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Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion



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  #1  
Old September 15th, 2006, 4:49 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
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Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 1- Baffled about a Badge



Lily Evans brushed her hair, each strand more fiery than the last. She smiled at herself in the mirror. For once, she actually accepted and appreciated her looks. She was seventeen now, and really beginning to realize that this was indeed her last year at Hogwarts, and that she was indeed, a woman. A woman who wasn’t particularly unattractive, she thought, holding back laughter at her momentary superficiality. She had inherited her grandmother’s thick auburn locks, and her mother’s emerald, almond shaped eyes. She was proud of looking like her mother, for she had always thought her mother was a stunning woman. Even as a little girl, neighbors and friends had always commented on how much she looked like her mother, and how much her sister, Petunia, looked like her father. Petunia did not have red hair like Lily, in fact she had lighter hair and stern features, and a personality that somehow went along with her severe and sharp characteristics. Lily finished brushing, laid her brush on the vanity and turned around to face her bed. It was August 31st, the eve before her departure for Hogwarts, and the final time she would be boarding the Hogwarts Express. She frowned. Could it really have been a full six years? Could this really be her seventh year at the school she had fallen in love with the from moment she laid eyes on it?

She threw herself on her bed and sighed. It was her last year in her comfort zone, and then on with real life. She turned over onto her side and looked out the open window. The stars were sparkling, despite the street lamps glowing brightly. She spotted something and squinted, thinking she had seen an owl fly across the summer sky, but she dismissed it. Besides, all owls were not Wizarding owls. It must have just been a night owl searching for its next meal. And just as soon as she came up with that conclusion, she was rendered incorrect. Approaching her very window, was a medium sized russet colored owl, letter in tow, with the target clearly being Lily. She rose from the bed and accepted the letter, telling the owl to wait a moment (conscious of the fact that talking to an owl was quite impractical), and made sure to grab a small snack from her own owl’s stash before it took off again into the night. She allowed the owl to nibble a treat from her hand, gently stroked it, bid it farewell, and watched as it flew farther and farther into the distance, until it was no longer visible.

She abruptly remembered the reason for the owl’s visit, and quickly reached for the letter she had tossed onto her bed. She leapt onto her bed, on her stomach, letter in front of her, eager to see who had written. There was no return address, but once she paid closer attention to the handwriting, she immediately knew who had sent it. Remus Lupin was her friend, a 7th Year Gryffindor, just like her. They had always been amiable, as they were both very good students, and enjoyed reading and sharing books with one another. They had become even closer during 5th year, as Gryffindor prefect duties had them spending plenty of time with one another, and they had written to each other a couple of times this summer. Most recently, Lily had sent him a letter announcing her good fortune of being made Head Girl. She was expecting him to be made Head Boy, and had asked him about it in the letter. Perhaps this was his response bearing similar good news. Lily opened the letter and began to read:

Dear Lily,

I’m sure you’re quite surprised to be receiving a letter this late in the summer, and this late in the day, but I wanted to send a letter of warning.


Lily’s heart began to pound. Warning?

Now, don’t panic! It isn’t anything dangerous or negative. Well, from your perspective, it might be. Let me start off by saying that I received your letter recently, and even though I knew it was coming, congratulations on being made Head Girl. You deserve it, you really do. And now let me address the question you posed to me in your letter. You asked me, “Did you get your Head Boy badge yet, Remus?” And this is where the rather shocking (in your eyes) news may come in. No, I did not receive the Head Boy badge with my Hogwarts letter.

Lily was indeed shocked. Who else would be made Head Boy? She could only think of two other possibilities, and they weren’t nearly as probable as Lupin. She read on, completely baffled, and slightly disappointed.

Although I did not get it, someone very close to me did. Now, Lily, this is the warning I mentioned earlier. I know you “loathe” him, and I know you consider him completely irritating and appalling, but you’ll have to tolerate him to some degree this year.

Lily’s stomach did a back flip. It couldn’t be…no!

James was made Head Boy. Apparently, he and Sirius were in quite a state of shock a few minutes after he opened his letter, to spot the Head Boy badge tumbling to the ground, as it was completely unexpected. At first, James even called Sirius a genius for somehow pulling off such a brilliant prank by placing a very authentic looking badge in his letter. But when Sirius denied it to the point where James actually believed him, well, the absolute astonishment kicked in. I’m supposing that you are in much the same state of surprise as they were, although in your case, it might even be alarm.

Lily realized her mouth was gaping open and her eyes were wide as saucers, but she remained that way for a moment. James? James Potter, the most arrogant, cocky, infuriatingly persistent Quidditch star, was Head Boy? She didn’t want to believe it. She wasn’t going to believe it. In a minute, she would read more of Lupin’s letter, see the paragraph where he wrote “Just kidding,” and feel completely silly for believing such an awful hoax. She read more.

So, hopefully you do read this and do believe it, for in all honesty, and you know I wouldn’t lie to you, it is indeed true. James doesn’t know I have written this letter, so please, keep it between us. I don’t know what he’d do if he found out I informed you. I decided somebody had to write this letter to give you some preparatory time to digest it and be ready for your entrance into the Head Compartment, fully equipped with one James Potter. I was worried you might walk in, spot James, try to kick him out or give him detention, only to realize he was actually Head Boy. And I worked out two scenarios: you would either hex him into oblivion, or you would ultimately pass out and hit your head on the door frame, and well, neither of those would be a particularly good outcome.

So, there it is, the news everyone will be gossiping about on the train. I’m sorry I wasn’t made Head Boy, it would have been fun to be in charge together, and I really hope it goes well for you. Good luck in your duties, and please Lily, at least give James the benefit of the doubt, he really isn’t such a bad guy.

I hope an ounce of that will have an affect on you. See you tomorrow, King’s Cross.

Sincerely,

Remus Lupin

P.S. James plans on you being quite horrified tomorrow. Spare a little shock for him, will you? Otherwise, he’ll know I told. No hexes, and no jinxes, although a nice spat of insults will do just fine. Cheers!


Lily stared at the P.S. note. She was going to have to accept it as true. And she was going to have to pretend she wasn’t aware of it until that very moment. She groaned. This was impossible. What could James Potter have done to be made Head Boy? She had no idea. She folded up the letter, and placed it on her night stand, right next to her Hogwarts letter and Head Girl badge. Lupin was right…it would have been fun being in charge together. But now she’d have to settle for someone else. Someone who, ever since 3rd year, had not stopped pestering her. He constantly showed off in front of Lily, messing up his hair, jinxing other students, making sly remarks about how she was dying to go out with him. Not only that, but he actually did ask her out a multitude of times over the course of four years. She had stopped counting. Not that she ever really counted anyway. But it was ridiculous: every girl in school liked James and wished for the chance to date him, and here he was, relentlessly asking her out. It was so nauseating. And she hated the way he called her “Evans.” Ugh. Just thinking about him made her want to punch something….maybe Petunia was still awake. Lily laughed, and then felt sick. She didn’t want to hurt her sister, she wanted to hurt Potter. And Dumbledore. What was he thinking? She couldn’t fathom one thing James had done to become Head Boy.

Mechanically, she pulled away her blankets, turned off her light, fluffed up her pillow, and tucked herself in, for all the while her mind trying to find a reason for the Head Boy selection. After a few minutes of trying to decipher more reasons for Dumbledore’s insane decision, the only obvious motives she could come up with were these: James was a star Chaser for the Gryffindor team, he was well respected throughout the school, and he did actually manage to get good marks in the majority of his classes. Then she remembered that was one of the reasons she despised him. She worked diligently to get her good grades, and he breezed right through, smirking and flaunting himself all the while. Scowling, Lily tried to stop herself from thinking about it. How could one person irritate her so much? How could one person make her feel so miserable, and enable her to think of nothing but him? She shook her head. She was feeling much too tired to analyze it anymore, and with time the scowl relaxed, and her mind slowly started to drift to sleep.

When she awoke the next morning to Petunia’s pounding knocks on her bedroom door, Lily didn’t feel any better. She had just dreamt that she and James had been doing Head duties, and he had put some sort of love spell on her. And she had actually said “I love you” to him! She was so furious with her unconscious for allowing her to dream something so unimaginable. Lily took her anger out on her sister and shouted,

“Alright Petunia, I get it, I’m awake! And just because you have an incessant need to order everyone around, doesn’t mean you have to be a personal alarm clock. Or maybe you do? I can transfigure you into one, you know. Would you like that?!”

The pounding stopped immediately, followed by Petunia’s brisk steps shuffling away. Once again, Lily felt sick. Only this time, there was no escaping through sleep. This time, she had to face the day and the harsh reality that this year wouldn’t be all she had hoped. She got up, threw on her bathrobe, brushed her teeth, and headed to the kitchen for what smelled like a delicious breakfast. She was feeling horrible about what she had just said to Petunia, knowing that she wouldn’t get a very friendly morning greeting from her sister, if any greeting at all.




******FEEDBACK THREAD!******


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 15th, 2006 at 6:44 am. Reason: added feedback thread link.
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  #2  
Old September 15th, 2006, 6:28 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 2- Surprises at the Station



King’s Cross was full of people, but every time her parents saw her off at the station, Lily was thankful she came from a Muggle family. She could immediately spot those who were Wizarding families because of their attire, and always felt grateful for her own family looking as Muggle as can be. Petunia had decided to stay home, but Lily didn’t feel too badly about it. After another small row (consisting of Petunia calling Lily a freak, and Lily calling Petunia stuck-up), they had apologized to one another, and all seemed well between them before she left. Lily abruptly become conscious of the time, and turned to her parents.

“I’ll miss you!” She exclaimed, as believably as she could. It was the mandatory expression she had been using since 2nd year. She did miss them, but not as much as they supposed. Her parents hugged and kissed her goodbye, and she left them standing there, pretending not to notice as their daughter passed through the barrier to Platform 9 ¾.
Lily smoothly made the transition through the magical barrier, and immediately upon entrance, a familiar voice rang out.

“Didn’t think you’d take that long, Lily!”

Lily looked toward the voice and grinned at her best friend, her round face beaming back at her. Although Alice’s face was round, it didn’t have the same plump look about it, and she seemed to have changed over the summer. Her dark hair had also grown out a bit. Alice usually kept it a certain length, but something had made her break the habit.

“My goodness, Alice! Your hair! It’s so long! Wow! You look wonderful!” Lily declared truthfully. She threw her arms around Alice and they hugged. Alice pulled away and smiled proudly at Lily.

“If you’re wondering what else looks different, well, I’ve lost some weight! I took walks and ate healthy all summer.”

“And it shows! That’s lovely, Alice. I wish I could say the same for myself.”

Alice laughed at Lily, but seemed to have noticed someone behind her, and instantaneously turned bright red. Lily turned to see Frank Longbottom, a very talented, yet somewhat clumsy 7th year Gryffindor. He and Alice had always had a soft spot for one another, and toward the end of the previous year, they had been on a few dates. Alice hadn’t mentioned Frank to Lily all summer, but Lily had a strong inkling that their romance hadn’t quite ended. Frank spoke good-naturedly.

“Hey Lily! How was your summer?”

“Oh! It was good. Nothing exciting. And yourself?”

Frank replied to Lily, but was looking at Alice.
“It was the best summer yet.”

Lily eyed her best friend, who was now blushing madly. Lily noticed Frank was alone, as she knew some of his friends (who were mostly from Ravenclaw with a couple of 6th year Gryffindor boys thrown in), and she smiled at him, inquiring as to their whereabouts.

“Oh, they’re on the train already. In fact, that’s why I hopped off just now. I came down here to ask if Alice would like to sit with us.” He looked hopeful, and then remembered Lily was standing there as well. “You too, Lily.”

“Yes! I’d love to!” Alice hastily replied. Lily reminded Frank that she would be spending a majority of her time in the Head Compartment, but that she wouldn’t mind leaving her belongings in his compartment. They followed Frank back to the Hogwarts Express, making their way through the crowd of students and their families.

Lily playfully whispered in Alice’s ear as they walked, “I wonder whom you took all of those walks with this summer.”

Alice glanced behind at Lily, blushing again, and whispered back, “Oh, hush!”

Lily giggled, and was completely content until she heard someone shout out, “Evans!” Her eyes flashed around, looking for the culprit. It wasn’t until she heard Remus Lupin’s voice and spotted him, that she realized it had been Sirius Black, and not James, who had called out her name. Remus approached her with Sirius following close behind, while their other friend, a boy named Peter Pettigrew, trailed Sirius. Frank and Alice motioned to Lily that they were going to find a compartment, and left her there. Remus apologized.

“Sorry, Lily. Sirius thinks it’s funny to catch you off guard.”

Lily cast Sirius a dark look, but he just threw her his prize-winning smile and said, “Thought I was Prongs, didn’t you?”

“As a matter of fact, I did. And when I realized it was actually you, it didn’t make any difference. The both of you are insufferable.”

“You’re absolutely right, Lily. Moony here is the only respectable one of us.”

“And what’s with those nicknames? You’ve been using them for years. We’re in 7th year now. Don’t you think it’s time for a bit of a change?”

Sirius looked affronted, and then began counting on his fingers, appearing confused.

“7th year? When did that happen?” He made a stunned face. “My goodness, I believe I’ve completely missed 6th year! I suppose I’m just going to have to find,” his eyes darted around the platform, “another 7th year to explain to me what it was we actually learned last year,” he finished playfully. His eyes were following one of Lily’s other best friends, Anna, as she boarded the train. “Ah ha! I’ve spotted my tutor. Carry on, then! I’ll be with you lads after my lesson,” he told his two friends, winking at them, and proceeding to hurriedly catch up with Anna.

Remus gave Peter a resigning look and Peter laughed. Lily wanted to get a move on, hoping that she’d be able to find Frank’s compartment before she had to rush off to the Head Compartment.

“Look, Remus, I’m supposed to meet Alice and set down my things, and then I have to hurry over to the Head Compartment and---”

“Did you get my letter?” Remus quickly interrupted. “That’s all I wanted to know before you boarded the train.”

Lily gave him a warm smile. “Yes, I did. Last night.”

“Good. So, you are…er…prepared?”

“Yes, I think I am.”

“Alright, well, I guess we will see you when we get to Hogwarts then, right Peter?”

“Oh, um, yes,” Peter replied, not expecting to have to speak. Remus told Peter to go ahead and start looking for a compartment, and that he’d be right behind him. He and Lily followed Peter up and onto the train, and as they parted ways, Lily tapped Remus on the shoulder.

“Thanks, Remus.”

He smiled. “Not a problem. Good luck.”

She turned and went in the opposite direction, only to find Alice sticking her head out of a compartment, hunting for her.

“Lily! In here!”

Lily made her way in, found a place for her trunk and owl, and sat down for a few minutes. Everyone in the compartment was having a fantastic time catching up and amusing one another, but Lily’s mind was elsewhere. She wished she could have caught up with Anna before getting on the train. Anna might have even been able to sit with them. But instead, poor Anna was probably being harassed by Sirius Black.

Sirius Black, James’ counterpart in all areas of mischief. Sirius was adored by all girls, no matter what house, year, or state of mind they were in. He was outrageously good looking, possessed the charm of fifty used car salesmen, and his best friend was none other than James Potter. For some reason, Sirius didn’t bother her as much as James. Sirius had asked her out in 3rd year, but after she declined, he hadn’t hassled her about it again. Of course, James had not spoken to Sirius for a week following that incident, so perhaps that was the reason Sirius never asked her out again. The two boys were extremely loyal to one another, and Lily could certainly understand that best friends did not date each other’s interests.

Whoa. What was she doing? She was not an interest! She was just the only girl who completely ignored James and blatantly rejected him time after time. Had she actually been thinking positively about James? Lily frowned, becoming slightly worried. Maybe Anna wasn’t as smart as she was, and would fall for Sirius’ antics. Well, Lily knew better. She knew how Sirius and James worked. They broke hearts here, there, and everywhere. She just hoped Anna’s wouldn’t be one of them. She was roused out of her thoughts by Alice’s cheerful voice.

“Lily! You want a piece of bubblegum?” Alice asked her. Lily smiled. Alice always had bubblegum on hand; her schoolbag was always full of wrappers. Lily shook her head no, checked her watch, and realized it was high time to go to the Head Compartment and tackle the inevitable: James Potter.




Come on, you lot. Gimme some feedback!


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 18th, 2006 at 12:56 am.
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  #3  
Old September 16th, 2006, 7:44 pm
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
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Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 3- Head Boy and Head Girl



Lily’s heart was pounding as she made her way to the Head Compartment. She couldn’t understand why. It was just James. Stupid, pompous, thick headed James. She must just have gotten a charge of excitement. That was it! Excited to be Head Girl. As she passed some compartments, there were some cheers of “Congratulations, Lily!” and variations of “That’s great, Lily!” or “I knew you’d get it!” And even though she was feeling quite a bit more confident than usual, as she got closer to her destination, her breathing became more rapid and her heart was still beating at a rather fast rate.

As she slid open the door to the Head Compartment, there he was, already in his school robes, looking as smug as ever. He was looking right up at her, poised and pleased. She cleared her throat, not understanding why it had suddenly gone so dry. What was the matter with her? And…did he look different?

He seemed taller, and slightly more built. And his eyes seemed softer. For the first time, she actually took notice of the color of his eyes. They were a rich, magnificent hazel, and they were gazing straight into her. And then, with little delay, her logical mind snapped back to its usual self and shelved any confusion. No, he certainly did not look different. Same conceited facial expression, same look in his eyes, same James. She cleared her throat again and took action.

“Potter,” she said curtly.

“Evans,” he said charmingly, grinning at what he thought was a total surprise. And then she recalled she was supposed to act as if it were a surprise.

“Er…what are you doing in here?” She asked, in a very convincing tone.

“What are YOU doing in here?” He retorted.

She rolled her eyes. “I’m Head Girl, you prat.”

He smirked and scolded her. “Evans, Evans, no need for name calling. I merely asked you a simple question!”

She clenched her jaw. Already, he was getting her worked up.

“No, I asked you a question, and you repeated it, like the mimicking monkey you are.”
James laughed.

“Monkey, eh? I’ll take that over prat.” He stood up. “But anyway, dear Evans, if you must know, I happen to be Head Boy.” He pointed to the badge on the front of his robes, and gave a ceremonious little bow. He grinned. “Or, Head Monkey, if that’s what you’d rather call me. I don’t mind. You can call me anything you want.”

Lily wasn’t pretending to be angry anymore, this was very real. “Oh really? Well, how does annoyingly dense and brainless git sound?”

“Splendid. You know, Annoyingly Dense and Brainless Git Potter has kind of a nice ring to it, come to think of it.” He sat back down and motioned for Lily to sit across from him.

“Have a seat, you’ve got all day to come up with more insults. Actually, all year, seeing as we’ll be spending quite a lot of time together.”

Lily shut the compartment door quite forcefully and stiffly moved to the seat across from James. She crossed her arms and threw him a dirty look.

“I cannot believe YOU got Head Boy.”

“Believe it,” he replied, satisfied with her reaction.

Following that, she ignored him, trying not to look at him, and instead focused her attention on the scenery outside. She sat there quietly for a moment, until the sound of James’ quiet laughter at something unknown forced her to look at him. He glanced over to her and winked, still chuckling to himself. Lily hesitated, but finally had to ask.

“What? What is it?” She hissed.

“Well, I was just thinking…”

“Oh, you actually do that, then?”

“You’d be surprised! We annoyingly dense and brainless gits actually aren’t all we’re cracked up to be. We do think once in awhile.”

Lily caught herself before she let out a giggle. That wasn’t funny. James was not funny.

“Come on, Evans, smile for once.”

“I smile. Just not in the presence of someone like you. Well, I take that back. Not someone like you, just you in general.”

“Ouch. That one hurt.”

Lily suddenly wanted to get to the point.
“What were you on about?” She demanded rather strongly.

“What’s it to you?”

“It’s having to endure your maddening chuckling for minutes until I can’t stand it any longer,” she snapped back.

James didn’t smile or smirk at Lily this time. He looked at her intently, but his voice was borderline mischievous.

“Well, I was thinking. If you’re Head Girl, and I’m Head Boy…then when you end up accepting my offer for a date, and giving in to your undeniable passion for me, all of Hogwarts will be able to call us “Head Couple,” he finished, resolutely.

Lily scoffed. “That will never happen.”

“You know it will, Evans. It’s just a matter of time,” he replied, smiling again.

“Oh yes? Well, in case you weren’t aware, this is our 7th year at Hogwarts. There’s not much time left at all, Potter. I daresay you may have run out of it without even knowing.”

And with that, Lily arose and decided to go find the prefects, and round them up to give them details about their duties. But as she got up, she realized that James wasn’t smiling anymore. In fact, he looked worried. Had he forgotten to pack something? Or was he worried about where she was going? Maybe he didn’t know what he was meant to do? Lily began to explain.

“Er…we’re supposed to go get all the prefects and gather them in here. Then we go through their orientation…” she told him.

He seemed lost in thought, and didn’t respond. Lily tried again.

“Potter! We’ve got to go.”

She startled him a bit, and he jumped up, running his hand through his hair, acting peculiar.

“Yeah, right, I know, yes, okay, let’s go.”

Puzzled, she reached over to slide open the compartment door, when unexpectedly, a very gentle (and very unlike-James) voice spoke quietly into her ear.

“We’ve only got a year left, Lily…” he said to her, almost in disbelief.

She turned to face him. What was going on?

“I’m aware of that, Potter,” she replied. Then, she realized he hadn’t called her by her surname. He had called her Lily. That was the first time, in her memory, he had ever done that. She looked at him. He seemed flustered; anxious about something. She felt compelled to ask him how he was feeling.

“Are you going to be sick or something?” She inquired, trying not to sound too compassionate.

He blinked a few times, looked back at her, and suddenly, he was back to normal again. He reached over her small frame and pulled open the door. Lily knew she was quite capable of doing it herself, and of course, this irritated her to no end.

“I had the door, Potter,” she said, through gritted teeth.

“Yes, you did. And then I managed to snatch it open. Now, shall we? We’d better get started on our duties immediately, and one of my duties is to woo you, Evans, because as you informed me, we’ve only got a year left. I’ve got a small time frame to work with here…but I’m not worried,” he insisted. Lily sighed in exasperation, and gave him an order.

“You get the Slytherins and Gryffindors. I’ll get the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. They should all be in this general vicinity---”

“Waiting for us to retrieve them.”

“They’re not puppies, Potter.”

“Right, sorry, they’re probably mimicking monkeys.”

Lily didn’t even give James the advantage of so much as a dirty look at his clever remark; she simply turned left into the hallway and walked past a few compartments, quite promptly finding the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff 5th year prefects, stumbling over one another in eagerness to begin their special duties.




Feedback very much please!


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 18th, 2006 at 12:59 am.
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  #4  
Old September 17th, 2006, 11:19 pm
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
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Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 4- Enraging Explanations


“Tonight, your only duty is to patrol the halls and assure we’ve got no new students lost or unable to get into their common room, and that there are no older students willing to sneak about on the very first evening of term.”

“Right, sir,” James said quite officially, answering the Headmaster.

Dumbledore, who had met the new Head Boy and Girl in one of the corridors, looked at him with a humorous glimmer in his eye. He turned to Lily.

“Miss Evans, do keep an eye on Mr. Potter here, if you could. He might let his friends slip by unnoticed.”

Lily gave the Headmaster a look of misunderstanding. She was not James’ nanny. Surely Dumbledore wouldn’t have chosen James as Head Boy if he believed that. Then again, this was James. Who, by the way, seemingly took offense to the Headmaster’s statement.

“But, Sir!” He began in protest. “I’m Head Boy now! There’s not a chance I will let my friends continue on with their mischief!” He paused, contemplating his next move. “Well, that is, if I spot them. But if I don’t actually catch them in the act, then there’s no possible way I could actually stop them, is there?” He added, quite convinced this was acceptable.

Lily let out a laugh. Only James would challenge the Headmaster in this most amusing way. Both James and Dumbledore looked to Lily in disbelief, for she didn‘t usually laugh at James’ remarks, and even Dumbledore knew that. She quickly explained herself, covering up her momentary lapse in James judgment with her usual dismissal of anything he did (or said) as pathetic.

“That was a ridiculous thing to say! Your friends are always up to something, Potter. You can no sooner catch them, than they will be off planning the next big plot.”
James looked a bit upset, and Dumbledore said something she was not expecting.

“Well, Miss Evans, if the boys are always planning their next scheme, while in the midst of another one, then I suppose there is no possible way to catch them in the act and prevent them from planning a new one, as it is already in progress,” he rationalized, a smile playing on his lips. Lily was horrified. Even the Headmaster fell for James’ tricks! She was the only one at Hogwarts who had figured out his fraud.

Lily grudgingly replied, “Yes…I suppose so.”
James looked delighted as the Headmaster concluded the evening.

“Mr. Potter, you may proceed to begin your rounds, Miss Evans will catch up with you momentarily.”

With that, James nodded and smiled, giving Lily a very furtive wink, and took leave of their presence, hands comfortably behind his back, as if he were taking a stroll in the park. Lily raised her eyes back up to the Headmaster who was clearly waiting until James was out of earshot. He then looked her in the eyes and defended his words.

“I had to demonstrate to you that James was prepared to take on his Head Boy duties quite fervently,” he told her, stopping at that. Lily was again misunderstanding the point.

“Sir, not to mean any disrespect, but I did not happen to catch that fervor of which you speak. He quite clearly isn’t going to stop his friends from wreaking more havoc at Hogwarts.”

“He is a fiercely loyal young man, Miss Evans, don’t you agree?”

“Well, yes, sir. I do. It's just...I just thought that he would alter his actions a bit, now that---”

“I understand.” Dumbledore smiled and nodded, knowingly. “You thought that perhaps, my decision had been based on a different James, a James that I may have somehow glimpsed, and you had overlooked, as you were subject to his typical antics. You were expecting a new James, a changed James, a James who is more like Remus than James himself.”

Lily felt exposed. How did he know that? Not even she had realized that! She nodded silently, giving in to the thought. Dumbledore continued.

“This year, James will grow and transform more than you can imagine.”
Lily nodded again, although she didn’t know why. He went on.

“James knows the hidden secrets, places, and the mind of a mischief-maker and how it works. Yet, he has a sense of convention and justice that has always differed him from his friends, even more so than Mr. Lupin.”

Lily hadn’t worked that out yet, as she still saw James as one of the most mischievous, rule breaking hooligans at school. What Dumbledore said next, surprised her.

“That is why I chose him as Head Boy, and you as Head Girl. You’re a perfectly balanced match.”
Lily gave the Headmaster an incredulous look.

“Each decision is carefully made, and I have my reasons.”

Lily smiled at him, still confused. He smiled and patted her on the back.

“Now, carry on, Lily. It is time for the both of us to begin our duties as Headmaster and Head Girl. It shall be a very fascinating term.” And with that, he sweepingly made his exit around the corner of the corridor, and abandoned Lily to an empty hall and a mind full of befuddled thoughts. After a moment of trying to make sense of what the Headmaster had said, Lily decided to just shake it off for now and find James.

She made her way down the silent corridor, heading toward the Slytherin Common Room, as it was the closest common room to her present location, but the silence slowly began to make her feel uneasy. As soon as she was really starting to worry that she’d never find James, he unexpectedly leapt out from behind a statue of a gargoyle and scared the living daylights out of her.

“Potter!” She shrieked. James was doubled over, laughing uncontrollably. Lily took it upon herself to hit him with the Jelly-Legs jinx while he wasn’t looking, and he reacted not with his wand, but with words,

“Evans! That’s not fair! I wasn’t looking!” He accused her, trying not to laugh at his own predicament. Lily snubbed him.

“Nor was I when you decided to jump out at me, completely unsuspected,” she replied.

“Aw, come on! It was funny!”

“So is this!” Lily replied, pointing and laughing at him. He made a face at her and held his hands up in defeat,

“You win, you win, I guess that---ARGH!”

Apparently James hadn’t thought about the fact that if he held his hands up, he would lose his balance, as his legs were wildly wobbling. He fell over with a deafening thud, which only prompted Lily to laugh even harder until she realized James had ‘hit his head’ and was now lying there, supposedly unconscious. She stopped laughing, but gave a nervous giggle, as his legs were still moving about in a very jelly-like manner.

“Oh please, Potter,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Get up. We have work to do.”
James didn’t stir. Lily bargained.

“I’ll take the jinx off.”
No response. Lily stopped giggling.

“Potter! Just get up!” She begged him. “Potter, this isn’t funny…” There was still no movement from James, and just then, Peeves decided to stop by at the most inconvenient time…

“Ooh! Evans has killed Potty! Evans killed Potty!” He swept by grinning and chanting:

“Looks like Evans has killed Potty
Head Boy lying there dead
Looks like Head Girl has been naughty
It’s all her fault, the little red head!”

“PEEVES!!” Lily bellowed, forgetting that if she were too loud, it could draw unwanted attention. Peeves just cackled and drifted on, looking for his next target. Lily knelt down beside James, afraid to touch him. First, she quietly said the counter-jinx, and then, as she moved closer to him to inspect if he was still breathing…

“Evans! Blimey! Are you trying to kiss me?” James asked, his eyes snapping open, fully alert, and inches away from Lily’s now furious face. She jumped up, stomping her foot in frustration.

“Are you kidding me, Potter?!” She screamed at him. He just smiled at her, comfortably leaning back on his elbows.

“Do NOT smile at me. In case you’ve forgotten, I detest you!” She added, making sure he fully understood her fury.

“I don’t know, Evans. You seemed to be having a good time a few minutes ago.”

“I. Loathe. You.” Lily repeated, and she began to storm away.
His pleasant grin quickly became repentant, and he swiftly got up.

“I just wanted to make sure you’d be concerned if I were hurt!” He said, trying to clarify his actions.

Lily kept walking and didn’t turn back, but spoke loudly to James, who was close on her heels. “I only cared because it would have been my fault, and I don’t ever intentionally HURT people.” She whipped around and glowered at him.

