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Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)



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Old August 20th, 2006, 5:07 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

A FEEDBACK THREAD HAS BEEN OPENED! All feedback is welcome! Critisicm (good/bad) especially as I am trying to improve my writing. Thanks, everyone!

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TITLE: Confessions
RATING: THIS STORY DOES HAVE MILD SWEARING IN AT (AT TIMES!) SO READ AT OWN CAUTION! (PG-13)
SUMMARY: Takes place during fifth year. Follows most of canon plot provided by Rowling (ie. Marauders becoming Animagi, etc.) but new aspects and plot twists are all from my imagination. Enjoy!
GENRE: Romance/Comedy/Drama/Fantasy. Oh, God - what a mix.

*A FEW NOTES: I tend to get long-winded when writing fics. Hope you don't mind the long and probably boring descriptions I put up, but bear with me, you'll thanks me later. Also, you WILL be confused when you're done reading the first chapter. This is on purpose, as it is with my other fics. If you're patient enough, you'll find out the secrets! Enjoy!




1. MEETINGS IN THE DARK

"No way."
"Yes, way."
"No bloody way."
"Lily, shut up. I'm trying to concentrate"

Mary pressed her ear to the door behind which two boys had dissapeared a moment earlier. Lily was still staring at the door, looking half as though she wished she were somewhere far away from here at the moment, half as if her eyes were going to burst with incredulity.

"You so can not pretend you're not interested. I mean Potter and Grey sneaking off into a room? If you ask me, I'd say it's something fishy," stated Mary.

Lily giggled in spite of her self. She didn't need Mary to tell her that this was indeed more than fishy. What could the only two males in her now-nonexistant love life possibly be talking about after hours, in the old Transfiguration classroom which hasn't been used in years - not since that silly Moaning Myrtle scared the daylights of some poor first-year girl, and the girl sprinted around the school screaming that they were all going to die. Lily was sure that this was a myth, considering that a genius like Dumbledore couldn't possibly believe that kind of silly story - he probably knew the castle like the back of his hand, and there was no way there would be any threat to the students hidden anywhere within it (even though the girl was sure she was telling the truth). Lily shifted her gaze back to the stone door, trying to concentrate on the task at hand, which currently was to eavesdrop on James Potter and Avery Grey.

"Good Lord, what could they be talking about?! What could they be doing?" Mary excalimed wildly. The stone door proved to be soundproof (or something of the sort). Lily wondered why an old Transfiguration classroom had a seemingly soundproof stone door. Then again, that detail was part of a myth. And Lily never believed myths. Not most myths.

"Oh my God. Maybe Potter's gay!" Mary said, looking bewildered all of a sudden. Lily scowled. That would certainly explain this, but was as likely as Dumbledore doing shows in Muggle circuses.
"Potter? The one that switched out of Divination to Ancient Runes, just for the sake of being in the same classroom with me?" Lily answered, sounding very skeptical. "And Avery? The one who doesn't miss a chance to grab a girl's a@% anytime he passes one by that he considers worth grabbing?" Lily sighed.
"Oh, don't be going on about that, you're over him. You never know."
"Well, in fact, I know that he's not over me," replied Lily. "And let me tell you, he's not about to go and pick a fancy on Potter anytime soon. Those two are like.. well, me and Potter - the worst of enemies. But I bet you they're just discussing me again, or something like that. God, I'm so tired of them, constantly at it, as if my answer to going out with them would change anytime soon," she sighed again.

Mary thought this statement not to be very modest of Lily, but Lily definitely had her reasons, although Mary wouldn't at all have minded some attention from any guy these days (other than begging her to do their homework for them). Instead of picking a fight now, she turned back to the stone door to try eavesdropping one last time, but it proved unnecessary. She gasped as Potter and Grey stood outside the door, which was now ajar, both grinning from ear to ear. Lily sincerely hoped they didn't hear their pathetic conversation.

"You flatter yourself too much, Evans," said Potter, looking half-amused.
"And you keep your idiotic head out of other people's business!" Lily snapped back.
"Gees, look who's talking," Avery Grey answered at her, looking just as amused as Potter.

Lily made a face. There was no way in hell he was going to side against her now. Not after last week. Unable to come out with a suitable come back, she glanced at Mary, doing her best to look desperate while still looking as if she had some dignity left. Mary gave her a knowing look - Lily could always count on her to back her up. Mary was a master at improvisation.

"I'll have you know, McGonagall sent us," she said smartly. "You morons couldn't have looked more obvious leaving your dormitories, meeting up. She knew something was up and sent us!"

She looked very triumphant, but the look was instantly wiped from her face as she realized the absurdity of what she was saying. Not even Mary herself could get herself out of this. Lily stifled a laugh and watched on; this was out of her control.

"McGonagall sent you?" Avery said incredulously. But it was obvious he thought the story to be a complete ####-and-bull one and him and Potter erupted with laughter.
"The woman's not an idiot!" Potter exclaimed, wiping away tears. "Wouldn't she have come herself?!"

This proved too much for him to handle, and Lily wondered how Sirius Black would have reacted when he heard Mary's sad attempt at a smart retaliation - it was a fact that he loved a good laugh (at times though, to Lily's uttermost irritation as the laugh was probably at her expense). Even though the thought itself made Lily want to burst with laughter herself, she stopped herself remembering that these guys were poking fun at her best friend. She made a face that she really hoped imited deepest loathing (seeing as she was going to also burst with laughter any second now) and backed up her friend.

"Seeing as you don't believe us, you can go up to her office right now! I'd say she expected you earlier, but you held yourselves and us up with this rather pointless conversation. So," Lily loved sounding so smart and sympathetic-even-though-I'm-really-not-because-you're-an-a@%hole. "I'd skip off to her office right now if I were you," she finished in one smooth sentence.

The boys actually looked serious or a second, as though they actually believed her (to the girls' uttermost suprise) but the next second they were doubling over in laughter. Even Mary looked doubtful about this sad excuse. But hoping to regain some dignity, the girls made to stomp out of the hallway to the Gryffindor common room, when Potter finally found the breath to extract some words from his currently-hysterical self.

"Oh, you can go stomp all you want. But you have to admit it Evans - you want me!" Lily stopped dead in her tracks and glared at Potter. Even Avery was no longer looking as, err, amused. "You were so eavesdropping on us. You so want me," he half sneered half imitated flirting.
"Or me," Avery added quickly. Potter raised an eyebrow at him. "Well, she was eavesdropping on both of us so..." he attempted an explanation, but Lily was already rolling her eyes.
"Eh. You're contradicting yourself. So, proving my earlier statements, which also proves," she added, suddenly inspired, "you must have been eavesdropping on us seeing as you weren't exactly included our conversation..." she was getting really confused in her words now. Regaining her confidence, she continued. "Considering all of... err, that, I was deinitely not 'over-flattering myself' as you so kindly put it," finished Lily sarcastically, knowing that she must have looked slightly flushed; saying sometihng like this really took a lot out of her. She wasn't really rebellious enough to stand up to someone like that. But she deemed Potter's case special enough to make an exception.

Avery and James really looked like they weren't ready to accept defeat, so turned to rolling their eyes as the finishing 'statement' to this rather silly arguement.

Seeing this, Lily and Mary spun on their heel and stormed to their common room, trying their best to look mad, but as they turned a corner and were sure to not be seen by the boys, they erupted with laughter.

"God, that was, err... interesting," Mary said as she regained some of her breath - they were now climbing up stairs and doing this at the same time as laughing uncontrollably proved a challenge.
"There is no way we are doing this again."
"Oh, come on, I know you want to know what was going on in there!"
"I'm sticking with my old suspicions - they were probably discussing how the green dress looked on me in Hogsmeade," Lily replied smoothly. Then she realized something. "God, I'm acting like Potter, all full of myself and all," she giggled. "I hope you're not offended."
"Wizengamot," said Mary to the Fat Lady, who opened the door to the common room and Mary paused in the doorway and raised her eyebrows at Lily. "No worries. Just remember, when you snog Potter that I want Lupin and Potter's friends with him," she said grinning.
"Snog Potter? Are you out of your mind? What in the name of Merlin would-"
"It's like he said himself - you so want him."

Lily's jaw dropped and she smacked her friend on the shoulder sheepishly and they both giggled. Lily did not want James Potter and never would. Or would she? No. No way. She pushed this gruesome thought out of her mind, imagining what the world would have to come to for her to want Potter. The only male Lily had ever come close to fancying was Avery Grey. And we all know how that turned out.

***

Back in the hallway on the third floor, James and Avery stood there, now dumbfounded. They glanced at each other coldly. This meeting with Lily was certainly unexpected and they hoped they'd acted as nonchalant as possible about their own secret meeting. This was after all a discussion certainly not fit for talk in the Great Hall or any other hallway for that matter, and they were not in the same house, so dormitories don't count - James being in Gryffindor, and Avery in Ravenclaw. Plus, this was strictly business and everyone knew that business has to be kept between the dealers; they couldn't have people gossiping around about this kind of stuff.

They walked towards the split in the hallway in silence. Finally when they were to part ways, Avery gave James a wave which James returned only half-heartedly, and strolled back to the Gryffindor tower, replaying the events of the past few minutes in his head, making sure to remember every word Lily had said, savouring it all. He really was hoping she wanted him but knew better than to get his hopes up.

***

Lily and Mary returned to their dormitory to find one of their other friends buried deep in homework.

"So you've really decided to pull a Mary," said Lily smirking in Mary's direction. All of them loved to make fun of her fondness of staying on top of school work.

Mary scowled at Lily as she got ready to go to bed. The girl on the four-poster next to Lily's, who was writing away almost furiously on the parchment, sighed.

"Stupid Binns, assigning a six foot long essay on a Friday."
"Tanya! You have the whole weekend for Christ's sake!" Lily exclaimed. "Even Mary's not doing it yet."
"That's because I'm done. Finished it during the lunch hour," said Mary proudly form under the covers.

Someone from outside of this friendship would have expected them to stare in astonishment at Mary, but Lily scoffed and her and Tanya exchanged knowing looks. They were used to Mary always having all homework finished two weeks (or something like that) before it's due. They even gave up trying to beat her at it when Mary realized the competition and made her own Defense Against the Dark Arts essay five times longer than needed. The girls were sure that the teacher didn't even bother marking it and just gave her a A.

"How did the spying go anyway?" Tanya asked, not turning away from her essay.

Lily and Mary told the story to Tanya who was so amused by it she even stopped scribbling about animagus rebellions for a minute to listen.

"Lily... why do you not want Potter anyway?" Tanya ventured once they could no longer laugh and were all a little calmer.

Lily didn't reply because she knew her excuses were getting weak. James had stopped being a bully last year, only occasionally cracking jokes about Severus Snape. But Snape really had deserved those jokes, himself being very against Muggle-born witches and wizards, so Lily could hardly use James' bullying on him as an excuse because she could feel no sympathy for the greasy-haired and crooked nosed kid no matter how hard she tried. In fact, now that she looked at the situation more clearly, there was no real reason for Lily despising James now. But she couldn't just be friendly to him. She couldn't being herself to do it. It felt wrong just thinking about it. A sudden leap in your heart when thinking about being friendly with Potter does mean that it's wrong doesn't it?

Lily turned to the window, well aware that Mary and Tanya were still gazing at her expectantly. She surveyed the dark November night outside for a minute, then gave them an annoyed look.

"You know, let's just forget it. Look, it's Hogsmeade tomorrow. We'll need plenty of sleep for that," Lily said, making sure that this conversation would be over.

Mary rolled over and was now turned away from the two girls, facing the dark corner in which her bed stood so her expression was not visible to Lily, but she knew it must have been one of great irritation. Tanya shrugged and turned back to her essay for History of Magic.

"Wonder where Keenyah and Trisha are," muttered Tanya, referring to the other two girls who lived in their dormitory with them. Tanya yawned widely.
"Probably lurking about," Lily muttered back, just as sleepily as Tanya had. "I suppose they're still trying to get a glimpse of Black in his knickers. When will they stop sneaking into his dormitory?"
"They really are abusing the privilege."
"Let them." Lily sighed.
"Good night then, I suppose."
"Night."
"Night," Mary chimed in to their suprise.

Lily knew her totally unnecessary boy drama was annoying her friends, but was glad to know that they still had her back no matter how unfriendly they acted towards the situation. Her mind now drifted off to Avery. Lily instantly regretted it because she knew it would keep her up at night, the same question that always refused to leave her mind.

What had happened with him?

Lily knew the answer full well but indeed, she got little sleep that night, even though the candle on Tanya's bedside table went out almost immediately after Lily went to sleep. She never knew that she could ever feel this confused and obsessed over something that she would normally spare no thought whatsoever.

***

Lucius Malfoy glanced over his shoulder as he whispered something incoherent to an unfortunate-looking boy with greasy black hair that James knew to be Severus Snape. James had his own reasons for being there, but watched in shock as the door to the Room of Requirement appeared in the wall on the seventh floor and Malfoy and Snape walked swiftly into the room.

It appeared he wasn't the only one discussing apparently important issues tonight.



2. FRIENDSHIPS ABLAZE

Lily opened her eyes reluctantly.

Potions.

She felt disgusted that the first thought of her morning was her Potions project. She was supposed to have fun today, not think of stupid assignments. She imagined Slughorn's beaming face when she would hand in her project on Monday, and felt a sudden urge to just not do any of it. But even as she thought it, Lily knew she was going to do it. And every other little piece of work Slughorn puts her up to these days. Ever since the fifth year started, he's always been giving her little errands to run for him - bringing him pumpkin juice, passing on messages to the prefects, like she's his personal assistant or something. Lily found this very annoying but knew that there was no way she would ever stand up to him, or any teacher for that matter. School work was far too important to her. She was interrupted from her musings by Keenyah who looked like she'd been up for a while now.

"Morning."
"Hey you," Lily replied, happy to see a friendly face. She couldn't remember her dream but something told her it wasn't a very pleasant one. "How did Sirius look?"
"What?" Keenyah said, giggling sheepishly. She knew exactly what Lily was talking about. "No, not yesterday. Me and Remus had to do our stupid prefect duties and caught some first-years snogging on the staircase up to the dormitory," she sighed.

Lily did remember seeing a couple snogging on the staircase. She handn't paid much attention to them though.

"You're kidding me!" she exclaimed wildly. "First years? They're eleven years old for Pete's sake!"
"Tell me about it. Can't they find something a little more... innocent to do with their time?"
"Look who's talking!" Lily grinned. Keenyah was notorious, mostly among the guys, for her stunning looks.

Lily supposed it hard for the guys not to gape at Keenyah with her shoulder-length natural blonde hair, pale skin and black eyes. On most people this combination would have looked terrifying, but Keenyah always looked perfect.

"Ahh, anyway. It's so annoying, just when I get a second to myself, or err... to Sirius, I should say, I have to go and patrol the corridors and do all these annoying prefect duties..." Keenyah vented but noticed the glum look on Lily's face.

Lily wanted to be a prefect. She wanted so badly to be a prefect, but it didn't happen. She happened to be at Keenyah's house when they got their Hogwarts letters in August and she almost expected a shiny badge in her envelope. She even shook the envelope and ripped it in half to make sure she hadn't missed it somehow when it didn't fall out into her palm like she expected it to when she opened the envelope. And then she saw it in Keenyah's hand and ever since then, couldn't help but hold a tiny grudge against her friend. She made it a point later to ask Dumbledore why he didn't make her a prefect but thought better of it - she didn't want to seem paranoid with a permanent grudge against those who do better than her (at times). Which she actually was.

And now, Keenyah had the nerve to complain about prefect duties in front of Lily, who'd give anything in the world to be one. Keenyah looked just about ready to shut up and shifted her gaze towards the ground. She didn't want to spark a fight between herself and her good friend, but it's not like things were going so well anyway...

Lily was now staring out the window occasionally picking at her nails as if bored. They sat in this icy silence for a couple of seconds when Keenyah finally found the courage to speak.

"Didn't have a good sleep, did you?"
"Huh?"

Lily could see frustration on her friend's face but was now going to give in so easily. If anyone had a right to be frustrated, it was her, not Keenyah.

"Girl, what is up with you these days? You look like you're having nightmares every night-"
"What do you mean, 'I look', you were watching me?" Lily said glancing at the rest of her sleeping friends, and could only imagine what they must have been saying about her. And her nightmares.
"Don't interrupt me," Keenyah said sharply and continued. "And you... you never talk to us anymore either."
"What? I talk to you guys every day, I-" Lily said, confused, but was cut off by Tanya who appeared to not have been sleeping at all.
"Yeah, but you never really talk to us, you know? We know something's up."
"And frankly, it's getting rather annoying. You're always drifting off into your own little world," cut in Trisha who obviously wasn't sleeping either. Lily had a strange suspicion that Mary was involved in this 'intervention' too, but was obviously not playing her part. "It's like we don't exist to you."

She couldn't believe they were doing this. Not now. Not before they planned a whole fun day in Hogsmeade. Lily sat on her bed, stunned and silent not really knowing what to say.

"Look, let's just go to Hogsmeade, we'll talk in the evening-" she finally muttered.
"Yeah, you bet we will!" Keenyah said in an angry tone, but Lily knew that her and the rest of the girls just wanted the best for her. She sighed.
"Look, I'm sorry, it's just... I've just been a little confused lately, it's all me," she said feeling genuinely sorry. "It's got nothing to do with you guys, don't worry," she added noticing the doubtful look on their face.
"Just come to us if you need us for anything, okay?" Trisha said, now with a little more warmth in her voice.
"I know, I know... Sometimes I just need some time alone to... to figure some stuff out."

Lily didn't even know what it was she needed to figure out. The year's just started two and a half months ago, and so much was happening already, what with her break-up with Avery at the beginning of the year and Potter's ridiculous attempts at going out with her. He wasn't even really trying, but Lily knew that everything he ever said to her was leading up to asking her out, so she avoided him as much as humanly possible and only talked to him if it was a necessity.

And then there's Potter constantly sneaking off to talk to various people in different houses after hours, Remus Lupin still leaving every month to visit his mother, and all the teachers acting funny. Something was up. Lily just knew it, and needed to figure it out. Usually she would have confided all of this in her friends, but this time, it felt different. It felt wrong to get them all worried up alongside her, about something that was still in the phase of conspiracy, for she could only imagine what the students and teachers of Hogwarts were up to these days.

She continued to make small talk with her friends as they woke up, got ready and descended down to the Great Hall, and tried her best to hide that curiosity was eating her up on the inside. She wasn't sure if her charade was successful, but none of the girls mentioned anything until they came to Hogsmeade a couple of hours later.

***

"Mate, Grey isn't going to budge, no matter how much you tell him," sighed Sirius. "He can barely put two and two together, what difference is it going to make what we say, or what you say, or what anybody else says for that matter."
"But I need his help... the information isn't anywhere else and... it's my only chance-"
"Look James, I know you want to see your family but... James. Be realistic. There is no way you'll be able to pull this off. And what if your animal isn't even something they'd let in the house?" Sirius looked at James, his facial features unable to hide concern.
"You don't understand!" spat James.

Peter and Remus cringed but Sirius was now glaring at his best friend.

"What exactly don't I understand? Okay,I know you want to see them, and if I could I would even trade my own situation-"
"I'm not a charity case, Sirius, I don't need your sympathy!" James retorted heatedly, cutting off Sirius in mid-sentence. Calming down a little, he continued. "I just need you guys to help me. I'm sick of this."
"I know... we'll figure something out," Sirius said, also calming down.
"I'll help you!" squeaked Peter. James nodded apreciatively. "Hey! Have you thought of going to Dumbledore about this?"

James snorted sarcastically. No. He hadn't thought of it, and now that Peter mentioned it, he realized why - this was the most absurd idea ever. He was sure that more than half the students at Hogwarts come from families where there must be problems at home (considering that half of them come from Muggle families who had four years ago found out their child is a witch or a wizard; hardly your everyday piece of news), and Dumbledore probably couldn't want less to look at each case closely, let alone James' own. No. He'd deal with this on his own.

Thinking now of his family filled James with a mixture of fury, love and... hatred. He hated the fact that they'd expected such unrealistic things of him. He knew himself well, and this made him realize full well he'd never live up to the family tradition. If what they'd wanted him to do had really been made clear during their last meeting in July, then James knew that he could never do it. He could never be like that. Which meant he was no longer welcome in their home. This was the harsh truth, but during the past few months he had come to accept it. Not wanting to dwell on this any longer, he turned to his friends after gazing at the dormitory door (he was unsure exactly why) for a few minutes.

"Let's get down to the Great Hall," he told them. "And then Hogsmeade!" he added enthusiastically.
"Bet you want your fill of Evans for the day, huh?" Remus chuckled and the rest followed suit.
"I'm not sure..." James answered, looking earnest.

The boys stared at him in astonishment, not really sure whether they liked this new James. Since when had he not been 'sure' about wanting to see Lily Evans?

"Gotcha!" James sneered at them, half laughing.

Comprehension dawned on the boys' eyes and they started punching him playfully. He hadn't changed a bit; he was going to try Evans again today. This was going to be fun.


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Confessions. .(Chapter 14 is up)
Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 19th, 2006 at 2:47 am.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 5:12 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

3. PORRIDGE, HOGSMEADE, AND ROSES

As the girls were eating their breakfast in the Great Hall, they groaned when they saw James Potter slide over to their end of the Gryffindor table. Lily opened her mouth almost routinely, prepared to give James her usual speech of I-am-just-way-too-busy-so-thanks-but-no-thanks which she gave every time James started talking to her. She felt rude about it, but wouldn't change her ways - as it was stated previously, this had become almost routine for her.

But today, to Lily and the girls' utter surprise, James didn't even look like he was going to try flirting. He looked tired, a little weary, but the most bizarre fact of all was that he just emitted this whole atmosphere of... kindness. Which was quite rare for James Potter.

"I don't know how you can stand eating that stuff," he said, revolted and pointing at Lily's porridge.

Her jaw dropped, but she regained her composure as fast as she had lost it. Had he just tried to insult her? Lily shot her friends a curious glance before looking up at James. God, he looked good.

"It is, in fact, very healthy stuff. You could try it once in a while, you know," she said, sternly.
"I know it's healthy; our old Quidditch captain made us eat it when I was in the third year," he replied. Lily thought he could have been showing off (about making the Quidditch team only in his third year) but the sincerity in his voice made her believe otherwise. "It was supposed to help our performance, but to tell you the truth, I don't think it would have mattered if we ate fried pumpkins with ice cream. The Slytherin team that year was bloody amazing."

Lily stifled a giggle and shrugged instead, poking at her porridge with her spoon. Was she actually having a real, pleasant conversation with James Potter? Then she realized that it had to be a two-way street if it were to be called a conversation and took the next few seconds of awkward silence as her cue to speak.

"Well, I don't really like it that much either, I just... you know, it was closest to me on the table-" she started but giggled instead. Random words seemed to be pouring out of her mouth before she could stop them. "My mum made porridge for me and my sister when I was little and I guess I sort of just gotten used to eating it..."

Why was she suddenly saying all of this? She knew she mustn't - if she let it get too far, she knew she'd let her guard down, and that's not safe to do around James Potter. But she couldn't help it. For some reason, she felt almost obliged to continue speaking.

The girls were observing this rather strange scene with such curiosity that Lily wondered if talking in the Great Hall was James' best choice. And so, it went on for another couple of minutes, and then they decided to head down to Hogsmeade. Lily made it clear that she wanted to walk only with her friends. James seemed to not have had trouble with this.

"Meet me at Honeydukes at 12 o'clock then," he said simply.

And that was it. One year of getting her to go out with him, and he hadn't even waited for a 'yes'. He just headed out of the Hall. Lily was left utterly confused. Was she going to go?

***

"Porridge?"
"Porridge."
"Porridge?!"
"Yes, for the millionth time-"
"You talked about porridge with her? Out of all the topics!" Sirius exclaimed incredulously as they walked out of the castle and made their way to Hogsmeade.
"Well, it just felt natural, so we talked about-"
"Porridge," Peter, Remus and Sirius finished his sentence for him in unison. The look of disbelief on their faces was almost comical.

Sirius dropped his face into his hands and rubbed it, obviously not understanding how someone could possibly talk about porridge with someone they'd been trying to get to go out with them for almost two years now.

James gazed at his friends, not really caring for their honest criticism. It had worked. He had a conversation with Lily for more than a minute without making her hate him. That was a start. And he knew that the way he ended it was brilliant.

"I tried some of your tactics, you know," he said to Remus, who turned to him, clearly proud.
"Oh yeah? Well, it's always obvious, you make conversation out of your differences and then you build on from there..." Remus began but noticed his friends grinning widely at him.
"Oh, and since when are you the expert on girls here? Move over Sirius, I think you have some competition!" James joked, but suddenly his face turned serious again. "No really, is there a book on this that you're reading or something? Because I could really use with reading it," he grimaced, obviously referring to his poor flirting skills and thinking back to the porridge, as the rest of them gave him a well deserved laugh.
"And by the way, I have no competition, and never will!" said Sirius in a manner that did not much represent modesty.

They reached Hogsmeade talking, laughing and coming up with perfect scenarios and conditions for Lily and James to snog in. James really thought that they were acting rather like girls, planning snogging sessions and everything, but knew that it was all sarcastic so didn't say anything. As they sat down on a bench in front of Zonko's Joke Shop, they noticed Avery Grey and a group of his Ravenclaw friends making their way towards them. James sighed, and the boys became very stiff.

"Look Potter, I seriously don't know what you're playing at. If you really want this, then fine, I'll call my father. But I don't need you to go rotting me out to everyone you meet!" Avery whispered violently as he approached James, looking and sounding very exasperated, as though he had been dealing with something serious all morning.
"What the bloody hell? I appreciate it, thanks, but I didn't go to nobody-"
"Don't take me for a fool Potter, and don't cross me. You get on my bad side and you bloody pay, got it?" he said menacingly. James couldn't read his face but there was something final about his tone of voice.

Avery stalked off, his friends shooting warning glances at James and the boys. James had no idea what Avery could have possibly been talking about.

"What in the name of-" Peter started, looking confused, but James cut him off.
"I don't know. Whatever he thinks I've done, I guess it's not pretty," he said, reading Peter's mind.

Sirius looked angered but, to James' relief, showed no sign of going off and questioning them. They definitely wanted answers, but were sure that violence, let alone anger would not be the way to get them.

This was highly unlike the Avery they, or at least James, knew. Avery Grey always kept his cool and always knew what to say, when and where. But when he spoke to him, Grey seemed disshevelled and he had bags under his eyes. James couldn't have done or said anything that would be taken in as harmful to him at all, because he hadn't seen Grey since their late night meeting last night. This was indeed very suspicious, because Avery even seemed to give in to James' request, something he'd been very reluctant to do.

