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Chapter Three: Sorry Nights

In the Common Room, James pulled her to the side.
“Hey Karma, can you help me make Lily like me?”
“Oh James, I’d love to, but that would be like convincing her to kiss a warty old frog.” Karma said grinning.
James punched her lightly on the shoulder.
“Of course I’ll help you, I live only to be of service to you, my ever so dashing prince.” Karma said rolling her eyes.

Emily skipped downstairs, not really concentrating on her way, but rather trying to figure out which page the Charms homework was on. In the Common Room, James was listening intently to what Karma was saying which was shocking since Karma couldn’t possibly be teaching him anything educational. Emily shrugged; they were probably up to no good. She continued on to the library, heading towards the secluded area in the back. She pulled out a chair and sat down, pulling parchment and quills from her bag. The essay was supposed to be thirteen inches long, but before she even got two inches done, Sirius appeared by the edge of the table looking very distressed, which was very unusual.

“Hey Emily, can you do me a huge favor?” he asked, pulling out the chair next to her.
“Yeah, sure.” Emily agreed wondering what Sirius could possibly want from her.
“Can you tutor me?” Sirius asked.
“What?” Emily asked, not sure if she heard correctly.
“Yes, I, Sirius Black, am asking you to tutor me.” Sirius said, rolling his eyes exasperatedly. “I’m failing Transfiguration” Sirius said frowning again, and Dumbledore says I won’t be able to be on the Quidditch team.”
“Uh sure, but we cant do it in the library because its practical stuff and I’m pretty sure Madam Pince wouldn’t be too happy if we turned her books into turtles. And we can’t do it right now either because I’m studying.” Emily said, pointing to her books and notes.

Madam Pince peered from around the corner of a bookshelf like a vulture and told them to shush.
Sirius pulled one of her books to look at it; Charms for Dummies by Rudolph Rein.
It looked more like a book for Sirius then for Emily who was definitely not a dummy.
He pulled a scrap of parchment to him and scrawled a note to Emily, pushing it to her.
Emily looked at the note.
Wanna help me do my Charms homework?
Sure, I’ll help you. NO COPYING!
Sirius rolled his eyes and stole some more of her parchment and a quill, looking up at her expectantly for the answers.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
Lily took a deep breath as she stared at the green satin dress in her hand. It was gorgeous, but she didn’t feel like wearing it anymore. The Ball was tomorrow and she was insanely mad at Karma but also slightly happy for her. Even though Karma insisted she wasn’t a girly girl, Lily could see that whenever she saw Edward Cullen, she got very excited and hyper.

Though a larger part of her brain was furious at her. Karma knew how much she hated James but she still told James yes. She wasn’t the one who was going to have to listen to him talk about quidditch non-stop, or run his hand through his hair to look like he just got off the broom.
UGHH! He was SOO infuriating!

Emily examined herself in the mirror. The pale blue dress Lily had picked for her was clinging to her body nicely. Lily had even used a spell on her blonde hair making it a platinum blonde, almost white color, which looked great with the black floral design near the top of the dress. Her now platinum blonde hair hung straight past her shoulder unlike Lily’s whose fiery red hair was put up in elaborate curls.

Lily, was currently searching through her trunk. A minute later she stood up, smoothing the emerald green dress and handed Karma the navy dress. Since Karma didn’t own a dress and refused to buy one, Lily decided to lend her one of her own. The navy sleeveless dress stopped short at the thigh. She held out the dress to Karma who backed away, repulsed. Lily rolled her eyes.

“After what your making me do,” Lily said, referring to James, “I have the right to make you look nice.”
Karma sighed and walked over to Lily.
Ten minutes later, the dress was on, her hair straight and shiny, and black eyeliner in place. Even though she looked gorgeous, Lily could do nothing about the frown on Karma’s face.

Emily sighed, pulling Karma by the hand down the stairs. In the Common Room, Remus was waiting for them.
“You all look exquisite.” Remus said, smiling at them.
“Thanks.” The three of them replied in union.
“So where’s James?” Karma asked, glancing at the boys’ dormitory staircase.
Sure enough, James came down the stairs in a silky black button shirt and black pants.
Karma and Emily smiled at Lily, who in return glared at them. Remus hooked his arms into Karma’s left arm and Emily’s right, leading them downstairs to the Great Hall.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

James smoothed his jet-black hair back, staring into the mirror. This was the night he’d been waiting for. Taking a deep breath, he picked up the single white rose and headed downstairs. Thankfully, no one saw him stumble on the last two steps as he caught sight of Lily. She was breath-taking. Her green eyes were trained on the floor, her head bowed down; he could tell she wasn’t happy. He barely heard Remus whisper ‘Good Luck’ in his ear before they disappeared. And then it was just him and her. He took a deep breath.

