It was Sunday evening and it seemed that James, Sirius and Peter were eating their dinner even faster than normal. While this fact didn't seem to phase Remus, Lily and her friends watched with a mixture of amazement and disgust.
"I just don't get how they can eat that much so fast!" Lisa said.
"It's like they don't chew and can swallow it straight down," Marie nodded her head in agreement with Lisa.
"Er...James?" Lily said, "There's going to be more food in the morning, you know."
James looked up at her with a mouth full of Shepard's Pie, and attempted to open his mouth, but when a pea fell out making the girls groan he swallowed his mouthful and drank half of his cup of water before answering,
"We may have forgotten to do a piece of homework yesterday. Eating everything quickly will help us stay fueled to whatever time we need to stay up till to get it completed," he explained.
Lily raised an eyebrow at him. "Would this piece of homework be the Transfiguration essay that you said you would do yesterday?"
"It's possible," he shrugged.
Lily rolled her eyes before turning to her own dinner, though she wasn't sure if she had the stomach to eat it anymore. She rested her head in her palm pushing her stew around with her spoon when a small piece of parchment shaped as a butterfly landed on her nose.
Her face scrunched, and she almost fell backwards out of her seat from the surprise, giving the boys a laugh, but Danielle was quick to catch her. Lily glared at James before opening the note that said,
"Dear Miss Evans,
Please come to my office with Mr. Potter to discuss Head duties and other matters when finished with dinner.
Lily folded it up to put in her robe pocket with a sigh. "The quicker you finish, the better. We have to go see McGonagall."
James took a second to roll his eyes and started scraping his plate for any leftovers.
"Are you going to eat that?" he asked looking at her stew.
Lily protectively pulled the bowl closer to herself. "Did you know that eating that much will actually put you to sleep? If you wanted energy you should've eaten more carbs, or something with potassium like a banana."
"This has worked for us for years! You'll see."
Again, Lily rolled her eyes and looked down to her stew. It was disappointing, but it just didn't look as appetizing as it did when she first got it.
"Oh whatever, just eat it," she shoved it at James.
With a quick wink he gladly accepted the bowl and devoured its contents.
"I better not hear you complaining about being hungry later," Danielle laughed.
Lily put up her right hand promising, "If I do it'll be in silence. Ready, James?"
James wiped his mouth with a napkin and nodded his head. "Lets go."
They stood and with a few 'See you laters', headed for McGonagall's office. Once Lily was in reach, James grabbed her hand and swung it back and forth between them.
"Hopefully this won't take too long," he said.
Lily shrugged. She lifted their arms and brought them up and around her shoulder. "It probably won't. Just a quick list of updates now that school is really going to start rolling." She paused before laughing, "I can't believe you really procrastinated on that paper."
James's head drooped in mock shame. "Yes, yes I know. I didn't want to waste time on it yesterday though. It was Saturday!"
Lily reached her hand up and softly clapped it against his cheek. "Good thing you have tonight then. Don't forget we have to patrol at ten though."
James rolled his eyes at the tedious task. They finished the walk to McGonagall's office where Lily forced James to stop from walking straight in and instead politely knocked on the door until given permission to walk in.
"Me and Sirius never knock," he muttered.
Lily pretended not to hear him and walked to the front of the professor's office.
"Hello, Professor," she said.
"Evening, Professor," James followed suite.
"Thank you both for coming. I know you've got busy schedules. Please sit," she gestured to chairs in front of her desk.
McGonagall held in her smile as she watched the two in their completely different ways. While James was relaxed and almost lazy looking in his chair, Lily sat with a straight back and her hands in her lap.
"How are your Head duties going?" she asked.
"Well, we haven't really had to do much besides patrol," Lily said, "And the Prefects haven't mentioned anything wrong with the schedules that I gave to them on the train so I think it's all well."
"I'd like for you to have a meeting with them once a month just to make sure everything is still in order and there's no one misunderstanding what their roles means." At this McGonagall turned her gaze to James who automatically wanted to smack his head against something. "How are you doing with your responsibilities, Mr Potter?" she asked.
"Fine, I think," he reached his hand up and ruffled his hair, which caught Lily's attention. He was obviously nervous about something.
