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    “Hey Lily.” Remus said as I caught up to him, following him as he climbed in the portrait hole. I smiled at him as we got out of the hole. “Are you coming tonight to the party?” “Yep. Wouldn’t miss it.” I said cheerfully. Remus raised his eyebrow. “Really?” he asked curiously. I shrugged. “See you later.” I ran up the girls’ staircase, bursting into my dorm room. “Hello!” I said happily and loudly. My eyes flickered to Grace, who was brushing her red hair in a bathrobe, to Gaby who was looking at the different options of clothing that were lying on her bed, to Henn, who was applying her makeup, and to Cecilia, who was banging on the bathroom door telling Patricia to hurry up. “Uh...Lily?” Grace asked uncertainly. Gaby spun around, furrowing her eyebrows and holding up a skirt and a pair of jeans. “Which one?” Gaby demanded. I raised my eyebrow thoughtfully, looking at the light blue peasant skirt and the sandblasted bellbottoms. “Jeans.” I said, grinning. Gaby scowled at me. “Why are you so happy?” she asked in an accusatory voice. “What, can’t I be happy?” I said defensively. “Well, yes...” “Then stop asking me questions.” I said, jumping onto her bed. “I like the red top.” “Yeah me too.” Gaby said absentmindedly. She looked at me abruptly. “Hey, don’t try to get off the subject!” “Zach kissed me.” I said happily, as if answering a question. I heard Henn gasp and drop her lipstick, and Grace, who squealed. Gaby grinned, and from the corner of my eye I saw Cecilia stop in her banging attempts. “What? No way!” Gaby said excitedly, hopping on her bed. “Is he going to the party?” “Finally, Evans.” Cecilia sneered. “Maybe now you’ll stop flirting with my boyfriend.” My grin faded, as I turned to look at Cecilia, glaring at her. She didn’t look very threatening with those curlers in her brown hair. “Excuse me?” I said, narrowing my eyes. “I believe it was your boyfriend who was harassing me.” Cecilia glared at me, and said nothing. She went over and sat on her bed, turning her back to us. I grinned triumphantly as Henn coughed something that sounded suspiciously like ‘slut’. Patricia came out of the bathroom, her hair up in a towel and wearing a bathrobe. She smiled at me. “Hey Lily.” Patricia said. I always thought Patricia was the nicest of the Love twins, even though she had a flirting habit with Sirius lately. So, I greeted her with a wave. “Geroff.” Grace grunted, trying to push Henn off of the vanity’s chair. Henn groaned as she sat on the floor now. “Grace, you made me mess up my eye liner.” Henn said irritably, trying to rub off the big black line going down to her lips. Grace shrugged, snatching some eye shadow and putting a glimmery green. I glanced at Gaby, who was wearing the jeans and red halter top that I suggested. She was in front of the long tall mirror, checking if she looked alright. “Lily,” Gaby said absentmindedly. “I need those earring you have.” “Go ahead.” I said, smiling at her. Usually, I would snap at her, since I hated sharing...but this time I didn’t care. I just skipped to the bathroom and started to take a shower. When I came out, everyone was nearly dressed already. Gaby was now wearing my straight dangling silver earrings and red platform shoes. Her brown hair was loosely hanging over her shoulders, and had a sliver arc. I looked at Grace, who was wearing a light blue tube top with faded bellbottoms and light blue platform shoes. Her read hair was also hanging over her shoulders and she was wearing golden bracelets and earring studs. Henn was nearly ready, she was wearing her light yellow spaghetti strap and loose top, with matching shoes and dark bellbottoms. Her hair was up in a ponytail, revealing plastic blue and circular earrings. She was applying some lip gloss on right now. I turned around and noticed that the Love twins were also ready to go. Cecilia was wearing a strapless, low dark red dress that was very short. Her curly hair was straightened somehow, and she was wearing shiny makeup, with a thick silver necklace and matching earrings. Her platforms were dark red, and she was waiting for Patricia. Patricia was putting on her baby blue shoes, with a matching loose halter top and a short white skirt. Her earrings were gold like her bracelets, and her hair was up in a ponytail, making her look more innocent. Patricia always was the less...er well never mind. “Hurry up, Lily!” Grace exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air. I nodded and quickly changed into some sandblasted bellbottoms, and a dark green tube top that matched my eyes. I let my hair down, wearing the necklace that my grandma gave me. Actually, ever since