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The room went still.

A look of horror flashing across his face, Prongs yanked the map from Wormtail’s hands. He nearly choked when he saw that Wormtail was indeed absolutely correct. Prongs shoved the map into his cloak pocket, a sense of urgency flowing into his being that the Marauders recognized as their cue to retreat.

“We have to go!” Prongs called at no one in particular. “Now!”

Without waiting to see if anyone was going to follow, he sprinted for the opposite door. Moony, Padfoot, and Wormtail were at his heels, not questioning the sincerity of the need to fly. However the others stared at the Marauders fading backs, utterly bewildered on how they could possibly foresee Filch’s arrival. For all they knew, the caretaker could be on the other side of the castle.

But before they could wonder for long, they heard the jiggle of a doorknob and the creak as the door began to open. They caught a glimpse of the orange glow of lantern light and the silhouette of the odious caretaker, then they too were thundering after the fleeing Marauders. In an instant, the Slytherins had lost their apathy for trouble and Lily and Florence had lost their resolve to face punishment nobly. They could already taste the glee of Filch as he tried to convince Dumbledore to allow him to hang them up by their thumbs.

The twelve pairs of pounding feet sounded like an earthquake against the stone. There was no point in being quiet now. With all the ruckus they'd been making before, Filch was bound to know they were there and would be hot on their tails not matter what they did. They had to run and they had to run fast, hoping that Filch didn't spy the faces of the perpetrators.

Prongs reached the door as Filch came through the other one and began moving as quickly as his scuffing feet would let him. Prongs threw the door open and in a frightened wave, five people tried to go through the door at once. They were temparily lodged in place, shoulders caught and bodies pressed in a crazy traffic jam. But with shoves from people behind them and an urging of “Run! Run! Run!” they fell from the catch and stumbled into a run, flinging themselves down the hall.

Severus was the last one through and he lingered, taking the time to pull the door closed behind him. His calm momentarily lost, his hand fumbled into the robes in search for a pocket that somehow seemed not to be there. It was one of those moments that I’m sure we all know, when time is of the essence and every seconds seems to be slipping away quicker than it actually is. In those moments, when the heart is racing, one never seems able to simply be smooth. Even the most cool of people suddenly become jerky and flustered, more and more so by the second, because they are all to aware of what is about to happen.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, his hand slipped into his pocket and closed around his wand, but before he could pull it from his robes, another wand came into its view and fulfilled the task he had been about to do. With a little flick and a word of a charm, the lock of the door clicked into place.

Severus blinked, the only sign that he was surprised, and glanced to his side. There stood Lily Evans, winded, but pleased. A smile of satisfaction that seemed out of place was on her face as she pocketed her wand. With the same contentedness, she blew a piece of hair off her face and nodded in relief. “That’ll hold him.”

In response, the doorknob jerked in vain, the sound wiping the smile from Lily’s face and eyes. There was a swear word coming from Filch’s filthy mouth as the door remained firmly in place and, then, there was the unmistakable jingle of keys.

“Not for long,” Severus mumbled, before turning to flee down the hall in the same direction as the others who were currently rounding a corner. Lily was right on his heels, her flaming red hair flying behind her, and they caught up with the others easily.

At times like this, the boundaries between friend and foe were shattered, becoming increasingly unimportant. There was no more Slytherin, Marauders, or Gryffindors, simply students running from trouble they had gotten themselves into. In fact, if they ever could be, they were allies, racing from a common enemy; a tyrant king who would love to see them hung for ‘treason’---metaphorically speaking, of course.

With the wild gait of a gallop and the panicked state of their mind, it was impossible to comprehend where they were going. The leaders chose turns and corridors at random, with no conscience thought or plan, and the followers pounded after them, not really having any idea why they didn’t go their separate ways, but then not much thought goes through the brains of anxious teens.

They soon lost track of where they were and how long they had been running. The only calculations of time was the way their breaths were coming quicker and quicker, their pulses were speeding up all the more, and their lungs were screaming in agony, becoming louder and louder until they could ignore it no more. They all stumbled to a stop, coughing and gasping for precious oxygen. Half of them were doubled over, hands pressed to their bent knees. Lily and Florence leaned their backs against the wall, huffing and puffing and making resolutions to exercise more. The only one who didn't do either of these things was Severus who remained collected, not allowing any of them to see any sign of weakness that they could later use against him. He sucked in deep breaths through his nose and exhaled slowly to avoid hyperventilation.