“You look beautiful. Um, I, uhh, got you a rose.” James said tentatively holding out the flower to her.
She looked up finally and stared at him for a second before taking the flower; he shivered as her fingers accidentally brushed slightly against his hand.
He offered his arms, hoping he wasn’t pushing his luck, thankfully, she placed her hand lightly in the crook of his elbow. As he led her downstairs, he felt like the luckiest person alive.

Sirius sighed as he buttoned his emerald green robes. He tried combing his unruly hair, but as always, nothing happened. Peter was waiting at the steps with a sulky, brunette.

James and Sirius had convinced the girl, what was her name? Anna? Annie? Anyways, they had convinced her to go with Peter to the ball so he wouldn’t feel left out. The girl wasn’t easy to convince, and while doing it, Sirius had forgotten to ask a girl himself. He didn’t actually have a girlfriend. Just a few flings usually only to keep him company in bed.

Peter suggested he go alone, but Sirius Black NEVER goes stag. It was possible he could go find a girl on the way to the Great Hall. He obviously couldn’t ask Laura as he had just broken up with her. (She was too clingy) He couldn’t go with Alice as she was currently dating Frank Longbottom, hmmm there had to be someone he could go with. At worst, he could go with a Slytherin. (His mother would be soo proud, he thought with a sneer)

He followed Peter and his date out into the Gryffindor Common Room.
Annette, (Peter’s date) shot him a dirty look, before reluctantly allowing Peter to pull her past the Fat Lady’s portrait.

Sirius scanned the Common Room, his eyes locking on Evelyn, a girl from fifth year. He quickly walked up to her.
“Hey, do you want to come with me to the Ball?” Sirius asked, flashing her his most charming smile.
“Uhm, sure.” The girl replied, blushing as she tucked a strand of her dirty blonde hair behind her ears.

Remus led Emily and Karma into the Great Hall. They looked at it in awe. There were small white circle tables placed around the edge of the Great Hall leaving a giant space in the middle, obviously for dancing. Many of the small tables were occupied with people. On the tables, hovered candles, as they looked around, they saw that the candles were the only things illuminating the room. Remus led the two girls to an unoccupied table. Karma sat down and watched Remus lead Emily to the dance floor where others were dancing.

It was obvious by the way his skin flushed that Remus liked Emily. The problem was Emily; either she thought of him as her friend, or just hid her feelings really well.

Five minutes later, Lily and James arrived.

“Wow” Lily whispered as they entered the Great Hall.
James nodded as he pulled her inside. They made their way to the table at which Karma was sitting at. James pulled out the chair for Lily and took the one next to her. He raised his hand, but seeing Karma’s glare, he quickly pulled it back down. He could practically hear Karma yelling at him not to touch his hair.

“James aren’t you going to ask Lily to dance?” Karma asked grinning at Lily.
Lily glared back at Karma who seemed to be enjoying herself.
“Uhh, do you want to dance?” James asked.
Lily nodded, receiving shocked looks from both of them.

Lily rolled her eyes and waited for James to stand up. Her theory was that James didn’t really like her. He was just fascinated by the fact that she, unlike all the other girls, wasn’t drooling over him.

James, finally getting over his shock, stood up, slipping his sweaty hands into hers.
He placed his hand tentatively on her waist, holding out his right hand to her. Lily warily placed one hand on his shoulder, the other into his other hand. Lily didn’t really know how to dance, but James obviously did as he carefully guided her through the other dancers.
James spun her around, happy to see that she was actually smiling.
“Oops,” Lily said, blushing as she accidentally stepped on his foot.

James laughed and pulled her close, Lily’s eyes widened as he leaned down, but the song ended.
“I better go see what Peter’s up to,” James said regretfully, as he backed away.
Lily nodded and headed back to the table, sitting down next to Karma.

“Looked like things were heating up.” Karma said wagging her eyebrows.
“No! He is still a git. So Edward hasn’t shown up yet?” Lily asked.
“Nope.” Karma replied, glancing at the door for the hundredth time.

Peter stared wistfully at Annette. She was dancing with another boy. Lily looked up at the sound of chairs screeching against the floor. It was Sirius and Evelyn.

“Hey, Peter, where’s Annette?” Sirius asked.
Peter pointed and resumed sulking.
Lily pursed her lips as James sat down next to Peter.

“Hey did you meet my date?” Sirius asked, nodding at Evelyn.
“Weren’t you going to go stag?” James asked curiously.
“You were going to go stag?” Karma asked snorting.
“You were going to go stag” Sirius said mimicking her voice.
Karma rolled her eyes, “Very mature.”
“Nah, I found Miss Evelyn here, to go with me.” Sirius said.
“Poor Eve, don’t worry, the night will be over soon.” Karma said, smirking at Sirius. Evelyn smiled unsurely at Karma, not knowing how to take the comment.

