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A/N: So this is being diffucult and won't let me put an A/N at the bottom unless theres like a million lines, so I'm putting it here, sorry. I really just want to thank you for the awesome feedback  I got on the last chapter. and to tell you that i actually like this chapter, and i'm getting to a point in the story that i'm excited about. so, yeah. i hope that you guys like it. i swear, your reviews make my day :)
p.s. next chapter should be out relatively soon. 
over and outt.
HPsmartone32












 

 

 

Chapter Seven: Of Quidditch Days and Crazy Nights


 



 

“They’re all awful,” Lily groaned to Adara the morning of the Slytherin/Gryffindor quidditch match. The sun was shining brightly in the Great Hall’s ceiling, not a cloud in sight.

 

Lily pushed the letter and the photo’s she’d received towards her friend, who rolled her eyes as she picked them up. Lily didn’t want to see any of those things ever again. Written on a page of plain notebook paper was the first letter Lily has ever received from her sister while at school.

 

Mum and Dad refused to write you and also refused to let me pick one myself, so here are the choices for the bridesmaid dresses. Pick one and send it back to me. Quickly. Petunia.

 

Wasn’t her sister lovely? Oh, and the dresses she had picked out were even better! All four of them were the same shade of purple, a color Lily never liked much in the first place, and had ruffles.

 

If Lily didn’t know that Petunia’s taste was so horrible to begin with, she would have thought that her elder sister was trying to torture her. Unfortunately for the older girl, she in all likelihood thought her choices were reasonable.

 

Lily vehemently disagreed.

 

“This one with the little shoulder ruffles and laced back and…” Adara stopped, examining the picture closer. “Yeah, they’re all terrible.”

 

“Thanks for the support.”

 

The Ravenclaw shrugged and picked at her crepe for a few more seconds before hopping up, “Okay, Quidditch time. Come on, it’ll make you feel better!”

 

Lily doubted it, but shoved her letter and the pictures deep into her jacket pocket and let Adara lead her out of the Great Hall. As soon as they entered the Entrance Hall, they heard their names and spun around to see David, Christine, and Elizabeth walking down the stairs.

 

David had his arm slung over Christine’s shoulder, her strawberry-blonde curls falling onto his arm easily, and Elizabeth walked beside them wearing jeans, trainers, a much-too-large red jacket with golden stripes running down the arms, and a light smile on her lips. Lily’s stomach sank a bit for no apparent reason; she tugged on her own Gryffindor-red jacket.

 

“Elizabeth reckons Gryffindor is bound to come out on top by at least 200,” David told them when they caught up. The group made their way out to the pitch. It was a slightly chilly day, but not bad at all for November.

 

“But the way I see it, she wants Gryffindor to be on top for other reasons, if you know what I mean,” Christine winked at her.

 

Elizabeth turned a light shade of red and elbowed her teammate in the stomach. Christine cried out indignantly and huddled closer to David, faux-glaring at the younger girl.

 

Adara shook her head, laughing as she zipped up a third red jacket that was undoubtedly Sirius’s. “With all the extra practices Sirius’s had been to, I’m surprised James even let them go to class.”

 

“What you mean is between quidditch and classes, you’ve barely had any time to shag –”

 

“Oi!” Adara cut Christine off. “What’s with you and the shagging jokes today?

 

“She’s just mad because she’s not getting any,” David smirked.

 

Christine scowled and shook David’s arm off. “Shut up, I don’t love you anymore. I love Lily,” she slipped her arm through Lily’s. Lily tried not to look too amused by the situation. “We’ll start a club of celibate redheads.”

 

The other three looked at Lily somewhat questioningly, “I-I have a boyfriend!” she sputtered, surprised by the insinuation and feeling stupid. Why would Christine just assume that she and Amos hadn’t… that she as still…

 

Well, they hadn’t.

 

And she was still…

 

But was it obvious or something?

 

Adara raised her eyebrows at Lily’s exclamation. Lily blushed. Things got awkward.

 

“Quidditch!” David suddenly said. Everyone started muttering about getting to the pitch and they started the long and semi-awkward walk down there. Lily saw Elizabeth smile as a gust of wind blew and hug James’s jacket close to her body.