But smelling the familiar vanilla fragrance wheeze by, James spun around just in time to catch a glimpse of Lily's dark red mane of hair dissapearing into the Joke Shop. He made to go inside, but a hand stopped him firmly.

"Mate," said Remus very matter-of-factly. "Get her roses."
"Roses? It's not even Valentine's Day!" James exclaimed in disbelief, completely forgetting his previous musings.
"James. This is your one chance and you can't screw it up," added Sirius expertly. "Get the girl some damn roses."
"But... roses?" James groaned.
"Okay," Remus started, with clear irritation on his face. "It's a first date-"
"Might be a first date," Sirius corrected him, to which he received a raised eyebrow from James.
"Right. So if she shows up, you'll want to impress her, right?" Remus stated, sounding very much like he definitely knew what he was talking about.

Stunned silence.

"If she shows up and sees roses, then she'll be-"
"Impressed," James, Sirius and Peter finished in unison, however, with a frown.
"And if she doesn't show up and hears you got her roses, which I can assure you, we'll take care of," Remus continued with a sly grin. "She'll feel guilty, but will at the same time will be very-"
"Impressed."

The boys stared at Remus as if he conjured Santa out of thin air. Seriously, since when was Remus such an expert on girls?

"Girls love roses, I heard!" Peter squeaked excitedly.

Getting roses for Lily was supposed to get him Lily? James couldn't have been more confused about something that, in a regular situation, would have made all the sense in the world. It took him a moment to realize that this actually was a regular situation - guy nervous for first date, so gets the girl roses... But something still didn't click.

He looked at his three friends, hoping to see a hint of sarcasm. But they must have been dead serious, and even Peter was grinning stupidly. He knew what he must do, yet he still could not believe himself as he walked up to the Market Square in Hogsmeade to buy Lily Evans roses.

***

"I really don't know what this could be about," said Lily, irritated. Her friends have been interrogating her ever since James stalked off to Hogsmeade and left them alone that morning.
"Well, it can't really be a date can it?" said Mary smartly. "I mean, it's Honeydukes, not exactly very romantic, is it?"
"I've got a better reason why it can't really be a date," said Lily, rolling her eyes.

The four girls stared at her perplexed, as if the fact that they were meeting at Honeydukes, out of all places, was not a good enough reason for this to not be considered a date.

"And it would be because..." Keenyah started Lily's sentence for her.
"Because I haven't even said yes!" Lily stomped around the snow outside Zonko's. "And he didn't even bother waiting for me to say yes! Hardly common courtesy!"
"More like a necessity," agreed Tanya. "What if you'd been meaning to say no, and he showed up, waiting there, all alone? He'd never risk something like that."
"Because it would ruin his bloody reputation if everyone knew he got rejected by a girl!" added Lily proudly.

Keenyah and Trisha shook their heads, and Mary spoke as if reading their minds.

"No, he wouldn't be scared of that."

Lily and Tanya looked at her questioningly.

"Well, he's already been rejected by you countless times, it would hardly come as a surprise! It'd be just something else for people to laugh and talk about if they're bored, so that still leaves him in position of power," stated Mary.
"Because he just loves to have people talk about him, to be the center of attention," Lily said, comprehension dawning on her.
"Even if it's about a bad thing!" Tanya exclaimed and the rest of them silently agreed, nodding their heads.

Lily realized that Potter probably didn't even care if she showed up or not. He probably just wanted to be the subject of the school gossip once again. But he was an obvious fool - the gossip would never last. People are already used to her rejecting him whenever he tries to ask her out. But she knew that if she didn't show up, she'd be the girl that's extremely full of herself, rejecting guys for no obvious reason (even though her reason had been pretty plausible; up until the end of last term and the start of this year, when Potter suddenly transformed into a saint). And she also knew that if she did show up, she'd be the girl that gives in easily (people tend to ignore past events when new gossip items come up). Lily was left in a complete dilemma.

"Still. Him and his overstuffed ego probably think I'll go even if he didn't wait for a yes," she said, clearly not willing to give in. "It's disgusting, really, how how he thinks so much of himself-"

She paused when she saw Mary basically about to explode with laughter, and the rest of them clearly stifling chuckles.

"What?" said Lily, confused.
"You so want to go," said Mary, who was always the most enthusiastic about Lily dating James - this would mean she'd have a chance with Remus.

Lily made a sound of disgust, which was taken as cue to change the subject and let her fuss over her options in her head for a while.

It was nearing 12 o'clock when the girls had finished walking, shopping and talking around Hogsmeade. Lily was glad to have had her mind off of James for a while. She still didn't know what she was going to do, but her mind was leaning towards one of the options.

Having weighed the pros and cons of each, Lily came up with a solution. Yes, she'd go on the stupid date with Potter, but the only reason for that would be to satisfy his overly stuffed ego. She was going to pray to God that he would stop asking her out after that, having his wish of going out with her fulfilled. If he did ask her out again, it would be the same old story - she would of course, keep saying no.

"Good luck! If anything happens, we'll probably be in the Three Broomsticks, you can meet us there," said Mary to Lily, like a proud mother watching her daughter graduate or something.
"Have fun! You know you will!" Trisha added and Keenyah grinned slyly.
"And if he tries anything, you know we'll rip his large head off for you," said Tanya quietly, but reassuringly.

Lily nodded and parted with her friends, glad to be out of their sight. Frankly, she didn't need all those parting words. This was no big deal. She thought she had everything planned out - one date with Potter, and he's out of the picture, and if he continues to be a bloody brat, the same old routine comes into play.

She opened the doors of Honeydukes and immediately spotted James with roses in his hands. It was too late when she realized she overlooked one of the possible scenarios. What if the date actually went well?

***

James couldn't believe this was happening. He was almost extatic.

"Hello there," he had said to Lily when she walked into Honeydukes at 12 o'clock.
"Err, hello," she replied, rather awkwardly. "How've you been?"
"What, since four hours ago?" he grinned at her, and could swear he was on cloud nine when she giggled back.

Lily's jaw had almost dropped to the floor as she accepted his roses, muttering countless you shouldn't have's and very much unnecessary's. But through all the murmuring and curious glances he received from her in the few minutes after he'd given her the roses, he could tell she loved them. Remus was bloody right.

Once the awkward stage of the meeting was over with his extremely useful joke (he had practised a couple of them in the mirror before even coming down to breakfast in case he needed to use them; he was now surely glad he did that) the rest of their time together went by flawlessly. Somehow, they'd managed to make an interesting and pleasant conversation, and talked a little as they picked out some candies in Honeydukes.

Then, James suggested they get a bite to eat in that new place down at the end of Main Street, called Madam Puddifoot's. This turned out to be a great choice on his part, as it seemed to be full with couples, which encouraged the romantic mood between them. James was dissapointed though, when they found out that Madam Puddifoot doesn't serve any real lunch food.

"Not even sandwiches?" he asked her, hopefully.
"Sorry my dears. I never opened this place with hopes of it becoming a luncheon! I've got coffee, tea, cake-"
"Cake sounds delicious," Lily interrupted Madam Puddifoot (to which she seemed offended, but regained her composure nevertheless)
"Cake it is. Any coffee or tea, dears?" Madam replied sweetly, however, there was a newfound iciness in her tone. She clearly didn't like to be interrupted, and Lily was clearly acting oblivious to this. James had no idea how he didn't burst with laughter, but knew it had something to do with him not wanting to seem like a maniac in front of Lily.
"Coffee or me, and..." James said and turned to her. He scolded himself for not finding out what she liked to eat or drink. This could have been the perfect romantic moment.
"Coffee for me too, thanks."

James admired her even more after this. Lily wasn't one of those girls who survived on salads and... tofu. She actually ate cakes! And coffee! And she was still slim, beautiful, and all in all perfect. He had always known that she was different from every other girl, but now he was completely sure of it, and felt a deep fondness for her. She really was the girl of his dreams.

But one thing was really bugging him. She'd been very reluctant to go out with him the last two years. Why had Lily changed now? She wasn't even trying to pick fights, and acted as though none of their previous misunderstandings and falling outs had happened. James decided to put this thought to the back of his mind, not wanting to ruin a date that was going way better than he had expected it to. He felt suspicious for a moment, but knew that he shouldn't be - this was Lily Evans. What on earth was he worrying about? He almost wanted to laugh out at the absurdity of his own thoughts.

The rest of the day was amazing. They didn't talk much as they continued walking around the streets of Hogsmeade that they knew only too well. Neither of them seemed to mind this however, because it proved to be a beautiful November's day, with the sun shining brightly above them, as if showing its' approval. James led her to a secret path down near the Shrieking Shack. Lily looked skeptical.

"Are you sure this is safe?"
"Don't worry, I've been here loads of times myself," James half laughed as he led her up a hill through what seemed like an abandoned sight-seeing trail.

They made their way through long grass and many rustling leaves beneath their feet, and James could tell Lily was getting rather tired of walking up the hill because of her heavy breathing and flushed cheeks. James was growing tired himself. But he knew that she would love what she saw, because she was probably the kind of girl that appreciates these kinds of things. It was the least he could do to show her.

When they finally reached the top of the hill, Lily looked like she was going to shout aloud, but only a tiny squeak managed to escape her mouth. They looked down and found that the hill overlooked the whole of the Hogwarts grounds, and Hogsmeade, and the castle. It always looked beautiful when James came down here, but everytime he saw it, he felt a newfound interest in the sight. He saw Lily's mouth open slightly, as if in awe, and couldn't help but feel very proud of himself.

"This is life, huh?"

Lily nodded slightly, still looking taken aback by this sight.

"I'm not sure if I'm the only one who knows about this place but... you're certainly the first person I've ever shown," he continued, searching for words to say.

He was reminded a lot of the cheesy scenes in soap operas, but knew that this was why they always worked - it was a very romantic atmosphere indeed.

"So nobody else ever comes here?" asked Lily.
"Not that I know of."

She continued looking down the hill, silent for about two minutes.

"You know, it's not just for a joke," James heard himself saying suddenly. Lily's head jerked up at him, as if by instinct.
"What're you talking about?"
"You know. All those times I asked you out. All those times I acted a fool just to-" he couldn't bring himself to say it. "-just to be in the same room as you," he finally managed and felt a little nauseous.
"Oh," Lily gulped. "I always thought it was... exactly that, I guess. A joke, or a prank," Lily started excitedly. "But..." she trailed off.

James fixated his eyes on her.

"Lily, you've never been a joke, never have and never will be," he said, all of a sudden, knowing exactly what to say.

She gave him a quizzical look.

"I'm as serious about you - about us - as I can ever be about anything," he continued, knowing full well that he probably sounded like Shakespeare. "But if you dont... if you don't want to, or you know-" he added quickly, but Lily's lips curled into a subtle smile, and James knew that that had been enough.

***

Lily didn't say anything, but continued looking over the castle, the beautiful grounds. If only he knew that in her mind, she was taking in everything but the beautiful sight.

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Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:50 am.
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  #3  
Old August 20th, 2006, 5:15 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

Hi, you guys, I'm new on this board and this is my first fic. I love feedback, and if you have any reviews or questions, feel free to owl me.

Anastasia

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Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:50 am.
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Old August 20th, 2006, 5:29 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

4. THREE, TWO, ONE... ACTION!


Trisha, Keenyah, Mary, Tanya and Lily sat in the Three Broomsticks, sipping butterbeer.

"Do you think he meant it?" inquired Trisha quietly. She was a sucker for romance, especially one that reminded her of a soap opera.
"I don't know," replied Lily. And she really didn't - it had surely been an interesting day.

They sat quietly for a while, and Lily took this time to recap all that has happened since this morning in her mind - her spontaneous flirting with James at breakfast, him asking her out and not even waiting for a response, their ridiculously perfect date... She knew that this could be the perfect start to a relationship that had the potential to bloom into something more. But she also knew, deep inside, that she couldn't do it. How long has she spent avoiding him in the halls and in classes? Rejecting him (rather carelessly, now that she looked back at it) in front of everyone in the Great Hall? Ignoring him whenever he striked a conversation with her, or tried to help her in class? Lily didn't know why, but a sudden wave of guilt came over her. Guilt. She felt sorry for James, because she realized that all that happened between them - all the bickering, fighting, that every interaction between them came to - had been her fault, and it suddenly dawned on her just how much she had put him through these past few years (or at least ever since he developed the very strong liking for her).

No, she told herself, and pushed the guilt out of her mind. Lily had a good reason for doing all that she did to James. I had all the right to do it. He is an inconsiderate jerk, who cares for nobody but himself-

Is he really?, another side of her mind inquired. All this time, she'd told herself that him liking her was a big charade for what was really a plot to play a big joke on her and humiliate her. Then again, he told you it wasn't a joke! And you know he was telling the truth. And indeed, Lily knew that he was saying the truth.

And so, the ongoing battle that the two sides of her mind were fighting, went on as she took out the note he had given her. Well, actually it was more like a letter. A limitless letter - it was two and a half pieces of parchment explaining every little incident that had happened since about two years ago

"You know, I think that all the fights we had, and every time you... didn't go out with me," James said to her as they prepared to part after their 'date'. "I know it was because we, err... We really didn't understand each other, you know? So, here-" he continued, holding out the envelope which contained the letter. "We don't really have the time to discuss it here..."
"And we'd probably take twice as long, considering both our points of view," said Lily, but trying to not sound to aggressive, she added a faint grin.
"And considering I'd probably stutter half the words out anyway," laughed James, and she followed suit, although a little awkwardly.

This conversation reminded Lily so much of a soap opera scene, she was almost expecting cameras to come rolling in. Then she realized they probably don't use cameras in the Wizarding world; they've probably got equipment that is a little more magical than just cameras. Or do they? (Lately, she'd gotten into the habit of letting her thoughts wonder to endless limits, whenever she had some free time on her hands. But this unmanageable habit was actually becoming one of the biggest of Lily's problems these days)

James cleared his throat and handed her the letter. Lily felt grateful to him, mainly because she really managed to get her mind off her worries today (ironically enough, considering half of those were about him) and because he had actually been pleasant to be around. She wondered if it had been a lot work, not being a jerk and all. Then she realized he never really had been a jerk and... this was where her mind battle began.

Lily thought back to when they parted with waves, and she even managed to be nice about it and add a 'see you later!' to his retreating back. Looking back to the letter, she read a little more of it, and found one of the parts too funny to not laugh out loud. Her friends awoke from their own musings and stared expectantly at her as they noticed her chuckle to herself. Lily read the piece out loud.

'... and remember when you thought I was stealing when you saw me carrying the three enormous bags of candies from Honeydukes, and you ran up and tackled me, yelling how a lying, stinking brat like me had the nerve to steal?'

Lily paused. That had been a moment more humiliating for her that anything James could have possibly pulled. It was obvious he wasn't stealing - he was carrying bags. Lily wondered just how thick she must have been a couple of years ago, when this happened.

'And then you taped my mouth shut, not wanting to hear any excuses, and dragged me to Dumbledore's office? I thought it was funny when he laughed, because I swear, that old guy can read minds - he knew I wasn't stealing anything, no matter how much you pressed your opinion. Believe it or not, it makes me laugh thinking back to this (I'm sure hoping he didn't know the real reason I had so much candy with me that day...)

You want to know what really happened? I had really wanted to impress you, and Remus-'

Mary's head jerked up.

'-he told me to buy you candy, because he said girls really love candy. The problem is, I didn't know which one you liked, so I bought nearly every single kind, and sent them to you.'

Lily remembered the countless packages of candy she received, and remembered eating every single one (having actually liked every one he sent her), but she did really wonder who the secret admirer could have been, sending candy every day by owl past. Tanya said it might have been Santa (this happened around Christmas time) but then she corrected herself, saying that Santa would have only sent candies in the colours red and green. Tanya really wasn't the brightest little girl either back then.

'Foolishly, I forgot to write who the candies were from, and by the time I'd sent about three of them, I didn't even stop to write a note with it, so you obviously had no way of knowing it had been me; naturally, I don't blame you. I thought I was really succeeding when you didn't send a single one of them back, so I took that as... well I obviously thought you liked me, I mean wouldn't you think that too if you were me? Just joking. (I'm really grinning as I'm writing this) Anyway, I came up to you in the Great Hall and asked you out. That was the first time I did it, and it was (ironically enough) the most embarassing one of all.'

Hating herself as she read it, Lily paused for breath. She really had been a big b*tch to him. The letter was nearing the end and seeing the eager stares of her friends, she decided to finish reading it for them. It was nothing too personal anyway (not most of it).

'Lily, that was in our third year. I didn't give up on you ever since, and you know it. I don't know why you hate me so much, but you must have your own reasons, and I'll respect them and hope that one day you'll have the heart to tell me. Maybe then, I'll be able to correct myself. I really don't know what I'm doing wrong here, seeing as I've tried everything. I remember for a brief week last year I gave up on you, thinking that if you rejected me this far, there was no way you'd ever come around to at least liking me back. But even as I stopped really flirting with you-'

"Right," scoffed Keenyah and Trisha. Lily frowned at them, and continued.

'-you still remained cold towards me, and then I knew I really shouldn't give up - a girl like you would come around to at least being friends if there wasn't something else holding you back (or so I figured). I was so bloody determined to find the reason you were indifferent every time I tried (it had almost become the main reason for my drive to succeed with you, at one point) to get you to like me. So it went on again. I know I must have been the most annoying prat, but do give me credit, because the school years must have passed by a lot faster with all the drama that I, being the incredible idiot I am, provided.'

All of the girls chuckled. Indeed, the years had not only flown by incredibly fast, it somehow brought the five of them very close, what with all the gossip they'd had at their disposition.

'I don't know if at this point you consider me a stalker, or simply obsessed, but know that there is a solid reason I never gave up on you, and (probably much to your distaste) I never will. I hope that this letter really cleared some things up for you, and maybe, though I won't get my hopes up, you even won't look at me with such dislike any more. If you want to, please write something back, even if it is "You're still the biggest sodding b*stard I've ever met", but I know that reading my explanations must have changed your opinion of me somehow, hopefully though, for the better.

Yours truly,
James'

Lily finished reading and looked at her friends, with a hopeless expression on her face. She was shocked by the formality and delivery of the letter, but was thankful for the few jokes he provided in between serious points (she was sure it was probably for comical relief, as he must have known that she would have definitely been at least a little stressed out while reading it). It was really something, having James confess to her like that, although on paper. She thought (and probably James thought so too) that having all of this out in the open would ease the tension between them, but Lily now knew otherwise. She could never face him again, because the guilt she was feeling before was nothing to how she felt now - incredibly guilty and foolish, idiotic almost.

"What're you going to do?" inquired Tanya.
"I really don't know," replied Lily, truthfully.
"You've got to write back to him!" exclaimed Keenyah, brandishing the letter in front of Lily. "Would you look at this? Look he-" she pointed to a random paragraph on the first page. "-he confessed about everything! And he didn't even complain!"
"He was even talking about how he was a fool himself," added Trisha. "I'd say he's got twice the decency you that you give him credit for! You know, it takes guts admitting that you're a prat."
"I know! But it's just..."

Lily was too tired to have to deal with this today. She was so confused about what to do with Potter, and now, on top of this, her friends were rounding on her too! But a quiet voice spoke from the corner of the pub.

"She feels guilty."

Lily didn't recognize it at first, but was too glad to hear a sympathetic tone in the voice to realize that it was way too familiar.

"Yes! Exactly, I-" she stopped. She suddenly knew the speaker. "Avery?!"

Avery Grey appeared out of the shadow in the corner at the back of the Three Broomsticks.

Had he been eavesdropping?, Lily thought.

She threw her friends a last desperate glance before turning back to Avery, not really sure if she was ready to face him; not when she was still dealing with the aftermath of their breakup, and had another guy basically admitting that loved her. The other girls walked over to the bar (not intending to drink alcohol, not that they would be able even if they wanted to) leaving Lily face to face with Avery.

"So," he started, breaking the icy silence between them. "Potter seems to have gone soft, huh?"

Lily chuckled. But why was Avery talking to her about James anyway?

"Yeah, I guess... It's no big deal though you know."
"No big deal?" said Avery, clearly not believing her. "So what're you going to do?"

Sighing, Lily stood up and walked over to the bar, where her friends sat pretending to be deep in conversation (but Lily obviously knew that they were listening to everything that was being said between Avery and herself). Why was everybody interrogating her like this?

Avery didn't seem to acknowledge that she didn't want to talk to him at all, and followed her to the bar.

"I asked you a question, Evans."
"And I'm not in any particular mood to answer your bloody questions!" spat Lily.
"Now, how hard was it to just say that in the first place, huh?" he replied, rather aggressively and made to walk out of the bar before stopping and turning back to her. "Don't be stupid, Lily... you deserve more than that idiot can possibly give you."
"Oh, and I suppose you think you're so much better than him?!" she retorted. "Well, let me tell you, after what you did to me, I'd say you're just about in the same league as him!"
"Well then Lily, you're proving to be exactly the idiot I'm asking you not to be," said Avery.

Keenyah and Trisha gasped. Tanya gave him a stern look and Mary raised both eyebrows so high that they might have, quite possibly, disappeared from her face altogether. Lily's face, however, remained expressionless. She was clearly working hard to keep her cool.

"Because him being in the same league as me-" he continued, scoffing. "-isn't that a good enough reason for you to... ignore him? Or pretend he doesn't exist? Maybe hold a grudge forever?"

Avery gave her a tragic look and stalked out of the pub. People were now staring at Lily and her friends, obviously not having caught on to what he was referring to. Lily, on the other hand, knew exactly what he had been talking about. Her friends shot each other nervous glances before one of them mustered up the courage to speak (Lily had the tendency to get dangerous when she was angry, confused, or on the verge of a breakdown).

"So, Lily are you coming to the Quidditch match next weekend? James is playing-"

This had been a bad move on Mary's behalf. Being a smart girl in school clearly didn't mean that you had any common sense whatsoever, because at the mention of James' name, Lily broke down.

"Oh, he has got some bloody nerve!" she said as quietly as she could while expressing uttermost anger, so as to not seem any more suspicious to the pub's visitors.

The girls didn't know what to say, as it was hard to tell whether she was talking about Avery or James.

"Turning it around on me like that... as if he's an innocent, cute, cuddly baby that all the troubles come to!" Lily continued venting. "He was the one who broke it off with me, for crying out loud!"
“In his defence,” said Mary, raising a finger. “You did call him a cuddly baby last year when you were going out...”

And she knew that this was the end of her, as the girls turned to her with furrowed brows.

“You’re defending him?!” said Lily angrily as she pushed some first year out of her way, and walked out of the pub.
“Way to go there,” said Keenyah sarcastically.
“Oh, please patch this up for me!” Mary pleaded. She knew full well that Keenyah was the only one Lily would listen to at a time like this. “I never meant to-”
“Come on, we’ve got to talk to her,” said Tanya, motioning them to come outside in a very leader-like manner. Suddenly, she turned back to the girls and spoke sternly, as if warning them (although it was mostly directed at Mary). “If she vents, please do not mention any boys any more, will you?”
“Although any conversation we can have with her that’s deeper than just ‘how’s your homework coming?’ would actually be nice,” said Keenyah. “Maybe this is a good thing after all...”

The rest of the girls frowned as they walked out of the pub gloomily, not very eager to listen to much more of Lily’s problems. They had enough drama to deal with on their own, and now this... being Lily’s friend was becoming more and more difficult by the day, but they knew she needed them to talk to. So, gathering up as much candy at Honeydukes and courage in their own hearts as they could, they made their way back to the castle. It was already nearing 6 o’clock but they knew that it was going to be a long night.

***

James was still ecstatic. It had already been two hours since his 'date' with Lily, but he still felt like it ended only about a minute ago. They were now sitting in the Great Hall, eating their dinner and happily discussing the events of this past day (mostly fixating on James' date though; it's usually very hard to get him to shut up about Lily Evans)

"And we didn't even fight!" he exclaimed happily.
"And the fact that this is what you're so happy about," smirked Remus. "Now, that's saying something."
"Oh, ha-ha, I'll have you know-"
"God, James, you're such a girl," frowned Sirius. "Pondering over one stupid date."
"So am I a God or a girl?" joked James as he doubled over in laughter. "Make up your mind, mate."
"Aren't you a boy?" asked Peter, confused.

The rest of the boys started laughing too. Peter always made some silly comment that really made their day. James did think that they always shared laughs over the stupidest of reasons, but he didn't much like having his stomach in pain from it. Needless to say, he was quite relieved when the oomph of the joke died down and Sirius turned back to him.

"Anyway, I think Evans is up to something. I mean the way you described it, she didn't even try to pick a fight!"
"Don't call her Evans," replied James sternly. "And no, she isn't up to anything."
"And you would be sure of that because..." said Remus.
"Because she's Lily!" said James. "She's not like us anyway, she wouldn't play a joke or a prank.
"That's very true."
"So you two didn't even snog for Christ's sake?" asked Sirius, trying to, but failing to hide the incredulosity in his voice.
"Stop taking the Lord's name in vain," added Remus, quite sternly.
"What are you two, my mothers or something?" exclaimed Sirius wildly, and made a face perfect for mockery of James and Remus. " 'No, Sirius, don't call my precious Lily by her last name' and 'Sirius, don't swear-"
"No, we didn't snog," James interrupted sulkily, ignoring Sirius's rather harsh and misleading imitations.

Remus nodded, Sirius rolled his eyes and Peter looked genuinely sorry. James suddenly just couldn't place what was so wrong with not snogging on a first date.

"Just because I don't need to eat girls up twenty-four seven-"
"Or have girls eat him up," added Peter.
"Gee, thanks," said James sarcastically and continued. "Anyway, just because I'm not a man #####, unlike you of course (at this Sirius rolled his eyes), doesn't mean it wasn't a fun date!"
"It might not even have been a date," noticed Remus. James rolled his eyes and gave him an expectant look. "Well, you never know. Lily might not have even considered it a date. I've talked to her a couple of times, and let me tell you, that girl is complex."
"Complex?" said James, confused as he helped himself to some roast chicken and wild rice.
"Yes, complex. I'm a pretty good judge of character, and that much was obvious about her. I wouldn't count on being able to know what she's thinking, not just yet anyway."

James frowned. He thought it went really well, but with all these new points that his friends were bringing up, doubt crept back into his mind. Was Lily actually up to something? He remembered feeling suspicious about her friendly behaviour, but he shook it off and told himself he was being paranoid. But now, he was having doubts about that too. Completely and utterly confused, James decided not to ponder over it any longer. Just then, he remembered the letter he wrote to Lily.