When her breathing had lessened, but not quite returned to normal, Lily’s green eyes could be found taking in their surroundings, curiosity and confusion clashing on her face. The hallway was dark, but the few lit wands that remained out, highlighted a few details. There were no windows as to provide moonlight---or escape---or hardly anything more than the lines of stones. It stretched on a long ways, no tapestries or paintings breaking up the mundane. In truth, with no distinguishing marks, it could have been one of a hundred corridors.

“Where are we?” Lily threw out the question to no one in particular.

“Who cares?” Prongs asked, as he straightened, still taking in great gulps of air. But he too looked around quickly, not searching for details but of approaching enemies. “Do you think we lost him?”

In reply, an orange oval of lantern light threw itself around the corner, a shadow framed into the center. Everyone gasped, holding their breath. Their legs felt like they’d been set on fire and their lungs felt stretched in deflated. They could run from Filch no more. It left only one option.


Frantically, they cast their eyes around them searching for a door! A passage! A crack in the wall! Anything would have made them grateful. It took them nearly fifteen seconds to see the door right beside them. It was large and arched, looking thick and steady and like the perfect hiding space. Of course, there was the fact that every single one of them had failed to notice it before.

“Was that always there?” Lily wondered out loud, but no one seemed to mind the mystery around the door. Filch was rounding the corner at that very moment. Who cared about anything else!

Prongs flung the door open and this time the group succeeded in not getting trapped. Learned their lesson in the last doorway, they streamed in one by one, smoothly and proficiently. Lily was the last one to enter and the only one to notice the lettering on the door. She turned and stared at it, the sight wiping away the immediate danger. They were great bold letters, that gleamed eerily in a transparent gold, appearing magical and wonderous. Great letters that read: Friday 13th.

Forgotten was Filch and his authority as Lily’s knowledge-loving mind searched to find the reason of why the door would be marked with today’s date. But she never was able to contemplate an answer, for a hand wrapped around her wrist and yanked her into the room, as the door was slammed closed. She was about to jerk her hand away from the touch and tell Prongs to keep his slimy hands off of her, but she stopped because the hand released her before she could and her lips froze because it was not Prongs who had rescued her from her own curiosity, but Severus Snape.

Shaking off the surprise, Lily assisted Severus by drawing her wand and locking this door as well. Severus pressed his ear to the door and beside him, Lily did the same, so close he could smell her hair--Was that strawberries?-- but he tried to ignore her presence. In unison, they helding their breath so they could listen to the noises of Filch on the other side of the door. Through the thick wood, they could hear the pattering of feet and the soft wheezing. They waited, knowing it would pause, knowing the jingle of keys would come, knowing they would be discovered.

But they weren’t.

There was no rattle of metal on metal, only a soft swear from Filch’s lips as he hummed to himself, “They can’t run forever.” And then everything---the wheezing, the swearing, and the footsteps---disappeared.

Lily backed away from the door, thick confusion and a touch of apprehension appearing on her face. “He didn’t even see the door.”

Severus, too, was frowning deeply, but they were the only ones who believed anything odd about their good fortune.

In unison twelve pairs of eyes turned to study their surroundings. It was a room that none of them had ever seen before, not even the well-traveled Marauders, and that alone was enough to let a rational shiver move down their spines. But what a marvelous place it was!

Just like in the Great Hall the ceiling was bewitched to look like the night sky and they could make out the obsidian clouds and the rare particle of a moonbeam through the thickness. The room was small and perfectly round in circumference. It was bare of furniture and paintings, but the room was anything from plain. The only decoration was extraordinary, for carved on nearly every surface of the wall, from ceiling to floor were sparkling-blue, scrawled words.