 

Amos and she had only been dating for a few weeks, why would they assume that she’d already… She felt self-conscious about it, though she knew it was stupid to do so. Sex wasn’t something that you just… did. You had to be ready and have the right guy and … right?

 

But here she was and all of her friends had done the deed – except maybe Alice – and she felt almost left out.

 

She shook that feeling out of her head. That was ridiculous. Her Dad would kill her for thinking that. Both of her parents would. She was raised better than that.

 

Wait.

 

Did that mean that Elizabeth and James…?

 

Again, she scolded herself for her own stupidity. Of course they had. Not that that was bad. They had been together for a fairly long time. James was actually serious about Elizabeth. And, regardless, it wasn’t her place to judge them or their relationship.

 

As the realization hit her, she didn’t know why it was so weird for her. Why it felt so … weird to know that James had shagged Elizabeth. Who was his girlfriend. Who he had every right to have sexual intercourse with.

 

They reached the Quidditch seats and before Lily could either sit down or reflect on her realization more, she was saved by someone calling her name. She turned to see Amos, dressed in a red sweater, waving her over from where he stood with his friends. She blushed a bit, knowing that the group she was with had all turned to, and knowing they were thinking about the conversation they’d just had and probably wondering if Amos and Lily had had sex.

 

Brilliant.

 

Lily looked to Adara, who was standing next to her, “I’ll be back,” she said. Adara nodded and moved over to stand by Elizabeth, who smiled widely at the brunette and gestured to their matching jackets.

 

Lily sent the image and the thoughts that tried to accompany it out of her head, and walked over to her boyfriend, “Hi,” she smiled, kissing him lightly on the lips in greeting. Amos beamed and took her hand in his, cupped not laced.

 

“You know my friends, right?” he turned his grey eyes to her. “I know you know Stephen because he’s a prefect, but this is my other mate Troy,” he introduced. Lily smiled and shook hands with Troy. “They wanted to support Slytherin because we’re more likely to win the cup if they win, but I wouldn’t let them,” Amos whispered to me. I smiled up at him – he really was quite a nice bloke.

 

“I’ve heard a lot about you, Lily,” Troy told me. He was a tall, dark-skinned bloke with big lips that stretched into an attractive smile.

 

“All good, I hope,” Lily answered.

 

“From this bloke?” Troy laughed, pointing a thumb at Amos, “I don’t think he can say anything bad about you.”

 

Lily’s face lit up a bit, but Amos’s face turned a startling shade of red. She kissed him on the cheek, “Good.”

 

“Do you want to sit with us for the game?” Amos asked.

 

“Er-” Lily looked over her shoulder at the group she’d arrived with. They were all laughing as Christine gestured wildly. They were all Ravenclaws. They were all on the Ravenclaw Quidditch Team. They all had those connections to each other. The connections that Lily lacked – who had see been connected by?

 

She remembered back to last year. Watching Sirius struggle with a pretty Ravenclaw girl, watching James get angry that his best mate was hurting, watching Adara get frustrated with Sirius, bonding with Adara over that frustration with a marauder.

 

James.

 

Ultimately, James was her connection to that group and now she didn’t even have him.

 

Sure, she was friends with them all separately now, but the person that had linked them together in the beginning was no more than an acquaintance – a coworker – to her now.

 

She suddenly felt very alone.

 

Amos squeezed her hand, “I promise we’ll cheer for Gryffindor.” He smiled.

 

She smiled back at him. She wasn’t that alone. “Yes, of course I’ll sit with you.”

 

“Good morning, Hogwarts!” Lily heard Remus shout out through the microphone a few minutes later. “It’s a beautiful day for quidditch – the sun is shining, it’s surprisingly warm for November, and the wind isn’t much of a factor.”

 

“It really is a nice day,” Amos said to her, taking his hand from hers to place his arm around her shoulders. She grinned, nodding.

 

“This morning, the age-old rivalry of Gryffindor and Slytherin continues as they play – for the second year running – the opening game,” Remus continued. “Here comes Gryffindor now! A team led for the second year by James Potter, the Gryffindors have found impeccable talent to replace the two players that graduated last year. Let’s give them a warm welcome!”