"By fine do you mean that you've created your own disciplining laws for other students?"
Lily's head snapped in his direction. 'What is she talking about?!' she screamed in her head.
"Professor, I'm really sorry about that. My temper got away-"
"Mr. Potter, I'm not sure why Dumbledore chose you as Head Boy instead of the runner up, but I was proud that for the first time in a long time both Head Students were from Gryffindor. When Professor Sprout told me what had happened I was ashamed that you would let yourself get so out of control."
"I'm sure he didn't tell her what really happened."
"It shouldn't matter. When you're Head Boy you should put your responsibilities before your pride so that you can set an example for other students. Don't think I won't be talking to Mr. Lupin either. He's in as much trouble as you are."
"He didn't do anything though!" James exclaimed.
"That's exactly why he's in trouble. You'll be serving detention tomorrow night with Professor Slughorn after dinner. Don't be late." James crossed his arm and refrained himself from saying anything that might dig him in a deeper hole. "Just one last thing and I'll let you two be on your way. I know that between school work and Head duties life can start to get hectic around here. There are always the Prefect bathrooms, but Professor Dumbledore has decided to allow the two of you to use the old Head dormitory for studying. I trust you two will make good use of the room for the right reasons."
"Of course!" Lily nodded enthusiastically.
"Good. You're dismissed then, and please don't forget to inform Mr. Lupin of his detention tomorrow."
"Yes, Professor," James muttered.
When they stood James tried to take hold of Lily's hand, but she smacked it away and threw him a hard glare as a warning. 'Crap,' James thought. He tried to walk slower in hopes of delaying the lecture he was about to receive from Lily, but in the back of his head he knew he was going to get it no matter what.
He silently waited for her to ask him questions when he remembered something. He was sure Lily had told him, 'I fully expect you to do something about him when school starts'. And that was exactly what he was trying to do! In fact, if she knew what Amos had said at the Quidditch pitch he was sure she would be even just a tinge proud of him! ...Or at least that's what he tried to convince himself.
"Yes?" she said tightly.
"Let me explain, okay?"
Lily stopped in the middle of the hallway and turned to face James. "Go ahead then before I let my imagination get away from me."
"Okay, well, yesterday when I first got out of the Hospital Wing I went to play Quidditch with the boys." He paused to make sure she was listening, and then started to ramble, "They were playing against Amos Diggory and after the game ended he came down to the sideline where I was and he went to apologize for the day in Diagon Alley, but then he was basically laughing at our relationship and started saying that other guys wanted to see your body and I lost it!"
"James," she hit her palm against her forehead, "You couldn't just walk away or give him a detention?"
"Even if it had crossed through my mind to do that it wouldn't have been good enough. You should've heard him and seen the look on his face! Even Remus said he deserved it."
"I can't believe Remus let it happen in the first place. He's been a Prefect for years and should know better by now."
"You told me to get him back for you though," he tried to get himself out of trouble.
"I would never tell you to do that!" she said taken aback.
"But you did! You told me you expected me to!"
Lily stomped her foot remembering her words. "Yes...well...that was before you were appointed Head Boy, and I was very upset that day! Of course I would want you to do something about it." Lily let out a groan and started walking again down the hallway. "Lets just forget it. McGonagall gave you a detention and that's enough punishment."
James shrugged his shoulders and caught up. "So we can use the Head Dorm again. That's pretty cool."
"Only for studying," she said strictly, "We're not going to live out your little fantasy of living there together."
James laughed and put his arm around Lily's shoulders, "Why are you being so mean? I'm sorry I punched the guy, okay?"
"I don't know if I believe that, but...whatever. Lets just go get your paper done."
In the Common Room Sirius and Peter had already set to work on their papers. Peter had only a few more inches to go thanks to Remus's help the other night, but Sirius still had more than half to finish like James. When Lily and James walked in, Lily tried to break away still upset, but James pulled her back to his side and planted a fat kiss on her cheek.
"I only did it because I love you," he squeezed her in a hug.
"Alright, whatever," she muttered.
James joined Sirius and Peter at their table, but Lily went up into the girl's dormitory where she figured the girls were. When she entered Marie and Lisa were sitting on a bed, and from the sounds of it Danielle was in the shower.
