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“It’s not good,” Remus said sadly as he turned slowly through the morning issue of the Daily Prophet, “It’s not good at all,”

“Let me see that,” Sirius snatched the newspaper from his friend with a grim expression on his handsome face, “Damn it,” He hissed, “This is fucking awful,”

“What is it this time?” Lily asked softly. She had found that breakfast was rarely a cheery event nowadays. She couldn’t quite remember the last time someone read the Daily Prophet and was left with anything to smile about.

“Alicia and Bremerton Montgomery were murdered last night,” Sirius answered as he scanned the first few pages of the paper, “Those are Abigail Montgomery’s parents,” As if on que the Marauders, Lily and Delilah, all turned to look at the Hufflepuff table. Abigail was not present but her friends were huddled together at the seats nearest the door looking teary eyed.

“This is bullshit,” Sirius growled and Delilah placed a bracing hand on his shoulder. He turned to her with eyes that were burning with anger and injustice, “This is all stupid, pureblood bullshit!”

“Richard Bibbleton is missing,” James read over Sirius’ arm, “Wasn’t he-,”

“He just left two years ago,” Lily supplied looking terribly upset, “He helped me with my potions homework once,”

“I hate this,” Delilah murmured, “I hate doing this every morning.”

“We shouldn’t have to fucking do this,” Sirius agreed with his eyes flashing dangerously, “I can’t stand it!”

Delilah squeezed his shoulder then laid her head on the table top and tried to let the papers horrible news wash over her.

“I hate being in this school!” Sirius exclaimed to the rest of their friends as Delilah inhaled the tabletop. “I feel so useless locked up here learning how to prune a mandrake! It’s so useless!”

“It’s not useless,” Lily disagreed, “It’s important we get educated-,”

“Why? So we have a more intelligent death? Get real.”

“There’s no need to be like that,” James said reproachfully as Sirius glared and Lily rolled her eyes.

“I think it’s another victory for the Death Eaters if we allow them to take us out of education, if they stop us progressing.” Lily said primly over her cup of tea, “I think by improving ourselves we make ourselves more of a threat to them. Lets have them worrying about a bunch of wizards who’ve been trained to the utmost rather than a hoard of dropouts.”

“Here, here!” Remus clinked mugs with her.

“I’d rather drop out,” Delilah’s face rose from the table with a yawn, “I hate getting up so early for classes with Slughorn. The way his belly jiggles gives me motion sickness in the morning.”

Everyone laughed and voiced their consent only to find themselves half an hour later watching the Professors belly jiggle with even more pronounced vigour.

Delilah was trying to avoid looking at her teachers waistband by talking to Lily but Lily had always been annoyingly astute in classes, especially potions, even now that she sat beside Delilah and not Severus Snape.

“What do you think you’ll wear to the Halloween ball?” Delilah asked but Lily simply continued reading her textbook and underlining things of importance. Delilah especially hated the classes during which Slughorn made them read and not potion make. At least stirring gave her something to do. “I’m thinking of going in the buff. I think there’s a lot to say for doing the robot naked…”

Lily didn’t reply she just continued underlining what Delilah thought must be an entire page of ‘important’ sentences.

“Do you think the Marauders will do a prank this year?” Delilah continued. Her own text book was still unopened. “I mean you’ll be going with James and I’ll be going with Sirius, do you think they’ll abandon us to blow something up?”

Nothing.

“I wouldn’t mind if they did. You know? I mean we went to all the other balls on our own, what’s one more eh? Do you think if you and James got married they’d have a wedding day prank? Blow up the cake or something like that. I can picture them getting arrested on their big day you know.”

Zilch.

“Can you imagine marrying a Marauder? I can barely wrap my head around a normal husband never mind one of those idiots. Can you imagine bearing their children? The kid would probably come out with 666 tattooed on his winky-,”

Lily burst out laughing, “It’s winky?” She gasped and Delilah grinned triumphantly.

“Yes Lily, it’s winky. Boy babies have them, they use them to piddle.”

Lily went as far as snorting, “How do you remember these words?”

“My childhood stretched a long way. My mother has only recently stopped referring to my toilet trips as ‘going for a wee wee’. You wonder why I’m so messed up, but there it is.”

Lily snickered for a little while longer then looked thoughtful, “I don’t know, I could wear the burgundy dress again.”

“Oh you couldn’t possibly.” Delilah slid easily back to her first attempt at conversation. Ball clothes. “You can’t wear the same formal dress to back to back formal outings. It’s preposterous.”

“Well I don’t know what else-,”

“I’m going shopping for something new next Hogsmeade weekend. How about you do that?”

“We can’t all afford-,”

“Don’t play the poor girl Lil’s, I’ve seen you eyeing that caldron catalogue. If you can afford a bronze plated, bottomless caldron (you’ve been circling you minx), you can afford a new dress. Surely.”

Lily nodded her reluctant agreement before something caught her eye, “Delilah…”

“Yes?”

“I don’t mean to alarm you but I think Lucius Malfoy is trying to kill you with his eyes.”