Drawn like a dog on a leash, Lily crept forward, her beautiful eyes dancing with awe and her mouth opened in amazement. She approached the wall, all the events that had transpired---first the foiled attempt to bust Prongs and then the heart-pounding marathon to escape from Filch---gone utterly from her mind, as though they belonged to another world. She stopped before a section of the wall and let her eyes trail from top and bottom and tracing her fingers dreamily across the stone. “What are they?”

Severus was the only other one who came forward a few paces from Lily, gazing at the wall with the same calculation and interest he had in Potions class or Defense Against the Dark Arts. It didn’t take long for him to come to a conclusion. “They’re names.” One of his long fingers came up to touch one of the words as he read it. “Salazar Slytherin.”

Growing all the more fasinated, Lily came to Severus’ side to see the most famous name scrawled on stone. She tapped a finger on the name nearest it. “Godric Gryffindor.” Eyes enternally wide, she traced a fingernail through the grooves of two other names. Rowena Ravenclaw. Helga Hufflepuff. “All the founders are here.”

“Fascinating,” Prongs mumbled drily, glaring at the back of Severus head. There was something Prongs didn’t like about seeing Evans and Snape so close together.

Minutes passed as Lily paced slowly about the circumference of the room, reading off the names she recognized from History of Magic. Her face was set in excitement and the exuberance was lit by the light of the wands, highlighting her innocenct and childlike joy. Everyone watched, most because of lack of anything to do while passing the time for Filch to get far enough away for them to escape. However, Severus and Moony were just as interested as Lily and Prongs never got tired of watching Lily.

“What do you think they’re here for?” Lily questioned, once again doing nothing but throwing a question out into the open for anyone to claim. She should have been more selective with her inquiry, however, because the last person’s opinion she wanted was the first one to give it.

“Probably the same reason Muggle’s carve their names in trees,” Prongs replied with a carefree shrug. Even he was getting bored of all this academic stuff. “Who knows and who cares?”

Lily scowled at him, showing him how completely and totally unhelpful he was. She was about to make some bitting retort, when someone gave another answer to her question and this time the retorter wasn’t completely nonsensical.

“I think it’s a record.” Severus analyzed the wall with a critical eye, as though weighing and testing his theory. “Of everyone who has been in this room.”

It was quite a wonderful idea, if you think about it. To stand where so many famous people, who you have admired and studied and wondered about had once stood. It was surreal to Lily, but she could hardly bask in the alluring idea, when there were so many questions left unanswered.

She turned to face Severus, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear as she mused carefully. “But why this room? What’s special about it?”

It didn’t seem to occur or bother her that she was having a friendly and intellectual conversation with a Slytherin. But everyone else in the room was not so oblivious, though none more aware than Prongs, and Prongs did not like it. Prongs would have done anything to get Lily’s attention off of the greasy-haired git and he made a futile attempt at a joke.

“Perhaps the founders made it for a place for the kids to come and snog. Everyone who does gets there named tallied.” Padfoot was the only one who was grinning at his best friend’s glib. Prongs elbowed Padfoot in the ribs and smile knowingly, before turning his attention back to Lily and reaching a hand to his hair. “Hey, Evans, want to get our names up there?”

Lily nose wrinkled, but she was so exhausted and disgusted with him that she didn’t even have the energy to turn him down. Instead, she blinked and pointed toward the door, putting as much firmness in her voice as she could. “If you can’t speak sensibly, than you can leave.”

Frowning at Lily’s callousness, Prongs was suddenly very eager to do just that, after all, there was only so much rejection one guy could take. But there was only one snag. “I would, but I don’t have my wand.” That and Prongs was determined not to leave Severus or anyone alone in this dark, private room with his girl.

Lily hesitated, wanting Prongs gone so direly that the chance of him attacking one of the Slytherins nearly seemed worth it if he would just leave her be. Filch would be long gone by now and perhaps it was time to leave and she supposed she could always come back to the room in the morning to investigate it. They should all be going and they all knew it.

“Alright fine,” Lily said grudging, before she stormed over to him, whipping his wand out of her pocket and thrusting it into the palm of his hand. Looking like a scolding Professor McGonagall, Lily held up a finger to Prongs’ nose and made an order as though he was an incompetent three-year-old. “But no hexing anyone.”

