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Just touch it

When, seven years ago, Lily had stood in the Great Hall staring out at a sea of unfamiliar faces she had felt terribly alone. She had dragged her eyes away from her audience and surveyed the other children who were on stage with her but none had looked as terrified as she felt. Everyone else seemed to be coping much more efficiently than she was. The stern looking teacher with the severe hairstyle and brisk voice had began to read names aloud from a scroll so long that it curled around her booted feet. Lily could remember clearly looking at the twin sisters to her right hand side and envying them. The girls were holding hands and muttering to each other in a secret language that Lily had no hopes of understanding but their hushed tones were reassuring. One of the sisters had noticed Lily watching them but instead of shooting her a dirty look or telling her to mind her own business she had smiled bravely and offered a hand. Lily had taken it, taken comfort from the friendly heat it radiated. Both girls palms were slightly moist with sweat but it didn’t matter. The moments seemed to creep by at an achingly slow pace and Lily was called before the sisters.

“Evans, Lily,” She had removed her hand from the twins and stepped up the rickety stool. She had only one thought as her vibrant hair disappeared beneath the sorting hat and that was that she wished her own sister were here to hold her hand but she doubted Petunia would ever hold her hand again. It was a sad thought.

Now, seven years on, Lily’s thoughts were still on her sister. The first day of school always made her reminiscent. She was sitting with her legs crossed on her bed flicking idly through her new charms textbook but her thoughts were all for Petunia’s empty chair at the special dinner her parents had thrown to see her off before school began again.

“You’ve got to stop dwelling on her Lil’s,” Delilah was standing on the window seat with her head half out into the cold, night air. Lily had agreed not to report her smoking as long as Delilah didn’t stink up the dormitory. Lily had been thrilled when the pretty twin who had taken her hand on the stage had been sorted into Gryffindor too. They had become fast friends especially as Jessica, Delilah’s sister, had ended up in Hufflepuff. Both Lily and Delilah had felt cut adrift without their siblings and quickly formed a makeshift sisterhood to see them through. “If I spent all my time trying to figure out why Jessica does what she does then I’d never get a moments peace,” As time had progressed at Hogwarts the close relationship between the twins had steadily disintegrated. It had now got the point that even over the holidays the girls barely spoke, their secret language was now dead.

“How come I have to sit and listen to you rant about your sister day in day out and you won’t even let me sit quietly and think about mine?”

“Because ranting is productive, dwelling is just pathetic,”

“Ranting is not productive,” Lily closed her textbook and set it on her bedside table.

“Well then the next time Potter does something to annoy you don’t come ranting to me!” Delilah grinned, “Speaking of James…” She continued slyly, “He’s definitely shot up hasn’t he,”

“I hadn’t noticed,” Lily sniffed crawling under her bed covers and turning away from her smirking friend. Delilah flicked her cigarette butt out of the window and closed it. She half skipped to Lily’s bed and jumped onto the end of it.

“I think you have noticed Lily,” She insisted, “I think you noticed that he’s become a six foot tall, broad shouldered, sex god with a cheeky smile and adorably messed up hair-,”

Lily snorted, “I can’t believe you just referred to James Potter as a sex god,” She scoffed and Delilah crawled up the bed to press her face close to her friends.

“Well maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration,” She admitted with an abrupt laugh, “But I’ve said it before Lil’s and I’ll say it again, what I wouldn’t let that boy do to-,”

Lily shrieked with laughter and pushed her friend out of the bed. Delilah landed on the floor with a thump and looked distinctly unimpressed but nevertheless amused, “And if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times!” Lily cried, “You talking about Potter like that makes me want to puke!”

“Jealous vomit?”

“No, Delilah, regular vomit,”

Delilah pulled herself to her feet and straightened her nightdress in a most dignified manor, “Well I think the lady dost protest too much,”

“Well you sure protest enough when I mention your fatal attraction to a certain Mister Black-,”

Delilah rolled her eyes, “I think you’ll find I got over that in fifth year Lily, you really need to catch up with my emotional happenings.”

“I think he likes you,”

“I think if he liked me he wouldn’t have told James he thought I was ‘pretty in a fat way’,” Delilah was suddenly a lot less smiley than she had been a moment before. She had accidentally overheard the marauders talking about her after the Charms OWL in fifth year and had never quite gotten over it. “I think if he liked me he wouldn’t have asked me to hold his broomstick so he could grope Michaela Montgomery with both hands. I think if he liked me he wouldn’t have stolen my songbook and held it ransom-,”

“Okay, I’m sorry I mentioned it!” Lily was quiet for a small moment then continued at a rapid pace, “butjustbecausehesaidyouwerechubbydoesn’tmeanyoushouldreplacefoodwithsmokes,”

“Ok. I didn’t even catch that.” Delilah was in her own bed now, glaring at her friend, “But if it has something to do with my diet then I’d rather you didn’t repeat it.”

