing this was really nothing. Nothing at all… I wouldn’t let that icky voice creep into my head.

“Lily?” Lindsay came over. “A complication has come up.”

I wasn’t ready for it, but I had expected to hear it anyway.

“Shoot,” I said, drinking a huge amount of water from my water bottle.

“The examiner has got her lists wrong, and on that list it says you’re doing the exam on your own,” she said, fiddling with her hands nervously.

I almost choked on the water.

“What?” I exclaimed. My hands were shaking again.

“I learned just now, and I don’t think there’s anything we can do about it.”

I sat down, trying to breathe normally. I had been prepared to do it with Jennifer and Fiona, but suddenly I was supposed to go in there on my own?

“Listen,” Lindsay said, lifting my head. “I know you can do it. I know it.”

The bell rang. That clear tone that called me to dance. It came from within the biggest dancing studio .. the examiner was waiting.

Dancing an exam was so different from dancing in a show or improvising. I was there for her to validate my dancing, my technique, my grace, my performance, my use of the music. An exam didn’t give the same free feeling other lessons and experiences gave. The old strict examiner was going to put me in a category according to how well I did that one of five hundred hours I danced a year. Whichever category she figured I fit best into. A Pass, Pass Plus, Commended, Highly Commended or an Honours.

“I hope I manage a Highly Commended,” I thought as I did the kicking exercise, Grande Battements, on the barre. Everything went smoothly, and I felt content with everything halfway through the sixty minutes. I wasn’t sure if that was a good sign, because usually I got a good mark when I thought I didn’t, and a lousy one when I thought I did well. Confusing…

In the end, I was getting tired from smiling, and my muscles were warm and hot. The drawling voice of the examiner flew dully through my head, and I felt sweat creeping down my back.

“Study Dance, please?” the examiner grinned.

I smiled back, walking over to the corner.

“This is for you, James,” I whispered without moving my lips before moving my feet in the same pattern I’d done since Christmas.

Walking out, I breathed out in relief. It hadn’t been that bad, really. It felt like a big burden was removed from my chest when I put on some baggy trousers to get outside in the sun. It was a warm day in the beginning of June, and every part of the ground gave me their most beautiful smile. The sun bathed my face as I walked out of the doors, I felt so refreshed. I breathed in the fresh air, feeling it fill my lungs with spring and early summer.

“Lily! How are you?” Sirius smiled and came over. He had something behind his back. As a long red rose was revealed when he took his hand out, I smiled the first genuine smile I had to anybody in three hours.

“Oh, this is really too much, Sirius,” I said happily.

“I must be allowed to spoil you a little bit when you dare to take an exam in front of a total stranger, who’s a scary old woman?” he smirked.

I linked my arm with his, and walked down to the lake with him. Sirius really made me feel a lot better.

That was maybe the day I managed to relax most after Bryn’s transformation. As I laid there next to Sirius just feeling the gentle breeze sweep over my face, I heard steps towards me.

“Miss Evans?” I heard a strict voice I knew only too well say. “Can I have a word?”

I got up as quick as I could, looking into McGonagall’s stiff face.


She walked with me into the castle again, and after a while I realised we were going to the head master’s office. I shuddered, thinking this was too much for one day.

The gargoyle statue in front looked very hard and cold, but then McGonagall muttered something under her breath I didn’t catch. On second thought, I remembered it was “liquorice wand” … I was head girl, I ought to know. The gargoyle sprang to life, revealing the circular staircase.

“Professor Dumbledore will be waiting for you,” she said before swishing her cloak and disappearing.

I stepped onto it, and the stairs started to move. I spun around up to the top, which felt very high above me. As I stood outside Dumbledore’s office, I heard voices inside. I heard Dumbledore, and he sounded very strict. What was going on? I didn’t recognise the other one, but it was definitely a male voice. I tried not to listen, but I couldn’t avoid catching some words…

“Unacceptable… Consequences… You understand…” Dumbledore’s faint voice said.

Then I heard steps coming towards the door, I expected somebody to come out.

And somebody did.

He looked sore and pained, his eyes yellow and blue. As his dark look penetrated me in a quick whip, I was almost frightened.

“Lily..” the familiar voice said softly.

His hand reached out for me, but I retired even closer to the wall.

“Bryn.. Just get away from me,” I said weakly.

Somehow, I was frightened of him. Afraid he’d suddenly grab me into a grasp I couldn’t escape from. He looked at me for another second, not answering. Then he trotted down the stairs with a slight limp. It looked as though he was carrying a heavy burden on his shoulders..

‘What did he do in Dumbledore’s office? And why is he so bruised?’ I thought apprehensively.

“Miss Evans?” I heard Dumbledore from behind the door. “You may enter.”

A little embarrassed, I stepped through the door.

The circular room was so strange and had so many peculiar objects I wondered how Dumbledore had time to do anything else but observing it all.

“Miss Evans?” his soft voice said, and he gestured to the chair in front of me. “There’s something I’d like to give you.”

He looked at me through his half-moon spectacles, reaching out and giving me a yellow envelope. My name was written in curly letters on top.

“What’s this?” I asked, looking back up at the professor.

“An invitation,” Dumbledore said. He wasn’t smiling anymore, he was very serious.

I nodded, and turned the letter over to break the sealing. It was a red phoenix. I pulled the paper out of the envelope very carefully, and opened it before starting to read.

Dear Miss Evans,

As you might be aware of, Lord Voldemort’s powers are rising almost beyond our control. The newspaper doesn’t say much, but the ones with inside information aren’t resting at all. Voldemort has started recruiting followers for years, also known as Death Eaters, all over Britain. He also happens to have achieved followers inside of Hogwarts’ grounds, something that deeply concerns me. Because you are such a trusted and reliable student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I am asking you to join me together with a group of other people in the Order of the Phoenix, which was founded in 1973, to protect as many as possible from Voldemort and his followers. I request you to keep this confidential. It’s perfectly up to you, but I assure you that the fellowship in this order will not only show good results and strength, it will also be an advantage as a war might occur. I will be the leader, and therefor I ask you personally in this letter to join.

Yours Sincerely,
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

A concerned frown appeared on my forehead. Yes, I was aware of Voldemort, but I hadn’t really thought about him that much lately. I had read about him in the papers and I had been careful to stay in touch with my muggle family to check on them. But I never understood until then that in less than a month I wouldn’t be in the safe grounds of Hogwarts anymore… I would be graduated, and I would be on my own feet.

As I looked up at Dumbledore again, his fingers were put together and his blue eyes were watching me.

“I-I will have to think about it, professor…” I managed to force out. “This is kind of sudden.”

Dumbledore was still serious. “I have arranged a secret meeting between the ones who have received the letter in Gryffindor, so you can know the ones I have chosen and discuss among yourselves. It is tomorrow at midnight.”

I just nodded, trying to listen to what he said.

“In the head boy dormitory,” he added.

I looked up at him, trying not to reveal anything.

“You will be ok, Lily,” he said soothingly. Somehow it felt comforting to hear him call me by my first name. I understood that he knew, and I nodded again, trying to avoid his look.

“Give me your reply by giving a note to professor McGonagall,” Dumbledore explained. Then his smile was back, as if none of that conversation had ever existed.

“I have something else to tell you, as well. It concerns something very different, something I can’t overlook much longer.”

I swallowed hard.

“It is quite severe, and I found out I had to take action. I couldn’t just pretend to not know anymore. Also, recent happenings have made me even more certain that something has to be done. Or had, is perhaps the right term.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re talking about, professor,” I said politely.

“I know about Mr. Johnson’s abilities, and that he has misused them in the most serious ways.”

I looked down, not saying anything.

“Which is why I have just expelled him from Hogwarts, and made the Ministry of Magic aware of his actions. Misuse of Metamorphmagi is not a very nice thing when you want to be an auror.”

I snapped my head up.

“His dream career is ruined because of this?” I gasped.

“He won’t be able to be an auror, but I expect he will find something more fitting. I would suggest something to do with Herbology, as he’s quite good at it, but that’s another case.”

“He-he’s… expelled?”

Dumbledore put his fingertips together and nodded.

“I thought you ought to know, as you were involved.”

I thought for a moment.

“What about his bruises?” I said quickly. “What happened?”

Dumbledore sighed.

“Let’s just say that a good friend of yours knocked some sense into him, or more precisely, decided to take his rage out on the one hurting you so badly.”

I frowned.


“You can figure that out on your own, miss Evans,” Dumbledore simply said.

I nodded, and something started triggering my mind.

“If it’s not to bold, I would like to ask you a question,” I said.

“Go ahead,” Dumbledore smiled.

“How did you know what Bryn did to me?” I simply said.