Emily smiled as Remus and her wove through the others.
“I’m sorry, but I cant come patrol the hallways this Tuesday with you. I’m, err, a bit busy.” Remus said.
“Oh, no problem.” Emily replied. She was used to Remus and the other three disappearing once in a while.
“Where do you guys go anyways?” Emily asked curiously.
“What?” Remus asked.
“You, James, Sirius, and Peter disappear two, three times a month. Where do you go?”
Remus stiffened, “Uh, Peter’s grandfather is, uhm, very very sick. Spattergroit. And we are very close to him, so we, uhh, visit him every month.” Remus replied.
“Oh” Emily said. Of course she didn’t believe him, but if he didn’t want to tell her, then that was fine, she wasn’t going to push him.

When they arrived at the table, they found out that Karma had gone back to the Common Room at twelve because Edward hadn’t shown up and Sirius kept mocking her.
Peter had also left, because Annette had never returned back to the table. Sirius and Evelyn and James and Lily were dancing.
Remus led her to the Common Room, kissing her cheek swiftly before bowing, like a gentlemen and backing up the stairs. Emily smiled and went up the stairs to the girls’ dormitory.

Five minutes later, James and Lily showed up in the Common Room.
“So Lily, would you like to come with me to the Three Broomsticks on the next Hogsmeade weekend?” James asked.
“No! This doesn’t change anything. I still don’t like you.” Lily said, glaring at him.
“Why? What did I do?” James asked, raising his hand to cup her cheek.

Lily quickly swatted it away. “Because. Your- Your annoying, and- And your-”
Lily struggled to make coherent sentences as James leaned down and kissed her forehead.
“Good night” he said quietly as he ran up the stairs.

Lily’s mouth opened and closed for a few minutes, her forehead burning. Dazed, she made her way up the stairs.

“Guys suck.” Karma was saying as she quickly changed into her pj’s.
“Not all of them.” Alice said in a dreamy voice.
Emily rolled her eyes as she got in bed.
Lily didn’t say anything as she got into bed; she wasn’t sure who she agreed with.

Karma groaned as she rolled over in her bed. The dormitory was exceptionally quiet.
Everyone was probably in the Great Hall eating breakfast. She would have loved to go back to sleep for another hour or so, but James had decided to hold a practice after breakfast. Cursing James as she rolled out of bed, she pulled on a pair of jeans and a gray shirt with the Hogwarts crest on the front. A few years ago, she had crossed out the Slytherin snake, but that had faded out.

As soon as she entered the Great Hall, she was stopped by Edward. She glared at him.
“I’m really sorry for not showing up last night. My brother Emmett kind of kidnapped me. I didn’t mean to stand you up.” Edward said apologetically.
Karma nodded, pushing past him to sit next to Lily and Emily. Karma tore off a piece of her toast, glancing at Lily. Lily was biting her lip nervously as she continuously glanced at James.
“What’s up with you guys?” Emily asked.
“Nothing.” Lily answered a little too quickly, “I don’t know.” Lily said sighing as Emily raised her eyebrows. Karma watched Lily stare at her plate as James and Sirius approached.
“Hey Karma, Practice is rescheduled to this afternoon.”
“Mhmm” Karma replied, she was still sleepy.
“See you guys later.” James said, following Sirius after glancing at Lily half-heartedly.

“Miss Bell, what is the incantation used when one wishes to change the color of something.” Professor Flitwick asked.

Lily nudged Karma, “Hmm, what?” Karma asked yawning widely as she looked around blearily, she had been taking a nice nap.
Sirius snickered, “Wonder why she’s so sleepy? It’s not like she was busy last night.”
Some of the Slytherins laughed.

Karma blushed as she stuttered over the answer Emily whispered in her ear.
She blushed even darker when Professor Flitwick suggested that instead of having Emily whisper answers to her, she get Emily to tutor her.

Sirius and the Slytherins laughed openly, and she could see James struggling not to laugh.
“Some friend you are!” she hissed at him.


Karma sighed as she stepped on to the Quidditch pitch. It was pouring, but James refused to cancel the practice. The fact that she was sleepy and that Sirius continued to make snide comments about her through out the day did not help. Also, spending an extra hour with him was not at all pleasing. She had asked Emily to tutor her, only to find out that Sirius was going to be there too. All the while that Em was explaining the spells; Sirius kept slipping in sarcastic comments about her.