 

The whole stadium watched and half of it cheered loudly as those in bright red uniforms sped out of the locker rooms and around the pitch. Lily’s eyes latched onto James, the wind blowing his hair back off of his face, a wide grin in place. She couldn’t help but smile.

 

“James?” Lily had said, as James was leaving the Head’s Meeting the previous night.

 

He’d turned around, his hand on the doorknob, his face curious, “Yeah?”

 

“Good luck tomorrow against Slytherin,” she’d said, a smile growing on her lips as his face transformed into a brilliant grin.

 

“Thanks, Lils!” he’d said happily. Her breath caught in her throat as he used the nickname he hadn’t used since she’d last told him off for it at the beginning of fifth year. She was surprised by her body’s opposite reaction to it this time, but she couldn’t say she didn’t like it.

 

“And now the Slytherin team,” Remus brought Lily back to the present with his much-less-enthused announcement. “Led by Thomas Zabini, the Slytherin team has apparently kept up its reputation by picking for weight rather than talent.” This much was true, even though Lily was sure McGonagall was glaring at Remus for saying it. The entire team, save the Seeker Lucius Malfoy, was built much like thick, human battering rams.

 

The captains shook hands somewhat violently, Hooch counted them down, and before Lily knew it everyone was in the air.

 

“Gryffindor gains first possession – not surprising considering the weight of the other team – and it’s Potter – Neely – the newest chaser, Penny Thompson – back to Neely, Potter – Thompson – Potter, who shoots and… extremely lucky save by Slytherin’s keeper, the bloody idiot.” Lily has always had quite a time trying to keep up with the fast pace of Quidditch games. If it weren’t for Remus, she was sure she’d be very lost.

 

Amos cursed alongside the Gryffindor house when the Slytherin keeper, who seemed to merely be flailing his arms about, had a lucky save. 

 

“-Zabini – Matthes – Fulton – Matthes – back to Fulton – Zabini, who is the first to test out Gryffindor’s new keeper, Benjamin Moss, who catches it easily and tosses it back to Potter.”

 

The game went on like that with Gryffindor scoring more than they let up only barely. The new keeper, whom Lily knew only in passing, was a fourth year who had apparently grown up playing keeper with his family.  

 

Lily cheered along with the rest of her house whenever they scored, though she vaguely noticed she always cheered the loudest when it was James who had executed a particularly difficult move to score. Though he knew it and proclaimed it, she had to silently admit (as she was always forced to when he played) that James was a brilliant quidditch player. He even worked with his team well, flawlessly and selflessly passing it to his fellow chasers when they were open.

 

“150-100 to the good gu – I mean the Gryffindors – as Potter skillfully grabs the quaffle and IS SUDDENLY HIT BY THE SLYTHERIN BEATER, THAT CHEATING BAST –” the cries from the Gryffindors and cheers from the Slytherins would have drowned out Remus’s yelling even if McGonagall hadn’t quickly ripped the microphone from him. A huge Slytherin had just rammed into James as if he didn’t see him (everyone knew he had). Lily leaned over the railing, towards James, trying to verify with her eyes that he was okay. Something she didn’t much care for twisted in her gut upon seeing him grab his right side painfully.

 

The referee blew her whistle signifying a foul, causing the Slytherins to hiss threateningly and the Gryffindors to let out a cheer. Honestly, Lily was surprised that the blatant fouls had held off for this long. She was sure that there was some high profile fouling going on on the pitch that wasn’t visible to her eye, but this was the first outright violation and it occurred thirty minutes into the game. Usually the Slytherins resorted to hitting people within the first ten minutes.

 

James, shaking off his injury as if it were nothing (Lily was sure it wasn’t and would absolutely be telling him so), he took the quaffle and feigned right before throwing left, the quaffle soaring through the hoop as the idiot keeper flew the wrong way. Lily took a deep breath, bringing the hand that wasn’t holding Amos’s to her chest. She hated seeing Jam – any of her friends get hurt, and she was nearly a hundred percent sure that this game was about to get much, much dirtier.

 

This was confirmed as soon as play resumed and Sirius aimed a bludger for the head of the beater who had attacked James. It rang true, and with a crunch Lily couldn’t hear but could definitely imagine, the boy’s nose and probably a cheek bone shattered. A time out was called to evaluate the boy, but Sirius didn’t look worried at all. Mary knocked her bat against his in congratulation.

