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Lily made sure she was sitting only a few persons down from the Marauders the next morning due to her interest in playing detective today.  She was quite happy that she had made the whole thing look rather inconspicuous too.  She had taken a little longer to get ready that morning (despite Maria griping for her to hurry up) so there would have been a limited choice for seating at breakfast.  Her and Maria’s choices had been where they currently were or really close to the Professors’ table.  She was vaguely listening to Maria as she discussed the Potions’ essay that had been assigned over the summer regarding the Mind-Erasing potion, but she was really focusing most of her attention on eavesdropping subtly on the Marauders and the new addition, Alisha Potter.

Alisha had left really early that morning, which was somewhat a surprise, considering she had gone to bed so late.  Lily took this to mean that that she must be a morning person.  Annoying, but good to know.  On her general perusal of the Marauders, it was becoming clear that Potter was an early riser as well.  He was talking animatedly with his sister while Black was trying not to doze off, Remus looked vaguely alert, and Pettigrew looked nervous for the first day of classes like usual.  She focused her attention on her eggs and asked a stupid question to Maria about the Potions’ assignment to get her talking again, but then strained to hear what the Marauders were talking about.  It wasn’t fair that they already had girls staring over at them longingly from all the tables, but now, even some of the guys were staring, obviously intrigued by the mysterious Alisha Potter.

Alisha was laughing, and Lily saw her nudge James lightly.  “Shut up!  I can’t believe you would send that to Mum.  She’s probably already going spare, regardless if I’m here or not.”

James was still chuckling over whatever he had done, which made Lily’s eyes narrow.  Of course, they would’ve done some stupid prank last night.  “I had to, Al.  It wouldn’t be the first day of school without Mum receiving some kind of present from Sirius and me.  You being a part of the prank just made it that much funnier.”

Sirius eyed Alisha mischievously through his sleepy grey eyes.  “Al, you know you want your Mum to know that Prongs and I are making your stay here worthwhile.”

Lily saw Alisha roll her eyes and flip her hair as she pouted slightly at the both of them.  “I’m glad you both actually didn’t do anything and it was just a conjured toilet seat, but Mum is going to assume you DID do something bad to get it, particularly with that crazy story you two decided to write up about saving me from some raging ghost in a girls’ lavatory.”

James just shook his head with his trademark smirk.  “What Mum doesn’t know won’t hurt her.  Don’t worry.  She knows that I’ll keep her ickle Alisha baby safe.”

Remus snorted.  “Right.  Al will probably be taking care of you, Prongs.”

Alisha shook her head.  “Nah.  He will likely be watching over me like usual.  He’s saved my life…how many times has it been now?”

James shrugged, unconcerned.  “I think it was sixteen the last time you mentioned it to me, but I really lost count a long time ago.”

Alisha nodded decisively, pointing her finger at Remus playfully.  “See?  I’m just accident-prone, I think.  Well that, and the fact that I like to pick battles that are way bigger than me so he has to come and bail me out.”  She leaned on her brother, acting overly dramatic, “My hero…”

James snickered, shrugging her away from him.  “You ARE really accident-prone, Allie...  I have a feeling you would still be in the hospital if that whole tree thing didn’t work out in my favor a few years back.  I like having you around, you know.”

Alisha looked at him amused.  “Thanks.  That means a lot, Jamie.”

Lily’s face frowned over the whole conversation.  Wait, Jamie?  She had never heard Potter called anything other than his surname, his first name, or that other ridiculous nickname of his.  And what was this about saving Alisha’s life time and time again?  Could he really be as selfless as Alisha had said?  Lily was interrupted from her musings and massive eavesdropping by McGonagall handing out timetables.  She grumbled under her breath at realizing that she had double Transfiguration first thing, but at least there was double Potions to counter it that afternoon.  She grumbled into her eggs and bacon which she had barely been eating anyway.  At least Maria looked all flustered and was now gazing over her Transfiguration notes that she had taken on the reading.

Lily returned her attention to the Marauders and Alisha who were smiling innocently up at McGonagall as they took their timetables from her.  Sirius was winking at her seductively and was calling her Minnie again, which didn’t make her happy in the least.  Lily was sure by the thin line to her lips and no hint of a smile on her face that it meant they were all in for a no-nonsense lesson this morning.  That made her groan inwardly.  Transfiguration was bad enough without McGonagall making it even more boring by being more strict than usual.  Lily scowled into her breakfast for Sirius being an idiot once again.  Remus looked amused and just shook his head at Sirius, probably thinking just like she was.  “Padfoot, must you?  We have her first, you prat.”