"Lily!" Marie exclaimed, "You'll never guess what Lisa just told me."
Lily plopped herself down next to them on the bed and crossed her legs. "Just wait till the story I get to tell you guys. You first though."
"Go ahead, Lisa. Tell her!" Marie encouraged her.
"Wait, no, what's up?" Lisa asked.
Lily looked to Marie to make sure she didn't mind having to go second. "I guess her news can wait," Marie laughed.
"Well, it turns out that yesterday when the boys were playing Quidditch James punched Amos!"
Marie started laughing, but Lisa's face was confused, "Why?"
"He said Amos made a joke out of us dating and then said something inappropriate about me."
"He got what he was asking for then!" Marie exclaimed, "That guy is so arrogant it was about time someone tried to put him in his place."
"Yeah, but he's Head Boy. He's supposed to do that civilly," Lisa said.
"Exactly," Lily sighed, "I vaguely remember telling James to get him back for me when I had that run in with Amos in Diagon Alley, but I thought he would put that aside when he got his badge."
"Well yeah, that's part of being Head Boy is knowing how to handle situations that are above the heads of everyone else," Lisa agreed with Lily.
"And what's worse is that Remus was there the whole time. He could've put an end to it before it had to happen, but just stood there!"
"That's how Remus is as a Prefect though," Marie said, "He's always let the boys off the hook if there's no one around to make him do otherwise."
"I guess," Lily huffed, "Anyway, Amos told Sprout and now they both have detention tomorrow." Lily took a second to let the situation get out of her head before remembering they also had something to tell her. "What's up with you?"
"Well, I'm not so sure now..." Lisa mumbled.
"Oh, come on!" Marie grumbled, "You aren't going to let that change your mind, are you?"
"What is it?" Lily asked.
"I was going to say that I fully approve of James now because it seems like he's grown up a lot, which would mean that's he's almost good enough for you, but if he's still playing the bully role..." Lisa looked out of the dorm's window.
"It was in Lily's honor though! That's like saying you wouldn't have given Amos a good ear full if you had been there," Marie reasoned.
"That is true," Lily shrugged. She had just wanted someone to listen to her! Not have them turn the information around on James!
"Yes, but there's a big difference between chewing him out and knocking him out," Lisa said.
"Lisa, I didn't want to change your mind about him; he's still a great guy. He just needs to learn to control his temper, but we've all known how that is when it comes down to other guys and me. I don't like his little hero act either, but in the end I think it's something beneficial to his character. If he didn't have the need to help everyone in distress he wouldn't have saved me from Marcus."
"I suppose, just...don't count me in as 100% anymore. I'm more like...20/80, 80 being pro-James."
"Better than nothing," Marie sighed.
"I've already told him there's to be nothing else of the sort. I think he learned his lesson," Lily promised.
"I sure hope so...Just wait till Danielle hears."
"Hears what?" Danielle came out of the bathroom scrunching her hair with a towel.
"James punched Amos for talking smack about Lily," Marie laughed.
Surprisingly enough Danielle let out a laugh too. "Good for him! I saw Amos today and thought his face looked funny, but I figured he was in the wrong light or something."
The girls all laughed, thankfully the mood of the room lightened. They each went through their school bags to make sure all of their homework was in place and ready to be turned in for the next day, and afterwards went down the Common Room to hang out before going to bed.
The boys were still working seemingly diligently at their table so Lily didn't disturb them and instead she and the girls found some chairs near the bookcase. When they sat down, Lily's stomach grumbled. It seemed that her hunger had finally caught up to her.
Danielle laughed when she heard the cry for food.
"I'm not complaining," Lily held up her hands.
"We'll see how long that lasts!"
They were soon joined by Remus who had come down to see if his mates had needed any help, but apparently the boys were doing so well that Remus didn't even have to sit with them.
"They should be done soon," he said.
"It was only supposed to take James fifteen minutes to do it in the first place," Danielle nudged Lily.
"Oh, yes that's true. He's going over schedule." Lily peeked over at the table and laughed watching James tickle his chin with his quill.
Lily's stomach began to rumble again, and she clamped her hands over it to muffle the sound.
"Hungry?" Remus chuckled.
"No! Not at all. I'm perfectly content."