 

Lily had learned a long time ago that violence and quidditch were practically married when it came to the Gryffindor/Slytherin match.

 

*

 

Lily was one of those people who could appreciate quidditch from the stands… for about an hour. She loved to watch, really, she did. Hell, Mary MacDonald, who played beater alongside Sirius, was one of her good friends, she liked Sirius well enough, and James and she … well… yeah.

 

Anyway, she had enough reason to like the sport not only because it was fun to watch, but also because she had friends playing it. And she did like it. Until she was standing Merlin-only-knows how high in the air for over an hour watching twelve people on brooms fly back and forth trying to either beat or knock each other into a too-many-feet fall. Then she got nervous, angry, and, after long enough, slightly bored – three emotions she would much rather do without.

 

However, it appeared that she was one of the only ones who felt this way. Maybe the thrill of the emotions mixed with enough competitiveness caused a different reaction for the others, because Lily sure as hell didn’t understand it. Amos and his friends were watching with rapt attention (they might have been trying to dissect the team’s plays for their own advantage, though) and the group of Ravenclaws Lily had arrived with were too. Well, most of them. David and Christine, from what Lily could tell, were wrapped in their own conversation, but Adara and Elizabeth were practically leaning over the railing yelling at the Gryffindors (or, more likely, their boyfriends), with their oversized red jackets beating against their backs in what little wind was present.

 

She tore her eyes away from them before she started thinking too much about how Elizabeth was better for James than she could ever be (because, really, why would she even think that if she didn’t even want to be with James?), and leaned against Amos.

 

He smiled down at her, squeezing her shoulder with the arm that has made its way around them, before turning back to the game as Remus announced joyfully that Gryffindor had scored again and was up 270 – 200 in this ‘relatively low-scoring game.’

 

She watched for another ten more minutes, trying not to focus on anyone in particular, as Slytherin (who were much larger and therefore not suffering quite as much physical pain as Gryffindor was) scored three more times and Potter, having now been hit too many times to count, managed to scrape only one through for Gryffindor. It was clear that everyone on the field was worn out, but the rivalry kept them fighting hard until, finally, “And it looks like they’ve spotted the snitch!” Remus all but yelled, sending everyone’s heads looking around anxiously for the seekers. “They’re flying up towards the only cloud in the sky!” Lily (and the entire stadium) looked up as best they could with the sun shining so brightly. She wondered how the seekers could see up there.

 

The seekers, now just tiny dots, disappeared into the cloud leaving two tiny holes that were barely visible.

 

The stadium waited, Lily’s breathing seemed to have stopped. She was sure that Amos’s had too. Hell, everyone in the stadium was damn near holding their breath until…

 

Suddenly, around the left side of the cloud came Timothy Wellens, a slim sixth year, holding one fist above his head. He raced into view, a winning look upon his face and this snitch just visible in his hand. “GRYFFINDOR WINS!” Remus shouted and the crowd erupted in cheers. “TIMOTHY WELLENS MAKES ANOTHER AMAZING CATCH FOR THE WIN! FINAL SCORE GRYFFINDOR 430, SNAKES 230!”

 

Lily jumped up into the air, her hands raised in victory, shouting nonsense. Amos laughed and wrapped his arms around her, spinning her around quickly. Her long hair slapped her back as she stopped spinning. “We won!” she shouted, wrapping her arms around his neck. Lily wasn’t sure her boyfriend heard her, even though he was standing right in front of her – the stadium was that loud.

 

Amos nodded, and pulled her towards him, planting a sloppy kiss on her mouth. She kissed him back quickly, but pulled away, never one for much PDA.

 

The stands around them started emptying, and Lily grabbed Amos’s hand so as to not be separated from him as they began their descent down the many, many stairs to the ground. When they reached it, Amos made to follow the crowd up to the castle, but Lily stopped, looking back to the pitch were most of her friends were probably gathered around the winning team.