“But you! You I wouldn’t mind hurting right now!” Lily took a deep breath, calmed herself down, steadied her voice, and continued on. “But before I do something stupid, like hex you into nothingness, and get myself into unnecessary trouble, I’m going to walk away. I’m going to check the halls near Slytherin and Hufflepuff. You take the other two. Don’t talk to me unless it is absolutely necessary for Head duties,” she briskly instructed him. She glared at him for another moment, turned on her heel, and stalked off.

James began to follow her.

“Evans! I just wanted---”

Lily turned back around, her emerald eyes gleaming with resentment.

“I. Don’t. Care. Potter. I don’t care what you want. Surely, after four years of my refusing to care, you’ve had to have figured that out? Leave me alone!”

She turned around the corner and stranded James in the corridor. There were no sounds of his footsteps at all. She could only hear her own steps echoing far and wide, quickly making their way through the hall, while her mind was completely focused on nothing but James. It was only the first night of school, and she was already nearing the end of her rope. If it continued at this rate, she would be in St. Mungo’s psychiatric ward in a matter of a few days.

The next couple of weeks passed by without much incident. Lily and James went about their duties, and he obediently followed her instructions of only speaking to her if necessary. He didn’t address her by her name anymore, not even an ‘Evans’ here or there. And he hadn’t even asked her out in the past few weeks, or made any sort of sly statement about her top secret love for him. Lily was so used to his behavior, that the lack thereof made her feel out of routine. She enjoyed it though. No pestering, less stress…
Her courses were giving her enough stress at it was. But she couldn’t help thinking that every time she spotted Potter in the corridor or had him in class, or when they did their nightly patrol, that he would at least throw in an, “Evans! This Friday. It’s a date,” or maybe just an, “Evans! Don’t ignore me. We don’t ignore those we love!” She almost missed hating James. Maybe he had changed, just like Dumbledore said he would. Even though it was somewhat of a welcome change, Lily secretly wished it wasn’t permanent



FEEDBACK YO


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 18th, 2006 at 12:45 am.
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  #5  
Old September 18th, 2006, 1:33 pm
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 5- Potion Predicaments



It was now the third week of school, and Lily’s classes and Head Duties were taking a toll on her. She and Alice were studying for Potions in the Gryffindor common room on Wednesday night, as there was already an exam the next day.

“Lily, are you sure you don’t just want to call it a night? It’s past 8 o’clock, and you’ve got to do your 9 o’clock patrol soon. Take a small break for now,” Alice suggested, concerned about her friend.

“Alice, I can’t. I’ve got to use all the available time I have on this. Slughorn will kill me if I don’t do well.”

“Oh stop being so modest, Evans,” came Sirius’ voice. “You know Sluggy loves you. Adores you is more like it,” he went on, in a mocking tone, walking past her.

“Shut it, Padfoot,” came a mumble from the couch. Sirius spun around, facing the couch.

“Excuse me, Prongs?” Sirius asked in amazement.

“You heard me. Shut it about Slughorn,” James replied.

Sirius' eyes lit up and he grinned. “Oh ho! Is someone jealous of Sluggy and his undoubted affection for a certain red headed female classmate of ours?”

“Sirius,” James said in a stern voice, “c’mon mate.”

Lily could feel a flush creeping up her neck. She and James had hardly spoken a word to one another since the first night back. Why was James so adamant about this? He hardly ever told Sirius to shut it.

“Just drop it, Black,” Lily told him.

Sirius’ wide brown eyes looked to James and then back to Lily, and to James once more. Recognizing defeat, he kept quiet and instead sauntered over to a group of 4th year girls who had been watching him intently, asking if any of them had a quill he could borrow.

Of course, all five of them scrambled for their quills and all five arms were outstretched toward Sirius, quills offered up as if it were a matter of life or death. Sirius smirked, picked a quill, said ‘thank you’ in his most notoriously charismatic way, and ambled back over to the couch to finish writing his essay.

Alice rolled her eyes at the 4th years, who were now looking despondently crushed, except for the girl from whom Sirius had actually borrowed the quill. She was looking positively elated, red-faced, and grinning from ear to ear. Lily would usually have given Alice a look, and the both of them would have laughed it off, but this time, she didn’t. Instead, she was once again contemplating one of James’ recent actions. What was that all about? It was just a professor, not some young male prospect. Why had he gotten so odd about it?

“Lily!” Alice attempted to stir her friend out of her thoughts for the third time. “Are you going to go on your word and finish studying, or are you going to follow my advice and take a break?”

Lily thought about it, figured she couldn’t possibly focus anymore, and responded.

“You were right, Alice. I’ll quit for now.”

“Good! Now, what do you say we go find Anna and see what she’s up to?”

Lily thought it was a good idea. The girls packed up, and as they walked to the staircase, Lily saw James’ eyes glance up from his book about a dozen times, in her direction. She and Alice took their belongings back up to their dormitory, and found their other best friend laying on her bed, reading the back of a small purple box with gold stars and hearts strewn all over it. Anna looked up.

“Hello ladies! Anything interesting going on down there?”

Alice replied. “Just the usual. James trying to get Lily to like him, and Sirius using girls to get what he wants.”

Lily blushed slightly at the mention of James. She was used to feeling irritated anytime her friends mentioned him, but this time was different. She wasn’t sure she liked it, but she wasn’t sure she hated it either. At the sound of Sirius’ name, Anna’s eyes flashed dangerously. She and Sirius had been flirting an awful lot lately (ever since that day on the Hogwart’s Express), but he was never serious about a girl, and Anna wasn’t the type to take that lightly. Lily couldn’t get over that sneaky look in her eyes. She was hiding something.

“Oh. What’d he do this time, then?” Anna asked casually. Alice responded, apparently not having noticed something unusual.

“Let’s just say it included his 4th year fan club, a quill, and him not being able to just go get one for himself, but always borrowing one from a helpless girl.”

Anna laughed, but as she did so, she hid the purple box in her nightstand, making sure that neither of the other two saw the front of it, and presumably, its label.

“Well, I suppose if he’s got it, he might as well flaunt it!” Anna said in jest. Lily cocked her head to the side.

“Oh really, Anna? And what is it that he’s got?” She asked her. Anna squinted at Lily.

“You should know. It’s the same thing James has got.” She replied, disdainfully.

“A cocky attitude?”

“You know what I mean, Lily. It’s not like I’m the only one falling for one of them.”

Alice looked taken aback. Anna wasn’t usually like this. Lily wanted to get to the bottom of it.

“What’s in that box, Anna?”

“What box, Lily?”

“Don’t play that game.”

Anna scoffed at her best friend and crossed her arms, shrugging her shoulders,

“I don’t have to tell you.”

Alice was very confused. “What’s going on, you two? Are you talking about that purple box?”

Lily nodded but Anna ignored her. Attempting a brave move, Lily darted toward the nightstand, and Anna did the same in defense. And before anyone could say or do anything else, Lily shouted, “Petrificus Totalus!” while pointing her wand at Anna. Alice let out a small shriek. Anna froze, fell over, and her body bounced on the mattress a few times before laying still. Alice panicked.

“Lily! What are you doing!?” She cried out.

Lily rushed over to the nightstand and pulled it open. She picked up the small purple box and flipped it over, seeing the label. Her jaw dropped open. She held it up for Alice to see. Alice reacted in the same manner as Lily.

“A LOVE POTION?”

“That’s what I suspected. I’ve seen a box like this before, in Hogsmeade. It’s ridiculous! I think she was going to use it on Sirius! Didn’t you see her eyes when you mentioned him, Alice? She’s planning something. We can’t let her do that, for her own sake, if not his.”

Alice nodded in agreement. Lily stowed the box away in her robes, and put everything back in order. She glanced at her watch and realized it was already five to nine. It would be time to inspect the school soon, but she had to take the spell off of Anna and explain why she’d done it.

“Alice, will you help me…explain?” Lily requested.

Alice made a sorry face. “Alright, but I promised Frank I would spend time with him after you left for your patrol.”

Lily felt grateful.

“That’s perfectly fine! We can do this in five minutes!”

Alice looked worried. “Don’t you think she’ll be a little angry after you’ve put her in a full body bind curse?”

Lily nodded and replied, “Oh, I’m sure of it.”

She checked that the box was still securely in her robes, and she took the curse off of Anna. Anna jumped up, standing on her bed.

“What the bloody hell was that, Lily?” She shouted.

Lily remained calm and gently asked her,
“Why were you going to use a love potion on Sirius Black, Anna?”

Anna’s angry faced dropped, and she looked crushed. She sighed and slumped down onto her bed. She put her face in her hands.

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head.

Lily and Alice seated themselves on her bed, and waited for Anna to go on.

She looked up at them. “I guess I’m just sick of him ‘having it and flaunting it.’ I’m ready for him to
invest a little more in me.”

Lily s******ed. “Maybe you should have thought about that before getting involved with him, Anna.”

Anna made a face. “Well I’m sorry, Lily. I’m not lucky enough to have had a great guy like James madly in love with me for years and years.”

Lily gave her friend a bewildered face. “Anna…I didn’t---”

“I’m just saying, Lily. He’s not like Sirius. James is throwing himself at you, whereas Sirius waits for everyone else to throw themselves at him,” she contended.

Alice smiled and leaned over to hug Anna. “Just give it a little more time, Anna.”

Lily didn’t offer any advice, for she was too preoccupied with what Anna had said. She constantly forgot that James was worshipped by the entire female population at Hogwarts, and that instead of going for them, his efforts remained solely aimed at Lily. Anna turned and pulled open her nightstand drawer, and she suddenly gave a very anxious inquiry.

“And where’s that box, by the way?”

Lily jumped off the bed and pulled her robes tighter.

“You’re not getting it back.”

“Lily!”

Lily shook her head.

“Alice!” Anna pleaded. Alice looked to Lily, and then shook her head as well.

“Nope. This is for your own good. You’re amazing and Sirius will eventually snap out of his thick-
headed mode and realize it. Give it time!”

Anna crossed her arms in frustration, and threw her head back onto her pillow.
“Fine,” she answered crossly. “But if ‘time’ doesn’t work, you’d better believe I’m going to try it again.”

Lily laughed and glimpsed the time on Anna’s bedside clock.

“Oh no! It’s after nine! I’ve got to go.” She tossed Anna a look. “Don’t you dare try this again, at least not any time soon. You’re better than this, Anna. See you later.”

Anna replied with a scathingly grateful smile, but Alice grinned and waved goodbye, and hung back for a moment, attempting to coax Anna out of her crabby mood.

Lily made her way back down to the common room. She felt frazzled, but glanced at James, who had already cleared away his books and bag, and was patiently waiting for 9 o’clock to roll around. He caught Lily’s eye, and when she crept through the portrait hole to exit the common room, he said goodnight to his best friends and followed the same path, only to meet up with her directly outside the Fat Lady’s portrait. Lily felt nervous for some reason. But, she kept her ground. They began walking down the corridor. Lily spoke first.

“If you’re expecting me to say thanks for what you did earlier tonight, regarding Slughorn, I’m not going to. You didn’t have to defend me, Potter,” she told him right away. James smirked.

“I never have to do any of the things that I do for you, Evans. I just do them,” he answered. “You’ll thank me someday, don’t worry.”

“I’m not worried,” she replied, brushing-off his pretentious statement. They walked on a little further, when she happened to glimpse something above their heads, and stifled a giggle. “You should be the one who’s worried,” she said impishly.

James eyed her, trying to figure her out. “Oh yes? And why is that, Evans?”

And at that exact moment, as Lily jumped out of the way, Peeves proceeded to dump an entire bottle of blue ink over James’ head. Peeves hooted at the sight (and at James’ reaction) and flew away singing,

“Potter Potter
Why so blue?
Potter Potter
Trick’s on you!”

James stood rooted to the spot, not moving at all, completely in shock and disgust at the sticky and smelly ink covering his entire head and face. Lily was laughing, although it was more of a pity laugh than anything, but she silently thanked Peeves for punishing James for being so arrogant just moments earlier. James spoke, only slightly opening his mouth, for fear of the ink entering it and causing horrible distaste.


“Evans, you’re the cruelest woman I’ve ever been in love with.”

Lily laughed and siphoned off the ink with her wand, helping him out tremendously. He looked grateful, even hopeful…

“Potter, you’re the most hopeless man I’ve never been in love with.”

She continued walking on, smiling to herself, and not noticing that James had stooped down and picked up a small purple box with gold stars and hearts strewn across it.

“Oi, Evans!”

She turned around and horror flooded her body when she realized what he was holding.

“Were you going to use this on me? I assure you, it isn’t needed. Unless of course, you want my feelings for you magnified ten-fold?” He grinned, looking optimistic.

“No! No, no, no! Potter…that wasn’t mine! Well, yes, it fell out of my robes, but it was someone else’s…I had to, er, steal it from her.”

“Steal it? For your own use, I reckon, then?”

“No!” She walked up to him quickly. “Give it back. I need to dispose of it.” She held out her hand.

James did not give it back.

“No,” he simply stated.

“Potter…” Lily warned him, through gritted teeth.

“Tell me who was going to use it….and on whom.”

“I can’t.”

“Trust me.”

“That is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.”

“Trust me.”

“You’re the least honorable person I’ve ever met.”

“Trust. Me.” He said one last time, as honestly as she had ever heard him speak.
She looked into his eyes, beyond his glasses, and for a second, she felt faint. Could she trust James Potter? Could she really?


“No.”

“Well then, Evans. You aren’t getting it back.”

“Do you recall the Jelly-Legs jinx from a few weeks ago?”

“Yes.”

“I can do better.”

“Evans. It’s me. James Potter. Hogwarts Trouble-Maker Extraordinaire. You can’t fool me, beat me,
or come close to it.”

Lily thought about this. It was true. She couldn’t. Or could she?

“I’ll go on a date with you.”

“Now that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.”

“One date.”

“Ha ha, Evans.”

“It’s not a joke.”

“Yeah right!”

“Potter.”

“Seriously?”

“I’ll probably be sick thinking about it, but yes. One date. If…you hand it over.”

James considered it for a moment, shrugged, and then tossed the box over to Lily. She caught it without damaging it, and James gave her a big grin.

“How about next Saturday? It’s Hogsmeade weekend!” He spat out excitedly.

Lily smirked. She had turned the tables on James Potter.

“Oh, there’s no date, Potter.”

He looked crestfallen.

“You gave your word.”

“Ah, but you see, Potter, I said ‘if you hand it over,’ not if you toss it over. And that was a definite toss. So, no date.”

James looked shocked, and then distraught. “That’s a nasty deception, Evans.” And then his face changed. He actually looked impressed. “Nasty, but good. Well done.”

“Didn’t think I had it in me, did you?”

“No, I didn’t. And you’ve proven yourself.”

Lily wasn’t proud that she had just ‘proven herself’ to James, so she shrugged it off .

“Well, it doesn’t matter. I’ve got the potion, and it’s already twenty after nine. Let’s go.”

James willfully trudged alongside Lily, who although feeling triumphant, couldn’t shake the feeling she had experienced when looking into James’ eyes. She had almost caved in. She debated whether she should just tell him about Anna and the potion….but the entire time, she couldn’t muster up the courage to do it.

She thought about what he had said much earlier, when they had first stepped out of the portrait hole. “You’ll thank me someday, don’t worry,” to which she had replied, “I’m not worried.” She bit her lip. Even though it was only a half hour after she had made that reply…she realized that she was starting to worry. She was starting to worry that she was actually beginning to enjoy James’ company…and that scared her.




IT'S FEEDBACK TIME


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 19th, 2006 at 3:58 am.
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  #6  
Old September 19th, 2006, 3:40 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 6- Hogsmeade Happenings


“No way, Anna. We’re not going in there,” Lily told her friend. She, Anna, and Alice were in Hogsmeade on a cloudy Saturday, mid-afternoon, and they had just walked by a shop that sold the exact love potion Anna had almost used. Anna laughed.

“I know, I know! No need to tell me twice! Or rather, put me in a full body bind and then snap me back into reality.” She took her hand off the door handle to the shop, and got back in step with her friends.

“I was only joking,” she said, smiling and elbowing Lily in the arm. “Oh come on, Lily! Cheer up.”

Lily was having a terrible week. Schoolwork was getting really wearing, and on top of that, she had to deal with James (and as of now, it wasn’t his annoyance that was bothering her, it was the fact that she wasn’t as bothered by his annoyance).

So far, none of the girls, except Alice, had made a purchase, but that dilemma was solved quite soon. Anna pointed ahead of them.

“Let’s go into Honeydukes. If nothing else cheers you up, sugar will do the trick!”

After spending a grand total of thirty minutes in the candy store, the girls headed back out onto High Street, lollipops in hand (apart from Alice, as she had bought her favorite: Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum). They each had long sweaters wrapped around their bodies, and Anna had even chosen to wear a knit beret over her dark locks. It was the end of September, so it wasn’t too cold yet, but there was a definite autumn chill in the air. Their cheeks, ears, and noses were slightly pink because of the chill, and the girls’ hair looked thoroughly windswept. They had decided to head to the Three Broomsticks to warm up a bit and have a nice butterbeer.

As they turned the corner, they immediately collided with another group of people. Lily’s lollipop landed in her hair (managing to get rather stuck, as her hair was all windswept), Anna wound up on the ground, and Alice’s package was thrown high in the air and landed next to Anna with a clunk. Anna was the first to react.

“Oi, you idiots! Watch where you’re going next time!”

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, then!?”

Lily stopped trying to get the lollipop out of her hair and took a moment to glance at the boy who had just spoken. It was Sirius. And sure enough, James and Remus (short of Peter) were right alongside him. Anna glared at Sirius.

“It’s not enough that you knock me over, but then you insult me while I’m still down here and don’t even offer to help me up! Honestly, man! It’s called decency!” Anna exclaimed.

Sirius bit his lip in the cutest way possible, looked at his friends, gave a good-natured shrug, and extended his arm to Anna. She bitterly reached up and grasped his hand, and he pulled her to a standing position.

“There. I’ve shown some decency. What do I get for it?”

Anna gave him a coy smirk.

“Now that…isn’t something decent enough to say in front of everyone present. ”

Sirius laughed while everybody else smiled awkwardly or looked away. Lily was one to look away, and she noticed Alice scrambling to retrieve her package, which contained what they all believed to be a hideous hand bag. It was a gift for Frank’s mother, as it was her birthday the following week. Frank couldn’t make it to Hogsmeade, so he had asked Alice to pick it up for him. Alice kindheartedly obliged, but wasn’t too pleased with the selection.

“I mean, look at it! Doesn’t it look like something Hagrid would keep as a pet? It’s awful!” She had said. But Frank had told her that this was his mother’s style, so Alice had no choice but to buy it. Lily leaned over to Alice.

“Is the box dented?” She asked.

Alice turned the box over a few times and examined it.

“No, thankfully, it doesn’t seem to be damaged. Bloody boys!” She whispered resentfully.

Lily smiled and nodded.

“No kidding,” she agreed.

“Evans!”

She turned back to the group. “What, Potter?”

“There’s a bright green, round, sticky object in your hair.”

“Of course you’d notice.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Never mind. It’s a lollipop, okay? When you so inconveniently rammed into us, it flew out of my hand and into my hair. Thanks loads.”

“Here, I’ll help you.”

“I don’t need your help, Potter.”

“Alright then. Get it out yourself.”

Lily reached up and tried pulling it out of her hair, but the only thing that happened was a painful tugging of her locks that didn’t manage to get the lollipop out. She winced.

“Ouch.”

Alice reached over and tried to help, but to no avail. The group of them were just standing around, and apart from Sirius and Anna, who were now engaged in a mutual flirtation, everyone else was ready to get going. It was getting a bit chillier, and no one wanted to be standing outside, waiting for Lily Evans to get a lollipop out of her hair.

“Look,” Anna said, pointing to Sirius, “we’re going to head into the Three Broomsticks. If anyone wants to join us, come along.”

She and Sirius began trekking toward the Three Broomsticks, and Lily was debating whether she’d want to follow them. They’d be sickeningly flirtatious the entire time, and she wasn’t sure it’d be very much fun to be in their presence. As she thought it over, Remus revealed his decision.

“I’m not feeling too well, I think I’ll head back to the castle,” Remus told them. James gave him a concerned look.

“You alright, Moony? I mean…you know…you were just….you’re not sick again, not yet, are you?”

Remus laughed. “No, Padfoot, no. Just not feeling well. See you later?”

James smiled. “Yeah, mate. How about some wizard chess after dinner?”

“Be prepared,” Remus replied, pointing a warning finger at James.

James pretended to be afraid, and laughed, but then a look of concern crossed his face.

“Hey, check on Wormtail too, will you, Moony? He’s been acting strange today.”

Remus nodded seriously. “Will do. He said he’d be in the library while we came here, maybe he’s still there.” At this moment, Alice piped up.

“I’d better get back as well. I’ve got to give this repulsive thing to Frank, and we said we’d study for Charms together…”

Lily’s threatening glance stopped Alice from talking. Alice gave her a sorry look and she shrugged as if to say, “You’re on your own!” Alice looked to Remus and asked him,

“Mind a friendly individual to walk back with?”

Remus shook his head. “Not at all. Shall we?”

And with that, they turned back in the direction of the school and took off around the corner. James shouted out one more thing to Remus.

“Thanks, mate!”

Although Remus was already out of sight, he shouted back,

“Cheers!”

Lily thought, ‘Yeah, thanks a lot, Remus and Alice.’ They knowingly left her and James alone during a time where they were not required to do any Head duties, and during a time where Lily would much rather be with her friends than with James. She was feeling many things at once. Betrayed, aggravated, but most of all (and most surprisingly), self-conscious.

She instantly remembered she had a ‘bright green, round, sticky object’ in her hair, and that she had made a fool of herself in front of her friends by rejecting James’ help and trying to get it out on her own. She didn’t want to fidget with it, for fear James would mock her relentlessly, so she pretended not to care, although she felt the blush creep up her neck again. James shoved his hands into the pockets of his jacket, looking cheerful.

“So, reckon we don’t go to the Three Broomsticks, as those two might be at each other like rabbits?”

Lily actually cracked a smile at this question, and replied,

“Reckon so.”

He nodded, looked around and said something that surprised Lily.

“Speaking of them…Padfoot told me about the love potion.”

Lily raised her eyebrows. “He did?”

James nodded. “Anna told him. She said that if he wanted anything to do with her, he would have to put a little more effort into it. That’s why she had considered that potion. To try to get him into it. He reckons it was a stupid idea.”

“Yeah, well so does she! Well, at least, now she does. It made sense to her a couple of weeks ago. Girls get desperate when it comes to Sirius! And anyway, he should take heed of what she said and try a little harder.”

James laughed. “So, I suppose that potion wasn’t for me after all, eh?”

Lily gave him a haughty look and responded, “In your dreams, Quidditch boy.”

James looked into her eyes, smiled, and then glanced at her hair. The lollipop! Lily felt her cheeks go pink. James looked back into her eyes.

“Personally, I think you should keep that lollipop in your hair,” he told her.

Lily looked at him in confusion. “What? Why?”

He stepped a little closer and Lily caught her breath.

“Because it goes with your eyes. Bright, emerald green,” he said enchantingly. “Sweet too,” he added, giving her one of his infamous winks.

She stood there for a moment, transfixed by his words. Did he mean that? Or was he just trying to get her to like him in order to finally claim victory? He’d been saying things like this for four years now. Why was it so hard to ignore it this time?

James seemed to take note of the lack of her usual snappy comeback, and he moved even closer. She staggered backward a bit and purposely avoided eye contact. He stopped moving toward her and instead broke the ice by asking once again, if he could help her.

“I can get that thing out in a second, Evans.”

She looked up at him. She didn’t know what made her do it, but she decided it was fairly reasonable to allow James to help her just this once, rather than having him do it without her permission.

“Fine then. Go on,” she complied.

James looked astounded.

“Really? And you won’t….jinx me or anything?”

“I’m giving you five seconds, Potter. No more, no less. Take it or leave it, starting…now,” she commanded, challenging him.

He took her up on the offer right away, pulled out his wand, pointed it at the lollipop and said, “Accio.” The lollipop landed in his hand and he then proceeded to say, “Scourgify!”

Lily blinked. Why hadn’t she thought of that? She was a Charms genius! Why hadn’t she thought of simply using a charm to get it out? Because you were nervous in front of James and couldn’t think straight. She felt incredibly dismayed at the thought that had just popped into her head. That could not be the reason. Alice hadn’t thought of a Charm either! It must merely have been the circumstances; there had just been so much going on all at once…

“Really, Evans. I didn’t think you’d be the type to completely forget to use something simple on that thing. And look,” he held up a lollipop that looked brand new, “all better.”

Lily was still mentally smacking herself in the forehead for that one, but she smiled kindly at James, taking the lollipop from him. He looked at her expectantly.

“Oh! Er…thank you. That was very nice,” she said mechanically.

“Wow, way to be sincere.”

“Really, Potter. Thanks.”

He smiled at her again, but turned, and began walking away from her. Lily hesitated, confused at his sudden movement, but then caught up with him, and the two of them silently walked alongside each other until they were close to a window front with a sign that read “Madam Puddifoot’s.”

“Ever been in there?” James inquired.

Lily shuddered and made a face. “No. I’ve walked past many times, and I’ve
heard many stories, but I personally, have never had the displeasure of entering.”

“But, you dated David Moore last year, didn’t you?”

“Yes, for about two months. Why do you ask?” Lily was completely flabbergasted at her openness with James, as she usually would have told him that it wasn’t any of his business and been done with it.

“I figured he would have taken you in here,” he said, pointing at the window.

“You know, we didn’t really ever have much fun in Hogsmeade together. No matter what we did, he’d always end up feeling sick, and we’d head back early. Come to think of it, that was quite odd,” she finished, frowning. She couldn’t believe she was telling James Potter something so personal. Then she become aware of the look on James’ face. A look she had frequently seen on his face over the course of six years at Hogwarts. Guilt.

“Why do you look so guilt-ridden, Potter?” She asked.

He rubbed his hand through his messy hair and made a face.

“Well…David always felt sick…” he started, not continuing on at once.

He didn’t have to. Lily realized what he was about to say. Her almond-shaped eyes grew wide.

“You did something to him, didn’t you? James Potter! I cannot believe you!” She scolded him, though not in her usual outraged manner. This time, without planning it, she could hear the teasing tone hiding under her words. She lightly slapped his arm.

“Potter! What did you do?”

He rubbed his arm where she had slapped him, and grimaced.

“Well, when Sirius and I would go to Hogsmeade, if we spotted you with David, we’d make sure to…er…utilize a hex or two we had created. They were only temporary illnesses: headaches, stomach aches, fatigue. But they worked,” he concluded, smiling in spite of the dreadful confession he had just made.

Lily had two questions spring to her mind. She didn’t know which one was more important, but her rational mind chose the first.

“You invented such complex hexes?”

James looked taken aback at the question Lily had chosen to ask him. He was probably expecting her to go mental on him. He nodded.

“Yeah. It took a little while, but we did. You’d be surprised at the things we’ve figured out,” he went on, “really surprised.”

Lily furrowed her brows at him. What could that possibly mean? Then she remembered her next question.

“Alright, Potter. I understand that you’ve had this annoying, nagging, stupid need to ask me out for the past four years. But, to hex the boy I was dating…what could possibly drive you to do that?” She asked, completely and honestly curious.

James took in a lungful of air and let it out. The air was colder now, and she could see his breath. She didn’t realize she had been shivering. James finally spoke.

“Look, Evans. It’s because I like you. Simple as that,” he replied.

Lily rolled her eyes at him for the 100th time that term.

“Come on, Potter. There’s got to be a better reason.”

James gave her a harsh look.

“That’s a good enough reason for me, and it should be for you too,” he stated.

Lily snorted and shook her head. “Right. Fine. Whatever. Look, I’m freezing. Let’s go back now.”

James gazed at her intently, his hazel eyes burning deep into her emerald ones, as if he were trying to get her to feel that way again. But she wouldn’t allow it. It was all a bunch of bullocks anyway.

She began striding toward the castle again, the wind blowing a bit harder than it had all day, and wrapped her sweater tighter around her body. She stuck the lollipop in her mouth as a distraction, amazed that it tasted completely fine. She could hear James right behind, and he slowly sauntered up beside her. He didn’t seem deterred, even after she had basically rejected him again. Out of the blue, he gave a small snicker, and she glanced over at him.

“What is it this time, Potter?”

He looked at her, smirking his usual smirk, and said,

“I told you so.”

“Told me so about what?” She asked him, baffled.

“About how there was no way you could fool me, beat me, or come close to it.”

“Are you mad? I did! Don’t you remember? I won that time.”

“Ah yes, it may seem that way, but in all actuality, I win.”

“You’re mental. How would you explain that?”

“You said I’d get one date. I said, “How about Hogsmeade?” You attempted to trick me by saying, “No date.” And here we are. In Hogsmeade, alone, practically on a date.”

Lily’s face fell. She couldn’t accept it. James had won, once again. She gave him a nauseous look and he chuckled right back at her.

“I guess that saying’s quite true, isn’t it, Evans?”

“What saying, you irrepressible prat?”

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” James said, with another loud laugh. And with that, and an annoyed groan from Lily, they made their way back to Hogwarts.




WHAT'S UP? FEEDBACK IS WHAT'S UP.


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 19th, 2006 at 4:00 am.
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  #7  
Old September 20th, 2006, 3:18 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 7- Pummeled Pride



Lily was overjoyed. She had passed all of her first exams (in some courses, second exams), and she was now reaping the benefits of relaxation. It was exactly a week after the Hogsmeade trip, and already the second day of October. It was sunny, though the air was growing more bitter by each passing day. Lily was sitting near the lake under the shade of a large beech tree, pleasantly reading a Muggle novel from home entitled Pride and Prejudice. She was alone, for Alice was with Frank, and Anna had actually managed to snag Sirius for the afternoon. Lily admitted to herself that she did feel left out, but that it wasn’t her fault. There was just no one at school she fancied enough to spend time with voluntarily on a Saturday afternoon.

