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A/N: Alright, you are going to have to forgive me for the errors. My beta has not been on the forums in almost a month, and she hasn't answered my email to her. If she continues to not be around I will simply get a new beta, but until then I just wanted to get this chapter up. It's been written for quite a while, and it has been bothering me to not post it. So, here it is.

Chapter Three
Heads Up

“Mum!” I yelled, fixing my hair into a disastrous ponytail. It was time to go to school at last, and I was bursting from jittery energy that made me act, embarrassingly, like a first year. “What time is it?”

I grabbed my trunk and pulled it up close next to my ladder. With a swift wave of my wand, it was levitating down to the floor below my bedroom. Mum and Dad stood waiting for me by the ladder. As I came down myself, Mum replied, “Much too late for us to take you. You will make it fine Apparating, dear.”

“Good.” I grinned, digging my hands into my pockets as I stared at my parents before me. They returned grins, Mum crying as usual. Dad reached for me first, hugging me tightly, “Final year at Hogwarts, I can’t believe it. It feels like I just took you as a first year. Thankfully we know a bit more about this magic stuff than we did then. Hope you have a good year, Lily.”

“I’ll send an owl your way when I can. You remember how to manage owls, right? Pots won’t attack you, I promise.” I pulled away, to be ambushed by Mum. Dad chuckled in amusement.

“You better, or I’ll find out how to do those Howler things you always are laughing about.” Mum threatened lightly, her voice muffled against me.

“Sure, sure.” I said back, disbelieving. I glanced at my watch when I was freed from her embrace. “I have to go or I’ll be late.” The two nodded, chorusing their goodbyes. I concentrated on the three Ds and spun on the spot, my parents smiles the last thing I saw before I was surrounded by shouting voices and an odd sense of home.

It was strange to open my eyes and not see Alice or Frank searching the crowd for me, to not hear their shouts of recognition. It gave me a feeling of loneliness, but I shook myself to get my smile back on my face. All I needed was to find a familiar face to talk to.

And familiar faces I did find. A large group of girls from my year were standing nearby, one of which was Dorcas Meadows, a halfway friend of mine and good friend of Frank. I was about to approach when one of the girls, Becca Ark, turned and glared fiercely at me. I took a step back, startled. So the tension between those girls and I hadn’t gone away like I hoped. I cursed Potter under my breath.

There were few lower years that I knew, mostly through Alice, but I didn’t feel like striking up a conversation with them.

The Marauders and few others stood a little to the left of me, Justine standing in the centre of the group next to James. I promptly decided that I should simply search for a spot on the train. I’ll find friends at the feast tonight.

For the number of people still loitering around the station platform, it was hard to find a seat. Most seemed to be insisting on sitting alone, but I suspected that they were waiting for others to arrive like I sometimes did in past years. Most of them I didn’t know, and I was starting to get helpless when I was nearing the back of the train and I didn’t have anywhere to sit. I had enough pride that I would not go around sitting with first and second years.

“Hey, you need a spot?” a female voice said behind me, and I silently thanked the heavens. I spun around awkwardly in the small space. The girl was one of the many I had passed before, a pretty dark-skinned girl wearing her hair in long plaits. She was already dressed in her robes and had a gentle smile on her face.

I sighed in relief, “Yeah, I do.” At that, she gestured for me to follow her into a compartment a few back. Inside, I set my stuff up and shut the door gratefully, falling into my seat with a soft ‘oof.’

Looking up, I saw the girl studying me closely. I squirmed slightly under her calculating gaze, but she didn’t let up.

After she saw what she was looking for, she leaned back in her seat, smirking knowingly. I raised an eyebrow at her, a silent question.

“You’re not a shank.” She said simply. “And my name is Vanessa, by the way. Call me that, and I’ll hex you. It’s Nessa.”

I stared. How were you supposed to answer to that? “Okay, I guess? I’m Lily.”

Nessa snorted, “Well, duh, you’re Lily. Everyone knows that. But I know you aren’t what they say you are. It’s a lie. I also know that you aren’t going to tell me what really happened, but I’m okay with that. You don’t know who I am because I don’t want people to know who I am. I’m in your year, Hufflepuff.”

How did she do that by just staring at me? She seemed more like a Ravenclaw than a Hufflepuff. The upward curl of her lips made me wonder if she knew what I was thinking. Probably.

“So I’m famous, am I?” I asked, because Nessa’s quizzical stare was a bit unnerving.

Nessa laughed, “More like infamous.” There was a knock on the door, and we both looked up. A tall, lanky, blond haired boy stood at the door, smiling crookedly. I didn’t recognise him but, after all, I hadn’t recognised a girl that was in my own year. Nessa clearly knew him, as she grinned brightly his way and motioned for him to come in. I studied him when he sat down next to me, searching without avail for his face in my memory.

“My favorite Lovegood.” Nessa said to him warmly. “How are you? What about that crazy cousin of yours, Xeno?”

The boy looked at his fingers, blushing darkly. “’M fine, Ness. Xeno is being, well, crazy. As usual, he’s off in some tiny country searching for things of story tales.” The two laughed good-naturedly and I felt like was intruding on some private joke.

Xeon’s - whoever that was - cousin seemed to realize that and turned to me, “Hey, Lily Evans, right? My, my, what’s royalty like you doing with us commoners?” Nessa giggled a bit at that, but the boy continued on, “I’m Credamor Lovegood, otherwise known as the ‘cousin of the oddity that runs the Quibbler’. Call me Cre.”

“He may be too nice to jinx you if you call him Credamor, but I’m not. He hates being called his real name. Something we have in common.” Nessa flashed a grin that was mildly terrifying. I nodded.

