James looked up from his History of Magic homework to check his watch. It was almost 8:00, almost time for him and Sirius to head off to the dungeons to serve detention. True they had served the two week sentence imposed on them by Professor McGonagall, but the Head of Slytherin House deemed it necessary to punish them further with another week in his service, as Snape had been attacked unprovoked. Tonight was their last night, thankfully, for they had been pickling rat spleens, which was very unpleasant. “Padfoot, mate, we should start heading down to the dungeons.” he said, sighing as he stood up. “One more night of pickling rat spleens. If it were any longer, I would begin to think that it almost wasn’t worth turning Snivellus into that statue, since we had to turn him back.” Sirius replied dully, also getting up. Although they had put an unflinching face up when receiving their punishments in front of the whole school, they both knew that serving detention this time around had been particularly rotten. Although James wasn’t exactly ecstatic about the dungeon detention that awaited them, he was nevertheless in a very good mood in anticipation for tomorrow, when he would take Lily flying. Sirius knew that something was up with James, but what he was not sure. “So, what’s up, Prongs?” He asked James, all pretense and subtlety abandoned. James looked over at him as they walked down the hall, looking very happy now indeed. “I’m taking Lily flying tomorrow.” he said, a silly grin playing across his face. “I had a feeling this was all about Lily… you guys together or what?” “Well, I suppose we are ’together’….” James thought about it slowly. “Course you are, mate! Got the first kiss and everything!” James had told Sirius about that moment in the shrieking shack, but he had not told him that Lily knew about the Marauders’ monthly expeditions there. For some reason James felt that Sirius wouldn’t like that…. although he had probably already told Tracy, the two of them were definitely together. They reached the dungeon doorway and knocked. “Enter!” said a sharp bark from within. The boys entered, and found themselves facing the formidable potions master, Professor Rochem. He glared at them as they sat down and began taking out the jars of rat spleens. They understood that there was no need to speak, they knew why they were here, what they were going to be doing, and so Sirius and James began to pickle the slimy things. It was very gross and slow work, and all the while they worked Professor Rochem sneered at them from behind his desk. It was common knowledge that as the Head of Slytherin, Professor Rochem favored his students above all others, and was especially unfair to the Gryffindors. James and Sirius among his most despised students, and the feeling between the boys and Rochem was equally shared. After they had been there for about an hour, another knock came at the door. “Enter!” Rochem called as before. The door opened, but Rochem’s manner changed almost instantly when he saw who was standing there. It was, to Sirius and James’s greatest displeasure, Snape. “Hello Professor. Sorry for interrupting…” Snape said in his oily voice, a look of utter triumph on his face as he watched a particularly large spleen squelch unpleasantly in James’s hands. “Not to worry. Delinquents from Gryffindor, you know how THEY are.” Rochem said harshly, glaring at Sirius and James again. “Very good one, Professor! I came down here to inform you that you received an owl. Here is your letter.” with this Snape handed Rochem an envelope. Rochem opened it cautiously and read a few sentences to himself. Snape gave one last gleeful look at Sirius and James before turning to leave. Rochem, however, eyes still on the paper, stopped him. “Just another moment, Snape.” he said in a casual tone to Snape, although his face looked slightly worried. “Yes Professor?” “You didn’t read this, by any chance, did you?” “No, of course not, Professor!” Snape replied truthfully. Rochem continued to stare at him, a little more suspiciously than before. “And no one else has read this letter?” he asked, his tone more anxious. “Not that I know of, Dumbledore caught me in the hallway, told me you had received this letter, which was still unopened, and asked me to deliver it to you.” Snape said, now eyeing the letter curiously, and beginning to wish that he had peeked at the contents. “Very well, if you are certain, you may go.” Rochem said, dismissing him. “And do not breath a word of this letter to anyone!” he called after him. Rochem stared back down at the letter, sinking into his chair. He looked up, and found that Sirius and James were watching him. He had plum forgot all about them, and they knew that he had gotten this letter! He wildly thought to himself. “Potter! Black! Get out of my sight!” he hollered at them, causing them both to jump. Sirius accidentally