She continued reading, into one of her favorite chapters, when suddenly, she heard a multitude of girlish giggles heading her way. She looked up only to see who else but James passing by, broomstick in hand, heading toward the Quidditch pitch, with a group of girls about twenty yards behind him. “Oh honestly,” she thought, completely offended by the girls’ actions. Couldn’t they get a grip? And how must James feel, literally being followed, not at all stealthily either, by a group of moronic schoolgirls?

Lily ignored the proceedings and directed attention back to the book, but she wasn’t reading. The words were just a big blur of letters all over the pages. She was listening…listening for James’ possible recognition of her, and his usual greeting. But it never came. James hadn’t noticed her sitting under the tree. She felt a knot tighten in her stomach. She felt angry. Angry that he hadn’t spotted her and shown her respect and acknowledgment, especially right in front of those girls. Maybe he enjoyed his fan club, and that's why he decided not to say anything to Lily. It would have completely discouraged them. She smirked to herself, smug as can be. Yes, James Potter talking to Lily would have dissuaded six young women from even thinking they stood a chance with him. Lily smiled, feeling superior. She looked back at her book, still smiling, read a few words, and suddenly felt the urge to vomit.


The knot in her stomach had unraveled quickly, and her head began to spin. Why was she so DELIGHTED about her self-importance? She didn’t want James like those girls did. No! She purely felt quite deserving of his attention, at least for a moment, because she was his equal, his comrade, his counterpart, as Head Boy and Girl. Surely that was it. Even though he still bothered her sometimes, she didn’t feel that it was enough to keep her from expecting a “Hello,” or “How are you ?” Right? Exactly.

She took a deep breath, expelled it, and delved back into the novel. After a few minutes of being unable to fully concentrate, she wound up thinking about Alice and Frank, and Anna and Sirius, and decided that if she didn’t fancy anyone enough to spend time with them voluntarily on a Saturday afternoon, then she may as well go down to the Quidditch pitch and watch the Gryffindors practice.


After she had hiked to the Quidditch pitch, she settled into one of the stands and held her book in front of her face, hiding it from the world. If anyone caught her here, they’d have a fit…of laughter.


She heard the cheers of some girls in the stands, most of them cheering on James, and some of them cheering on the Captain, another well-known and attractive player, a 6th year named Kenneth Brixton. Lily pretended to read her book, but really, she was listening once again.


“Oi! Roberts! What are you doing?” She heard James shout.

“Sorry, Potter! Lost my grip, mate!” Roberts replied.

Kenneth was next to shout, “Alright everybody, Roberts is a prat, so we’re going to start that play again!”

Lily heard mingled laughter and Roberts defending himself in a good-natured way, and apparently, they started over. After about ten minutes of what seemed to Lily to be the same play over and over again, Kenneth called the team together in a huddle. Lily peeked over the top of her book and saw those six girls who had walked past her earlier yawning and looking overly bored. Apparently, they weren’t getting the attention they expected from the team members.

“Okay, everybody, we’re going to do a shoot out. I want Chasers to give their best! I mean that: Roberts, Potter.”

James responded, “You’re a Chaser too, mate. I want you to give your best as well, and don’t you forget it!”

Kenneth laughed. “I will, I will. Now, Cogswell! I’m going to have you, Hall, and Williams work over on the other side of the pitch. Go over your basic exercises, and we’ll be with you in a moment.”

Lily watched as the Seeker, Beth Cogswell, and the two Beaters, Ben Hall and Jack Williams, flew over to the opposite end. Lily then looked back to the Captain who had turned his attention to the Keeper, Katie Grant, who just so happened to be his girlfriend.

“Now, Grant, I’ve noticed you’re in top form today---”

“Probably because she got a good snogging from you last night, mate.”

“Shut up, Potter. I noticed you’re in good form today, so I think we’re going to have to work extra hard to score---”

“You will? I’d think it’d be fairly easy for you, as she’s your girlfriend…”

“Potter!” Kenneth reprimanded James. “Get in position, you lot. Roberts, you’re up first. I’ll go next, and Potter, for all that cheek, you go last. Let’s go.”

Lily held back laughter. Even though Kenneth sounded rather perturbed, she knew it was all in fun. She watched as they lined up, Roberts holding the Quaffle, and preparing to score against Katie. He made a decent attempt at the far right hoop, but Katie saved it just in time. She flung the Quaffle to her boyfriend, and then Kenneth took his turn. He aimed for the far left hoop, Katie flew toward it, but in the last split-second, he tried to get it into the middle hoop. Katie’s reflexes were instant, and she seized it before it went through. Kenneth looked disappointed, but caught the Quaffle from Katie and tossed it to James.

As James caught the Quaffle, Lily peered even further over her book, and she eventually put it down all together. She watched as James took off quickly in Katie’s direction. He looked determined to get it through the right hoop, so determined in fact, that Katie seemed nervous. His arm moved with the Quaffle as if he were about to hurl it into that right hoop, and Katie went for it, lunging to her left. Just as she did that, James sharply turned left, tossed the Quaffle into his left hand, and launched it through the far left hoop, effortlessly making it in.

Lily’s mouth dropped open. Wow. She had never paid attention to him at games, for she had never wanted to give him the satisfaction. But she finally noticed: He really was good. Maybe he did indeed have a fairly good reason for his arrogance. Just a little.

Katie gave a loud grunt of frustration and defeat, and Kenneth shouted his approval of James. The gaggle of girls was applauding and cheering. James looked quite pleased with himself, and he flew around the pitch, taking in the crisp, fresh air, but as he made his way around, Lily noticed he was looking right in her direction.

He was flying right past her…NO…right toward her! He was coming at her very fast, too close for safety, and just before he crashed into the stands, Lily saw a look of utter astonishment on his face.

“Potter!” She cried out.

He was now stuck in the framework of the structure. His teammates rapidly came to his assistance, as he looked somewhat disheveled. They helped him out and as they all hovered in place, Kenneth demanded to know why James had so carelessly smashed into the stands. James looked up, and to Lily’s horror, it was directly at her. She knew she must have looked silly, standing there alone, her face full of panic at his accident. James motioned to Lily by nodding his head.

That---,” he gestured to Lily, “made me so carelessly smash into the stands,” he replied.

The team looked up at her, and she blushed violently.

“Lily Evans actually managed to make you fly directly into a hard, wooden target?”

James laughed and nodded. “I saw the flash of red hair and I was gone,” he explained.

Lily put her hand on her face in embarrassment. Kenneth rolled his eyes at James, and must have figured this was a good time to take a break.

“Okay everyone, ten minutes,” he announced, and the team broke apart. James, however, flew up a little higher and landed next to Lily.

“What in the bloody hell are you doing here, Evans?”

Lily didn’t know how to respond. She went with the first thing that popped into her head.

“I was…bored.”

“Bored?”

“Yes.”

“Bullocks.”

“Potter!”

“Bullocks, I say!”

“Oh stop it.”

“You came to watch me, didn’t you?” He asked, proudly.

“No, you big headed idiot. I told you, I was bored. Anna and Alice were both busy, and I had nothing better to do.”

“I see you brought a book,” he said, pointing toward the book she had negligently tossed aside.

“Well, I was reading it before I decided to come out here.”

“I know.”

“You what?”

“I saw you. Under the tree.”

“Oh really? When was that?”

“Don’t pretend you didn’t see me walk by, Evans.”

“I---I didn’t.”

“I think you’re lying to me. Quite a lot actually. I’d love to know why.”

Lily tried to keep herself from stammering.

“Well---Just---I---Oh, get over yourself, Potter.”

And with that, she picked up her book, turned around, and headed back along the stairs to get down from the stands. She made her way down and out, and by the time she had only walked a few steps further, James was already facing her, walking backward, smirking.

“Brooms go faster than legs,” he said complacently.

Lily tried to avoid him and attempted to walk around him, but she couldn’t dodge him.

“Out of my way, Potter.”

“Evans, just admit it. You came to see me play!”

“Why would I do that, Potter?”

James grinned. “Because I’m amazing.”

Lily exhaled loudly, her temper flaring.

“Ugh! Well maybe I did!”

“Too right,” he replied, pleased. Lily felt incensed. He was making her so angry once again.

“Maybe, I came down here to see what all the fuss was about! Maybe I did see you walk by, with a group of irritatingly immature girls trailing you like lost puppies! Maybe I wanted to witness what they could possibly see in you!”

James had stopped walking, and was now simply staring at Lily.

“Maybe, Potter, maybe I came here to prove my theory. That you are just what you are: a conceited, attention hogging, self-loving git!”

James didn’t say anything for a moment, but just gawked at her. She could feel how warm her face was, and she could feel the exasperation surging through her body. James spoke skeptically.

“Evans, it was just a Quidditch practice. How could you have proven your so-called theory in the span of twenty minutes?”

Lily shook her head and bit her lip.

“I’ve got to go, Potter.”

James didn’t argue, didn’t bicker, and let her go.

“See you tonight, Evans,” he called out after her.

She didn’t answer him, but after she had walked quite far, she briefly glanced back. He was still standing there, leaning on his broom, staring at her, as if he couldn’t possibly break his gaze until she was a small dot in the distance. She turned away and clutched her book tightly to her chest for comfort.

James knew she was lying. She knew she was lying. She hadn’t come down to the pitch to prove some theory about James, that was quite obvious. She had come down to the pitch because she had seen James walk by. And unfortunately for her pride, she finally admitted that James was the company she had chosen to voluntarily spend time with on a Saturday afternoon, however fleeting it may have been.




WHAT DO WE DO? JUST KEEP FEEDBACKING, JUST KEEP FEEDBACKING, JUST KEEP FEEDBACKING FEEDBACKING FEEDBACKING.


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 20th, 2006 at 5:50 am.
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  #8  
Old September 21st, 2006, 2:43 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 8- Remus Revealed


Lily was sitting in the Great Hall, enjoying her supper, and studying for Charms. It was a Wednesday, just a few days after she had her falling out with James at the Quidditch pitch, and it was a very rainy evening. An autumn thunderstorm was coming; Lily could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. She wanted to finish her meal and get out of there before the storm hit, since she absolutely hated the bursts of lightning when they illuminated the Great Hall through its enchanted ceiling. It was beautifully frightening the first few times she witnessed it, but after years of dealing with it, Lily was sick of cringing every time there was a bright flash of lightning immediately followed by a loud clap of thunder.

She quickly chewed the rest of her food, swallowed, and brushed some crumbs off of her robes. She shoved her books inside her bag and swung it over her shoulder. As she arose from the long table, she noticed Remus sitting alone, on the other end, with none of his allies in sight. She frowned.

He looked rather unwell, as if he hadn’t slept in days. She knew Remus was a good-looking chap, but she was accustomed to his looking ill. He had explained to her in their 5th year (as Prefects), that he had a very weak immune system, even for a Wizard, and he was always having to fight off a cold of some sort. He’d miss their evening patrols of the Gryffindor corridor (and even classes) once in awhile on account of it.

Lily caught his eye and he gave a meek smile. She hadn’t talked to him much this year, and she decided it was time to do so, despite the storm. She smiled back at him and made her way over.

“Hello, Remus,” she greeted him cheerfully.

He had moved his bag from the empty spot next to him, and gestured for her to sit down.

“Hello, Lily. How are you?”

“Apart from my terrible lack in concentration on my Charms studies, I’m quite well. And yourself? Getting a cold again, are you?”

Remus showed a hint of confusion at her question, and then immediately answered,

“Oh! Yes. Regrettably, I am indeed, once again, susceptible to the adverse conditions of living with, coming into contact with, and breathing the same air as loads of other people, house-elves, and who knows what else, living in this castle.”

Lily laughed. “Poor Remus,” she said, pouting.

He gave her a pathetic look and responded, “Lily, please continue to pity me, for that’s all I live for.”

She playfully punched him in the arm. “Well, it does put a damper on your life doesn’t it?”

Remus’ eyes flashed a very forlorn look for an instant, and then he grunted.

“You have no idea.”

She nodded, “I know. I’m sorry.”

Remus shrugged. “I’m used to it. It’s been like this for years.”

His eyes wandered away from her and suddenly, he tensed up. She looked to where his gaze led, and she saw Severus Snape, a ridiculously oily faced and greasy haired 7th year Slytherin, heading their way.

Lily had always treated Snape in an amicable fashion, up until their 5th year, when he had called her a very nasty word and she had dismissed their quasi-friendship. Last year, in Potions, he had done extremely well, and she had even collaborated with him on occasion, but only in a very professional manner. Not a word had been spoken about what had been said in 5th year, and hardly a sentence was spoken if it didn’t contain an ingredient, stirring direction, or anything else having to do with Potions. She had managed to avoid him this year, without really trying. It may have had something to do with being around James. Snape hated James and Sirius, and even Remus and Peter, just because they palled around with them.

By this time, Snape had strode over to the table, directly across from Lily and Remus, and bent over it, sneering into their faces. He looked scornfully at Remus.

“Lupin,” he greeted him. “You don’t look well.”

Remus replied in similar contempt, “What’s it to you, Snape?”

Snape’s upper lip twitched. “Nothing. I’m just more aware of it now.”

Lily was completely out of the loop. She had no idea what was going on between the two of them. Remus clenched his jaw.

“Well, you should be, as it almost killed you.”

Lily looked around, as if she were expecting someone to miraculously pop up, ready to explain. Snape made a sort of hissing noise at Remus and as soon as he turned to walk away, there stood James, Sirius, and Peter, in the doorway of the Great Hall. James looked livid (wand at the ready), Sirius appeared amused, and Peter seemed like he was ready to watch some action.

Snape was somewhat cornered, but he took off without delay as James and the other two headed straight for him. At this moment, a flash of lightning and a very deafening thunderclap broke through the heavens, only adding more dramatic effect to the situation. Remus jumped up out of his seat, taking out his wand. James accosted Snape in the center of the Great Hall, right in between two long tables full of students. Many of the students had turned or stood up to watch the scene unfolding, no doubt awaiting the usual tension they were used to seeing with James and Snape. Snape’s lip curled as he confronted James.

“What’s the hurry, Potter? Worried about your precious little Remus?”

James glared at Snape. “What were you doing even daring to talk to him? Afraid of me, were you? Easier to ridicule him if I’m not around?”

Snape scoffed. “Potter, that’s no way to talk about your friend. He’ll think you don’t respect him if he needs you as his body guard.”

“That’s not the point, Snivellus. The point is, that you should never approach any of the four of us, or Lily Evans for that matter, at any time, any place.”

“I can address whom I please, Potter.”

“Oh yeah? Try it again, and your pathetic little existence will be blown to pieces. Don‘t forget Snivellus, you owe me.”

Snape glowered at James, but before things could get worse, he darted past the three boys and made a swift exit out of the Great Hall. Sirius looked supportive, but somewhat disappointed that nothing more had occurred. Peter was grinning, always grinning, about anything James did. The throng of people watching the fuss lost interest, and the three boys marched over to Remus and Lily with purpose. James was exceedingly serious.

“Are you two alright?”

Lily laughed. “Oh calm down, Potter. He didn’t do anything to us. He just…talked.”

Remus agreed with Lily, but he added in something else.
“He mentioned something about me not looking well, and how he was ‘more aware of it now.’ Really odd, actually, isn’t it?”

James and Sirius exchanged significant looks, but then Sirius, taking a seat across from Remus, laughed it off.

“He’s got nerve, doesn’t he? Flitting around, telling people they ‘don’t look well’ when he’s got a face like the offspring of a crow and a troll!”

Everybody laughed at this, except for Lily.

“Really, you lot! He can’t help the way he looks.”

James took this as an opportunity to flatter Lily.

“None of us can help the way we look, Lily. It’s just the fortunate ones, like yourself, the strikingly captivating, who have it easy.”

Lily shook her head at James, and leaned down to pick up her bag, hiding the blush that had once again appeared because of him. She stood, threw her bag over her right shoulder again, and addressed James.

“Oh, and about telling Snape never to speak to me….Once again, Potter, you aren’t aware that I do not NEED you to say anything in my defense. If he wishes to talk to me, he may.”

“Surely you don’t want him to talk to you, do you Evans?”

“Well, no, I don’t especially want it, but I am capable of handling it myself, if it does indeed occur.” She looked down at Remus who had taken his seat again. “Now, Remus, I do hope you feel better soon, and it was nice talking to you for that brief time.”

She stepped away from the table, and as she made her way to the doorway, she heard Sirius say,

“Really, Prongs, have you still not learned a thing from me?” In a very mockingly condescending tone.


The next night, after her patrol, Lily sat by the window in her dormitory. She couldn’t sleep. She stared at the moon, almost full, the cloud cover causing it to disappear momentarily from time to time. The rains and storms had passed, but the cold front that had come along with them still lingered. She shivered slightly, knowing that it’d be much warmer to lay under the covers, but she couldn’t stop thinking. During their patrol, James had not mentioned the incident from the day before at all. They had only talked about a Defense Against the Dark Arts exam they had the next Monday, and besides that, they hadn’t talked at all. Lily was trying to distance herself away from the James she had actually become vaguely fond of, so she attempted to do so by engaging in little to no open conversation.

She curled up into a body-hugging position, wrapping her arms around her bent knees. She just couldn’t stop thinking about the encounter with Snape. She thought James would have said something concerning it, or maybe even expressed an explanation for why he hadn’t gone and done something irrational, as he always did when he and Snape argued. No jinx, no hex, no curse, no nothing. Instead, James kept his calm and didn’t attempt it. Why? Lily pursed her lips, thinking back carefully. She felt the light bulb in her mind switch on. Because Snape hadn’t attempted it!

And why hadn’t Snape tried anything? Because he had walked away immediately after James had said “You owe me.” Owed him what, exactly? It was deeply frustrating her at this point, the inability to figure it out. She settled on moving to her next thought: how it all had started. Something bizarre was going on between those boys.

Lily glanced back up. The clouds opened again, allowing the round moon to glisten once more. As she reflected on Remus and his strange conversation with Snape, she could see the moon beams filtering in through the window, and her face was streaked with lines of silvery light...

She was lost in her thoughts. Sirius was right, Snape had no reason to be so interested in Remus’ appearance. Why would Snape mention anything about how poorly Remus looked?

Lily watched as the clouds moved across the sky, once again obscuring the ample moon.

Besides, Remus had that weak immune system, so every now and then, come to think of it...about once a month, he looked a bit worn out---

And then, as if a puzzle had inexplicably come together, Lily’s mind snapped into place, and she sat up bolt right. She dashed to her trunk as quietly as possible, so as to not wake the other girls. She frantically dug through her belongings and found her Defense Against the Dark Arts book. She flipped to the back, found what she was looking for in the index, and turned to the page. And there was the chapter (as she hadn’t paid that much attention to it before), which she read once again: Werewolves.



I'LL TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT: FEEDBACK


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 21st, 2006 at 3:17 am.
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  #9  
Old September 22nd, 2006, 7:27 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 9- Mischief Managed


The next day, throughout classes, Lily paid close attention to Remus. Full of knowledge based on what she was so foolishly assuming to be Remus’ condition, Lily was prepared to take every hint, every significant glance, and every move Remus made as proof. Proof that her dear companion was in all actuality, a werewolf.

She still couldn’t take even herself seriously. But it made sense to her now. Missing those nightly strolls once in awhile, looking worse and worse as the cycle of the moon neared full…it all fit. She noticed he was trying to keep morale up, even though he looked and seemed to be feeling completely miserable. His three best friends gave no clues as to his state, and Lily was quite disappointed when she didn’t end up spotting anything out of the ordinary throughout the day. That evening, a little after 8 o’clock, she found herself in the common room, chatting with Alice and Anna on the spacious crimson couch in front of the fireplace.

“So what is going on with you and Sirius, then?” Alice asked Anna curiously, after quickly looking around to make sure none of the boys were in the vicinity (which Lily found to be considerably suspicious).

“What is it you want to know?” Anna replied, a wicked smile playing on her lips.

Alice retorted lightheartedly.

“Oh come off it! Just tell us!”

Anna motioned for the girls to come a bit closer, and just as Alice and Lily leaned in to hear what Anna had to say, Sirius, James, and Peter reappeared in the common room, gloriously broadcasting their presence with an announcement from Sirius.

“Oi! You Gryffindor lot!” Came his boisterous voice. “Listen up!” He stepped forward a bit, as if on stage, and continued, “I, Sirius Black, and my three friends, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, and Remus Lupin (who by the way is a complete drip, as you may notice he has chosen to spend his time not with us, but rather, in the library), have an announcement!”

And naturally, much to Lily’s dissatisfaction, the entire common room fell silent, and all eyes were focused on Sirius. His little fan club even made a quick dash for the spot directly in front of him, as if this were opening night and they had just scored front row seats. James stood back, but he had a look of encouragement on his face, and Peter was grinning, nodding at everything Sirius said. Sirius fully drank up the attention and went on with a conquering gleam in his eye. He reminded Lily of a magician knowing he had captured an audience that would remain his until he wished to let them go.

“Although it is only the 8th day of this charming month of October, the four of us have planned ahead and decided, that in exactly three weeks and two days, we will be throwing an extravagant Halloween masquerade in the Gryffindor tower, immediately following the hum drum Hogwarts Halloween Feast!”

There were several gasps and exclamations of pure glee, and even some mild applause, but Lily didn’t feel that same surge of excitement. She glimpsed the looks on her two friends’ faces and realized they weren’t of the same opinion as her. Anna and Alice were both beaming as Sirius finished his message.

“People of Gryffindor, this will be a night you will never forget! We ask you to wear masks, if possible, but dress robes will be an option. This is our 7th and final year,” the disappointed groans of several young ladies were heard, “and we intend to fill it with as many pleasurable experiences as possible. Good night!”

He finished with a small bow, and more approving applause was scattered throughout the room. One 3rd year actually raised her hand, much to Sirius’ mixed reaction, and asked if there would be any posts about the party up on the common room bulletin board. Sirius hesitated, but raised his eyebrows and pouted his mouth.

“Hadn’t actually thought of that! But a wonderful suggestion nonetheless, and the answer is yes,” he replied, giving her a melt-worthy smile.

The 3rd year went pink and her friends all giggled. Sirius turned to James and Peter and they discussed something Lily couldn’t quite hear. Anna jumped up and down in her seat from enthusiasm, plopping back down with her knees tucked under her. She grinned excitedly at Lily and Alice, grabbing Lily’s arm.

“This is going to be so great!”

Lily cynically remarked,

“Why are you so thrilled, Anna?”

Anna looked at her, still smiling, then sat back, thinking about her answer, and then gave it in a very rushed way.

“You know what? I have no idea! But I don’t care! It’ll be fun! We’ve never had anything like it before. I wonder what I should go as?” And as she lost herself to her thoughts in figuring out a costume, Alice chimed in.

“Maybe Frank and I will be able to go as a couple, you know, as a pair of…something or other.”

Lily gave a skeptical look. “Yes, as the tortoise and the hare. Him being the tortoise of course, as he has yet to come out of his shell. When is he finally going to officially ask you out?”

Alice sighed, but made a resigned face. “He will. I don’t know when, but he will. I suppose I’m just not worried about it,” she said, shrugging.

All of a sudden, Anna squealed, jumping up once again. Lily thought it was from her overly enthusiastic attitude about the party, but when Anna whirled around to face someone behind them, Lily knew she was wrong. She and Alice both looked to see Sirius standing a few feet behind the couch, pretending to be innocent, while James and Peter chuckled in the background. Anna laughed.

“Sirius Black, innocent? I think hell must have frozen over. Can anyone check out the window for a flying pig?”

Sirius’ mannerisms took on a completely guilty manner, and he brandished his wand.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Anna. Guilty of what?”

Anna put her hands on her hips. “Of the oh-so-underhanded Tickle Jinx. Right in the back, Sirius. Really!” She finished in an accusatory tone. “That was uncalled for.”

“Anna, dear, everything I’ve ever done in my life was uncalled for. You best get used to it.”

“Or what?”

“Or…actually, I haven’t got a threat or ultimatum of any sort. How about we go somewhere else and talk about it?”

Anna rolled her eyes, but shrugged, as if to say, “I give up.” She looked down at Alice and Lily.

“Alright girls, it’s a Friday night, so we can stay up late and gossip. As for now, I’ve got that git to go waste my time with. See you later,” she told them before she made her way to Sirius. He took her by the arm like a gentleman, and they headed out the portrait hole, ready to use the last half hour before curfew to their advantage.

Alice looked to Lily. “She still hasn’t told us what’s going on with them.”

Lily smiled. “I know.”

Alice made a face. “It’s pretty obvious though, isn’t it? Won’t be surprised if they go to the masquerade as a pair of…..something or other. I have got to stop saying that.”

“No, it’s alright. I suppose no one’s got a clue as to what they’ll be yet, other than a ‘something or other.’ I don’t even know if I’ll go at all.”

“Evans! You have to go! It’s going to be brilliant!” James abruptly appeared, urging her to attend. He leaned over the armrest of the couch. “Please go! This is important. And as Padfoot said, it’ll be a night you’ll never forget!” He added, winking.

“Potter, I don’t trust that statement one bit. I don’t even know want to know what you’re going to do to ensure a night that no one will forget. Please tell me it doesn’t include anything that will harm or cause any sort of injury to someone,” Lily sarcastically requested.

James blinked, looking insulted. “Evans, have you no respect for the caliber of our magic? We will blow you away. Just you wait. Unless, of course, you choose to sit up in the dormitory, completely alone, while the sounds of a joyous and festive celebration from the common room below tantalize you…”

Lily gave James a disparaging look, turned away from him and back to Alice, and swatted her hand at him, as if he were a pesky fly.

“I’ll see you for our patrol.”

James didn’t persist, he merely turned back to Peter and the two of them quietly moseyed up to the boys’ dormitory. Alice narrowed her eyes at Lily, looking very perceptive.

“Maybe you and James should go as a pair of something or other,” she suggested casually.

Lily laughed.

“Oh Alice, you’ve always been an amusing girl.”

“Lily Evans, I’m completely serious. You have no idea that you’ve changed when it comes to James, have you?”

“What? That is preposterous!”

“You talk to him now, Lily. You gave him neither a polite nor kind comment in four years. That means progress.”

“Well, I have to be cordial around him, as we are Head Boy and Girl. It’s clearly professional.”

Alice gave Lily an appraising glare, smiled, and said,

“I know what you should go as for the masquerade.”

“Oh yes? And what’s that?”

“A lioness.”

“How did you come up with that?”

“The lion is the proudest creature on earth. What better choice for Lily Evans is there?”

Lily scoffed at her friend’s remark. “Alice! That is not true!”

Alice laughed. “Lily, the day you marry James Potter, is the day I’ll believe it isn’t true!”

She rose up, looking at the common room entrance.

“Frank’s back. I’ll see you later, you liar.”

Lily turned around on the couch, facing Alice who was now walking toward Frank.

“I’m not lying, you know! I’m not!” She yelled out, completely trying to make herself believe it.

She turned back around, staring at the fire, arms crossed over her chest, slouched down on the couch. “I’m not lying,” she whispered to herself, “I’m not!” She stared at the fire, the flames still blazing bright, keeping the room cozy and warm. She wasn’t paying any attention to her surroundings until she heard someone in the common room laugh about something and give a howl that reminded her of what she had been worried about all day: Remus.

If he was in the library as Sirius had said, than he should have been getting back any minute now. The same went for Anna and Sirius themselves. Once nine o’clock rolled around, the curfew was implemented. If Remus didn’t return promptly by nine, Lily was going to ask questions. She was going to ask James.

And as soon as she thought his name, James emerged down the staircase and into the common room. Peter, it seemed, had stayed behind in the dormitory. James sauntered over to Lily and arranged himself on the couch, right next to her. He didn’t say a word, but sat motionless, also gazing at the fire. The two of them sat together for a matter of minutes, not speaking a word. The only thing that stirred them from their silent reverie was someone’s shout.

“Did anybody lose a pet rat? I’ve just seen one run across the floor and out the portrait hole as I walked in. If it isn’t someone’s pet, then that’d be quite disgusting!”

Lily turned to see Katie Grant, the Gryffindor Keeper, looking around for someone to answer her question. When no one did, she made a revolted face at Kenneth, and they walked over to the corner of the room for some private time.

James laughed. “Wonder if Kenneth will score tonight?” He asked Lily.

She threw him a disapproving look and he smiled.

“Ah, Evans, glad to see you’re back to normal.”

“And you as well, Potter. I’m not exactly glad, but I can’t believe you actually kept your mouth shut for that long.”

“When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all?”

“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all.”

“Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”

“It’s nine o’clock, you pest. Let’s go.”

As they made their way out the portrait hole and into the corridor, they passed Anna, who mentioned that Sirius had said he was going to go fetch Remus from the library. After that encounter, they started their usual journey around the school. James, of course, broke the silence.

“Dumbledore ought to be calling us into his office soon. It’s been over a month at school, shouldn’t he be telling us to do something?” James asked.

Lily replied, truly not knowing the answer. “I don’t know. Maybe this is all we’ll be doing the entire term.”

“How mundane.”

“Thanks a lot.”

“You said you didn’t want compliments.”

“And you said you’d never be able to quit handing them out.”

“You’re gorgeous.”

“Oh, shut it.”

They walked on, and at one point, Lily thought she heard someone behind them. When she turned around to catch the offender, there was nobody to be found. She figured it was just a trick of the imagination, and moved on. But as they made their way past a large tapestry hanging over a huge portion of the wall, Lily heard a noise. James began to say something, but she shushed him.

“Shh! I heard something!”

“Oh, it was probably nothing, there’s lots of little noises here and there---”

“I said SHH!”

James shut his mouth, and Lily listened intently. It had sounded like someone swearing. Could she be hearing something through the wall? She tried focusing hard on the voice again, but it never came. Then, a thought dawned on her.