“That is between me and Mr. Johnson, Miss Evans. Now I suggest you go back outside and enjoy the lovely weather together with Mr. Black.”

I opened my mouth to say something, but changed my mind. I rose from my chair, and started walking towards the door.

“And, Miss Evans?” Dumbledore stopped me.

I turned around. “Yes, headmaster?”

“I know you’re quite a talented dancer. Would you like to dance on the end of term feast? Of course you’re allowed to bring some of your friends on stage, if the thought of more solos doesn’t appeal to you.”

I smiled.

“I would love to, professor,” I said before leaving his office. “Thank you.”

Chapter 51: The Meeting
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Chapter Fifty-one, The Meeting

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Dancing is an art that imprints the soul. It is with you every moment,
it expresses itself in everything you do.
--Shirley Maclaine

I had been meditating over what Dumbledore had told me in his office as the next few days went by. I was wondering who else he had asked to join the Order. Surely it could be nobody from the Slytherins, seeing that Voldemort and most of his followers were from that house. I guessed he had mostly Gryffindors on his list, and some Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws too. The next day couldn’t go quickly enough. All I wanted was to find out properly what this Order was about, and who was joining. The ballet-exam was still fresh in my head.

I didn’t mention anything to anyone, fearing I might ruin something for Dumbledore. I knew he hadn’t told me to shut up about it, but I wasn’t stupid. I knew he wanted me to keep it to myself. I had read the letter over again to try understanding it. I wrote a letter to mum, giving her and Petunia a second warning and asked her to be cautious.

And then there was Bryn... As I had returned to the grounds after meeting Dumbledore, I was determined it must have been Sirius who had had a fight with Bryn. But it wasn’t him, and he refused to spell out who it was. But I had my suspicions. I was quite sure it was James who had kicked his ass.

I wandered around in my own thoughts, for once very keen to talk to Lindsay the Saturday afternoon. I decided to take Dumbledore’s challenge and dance on the ending feast.

“Lindsay?” I asked outside her dorm right next to the dancing studios.

She opened the door, looking like she was about to go out.

“Lucky, there, Lily! I was about to have a little walk down to Hogsmeade,” she smiled.

“I won’t occupy you,” I said, but Lindsay put her hand up.

“No, no… I can delay it. Come inside,” she said hospitably.

Lindsay’s dorm showed that she was a dancer. There were awards hanging on the walls, as well as ballet wallpapers and quotes. Her room was very pleasant and comfortable as well. I sat down in an armchair, with Lindsay opposite of me.

“What did you want to talk to me about?” she asked curiously.

“Well… I was at Dumbledore’s office yesterday, and he requested me to dance on the end of term feast,” I told her.

Lindsay glowed as she heard what I told her. She was about to stand up because she suddenly seemed so excited.

“This is just… brilliant, Lily!” she exclaimed, looking at me with eager eyes. “I have just the thing…”

“What?” I beamed.

“It’s kind of a modern dance. It’s to a very beautiful song, and I actually thought of you as I heard the song and made the dance, because it’s so emotional. Are you doing this alone or together with someone?”

I shrugged.

“He said I could choose,” I said indifferently.

“Brilliant! You’re doing a solo,” Lindsay smiled, almost interrupting me.

“That simple? You have this planned?” I laughed.

“No, not really, but that dance is going to be so you you’re bound to do it alone.. Stun everyone with a last performance at Hogwarts,” Lindsay said eagerly, walking around the room.

“Ok, sounds interesting,” I agreed.

Lindsay got two cups and conjured some green tea in them.

“Want a cup?” she asked kindly.

“Is there more? I thought we’d discussed what I came for?” I said.

“Yes, but I just wanted to talk to you about something else as well,” Lindsay said, a little bit calmer.

“What are you planning to do when you’ve graduated?”

Lindsay didn’t hide anything, she asked me straight out.

“I have chosen the most advanced studies, so I can be whatever I want… but I haven’t really decided, to be honest. I’m quite torn,” I said sincerely.

“Oh, come on. Give me some of your thoughts,” Lindsay curled up in her chair with her cup.

“Well, I actually think it’d be rather exciting to be an auror,” I said a little bit carefully.

Lindsay almost spit her tea out.

“You? An auror? My elegant, innocent ballerina?” Lindsay laughed. “Sorry, but that’s the last thing I’d imagined.”

I smiled wryly, seeing what she meant.

“I also thought about healing, you know… or maybe economics at Gringotts. But what I think I’m leaning most on is the Ministry of Magic, as an enchanter.”

Lindsay nodded.

“I see… Keeping the wizard world separate from the muggle world with enchantments and spells, yeah? Make that part secure? Not bad. I hear you’re very good at charms.”

I blushed a little, stirring my tea with the spoon to wave off her compliment.

“Have you considered a dancing career?” Lindsay asked with heavy emphasis on the word dancing.

“Well.. it’s so hard to get into the Magic Academy of Dancing in London, I haven’t really thought about it. I just dance because it’s my passion, something I love doing. I’ve never thought about taking it as far as my profession,” I explained. “Though I have dreamt about it.”

“I see…” Lindsay said, in deep thoughts. “What about the training course they have at the Academy then? To educate yourself as a dancing teacher?”

I wrinkled my eyebrows together.

“There is such a thing? Do you know anything else?” I said, securing one of the pins in my hair which was about to fall out.

“Yeah… They have different degrees. You learn a lot out of staying there for three years, I assure you. But it is quite tricky to get in. It’s like they educate you, and you choose genres and subjects through those years. Some are taken into the Academy later, but most get out in practise.”

“Sounds interesting,” I smiled. “Do they have normal training there? With lower standards?”

Lindsay nodded. “They have normal lessons, and the audition is much less official and serious. Normally people who have other kinds of education dance there. They call it the Magical Dancing School.”

“Do you think you could note all this down?” I asked, feeling the urge to tip off my chair. “I want to take a look at it.”

“No problem, darling,” Lindsay said. “Why don’t you stay an hour later than the others the normal training days, so we can look at your feast-dance?”

“Perfect,” I said, but then my face fell slightly. “Except exams are coming up.”

Lindsay looked at me with interest.

“I know, but we’re only having one week left. We’re done with exams and the little show, I don’t have much more to teach and train you to. And I want you all to do well in your N.E.W.T.s,” she said. “But if it’s not stressful, we can continue to the end of term.

I smiled all over my face.

“How nice! Then I won’t miss anything until I have to.”

Lindsay looked at her wristwatch, raising her forehead.

“I best be going,” she looked up.

I rose and she walked with me out.

“See you around, Lily!” she beamed as she walked out to the entrance hall.

I was early down in the common room. Resting my Potions-book on my lap, I scribbled down the most important theory in my notebook for my exam. It wasn’t that many days left – and of course it was potions that was the first exam. Could it be worse?

I traced the time, my heart beating faster as it got closer and closer to midnight. Anna studied with me for an hour before she went to bed, and Hillary came and hugged me goodnight when it was half past eleven.

“You’re really going for potions, I see?” she laughed as she went upstairs.

As my watch showed ten to twelve, I noticed people coming out of their dorms and heading for James’s dormitory. When I noticed this, a light bulb enlightened over my head.

‘That means James has also got the invitation for the Order…’

I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this, after he had snapped at me the night I realised the truth. When it was five past midnight, I didn’t really have much choice but to put my potions aside and knock on James’s dorm.

I heard hushed voices inside, not that many, but enough. As James’s face was exposed as he opened the door, he looked a little taken aback, but at the same time he must have been expecting me.

“Lily, of course,” he smiled dimly. “Get inside.”

I felt his hand in the curve on my back as he gestured me inside. The light was matt, and people were sitting on James’ bed and floor.

“Welcome, miss Evans,” I heard McGonagall’s voice.

She almost gave me a fright, seeing that she was the last person I’d imagined along with Dumbledore to ever set foot in James Potter’s dorm.

“Now that we’re all here, I just want to check,” she said in her usual voice.

“Sirius Black? Lily Evans? Remus John Lupin? Peter Pettigrew? Gideon and Fabian Prewett? James Potter?” McGonagall called out one by one alphabetically, and we answered her in determined voices.

“Is there anyone who have heard of the Order of the Phoenix before?” McGonagall seemed like she wanted it done, but she was serious at the same time.

“I-I’ve hard it mentioned,” Fabian Prewett stuttered. “I think my parents mentioned it.”

Gideon nodded next to him.

McGonagall gave them a vague smile.

“They’re trusted wizards, the Prewetts. And I assume they’re familiar with Alastar Moody?”

“Correct,” Fabian said proudly.

I noticed I was sitting between Remus and James, and my hand was inches away from James’s. I just wanted him to put it on top of mine.. And as I thought that, I noticed his hand was wounded. Then I saw James had a blue eye.. It had been him Bryn had had a fight with.

