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Lily was on her way back from the library, after checking out several books for extra studying. The NEWTs were closer than ever, less than a month away. Ahead of her, she noticed Peter looking around in a nervous way, and thinking something was wrong, she went up to him. “Peter?” She asked from behind, and Peter jumped and let out a small cry of surprise. “Are, um, you okay?” “Lily! Oh, fine, fine, just fine. Startled me, that’s all. Perfectly normal, fine!” Peter told her in a hurried tone before scampering off, leaving Lily alone in the corridor. He’s acting a bit odd, she thought to herself. From the other end of the hallway, laughter and voices carried, and who but the other Marauders walked into view. “Evans! Have you seen Peter?” Sirius called to her, and Lily frowned. It was definitely odd that Peter wasn’t with them, and it seemed like he had run away when he had heard them coming. “Yes, just a second ago. He was acting really odd. What’s wrong with him?” Lily asked. “Well, we sort of laughed at him when he was taking some shots on goal, and he stormed off.” James explained, and Lily frowned again. “You really shouldn’t do that to him, he looked really hurt. He might not always stick with you guys if you’re going to treat him like that!” Lily told them, and James raised his eyebrows. “Thanks for the friendship lesson, Evans. Only it’d be a lot more believable coming from someone who knew how to be a good friend.” James replied, and Lily felt her face grow red. “Oh, go and snog Emma, Potter.” Lily retorted scathingly before turning on her heel and heading for the common room, leaving James fuming. “That was way below the belt!” James finally spat out, and Remus sighed. “You were asking for it, Prongs.” He told him, and James knew he was right. Lily infuriated him all right, but yet he couldn’t help but remember the Lily he had fallen in love with. I wonder what she had been trying to ask me at the party, James thought to himself, annoyed that Emma had burst in when she did. He had to find a way to get Lily alone, and find out what she had wanted to ask him. He wasn’t sure why he felt so strongly about this, but something inside of him still longed for Lily, even though she had broken his trust. “Do you really think we need to study for these tests?” Sirius groaned as Remus suggested they go and study. “Sirius! These tests will determine our careers after school! Of course we have to study!” Remus exclaimed, absolutely appalled by such a question. Sirius groaned again. *** “Quills down, please. This exam is over.” A wizened old wizard instructed them in the Great Hall. The house tables were gone, replaced by a multitude of individual desks. Lily placed her quill on her desk, and watched as her History of Magic exam flew up with the others to the front of the room. She sighed deeply, relieved the last of her exams were finally over. “Thank you! You’re all free to go, and good luck with whatever career you pursue!” He told them after all the exams had been collected. A gradual cheer broke out, starting with a few ‘yays!’ and erupting as the 7th years hollered and stomped. Their exams were over! Lily felt that all of her studying had paid off, and that her exams had gone remarkably well. She went over to where Tracy, Erica, and Crystal were, and found that Tracy was in distress because she had mixed up Elmeric and Elferic during one of the goblin rebellions. “Cheer up, Tracy. I think I see that Hufflepuff coming over here to ask you to the dance…” Lily whispered to her friend excitedly, and Tracy beamed. Sure enough, Amos Diggory was heading their way. “Hello, Tracy.” He greeted her, and Tracy smiled even wider. Lily fought the very strong urge to giggle. “Tough exam, wasn’t it?” “Oh, yea. Really tough.” Tracy answered, blushing. “So, d’you have a date for the dance coming up?” He asked her, also blushing. “Not yet.” Tracy replied, and Amos looked relieved. “Would you like to go with me?” Amos asked hopefully. “I’d love to!” Tracy replied, and they both smiled again. After Amos had whisked Tracy away for a walk around the lake, Lily and her friends headed outside as well. The dock that Hagrid had been building earlier in the year was finished, and some of the younger students were jumping off into the cool water and swimming around. With the exams over, and the dance in two days, there really wasn’t much left going on in the school year, as the year ended in two weeks. Lily, of course, was going with Freddie, though she was still feeling like it was wrong. Erica and Crystal also had dates, but from different houses. The end of the year ball at Hogwarts was always the grandest of events, and as it was only open for 5th year students and above, supposedly the most “action” happened at it. Lily wasn’t looking forward to much “action”, in fact, she wasn’t really looking forward to the dance at all. She felt empty, and she still didn’t know why, but had a feeling that it involved James. She told herself not to worry, that she’d have a great time with Freddie at the dance, and James wouldn’t mean a thing. The