Prongs hid his note of disappoint well, making sure not to let his bottom lip edge out in a pout. He thrust the wand back into his pocket and gave a pure smile. “Happy?”

Lily only glared skeptically.

Lucius was suddenly on top guard, because he had realized that he was the only one in the room without a weapon. As shocking as it may seem, Lucius Malfoy was not well liked and he would not be surprised if he was ambushed by the group as a whole.

Trying not to let his anxiety show, Lucius wrapped his arms protectively over his chest as though to shield himself and demanded, “What about my wand?”

Florence, who still held Lucius’s wand, clutched at it possessively.

Seeing her friend’s refusal, Lily urged, impatiently, “Give him his wand, Florence.”

With one last reluctant glare, Florence slapped the wand down into Lucius’s expectant palm, but she held tightly onto her own staring him down, until he too had pressed his wand into his pocket, though he send a begrudging gaze at Prongs, his longing for their duel clear in his eyes.

“Alright, we can go now.” Lily spoke like a teacher dismissing a class and just like a professor she waited until all the students had made their way to the door, before she dropped her crossed arms and followed.

When they reached the door, Narcissa drew her wand and pointed it at the door knob, whispering the charm to unlock the door. She wrapped her slender fingers around the handle and twisted, but the door knob didn’t turn an inch. Her nose wrinkling in irratation, she whirled to face Lily and demanded, “What did you do it it?”

Astonished by Narcissa’s vehemence and bewildered by what she could possibly be speaking of, Lily asked, “What do you mean?”

“Some witch you are,” Narcissa scuffed cruelly, her lips turning into a sneer. “Can’t even lock a door without fouling it up?”

Angry at the unfair accusation, Lily bit back savagely. “It’s not my fault you can’t work a simple Alohomora spell.”

Narcissa and Bellatrix eyes raised in fury, outraged that a mudblood would dare insult a noble pureblood. Narcissa was grasping her wand so tightly her knuckles were turning pale and icy. Lily’s face was filling with a fatigue and frustration. So would yours, if you were stuck with a group of people who couldn’t speak to one another without the threat of someone hexing the other.

“Oh, move over.” Lily shoved Narcissa aside so she could reach the door and whipped out her wand. Aiming carefully she cried authoritively and powerfully, “Alohomora!”

Pocketing her wand again, she turned the doorknob. Everything in commonsense said that the door would now be unlocked and that the door should unlock, but magic didn’t necessary play by the rules of rationality, especially the wild magic in this room. The door didn’t open; the doorknob didn’t even budge. Lily’s confidence deflated like a popped balloon, her face falling into an aghast expression. She beginning yanking and pulling at the doorknob in vain as the others watched, as stunned as she.

Finally she gave up and whirled to face the others, exclaiming the obvious in utter horror and exasperation. “It’s locked!”

“Oh, yes, that’s right.

The door is locked.

And until we play,

The way stays blocked.”


Twelve heads jerked around, facing the opposite direction and searching wildly for the source of the mystical, taunting, and laugh-filled voice. At the same time, their eyes locked at the center of the room where there was a steady and magical blue glow, like that which glittered from the words embroidered into the walls. But now it gleamed brilliantly from a clear, crystal bottle. The bottle looked perfectly common, like something that butter-beer would have been drunk out of---well, besides the fact it was illuminated. That and one more thing:

“That was not there a second ago,” Moony pointed out, something close to fear in his face; fear that seem odd when directed toward a bottle. But they knew perfectly that it was no a normal bottle. Normal bottles didn’t sing.


“On Friday 13th

I open my door

And trap some students

With a game in store.


Play by my rules,

I’ll set you free.

Refuse, and you’ll

Stay forever with me.


Don’t look so sad.

It’ll be fun, you’ll see.

Just sit in a circle

And we’ll begin the glee.


Just a little kiss

And you’re sure to win.

The price isn’t much.

So give me a spin!”


“What the bloody did that mean?!” Prongs exclaimed as the bottle fell silent. Nearly all were thinking the same thing, unable to guess head from fail of the song.

Evelyn, however, seemed to grasp at least one message of the melody, because she moaned in despair, burying her face in her palms. “We’re trapped.”