“Well, I’m going to tell you briefly what’s going to happen,” McGonagall began. “Professor Dumbledore gathered a group of people in 1973, to fight against Voldemort. He saw what was coming, and wanted to be prepared. The Order consists of all kinds of wizards, even squibs. We have our head quarters in London, where we get together and set you out for different tasks. It is very serious, and we need you to be determined in this. It’s no game.”

As McGonagall had a pause to breathe, I looked quickly over at James again, noticing he looked back. I quickly turned my head back, feeling a slight blush on my cheeks.

The night wasn’t that long, but it felt long. By the end of McGonagall’s speech, I was determined to join. I saw the look on James, Fabian and Sirius in particular, not even asking what they wanted. We signed McGonagall’s papers, and she told us we’d be contacted by Dumbledore shortly.

“I’m leaving now,” she said with a sigh. “You all have a good nights sleep. And Mr. Potter, don’t forget your detention.”

James nodded quickly, avoiding the looks of the people around him.

As she left our company, I laid down on the floor, breathing out. This was my first step to defeating Voldemort. The first step against doing something I knew was for the best of everybody. It was a good feeling.

Then my whole body froze. I felt someone over me, though not in touch with my body anywhere, I felt his breath trace my lips. Did I dare to open my eyes? I didn’t have time, because he suddenly disappeared. I think he was pulled away by someone else.

As I sat back up, I was confused.

“Who was that?” I asked with a frown.

“Sorry, Lily… couldn’t resist,” Sirius grinned. “Never meant to kiss you, promise!”

His hands were up and he looked like he was having a good time.

“Just wanted to see your reaction,” he winked before leaving James’s dorm. I wondered if he was talking to me or James. “Good night, everyone!”

The Prewett brothers left, as well did Remus, carrying a sleeping Peter. I could swear he winked at me as he left the dorm.

It was only me and James left.

I hadn’t been in his dorm since when we dated, it was so strange. For once, it was tidy, for example.

James opened his mouth to say something, but I was quicker.

“I’d… better go to bed. See you around in exams the coming week,” I said with a slight quiver in my voice.

“Yeah, see you,” James simply said as I rose.

“Wait,” I said and spun around as I had opened the door. “Why did you have a fight with Bryn?”

My heart was beating, curious to know what he would reply.

“I… Just didn’t tolerate what he did to you,” James said awkwardly, meeting my eyes at last.

“You know you didn’t have to do that… but… I thought you didn’t care?”

James stirred uncomfortably.

“Lily, it hurt me a lot that you broke up with me that time,” he began. “But it hurt me just as much what he had done to you.”

I felt my eyes sting, but I refused to let any tears drop. I leaned down, lighting the tip of my wand. I saw now how bruised he was.

“I don’t get it, James.. first you say that you didn’t care at all, you threw me away, running to the shelter of your girlfriend. And then you beat up my ex-boyfriend? When you said it meant nothing to you?” I said vulnerably.

James almost reached out for me, but stopped himself.

He sighed deeply.

“I care a lot about you, Lily. And I wouldn’t even have tolerated him doing that to my worst enemy.”

It suddenly struck me how loyal James was.

“Right…” I muttered, rising up and walking to the door. “Good night.”

“Good night, Lily,” James replied automatically.

Chapter 52: The Lake gets warm
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Chapter Fifty-two, The Lake gets warm

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When dancing from withing and forgetting about the audience,
you let go of everything... your soul is so free, so naked it's beyond presentation. It's just dancing.
- Astrid Elisabeth

The exam week went brilliant, and we received letters from Dumbledore confirming we had joined the Order. The rush of exams really made me swallow all the messy feelings I had for James, and I felt I somewhat had them under control. Dancing lessons with Lindsay went amazing, as the others had officially finished their lessons.

It was a warm evening, and I strangely enough decided to take a walk. I had used the past week to get the news about James and Elizabeth for real into my head, but it hadn’t really been a shock. Why would James stick around for me after all I had accused him of? Of course he must have thought me absolutely mad.

I had been a silly girl, really just jumping to the conclusion that now that I could clear James of all charges, he would love me again. By doing that, I had kind of dishonoured the principle about becoming a better and more sensible, strong person than I had been before the time I had spent as James’s girl. I was of the opinion that I had changed.

I couldn’t really put my finger on how, but I had become a better person. It made me handle things better… I should be thankful, really, for having had an incredible person like James love me for a short while. Why make it faint and forgotten by being regretful, jealous and stupid?

I had walked around the great grounds for a while, feeling the unnaturally warm breeze chase the cold out of me. By some reason, I reached the lake. It looked very attractive, shining and warm.

‘Yeah, why not, really? I thought as I moved to the edge.

I pulled my shoes and socks off, rolling my baggy trousers up to my knees. I slipped them into the water, which was a tad bit cooler than I had imagined. It made me remember that sunny day so many months ago when Sirius found me chilling by the lake, and how I had freaked out as he hit on me. I giggled softly by the thought of his caressing breath… But it was nothing compared to how I had felt when James’s breath had ticked my skin all those times.

I had a strange, but satisfied feeling of peace there I sat. I was back in the world of dancing, I had great friends, I did well in school, and I had revealed the impostor who had turned my world upside down. The fact that I didn’t have James holding my hand anymore was something I didn’t pout over at that moment. I wouldn’t have minded, quite on the contrary, it would have been the last piece of the puzzle, the signature of a great painting. But I was still kind of happy. Elizabeth wasn’t that bad for James.

The sky was darkening slightly, and I realised I was quite far away from the castle, there I sat dipping my feet in the lake. The water surrounding them felt pleasant, comfortable. It was like the rest of my body wanted to join. Should I? Could I? Nobody used to be around the lake at these times anyway, and I needed to try something new. I didn’t usually take a swim, at least not this early of the year. But it was as if the lake called out my name.

Before I knew what I was doing, I had undressed. I flicked my wand at my underwear, turning it into a pink, fluffy towel. I wouldn’t die if I dropped the underwear on my way back to the castle later. I found some hair-pins form ballet earlier in my pocket, pinning my hair up so it wouldn’t get wet. I slipped myself down into the element floating under me. At first I opened my mouth because it was so cold, but after a minute my body got used to the new temperature. The feeling of swimming with no clothes on was smooth, refreshing and no short of lovely. Why didn’t I think of this before?

My head emptied itself automatically as I had my little evening swim. I was careful not to swim too far out, disturbing whatever creatures resting in the depth of the lake. Then I heard footsteps nearby… The grass was swishing under the feet of that somebody.

‘Shit.. What do I do now?’ I thought desperately. ‘They might come and see me before I can cover myself.. I’d better just stay here.’

It had been easier if anybody but James had been the one to show up. But he did. He stopped by the clothes lying by the edge, and I kept completely still as a puzzled look appeared on his face. He was holding up my trousers, probably trying to figure out who wore that size. Then he picked up the red sweater, holding it up to his nose. His eyes widened, and he looked around as he dropped it.

“Lily? Where are you?” he shouted.

He sounded frightened. No wonder, I would have been scared too if I found clothes by the edge of the lake, and no person was in sight. He looked briefly at the towel, then his eyes was turned to the lake, where I raised my head so he could see me.

“L-Lily?” he said nervously before smiling. “I thought you were gone. Having a little swim by yourself, are you?”

I swam closer to him, so I felt my feet touch the bottom. I was careful to make sure the dark water covered me from the neck and down.

“Yeah, don’t know why, but I fancied a swim,” I said, laughing a little. “What are you doing here?”

James looked suddenly distracting, as if he was afraid what I’d say when he answered.

“I was.. taking a walk. I’ve been walking a lot lately,” he said.

I had the feeling he wanted to add something. His face told me he was holding something back. “I’ve walked a lot since.. you broke up with me.”

I thought about that for a few seconds before rising a new question that triggered me.

“Where’s Elizabeth?”

James shrugged, but didn’t shout back a reply at first.

“Can’t you come up? It’s hard to have a decent conversation when you’re fifteen feet away from me..”

I raised my eyebrows.

“Unless you noticed, my clothes are by your feet,” I said loudly.

James didn’t seem to understand the problem. “So?”

I looked nervously around, meeting his eyes again after a while.

“I-I’m not wearing any clothes. I’m naked.”

I saw James blush slightly from where I was positioned in the water. It must have been much stronger than it looked like from my point of view, seeing I was quite far away from him. Then James gave me an amused smile.

“I could turn away while you get up and dress…”

I returned his smile, but was very sceptic to his suggestion. I rolled my eyes.

“Do you really think I trust you that much?” I said.

“You should..” James replied from the edge of the lake.

“I don’t think I do,” I said warily.