that dinner party, I haven’t taken it off. I put some old trainers on and put some rarely noticeably makeup. I grinned. “Okay! Let’s go.” Henn said happily. All my friends have always loved parties...well except for me. I was only going because of Zach. “You look great Lils.” Grace said admirably. “Yeah it’s great that you’re finally going to one of these parties with us.” Gaby said happily, climbing down the stairs. The twins had already left. I rolled my eyes, muttering, “Yeah, yeah.” In the first few years, I had gone to the lame parties that first and second years had made up to pretend to be cool and feel grown up. The hosts didn’t change either. Then I went to a party in third year...feeling slightly out of place and hiding in the corner for the whole five hours. Fourth year I went to one too, and that was the last one. This boy kept trying to make a move on me, and I found this as a sign that I shouldn’t attend the parties that the Marauders or anybody had anymore. “Where is it.” I said dully, my ecstasy slowly dripping away. Grace took the parchment from her pocket, staring at it. “Over here.” she said, waving us over through a hallway. I noticed as we turned a corner the hall had little gold banners on the walls, as if signaling that we were going to the right place. I squinted as I saw that the little banners were slowly changing colors. We turned another corner, spotting Sirius at the very end, in front of a tapestry, greeting and welcoming people inside a room. “Sirius!” Gaby exclaimed, running up to him and kissing him lightly. She pulled away, Sirius grinning at us. “Glad you could come ladies. I see you brought someone new with you.” he said, jerking his head towards me. I laughed sarcastically as Henn and Grace snickered. He suddenly put on a stern face, and turned his back rigid, saying in a deep, sophisticated voice, “Invitations please.” Gaby laughed, handing all the invitations. He bowed them inside. “Welcome to the R.O.R.” I stopped my gasp from coming out of my mouth, looking at the huge room. It was if it was some big apartment, with balloons everywhere. There was a dark red couch in the middle of the main room, where several girls were sitting in some boys’ laps. There was a wooden floor, where there was a hall to the left, where other doors were open and several other people were chatting. “Not bad, eh?” Henn said, looking around. “Last time it looked a bit different...they made it bigger this time...” “What is this place?” I asked in awe. “I’ve been down this hall millions of times, and Hogwarts would never have such a room -” “No idea.” Henn said, shrugging. She grabbed my shoulders, shaking them. “Now let’s just go and have some fun!” She grabbed my arm and dragged me down the hall, into the last room where it was dark and full of music. “Won’t someone hear -” “Soundproof charm, Lils.” Henn said disbelievingly. “Potter isn’t that stupid, you know.” “Not at all.” said a loud voice behind us, making me scowl. We turned around, facing Potter, holding a bottle of firewhiskey. I grimaced. I had never been to a party with alcoholic drinks. “So, Lily! You came!” “Yes!” I shouted, since the music was so loud. Everyone was either dancing or by the bar. “James!” We all spun around, facing Cecilia who was coming through the door. She glared at me before tugging on James’s arm. “Let’s go over there!” she yelled, pointing to the dance floor. He shrugged, passing me the firewhiskey with a wink. I scowled at him, as they walked away. Henn took the firewhiskey from me and nudged a guy who was dancing nearby. She gave him the firewhiskey, which he immediately took. “Let’s dance!” Henn said excitedly, pulling me to the dance floor also. She started to dance with a couple of girls near us. I however, was looking wildly around for a certain person. “Hey Lily!” someone said loudly behind me. I spun around, smiling at two sixth year girls, who were dancing with Henn. “Hey, you guys!” I said, grinning at them. The girl with dark brown shoulder-length hair and dark eyes, waved at me. “Guess what?” Leah yelled at me. “What?” I yelled back. “This is the first Marauder party I went to since fourth year!” I laughed, Leah was usually in the common room with me playing Exploding Snap when there was a Marauder party. Ever since she went out with Sirius in her fourth year and his fifth year, she had stopped going to them. The other girl, Mayna, or Kat, as everyone called her because of her middle name, had long caramel brown hair and blue eyes. She was eyeing a rather cute boy with dark brown hair, until he grinned at her and she turned away, blushing madly. “Hey Kat,” I said, chuckling. “Hey Lily!” she exclaimed. “I heard that