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Chapter four- Friends

“Lily! Wait up!” James called, madly dodging students to catch up with Lily before potions. She had disappeared from charms before he could talk to her. She seemed so miserable throughout their morning classes, and chose to sit alone in the classes Elliot did not take. James couldn’t help but feel sorry for her and decided it was time that he put aside any feelings and try to do the right thing for once. In this case comforting a miserable girl who was in the middle of a stubborn fight with her only friends.

“What?” Lily asked warily, turning to face James.

He smiled at her, a real genuine smile. “Want some company?”

Lily frowned. “Look Potter, I'm not in the mood for your games right now, OK?”

“My dear Lily you read too much into things. All I am offering is a friendly conversation on the way to lunch and if you can stand me for long enough maybe a potions partner later?”

Lily studied him for a moment before finally declaring his gesture as kind and smiled, he was right she didn’t have a potions partner for today and did need someone to talk to in the mean time. “Thank you James.” She said quietly.

“Any time Lily. So do tell, how was your summer?”

“Same as always” She answered tonelessly.

“Oh, come now that’s not a real answer. What are you afraid if you give me a real answer I may use it against you? Really you must have higher opinions of me than that.” James joked, knowing full well she didn’t.

Lily found herself smiling again. She thought for a moment. Did she really want to share her personal life with James Potter? What the hell, if he could make her smile today then she was all for continuing the conversation. “Um, well I went to France with my parents for a holiday in July and then I got the chance to catch up with my muggle friends at home and my sister got engaged, probably nothing compared to your summer right? Full of Parties, pranks and Mischief? ”

“Not at all. So when’s the wedding?”

“Next spring.”

“Excited? She is your only sister right?”

“Yes, she’s my only sister but we aren’t close…she doesn’t approve of my magical abilities. I am not ‘normal’ in her eyes, but it’s ok.” Lily claimed seeing the look on James face. “I hope she is very happy with Vernon. What about you James? I know nothing about you. Any siblings?” she asked as they reached the great hall for lunch.

He shook his head. “Nope, I'm an only child. Actually the only grandchild too… Probably why I turned out the way I did right? Classic golden child story here. No one to share my toys with or play with, steal the attention of my parents.”

“I pity your parents. They may never know what its like to have a human child.”

“That hurts Evans, really I may have to be alone now, I think I'm going to cry.”

“Ha-ha, I know you’re not in the least bit insulted but I am ever so sorry.” She told him sincerely as they both sat down at the Gryffindor table for lunch. Further down the row sat their friends who couldn’t help but exchange curious glances as the pair sat down. Usually James would sit with them while Lily would dine with Elliot.

They had just begun to help themselves to food when Elliot walked in. “Lily? What are you doing?” He questioned, possessively placing his hand on her shoulder. Lily just frowned up at her boyfriend.

“Um I thought I was having lunch with a friend but obviously it’s more…”

“James, could I please have a moment with my girlfriend?” Elliot asked rudely in a voice fit for addressing a small child.

James couldn’t help but smirk at him as he stood. “Why of course you may my good friend. Anytime.” He replied, mimicking the voice used on him. He bent close to Lily to whisper in her ear, just to see Elliot’s reaction “Meet you in Potions.” He told her with a wink before waltzing to where his fellow marauders were seated with Ruby and Holly. Lily could have hit him for provoking Elliot, especially when he had been being so kind.

“What was that about?” Remus asked. James shrugged and turned to watch as everyone else had.

***

“So you are basically saying that I cannot have lunch with James Potter, nor can I talk to him?” Lily asked in disbelief.

“No, Lily no,” Elliot soothed taking her hand in his. “I am simply advising you to stop associating with him and the other Gryffindor Boys. I just don’t trust them. And I’m also not too sure about Ruby and Holly. While they seem like genuine people I can't help but feel that they are being influenced by their new associates. Ok sweetie?”

Lily jerked her hand away from his “No! not ok, ‘sweetie’ because you should be able to trust me and my judgement and my ability to make friends! Even if you don’t trust them and I should be able to make my own choices!”

“I am only trying to protect you baby.”

“Don’t baby me!” Lily hissed, quite aware people were starting to stare. “You are not trying to protect me from anyone! James hasn’t done anything other than be my friend today and there is nothing wrong with that! Who do you suggest I befriend?

“Baby, I think you are blowing this way out of proportion!"

“Lily honey I think you are blowing this way out of proportion.”

“No I think you are trying to dictate who I can associate with! And you have no right to do that!”

“I can and I just did!”

“And if I don’t obey you El?” she asked in a mocking voice.

“You choose. Friendship with them or me.” He replied in a cold voice.

“Uh.” Was Lily’s only response and after one last cold look of disgust she left the Great Hall, unaware that most students were watching her.