“Potter? Is there…some sort of passageway behind this tapestry?” She had remembered Dumbledore’s words, “James knows the hidden secrets, places…”

The look on James’ face was sketchy, but Lily saw the uncertainty in his eyes. She knew something was behind that tapestry. And before he could do anything, she had thrown her hand onto the tapestry, grasped the edge, and peeked behind it. And plain as day, there was an opening. She quickly turned back to James, who was now reaching out as if he was going to try to stop her. He dropped his arms.

“Well, you’ve found it,” he told her.

“Yes, I can see that. Now, where does it lead?”

“Oh, that I don’t have to tell you.”

“You have an obligation to me, Potter. As my partner in the leadership of the student body, I demand you tell me where it leads!”

“Evans! You are one sassy lass!”

“Tell me, Potter!”

“Find out for yourself!”

Lily scowled at him, threw open the tapestry again, and advanced through the opening. She heard steps behind her and James called out, “Evans! I didn’t think you’d actually go in! Hang on!”

She walked faster, determined to get to the destination before he could catch up with her. And then, she stumbled upon something in the tunnel. There was a piece of parchment lying on the ground; the only object littering the tunnel floor. She bent over to pick it up, and realized it was actually folded over a bit, but completely blank. She decided to keep it, for there was something mysterious about this particular piece of parchment. She could feel it.

James caught up with her, and she swiftly turned around, hiding the parchment behind her back. He eyed her suspiciously.

“What have you got there, Evans?”

“Nothing, Potter. Now, lead me out of here.”

He scurried around her, and she could tell he must have caught a glimpse of the parchment, for his hazel eyes grew wide.

“Evans! That belongs to me! I must have dropped it in here a few days ago. Can I please…er…have that?”

“Are you joking? It’s a piece of parchment! I’m going to bring it back to the common room and use it for homework. Might as well save some galleons!” She added, trying to sound nonchalant.

James opened his mouth to say something, but instead, looking quite submissive, he held up his wand, and said, “Accio map!” The parchment, much to Lily’s disbelief, flew out of her hands and into his. She gawped at him.

“Explain yourself, Potter.”

James, re-enacting the surrendering look, pointed to it and said to Lily,

“This…is a map of Hogwarts.”

“You imbecile. There’s nothing on the parchment.”

James continued as if he hadn’t heard her.

“It contains all the rooms, hidden passages, and even the surrounding grounds of Hogwarts, including Hogsmeade.”

“Nice prank, Potter.”

“It also,” he continued, drawing nearer, “shows every student, professor, and other being at Hogwarts, and their exact location, at all times.”

Lily didn’t know whether to ask a million questions about this ‘map,’ or whether to slap James in the face and call him any number of horrible names. She chose a combination of the two.

“Alright then, you harebrained prat, how do you activate this map?”

James smiled at her, “You must give your word first, Evans. No one hears about this, got it?”

Lily bit her lip. “Ugh. Oh, fine. Just, get on with it.”

James smirked, his eyes lighting up. He pointed his wand at the map and said:

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

And just like that, black print began unraveling itself all over the parchment. Lily couldn’t believe her eyes. She rubbed them, assuming she was imagining it. When she looked back at the map, it was fully assembled, and what James had said was entirely true. The complete layout of Hogwarts had appeared, along with tiny little names all over the place. They were so small, it was hard to distinguish them in this dark passage. She glanced up at James who looked apprehensive.

“Where in the world did you get this?” She asked in astonishment.

“Well, there’s the catch,” he explained. “I---we---didn’t get it anywhere. Remember how I said there were a lot of things you’d be surprised that we’ve figured out?”

Lily nodded.

“I’ve just introduced you to one of them,” he proudly replied, as if he were a father and this map were his wonderful child.

“No way! I mean, Remus I understand. He’s got the brilliance and focus. But you and that complete **** of a wizard Black, and Pettigrew? I don’t believe it.”

James smirked at her. “Believe it.”

“Fine. So what if I do believe it? Should I believe that you really left it here by accident? Something so ridiculously valuable, just lying around?”

James’ face looked defeated.

“No. It wasn’t me.”

“Then I did hear someone in here earlier. Swearing because they dropped it and couldn't find it?"

“Possibly.”

“Who was it, Potter?”

“I showed you the map, that should be enough secrets exposed for tonight.”

“Fine! Can I at least see it for a moment? I mean, it really is inspiring…it’s just so…clever…”

James handed it over, flattered by Lily’s admiring comment, and Lily shone her illuminated wand over it. She examined it closely, realizing that this truly was one exceptional magical instrument. After a moment, she spotted her own name. Lily Evans, the dot, was positioned directly next to the dot of James Potter. Then, something else caught her eye. Sirius Black. His dot was no more than three centimeters away on the map, which meant he must be somewhere in this tunnel. It must have been he who had dropped it! No doubt, he had turned back to retrieve the map, but James and Lily had made it there first. He was probably stuck in one spot, unable to move either way for fear of being seen or heard.

She looked to James, to make sure he was still accommodating with the map, and then looked back down. She scanned the map for Remus Lupin, and found him, not even remotely inside the castle at all, but rather out on the grounds. His dot was accompanied by Madam Pomfrey (from the Hospital Wing), and near them was Peter Pettigrew. Lily looked to James, not in anger, but in concern

“Where is Remus going?”

James panicked, Lily could tell. He didn’t answer, but instead asked her to hand the map back over. Lily could sense this was something far beyond her control, or even her comprehension, so she complied. James took the map, pointed his wand at it, and said, “Mischief Managed.” The map once again concealed any trace of ink, appeared blank, and James tucked it into his robes. Lily couldn’t give up.

“Look, I care about Remus, he’s my friend too. I just want to make sure he’s alright.”

“He’ll be fine. He’s fine. Everything’s fine.”

“Potter.”

“It’s probably far past 9:30, Evans. Let’s continue before it gets too late.”

James started walking back toward the opening behind the tapestry.

“Potter! I know about Remus, okay? I know!” Lily wasn’t sure she completely knew, but she had to throw it out there. James’ head shot back around, staring at her.

“What do you mean you know? Know what?”

“Don’t do that, Potter! Just tell me!”

He didn’t answer and kept walking toward the tapestry. She followed him, and after they made their way out, he continued on, completely ignoring her for once. She trailed behind. This was confirming what she thought. He was defending his friend. Dumbledore was right. James was loyal. Fiercely loyal. They walked past a large window, showcasing the stars overhead dancing around the moon. Lily stopped, while James kept walking.

“Potter!”

He finally came to a halt and faced her, an imploring look on his face.

“It’s a full moon,” she stated, nodding her head out the window.

James didn’t confirm her assumption or acknowledge her words. All he said was,

“When Remus is ready, he’ll tell you.”

Lily decided that this was going to have to be enough for the night. James wasn’t going to crack, and she finally realized that. She felt her heart soften, and she smiled.

“I’ll still like him either way,” she assured him.

James smiled back.

“How could you not?”

Lily walked up a bit further and joined James in stride.

“That map really is an intellectually remarkable work of magic. As much as I don’t like you, at least I know Remus has had an affect on your intelligence, for the better.”

“Well, it was Padfoot’s idea, my talents, and Moony’s---” James winced at the nickname, knowing it was quite obvious to Lily at this point, “and Moony’s framework that made it possible.”

“You louts actually manage to pull off some brilliant things now and then.”

“Yes well, the map is good for plenty of things.”

“Like what, Potter?”

“Like knowing exactly where you and your friends are in Hogsmeade, and conveniently running into you around a corner,” he replied, back to his usual playful tone.

Lily groaned. “You planned that then?”

“Of course!”

“You’re a completely nonsensical piece of work, Potter. You’ll just never give up, will you?”

“Never.”

“Wonderful. Looking forward to it, you prat,” Lily replied in complete disdain.

James laughed, and then came out with an idea.

“Look, we better split up at this point. We’ve got to finish this patrol soon, as it’s so late already. You finish this corridor, and I’ll get the other two.”

He contemplated something for a moment.

“Oh, and think about that masquerade. It’d be great if you actually showed up. I’d wait for you all night. See you in the common room, you lovely girl,” James said, completing his sentence with some sweet-talk.

“Let’s hope I don’t see you in the common room. That’ll really make my night,” she replied, annoyed at his stupid additions of cute comments.

They separated, and after Lily finished her round with no problems, she headed back to the common room.

There were still many people up, with Alice and Frank cuddling in a corner, and Anna talking to her cousin, a 5th year named Diane. Lily proceeded to talk to Anna and Diane (mainly about what the other two would disguise themselves as for the masquerade), and after nearly an hour of waiting for James to walk through the portrait hole, Lily couldn’t hold it in any longer.

“Did James get back before me?” She asked her friends.

“No! Haven’t seen him at all, actually. Maybe he’s up in the dormitory…somehow…he might have slipped by us,” Anna answered.

Lily didn’t know whether James hadn’t come back to the common room (or if he had come back and just hadn’t said hello) because she had said she'd rather not see him there tonight, or if something more devious was going on. She excused herself and went up to the dormitory.

She got ready for bed, and she looked out the window, once again, at that full moon. She couldn’t help but wonder, that if she took a look at that secret map at this exact moment, if James Potter’s dot wouldn’t be directly next to Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and Sirius Black, all outside the castle, doing who knows what.




WHEW, LONG CHAPTER! WHO'S EXHAUSTED? I AM. YOU KNOW WHAT HELPS EXHAUSTION? FEEDBACK. THAT'S RIGHT. FEEDBACK.


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."
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  #10  
Old September 23rd, 2006, 6:38 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 10- Corridor Conundrums


The masquerade was only a week and one day away, and Lily found herself in Hogsmeade, looking at different articles of clothing, material, and even some glittery, sparkly things that she could use for her costume. Anna (as a black cat) and Alice (as a rabbit) had both already made their masks, and they were both wearing dress robes to match. So many Gryffindors were spending time feverishly working on their costumes, and everyone was anticipating this extraordinary event. Lily couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. She was still stuck on waiting for Remus to explain his ‘problem’ to her. Anna poked her head around a rack of material.

“Oi! What about this here?” She asked Lily, holding out a rather flamboyant looking bolt of fabric.

Lily crinkled her nose and shook her head.

“That won’t work,” she explained.

Alice swung around to face her. “Come on Lily, just tell us what you’re going as. That’ll make it a lot easier to help.”

“I don’t want to tell. You two are the only people who know I’m actually going to attend this abysmal party. Everyone else is finding so much fun in this, but the only fun I find in it is keeping the costume, and my attendance, under wraps!” She snickered, as her two friends sighed.

Anna spoke for Alice when she said,

“Alright then. You stay here and find what you’re looking for. We’ll meet you back at school.”

Lily smiled, shooing them away. “Go on then! I don’t want to spoil the surprise anyway!”

Alice and Anna laughed and shook their heads at Lily, exiting the shop. She browsed around a bit more, and after finding material that was hidden away behind some more glitzy models, she examined it. It was soft, with the texture of cashmere, and a ruddy-beige color that complimented her hair. It was exactly what she had been hoping to find. Actually feeling a tad bit exhilarated, she bought a couple of yards of it, and walked out of the shop. If she had to go to this masquerade, her costume may as well be outstanding.




Later that week, on a Thursday, Lily was at her patrol with James; nothing had been said about the map or about Remus in the entire three weeks that had gone by. Lily’s conversations with James had once again bordered along the reiteration of the two of them just being acquaintances. Lily was afraid to ask any more questions, for reluctance to see how James might respond. Contrary to how she told James she felt, it had actually made her uncomfortable to have him ignoring her when she interrogated him about Remus that other night. James ignoring her was not a part of her comfort zone. She’d rather have him bothering her than completely disregarding her. She had rationalized this by thinking that she was just used to it, and that was that.

They pitter-patted around the corridors, silently walking along, when James finally spoke.

“Masquerade in three days, Evans,” he said, as if she had forgotten.

“That information doesn’t matter to me, Potter.”

James’ grin deflated. “Evans. Everyone is going. I mean, everyone. There’ll hardly be room to breathe!”

“Oh, and I suppose if everyone jumped off the Astronomy tower, then you’d ask me to jump too?”

“If that was the only way to get to the masquerade, then yes.”

“You’re insane.”

“Well, I’d figure out a way to make it down safely.”

“How selfless of you.”

“You see, Evans, I’d have to make it down safely, on account of having to stay alive enough to be able to catch you.”

Lily felt her cheeks go slightly pink.

“I don’t need you to catch me Potter. If I absolutely had to jump off the Astronomy tower, I’d figure out a way to make it down safely as well!”

“That’s why I like you, Evans. You’re a strong willed woman.”

“And you’re a pretentious boob.”

James laughed, as he always did at her insults, but stepped ahead of her, and began walking backwards as he had before, out by the Quidditch pitch.

“Someday Evans, you’ll be ready to jump. And no matter if you figure out a way to make it safely down on your own, I’ll still be standing there, ready to catch you, just in case,” he finished, mimicking ‘catching’ someone, his arms extended, looking up and stumbling around as if his aim were off.

Lily didn’t know whether to allow the blush to engulf her face (for his comment was extremely complimentary), or to just pay no attention to him. When it came to James, she always had to make these decisions on how to react. It should just be simple, she thought. Why was it always so complicated? And this time, instead of hiding how she really felt about something he had said or done, Lily laughed. Out loud. Lily Evans was actually laughing at James Potter's silly behavior. James froze, staring at her, looking fully disoriented.

“Evans, has someone hit you with some sort of laughing jinx?” He asked, spinning around and looking for the perpetrator.

This only made Lily laugh a bit harder.

“Potter, you looked absolutely absurd just now,” she told him, giving a small chuckle.

James threw his hands over his chest, crossing one over the other. He tilted his head to the side, observing Lily, his right hand lightly rubbing his left arm, looking thoroughly pensive. Lily tilted her head back at him, and made a face.

“What, Potter?”

“Did you drink some sort of odd potion today? Or maybe you ran into the wall without me noticing, and you’ve now got some form of amnesia…”

“What are you talking about?”

“Well, the amnesia may be obscuring your recollection of all the past times, in many years, where you’ve never really laughed at anything I’ve done.”

Lily sputtered. “I-You’re right---But--Potter, it was---”

“Yes?”

“I hate myself for saying this.”

“Say it.”

“Actually, no. I don’t think I will.”

“Say it or the masquerade will be moved up to the girls’ dormitory and you’ll have no choice but to attend.”

“Boys can’t go up there anyway.”

“If I can figure out a way to jump off the Astronomy tower unscathed, I can figure out a way to get into the girls’ dormitory.”

“You haven’t ever jumped off the Astronomy tower, Potter, so you’ve actually got no clue if you’d make it down intact---”

“Stop stalling, Evans! Spit it out!”

“No!”

“Admit defeat!”

“No!”

“Jump, Evans! Jump!”

“You are the most infuriating---”

“Prat? Git? Idiot? I know them all, Evans, you’ve used them up!”

“How can you be so---”

“Irritating? Maddening? Dim-witted? Used those up too, haven’t you?”

“I cannot stand your---”

“Arrogance? Egotism? Big headedness?”

“Stop cutting me off!”

“Then confess! It was what, Evans? I was what?”

“Funny! YOU WERE FUNNY!” Lily finally bellowed, her face red, her blood pumping rapidly.

James threw his fist in the air in victory. “Hah!” He cheered.

Lily grunted in frustration. She glared James in the eye.

“I really do detest you,” she told him, very plainly.

His eyes caught that distinctive gleam of mischief, and he replied,

“You only detest yourself, Evans, for secretly feeling the way you do about me.”

Lily let out the breath she had been holding in, and simply stared at James. She was sure her eyes were showing the thoughts she was calculating behind them. He had, for four years, been telling her that she was merely hiding her strong feelings for him. Had he somehow brainwashed her over all this time? Had he somehow managed to instill in her this sense of actual fondness for himself?

And just before she had time to finish considering an answer, James’ eyes darted behind her, and she heard someone running down the corridor. James swiftly took off in the direction of the footsteps, and Lily turned around to see him dash around the corner. He didn’t shout at the student, nor did he shout to Lily. Before she even had a chance to follow him, she heard the stunned cry of a boy, immediately followed by come curse words, and a plea.

“Hey! Put me down! I’ll go back to the dormitory, just put me down!”

Lily quickly ran to where James had gone, and found a scene she had somewhat expected. There was James, his arms crossed, looking quite authoritative. And a little further down the corridor was a blonde boy Lily recognized but did not know, dangling upside down, suspended in the air, his robes hanging over his body, revealing his striped pajamas. He saw Lily arrive and pleaded to her this time.

“Look what he’s done to me! Help me, will you? Please!”

Lily shook her head, and looked to James instead. James stared the boy down.

“Do you know who I am?”

The boy hesitated, but seemed to figure he wasn‘t getting out of this one too easily, and replied.

“James Potter.”

“And how do you know my name?”

The boy sighed, but gave his reasons.

“Because of Quidditch, because of my friends, and because you and your mates are the most notorious pranksters in school!”

“Exactly. Now, did you think that James Potter, as Head Boy, wouldn’t be able to catch you: a pipsqueak, an amateur, in the act?”

“I thought I’d give it a try…”

“And you failed miserably, did you not?”

“No…”

“Don’t make this harder on yourself.”

“Alright, I failed miserably.”

Lily wanted to intervene, but she was in too much shock watching James. She had never seen this side of him. The boy was looking very red in the face indeed, as the blood had rushed entirely to his head by now. James went on.

“What’s the name, then?”

Lily saw the boy’s defiant face turn weak, and he was now looking quite ashamed.

“Niles Campbell.”

“House?”

“Hufflepuff.”

“Year?”

“Second.”

“Reason for running around forty-five minutes after curfew?”

“Boredom.”

James’ face softened. He held his wand out and gave the nonverbal counter curse, bringing the boy gently down to the ground. Niles adjusted his robes and despite the blood draining back down from his head, his face was still crimson. James walked over to him slowly, and Lily caught her breath. He looked so much like a man in that brief moment, that it caught her off guard. Niles looked up at James, mortified, as he put his hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“There are a lot of great places to explore around here, I know. But sometimes, it’s just best to explore them before curfew.”

“But then everyone will see---”

“If you’re really good at it, no one will notice. It takes awhile to hone those skills, but it’ll happen. Just not after 9 o’clock.”

Niles nodded. “Sorry.”

James smiled at him. “I’ve felt the same way as you plenty of times before. But you’re only in second year; you’ve got a copious amount of time to figure things out.”

Niles actually looked relieved and appreciative. “Thanks.”

James smiled again, taking his hand off of Niles’ shoulder.

“Now go on, get out of here. Back to the Hufflepuff common room you go. And trust me,” James held up a threatening finger, “I’ve got the means to know exactly where you are at all times. You can’t fool me.”

Niles nodded, agreeing to obey James’ warning. He stepped away, and walked past Lily, not glancing at her, for his eyes were focused on the ground in front of him. James shouted out one last warning.

“Campbell!” Niles turned to look at him. James pointed at him in caution. “Don’t do it again.”

Niles nodded vigorously once more, and turning back around, he made his way in the direction of the Hufflepuff common room. Lily watched him go, and then turned back to James. He was looking quite pleased with himself.

“Well done, don’t you think?” He asked her, optimistically.

Lily felt her mouth hanging open in wonder. She couldn’t disagree with James this time. She gave in.

“Yes, actually. Noteworthy indeed.”

James narrowed his eyes at her.

“I don’t detect a hint of sarcasm from you, Evans. Could you really feel I’ve just done a good job?”

Lily absentmindedly scratched her head for a moment, still gaping at James.

“You were amazing,” she let the words slip out, immediately clamping her hand over her mouth in horror that she had done so. She awaited James' haughty remark.

But in place of his usual victorious comment, facial expression, or smug smirk, he steadily walked over to her. He gently touched the hand that was closed over her mouth and pulled it away, looking into her eyes. She tried to squirm free, but he held on tight.

“Evans…I’m here to catch you.”

“Let me go, Potter.”

“Just take the leap, for goodness sake.”

“Take your hand off of mine.”

“You just called me amazing.”

“You dealt with Niles very well. That’s all I was referring to. LET GO.”

James let her hand go, and Lily knew he was aware that he hadn’t actually harmed her in any way, but that she was nervous. Lily could feel her body slightly shaking, and her breathing had become shallow. James nodded, gave her a small perceptive smile, and turned from her, wandering away in the other direction. Lily remained in that exact spot until James was out of sight.

She took a deep breath, filling her lungs with much needed air, and as she let it out, some tears sprang to her eyes. His persuasion was really starting to get to her, and she didn’t want to trust it. She didn’t want to trust that James would actually be there to catch her. She wasn’t sure if the tears in her eyes were from anger, or from humility. Humility at the fact that she had not said a word to Niles, and that James had handled the entire situation all on his own. Lily hadn’t expected that. She hadn’t expected Dumbledore to be right about him, about his sense of convention and justice, and his ability to handle his Head Boy duties. Lily gave a big sniffle, holding back the tears.

James had been fair, and kind, and yet disciplinary enough to encourage the boy to be better. He had shown mercy and forgiveness. She had seen a glimpse of the man James was about to become. Lily rubbed her eyes, blotting away the tears with the sleeve of her robe.

As she walked back to the common room, she again felt completely humiliated. Not because she was crying about James, or because she was crying at all. She felt humility at the fact that she was actually now forcing that habitual fury at James. It used to be quite genuine…but now, it was just her sorry attempt at trying to go back to the way it used to be.

The way it was before she had admitted to herself that her feelings of anger for James weren’t real. Those angry feelings she had for him were actually fear. Fear that he had broken through the shell she had built to protect herself from him. Lily Evans feared James Potter. She feared her heart had finally met its match.





FANS, MEET FEEDBACK. FEEDBACK, MEET FANS.


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 23rd, 2006 at 7:25 am.
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  #11  
Old September 24th, 2006, 5:15 pm
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 11- Unbelievable Unmasking


Lily was jabbed awake from a nap by Alice, on accident of course, poking her in the arm with the rabbit ears she had created for the masquerade. Lily rubbed her eyes and yawned. The girls were beginning to get ready for the masquerade, laying out their outfits and preparing everything necessary. They had yet to go to the Hogwarts Halloween Feast, but immediately after departure, they would ramble back up to the dormitories and primp.

“Sorry, Lily! Have a nice nap? You’ve been asleep for two hours!” Alice informed her.

“Two hours? What time is it?” Lily answered.

Anna replied quickly, still eyeing herself in a small hand held mirror,

“5:30. Feast’s at six, party starts between eight and nine. Oh, sorry, I forgot, you’re ‘not going.’ Does this look stupid?”

Alice scrutinized Anna’s black cat ears, upon a black headband, placed on Anna’s dark, black-brown hair.

“Looks like an extension of your own head. Very realistic,” Alice approved, nodding. Anna smiled gratefully.

Then, as both of them glimpsed the look on Lily’s face, they realized just how their seriousness of the matter was actually pathetically amusing, and they burst out laughing. Lily shook her head at them.

“You two better not have any Firewhisky if someone manages to get some in tonight. You’re mad enough as it is.”

“Oh come off it, you party-pooper,” Anna retorted. She plopped herself down on Lily’s bed. “So, when’s Lily Evans making her appearance at the masquerade?”

Lily shushed her. “I’ll show up when I’m ready. And no peeking in here to see my costume, I want to surprise everyone.”

“Everyone, or just James?”

“What did I tell you about him?”

“That you detest him, and you’ll soon start detesting me if I continue on pestering you about him.”

“I am this close,” Lily held her pointer finger and thumb an inch apart, “from detesting you.”

Anna rolled her eyes at Lily, and was about to respond, when Alice butted in with a question about her costume.

“Do you reckon buck teeth would be too much to add?”

Lily and Anna both gave Alice skeptical looks and answered simultaneously, laughing,

“YES!”






When the time for the Feast came, the girls made their way into the Great Hall. As usual, it was decorated very festively, with glowing jack-o-lanterns magically suspended in the air above the tables. There were whispers buzzing all around about the Gryffindor’s masquerade, with the other Houses quite jealous of the event. James and his friends were being praised up and down the Gryffindor table, and they were reveling in the popularity.

It annoyed Lily that James got so much attention. She used to think it was because he was so arrogant, but lately, it was because she wanted his attention, and didn’t feel like sharing it with so many other people. She closed her eyes tightly with a pang of guilt. She hated when she let thoughts like that slip by.

Besides, the whole meal, she was still pretending that she was going to stay up in the dormitories all evening. And to her satisfaction, she caught James looking in her direction a few (well, more than a few) times, and each time, the look on his face was a mixture of pleading, disappointment, and acceptance of the fact that she wasn’t going to the party. Dumbledore finished the feast with a few words.

“All Hallow’s Eve is an important time in this castle. We have many ‘residents’ who celebrate this day with most sincere regards. Let us make sure to respect them on a day that we may deem as just another day, for it is significant to them. Now, have a frightfully good evening,” his eyes wandered over to where Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter were seated, and he smiled at them, knowingly, “and may the masquerade go off without a hitch!”

He clapped twice, as a dismissal for the student body, and everyone began to rise and exit the Great Hall. Lily’s two best friends hurriedly made their way past her, eager to change into their costumes. She wondered how the Headmaster had known about the party, and then she got a bit of an answer when Remus and Sirius passed by, with Remus worriedly asking Sirius,

“Are you absolutely positive McGonnagal gave the go-ahead? She must have told the Headmaster---”

“Moony, when it’s all said and done, it won’t matter if there was a go ahead or not.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because we’ll have thrown the party of the decade, and our names will go down in history for the masquerade’s success, and not the expulsion from school on account of it!”

They had passed her completely now, with Peter straggling behind. Just when she had frowned at the lack of Potter in the equation, she heard his familiar voice.

“Evans! I’m going to give it one last go.”

Lily ignored him.

“Please come to the masquerade.”

Lily continued ignoring him.

James persisted.

“Okay, one last go.”

“That WAS your last go.”

“Well I’ll just have another.”

“Won‘t work.”

“I need you to come.”

“Oh really? And why do you need me to come?”

“Because I won’t have any fun without you there. You’re everywhere I go, Evans. Classes, common room, Great Hall, outdoors, nightly patrols, everywhere! Except Quidditch, but you came that once!”

“I was bored.”

“Right.”

“Don’t give me that, Potter.”

“Don’t give me that, Evans.”

“What?”

They were nearing the common room, but he didn’t answer right away. He gave the password, and the Fat Lady’s portrait swung open. And before he advanced into the portrait hole, James looked at Lily and smirked brazenly,

“You’re breaking down, Evans.” And he turned, disappearing into the portrait hole.

Lily stood in place for a moment until the pushing of other students trying to get into the common room forced her to snap out of it and follow them in. The common room was steady flow of full, then empty, as everyone was filtering in and then up to their dormitories to prepare.

Lily entered her dormitory to the sound of Alice clapping merrily at Anna’s costume. They had made it back so fast that they had already found the time to get dressed! Lily viewed Anna’s outfit and deemed it as very pleasant indeed.

She had the cat ears on her head, and she had put a mask on over her eyes, complete with glittering black sequins, that made her eyes and the top half of her face look very feline indeed. She had put on slender black dress robes, and her long hair was down, with the top brushed back to increase a sense of catlike sleekness.

“You look fantastic!” Lily managed to exclaim, despite her sour mood (once again, because of James). Alice clapped again, agreeing. Lily noticed Alice’s costume as well, and asked her to stand up. Alice did so, and Lily giggled.

“It’s perfect,” she told Alice. “You and Frank will be the best-dressed couple by far.”

Alice beamed, and spun around, showing off her costume.

She was wearing gray dress robes, but she had pinned a small fuzzy, fluffy white ball (a tail) on the back. The rabbit ears that had poked Lily awake were now placed on top of her head, along with a mask similar to Anna’s, but in gray, silver, and white. The only thing that really differed from Anna’s mask was the pink tip of the nose. She had pulled her hair back and into a bun. Anna picked something up off of Alice’s bed and tossed it to her. Lily couldn’t help but laugh when Alice held it up and placed it in her mouth: A carrot.

“I cannot wait to see the two of you together. His costume is going to be spectacular. I mean, the tortoise and the hare, how original!” Anna proudly exclaimed.

Alice looked to Lily. “Yes, Lily, thanks for that idea.”

Lily nodded. “No problem.” A thought sprang to her mind. “Hey,” she began asking Anna a question, “do you know what Sirius is going as?” She finished, hoping that maybe his costume would be somehow related to James’.

Anna shrugged. “No idea. He wouldn’t tell me. All four of them are keeping it a secret. Although, I did tell him what the idea for my own costume was, and he said,

“Brilliant idea! You’ll find that we’ll be quite complementary.”

Anna continued, a spellbound look in her eyes, “And then, he took my hand, pulled me toward him, and our lips----”

Lily jumped in front of her, holding her arms out. “STOP! STOP! I don’t need to hear anymore. I get it!”

They all laughed but Anna gestured as if to say, “Your loss!”

The girls finished applying some extra touches to their makeup, and when they were ready, they made their way to the door, with Anna teasing Lily,

“How much time should we give you before we come up here and drag you downstairs?”

Lily laughed. “You won’t have a need for that! I’ll be down, promise.”

Her friends agreed to disagree and left the dormitory. Lily sighed, lying back on her bed. She lifted her head a bit, peering at her trunk. Her costume was nestled there inside, waiting. The clock on Anna’s nightstand read 8:15. She would give it an hour before she began to get ready herself.






FEEDBACK SO FAR ON THIS CHAPTER...


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; September 26th, 2006 at 3:53 am.
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  #12  
Old September 26th, 2006, 3:43 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 11- Unbelievable Unmasking (continued)...



Lily was reading a book while inattentively twirling her hair on her wand. She was using a simple curling charm, piece by piece. She looked up with eagerness, realizing she still had fifteen minutes until nine o’clock, the time she had allotted as ‘get ready’ time. She put the book down, sighing. She was too impatient to wait any longer. She could hear the sounds of the party picking up throughout the past forty-five minutes, and as her hair was almost completely curled, she finished that off, paying more attention to it than before.