squished a spleen, but he and James were to busy trying to leave the office as fast as possible. “And if I find that you have spoken to anyone about this letter, it’ll be a month of detention!” they could hear him shout as they hurried down the dungeon corridor. “Wonder what that letter said?” Sirius asked, panting, when they had emerged above ground next to the Great Hall after sprinting up two flights of stairs. “Dunno…” gasped James, clutching a stitch in his side. “Biased old git!” And with that, they headed off to the dormitories to get some shut eye, although James knew it would be hard to fall asleep with the prospect of flying with Lily in less than 12 hours… *** Lily sat quietly in one of the comfy chairs in the common room the next morning, reading. She glanced at the window to check the weather, and found it slightly overcast. She could hardly wait for James to get down here, thinking that it wasn’t just girls who took forever to get ready in the morning. She had barely been able to sleep last night, the thought of another day with James, alone, was driving her nuts! “Good book?” came James’s voice from behind her, looking over her shoulder. “Hardly. What took you so long?” she asked, springing up and heading for the portrait hole. “Well, this may come as a shock to you, but my hair isn’t naturally this wonderful!” he said, in a very serious tone to her. “It takes a lot of hard labor to get it to look this fabulous!” he said, now grinnig at her cheekily. “Yea, yea…” she said, waving his self-flattery away as they headed for the Quidditch pitch. When James had gotten his broomstick, and they stood in the middle of the field, Lily became very nervous about the whole flying thing. What if she fell off?!? She thought, panicking. I won’t let you fall… she remembered his words, and took a deep breath, trying to swallow her fears. She felt his hands on hers, placing them firmly on his waist as he climbed onto the broom. She also got on. “Ready?” James asked, looking back behind him at her. “Um…” Lily began, trying to make up her mind. “Well, that’s too bad, ‘cause here we go!” and with that he kicked off, and Lily screamed as they rose rapidly into the air. “OH! OH GOSH!” Lily wailed, trying hard not to look down as they rose steadily higher, now completely wrapping herself around James’s middle in a bear hug, hanging on for dear life. “Lily, open your eyes!” James told her, who had shut them very tightly. “NO!” “Come on! Don’t you trust me? The view from here is great!” Slowly, Lily managed to pry her eyes open. They were gliding along smoothly now, above the Forbidden Forest. The wide expanse took her breath away it was so beautiful. “Oh, James!” she gasped, temporarily forgetting that she was hundreds of feet in the air and straightened up to see better. “Told you you’d like it…” To say that she liked the view was an understatement. From here the deep greens of the forest stretched out for miles. The mountains in the distance loomed far away, but not in an unfriendly way. The lake shimmered beneath them, even in the overcast light. And the castle had never looked so magnificent to Lily before, when seen from so many angles. But this wasn’t why she loved being up here. “It’s nice… but there is something I can think of that I like more….” Lily hinted playfully. “What could be better than this?” James asked in disbelief, not catching on to what Lily was alluding to. “James. I meant I like being here with you, more than anything.” As they hovered, James in awe of Lily’s profound statement, a huge thunder clap sounded near above their heads, rattling them. Rain began pouring down, drenching them almost instantly. Laughing, James began to descend slowly to the ground, where they made a very untidy dismount, sliding in the muddy earth that had been saturated very quickly. Trying hard to gain his balance, James felt his feet fly out from underneath him, and he landed on his butt in a huge puddle of mud. Lily, dripping from head to toe, laughed at him sitting there. He gave her a mischievous grin, and tackled her around the middle, dragging her into the mud too. They splattered each other with the mud for awhile, the rain continuing to pour down. Despite the mud and the rain, James thought that Lily had never looked so beautiful before. “We should probably go in and clean up, you know, for the feast?” Lily asked, and he remembered that today was Halloween. “I think it can wait…” And with that, he kissed her for the second time, while the rain and the mud splashed up around them. They kissed longer than before, and Lily felt so happy, with the rain bouncing off of her, being so close to James. Nothing mattered to them at that moment, the rest of the world melted away. All problems and worries were gone, and everything was perfect, just the two of them together.
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