Karma flew around slowly. Her mind was foggy, she was completely drenched and she didn’t want to risk crashing into someone. James called for a time-out, so they all landed. Suddenly a bludger hit her in her shoulder.
“Oops, I’ll go get that.” She struggled to hold onto the bludger as she made her way back to James and the others.
“Hey, Mark, did you know Edward and his brother went hunting? I guess they found bears more entertaining then Karma.” Sirius said, grinning as he glanced at Karma.
The bludger fell to the floor with a loud thump, seconds before Sirius fell.
Karma was on Sirius, one hand clutching his throat as the other swung back, hitting him square on his jaw. His eyes widened as her fist connected with his jaw, his head snapping back with a soft crack.
She stood up smiling. “That feels so much better.” Karma said in a satisfied voice as she turned and walked back to the castle.

Sirius gaped as he rubbed his jaw. “Bloody hell! She’s gone mental!”
James laughed, “You deserved that.” He said as he pulled Sirius to his feet.

Lily glanced at James. He was staring at her with a sad longing kind of look. Lily winced as she returned to staring at her cereal.
Karma dumped her books, and sat down across from Lily and Emily.
“You gonna eat that?” Karma asked, taking Emily’s toast before she could answer.
“What’s up with you and James?” Emily asked curiously, turning to Lily.
“Nothing!” She immediately felt bad, seeing Emily’s hurt look, “Sorry, I didn’t mean that, it’s just I don’t know he is so confusing. He is so aggravating, you know, but at the same time he’s kind of sweet.” Lily said, smiling slightly as she sneaked another glance at him. “What about you and Remus? Are you going to Hogsmeade with him?” Lily asked grinning at her.
“He hasn’t asked me.” Emily said frowning.
“It’s the twentieth century. You ask him.” Karma said, her voice muffled slightly with the food in her mouth.

“What’s up?” Remus asked as he saw James sigh dejectedly.
“Lily. She still doesn’t want anything to do with me. You said that if she spent some time with me, she’d like me better but she still hates me.” James said miserably.
Sirius nudged him, “There’s still hope for you, mate.” He said tilting his head slightly towards Lily who happened to be glancing at them at that moment.
James smiled at her but she had already looked away and he wasn’t even sure if she was looking at him or just scanning the room for someone else.
“Are you going to ask Lily to the Hogsmeade weekend?” Peter asked, slow to catch on.
Sirius filled him in as Emily cautiously approached them.

“Uh Remus, Can I talk to you.” Emily asked hesitantly, wondering why the hell she was taking Karma’s advice.

“Yeah, Sure.” Remus said as he got up and followed her out of the Great Hall, ignoring Sirius and James wolf-whistles.
“I was wondering whether, you’d um, like to go with me to Hogsmeade?” Emily asked.
Remus realized that she hadn’t realized that unconsciously, she had crossed her fingers.
“Oh, I am really sorry but that’s the night me and Peter and Sirius are going to visit his grandpa.” Remus replied.
“Oh, Never mind, I guess I’ll see you around.” Emily replied half heartedly.
“Hey, Em? I really am sorry.” Remus called after her. He felt wretched.
Emily nodded trying to conjure a smile, but it came out more as a grimace.

“Isn’t next weekend a full moon?” Sirius asked Remus as they watched James and the rest of the team practice. The game against Slytherin was in a week. (James had been forced by Karma to make Sirius sit out when he ‘accidentally’ hit her with a Bludger.
“Mhmm” Remus replied noncommittally. He was making study guides for them for the Potions exam tomorrow.
“Peter says he’ll keep me company.” Remus said, not looking up.
“What do you mean Peter? Me and James will be there too.” Sirius said.
“You guys don’t have to. I mean I know you have better things to do. Just because I cant date doesn’t mean you guys should give up your weekends to hang with a werewolf.” Remus said, still staring at his textbook, though he had stopped writing.
Sirius spun around, “Are you serious?” his eyebrows were furrowed together as he stared at Remus incredulously.
“No you are.” Remus replied smiling weakly at him.
“Ha-ha. Seriously, we’re coming with you” Sirius said in an unusually stern voice.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to. Anyways, I heard Peter was feeling a little down so maybe a little one on one (a one-on-one chat you sicko’s!!) with me will cheer him up.” Remus replied glancing around to make sure Peter wasn’t there.
“What do you mean? What’s wrong with me and James?” Sirius asked his forehead creasing from concern.
“Nothing,” Remus hurried, “He’s just a bit upset over his grades, don’t worry, I’ll cheer him up.” Remus replied guiltily.
He hated lying to his friends. Peter was not at all upset with his grades, in fact, he had recently gotten a B- in Charms, true that was only because Remus had been hissing the answer to him but Remus didn’t want his friends to be tied down because of him. He could recount many days when James had rescheduled a Quidditch practice or Sirius had stood up a girl because of his problem. Just because he couldn’t go out and have fun like a normal person didn’t mean they couldn’t. He smiled at Sirius before returning back to the study guides. Sirius reluctantly returned to watching practice.

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