Remus shook his head and turned to the other girls. "So we're the good eggs of the bunch, eh?"
"Looks like it!" Lisa gestured around the room where the rest of the students were working.
"I guess you'll have to be my competition then," he said sarcastically, "Anyone want to play some Wizard's Chess?"
"I'll give it go," Lisa agreed.
The two of them began setting up the table, so Lily scooted closer to Lisa's side of the game to act as an advisor. Lisa had a ton of wit, but when it came to Wizard's Chess she could never quite get the hang of it.
"No cheating," Remus pointed his finger at them.
"Who do I look like, Sirius?"
"I suppose in some lights," he shrugged.
Lisa's jaw dropped and threatened to throw a chess piece at the now laughing Remus, but Lily quickly grabbed it out of her hand for safety sake.
"Don't worry about it Lisa. The boys haven't noticed it," Sirius said walking over.
James was right behind him putting his essay in his school bag before joining the group. "Glad that's over," he sighed.
"Take a seat there, Rocky," Danielle greeted him.
The nickname made Lily's head turn in surprise, "You've seen Rocky?"
"Just this last summer," Danielle said punching the air in front of her.
"Who's Rocky?" James asked.
"He's a character in a movie that came out a little while ago," Lily explained.
"And he's a boxer, so he's just like you!" Danielle laughed.
At hearing this Lisa let out a slight scoff.
"Oh good, so they know?" James raised an eyebrow.
"It was going to come out eventually," Lily said.
"That reminds me, we have detention tomorrow with Slughorn, Moony."
"What?" Remus looked up from the chess game, "Why?"
"Why do you think?" Lily challenged him.
"Busted," Sirius laughed.
"Fine, okay," Remus brushed it off.
"Fine? Okay? Is that really all you have to say? I am so disappointed in you Remus!" Lily shouted, "You were going to be Head Boy, and you let that kind of behavior go on? It really makes me wonder what else you've let students get away with all this time."
"Lils, we're trying to play a game. Can you lecture him later?" Lisa asked.
Remus didn't mind though and said, "By the time it happened there was nothing I could do about it."
"Oh please, like you didn't know what he would do if Amos came up to him."
"Stop acting like I need a babysitter," James said with dignity, "I punched the guy, and even if Remus had told me to stop I probably wouldn't have. I can make my own decisions."
Lily sighed stuck between being sorry to James or still angry at Remus. Again her stomach rumbled, but this time she couldn't keep it quiet. "Alright, Danielle you win. I'm starving!"
"No good telling us that now! You've got to wait till breakfast," Danielle laughed.
"Can we get patrols over with, Lily?" James asked standing.
"Sure," she also stood, "Can I trust you to keep a look over the Common Room, Remus?"
James rolled his eyes and grabbed Lily's arm. "It'll be fine."
They walked out the portrait door and with their wands in hand they silently decided to start from the Great Hall and go up.
After a few quiet minutes Lily's guilt got to her about making James sound like a child. "It's not that I don't trust you, just he's been a Prefect for so long and should know how to handle those kinds of situations by now."
"Why do you care so much about what he does?" James muttered.
"On top of being a Prefect, he's my friend. I don't want him to get in trouble as much as I don't want any of my friends to get in trouble."
His tone made Lily look up, unsure of why his mood had changed. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he tried to shrug her off.
Lily bumped his side with her hip trying to lighten his mood. "Come on, talk to me."
James rubbed the back of his neck. "Have you and Remus always been close?"
"I don't know if you could say close, but we've become good friends throughout the years, I suppose. What makes you ask?"
"Oh, please," Lily laughed, "There has to be a reason."
"Little things. I never realized you guys did your homework together, or walked down to breakfast together. He tells muggle jokes you understand."
Lily stopped walking at this officially confused. "James, are you...jealous?"
James chuckled and turned around to face Lily, but didn't stop walking. "No, I was just curious."
"Right," Lily raised an eyebrow, "Well then, just for your curiosity's sake, Remus and I have never been anything more than friends who throughout the years have walked to classes together, helped each other on assignments and sometimes gave each other advice."
"That's different now that I'm you boyfriend though, right?"
"Yes and no. I'll still ask him for help if I think he can help me." James's face looked slightly put out at this. "You're the only one I want walking me around the castle though." Lily caught up to him and wrapped her arm through his.