“No one can survive on one small meal a day Delilah-,”

“It’s been over a year Lily, I think I’m surviving. Also, since when has dinner been considered a small meal? I’m not being unhealthy-,”

“Cigarettes are not healthy,”

“That’s just a rumour.”

“Don’t be stupid. Just a rumour!” Lily rolled her eyes dramatically.

“Oh I’m sorry little-miss-head-girl if my smoking offends your badge!”

“Excuse me.” One of the other girls who shared the dormitory with them sat up. Angelica had her long brown hair tied neatly into a French braid and had to lift a fuchsia eye mask to fix the arguing pair with an appropriately steely glare, “I know that you, Delilah, aren’t well known for your compassion for others and you, Lily, are probably thinking you’re better than the world for getting that stupid badge, but some of us want some sleep, and if you two don’t mind could you both please shut your big mouths?”

“Oh somebody’s bitter about a letter they didn’t receive over the summer,” Delilah taunted nastily and Lily shot her a careful glare.

“Shush Delilah. Sorry for keeping you up Angelica,” She smiled apologetically but Angelica just sniffed and pulled down her eye mask.

“Well I’m going to go downstairs anyway,” Delilah climbed out of her bed again, “This party is dead.”

“I really think you should consider getting some sleep,”

“I will mother, but for now I’m going somewhere with a bit more life,”

The next day Lily awoke to find Delilah’s bed completely untouched. Slightly perturbed she set about getting ready and ignoring the nasty looks Angelica and her friends were sending her way. Angelica was, for lack of a nicer term, a complete bitch. She was a prissy, narcissist who was so hopped up on her own self-importance that she failed to see how anally retentive she appeared to the outside world. It had been Delilah who first referred to Angelica as ‘anally retentive’ and it was a fitting description. Lily and Delilah had had plenty of run ins with Angelica and her cronies although Delilah was much more likely to turn to violence than Lily who depended more on her fiery wit. Lily had found that when Delilah was hungry she got a lot more aggressive than a normal person and as Delilah was, more often than not, very hungry on her strict diet she had become very prone to violent outbursts. Delilah had once broken Angelica’s nose with a bludger bat. Normally Lily wouldn’t have approved of this behaviour but Angelica had had it coming. The girl had began to date Sirius Black and liked to flaunt it in front of the semi-heartbroken Delilah, then one day she had turned to Delilah, who’s stomach was rumbling violently at the time, and said the fatal words, ‘No one likes a fatty Delilah, maybe that’s why no one likes you?’. She had been stupid enough to say this as Delilah was returning from Quiddich practice. Lily had never seen a bat move so fast before and doubted she would again. Angelica had ended up sprawled on the ground with her face a mess of blood. Delilah said it was almost the happiest moment of her life, but then Angelica had returned from the nurse with not only a healed nose but a straighter, prettier nose than the one she had started off with. Delilah had unknowingly set the wheels in motion to get Angelica a free nose job and had to pay dearly in house points and detention for it.

When she had finished dressing and left the dormitory Lily was only a little surprised to hear Delilah’s raised voice as she hurled abuse at somebody. Lily sometimes missed the days when Delilah had been a little chubby but a whole lot nicer. Now Delilah was thin, toned and verging on becoming a sociopath.

“YEAH AND YOU’RE NEXT ASSHOLE!” Delilah was screaming. Lily hurried down the stairs and became faced with a scene that was so bizarrely comic she doubted she would ever forget it. Delilah was still in her nightdress, having probably fallen asleep on a sofa, and her long, blonde hair was now a startling lime green, she was missing both of her eyebrows and Lily could only thank goodness that she didn’t have her beaters bat at hand. James Potter was doubled over clutching his groin and moaning nearby and Sirius had both of his hands in the air in mock surrender as Delilah advanced on him.

“You shouldn’t have been asleep on the sofa!” Sirius accused her, “You can’t blame us! You were setting us up to do it! You knew the risks-,”

“FIX IT BACK!” Delilah shrieked still advancing until Sirius was against the wall with no where left to go.



It was amazing, Lily thought, that such a tiny girl could inspire such fear. When she’d been heavier Delilah had seemed taller as well but as the weight dropped off it had become very apparent how short she was. Just centimetres over five foot and now without the excess weight she looked almost doll-like, if dolls had green hair and no eyebrows.