“Thanks,” Padfoot said with savage sarcasm. “We caught that.”

“Leave her alone, Black,” Florence warned through ground teeth, showing off her Gryffindor protectiveness.

Before it could be known if Padfoot would ignore her, follow her command, or begin another round of insane bickering, Lily’s mouth fell open. At first, no sound came out, her face frozen in fearful amazement. But finally her lips moved and she practically choked, “It wants us to play spin-the-bottle.”

All eyes turned to her, for she was the only one who seemed to be able to decipher the words of the song. They knew the bottle held the key to their freedom, so they were desperate enough to listen to Evans’ brainy knowledge. Now if only the words she’d just said didn’t sound like a bunch of gibberish.

“Spin-the-what?” Prongs asked, speaking with the confusion of the entire group.

“Spin-the-bottle,” Lily replied though not with her normal matter-of-fact tone. Instead her words were slow and nearly awkward. The words weren’t the only thing that showed telltale signs of embarrassment, for Lily was now anxiously clenching and unclenching her fist and, hidden by her bright hair, her ears were turning a splendid hot pink. “It’s a…Muggle game.”

“I am not playing a Muggle game,” Bellatrix immediately refused, flipping her hair indignantly. The other Slytherins showed equal expressions of disgust---with the possible exception of Andromeda, who looked apathetic and Severus who was watching and listening carefully, but this surprised absolutely nobody. They were Slytherins and, for that reason, they were ignored.

Moony was one of them who was curius and interested, the emotions showing an inquisitive look. At last, something they didn’t teach in Muggle Studies!

“What kind of game?”he asked nonchalantly. What could possibly be dangerous about a ‘harmless’ game?

Lily blanched and licked her lips nervously, her mouth suddenly parched so much her tongue was sticking to the roof of her mouth. “It’s a---” her voice came out high-pitched and she cleared her throat. She parted her mouth again and the words came out fast, as though she just wasted to get the torture over with. “It’s a kissing game.”

They didn’t want to believe her and for a moment they stared in disbelief, wondering if perhaps she thought that was some sort of incredibly amusing joke. But Lily didn’t laugh or taunt out an ‘I got you’. Her face didn’t crack into a smile but remained in that same half-embarrassed, half-apprehensive expression. She was not kidding. The group blanched and some made strangled noises, completely horrified by the notion.

Prongs was the only one with the nerve to keep a knowing smile on his face. It wasn’t every day that one of his jocial jokes turned out to be right and he simply couldn‘t let the opportunity pass. “I knew this room had something to do with snogging.”

“Shut up, Potter!” the three or four combined voices told him that this was no time for an ‘I told you so’.

“What do you mean a kissing game?” Severus asked suspiciously, upper lip twitching in disfavor.

“Well…” Lily dragged a toe across the floor, wishing she didn’t have to explain this. Gone was her fire and bravery, washed away by the terrifying, sickening thought of I might have to kiss Potter. “You spin the bottle and the person it points to when it stops, you have to kiss.”

Their expressions went blank, and they blinked at her as though she had been speaking in Greek. However, they understood with crystal clarity, only the idea was too overpoweringly awful that it took a long moment for them to allow it into their mind.

“You mean,” Lucius annunciated every word crisply and slowly as he tried to remain calm. “It is completely and totally random.”

Biting her lip, Lily nodded.

“You mean, I could end up kissing---” Padfoot glanced at all the girls, as though trying to decide which fate could possibly be the worst. Finally his eyes settled one of them, his eyes deepening. “Florence?”

Padfoot and Florence’s faces distorted into the same odd expression that wasn’t quite fathomable. There was something like that familiar distaste the two always shared, but there was a gleam in their eyes that made the emotion behind it something different than repugnance; something deeper.

Smiling sheepishly, Lily nodded. “About as much chance as anyone else.”

The girls looked at the guys and the guys looked at the girls, studing one another in a critical surveyance, their gazes filling with suspision, dislike, and---maybe---thoughtfulness. But such an innocent peek and wondering could not last wrong, for it hit them all at the same time, and they reacted as was to be expected. After all, they had just been told they might have to snog one of their enemies.

