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It only took Lily a moment to leave the numb state of shock she was in.
“Potter!” Lily looked in horror at the handsome, hazel eyed boy before her as though he was an Acromantula. “Why didn’t anyone tell me? I can’t live...this isn’t...oh, no.”
“Hey, you’re here to do your schoolwork, I understand,” James said, holding his hands up as if in surrender. “I won’t bother you while you’re working.”
He took Lily’s suitcase from Sirius and began lugging it up towards the house. It bothered Lily for some reason.
“Potter, I’ll do that. I’ll use the feather light charm.” They were all of age now.
“Now, Evans, if we used magic for everything we’d be a group of lazy sods,” he said, straining a little. “I’ve got to keep in shape for Quidditch.”
“Quidditch. Right,” Lily mumbled, rolling her eyes.
“Now, Lily,” Sirius said, shaking his finger at her. “I saw you screaming along with all the other Gryffindors when we won last year.”
“Remember when you hugged me?” James smiled over his shoulder at her.
“Because he can’t bloody forget,” mumbled Sirius.
“I guess I got caught up in the moment,” Lily stammered.
“We need more moments,” James said quietly as he entered the grand front doors of the Manor. “Mum, dad! They’re here.”
James’ parents were a friendly looking couple in their sixties. Mr Potter had messy dark hair and glasses like his son, Mrs Potter had short reddish hair and hazel eyes similar to James’.
“So, this is Lily,” James said, gesturing to her.
“Oh, this is her,” James’ mother said, shaking Lily’s hand. “We’ve heard so much about you.”
“Um...you have?” Lily blushed.
“Ah, didn’t you guys have to go to that thing?” James asked, ushering his parents out of the room.
“Alright, alright,” his father said, leaving the room. Mrs Potter took James over to the door and continued to talk in what she undeniably thought was a quiet voice, thought Lily and Sirius could still hear her.
“She’s lovely, sweetheart,” his mother kissed his cheek. James squirmed. “Every bit as beautiful as you described.”
“Well, we had better go and set up the cauldron and everything,” Sirius said, steering Lily away from the front room to save James from further embarrassment.
“Where should we set up?” Lily asked Sirius. Behind them in the front room she noticed James beginning to lug the suitcase up the stairs. She briefly wondered if he was going to open it.
“There’s a potions room by the cellar.”
“A potions room?” Lily asked incredulously.
“Big house, Lily,’ he laughed.
They set up the cauldron and opened the envelope with the potion making instructions in it that had been sealed by magic until that day.
“We are making...Polyjuice potion, grade two,” Lily read aloud.
“What’s grade two?” Sirius wondered.
“I don’t know,” Lily eyed the bookcase full of texts on potions – a must have for any potions room. “But I bet we could find something here that can tell us.”
They flipped through the pages for a while until Sirius found it.
“Grade two is an exceptionally difficult type of polyjuice potion,” he read. “When brewed correctly it allows the consumer to turn into any animal or object when combined with a transfiguration spell. In most cases the effects wear off after one hour.”
“It is highly dangerous and illegal,” Lily read over Sirius’ shoulder.
“Awesome,” Sirius breathed.
“Well, let’s get started,” Lily said sharply, once again picking up the scroll of instructions they had been given. “Boil water, add four lacewing flies...then leave alone in a dark room for two weeks.”
“What are you laughing at?”
“Just the fact that Prongs promised he wouldn’t bother you while you were working on the project. I guess he’s going to be bothering you a lot then.”
“Come on Sirius, can’t you like, mediate between us?” Lily implored. “Tell him not to bother me, please?”
"Sadly, I cannot,” he answered melodramatically. “I have to go into town actually.”
With that, he abruptly turned to leave.
“What? Why?” Lily felt curious.
“Oh, nothing, no reason,” he said, grinning.
“What’s her name Sirius?”
He smiled wider.
Sirius felt like an idiot.
Leaving James to push Lily away in a million different ways didn’t bother him; he always maintained that James could do whatever he wanted and that he wouldn’t interfere. Besides, he had always believed, deep down, that James and Lily would end up together. He was more interested in his own endeavours; that was, Mia Sparrows, the muggle girl who worked in the little nonfiction bookshop in Northampton.
Which was the reason why he was hiding behind a book shelf, peering at her between the thick texts on mathematics, though he had no idea what that was, as Sirius had never learnt any muggle subjects in his home schooled days (of course).
It was very unusual behaviour from him. Usually, he would have strutted up to the girl, flipped his hair a little, show off his motorbike and she’d be melting in his arms. He was hiding because Mia made him nervous. If they were ever to be in each other’s arms, he thought he might be the one that would melt.
She was blonde, of course, which had always been his type, but not the usual idiot blonde he went for. There was a spark of humour in her eyes and from the way she talked he could tell she was very intelligent.
Sirius jumped as she saw him and started to walk over. He nervously pushed his hair back and took several deep breaths.
“I’ve seen you in here a lot,” she smiled at him. “And yet you haven’t purchased anything.”
Of course he hadn’t bought anything. He didn’t have any muggle money.
“I’m browsing,” he said, trying to be sexy, smart and cool all at once. “Just trying to make sure I make the right decision.”
“You were in the physics department yesterday, and today in maths,” she said, gesturing to the shelves. “Exactly what kind of book are you after?”
Sirius didn’t know what fizzicks was, and barely knew what maths was. He tried to turn the conversation around and get his flirting prowess into gear.
“Sounds like you’ve been watching me,” he said in a quiet voice. She blushed.
“More like you’ve been watching me,” she said, smiling. “You seem to always be on the other side of the section I’m working in.”
“You caught me,” Sirius smiled easily at her, feeling more confident now she was flirting with him.
“I don’t do this very often,” Mia said, walking around him and lowering her voice further. “But here’s my number. Give me a call, okay?”
She walked off, pressing a slip of paper into Sirius’ hands. He watched her walk away, and then looked at the paper. It had a number on it.
“Well, that’s a number alright,” he murmured, studying the paper, confused. “I think I need Lily.”
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