day of the dance, try as she may to think about Freddie, Lily was still fretting over James. Her unusual silence made her friends suspect something was wrong, and repeatedly asked her what was up. Lily waved their questions away with various excuses, and they seemed to be satisfied. In the dormitory getting ready, however, Lily was not as discreet about her internal struggles as she needed to be. “And Amos said….” Tracy rambled on through a conversation she and Amos Diggory had had. As much as Lily, Crystal, and Erica loved seeing Tracy happy, hearing about what Amos said every two seconds was getting old rather quick. “So, Lily, are you and James going to be able to perform the traditional Head Boy and Girl dance tonight with out killing one another, or should we alert Dumbledore?” Erica asked good naturedly, trying to turn the conversation away from Amos. Lily blanched. She had forgotten about that! “It might be faster to just let them have another duel, rather than have them try to hex one another as they dance. Someone could get hurt!” Crystal joined in, also relieved to talk about anything other than Amos for the thousandth time. “Er, maybe…” Lily mumbled, feeling that she would rather be talking about Amos right now. She quickly hid her blushing face as she pulled her dress robes over her head. “Don’t kill my date, Lily.” Emma joked, who had actually been nicer to Lily since she had won the guy. Lily’s friends chuckled, but Lily chose not to reply. “Or steal my date, for that matter.” Emma added after a moment. “Yea, like I would want to steal James.” Lily tried to laugh, but the girls were all staring at her in a different light. “You’ve done it before, I wouldn’t put it past you to do it again.” Emma snubbed, any airs of friendliness abandoned. “Trust me, I won’t make that mistake again.” Lily tried to convince them, secretly wishing she could steal James. It would never work, she reminded herself glumly, I’ll just have to be tortured with a dance with him, and then have it all taken away… “Ready to go, ladies?” Tracy asked, and there was an assent of nodding from them all. Ready or not, Lily made her way down the stairs, heading for the End of Year Ball in very low spirits. “Why the long face, Prongs?” Sirius asked James as he examined his reflection in the mirror. James shrugged. “Tonight’s the End of Year Ball! You’re night for you and Emma to-” “Padfoot! I don’t want to do, well, you know what, with Emma!” James cried in outrage, startling Sirius. “Easy, easy! All in good fun, all in good fun!” Sirius tried to calm James down, who was now very red in the face. Even if he did want to, well, you know, it certainly wouldn’t be with Emma. “Is something wrong between you and Emma?” Remus asked in a concerned voice. “Everything’s wrong. Nothing is right. I don’t think I’ll go after all.” James moaned dejectedly flopping on his back onto his bed. “You can’t not go! You’re Head Boy! Remember? Head Boy, Head Girl, opening dance…?” Sirius reminded him, and James moaned again. “Uh, oh. Head Boy and Head Girl dance!” Remus gasped, realizing why James had moaned again. “Yea, Moony. I just said that!” Sirius sniffed with superiority. “Padfoot, Head Boy is James.” Remus began to explain, as Sirius was obviously not getting this. “Yeah. I got that part.” Sirius replied in an annoyed tone. “And Lily is Head Girl.” Remus continued, hoping it would be enough. “So?” Obviously, it wasn’t. “Lily, James? Head Girl, Head Boy?” Remus pleaded, Sirius still giving him a blank stare. “LILY AND JAMES DANCING TOGETHER AS HEAD BOY AND HEAD GIRL!” Remus hollered, and comprehension dawned on Sirius. “Ohhhh…..” Sirius smiled. “Tough break, Prongs. It was nice knowing you.” “What do you mean by that?” James asked, and Remus also looked bewildered. “Evans’ll kill you. Redheads are like that, you know. Hot tempers, they have.” Sirius explained, and Remus rolled his eyes. “It’s just one dance, James will be fine!” Remus scoffed, feeling that Sirius was overreacting. “Hey, a lot can happen during one dance! And Lily’s really clever! Think of all the damage she can do during one dance!” Sirius told them as though this was obvious. Remus and Sirius began to bicker, but James wasn’t listening anymore. It’s not that he didn’t want to dance with Lily because he feared for his safety. He didn’t want to dance with Lily because he had been having these feelings. Strange feelings that someone with a girlfriend shouldn’t be having. Feelings for Lily, and he knew he had been ignoring them ever since they had broken up. They were stronger than ever now, and dancing with Lily, who James suspected he might still love, would be a terrible thing. Because Lily hated him, like she had before this year. He was back at square one, and he couldn’t get out. No, the reason he didn’t want to dance with Lily was because he knew that the song would end, and Lily and him might not ever dance again together, since no tradition would force them to. And he felt it would be easier to not dance at all with her than to have one dance before she was snatched away forever. But she had wanted to ask you