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Hey folks: Sorry this chapter took so long. I could've sworn I uploaded it ages ago, and have been waiting (im)patiently for it to get accepted, only to look today to see it's not there. Hmm. Well, here it is. Hopefully. :)

Disclaimer: It's all Jo's of course. :)

Dear Lily,

I have received your letter. I won’t go into details as of how, but I want to apologize for any embarrassment they, that is my previous letters, might have caused today. I suppose that by acknowledging the incident earlier, I give myself away a bit, but it hardly matters anymore.

You ask me to reveal myself. It is a weighty request upon my character, but I shall not refuse you. I pale at the thought of it, but I shall show my courage for once, at last.

I scribble these words quickly as I walk through the hallways, for I know -- and in someway, have always known -- that this façade can last but little longer. You ask for my true self, and this I will show you. I will show you who I am, the very core of my being. But to do this, I must ask you to abandon your Prefect title -- hang the rules -- for just one night.

I will meet you tomorrow evening. Go to the East Wing, tomorrow evening thirty-five minutes past curfew. Find the statue of Gregory the Smarmy. Behind it there is a secret passage. Follow it, and it will lead you out of the school, to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. There, you will see a sign, and it will lead you to me. I cannot tell you what it is, but I assure you, you will not miss it. I ask you to please do this, and here I will indeed reveal myself to you.

And I have something I want to show you.

Yours for as long as you’ll have me,

Mr. Prongs

James Potter wrote this? she asked herself incredulously. James Potter.

And suddenly, Lily started laughing really, really hard. She collapsed onto the bed in giggles. She laughed because she knew it was all a hoax. She laughed because she was certain that the entire argument she had just witnessed had been staged. She laughed because it was so clever. She laughed because she had fallen for it entirely. She laughed because she knew, at this very moment, James Potter and Sirius Black were in their dorm, laughing as hard as she was.

James Potter and his friends would love to get swotty Prefect Lily Evans detention.

There, you will see a sign, and it will lead you to me. I cannot tell you what it is, but I assure you, you will not miss it.

“Sure I’ll see a sign,” Lily said loudly. “Filch, waiting there to march me right into Professor McGonagall’s office.”

They would not make a fool out of her again.

The next day Lily awoke with a resolution: She would treat James Potter exactly as she always had, and she certainly would not be going to the Forbidden Forest tonight.

This resolution was tested, slightly, throughout the day. She couldn’t help but notice James was acting very oddly. He was exceptionally quiet all day, and she’d glance up at random moments throughout their classes, only to see him quickly avert his eyes.

He’s doing it for show, she told herself.

Then, when leaving Charms, she overhead James and Sirius arguing again. Or rather, Sirius battering James with reasons why he shouldn’t go through with it tonight.

“You can’t go, James,” he whispered. “Do you know what’ll happen when she finds it’s you? She’ll tell the whole school, and then everyone will know…”

Honestly, that boy had a rather low opinion of her.

Later, after dinner, in the common room, Sirius was still going at a rather tired looking James.

“Friends come first, James. I can’t believe you’d throw this all away for a girl…”

They really were spectacular actors.

But Lily held strong and tried her hardest to ignore them as she finished her homework.. At least, that was, until she discovered an odd parcel awaiting her on her bed, when she returned to her dorm. A quickly scrawled note lay upon it.

To help you on your way tonight.

Slightly wary, Lily opened the parcel. What she found couldn’t have surprised her more: A silvery cloak that felt like liquid in her hands. Was this what she thought it was…?

She threw it over her shoulders. And glanced down at her body, or rather, where her body should’ve been. An Invisibility Cloak.

And Lily felt all her resolve and determination fade away.

Why would he give her something to help her, if he wanted to get her caught? That just didn’t add up…Maybe James Potter actually was…

She just couldn’t believe it.

Well, she’d go. And if James Potter was setting her up, all the better for Lily: James Potter would not be getting his Invisibility Cloak back, if that was the case.

And with that comforting thought, she threw the cloak over herself.

Lily moved quickly down the corridors, pausing at each corner to check and make sure there wasn’t a teacher or Head student waiting to ambush her. It was an odd feeling, knowing that no one could see her, but she didn’t let it make her any less nervous. If she got caught…Potter would wish he was never born, she thought to herself.

Just then, Lily heard an angry hiss. Startled, she jumped backwards, falling against the cold stone wall. She cursed under her breath, realizing he had just almost trampled Mrs. Norris, Filch’s horrible cat.

Lily held her breath as the cat’s lamp-like eyes glared through her. Finally, the cat sped off in the other direction. Lily was hardly relieved, though, for she knew that in moments time, Filch would be wheezing his way towards her, following that wretched cat.

So, taking a deep breath, Lily sped as fast she could out of there.

At last, she found herself standing before the statue of Gregory the Smarmy. Lily glanced at her watch. Technically, she was early, but she didn’t know just how long this ‘secret passage’ was.

Lily peeked behind the statue, but saw no passageway. Was there something he hadn’t told her? She was beginning to feel setup again. Clutching the cloak tightly to her chest, as if James Potter might jump out and rip it off her, Lily started to turn back.

But then something caught her eye. A small hole on the wall behind the statue, just level with Gregory’s thumb. But how on earth could that be a secret passageway? The hole wasn’t even big enough for her to fit her fist through.

Maybe there’s a knob or lever behind it, Lily thought hopefully. It was unlikely, but there had to be someway…She reached for the hole, prepared to try and squeeze her hand through, but then something else occurred to her.

You have a wand, don’t you? Lily would’ve laughed at herself if she hadn’t been so terrified of being caught. She pulled out her wand and tapped the hole, wondering if she needed to say a spell or something. Really, she thought, aggravated, He could’ve told me how to do it…

But just as her wand touched the hole, it began to expand quickly. Soon it was large enough for her to crawl through, and she did, with some misgivings. The hole closed again behind her.

Taking a deep breath, Lily sought to examine her surroundings, but found she couldn’t, as the darkness was absolute.

“Lumos,” she muttered, and an eerie glow filled the passageway. She was in a small corridor, the ceiling low enough for her to touch. The walls, ceiling and floor were all constructed of cold stone, old and battered -- likely from the feet of a thousand years’ worth of troublemakers -- so much so, that it was much too smooth, and her feet slipped and slid as she walked.

The passageway was very long indeed; at some points it sloped downwards, and Lily found herself struggling to keep herself upright. And then, at times, there were stairs -- steep, slanting stairs with no railing at all. At first she was puzzled by the presence of these stairs, until she remembered that she had started on the fifth floor.

The farther she went, the colder the air became, and she clutched the Invisibility cloak against herself more for warmth than stealth.

And then she reached a dead end.

Frowning, she held her wand aloft, hoping to illuminate another passageway or a door, but there was nothing. But then something occurred to her, and she began scrutinizing the offending wall. Yes, there it was: A hole, just smaller than her fist. The hole expanded like before, and she crawled out, shivering against the harsh night’s wind.

And then she gasped at the sight before her.

.....don't hurt me. :)

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