"Sh*t!" he gasped. The boys raised their eyebrows.
"Your food's not that bad is it? I know I've been giving the house-elves hell lately, but I don't see any reason they should take it out on you," shrugged Sirius.
"I gave her the letter!"

They gave him very confused looks, as though they had no idea what he was talking about.

"The letter! Don't you remember?"

More impatient looks.

"Oh, you mean the letter you were writing in the library the other day?" inquired Peter, looking hopeful that he had gotten the right answer.
"Don't you share anything with us any more?" said Sirius, looking insulted.
"It's just that I was busy, wh- that's not the point!" said James, growing tired of them interrupting him. He needed to tell them...
"More importantly, why were you writing a letter in the library?" said Remus, perplexed. "Wouldn't it have been more comfortable in your dorm or something? Unless..."
"Are you hiding something from us?" said Sirius, looking more and more insulted by the minute.
"No!" James exclaimed. "No! No... Bloody hell, would you let me say it already? You guys are like a pack of babbling baboons-"
"Oh!" squealed Peter.
"You sound like McGonagall, mate," said Sirius, obviously restraining himself from laughing, and started mocking James again. " 'Oh, you lot are such a flock of babbling booming, beeming baboons, blah, blah, blah!'"

James really hated Sirius sometimes. Would they ever let him speak? After Remus gave Sirius a sharp look, he shut up immediately and they awaited James' explanation.

"You were talking about a letter?" said Peter hopefully, after James deemed himself too mad to speak for a minute.
"Yeah, I," he started, searching for words. It suddenly dawned on him how badly he could have screwed things up with Evans with that one letter. "I wrote Lily a letter, explaining every screw up I ever had around her, and... I don't know if she'll like half the things she'll read because, well... I was sort of obsessed with her, remember? And now, we've had this date-"
"Maybe a date!" cut in Remus. James frowned, and continued.
"-she'll read it and she'll think... Bloody Merlin, I don't know what she'll think!" said James, frustrated.

His friends seemed to be processing this information.

"Oh, so that's why you were writing it in the library! You needed all the records of your detentions so you could remember every time you screwed up, because," said Remus, at first excited, but now he trailed off as if confused by his own words. "Err, because the reason you screwed up was probably because Lily was around-"
"Argh, stop it! That's not the point..."

Why were they being so irritating these days? He was exasperated just trying to get his point across.

"I think you're taking my words too much to heart, James," said Remus apologetically.
"But you said she's complex!" whined James.
"Mate, complex, not nuts! She might have a complicated mind like... like you, for instance!"

James grimaced. Him? Complicated mind?

No bloody way.

"But she won't care if you apologize about a few of your own blunders, and if you clear up past misunderstandings. If I'm correct, I'd say she'll appreciate it!" concluded Remus, and there was a tone in his voice that told James he wasn't willing to talk about this anymore.
"So you can stop obsessing now," said Sirius, finally deeming it fit to rejoin the conversation. "You're driving yourself, and us, crazy these days. Just cool your Hippogriffs, all right?"
"She's just so confusing," James mumbled.
"No," said Remus bluntly. "You're making her confusing! You worry too much, mate,"

He considered this for a moment. He really was being a maniac. He made a mental note to try and think about something other than Lily for at least...

6 hours each day. Shouldn't be that hard, he thought to himself.

No. Make it 4.

Is 4 hours of not thinking about Lily really that necessary? She is, after all, a very important figure in his life.

3 and a half.

3.

2.

1.

No, no, no, at least 3.

By the time James was done pondering over how many hours not to spend thinking about Lily, he felt like hours had passed. He turned back to his friends to find them cracking up about Avery Grey's grandmother.

"I heard she's a veela," managed Sirius, between hysterical gasps of laughter.
"Good Merlin, Grey's part veela," said Peter as though the world couldn't have come to a stranger point in time as a boy being part veela.
"I've figured it out," said James, interrupting their happy chatter. "I'm not going to worry about Evans anymore. What she does is her business, and I really couldn't care less."

He said this in such a tone that highly suggested that he cared about her business more than the world.

"James, it's like I said - you're a bloody girl," said Sirius, cracking up.
"Are you serious? Are you sodding serious?" James replied in disbelief. "I just... I have feelings, it's-"

The boys roared with laughter.

"Oh, p*ss off."
"Hey, at least you called her Evans!"

Sirius and Peter snickered to each other. James gave them a nasty look.

"I'm going upstairs. Slughorn won't let me get away with no essay done for Monday."
"Although, he would make an exception in Evans' case, I bet," Sirius answered, obviously concentrated on having the last word in this.

James frowned at him and walked to the Gryffindor tower. It was seven o'clock when James sat down at one of the desks and began working on his Potions project, hoping to get a head start.

- - -

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Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

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  #5  
Old August 22nd, 2006, 5:18 pm
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
First Year
 
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Location: Canada
Posts: 38
Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

5. LOST... AND NOT FOUND

As Lily heaved herself onto her four-poster bed, her body felt heavy. She couldn't help feeling betrayed - her friends rounded on her at a most sensitive time and even Avery seemed to hate her. So now, to top off the guilt she was feeling for being a snob to James, there was also the guilt of being a snob to Avery. She didn't know why she felt sorry for ignoring him and holding a grudge. After all, it was him that broke it off between them. His words kept repeating in her mind,

"Because him being in the same league as me - isn't that a good enough reason for you to... ignore him? Or pretend he doesn't exist? Maybe hold a grudge forever?"

God, how could he say things like that? Her mind wandered off helplessly to the relationship her and Avery used to have...

It didn't start the way normal couples start. In fact, it was Keenyah that spotted him first. It was way back last year when a group of Ravenclaw boys was congratulating their team on winning the first match of the season. Lily and Keenyah were sitting in the stands at first but decided to walk down to the pitch to comfort the losing Gryffindor team. It was of course mostly Keenyah's idea - Lily was on a campaign of ignoring James Potter the best she could; coming over to comfort them was not exactly her idea of avoiding him but she didn't want to be left sitting alone seeing as her other friends were back in the common room, buried in homework.

"Whoa," said Keenyah quietly. "Whoa, hold your Hippogriffs..."
"Huh?"
"Would you look at that?" she continued, incredulously.
"What?" asked Lily, perplexed and unsure of what she was supposed to be looking at.
"That, silly," replied Keenyah, as if it couldn't have been more obvious, and pointed to the group of Ravenclaw boys.

When Lily showed no sign of comprehension, her friend stalked off to the boys, looking more confident than ever. Lily saw her and a particularly strange looking boy exchange hello's and introduce themselves. By the time she mustered up enough courage to walk over and join them, she found them chatting animatedly about the match.

“It’s all good, I’m sure you guys will win against Slytherin next month,” said the boy, smirking at Keenyah.
“I know we will. Just promise you’ll cheer for us!” replied Keenyah, looking rather jubilant. “Oh, and this is my friend Lily Evans,” she added excitedly, noticing Lily join them.
“Lily? Lily Evans?” replied the boy in awe, shifting his gaze from Keenyah to Lily.

Lily raised an eyebrow. She wasn't famous or anything, so she saw no reason for this boy recognizing her out of nowhere. Noticing her look of surprise, the boy continued.

“Old Slughorn talks about you all the time. Especially whenever one of us messes up in Potions, you should just hear him – ‘Ahh, good Lily Evans would get this on her first try!’

This caused Lily to erupt with giggles.

“I mean, he basically worships you!”
“Oh, it’s no big deal,” she said and grinned widely.

At first she was confused at what Keenyah could have possibly seen in him. His mouse-brown short hair did nothing for his wide facial complexion whatsoever, and his cold-looking grey eyes couldn’t have seemed more uninviting. Lily was completely and utterly dumbfounded at the first sight of him. Now, however, she could see exactly what Keenyah had seen immediately – there was now warmth and caring in his eyes, and Lily suddenly found the messy brown hair very sexy. His pale skin made his thick cheekbones and strong facial features stand out and she had to admit, he looked good. The one thing that she found a tiny bit suspicious was that he was wearing very old school robes, that looked almost like they came from a second-hand store, but she shook this feeling of uneasiness off and scolded herself. How could she possibly discriminate against someone based on the clothes they wore?! Lily felt like she was becoming more and more like James Potter every day.

“And this is Avery…” said Keenyah slowly and frowned, obviously not approving at Lily’s flirtatious behaviour around the guy that she noticed first.
“Avery Grey,” he repeated, suddenly seeing the need to emphasize his last name.

From that moment on, Lily and Avery had become very close. Keenyah constantly found ways to show her disapproval of their growing relationship, but did nothing to stop it; Lily was her best friend, and after a short falling out, Keenyah concluded that she could find herself a guy much better than Avery. This was of course, when she developed her very strong liking for Sirius Black, and sometimes Lily really wondered whether that was for the better – whenever Keenyah wanted something, she’d stop at nothing to get it. Nothing. And everyone knew Sirius’s expectations of girls were always high. So this, combined with her determined friend’s nerve, definitely didn’t seem a good combination.

Soon enough, Avery got the courage to ask Lily out (officially) and obviously, she’d said yes. There was no need for this, however, seeing as they were already basically considered a couple – spending all their free time together did nothing to keep their affection for each other a secret. But Lily didn’t care what anybody said or gossiped about them; she couldn’t have been happier with Avery. He was perfect. He waited for her outside the Gryffindor tower in the morning so they could descend to breakfast together. He even sat at the Gryffindor table, and she sometimes sat at the Ravenclaw table, socializing with his friends.

The relationship grew and grew, but the uneasy feeling that Lily felt at their first meeting, stayed in the pit of her stomach. Though nowadays, she knew it had nothing to do with the second-hand robes he was always wore; or so she thought. Avery told her he had something to share with her. Lily thought it something she already suspected, which was that he was very poor, and knew it wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t know why it mattered so much to him, but it must have because he kept it from her for a long time. It was at the end of last term when Avery finally broke it to her; or was forced to break it to her anyway.

Lily and Avery had gotten off the Hogwarts Express and were walking merrily along King’s Cross to the entrance, where they would part. Lily felt a little sad, but didn’t say anything. It was only going to be three months… she could stand it, right?

“So you better write to me over the summer,” said Avery and grinned.
“You bet!” said Lily happily. “Wait,” she stopped.
“What?”
“I will only if you do.”
“Hmm, now let me think about that…” Avery joked.

Lily slapped him playfully on the arm.

“Okay, okay! Gee, I promise to write to you every single day. And I’m going to tell you everything that happens to me this summer,” he said, however, very sarcastically.

Lily giggled. This past year had been the best she’d ever had, and she certainly didn’t want it to end now. But just when she was convincing herself that at the beginning of next year they’d be together and happy again, she heard someone squeal in front of them.

A big mane of dirty blonde hair was all she saw next. The part that confused her was that the girl to whom the hair belonged was hugging Avery and whimpering all over him.

“Oh God, Avery! I’ve missed you so-”
“Anna, what are you doing?” he said, pushing her away and looking irritated. He shot a nervous glace at Lily who was watching the scene with furrowed brows.
“Avery, I’m just so glad you’re here, I… we can be together again!” Anna squealed with delight. “It’s been so miserable here without you, and… you’re finally here…”

Lily gaped at them in silence. This girl was behaving as if she was his girlfriend!

No! That’s not possible-
Oh.
Maybe it is.
But…

“Oh, no bloody way!” Lily moaned angrily. He had been leading her on this whole time! “Who the hell is this?!”

Avery looked very much like he’d like to be anywhere but here right now. He gave Lily a tragic look and spoke weakly.

“Lily, this is… Anna Worthington,” he said. Lily glared at him. “She’s a… err, a friend of mine.”

He sounded very unconvincing.

“And who is this exactly?” Anna demanded, looking hurt.
“This is Lily Evans, my…” Avery paused, and looked as if he was in pain from thinking. “My friend,” he finally concluded.

Lily’s jaw dropped. A friend? They had been going out or more than four months, and all he could manage to call her a bloody friend?! She opened her mouth to retort, maybe even insult him for being such a liar, but thought better of it. She knew that if she did that she’d end up spending the summer in misery, contemplating all the possible reasons why he’d do this to her. And that is definitely not the way she wanted to spend her summer. So, throwing Avery and Anna one final reproachful stare, she marched out of King’s Cross with as much dignity as she believed to have been left in her.

Avery darted after her, leaving Anna with a look of complete shock embedded on her pretty facial features.

“Lily! Lily, wait up!”

She did not stop walking. She could see her parents striding up to King’s Cross from just around the corner. Oh, what fun would it be to tell him off in front of them! She continued walking moodily, almost dropping her luggage in the process.

“Lily, come on!” exclaimed Avery, sounding irritated. She shot him a cold look.
“Look, I definitely didn’t see this coming,” she snapped. “But I’m just not prepared to take your word for it that she’s just your friend!”

Silence.

“Look at the way she jumped on you, hugged you, and just-” Lily felt tears stinging in the back of her eyes. “Just being so happy around you, friends don’t do that!”
“You’re right,” said Avery bluntly. “She’s not a friend.”

Lily prepared to retort but suddenly realized what he had just said.

Wait a second

He gave in to the argument way too easily. Being too taken aback to say anything of any value, she gave him an expectant look, almost daring him to explain himself.

“She’s an ex-girlfriend of mine.”

Lily raised an eyebrow, a sea of responses brewing in her head.

“An ex-girlfriend, eh?” she said dubiously. “Well, I’ll tell you what – go play house with someone else now, because it seems to me you two are obviously not over and done with!”

Avery didn’t move, but just stood there at the entrance to King’s Cross, staring gloomily at either the ground or anywhere where Lily’s eyes wouldn’t catch his own. Lily saw her parents approach, and felt the sudden need to end this bickering.

“Lily, she’s the one that thinks that! To tell you the truth I’ve never loved her, it’s just our parents set us up- Look, that’s not my point,” he argued, sounding nervous. “I’ve gotten over her, I’ve-” he gulped. “-moved on.”

Lily stared hard at him. Was he telling the truth? How come he had never told her before? And it hit her immediately. Of course he didn’t tell her about his ex-girlfriend! That’s hardly what you’d consider sensitive when you’ve moved on with another person. She felt comprehension dawning on her from all angles. Avery loved her, and didn’t want to put her in a position where she’d have to question her trust in him, or his loyalty to her. It came to light that he was too sensitive to have to deal with Anna again, and there she was, bashing him for telling her the truth…

“I get it,” she forced herself to say. “Look, write to me over the summer, I’ve got to-”

She was trying to avoid a confrontation from her parents, but it was too late. Lily caught a glimpse of her mother’s fiery crimson hair behind a man standing next to them. A second later, her parents came into sight, almost materializing out of thin air.

Lily realized how this must have looked to her parents – their daughter, looking exasperated, in front of a seemingly guilt-ridden boy; the situation couldn’t have been more thwarting.

“Oh, Lily!” squeaked Mrs. Evans, looking as if she’d burst out crying any second now. “Oh, we wanted to see you on Christmas, but you said you were busy and then when you didn’t come on Easter, we were so worried, oh darling…” she engrossed her daughter in a tight hug and continued rambling, though the rest of her words were incoherent. Mrs. Evans appeared to have noticed the mortified Avery standing in front of their daughter.

Lily saw her father scrutinize Avery, to make sure that he seemed all right. Avery turned to go, seeing her parents’ confused faces, but Lily stopped him.

“This is Avery Grey,” she beamed proudly at her parents, clutching his arm like a most prized possession.

Mrs. Evans’ eyes widened in apprehension, and Mr. Evans smirked at Avery.

“Ahh, a boy for my young daughter, aren’t you?”

Lily felt herself blush furiously, and looking at Avery, saw that he wasn’t much different from her, his pale complexion now looking almost scarlet. She couldn’t help but giggle a little, and all grudges were lifted. Seeing this, Avery smiled weakly, and turned to Mr. Evans.

“Yeah,” he paused and examined Mr. Evans’ expression for signs of wanting to murder him for touching his daughter. When he found none, he grinned even more confidently, and added, “Yes, I am.”

That summer breezed by as fast as it had come. With all the letters that Lily was writing and receiving, she felt like she never even really left Hogwarts. Keenyah’s letters were of course the funniest, seeing as her growing fancy for Sirius Black had really taken a toll on her; she was now planning perfect scenarios for her and Sirius to fall in love. Of course, one part of those scenarios was always complete – she was already in love with him. Mary’s letters also made Lily crack a smile – her continuing search for more intelligence could not go on through the summer because she had already read all the books on magic that her Muggle parents had come in the possession of. So her letter always emitted an artificial feeling content; Lily knew better than to believe that Mary could possibly go to the beach and enjoy herself without a book to soak up in.

“Mum invited me to go to the cinema tomorrow. You won’t believe what she wants us to see! I’m not sure what it’s called but it’s some movie about witchcraft in the early 1800’s. God! I’m sure Larry (Mary’s non-magical older brother) set it up, he loves to crack jokes about what I am, but seriously, I’m going to enjoy myself. It’s very good for me to get away from books and homework for a while. Very good. In fact, I should do that more often; you don’t find me a little too fond of studying? No? I thought so too, I mean why would anybody think that about me? I’m just your everyday average girl, who can really enjoy herself in a cinema. Watching a movie about witches being burned. Oh, it will be so fun! You know, I’m actually considering coming home for Christmas and Easter now, I’ve never had this much fun with my family and without my books. Anyway, I’m off to the cinema now, hopefully I won’t need a tissue. Tell me if Petunia’s murdered you yet. Wait, that won’t make a lot of sense because if she has, you wouldn’t be reading this... Oh, for Pete’s sake, I’m nuts. Much Love,

Mary

PS. How many pounds has Vernon gained by now? Remember if it’s more than five, you owe me ten Sickles!”

“Yeah right,” Lily muttered to herself, grinning, and took out a quill and a piece of parchment.

“It sounds to me like you’re in denial. I heard Diagon Alley has a library. Meet you there a week from today (Wednesday) at 12:00 o’clock, Flourish and Blotts. And will bring your ten Sickles – he’s gained seven pounds. Enjoy watching your future,

Lily

PS. I know you won’t be coming home for Christmas OR Easter, so give it up. Just give it up.
PPS. Yes, you really are nuts.

Lily knew her letter sounded harsh. But it was true – from every word Mary wrote, she could tell that her friend was longing for a book in her hands her whole stay at home. And she was joking anyway, having known Mary way too well for her own good. Trisha and Tanya didn’t write as much, but she knew why. They were both on holidays with their families, on different continents so they could hardly send their owl on a more unbearable trip than one over the ocean.

Avery’s letters had been most precious to her though. He told her of everything that happened – his mom freaking out about OWLS next year, finding his older sister snogging some guy in the attic (Lily was shocked- snogging in the attic? Could they ask for a less romantic atmosphere? She made a mental note to try it one day), and finally his dad getting a promotion within the Ministry at the Aurors’ Office. She felt so good that Avery could confide things like that in her, and was overjoyed when September the 1st came and she got to see him again.

But something was different this time. He didn’t kiss her hello, but Lily told herself it was because her parents were there and he was too embarrassed to kiss her in front of them. There was no more warmth left in his grey eyes and they seemed cold again, but she told herself it was because he must have been tired and weary after what probably was a long and frustrating holiday. But she knew that none of her excuses was true. This was proven on Halloween day when he strolled up casually behind her after Herbology.

“You busy?” inquired Avery, sounding slightly hopeful that she would say she was.
“No, not at all,” replied Lily and leaned in for a kiss, but he moved away. Quietly, he led them into a fairly empty corridor. “What’s this about?”

Avery sighed and proceeded to talk.

“Look Lily, remember at the end of last term at King’s Cross…”

She vaguely remembered them bicker about an ex-girlfriend of his named Anna. Raising an eyebrow, she nodded.

“And I’m sure you remember Anna. Anyway, to the point; Lily, I…” he seemed at a loss for words. “I can’t see you anymore.”

Huh?

“What do you mean? I’m not invisible, am I?” said Lily, concerned and uncertain whether she had heard him correctly.

“No, Lily. I mean I can’t date you anymore,” he corrected her, sounding like he couldn’t believe he was saying this.

Oh, silly me, how could I be invisible? Wait a second…

Bloody hell, what?!

Trying to figure out if she heard him correctly, she shook her head.

“Lily, I’m sorry, it’s just that-”
“What?”
“Me and Anna-“
Oh!” exclaimed Lily, suddenly realizing that he was never faithful to her. “You and Anna, huh? Why’d you lie to me like that Avery?”

She didn’t want to sound like every other girl, who faces a break-up, usually sounds – desperate and shocked – because she was neither. She wasn’t shocked because she saw this coming, right from the first day she saw him again when they returned to Hogwarts for their fifth year. But unconsciously, she made up excuses for Avery’s strange and erratic behaviour, telling herself that everything was perfect. She wasn’t desperate either, because she was beginning to feel the need to separate from Avery herself. She knew that she just didn’t want a relationship at that point in time; not with him anyway.

“I didn’t lie to you!”

Lily raised an eyebrow, challenging him to explain his point.

“You don’t understand, we were…”
“Were what?” she snapped, feeling a little suspicious.
“Betrothed.”

Avery closed his eyes and Lily gaped at him, more anger rising up inside her.

“So you knew you’d never end up with anyone but her, yet you dated me anyway?!” she cried, unable to control herself. A couple of passer-bys stopped to listen, but seemed frightened by Lily’s angry glare and trotted away. “You lead me on, Avery!”

Silence. Remorseful silence. It was almost gruesome.

“I’m sorry-”
“I have to get to class,” Lily cut in, her voice shaking, and took off at a brisk pace towards the dungeons for Potions.

This happened three weeks ago now. Just after remembering her whole relationship with Avery a headache sprung up on her. She could hear her friends now conversing in hushed voices in the common room. Not wanting to cause them any trouble, Lily pretended to be fast asleep. But something crept back into her mind moments before her friends would climb into the dormitory – James’ letter. She had to put it somewhere where nobody would find it-

Where is it?

Lily bolted into an upright position on her four-poster and jumped to the shelf on which she usually put her belongings. She was certain she put it here. Or maybe into her dresser, just to hide it-

“Sh*t!”
“Lily, are you okay?” asked Keenyah, who had just climbed the staircase into the girls’ dormitory and sounded concerned.

The letter was nowhere in sight.

- - -

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Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:51 am.
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  #6  
Old August 23rd, 2006, 10:46 pm
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Location: Canada
Posts: 38
Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

6. CHAOS IN PARADISE

“Oh my god…”
“Lily, it’s okay-”
“No, no, no!”
“Seriously, it’s probably just somewhere…”

Keenyah tried to sounds enthusiastic but knew she had failed. Lily was almost sobbing as she turned the whole dorm upside down in search of the letter. She also asked Mary, Trisha and Tanya to go back to the pub or anywhere else where the letter could have been left.

As she frantically searched her numerous bags, Lily was overcome with a sea of feelings. She couldn’t believe that just a year ago she was ignoring James and being an overall b*tch to him. She couldn’t believe that she could possibly have been so reckless about something so important. He poured his heart and soul into that letter, and although it was unwritten, it was obvious he had expected her to keep it a secret. Lily felt miserable. James’ whole reputation was that he was, for lack of another word, ‘cool’. If anybody found the letter, they would without a doubt, show it to everyone in the school. Lily liked the way James only let his guard down around her and she could have his caring and passionate self all to herself. And now, it could all be let out, it could all be ruined, and he probably wouldn’t even as much as look at her in the coming weeks. And all that would have to happen for this nightmare to spring to life would be the carelessness of some ignorant person picking up outwardly random pieces of parchment…

“I have to find it Keenyah; it just can’t be in someone else’s hands!” Lily said running around the room in frenzy, probing her mind for possible places where she hadn’t looked yet. Keenyah looked as sullen as ever.
“Well, even if someone else finds it, I’d like to think people have enough decency around here to just return it. Seriously Lily, you’re making a big deal-”
“Big deal? Have you read that letter? It was personal, it was… it was deep! Imagine someone finds it, imagine they read it-” Lily grimaced. “James will hate me!”
“And since when do you exactly care what James Potter thinks of you?” remarked Keenyah.
“Since-” frowning, Lily turned to her friend. “I don’t have to explain myself, it’s just a gut feeling I have…”

Keenyah rolled her eyes and muttered something incoherent.

At this moment, the rest of their friends walked in. The girls lifted their heads out of the pile of blankets they were rummaging through.

“Any luck?”

Mary gave them such a dejected look that it was clear the letter was nowhere to be found. She gazed unhappily around the dorm, which now looked as if a hurricane had left it in turmoil.

Lily flopped onto her bed throwing a blanket over herself and burying her face in her hands. Images of James being taunted by people crept into her mind. She imagined the way Sirius, Remus and Peter would react; but then again they probably already knew about the letter, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise. She moved on to seeing the face that horrid Lucius Malfoy would make if he heard about James going soft…

Sighing, Lily lifted the blankets to see her friends gazing down on her with genuine sympathy.

“It was all going so well!” she whined.
“It’s okay Lil,” said Tanya in a soothing tone. “We’ll find it.”

Lily gave a sarcastic look.

“We’ve looked everywhere, just admit it – it’s pointless.”

The girls tried their hardest to look anywhere but at Lily.

“It’s all ruined.”

Suddenly, Trisha gasped. The girls gave her annoyed looks – Trisha was well-known to think she was a lot smarter than she actually was and suggest ridiculous solutions in a time of crisis. Lily really hoped she wasn’t about to do that now, or she’d totally lose it.

After a minute of uncomfortable silence, Keenyah rolled her eyes.

“Well, what is it?” she groaned, sounding irritated.
“Oh, I-” said Trisha, looking flustered. “It’s just an idea, I don’t know if it’s any good…”

Lily raised an eyebrow, hoping against hope that this was good.

“Well, I was just thinking, remember the Summoning Charm we learned last year?” The girls raised their heads in interest and Trisha continued proudly. “Well, couldn’t we just cast it and see if the letter comes?”

They couldn’t help but nod their heads in agreement. The only one looking sceptical about this was Mary. Trisha seemed to have noticed this and looked as glum as she did before her announcement – if there was anyone who knew Charms, it would be Mary, the book whiz. And if Mary wasn’t agreeing with you on something about school, there was a 99.9% chance that she was right.

“No,” she said straightforwardly. Trisha looked miserable. “To summon something you’d have to know where it is. And we don’t know that, so it can’t possibly work.”

The girls looked convinced, but Lily sat up from under the blankets.

“No, no,” she said tentatively. “I think Trish is onto something here…”

She thought long and hard before continuing.

“Maybe we can try it. Just in case, you know?” she said. The girls shrugged and Lily took out her wand. Trisha looked so happy, you’d get the impression that Sirius Black just said he’d move in with her.
“It can’t hurt,” added Mary and stared at Lily’s wand.

