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That night was a long one. Lily had no homework, so she was sitting quietly in the Head’s private common room, trying to get into a new book. Believe it or not, reading is extremely difficult when you have a boy staring at you intently.

“What do you want, Potter?” she snapped, barely lowering the book.

“Hmm?” he muttered, seeming to be in some sort of trance.

She sighed and set the book on her lap. “You’re staring at me,” she said impatiently.

“I am?” he asked, finally removing his eyes from his watchful gaze of her to the wall behind her head.

“Mmhm,” she murmured, returning to the book.

”Shouldn’t we be getting started on the Polyjuice Potion?” he asked, finally looking at her as if he was aware of what he was looking at.

“We’ll do that tomorrow,” she replied, still reading her book. She had an amazing ability to read and talk at the same time. “Since when do you care anyway?”

“You know, I do get the second best grades in the year.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. You just never notice me. So I never expected you to know anyway.” With that cold statement, James jumped up and bounded up the stairs to his dormitory. That particular statement had gotten Lily to finally look up from her book.

So what if she never paid attention to him? It wasn’t her job to baby-sit Hogwarts biggest prats, was it? She shrugged and shoved her book back up to her face. But now, she was having a bit more trouble concentrating. She never HAD paid attention to James. And what had he done to her? ‘Nothing… Except be the most egotistic jerk she’d ever met,’ she reminded herself. ‘A cute one,’ she heard her brain say. But she merely chuckled and pushed that thought out of her brain. No wait, that wasn’t even her brain. It’d never say something as stupid as that.

**

“Lily!” Jade poked her best friend with a quill the next day in History of Magic. “You can’t fall asleep! How else are Rose and I supposed to pass exams?”

With a nod, Lily rubbed her eyes and began feverishly taking notes again. Why, she’d never know, but she’d been distracted and tired all day. The conversation of the previous night kept replaying in her head, Potter’s hurt expression and cold tone mocking her. But she passed this off as guilt for him being the one person that she’d ever judged before getting to know. But, there really was no point in getting to know him, she knew he’d turn out to be exactly whom she fathomed him to be.

“Lily! You’re doing it again!” This time, the harsh whisper came from Rose.

“Take your own notes for once!” Lily snapped, setting her quill down and sitting back in the chair, crossing one leg over the other. But, one look at the hurt on her best friend’s faces made her grab her quill and hunch back over her notes.

“So, how is sharing a common room with James?” Rose asked, barely bothering to whisper. Their Professor, Professor Binns, was an extremely old wizard who looked like one good poke might finish him off. Day after day, he droned on, oblivious to the lack of attention that everybody besides Lily Evans paid to his lesson.

“I’m trying to take your notes,” Lily answered shortly, bending over farther, her red hair forming a veil between her and Rose.

**

“Evans! Hey Evans!” Lily was on her way to the Great Hall for lunch that afternoon and James Potter was chasing her down for reasons unknown.

“I need to ask you something!” he shouted, finally beginning to catch her.

“No,” Lily yelled in a bored tone. She said that word to him too often for it to ever be interesting.

“No! Not that!” Then, miraculously, he finally fell into sync with her and fell into a walk, panting heavily.

“What is it Potter?” she snapped.

“Professor Dumbledore wants to know our ideas on a Fall Ball, or Halloween Dance in other words.”

“Oh,” she said, feeling guilty that she had jumped to conclusions. “Fine. Whatever.”

“And,” he continued, not looking her in the eye, smirking ever so slightly, “He thinks that, as Head Boy and Head Girl, we should open the ball with a dance. So… we might as well go together.”

She narrowed her eyes, not sure if she believed him or not. “Fine. We’ll dance for the opening dance, but that’s it.”

He shrugged, seemingly satisfied. “All right! See you after lunch to start the potion!”

“Eh,” she muttered. “Whatever.” She watched his shrinking form turn a corner, undoubtedly heading to a shortcut to the Great Hall that he and the Marauder’s had discovered.