Lily marched over to where James was clutching his manhood and clipped him, quite smartly, around the back of the head, “You are such an asshole, Potter,” She snarled before advancing on her friend, “Delilah!” The girl didn’t react, “Delilah, I know the charm to fix your hair,” She placed a hand on the girls shoulder, “Leave those two idiots to their fun,” She shot Sirius her most venomous glare.

“Fine.” Delilah let out a deep breath, her anger seemed to seep out in that breath, “Lets go fix my hair.”

“Yes,” Lily nodded soothingly, “lets go fix your hair.”

“See?” Sirius smiled, “It’s not such a big deal is it?”

Lily flinched, oh dear. Delilah’s fist was like a small, tanned blur and Sirius’ nose exploded in a wash of crimson. Angelica chose that particular moment to arrive from the dormitories and began to scream in one long, high-pitched note. Sirius let out a roar of pain and blindly tried to grabbed Delilah but she had set off at a run. Lily wasn’t quite sure where her friend was going but then Angelica recovered enough to stun her. Delilah froze, mid run, wobbled for a moment on one leg then tipped slowly like a falling tree, someone, it might have been James, yelled, “Timbeeeeeeer!”

Lily watched in horror as her friend crashed to the ground. Sirius began to stumble towards the fallen girl, there was something in his gait that told Lily he was not going to be helping Delilah up, in fact he was probably considering finishing her off. Without really thinking about it Lily rammed her foot into the back of his kneecap, with a yell of pain Sirius stumbled and fell.

“STOP THE MADNESS!” James was screaming, his face glowing with mirth. Apparently his groin was recovering. Sirius rolled onto his back, his wand out, it was pointed at Lily.

“INCENDIO!” Sirius shrieked through a mouth thick with blood and Lily screamed hurtling herself to the ground as a rush of fire shot in her direction. It had been a close call, she could smell where the tips of her hair had been singed.

“Sirius!” James’ voice was shocked.

“LANGLOCK!” Lily screamed pointing her wand at Sirius and his tongue promptly became glued to the roof of his mouth. Unable to breath through his broken nose and now struggling desperately to get air past his tongue Sirius began to gag and choke, clutching his throat and rolling around the floor. Lily found herself crawling on all floors across the floor avoiding Angelica’s curses, she pointed her wand at Delilah’s fallen form and unstunned her. Someone stunned Angelica and her friends began screaming hysterically. Sirius was still choking and now Delilah was on her feet again hurtling herself at him like an enraged, green, bull. She jumped, apparently going to body slam him, and was tackled, mid air by James who had thrown himself at her. The pair crashed to the ground a little west of Sirius who was now on his knees reaching out to the horrified spectators in a silent plea for oxygen.

Remus Lupin came dashing down the stairs from the boys dormitories and quick as a flash unglued Sirius tongue. Sirius’ took a mere second to relearn how to breath then pointed his wand at Delilah as she rolled around the ground with James, “Levicorpus!” James was promptly pulled into the air by his ankle and Sirius yelled again, “LEVICORPUS!” This time his aim was true and Delilah shot into the air, as if a giant hand grabbed her foot and pulled. That’s how Professor McGonagal found them: Lily curled into a ball, her hair smoking slightly, Angelica nearby, frozen in place as her friends cried, Sirius a bloodied mess and James and Delilah upside down and yelling. Delilah was desperately trying to pull her nightdress up to cover her underwear which had been revealed to the whole of Gryffindor tower. Remus was looking shell-shocked, his wand still out and vaguely pointed at nothing.

“EVERYBODY STOP!” McGonagal yelled and the tower became deathly still as if her words had literally frozen time. “Mister Lupin!” McGonagal turned to the only member of the brawl who looked capable of speech, “What is going on?” Her eyes were glittering with rage and the temple in her forehead was throbbing at bursting point.

“I don’t know,” Remus said to his feet, “I just got here-,”

“IT WAS THEM!” Delilah began to shriek from beneath her upturned nightdress, “THEY DYED MY HAIR AND SHAVED MY EYEBROWS! BOOK ‘EM PROFESSOR!”

“Miss Tyler I must insist you be quiet!” Professor McGonagal seemed to have just realised something, “The Head boy and Head girl! I have never been so disappointed!” Lily had uncurled herself and gotten to her feet looking fairly ashamed of herself. James was still upside down and looking indignant. Professor McGonagal yelled for quite a bit then unstunned Angelica. She took the Levicorpus spell off of James and Delilah and allowed them to drop, unceremoniously, to the ground. She gave everyone involved, including Remus, a detention, deducted fifty house points and then sent them all to the hospital wing.