 

She turned to Amos, “I’m going to go congratulate them,” she said quickly, taking in the bit of rejection his face showed. “But there’s going to be an after-party tonight,” she continued, “do you think you could make it?” he brightened considerably, nodding. They made plans about where to meet, and Lily pecked him on the cheek before shuffling away from him, trying to avoid individual shoulders as the sea of people tried to pull her backwards.

 

She finally broke free of the crowd and saw the team; Reed Neely was laughing with Benjamin and Penny off to the side with a bunch of younger kids, Timothy and Mary were chatting close to them, but it was neither of these two groups who drew her attention.

 

It was Sirius, was smiling down at Adara in such an endearing way as he played with a strand of her hair; Adara, her hands waving around spastically as she described something, trying to act it out without moving too far away from her boyfriend; James, throwing his head back and laughing joyfully at his mate’s girlfriend through a black eye, cut lip, and probably a few broken ribs; and, last, it was Elizabeth, holding his hand and resting her head on his shoulder, just watching the scene. That was what Lily’s eyes were glued to; that’s what made her chest constrict.

 

Then James glanced up and saw her, standing thirty feet away from them twisting her hands together and biting her lip; his laughing, carefree face quickly changed. He just stared at her. She forced a smile. He seemed to breathe.

 

Sirius caught on, looked up, and his face broke into an even bigger grin at the sight of her. She was so grateful that at least one of the boys was happy to see her that she stopped raking her teeth over her bottom lip and grinned, running full speed until she threw her arms around the handsome-even-when-beaten-up boy. “Good game,” she laughed into Sirius’s sweaty hair. She pulled away as he let out a bark of a laugh, “Thanks.”

 

When she turned to James, she felt a sudden shift in the air. She swallowed hard, looking from his almost passive face to Elizabeth’s smiling one. She stuck out her hand, “Good game, James.”

 

He looked at it and seemed to deflate a little (Lily told herself she imagined that part), before taking her small, soft hand in his rough, warm one and shaking it once, “Thanks, Lily.”

 

She pulled her hand back and dug her teeth into her lip again, a bad habit she’d always had. Before things could get too awkward, Adara swung her arm around Lily’s shoulder and announced that she would not touch Sirius again until he showered.

 

“As a water conservation method, I really think that we should do it together,” he said with a serious look on his face.

 

James, Lily, and Elizabeth groaned.

 

“Go!” Adara barked through her blush, half laughing. “I’ll meet you in the common room at seven, you smelly boy.”

 

Sirius looked around shiftily for a second before ducking in and placing a sloppy kiss on Adara’s lips just to prove that he could. Before she could so much as gather her wits about her, he was gone, disappearing into the locker rooms.

 

“Git,” Adara muttered.

 

Lily smiled, wrapping her arm around her friend’s waist. She wished she had someone like Adara’s Sirius. Someone she could spend hours with and still miss the second he was gone. Someone who fit her so perfectly that they seemed to move together, even when they were apart. She glanced at James from under her eyelashes. He looked away from her, at Elizabeth, holding her closer to him.

 

Well, it’s not like she was thinking it’d be him, anyway.

 

*

 

She was walking back from the pitch with Adara and Elizabeth when, for the first time in over a year, he approached her. “May I have a word with you in private?” he asked in a tone that had much more arrogance than it used to.

 

Adara tightened her arm around Lily’s shoulders reflexively. She didn’t blame her; Adara hadn’t known Lily when Severus Snape was her best friend. Elizabeth looked from the pale boy to the redhead, confused.

 

“What do you want with her?” Adara demanded.

 

Severus just looked right at Lily, his eyes burning with some emotion she couldn’t place. But they did have emotion and that’s what made up her mind, “It’s fine, Adara.” She said. The brunette whipped her head around, shocked. “We…” Lily started looking up from her friend to her old friend and back again, “We used to be mates.”

 

“You –” Elizabeth started, but was silenced with a stern look from Lily, daring the younger girl to say something rude. She may have severed ties with Severus, but she wasn’t about to let Elizabeth judge him.

 

Adara looked back at the Slytherin, as if warning him, before she retracted her arm from Lily’s shoulders, grabbed Elizabeth’s hand and continued walking towards the castle.

 

When they were far enough away, Lily looked at him directly. He’d changed so much in the year they’d been apart. His face was shallower, his eyes seemed impossibly blacker, and his hair was much more greasy. He looked worn, but strong with some emotion she was sure she’d be able to guess soon.