It started with Florence gasping, as the severity of the situation hit home, “Whoa! That’s so not going to happen.”

“I agree,” Bellatrix added on to the coming explosion, though this was the only time she would ever say such words to a Gryffindor. “If you think I’m going to even risk having to snog Pettigrew, you’re all mad.”

Wormtail jerked at the insult, looking unhappily down at the floor. Seeing this, Padfoot came instantly to his friend’s defense. No one was allowed to insult Wormtail, but him! “And who’d want to snog your shriveled lips, Bella?”

And then, with seemingly no logical order of events leading to, there was complete chaos…for the second time that night. Wormtail and Evelyn watched fearfully on as the groups forged together, picking enemies and allies at random. Poor Moony was lost in the middle, trying his best to escape from the ever nearing bodies. They screamed and swore and made obscene gestures in one senseless roar, ignoring Lily as she tried desperately to get their attention.

Lily Evans was a sight all by herself---not that anyone noticed---for in her attempt to bring everyone’s attention back to the situation at hand, before the spells began to fly, she was waving her arms over her head and alternating between whistling piercingly and calling out names. “Hey, calm down!” was a frequent on her lips. But all her effort was drowned out by the arguing of the group, which was continuing to escalate in sound until it made her ears ache.

Severus didn’t know why he did it, for his actions were as nonsensical to himself as to everyone else in the room. He didn’t know whether it was because he, too, saw the importance of remaining calm and speaking of this maturely or felt a touch of sympathy for the persistent, respectable Evans, or because he simply wanted them all to shut up? Whatever the reason and without consciously making the decision to, he broke the cardinal rule of the Slytherin House. He helped a Gryffindor.

Pop! Pop! Pop!

Sparks flew into the air, exploding loudly in bursts of purple fireworks. Startled, the room fell silent as though expecting to fall under attack. Lily whirled toward the noise and found, to her amazement, Severus, with his wand aloft. Everyone was stricken speechless by Severus’ somewhat uncharacteristic behavior and all they could do was watch as he shoved his wand deep into his pocket and scowled at them darkly with his black, unnerving gaze.

“Shut up, you sniveling whelps,” he growled at the majority of the group. “You’ll acting like dunderheads…not that that entirely surprises me.” He sent Prongs a pointed look.

A sudden crash of fury made Prongs’ hand jump into his pocket, after his wand, closing around it. “What did you call me, Sevvie?” He took a step toward Severus who, knowing well what was coming, jerked and sent his hand after his wand.

But Florence grasped Prongs arm and whipped him back, glaring at him and warning lowly. “Don’t you dare.”

It was something quite out of the norm to defend a Slytherin or to admit he might actually have a point. First Severus, then Florence, aiding a nemesis. There must have been something in the room, that twisted about their minds, making them mad---or, in my opinion---rational. For in the space of minutes, not one but two sworn to the pride of the noble houses had gone against the legacy of ‘traditional’ hating.

Prongs jerked away stubbornly, seething first at Florence than at Severus; he was not about to submit. But Padfoot swaggered over to his best friends’ side and hissed into his ear, something that only Florence managed to catch. “We’ll get him later, mate.”

Just like Narcissa, Padfoot knew how to calm down his best friend. It worked like a clockwork and with a smirk of an already plotting idea, Prongs dropped his hand and removed his hand from his pocket. His smirk turned into mocked innocence, a halo above the head of someone unsuccessfully hiding their horns. “Alright, Snivellus. If you have to have a girl protect you.”

Florence only clamped her mouth shut. She had defended the Slytherin enough. Besides, it wasn’t her responsibility to referee their rivalries.

Severus opened his mouth, ready to return the favor of the insult, but such would play right into Prongs hand. It would show he had gotten under his skin and Severus wouldn’t give Prongs that leverage. Instead, he nodded towards Lily’s direction. “You had something to say, Evans?” The disdain for the Gryffindor that was supposed to show in his voice seemed strangely forced.

