My Lips Are Sealed
“He’s just lucky, that’s all.”
“Is she really on him again?”
“She’s just trying to maintain some semblance of self-esteem by convincing herself that he’s an awful person deep down.”
“I can think of easier ways to stroke my ego… Put on some mascara. Instant self-esteem boost.”
“This is Lily we’re talking about.”
“Right… Read a book? Is that what gets her off?”
“You’re an awful person.”
“I do what I can.”
“Just let her continue and pretend to listen.”
It was a usual day with bland conversation. Lily Evans was talking about what she usually did—James Potter, and how he was really a bad person despite what everyone may think. In fact, she seemed to talk about him more often than usual these days, likely because they were Head students together, meaning even more time together in close quarters. Unfortunately, the same two people always seemed to be on the receiving end of these rants—Evelyn Chase and Madeleine Halkett. Evelyn tended to take her tirades fairly well, simply allowing her friend to vent with little intervention. Madeleine, on the other hand, was convinced that the situation was preposterous and that Lily should simply get over her detestation of James. And so, as Lily continued on and on about her vehemence for her fellow Gryffindor, Madeleine simply sat on the windowsill of the dormitory and stared out the open window, enjoying the late September breeze and ignoring her friend as best as she could.
Why could she no longer rant to the creator of all this turmoil, James Potter himself? As she put it, “It would create a bad image for the Head Students. We wouldn’t want people thinking we don’t get along!” As if anyone had any doubts of their relationship…
“Really, it’s all dumb luck. He doesn’t study at all and yet he gets excellent grades. Considering how many rules he breaks, he rarely gets in trouble. Everyone adores him and worships him like a God just because he can throw a ball through a hoop. And don’t even get me started on this whole Head Boy thing. I still think it’s a big joke that I don’t find very funny. Everything just seems to go his way.”
“She’s still talking?” Madeleine muttered, not averting her gaze from the scenic view.
“Of course she is.” Evelyn yawned as she spoke, glancing over at Madeleine before continuing with her magazine.
“Are you guys even listening?” Lily shot a look at her two friends, narrowing her eyes slightly in annoyance.
“Yes dearest,” Madeleine said in a sugary sweet voice.
“Then what did I just say?” Lily demanded challengingly, pursing her lips.
Madeleine cleared her voice and did her best imitation of Lily. “I hate James Potter. He’s a git. He is a despicable person. He probably doesn’t have a heart. Or a soul. I have never hated a person more than I hate him.” Finally, she looked over at Lily, grinning to herself. After a moment, all three girls burst out in laughter.
“I’m sorry. It’s just that I can’t—…”
Madeleine interrupted her. “You can’t stand him. We know that. Now why don’t you do something about it?”
“I’ve told him how I feel about him hundreds of times, it seems! And in every possible way. I’ve been polite, I’ve yelled, I’ve ignored him, I’ve avoided him, I’ve insulted him, I’ve hexed him… I’m not really sure what else to do.” Lily’s tone could only be described as defeated.
“You could always make peace with him… He does seem like he’s become a little more tolerable…” Evelyn sounded hesitant. Such suggestions usually ended in scoffs and lobbed pillows.
“A little, but I certainly don’t want anything to do with him! Besides the whole Head student thing, because I can’t do anything about that…” she muttered under her breath unwillingly.
“I don’t know if you really have a choice here,” Evelyn contested. “You’re going to have to work with him nearly every day. It’s not like you can just stop talking to him or something!”
“Wait a second,” Madeleine said sharply, standing up. “You might have something there.” She stood poised, contemplation written on her face.
“I just stop talking to him? I tried that last year and it didn’t work. And I have to talk to him now,” Lily sighed with a shake of her head.
“No, no. What about this? You make a bet with Potter. Tell him that if he can abstain from speaking to you for a week, you’ll go on a date with him.” Lily moved to protest but Madeleine held up a finger. “But, if he fails at this, he can never ask you out on a date. Ever.” She looked quite pleased with herself.
“But Lily just said that he has to talk to her—Head business and all?”
“Exactly,” Madeleine said with a smirk, crossing her arms. “He’ll accept because he could never let up such a good opportunity. And he’ll like the risk. And his ego will tell him that he can’t fail.”
“She’s got a point…” Lily said slowly.
“Then after a day or two, he cracks and you’ve got him out of your hair forever. Thank you very much, I accept the award for best plan ever.” With that, she bowed and let out a laugh.