Alisha smiled devilishly.  “Don’t worry, I’ll win her over.”

James rolled his eyes, glaring at her playfully.  “I’m her favorite already, Al.  Forget it.”

Alisha laughed and just said with obvious cheek, “Vous êtes juste son favori parce que vous faites tout ces choses vilaines à elle quand elle vous appelle de nouveau dans son bureau.  Aucune merveille elle vous aime!”

Lily’s eyes widened at the girl’s sudden, yet perfect French.  James’ eyes were practically bulging out of his head in both disgust and shock over whatever the girl had said.  Lily was beyond surprised, not that she should be though, considering Alisha had gone to school in France and both she and Potter were twins so he would probably know the language too, but she just hadn’t known that Potter had known the language in the first place prior until now.

She immediately felt guilty again for not really knowing anything about him.  It suddenly occurred to her that she was basically stalking him right now, which seemed so ridiculous.  Her eyes widened into her breakfast.  He stalked her; she didn’t stalk him!  Right?  This was just for informational purposes.  That was all.  She grudgingly admitted to herself that she was beginning to see that there was more to him than what she had known before, or—and she would never admit this out loud to anyone—what she had assumed she had known before.  She glanced back over at the group out of the corner of her eye and noticed that the remaining Marauders looked confused by the French comment.  James ignored this and practically hissed at his sister like she was crazy, “You CAN’T say things like that, Al.  Someone might understand you.  And that was beyond disgusting by the way.  I almost lost my appetite.”

Alisha just smiled mischievously and looked innocent for a moment while she said, “Why not?  And you could never lose your appetite…  However, I am shocked to discover you actually eat less than the rest of the Marauders.  Anyway, speaking in French gives me an excuse to say ‘pardon my French’ whenever I want.”

James groaned at the bad pun, but couldn’t help smiling while he did it, particularly when the rest of the Marauders joined in.  Lily then knew that whatever she must’ve said had to have been rather dirty.  James turned to his sister pretending to be stern, “Dumbledore knows tons of languages, including French, so you best be careful.  I have personal knowledge that McGonagall doesn’t though so you’re lucky.”

Lily grudgingly went back to her breakfast when she realized that she had hardly eaten anything for the last twenty minutes.  She found herself brooding over hearing the somewhat normal conversation the Marauders and Alisha had had.  She hadn’t expected Potter to be protective of his sister, nice to McGonagall, or fake a prank to his mother rather than complete a real one.  It just seemed…off.  Maria was again talking her ear off, although about Transfiguration this time.  She finally had enough and desperately needed to get out of there.  She looked up wearily and muttered, “Maria, I’m just going to head to class, ok?”

She got up quickly and made her way out past the entrance.  She paused as she rounded the corner before the stairwell, digging in her satchel so she could pull out her notes on the Transfiguration reading to go through as she walked to class.  However, that changed when she felt herself pushed forward from someone running into her from behind.  Her satchel fell and the person who had hit her began apologizing immediately, helping her steady herself before leaning to help her pick up her things, “Oh, I’m soooo sorry.  I just had to run back and go get something before class so I wasn’t watching where I was going and—“

He suddenly stopped talking and let go of her quickly so Lily looked up to see why.  Her face paled slightly when she noticed that it was Potter.  He abruptly took a step back from her, probably to avoid getting slapped in the face for touching her like he had last year.  He quickly handed her back her things that he had retrieved before saying somewhat hesitantly for once, “Sorry.  Really.”

Lily eyed him warily.  She supposed this was the big test.  If his sister had told him to stop asking her out like she had said she would, then he wouldn’t take the opportunity in front of him.  He was still gazing at her comfortably with that stupid smile of his, but this time he didn’t look as happy as he usually did.  He briefly looked like he was going to add something, but then thought better of it.  He nodded to her a bit formally instead before finally just saying, “Evans.”

And with that, he stepped around her to make his way up the stairs, almost like he couldn’t get away fast enough.  Lily stepped off to the side, her eyes wide and heart pounding wildly from the bizarre encounter.  No arrogance?  No smart comments?  No fluff of the hair?  Nothing at all?  Did what just happen actually happen?  She started placing her things back in her bag slowly, thoroughly confused by why his different behavior bothered her so much.  She didn’t want him to ask her out anymore so why did she find it so much more confusing when he finally didn’t?  She glanced back up at him as he was walking up the stairwell, almost expecting him to turn around and say something arrogant before he disappeared when she heard, “JAMIE!”