“Then you’ll be stuck there as long as I’m here,” James pointed out.


“I’m tired of talking loudly, why don’t you come up?” he asked again.

“No, I don’t think so,” I said resolutely.

“Then I’ll come out to you,” James smiled mysteriously.

I gasped.


“You see.. I trust you, Lily. And I don’t want to stand here having a very exhausting talk with you, when I could have a normal, shout-free one.”

I was feeling numb. And cold.

Then James looked at me for a long time, as if he was waiting for something.

“What are you waiting for?” James questioned. “You don’t think I’ll strip down naked while you’re watching? Maybe I do in your dreams, but…” he smirked.

“How dare you! You don’t know nothing about my dreams!” I screamed back, mouth open.

“Stop fussing and turn around!” James laughed.

I blushed, doing as I was told. I turned around in a graceful movement. I could hear him drag his clothes off… A great part of me wanted to spin around slightly and peek at him… Just a little glimpse… I heard the water stir as he lowered himself into it, and he had a short intake of breath just like I had when the water covered his warm body.

I startled as I felt his cold hand on my shoulder, and I spun around, making the water reach all up to my chin. I covered my chest with my hands.

“It’s quite pleasant,” James smiled happily.

“Wh-what’s pleasant?” I stuttered.

“The water,” he said matter-of-factly.

We were quiet for a while, and I couldn’t help but feeling small. I had to keep down to cover myself, while James could stand up right. The water reached up to the middle of his upper body. I couldn’t help but think he was just as attractive as I remembered him.

“So.. Elizabeth doesn’t know you’re here?” I broke the silence.

“No,” James got back to being serious. “I never told her.”

“Why not?” I said almost too quickly.

James shrugged his broad shoulders.

“She doesn’t have to know everything I do, does she?”

“I guess not…” I concluded.

James nodded shortly, starting to swim around me in circles, like a shark aiming at it’s prey. I could faintly see his backside reflect through the water. It made me nervous.

“Know what I do on those walks, Lily?” James asked. “I think and reflect. And you know what the conclusion is?”

I started shivering because I had been in the water so long.

“No, tell me,” I said shakily. I just hoped he didn’t think I was nervous or anything, that he understood that it was because of the cold my voice didn’t sound normal.

‘But you are nervous…’ a little voice in my head said.

The voice died away as James replaced it.

“I have come to the conclusion that being with you…” he started, stopping up in front of me again. “has made me a different person.”

I managed a weak smile. I couldn’t make out if he meant that as positive or negative, he said it quite naturally and normally.

“It’s over, Lily,” he finished.

I wasn’t really thinking straight, so I weighted my alternatives. I was standing in the cold lake, naked, in front of James. He was saying it was over. Was he going to kill me? Drown me? I shook my head, swearing at myself in my head. That was a silly thought!

“What’s over?” I said carefully.

“Elizabeth and I are over,” James said shortly.

“Oh… I-I’m sorry,” I said, and noticed I was getting colder every minute.

“Don’t be. Or – well, maybe you should. It was kind of your fault.”

I creased my eyebrows. James had never accused me of anything so severe… But it was about time. I had accused him of a number of things, things he didn’t even do.

“What? How?”

James took a step further towards me.

“Last night, Elizabeth told me I wasn’t who I used to be. She told me I was more… well, decent.”

I looked at James, confused.

“Ok, it’s complicated. But the short version is that I don’t manage to be the same amusing, flirty and interesting bloke with her like I was around you.”

I raised my eyebrows, looking up at him. I raised my head slightly too, a rush of coldness coming over me as my shoulders came up from the water. I covered my chest more carefully.

“Why are you telling me this?” I said, and I was surprised by the firmness I managed to put into those words.

James didn’t listen to my question, and kept chatting.

“I told her that could be, because for God’s sake, We’ve not been dating for that long… And relationships don’t always fix up that early. She kept arguing, and I stopped protesting. I realised things were just awkward, that I’d known you in a very different way.”

I looked at him in disbelieve.

“Really?” I said sceptically.

“She also started pointing out all the times in sixth year I shagged girls after one night, and that wasn’t exactly nice. It made me feel a little ashamed, as a matter of fact. And that surprised both of us.”

“I didn’t want to hear that,” I cut in with a little snigger.

“Be patient, Lily! I’m getting somewhere, I promise!” James exclaimed. “And she said, how come I hadn’t jumped all over her, I probably shagged the Evans-girl three times a day…”

‘Nasty pictures entering my head…’ I thought, feeling a teeny weenie bit of cold leave me.

“And when I said I never shagged you, Elizabeth went all quiet.”

So did James. He stopped right there.

“A-and?” I forced out.

James held onto my gaze.

I was looking for a little romance, some fun, Elizabeth said. But I see you’ve grown up, that you’re too boring for doing that any more,” James quoted.

Some more quietness.

“So.. she broke it off?” I said shakily.

James nodded again.

I felt my lower lip tremble with cold, it was probably blue by now.

“Freezing? Your lip cold?” James said softly, talking another step closer. “Let me warm it…”

He placed his lips over my quivering lower lip, dragging the warm tip of his tongue across. My heart skipped a beat in surprise, and my eyes were wide and clear.

I let my hands rest at his shoulders as he continued to warm me in the same way, forgetting all about covering my more intimate body-parts.

“But.. you didn’t want me anymore,” I whispered.

“I was stupid. It wasn’t your fault… To be honest, it’s been torture just being in the same room as you the last months. It always made me doubt everything but the fact that I longed for you.”

I grinned, still shaking with cold. I felt a warm blush cross over my cheeks.

“This is so unreal,” I whispered. “But now please turn around so I can get up before I turn into an ice-statue.”

James laughed, devouring my lips once more before turning his back on me as I got out of the lake to fetch my towel.

I should have been cold as I walked back to the tower, just like I had that full moon evening when I had left the others at the Womping Willow to join Remus. But I wasn’t. I had James’s arm slipped around my waist, and my heart continued to beat happily.. My mind hadn’t had time to let it sink in yet, that I he had kissed me and told me that he’d missed me…

‘Oh… how I longed for that to happen,’ I thought.

“Lily?” James asked as we reached the portrait hole fifteen minutes later.

“Yeah?” I smiled up at him.

“Maybe we shouldn’t… tell anybody yet,” James said thoughtfully.

I narrowed my eyes, not understanding.

“Why? We’re back together, right?”

“Well… are you sure it’s a good idea?” James said carefully. “I mean… after all this? Will we be able to get back what we had?”

I saw what he meant. I had thought the same thing myself.

“I understand… so what are you suggesting?” I said with a slight quiver in my voice.

“Maybe we should just take it easy? Kind of, figure out what’s best.”

Somehow, it felt like he was rejecting me.

“Why? There isn’t … anybody else, is there?” I asked.

“No, of course not. It’s just.. I don’t want to do anything wrong this time. No rash decisions. Don’t you agree?” he explained.

“Yeah, I get it,” I replied, looking at my feet.

“Don’t misunderstand this, Lily,” James said, cupping my face in his hand. “There is nothing I want more than getting back together. It’s just that I want to calm down a bit first. So much has happened.”

I gave him a vague smile, looking up in his hazel eyes.

He let go of my hand as we asked the Fat Lady for the password. My heart was about to explode with joy, but at the same time, I had a bitter-sweet taste in my mouth.

Chapter 53: Amour
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Chapter Fifty-three, Amour

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Dancing is an art that imprints the soul. It is with you every moment, it expresses itself in everything you do.
--Shirley Maclaine

The remaining days of the school year were not very busy. All exams were over, and students just hung around in the halls, or spent the days outside. The sun got brighter and warmer for each day, and soon there were others testing the temperature of the lake.

“I heard about your little event in the lake,” Remus smiled at me, looking up from his book in the library.

I just smiled, pointing at the book he was holding.

“I hope it’s not a Transfiguration-book or anything,” I said mysteriously.

“Nope, it’s a book about dragons, actually,” Remus said matter-of-factly.

I kept drawing on my piece of paper, and I felt Remus’ eyes on me.

“You’re glowing again,” he pointed out. “It’s lovely.”

I smiled up at him.


“Mhm…” he muttered. “Where’s James?”

I put down my quill.

“You’re his best friend, you should know! Especially when he’s together with your two other best friends,” I pointed out.

“I’ve given up tracing them and watching over them,” Remus laughed. “They can prank around on their own.”

“They’re playing on the Quidditch-pitch,” I enlightened him.

“Ah… That’s right.”

“Tell me what’s happening?” I suddenly looked at him with hunger in my eyes.

“What?” Remus protested, but his blue eyes were lighting up. He knew what I was talking about.

“You’re flirting these days… Don’t you think I know?” I laughed. “Tell me!”