“It’s not going to work.” The words came from James Potter who was shaking his head, a doubtful look on his face. At his side was Sirius who was pointing wildly at a piece of parchment with various inky doodles. Behind them both were Remus, seeming rather unfazed by the situation as he lay on the Gryffindor Common Room couch, and Peter who was eagerly looking over James’ shoulder.
“He’s right. It won’t work,” came Peter’s voice.
“Yes it will! If you flip as the Beater is coming towards you—…”
“Yeah, if you flip—…“ Peter cut in, but Remus interjected.
“That’s already a move, mate,” Remus murmured from behind him.
“Exactly!” James threw his hands up in the air. “No one believes me unless Remus backs me up.”
“I wasn’t done,” Sirius said irritably, shaking his head. “You then use the foot closest to the Beater to kick their broom to send them spinning. It’ll take at least a few seconds for them to get back on track!”
James looked back down at the paper, considering Sirius’ words. “Legality is questionable…” he murmured, but then shrugged. “Best way to find out is if we get fouled in the game! Nice work.” With that, James patted Sirius, who was beaming with pride, on the back.
“I’d just like to say that I proved you wrong,” Sirius said as he turned to Remus smugly.
“I really don’t care,” Remus said dully, letting out a sigh.
“Oh, yes you do,” Sirius said with a grin. “Underneath that suave exterior, you really, truly care.”
“Right…” Remus said with a chuckle.
The four boys turned their heads towards the Seventh Year Girls’ Dormitory stairs where the voice came from. Lily Evans came all but skipping down the stairs, clearly quite pleased with herself. When she reached the bottom of the stairs she made her way over to the Marauders.
“Remus, Black, Pettigrew,” she said as she acknowledged each student. Finally, her eyes came to James and she smiled rather sweetly. “Potter…”
“Hi there, Lily,” James said cordially, returning her smile with the most kind one he could manage. Remus had been trying to teach him how to be a gentleman, and it was killing him not to smirk.
Meanwhile, Sirius watched on with narrowed eyes, his ecstatic mood vanished. “Do you need something, Evans?” he said coldly, raising an eyebrow in question.
“This intimidating act has never worked on me, so give it up,” Lily snapped, glaring back at Sirius before she turned back to James. “I need to talk to you.” Before James could respond, Sirius had cut in.
“You can talk in front of all of us, that’s fine,” Sirius continued despite Remus’ sigh of disenchantment.
“Fine,” Lily said coolly, shrugging her shoulders. “I want to make a deal with you,” she continued as she looked back at James, satisfaction still written in her eyes.
James stared at her for a moment, bemusement shrouding his features. “What kind of deal?” he asked finally, running a hand through his hair idly. The usual air of pomposity he held was eclipsed by some slight nervousness.
“A bet of sorts.” He was listening now, and perhaps even a bit more relaxed. “If you can refrain from talking to me for one week, I will go on a date with you.” He was about to speak, but she held up a hand to stop him. “And if you are not successful, you can never ask me out again.”
There was silence for several moments until Remus cleared his throat and sat up. “Uh, James…This doesn’t seem like the best idea here…” he said carefully. “You kind of have to talk to her…Head duties and all.”
But James wasn’t listening. He was simply staring at Lily, a rather shocked look on his face. “And if I won,” he said, “you wouldn’t back out? You’d go on a date with me?”
“Just name the time and place,” she said with a firm nod.
“Okay…I agree then!” he said with a grin that he simply couldn’t hide. “When do we start?” he demanded eagerly.
“Right this moment,” she told him, smiling widely.
James opened his mouth to speak but quickly stopped himself, swallowing instead. “Alright. Well…” he said slowly. “I suppose I’ll just say to no one in particular… Let the games begin! And that was just to the general public for the record,” he reiterated, looking around at his four friends, beaming.
“Right… Well, good luck then,” Lily chuckled, shaking her head as she headed back towards the Girls’ Dorm.
As she left, James looked around at his friends once more, gulping. “Did I just do that?”
“Yes, you did,” Sirius said, shaking his head. “And yes, if you’ve forgotten, you do have a Head meeting with her tonight. So good luck with that one.”
Six o’clock came and James found himself in the empty classroom that he and Lily used for their meetings. Every week they scheduled to meet for thirty minutes, and at six-thirty sharp, the Prefects came in for another half hour meeting. James always insisted that the strict time keeping was Lily’s doing, but she denied all accusations.