She took her massive hair, full of unruly auburn curls, and began pinning them back, half up, half down. The finishing effect was one that looked very much like a lion’s mane, but less wild, and more so elegantly untamed. She picked up some chocolate brown liner for her eyes, and traced the top of them, winging it out to make her eyes look even more almond-shaped than they did naturally. She touched up the bottom lashes with the liner, giving her eyes a look that popped in the most seductively animalistic manner.

She lifted up the mask she had made of that soft reddish-beige material, and placed it over the top half of her face. Magic had helped everyone a great deal when it came to the masks. They could sculpt them any shape or form they wanted, and make them stiff as cardboard, or just firm enough to stay securely in place. She had made hers to not only cover her eyes, but to also cover her forehead. There was a thin elastic strap around the back of her head, in order to hold it on, and she tucked it under some of her tresses to make it seem invisible. She also pulled some of the curls out and over the mask, as if it were her real forehead covered with curly dark-ginger wisps. The mask was gracefully crafted to flow over her cheekbones and petite nose, and the sides pulled back a bit, rather than sticking out, to create more of a feline allure.

Lily took off her clothing and replaced it with a beautiful set of taupe colored dress robes that were just slinky enough to hug her small shape, but comfortable enough to move around in.

As she gazed at herself in the mirror, she knew she had done an incredible job. She stared herself down, like a lioness staring down its prey right before the pounce, and she sharply inhaled in shock. She almost believed, for less than a second, that she was a lioness.

She smirked. Alice had taken her up on the offer of going as the hare to Frank’s tortoise, and Lily herself had taken Alice up on her offer to go as the proudest animal on the planet: the lion. A very desirable lion, thought Lily, giving herself a smoldering look in the mirror. She laughed at her silliness, and then decided to pick up and leave the dormitory tidy, because she wouldn’t feel like cleaning it up later tonight, and tomorrow, there were Monday morning classes.

After putting some things away, she looked at the time….9:30 had already arrived! The party had been going on for some time now, and she could hear laughter and conversation when suddenly, Sirius’ voice rang out:

“My lovely people of Gryffindor! We now have, for your never-ending entertainment, Sir Nicholas de Mimsey-Porpington, that's Nearly Headless Nick to some of you, who is here to re-enact his beheading!"

There was applause and cheering, and Lily’s jaw dropped open. She realized this was something she couldn’t miss, and she made her way to the door, opening it, and hearing Sir Nicholas say:

“How dare you? My mother most certainly was not a weasel!”

"I'll bet your father was a pidgeon!"

“Harkins! This is Nick's performance, let's show him some respect, shall we?”

Lily was already making her way down the steps when she heard James try to mediate the conflict. She froze on the third step down. Could she really make an appearance at this masquerade? Could she really? James’ voice had made her re-evaluate this decision. NO! She could. She would.

Lily moved down onto the last step and noticed that everyone’s backs were facing her. The entire crowd’s attention was on the other side of the room, looking up a few feet in the air, as the ghost floated about, re-enacting a gruesome scene. She was hoping for more of a dramatic entrance, but this would have to do.

As she slowly walked around (it was quite cramped, as James had predicted), she was amazed at the integrity of the Gryffindor House. Everyone, and that means everyone, had dressed up. Some costumes were better then others, but everyone had at least taken some time to prepare for this event. There were a few butterflies, cats, dogs, an elephant, frogs, birds, you name it. But she did not spot one other lion.

She hid away amidst the crowd, and watched the ending of the beheading, where Sir Nicholas tipped his head sideways, letting it hang there, revealing the disgusting part of having almost been thoroughly beheaded. The students cheered as the Nick made a splendid curtain call, bowing this way and that, at the menagerie of students in the room. The crowd began to disperse as the ghost drifted over to the boys, no doubt to receive thanks for the show. Lily’s eyes followed Sir Nicholas, and she finally got a good look at the boys’ costumes.

Sirius had on a black mask with a big black nose, and black dog’s ears on his head. He had added black robes to the mix, and Lily had to agree with him: he and Anna did indeed make a good match as a very handsome black dog and a very beautiful black cat.

Next, she spotted Peter. He was gray, and his ears looked like mouse ears. He had on a gray mask, and a nose that protruded far out, with a small pink tip. Lily couldn’t tell from where she was standing, but she was pretty sure he also had some whiskers attached.

Remus was in shabby gray robes, while his mask was also gray, with a snout in place of a nose. He had gray wolf ears and he also had a trickle of blood near his mouth. Lily shuddered. Knowing what she knew, or still rather assumed now, she almost felt bad for Remus having to dress up as something he most likely transformed into every month. But, he seemed to be in good spirits, so she wasn’t too worried.

They really went all out! She thought. Then she concluded that they were the hosts of the masquerade, so they might as well have the best costumes.

Then, Lily spotted James, standing a little further away from the others, near the portrait hole. He must have just momentarily stepped out to grab something, and come back. He was wearing a tan-colored mask, but she didn’t see his glasses underneath. Maybe he was walking around half-blind. The top of his head was obscured by what looked to be very lifelike antlers. He was scanning the room, searching for someone, and she noticed he was holding a few bottles of butterbeer. Lily glanced away for one moment, and in that moment, she heard the sound of glass shattering on the common room floor.

She quickly turned her eyes back to James, and with no surprise, James was bent over, picking up the shattered bottles of butterbeer, while Remus and Peter helped him. Sirius was still talking to Sir Nicholas, but had briefly given James a very patronizing look. James kept glancing back up in Lily’s direction in disbelief, and he finally gave up on cleaning, leaving it to Remus and Peter, and began making his way toward her. Many of the Gryffindors were looking around, wondering why James had dropped six bottles of butterbeer. Once some of them noticed where he was headed, they giggled. She stood rooted to the spot, aware that some eyes were on her, but she couldn’t move. Her heart was pounding. He must have spotted her and dropped the bottles from…shock that she had decided to show up? What did he think of her costume? James reached his destination, facing her.

“Evans? Is that you under there?”

Lily snorted. Nice way to compliment a girl.

“It’s a masquerade, Potter. You shouldn’t ask questions like that. We’re supposed to not know who anyone is.”

“Whelp, it’s definitely you, that’s for sure.”

Lily remained silent. She didn’t know what to say. James stepped back a bit and just gaped at her.

Wow.”

Wow? Wow what? She didn’t say a word back. James sustained his gawking. Lily didn’t know whether to feel completely attractive or completely embarrassed and uncomfortable. She awkwardly avoided his gaze.

“Wow. You. You…wow…” he made an effort to explain, “…wow.”

Lily felt annoyed. “I’m so glad your vocabulary has grown since you turned three, Potter,” she huffed.

James got a grip and smiled at her.

“You‘re here,” he said, sounding delighted. “And don’t tell me it was because you were bored. You’ve already used that pathetic excuse once.”

“I wasn’t going to say that, Potter, and that wasn’t an excuse!”

“What’s your reason for attending, then?”

“Well, I wanted to see Alice and Frank together...”

“That’s all?”

“And this is my final year here, so I might as well join in on---”

“That’s it?”

“Yes!”

That’s the reason you put your hair up in the most stunning way, and made a mask that only enhances your already magnificent eyes, and are wearing dress robes that really make a man want to---”

“That’s enough, Potter! Honestly!”

“I’m only telling the truth.”

“Go tell it to someone else.”

“Fine. But I’ll be back, Evans. The night is young,” James informed her, smirking charmingly.

Lily exhaled loudly, and watched him walk away, back toward his friends. She was standing quite alone, when out of the blue, someone covered her eyes from behind and said, “Guess who?”

“Who does that anymore?”

“Guess who!”

“Alice, we’re not in 1st year, if you haven’t noticed---”

“Lily! My goodness, perk up a little! It’s Halloween!” She said cheerfully. Lily turned around to see Alice the hare standing there, smiling from ear to ear. Frank was not in the vicinity, so Lily asked her,

“Frank asked you out formally, didn’t he?”

Alice grinned, nodding. “Right when I came down and met him, he said, “The tortoise and the hare ought to be an official pair, shan’t they?” And then I nodded and told him they should, and here I am!”

Lily chuckled at her best friend. “You are a classic fool, Alice. Congratulations!”

The two girls hugged, and Lily spotted Frank heading in their direction. He had on green dress robes, a green mask, and completed the costume with a shell-like hat on his head. The perfect tortoise. He was carrying two bottles of butterbeer, and as he drew near, he admired Lily’s outfit.

“Lily! Great costume!”

“Thanks, Frank. You as well!”

“Alice tells me it was your idea.”

“It was indeed. Good job pulling it off.”

Frank laughed. “Speaking of Alice, if you don’t mind, I’d like to take the hare away for awhile.”

“Not at all. Go off and enjoy yourselves!” Lily told him, squeezing Alice’s hand. Frank gave Alice one of the bottles of butterbeer, and Alice used the other hand to grab Frank’s hand. Before he lead her away, she dizzily smiled back at Lily.

Once she had turned away, Lily found herself feeling a little lonely. The friendship she had shared with Alice over these past years at Hogwarts was never going to be the same. She had found a man to spend her time with, a man that made her feel like gold, a man that was her match.

Choking back light tears, Lily skimmed the common room, and she saw Anna and Sirius off in a corner laughing about something in the room. She looked in the direction of what they were laughing at, and her stomach flipped over, sideways, and under. There was James on the couch, and seated right next to him, practically on his lap, was a red-headed monkey.

Lily blinked a few times. The girl had almost the same shade of hair as herself, yet she had never seen anyone, even the newest first years with the same color. Who was this girl?

She was throwing herself at James, and he was looking...happy. Happy? Lily felt her heart tug. She wanted to find a banana and stuff it down the monkey’s throat. She didn’t know if she should march over there and demand the monkey to swing off of James lap, or to stand back and not let it bother her, or at least make James quite aware that it didn’t bother her. After a moment of thinking, she chose to march over to Sirius and Anna instead, ready to ask questions. She approached them, speaking very indifferently.

“Happy Halloween. The costumes look good.”

Sirius grinned.

“Well, thank you, Lily. And might I add that you do look quite impressive as a lioness.”

“Thanks. Anna. Can I talk to you for a moment?”

Anna gave Sirius a look and he smiled. She got up and took Lily by the arm, heading closer to the wall where no one would hear them. Lily couldn’t stand feeling so left out.

“Who is she?”

“Who?”

“Mary Jane Monkey.”

Anna looked confused, but then elucidated. “Oh! That’s that 5th year, Victoria.”

“Well?” Lily demanded.

“Well what, Lily?”

“Why is she all over James?”

“I don’t know, ask him.”

“I’d rather not.”

“Okay.”

“Why were you and Sirius laughing?”

“Huh? Oh, because there was this poor little 2nd or 3rd year sitting at the table just beyond the couch, and his mask had fallen off, and he was tying to get it back on to no avail, and---”

“You mean, you weren’t laughing about James and that monkey girl?”

Anna rolled her eyes at her best friend, and gave her the truth of how she felt.

“Seriously, Lily. If you’re starting to fall for James, you’ll have to get used to girls liking him.”

“I do not LIKE James. I just thought there was a story behind it, and I figured that’s why you and Sirius were laughing, that’s all.”

“Lily, I want to have fun tonight. If this is all you wanted to talk to me about, then I’m done talking. I’m sick of the James thing. If you want him to be yours, then let it happen. I may be sick of you rejecting him, but he’s not, and he’ll keep on trying. If you have something more interesting to talk about later, swing by. If not, have a good night.”

Anna turned away from her, heading back toward Sirius. He handed her a fresh bottle of butterbeer, and they clanked bottles as she seated herself atop his lap. Lily’s eyes were stinging. Great, two of my friends have now discarded me for something better. She held back the tears, and made her way toward the refreshments. She wasn’t feeling remotely enchanting as a lioness at all, but as she reached for a butterbeer, a hand befitting a male reached for one, plucked it out, and handed it to her.

“Potter, I can get my own---”

Lily cut herself off. It wasn’t James who had handed her the bottle, it was a black stallion. His costume, that is, was a black stallion. He smiled at Lily.

“The name’s Winslow, not Potter.”

Lily blushed. The stallion was Daniel Winslow, a 6th year prefect.

“Oh, I know, Daniel. I just, I assumed it was Potter…how are you?”

Daniel cracked open his bottle, and switched it with Lily’s unopened one.

“Thanks.”

“Not a problem. Anyway, I’m quite well. Swell party, isn’t it?”

“Yes, I arrived just as Sir Nick was beginning his beheading. I have to admit that was a juicy start.”

Daniel laughed. “How are you, Lily?”

The way he said her name sent chills through Lily’s body. He seemed so sincere, so caring, so….not Potter.

“I’m not too bad. How are prefect duties this term?

“Rather boring. And you?”

“The same,” Lily lied. They were hardly boring with James around.

“Great costume, you look incredible,” Daniel said, genuinely flattering her.

“Thanks, you too…how’d you make that mask?”

“It took skill, that’s all I’ll say,” he explained to her, laughing.

She giggled in a very unlike Lily way, and took a sip of her butterbeer. The warm, sweet taste made her feel more comfortable; more open.

“So, why haven’t we talked all year?”

Daniel licked his lower lip indecisively, looking down. He glanced back up at her and responded,

“Truthfully, I’ve been a little shy this term.”

“Oh?”

“I’ve been wanting to talk to you this entire school year, but I’ve just had a hard time mustering up the…courage.”

Lily just stared at him, in shock.

“You have?”

“Mmhmm. You’ve got all these boys who like you Lily, and they all want to ask you out, but ever since you and James were made Head Boy and Girl, most of them kind of backed off.”

“What? Why?”

“Well, it’s James Potter. They figured you’d give in at some point.”

If anything, Daniel had chosen the right words. Words to his advantage. Give in to James Potter? Never!

“Give in? Well, you can tell them,” she gave him a look, “that they don’t need to worry about my giving in.”

“Really?” Daniel asked, smiling in hope.

“Really!”

“Alright then. Lily, would you like to go to Hogsmeade with me next weekend?”

“I’d love to Daniel.”

“Great! There’s something I want to show you---”

Daniel was cut off by the monkey with auburn hair butting in.

“Oh, are you two going out then?”

Daniel responded, looking confused by her interruption.

“Er…next weekend, we’ll be going to Hogsmeade. I’m sorry, why does this information matter to you?”

The monkey girl briefly glanced back at James, who was now in conversation with Frank and Alice, and smirked.

“Oh, no real reason, really. I was just…curious.” She picked up a butterbeer and Lily watched as she made her way back to the couch and sat down next to James once again. Lily nearly dropped her own bottle, and quickly saved it from plummeting to the ground. She smiled at Daniel.

“That was odd.”

“Yes, it was.”

“Anyway, you were saying?”

“Hm? Oh yes! I was saying that I wanted to show you something in Hogsmeade. It’s at this---”

Daniel was once again interrupted by Sirius Black’s broadcasting voice.

“Gryffindors! Gryffindors! Gather around, bring your butterbeer, your lover, yourself. On this very platform, Gregory Nickels will be putting on a very special magic show. With a combination of Muggle and real magic tricks, Gregory is a talented magical artist who will amaze you! He will also need some volunteers, so those of you who are interested, please, take a seat in the front row.”

The entire room gradually gravitated to the platform Sirius had magically constructed against the wall near the staircases to the dormitories. Gregory (a 5th year dressed as a penguin) climbed upon it, unfolded a small table in the middle, and took out his wand, looking expectantly at Sirius, who was already back to being the center of Anna’s attention. Anna punched him in the arm as an alert. He looked startled, but then jumped up again, held his arms out in the direction of the platform, and said,

“The one, the only, the one and only, the most astoundingly gifted and fantastically magical, Gregory Nickels!” He finished, with light applause.

Lily glanced at Daniel, who was smiling, and he glanced back at her, locking eyes. Lily smiled too…and then, she spotted James. He was looking in their direction, and monkey girl was whispering in his ear. She was gossiping. Gossiping, no doubt, about her and Daniel. Monkey girl finished what she was whispering, stepped back off of her tip-toes, and looked eagerly at James. The look on his face was unmistakable: anguish.

Monkey girl wrapped herself around James’ arm, and tried to pull him toward the couch again. James wriggled free of her grasp and shook his head at her, whispering something back. She looked irritated, but not discouraged. She shrugged her shoulders and walked over to a group of her friends to sit with them to watch the magic show. Daniel lightly touched Lily’s shoulder.

“Oi. You alright?”

“Oh, er, yes.”

“This guy is good. Gregory, I mean. You should watch.”

Lily nodded, turning her eyes in the direction of Gregory, who was now pulling a very real rabbit out of a top hat, but she wasn’t paying attention. She saw, out of the corner of her eye, James Potter exit the common room, antlers and all, out into the corridor. Something was pulling her to follow him. She leaned up to Daniel.

“I forgot that I was supposed to patrol the halls tonight. This party has messed up the schedule a bit. I just saw Potter leave to do it, I’ll be right back, promise!”

Daniel nodded at her seriously, but then smiled.

“I’ll be here.”

Lily melted at his words…but hadn’t James said something eerily similar before? Why was it so easy to melt at Daniel’s words, and not at James’ words? Lily, despising herself for following James out the portrait hole, stepped out into the corridor, searching for James. She had no luck finding him, until she passed by a classroom that had some candles lit inside, meaning that someone was definitely using it. She cracked the door slightly, peering in. There he was.

James was setting something up on a row of desks at the far end of the room, something that looked very much like empty butterbeer bottles. He stepped back many yards, and began blasting them into oblivion with his wand, just about screaming the spell every time, his antlers shaking. Lily almost shut the door to run away, but after he had obliterated every bottle, he pulled out a chair and sat down.

He leaned over, resting his elbows on his knees, and bent his head. He dropped his wand on the floor and placed his hands over his mask, on his forehead, partially through his unmanageable black hair. He heaved a very big sigh, and Lily couldn’t tear away. This is how she made him feel? One date with a 6th year prefect made James horribly sad, crazy, and then caused him to wallow in a dimly lit and empty classroom?

She had thought he was just always teasing her, and that maybe he did like her a little, but not that it was THIS serious. She thought the most serious part was just him wanting to finally prevail. As she stood there, engrossed in this sad image of James, the door moved ajar a little more, with an undeniable creak that made James jump out of his seat.

“Who’s there?” He shouted, his guard up.

Lily tried to escape, but she knew he had already seen her.

“Evans! I see your mane!”

Lily shut the door and began walking very rapidly back toward the common room.

“Evans!” James was chasing her, catching up quickly. “Evans…” he said, tenderly clutching her arm and turning her around to face him. Lily couldn’t look at him. He spoke first.

“How long were you standing there?”

Lily couldn’t answer.

“Answer me.”

Lily didn’t want to give in to his demand.

“Please,” he added, in a voice that Lily had never heard him use. She looked up at him.

“You were setting up those bottles as targets---”

“So, the whole time then?”

“Potter…”

“Why are you going out with him?”

“Who?”

“Come on. Winslow. Precious perfect prefect Winslow.”

“Don’t call him that! And besides, you wouldn’t have known about it if it weren’t for your little monkey friend.”

“She’s a silly 5th year girl who has attached herself to my hip.”

“Oh please. I saw how happy you looked with her around.”

“You mean when she says the stupidest things and I try to play it off as if I’m happy, but I’m really just laughing at her? That kind of happy? Because that's what it is."

Lily stopped being angry for a moment. That hadn’t occurred to her. She had just assumed, once again, that James wasn’t to be trusted. She had forgotten that he was a nice person, who wouldn’t laugh in the face of a 5th year girl who adored him.

“Well, she’s got hair like mine. She’s usually a blonde! She must have done something to it. That bothers me.”

“Would you like to know the reason she did her hair like that?”

“No.”

“Evans!”

“Fine.”

“Before you came to the party, she walked up to me, pretending to be you.”

“You’re kidding.”

“No. She said, “Hello James.” Of course, I thought she was you only for a split second, because of the hair, and because I couldn’t see her face. Then I recalled that you never call me James, and I asked her a question only you would answer correctly .”

“And what was that?”

“I asked her, ‘Evans, are we still on for that date next weekend?’ She replied, ‘I can’t wait.’ There was no ‘prat,’ no ‘idiot,’ no ‘you arrogant jerk,’ and I knew it wasn’t you.”

Lily held back a giggle. He was right. That would not have been her answer. He went on.

“That’s why I was so cautious when I first approached you, I had to make sure it was really you under that mask. It was stupid of me, because she doesn’t look half as good as you. How could I make that mistake?”

Lily blushed under her mask. Then she remembered why she had come out here in the first place.

“Why did you run off like that? Why were you so angry in that classroom?”

“Don’t go out with him, Evans.”

“You can’t stop me, Potter.”

“I can’t, you’re right. But I’m asking you not to.”

“You’re just jealous.”

“Is that a joke?”

“No! I’m completely serious. You’re just jealous!”

“You must be joking, Evans, because that part is quite obvious! Of course I’m just jealous! It’s ME! I’ve been madly in love with you for years now, and I’ve confessed my feelings to you over and over again!”

Lily stood back, and gulped. She felt very small.

“We’ve spent every evening together, among many other wonderful moments, and you still don’t realize that I’d be jealous of someone you choose to go out with?”

Lily opened her mouth, but no sound came out.

“Here I am, endlessly pouring my heart out to you, time and time again, and you decide that a person you haven’t spoken to since the last school year, and with whom you’ve exchanged five words this term, would be more suitable to go on a date with!”

“Potter---”

“Don’t Potter me right now, Evans. You’ve characteristically broken my heart again. Do you think I don’t feel like giving up every time you reject me?”

“I---”

“Do you really think that just because I’m James Potter, that it doesn’t get to me?”

“Yes---”

“Yes? WELL IT DOES!”

Lily felt her body tighten. She felt the tears spring to her eyes again. She had no idea that James was vulnerable. He was invincible. He was James Potter.

He was James Potter.

He was just James Potter.

He was just James.

That thought ran though Lily’s mind quicker than she could say anything. For the first time, she truly felt like she had the upper hand. All this time, she had fought her feelings for him because she thought he was just playing this very elaborate and strung out game. Now, seeing James in this state, Lily was reconsidering.

James was pacing the corridor, ignoring Lily. She watched him for a moment. She couldn’t go on a date with James. That would be too easy, that would be ‘giving in.’ But she couldn’t have her Head Boy sulking around all the time. She knew what she had to do even though she didn‘t know why she did it.

“I don’t like him that much anyway.”

James stopped pacing.

“He’s very nice, and he asked me out. But I don’t like him that much anyway.”

James looked up at her, encouraged. Lily clenched her jaw and looked around, not meeting James’ eyes.

“I’m going to tell him the date is cancelled.”

“For me?”

Lily met his eyes.

“No, not for you, you prat. There’s no point in going out with a guy I don’t like that much anyway. I’d rather not waste my time. You’ve just made me realize I don’t like him enough, that’s all.”

James opened his mouth to say something but Lily cut him off.

“And no, there’s no date for you. I’m just not going to go on one with Daniel.”

James tried again, but Lily cut him to the chase.

“Drop it, Potter.”

She turned around to make her way back to the common room, for it was getting pretty late. James was right on her heels, acting as if none of the past events had happened.

“Did you notice I’m not wearing my glasses?”

“As a matter of fact I did.”

“I took the lenses out of the frame, charmed them onto my mask, over the eyeholes, and here I am, seeing without my glasses.”

“Splendid.”

They walked on a little further. James carried on more small talk.

“Alice told me the reason you went as a lioness.”

“Did she?”

“Pride.”

Lily didn’t respond.

“I told her she was very correct in her assumption.”

“The both of you can shove it, then.”

“Or, you can admit that I got you to cancel the date with Winslow.”

“Shut it.”

“Thank you for choosing to cancel the date with Winslow.”

“Right.”

“I mean it...”

They were at the Fat Lady’s portrait. It was Lily this time who gave the password.

As they entered, James put his hand on her shoulder, as softly as possible, and she turned her head to look at him. His now familiar hazel eyes burned profoundly into her emerald eyes, as they had done a few times before…and Lily could feel a fire inside her body begin to rise, until she couldn’t stand it. They were still hidden from the common room in the small passage. Their faces were inches apart from each other, and for a moment, Lily thought James was going to kiss her. But he didn’t. His eyes gave her a look of complete trust, admiration, and gratitude,

“Thank you, Lily.”


That was the second time ever that he had called her Lily. How could she have thought that Daniel saying her name compared to this at all? When James said her name, her heart throbbed with yearning and her head spun. Her face burned and his gentle touch felt as if a million of her nerves were being stimulated at once. Her throat was so dry she couldn’t even respond, so she nodded ever so slightly, as James took his hand off of her shoulder. She continued on into the common room, where the magic show had long been over, and the students were now a bit rowdier. Alice dashed up to her.

“Where have you been, Lily? It’s quarter to midnight!”

“Is it really? I forgot I had to patrol the corridors! Potter left to do that, and I followed.”

Alice gave her a very funny look.

“You look flushed, even under your mask. Are you feeling alright?”

“Yes! I’m fine. We walked kind of fast, I’m just a little pink from the exercise.”

Alice continued giving her a funny look, but didn’t egg her on. Instead, she informed her of two things.

“Anyway, the unmasking is in fifteen minutes, so I’m glad you’re back.”

“Unmasking is a foolish thing as we all know who everyone is anyway.”

“It’s all part of the overall effect, Lily. Oh, and Daniel has been looking for you.”

Lily groaned. Now she had to reject Daniel.

She glanced around, looking to see where James had gone and she spotted him with his three best friends again, congregated around the platform, discussing something that looked to be very serious. She saw Daniel, and he was also in deep discussion with some of his best friends, some other 6th years. Daniel hadn’t seen her come back, so she found a quiet area and sat down alone. Over to her left were Alice and Frank, canoodling, while Anna was across the room, sitting with her cousin Diane. Lily felt isolated, but she knew it was by choice. Something about that evening was making her feel very, very different than she had ever felt before in her entire life. She sat there, forlorn, for the next ten minutes, until she had to direct her attention at Sirius once again, standing atop the platform.

“People, people, people! We have five minutes until the unveiling. We ask you to come together, and make sure you’ve got your unmasking buddy at your side!” He said this while pulling James next to him. “This buddy may be your best mate, your snogging partner, or the person directly on your left, if you haven’t got either of those.”

The crowd began accumulating towards the middle of the room, in front of the platform, and people were grabbing their snogging partners and best mates, and the people directly on their left. Once everyone seemed to have settled into their spots, Sirius continued.

“Two minutes left until the allotted time now….” He motioned to Remus who picked up his wand, and dimmed the lights slowly, until it was almost pitch black in the common room. The effect was immediate and there were some ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhs’ throughout the audience. The four boys stood in a line, spread across the platform. Sirius went on a very mysterious voice.

“You are about to witness one of the most unbelievable magic tricks ever seen…”

Lily stood up in her spot. She tilted her head at Sirius. What was he saying?

“Although the four of us have dressed up as quite simple animals, we will, at midnight, in precisely one minute, be pulling off one of the most impressive optical illusions of all time!”

Lily was beginning to feel very uneasy. If they did something stupid, if they even tried to do something that could harm a student, or themselves…or James

“As another addition to this already marvelous evening, we will be throwing in a couple of indoor fireworks to brighten up the unmasking. Moony has just informed me that there are thirty seconds until midnight.”

Remus dimmed the lights completely, and it was now so dark in the common room that no one could see one another. Lily scrambled to make sure she had a good view of the platform stage, even though she couldn’t see it at the moment.

“Gryffindors, feast your eyes on something extraordinary! When the fireworks blast off in twenty seconds, do not unmask right away. Please, take a moment to look up at this stage, at this grand illusion we will be providing. Once you have submitted to the shock that shall follow, you may pull off your own masks and snog whomever you like!”

Lily was breathing very quickly, and she could feel her face glowing. What were they going to do?

“TEN!

NINE!

EIGHT!

SEVEN!

SIX!

FIVE…” Sirius began the countdown, but as the crowd joined in, his voice vanished.

Lily was panicking. What was going to happen?

“THREE!

TWO!”

Lily was so afraid of the illusion. Please don’t let them do something irrational! What could it possibly---

And then, fireworks of all shapes, colors, and sizes began exploding over their heads. No one was looking at the fireworks though, all eyes were on the stage. And then Lily saw what they had been waiting for…the optical illusion that was to blow them all away. Lily’s jaw dropped open.

Amidst the flashes of light going off, like a strobe, the crowd could see that James, Sirius, and Peter had disappeared. In their place were three animals on the stage. One, a very large black dog, another, a great stag. Then there was Remus, still in his costume, holding out a very chubby rat.

Lily wasn’t sure if this was even possible. How did they manage to get these animals in? Maybe it was just some sort of imagery charm they had placed upon themselves.

The entire audience gave a collective gasp, and after a few more fireworks popped off, they turned to one another and pulled off their own masks. There were cheers and kisses and laughter, but Lily wasn’t involved in any of those actions. She was still staring intently at the platform, her mask very much upon her face. The fireworks were still going off, and the animals were still up there. And then, suddenly, the fireworks ceased, and it was pitch black again.

Everyone was mingling and laughing anyway, and when the lights turned back up, the crowd turned to the platform, half expecting those animals to have hung around. But there, looking as cool as can be, stood Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter, as if nothing that extraordinary had happened. The Gryffindors clapped and cheered, giving the four boys a standing ovation. They bowed, and Sirius made one last announcement.

“Thank you, thank you! It was our pleasure! Now, as Gregory knows, a magician never tells his secrets, so please, after we step off of this stage, do not ask us how we pulled off this amazing feat, or we’ll have a fit. We want to thank you for attending this wonderful masquerade, and please, finish off the butterbeers, love thy neighbor, and most importantly….GO GRYFFINDOR!”