"You know you can come to me if you need to talk."
"Of course I know that." Lily reached up on her tip toes and kissed James on the cheek. Her stomach loudly lurched making her groan, "This thing just won't stop!"
James had to chuckle at her frustration. "Now that is a problem I can help with."
"Very funny, but I'm not hungry for James right now."
"Ha! That's a great line, but not what I was saying." James grabbed her hand and instead of going down the hallway to the Great Hall, went in the opposite direction.
"Where we going?" Lily asked.
"But we didn't check the Great Hall! What if there are students still roaming around over there?"
"Trust me, if there are students out they wouldn't be wasting their time in there."
Finally James came to a stop in front of a portrait of a bowl of fruit. He let go of Lily's hand and walked up to the painting to tickle the pear. When it softly giggled, Lily jumped and started to back away, but James grabbed her and brought her behind the portrait.
"Where and what in the world are we doing?" she whispered.
When she looked around the room it only took her a second to recognize the four long tables of the Great Hall. In between what would usually have been the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff table, Lily saw a little head bobbing up and down towards them.
"Is that you, Mr. Potter?" a squeaky voice asked.
"Yes, Pippy. I'm sorry to bother you so late," James replied.
The small house elf stopped in front of them and made a small curtsy before taking notice of Lily's presence. "Why hello, Miss! Pippy is sorry for not introducing herself!"
"Oh, uh, it's okay. You can just call me Lily."
"Miss Lily," she curtsied again, "What can Pippy get for you?"
"What do you mean?" Lily asked.
James leaned in a whispered, "She can get you any kind of food you'd like in a snap."
"But you're sure we aren't disturbing you? You weren't sleeping or anything?"
"No, no." Pippy shook her head so hard that her ears began to flap back and forth.
"Alright then...I suppose I'll have...broccoli and cheddar soup?"
"And for Mr. Potter?"
"Nothing for me, thank you Pippy."
Pippy didn't waste any time hurrying back to the kitchen to get started on the soup. James led Lily deeper into the room and sat her down at the Gryffindor table.
"This is amazing," Lily laughed, "I always figured Dumbledore just magicked the food onto the table! I had no idea there was this whole organization down here!" James looked at her with a wink in his eye. "How did you find this place?"
"I should've known."
James's smile widened and he began tracing Lily's fingers on the table. "So, is there anything else you need help with? Anything you want to talk about?"
Lily looked down at their touching hands and shrugged. "Not really. I mean you've been right there beside me this entire first week. Just another year at Hogwarts!"
Lily withdrew her hands from James's and put them under the table. "Unless you know something about my life that I don't, then yes."
"What's going on with you?"
James cursed himself for not being more conspicuous with his questions. He didn't want to rat Naomi out, but he knew that once he told Lily that someone had told him about she was having a personal problem she wouldn't stop bugging him until she knew who that someone was, or it wouldn't take her long to find out on her own.
"I'm sorry, I don't know. I think it's just the school year. It's different from what I'm used to."
Lily had a small worried crinkle on her forehead. She had never seem James like this in all of their years of knowing each other. She knew there had to be something else on his mind.
"You know you can always talk to me too, right?" She put her hands back onto the table in reassurance.
"Of course." He grabbed one of her hands and kissed the inside of her palm.
Pippy was soon back with Lily's bowl of soup, which James withheld from her until she promised she would never tell the girls about her new discover. She played around with the idea of telling them whenever they fancied a girls night and needed chocolate sweets, but in the end her hunger won out and she made the promise.
Once her bowl was emptied, she insisted that the rest of the patrol was carried out before they returned to the dormitory. The rest of the House was sound asleep, and even though the burning coals of the fire were still glowing in a very inviting way, they went to sleep both wondering what in the world was going on in the other's mind.
Author's Note: Hey there everyone! Thanks for being so patient (again) with my updating, I promise I'm trying to get them out as fast as I can, but with school starting up again (and driving me crazy already) it's slowing down the process :P
But review and let me know what you're thinking, good or bad! LIke are the chapters too long? Is not enough happening? Your opinions always help me and it's really just great to hear from you!
Hope you enjoyed it though :)
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