On the dot, Lily walked into the classroom with that same grin on her face. “Good evening, James,” she told him brightly. James, on the other hand, simply stared at her with slight confusion. She was never this cheery… “Sorry, I’m just so happy!” she exclaimed with a small skip as she made her way towards the desk. James simply bit on his lip and restrained a laugh.
“Let’s get down to business, then!” Lily took out a folder and retrieved several pieces of parchment from it. “I wrote down a few things that I wanted to discuss at this meeting. First, some Prefects were under the impression that Slytherins should be deducted more points and that just caused plenty of chaos, so we’ll be changing that tonight.” She glanced over at James who merely shrugged.
“Perfect. Next, there is something down here about a Christmas ball that I think you brought up?” She paused for a moment, shaking her head. “I thought about it, and I just don’t think that’s going to work out. Perhaps something in the spring, then. Any objections?” she asked with a smile.
James gritted his teeth before shrugging reluctantly.
“Let’s see… Oh, yes. Last week there was some kind of Quidditch party which is really against the rules, so I think we’ll be increasing the punishment for such parties. What do you think?”
James shook his head quickly, looking quite passionate on the subject.
“Well, what is it that you object to?” she asked, raising any eyebrow. James signaled desperately for a quill and ink, but Lily shook her head sympathetically.
“Sorry, James. I don’t have one on me… So if you don’t have anything to say, I’ll just check that one off, then.”
With that, James put his head in his hands, staring jadedly ahead as she continued on.
At six-thirty, the Prefects filed into the room noisily, filling in the desks as Lily and James moved to the front of the room.
“Sit, sit, sit!” James said eagerly, the bored look gone from his face.
“We have some things to discuss,” Lily began, but James cut her off loudly.
“We have a bit of a situation here that I want to let you all know about. Something has occurred that will hinder me from speaking to our lovely Head Girl for a week. No need to be nosy about it because I’m really not going to tell you about it.” He paused for a moment, then continued. “Alright, here’s the deal. There may or may not be a bet that ends in a date for me if I win, so let’s all root for me here because you know you want me to stop talking about the lovely girl to my left incessantly.”
“Are you done?” Lily asked, clenching her jaw, clearly aggravated.
“I am not done if any of the Prefects were wondering whether or not I was done,” he continued jovially, clapping his hands together. “I heard some news of Prefects taking off more points for Slytherins. Shame, shame—it was simply a joke, I didn’t want you to actually do it,” he said, nodding grinningly at the Slytherin Prefects. Laughter rang out through the room and James glanced at Lily with a goading smirk. “Thankfully, there are no rules that say I cannot talk in the direction or in the vicinity of the lovely Ms. Evans, or else I would really be in a pickle here,” he continued as he turned back to the Prefects.
“I’d like to change the rules of this bet,” Lily said through gritted teeth, but James didn’t look back at her.
“In case any of you were wondering, bets cannot be changed after they are already in progress. It just doesn’t work that way. Next order of business! So I wanted you all to have a say in the activities of this year, so I wanted to know how many of you, by a show of hands, would be interested in a Christmas ball!” Roughly three quarters of the Prefects raised their hands. “Well, that’s settled then!”
“Excuse me!” Lily raised her hand in objection. “I believe we already discussed this and decided the outcome,” she hissed to James.
“I’m so glad we have all of you to help us make decisions like this because I’m afraid if it were simply up to Ms. Lily and I, we would surely be butting heads at this very moment.” Chuckles rang through the room once more.
“This is really ridiculous.”
“You know what’s ridiculous?” James said, nearly overlapping Lily’s words. “Quidditch parties. Especially ones with illegal firewhiskey involved. Tsk, tsk. And unfortunately, we’re all going to have to crack down together on this one.”
“Potter, you were at that last one! Didn’t you arrange it?!” Lily exclaimed, shoving James angrily.
“And even if I was at that last one and perhaps organized it, ladies and gentlemen, they’re simply against the rules and must be reprimanded. Get to work, fellow students, ensuring these parties don’t occur anymore.” The look of mock seriousness on his face along with a quick wink created some giggles across the room, and before long, Lily had stomped out the door and shut the door with a slam.
James looked down for a moment before peering at the door and back at the Prefects. “Right… Well, that’s how you dig yourself in an even deeper hole… Wish me luck and… Meeting dismissed. See you all next week.”
Hey there readers! So, I am kind of excited about this story-I've been dying to write a Marauder's Era story as opposed to vignettes, so here we go! Hope you enjoy, and please let me know what you think!
Until next time,
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