Remus blushed a little, the way only he could. He returned to his book, determined to avoid the whole topic, to make me stop nagging him.

“Don’t you dare!” I exclaimed, ripping the dragon-book out of his hands quite rudely.

Except it was a book about poetry.

“What the…?” I started, but Remus fetched the book back.

“Don’t even start!” he blushed even more.

Tell me who it is,” I pushed. “Or I’ll go tell madam Brooks there are chocolate-marks on the book you borrowed last month. Did I mention it’s one of her favourite books?”

“No, no no… Don’t do that Lily! Please!” Remus said desperately.

“Then tell me who it is!” I said obviously.

I heard some mumbling noises come from the boy across me.

“Come again?” I smiled.


I gasped, my eyes glowing.

“I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!”

I gave him a hug and a quick kiss on the cheek, dancing out of the library. As I went out into the grounds, the sun kissed my hair and made me even more happy.

I didn’t stop until I reached the pitch. Sirius, Peter and James were flying there, high above the stands, together with some Ravenclaws. Bryn was not one of them.

“Hey guys!” I yelled as loudly as I could.

Sirius zoomed down to me, tossing me onto his broom.

“What, Lily?” he grinned.

I screamed, fighting to hold on.

“Hey, I wanted that one!” James exclaimed, coming over. He took me around the waist, lifting me over on his own broom.

“Sorry, but she looked so tempting just there!” Sirius winked, getting the quaffle from Peter. James flew over to the other side of the pitch, me clutching his waist for support. He embraced the quaffle, diving so suddenly I almost fell off. He threw it through the middle hoop, right in front of the Ravencalw’s nose.

“Wohoooooo!” he yelled, flying over to Sirius for a high five.

“We won, Padfoot!” Peter grinned, and the whole group landed neatly on the grass underneath.

As I got off James’ broom, my hair flying everywhere, I sat down because I was so dizzy.

“You were saying, love?” Sirius smirked.

“R-Remus is in love,” I managed to force out, almost feeling set.

“Where is he?!” Sirius bumped down next to me, shaking my shoulders.

“Library,” I pressed out.

Sirius and James exchanged looks, leaving their brooms behind as they ran for the library.

“Bring them up to the tower, would you Lily?” Sirius yelled.

Relaxing in the grass, I saw Peter’s face looking down at me.

“How do you do it, Lily?” he sniggered.

“What?” I smiled, using my hand to keep the sun away from my face.

“Twist them around your pinkie finger like that?”

I laughed, managing to stand up.

“I don’t, I just play on their team, with their rules,” I winked, starting to walk back as well. I needed to talk to Anna.

I found her up by the stairs to the entrance hall, enjoying the sun together with Hillary.

“Hi girls,” I smiled, sitting down next to them.

“We haven’t discussed our love-lives lately, noticed that,” I grinned, looking at my two best friends.

“What’s up your sleeve?” Hillary said straight away, lifting one eyebrow.

“Nothing,” I said innocently, leaning back to absorb the sun.

“Ok, we’ll just wait until you tell then. I know you can’t prevent telling much longer,” Anna said mischievously.

Those girls knew me too well.

“I’ve found out who your secret admirer is, Anna…” I said matter-of-factly.

Her eyes turned into huge plates.

“I know you’re not telling me, should I start guessing?” she said irritably.

“No, not even that. You’ll have to find out yourself. Let’s just say he’s … A known figure around our friends.”

Anna poked her tongue at me.

“I’ll go figure out then, because I can’t stand it much longer,” she laughed.

“Need help?” Hillary and I said in unison.

“NO!” she said in disbelief, emerging through the front doors.

Hillary and I were left back in a fit of giggles.

“Who is it?” she whispered into my ear.

“Remus,” I whispered even more soundlessly back.

Hillary’s face lit up in surprise, clapping her hands.

“If I’m not mistaking, she fancies him as well,” she said to me.

I smiled contentedly.

“And you and James?” Hillary changed the topic.

“What about us?” I poked her playfully in the ribs.

“Are you officially together yet?”

“No, we’re not,” I sighed, but it wasn’t exactly a negative sigh.

“Have you thought about what you’re going to do?” Hillary asked seriously.

“Going to do?”

“Yeah, to get him back. You have to use some tricks, I reckon,” she said thoughtfully.

“Like…?” I pushed.

“I would definitely take advantage of my feminine nature and seduce him so thoroughly he doesn’t know what’s the difference between left and right,” she smiled cleverly.

“And when will I have the opportunity to do that?” I asked curiously. Hillary’s suggestion sounded almost too reasonable.

“At the graduation party in Hogsmeade, of course!” she said breathlessly.

“There is such a thing?” I asked keenly.

“Yeah.. didn’t you know? James had like a very intense discussion with Dumbledore about it. He’s rented “the Wicked Wand” in Hogsmeade for a graduation party.”

I smiled mischievously.

“So what should I do?” I asked her.

Hillary raised her eyebrows.

“You know exactly what to do,” she said, with a particular emphasis on the two middle words.

I got an owl later that evening, from Dumbledore. He called me and James into a head meeting right away. I didn’t doubt what it was about.

I figured I’d go there on my own, so I pulled my hair into the usual ponytail and trotted off. When I had turned the first corner, however, James caught up.

“Why didn’t you wait?” he said breathlessly.

I shrugged my shoulders.

“I knew you’d come anyway… and it’s not like you asked me to wait.”

I was telling him exactly what I meant. And I didn’t say it in a rejecting or rude way, something I was actually quite proud of.

“It’s about the party you’ve fixed, isn’t it?” I said playfully, poking his ribs.

James smiled attractively at me.

“Of course. I’m good, or am I good?” he laughed.

“So.. did you figure out who Remus fancies?” I remembered.

“We did,” he smirked. “Anna, yeah?”

I nodded approvingly.

“They would be so cute together … Hope that party will do them good,” I giggled, as we reached the gargoyle.

“Liquorice wand,” James said, and the gargoyle revealed the circular stairs we were so used to walk up.

I knocked the door as we got up, hearing Dumbledore saying “Come in, please,” just a second later.

We sat down in the same chairs we sat in every month, no matter if we were friends, boyfriend-girlfriend or enemies.

“How are you this evening?” Dumbledore smiled, putting his long fingers together.

“Good,” we answered in unison, suppressing a laugh as we realised.

“Everything is fine, then. I assume you have guessed what this meeting is about?” he continued.

“Yeah, I have my suspicions,” James nodded. “The graduation party in Hogsmeade?”

“Yes, that is correct,” Dumbledore said. “I just wanted you to be aware of the standards and the rules I want to be followed. A situation like this can easily be taken advantage of, and I don’t want that to happen.”

“We understand, professor,” I confirmed.

“I want charmed drinking-goblets, so that nobody can share drinks or have alcohol if they’re under the age of eighteen,” Dumbledore began.

We nodded.

“I want no more than two firewhiskey’s each, which will be more than enough for youngsters like yourself. I don’t want anyone to suffer from hangovers on the end of term feast in the hall the morning after.”

We nodded again.

“And last, but not least, I want everybody to be taken safely from the castle and back in the horse-less carriages.”

“Sounds brilliant,” James smiled. “What about music and such?”

There was a little spark in Dumbledore’s eye.

“I have talked to the owners of the club, and they assured me it would be a night to remember for you lot.”

I felt a little bubble appear in my chest. Dumbledore was so generous and liberal.

“That was all, I don’t want to keep you any longer,” Dumbledore said, showing sign of letting us go. “You’re still giving us the joy of watching you dance on Sunday, miss Evans?”

I smiled at the old man.

“Yes, Lindsay has prepared a marvellous dance for me,” I answered.

James gave me a questioning look before we rose to leave.

“Good night, professor Dumbledore!” I said as we went.

The moment we were back in the hall, James turned to me.

“You’re dancing on Sunday?”

“Yeah,” I answered, looking at him briefly as we went.

“Nice.. I like it when you dance,” he smiled.

‘Just wait until Saturday, James…’ I thought.

“I haven’t seen you dance yet, James,” I suddenly let out. “Like, for real.”

James frowned.

“You haven’t? Not in any of our parties?” he said in disbelief.

“I haven’t been the partying type of girl for long, you know,” I said silkily. “And I don’t think drunkness-dancing counts.”

James laughed a little.

“You’ll see me dance on Saturday,” he smiled.

He slipped his hand into mine.

“I hope we can dance together, if you’d like,” he said a bit more quiet.

I opened my mouth to answer, but strangely, no sound came out.

“Speechless?” James whispered.

“It’s just,” I managed to force out. “You still give me tingles when I feel your breath on my neck.”

I blushed slightly, trying to see his reaction.

He leaned close, his lips brushing quickly over mine, his eyes deep and kind.