The students cheered, and the boys stepped off of the platform. Lily stood in the same spot, her mask still on, arms crossed, looking out of place among the pool of people with their masks off. She wasn’t looking at anyone but James. He was being bombarded with questions from 1st years to 7th years, and it took him a moment to evade the throng, but he made it through, staring at Lily the whole time. She angrily waited for him to come over, waited for him to explain how and why they had done this outrageous trick. Her body was extremely tense. She had been so worried that they were going to hurt themselves! He hastily walked up to her.

“Evans, the masks are off now.”

“I didn’t want to take mine off.”

And without saying a word, and without Lily's refusal, James reached over Lily’s head, found the elastic straps, and gently pulled the mask off, making sure not to snag her hair during the process. He held the mask in front of her, looking into her eyes. Here they were, no masks, no antlers, just James and Lily.

Lily felt the anger course through her. But she had learned to tap into her own feelings and decipher them. This time, she knew exactly what her anger translated into. She started to shake a little, and James dropped her mask, grabbing a hold of her shoulders.

“Whoa there, Evans. What’s wrong?”

Lily actually touched James, gripping his arms to steady herself. She let the anger flow, by hitting his arms with her fists.

“Don’t you ever dare do that again, Potter!”

“What? Do what?”

“Don’t you EVER make me feel that way again, do you hear me?”

“Evans! What are you talking about?”

And Lily let him have it. She finally let go.

“Don’t you EVER make me so upset, so nervous, so concerned about what you’re going to do to yourself, EVER again!

James steadied her again, calming her down.

“Evans! I won’t. I’m sorry. It was just a trick. Sirius wanted to build it up to be this momentous thing. Look, I didn’t know it would bother you this much---”

“Well, it did! I….it did...” Lily couldn’t figure out anything else to say. She had accidentally, from all of her anxiety that had built up, let it out. She had let out that she actually cared about James’ well being. James didn’t argue, didn’t rub it in her face, just held her there for a moment, until she was stable. Lily looked up at him, relief flooding her body, and said three words she had never thought she'd say to him,



"Thank you...James."



He only nodded, picked up her mask, handed it to her, and walked away. Lily knew he was a little wary of what had just happened, as this night was just a big blur of letting feelings fly through and out the window, but she didn’t mind. She knew they had reached a new plateau of their relationship. They had gotten to the part Lily had been so afraid of reaching. The part where she outwardly agreed to care.




CUZ I AIN'T NO HOLLA FEEDBACK GIRL, I AIN'T NO HOLLA FEEDBACK GIRL


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."
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  #13  
Old October 1st, 2006, 2:11 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 12- Headmaster’s Heed


Lily stood near the entrance to the Headmaster‘s office. She and James had both been given a note from Professor Dumbledore asking to see them that evening, before their patrol. Lily felt unusually uncomfortable. She felt awkward around James recently, in reaction to her antics the week before. They had spoken since the Halloween Masquerade, but Lily couldn’t really explain what the difference was now. James was not as nagging with his charm, and Lily wasn’t as quick to dismiss most things he said to her.

Lily glanced at James, pacing around, waiting patiently for the Headmaster, whistling quietly. He spotted her glancing and gave a small wink. Lily returned it with a small friendly smile, but looked away. Every time he so much as looked at her, Lily’s mind and heart couldn’t help reliving that feeling she had that Halloween night, when he had touched her shoulder and said her name, right before entering the common room. Ever since then, almost every night, before she fell asleep, she continually replayed that moment in her head with a smile on her lips. This was the very reason she felt so discomfited around him now.

That, and worrying what he thought of her at every moment of every given day…she had actually started to worry that maybe she didn’t look pretty enough for James, or maybe he would see her do something crass, and discharge his attraction immediately. She quickly tried to glimpse James again, unnoticed, but her plan fell through. She could hardly go unnoticed while he was just standing there, ogling her. She put her hand up to brush some hair out of her face, once again looking away. She almost chuckled to herself for thinking he’d stop liking her. She dreamily gazed at the wall in front of her, her thoughts raging inside.

You’re the most unreasonable girl in the entire world. He’s madly in love with you and you know it.

Then go for it!

You can’t.

Do it!

Not yet.

Why not?

And just as she was about to attempt to answer her own question, Dumbledore appeared, carrying a bag of some sort of candy, and smiling broadly.

“Ah! A pleasure to see the both of you!” He greeted them.

Lily smiled politely, but James grinned, pointing.

“Professor, I see you’ve got something sweet there, haven’t you?”

Dumbledore smiled back at James, looking down at the bag.

“You are undeniably correct in your assessment, James,” the Professor confirmed. He opened the bag, stuck in his hand, and pulled out a round yellow candy. “Lemon drops,” he popped it into his mouth, “my absolute favorite.”

Lily and James both knew this was a moment to go ahead and let out a laugh, so they did. The Headmaster smiled at them, lemon drop in his mouth, looking pleased that they were enjoying themselves. He seemed to eat the candy very quickly, for in the next moment, he was speaking again.

“Thank you both for coming on such short notice. I have just a few matters I would like to discuss in person. I trust nothing of the utmost importance has arisen yet?”

James answered immediately.

“No, sir! It’s been quite a breeze so far.”

Lily tried very hard not to roll her eyes at him. She felt obligated to say more.

“Yes, sir. Thankfully, nothing that we couldn’t handle on our own has happened. It hasn’t been terribly difficult as of yet. But we do fully understand that if something does crop up, something we cannot manage, we will see to it that you are instantly informed,” she finished, with a resolute smile.

James gave her a quirky look, but didn’t say more. Dumbledore nodded.

“Very well, very well,” he said seriously. Then, his eyes perked up and he smiled.

“Now, would either of you enjoy a Lemon Drop?” He inquired, offering up the bag. Lily shook her head and said she would not like one at the moment, thank you, but James reached in and plucked one out. He too, popped it into his mouth.

“Thanks!” He said enthusiastically. Dumbledore smiled at him.

“Not at all,” he courteously replied.

The three of them then stood in what was a very unusual silence. James happily sucked on his Lemon Drop, not a care in the world, Lily was waiting with an expectant look on her face, and Dumbledore seemed to be perfectly content just standing around. Lily couldn’t wait any longer and spoke.

“Sir, I’m very curious as to the matters you have to discuss with us…”

“Ah yes. Well, first off, I’d like to ask the two of you how you’ve been.”

James swallowed his Lemon Drop, and answered back.

“Great! I’ve been very well, actually. Courses have been a bit rough, but I enjoy being Head Boy, along with all the duties. It’s been a fascinating two months,” he said, his tone implying what Lily could tell had something to do with her.

“I’m pleased to hear that. And you, Lily?”

“Oh…er…fine. I’ve been fine. Nothing exciting, really,” she threw in, just to set James back into his place. James must have known it was a jab at him, for he threw his hand up to his heart in mock pain. Dumbledore chuckled.

“I’d say that there was something quite exciting recently, though, wouldn’t you?”

James and Lily gave the Headmaster perplexed looks, albeit with guilt folded in.

Dumbledore gave them a knowing smirk James would be proud of.

“It has gotten around that your masquerade was certainly one to behold,” he told them, his eyes landing on James.

Lily kept the perplexed look on her face steady, but James’ was diminishing. He couldn’t get out of this one. Lily figured he would get reprimanded for putting the whole thing on, sneaking things into the school, and probably just for sheer deceit. James cleared his throat.

“Er…you’ve heard it was that good?” He asked, wincing at what he probably expected was coming at him.

Instead of a punishing look, Dumbledore laughed. Lily was taken aback. She looked to James, and he seemed to be under the same impression. Dumbledore put his arm around James.

“I’ve heard it was extraordinarily good, actually. The only question I have for you is this,” he leaned closer to James, and James leaned in as well. Dumbledore spoke in a quiet, paternal voice.

“Remus was most likely overruled in the decision about what sort of magic tricks were to be displayed, was he not?”

James’ face turned slightly pink. Lily didn’t think she had ever seen him blush. James sighed.

“No, sir, actually, he wasn’t,” he said, about to go on, but then he paused. “This won’t get him in trouble, will it?” He asked. The Headmaster shook his head, closing his eyes, very decidedly allowing James to go on.

“Well, Moony----Remus, was well prepared, and all for it, sir. He reckoned it was time to get a bit more daring, as this is the last year of school,” he paused, looking thoughtful.

“The thing about Remus is…he’s just…tired,” James said, ending his answer.

Dumbledore nodded.

“I know exactly what you mean, James. Let us just see to it that the wonderfully thrilling magic that was presented that evening doesn’t become a regular occurrence.”

James nodded, agreeing to comply. Dumbledore clamped him on the back and stepped away from the pair. Lily didn’t know if she should say something, as an innocent witness to their intriguing conversation, but she was sure they were talking about bringing those animals in to the common room. She decided to keep quiet, and wait for Dumbledore’s move.

“I will be in my office, ready to see each of you individually. The decision is yours as to who shall go first. Once you’ve made the decision, send yourself up,” he finished, smiling warmly.

He turned, said the password ( “Blueberry Muffin” ) and stepped onto the platform that would magically carry him up to his office. James and Lily were left to fend for themselves in the quiet corridor. After a moment’s silence, James turned to Lily.

“Well! That was interesting, that’s for sure. And did you hear that? He called you Lily!”

“Yes, I heard. But I’m quite sure you’re aware that he called you James!”

James smirked and shrugged. “Well, yes, of course, but you see, the Headmaster and I have been on a first name basis for years now!”

Lily chuckled. “Oh shut up,” she said. She hesitated, but then spoke again. “You can go first.”

“No?”

“Yes!”

“You go, I insist!”

“Just go!”

“Ladies first!”

“Exactly! That’s why I told you to go first.”

James stopped arguing and gave Lily a very grumbling, yet very amused, look. He spoke defiantly.

“That wasn’t very funny at all, Evans.”

“Actually,” she was giggling, “I thought it was quite funny indeed!”

James made a sarcastically displeased face, quickly rearranging it into a stubborn one. He spoke loudly.

“Fine! I’ll go!”

“Alright!”

“I’ll go then!”

“That’s what I’m saying!”

“You’re just the pebble in my shoe of happiness, aren’t you?”

“Oh, just go already,” she chided him, using her hand to shoo him away. He scampered forward a bit, pretending to dodge her hand.

“I’m going, I’m going!”

She watched as he spoke the password and as the large statue of a phoenix turned slowly around, allowing access to the platform. As he stepped onto it, he turned back to face Lily. And just has he began to go up, and the statue began to cover the opening again, James grinned at Lily.

“Told you so, Evans,” he said.

Lily just retorted with a puzzled look, and one second before he was out of sight, James, still grinning, finished his message,

“You’re breaking down!






Lily had seated herself against the wall, and waited patiently, for about ten minutes, while the Professor and James were in their exclusive meeting. Her mind was, of course, not making any effort to stop thinking about James. She had almost shouted back to him, “You’re right, I’m breaking down, you win!” But that was one thing she wouldn’t ever dare let slip. Suddenly, the phoenix statue began to rotate, with a loud stony sound emanating though the corridor. Lily jumped up. James stepped out into the corridor.

“Evans! How nice to see you! What’s it been, ten minutes? ”

“Don’t play that silly game, Potter.”

“Games make life worth living.”

“Maybe they make yours worth living…”

“They’re not the only thing.”

“Oh?”

James shook his head, smiling, and nudged Lily in the arm with his elbow, indicating what the other thing that made his life worth living was. She reddened, but grouped herself together and asked him a question.

“Is Dumbledore ready to see me?”

“Yes.”

Lily turned away from James to head onto the platform. James shouted out to her,

“I’ll be waiting! Just like I have been for years and years!”

This time, Lily didn’t have to hold back the eye rolling, and let it happen. Although, even if she had wanted to hold it back, blushing was an involuntary reflex she had no control over. Lily rose up on the platform, up to a small corridor with large wooden doors looming overhead. They were open, and Lily entered. She smiled. She loved the Headmaster’s office.

There were magical devices whizzing and whirling about at all times. She spotted his beautiful phoenix, Fawkes, perched up high. Dumbledore was seated at his desk, his elbows resting on it, fingers pressed together. He invited her in genially.

“Lily. Please, have a seat,” he told her, gesturing to the chair opposite him at the desk. Lily stepped over to it, sat down, and gave the Headmaster a keen look. He smiled.

“No need to be so proper, Lily. This is an informal meeting between the two of us.”

Lily nodded, relaxing a bit. He continued.

“I’m sure as you waited, you wondered about what we could possibly be discussing?”

Lily’s throat went dry. What was she supposed to tell him?
“Actually, no sir. I’ve been thinking about James Potter the entire time, sir. So sorry. What is it you’d like to talk about?” Lily smiled in place of a quick response, but only nodded. She felt enormously embarrassed. She had to stop thinking about James! She had other things to worry about!

Dumbledore leaned over a bit in his chair.

“I have only two issues to discuss with you. We’ll begin with the first: How are Head duties for you?”

Lily swore he had just asked she and James that minutes earlier, but answered anyway.

“They’re going well, really, Professor. Nothing too heavy to deal with yet.”

“And the nightly patrols?”

“It’s daunting having to do them every night, but they’ve been trouble-free as well, sir.”

“And James doesn’t give you any problems?”

“Er…no sir.”

“None at all?”

Lily hesitated. When it came to James, she was blatantly lying to the Headmaster all evening.

“Well, sir, you see…he’s always given me ‘trouble,’ for a few years now…”

“Oh?”

“Yes.”

“Does he harm you in any way?”

“No, sir! Oh, no! It isn’t anything horrible, nothing physical,” she said, trying to push away the thought her brain had brought into the forefront of her mind (‘nothing physical’….yet), “no, James has just always pestered me about---” she cut herself off, ashamed of telling the Headmaster what she had almost said.

“No need, Lily, no need. I can see what you’re getting at. Just because we Professors aren’t sitting with you at the table in the Great Hall, doesn’t mean we haven’t the foggiest idea of what’s going on throughout the student body.” He told her, a smile on his lips, and a twinkle in his eye. Lily felt relieved. She knew he knew, she just didn’t want to have to say it.

“Now, I know how James is, and I know it may be disconcerting every once in awhile, but have you given any thought to what I told you at the beginning of term?”

Lily knew exactly what he was talking about.

“Yes sir.”

“And your input?”

Lily took a deep breath.

“He has changed. He’s become more…” she couldn’t think of a word, “…more. Just more. He isn’t a completely different person, he’s just…more. I’ve noticed that he is growing and changing, as you said he would. He actually chastises Sirius sometimes, he’d never do that before!”

Lily was off and running now.

“And I’ve also noticed that he’s much more capable and mature enough to handle a student that may get out of line. Oh! And he’s developed a good sense of when to say something and when to back off. He’s also always on time for duties, always alert, and he is certainly as loyal to his friends as you said he would be!” She finished, a feeling lifting from her chest.

A feeling of finally telling somebody about how James was actually quite great. She realized she hadn’t addressed the Headmaster properly throughout her entire spiel. “Sir,” she added, a little too late.

Dumbledore was merely still smiling, having listened and watched Lily intently as she went on about James. He had a gleam in his eye she couldn’t quite make out, but it looked most like someone who knew very well that she was going to say everything she had just said. He stood up, and slowly walked over to Fawkes. Lily waited for a response, if there would even be one. Dumbledore lightly patted Fawkes’ head. He looked down for a moment, and then back up at Lily.

“It was your choice to change your opinion of James. You could have continued thinking of him as you had before, but you didn’t. You chose to take my words into consideration, and open up to the possibility of a companionship with him.”

Lily bit her lip, looking at the Headmaster.

“Lily, this wasn’t only a growing time for James, it was a growing and changing time for you.”

Lily nodded, realizing he was right.

“James’ choice was to change. When I told you two months ago, that he would change and grow, you may have thought it would just be a maturation of sorts. But, I knew it would be by choice. He has chosen to become more because of you, Lily. You have set standards for him to achieve, and so far, he’s done quite well.”

Lily didn’t say a word. She couldn’t. She had choked up a bit. She couldn’t believe the Headmaster of Hogwarts was telling her, Lily Evans, that she had the power to help someone change.

“And you, Lily, you have chosen to accept James. Not because you think you should be the bigger person and do so, no. You have chosen to accept him because of the standards he has set for you.”

Lily only stared at the Professor. Could he be right?

“James has set the standards of belief, faith, and trust in a human being. You may have been closed off to it before, but now, Lily, you’ve grown.”

Lily gave a slight nod, and the Headmaster finished with words she’d never forget.

“This, let us call it, ‘friendship,’ has changed both of your outlooks in life. It will be a friendship that will change your lives.”

Lily blinked a few times, and looked down at her hands in her lap. He was right. She had gotten past the pride, it was now time to get past the fear. She looked back up at him. Dumbledore seemed distant, but suddenly, he became attentive again, and continued.

“One more matter, quickly, it’s getting to be the time of your patrol already!”

Lily looked at her watch. It was already five to nine.

“Regarding your duties. We will be hosting a small prefects meeting next week, in classroom number 13. It will be on Monday evening, around 8 o'clock. I’d like both you and James in attendance, as mentors for the younger prefects.”

“Oh, yes, of course, sir. I’ll be there.”

“Thank you, Lily. Now, I suppose it’s time to get back on schedule. Thank you for being honest in all of your answers, even those you weren’t sure you’d like to give any reply to,” he said, his voice genuinely appreciative.

Lily nodded. “No problem, sir.”

The Headmaster began walking to the doors of his office, and Lily stood to follow. He opened them again, and with that significantly perceptive gleam in his eye, he bid Lily a good night, and she made her way back onto the platform.

As she rode down, she could hear the statue revolving, and she knew James would be there waiting for her. She knew James would be there waiting for her. She felt calmed. She didn’t ever have to worry that James wouldn’t be there. As the corridor appeared, Lily spotted James, casually, yet expectantly, awaiting her arrival. He was leaning against the railing of the corridor, looking in her direction.

“Welcome back, Evans! It's been ages!”

She smiled at him. James looked faintly surprised.

“No nasty comment about ’playing games,’ Evans?”

Lily simply shook her head at him, and began the nightly patrol. James shuffled alongside her, looking down at her every three seconds. Finally, she caught his eye during one of those moments, and said,

“What?”

“Have a good talk with Dumbledore?”

“It was fine.”

“Me too. What’d you talk about?”

“I’m not going to tell you, it’s private.”

“Oh, right, right. My apologies.”

They walked on without another word for a minute. Then, James must have decided he couldn’t hold back.

“We talked about you.”

“You did, did you?”

“Yes, Evans, we did.”

“Well, I don’t really want to hear anything you said about me, as it’s probably annoying, or dreadfully uninteresting.”

“How could you be uninteresting, Evans? You’re the most interesting person I know.”

“Besides Dumbledore, the most magnificent wizard of all time?”

“Above him. I’ve just told you. You are the most interesting person I know.”

“Oh stop it.”

“You stop it.”

“I haven’t started anything.”

“Precisely.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You tell me.”

“Fine, now I’ll say it.”

“Say what?”

“Stop playing games.”

“Hah!”

“What?!”

“I got you to say it.”

“I hate you.”

“Ooh, that too.”

“Shut it!”

“Told you playing games was fun.”

“Alright then, let’s play a new game. It’s called “Be Quiet” and whoever stays quiet forever, wins.”

“Deal.”

They walked on, in total silence. James was playing the game, and Lily was pleased. Finally, some peace. But as they turned the corner of a corridor, James suddenly grabbed Lily by the waist. Her first reaction was complete shock, so not even one sound was uttered from her lips. He pulled her towards him, and brought his face unquestionably far too close to hers. He leaned over, closed his eyes….

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?” Lily cried out at him. She pulled away, completely mystified by his sudden aggressiveness. James let go of her waist, hands up in the air, but he was laughing. Lily immediately felt very naïve once again. She stood there, arms crossed, waiting for him to explain. He was still laughing, but had put his arms down. He looked up at her, grinning broadly.

“I win.”

It dawned on Lily that he hadn’t made a sound the entire time. She had been the first to make a peep, in the most unquiet way possible. He had pretended that he was about to kiss her, just to win the game! She huffed in exasperation. He was too good.

“I told you games only made your life worth living. They‘re a total abomination to everybody else.”

James shrugged. “If you spend more time with me, you’ll get better at them.”

“Well, then I suppose I’ll never get better at them, now will I?”

“Sure you will. Dumbledore said so.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Dumbledore said you’d change. He was right.”

“Dumbledore said you’d change too. I guess he was wrong.”

“Was not!”

“Was too.”

“Not.”

“Was.”

No.”

Yes.”

“Give up, Evans, I can go all night long.”

“Don’t say it like that, Potter.”

“Like what?” James asked, mischievously.

Lily crinkled her nose. “The way you said that just----“

“Oozed with sensuality?” James interrupted, in a silly deep voice.

Lily lightly slapped him in the arm.

“Oh honestly, Jame---Potter. Honestly, Potter,” she repeated again, more sternly, as if attempting to rewind and pretend she had never let his first name slip. James gave her a quizzically pleased look, but said nothing of it.

They walked on some more, past an immensly large window. Lily was trying very hard not to think ‘James’ in her head, but to think ‘Potter’ instead. She looked out the window, the cloud cover revealing some stars. James looked outdoors as well, and a moment later, spoke in a very smooth voice.

“I could take you out for the most breathtaking broom ride right now, Evans. It’s the perfect night for it.”

Lily gulped. It was the perfect night for it. No. She couldn’t. She glanced at him, gazing at her, his hazel eyes ‘oozing with sensuality,’ and she almost said yes. She must have shown how nervous she was (she could feel her eyes wide open in panic), for James nodded understandably, smiling. He continued walking, looking a little disappointed. She inhaled deeply and let it out.

Lily could tell this was going to be harder than she thought.



YOU PUT YOUR HAND IN, YOU PUT YOUR HAND OUT, YOU PUT YOUR HAND IN, AND YOU SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT. YOU DO THE HOKEY POKEY AND YOU TURN YOURSELF AROUND, THAT'S WHAT FEEDBACK'S ABOUT!


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."
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  #14  
Old October 1st, 2006, 8:08 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 13- Fear of Flying


“Who’s got a quill? Anyone? I’ll give you a kiss on the cheek, and not only that, but a lovely complimentary kiss from Prongs as well!”

Lily turned to see Sirius standing up and announcing this across the common room. James was seated next to him and punched him in the leg, tossing Lily an apologetic look, to which she didn’t respond, because, of course, she didn’t really care. Sirius gave only a small flinch in reaction, and expectantly waited for someone to come to his assistance. Anna wasn’t in the room, so Lily knew he had taken this chance to utilize his charm openly once again.

He didn’t have to wait long, for his 4th year fan club and two other girls came bounding up to him, nearly shoving each other out of the way like participants in a roller derby. One girl, a cute raven-haired 4th year, claimed victory upon the others, practically threw her quill in Sirius’ face, and then proceeded to do the same with her entire body. Sirius dropped the quill on the table, and almost fell backwards against the girl’s very boisterous advance.

Lily wished she could somehow save this memory, among others similar to it, and show them to Sirius’ grandchildren someday. The man was a guru when it came to women! As sickeningly depressing as it was to the state of feminism, Lily couldn’t help but be amused by it. She laughed along with a few others in the room.

Sirius smirked at the laughter, feeding on it, and composed himself and the girl. He grabbed her by the shoulders, leaned over to the right, and planted a big showy kiss on her left cheek. The girl’s face looked much like a beet, and she grinned at Sirius. He smiled at her.

“Thank you, so very much, for this quill. You girls will help me survive 7th year by the borrowing of quills alone. Now, if you will, I must finish this assignment, or Flitwick will be forced to have his way with me.”

The girl laughed as if it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard, and nodded. Then, after Sirius sat down, she turned to James, who was busy writing an essay. James wasn’t paying anymore attention to her anyway, so he didn’t notice her standing there, waiting for Sirius’ promise of a kiss from him as well. Lily’s stomach churned. A kiss on the cheek. Big deal! But it was. Sirius looked around, waiting for someone else to say something to James. Recognizing that no one else would do it, he lightly prodded him with his newly obtained quill. James looked up.

“Yeah, mate?”

Sirius’ eyes darted to the girl, and James’ eyes followed. Lily was tense, completely absorbed in the situation. Some people had already lost interest, but Lily’s focus was definitely directly on James. She noticed he looked annoyed, and he glanced back down at Sirius. Sirius gave a tiny, nearly unnoticeable shrug, and a look that seemed to be unapologetic. James licked his lower lip for a moment, in irritation, as if he were contemplating what to do next. Lily was feeling on the verge of fury. This was absolutely ludicrous. She shouldn’t be this wound up about a stupid kiss on the cheek! She did feel, however, that after James did it, she may have to ignore him the entire time on their patrol. And then, she found out she wouldn’t be ignoring him after all…

“Look, er…” James looked up at the girl, expecting a name.

“Houseman. Janet Houseman.”

“Janet, hello, hi. Here's the thing: I’m not going to be able to fulfill Padfoot’s little bargain here for you. I’ve only got one lady on my mind, and I shan’t ruin things by snogging other girls’ cheeks all over the place.”

Janet looked a bit downtrodden, but she folded her arms in front of her, giving James what she must have thought was a reality check.

“I thought Lily Evans didn’t like you one bit.”

James glanced over at Lily, who was by no means subtle in her effort to look away as if she hadn’t been watching. He laughed, looking back up at Janet.

“Oh, she does.”

“Oh really? She doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to you right now.”

“Janet. You’re a very nice girl, I’m sure. But I just can’t. Apologies, really.”

“Then I want my quill back.”

Sirius jumped in.

“What? Wait a minute, Janet, my dear! Just because Prongs is being belligerent, does not mean---”

He was caught off guard by Janet ripping her quill out of his hands, and stalking off to the fan club’s table. Sirius didn’t seem to be able to comprehend what had just happened, for it had never happened to him before. He stared at James with an ungrateful look on his face.

“Thanks a lot, Prongs.”

James shrugged.

“Here, use mine. I’m done for the night.” He passed his quill to Sirius, who muttered a thank you under his breath, and began writing his own essay. James rolled up his parchment, tucked it into his bag, and sat back down for a moment.

Lily was trying very hard to see all of this out of the corner of her eye, and it was beginning to actually hurt from the strain. She stopped trying, and looked down at her own parchment: an essay for Defense Against the Dark Arts. She was experiencing writer’s block after only one foot of writing, and she was now most likely unable to finish, as her attention had once again been stolen away by James. She checked her watch: quarter to nine. She sighed, lifting her eyes back up. And there was James, coming toward her, like clockwork.

“Evans, how are you tonight?”

“Fine, Potter.”

He pointed at her parchment.

“How’s the essay coming along?”

“It’s not, let’s put it that way.”

“I’m sorry. Need any help?”

James instantly must have known he had said the wrong thing, for he cringed. No one ever offered to help Lily Evans. She didn’t need it. But instead of reacting like she normally would, Lily smiled.

“No thanks, Potter. I’m just going to work on it later.”

James seemed relieved and sat down opposite her. He watched as she rolled it up and pushed it aside. After she had finished doing this and brought her attention to him, he began with some small talk.

“How’d you like that meeting this past Monday?”

“I found it….interesting.”

“You mean boring?”

Lily laughed, agreeing.

“Yes.”

“I don’t know why Dumbledore wanted us there.”

“He said it was a mentoring experience.”

“We didn’t do a damn thing!”

“I know. The prefects this year seem very on top of things.”

“They’re just like you were in 5th year. Very organized, on top of things, perfect little Miss Evans.”

“I was not!”

“Come off it, you were.”

“It may have only seemed that way to someone like you, who’s got his priorities completely upside down, inside out, and through the window.”

James’ eyebrows shot up. “Wow! We were carrying on such a nice conversation for almost half a minute there, Evans. And you just had to sabotage it, didn’t you?”

“I was merely defending myself.”

“Defending yourself? Bullocks. And besides, I haven’t got my priorities upside out and in the window, or whatever you said. They’re quite in order, thank you.”

“Oh yes? And what sort of order is that? Something having to do with the chaos theory?”

“Chaos is a word for those who don’t understand the complexity of unsystematic living.”

“Excuse me? Potter, did you somehow transfigure your brain into a dictionary? Those are awfully big words for your little mind.”

“Evans, I have my priorities. One: Lily Evans. Two: Lily Evans. Three: Lily Evans. The list maintains the same priority until about number ten. After that, Padfoot, Moony, and Wormtail come in. Next comes Quidditch, and after family and a few other things, comes school.”

Lily rolled her eyes at James.

“You keep doing that Evans, and your eyes won’t be able to stop, and you’ll forever walk around looking like you’re watching somebody fly in circles,” James cautioned her, mimicking rolling his eyes over and over again.

“Maybe, if you were to stop saying things that caused me to roll my eyes at you, then we wouldn’t have this problem.”

“You only choose to roll your eyes. You’re perfectly capable of withholding the eye rolls.”

“And you’re perfectly capable of withholding the brainless comments.”

“I’m actually not. You see, Evans, I’ve got an authentic medical condition.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes. It’s called ‘Witty-itis.’ Runs in the family.”

“You are so moronic.”

“You think I haven’t got a medical condition? I’ve got another one. If it wasn’t for this condition, I would be able to leave you alone. Well, I’m not sure I would, I mean, come on, Evans, you’re wonderful---”

“I’m getting up and leaving the common room now---”

“It’s called Lily-osis. Yet another condition that has plagued me for a number of years now---”

“I’m heading to the portrait hole---”

“And it’s a life-long condition as well, can’t do a thing about it---”

James was cut off by Lily stepping out of the portrait hole and into the corridor. It was almost nine o’clock, and she knew it was time to just start the patrol before things got too out of hand with James. She was deciding which feeling she wanted to go with: being impressed at herself for holding an almost 30-second normal conversation with James, or being completely horrified by it. She also couldn’t decide between waiting for James, or going on with the patrol without him.

She settled on feeling impressed that she hadn’t exploded at him sooner than almost 30-seconds, yet horrified that she had actually allowed herself to carry on for that long. She also settled on waiting for James near the end of the corridor, with a very patronizing look on her face. He was taking longer than she thought he would. And just as she was about to go on without him, James emerged from behind the Fat Lady’s portrait, grinning at her.