“Is he?” Delilah asked without bothering to turn round and check, “It could be worse. Severus Snape could be trying to undress me with his,”

Lily scowled, “He is not!”

“Oh Lily.” Delilah patted her friends hand supportively, “I still don’t understand why-,”

“Leave it Delilah.” Lily’s tone was not joking. Luckily the moment that could have proved awkward between the girls was punctuated by the arrival of some visitors to their desk. Masked by the general chitchat and slacking of the class Sirius and James had snuck over to their girlfriends table.

“So, here’s the thing,” James grinned, his Head boys badge glittering like a joke in the dim dungeon light, “I think we should all go to the Hogshead tonight but Mister goody-two-shoes here doesn’t want to get detention this weekend-,”

“He’s right James! Sneaking out of school grounds is forbidden!” Lily reprimanded.

“I am not being a goody-two-shoes,” Sirius frowned, “I just don’t want to spend this weekend polishing trophies!”

“Why not? We spend all our weekends polishing trophies!”

“Because Sirius and I have plans for this weekend,” Delilah told James who looked dumbfounded.

“So you’re all against my Hogshead idea? Really?” He turned pleadingly to Delilah, “Come on Delilah, you look like a girl who knows a good time! What’s the point in being legal if you don’t get drunk?”

“There’s more to being seventeen than alcohol-,” Lily was cut off once again.

“We don’t have to sneak out to be drunk!” Sirius reminded his friend, “There’s plenty of firewhisky in those loose panels of the wardrobe but that’s not the point, we have plans-,”

“I can’t believe you’re staying sober for a girl. It’s karaoke night-,”

“Not in the Hogshead it’s not!” Lily laughed, “I don’t think that barman has ever heard of karaoke never mind-,”

“In the Three Broomsticks it’s karaoke night!” James declared.

“Oh yes,” Sirius rolled his eyes dramatically, “What are you going to do James? Awe Rosemerta so much with your musical talents that she simply forgets to report us to her good pal Dumbledore?”

“Rosemerta wouldn’t report us,” James grumped, “She’s cool. She’s practically our age. She’d understand.”

“But would her mother?” Lily snorted putting on a deep ‘James’ voice, “Sorry Rosmerta’s mum I just simply couldn’t not come down here and sing Gloria Gainer for you folks! But now that that’s done I’m off to finish my studies!”

“Not even that,” Sirius continued, “Oul Rosy was head girl remember? They’ve always got a pole the size of a comit24 wedged so far up-,”

“Excuse me?” Lily’s voice was icy. Her head girls badge glinted threateningly.

“So it looks like I’m not having my weekend after all,” Delilah said brightly, “Lily’s going to slaughter you and I’ll be going stag.”

Sirius and James shared a look and began to snicker. The girls stared at them questioningly but they didn’t explain.

“Where are you guys headed anyway?” James asked not only changing the subject but looking genuinely interested. Delilah shrugged.

“Sirius has something planned. I have a feeling it’s a bottle of firewhisky and a blanket behind the Quiddich stands but he swears it’s not. It better not be.”

“That sounds like a lovely way to spend a night.” James said sincerely. Lily rolled her eyes.

“Remind me never to go on a date you’ve planned.”

“Oh is that how it is?”

“Looks like they’re on the rocks,” Sirius grinned at Delilah feeling immensely relieved that Lily was distracted from his wayward comment.

They continued they’re playful chatting until Slughorn noticed them shrieking with laughter and sent the boys back to their table five house points lighter.

On the other side of the room Andromeda Black was watching Lucius Malfoy so closely that he began to feel uncomfortable.

“What?” He snapped at her. She didn’t stop her incessant staring. Instead she leant across the desk to talk quietly to him.

“I didn’t know you loved her.”

Lucius just scowled at her, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“That twin. I’m talking about that twin.” She actually pointed. Hissing Lucius’ batted at the girls hand and cursed her quietly.

“Are you mad?” He hissed.

“No.” She said simply turning back to her potions book. She didn’t speak to him again, or look up until the lesson ended even though he spent the last hour desperately trying to read her mind.

“Did you know wizards had Karaoke?” Delilah asked Lily as they and the Marauders, bar Peter who didn’t do NEWT level potions, exited the class to enjoy a fifteen minute break before herbology.

“No,” Lily shrugged, “I suppose they wouldn’t use a karaoke machine the way we would… I mean electronics don’t operate properly around magic do they?”

“No, I don‘t think so…”

“Did you know karaoke originated in Japan?” James chirped causing everyone to look at him, “Just something I know.” He explained.






Lucius lay on top of his covers staring at the emerald canvas above his bed and listening to Severus and Rodolphus murmuring to one another. Severus had had relations with a Gryffindor Mudblood and not hidden it. Lucius could remember him talking about Lily Evans, Delilah’s best friend. How Lily was different from the rest of them. How she wasn’t really a Mudblood, she had too much magic for that. Lucius knew Severus was deluding himself, Lily was a Mudblood just the same way that Delilah was a Mudblood but really; how much did it matter?