The trooped down through the castle like a motley crew of war survivors. Delilah was still eyebrowless and green haired, Sirius still caked with blood and the damage to Lily’s hair had been worse than she had realised. There was a large chunk of hair singed right off. James was worrying over her and casting Sirius dark looks, “It doesn’t look too bad,” He told her in a voice ringing with sincerity, “I’m sure Pomfrey will be able to sort that right out-,”

“Don’t talk to me,” Lily hissed linking arms with Delilah and storming forwards.

Angelica was wailing dramatically, although no one was sure why as she had only been stunned, and hanging from Sirius’ arm. Sirius did not look impressed, they had broken up shortly after they began and he felt that his injuries were much more substantial than hers, so he had no reason to let her crawl all over him. “Stop it,” He hissed at her trying to shake her off. She stopped crying suddenly and blubbed pathetically at him.

“What?” She simpered, “But I’m hurt,”

“You were stunned you great eegit, you have no reason to even be coming to the hospital wing!” Sirius literally wrenched his arm from her grip.

“I saved you!” She hissed at him.

“No you didn’t,”

“Yes I did! I stunned Delilah!”

"You'd have been better getting Lily before she choked me!”

“Well I didn’t know! I was panicked!” She crossed her arms stubbornly, “James is mad at you for burning Lily’s hair and he stunned me and you don’t care!”

“Why would I care?” Sirius cried, “We’re not going out! We broke up Angie! How many times do I have to tell you-,”

“They’re not going out!”

“Maybe so but he likes her. I don’t like you,”

“Well that’s just hurtful!”

“So was you shacking up Florence behind the greenhouses-,”

“You stood me up!”

“I told you I couldn’t make it! But you didn’t listen! You never listen!”

“Now children,” Lily called from up front, “It’s time to let the past be the past,”

“This doesn’t involve you Evans!” Snarled Angelica in a voice very far from the usual girly squeak she spoke in around Sirius.

“And this hospital trip doesn’t involve you,” Delilah retorted then added, in a very distinct mutter, “Friggen drama queen,”

“Hey Delilah,” Angelica’s smile was as bright as it was false, “How about while we’re down here you ask Madam Pomfrey to do something about your enormous ass?”

“Whoa there Betty!” James had yet again grabbed Delilah out of the air, with his arms around her torso he held her a good few inches off the ground.

“Well how about I put your nose back the way it was before the spell work!” Delilah threatened struggling against James’ grip, her small hands snatching at the air in the direction of Angelica who was peeking out from behind Sirius’ broad shoulder.

“I think you’ve broken enough noses today,” Sirius glared at her and she gave him the finger. “I think I’ll call you my little green pumpkin from now on,” He told her thoughtfully and James stumbled forwards as her struggling became more intense.

“You know Sirius,” Lily said primly, “That’s big talk coming from such a little man,” She smiled indulgently towards his trousers, “Or maybe the bathroom talk is just a rumour?”

“What?” Even beneath all the blood it was clear to see that Sirius was turning a distinctly pink colour, “What bathroom talk?”

“Oh dear, Angelica was I not supposed to say?” Lily smiled and covered her mouth with her palm in a mocking expression that clearly said ‘whoops I said exactly what I wanted to and now you’re in trouble’.

“What have you been saying?” Sirius growled at Angelica and she gasped.

“Nothing! She’s lying! She’s so clearly lying!”

James was having a hard time snickering and holding Delilah in the air so he dropped her. She was too busy giggling at what Lily had said to attack anyway.

They eventually made it to the hospital wing and the subject topic had changed, Sirius was complaining that they would probably miss breakfast and Lily was complaining that they might be late for their first class of the year. Madam Pomfrey was not impressed to see them troop into her ward. It had been a busy morning for her already and she had just been looking forward to sitting down with her morning pot of tea when Sirius stormed in, his speech stuffy from his broken nose, declaring, “Pack me up I don’t want to miss the bacon!”

It took all of five minutes for Pomfrey to sort them all out. Lily was given a cream to smear on her scalp that would speed up her hair growth, Sirius nose was just a case of a wand flick and a face cloth, a quick charm returned Delilah’s hair to normal although her eyebrows would take longer, James got an ice pack for his groin and Angelica got a potion for shock.

“Shock,” Delilah had snorted, “Bullshit.” Which earned her a reprimanding glare from Madam Pomfrey.

“Hey Lily could you hold my ice pack for a minute while I fix my tie?” James asked and Lily actually moved to help him out before she remembered where it was.

“You are such a child,”

“I think if you’ll hold my ice pack you’ll find that I’m not,” He winked at her.

“I think I’d rather die.”

“Get to class, all of you!” Madam Pomfrey ordered and they trooped out again with James insisting that Lily should ‘Go ahead, just touch it, I dare you’.

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