Lily’s head turned, and she saw Alisha making her way quickly around the corner.  She was jumbling her satchel as she hurried awkwardly toward the stairwell.  “JAMIE!  WAIT UP!”

Lily saw James stop and turn back around with a sigh as he rolled his eyes playfully at his sister.  “What is it, Al?  I really do have to make it to the dorm really quick.  I have to get that extra work for McGonagall.  You remember.”

Alisha made her way past Lily, running up the stairs quickly and almost falling up them, if that were possible.  Potter caught her by the elbow before she tumbled back down the stairs though; maybe there was something about him saving her all the time after all.  Alisha looked up at him with a smile, as if it were a common occurrence for her to be so clumsy.  “Well, that’s fine.  You promised you’d take me to classes today since I have no idea of my way around, remember?  I mean, you guys showed me a few shortcuts last night, but I will never get them down until after a few days.”

He sighed wearily once more, adjusting her satchel so she was no longer off balance before pulling her along by the arm lightly.  “Right.  Come on then.  You slow me down, Al.”

Lily watched them bicker playfully back and forth, again thinking carefully to herself.  In the span of 24 hours, she had seen a completely different James Potter, although there were definite glimpses of the version she had already known.  She had no idea why she had never noticed before.  Why did she suddenly want him to ask her out, even if it had only been to yell at him over it?  Wait, did she really just think that?  Was it possible that she actually liked having his attention and him asking her out all of the time?  And why did she actually like this different side to him?  These thoughts made her blush furiously into her satchel so she ducked her head and quickly made her way toward the Transfiguration classroom.  She suddenly recalled Alisha’s smirk last night when she had been telling her about what Potter was really like and when Lily had said that she would never like Potter even if she saw half of what the girl had been talking about— it had been that stupid, knowing smirk.  The thing was…Lily was very much beginning to understand why the girl had been smirking and that scared her more than she had ever thought possible.


Lily made her way into the empty Transfiguration classroom, rushing to sit up near the front.  Professor McGonagall nodded to her, giving her a small smile.  “Ms. Evans.”

Lily gave her a tiny smile in return, pulling out all of her things.  Her movements were a bit jerky, and she could feel herself shaking a bit.  The thoughts flying around in her head were going to drive her crazy.  It was suddenly like all she could focus on was the fact that James Potter had another side to him; not just any side, but a side she might actually like.  She needed to calm down.  She needed to focus.  Nothing was different.  Absolutely nothing.  NOTHING.

Other students began to filter inside the classroom, and Maria soon took the spot next to her.  Remus and Peter took seats near the back, talking quietly about something while Sirius just sat down next to a Mindy Ballard, a voluptuous blonde Hufflepuff, and apparently started turning on the charm, flirting quite obviously.  James and Alisha were the last students to arrive.  Alisha plopped down in front of Remus, but James made his way up to the front and began speaking inaudibly to McGonagall about something, handing her some parchment.  Lily saw her nod and give him a smile—an actual smile—before ushering him to sit down.  Lily was again extremely confused.

Maria nudged her after McGonagall walked past them beginning her lecture about preparing for NEWTs and whispered oddly, “Ok, spill.  Why in the world have you been staring at Potter and his friends all morning?”

Lily looked at her friend shocked.  How in the world did she know?  She thought she had been concealing that fact very well.  That’s when she realized that she had in fact been staring at Potter all morning.  What was wrong with her?  It was time for damage control.  “What?  I haven’t…”

Maria just gave her a look, obviously not believing her at all, before whispering pointedly, “You were.”

Lily just put her head down and started taking notes furiously about whatever mumbo jumbo McGonagall was talking about, ignoring her friend and letting her hair fall over her face.  She was really trying desperately to hide the blush that was starting to creep into her cheeks.  She seemed to be successful because Maria stopped pestering her.  Everything seemed to be returning to normal for the most part, but she couldn’t help but be drawn to Alisha’s snorts of muffled laughter a couple rows behind her every few minutes.  Potter must be doing something yet again, and McGonagall was sure to notice.  Lily frowned.  This was it: the truth.  Potter definitely hadn’t changed at all.  She needed to focus on that.  Well, she supposed there was something about him that was a bit charming, but—


“Yes, Professor?”