“Like that?” he asked.

“Yeah… like that,” I smiled, a little embarrassed. “But I think you’ll be the speechless one when we get to the Wicked Wand in two days,” I dared.

“Do you?” James pulled up a corner of his mouth in a smile. “We’ll see about that. Just for fun, let’s see how long I can stay away.”

I smiled mischievously.

“You don’t know what you’re doing.”

A/N: There you go. Two fast chapters for now... the last two will join together and come at the end of the week.
Enjoy! And tell me what you think!
Love, Astrid Elisabeth

Chapter 54: Seduction
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Chapter fifty-four, Seduction

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Dance till the stars come down from the rafters
Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop
--W.H. Auden

I looked at myself in the mirror, surveying my outfit. It was Saturday night, and in not very long we would be in a carriage on our way to Hogsmeade. Anna, Hillary, Jennifer and I had used three hours doing each others make-up, discussing who would seduce who, and what we should wear. I had tried on ten different combinations, but I was satisfied with the result.

I was wearing a short smooth black skirt with a bolt of lightning on the left side. A dark green party top made my eyes look astonishing, which were skilfully decorated by Anna. I also wore a series of bracelets, and a golden pendant. My hair was loose, with a natural wavy touch. My feet were placed into elegant high boots.

To spell it out; the outfit wasn’t in my everyday wardrobe.

Anna, Hillary and Jennifer had dressed up like me, but in denim skirts and black party tops. We were all very excited about leaving.

"We don’t have anything to lose," Hillary pointed out. "It’s our last night at Hogwarts."

Anna smiled widely, looking at her watch.

"It’s nearly nine, we should get going."

It was summer, so it wasn’t very dark outside. But as we entered the club, darkness consumed us. The known, good darkness of a disco. The music filled our ears, and our very nicest smiles were put onto our faces.

My eyes widened as I saw the dance floor, it was inviting me to move onto it. Jennifer took my arm, and she lead me over to it. It was packed with people, everybody I knew from seventh year. Suddenly a glass appeared automatically in my hand, it was a brilliant trick Dumbledore must have come up with.

The firewhiskey within the goblet was soon running down my throat, just as flaming and nice as last time.

Something happens to me when I’m on a dance floor. I’ve never had the opportunity to go dancing on a club at Hogwarts, but during summer holidays I did it a lot. Something about the music alighted sides of my body I never got in touch with in other ways.

The short skirt hugged my hips as I moved them around. My feet were flowing over the floor, my heart beating along with the music. My hair was loose, flying around my face as I smiled and laughed with joy.

The rhythm rocked my petite body, there was nothing but me and the music. It was like they were one; my body and the music.. they fulfilled each other.

Then I felt somebody come up behind me, placing a pair of hands on my hipbones.

"Not so innocent tonight, are you?" he drawled.

"Sirius," I said approvingly, smelling his cologne. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"What?" he asked, continuing to move me around the floor.

"You know what happened last time I drank, and this time we’re additionally on a damping dance-floor," I pointed out.

"I’ll take the chance. I just wanted to dance with you before James wins you over completely," Sirius grinned.

"Ok, Mr Black," I said. "Let’s see if you can cope."

I leaned back on him, placing a hand around his neck. My other hand was on top of his on my hipbone. I let the rhythm move me, and my hips rocked back and forwards. I sneaked up on him in a way I didn’t feel awkward doing in this setting. Sirius followed me, obviously not unfamiliar with the situation. His fingers ran over my neck, and his feet never let go of the movement. Our dance moved more and more, making Sirius’ breath heavier.

"Haven’t you had your firewhiskey yet?" I teased.

"I’m saving it for later. I don’t need it to become king of the dance floor," he told me.

"Not bad," I smiled, pulling him closer.

I remembered what James had said to me in the hall. "We’ll see about that. Just for fun, let’s see how long I can stay away."

I knew I was making it hard for him. Watching me with his best friend like this would make him aware of what he had said.

‘Sorry if I’m playing, darling, but you started this by saying you wanted to think over and consider if we should date again or not. You’re the one playing hard to get.’

When the song ended, Sirius pulled me to the side.

"Feel honoured, Lily," he smiled. "I think you must be the dancing queen of the night."

I laughed.

"Seriously, you could turn anyone on," he said approvingly before going over to the marauder table.

I didn’t wait long. I hurried back, longing for the touch of the music again.

"You’re torturing James, you know that?" Anna said, satisfaction written in her face. "When he comes to you, he’ll probably be so hungry he eats you."

I laughed at her funny way of wording that.

"We’ll see.." I said expectantly, circling my glass between my fingers.

I rose, walking over to James on the dance floor. I pushed him out of the crowd and onto a chair, giving him a longing look.

"How are you doing?" I said softly, sitting onto his lap.

"Wonderful, Lily," he said smoothly, dragging a hand through his black messy hair. "You’re looking astonishing."

"Thanks," I said charmingly, resting my hands at his shoulders. "Do you give up?"

James narrowed his eyes, pointing at me with his index finger.

"It’s been hard, but I’ll try resisting the urge to come near you a little bit longer," he said. "Though you’re making it harder than I’d imagined. Suddenly you’re out of your innocent ballet-image."

I let my eyes go in a triangle between his eyes and his lips, slowly edging closer. I saw the lust in his eyes, the desire to let in.

The moment he leaned in to meet my lips, and I was about to kiss him, I pulled back, disappearing into the crowd of dancing teenagers …

The music embraced me again, letting me dive into the ocean of rhythm.

I waited for James to come after me in my sub conscience, and I knew Anna and Jennifer were keen to see the result of my playful teasing. We danced like the world was ours, like dancing was what we breathed.

After two more songs, James still hadn’t shown up.

"Ladies room," Anna broke up, grabbing my arm.

I followed, looking back to see where James was. I couldn’t see him anywhere.

"Are you sure this is working?" I said apprehensively as Anna emerged into a toilet.

"Lily, this is all a bit silly, but I think it will work out. If he doesn’t come, come to him," Jennifer said reassuringly.

"Yeah, it’s just.. I have already come to him. I don’t think we’ll get together if it’s not he who comes. See?"

Jennifer nodded. "He can’t resist you, he’s just trying to make you insecure and create a bit of suspense," she winked.

I smiled vaguely, checking my hair in the mirror. "I think it’ll be alright."

I was the last one to leave the ladies room. As I straightened my skirt, I surveyed the scene. Most people were dancing or chatting around the small, tall tables. Nobody looked dangerously affected by the firewhiskey, something that made me a bit more calm. I drank the last sip of my own drink, putting it down next to me.


I turned around, looking into James’ face.

He dragged his fingers down the length of my face in a caressing way, making my body shiver with delight.

"Do you want to dance?" I whispered into his ear.

"No," James smiled. "I want to kiss you first."

I grinned before feeling his warm lips softly against my own.

He moved me over to the dance-floor, putting his hands at the curve of my lower back.

"It was really unnecessary to dance with Sirius like that," he breathed. "I wanted to hang myself."

I sniggered as I moved to the music.


"No, evil," James replied, kissing my neck affectionately.

"I didn’t think we were going out," I pointed out to him.

He lifted his head, looking down at me.

"I don’t think I can hold back much longer," he smiled, pushing me closer to him. "Somebody else could come and take you before me, and I don’t want that to happen."

We danced well together, co-ordinating our bodies in unison. When I had danced with Sirius and the others, I had a lot of fun. But dancing with James… It felt so much more passionate. I didn’t care if anybody saw us, as long as we could be one with the music.

I didn’t mind James’ hands travelling down my body, nor the words he whispered into my ear.

"I didn’t know you could dance like this," he complimented, feeling the curve in my upper back.

"Neither did I," I replied.

"Come," James said to me, leading my body through the room and outside in the night air.

I followed him willingly, feeling everybody’s eyes on me as we went.

The air chilled my sweaty body, calming it down after lots of dancing.

"I’m sorry I made you insecure," James apologised to me.

"Don’t worry," I cooed. "I found it kind of… intriguing."

He smiled, bending down to kiss me. I deepened the kiss carefully, smelling his smells with satisfaction. As he pulled away, I embraced him into a hug.

"What was that for?" James said softly, letting me hold him.

"I’ve just… missed you so," I said slowly.

We didn’t say anything for quite a while, we just stood there in the light of the stars. The carriages stood down the road in a neat line.

"Maybe we should just leave?" James suggested as he noticed the carriages.

"Can we do that?" I asked insecurely.

"I think so," James said thoughtfully.

As we got through the portrait hole with linked hands, I felt very content. The horse-less carriage we chose had taken us back straight away. Not letting go of James on the ride back to the castle had been wonderful.

We sat down in one of the sofas in the empty common room.