“I’ll keep that in mind, then. Nice to meet you Cre.” I shook his hand, a bit uncomfortable at the angle, pondering over the royalty thing. What did that mean? “What’s the Quibbler?”

Cre’s face lit up and he instantly starting on in about some paper that his cousin was editor of and how it was all a bit of a joke. Somehow it was getting enough people reading to keep printing, though Cre had no clue how they were managing it.

I found that I liked my new companions. Nessa was had similar humour to Frank and I wondered if the looks she would send me occasionally were supposed to make me feel uneasy. Cre, for his abnormal name, was blessedly normal. He balanced Nessa out and it was actually fun to watch them bicker back and forth.

A knock on the window startled us out of a conversation about what ridiculous things Cre’s cousin would think was real in the next issue of the Quibbler. There staring bashfully at us was Remus Lupin. Behind him stood Potter, whose expression was blank.

I blinked, staring right back. Luckily Nessa wasn’t as shell-shocked as I was and opened the door. “What do you want?” There was a sharp edge of rudeness in her voice that startled me.

“Err, Lily. We have a Prefects meeting that starts in a few minutes. The Heads are supposed to meet.” Remus muttered, obviously wishing to be away from this compartment and back at his own. I hadn’t even noticed that the train had started to move.

Cre joined in, “Lily’s a Head?” I was sure he rolled his eyes. It reminded me of the royalty comment and my face heated up.

“Yes.” Remus said, nodding his head earnestly, and I felt a bit of pity for him.

“And you’re the other one? What’s Potter tagging along for, then?” Nessa questioned, and I stared at my fingers. I knew why and guessed that Nessa knew too. She just wanted to rile things up, and I was quickly finding out she had a habit of doing that.

I attempted to speak before Remus, just to tell him that Sure, I’m coming, but he beat me. “No, James is the Head Boy. I’m just, well, delivering the message.”

Nessa smirked and I internally cringed. “Oh, I see. Big, bad, Head Boy Potter can’t talk to Lily Evans because of some stupid thing that happened last year.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “I bet you are the one that will be talking in-between for them in their little Head meeting before the prefects come along.” I caught James’ gaze from where he stood behind Remus. He seethed at Nessa’s next words, a murmur of ‘royals, can’t do a thing for themselves.’ Before I could react, he pushed past Remus.

“James, don’t-“ Remus said when James fixed me with a glare. “We have a meeting. Come or not, I don’t care.” He sauntered away, leaving Remus to smile at us weakly before following with drooped shoulders.

I stood, grim. “I have to go.” Cre half-smiled sympathetically. Nessa merely looked like she had proven that everyone was all a bunch of idiots. Maybe she had.


Upon arriving in front of the Prefects compartment, I was dreading having to face Potter. But that was silly. Our… event last term was, well, last term. It should be done and over with.

But the fact was, it wasn’t. People were still assuming the same things they had started to last year. And James and I were not being any more civil than then either.

Sliding the door open, I was greeted by James slouching in the corner seat, glancing up to give me a dirty look.

“Hi.” I said, sitting down swiftly at the other side. He offered me no comment and I knew that this was going to be a one-sided conversation. So be it. “Okay, since you aren’t going to talk to me and you have never been apart of these meetings before,” I decided against making a remark on that, continuing on with distant niceties, “I will talk to the Prefects. All you have to do is sit there and look pretty.”

James huffed, leaning back. “Oh, come on, Evans. I know you like to steal the spotlight, but you have got to let me do something.” He spoke so quietly I also didn’t hear him. I debated on pretending that I hadn’t.

“Fine. What do you want to do?” Maybe I could be the one to sit back and watch James talk to the Prefects like he knew anything.

James thought for a moment, and I inspected him from under my eyelashes, looking him over while ignoring the feeling in my gut that told me I shouldn’t. He clearly was healthy, being a Quidditch player. The defined muscles that his t-shirt clung to and tanned skin were evidence that he had been training up over the summer, most likely with his friends. There were shadows under his eyes though, and he looked a bit sickly. He reminded me a bit of Remus, actually, on those certain days of the month leading up to his transformations. Not that I was supposed to know that fact.

I adverted my eyes away from James and went for staring at the water droplets of the rain that was starting to come down. I was almost too caught up in observing how they would slide down the window that I didn’t hear James move closer to me, clutching a piece of parchment.

“This was sent to me along with the letter informing me that I was Head. I’ll separate the Prefects into their pairs for patrolling.” He said, raising the paper for me to see. It listed the Prefects, a year and house next to every name. James still was talking in that quiet, resigned tone. I hated it.

“Okay.” I replied simply, and at that moment Prefects started to enter in. James rose and moved back to his spot, smiling evenly to Remus and Justine. I had forgotten she was a Prefect also. I smiled widely to ignore the anger stirring in me. I had no reason to feel angry.

The meeting with the Prefects went smoothly. If I ignored the looks of distaste on the faces of the students around me, I could easily babble without worry. James did his part and I did mine. We didn’t talk over each other and the one time I had to correct James it didn’t seem to affect anyone.

James politely asked if they had any question, which was answered with silence. I thought that a good enough cue to leave as any. I dismissed them, keeping back to grab the parchment with the names on it. As Head Girl, I was expected to know who the Prefects were. I couldn’t just point the entire time.

Everyone left, eager to get out. Everyone, that is, except James. He paused at the door, turning his head to watch me with an unidentifiable expression. For a moment, I thought he was going to say something. James seemed to think better of it because he followed the others out, shutting the compartment door softly behind him. The parchment lay where he had sat.

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