Everyone immediately started giggling when both Alisha and James responded at the same time; Sirius was, of course, laughing the loudest.  Lily couldn’t help smiling a bit at the situation as well, but mostly she was smiling at the interesting look on McGonagall’s face when she realized she could no longer just say ‘Potter.’  She looked like she wanted to smile, but was still trying to keep her lips in that thin line to remain stern.  “MR. Potter and MS. Potter then.  Just what is so amusing about trying to change your hedgehog into a cat?  Do share with the class.”

Lily watched James’ hazel eyes twinkle mischievously as he took the moment to come up with whatever bullshit response he was going to use this time.  “Well, Professor, Al is used to learning all of her spells in French and during the summers, we often try to teach each other the spells we’ve learned using both Latin and French.  We were just going over that information for the current spell you were having us practice.  I suppose it is a BIT amusing.”

Lily couldn’t believe that he could say all of that nonsense with a straight face.  It was so ridiculous.  She turned her gaze over to Alisha, who looked bored by his response even though she was still smirking.  McGonagall didn’t seem to take his words at face value either, much to Lily’s delight.  “If that’s the case, Mr. Potter, show me the progression of this transfiguration spell in French.  Ms. Potter, in Latin.”

Alisha groaned and said rapidly, “Voyez, James?  Regardez ce que vous avez fait.  Maintenant, nous devons jouer avec votre idée stupide.”

James just rolled his eyes and said, “Faites-juste le.  Ce sera amusement.”

James began waving his wand around intricately, not saying a word, and his hedgehog transfigured into a slug, a frog, a mouse, and a hedgehog before McGonagall stopped him with a scowl.  “ALOUD, Potter.”

Alisha was laughing into her hands, but James just smiled innocently up at McGonagall.  “But Professor, I WAS doing the spells in French.”

McGonagall rolled her eyes.  “Now, Potter, or it will be detention.”

James just smirked before starting again, “Manoeuvrez l'invertébré, manoeuvrez l'amphibie, manoeuvrez le rongeur, manoeuvrez le hérisson, manoeuvrez le chat, manoeuvrez le chien, manoeuvrez—“

McGonagall just sighed wearily, cutting him off when the large black dog he had transfigured started taking off around the room.  She waved her wand so his hedgehog was restored.  She sounded disgruntled when she finally said, “Oh, that’s enough.”

Lily watched Alisha do the progression in Latin even though the girl had a bit of time doing it, considering she was trying not to laugh the entire time.  She rolled her eyes into her notes at how cocky the two of them were being.  As a class, they hadn’t even reached any animal larger than a cat with this spell, and only the Marauders (minus Peter who was struggling) had managed to do even that just yet.  Here the pair of them were showing off and transfiguring the hedgehog into a dog as if it were second nature to them and in two languages, no less.  It wasn’t fair sometimes.  McGonagall eventually just gave up on the twins, giving them 5 points each for their good spell work before moving on with a shake of her head.

Lily couldn’t seem to get the spell just yet, but towards the end of the class, she did finally manage to transfigure her hedgehog into a kitten.  It wasn’t a full-grown cat, but she would work on it.

Her day didn’t seem to get any better.  Not only did she receive Transfiguration homework over that spell, she also had to translate a huge Ancient Rune piece by Thursday.  She had no idea why she even decided to take the Ancient Runes NEWT anyway.  She had no desire to work with goblins, and the amazing information that had once held her interest in the subject was waning when the only work required now was excessive translations.  By lunch, she was grumbling a bit to herself.  Maria had taken Arithmancy as a NEWT so she was griping to her about how her last class had gone.  “…completely ridiculous, Lils.  I swear, I can’t believe Potter is even in that class.  He sleeps through the whole thing usually, but when he got called on today, he just looked sleepily at the board where all of the numbers were and somehow just knew the answer.  So not fair.  We all have to do this complicated number game for homework too.  I’m sure Ancient Runes gave you tons.  You always seem to be doing a translation when I’m talking to—“

Lily gently shook her friend in the shoulders, giving her a smile.  “Maria, slow down please.  Yes, I have a huge translation.  Is there anything else we can discuss besides homework?  What about that Ravenclaw bloke you were telling me about last year?  Was he in Arithmancy, or do you have it with the Hufflepuffs this year?”