 

Her heart ached for her old best friend back – for the second person she loved that left her. When Tuney did, she thought she’d at least have him as a sort of surrogate brother. But then he got messed up with them and called her that from which blossomed the deal James had never redeemed.

 

She wanted to blame him. She wanted to hate him for all that he’d done, for the part of her that would always be missing because he wasn’t there… but she couldn’t. Not completely.

 

She took a deep breath, “What do you want, Severus?” she said, trying to sound as if it wasn’t nearly killing her to have this conversation.

 

Something about her tone must have made him realize he needed to cut straight to the point because, quickly and angrily, he asked, “You’re not dating James Potter are you?” saying his name like it was the most disgusting word invented.

 

They both knew it wasn’t because they both knew which one was.

 

“I – why – we – whatever would make you think that?” she finally managed to say. His face fell noticeably.

 

“You are, aren’t you?”

 

“What? I- No!

 

His eyes narrowed, “Then why the hell would he apologize for causing me ‘mental and physical pain throughout my years at Hogwarts’ and then not hex me back?”

 

Nothing about the way Severus said it was light, happy, or caring; in fact, it was quite the opposite clocking in at angry, hateful, and mistrusting, which is why it was so weird for Lily to be feeling the former emotions, rather than the latter ones.

 

She felt a smile threatening to come over her face, even though she fought it, “He apologized to you?” she asked almost breathlessly.

 

She barely registered the extreme distress the change in her mood caused Severus. Seeing the ghost of one of the best smiles to ever cross her face, and knowing that he wasn’t the one that put it there, that James Potter was, had him sputtering like a lunatic trying to take back his words, to make it sound different than it truly was, to get James Potter’s damn smile off of Lily Evan’s face.

 

“No, wait – he cornered me in the Great Hall, trapped me really and yelled that –”

 

“He actually apologized,” Lily murmured to herself more than to the one person audience who felt as though he’d just made the second biggest mistake of his life.

 

“Lily!” he finally yelled, desperation covering her name like a thick blanket.

 

She snapped out of whatever had taken her and looked back at her ex-best friend, “Thank you,” she said gently, taking one of his hands in hers. His face crumbled, and this time she saw it. Part of his pain was mirrored in her own face, “I hope you’re keeping out of trouble, Severus.” She said with a slight frown before patting his hand with her other one and releasing him, walking back up to the castle with her arms crossed tightly around her body, almost mirroring how tightly wound up her many confusing emotions were.

 

*

 

The first time she saw James that night she was sober. He was slightly tipsy, standing in front of the window as the sun set over the late evening sky. The red and yellow and orange light seemed to illuminate him and, at first, Lily was almost too intimidated to walk over to him.

 

She did it anyway.

 

“James?” she said, calling his attention from the drinks table, where Peter was currently trying to remember how to correctly mix the drink Elizabeth had requested.

 

He turned to look at her, his eyes crinkled in happiness, “‘ello, Lily.”

 

“Er – I just wanted to say thanks,” she tugged on the unzipped zipper of her jacket, revealing more of the slim-fitting white shirt she wore underneath it.

 

James looked at her for a few seconds, as if he were trying to memorize the outline of her, before he furrowed his brows, “What for? Winning the game?” he laughed. “It was my pleasure,” he grinned at her, half of his mouth hitching up higher than the other in a very adorable way.

 

Not that she thought he was adorable. Just the smile.

 

“Severus talked to me after the game. He told me that you apologized,” Lily admitted, lifting her eyes to examine his reaction.

 

She watched him take two breaths before he answered, “I told you I would, and I’m a man of my word.”

 

She smiled up at him, a genuine, full smile and touched his arm gently, right where it bent at the elbow. His muscles tightened under her touch for a fraction of a second before he relaxed again. Neither of them broke eye contact –

 

“There you are!” Amos exclaimed, walking up behind Lily. She jumped back violently, as if she’d been shocked, and turned to see Amos’s head on her shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.” His breath smelt of firewhiskey and crisps.

 

“I haven’t been gone that long,” Lily sighed, trying to melt into his embrace. She looked up at James, who deftly looked away from her after a split second of a look she didn’t understand.