Lily turned back to the others, who were looking at her with impatience, Narcissa going so far as to tap her foot on the floor to tick off the seconds, as though all of them had somewhere important to go. Lily didn’t mind though and she took her time choosing her words. One false word and she would lose them. She had to be bold for the Gryffindors and manipulative for the Slytherins or they would simply turn this out. But she could do this, she could find the right words. After all, she was Lily Evans.

That and if she didn’t convince them she’d never see daylight again.

“Now I don’t want to do this any more than you do.” She started with truth. That was always a good place to begin. “But we don’t have much of a choice. You heard the bottle. We’re trapped in here until we all play.”

They were trying not to listen, because they knew what she was saying was right and they hated it.

Seeing as though being kind would never work, Lily folded her arms over her chest, jolted her chin, and plunked herself down on the ground, legs crossed. “Then we best get comfortable, because we’ll going to be seeing a lot of one another.”

Everyone begin eyeing one another, imagining what it would be like to spend so long of a time around each other. Images came to their minds. Wars and duels every day as revenge for petty arguments. Having to look at each others’ faces every minute. Pranks. Annoyance. Chaos. Or worse, after so much time together, they could sort out their differences and become friends. Heck no! Hell was more merciful than all of that!

But they were still hesitant, not wanting to give in because the alternative was nearly as horrible.

Seeing their resistance, Lily smoothly pressed. “We’ll just be stuck here together…forever.”

It was amazing how fast people could form a circle around the bottle.

Moony, Wormtail, Evelyn, and Severus were the only ones who sat down calmly, though Evelyn was fidgeting nervously at what was to come. Lily scooted to join them and soon they were sitting in a perfect circumference.

“Alright, Lily,” Moony asked conversationally. He was trying not to think not to much about what was happening and his calm tone was an attempt at lucidness. “What are the rules?”

“Well, I’ve never played it before,” Lily answered and only Florence knew the truthfulness of that statement. As the best friend, Florence was privy to certain tidbits of information about Lily’s romantic activities or lack of them. Lily Evans, one of the prettiest girls at Hogwarts, School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, had never even had her fist kiss. But, of course, she was not about to reveal that and Lily was not about to linger on the fact that when she pictured her first kiss--as every girl did--she had not imagined it like this.

“But,” she continued, “my friend told me about it. It’s really simple. One of the rules is that if a girl spins and it lands on another girl, she kisses the guy nearest her. The same goes for guys spinning other guys.”

For as embarrassing as this could have been, Lily almost said it without blushing. Almost. But then again, there weren’t many who weren’t turning red. Even Bellatrix had a pretty pink highlighting her cheekbones and Severus took that moment to find a speck of dust on the floor incredibly intricate.

Lily cleared her throat, willing her burning ears to cool. “The last rule is that after you’ve kissed someone, no matter if you haven’t spun, you’ll to leave the game. Other than that, we just pick who goes first and---” She shrugged lightly, portraying an airiness she could not feel. “Spin.”

“Alright then,” Moony faked the same ease as Lily, his words chirping slightly as his stomach gave a mighty lurch. “Any one want to volunteer?”

They all stared at the bottle, as though hoping, praying that someone would seize it and give it a twirl so they didn’t have to. But when no fingers appeared in their vision they turned their gaze to each other. At random, people began to make suggestions like ‘You should do it, Snivellus’ or ‘Go on, Luci’ to which was always generally replied ‘After you’. Each suggestions touched someone’s already strung-out nerves and tempers were flaring, turning faces red and mouths into sneers, as Mt. St. Ego prepared to blow for the third time.

Sick of the bickering, Florence threw her hands up in situation. She wanted this done and over with, so she could go to bed and forget this disastrous evening had ever come to be. She moved onto her knees and grasped the bottle, the glass feeling warm and giving off ecstatic burst of light. With a hearty thrust of her wrist, the bottle was sent dancing around in a tight whirl on its side, magically hovering an inch from the floor.

The arguing stopped and they turned to stare at it, nearly getting dizzy as there eyes followed the movement. It passed Prongs and Wormtail and Lucius, doing a complete turn more. It was slowing and Florence pressed her eyes closed, reminding herself that it was just a kiss… It wouldn’t hurt her. As the sound of the spinning stopped, she peeked her eyes opening, following the neck of the bottle to who it pointed.


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