Maria sighed, looking lovesick into her sandwich and pretzels.  “He was there.  He even smiled at me once.  Oh my God, Andy McCarville smiled at me!  Can you believe it?  He has the most handsome smile too…”  She sighed again lost in her thoughts.  “Well, I suppose that was why I couldn’t follow the rest of the class.”

Lily giggled, shaking her head at her best mate.  “Right.  It’s amazing how no one has picked up on your love affair yet.”

The girls continued to talk quietly together over their lunch, ultimately ending up starting their homework for Ancient Runes and Arithmancy.  That was until a shadow loomed over them momentarily, and a girl sat down with an exaggerated sigh.  Lily’s head popped up instantaneously, and she was more than a bit surprised at who was sitting next to her.  “Alisha…hey.”

Maria gave her a nod, also looking at her a bit confused.  If Alisha noticed their discomfort, she didn’t acknowledge it.  “So girls, I was wondering if you would walk with me to Potions since I don’t know where it is.”

Maria shrugged, but looked a bit hesitant.  “Sure, but we figured you’d go with the Marauders…  I mean, they were showing you around, weren’t they?”

Alisha made a face.  “Yeah, they were and still are, but let’s just say they are now on their fourth helpings and it’s getting gross to watch.  Men are pigs sometimes.  Plus, I know you two are in Potions with them, unlike the other Gryffindor girls.  If you two don’t help me, I’ll be forced to be sick after watching them devour any more food.”

Lily nodded slowly, still unsure about where she stood with Alisha.  Last night had been confrontational, but today, it appeared as if Alisha didn’t even remember what had happened last night.  As Head Girl, she also had an obligation to be helpful to new students.  “Well, you can come with us.  We were just going to be leaving anyway.”

Alisha shot them both a relieved smile.  “Thanks.  Besides, after going to Beauxbatons, I’m used to being around girls all the time, and as it stands, I think you two are the only girls I want to be friends with.”

Lily and Maria both looked startled by this confession.  Lily looked at her more than a little confused.  She and Maria were both muggleborns, not exactly popular, and were studious.  That generally placed them off the radar; well, except for Potter embarrassing the hell out of Lily every once and a while.  She had no idea what he saw in her anyway.  Now, Alisha Potter, a pure-blood princess who was likely popular material because she hung out with the Marauders, only wanted to be friends with them of all people?  “Uhh, why?”

Alisha glanced around the Great Hall nervously.  “How about we start heading to those dungeons, wherever they are?”

The girls all gathered their things and made their way out of the Great Hall.  They all walked in silence for a bit, but once they were out of ear-shot, Alisha spoke again, “I can tell you both are surprised by what I said, but you have to think about this logically.  I’m a pure-blood in Gryffindor.  This quickly eliminates all the Slytherins as potential friends, not that I would want to befriend any of them anyway.  They’re all snooty bitches.  Liv is a nice girl, but I’m sure you know that she is a flirt who cares more about her looks than her studies, unlike myself.  Andie looks somewhat of the same.  And Rachel…don’t get me started on Rachel.  The Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw girls are going to be a tight unit to break, and most of them, from what I can tell, are the popular sort like Liv.  That leaves you two as the only normal females around.  So, what I’m trying to say is that I hope you like me otherwise I’m going to have one long, boy-filled year if I have to be with my brother and his mates all the time.  That’s not a bad thing really since I am somewhat of a tomboy, but a girl needs estrogen every once and a while.”

Lily was shocked by Alisha’s analysis and was actually more surprised that she hadn’t looked at it that way herself.  She and Maria exchanged looks before Lily turned to Alisha, giving her a small smile.  “We’d be happy to have you around.”

Alisha grinned, and Lily almost retracted her statement when it immediately reminded her of Potter.  She had forgotten about that minor relation detail momentarily.  Alisha was thoroughly relieved though.  “Thanks, girls.”

Maria gave her a sideways glance, curious.  “So what do you have against Rachel?”

Alisha gazed at them both oddly.  “You mean, you both don’t know?  Lily?  You don’t even know?  How can you not?”

Lily’s brow furrowed, but she had no idea what Alisha was talking about.  Alisha snickered at their lack of understanding, but sobered up some as she stopped walking to look Lily in the eye.  She spoke pointedly, “Rachel HATES you, Lily.”