 

“I’m going to go find Elizabeth,” he said. “I’ll see you guys later.” He flashed the couple a quick smile before walking away.

 

Lily looked and saw that Peter was now serving two sixth years butterbeers, Elizabeth nowhere to be seen. She gently broke out of Amos’s arms and took his hand, “I need a drink,” she told him, tugging him over to the table. Or five, she thought.

 

 

 

Once it got dark outside, the party really kicked into full swing, which is part of the reason why the second time she saw James she was one shot away from completely wasted.

 

Sirius was controlling the music from the dance floor, Peter was still stuck at the drink table (but seemed to be content there), she hadn’t seen Remus in a while, but James was by the windows alone, nursing some type of drink in an opaque cup.

 

She stumbled over to him, not used to being so drunk and not really sure of the real reason that led her to get that way. “Hello, James Potter!” she slid into the spot next to him on the cushions under the window.

 

He turned to look at her, an amused expression creeping onto his face. She felt a sudden urge to reach up and touch those smiling lips with the tips of her fingers. She barely resisted. “Why, this can’t be!” James exclaimed. “Is Lily Evans drunk?”

 

Lily scoffed in an entirely unattractive way and rolled her eyes, “Noooo.” she drew the word out because it sounded funny. “I’m just not sober.”

 

James laughed, switching the hand that was holding his drink in order to brush a few strands of hair out of Lily’s face, “If you say so.”

 

They sat in silence for a while, watching the people in the middle of the common room dance. Sirius and Adara were on the outskirts of the group, Sirius spinning her around and around in circles before stopping her with what Lily assumed was a dizzying kiss. She grinned at her friends as James lifted the cup to his lips.

 

She turned to look at him again as he lowered it. His black hair was stuck up at Merlin knows how many different angles, as it always was, and randomly Lily wanted to run her hands through it just to see what it felt like. The profile of his face was one that many would kill for, his forehead sloping perfectly into smaller-than average eyebrows covering a pair of deep brown eyes that rarely lost their mischievous glint. Even with the round, black glasses that covered those eyes, he was attractive. His nose was neither too big, nor too large and it kept his glasses in just the right place, sporting just enough freckles to show he’d been in the sun.

 

Then there were his lips. In her drunken haze, Lily found her eyes concentrating there the longest. They weren’t too big or too small, but fit into his face perfectly. They were the color of the pink in a sunset, or of an expertly blown bubble, and when James’s tongue darted out to wet them, Lily had to look away before she did something incredibly stupid.

 

“Where’s Eli-za-beth?” she asked before her mind caught up with her mouth, annunciating each syllable as if trying to wrap her thoughts around them. She didn’t know why that was the first question that popped into her head, but it was.

 

James turned to look at her, a bit of surprise in his voice at her tone, “Went off to use the loo,” he told her. Pause. “Where’s Diggory?”

 

Lily shrugged, not wanting to answer him. In truth, she’d sent him to get drinks and then disappeared before he could return. She wasn’t trying to ditch him, she just needed some alone time.

 

James just happened to be there while she was alone.

 

Or something.

 

“You know, you have really nice lips.” She said, looking at them before he could turn his head away again. Part of her mind sent off a red alert when the words tumbled out of her mouth without permission from the rational part of her brain. It was like she couldn’t stop herself; it was like everything was a bit fuzzy, even the line between appropriate and not. Even the line between Lily and James.

 

Those lips dropped open, slack-jawed, and Lily’s curled into a smile, “And I never really thought your hair was awful. It looks really soft, actually. I wonder what it feels like…” she trailed off. Her rational mind was all but screaming at her now, but the other half was putting up silencing charms all around it. Very strong silencing charms.

 

James stared at her for a minute. She didn’t feel uncomfortable, even if she should have. “You’re wasted.” He finally said.

 

She shrugged and leaned in closer to him until she could barely feel his breath on her face, “You’re kinda cute when you’re all worked up.” She smirked a bit and focused past her own reflection in his glasses and into his eyes.

 

James tried to say something, but all that came out where disjointed syllables.