“Potter, why in the world do you have your broom with you?”

“I’m going for a ride.”

“No you’re not! We have our patrol! Don’t you dare! Potter, it’s a Friday night, let’s get this done.”

“I didn’t mean now, Evans. I meant after our patrol.”

“Oh,” Lily said in regret. “Sorry.”

“You’re just being yourself, is all.”

“Well that doesn’t make me sound, or feel, very good.”

“Well, neither did you scolding me before you even knew the circumstances.”

Lily felt the need to defend herself again, but stopped. He was right.

“You’re right.”

“Come again?”

“You...er...you’re right.”

“Mark thy calendars, ladies and gentlemen, Evans has just uttered words I’d never expected to hear,” James declared loudly, to the nonexistent ladies and gentlemen in the corridor.

“Oh, get over it. It’ll never happen again.”

“I’ll bask in it’s one-time glory then.”

“Whatever.”

“You’re right. You’re right. Yes, I’m James Potter, and I’m right. Why? Because Lily Evans said so. Who said so, you ask? Why, Lily Evans said---whoa!!”

In one swift movement Lily had put out her leg, tripped James, and then managed to pluck his broom off the ground before he could grip it again. He lay sprawled out in the middle of the corridor, and Lily stood over him triumphantly.

“That’s what you get, Potter.”

“Evans! That was just inhumane! And you’ve got my broom!”

“That’s right. And you don’t get it back until after the patrol, if…you’re a good boy.”

“Ooh, kinky, Evans.”

“Shut up.”

James brought himself to his feet again, brushing off his robes. He smirked.

“You have to admit, that ‘good boy’ line came out in a very naughty manner.”

“You read into it, that’s all.”

“You wanted me to read into it, is all.”

“Stop twisting things around!”

“Stop pretending you don’t enjoy my company.”

“I don’t.”

“Do too.”

“I do not! And where did that come from anyway? It has absolutely nothing to do with anything!”

“It has everything to do with….everything!”

Lily opened her mouth to argue some more, but gave up. She shoved the broom back into James’ hand, turned promptly on her heel, and walked away from James. She had walked only a little way, when suddenly, she heard a whooshing sound, and out of nowhere, she was yanked up into the air.

She tried to let out a scream, but her tongue was stuck to the roof of her mouth. James had somehow nonverbally jinxed her, on top of plucking her off the ground, forcing her to clutch on to him for dear life. Her eyes were speaking for themselves by shooting daggers into James, and he was laughing.

He had flown past her, grabbed her by the waist (rather securely), and swung her up onto the broom. Lily couldn’t fight him physically at this point, as she would immediately fall off, and she couldn’t verbally argue this unfortunate incident either. She managed to sturdy herself on the broom, behind James, and automatically threw her arms around his waist to hang on. She was incensed beyond belief, but James said something that made her feel better.

“Do you feel that rush, Evans? Here we are, Head Boy and Girl…meant to be inspecting the corridors, but instead, flying around on a Nimbus 500, indoors! Do you feel it?”

James’ passion for flying suddenly made its way into Lily’s system, like an electronic current passing from one object to the next. She relaxed, closed her eyes, and allowed herself to feel the exhilaration. James abruptly flew downward, past staircases and staircases and floors of the castle. Lily’s eyes snapped open, not in fear, but in sheer elation of the moment. Her stomach made a swooping sensation, and she wanted to giggle, but couldn’t, due to the tongue-tying.

James made a sharp left turn, heading into a corridor with some big tapestries and paintings on the walls. They slowed down, and he made sure to hover low enough to the ground to allow Lily to hop off after he requested her to do so. Lily gracefully stepped down, still unable to speak.

“Well, Evans?”

She gave him a dirty look and pointed to her mouth. James looked apologetic.

“Oh! I forgot! Here,” he said, pointing his wand at her, and causing the jinx to end. She moved her tongue around, never to take it for granted again.

“Potter…”

“Yeah?”

“That was…”

“Please don’t kill me, Evans.”

“No! That was amazing!”

“Yeah?!”

“Yes! Terrific!” She enthusiastically replied. James looked so proud and pleased that she had enjoyed herself, and he jumped off.

“Well, then, it’s a good thing I took a chance and landed in this corridor.”

“Why?” Lily asked, confused.

“Secret passage to outside of the castle.”

“So?”

“So, if you liked flying indoors, wait until we do it in the free, uninhibiting night sky.”

James said this with such fervor that Lily couldn’t help but be curious as to how it felt, even though she was still anxious.

“I don’t know if---”

Lily stopped talking. She heard footsteps. James must have heard as well, for he grabbed her by the arm, and quickly began making his way toward a very boring and bland looking tapestry a few yards away. Lily whispered to him.

“Where are we going? I don’t think we should---”

“You measly little…I’ll find you, and then you’ll be in big trouble, do you hear me?….big trouble….oh yes…ungrateful little…”

Lily heard the voice of Mr. Filch, Hogwarts caretaker, ambling around, hunting for the perpetrators. Lily felt her heart beating fast. She was a perpetrator! Head Girl was one of them! And for some reason, as James threw back the tapestry and allowed her to duck behind it before he did, Lily didn’t feel a tense muscle in her body. She felt her heart beating fast, and her mind racing, and her breathing very rapid, but she did not feel badly about being disobedient at all. She allowed James to walk in front of her, leading the way. It was very dark in the passage, and Lily bumped into James, who had frozen in place. She heard him whisper ever so quietly…

“Shh…”

She stayed silent. She knew he was waiting to make sure Filch wouldn’t even remotely detect any sign of someone having been, or being, in the vicinity. After about two minutes of complete, hold your breath, don’t make a move silence, James touched Lily’s hand.

“Evans, you’re going to have to hold my hand in the passage way. It gets a little tricky in here.”

“Aw, do you and the boys hold hands in here too?”

“The first time we ever made our way through here, we were clutching one another like our lives depended on it.”

“When was that?”

“First year. Plenty of experience since then. Grab my hand.”

“Oh, fine.”

Lily felt a chill run up and down her spine the moment she grasped James’ hand. She felt her palm getting sweaty after a few moments, and she was increasingly more embarrassed. He illuminated the secret passage with his wand, somehow managing to hold that and his broom in one hand, and they continued on.

After awhile, Lily was fearing they were lost, but she didn’t say a word. She trusted James to get them through this, and if he didn’t, she would hex him the moment they got out of there. Then, straight ahead of them, was an wall that looked like it had a small ladder attached to it. Lily squinted to see it better, and sure enough, there it was. A ladder that led up to a small trap door in the ceiling. This was brilliant! James turned around, and let go of her hand. Lily momentarily felt lost, but once James looked at her, she felt safe again.

“Here we are, Evans. Took much longer with you in tow.”

“Such a nice thing to say.”

“My pleasure. Anyway, I’ll open the door, throw my broom out onto the ground, and then I’ll help you up. Deal?”

“Sure.”

She watched, as much as she could see in the dark, as James climbed the ladder, pushed open the trap door, and shoved his broom through the opening. He then hopped down, held his hand out for Lily, and she took it. She climbed up the ladder on her own, with James right behind her. She surfaced, temporarily disoriented. Where was she? Then she realized she was right outside the courtyard, near an area that directly amidst and heavily guarded by many thick bushes and plants. Very clever, she thought.

She climbed out, dusting off her robes, pulling out leaves and twigs, and fixing her hair, hoping James didn’t see her actually primping. James didn’t seem to notice, for he was too busy putting the door back in it’s place and making sure no one was around spying on them. Lily checked her watch. It was only a quarter after nine. They had plenty of time before they had to get back from the patrol. She felt the thrilling sensation rush through her body again. Wouldn’t Anna and Alice be absolutely shell-shocked when they heard what she had done? Then, she remembered, she was with James. Her friends would never let that pass by without some commentary. She decided against telling them, as it would only lead up to unanswered questions about James.

James picked up his broom, grinned at her giddily, and started walking further away from the castle. Lily picked up the slack, and followed him. After a couple of minutes of walking, they were now in a more open area of the grounds, nearing the Quidditch pitch. The silent night was broken by James’ voice.

“It’s very crisp air tonight, don’t you agree?”

“Of course it is, it’s the middle of November.”

“Good point.”

“Are we doing this, or not?”

“Of course we’re doing it!”

“Let’s go then. I’m getting cold.”

James looked at her very fixedly.

“You do enjoy my company.”

“I enjoy the broom ride.”

My broom.”

“Get on with it.”

James adjusted the broom, letting Lily to get on behind him, sat on it himself as Lily reached around his waist, and he said,

“Here we go!”

Lily’s breath got caught in her throat as James kicked off and they launched into the air. She hadn’t flown since her first broom flying lessons in 1st year. It hadn’t particularly been her cup of tea, and she had never really cared to do it again. The wind was bitter now, racing past them, her ears feeling the cold gusts. James was being careful not to make too many sudden moves that could throw either of them off.

Lily closed her eyes, trying to take a deep breath, but finding it difficult as the air was so stinging. She tightened her grip around James’ waist and felt the muscles in his abdomen flexing and working hard as he maneuvered the broom. This made her feel like she had never felt before…a spew of emotions flew through her mind….attraction and anxiety and trust and affection and disbelief and thrill…but most of all, she felt safe.

They flew up, and down, and did a few spins during which Lily had to hold back blood-curling screams. James hadn’t said a word, and neither had she. The experience was enough for the both of them. They flew for a few more minutes, until James slowed down, high in the air, near the very crescent shaped moon. They stopped, he steadied the broom, and turned his head to face Lily.

“Do you realize you’re shivering, Evans?”

Lily had not, in fact, realized she was shivering. She replied truthfully.

“I hadn’t n-n-noticed.”

“Well, that was quite an obvious shiver. Or do you stutter now?”

“P-P-Potter…not n-n-now…”

James gave her an understanding look, and didn’t tease her again. They hovered quietly, with Lily taking in the sights. Everything looked so small from up here. The castle was one of the most glorious things she had ever seen. And the stars! She had to voice how she felt.

“The s-s-stars…I can almost r-r-reach them,” she whispered, taking a chance by letting one arm go of James’ waist and reaching up toward a bright star. James gazed at her and smiled back, still not saying anything.

“And the m-m-moon…it’s b-b-beautiful!” She exclaimed, her shivering really getting to her at this point.

James turned his head as far back as he could without losing his balance.

“You are too, Lily. You really are,” he began breathlessly. “Your face...your captivating face...outshines the moon every night,” he whispered, letting go of the broom with one hand and reaching up to touch Lily’s face.

“T-T-That was too charming f-f-for my taste, Potter,” she whispered back, trying not to let him see the anguish he was causing her. How could she not fold? How could she not cave in to his wonderful words?

“Imagine, Lily. I could take you out every night. I could teach you how to fly a broom properly. You’d love it. Just imagine. Picture yourself with me…every night…up in the sky…just picture it…”

Lily did as she was told. She closed her eyes, imagining a future in the sky with James. She saw herself bickering and laughing and playing…she felt warm air on her face, and opened her eyes to see that it was James’ breath that had been so warm…they were almost cheek to cheek.

She couldn’t even think of trying to explain this feeling to any of her friends. She felt as if a ton of bricks had landed on her chest and she couldn’t breathe, as if her body, inside and out, had been set on fire…and as if she could stay this way for the rest of her life.

James took his hand and lifted her chin up so that they were face to face. Lily’s eyes pleaded with him. Pleaded to keep her safe and to give her time. She was still too afraid. She didn’t want to take the plunge yet. Not yet….

James was still holding her chin, very gently, and he leaned in, their lips almost touching…

But Lily turned her head away, shutting her eyes tightly.

James…” she murmured, barely audible, begging him to stop looking at her that way.

James didn’t let go of her, but turned her head back to him. His eyes seemed to be reading her thoughts, reaching her soul…she trembled, not only from the cold, but from this complete and utter passion she had never experienced before. She said his name again, trying to sound very adamant, trying to make him understand, but only letting it out very softly and desperately...




“James…”




He pursed his lips, staring into her emerald eyes. He looked determined, but not forceful. Her eyes were now tearing up, both from the cold and from the emotional journey she had made in the span of a few minutes. James gave the slightest of nods, leaned over, and tenderly kissed her on the forehead. Lily closed her eyes, relieved. He let go of her chin, turned back around, and prepared to fly again. Lily took this as a cue to hold on tightly, and once James knew she was ready, he took off again, very rapidly building up speed.

Down and down they went, until they were almost to the ground. James easily made the transition from rapid descent to landing, and as they neared the trap door, James came to a complete stop. He helped Lily down, got off of the broom himself, and they headed toward the door. James said some sort of spell, and he reached down to open it. He threw his broom into the opening, and went in first. Lily waited patiently until he gave the all clear to proceed. After she had climbed down the ladder, James climbed back up, shut the door, grabbed his broom, and held out his hand for Lily to take it. Without any hesitance this time, Lily clasped his hand, and they made their way through the secret passage again.

Not a word was said the entire time, nor out in the corridor, nor on the way back to the common room. There wasn’t a need for words, it was finally understood. Lily needed some time to adapt to this new aspect of their relationship, and it seemed to Lily that James finally understood that she needed more time, and not to push it. The common room was still full by the time they got back, for it was only around 10 o’clock. Everyone thought they had just gone out for their evening patrol. Alice and Anna were sitting in front of the fireplace, chatting away, when Alice spotted Lily.

“Lily Evans! You look like you’ve had a rough night!”

Lily gave her a baffled look, as if her hair wasn’t all disheveled from the wind, and as if her nose and ears weren’t red from the cold. Alice motioned for Lily to come over to her and Anna, but Lily only spoke to her from a few yards away.

“Sorry, girls. I’m really exhausted. It’s been a long week. I’m just going to grab my bag,” she leaned over to where she had been sitting before she left, “and head upstairs.”

Anna gave Lily a curious look.

“Is there something you want to tell us, Lily?” She asked.

Lily thought about it. Yes, there was, but no, she couldn’t. She shook her head.

“No. Nothing at all.”

Anna and Alice had somewhat hurt looks on their faces, but they seemed to shrug it off and went back to talking.

Lily slung her bag over her shoulder and made her way across the room to the staircase. As she walked up, she briefly glanced back down, her eyes landing directly on her preferred target: James. He had taken a seat next to Sirius again, watching while he, Remus, and Peter played a game of Exploding Snap. James wasn’t really watching them, though. His eyes met Lily’s.

Lily could see something had changed in his eyes…there was no self-satisfaction, nor any confusion. There was only a mingled look of love, admiration, and content. Lily smiled very delicately, and James returned it. She knew he knew. She knew the look of content was a look that James could finally fully enjoy. There was no doubt in her mind that now he knew that it would happen, now he knew, that it was truly only a matter of time.





FEEDBACK YOUNGIN', OOOH OOOH, FEEDBACK YOUNGIN', OOOH OOOH!


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; October 1st, 2006 at 3:30 pm.
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  #15  
Old October 2nd, 2006, 12:24 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 14- A Dark Day




Lily was in Defense Against the Dark Arts class, on a Thursday, almost a week after the broom ride with James. She was sitting next to Alice while the professor, a funny little man named Rickman, was droning on about something or other, for she wasn’t paying attention. She still hadn’t stopped thinking about James almost every minute she was awake, and almost every minute she was asleep. In spite of this problem, she was managing to get high marks in all of her courses, but it was getting more complicated by every minute that was wasted---no, not wasted---‘spent’ thinking about James.

She took the thought of wasting time on James to heart, and began focusing on the lesson again. It didn’t help that James was sitting right in front of her, Sirius on his left, and Remus on his right. Peter hadn’t gotten into the N.E.W.T level Defense Against the Dark Arts, which Lily had always thought as peculiar because his three friends had gotten in. But when she thought about it, she realized that Peter had never really taken to Defense Against the Dark Arts that well anyway. Funny, she thought, hope he never gets into any trouble.


Professor Rickman stirred her from her tangent thoughts by calling on James to perform somewhat of a duel.

“Mr. Potter!”

“Yes, sir?”

“As a review, I’d like you to demonstrate three spells of defense, one immediately after the other.”

James just looked at him.

“Up, up, get up,” the professor instructed.

James rose quickly, and followed the professor’s motions to come to the front of the room.

“Wand at the ready…” The professor directed.

James looked slightly alarmed.

“But, sir, you haven’t given any inclination as to which spells----”

The professor shot his wand forward faster than James could finish his sentence, with a nonverbal spell flying at James.

James lunged and the spell missed, hitting the wall behind him. He pointed his wand at the professor and out came a red spell that the professor flicked away.

Professor Rickman shot another one at James, but he was more prepared this time. James simply put his wand up and deflected the spell, causing it to ricochet off of the professor’s podium.

The professor tried once again, aiming in James’ direction but before he even had a chance to think a spell, James very harshly cast his wand at him, and the professor’s own wand flew out of his hand, disarming him.

This all happened so incredibly fast, that the class was still holding their breath from when it had all began. Lily was stunned. Clearly, James had no trouble with nonverbal spells, and clearly, he was very quick-witted, agile, and talented.

Professor Rickman smiled in praise at James.

“Almost got me there, didn’t you, Potter?”

“Sorry about that, sir. In the moment, you know?”

“Well done, my boy, well done. Have a seat,” he gestured to James’ chair. “The rest of you…did you see the rapid reflexes Mr. Potter demonstrated?”

The class murmured their answers of yes, and Lily heard Severus Snape sneer,

“Didn’t have much to duel with anyway, did he?”

Professor Rickman threw Snape a very stern “try me” look, but ignored him after that. He continued.

“We must always be on the alert, and we must never fail to practice, practice, practice, for that will keep our reflexes fresh and our minds dexterous.”

The class nodded, and the professor continued on with the review.

“Now, who would like to demonstrate the Patronus Charm, which all of you needed to know to claim a spot in the N.E.W.T. course?” Alice raised her hand, standing.

“Ah yes, Miss Pinkerton, you may---oh! Hang on, someone’s at the door,” he interrupted himself, and Alice sat back down with a thump that made Lily giggle.

There had been a knock at the door, and the professor proceeded to open it, only to reveal none other than Professor Dumbledore, with a very grave look on his face. Lily’s stomach did a somersault. Something was wrong. Dumbledore asked Professor Rickman to step out for a moment, and he followed the request.

After a few moments, and Sirius’ suggestion that they all climb out the window, the professor came back into the classroom, looking concerned. He looked up at the students, his eyes resting on James.

“Mr. Potter, the Headmaster would like to see you…” he trailed off, as if he were unsure of what else to say.

James looked confused, and Lily knew he could tell this wasn’t just some silly matter over what he had put in someone’s breakfast that morning. She saw James gulp as he headed to the door. He shut the door behind him, and the professor continued by addressing Sirius.

“Mr. Black, after class is over, the Headmaster would like you to take James’ books up to his office. He won’t be returning to class today.”

Sirius, off of his high of planning an escape through the window, nodded in reply to the professor, but didn’t say anything. Lily couldn’t concentrate for the final twenty-five minutes of class, for she was too busy worrying about James.

Had he done something extremely wrong? Maybe Dumbledore had found out about their nightly flight on the grounds that last weekend? Alice gave her a very questioning look, but Lily shook her head back, knowing she didn’t have the answer.

After class, and after Lily had watched Remus and Sirius exchanging apprehensive looks every five seconds, Lily followed them out of the classroom.

“Oi! Remus! Sirius!”

They turned to face her, with Sirius clutching James’ bag, as well as his own. Remus replied,

“Lily, we don’t know,” in a very finalizing tone that made her close her mouth and stop trying to ask what had happened.

The two of them set off for Dumbledore’s office, but Lily knew she shouldn’t trail behind. It would be rude, and besides, Sirius was the only one asked by the Headmaster to meet James in his office.

Lily settled for going back to the common room, as this was their last class of the day. She entered, meeting Anna inside. Anna told her that Alice had planned on going to the library with Frank after class, and for her side of the conversation, Lily explained to Anna the strange occurrence in the last class. Anna was as perplexed as she was, but came up with a possible answer.

“Maybe something happened at home? You know, with his family?”

Lily hadn’t thought of that.

“You think?”

Anna shrugged. “Could be. Then again, it’s James…it’s probably just time for his annual warning of expulsion.”

Anna giggled, but Lily couldn’t. She could feel something was not right.

And then, Remus entered the common room, without Sirius. His eyes were cheerless, and his demeanor was that of a man in an upsetting situation. He picked up his eyes a bit, and searched the room. He spotted Lily on the couch with Anna, and made his way over to her.

“Lily…I need to talk to you.”

Anna made a gesture telling Lily to go ahead, and Lily stood up, walking with Remus over to a more secluded area of the common room. She could feel her heart pounding in a way it pounded only when a person was expecting terrible news. Her throat was in her stomach, and her stomach was in her knees. Remus drew in a deep breath, and looked her in the eyes.

“James…” he started, “….his….”

Lily already knew.

“…his father died this afternoon.”

Lily’s lip quivered, and the tears sprang to her eyes. Anna had been right. Her hand made its way to its usual spot, clamped over her mouth, and Remus grabbed her by the arms, pulling her to sit down.

“He and Sirius are heading home right now to see his mother. They’ll be gone for a few days…you know, for the funeral…and such…” he didn’t continue, hearing the impact of his words.

Lily nodded very evenly, but the tears had tumbled over and out. Remus put his arm around her, she nestled into a more comfortable position, and the two of them sat like that for a long while, even after the entire house of Gryffindor had heard the news. She and Remus were in a state of mourning, not so much for the death of the man they weren’t all that acquainted with, but for their friend, the man who had just lost his father.





I'M BRINGING FEEDBACK, BUM BUM, THEM OTHER FEDDBACKS DON'T KNOW HOW TO ACT, BUM BUM


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; October 2nd, 2006 at 12:33 am.
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  #16  
Old October 2nd, 2006, 8:29 pm
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 15- Diagon Alley Dare



That weekend and the next week passed by very slowly for Lily. Every night, even if the common room was full of every single student from Gryffindor, it seemed empty without Sirius and James there. Lily spent more time with Remus, with Peter tagging along, than she had all term.

Word had spread about James’ fathers death, and the entire school felt badly, even if only a couple of people dwelt on it for longer than five minutes. James was liked, but he was also seen as indestructible, so it was hard for people to grasp that he was just like them, with a mother, and now, no father.

Lily found the nightly patrols a bore, and one time, she actually expected to see James come out of the portrait hole and meet in her in the corridor, until, a moment later, she remembered that he was away. She was lonely without James. He was a constant in her life. Even if everything changed around her, James stayed. And now, her constant was no longer there, and her life had gone into a mode of disorder. She missed him. Too much.

That Friday evening, she and Remus were playing wizard chess while Peter watched. Peter actually said something for once, and this never failed to surprise Lily, for it was so rare.

“Moony, when are they coming back again?”

Remus replied, watching one of his pawns move across the board.

“Monday. They’ve been given this weekend as well.”

Lily perked up. Monday? That was only two days away! She’d see James soon.

“I believe they’ll be in Diagon Alley tomorrow, as James wants to accompany his mum during her shopping. His dad usually did that…” Remus explained, a hint of cunning in his voice.

Lily perked up even more. Diagon Alley? She looked at Remus, who was now carefully eyeing her. She tried to sound nonchalant.

“Diagon Alley? Tomorrow? What time?”

Remus didn’t hesitate to reply, as if he had been expecting to do so.

“Early afternoon, around 1 o’clock, I believe,” he responded, casting her a very stealthy look.

Lily nodded, giving him the same furtive look back. He knew exactly what she was up to. Peter, still clueless, shouted,

“Uh oh, watch out! Lily’s knight is about to smash---”

Peter was cut off by wincing, and Lily and Remus watched as her knight obliterated one of his pawns. Peter chuckled merrily, and for the first time since James’ father’s death, they all actually laughed. Free, open laughter; even though the destructive antics of wizard chess weren’t that funny, they all knew it was just time to smile again.






About an hour later, before the patrol, Lily made her way to the gargoyle in front of Dumbledore’s office entrance. She hoped the password was still the same, so she quietly uttered “Blueberry Muffin,” her eyes half closed. The gargoyle didn’t move an inch. Damn! Lily tried “Lemon Drop,” but with no luck. She was so determined to make this gargoyle move, that she took out her wand and prepared to try any spell she could. She was very silent, concentrating on what she could do to make it move, when…

“Earwax!”

Lily jumped about a mile into the air, turning round, her wand aiming at the voice, even though she knew it was Dumbledore.

“My goodness, Miss Evans! No need to hex me, thank you, merely trying to get into my office,” he said with a smile, watching the gargoyle beginning to rotate, waiting for it to turn entirely around.

“Me too, sir,” she quickly replied, hoping he’d let her onto the platform with him.

“By all means,” he gestured for her to step on, “what is it you want to talk about?”

“Potter.”

“Ah, yes.”

They rode up, quietly, and once they were at the top, he allowed her to step off first. They entered his office, and took their usual seats. Lily burst.

“I need your permission to go to Diagon Alley tomorrow afternoon,” she gushed.

Dumbledore didn’t say anything, but smirked, his eyes twinkling.

“I hear James is supposed to be in Diagon Alley tomorrow afternoon.”

“Yes, sir.”

“And you received this information from---”

“Remus, sir.”

“I thought so.”

“I didn’t want to break any rules by going, but I do believe that it is my duty to go.”

“Your duty?”

“Yes?”

“Are you asking me if it is your duty, Lily? Or yourself?”

“Both, professor.”

Dumbledore chuckled at her, and she smiled in spite of herself. She couldn’t believe she was doing this! Dumbledore went on.

“And how did you plan on traveling to Diagon Alley?”

“Apparation, sir.”

“Miss Evans, I’m sure you’re aware that it is quite a distance from Hogwarts to Diagon Alley. Perhaps the Floo Network would be safer. You are, after all, a perfectly capable young witch, but you are just seventeen. Such a far distance by Apparation could---”

“Floo Network’s fine, professor!” Lily interrupted him, too busy getting excited about what she assumed was Dumbledore’s permission to go.

Dumbledore’s eyes shined in amusement. He smiled.

“You are to tell no one where you are going.”

“Of course not, professor. But I figured, it’s Hogsmeade weekend, so no one will notice anyway.”

“A well thought out plan. I’m not one to generally allow my students to go like this, but I trust you enough to stay safe while you are there, Lily,” he continued, giving her a very vital look.

“Meet me here at 1 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. You will travel by my fireplace, and the destination will be Madam Malkin’s. I’ve collaborated with her that my students may specifically enter Diagon Alley through her robe shop, if need be. She’s an honorable person, and it’s an important safety measure. Do we have a deal?”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, professor, really.”

“Not at all. Now, go on to your patrol, Lily. The sooner you finish, the sooner you can get to sleep, and the sooner you can awake to enjoy the wonderful day ahead.”

Lily smiled, got up, and began walking toward the door.

“Miss Evans!”

“Do me a favor while you’re there, will you?”

Lily felt confused….

“Of course, professor. What do you need?”

“Tell Madam Malkin that my robes are looking a bit shabby, and I’ll be in need of a new set quite soon.”

Lily couldn’t hold back a laugh.

“No problem professor!”

Dumbledore gave a small wave, his eyes gleaming in the firelight,

“He needs his dearest friends right now, Lily.”

She nodded, smiling at the Headmaster, exited his office, and made her way back down. She couldn’t wait for tomorrow.








The next day, Lily was standing in front of the Headmaster’s fireplace, holding Floo Powder, ready to travel to Diagon Alley. Dumbledore gave her an encouraging nod, and she tossed the Floo Powder into fireplace, stepped in, and cried out, “Madam Malkin’s!”

The green flames erupted around her, and she felt the unfamiliar (as a Muggle-born she hadn’t traveled by Floo Powder much before) sensation of being on completely unstable ground, being tossed about, and hearing and seeing the sights and sounds of other fireplaces whirling past in a tumultuous fashion.

All of a sudden, she landed, stumbling out of the fireplace, as she wasn’t used to disembarking in style. She looked around the shop, which she had been coming to since her 1st year: there were two customers, one waiting patiently in a chair, the other being fitted for robes. Madam Malkin looked up, a small pin in her teeth, holding two pieces of the robes together. She muttered through the pin,

“Why, hello, Lily. Albus said you’d be coming. Enjoy your stay,” she finished, giving a lopsided smile due to the pin between her teeth.

“Thanks, Madam Malkin! Oh, and the Headmaster also wanted me to tell you that his robes are looking shabby, and he’ll be in need of a new set soon,” Lily replied, getting an odd look from the people in the shop.

Lily figured they probably weren’t expecting someone to pop out of Madam Malkin’s fireplace bringing a message from Albus Dumbledore in such a fashion.

Madam Malkin nodded, saying, “I’ll start setting the material up. He’s so tall…it always takes some extra fabric…”

Lily smiled at Madam Malkin, as she watched her continue to pin the hem of the robes. She dusted herself off, performed a small cleaning charm to dispose of the soot, and turned to walk out of the building. She made her way out of Madam Malkin’s and as she stepped outside, she felt the blast of chilly air hit hard. She looked to her right, her eyes endlessly searching for any sign of James, or even Sirius. Directly across from her was Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor, practically barren because of the cold weather.

She turned left and began walking in that direction, choosing to walk in the dead center of the street in order to avoid the crowds huddled along the sides, in front of shop windows. She spotted a few street vendors, but there were definitely less of them than usual, most likely, once again, due to the frosty weather. She had just began to walk by Flourish and Blotts, right next to Madam Malkin’s, and noticed it seemed to be bursting with customers. Suddenly, she froze, for she thought she saw him; a fleeting glimpse of messy black hair had made her head spin.