Lily looked at her blankly.  “What?  No, she doesn’t.”

Maria was looking between the two of them curiously before a smile began to creep across her face.  She was amused as she thought over that declaration.  “Well, I suppose she’s not always friendly and likes to point out when you’re wrong, Lils, even if you aren’t…”

Alisha cocked her head as if she were thinking, but she was still grinning mischievously.  “Well, I can see that…  You are quite hard to compete with, Lily.  However, I’m talking about something much more specific.  It starts with a ‘J’ and ends in ‘ames.’”

Lily and Maria both gave her weird looks, but then Maria started giggling.  “Oh my God— she likes James, doesn’t she?”

Alisha nodded decisively.  “Since we were four, and he saved her from falling off of her kiddie broom.  He obviously doesn’t like her back, as he has established quite clearly that he is in love with you, Lily, but that means that Rachel is left alone and miserable.  She knows that I know and that I think she should move on already.  Needless to say, we don’t get along.  James obviously knows, and he treats her as delicately as he can so as to not hurt her feelings.  I’m sure you’ve seen them together, and it’s likely pretty awkward for both of them.  She’s incredibly shy as a result.  I know that it’s hard to believe, but she wasn’t like that as a kid.  She became incredibly embarrassed when she admitted her feelings openly to James when we were eight or something in front of a large group of people.  James turned her down gently calling her his friend.  She hasn’t been the same since.  She can’t talk to boys at all anymore.”

Lily pondered this new information carefully, purposefully ignoring the fact that Alisha had just openly declared that James was in love with her.  That couldn’t possibly be true.  She instead focused on her past encounters with Rachel and remembered those angry looks she had gotten from her last night at the feast.  “Suddenly all of those weird looks from her make sense.”

Maria was still giggling over it.  “She probably wakes up every day and wonders what you have that she doesn’t, Lils.”

Alisha snickered.  “That’s obvious— the red hair and green eyes.  Anyway, that’s why I can’t be friends with Rachel.  It’s beyond annoying.  She’s tried everything to get him to change his mind about her too.  Why do you think she’s so good at quidditch?  It’s because she knows James is.  She worked so hard to make the quidditch team.”

Lily grumbled, turning pink at the indirect teasing that James liked her so much and that Rachel could never measure up.  She spoke exasperatedly, “But I don’t even like quidditch all that much!  I can’t even fly straight!  What the hell does he see in me?”

Alisha just shrugged, her hazel eyes twinkling at Lily’s obvious confusion.  “Think about everything I’ve ever told you about how things are, and then you’ll have your answer.  So now where are these dungeons?”

Lily pointed ahead of them, and they were in the process of making their way down the hall when they heard someone clucking their tongue from behind them.  The three girls turned and saw two familiar pure-blood Slytherins looking at them snootily— Narcissa Black and Lara Parelli.  Narcissa flipped her long blonde hair around, her grey eyes dark and cruel.  “Well, if it isn’t the two mudbloods and the filthy blood traitor…  Why’d you even transfer, Potter?  Just what was the point?”

Alisha’s eyes flashed.  “Oh shut your trap, Cissa.  Don’t call them that either.  They both are twice the witch you’ll ever be.”

Lara scoffed as she stared Alisha down, her almost black eyes glittering cattily.  “Right.  A mudblood being more worthy than a pure-blood, don’t make me laugh…  Well, then there’s also you, Potter.  You’re not worth much more.”

Narcissa laughed at this.  “Yes, of course.  Perfect little Alisha Potter, flirting non-stop at the last charity dinner with all of the men hanging off of her every word.  You’re such a little slag.”

Maria and Lily were just going to walk away like they usually did— they avoided these types of encounters.  However, they could only just stand there because Alisha stayed strong, clearly not amused and not backing down.  Alisha just smirked back at them cruelly.  “Oh, I’m the slag, Cissa?  Tell me who was giving Lucius Malfoy head in the back broom closet at that same charity dinner when he was betrothed to someone else?  How is that working out for you?”  She glanced down pointedly at the gigantic, sparkly rock on the blonde’s left hand.  “Seems that it worked just as you and your family planned it to…  That must’ve been some head.  So when’s the wedding?  I’ll try and fit it into my busy schedule.”

Narcissa’s eyes flashed, and she literally shrieked, “Why, you little bitch!”

Alisha just blinked back at her innocently.  “What?  Can’t take the truth?  Why don’t you scurry off, or I’ll give you split ends to top things off?”