 

Finally the rational side of her brain finally made and S.O.S. call, causing her to jerkily pull back. Standing up a bit wobbly, she informally told James ‘bye’ as she walked away, figuring it was time to stop ignoring her boyfriend.

 

 

 

The last time she saw James that night it was late and she was only slightly tipsy. She’d stopped drinking after her second talk with James, and went to sipping water. When the party was winding down, Lily’s responsible mode kicked in as she realized that two of the people who were assigned to patrol the corridors that night – David and Reed – had been present at the party.

 

In fact, David was all but passed out on the couch next to Amos having an in depth discussion about the merits of garlic bread versus those of cheesy bread. She rolled her eyes at the boys, two of about fifteen people still present in the common room, and decided that she would quickly walk through the nearest corridors, just to make sure no Gryffindor was passed out against a mop again. The last time that happened, Peter had nearly suffocated on the spongy material.

 

She told Amos that she’d be back before slipping out of the portrait hole. Ignoring the fat lady’s protests, she turned right with the knowledge that that corridor looped around to a shortcut that would lead her quickly back to the common room. Then she would promptly kick her boyfriend back to his own common room, drink a little more water, and curl up in her warm four-poster to sleep off whatever alcohol was left in her body.

 

She walked along the corridors, her wand lit in front of her, thinking about the all of the things that had happened that day: she’d received ugly choices for her bridesmaid dress, her team had defeated Slytherin in a very rough quidditch match, she’d talked to Severus for the first time in a long time, she’d found out that James kept his promises, and then she had voluntarily been so close to him that she could feel his warm breath fan across her lips.

 

All in all, a pretty eventful day; one she was sure she’d have stronger feelings about in the morning when her head wasn’t buzzing with the effects of firewhiskey.

 

She was almost back to the common room when she heard it. From behind the door to her right (ironically, the same closet she’d saved Amos from) came the unmistakable sound of many very heavy things crashing to the floor accompanied by what sounded like a whine.

 

She sighed deeply, not wanting to open the door for what she thought was the caretaker’s cat; the thing smelled like dungbombs due to the number of times they’d been chucked at it and was vicious as all hell whenever someone managed to lock it in a supply closet, often taking to attacking the closest thing possible in retaliation when let loose.

 

More things crashed to the floor right before she heard something thud against the door.

 

Bloody hell, she thought angrily. She stood back and raised her wand, not wanting to get too close to the door when it opened in the event that the cat launched itself out of it.

 

She muttered a spell and the door flew open allowing the buckets and bottles that had been knocked off of the table to spill out into the corridor. She didn’t have to squint to make out the dark-colored cat in the wandlight because the cat wasn’t there.

 

Present, however, were James, his pants around his ankles and bare arse to the wind, leaning over the table into Elizabeth, who’s knickers were around her ankles and jeans were no where to be seen.

 

The two half-naked students turned abruptly to face Lily as she took this in, “Fucking hell!” she uncharacteristically cursed at them as they stared, scared shitless, at her. She waved her wand again, not even bothering with a spell, but the door slammed shut anyway with a bang that could have awoken the Ravenclaws all the way in their tower.

 

Her blood boiled. With the anger and the alcohol, she couldn’t think straight – hell, she couldn’t think anything – as she marched away from the dirty scene.

 

James.

 

Arse.

 

Naked.

 

Elizabeth.

 

Shagging.

 

James, naked, over Elizabeth, his lips, the ones she’ complimented, swollen from snogging and shagging this little blonde girl…

 

It was with a mind as blank as new parchment that she pulled open the portrait hole after giving the password and marched over to Amos, who was now sitting alone on the couch staring into the fire.

 

It was with anger she shouldn’t have and hurt that made no sense that she climbed onto his lap and placed the most passionate kiss they’d ever shared on his lips.

 

It was with her judgment clouded by the thought of those freckles on James’s nose, by firewhiskey, and by the way Amos was kissing her as if there was nothing he wanted more than just her that she allowed herself to be pulled down a corridor, up some stairs and into what looked like an unused bedroom in the middle of a fifth floor corridor.

 

And, it was with a hint of revenge that she allowed her slightly drunk boyfriend to pull her shirt over her own slightly drunk head and press her into the mattress of the bed in a tangle of limbs and promise of regret.

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