something, something she didn’t want Emma to hear… a little voice reminded James, and he considered this fact. He really wanted her to ask that question, whatever it may be. He wasn’t sure what the question was, or even what his answer would be, but it would be better asked all the same. But how to do it? “Sirius, James can’t turn into a stag and gorge Lily with his antlers, if he did then Dumbledore would know he’s an animagus!” Remus bellowed, and Sirius waved this statement away as though it were irrelevant. “Desperate times call for desperate measures, Moony. And if Lily’s going to transfigure Hagrid into a dragon to scorch James, he’s going to need-” Sirius began to reply. “That’s it!” James sprang up from the bed in triumph, unaware of how the conversation had gotten blown out of proportion to stags and dragons. Sirius and Remus gave him a puzzled look. “What’s it, James?” Remus asked, as James rummaged through his bag for a piece of parchment and a quill. “Nothing, nothing. Continue on with whatever it was you were arguing about.” James told them, scribbling something on the parchment and sticking it in his robes before heading out of the dormitory. Remus and Sirius stared after him in a confused manner. “Like I was saying, James would need to-” Sirius continued on with his theory, but Remus placed a silencing charm on him. Sirius’s mouth continued to open and close, now with the formings of very profane words on his lips, but Remus took no notice. “Sirius, we can finish this later. We should go down to the dance now and keep an eye on James. He’s up to something.” Remus instructed him, and followed James’s lead and hurried out of the dormitory. “Wait for me!” Sirius tried to call, but again no words came out. Grr, he thought to himself as he ran to catch up with Remus. I hate it when he does that! *** The Great Hall had never looked so festive. Golden, shiny material draped from the ceiling and the windows, and purple tablecloths and lavish place settings gave the impression of royalty associated with a palace. The plates were gold, the cushions on the chairs were edged in gold, and gold glitter had been enchanted to fall from the ceiling and dissolve about a foot above one’s head. It took Lily’s breath away, walking into it for the first time as Freddie lead her to a table behind Amos and Tracy. Once all the 5th, 6th, and 7th year students had been seated and become slightly more accustomed to the grand surroundings, Dumbledore stood up from one of the staff tables, and silence fell. “Welcome to the End of Year Ball, an annual tradition at Hogwarts! This is truly a night to celebrate, first for our 5th year students for completing their O.W.L.s. Second, for the 6th year students rising to the challenge as being the next examples for the other students of the school in their next year. And of course, for our 7th year students, after completing their N.E.W.T.s, and on their bright futures that lie ahead of them. Now, let the feast begin!” Chatter and clangings of utensils started up as the orders were placed to their plates and food arrived. Lily nibbled at a salad, having no appetite. Not even for Fettuccine Alfredo. Freddie conversed amicably with the others at the table, occasionally trying to get Lily to join in. Tracy and Amos were lost in a conversation of their own, and Erica and Crystal exchanged meaningful glances of how they would hear all about Amos for weeks to come after tonight. James pushed his spaghetti around his plate, eating very little. Emma took little notice, as she was entertaining their table with a funny story of how one of the Ravenclaw girls had gotten locked in a toilet stall during one of the exams. Sirius laughed along with the others at his table, but he too wasn’t really listening. More so, he was watching James with concern, as James rarely lost his appetite. Sirius’s date, a stunning Hufflepuff 6th year, was looking sulky at Sirius’s lack of attention towards her. Finally the plates cleared, and James experienced temporary relief of not having to pretend to eat, when he remembered what was coming next. Dumbledore stood up once again, announcing the traditional Head Boy and Girl dance. In a trance, James stood up, and walked to the middle of the dance floor, Lily joining him much in the same fashion. Here it goes, James braced himself, taking Lily lightly by the waist, murmurs and whispers coming from the other students. Lily felt the eyes on her, and tensed slightly as the song started up, waiting for whatever James was planning to do her in with. As they revolved there, both of them avoiding the other’s gaze, the glitter began to fall all the way to the dance floor. Soon, they were both covered in a sparkly gold dust. Lily giggled despite herself as James tried to shake it from his eyebrows. He couldn’t help but smile as she blinked to get it out of her eyelashes. Smiling, their eyes met. It took them a moment to realize that they were eye to eye again, and they quickly averted their eyes in embarrassment. Lily wondered vaguely why James hadn’t cursed her yet, or even insulted her yet. James was wondering the same thing. “You