***

“Lily! Wait up!” Lily groaned and walked faster. If she could make it to the common room before he caught up she would be cool. Sadly her conscience got the better of her and she spun around angrily.

“What?” She sighed.

“Baby! I think you misunderstood me back there!”

“No, No I think I understood you quite well El. You think you own me. You think that me being your girlfriend gives you power over me. And it doesn’t. You don’t get it do you?”

“Get what baby?”

Lily closed her eyes slowly. And took a deep breath. Baby. She hated being called baby. “Elliot… I think we should end this now.”

“Why? What’s wrong?”

(A/N: Don’t call me baby, Madison Avenue)
You and me, we had an opportunity
And we could’ve made it something really good
But you, you think I'm that kind of girl
I'm here to tell you baby, I wont be at your beck and call.

Don't think that I'm not strong
I'm the one to take you on
Don't underestimate me boy
I'll make you sorry you were born
You don't know me
The way you really should
You sure misunderstood

Don’t call me baby
You got some nerve, and baby that'll never do
You know I don't belong to you
It's time you knew I'm not your baby
I belong to me, so
Don't call me baby

Behind my smile is my IQ
I must admit, this does not sit, with the likes of you
You're really sweet
Mmm, you're really nice
But didn't mama ever tell you not to play with fire?

Don't think that I'm not strong
I'm the one to take you on
Don't underestimate me boy
I'll make you sorry you were born
You don't know me
The way you really should
You sure misunderstood

Don’t call me baby
You got some nerve, and baby that'll never do
You know I don't belong to you
It's time you knew I'm not your baby
I belong to me, so
Don't call me baby”

“So does this mean its over?”

“I suppose so. It’s been fun but look El, I’ve gotta get to potions, I’ll see ya later kay?”

He nodded. Lily gave a weak smile before rushing off in the direction of the dungeons.

***

Lily ran down the last flight of steps to their potions classroom. James was already seated at a bench close to the front while the others sat down the back in their usual spot. He smiled as she sat down and she knew what was coming.

“You ok?” He asked kindly.

She nodded. “We broke up. I broke up with him. I don’t know what happened.” She groaned letting her head fall to the desk.

James didn’t know what to say so instead gave her a consoling smile and a short pat on the back. Kind of a weak but considering while trying to be kind and considerate he was really he was bubbling over with so much joy it he wanted to jump on the table and dance a jig it was about all he could manage. Lily didn’t answer him for a while but turned to watch Ruby, Holly, Sirius and Remus. She smiled as she turned back. “What’s wrong with Sirius?” James turned to look too. Sirius was staring at the blackboard while the others were deep in conversation around their bubbling cauldron. He didn’t seem to want to be too close.

“Where do I start? I believe there are many things wrong with Sirius but at the moment I think he has a little crush on fair Holly. And I also think he is in denial about it.”

Lily looked up at him sharply. “Really? But he's so…”

James nodded. “Nervous? Awkward? I know its absolutely hilarious.” He laughed, Lily didn’t join in but instead smacked him on the arm.

“It’s not funny...it’s kinda sweet. The famous Sirius Black, trouble maker and all round bad boy made nervous by a girl? They would look so cute together. She so sweet and shy and he's so…” She told him, swinging around again. “Not…” she concluded lamely lost in thought.

“Oi, Evans! Your supposed to be stirring!”

“Oops sorry.”

“What’s up? You sort of drifted away there.” he asked as he tipped the last ingredient into the bubbling pot.

“They were right.” She sighed after a moment.

“Right about what?”

“Elliot.” She replied simply.

“Just talk to them. They won’t hold one misjudgment against you. They’re your friends.”

She nodded he was right. ”When did you get so wise Potter?”

He smirked. “I’ve always been wise, it’s just that usually no body listens to me.”

“Its funny you know.” She told him with a thoughtful smile. “You were the only one that didn’t try to warn me off him.”

“It wasn’t my place to offer my opinion.”

“Since when have you cared whether it was right to offer your opinion or not?”

“Ahh, since I realised that not everyone was as keen to hear my ideas as I was to voice them.”

“I’ve been trying to tell you that for years you know.” Lily laughed.

“Yeah, I had a bit of a wakeup call. Someone informed me ever so kindly that I need to grow up.”

Lily smiled slyly, “Really who would that of been?”

***

“Hi.” Lily greeted her friends as she entered their dorm after tea. She stared at her shoes for a moment before knowing exactly what she needed to say. “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”

“What happened?” Ruby asked, patting the bed beside her. Lily walked over, knowing she had been forgiven and sat between them before answering.

“We broke up.”

“Why?” Holly asked, not sure if she really wanted to know. “What happened.

Lily thought for a moment, trying to remember what had been said. “Oh god!” she moaned, covering her face with her hands as it hit her.