you’re going out with that Beauxbatons boy!” This time it was my turn to blush. I nodded, grinning. “He’s cute.” Leah said, nudging me and winking. I noticed that she was wearing her prefect badge, even though she was wearing party clothes. I raised my eyebrow at her, although I had my Head Girl badge in my pocket. She laughed. “Just in case I need to set some order around here.” Kat laughed, although she really didn’t know why. Kat laughed for no reason, I was quite used to it. I spotted a blonde haired boy in the background, looking around for someone. I grinned. “Sorry, I’ll have to talk to you guys later.” I said, pushing my way in the crowd and reaching Zach. “Hey!” Zach grinned, saying loudly, “Nice to see you!” I laughed, tugging on his arm. “Want to go talk outside?” “Sure.” he said in my ear, so he wouldn’t have to yell anymore. He slid his hand inside mine, and I smiled, leading him out of the room and going to one across from us, which was the only door that was closed. I opened it, and gasped, starting to laugh uncontrollably with Zach. I quickly closed it, as people started to yell and curse at me. “I guess that door was closed for a reason.” Zach said humourously. “Well I guess the saying ‘go get a room’ really doesn’t apply to this situation.” I said, laughing and pulling my hair behind my ear. Zach laughed, kissing me lightly. “I wouldn’t mind being in there with you if it were just you and me.” he said, chuckling. I blushed, and grinned. “C’mon.” He tugged on my arm, leading me into the main room. “It got worse.” I murmured. The main room was full of people, chatting and drinking together. I spotted Potter on the couch with Cecilia, and I laughed. I saw him pull away for a moment and I froze, looking uncertainly at Zach. Fortunately and uncharacteristically, Potter turned away and resumed in kissing Cecilia. “Over there.” I said, pointing to the translucent curtains behind the couch. Zach nodded, and we went outside, seeing an enormous balcony, where many couples stood or sat together, gazing at the moon, which was nearly full. I pulled Zach into an empty corner, where he held me tightly, nibbling on my neck. I giggled. I didn’t get it. I felt completely safe, and it seemed like no one else was near us. I smiled and turned around, wrapping my arms around his neck and pushing him against the shadows and into the wall. He grinned at me, pulling me closer and kissing me passionately. He rubbed his hands on my waist, slipping his tongue inside and biting my lower lips, but careful not to hurt me. I could feel goose bumps where he was touching me, and fought the urge to shiver. I don’t know how long we stayed like this, but I didn’t want it to end soon. I was trying to breathe through my nose, so I didn’t have to pull away for breath. Finally, after playing with his tongue for a while, I pulled away, panting. He was breathing heavily also, his hair messed up because of my hands that were playing with it the whole time. I started to smile, but it faded as I noticed someone from the corner of my eye. Potter. At the curtains, just staring at us. I bit my lower lip, afraid that he’d come charging over here. It was odd though, he wasn’t scowling, he wasn’t gaping in horror, he wasn’t grinning stupidly, and he wasn’t laughing. I was seeing James Potter the way I had never seen him before : stunned. I wasn’t sure what to do, and I felt the tension, even though he was rather far away. I didn’t know if I should yell at him to go away, or if I should ignore him and continue doing whatever I was doing with Zach. It seemed like for hours, that he was just staring at us in horror. Finally, he backed away, looking hurt, then walked out of sight, probably going to make out with Cecilia again. Zach made a move towards me again, but I suddenly didn’t feel like kissing him. I squirmed out of the way, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. Zach gave me a quizzical look. “What’s wrong?” he asked me softly, pulling me into his arms. “Nothing.” I said, shrugging. “Do you want to dance?” “Sure.” Zach said reluctantly. I knew that he’d prefer that we’d stay here, but he agreed anyway. Only a couple of people were in the main room, and Zach grinned slyly at me, pulling me onto the couch. I laughed, as he laid on top of me and started to kiss me madly. I smiled and pulled him closer as he kissed my neck again, making soft sucking sounds. People around us were starting to make disgusted noises and leave the room. I suddenly felt uncomfortable again and cleared my throat. “Yeah?” Zach asked, touching my nose with his. “Listen, there’s a good song right now. Don’t you want to dance?” Zach furrowed his eyebrows at me. “What’s