Lily took a deep breath and said the incantation.

Accio letter!

Nothing happened. They waited a few seconds. Still nothing. All but Lily seemed to have lost faith.

“Maybe we just have to wait a little longer,” she said, confident that this was going to work.

The dorm was as silent as the night, and there was no sign of a letter coming from any direction.

Accio James’ letter!” she sighed, hoping that the clarification would help. This, however, proved just as pointless as her first attempt.
“Maybe you’re doing it wrong,” said Keenyah, looking hopeful.

Mary sighed, “She’s doing it just right.”

Accio letter! Accio my letter! Accio!” Lily continued casting the charm in frustration, as if repeating it over and over would make it useful in any way. “God damn it!” she finally cried.
“Sorry,” squeaked Trisha.

Lily felt herself calm down and looked appreciatively at her.

“That’s okay, it’s not your fault.” She sighed heavily.

Everything had gone from happy to sad, to miserable, to frantic and to completely awry only in a matter of hours. And Lily didn’t even know why she felt so bad about losing James’ letter. A week ago she would have shook this off, and had it got out into the public, she’d join in on the taunting that would most probably take place at his expense. In fact, a week ago, Lily would have read the letter and scoffed. She would probably even consider slipping it into some horrid boy or girl’s bag so that they could mock James and tease him. Now, however, she felt a lot more empathetic, and the fact that she didn’t know why she felt this way was making her a little nauseous. How could such significant things change so fast? Lily almost couldn’t believe it, and thought she must have been dreaming.

But she was not dreaming. She turned back to her friends, who were now getting ready to go to bed, and felt extremely grateful for having them with her. She was scolding herself for not confiding her troubles in them before, but now the timing seemed just right. She just had to get her worries off her chest, and she knew that her friends would stick with her, even if they did think she was off her rocker for being so paranoid.

“Hey, you guys,” said Lily quietly, making sure she had their absolute attention.

Keenyah was a smart girl - she knew what Lily was about to do.

“So you’re finally going to talk to us?” she grinned.

Lily chuckled, “Yeah… yeah, I guess I am.”

And she told her of all the troubles that have been filling up her heart these past few weeks. She told them all about her suspicions regarding James and him sneaking off with Avery (Tanya seemed to find this highly interesting and made a point similar to Lily’s opinion – she said they were probably plotting to get her back. This was highly questionable, considering they both probably wanted Lily for himself, so them scheming together didn’t make much sense). She told them about Slughorn’s strange and rather aggravating behaviour. Mary said it probably had something to do with her being his favourite student. She said he was probably sure that if there was one person that’d be willing to do small and irksome tasks for him, it’d probably be the person that liked his subject the most (Lily contradicted her by saying she didn’t like Potions at all; this was received by a couple of stifled snickers) And she told them, once again, about her uncertainty on the whole James-Lily-Avery-Anna situation. The girls replied almost immediately saying that it wasn’t even a situation – James liked Lily (and Mary found the need to add that Lily also must have liked James back which was followed by a loud groan coming from Lily) and Avery liked Anna. Plain and simple. Except Lily was sure Avery didn’t like Anna, and was left, if possible, even more perplexed about her own feelings and the state of these affairs overall.

It felt good to get all of this out. Lily didn’t know why she never divulged it all to her friends before. At the end, they were even more understanding and supportive as she could have wished for. After the long talk, bidding them good night seemed the right thing to do. But she still didn’t know about the letter and was hoping against hope that nobody had found it, and that even if it was lost, that it was lying somewhere in the dark, rotten depths of the oldest of Hogwarts’ secret places. She didn’t know how it would get there, but at least that way, nobody would be likely to find it. She fell asleep soon after that but it was a very light sleep, filled with images of James crying and telling her how disrespectful, insensitive, reckless and ignorant she is. Well, one could absolutely call that a nightmare.

*

James woke suddenly. His first instinct was to look at his watch, and he instantly regretted it.

2:37 AM, it read.

What was he doing in the common room this late at night? He felt the rough surface of parchments under his palms and looked down, finding his Potions project on the verge of being completed. James felt proud of himself, but at the same time was embarrassed – how many people had seen him sleeping with his head resting on the desk like this? Hardly something you see every day, unless it’s a seventh year student buried in NEWT course homework. Putting on his glasses, he noticed a tiny piece of parchment next to his project. Opening it revealed a very short, but self-explanatory note.

‘Mate, you’re a girl. Don’t even talk about your feelings – who falls asleep on their homework? You give us Marauders a bad name! Ha-ha.

Guess who.

PS. Evans looked like she was crying tonight. I’m starting to believe your ####-and-bull story about that letter. What the bloody hell could you have said? If it really was because the letter, all I can say is you screwed up BAD this time. Good luck, you big idiot! Ha-ha, you can bet we’ll be having a fit about this.’

James groaned. Sirius really had a funny way of showing his friendship, but James knew the teasing in the note wasn’t serious. It was a moment before the last bit of the note kicked in. Lily had been crying? James could only imagine how much she hated him now. But what had he written in the letter that would have made her cry? Nothing in there could have possibly been that serious. In fact, the letter wasn’t even that personal, now that he looked back at it? Unless of course, they had been tears of joy for having James openly and straightforwardly admit that he liked her very much. But there wasn’t high hope for that in his heart – Lily couldn’t possibly have growing to accepting him as a friend, let alone liking him, in a matter of hours. He reprimanded himself for even thinking it, and getting his hopes up for nothing.

Getting up from the table, James noticed that he had a big headache. He wasn’t sure how he’d gotten it; you don’t normally get headaches from sleeping, do you? He tiptoed his way across the common room, so as to not wake anyone up and began to climb the stairs to the boys dormitory as quietly as he could. But it was too late, because he heard someone hissing from the bottom of the stairs.

“Pst!” the voice hissed. “Potter!”

James spun around and found himself looking into the eyes of a pretty blonde with pale skin that he knew to be Keenyah, one of Lily’s many best friends. She was looking at him with furrowed brows.

“What?” he said, feeling a little cranky. It was 2 o’clock in the morning for Pete’s sake!
“I need to talk to you about Lily.”

What a surprise.

The only interaction that the Marauders had with Lily’s friends was negotiating or calling a truce. They had never all been on that good of terms, excluding James’ fondness for Lily.

Keenyah signalled for him to follow her into the common room, and James obliged.

“Whatever,” he muttered to himself, but deep inside was actually glad for this (most probably) chance meeting because this was his opportunity to find out about Lily’s reaction to the letter.

“Listen Potter, about that letter,” began Keenyah sternly.
“You know about it?”
“Yes,” she snapped, apparently not appreciating being interrupted. “Potter, you might not like what I have to say-”
“Listen, if the letter made her sad or mad for any reason, just tell her I’m sorry,” said James and was surprised to hear himself pleading. Keenyah looked rather taken aback by this too.
“Why would it make her mad?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

They heard someone groaning from the top of one of the staircases, and James decided to get to his point quickly, talking in as hushed a voice as he could while still making sure that what he was saying was clear to Keenyah.

“Look, I didn’t mean anything by it,” he said very quickly and glanced nervously at the staircase. “All I was trying to do was clear up misunderstandings! If she was insulted, even though I don’t see how that’s possible, tell her I’m sorry. Tell her I’m bloody sorry!”
“But-”
“I don’t know what she wants, and I don’t know how to give it to her. If that letter doesn’t patch things up between us, I don’t know what will.”
“Potter, she-”
“We better go, someone’s coming,” he cut in hurriedly, and indeed they heard steps coming down from the staircase leading to the boys dormitories. “Just make sure you tell her what I said!”

He was now pushing Keenyah onto the staircase to her dormitory. She ran up and turned to him at the top of the stairs.

“Potter, you’ve got to talk to Lily tomorrow.”

And with that, she was off and the door behind her was slammed shut.

“What are you doing down there?” said a seventh year Head Boy from Gryffindor that James wasn’t too fond of.
“Just getting my homework; I fell asleep while doing it.”

The Head Boy eyed James suspiciously.

“I heard voices,” he said, pressing his point.
“I was probably muttering in my sleep,” said James, instantaneously regretting his lame excuse. “I happen to do that sometimes.”

The Head Boy made an expression that showed he knew that James’ story was a load of ****. But he motioned for him to come upstairs nevertheless, seeming as if he was too lazy to take this interrogation any further tonight.

James gathered his Potions project and climbed up the stairs, eager to get into bed. When he felt himself having to work just to keep his eyes open, he suddenly realized just how tired he was. It had been a long day, full of confusing events, but his mind was too clogged at the moment, to really care. All he could concentrate on was sleep. Climbing into his four-poster, he finally felt content, despite the millions of questions zooming through his mind; falling asleep was easy.

*

Lily was descending to the Great Hall and chatting energetically with her friends when she saw him standing in front of them with Sirius, Peter and Remus. Gasping, she made to dart back up the stairs and take another way to the Great Hall, but a hand stopped her.

“Don’t you dare,” said Keenyah firmly.

Lily frowned at her. Didn’t she realize that any second now, he would see her and start bashing her for letting the letter out of her hands and letting everyone see it-

“Evans!”

Too late.

“Um,” she mumbled as she descended back down. She shot her friends a last desperate look which they returned with one of approval. Lily grimaced inwardly.

Here goes…

“So, Evans…” smirked Sirius and put his arm around her shoulders. Lily made a sound of disgust and wriggled free from his grip. She noticed James glare at Sirius and suppressed a giggle.
“Black, if you don’t mind,” she said, motioning in the direction of the Great Hall.
“Oh, all right, all right!” he said, failing to sound as if he was displeased by this. “She’s all yours, mate.”

Lily felt herself panic.

She’s all yours?

Did that mean they had secretly plotted to get her alone and murder her after hearing the news of the lost letter? Had anybody actually found it yet? She glanced nervously at James grinned widely, however looked uncertain about approaching her. Feeling herself calm down a little, she concluded that no news of this had reached him yet and deemed it safe to talk to him.

“So, are you coming?” inquired Lily, trying to sound confident.

James also looked relieved and followed her into the Great Hall. As Lily and James passed them, they saw their friends gape silently at their sudden friendliness, and once again, Lily tried her hardest not to laugh (she couldn’t contemplate how she could possibly consider laughing at this particular moment, but fortunately, didn’t ponder on that for more than a second anyway). Who said people don’t change?

Lily heard Keenyah making small talk with Sirius and felt proud of herself and James. They were bringing together a most unlikely crowd! Sitting down at the Gryffindor table, she took in all the various breakfast food offered, but her choice didn’t change too much from her usual – she filled up her plate with porridge.

“Ahh, good old porridge,” said James and Lily noticed his ear-to-ear grin as he also helped himself to some.
“I thought you didn’t like that stuff!”
“Who said people don’t change?” he replied smoothly and smirked at her; little did he know his words were imitating exactly how Lily felt about their newfound sociability.

And that had been enough to spark an interesting and effortless conversation between them, in which their friends joined in soon after. It was going so well, Lily even temporarily forgot about the letter, and all the worries from last night. She couldn’t believe that it was just yesterday when her and James started conversing on friendly terms. It didn’t matter that the conversation was about porridge- Well; maybe it mattered a little bit.

But an unexpected hiss from the Slytherin table interrupted them. Lily turned, reluctantly, and her jaw dropped as a direct result of what she saw next. There was Lucius Malfoy grinning deviously at them, waving a seemingly opened envelope. Malfoy looked like Christmas had just come a month earlier and Lily felt a lump in her throat.
She knew exactly what was going to happen next and wished she was anywhere in the world but there. Glancing at her friends, she saw them look just as nervous as her, having obviously caught on to what was in the envelope. Lily looked at James’ friends and saw them staring at her in confusion, and then disbelief when they too caught on. But what was worse was James’ expression when she caught his eye – she couldn’t really read it, but knew that whatever he was thinking about her at this exact moment, it was nothing good. There was no way he wouldn’t recognize the envelope in which he put his letter to her.

Lily closed her eyes and fought back tears. If she was correct about Lucius Malfoy, she knew that her happiness would be taken as fast as it had been given to her.

- - -

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Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:51 am.
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  #7  
Old August 27th, 2006, 5:04 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Location: Canada
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

7. CHAOS IN… WELL, EVERYWHERE

“So, Potter’s soft side’s finally come out,” sneered Lucius Malfoy.
“Malfoy, I’m warning you!” said Remus sharply.
“And what’re you planning on doing, exactly?” Malfoy mocked. “You’re only a prefect! Oh, going to run to Dumbledore, are you?”

Remus’s cheeks burned bright red; every word was piercing Lily’s heart like a knife, even though she wasn’t the one being taunted.

“Sod off Lucius,” replied James smoothly. “Unless you want me to hex you with Sectumsempra again.”

Snape looked like he would very much like to murder him.

Lily examined the whole scene again. The teachers were chatting animatedly with each other, and even Dumbledore seemed oblivious to the commotion in the Entrance Hall; the group had moved outside when James said he didn’t want trouble with Dumbledore where none was needed. Sirius, Remus and Peter were standing on James’ right side, the look of dismay on their face proving Lily’s suspicions that they were in denial that this was happening (they probably trusted her as much as he did). Lucius Malfoy was blocking the entrance to the Great Hall with his fellow Slytherins; the situation just couldn’t have been more typical (Gryffindor vs. Slytherin, anyone?). Lily was standing at the top of the stairs into the Entrance Hall, cringing at every word being exchanged between the two parties. Keenyah, Mary and Trisha were standing at her side, looking dreary (Tanya had never descended to breakfast with them, having been too preoccupied with her Potions project). Lily sighed and turned back to the scene.

“I wouldn’t say that if I were you, Potter,” continued Lucius, smirking in the direction of the Gryffindor Head Boy that James interacted with earlier.

He was sitting at the Gryffindor table eating his breakfast with the Head Girl, too captivated by her speech to notice what was happening in the Entrance Hall.

“Oh, scared little Malfoy, are you?”

Lucius snickered, “I’m not the one confessing my love for some filthy Mudblood!”

Lily felt her eyes widen and jaw drop. She knew that Lucius was less than pleasant, but she had always put it past him to be an anti Muggle-born activist. She opened her mouth to retort but stopped herself just in time, glancing in James’ direction; he was burning red and shooting dangerous glares at her.

Keenyah made to say something (probably to do with the fact that she a prefect and had the right to stop fights like this, but Lily stopped her; she didn’t want her friends getting involved in her problems. Although one would think that it’s a little too late for that.

“My God!” Lucius carried on, uninterrupted by anyone. “‘Lily, that was in our third year. I didn't give up on you ever since, and you know it. I don't know why you hate me so much, but you must have your own reasons, and I'll respect them and hope that one day you'll have the heart to tell me. Maybe then, I'll be able to correct myself.’

Lucius finished reciting James’ most heartfelt sentences. He wiped away a tear of hilarity and the countless stifled chuckles from the Slytherins finally burst in loud laughter. They were all now doubling over, and the Marauders were shooting Lily and her friends death looks. Lily felt small and insecure. She wanted to say something to James, but couldn’t find the right words; the way he was staring all around him showed his timid and sensitive self to everyone. Lily knew that this was killing him inside, but also knew that there wasn’t much she could do.

*

James wanted to kill Lily. He couldn’t believe it, but he really wanted to kill her. Sirius was bloody right! She was up to something. If only he followed his instincts, if only he hadn’t been such an idiot… such a trusting idiot! It took so much out of him to let Lily see the real him, without all the ‘cool’ and snide remarks to other people; he finally let her see his sensitive, gentle self. And what did she do? She gave away the letter with his heart and soul in it, and she gave it to Malfoy… out of all people! James was disgusted – how dare she do that? He swore to never trust her again.

He looked in Lily’s direction and saw her staring hard and guiltily at the ground.

Serves her right. That sodding b**ch!

“Told you something wasn’t right about her,” said Sirius to James as Lucius continued reciting parts of the letter.

James nodded his head. That was the last time he didn’t listen to his friends’ advice.

“Lucius, just stop it. You’re not doing anybody any good, you know!”

Remus was now trying to talk some sense into him. This proved as unsuccessful as Peter’s attempts to snatch the letter from Lucius’ 6’5” frame. James thought it almost looked funny, and then it finally hit him that his reputation was getting killed. It was getting killed!

“Shut the bloody hell up, Malfoy!” he said, not being able to find more to say. So much was running through his mind, although most of it concerning how Lily could have possibly done this to him.
“Potter, you’re going to have to come up with better than that if you really want to convince anybody that you’re not a… oh, how does your friend Sirius say it?”

Sirius raised his head in surprise and saw Lucius also holding the note he had written to James the night before.

‘A bloody girl!’” finished Lucius, imitating him perfectly.
“Where’d you get that?” shouted Sirius, being genuinely taken aback by this.
“You know, Black I’m not really surprised by your idiocy,” said Lucius in a slick manner. “I’ve always expected you to be thick enough to leave stuff like this lying around-”

But he hadn’t had time to finish his bashing of Sirius – James’ fist had just landed right on Malfoy’s nose. But James couldn’t stop there; Malfoy had to receive a blow to the side of his face before staggering out of his reach.

“Surprised enough?!” James panted violently and made to get out of the Entrance Hall.

But before he was able to leave the whole scene, he felt he just had to make sure that this wasn’t a horrible nightmare. He turned back at Lily and stared at her long and hard. He couldn’t read her face, so assumed that she was highly enjoying this. When she finally caught his eye, it was only for a second. But even then, James could easily spot the pity in it. Hating himself and hating Lily, he stalked out of the Entrance Hall moodily, loud gossip erupting behind him.

*

Lily wanted to break down. How had she let this happen? How could she have been so reckless? She knew the effects of someone finding the letter would be bad, but not as devastating as this. Lucius Malfoy finding it didn’t make it any better.

Before she had time to ponder over her horrible luck for much longer, she saw Remus Lupin making his way towards her. Lily would much rather have disappeared from the face of the Earth than face Remus – he was the only one of the Marauders (excluding James; these days anyway) that she had ever gotten along with. It suddenly hit her just how many friendships she could have ruined by making one stupid, irresponsible mistake.

“Lily, did you mean to do this?” asked Remus, aggressively. He sounded harsh, but she was grateful that he was straight to the point.
“No! It was- it was an accident, I swear!” She had no intention to be dishonest with him. “I must have left it somewhere…”

Remus shook his head, and looked all round them. The crowd was slowly breaking up, but the Slytherins’ hysterical laughter could probably have been heard for miles around them. Lily was receiving disgusted looks from all around her, and suddenly felt very small and vulnerable.

“Oh Remus, you know I didn’t mean it! Please help me, just… just tell James it’s an accident-” pleaded Lily. She saw him shake his head. “Would he forgive me?”

He gave her a distrustful look, and Lily knew from his expression that James probably hated her guts.

“Look, I can’t promise anything. To tell you the truth, I myself am pretty sceptical about this whole thing.”
“But wh-”
“Lily, you’ve never really liked James, have you?”

No-

Not until two months ago-

No.

Yes. How the hell am I going to say this?

“No- well… maybe,” she finally managed to answer.
“And up until at least yesterday, you’d do anything in your power to get back at him? For fancying you?”
“Y-yes,” Lily said truthfully. She winced as she noticed that Remus looked as if he was aware of this for a very long time.

He raised an eyebrow and shook his head.

“So? That doesn’t mean anything. People change! James said it himself, just… just a minute ago, at the table!” said Lily, clearly frustrated. Remus was staring at a bare wall. “Remus! Rem- are you even listening?”

Silence.

“Would you at least tell me what you think?!” Lily cried.

He eyed the Staff table, from which teachers were shooting anxious looks towards the Slytherin and Gryffindor tables and turned to her dramatically.

“Lily, your answers to my questions speak for themselves.”

And with that, Remus was off, leaving Lily (once again) confused, frustrated and full of remorse. And the day was only just beginning.

*

James stormed into his dorm, with Sirius and Peter staggering not far behind him. The full impact of what had just happened dawned on him, and for the millionth time, he felt so incredibly stupid. But he couldn’t just place all the blame on himself. After all, it had been Lily that probably gave the letter to Lucius. He never knew he could have ever felt so betrayed. How many years had he spent telling Lily how much he liked her? How much he adored her, wanted to be with her? How could she do this? James had always considered her a selfless, considerate person, but now he wasn’t so sure. Was the Lily he fell in love with a joke, or a prank? An act, maybe, to get him to feel exactly the way he had felt about her?

Sirius and Peter were now standing in the doorway, eyeing James with uncertainty in their eyes. Sighing, he turned away from them and stared out at the Hogwarts grounds, illuminated brightly by the gleaming sunlight. Just yesterday, Lily and James were sharing a fairly enjoyable date under that same sun…

“Mate, you’ve got to move on,” said Sirius, patting him on the back.
“Oh trust me, that’s the first thing I’ll be doing.”
“Do you think you could really move on so fast?” asked Peter. “I mean, you did like her for a long time-”
“That’s not the only reason I’ll need to be getting over her quickly.”

Sirius and Peter stared at him questioningly, and didn’t notice that Remus had now entered the dormitory also.

“I can’t have any feelings for her if my revenge is going to work,” said James, glaring at the sunshine. His eyes hurt from the brightness, but he wanted them to – he was going to remember every minute of pain and heartache that Lily Evans had caused him.

*

“Get out of there Lily.”

Clank.

“Lily this isn’t helping!”

Clank.

“Oh, stop it already!” Keenyah cried in annoyance and kicked open the bathroom stall door.

At the sight of Lily’s current condition, she instantly regretted it. Her eyes were puffy and her lower lip seemed to be permanently trembling. Keenyah engrossed Lily in a tight hug, and couldn’t help but feel bad for her; it had been obvious at the end of their date that Lily really might have been beginning to enjoy Potter’s company. And after one silly blunder, all of that was shoved down the toilet.

“It’s going to be okay,” she cooed softly. She saw Mary and Trisha exchange nervous looks.
“Why am I such an idiot?” whimpered Lily.
“You’re not an idiot,” Keenyah stated firmly. “Everybody makes mistakes.”
“Not like- not like m-mine!” Lily sobbed.
“Hmm,” was all Keenyah could find in her mind to be fitting to say.

She didn’t want to lie to Lily – her sudden affection for James really was questionable. For a second, she wondered whether James might have slipped her Amortenia (a well-known love potion) during their date yesterday, but shook the thought out of her mind – not even Potter would stoop that low. Keenyah really wished there was something she could do. If only Lily hadn’t lost that ruddy letter in the first place; her and James would probably be snogging in the common room right now, had this incident not happened. And nobody would be crying or upset about anything. If only she had a time turner, then everything would be-

Keenyah stopped her train of thoughts and frowned.

If only I had a bloody time turner…

- - -

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Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:52 am.
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  #8  
Old August 27th, 2006, 5:09 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Location: Canada
Posts: 38
Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

8. IF ONLY I HAD A TIME TURNER

“No.”
“Mary!”
“Never.”
“But-”
“You know it’s against the rules, Keenyah! You’re not even supposed to know I have one! And I’m only supposed to use it to get to classes, nothing more! McGonagall said it herself-”

Keenyah glared at Mary. How could she say no? Lily’s happiness was at stake here.

“Look, this is a matter of life and death! How can you not give it to me?”
“Actually, it isn’t,” argued Mary. “It’s a matter of strength of character, which we all know Lily has.”
“Whatever! You can even be the one using it you can- you can come with me!”

Mary sighed and stalked out of the dormitory. Keenyah followed her closely, and together they descended to the Great Hall for dinner.

Why was Mary being such a snob? If only she gave her the time-turner, Keenyah could go back and make sure Lily never lost that letter in the first place. Then her and that Potter would probably be an official couple by now. She scolded Mary for being such a goody two-shoe. Why did she never do anything against the rules? Even if it was necessary to help a friend?

They sat down at the Gryffindor table and joined Lily, Trisha and Tanya at the end closest to the Staff table. Lily insisted on sitting there just in case James was planning on assassinating her.

“How’re you doing?” Keenyah asked Lily.
“Oh, I’m really good actually,” she replied with false enthusiasm. “I’ve just finished my Potions project, and the History of Magic essay too. I feel very accomplished.”

The girls gave her unconvinced looks.

“Who are you trying to convince Lily?” said Tanya helpfully. “Us, or yourself?”

Lily pretended she was deaf and continued gulping down her pumpkin juice. The girls sighed and followed suit by digging into their own food.

Keenyah scowled. She had a plan, despite its’ many flaws. Now if only Mary would stop being stuck up and selfish… so what if she’s not allowed using the time turner for anything else except classes? It’s not like they would be hurting anyone; they would actually be helping their friend! But before she could continue inwardly bashing Mary, Lily suddenly stood up.

“Well, it’s been an… err, interesting couple of days,” she said, maintaining the bogus optimism. “So I think I’ll have an early night. Catch up on some sleep, you know?”
“Okay, night!” the girls tutted in unison.

Lily nodded somewhat awkwardly and walked out of the Great Hall, although from the girls’ point of view it rather looked like she was tiptoeing. Loud murmurs of gossip erupted behind her as she walked by, and they groaned, knowing full well that Lily probably wanted nothing more than to go up to the dormitory and cry.

As soon as Lily was out of sight, Keenyah turned to her friends and gave them a stern look. If Mary wasn’t willing to cooperate, then Trisha and Tanya certainly would.

“A time turner,” she said, without wasting any time.

The girls gave her a curious look.

“We need a time turner.”
“I know what you mean. If only Lily hadn’t lost that letter!” said Trisha sadly.
“She’s serious,” sighed Mary.
“I’m serious,” Keenyah concurred.
“I know! I’m serious too!” said Trisha, retaining her miserable tone.

Tanya sat there with raised eyebrows and said nothing. Keenyah was sure she could see that Trisha’s idea of ‘serious’ wasn’t exactly what she had in mind herself.

“I’ve no doubt about that,” she continued, struggling to make her point clear. “But I actually do mean to use a time turner.”

Both girls raised their eyebrows even higher, although for Tanya that must have been a challenge. The Head Girl, who was sitting a few seats away from them, gave them a suspicious look and Keenyah put her index finger to her mouth indicating that it would be better if they talked in low voices.

“Wait a second…” said Trisha, finally having caught on to what Keenyah was saying.
“As soon as I come on possession of one, of course,” she carried on, ignoring the girls’ air of negativity on the subject, and Mary’s constant rolling of eyes.
“Well, it shouldn’t be too hard, can it?” said Tanya, although she looked sceptical. “Mary’s been using one all year, I’m sure she can lend us…”

But being a very smart girl, she finally caught on that Mary had no intention of letting them use her time turner.

“Mary!’ she exclaimed, a little louder than she’d intended to.
“I’m sorry-” Mary retorted. “Wait, no. I’m not. Why should I be sorry for not wanting to break the rules?”