“James trouble?” Rose guessed consolingly when Lily collapsed onto a bench in the Great Hall.

”Why does everyone always assume that?” she groaned, setting her books beside her and making a grab for a particularly scrumptious looking turkey sandwich.

“Because, girl,” Jade answered. “With you, it’s always James trouble.”

“It’s nothing really. Just having to work with him on the project and NOW I have to dance with him!”

“Dance with him? Why?” the pair of girls asked blankly.

“Oh. Just a dance we’re planning. In October,” she replied, mouth bursting with turkey and cheese.

“And you’re going with him?” Jade asked excitedly.

“No, I–,” she began impatiently, before three tall figures swooped down upon them and took seats amongst the girls.

“Mind if we join you?” Sirius asked, taking a piece of turkey off of Lily’s own sandwich that was resting on her plate.

”No,” she said dryly. “Go ahead. I often let boys I despise eat lunch with me and steal my food. James, I’ll meet you in the library. Bye Jade, Rose.” With that, she gathered her things and set off to the Library. That night, they’d have to do the beginning steps of the Polyjuice Potion and at least begin their essay.

**

“Is it two Lacewing flies or five?” James asked uncertainly, staring at the cauldron, a puzzled expression upon his face.

“Is that all the farther you’ve gotten?!” Lily cried in exasperation, looking up from the essay that she was partway done with. “That’s only the second step! After that it needs to simmer for 15 minutes before you can add the last ingredient of today! Honestly, Potter!”

He stared at her, an innocent look at his eye, not budging.

”It’s three!” she howled, throwing her hands into the air.

“Oh…Okay…” he responded, tossing the Lacewing flies in the cauldron and turning up the heat with a flick of his wand. He watched it intently for five minutes, keeping track of time, and then he scooted closer to Lily, reading the essay over her shoulder.

It was only when James’ head was almost touching her shoulder that she shouted, “Don’t!” reproachfully.

“Sorry,” he murmured, counting down the minutes until the potion would be ready to add the final ingredient of the day, and he could leave. Ten minutes left. Seven minutes left. Three. One. “Can I add the leeches now, Lily?”

Lily was taken aback for a moment, still not used to the use of her first name, and nodded, putting the final touches on the essay.

“Okay,” she began, levitating the cauldron to the spot in the Library where they had been ordered to store their potions. “I’ll meet you here on Sunday and we’ll continue this.”

James nodded and set straight out of the Library, anxious not to be late for Quidditch tryouts. How would it look if the Captain was late?

**

“When Mars is bright that means…” Lily muttered, flipping impatiently through her Divination book. She hated the subject; she didn’t know why she had stuck with it since third year. Professor Burke really was an old fraud. Professor McGonagall would be better fit to teach the subject than she was, and everyone knew that she detested the subject.

“It means that confusion is coming!” James called from the corner where he was playing with a snitch that he had nicked from Quidditch tryouts.

“Thanks,” she muttered, her eyes lingering disapprovingly on the snitch.

“Why are you still taking that subject?” he called out, not even looking at her, his full attention on that damn snitch.

“Why do you know what Mars stands for if you’re not?” she retorted, flipping through her Divination book once again. “What does it mean if the planets align?”

“A miracle’s going to happen,” he answered. “I paid attention in the years that I took it, unlike three girls that I happen to know.”

Lily ignored his last remark and scribbled down his answer. True, they still weren’t friends, but sharing a common room and bathroom had taught them to be somewhat civil to each other.

“Well, I’m heading off to bed,” James said with a yawn, tucking the fluttery snitch inside his pocket.

“Night,” Lily mumbled. Then, without another word, he fumbled up the stairs and she heard his door open and close.

She looked toward his dormitory, gaping. That had been the first time he hadn’t asked her out before bed since first year. In fact, he hadn’t asked her out all day. What was going on here?!

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