wrong?” “It’s that, I don’t really like kissing in public...” “Oh.” Zach said, smiling. “Sure let’s go then.” I felt relieved that he understood, and we walked onto the dance floor, dancing along with everyone else. A good song by Wicked Warlocks was being played. We danced for a while, and I tried ignore James who was dancing nearby with Cecilia. A slow song went on, by Tina Smith. Zach smiled at me, and pulled me closer, placing his hands on my hips. I smiled too and wrapped my arms around his neck, stepping closer as we slowly swayed to the music. I felt slightly embarrassed because I was flushed from dancing so much. “This is great.” I said breathlessly. “I know.” Zach said, grinning. “You know, I almost never go to parties.” I said, laughing slightly. Zach raised an eyebrow. “Why not? I thought you were the party girl from the way you were dancing in here.” Zach said humourously. “Me?” I said disbelievingly. “No way, that would definitely be my friends.” Zach pulled me, if possible, even closer, touching my nose with his. “Don’t worry.” he said, grinning. “We’ll go to plenty of parties together.” I smiled, kissing him lightly. He started to deepen it, which I noticed it was always him who took the initiative. He probably was more experienced than me. It was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t believe that I was having so much fun at a party that was organized by James. After a long time of just dancing and holding each other close, Zach told me that he was going to get something to drink. “Want anything?” he asked, kissing me on the cheek. “Just water.” I said, shrugging. Zach laughed. “Water. I’d like a water please.” he said, mocking me. I laughed. “Quit it. I like it.” I said, smiling. Zach grinned. “Okay then. Water it is.” He pushed his way through the crowd, and I leaned against the wall, waiting for him. I didn’t feel like dancing if he wasn’t with me. Actually, I hardly ever danced, I was surprised with myself. So I just tapped my foot and hummed to the music. I didn’t notice someone tap me on the shoulder. “Oh. Hey Henn!” I said happily. Henn grinned at me, looking flushed also. “Hey, looks like you’re having fun.” Henn said, winking at me. I nodded. “Can you believe it?” “Nope.” Henn said, shaking her head and laughing. “Hey, I noticed something.” “What?” I asked, pulling my hair up into a ponytail. “Potter’s been looking at you all night.” “What’s your point?” I asked, rather snappishly. “Nothing.” Henn said, backing away and putting her hands up in defensive. “I’m just saying. It’s kind of funny.” I shrugged, not really caring if Potter was looking at me or not. “What if he asks you to dance?” Henn asked excitedly. I stared at her in horror. “I’ll say no.” I said stiffly. “I’m dating Zach, Henn.” “So? It’s just a dance.” Henn said, shrugging. “I danced with three boys already, and I don’t even know their names.” I laughed. “No thanks.” “Suit yourself.” Henn said, grinning. “I’ll see you later.” She went over to dance with Leah and Kat again, I noticed that Remus and Grace were nearby too. Soon enough Zach came back with my water and his firewhiskey. We gulped down our drinks, since we were so thirsty. “Want to go to another room for now?” Zach said loudly. I nodded, and we scrambled out into the hall, meeting Gaby and Sirius, who were laughing. “Hey Lils!” Gaby exclaimed. I grinned and walked over to her. “Guess what? In that room over there...they’re playing spin the bottle.” I raised an eyebrow, chuckling. “Spin the bottle? A little childish don’t you think?” “It’s so much fun though!” Gaby said, glancing at Zach and waving. “Hey, I’m Gaby.” “Hey.” Zach said, grinning. Sirius raised an eyebrow at him and muttered something I couldn’t here. “So did you play?” I asked. Gaby shook her head, smiling at Sirius. “Black didn’t let me.” Gaby said, kissing him lightly. “It’s okay Sirius is the best kisser I could ask for anyway.” Sirius grinned slyly at her, pulling her and kissing her passionately. I raised an eyebrow at Zach, who shrugged and lead me to the main room again. “Evans!” I spun around, trying to suppress my groan. “What do you want Potter?” I asked, as he staggered towards me, holding some kind of drink. I glanced at Zach, who was frowning. “Everyone knows that, Evans.” Potter said, winking and putting his arm around my shoulder. Then he moved his head and whispered in my ear so Zach couldn’t hear. “You, of course.” “Get away from him Lily. He’s drunk.” Zach said disgustedly, shoving Potter away from me. I frowned at Zach for ordering me around. “Hey, what’s it to you?” Potter sneered. “You just got here, you don’t know how things work at Hogwarts...” “Are you saying all the men at Hogwarts