The girls looked like they would have liked to take her rule book and throw it down the toilet.

“Lily wouldn’t want us to do it!”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” replied Keenyah sarcastically. “Have you not seen her? She’d do anything to have this fixed!”

Tanya nodded.

“At this rate she’ll probably start being seen as conceited and arrogant-”
“And anti-social!” Trisha cut in.
“That too,” said Tanya, frowning. “And we all know Lily’s none of that!”
“So why don’t you just tell everybody that? I mean is it really necessary to go as far as back in time?” Mary groaned.
“Oh, so you really think any of these people will believe us?” snapped Keenyah, indicating the people around them.

Apprehension dawned on Mary’s face as she noticed the many appalled looks they were receiving. People must have indeed believed that if they hung out with a traitor like Lily Evans (she had gotten that nickname since people found out what she’d done; or what they thought she’d done anyway), then they must possess the same malicious qualities as her. Which, ironically enough, Lily had never had.

Mary seemed too proud to be giving up her argument though.

“No. It’s too dangerous!”
“Mary!” the girls growled in unison.
“Did you know that you can’t be seen by your past selves?!” she continued pressing her point, seemingly unaware that they might just murder her any second. “If you’re seen, you’ve no idea what can happen! The consequences will be out of our continuum, and the results-” Mary paused dramatically. “-the results can be disastrous!”

Keenyah grimaced inwardly. She’d never expected this; she knew her plan wasn’t faultless, but she never expected that it could be that dangerous. No matter how much she didn’t want to admit it, being seen by her past self didn’t seem right, and she knew that using the time turner would mean going into risky territory… she also knew that whatever the outcome of her task would be, all consequences would indeed be out of their hands to deal with. And the idea of burdening anyone with having to take care of her mistakes didn’t seem too appealing.

Keenyah felt like her ego was slowly deflating. What the hell was she thinking? Of course, she’d never be able to handle something like this! She felt stupid and foolish for even thinking of trying to attempt this. Up until now, she’d only thought of it as a great idea that would be worth all the trouble that it may cause, but now she wasn’t so sure. She’d never really thought it through carefully, and she felt naïve for not doing so. The many flaws in Keenyah’s plan were finally being shown clear. She didn’t even think of where she’d hide while she was observing the scenes for signs of where the letter would be put, let alone how she would remain unseen and inconspicuous to the people around her…

Trisha interrupted Keenyah’s musings.

“Well, we could just try it out, I guess-”
“No,” Keenyah suddenly interjected. “She’s right it’s- it’s not safe. We’ll just have to find some other way to help Lily.”

Tanya and Trisha nodded slightly, trying to look dejected that this plan was not going to be put into action. Keenyah looked in Mary’s direction, expecting her to look triumphant, but she was instead poking her roast turkey with her fork, looking uncomfortable.

Keenyah couldn’t describe how she felt; irrational would be a correct term to use. The whole time she had been contemplating this almost idiotic idea, Lily needed a friend to lean on. Feeling as much as a traitor as she thought herself to be and wanting to finally fulfill her entitlement of being Lily’s friend, she put down her utensils and looked at her friends once again.

“Look, we’ve got to go to her,” she said.
“Wouldn’t she want some time alone?” asked Trisha, looking doubtful.
“If you were in her shoes, would you?” said Tanya smartly.

The doubt was wiped from Trisha’s pale face and joined Keenyah and Tanya as they made to stand up from the table to go and comfort Lily.

“Oy! Keenyah!”

The girls scowled – Avery Grey’s voice was unmistakeable. Putting on as adamant a look as they could manage, they turned to him.

“Is she okay?” he inquired, looking sincerely worried.
“She’ll be just fine,” replied Tanya hard-heartedly.
“Err…” Avery seemed at a loss for words, obviously not expecting a response so abrupt. “Does she need anything?”
“Only for you to leave her alone,” said Keenyah, almost surprised to find herself sounding so defensive. “She has enough troubles to be going on with.”
“Oh,” he said and stared at the ground, looking somewhat rejected.

The girls found no place in their heart for sympathy, especially not for Avery, and walked out of the Great Hall without even bidding him a decent goodbye.

*

Sirius said that he had to go to Slughorn about not being able to finish his Potions project, and Remus decided to go with him, most probably to be present as the authoritative figure that had failed to talk any kind of sense into him. James was now sitting in the common room with Peter, although they didn’t speak much, as James was immersed deep in thought.

He and his friends spent all day doing homework, deeming that an activity that would keep them as far from the public eye as possible. Not that Peter, Sirius and Remus really required that, but they were James’ best friends and had refused to leave him alone. He couldn’t believe that just hours ago he was contemplating all the possible things for Lily and himself to do as a newly established couple. Now, he was making up for thinking up such absurd scenarios by envisaging all the possible ways he could get revenge on her. He could beat her on the Potions project and rub it in her face.

No. That’s not nearly enough compared to what she’d done to me, he thought resentfully. No, he had to do something more, something more grand. He had enough; she had humiliated, laughed at and rejected him through the years. Well, no more. It has to be something she’ll never forget, something-

“P-potter?”

An uncertain voice interrupted James’ thoughts. He turned his chair around to see a nervous looking first year girl holding what looked like a note.

“Are you James Potter?” she said quietly, as though he might say no and turn out to be a serial killer.
“Yeah,” replied James.
“Well, I have-” she stammered. “Err- for you, this…”

James gave her a quizzical note and pointed to the note.

“This?”
“Yes. This is for you,” the girl finally managed, handed him the note and sprinted out of the common room.

James folded out the note feeling a little perplexed, and read it.

“My father lives at 37 Worcester Rd, Surrey. Whatever it is, get it over with fast. You may only contact him by owl, and if I find you meddling in things you shouldn’t be meddling in, you’re dead.”

And that was it. James thought it was laughable that Avery hadn’t even put his name or initials at the end, for that was almost as offensive as the words he had written to him. But he didn’t really care; he found Avery’s submission to his request a little devious, but didn’t care. At least he got his way.

When him and Avery met in the Transfiguration classroom on Friday, James hadn’t told him the true nature of his task. He had just included vague hints, but stopped himself every time he got too close to revealing something important.

“But what do you need my father for?” Avery had asked him after James was finished explaining his reasons. He looked wary. “He can’t exactly help you, can he?”
“Yes, he can,” James replied firmly.

Avery looked at him sceptically.

“Okay. Say you know where to contact him; how do you know he’ll even want to help you?”
“I know he will. So will you tell me already?”
“What, do you take me for an idiot?” sneered Avery, chuckling to himself. “I don’t know what you want with me father, and knowing you, it can’t be any good.”
“Just bloody tell me-”
“Listen Potter, you leave me and my family alone. I want nothing to do with you.”

Avery walked towards the exit and James followed in silence. Actually, James hadn’t told him anything of his plans. He had, in fact, lied a lot more than he actually told of the truth. He told Avery that he was doing badly in school and the fact that his father used to be a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor here was what drove him for this favour. But Avery proved to be too clever to be fooled by this lie. It was almost like he had seen right through him, so James wasn’t surprised when he told him to sod off and never talk to him again. For a brief second, he wondered what made Avery change his mind, but didn’t ponder on it for too long. His task was nearly complete now…

Avery’s father was Benjamin Grey. What Benjamin had done made him famous, but James found it strange, to say the least, that Avery knew so little about his own father and that he himself knew so much more. It wasn’t hard to find out though, no matter how much the Ministry had tried to quiet it down all those years ago. All James had to do was sneak into the Restricted section of the library in his Invisibility Cloak at night. There, he had found all the resources he needed – all the newspaper clippings of Benjamin’s arrest and conviction and books that were written on the subject by the activists who despised what Grey had done. And now, he knew exactly how he was going to accomplish his task.

Snapping back to reality with a start, Kames knew what he had to do.

“You know, I need to go send a letter. I’ll be back soon,” he said quickly to Peter and walked out of the common room without waiting for a response.

He was feeling too excited to care what people were muttering as he passed them; he didn’t even care that people were giving him strange looks. In a normal situation, he would have stopped and harassed the reason for their behaviour out of them, but today he just didn’t care. Benjamin Grey’s help was going to be the final piece of the puzzle. Then, he’d do whatever Grey would tell him to do, and he’d finally be able to see his family again.

*

Lily told them she’d join them in class, and they didn’t question her. After an uneventful breakfast the next day (except for a couple of s******* coming from the Slytherin table), the girls headed down to their first class of the day. As luck would have it, that class happened to be Potions. Adding to the irony, Lily was not present.

The whole class seemed to have noticed this also, as an unusual air of mystery hung in the room. Keenyah, Trisha and Tanya exchanged anxious looks just as Mary staggered into the room, nearly dropping her books in the process.

“Okay, quiet down, quiet down!” shouted Professor Slughorn was he entered the room, expecting to find the class bustling with their usual noisy chatter.

So it was of course natural that he looked thunderstruck as he entered the room, because it was silent as the dead of night, and the students were staring at him dubiously. Needless to say, Lily Evans missing Potions was quite rare.

Professor Slughorn raised an eyebrow as he surveyed the class for signs of a guilty conscience. A silent class usually meant someone was bound to play a prank on the teacher, or something of the sort. Most notorious for that, had always been Arthur Weasley; not the most popular bloke, but brilliant at setting up practical jokes. James and Sirius told him he was welcome to join them for their pranks (which James hadn’t taken part of in a while though) but Arthur always said he prefers working alone. The Marauders concluded him to be anti social with an overactive imagination.

“Everybody here?” the Professor said, to nobody in particular.

When a couple of people snickered, Keenyah sighed and raised her hand.

“Yes?”
“Lily Evans isn’t here today.”

If the Professor hadn’t been able to control himself, Keenyah was sure he would have jumped about a mile.

“Oh. Well, never mind that, never mind that…” he muttered bitterly. “So, moving on, at the end of the class I will need you all to hand in your projects. I believe they would be done by now, seeing as you’ve head over two weeks to finish them.”

The class groaned and Keenyah saw the Professor grimacing in Sirius Black’s direction. Over the past two days, she had forgotten about her crush, and just hearing his name made her stomach lurch and sent her mind flying. As Slughorn was explaining the marking system for the project, she felt a tap on her back. Turning around, she saw Mary rolling her eyes at her and handing her a note.

“McGonagall gave it to me when she called me to HER OFFICE at the beginning of the year”, was all that the note read. Keenyah furrowed her brows. Was Mary actually trying to help her with her abandoned plan? The idea re-awakened a restless spirit inside of her, as if she was now compelled to go through with it.

- - -

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  #9  
Old August 31st, 2006, 3:58 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

Ahh, am having trouble with this next bit... that's why it's taking me a while, what with getting ready to go back to school, and working on my novel... hard to find the time. But I promise I will update within the next week. I'm not even sure if anybody's reading this, but if you are, then thank you. Remember to leave me some feedback! =D I don't want to be wasting my time, writing something that nobody's going to read... and even if you don't read it, then tell me why you're not. All criticism will only help make my writing better, so say everything that's on your mind about it. =) Thanks a lot, everyone. I promise to update soon.

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Old September 19th, 2006, 2:39 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

9. RETRIBUTION

The next day, the girls were sitting in the Great Hall eating breakfast and discussing all the possible ways of getting the time turner, although Mary was the least enthusiastic.

"So how are you going to do it?” asked Tanya, a grave expression on her face. She obviously wasn’t one to fancy doing anything too absurd and this was… well, about as absurd as it could get.
“Look, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to! I’m not forcing anybody to help me with this,” said Keenyah.
“When did I say I didn’t want to go!” replied Tanya, indignantly.
“Oh, am I to suppose the miserable expression on your face is your way of conveying that you are excited about this?”

One could not imagine a more sarcastic tone than one that was in Keenyah’s voice as she said those words.

“Are you?” Trisha said to her, raising an eyebrow.
“W- what? That’s not the point, the point is I can go on my own. I don’t need your help.”

The girls looked sceptical.

“I can! I’m a smart girl, I can manage it-”
“You do realize we’re still going with you, right?
“Aw, thank-”
“Oh, shush!”
“Huh?”
“Just shut it!”
“What th-”
“Turn around.”
“Wh- oh.”
“Yeah.”


*


Lily had now flopped herself down to the right of Keenyah, sparing the girls from hearing any more of Keenyah’s rambling about her mind-boggling time turner scheme.

“How’re you doing?” said Mary, though the bleakness in her voice could not be hidden.

It also seemed Lily had forgotten her previous pursuit of feigning unnecessary delight at any sight of them and resumed her tone of utter misery as she spoke to them.

“I’m doomed,” she said gloomily.
“Well, hello and nice to see you again too,” Trisha scolded her, looking insulted.
“I’m sorry, it’s just… look at them!” replied Lily, glancing around the Great Hall at the various faces eyeing them with apprehension. “When will it blow over, for Pete sake!”
“When will you let it go?” whined Trisha, ignoring Keenyah’s violent jab in the ribs. “I bet it’ll blow over soon, so maybe you could just enjoy your life instead of letting some gossip ruin it for you.”

Lily stared at Trisha in disbelief, but knew her friend had a point. It would make everybody a whole lot less depressed if she just stopped her pointless grieving over the injustice of life.

“I’m sorry,” she apologized for the second time that day. “It’s just so frustrating, everybody constantly on my back about what a b*tch I apparently am…”
“Well, it’s like Trisha said – this’ll blow over sooner than you can say ‘sad’,” said Tanya smartly, and glared at Keenyah knowingly, suddenly having found a reason for not using the time turner.

Keenyah rolled her eyes and turned to Lily.

“Do you think you can handle this?”

Lily looked at her friends and suddenly felt extremely stupid. Why had she let this get to her? She usually had stronger character than this. Plus, this wasn’t really a big deal – just because everyone thought she was… well, nobody nice, didn’t mean she actually was! How could she have been silly enough to make so much out of it? She almost wanted to laugh out at the imprudence with which she approached this situation; or gave up on the situation, one could say.

“You know what? I think I can; it’s not big deal, now is it really?”

The girls heaved a sigh of relief and gave her a most grateful look, however all for different reasons.

“And it’s not like you ever fancied Potter anyway, so this is like a piece of cake, isn’t it?” said Trisha happily, shoving some oatmeal into her mouth.

Lily was drinking pumpkin juice as she said it, yet she still felt a lump in her throat – Trisha was right. She never liked or for the life of her, fancied James Potter. And she never would-

Hold it right there, a voice at the back of her mind told her, and she instantly knew she had been fooling herself. You fancy bloody Potter.

“Right, Lily?” Mary demanded, seeing Lily’s incredulous expression at Trisha’s previous point.
“Err…”

The pumpkin juice was leaking out of her mouth as Lily oddly decided to not swallow it.

“Lily!”
“Of course I don’t!”
“You fancy Potter!” exclaimed Tanya in dismay at Lily who was looking as mortified as she should, with pumpkin juice leaking spilling down the bottom of her mouth before she could realize to gulp it down.

However, Lily was determined to make them believe the opposite. She gulped down the pathetic remainder of pumpkin juice and faced her friends, a resolute expression on her face.

“No! Never!” she spat violently, yet convincingly. “For the love of God, what are you four saying? Me and Potter? You’re kidding, right?”
“Lily, you fancy him. We all knew you did when you agreed to go on that date with him,” said Mary nonchalantly, having now digested the implicit confirmation that Lily did, in fact, have a thing for James.
“If you didn’t fancy him, you would’ve never gone, you know!” added Trisha expertly.

Lily opened her mouth to retort, but was spared an argument when several hundred owls swooped in from the entrance to the Great Hall, dropping off mail for the students and staff of Hogwarts.

“Oh! Mum’s written to me!” she said excitedly, grasping a letter addressed to her in her mother’s flawless calligraphy.
“Hmm, she never writes to you, does she?” asked Keenyah, who never missed an opportunity to show she knew Lily the best.

Lily frowned and looked at Keenyah, concerned.

“You know, that is actually true. But it’s only because Petunia doesn’t want any owls flying around the place…”
“Well, open it! It’s got to be pretty darn important if she wrote to you, hasn’t it?!” Mary commanded fiercely.

“My darling Lily,

I was very concerned when I got your last letter-”

“Huh?”

“-I never thought you the type of girl to mistreat somebody like that. When have you gotten so bad? What did poor James ever do to you? Whenever him and his parents came ‘round, he was always so nice to you! Now, what right have you got teasing him like that? You know, I think it’s those friends of yours, they mustn’t be a very good influence on you if you’re going around bullying people now. And to think my daughter! MY daughter, would have the nerve to be as arrogant, conceited, inconsiderate and… foolish to taunt somebody over their feelings for her! Lily, I am not proud of you, and I sincerely hope you find yourself a different crowd to befriend, because frankly, I do not like what you must have become to even dare pull such a prank! Now, I only wish I knew how to make those Howlers you told me about. Anyway, write to me as soon as you get this letter. I am very disappointed indeed, Lily, very disappointed.

With love,
Your mother.”

Four of the girls looked at each other in a mixture of confusion, anxiety and helplessness. The only one who seemed to have any idea what this was about, was Lily who was staring at the letter in disbelief.

“Lily, did you send your mother a letter about what happened?” inquired Tanya in astonishment.

Lily shook her head, her brows furrowing more and more with every second.

“Lily…”

Silence fell between them as she closed her eyes, shook her head vigorously, then opened her eyes and stood up from the table, an expression of uttermost rage painted on her face.

“Malfoy!” she growled viciously as glared at the back of a blonde boy sitting at the Slytherin table.

“Oh Lils, sit… please sit-” Mary was now feebly attempting to sit Lily back down, in fear of another stunt that would be sure to be the factor that makes Lily, once again, the talk of the school. “-it’s probably not even-”

But Lily had already sat back down, a numb expression on her face. Who could have known one, simple, tiny letter would be causing this much havoc. Maybe Lily really should just forget it. She could always explain it to her mother, or say that it wasn’t true, can’t she?

“Lils, it’s probably-”
Don’t,” snapped Lily. “call me that.”
“Okay,” Keenyah replied quickly, shifting her gaze at anything but her friend.
“Bloody great. Now my mom thinks I’m a b**tch too.. that’s the last thing I need!” vented Lily. “And see how she’s telling me to get new friends! New bloody friends! I don’t believe this..”

The girls averted their eyes from her and looked instead at their untouched food.

“Lily, you know what?”

Trisha was eyeing Lily with irritation clearly painted on her face.

“What?”
“You’re a right drama queen, you know that?”

And with that she was off, to Lord knows where. Lily gasped in surprise, and her friends raised their eyebrows, however all not nearly as shocked by this statement as Lily. It had clearly been on their minds the last day or two, at the least.

“Am I a drama queen?” said Lily as she faced them.
“Oh, Lils… well, you could always tell them that you just lost the letter and nobody would think you a snob. It’s that easy, really. You just- you just took it to a whole other level with this thing…” replied Mary timidly.

Lily eyes her friend, her eyebrows knit tightly together. Suddenly, she got up from the table

“How could I have been so…”

And after giving her friends one final, surprisingly grateful look, she got up from the table and walked away slowly.

*

James was watching the girls with curiosity, however, his insides were filling with shame each time he saw Lily, with that helpless, lost expression on her face. He knew she shouldn’t have written to her mother, but it seemed like the easiest bit of revenge he could get. It was almost common knowledge that Lily was on very good terms with her mother, and was always striving to impress her. If anything were to devastate Lily, this would be it – her mother thinking she was a snob.

But James thought he’d feel accomplished after this. Truth is, he had been hating himself the moment he set foot out of the owlery the night before. He needed to fix this, yet he couldn’t believe he was feeling so sympathetic towards the girl that had ruined his reputation completely.

“Have you considered that maybe she hadn’t meant to get that letter out?” said Remus as they stared at their breakfast, both not feeling very hungry at all.
“I don’t know..”

Honestly, James had considered this more than once. But it just felt so good to finally have a reason to not like Lily for a change. He had fancied her for so long, he had forgotten the feeling of being mad, angry at her. And he didn’t want to go back to his foolish ways of trying desperately to woo her into fancying him… he felt ashamed that he liked being in this position of power so much, but he had never experienced it when it came to Evans.. and he quite liked being the one with the control in their relationship (or lack thereof, considering the current circumstances), for a change.

He was interrupted from his musings by the sound of hundreds of owls swooping into the Great Hall. His insides bubbled excitedly as he expected a letter to fall into his hand. Instead, all that came was today’s Daily Prophet. No letter. No letter addressed to him by Benjamin Grey. No matter… he’d wait. That Grey would help him, and he knew it. Not after what James had found out about him.

*

She had heard a yelp just a minute or two before, and was now walking frantically through the corridor from where the voice in obvious need of help had come from. Hogwarts hadn’t had an attack on a student in Lord knows how long, and with Keenyah as a prefect, it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. She needed to find wherever it was that the yelp of fear had come from-

“Oh!”

Keenyah spun on her heel. She had just passed a split in the hall, and the voice seemed to be coming from the right hand corridor. Slowly, she tiptoed across the carpet, trying to make as less noise as possible..

“Please..” the voice pleaded. “I don’t know-”

Keenyah felt herself panicking. Whoever that was attacking, or doing Lord knows what to the victim seemed to be the powerful one, as people did not plead to each other in most friendly circumstances.

“Who have you told?” came a gruff, violent-sounding voice from the same hallway, and Keenyah gasped in shock as she recognized it only too well.
“Nobody, I promise-”
Who,” repeated the voice, sounding more and more dangerous. “have you told?!”
“No-”
“Don’t lie, Pettigrew.”

Keenyah stopped dead in her tracks; this had to be the strangest, yet most interesting confrontation she had ever heard.

“I swear to God, I didn’t know she was a-”
“What else could the mark bloody mean, you idiot?!”
“I didn’t know… please, don’t-”
“Have you any idea what this could do? My family, my… you’re going to pay Pettigrew. You’re going to-”

This was just getting interesting when Keenyah realize just how serious the gruff voice had sounded. She couldn’t let him attack Pettigrew, for whatever reason. She was about to jump out into the hallway like a hero when she felt a hand cupping her mouth, breathing slowly getting harder. She tried to face whoever was seizing her, but she couldn’t, the hand on her face was preventing her from moving in any direction. Slowly, she felt herself pass

“No!” she managed to yelp out, and the hand pressed tighter around her mouth.

Keenyah felt her body being guided out of the corridor… behind a door she had never seen before. She tried to wriggle out of the person’s grip but it had been too hard. It seemed like the person was trying to hide the both of them, and the reasoning became obvious as Keenyah peeked through a crack in the door and saw a figure emerge from the hallway. She struggled to find the breath to gasp, but couldn’t and after a moment or two, her knees gave way and she became to tired to struggle, letting her body fall into the hands of her seizer.

- - -

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Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:53 am.
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  #11  
Old September 25th, 2006, 2:36 am
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

10. LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR…

Lily sped down the seventh floor hallway where Keenyah last said she’d be patrolling. That was over two hours ago, and Keenyah had never patrolled that long. Something was wrong; very wrong.

She came to a split in the corridor, and turned to the right. Nothing. No Keenyah, nobody. Not a soul. Where could her friend have possibly gone? Lily was becoming more and more nervous about this with each second, and had countless times considered going to Dumbledore. Of course! If there was anyone who could solve this, it was the Headmaster. She quickly turned around and hurried down the hallway, searching for the stairs to the Headmaster’s office.

Suddenly, she noticed a door she’d never seen before, ajar. Curiously, Lily walked up to it, treading softly on the carpet. Once she had concluded the room inside to be empty, she opened the door and eyed it with interest. She found it slightly odd; she thought she’d known everything about Hogwarts, every passageway, every hallway, every room-

“Evans.”

Lily jumped about a mile as she heard Potter say her last name stiffly. There he was… standing, eyeing her with a curt expression on his face.

“What’re you doing up so late?” he said, not showing a single sign of wanting to make up after their tacit falling out.
“Nothing.”
“Evans, I’m not an idiot. Remus is a prefect, and if I end up catching you out of bed after hours… he won’t miss his chance to nail you.”

Lily opened her mouth in a frown. How could James be like this? A day or two ago, they were all friendly, on a date, enjoying each other’s company. Now, it seemed he despised just being in the same hallway as her.

“Isn’t it ironic?” was all Lily could manage to say; she suddenly felt like getting everything out into the open.

James gave her a quizzical look, though annoyance flickered across his face simultaneously.

“Well, you’re sort of the rule breaker out of the two of us,” she explained, chuckling softly. To her surprise, James’ expression remained as cold and nonchalant as it had been before.

Taking her cue at resuming their icy atmosphere, she took it upon herself to end the friendliness she had attempted.

“What’re you doing up after hours yourself, anyway?”
“None of your business, Evans.”

Lily couldn’t believe it. She just couldn’t believe it. After years of trying, unsuccessfully, to get her to fancy him, she was now the one seeming desperate. This turn of events couldn’t have been more ironic.

“Go, Potter. I need to check something out,” she told him, indicating the door behind her.
“And you really think I’d let you go sneaking around?” scoffed James.

Lily was seriously beginning to hate his sudden faultlessness. Would he just leave her alone? She needed to find her friend-

Lily felt suddenly inspired.

“Hey Potter, you’re an expert at sneaking around, finding things… people. Aren’t you?”
“Err…”

James looked taken aback for a moment and seemed to consider his answer.

“Why?”
“Because I need your help.”

To Lily’s surprise, James laughed out loud and looked at her, a mix of a frown and disbelief embellished within his handsome features.

“You’re kidding me, right?”
“No,” replied Lily simply.

She knew she shouldn’t act so casual about this, but she knew that a show of emotions around James would not go well. It wasn’t even fact; more like a gut feeling she got around thinking of this topic.

“What do you want, Evans?” sighed James.
“I-” Lily started, but broke off, surprised by his sudden submission. “I need you to help me find Keenyah.”

James’ head jerked up, an alarmed look on his face.

“You- you sure she’s not up at the common room already?”

Lily’s bros furrowed at the anxiety in his voice as he said it. She felt suspicious, but what could James know to make him feel guilty? And besides, James would never go to extremes just to get revenge; not after his confessed feelings for her.

“I’m sure.. I was there just a half hour ago.”
“Oh,” said James, but the relief in his voice could not be hidden.
“Why, do you know something?”
“I think you should go check the common room.”
“What the- how would you know she’s there?”
“I, err… I saw her on my way out. She was in one of the armchairs by the fireplace.”

If anything was suspicious, this was it; he did not sound any kind of indifferent to the subject.