look very pretty tonight.” James told her timidly, and Lily felt herself blush. “You look very nice, too.” “Annoying stuff, this glitter, isn’t it?” James said randomly after another moment of awkward silence. Lily nodded, and a cloud of glitter fell from her hair, causing them both to laugh nervously. Other couples began to join them on the dance floor, all of them watching Lily and James cautiously. The song soon ended, and Lily and James let go of one another rather reluctantly. James held onto Lily’s hand a moment longer, and Lily gave him a questioning look. He smiled and raised his eyebrows meaningfully before letting go and disappearing into the crowd. Lily stood there for a second, watching him go, and it took her a moment to realize he had pressed a piece of parchment into her hand. Curious, Lily unfolded it and began to read the note. Lily- I thought we were over. I tried to tell myself we were. But I can’t stop thinking about you, no matter how hard I try. We need to talk. Meet me by the beech trees after the next song. I’ll understand if you don’t come, but even if you come to tell me that you hate me and remind me of what I don’t want to believe is true, it would mean a lot to me. If you never speak to me again after this, that’s fine. I just need to hear the words from you, whatever you feel. When you say it’s over, I’ll be able to accept it. But until then, I can’t help but wonder whether us being apart is wrong. And I want you to ask me that question. -Prongs Lily read it again, making sure she wasn’t seeing things or misinterpreting the words. She continued to stare at the words, standing in the middle of the dance floor surrounded by twirling robes. Freddie tapped her on the shoulder as a new song started up. “Lily, want to dance?” He asked, then stared at Lily’s expression and took notice of the note she held. “What’s wrong?” Lily gaped, how could she tell Freddie? He was such a sweet guy, but she just didn’t love him. She looked over by the door, and saw Emma pleading with James. Lily took a deep breath. “Freddie, you’re going to hate me for saying this-” “Is it James?” Freddie asked, and Lily gaped again. “How did you know?” “Lily, I was watching you and him dance. It’s called chemistry, and you two have it. As much as I wish I could be with you, I know in my heart that you’re not meant to be with me. And I think you’ve known it too.” Freddie told her, and Lily hugged him. “I’m so sorry for leading you on like this. I really think you’re a great guy, and an amazing friend.” Lily told him truthfully, and Freddie pointed towards the door. “I’m glad we’re friends. No hard feelings. But I think someone’s waiting for you…” He smiled, and Lily smiled back as the song ended. She weaved her way through the dancing students, not sure what James was going to say, or what she was going to say, but anxious to get there all the same. Emma blocked her way as Lily reached the door. “If you think I’m going to let you get away with James again, you’ve got another thing coming to you.” Emma told her menacingly, but Freddie smiled at her. “Emma, you don’t understand. Please, just let me through!” Lily pleaded, but Emma was resolute. Freddie took Emma by the arm and steered her away from the doorway. Lily gave him a fleeting smile of gratitude before hurrying out into the night. “Emma, care for a dance?” He asked her politely, completely turning Emma’s thought process around. She looked at him, startled. “Fine!” And Freddie led her away, Emma still confused as they began to dance to the music. “Why did you let her go? She’s your date, you know.” Emma implored, but Freddie was laid back about the question. “I had to let her go.” Freddie told her. “She had to go meet with James.” Emma chose not to comment on that, but instead turned to her own woes. “What does James see in her that he doesn’t see in me? Why can’t he just let her go after all that? Why can’t they just move on?” Emma wondered aloud, as they continued to revolve. “Destiny, I suppose.” Freddie said heavily. “No matter what happens, from you, me, or Snape, even, they’ll always end up together. It’s not that you’re a bad person, or anything, just not the person.” Freddie explained. “What do you mean by ‘the person’?” Emma asked. “The person for James. Lily is the person for James, and James for Lily.” Emma’s eyes were filling with tears at his words. “You have a person out there, you just haven’t met him yet or just haven’t realized who he is.” He reassured her. Emma looked slightly happier at his words, and smiled at Freddie, who smiled back. James looked up at the stars, the night was so clear. Maybe she wasn’t coming after all, he thought sadly to himself. Just then, a beam of light spread across the lawn as the door to the castle opened and someone stepped out. The person hurried towards him, and James knew it was Lily immediately. James ran out to her, and she saw him and began to run towards him, too. Panting, they both met and stared at one another. “You came!” James said with relief. “I came.” Lily smiled, and she took James’s hand.

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