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A week later, Lily sat in the kitchen eating dinner. Petunia was out with her boyfriend and her parents went out to eat to have some time together. Lily had heated up a microwave dinner and was eating it at the counter as she looked through the Daily Prophet.

She was just reading an article about a muggle three year old who was a genius and supposedly found out about the wizarding world, when an owl flew in through the kitchen window. Lily untied the letter and read:

Dear Lily,

Jackie loved you. She has never liked a babysitter before. This Wednesday we are going to a meeting for work. Would you like to baby-sit Jackie again for us? She will be having a four year old friend over to spend the night that night so you would be paid double.

From, Mrs. Potter

Lily groaned. She didn’t want to baby-sit but she didn’t want to be rude and tell them no. The doorbell rang and Lily quickly wrote a response saying that she would be there at 7. Then she went to answer the door.

“Hi Lindsey,” Lily said, letting her friend inside.

“Hey. Are you busy?”

“No. Why?”

“I’m just bored and wanted someone to hang out with,” Jackie explained. Lily understood and led Lindsey into the kitchen. Lindsey picked up the letter and read through it. “You’re babysitting?”

“Yeah,” Lily said, “Do you want some tea?”

“Sure,” Lindsey said and then changed the topic back to babysitting. “I like to baby-sit. Does this little girl behave?”

“She’s a brat,” Lily said. She turned the stove on to HI so the water would boil.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Lindsey sounded sympathetic. “I hate it when I have to baby-sit kids who don’t behave.”

“Me too,” Lily replied, “This little kid is the most misbehaved little girl ever.”

“You didn’t meet the girl I had to baby-sit last summer,” Lindsey said, “She loved doing magic tricks. The only thing was that she didn’t really know how to do it. One of her favorite tricks was to put all the ingredients for a cake in a hat and then put the hat on your head. How the trick was supposed to go, was that when the hat was tipped onto your head, a cake appeared. It never happened.” Lily laughed. “It really wasn’t funny when you were sitting in the living room, thinking that the little girl was up in bed and then she came downstairs and dumped eggs and milk onto your head.”

“What’d you do?” Lily asked. The tea kettle whistled. Lily turned off the stove and pulled out two mugs.

“Well,” Lindsey continued, “I taught her some simple card tricks that I knew. She loved them and stopped doing the cake thing.”

“That’s an interesting idea,” Lily said, thinking about what she could do with Jackie.

“Bye,” Lily said as Mr. and Mrs. Potter left. They waved and Lily turned back to Jackie and her friend, Connor. He was a blonde little boy with blue eyes. So far, he was being a sweet little kid but so was Jackie.

“Hey, Evans,” Lily turned to see James walking down the stairs.

“What are you doing here?” Lily asked in a snotty way, “Why don’t you go out with your friends? I have enough to worry about without you driving me crazy.”

“I stayed to help you,” James said, “I noticed that it wasn’t that easy for you last time when there was just Jackie so I thought I’d stay but if you don’t want help I can go.” James started walking towards the door.

She wasn’t going to ask him to stay. He would be smug about it and hold it over her head forever. She really did need help though. James was able to help a lot last time. But she couldn’t ask him to stay.

“Wait,” Lily said.

Damn.

“Yes?” James said turning around.

“I will need help,” Lily admitted quietly. Then she quickly added, “But don’t be arrogant, egotistical, bigheaded, or conceited about it.”

“You know that those all mean the same thing, right?” James asked. Lily didn’t answer him. “Besides,” he continued, “I wasn’t going to. I was just going to suggest that we go find Jackie and Connor.”

Lily turned around and, sure enough, the two little people weren’t standing where Lily had left them.

“I suck at babysitting,” Lily said mostly to herself. She started towards the stairs when she heard something in the kitchen. She quickly ran there, dreading what she would see when she pushed open the swinging door. Inside, Jackie and Connor were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“You’re not getting into trouble?” Lily asked.

“We’re finishing our dinner,” Connor said.

“Oh.” Lily turned around and ran right into James, who was standing behind her. “I found them,” she said.

“Really?” he replied sarcastically. “I didn’t see them sitting right over there.” Then he smiled at her. Lily felt a strange feeling in her stomach that she could place. What is that? She thought. She decided to think about it later.

“I haven’t had dinner yet,” James said, “I’m gonna make some food. Do you want anything?”

“Uh…” Lily wasn’t really sure if she should accept anything from him. He might sneak a love potion in it or something. But then again, Lily was really hungry. She didn’t have time for dinner because she had gone to a friend’s house and then had to go straight to the Potter’s.

“I’m making Roman Noodles.” Lily loved Roman Noodles. She wondered if he knew that.

“Okay,” Lily said. She sat down at one of the stools by the counter and glanced over at Connor and Jackie every so often. She thought it was so cute how they laughed; Like little kids. It was so cute. “Do cook often?” Lily asked, trying to strike up a conversation. James had put a pot of water on the stove and was waiting for it to start boiling.

“Does cereal count?” he asked. “I can make Roman only because you just add water and stir basically. Other than that no. I can’t even make spaghetti.”

“Spaghetti and Roman is basically the same thing though,” Lily pointed out.

“Not really.”

“You just add water and stir.”

“You have to make sauce with spaghetti and the noodles are different.” Lily found that amusing and laughed a little. What difference did it make if the noodles weren’t the same? Guys could be so weird.

Lily and James talked some more while the food was cooking. James wasn’t that bad really. Lily had the thought and then instantly pushed it out of her head. It was probably just an act, although, for some reason, Lily couldn’t quite convince herself of that. She watched as James stirred the food and then looked over to watch the two little kids.

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