“Anyway, do you know what’s inside this room?” asked Lily, hoping to get more clues out of him before he resumed his hostility towards her.
“Haven’t you ever seen it before?” replied James excitedly, obviously glad to be off the previous subject.
“Am I supposed to have?”
“No, it’s just that every rule breaker knows about it. And seeing as you seem to fit said terrible profile very well these days, I just thought you ought to know.”
“Don’t get smart with me, James,” snapped Lily, however feeling calmed now that his resentment seemed to be wearing out.
“I’m not getting smart. Look,” he pointed towards the room. “That’s the Room of Requirement.”

Lily gave his a puzzled look. James noticed this, and rolled his eyes as he proceeded to explain his point.

“This is a Room where you can get anything you wish for,” said James bluntly.

It was Lily’s turn to laugh out.

“Subconsciously, of course, for more extreme things.”
“What on Earth do you mean…?”
“Exactly what I said.”
“I don’t get it.”
“Well, go inside, then.”

He was actually still glaring at her… but in that caring, compassionate way she had never seen before. His constant changes of moods were starting to irritate Lily a tiny bit, but she let it go and turned towards the room, uncertain to whether she should enter this mysterious room.

Suddenly, common sense hit her.

“James, I’m not an idiot.”
“Oh, really? I didn’t realize,” snickered James, and Lily made a face.
“I’m not going in there, you know.”
“Whatever. I’m not forcing you to.”
“When it comes to you, you never know what you’ll do next-”
“Perfect. I didn’t want to be around you anyway.”

He was about as convincing as Remus would have been if he was trying to prove he was a born trouble maker.

“Then why’d you ask me to come in?”
“It’s called courtesy. Ever heard of it?”
“Oh, shut up. You know full well you’ll get over that damn thing ruining your reputation. If anything, I bet it’s only made you more popular among the girls!”

Lily knew he couldn’t argue this point – she had seen the girls that were ogling him whenever they passed by him or saw him in the Great Hall. Her friends had actually become quite the James worshippers ever since they heard the confessions that the letter contained, even though they never said it.

“What’re you talking about?”
“Oh, don’t pretend like you don’t know!”
“Trust me, that letter has not-”
“James…”

*

It was not Lily saying his name. Instead, it was a harsh, raspy voice, sounding awfully familiar.

“Help…”

James turned quickly to the left where the voice was coming from. He glanced backwards at Lily for a moment, to find her face in a frown. Not caring much for this, he walked over to the beginning of the left-hand corridor where his friend’s voice had come from.

“James? Is that you-”
“Blimey, Pettigrew!”

Lily had now caught up behind him and was too eyeing Peter in disgust. James couldn’t blame her – the sight wasn’t exactly pretty. Peter lay sprawled out against a wall, blood dripping from his mouth. He looked overall dishevelled and didn’t have his usual admiring look on his face when he saw James. Instead, disbelief, hatred was painted on Peter’s usually kind, though stupid looking, face.

“Peter…”
“Just help me up, James.”

James was surprised to hear his friend’s voice sound commanding rather than helpless, as it usually does. However, he shook this off – this was to be expected after what James had done. But now wasn’t the time for guilt – Lily most probably didn’t know what this was about, and he preferred it would stay that way, seeing as if anyone else found out about Grey’s own secret, the jerk would most probably murder all James’ friends next.

James bent down to help Peter up. He found his friend’s body heavy and motioned for Lily to help him. To his surprise, Lily rushed over to Peter’s other side obediently and took hold of Peter’s left shoulder on her own.

“What happened to you, Peter?” she inquired, sounding concerned. “We really have to report this to Dumbledore. First Keenyah goes missing, now Peter’s attacked! If you ask me, there’s someone-”
“No, Lily.”

James turned his head to one side as he heard his friend addressing her by her first name.

“Why on Earth not?”
“It’s James’ fault. And he will fix it – without Dumbledore’s help.”

The expression on Lily’s face quickly changed from one of confusion to utter astonishment. James wanted very badly to hurt Peter. It was enough that Lily was with him when he found him, but now the idiot was going to spill everything to her…

“What do you mean it’s James’ fault? He couldn’t have attacked you, he was talking with me-”

Lily stopped dead in her tracks, comprehension dawning on her face.

“No, I didn’t! I swear, he is my friend-”
“Why would you do something like that?” asked Lily, her eyebrows knit together tightly and her mouth hanging open.
“He wasn’t the one who attacked me.”

James felt himself exhale a sigh of relief.

“But he watched him do it.”
“Shut up now!” spat James as they continued guiding Peter towards a nearby staircase.

But Lily had already let go of Peter’s shoulder and his weight was now completely on James’ own.

“You- no…” said Lily shaking her head and looking revolted. “He’s your friend and you…”

James felt himself stiffen up in anger as she trailed off.

“I didn’t watch him get attacked! You don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“No, I don’t, but it’s becoming more and more obvious by the second! First, you attacked Keenyah, then you – and probably your buddy Black too – attacked him!”

James scowled.

“What?! I didn’t attack your friend! If anything I saved her! If Grey saw her spying on them like she was, he’d have attacked her too-”

James stopped speaking abruptly and came to a halt before the staircase. He let it slip. He let it bloody-

“Avery? James, I am not an idiot, how many times have I got to tell you that? Your excuses are getting weaker by the second.”

Finally, Peter spoke.

“Yeah, it was Grey, not James,” he said weakly.

For the second time that night, James sighed in relief. Lily, however, stood there looking thunderstruck.

“But Avery would never, never… why would he do this? And-“ she paused, seemingly putting two and two together. “-it was you that… saved Keenyah?”

James’ head dropped and he stared hard at the ground, shifting awkwardly on his feet as Peter’s weight became heavier and heavier on his shoulder.

“James, I-”

But the sudden approaching of steps did not give Lily time for any more words.

“What are you all doing here?!” came Professor McGonagall’s feline shriek, waking up a couple of grumpy portraits in the process. “What-”

Once she saw Peter heaved on James’ shoulder, all three of them knew they were goners.

“What on Earth’s happened to Pettigrew?!
“He was attacked, Professor…” replied James faintly.

The Professor’s face screwed up in confusion and shock.

“Well, where are you all headed then? Down to the Headmaster’s office! Right this second!”

James and Lily exchanged awkward glances – not even Dumbledore was supposed to know about this, and Lord knows what’d save them if he did.

Now!” growled McGonagall again, and began forcing them down the staircase, muttering incoherent words of disapproval.

- - -

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11. BLOODY TECHNICALITIES

Dumbledore tapped his fingers on his desk and gave Lily and James a grave look. Without saying anything, Dumbledore had (so far) managed to make them feel completely miserable, not want to give a proper explanation and feel the most possible amount of remorse that two people in their position could possibly feel.

“I don’t believe it was any of you two that attacked Peter.”

James nodded, scowling at the ground. Lily gave Dumbledore an appreciative look.

“I do believe you know who did it.”

Both their heads jerked up in noticeable fear. It was obvious they did know who attacked Peter, but did not want to say it.

“As loyal as you may be to whoever has done this, it is important you let me know,” pressed Dumbledore, but the twinkle in his eye gave away that he already knew.

James cursed himself for refusing his father’s offer to teach him a little Occlumency some two year before. But if Dumbledore already knew, surely he’d already be sending McGonagall to the Ravenclaw common room, in search of Grey? James felt scared – tonight’s turn of events proved that Avery Grey was going to stop at nothing to get revenge. James didn’t want to think what Grey would do if he found out whom he was told on by.

James turned to Lily, who had remained icy and silent throughout their journey to the Headmaster’s office.

“I trust you will let Avery know that I will be writing to his parents as soon as you step foot out of my office.”

James cringed at the thought, but nodded in reluctant agreement shortly afterwards.

“I also trust you will let him know that any behaviour such as occurred tonight will result in his immediate expulsion from this school and the Ministry will most definitely be pressing charges, however minor the attack may be.”

James frowned and nodded again. Dumbledore’s expression remained kind and compassionate, but his voice had a final tone to it. Looking at Lily once more, he found her too interested in a nearby empty vase to be paying attention to the conversation. He was almost sure she was faking it.

“I would like you to also tell him to come up to my office first thing tomorrow morning.”
“If I see him…” muttered James, clearly not liking that idea too much.
“First thing tomorrow morning,” repeated Dumbledore, making his point conclusive.

McGonagall raised a finger.

“I also demand him a month of detentions with me,” she said sternly.

Dumbledore seemed to consider this for a moment.

“No, I think he’d do better detentions with our good Mr. Filch,” he smirked.

James felt himself lighten up – at least Dumbledore still had his common sense and sense of humour. Surely detentions with the dreadful Filch would teach him a better lesson than McGonagall ever could, no matter how strict a rule enforcer she was.

“You may go,” said Dumbledore. “Oh, and might you add that Liquorice Snaps is the password when you talk to Mr. Grey tomorrow?”

James raised an eyebrow and nodded. Dumbledore never ceased to surprise him, as giving out a password to the Headmaster’s own office, to more than one student, was not something that happened every day.

“Go now!” grumbled McGonagall as she ushered them out of the office and out onto the spiral staircase. “And you’d do best going straight up to your dormitories! I don’t want to catch you two sneaking around any more!”

Professor McGonagall’s incoherent mumblings of dissatisfaction could still be heard as James and Lily stood on the spiral staircase, waiting for it to arrive at the bottom.

“James we have to talk,” said Lily, breaking the uncomfortable silence that seemed to befall between them the moment they were out of Dumbledore’s office.
“What about?”
“This has gone on for way too long, and you know it.”
“What are you talking about?”

James had a vague idea of what she could be trying to get to talk with him about, but liked the idea of trying to get all possible information from her. He felt himself cheer up as he realized his prankster side showing through again.

The staircase came to a halt and the two of them faced a long hallway.

“Let’s go to the Room you showed me,” said Lily suddenly.
“What?” said James, bewildered. “No- no, I’m tired; it’s been way too long a night-”
“James, just come with me.”
“No.”
“James.”
“Stop calling me James!”
“Why?”
“Because… just, don’t.”

Lily looked rather rejected for a moment, but that look was soon enough replaced with a smirk.

“Oh, would you rather I called you Potty?”
“Shut up.”
“Then come! It’s up on the seventh floor corridor, right?”

Lily actually seemed genuinely enthusiastic about this and James found himself beyond words. A week ago, he would have given anything for her to sound so wholeheartedly keen on just talking with him.

“Only if I get to call you Evvy.”
“What?”
“It’s only fair.”

Lily furrowed her brows, but seemed to accept his offer.

“Well, it does sound better than Evans. Too formal, isn’t it?”
“Of course.”
“Shall we go?”
“Why on Earth not, eh?”

*


Lily felt as if they were basically married. They walked up to the room in silence, but it was a nice silence; there was no need for words. It’s as if everything was being said and understood without actually the ‘being said’ part. It was tacit that none of the horrid things they said to each other before were actually meant. Lily loved these kinds of moments, and she loved being around people that made her feel this way. She loved it when people knew exactly what she was thinking, and found no need for words where none was needed…

*


James was going to die of exasperation. Why on Earth was she not talking? Did she not invite him up to the Room of Requirement to talk with him? Why couldn’t she just say it all right now, so they wouldn’t have to spend more time up in that room than necessary? James suddenly realized that she was probably one of those girls that loved cheesy silences and making out in hidden rooms…

Oh joy.

*


“I did not mean for that letter to end up in Malfoy’s hands.”

James nodded, eyeing her with a mixture of curiosity and guilt.

“I’m sorry for any damages that the incident might have done to your reputation.”
“No problems there. Like you said, it makes me more popular with the girls.”

James felt good to have said it, even though it wasn’t true. Girls might have ogled him more since the situation arose, but he was certainly no longer getting desperate first years asking him out. No matter how sick it was, it gave him an ego boost every time that happened. And right now, his ego was hurting – which made no sense, seeing as he was in the Room of Requirement, with Lily Evans not hating him.

“So… yes. That’s it, isn’t it?”
“Isn’t it?”
“Well…”
“I would like to know what actually happened with Peter over there… and Avery attacking him? That’s just so... out there,” said Lily, uncertainly.

James shifted uncomfortably on the spot, wishing very much that he had a chair to sit upon. Almost instantly, such a chair appeared, and James remembered what Room he was standing in. And Lily didn’t exactly know what it did, or how to get what she wanted within the room… she didn’t even question him as he routinely walked back and forth trying to get the Room of Requirement to show up-

And sudden inspiration hit him.

*


“I’m sorry I was mad at you about the letter. It was all so stupid.”

Lily knit her eyebrows tighter together. Was he purposefully avoiding her earlier question?

“Yes… that’s- that’s nice,” she stammered. How was she going to get this out of him? “So.. do you know anything about Avery attacking Peter? I mean, what was all of that? And why did you choose to watch him attack one of your best friends?”

James stared at her blankly for a few moments before opening his mouth, seeming as if he was considering answering the question, but shortly afterwards, his face screwed up in a scowl.

“Don’t you want to go up to the dormitory? It is quite late after all, isn’t it?”

Something about his tone suggested he was definitely hiding something. It’s not every day people sounded as if they were trying desperately to stray from the subject at hand.

“No, I don’t actually,” replied Lily, trying to hide her smirk. She was going to get it out of him no matter what it takes.

James seemed to teeter on his feet for a moment before daring himself to look Lily in the eye.

“You’re definitely sure you don’t want to go up to the dormitory?”
“No.”
“You’re completely sure?”
“James, I am sure. Now, can you please tell me why-”
“Look, Lily I can’t,” he finally said, seeming incensed.

Lily looked at the wall opposite him for a minute, but the next moment a chair had whipped itself out of thin air and she flopped herself upon it, a dissatisfied expression on her near perfect face.

“What are you playing at, James?”
“Since when are we on a first name basis?”
“Since when do you ignore my questions?”
“Since when do you ask me questions?”
“Just answer, it.”
“I can’t, I already-”
“Yes, you can. And you will. James, Avery attacked your best friend – actually I’m not too keen on believing that one just yet – and you watched him do it. There’s got to be a reason, and I’m pretty sure it’s better than anything you’ve been able to muster up so far.”

James frowned at her, looking hopeless.

“Are you sure you don’t want to go to sleep yet?”

*


It was not working. Why wasn’t it working?

I want Lily to want to go up to the dormitory all of a sudden. I want Lily Evans to realize she is very sleepy. I was Lily Evans. No, I mean I want her to go- I wish for Lily to go up to the dormitory. I wish for Lily Evans to want to realize she doesn’t want to find out why I was… It was hopeless. He was trying so hard to get the Room of Requirement to do this, when he realized his mistake. He was supposed to want it subconsciously.

Bloody technicalities. So, there was no way he was getting out of it. He’d have to tell Lily something or else she’d never get off of his back about it. But he couldn’t tell her… he couldn’t trust her with something so important, not when she had betrayed him with his first confession of feelings for her. Well, technically, she hadn’t really betrayed him as it was not her fault that the letter was lost, but it was her responsibility, and after thinking about it for a while, James concluded that it really had been her fault. Even though it definitely wasn’t. Once again, he found himself thinking, bloody technicalities.

“Lily… if I tell you, you promise me not to tell anyone?”
“Have you no faith in me?” replied Lily, though much to James’ surprise, she was grinning. Of course she was grinning – she was about to get the most important piece of bloody information to have ever escaped James’ mouth – no wonder she was grinning.
“This is serious, Lily… someone finds out and it’s on both mine and my friends’ shoulders to sort it out. Promise me you won’t-”
“I won’t, I won’t,” she replied hastily.

James gave her an uncertain look.

“Well, I’ll have to be vague…”
“And I’ll figure it out.”

James gave her a surprised look, which Lily returned with one of irritation at having to clarify her point.

“I’m not stupid. I can figure things out quite easily, you know.”
“Oh great,” mumbled James in reply.
“What’s that?”
“Nothing, nothing.” To his relief, she seemed not to have heard. “So… here I go…”

There was a little silence and Lily gave him a reassuring look before James was able to continue.

“Well, Avery attacked Peter because… because he’s a jerk.”

Lily grimaced.

“There’s got to be more.”
“Well, I did say I was going to be vague!”
“You’ve got to be clearer, then,” replied Lily, a concluding tone in her voice.

James sighed, tousled his already messy hair, and sank deeper into his chair, which had, through the duration of their conversation, managed to evolve into a very comfortable armchair. He rubbed his face with his sweaty palms before proceeding with his explanation for the past events.

“Well… let’s just say Peter knows something. Something that if it gets out, it will make Avery’s life… a lot more difficult.”

Lily’s grimace had not yet completely erase, but was beginning to falter, most probably to the almost extreme amount of comprehension now dawning on her. She was going to understand everything. But it suddenly hit James that if there was anybody that could help the situation, it was Lily Evans. Abruptly, James’ head flew upwards and he looked Lily right in the eye, trying, and failing to, read her mind. He wanted to know if he could trust her, he wanted to know if she’d actually help him… Lord knows he needed some sort of help with this, and if there was a skilled enough witch around, it was Lily.

“What is it?” she asked uncertainly as she noticed him staring her right in the eye for the past minute or so.

James turned his head to the right, thinking. Yes, it would make all the sense in the world. And Remus wouldn’t mind if Lily knew. No, he wouldn’t mind at all. If anything, Lily would help them – she was a kind, compassionate person; she’s never let up an opportunity to aid a friend in need. Not that he was exactly friends with her, but at least they were not enemies anymore; that was a start.

“Lily…” started James and he let it all out. With every word that escaped his mouth, he found control over himself escaping him; he no longer had any say in what he was telling her. It’s as if his heart was acting on its’ own accord, without first consulting his mind and common sense. He watched Lily’s jaw drop in awe with every second, and he suddenly realized just why he’d fallen in love with her in the first place.

- - -

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Confessions. .(Chapter 14 is up)
Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

Last edited by AnastasiaK; September 25th, 2006 at 2:55 am.
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  #12  
Old October 21st, 2006, 4:47 pm
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Location: Canada
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

12. JUST ANOTHER SECRET

“Lily!”

James’ incensed bark could be heard throughout the whole seventh floor corridor, down which Lily had been currently running. Undoubtedly, the paintings would start muttering angrily sometime soon. But she had to get away. She just had to. How the hell did he expect her to react to this? Did he expect her to think of him as some noble prince and fall in love with him instantly, simply after hearing some idiotic story he probably made up on the spot? No, she had more backbone than that. And more brains, considering he probably thought she believed his fabricated story about him and his friends being Animagi. And Remus? A werewolf? That had been the last straw, and it was the very revelation that made Lily scowl and hurry out of the Room of Requirement, in anger from being considered such a fool.

“Evans, you better stop right there!”

Lily turned around, finally having found an excuse to yell at him. In this case, right back at him.

“Oh, don’t you dare tell me what to do!” she panted furiously.
“I’ve got all the right to do so! Gees, Evans, you said I could trust you!”

Lily made a frustrated gesture with her hands (which somehow resembled fists at this point) and turned away from him once again, not being able to recognize a way to make peace. Of course, that’s not at all what she was looking to do, but it’s always nice to be considered the better man – woman.

“Evans, you can’t tell anyone,” James growled, catching up from behind her. “You’ve got no right. You do realize if you tell anyone, we’re all dead – ”

Lily slowed down her pace as they neared a poorly lit stairwell. “Oh, I’d like to think you’ve got a tad bit more faith in me,” she scoffed and hurried down the stairs, hoping to reach the Gryffindor tower before any more confrontations are to occur. “And honestly, I doubt anyone could possibly believe that bull story of yours.”

As Lily glanced backwards at James to read his reaction, she was surprised to find his jaw slightly dropped in disbelief, as if trying to find an explanation for her unbelieving of his confessions. She decided to spare him the trouble.

“Don’t even bother. You know what? I think you’re just so.. so stupid. You know, I’m almost insulted that you thought I’d believe that idiotic rambling of yours.” James opened his mouth to retort, but Lily quickly cut in. “What, did you come up with it on the spot? I’m not a bloody idiot – ”

But her venting was cut short by a sudden screech coming from behind the tapestry that the two of them had now been standing in front of.

“Lookie, lookie what I see here!”

Lily rolled her eyes – Peeves.

“Peeves, just leave us be.” She was surprised at James’ condescending tone. “We’ve just got some issues to deal out, and – ”
Peeves’ ghostly presence became more powerful as he cackled evilly, almost like a malicious witch, and withdrew two dungbombs from somewhere within the extremely thick (and unnecessary) pile of robes he was wearing.

“Potty and Evans better be getting their butts back to their common room before I – ” He juggled the two dungbombs from one hand to the other. “ – get you two hoodlums –” James growled in fury, anticipating as well as Lily what was coming next. “ – into trouble!”

Peeves threw the dungbomb at Lily’s feet and it exploded noisily, indeed waking up certain paintings in the process, and filling the room with resentful muttering, a load of smoke and dreadful howling coming from Peeves. Lily scolded herself for not running away quicker, but instead of dwelling on it, ran as fast as she could in the direction of the Gryffindor tower. Another dungbomb exploded somewhere near her, and soon, the corridor was filled with too much smoke for her to be able to make way.

“Evans!” It was James’ frustrated call for her. “Evans, meet me in the common room, we’re not done talking!”

But his next sentence was drowned out by a deafening guffaw coming from where Peeves had been throwing dungbombs, and – most probably – a mixture of other things.

“Oh, Filch is going to have a right good time with these two!” shrieked Peeves not too far away from where Lily was now staggering.

Lily stumbled, with a loud bang, into an armour suit and gasped loudly, unable to breathe. Unaided coughing could be heard, undoubtedly from where James had been. Her eyes were filled with involuntary tears as the smoke blinded her and she struggled to find a place where she was less vulnerable to all this noise and agonizing smoke. But even as she clasped the air with her hands, as if that were going to provide a refuge, she realized she had to run. If only she could get the strength, get her eyesight…

“Lily… get- get out of here,” coughed James helplessly.

Lily frowned as she realized James needed help too. But there was nothing she would be able to do if she didn’t get out of this mess soon. Amidst the loud laughter exuding Peeves nearly every second, the unassailable smoke, the blurred vision, she decided to make one, final run for it. Not a moment later, she found herself finally breathing fresh air and clutching at her stomach, feebly attempting to exhale freely. Lily was just getting ready to run for help when she heard another familiar voice among the many making noise around her.

“Miss Evans!”

McGonagall’s shriek penetrated Lily with both relief and fear. Finally, there was somebody there who could help them. Sadly, that somebody was the same person that would probably be the one to hand them over a month’s worth of detentions after having found them at night, in the corridors. Ridiculous as it seemed, they would probably even be blamed for the stirring of trouble, even though they’d barely had a hand in it.

“What in Merlin’s beard is going on here?” shouted McGonagall, but trailed off as she witnessed the scene in front of her, her eyes incredulous. “Goodness! What – ”
“Professor, it’s Peeves! He’s been- he’s been throwing dungbombs, and- and some other stuff, James is in there…” muttered Lily violently as she continued gasping for breath.

Professor McGonagall shook her head in shock, but the next second, her face seemed hot with fury.

“Peeves!”

This her screech was definitely infuriated. The cackling stopped. Almost as if by command, the smoke began to clear up and Peeves emerged from the thinning cloud, looking as one usually looks after having laughed way too long and hard. As McGonagall ranted heatedly with him about proper behaviour and such, Lily glanced nervously around the corridor. A couple of old men in paintings were looking particularly interested in the situation. She caught a glimpse of James leaning against a suit of armour and looking as if he was struggling to breathe.

“Professor,” said Lily quietly, interrupting McGonagall’s current ranting and threats to tell the Headmaster (which Peeves obviously ignored completely and stalked off somewhere, laughing uncontrollably).

McGonagall gave her an irritated look. “Miss Evans, both you and Mr. Potter are in trouble tonight,” she said sternly. “Again. How you’ve managed it twice in one night is completely unimaginable.”

Lily put up a protesting hand. “But professor – ”

“Of course, seeing as you were with Potter, it’s pretty reasonable to assume trouble was going to be caused,” cut in McGonagall, completely ignoring Lily’s previous gesture. “Up to the Headmasters’ office. Now!”

Lily did not move, but rather sighed miserably. “But professor we had nothing to do with this! It’s that idiot Peeves, he’s the one who- he nearly injured us! Me and James were just- just discussing something rather… important, and we were going back to the dormitory just now..” McGonagall raised an eyebrow in scepticism. “It’s the truth!”

The professor brandished her arms in the air grumpily and pursed her lips. “Up to the hospital wing, the two of you,” she said and waved them off in the direction of the downward stairwell. “And if you two cause any more trouble around here, don’t be surprised to get expelled. Twice in one night! Despicable…”

Even as Lily and James descended the stairs in silence, they could hear McGonagall’s annoyed, though incoherent, muttering echoing through the hallway’s walls.


*


James sat on the crispy white sheets of the hospital wing, tapping his finger on the night table next to him irritably. She didn’t believe him. How could she not believe him? And to think, not an hour ago this seemed like the best solution to their unsolved, yet tacit, crisis. There was always something complicating things, be it another boy or girl, or an event that set in motion a rollercoaster of misunderstandings… and now, she didn’t bloody believe him. He had spilled his heart out to her. He put at risk his and his friends’ secret. And she didn’t believe him. For all he knew, tomorrow morning she would be telling her friends all about his attempt at a reconciliation and laughing about it with them! How could she not see that what he told her was the absolute truth.. it was exactly what they needed to heal their ‘relationship’ (or whatever it could be called these days), and she wouldn’t bloody believe him!

“I still don’t believe you,” came Lily’s unconvinced voice from the bed on the other side of the room.

James sighed. “Good for you. Too bad you’ve got your head so stuffed up with your ego you can’t see that it’s true.” Lily scoffed loudly. “All of it.”
“Oh, and am I to suppose Remus is a bloody werewolf?” she said, sounding unmoved and cynical.

James’ head jerked up instantly in irritation. “Would you not say it so loudly?” He glanced around the room at the other sleeping bodies, as if to make sure nobody was listening.

Lily scoffed again. “Oh, like it’s going to matter. It’s not even bloody true anyway.” James rolled his eyes and lay down on his bed, covering himself with the blanket.

So it was his own fault he had told the matron to set their beds as far from each other as possible. In fact, if he had his way, he’d be up in the dormitory right now; unfortunately, the matron had more say in matters such as these and her word counted for more as his own. Now, Lily had to talk extra loud just to get him to hear her. And if she didn’t stop, any one of these seemingly sleeping people could take his secret seriously and sell them out… James couldn’t let that happen. He couldn’t help in the betrayal of his own friends. Hating himself for what he was about to do, he lifted his chin up.

“You’re right.” He could almost feel Lily’s eyes drift onto him suspiciously. “Yup. Made it all up. It actually was rather stupid now that I look back at it… Remus? A werewolf?” James gave a hearty laugh, so as to convince Lily completely that he had been the lying jerk she was currently seeing him to be; however, he was surprised to find Lily chuckling softly along with him.
“So, finally accepting you screwed up now, are you?”