are drunken fools?” Zach asked, smirking. He looked around, and his smirk grew wider. “Yes I suppose you’re right.” James looked like he was about to throw himself on Zach, so I threw my body in between the two, shoving them apart. “Potter, can I talk to you?” I growled at James. James smirked at Zach. “Of course.” James said, draping his arm around me again. I shoved him into a room and closed the door before noticing that Zach looked very disgruntled. “Listen, what’s your problem?” I spat, as James sat down on a red couch in the side of the empty room. “You shouldn’t have held me back, he was asking for it.” James said, draining the last bit of his drink. I scowled at him. “Why do you always have to interfere?” I said, balling my hands into fists. James raised an eyebrow at me. “You shouldn’t be with the guy to begin with.” James said, shrugging. I gritted my teeth. “Tell me Potter,” I said dangerously, grabbing the front of his shirt and bringing his face close to mine. “Who are you to tell me who I should be going out with?” James grinned at me, and closed the space that was in between us with his lips. I shoved him away, looking disgusted. “C’mon Evans.” James said, grinning at me and pulling me down to sit next to him on the couch. “Stay away from me!” I said, pushing him away. “Why do you have to be so difficult?” “I’m difficult?” James asked, rolling his eyes. “You’re the difficult one!” “I am not!” “Then why have you been rejecting me for the past six years?” “Are you saying I’m obligated to go out with you?” “Well, er...I guess...” “Well I’m not!” I said shrilly, throwing my hands up into the air. “And I’m sick of you thinking that there’s some hope in being with me and trying to make me be single for the rest of my life! I’m sick of you being my neighbor! I’m sick of you being in the same school as me! I’m sick of you, James Potter!” “That hurt.” “It was supposed to.” I said nastily. We were silent for a moment, although while I was staring at the floor, fuming, James was looking at me. “How long are you going to keep this up?” Potter asked suddenly, furrowing his eyebrows. I turned and glared at him. “Keep what up?” I snapped. “This whole ‘I’m hard to get and you’ll never have me’ act.” James replied, raising his eyebrow. I gaped at him. “It’s not an act Potter!” I said shrilly, after recovering from what James thought I was really doing when I said ‘no’ to him all these years. “It has to be.” Potter said simply. I gave him a sarcastic laugh. “What’s wrong James? Never been rejected before? Well I’m not surprised. James Potter always gets everything he wants anyway. You’re rich, popular, and a quidditch player! I bet you’ve never had to fight for anything in your life. You’ve had it easy, James.” “That’s not true.” James said, frowning. I glared at him. “Oh yeah? Have you ever even had a problem? Tell me, James. What has been troubling you?” I said with mock concern. My fury was bubbling inside of me. He was such a conceited git. “Well how about you? You’ve had nothing to fight for. You get everything you want too. You have good grades, top in every class I bet. You’re Head Girl, you were prefect, all the teachers just love role model Lily Evans -” James said furiously. I furrowed my eyebrows. How could he say something like that? He didn’t even know me, he didn’t know that I had a lousy dad, that I didn’t even know if my mom was dead or alive, that my sister hated me...How. Could. He. Say. That! “She’s a perfectionist, she’s smart, she’s -” “Bloody well had enough!” I said angrily. James frowned at me. “You know what, fine!” I said, not really knowing that I wasn’t making sense. I marched across the room, but James held me back. “Next time, don’t talk about people if you don’t know them.” James said, frowning at me. For a moment his eyes softened, and he inched toward me as if he was about to kiss my lips...but then he tore his sight away from me and walked out the door. I stood there, my blood boiling. I spun around, yelling back at him. “Same goes for you, Potter!” He either ignored me or didn’t hear me, because I heard no response from him. I stormed into the hallway, people raising their eyebrows and staring at me. Gaby and Sirius were now torn apart, looking at me questionably. I shoved my way past them, wrenching the door open and walking out into the hall. I was so angry, I wish I had punched him or something. How could he say that about me? He didn’t even know me... Then the last words he had spoken to me flew past my mind. He was obviously feeling the same way... Maybe I was wrong about him. Maybe Potter didn’t get everything he wanted. Starting from me.

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