“What?” They both asked.

“I broke up with him because he said I couldn’t be friends with James Potter.” She told them. For a moment they stared at her in shock but hen started to laugh. Lily jumped up to face them. “Its not funny! He also didn’t approve of my friendship with you to either!” She snapped as she started to pace the room. She stopped suddenly and slid down the door to sit on the floor. “What have I done? Oh my god if he ever found out!”

“WHO?”

“James! If he knew I dumped by boyfriend because of him I would never live it down! You can’t tell him.” She told them fearfully. Ruby and Holly shared a quick look then went to join her on the floor by the door.

“Why would we tell James anything?” Holly asked.

“Don’t worry Lils, you just started talking to us again! Why would we want to jeopardize that just to tell James that he was the final straw in your relationship? It doesn’t really mean anything.” Ruby paused as Lily groaned again. “Cheer up Lils, he will never find out from us and the whole Elliot thing is over.”

“Yeah,” agreed Holly. “You were too good for him sweetie. You deserve more.”

Ruby smirked “James Potter?” She laughed. Lily looked at her in horror before she too smiled.

“You two are crazy. I said James was…could be my friend…and that’s all.”

“Yeah but it was good to see you smile.” Holly told her hugging her but Ruby had jumped up, grabbing a hat from her bed post and shoving it on her head.

(A/N: Adapted from Fully Dressed, from the musical Annie)
Ruby: Hey hobo man,
Hey Dapper Dan,
You've both got your style

But girl, you're never fully dressed
Without a smile”

Ruby cried, pointing at Lily who threw her head back and laughed at her crazy friend. Holly jumped up to join Ruby grabbing her cloak as she jumped up on her bed to sing,

Holly: Your clothes may be so stylish
They stand out a mile
But girl, you're never fully dressed…
Both: Without a smile

Together they sang while dancing crazily around the room

”Who cares what they're wearing
on Main Street or Hogsmeade Road
It's what you wear from ear to ear
And not from head to toe.
That matters

Doo doodle-oo doo
Doo doodle-oo doo
Doo doo doo doo
Doo doo doo

“Come on Lils!” Ruby cried, pulling her up from the bed to join them in their song and dance, Holly wrapping a scarf around Lily’s head as they all began to can-can.

All: Who cares what they're wearing on Main Street
or Hogsmeade Road
It's what you wear from ear to ear
And not from head to toe that matters
So, grin a bit, so, beam a bit
and laugh for a while
Remember you're never fully dressed
Though you may wear the best
You're never fully dressed without a
Smile
Smile
Smile!!!” They finished collapsing on the closest bed in a fit of giggles.

“Thank you.” Lily told them. “You always know what to say.”

“You better believe it baby.” Joked Ruby.

Suddenly a thought occurred to Lily. She pushed herself up on one elbow to face Ruby “Ruby? I have a question.”

“Mmm?” Ruby prompted her eyes still closed.

“You and Remus.”

Her eyes snapped open and she stared at Lily. Holly was watching them with interest. She knew exactly where Lily was going with this. “Well, I couldn’t help but notice you two have become kinda close…do you like him?” Ruby just looked at the floor and tried to hide a smile, however Lily and Holly noticed and before Ruby could say anything Lily and Holly were on top of her squealing and hugging.

***

“Prongs, I am so bored! We need to plan a prank… how about on Snivellus?”

“Padfoot, I am absolutely snowed under with homework and for once I don’t want to be doing it the night before it’s due.” James stated, then he heard a thud, Sirius had fallen off his bed. His head popped up over the top of the mattress, “What the bloody hell has happened to you? You, we never do homework! Especially not in advance” James just shrugged.

“Yeah and I never had to do nightly patrols either,” James added, “Hey, Moony, back me up here, please? Moony, hey Remus!”

“Huh? What?”

“I think our dear friend Moony has something or someone else on his mind, don’t you agree Prongs.” James nodded.

“Even though Sirius has been utterly incapable of doing anything when Holly is around and I have been well…”

“Off with the fairies?” Sirius offered.

“Yeah that. Anyway, just because me and Sirius haven’t said anything until now, doesn’t mean we haven’t noticed.”

“Noticed what exactly?” Remus asked curiously.

“That you and Ruby have become very close friends.”

“Well, what do you expect! Without you two, all I have is Peter and Ruby. And trust me Ruby is much better company than him. I’ve never really talked with her. She surprises me.”

“You like her,” Sirius commented in a sing-song voice.

“We’re friends, that’s all.”

“You sure that’s all?”

“Yes, Prongs I'm sure.”

***

A/N:
Don’t call me baby, Madison Avenue

Fully Dressed, by Bert Healey, The Boylen Sisters

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