I smiled in his arms, feeling them around me like a protecting shelter. I was so exhausted from all that had happened during the year. First falling for James, which had come as a shock to me. Then Bryn edging closer to me at the same time, pretending to be James right under my nose. I had been an emotional mess, and I just wanted to surrender, to give up, to stop fighting.

In James’ arms, I had stopped fighting. I was in no doubt that the man who held me in my arms loved me.

"I understand you’re tired, ballerina," he said comforting.

I snapped my head up. My eyes were wide open, looking at James’s surprised face.

"You… You called me ballerina again," I whispered, lying down on his chest. "I haven’t heard you call me that in almost two months."

James smiled at me, the same smile that always made me feel weak and strong at the same time. The same smile that had made my knees collapse for so long.

I surveyed him sitting there in front of me… his lips were swollen and red. His eyes were the mirror of his soul, and I almost gasped as I almost saw my own reflection in him. It was the strangest feeling, sitting there in silence, looking at each other. James had taught me what kind of person I wanted to be. I was willing to change for him, in any way that would make him love me more.

Was it like this he felt that day he stopped me after ballet, pinching me to the wall, saying he was willing to change for me?

"It’s very late," James made me aware of the time. "We have to pack tomorrow and everything before leaving Hogwarts. Well.. goodnight then,"

"Goodnight?" I said, looking at the staircase up to my dorm. "Do I have to?"

James looked quizzical.

"What do you mean?"

"I could… join you in your dorm if you’d like?" I posed the question that had been circling in my mind for some time.

James looked doubtful, but surprised.

"Lily," he began, taking both of my hands in his. "If you came and slept together with me in my dorm, I don’t think I’d be able to…"

"…restrain yourself?" I finished for him.

"Yeah," he smiled.

I stretched up, giving him a soft kiss.

"Have I said I want you to hold anything back?"

James sighed, standing up.

"Lily… I don’t want to do anything you’re not ready for."

I put my hands around his waist.

"The only reason I haven’t been ready is because I haven’t trusted anybody enough to let in yet," I said shakily, stroking his lower back under his shirt.

James’ eyes said everything. I don’t think anybody had confessed anything like that to him before, giving him such reassurance and trust. Making him feel special like I did. It sounded selfish in my own head, but on second thought, I wanted to be the only one to make him feel that way.

"Really?" he forced out.

"Really," I confirmed.

He almost reluctantly lead me up the stairs to his head boy dorm, opening the door for me.

"It’s not as tidy as it was last time," he excused himself. I sniggered, looking at his slightly embarrassed face.

"You’re nervous?" I said amusedly. "James Potter is nervous about getting a girl into bed?"

"Dream on," James smiled charmingly. "But this time I’m not taking any girl to bed… I’m taking a princess worth being honoured and respected in every way possible."

"That’s sweet," I said, taking his hand.

He smiled, closing the door behind him.

A/N: Here comes the last chapter... Be prepared! Love, Astrid Elisabeth

Chapter 55: Graduation
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Author’s Final Note:

First of all, I want to congratulate you for clicking the last chapter of my story. There are not many who bother to stick with a story which has over 116 000 words. Thanks to all who have reviewed to encourage, give me feedback and cheer me on. It means everything to me. I hope you enjoy the ending I chose to close down this story with… It feels really good to end it here, but very sad at the same time. Many of you have probably heard about a planned sequel, but I've decided I won't do it. I have started writing it, but I decided I won't finish it or publish it here.

So there will be no sequel.

The reason for this is following: It would be a huge amount of work, and I don't think I have the time this year. I'm afraid of repeating myself, especially with the dancing-parts, and I just feel it's right to end it here. The plot I'd sketched up was very advanced and deep, and it would take a lot of energy to get it right, to give it the glory I wanted it to have.

~Astrid Elisabeth.

Chaper Fifty-Five, Graduation

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Dance . . . no translation needed.
- Kristy Nilsson

I woke up as the sunshine sent sparkles through the window in the morning. I rolled over on my back, startling as I realised I wasn’t alone.

‘Who has climbed into my bed?’ I thought in surprise, looking at the person next to me.

When I realised it was James, a smiled spread across my face. As I noticed we were in his dormitory as well, the events of the previous night washed over me. I closed my eyes, trying to remember it all.

"Lily?" James said tiredly next to me. "What time is it?"

I looked quickly at the watch next to his bed, my eyes going wide as I realised how late it was.

"It’s nearly noon," I told him. "The end of term feast is at three, maybe I should leave and pack my trunk?"

"Just… five more minutes," James smiled, pulling me into his arms. I felt his calm breath into my hair, and his skin against my naked body.

"I love you, Lily," James whispered.

I had heard him say that many times during the night, but somehow this time it sank in.

"I love you too," I replied with a genuine smile he could feel, but not see.

"You’re not in any pain, are you?" James said carefully, stroking my stomach with his soft fingers.

"No, I’m fine now," I said, putting my hand on top of his.

"I’m glad," James smiled, kissing my neck with affection.

"I really should get going," I laughed, because his kiss tickled me.

"Ok, ballerina," James said, sitting up as I pulled the covers off me and shoved myself to the bedside.

I felt his eyes on me as I got out, looking for my underwear. I pulled it on, feeling more comfortable at once.

"You’re really beautiful, you know that?" I heard James from the bed.

I just smiled at him, pulling my skirt and top on.

"I’ll see you later," I said softly, walking over to him and putting a long tender kiss on his lips before leaving.

Back in my dorm, I almost ripped off my tight party-clothes, removed all the makeup and put on a pair of very baggy trousers. My favourite green ones, actually. I also pulled a college jumper over my head, lifting my hair into a bun.

Somehow, I felt my hands shaking as I started to fold my clothes and collect my things into the trunk.

‘I can’t believe I did it,’ I said quietly to myself inside my head. ‘It’s so surreal.’

To be honest, I had always been determined to wait until I married. I didn’t see the point about messing around with so deep emotional stuff when you weren’t sharing your life with that person. And I was somehow mad at myself for it.

But still it felt so right, so natural, without regret.

‘James has always been the exception.’

I turned on my music player, letting some cheerful tones pierce my deep thoughts. I turned around quickly as the door suddenly opened, and Anna came in.

"Where did you go last night?" Anna said with a concerned look on her face, turning the music off with a swish of her wand. "We were worried."

Hillary became visible in the door, nodding.

I smiled with raised eyebrows at their reaction.

"Come on, you must have known," I said obviously.

"We made assumptions, especially after Remus came over a billion times asking if we’d seen James," she explained.

"You’re assumptions were correct," I pointed, returning to my trunk.

"So… how did it go?" Hillary asked. "Are you back together?"

"You might say so," I said casually, making space for more of my things.

"That’s what I thought," I heard Anna whisper.

"What about you?" I turned the conversation.

"Me?" Anna said in confusion.

"Yeah… did you hook up with anybody?" I winked.

Hillary gave her a noticeable push in the back.

"Well… Remus," she said shyly, blushing.

I grinned.

"Good girl," I hugged her. "I knew you’d end up together."

She giggled.

"He’s so sweet… I would never have thought I’d…"

"Oh, she’s in love!" I exclaimed, almost jumping up and down.

"I know," Hillary said excitedly, looking restless.

"Was that all?" I turned around again, very happy for Anna, but at the same time eager to get them out so I could finish packing and thinking.

"Yeah, well…" Hillary said uneasily.

"I need to finish this, we can talk later, right?" I said cheerfully.

"Ok," Anna laughed, pushing Hillary out before leaving herself.

‘Am I going to tell them?’ I thought. ‘They are my best friends, and I think it’d be natural to tell them. But at the same time not.’

I kept arguing with myself.

‘Maybe I should calm down myself first, and just take it easy. They’ll know soon enough.’

When I was finished packing, I decided to take a shower before getting ready for the feast.

I soaped my body starting at the shoulders and finishing down the legs.

‘Where only hours ago James gave me the most gentle of touches…’

I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

My hand was once again linked with James’s on my way to the Great Hall some time later. Continuous bubbles flew in my body. Everybody I met, smiled at me so warmly I wondered if they knew that I had found him again. If they knew that I had for the first time given myself to someone I knew I could trust.

All the seventh-years were seated at the end of the Gryffindor table, gathered for the last time. The food somehow tasted better than it used to, and the smiles of everybody present were brighter than I remembered them. Somehow, everything lingered a little bit longer than usual. As the food disappeared, I reached for my bag on the floor next to me.

My dancing bag was over my shoulder for the last time at Hogwarts. I kissed James briefly before running off to a chamber I could change before the dance began. I met Lindsay there, and her grin was not more shy than everybody else’s.

She also had tears in her eyes.

"Your last dance," she whispered to me in a hug. "Your last dance here.."