James nodded slowly. Great. Another plan to win Lily over gone down the drain.

“I guess,” he said softly.
“Good,” replied Lily, though not nearly as triumphantly as he had expected her to be.

Sitting up in his bed again, James looked over to where Lily’s bed was stationed to find her sitting on her bed, looking abashed.

“You’re… not mad?”

Lily quickly glanced up at him and looked away. “I am,” she said, sounding about as unconvincing as she looked. “I mean, of course I’m mad, it’s just…”

James raised an eyebrow. So, things were definitely blowing over a lot better than he had expected them to. Why the hell was she not mad? This was definitely not how he had expected her to react. A week ago, had this happened, Lily would have exploded at him and turned the situation into a full blown soap opera. But now, she was just sitting there, fidgeting with her blanket nervously.

“Why the hell are you not mad?”
“What, you want me to be?” Lily looked up at him, frowning.
“Well, no! Obviously, I mean- you’re just a lot… nicer… than I thought you’d be, you know?”

Lily chuckled softly. “Well, you know, now we’re even. I lost your letter, you lied to me about all of that. I guess we can be nice to each other for a while now.” James felt (and looked) as if Christmas had come a month early. “Until of course something or other happens and we start hating each other again,” Lily corrected herself quickly.

Grinning, James lay back down. “Yeah. I guess.”

They lay in silence for a couple of minutes.

“I hate bloody Peeves,” said Lily quietly as the lights outside of the hospital wing went off and complete darkness fell upon the room.

James waited a second or two before responding, “Me too.”


*


Lily scribbled away furiously as she sat in the common room the next morning.

“Lils, I swear to Merlin, we’re leaving in about a minute!” came Tanya’s irritated voice from the armchairs by the crackling fireplace.
“That is if Potter doesn’t kidnap one of us first,” added Keenyah grumpily.


Lily stifled a giggle and continued writing. Almost everything was okay now. Finally! For the first time in days, she could feel as if she could breathe free again, without any further worries weighing her down. She’d actually almost forgotten the feeling. Now, all she had to do left was explain everything to her mother; she still wasn’t sure who it was that originally sent the letter to her, but at this point, she didn’t even care. She just wanted to wrap this up and have a normal, fun weekend with her friends. Of course she wasn’t going to explain absolutely everything to her mother, as that would be very well near impossible, but just the small details could be included. The tiniest details.

“So are you going to tell us anything about what happened yesterday?” said Mary, actually sounding insulted.

Lily groaned and sealed the finished letter in an envelope after examining it one last time. “I told you, I can’t. It’s… personal.”

Tanya checked her watch irritably and stood up, the rest following suit. “We’re going.”

Stumbling, Lily grabbed her coat from the chair and ran after them.

“It’s not like you’ve got a bloody time limit for snowball fights!” she muttered angrily as she struggled to keep up with her rushing friends.

So, it was rather obvious why they were mad at her. Lily didn’t know why she preferred to keep the events of last night to herself. So many things happened, it was hard to even tell what time it was when her and James finally got to sleep. But something about last night made it seem that if she told anyone else, it would disrupt her thoughts of it. It didn’t feel right. Plus, she felt so much better knowing that this is something only she – and obviously James – knows. Divulging everything to her friends definitely seemed like a good idea, and it would probably take away some of the burden. Although, it wasn’t really a burden even, so there wasn’t much reason for telling them anyway. This is what was making her feel the worst – if only she could find a way to explain to them why it was something she had to keep to herself. Her and James made a connection, shared (well, lied about) a lot of things. It was so much that she only managed to give them a vague description. But being the knowledge-thirsty people that her friends were, it just wasn’t enough. They had to know every single bloody detail; well, it wasn’t going to happen.

As they made their way out to the Hogwarts grounds, Lily was feeling a tiny bit apprehensive. The only thing about last night that still did not make sense was the Avery attacking Peter bit. And James watching it and not interfering! Oh, down at the hospital wing would have been the best place to ask interrogate James about it, and now Lily scolded herself for not doing do; obviously, she was going to spend the rest of the day pondering over it. Why on Earth would Avery attack Peter? The story James told her in the Room of Requirement did seem to fit the circumstances rather nicely, but there was no way it was true. But if it was… it made all the sense in the world. Of course Avery would want to attack Peter if Peter knew exactly what James said he did…

Keenyah and Mary were making small talk as they walked out into the Hogwarts grounds. Lily could see the owlery not far away from where they were.

“You guys, I’m just going to go and mail this,” she said. “Don’t ditch me now.”
“All right,” replied Mary nonchalantly.

As Lily walked off in the direction of the owlery, the cold wind slapped her face as if to say, ‘that’s for not believing James.” Hell, it seemed to realistic now. Her mind was suddenly filled with possible ways to get Avery out of the picture… or get herself and James and his friends out of the way of his danger. After all, if Grey was going to go as far as attacking somebody for simply knowing what his secret, who knows what would happen when James tried to get information out of his dad. For some reason, she felt a strange fondness of the boys, now that she knew exactly what they were. She felt like she knew them all inside out; all the reasons for their erratic and sometimes insulting behaviour had now come forth from the fog, and everything made sense. It pained her to think that just at the moment when she could finally understand them, they were in more danger than ever.

So he was saying the truth, Lily told herself when she finally realized how wrong she had been the night before.

She knew what she had to do. She had to get Avery off their back. Sirius or James could obviously do it themselves if they weren’t so bloody chicken. Lily now realized it was up to her. Had James planned this? Had he planned in basically guilting her into even contemplating to help them? She groaned inwardly as she grasped the reality of the situation – her worries weren’t over and done with just yet.

“Lily!” It was not the voice she had expected it to be. “Wait up.”

Remus ran up behind her and began to walk awkwardly alongside her. “Snow in November. Who would’ve thought, eh?”

Lily nodded absent-mindedly. What the hell did Remus want with her? However, it was understandable, seeing as James probably told them all about last night and Remus was most likely not feeling neither very trustworthy nor confident of him divulging their secret ever so carelessly to Lily.

“Okay, I’m not going to play games with you.” Lily stopped walking. “What James told you last night… it’s serious. You can’t tell anyone, you just – ”

Lily chuckled genially. “Don’t you worry, I- I understand completely... it’s just beyond me how you guys all managed it. I mean… I’m amazed, I guess. You being a werewolf and all – ”

Remus’ head jerked up quickly and he put his forefinger to LIly’s face.

“What the hell are you doing?!” He ushered her forward towards the owlery. “Please,” he said, this time a little nicer. “Don’t be saying things like that out loud… you never know who’s listening!” Lily nodded. “So you actually believe it, then?” asked Remus.
“I guess,” she said. “I mean, it makes more sense than whatever else I was speculating…”

Remus chortles quietly. “So James’ clever cover up didn’t work then, did it?” Lily glanced up at him, and he gave her a knowing look. “Ah, of course. You never believed the hushing up of it in the first place, did you?”

“I actually believed what he told me in the Room of Requirement… but then, I just didn’t want to believe it, I guess. It seemed so.. uncanny…”
“I see what you mean.” Remus’ eyebrows furrowed. “But still. Just don’t tell anyone, will you?”
“Don’t worry.”

As they walked briskly towards the owlery, Lily hung her head uneasily. Remus noticed this and frowned, almost looking as if he anticipated what was coming next.

“What is it?” he asked dubiously.
“Well,” said Lily, not looking up at him. “I.. I sort of said it out loud in the hospital wing last night.” Remus’ jaw dropped in comprehension. “I swear, I thought James was making it all up! Of course I was going to mock it, I didn’t realize he was being serious when he told me about it!”

He shook his head. “Listen Lily. Just don’t let anyone else know about this.” She nodded obediently. “Not even your friends.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t…” she replied, however reluctantly.

Remus nodded. “Good. Well, I know I can trust you.” Lily was somewhat less than convinced. “I’m off now.”

“All right then. Bye!”

But before walking off, Remus turned to her one last time. “Who’s the letter for?” he asked casually, but Lily could tell he was worried about her giving away their secret.

“It’s to my mother.” She wielded the letter for him to see and he frowned. “And there’s not a word about your secret in there.”

Remus nodded somewhat awkwardly and waved her goodbye.

Great, thought Lily as she made her way up the slippery staircase to the owlery. One more secret I’m going to have to keep.


*


Avery walked up behind the bench where the ‘Marauders’ (or whatever it was they called themselves these days) were sitting and conversing quietly. He thanked his mother for giving him the Invisibility Cloak at the beginning of the year. So, the secret was finally out; Lupin’s a bloody werewolf. He knew he shouldn’t, but he felt so proud for finding it out. Even when he was lying in the hospital wing last night, after being told to go there by that idiot McGonagall, he couldn’t believe his luck. He couldn’t believe Lily could make such a mistake; she had always been so intelligent, so quick to find and prevent mistakes, and yet she made probably the worst one of her life last night…

As he crept up behind the bench he could hear James and his friends discussing last night’s events quietly.

“…we’d better get him before he causes any more damage…”
“…thank Merlin he doesn’t know about us yet…” Avery nearly laughed out loud upon hearing this.

Yet he could hear James’ voice the clearest out of all of them. “…if the ******* does anything, anything at all… I’m going to kill him. I swear on Gryffindor’s sword, I’m going to kill him.”

And Avery ran off in the direction of Hogwarts, this time really laughing maniacally. He didn’t care who heard him laugh and wondered where it was coming from; this was going to be so bloody fun.

- - -

FEEDBACK


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Confessions. .(Chapter 14 is up)
Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

Last edited by AnastasiaK; October 21st, 2006 at 7:38 pm.
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  #13  
Old October 30th, 2006, 9:36 pm
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 4602 days
Location: Canada
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

I know I've never used italics before, but in this case I felt it was necessary to write it the way I did, so italics = flashback. All right? Goody. Enjoy!

13.

Lily gulped down the swig of pumpkin juice as fast as humanly possible and bolted out of the Great Hall, realizing she was about fifteen minutes late for History of Magic. She felt as if she was running for hours before she finally reached the seventh floor and made her way to the dark door leading into the class. She was panting as she knocked unhappily on the door and found it immediately opened, revealing a couple of snoring people and a very dull Professor Binns.

“Miss Evans,” he said in a bored voice. “You are – ” he checked the clock on the wall opposite him. “ – about fifteen minutes late.”

Lily shifted uncomfortably on the spot. This is the first time she had been late for anything.

“You know what that means, right?” The Professor’s voice remained just as dreary as before, but – ironically enough – this was making her feel even worse than if he had gotten very mad. She nodded so as to acknowledge his previous statement. “A half an hour detention in my office tonight.”

He gave an absent wave and she hurried over to her seat in the class, glancing over at Keenyah’s desk to figure out what page to open the textbook on. In the process, she managed to catch Mary’s eye (who sat next to Keenyah) and received a reproachful look from her. Lily rolled her eyes and opened her textbook to page fifty-five. But not a second later – just when Professor Binns opened his mouth to continue his lecture – another couple of quickly repeated knocks could be heard within the room. He waved his wand uninterestingly and the door opened, revealing a face Lily thought she would never have to see again for the life of her.

“Could I speak to Miss Evans for a second?” Anna Worthington’s voice was unmistakeable. What the hell was she doing here? In Hogwarts?

The class seemed to be very interested in this quite strange turn of events and paid intent attention. With another impassive look, Binns nodded and Lily slowly got up from her desk, making her way out of the classroom.

“What the…” began Lily, too taken aback to find the right words. What could Avery’s fiancée possibly be doing here?

Anna spared her the trouble as she began to speak. “Don’t you remember me?” She seemed oblivious to the fact that she was interrupting Lily’s class and showing up at a school where she did not belong nor was wanted. “I’m Anna. Anna Worthing – ”

“Yeah, I remember, I remember…” said Lily inattentively, being a lot more interested in being finally filled in on what this was about. “Why are you here?”

It came out a little harsher than she had intended to, but there was no changing it now.

“Gee, nice to see you too.” Anna’s screechy voice did not mix well with sarcasm. “Anyway, I’ve got a teeny – tiny – favour to ask of you.” Lily frowned. “Oh, don’t be so negative! I said it’s not too big a thing anyway – ”

“How the hell did you get here?” she cut in sceptically. This was definitely not making much sense.

Anna flipped her dirty blonde mane behind her shoulders and gave Lily an idle look. “I don’t think that’s something that matters too much,” she said nonchalantly. “But if you really want to know, my father said I could get out of work and come here to… do whatever I need to do,” she finished mysteriously.

Lily raised an eyebrow. “Listen, I’ve got a class to be napping in, so if you could please – ”

“Get to the point?” Anna scowled. “Well, you’re pretty close to Avery, right? Having been his girlfriend and all?” She said this last statement as if it was a crime that Lily had committed, being his girlfriend.

“And…?”

Anna nodded vigorously. “And, well I’m sure you remember the whole fiasco with us being engaged.” She gave Lily a look that was probably supposed to seem apologetic, but she was somewhat less than convinced. She gave her an expectant look. “And I’m sure it must have caused you terrible amounts of sorrow, not being able to be with Avery and all…”

Lily scowled. After finding out he was betrothed to Anna, she had spent only one night with her girlfriends eating ridiculous amounts of candy, but that was it. She had no idea what ‘sorrow’ Anna could have been talking about. “Well, it didn’t really, I was actually quite happy – ”

“Oh darl!” Anna gushed sympathetically. “You don’t have to put up an act with me! I know you still love him, don’t even try to hide it!”

Lily’s previous scepticism was now turning into full-on annoyance. She did not love Avery. “No, you’ve got it all wrong – ”

Anna closed her eyes and nodded knowingly. “It’s quite all right that you should feel the need to deny it in front of me. After all, you are quite the decent person, and seeing as I’m his fiancée, it would make all the sense for you to try and be modest. But this is exactly why I’ve come to you.” She leaned her head in closer to Lily’s own and dropped her voice dramatically down to a whisper. “I can’t be with him any more.”

Lily frowned harder than ever. “What do you mean?”

“What do you think I mean?” said Anna. “Given his… history – and family for that matter – it’s not all that surprising now is it?”

What history? What family?

“What history?” asked Lily, imitating her thoughts.

Anna gulped. “You – you don’t know?” When Lily gave no sign of recognition of what she could have possibly been talking about, she continued. “Didn’t you hear about it?” she said incredulously.

“What’re you – ”
“Oh, my father showed me the newspaper clippings… it was years ago, but still horrible.” Anna stopped her disbelieving ranting and glanced at Lily. “You seriously have no idea? None at all?” Lily shook her head in a confused manner. “It’s better that way,” sighed Anna.

Lily leaned against the wall, no longer eager for the conversation to be over; it was finally beginning to seem like something she could use for herself. What family history was she talking about?

“So what is it you want me to do?” said Lily, agitated by this mystery.

Anna purse her lips thoughtfully. “So, my parents said they don’t want me and him to be betrothed anymore, not after they’ve thought about it some more – ”

“Please, get to the part where this is supposed to concern me! I’ve got a class to – ”

But Anna broke her off quickly. “You’ve got to seduce him.” Lily first snorted then – unable to suppress the hilarity – laughed out loud. “So that he likes you again!” said Anna defensively. “Then I can tell him – ”

“What?” said Lily dubiously. Anna gave her a hopeless look. “Can’t your parents just talk to his own? It would be so much… so much easier – ”
“They can’t” whined Anna. “Given his family history – ” Lily scowled. “ – they won’t dare even set foot inside their house! I – I didn’t see any other way out of this… please,” she pleaded. “You’ve got to help me.”

Lily sighed and exuded one last chuckle; she no longer saw the humour in this, but was instead disgusted by how selfish Anna was. “Oh, so basically, your parents are too bloody chicken to do anything about the mess they’ve gotten themselves into,” she began exclaiming dramatically, although was a little shocked at how rude she was being herself. Then again, she had never felt so enraged. “And now you want me to do your dirty work for you, do you?”

Anna winced uneasily. “Please… I really don’t want to be involved with him any more, and this is the only way I see that – ”

“I’ve got better ways to waste my time,” scoffed Lily, still shocked at her own crudity, indicating the door to History of Magic.

As if reading her mind, the door blasted open quickly. “You’ve just got a half an hour detention already Miss Evans. Don’t make me raise it to two hours,” said Professor Binns, his voice indifferent, though very menacing.

Lily gave the bleak Anna a final smirk and began to make her way into the classroom when Anna called after her, “We’ll – we’ll give you something in return!”

And Lily stopped dead in her tracks.

***

James sat on the stairs in the Entrance Hall, gazing around himself restlessly. Everything was over. He had told Lily. There was nothing to worry about, period. Then why, why did he have that horrible feeling that it was, in fact, not over and done with? Why did it seem that any other person around him could be the person he thought he saw shuffle in their sleep back when him and Lily were discussing his secret in the hospital wing? When he saw it, he tried to put it in the back of his mind – it wasn’t anything important. But now, it seemed like the only thing that would make sense, especially knowing his luck. Which is, to say, not usually present.

He felt somebody sit beside him and glanced to his right, a little more than surprised by who he found sitting there.

“Listen Potter,” began Avery, sounding almost as if he expected some imminent displeasure upon seeing his face. James proved his suspicions correct when he jumped to his feet and Avery laughed heartily. “I’m not here to pick fights.”

James breathed heavily, too bewildered to find the words to answer. “Then… what are you here for?” he asked simply.

Avery nodded. “Make peace.” At this, James scoffed. “And I can see why you wouldn’t want to,” added Avery quickly. “But I think it’s best if we do live in agreement, don’t you think?”

“So you’re not going to come barging in to my common room, yelling at me for rotting you out or that you’ll chop my head off if I get on your bad side?” mocked James, very keen to see Grey’s reaction to this, which was completely understandable considering the note on which they had left off nearly a week ago in Hogsmeade.

Avery chuckled. “First of all, it’s not your common room.” James rolled his eyes. “Second of all, I know that neither you nor Pettigrew are going to rat on me. And thirdly,” Avery smirked. “I can do things that are a lot worse to you than just chopping your head.”

James scowled. “Oh, you better watch your tongue. Remus is a – ”

“And you better watch your own mouth,” hissed Avery, a resentful scowl pasted on his own face. “You have no idea how to even have peace, do you?”

Sitting back down on the stairs, James made a little sound of disagreement. “Whatever. Why this truce all of a sudden though?”

Avery sighed. “I can see you’re getting quite close to Lily now.”

“You better not talk about her. Not when you’re running off, nearly attacking her friends,” said James defensively.
“At least I’m not kidnapping them like some pervert.”
“Yeah, like that’s so much worse than attacking them.”
“Would you stop it already?” frowned Avery, clearly railing against James’ arguments.

James kept his eyes off of him so as to not attract suspicion. “And how is us being peaceful supposed to help Lily in any way?”

Avery grinned. “Well seeing as none of us have more of a chance than the other of being with her, I think it would be better if both of us could… you know, be her friends rather than the guys that chase her for months on end without any hope of getting her to fall for them.”

“You must be talking about yourself,” groaned James.
“Funny thing. I don’t see the sarcasm.”

James glared at him for a second or two and stood up. “Whatever. My policy is, I leave you alone and you leave me alone. So let’s leave it at that.”

“It’s a start,” said Avery enthusiastically, but James did not share his zest. “Fine.” James began to walk towards the Great Hall. “You remember to tell Pettigrew that there’s not going to be any ratting on me! And I’ll leave both your sorry ***** alone.”

“You do that,” called back James. “For your own good,” he added under his breath, startled by the menacing tone his own voice had taken on.

As he approached the Gryffindor table, he couldn’t help but feel a strange spur of suspicion around Avery’s nearly faultless proposal. Making peace did make sense – it would probably make himself seem even more mature in Lily’s eyes. But it just seemed impossible when the guy was attacking his friends and giving him death threats with a startling regularity. But what was he to do? Even as Avery was proposing peace, he was still acting a jerk. There is no way in this world the two would ever hold a decent, civil conversation without wanting to bite each other’s heads off. Plus, with what Grey has been up to lately, it made even less sense for the two to suddenly ally. Of course there is always the matter of Grey’s father and how James had not yet received a reply.

The truth was, he was having more trouble with his most recent task than he had expected to. For some reason, he could not do it for the life of him. And the fact that neither Sirius nor Peter would help was even more discouraging (Remus’ disagreement towards the matter was completely understandable because he was a Prefect; no wonder he turned a blind eye whenever the boys were discussing this subject). The only way he could succeed was if Benjamin helped him with it… yet the idea that once seemed so genius and impeccable was now beginning to feel rather like a vague hope that James constantly kept in the back of his mind… but if it was the only way he’d be able to help his family again… the only way to see her…

“What’d Grey want?”

James sat down at the Gryffindor table and turned to answer Sirius. “Peace.”

Sirius and Peter s******ed loudly, almost spraying James with orange juice.

“Peace?” asked Sirius when he finally got the last of the laughter out of his system. “Wasn’t he the one attacking Pete here? Wasn’t that ******* the one threatening you twenty four seven?” Sirius shook his head, clearly disapprovingly, and gulped down the last of his orange juice. “What did you say anyway?”

James frowned a little bit. “I told him if he leaves me alone I’ll leave him alone.”

“Perfect,” replied Sirius and glanced over at Peter. “Though this one here won’t be quite so keen on that, will he?”

Peter chuckled awkwardly along with them and they sat in a strange silence for a couple of seconds before Sirius spoke again.

“James, you messed up bad.” James looked at him, and pulled a face. “Evans knows about you. That’s no good.”
“How’s that?” he asked uncertainly.

The expression of hilarity was wiped from Sirius’ face and he gave his friend a cross look. “Remember what happened with that letter?”

James made a face that highly suggested this was a subject he did not want to be touched again. “Look, that’s over and done with. We already know she didn’t mean to do it?”

“How do we know that exactly, though?” asked Sirius, eager to prove his point. James opened his mouth to retort but he cut in. “Because she told you? Why are you so trusting with her anyway? I don’t think her knowing is the best way to go.” He filled his mouth with wild rice and continued speaking with a full mouth. “Not at all the best way.”

James shook his head wildly. “That’s what you think. Anyway, I’ve got to go see Binns about that essay…”

“Not going to have it done, are you?” said Peter and James waved to them absently as he stood up and made his way out of the Great Hall, having a strange feeling of déjà vu…

***

“Get your stuff ready, James!” His mother’s call came from the kitchen.

James sat up in his bed, feeling a little bit drowsy and very glad that she could not see his current state. The party with Sirius last night could almost be called riotous, and the current hooting of his owl next to him was doing nothing to ease his hangover whatsoever.

“Yeah, yeah…” he replied, hoping his voice was clear enough for his mother to hear. “I’ll be down in a minute.”

He turned to look out the window and felt suddenly blinded by the bright morning sunlight. His hands flew up to his head, though not to ruffle his hair as one who knew him best would have expected. Instead, he shielded his eyes from the immense glare and stood up, putting on the first pair of pants and a shirt that he could find. But before he could find it in himself to descend downstairs, his door was burst open with a violent thump.

“Where’ve you been?”

The blonde haired girl hopped onto his bed and sat there, looking triumphant – as if she’d caught him red handed.

“Eugena,” sighed James. “You didn’t tell mom, did you?”

Eugena raised an eyebrow. “And you better be grateful I didn’t! Now you tell me where you went yesterday or I will make sure they find out you weren’t… what is it you told them this time? Over at Sirius’ working on a project?”

James chuckled lightly. “Calm down, you impatient spirit… it’s not something that’d interest you anyway.”

“Try me,” she replied mockingly.

James walked over to his door and could hear indistinct conversation between his father and mother downstairs. He closed the door and faced her, unsure as to whether he should tell her this. She was quite young after all…

“Listen, I’m not sure if it’s the best – ”
“James, we’ve always shared everything! You’ve gotta tell me!”

He leaned against his wooden closet door and slipped slowly downwards, finally sitting down and accepting defeat. “Me and Sirius had to go to this party…”

Eugena slapped the bed with her hands. “I wasn’t born yesterday! And I didn’t fall from the moon. Will you stop treating me like an idiot and tell me already?”

Taken aback by her fierceness, James continued. “It was just a party. You know… a little bit of games… drinks.” Eugena grinned widely and he corrected himself. “Not anything you should be doing by the way.”

“Oh, all right mommy,” she said derisively. “You’re the biggest hypocrite.”

He laughed heartily and gave her a sincere look. “You’re not going to tell them, are you?”

She looked at his tentatively. “Hmm, let me see… how many times have you covered up for me now? About twenty?” There was another moment of shared laughter. “Listen up. I’m going to Hogwarts this year anyway, aren’t I? So me and you are going to have a blast.”

James remained silent. It’s not that he didn’t want to hang out with her at Hogwarts… but he had his own things to do there; what if she got in the way? He waited a second or two in pensive silence before conjuring up an answer. “So they said yes, did they?”

Eugena smiled widely. “Yes! But remember that little agreement, though…”

He looked up quickly at her. He had not expected her to know about it. Then again, it’s Eugena – she’d find out a way to know of anything and everything that goes on in their household. How was he going to tell her this? The last thing he wanted was resentment or tension between the two of them, but how was he going to avoid it if he wasn’t planning on abiding by what his parents had asked of him? The task they assigned him was damn near impossible, neither was it something he wanted to actually do. He was disgusted with them for even considering such a thing…

“You do remember the agreement?” Eugena’s soft – though young – voice woke him up from his musings. “James, remember you’ve got to do it or else I can’t go – ”
“Not to worry,” he replied quickly. “It’s all going to turn up all right.”

And she gave him one final smile of appreciation before skidding off the bed and prancing off towards the door. “Just think James… all the good times we’ve had! And now I’ll get to spend even more time with Remus!” James winced at her reference to her ongoing crush for his best friend. “Oh, come on. It’s not like you’re going to go all big brother on me and beat him up now, will you?”

He tittered quietly and looked up at her. “Any idea where mom is making me go today?”

Eugena waited a moment before responding, “The Ministry I think. Remember, she wanted to show you the premises and how their systems work and all…” James did not look back up at her. “James,” she said, her voice now even quieter. “You don’t have to do it.”

“Oh yes I do,” he replied, without hesitation. “Anything for my little sister.”

Eugena raised an eyebrow. “Except I’m not technically your sister... and anyway, it’s not even too important – ”

James put a finger up to her mouth. “You know how Sirius… and Peter, and Remus, they’re all my friends?” She nodded. “Well, you mean more to me than all of them combined. So don’t you start worrying about anything any time soon. Because there’s nothing to worry about.”

Eugena sighed. “I already said it, but I’ll say it again. I’m not two years old. And I know something’s up. Only a matter of time before I find out.”