Her blood didn’t matter to him anymore. She was more than blood. She was a person and he knew that but his parents didn’t, his friends didn’t, the Dark Lord didn’t. Her blood didn’t matter but their opinions did. Cursing himself he rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in his pillow wondering if he might suffocate and die. That would ease the fist that seemed to have gotten a good grip on his heart since his last encounter with Delilah.

He’d written letters. Lots of letters. Letters filled with humbled apologies and emotional pleads but they all lay under his bed unsent. There was no point sending any of them. The only way to fix things now was to openly declare that he loved her and take the onslaught of criticism that would come his way. Anything less would be an insult to her. He wasn’t ready to stop being a Malfoy, to stop being a real Pureblood. He wasn’t ready to stop.

What if he did go public? What if he threw caution into the wind and she rejected him? What if she wanted to be with Sirius Black more than she wanted him and he ended up alone and an outcast. He couldn’t bare it. What if she rejected him full stop? What if she was no longer interested? If she no longer cared? He couldn’t take it. It was better not to know.

“Lucius?” For a moment his heart jumped at the sound of a female voice but almost as soon as excitement gript him he realised it was impossible that Delilah would be standing by his bed.

“What do you want Narcissa?”

He felt the bed move as she sat down beside him. Her fingers stroked his hair and the movement involuntarily soothed him, “I was just wondering…” Her voice sounded different, less sure of itself, “If you would like to go to the Halloween Ball with me?”

Lucius rolled over and sat up feeling that if he was going to tell her to ‘piss off’ he might as well do it with eye contact. The dormitory was empty now, except for Narcissa and she looked different that usual. Her hair was less perfect, her eyes cast low and her hands were shaking ever so slightly. Her alabaster cheeks flushed lightly.

He didn’t speak. She continued. “I know you say you want nothing to do with me.” She said softly still not meeting his eyes, “I’m not quite sure why you don’t but that’s what you say and… I’m just asking, one last time. Will you come to the Halloween ball with me?”

Lucius spoke automatically, surprising himself with his reply, “I would be honoured to,”

Narcissa’s beautiful face spread into a wide, mesmerising smile, “Thank you,” She stood from the bed then lent over to place a kiss on her dates forehead, “I’ll be wearing silver.” She told him and he nodded his acknowledgement.

It was another fundamental moment. Another one of those moments that struck a cord deep within him. Lucius knew something important had happened in that short exchange and he wished he knew what it was.






“What are you doing?” Lily asked as she watched her friend.

Delilah was cross legged on her bed simultaneously scribbling in an oddly familiar notebook and eating a banana. Lily wasn’t sure if it was the food or the concentration on Delilah’s face but something about the scene was unnerving. The fact that rain was thundering against the dark dormitory windows and the firelight was flickering ominously didn’t improve Lily’s strange mood.

“I’m writing,” Delilah told her without looking up.

“Homework?”

“No, a song.”

“A song?”

“Yes. I‘ve finished the first verse… Sent it… I‘ve started more.”

Lily scrunched her nose, “OK… Well I’m going to the common room to make sure James doesn’t try to sneak out to sing karaoke with Rosemerta…” Delilah didn’t reply.

Lily closed the dormitory door quietly as she left and couldn’t help but feel slightly perturbed. It was as if the girl she’d left scribbling in the dormitory was someone she’d once known but long ago forgot. A Delilah who wrote songs and ate. It was strange.

Lily nested herself comfortably between James and Sirius on the sofa facing the fire and decided that Sirius was proving a good influence on her friend.






Narcissa sat on her bed in the dungeons with an envelope on her knees. The envelope was addressed to Lucius and she had stolen it. She wasn’t sure what had possessed her. It had been laying on his bed, obviously having arrived whilst he was napping and left there by his roommates. The way his name was written… She could just tell it was a girls handwriting, she could just tell! She had to know!

She had went to his side and taken the envelope. Slid it into her robes. Then she had asked him to the ball. She had been so nervous he would notice she’d stolen it! So nervous she’d been shaking!

She was even more nervous now. She wasn’t sure if she should open the letter. What if it was from his mother? What if it was important and she had to give it back? How would she explain herself?

It was as if someone else was moving, as if someone else was tearing open the carefully sealed envelope.

The letter was very short, if it could be called a letter. The handwriting neat and swirled. Very feminine.

I’ve been walking around all day, thinking
I think I have a problem, I think I think too much
I’ve been taught to hold back my tears and avoid them
but you’ve made pain into something I could touch

D.

What in Merlin’s name? Narcissa read and reread the words trying to make sense of the note. Was it a poem? It didn’t sound like a poem… Maybe it was code. It must be code. But what did it mean? If it was a girl… Then why did Lucius finally say he’d go to the ball with her? Frustrated Narcissa shoved the note into the pocket of her robes. Maybe her sister would know.





A/N So hello! I now have a vague plan of how it’s all going to go wrong! Yay! Bet you’re excited! Thanks so much to my reviewers! I love feedback! Keep up the good work!… =] x 

ps Lyrics are not my creation. Sadly. That's the wonderful song 'Free' by Maria Mena.  

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