I was close to crying myself.

"I’ll put the music on for you," Lindsay smiled before she left. "I know you’ll be brilliant."

I zipped open my bag, finding what I was going to wear. It wasn’t the usual blue leotard, or a tutu. I was going to wear black tights, black dancing slippers and a white dancing top. It had long arms, and was slipped over my long finger to make a V on the top of my wrist. It ran to the middle of my thigh, with splits on the sides. It was a pearly, nice white. I pulled it on, my heart beating while waiting for Dumbledore to announce my appearance.

"And now…" I heard Dumbledore say from the staff table. "Lily Evans will perform her last dance at Hogwarts for us."

The applause filled the hall, and I ran out onto the platform, posing in my start position. I heard Lindsay put the music on, and I started dancing.

‘Is she really mine?’ James kept thinking through the whole dance Lily was flying into. It made his heart jump, and he smiled as he watched her dance. It wasn’t ballet, he could see that. It was more free, more empathising, more soft.. Lily looked like she had the time of her life.

"Isn’t she beautiful, Padfoot?" James asked Sirius, who sat next to him.

"She sure is," he replied. "It’s different from the solo she had in the Autumn show, but it’s still stunning."

"I can almost even see she has improved. I mean; look at her! She’s so free, so determined.. she really knows what she’s doing. She’s not scared and insecure, like she was last time," James commented.

"Deep, Prongs," Sirius nodded, patting his back.

‘It’s almost as if I want to run onto that stage and dance together with her,’ he thought surprisingly. ‘But not even I would do somthing so foolish. Not on my graduation day!’

"She’s so brave," Remus whispered into Anna’s ear, kissing her cheek.

She nodded, not taking her eyes off her best friend.

"I think her dream has been fulfilled today," Anna whispered. "Lily’s dream has been to be happy, and free… Stripped of everything but dancing."

Sirius nudged Anna.

"Stripped of everything but dancing? I can still see clothes.. there isn’t anything wrong with me, is it?"

Anna bumped Sirius in the side, smiling amusedly.

"It was a way of expression, Sirius," she said.

He shrugged, looking back at what looked like an angel dancing as if it had never danced before.

Remus kept smiling as he watched Lily… Lily Evans. The girl who had been there for him when nobody else had. Not only was she an astonishingly good witch, she was also a good person. She was caring, exceptionally kind and fair. She also had the ability to the see the beauty in others. Often when the person could not see it in themselves… How could he ever repay her?

A little smile crept onto his face. Lily had no idea what was waiting her… But Remus was not sure how it would turn out. Only time would tell.

He stroked Anna’s arm affectionately, before clapping as Lily smiled her widest smile and bowed deeply. The Great Hall roared with applause, it looked like even Dorothy had managed to put her dislike of Lily behind.

As she came back she was practically killed with hugs and praise, shining like the sun.

With the envelope trembling in my hands, I sat on James’ lap outside in the grounds. The ceremony was over, and it was an hour until the Hogwarts Expressed rolled out from Hogsmeade.

"Just open it, you’re even making me nervous!" he complained, bumping his knee up and down to tease me.

"You open it," I said, turning around to face him.

James’ eyebrows flew up, then his mischievous smile crept onto his face.

"Sure? It’s your ballet-result.."

I nodded, looking at how excited he was.

He used his index finger to open the envelope, dragging out a thick white paper. He frowned deeply, and I looked expectantly at him.

"Let’s see…" he started slowly. "Technique generally well, good coping with the music and nice poses. Good posture and spacing. Enjoyable performance. Passed with 90%"

I squeezed James as I let out an enjoyable scream.

"I passed! I passed! With 90 blasted percent!"

I jumped up, running around with my arms in the air for a couple of rounds. James just sat laughing and smiling at me.

I ran back to him, devouring his lips.

"I’m so happy!" I exclaimed.

"I can tell," James smiled, fixing my hair, which was windswept. "Maybe we should get down to Hogsmeade?"

I nodded, taking his hand.

I watched as all my friends reached for their trunks, picking up their muggle jackets and exchanging looks. I watched them, one after one, walking out in silence.

"Aren’t you coming, ballerina?" James cooed, standing in the door.

"I just.. don’t want to leave," I said restlessly. "I’ll never sit in this train again, unless I decide to become a teacher at Hogwarts."

James smiled, coming over to me and reaching out his hand.

I took it, letting him walk with me out of the Hogwarts Express. My trunk rolled willingly after me on the platform as we walked over to the others, who stood in a big crowd.

Sirius was the first to break the silence.

"Friends…" he said carefully. "It’s been an honour spending seven memorable years together with you."

Remus nodded, reaching for something behind him.

"I knew it!" I said, not sounding surprised as he threw a bottle of butterbeer to each person in the ring.

He opened his, holding it up.

"To friendship," James said with a serious face.

"To Hogwarts," Remus continued.

"To our fellowship," Sirius said next.

Everybody looked at Anna, Hillary, Jennifer, Peter and me.

"To the future," I ended.

James looked at me with positive surprise.

The bottles were congregated at the middle, and everybody took a large sip. The dead silence following it was not mistakable.

"This is not the end," Sirius laughed, looking at our sad faces. "We’ll keep in touch! All of us.. we won’t be separated, we won’t get lost. Just because we’re not at Hogwarts anymore doesn’t mean our bonds will be forgotten."

Anna’s face lit up, and she placed Remus’ hand around her waist. James pulled me close, and everybody laughed.

Sirius pulled everybody into a breath-taking group-hug, almost having tears in his eyes.

"Party next weekend, James?" he smirked.

"You be sure of it," James grinned back.

Then the girls came over, hugging me.

"We have to go now, but we’ll send owls, ok?"

I loosened their grip, looking at three of my best friends.

"Thanks," I smiled. "I will owl you back."

"Take care, Lily," Peter smiled shyly.

"See you soon, there’s a meeting for… err.. the Phoenix club we started, remember?" Remus yelled awkwardly, receiving strange looks from Anna. He walking away with Sirius, who just winked attractively at me.

James reached for me as they all walked out of our sight.

He played with my hair, looking me into my eyes. A sparkle I hadn’t seen there before was visible. He placed a soft kiss on my lips, before cupping my face.

At that moment, I had to tell him. I didn’t want to keep it away anymore, and a strong feeling inside told me to let him know.

"James?" I asked insecurely.

He looked puzzled at me, but his lips were still smiling.

"What is it? It looks like you’ve got something on your mind."

I avoided his look shyly.

"I do," I said thoughtfully. "And I want to be honest with you."

James looked a little bit more apprehensive now. What did he think I meant? I was quite nervous about telling him this, but had decided he needed to know. I even felt slightly embarrassed telling him.

"Tell me," James said, almost swallowing hardly.

I hated how I ruined this moment.

"Last night…" I began, looking up at him.

"You don’t regret it, do you?" James said quickly.

He had said what was on his mind, and I really understood that.

"No, not directly," I whispered, then smiled. "It was wonderful, but…"

"But what?" James pushed carefully.

"I think it was wrong just the same. You’re probably going to say I’m a silly girl with unreasonable believes, and I know I should have told you. I don’t know why I let what happened last night happen, but…"

"We had sex, Lily. It’s not a dangerous thing to say."

"I know," I tried to continue. "But the thing is… I don’t really believe in sleeping together before marriage."

I said the last sentence so quickly I almost drowned in my own words.

"Come again?" James said, his face like a question mark.

"I don’t believe in sleeping together before marriage," I said clearly. "So technically, last night shouldn’t have happened."

James’s shoulders sagged.

"Then why did it? Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you stop yourself… or me?" he said. He didn’t sound angry, just concerned… and surprised.

"Because…" I smiled slightly against my own will. "It felt so right. You’re probably going to leave me for saying this…"

I looked up at the ceiling of the station.

"But I didn’t feel bad about it at all at the moment. And I really don’t do now either. Even though my believes on that matter is quite strong."

James sighed, and shook his head slightly.

"You naughty girl!" he teased. "You know I would have waited."

I frowned.


"I have to ask you something really important, Lily…" he then said quite seriously.

A curve appeared in my forehead, and a little lump was forming in my chest.

"What is it?" I asked apprehensively.

"It’s life-changing," James deepened.

I raised my eyebrows. What the heck was he talking about?

Then he took a step away from me, surveying my puzzled expression. He looked a little nervous as he suddenly bent down on one knee. He dived into his right pocket, bringing up a white ring with a single sparkling green stone.

Suddenly I understood what he was about to do, and my heart started pounding like crazy. I knew that the person in front of me was the one I was going to share everything with. Everything.

He ruffled through his dark hair, looking up at me. His eyes were clear and honest as he said in a soft voice;

"Lily Evans… Will you marry me?"

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