And she left the room, leaving James staring drearily at the brown carpet of his room.

***

“You’re not going to do it!” exclaimed Keenyah. “That’s absolutely insane!”
“Tell me about it,” concurred Tanya.

Lily groaned and covered her face with her blanket.

“Don’t get all comfy there.” Mary indicated Lily’s unfinished History of Magic essay lying on the floor. “Remember your detention tonight.”

Lily groaned even louder and lifted her head to reveal a head covered with very unkempt red hair and a sceptical expression. “You know, at first I wanted to laugh. But then she said that last bit…”

“It’s not worth it,” said Mary quickly, with her usual know-it-all attitude. “The risks are too – ”
“Big?” mocked Lily. “How big can they be? It’s only Avery after all.”

Keenyah gave an insulted gasp. “The one who attacked Peter and nearly attacked me! That Avery? If that’s not a red flag, Lily, then I don’t know what is!”

Lily sat up in the four-poster and leaned against one of the posts. “Listen, it’s not that I don’t sympathize with you – because I do – but this is such an opportunity for me. You just don’t get it, do you? If I manage to do this, my whole future is guaranteed, my career – everything. I can’t miss out on this.”

Keenyah shrugged and stood up. “Just be careful. He’s got to have more than just a couple of nasty spells up his sleeve. Something’s not right about that bloke.”

“And you’re the one who pointed him out to me, remember?” said Lily, grinning as though she expected the humour to be shared by Keenyah. But it wasn’t. Instead, she grimaced and walked out of the dormitory.

“What’s her deal?” asked Lily.

Mary glanced around at Tanya and the silent Trisha quickly before replying. “No Lily. What’s yours?” Lily’s jaw dropped. “This is so unlike you! Something so dangerous for something so… trivial. You used to have more smarts about you!”

“And how exactly have I not been smart about this? Look, Worthington told me everything I’d need to know. It’s not going to be exactly hard – ”
“Exactly! It was her that told you about it, her that helped you plan it… how can you be sure you can trust her? I mean… she was betrothed to your boyfriend for the whole time you two were dating and – ”

Lily scoffed. “That’s not something that matters now. What she’s offering me, it’s…”

“Great?” Trisha finally spoke. “You know Lils, it does sound great. And if you think it’s right, go through with it.” Lily sighed with relief, grateful for the one person she got to agree with her. “Just don’t come running back to us when it all goes down the drain.”

Mary decided to subside the harshness of Trisha’s words. “Listen,” she shot Trisha a meaningful look. “We’re going to be there no matter how this turns out. Just remember we’ll have a fully justified reason for telling you ‘I told you so’ when it’s all said and done.” She smiled sheepishly, and the rest followed suit, finally having found a way to tone down the atmosphere of antipathy between the girls.

Tanya checked her watch. “Detention in… ten minutes. You want us to go up to the office with you?”


Lily made a disdainful expression. “I’m grateful for your support and all, but I’m not a baby.” She smiled appreciatively. “I think I can manage, thanks.”

The girls shrugged and said their various have fun’s and we’ll see you later’s. Before she knew it, she was moving in a melancholy manner up the seventh floor corridor, which at this point, she felt she knew inside and out, having been there way too many times than necessary these past few days.

“Hey Lily,” she heard a voice behind her and turned swiftly, feeling fearful for an attack to come down on her any second, especially with everything else that’s been happening. She turned to face Avery, and almost wanted to laugh out loud at the irony. “You sure it’s safe for you around here?”
“Hello there.” She made sure her voice remained unreadable so as to not give him any reasons for suspecting anything. “I’m quite sure it’s safe. What’re you doing up here?”

Avery skimmed the corridor surrounding them before replying. “I’m just coming down from Binns’ office.” This time Lily did laugh out loud. “What?”

“That’s where I’m going right now,” she said with a kind of shrill hilarity which Avery seemed to share.
“That’s nice. But you might want to wait a while,” he said and she gave him a quizzical look. “Potter’s up there discussing his unfinished essay,” he elaborated.

Lily’s brows were knit together. “And why would that make me want to wait before going there exactly?”

Avery raised both his own eyebrows in disbelief. “You mean you don’t know?” Lily shook her head and he nodded his own gloriously, as though he knew something she did not. “Err… you might want to keep away from Potter for a day or two.”

Lily stood there, unsure as to how to react, and feeling very confused. “Why would I want to do that?”

“Oh, you – you seriously don’t know?” It was his turn to laugh. “He’s not exactly in the best of moods with you right now.”
“And why is that?”

Avery smirked expressively. “Could you be any less behind the times?”

“Could you talk any more like a girl?” sneered Lily and was surprised to receive a jovial laugh from him.
“Well, he’s not exactly happy you let his secret out, now is he?”

Lily nearly jumped of surprise. “What – what do you – ”

“Are you kidding me?” He guffawed a little. “The whole school knows!”
“Knows what?” she said, exasperated.
“That you ratted on Remus for being a werewolf, of course, what else you thickhead!”

And her knees began to tremble as the shadow of a figure shockingly similar to James’ appeared from behind the split in the corridor.

- - -

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Confessions. .(Chapter 14 is up)
Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

Last edited by AnastasiaK; October 30th, 2006 at 11:02 pm.
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  #14  
Old November 4th, 2006, 4:43 pm
AnastasiaK  Female.gif AnastasiaK is offline
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Re: Confessions (L/J, mostly canon, though some Au aspects)

14.

Eugena crawled on all fours through the hallway, panting hard from both being exhausted and sobbing quietly. She heard a creaking of stairs as James ascended them. Panicking slightly, she moved hastily towards her room. Hopefully the shadows would keep her hidden… There was a whooshing sound of a door being opened by a gentle wind and it seemed to screech, adding to the eeriness of the current situation. Eugena stopped even lower and was now practically lying on her stomach. What would happen if he found her? Would he listen to her or just do whatever it was he would be forced to by that horrible woman?

“Eugena… I’m sorry.” His barely coherent mumbling could be heard from the top of the stairs. As she finally crawled to her door, she pushed it softly with one hand and it opened, however with an unwanted screech. Damn this old house.

The creaking of stairs and insane mumbling got steadily louder and Eugena, horrified at her brother’s actions, leaped into her room just before he could reach it. She slammed the door shut and listened intently for signs of any more imminent danger. All was quiet.

Suddenly, she dared herself to speak. After all, it was only James. “Why are you doing this?” Her voice quavered slightly. “I mean… couldn’t you just do what they asked you to?”

She heard a resentful chuckle. “Are you crazy? It’s not something I can do. Do you really think I’m going to go around killing Aurors? They’ve got to be crazy to ask that of me, the nut heads!”

“Don’t call them that,” growled Eugena, suddenly full of anger herself. “They’ve done more for you than you can possibly wish!”

“It’s a funny thing,” replied James impishly. “You’re the one who should really be thankful.” There was another creak of the floor as he walked around the dim hallway. “Imagine they hadn’t taken you from that orphanage. Where would you be right now? Huh?”

Eugena scowled. “James this isn’t you. You’re letting her take control. Fight it James… you’re stronger than her.” For a second, she heard a quiet whimper from behind the door. “You could always fight it. Remember when – ”

“Stop it!” This time it was a female screech. Eugena could hear thumping on the stairs as someone else ran up them in a hurry. “Listen you silly girl. You better get out of here before I get him to kill himself here.”

Eugena let out an involuntary gasp as the image of an Imperiused James hurting himself crept into her mind. “Take the curse off of him! And – ” She paused for a second. “ – I’ll come out.”

The female voice hollered with malevolent laughter. “Will you now? All right then…”

There was a moment of silence before James’ voice could be heard again. “Eugena?”

Finally finding courage in herself, she opened the door slowly. First, a shadow – one strikingly resembling James – came into view. Then James himself, his eyes bloodshot and body quivering, probably from the immense amounts of pain he must have been feeling. Behind him was the mousy brown hair of a person she knew all too well – Darcy Grey, her wand alight with green aura and a wicked smile painted on her face. She was shuddering too, but for different reasons than James. Eugena grimaced with distress as she realized the Dark Lord would be happy tonight… if only James hadn’t been so confident in himself and done what his parents had asked him to. Now, it was all ruined…

“The Dark Lord is giving you a choice, little girl. James here – ” Darcy poked a pale James with her wand violently. “ – is going to either live tonight or he’s going to die. Your choice.”

“Don’t you dare,” growled James through gritted teeth. “Eugena, you know better than to – ”

But Darcy slapped him across the cheek hard. “Why don’t you let the girl make a decision on her own? She’s not a baby any more!”

Eugena’s lower lip quivered with angst as she glanced back and forth from James to Darcy. “What do you want me to do?”

…James woke with a start, his heart thumping so hard it felt is if it was going to plummet right out of his chest. He clutched tightly the blanket covering him and sat up in his bed, looking around the dormitory uncertainly. Sirius was definitely asleep – his loud snores could probably penetrate the walls and carry out to the girls’ dorm on their own. Remus’ bed remained empty and James nodded knowingly; that time of the month. Peter was tossing and turning in his sleep restlessly. Tim – the other boy from their dormitory – was also fast asleep. Nobody had noticed James wake up.

Slowly, he got out of his bed and tip-toed his way out of the dormitory and collapsed into one of the armchairs by the crackling fire in the common room. That dream… it happened a couple of months ago, just after the end of term and when summer began. Him and Eugena were supposed to share some very good times that summer; it never ended up happening. Not only did he no longer have a family to go back to, he had lost one of his best friends. Sure, she may not have been his blood sister, but a sister nonetheless. And one he cared about very much. Now completing his task was the only way he’d finally be able to get to see her again, or at least get his revenge. At least he’d be able to do something, under a most inconspicuous disguise, instead of sitting back and letting the events unfold on their own, as he’d been forced to do a lot…

“Not sleep walking, are you?” James turned around quickly to find himself facing Lily, who was standing at the bottom of the stairway leading to the girls’ dormitories. “Because I’d hate to interrupt.”

He was surprised at her indignant tone. “No… not tonight,” he grinned and she smiled weakly back. “What are you doing up – ”

“I’m sorry!” she cut in quickly, her hands flying up to cover her face in shame. “I didn’t mean for it to slip out! I swear I didn’t say anything, I didn’t even…”

James looked at her, his expression bemused. “What are you talking about?”

“What, you’re – you’re not mad?” Lily looked pretty baffled herself.

“Why, am I supposed to be?”

She walked around the table in the middle of the room and sat down in the armchair to the right of him. “Listen. I don’t want the same thing to happen as with that whole letter disaster. You’ve got to believe me, it’s not my fault.”

James sat up straight in his chair and frowned. “It’d be nice if I knew what you were talking about – ” He paused, seemingly analyzing her words. “Wait a second… what do you mean ‘slip out’?” he asked warily, himself having a vague idea what this could be about.

Lily sank lower in her chair, looking pensive. After a second or two she finally bolted out of the chair, a determined expression on her face. “That *******!”

James raised his eyebrows, eager to be filled in. “You must not be talking about me… are you?”

She shook her head, her eyes closed making her facial expression seem like one of a person that has just realized something so obvious. “How could he take me for such a fool?” she muttered to herself.

“I’m getting a little spooked now,” said James.

Lily smiled faintly, her skin glowing from the dim light exuding the fireplace. “Basically,” she gulped. “Avery told me you hated my guts because I let slip your secret about… you know, trying to – ”

James jumped to his feet and put a finger to her mouth quickly. Lily caught her mistake and giggled sheepishly.

“And there I was about to make the same mistake..”

“You didn’t tell anyone though, did you?” asked James, sounding concerned.

Lily rolled her eyes. “Obviously not. Did you see anyone whimpering at the sight of Remus, let alone reporting him to Dumbledore?”

James chuckled warmly. “Even if they tried to it wouldn’t change much.” Lily gave him a quizzical look. “Dumbledore already knows.”

There was a little clatter in the upper tier of the common room, followed by a soft rustling sound. Both Lily and James’s heads shot up, their eyes examining the tier, as if expecting an interloper to suddenly appear. But there was no more movement. Nevertheless, James’s expression remained wary and his gaze remained fixed on the tier as Lily spoke to him, oblivious to what had just happened.

“Dumbledore already knows? And he let him attend Hogwarts? That’s so – ”

James cut in quickly. “ – unlike him? That’s not true… he accepts everybody who is really good on the inside. He always gives them a chance. Didn’t you know?”

Lily shook her head. “Well, I’m glad he… let Remus attend school. I mean – it would have been quite heartless of him to not do so.”

“Tell me something I don’t already know.”

There was a little silence, after which both quickly rushed out of their seats and moved uncomfortably on one spot.

“I really should be getting back to sleep,” said Lily hastily, clutching at the bottom of her nightgown. “Don’t want to sleep in tomorrow morning.”

James nodded in agreement. “Yeah, Binns won’t be too happy if you’re late again.”

***

“What is my animal?”

James felt as if he was talking to a wall. Well, technically, he was.

Listen to your heart.

Listen to his heart. He was supposed to listen to his heart. He stood in front of the brick wall in silence for a couple of seconds. How was he supposed to listen to his bloody heart if his heart wasn’t saying anything? Moreover, how was he supposed to change into his animal without knowing what his animal actually is? What if it turned out to be something totally typical, like a dog? Or utterly disgusting, like a rat? Hopelessly, he closed his eyes again and concentrated on the words he was saying.

“What is my animal?”

“Mate, you better not be turning into a psycho.”

James spun on his heel to face Sirius. “Oh, bollocks! What are you doing here?”

“You tell me,” came Sirius’s sceptical voice. “Asking walls what your… animal is, that’s not exactly normal, is it?”

James rolled his eyes. “You know damn well what I’m trying to do.”

Sitting down on the four-poster beside James’s, Sirius raised an eyebrow. “You’ve been trying for… how long now? Do you seriously still think it’s going to work?” James made to argue his point but Sirius cut him off. “And don’t you start with that ‘practise makes perfect’ ****. We all know it’s never going to work.”

James looked at his friend menacingly. “Well, it will,” he said, a determined tone to his voice. “Seriously.”

“But have you even considered other possibilities. Seriously, I think being an Animagus alone isn’t going to help you much in destroying the Dark Lord.”

James sighed and leaned on the post of his bed. “I’m not planning on destroying him. Just to do enough to get my revenge.” Sirius frowned. “Honestly, even I’m not conceited enough to actually think I could accomplish something as big as destroying him.”

Sirius still looked unconvinced. “Yeah, but how is being an Animagus even going to help you achieve revenge? What if your form turns out to be something completely useless… like a rat?”

“Being a rat wouldn’t be all that useless,” argued James. “You could sneak on him and eavesdrop.” Sirius’s face beamed with comprehension. “And anyway… being an animal is such a perfect disguise. I’d be able to get away with nearly anything.”

“Don’t you now wish you were a werewolf? You’d tear the ******* from limb to limb, wouldn’t you?”

James chuckled. “You bet. Anyway, you’d better go. Practise – ”

“ – makes perfect. Yeah, yeah, I know.” Sirius stood up and made to walk out of the dormitory. “Just do me a favour,” he said. “Don’t end up going bananas over this thing.”

James chuckled once again. “What the – ?”

“Seriously. I’ve heard people get obsessed over things like this. And let me tell you, none of the stories turned out good at the end.” James was silent. “Anyway, I’m not trying to bash you… just remember. Friends – and your own life for that matter – come first; crazy Animagus scheme last. Got it?”

James nodded and Sirius walked out, completely unaware that what he’d just said would bother James more than anyone would’ve thought…

***

“What?”

Lily slid off the table quickly, and began to smooth out her frizzy red hair in an embarrassed manner. This was not going as well as she had planned it to.

“Oh, it’s nothing – ”

“Lily, why were you wrapping your arms around me, and… sitting on the table?” came Avery’s confused voice.

Lily sat down and picked up a book from the pile in front of them, just to seem as if she was in the library for a plausible reason. How was she going to do this? She was supposed to seduce him. Meaning… he had to fall right back in love with her and it would be easier for that snob’s parents to break it to him that the arranged marriage is off. Great. It’s not that she would have any particular difficulty seducing him – okay. Maybe it is that she would have difficulty with that. But was it really her fault she hated his guts right now? He attacked James’s friend Peter, nearly attacked Keenyah, never told her about being betrothed to Anna… obviously she was going to feel dismayed by what she had to do.

“Well, it’s just that…” She smoothed out her hair even more. “I miss you,” she finally managed in a weak voice.

Avery raised an eyebrow. “You miss me?”

“Not that kind of miss you, of course,” Lily corrected herself quickly. “I just… miss you.”

His expression became quickly perturbed. “Lily, you know I can’t,” he said, finally catching her meaning. “I’m with Anna, and there’s nothing I can really do about that.” He leaned in closer to her and she winced a little. He dropped his voice down to a mere whisper, clearly not wishing to seem conspicuous. “Trust me, you’re the girl I’d rather be with.”

Lily sat there, an unbelieving frown pasted on her face, as he moved away from her and his tone became adamant once more.

“I can’t believe you’d ask something like this of me,” he said, feigning resentment, and winked slyly at her.

She dropped her gaze onto the book she was holding as the librarian passed their table, evidently in pursuit of scoundrels. There was a little silence as she passed and they both sighed with relief; the librarian was notorious for being somewhat paranoid when it came to giving detentions. Lily looked up at him doubtfully. If only he knew. She put up her best straight face and sexy voice and began talking, disbelieving of what she was doing.

“I’ve missed you so much…” Lily leaned in closer to him, trying to rest her head on his shoulder in sexiest way possible. Her attempts were feeble, however, as Avery remained tense and obviously alert at her sudden change in behaviour. “Haven’t you missed me too?” She knew she sounded somewhat less than believable.

“What’s this all about?” groaned Avery, a sudden recognition in his voice. “Are you drunk?” Lily giggled in spite of herself and he scrutinized her closely for signs of being intoxicated. “Don’t tell me Madam Rosmerta left firewhiskey lying around again…”

“No, no, you’ve got it all wrong… I miss you!”

“But I’m here right now,” he replied, evidently confused.

“No, I mean…” Lily was lost for words. How could he be so damn idiotic? She put on her best game face. “I really want us to be together again.” Avery opened his mouth in surprise but she cut him off quickly. “And I know you feel the same way, so don’t pretend being with.. that Anna would ever prevent you from doing this anyway.”

Avery gaped at her for a few second while Lily hated herself for what she was doing. She was nearly sickened by this, but what could she do? It’s not like she had been given too much of a choice in the matter by Anna. Finally, Avery broke the inept silence.

“Are you serious?” Lily frowned slightly, but regained composure as quickly as she had lost it and nodded. “But… even after what I did?”

Lily let her head rest in her hand and closed her eyes pensively, speculating for a reason to tell him. “Well… I was thinking the other day. If our love is really genuine – ” She hated how cheesy her little speech was. “ – then little things like. Um… you being betrothed, that shouldn’t prevent us from being together.”

She looked up at him hopefully, almost expecting to see an expression of disgust on his face. To her surprise, she found no such thing.

“Well, me and Anna being betrothed is not exactly a little thing,” he replied and Lily sighed miserably. “But it’s definitely something we can overcome, I think.”

She glanced up at him strangely. “So… you don’t mind if we – if we go out again?”

Avery chuckled slightly. “Just make sure to keep it a secret from Anna.”

Lily chuckled also, but for a much different reason. If only he knew…

***

Sadly, some two and a half hours later, James could still be found cussing heatedly at the brick wall of his dormitory. Evidently, his attempts had really all been quite feeble. Having found no other way to transfigure into an animal all afternoon, he decided to take his chances sending an owl to Benjamin Grey again. However, at this point he had gotten pretty hopeless, as if the old guy was getting the numerous owls James had sent him, he certainly hadn’t had it in him to reply.

“Mr. Grey,

I have been waiting for a reply, but unfortunately none has been returned. I am wondering if there is any particular reason you’re so reluctant to help me out with this. I have already told you that I’m doing it for something good; it’s definitely not for personal gain. I do realize it may be rude of me to ask so much of you, but it is extremely important to me to be able to become an Animagi… In fact, it’s something I need to be able to do.

Anyway, just thought I’d keep you updated on my progress nevertheless. Well, so far I do know that I am supposed to somehow figure out what my animal is. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do all afternoon today, but have been unsuccessful. Something keeps telling me to listen to my heart, but sadly, my heart doesn’t seems to be speaking. Please. I need your help, you’re the only person I know of that has been able to achieve this successfully.

And if not for my own good, remember, Voldemort would not benefit from this too much. And I won’t pretend I don’t know about your history with him.

James Potter”

James sat in the cold owlery, gripping the letter tightly with his hands. That was it. His last hope. He motioned to one of the dark barn owls to pick up the letter and she flew next to him obediently. A couple of moments later, she could be seen flying off into the pink of the setting afternoon sun.

James’s mind was telling him to get up and go talk to his friends, but his body was thinking differently. He continued sitting there, contemplating what horrible things could be happening to Eugena right now… at this very moment. When he was safe and sound at Hogwarts, Lord knows what his sister could have been going through. And finally, he was convinced that he was going to get the information out of Grey no matter what it took. He was going to -

Pop.

James’s head jerked up involuntarily and he found himself facing a stocky old man with grey hair and keen, equally grey eyes. He snorted a little at the sight of James and furrowed his brows. James took notice of the man’s worn down robes and his walking cane that the man was now propped upon. James thought this man looked rather like one of those homeless men he saw on Muggle streets when his parents took him to one of their cities. A few seconds later, he realized (surprisingly, in slight disappointment) that this was Benjamin Grey.

“Potter.”

James was lost for words. “I – you – oh. Yes, I’m… James.”

“Potter,” repeated Benjamin and made himself comfortable beside James. “Let me get to the point.”

James sat there, his face fixed in a seemingly permanent frown. “The… point, mister?”

“Yes, the point,” grunted the old man grumpily. “You’re just about the biggest idiot I’ve ever laid eyes upon!” His voice was irritable and he sounded as if he’s be much happier anywhere else than here. “Writing to me by owl, you do realize the Ministry will probably murder me at the sight of an owl near my place? Idiot! Idiot!

James vaguely remembered that the animal Benjamin transformed into was an owl and cringed at his own stupidity. The last thing he needed was his only source of help being arrested by the Ministry.

“Sorry,” he said in a small voice. “It’s just that I – ”

“No excuses!” barked Benjamin. “What do you take me for? An idiot like yourself?” He made a sound that highly imitated his disgust. James could not find the words to say. “So you want to become an Animagus, do you boy?”

Suddenly, he found his voice again. “Yes! Yes, it’s because my sister, she – ”

“Yeah, yeah.” Benjamin gave an absent-minded wave of his hand. “I’ve heard it all from the countless letters you sent to me,” he said accusingly.

James sighed. “Well I had no way of knowing whether you were actually receiving my owls or not as you never replied, so…”

The old man groaned huffily. “What do you want from me, boy? I’m just a tired old man that wants to live out the remainder of his miserable days. Without interferences.” James remained silent. “What do you want to know?”

“Well,” he began, unsure of how to phrase this now that the actual moment had come a lot sooner than he had expected it to. “These past few days I’ve been trying to… you know, transform. But I can’t seem to be able to do it.”

“But you do know your animal, right?”

James shook his head gloomily. “I’ve been trying to figure it out, but something keeps on telling me to – ”

“ – listen to your heart,” Benjamin finished his sentence for him and stared hard at the ground. James was surprised to have heard newfound compassion in the man’s voice, and also to find him smiling reminiscently. “Oh, I remember when I first wanted to do it.” Grey turned to him. “That’s the exact same thing a voice in my head told me – to listen to my heart. But I was such a fool… if only I’d known then where my heart truly lied…”

James was glad for the previous tension between them to have died down, but was still hesitant to listen to this for much longer, as the conversation seemed to be getting a little more personal than he had intended it to.

“Can you – ” He cleared his throat. “Mr. Grey, could you just… help me figure out what it means?”

Benjamin’s head turned abruptly to James, an reproving stare on his face. “I guess you’re just as much an idiot as me, aren’t you now?” he snapped. “Can’t you see it?”

James looked up at the ceiling, as though it would provide him with some much needed answers. “See… what?”

The old man shook his head wearily. “How you can be such a fool, that’s beyond me.”

James rolled his eyes. When would he get to the darn point? There was a little silence during which they both seemed to regret being at the same place at the same time. Suddenly, Benjamin spoke.

“Where does your heart lie?” he asked in a quiet, almost concerned voice.

James grimaced. This is becoming way too soap opera-like for his fancy. “Err… I don’t know. My chest?” he said hopefully, but Grey only guffawed in answer.

“Idiot,” he grumbled and decided to make his meaning a little more clear. “Is there anyone that your heart truly belongs to?”

This time, James seemed to catch his meaning and thought long and hard. Of course there was someone. Eugena was his sister and he loved her more than anyone in the world. That was why he was becoming an Animagus in the first place. But how was this information supposed to help him? It’s not like she’s going to come waltzing in here and telling him what his animal is, if that’s what was meant by, ‘listen to your heart.’

“Well, yes,” he finally replied and Benjamin’s face leaped into a joyful expression. “But I don’t see how it’s going to help me,” James added hastily. “I mean… she’s very, very far away right now. And – ”

“What do you mean she’s far away?”

“Well… my sister, sir. Surely I told you in my letters that – ”

“Oh, that you did!” spat Grey, the frustration in his voice now easily distinguished. “But it’s obviously not her! Think, boy, think!

James thought again, but Eugena was the only person that seemed to fit the –

“There’s someone else.” How could he have not thought of this before? Benjamin’s fickle expression turned jubilant once upon seeing the comprehension in James’s face. “But – how could she help me? I mean, she’s just this girl I like…”

Grey chuckled softly. “Well, that can’t possibly be it!”

What did he mean? Obviously James had strong feelings for Lily. But… it wasn’t love. Could it be love? And anyway, he still couldn’t see how she could contribute to his quest. Only he was involved; only he could transform himself into an animal, he’d read it in countless books – nobody could interfere. He looked up, baffled, at Benjamin.

“Well, yes, I think it may be love.”

But before he could continue, Grey spoke excitedly and for the last time. “Well, she’s the answer, then!” He checked his watch hurriedly, as if he had places to go. “Took you long enough to figure that one out. Well, I’m off. Seems I’m done here.” He stood up and turned to James one final time. “Boy, you write to me again, and you’ll wish you’d never been born. My deed is done.

And the last James saw of him was a smirking face quickly disappearing into thin air with a pop.

- - -

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Confessions. .(Chapter 14 is up)
Good Woman Down (Compeleted One-shot)

Last edited by AnastasiaK; November 4th, 2006 at 4:47 pm.
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