Lara shot her the glare of death before pulling Narcissa away so the two were walking ahead of the three of them.  Before Lily or Maria could even comprehend what just happened, Alisha flicked her wand out at the two girls as they rounded the corner to go to Potions.  Lily looked at her shocked.  “What did you just do?”

Alisha shrugged, giving the two of them a big smile.  “I gave the bitches split ends.  They deserved it for being so callous for no reason.  Merlin, that felt good.”

Alisha immediately started walking, following behind the two girls that had just left since they were all heading to the same place.  Maria glanced at Lily, surprised to see that she didn’t seem to be upset at all about what had just happened.  “Lily?  Are you alright?”

Lily shrugged, her green eyes looking amused.  “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Maria looked at her utterly baffled.  She spoke slowly, “Well, she just did exactly what Potter does all the time, and suddenly, you’re not upset.”

Lily shook her head in surprise.  That was not true at all, was it?  “What?  No, she didn’t.  She was just defending herself.”

Maria gave her a look.  “Please.  She only started talking to them after they called us the M word.  Then, they started in on her just as they do to Potter.  You even let her hex them without taking away points or freaking out.  Just because she’s a girl and Potter’s a guy doesn’t make the situation any different.”

Lily gulped and watched Maria start walking towards Potions.  Maria’s words were ringing inside of her head.  Was that really true?  She supposed in some generic way it was and that fact left her completely taken aback.  Potter always jumped in to stop any commentary about her specifically, but she had seen him do it for Maria too.  So then when he started taking heat from them too, was he only defending himself from the threats like Alisha just had?  Sure, his pranks and hexes never lasted all that long, but were they merely like the little ‘split ends’ hex that Alisha had just used?  Weren’t they embarrassing, demeaning, and for no reason?  Suddenly, Lily had a hard time believing that the latter was true this time.  She was shaken from her musings by a familiar voice, “Evans?  What are you still doing out here?  You should go inside the classroom.  The Slytherins are coming behind us.  You don’t want to be left out here all by yourself, you know…  I mean, just in case.”

Lily turned instantly at Potter’s voice, and she couldn’t help but note his concerned tone.  His hazel eyes seemed to catch her off guard this time, and she found it hard to look away.  Remus nodded to her as he stood next to James , giving her a small smile.  “He’s got a point, you know.”

Lily shook her head, finally finding her voice and saying distractedly, “Uhh, right.”

Sirius just looked at everyone in amusement.  James was staring at Lily with a somewhat concerned expression on his face, mostly because Lily, for the first time ever, looked flustered, was not nearly as eloquent as usual, and hadn’t yelled at him just yet for talking to her.  Remus looked between the two of them before sighing and continuing toward the classroom.  He was shaking his head as if he knew something no one else did.  Sirius broke the silence, intending to make things right again by alleviating the weird and unusual awkwardness that was going on between James and Lily just then, “So, do you think Sluggy will let me partner with you, Evans?  I need a good grade.”

Lily immediately shot him a glare, sobering up entirely.  “Shut up, Black.”

Sirius just smirked as Lily turned on her feet and walked quickly into the classroom without glancing back.  He punched James in the arm to wake him from his reverie of watching Lily walk away.  At least it wasn’t James’ fault she was angry this time.  “Come on, Prongs.  Let’s go.  I know Lily’s pretty and all, but there’s this thing called ‘Potions class’ that we have to go to…”

James glared at his best mate, although his glare clearly wasn’t as mean as Lily’s had just been.  “Shut up, Padfoot.”

Sirius sighed as he watched James start walking into Potions.  If only James and Lily could realize just how perfect they were for each other.  He reluctantly fell into step behind his best mate, hoping that things would begin to change.


Alisha: “Vous êtes juste son favori parce que vous faites tout ces choses vilaines à elle quand elle vous appelle de nouveau dans son bureau.  Aucune merveille elle vous aime!”

Translation: “You are just her favorite because you do all those naughty things to her when she calls you back into her office.  No wonder she loves you!”


Alisha: “Voyez, James?  Regardez ce que vous avez fait.  Maintenant, nous devons jouer avec votre idée stupide.”

Translation: “See, James?  Look what you did.  Now, we have to play along with your stupid idea.”

James: “Faites-juste le.  Ce sera amusement.”

Translation: “Just do it.  This will be fun.”

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