But as she looked closer, she realized it hadn’t been James, just some 20-something with similar hair. And, just after the man swept past her, obscuring her vision for a split second, Lily spotted the real James. She was far away from him, the whole of Flourish and Blotts and a small stationary shop away, but there was no mistaking him. She recognized that hair, that face, those glasses, that stature, that dishearteningly sad look about him that she had feared she’d see …

Lily didn’t know what to do or say. She clutched her thick scarf, tucked tightly around her neck, keeping her warm from the bitterly cold late November wind. She remained motionless, watching James, who was standing outside a large shop, holding some packages, Lily assumed, for his mother. Sirius was not to be found.

This was the first time Lily had ever seen, or just possibly paid attention to, Mrs. Potter, and she suddenly understood how James got his good-looks. Even though she was hardly young by any means, and actually rather elderly, she had the look of a former natural beauty who had been lucky enough to age extremely gracefully. She was gesturing into the shop window, pointing out some object and asking for James’ opinion.

Lily stood silently, her hair whipping about her face, the auburn color matching remnants of autumnal leaves scattering to and fro. She must have looked very out of place indeed, for people were walking about, past her, around her, and giving her thoroughly curious looks. One man even stopped to ask if she was quite alright, so that Lily came out of her daze and responded a bit impatiently, still trying to keep an eye on James.

“Er…yes. Thank you.”

“Are you lost? I can help you find your way if you’re in need. Pretty girl like you shouldn’t be standing here alone like this.”

Lily didn’t mean to be rude, but she had just seen James’ mum walk through the shop door, with him close behind her, still carrying the packages. Lily purposely ignored the man, brushing past him.

She moved through a small crowd now nestled in front of the stationary shop. She knew exactly which shop they had gone into, and realized that James’ mother was probably trying to get his mind off of his father’s death by offering to buy him something from this particular store. Lily made her way to the front of it, and stood facing a huge window. It had the words ‘Quality Quidditch Supplies’ painted on, with a nice display of some professional team’s robes and equipment presenting itself in a very proud manner. She looked at the glass, and saw not only her own reflection, but the inside of the shop as well.

She could see James shuffling behind his mother as she attempted to cheer him up. The pair of them would shift temporarily in and out of sight behind tall stacks of brooms or other supplies. Lily didn’t feel the need to go in, or to walk away. She couldn’t explain it, but she felt duty-bound to remain in that exact spot. She glanced down for a moment, looking at her gloved hands folded together, and when she looked back up at her reflection, there was now someone else standing next to her. She felt mixed-up for an instant, until she understood what was going on. James was still inside the shop, but had turned, looking straight at her. He was facing her from the inside, but to Lily, seeing her own reflection as well, it had seemed as if he were standing directly beside her.

Lily saw her own reflection cringe only a bit, in reaction to the wide eyed gape on James’ face. He merely continued staring in awe, until his mother ultimately stopped what she was doing and glanced out the window as well. On her face, Lily saw the look of confusion, then interest, then awareness of who this girl standing outside the window was, exactly. James said something to his mother, and she reached out her arms, taking the packages from him. He looked back to Lily and made a face that Lily presumed to be asking, “What in the bloody hell are you doing here?” She shrugged and made a face in return that seemed to say, “What else did you think I would do?”

And in a flurry of no more than three seconds, James was out the door, in front of Lily, enveloping her in his strong arms, holding her tightly. She was bowled over by his very audacious move to hug her, but after the immediate shock, she settled into the embrace. She wrapped her arms securely around his waist, and she couldn’t believe the concoction of feelings that were now bumbling around in her mind.

She felt motherly, like he needed her to hold him, to embrace, yet she felt like a child, in need of him in return. Her face was covered with her own hair, tangled over it, her cheek pressed against James’ chest. His own cheek was resting solidly against the side of Lily’s head. She felt him breathing deeply, and his grip was as firm as ever. They remained that way for what Lily felt to be minutes upon minutes, until finally, a woman’s voice broke them apart.

“For goodness sake, dear, let her go! She’ll be reduced to nothing but pulp if you don’t loosen that grip of yours.”

Lily and James released each other from one another’s grasp, and Lily glanced behind him to see his mother standing there, packages in hand, giving them both a very entertained look. At that point, Lily knew from where James got his sense of humor as well. Lily blushed at Mrs. Potter’s look, smiling in embarrassment. James rubbed his hands together in a nervous way, but ended up taking the packages from his mother. She smiled at him graciously, and James decided that it was okay to make an introduction.

“Mum, this is Evans---Lily. Evans. This is Lily Evans,” he fumbled. “Lily, this is my mother, Katherine Potter.”

Lily gave a very courteous, yet humiliated smile, and Mrs. Potter advanced toward her, extending her hand warmly. Lily took it, but instead of a firm, business-like handshake, Mrs. Potter put her other hand on top and enclosed Lily’s small hand in her own. This was much more informal than Lily had expected, and more than James must have expected, for Lily spied the astonished, yet delighted, look on his face. Mrs. Potter leaned into Lily.

“I’m not going to say that I’ve heard so much about you, because that always manages to embarrass both parties. So, I’ll just say, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” She gave Lily one of the most sincere smiles she had ever received, and Lily replied with a very gratifying smile in return.

With a drop in her stomach, she recalled the reason for having come out to Diagon Alley in the first place, and felt ashamed for being so insensitive. Her smile faded and she spoke in a very touching tone.

“Mrs. Potter---”

“Katherine.”

“Er…Katherine…I---I am so, so terribly sorry for your loss. I know he meant the world to James, and it must be very difficult---”

“Lily, you don’t have to---”

“But, I---”

“Lily, dear…no need. I appreciate your very sincere and polite effort, but there truly is no need. It has been a week since he passed away, and I’ve come to terms with the loss. When you get to be as old as William and I, your affairs are in order, and you are well prepared to go.”

James’ gaze was now fixated on the ground, and Lily knew he was trying hard not to show too much emotion in front of her. Lily only nodded in response to Mrs. Potter’s request, feeling a bit aggravated with her at failing to notice that her son may not be as strong of heart as she presumed. Maybe she had been prepared to see her husband go, but James was only seventeen; he hadn’t. Mrs. Potter attempted to ease the nerves of both Lily and James by saying,

“Well, you two take some time on your own. I’ve got to go to Gringott’s anyway…”

“But, Mum, the packages!”

Mrs. Potter looked at her son meticulously, then down at the packages.

“Nothing breakable, was there?”

James shook his head.

Mrs. Potter walked up to him and examined the packages.

“They’re all rather small, don’t you think?”

James nodded.

“Give them here, I’ll send them home by owl.”

Lily was floored. Send them home by owl? There were six to seven small packages there! How would she have the money to pay for seven owls?

James gratefully handed the packages over to his mother, stacking them up. She spoke to the pair, her chin resting on the topmost package.

“I’ll see you in a bit, James. And find Sirius too, will you? Remember what happened last time he came with us?”

James nodded, a smile playing on his lips. Mrs. Potter gave Lily a very reproachful look.

“We found him in Knockturn Alley, attempting to sell a perfectly ordinary quill by telling everyone it was actually filled with poison from toxic frogs in South America.”

Mrs. Potter shook her head, shutting her eyes, in exasperation of the memory. She looked back at them.

“Anyway, make sure that doesn’t happen again! Lily, it was a pleasure.”

“Same here, Mrs.---Katherine!”

And with that, James’ mom crossed the cobbled street to Eeylops Owl Emporium, where they not only sold owls, but boasted a nice collection of dispatcher owls. They watched as a young man opened the door for her, and until she disappeared out of sight.

Lily turned to James, whose nose was pink on the tip from the cold, but whose eyes were also slightly pink. Lily could tell he had been trying not to cry the entire time. He was making a great effort not to look at her, and Lily took it as a signal to back off for awhile.

So there they stood, outside Quality Quidditch Supplies, cheeks pink, scarves pulled tight, hands in pockets, not a word. They casually looked around, Lily pretending to be enthralled with a street vendor selling cheap necklaces, and James seeming incredibly interested in the stationary shop. Finally, Lily threw more of an obvious glance at James, and he eventually met it.

She felt like there were miles between them, like James was now in a different world, a world where he had lost someone he loved, and she couldn’t possibly live in that world with him. Her heart filled with compassion, and pity, and a feeling she wasn’t quite sure she could determine…

But her compassion filled over the brim, and in a hasty flash, Lily reached out and grabbed James by the hand. His eyebrows shot up in surprise. She squeezed his hand, giving him a very serious, honest look of caring. James clenched his jaw, pursed his lips, straightened his back in a very macho way, and cleared his throat, his eyes looking red again. Lily could see them glistening.

“Potter…” she said quietly, her voice taking on a different tone then it ever had with him before,

“…I’m here.”

She said it with such a protective quality that she didn’t even recognize her own voice: as if everything was going to be alright, as if his father hadn’t just died, as if her presence was going to soothe him and make it all better.

He nodded very somberly in response, still choking back the tears. Lily gave his hand one more squeeze, and pulled it away, but James didn’t let go. She looked him in the eye, searching for the reason, and James gave it to her.

He drew her hand back to him, placing it on his chest. With his other hand, he gently touched the small of her back and pushed her toward him. Unhesitatingly, he held her again, but it meant something else this time. She wasn’t wrapped in his arms with a bear hug of gratitude, no, at this point, she was being held like a partner, like a stronghold he considered necessary to his survival. A very sexually tense current ran between them, generating a feverish flush throughout Lily‘s body. He leaned down, his cheek brushing hers, and spoke calmly in her ear, his breath causing her hair to softly blow and tickle her neck.

“You were all I needed…” he whispered, followed by pulling his head back and gazing into her eyes.

“Thank you,” he told her, his voice alluring, the deep hazel still staring into her hopeless soul.

At long last, Lily’s defenses dropped like a ton of bricks. She wasn’t afraid to be close to James this time, for she suddenly found him so irresistible, that if they weren’t in the middle of Diagon Alley, she would have kissed him. James seemed to notice this, and smirked at her.

“You are the only person that could ever cause me to race madly out of a Quidditch shop, do you realize that?” He asked, the smirk holding its ground.

Lily tried once to say something in response, but her voice got caught in her throat. She took a deep breath and exhaled, giving a small snicker.

“I do now,” she replied, taking notice of the double meaning her words exposed.

James gave her his signature grin, and let the embrace subside. They let go of hands, and began walking, neither knowing where they were headed, for they were just in need of being in motion.

They sauntered past Gringott’s, then past Magical Menagerie, and decided to stop into a small tea shop that seemed to be new, as it didn’t even have a title yet. As they walked in, a cozily warm setting lifted their spirits. An elderly, small, bubbly looking witch was scurrying about behind the counter, trying to take care of all the customers. After waiting in line for a moment, James and Lily were up next.

“Hello, dears, what’ll it be?” She asked cheerfully.

James waited for Lily to make her choice.

“Er…I’ll just have tea. Plain old English tea, please.”

“Right, and you?”

James was eyeing the list of choices…

“Ah, I see you’ve got butterbeer. One of those for me, ma’am,” he requested charmingly.

The witch gave him a pleasant look in return, and began preparing their orders. After she had set both drinks on the counter, Lily had taken a few coins out, and the witch was about to tell them the price, James slapped down a galleon.

“Keep the change,” he told the woman. She look astounded, but nodded, taking the galleon off of the counter and placing it in a cash register.

“Potter, I can pay for this myself. There’s no need to spend an entire galleon---”

“You’re worth more than an infinite amount of galleons, Lily. This is merely one of them.”

Lily didn’t argue this time, but grabbed her mug of hot tea, and proceeded to find a table for two. James followed behind, and they seated themselves at a table in the far back corner, away from prying eyes and overhearing ears. Lily blew on her tea, cooling it down. She held the mug up to her lips, and peered over it at James.

“Where is Sirius, by the way?”

James shrugged.

“Last I talked to him, he said he was making a trip to Gambol and Japes. Who knows what we’ll find he’s bought there.”

“He’s an expert among practical jokers, that joke shop’s his refuge.”

James chuckled, and let out a sigh. Lily wanted to get a little more personal, now that she had seen James’ susceptible side. After a pause in conversation, she very cautiously asked him,

“So…how was it? You know….the…”

“Funeral?” James bluntly asked. “It was what he would have wanted. It was…a perfect way to say goodbye, to get that closure.”

Lily solemnly nodded, sympathizing. James took a sip of his butterbeer.

“Padfoot is having a tough time with it too. I mean, he lived with us, so my dad was his dad for a little while…” he paused, and Lily could tell he was trying to get his voice to sound strong again.

“You know how he is, always in need of company, of something social, but this entire week, he’s been so unlike himself.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. It’s like he turned off his Sirius-ness, unplugging the charm and charisma. It’s been a grim thing to witness.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sure it’ll get better.”

“I know. It just takes…time.” He gave her a furtive look as he said the word ‘time,’ as if he was referring to her.

“Some things just do,” Lily replied, justifying his furtive look.

James took another sip of his butterbeer, leaning forward.

“Lily, why’d you come here today?”

Lily nearly spurted the tea out through her nose. She coughed a little, and set her mug down. She leaned back in her chair, staring back at James.

“I felt it was my duty.”

“Your what?”

“My duty.”

“What duty?”

“The duty to make sure you were going to be safe and sound.”

“And why is that your duty?”

“Because I’m Head Girl, and you‘re Head Boy.”

James gave her an irked look.

“So let me get this straight. Because I’m Head Boy, and you’re Head Girl, you found out I was going to be in Diagon Alley, made arrangements to journey here yourself, found me, hugged me, and are now here with me in a tea shop, sipping on your plain old English tea?”

Lily nodded, and after hearing James actually say it, acknowledged in her mind that this was a very weak explanation. James smirked, shaking his head.

“I don’t buy it.”

“Well, apparently you’ve got enough galleons to buy anything.”

“That’s a completely foul jab at me, Lily, and I will not have it,” he told her, smiling. And then, he leaned in closer, his voice turning up the charm again.

“I felt it, Lily. I felt you. I know exactly why you’re here.”

Lily’s entire body was tingling.

“Then why did you ask?” She hissed.

“Because it’s high time for you to say it.”

“I’d rather not.”

“I dare you.”

“Ooh, well now I just have to say it, then, don’t I?”

“That‘s the rule.”

“Well, I’m breaking it.”

“Say it.”

“No!”

“You know, Lily, before you came, I was depressed. The minute I saw you, my world lit up again. It’s remarkable the effect you have on me. Too bad I can’t return the favor.”

Lily looked at him, his little smug smirk back on his face after a long absence. She thought about how she had been so lonely, about how she had missed him, and about how excited she had been to come to Diagon Alley. She had even persuaded the Headmaster to let her go! Why was she fighting James again? The answer struck her: it was just out of habit. A habit she wasn’t inclined to totally break yet, but she decided this time, he was right. It was high time for her to say it.

“I missed you. There.”

“You missed me?”

Yes, alright? Yes.”

“And that’s it?”

She rolled her eyes.

“I care, James, I just…care. Now, I’m here, and I’ve said it, so what do I get for pulling off the dare?”

“A date with me, here, right now.”

“That’s not a good consolation prize whatsoever.”

“A free flying lesson, courtesy of the best flyer at Hogwarts.”

“Kenneth Brixton, you mean?”

“You saucy tart! Everyone knows it’s me.”

Lily thought about her options. Go on without learning how to fly a broom, or go on learning how to fly one, and possibly soaring with James in the future, in a starry night sky, as they had done only two weeks prior.

“Agreed.”

“To a lesson?”

“Maybe even more than one.”

“You won’t regret it, Lily!”

“I’d better not.”

They sat in silence once more, sipping on their beverages, nearing the bottoms of the mug and bottle. James gave a small incredulous chuckle, and Lily looked at him in question. He glanced up at her, his face saddened a bit.

“Lily Evans, you are the only person who can cause me to run out of a Quidditch shop, take me away, bicker with me over drinks, and make me forget, for just this fleeting moment with you, that my dad just died.”

Lily felt the customary stinging of her eyes when she knew the tears were springing into them. There was a lump in her throat. James reached over and touched her hand.

“Life’s short, Lily. Don’t hold back.”

And with that, he jumped up, leaving the butterbeer bottle on the table, and turned to wait for Lily to get up as well. She left her mug on the table, and followed James out the door, back into the icy wind.

James spotted his mother exiting Gringott’s and stopped to wait for her, but Lily continued walking a bit further.

“Evans!”

Lily turned.

“See you on Monday!”

Lily smiled and waved at him and his mother and turned back around. He had just spoken to her as if nothing had changed between them these past few months. He had called her ‘Lily’ the entire time at Diagon Alley, but chose to shout out ‘Evans’ just now. A warm feeling spread through her body. She liked when he called her Lily, but there was just something special about how only he called her ‘Evans.’

She laughed at herself as she entered Madam Malkin’s. Just a few months ago, she had complained about his constant usage of her surname, and now she was finding it endearing. She had changed so much recently, all due to James. She checked her watch…it was 2:30, half an hour before the time Dumbledore had set as the time to come back to his office. Wisely, he didn’t want to keep the fireplace open for two hours, with the defenses and enchantments of the castle off guard.

Lily greeted Madam Malkin, and took a seat at the front of the shop while waiting for three o'clock. She allowed herself to replay the past hour and a half in her mind. When Lily thought of the flying lessons she was going to be taking from James, she grinned sheepishly to herself. This was going to make their bond even stronger. She smiled. She felt good about what had happened at Diagon Alley today. James was a resilient person, and she knew he would be okay. She knew he would somehow get through this tough time, and knew, that despite having the three best friends in the world, that she would be the one person James would turn to when he needed someone the most.






LIFE'S LIKE A BOX OF FEEDBACK, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GONNA GET


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; October 2nd, 2006 at 8:31 pm.
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  #17  
Old October 6th, 2006, 6:36 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
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Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Chapter 16.- Room of Romance


Around seven o’clock on a Tuesday evening, Lily was seated warmly near the fire, resting her back against the couch as Anna, Alice, and Frank were comfortably seated upon it. Lily was happy to be near the fire, as it was already nearing the end of November, the 30th to be exact, and there was snow. Snow that wasn’t exactly thick and heavy, but nevertheless, snow, and cold that came along with it. She was happily (well not happily), more so obligatorily reading her Potions book to memorize a few potions for her next exam. She heard the sound of James’ voice and immediately took notice listening to him and the person he was addressing.

“Ahoy, Captain Brixton! Either that’s dandruff on your shoulders, or you’re just happy to see me.”

“It’s snow.”

“What’s the verdict, then?”

“Bloody freezing out there, Potter, reckon we should cancel practice?”

“Brixton, you’re the captain, don’t ask me,” James replied as Lily glanced over.

“But if we do, does that mean the Quidditch pitch will be open tomorrow?” He asked Kenneth, making sure to say it loudly enough for Lily to overhear.

Kenneth gave him an odd look.

“Well, obviously the pitch will be free, Potter, where’s your head?”

James smiled. “In its usual place: Evansville.”

Lily turned pink, but managed to roll her eyes at James and look away before Kenneth had a chance to turn and allow her to see the annoyed look on his face. She hastily read her book, as if she were truly memorizing potions as she heard Kenneth mutter,

“Well then, it’s canceled for tomorrow. Maybe it’ll stop snowing soon.”

“Not likely, mate.”

“Then the week after.”

“It’ll almost be Christmas by then.”

“Potter! Don’t you get it? I want one more practice in before the heavy snowfalls and before the spring! I cannot have this team dilly dally right now and be completely unprepared for the first match of the season next year!”

“You think one practice will stop our dilly-dallied-ness?”

“It can help!”

“Not if our butts are frozen to our brooms.”

“Potter, you are impossible.”

“So I’ve heard.”

“I can’t let the team down.”

“You won’t, Kenneth. Don’t worry about it.”

“But I am worried about it.”

“Do you really not trust us that much?

“I trust the lot of you, I just don’t trust myself as your leader.”

“You’re a good leader.”

“Just one more.”

“Only one?”

“Only one.”

“Go on then, throw in one more.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“Even if it’s still snowing next week?”

“Even if there’s a blizzard.”

“Thanks, Potter.”

“Ay ay captain.”

“Stop with the captain stuff.”

“Yes, captain.”

“I’m going to tell Katie!”

“The captain stuff?”

“No, about the practice, you prat.”

“Oh, right.”

“Night, Potter.”

“Night Cap’n!”

Lily smiled at James’ bothersome captain comments, and at the fact that she was actually smiling, and not ripping her hair out in annoyance. She had listened to their entire conversation and felt very much like a snoop. Lily almost felt the urge to panic. She was turning into her sister! She took a deep breath and remembered something James had said. “Will the Quidditch pitch be open, then?” That’s why he had given her that look! Maybe her flying lessons would start tomorrow!

This was only James’ second day back, but he was in good spirits; back with his friends, back into the normal routine, back with me, Lily thought, gloating a little. She settled back into studying after she saw James walk up to the dormitories, knowing he wouldn’t distract her any longer.

At nine o’clock, James still hadn’t returned from the dormitories, and Lily feared he had fallen asleep. She had already tucked away her things, and made her way out the portrait hall for their patrol. She waited anxiously for James to come out, and after five minutes, she went back into the portrait hole, much to the irritation of the Fat Lady, and as soon as she stepped foot inside the little passage, who better to bump into her than the very person she was looking for.

“Oomph, sorry Lily,” James apologized, grabbing her by the shoulders to steady her. He was much taller and stronger, and his knocking into her had made her stumble.

“It’s fine, Potter,” she said with mild irritancy. “You’re five minutes late,” she added, huffily, as she made her way back into the corridor.

“I know, and I apologize for that too. I was just studying, and I lost track of time.”

“Studying? You never study!”

“I do too! I just can’t seem to do very well on concentration in the common room.”

“And why’s that? Too many people to annoy?” She asked, with a teasing tone.

“No.”

“No?”

“No.”

“There’s no reason?”

“You might not want to hear it.”

“I don’t want to hear most of the things that come out of your mouth.”

“Such a sweet girl.”

“I’m always ‘sweet’ when it comes to you, Potter.”

“That’s precisely the reason I can’t concentrate in the common room.”

“Me acting sweet?”

“Sort of.”

“What do you mean sort of?”

“Take out ‘sweet’.”

“Me acting?”

“Take out ‘acting'.”

“Me….” Lily felt very stupid as she heard herself say it. How could she not have seen that one coming?

“Well done! You in the vicinity makes James a distracted boy,” he said, very flirtatiously.

Lily didn’t want to admit that he had the exact same effect on her, as she had just witnessed only hours before. She laughed.

“You are impossible, Potter.”

“Interesting how Brixton just said that to me earlier tonight. Was someone eavesdropping?”

“You were talking louder than a banshee, I was forced to eavesdrop.”

“A banshee, huh? I’ve never heard that one. Pity too, it’s quite good.”

“HEY! Where are you…Why are you going that way?” Lily suddenly asked as she watched James heading in a direction they never went during their patrol.

“Follow me, and you’ll find out,” he informed her, smirking.

Lily hesitated, but once again, she couldn’t refuse. They made their way up the moving staircases, up to the 7th floor. James began walking in the corridor, and Lily followed. They passed a few tapestries, and across the hall from an especially interesting tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy trying to teach trolls how to dance the ballet, James suddenly began pacing near a blank wall. Lily frowned, but she didn’t ask questions. Not yet. James’ eyes were shut, and his face had a painstaking look upon it. He was thinking. Thinking while pacing to and fro beside a boring old wall. Finally, Lily opened her mouth to speak, when suddenly, James turned to her, grinning and gesturing to the wall.

“How did you do that!?” Lily questioned him in awe. She was now looking at a door. A door in the wall that hadn’t been there seconds ago, if ever, in the 7th floor corridor.

“How else? Magic!” He responded, his eyes lighting up, smile wide. He reached for the doorknob, and Lily cautiously followed him into the room. What she saw next amazed her.

There was a large wooden room, almost like a warehouse, with beautiful windows letting starlight stream in. There were candles upon candles lit everywhere, and a glow that softened any sharp edges or features. There were a few padded mats upon the ground, mats that looked like they were used by gymnasts in the Muggle Olympics. And there, in the center of the room, were two brooms. Lily gasped as James motioned to the room as if he were introducing it to a crowd of spectators,

“Welcome, Evans, to your first flying lesson.”

“You’re joking!”

“Certainly not!”

“How did you pull this off?”

“Brilliance.”

“How did you know about this room?”

“Trial and error.”

“Potter! You didn’t have to do this!”

“I told you once before Lily, that I don’t have to do any of the things I do for you. I just do them.”

“Well, thank you.”

“No problem.”

“How do we start?”

“Lily Evans, meet broom,” James picked one of the brooms up and handed it to Lily, “broom, meet Lily Evans.”

Lily held the broom, and just stared at it. She looked up at James.

“Well?”

“Take some time to get used to it. Be aware of the texture, the shape, the contour…take a moment and feel it.”

Lily blushed. She didn’t want to do that in front of James. She actually felt embarrassed.

“Well don’t watch me do it.”

“What?”

“Turn around.”

“Evans---”

“Around!”

“Fine.”

James obediently turned away from her, and picked up his own broom, seemingly examining it for who knows what. Lily ran her hand up and down the broom, first worried about getting a splinter, but soon realizing that it wouldn’t be a problem. This broom was fine quality, smoothed down to perfection. She felt the bottom, the top, the middle. She gripped it one way, and another, and even sat on it for a moment just to see what it was like. When she felt she had done a thorough job of meeting the broom, she tapped James on the shoulder. He turned around with his eyes closed.

“Can I look now?”

“Yes, you prat.”

He opened his eyes, and his head jerked back a little, as if in surprise.

“What?” Lily asked, concerned.

“The glow of the candles, it just, I didn’t notice before…”

“Didn’t notice what?” Lily knew what he was going to say, but this time, she really wanted to hear him say it.

“….it softens your face, Lily. You look lovely. And your hair, it makes it look like it’s on fire…”

“I hope that’s a positive thing.”

“More than you know.”

“Potter…”

James stepped closer. “Yes?”

Lily cleared her throat.

“I’m here for a flying lesson, remember?”

James groaned. “Yes, I remember.” He grabbed his own broom. “Right then, here we go. Lay the broom down. We’ll start with the basics.”

Lily followed directions.

“Now, Evans, say 'UP'.”

Lily had a quick flashback to 1st year and smiled.

“UP!”

Nothing.

“UP!!”

Nothing.

“For goodness sake, UP UP UP!” She bellowed at her broom, frustrated that she couldn’t get it on the first try.

James didn’t laugh as Lily had expected, he just said,

“Evans, don’t get so frustrated right away. The broom, the magic, needs to feel that you’re not afraid, nor too under pressure. Relax. It’s just me here," he paused, "and the brooms.”

Lily did relax. It WAS just James. She could do this. She wanted to do this. She took a deep breath.

“Up.”

The broom flew into her outstretched hand as if she had been doing it for years. She smiled as James cheered.

“Alright, Evans! Good job! Now, you mount---”

The way James said it made Lily throw him a dirty look.

“---the broom, mount the broom. Get your mind out of the gutter, Evans.”

Lily gave him a sarcastic smile and stepped over one side of the broom, mounting it. She stood there, holding onto the front of the broom, feeling incredibly awkward.

“Good. Step forward a bit. Yes, like that. Okay, we’re going to lift off, just hovering a bit above the ground. Is that alright?”

Lily nodded nervously. She was thankful for all of the padding on the ground. James had thought this through.

“Alright, Evans, now, see how I’m standing? Lift your feet off of the ground like this,” James modeled it, “and move your body forward just a bit like this,” he gave another example, slightly leaning forward, causing the broom to move up and out just another few inches.

Lily carefully took her feet off of the ground and leaned forward as James had. She jerked a little more than he had, but nevertheless, she inched ahead, beside him. James raised his eyebrows.

“This is going much better than I thought it would!”

“Thanks for your confidence in me, Potter.”

“Just because I like you doesn’t mean I think you’ll be a high caliber Quidditch star in no time flat. We’ve got some work to do here.”

“Now what?”

“Now…we fly higher.”

Lily gulped. “Let’s do it.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m ready.”

“Alright, same as before, lean forward, pull up on the front of the broom, there you go, Evans, perfect. Yes, keep going, forward, pull up, forward pull up, not bad! Not bad at all!”

Lily grinned anxiously as she followed the directions. She was flying! She glanced down and realized she was only a few feet in the air.

“Don’t go too far or too high yet, Evans. You have to master the technique first.”

Lily wanted to listen to James, but she also wanted to feel the way she had when she was soaring with him: up high, fast, and free.

“Okay, I’m going to let you go on your own, now. Forward, pull up…all the way around this room. Go on, go ahead. I’m here.”

Lily continued flying as she had, and she could feel herself getting better and getting used to the way it felt. After a few minutes, and after circling the room twice, James allowed her to go higher and higher, and by no time (well, by forty-five minutes later), they were flying in tandem, at quite a regular pace, about twenty feet in the air, around and around the room. Lily liked flying with James better than she liked flying alone. In the moments when James flew with her, she knew that the feeling she had experienced that first night with him, the freedom she had felt, wasn’t caused by flying…it was caused by James.

“Evans, it’s almost ten-thirty. We’ve got to get back.”

“Just a little while longer!”

“Tomorrow.”

“When tomorrow?”

“Afternoon, out at the pitch. It’s open, there’s no practice.”

“It’ll be freezing!”

“We’ll have each other to keep warm.”

“Potter! This is strictly a student/teacher relationship.”

“Really? Do students come all the way to Diagon Alley to visit their teacher when they miss them?”

“Did you say it was ten-thirty? My goodness, it really is time to go.”

“You are such a stinker.”

“Thank you for the lesson, teacher.”

They both landed, James speedily jumping down and Lily choosing grace over speed. James grinned at her.

“What, Potter?”

“I don’t know. I’m just happy.”

“Me too. I like flying.”

“As do I. And I like you. So, two of my favorite things in one room really make for a great evening.”

“You have a way with words.”

“And you have a way with my heart.”

“And that’s where your way with words goes crashing into the wall. That was horrible!”

“I thought it was quite romantic!”

“Then you need to look up ‘romantic’ in the dictionary.”

“What’s your definition of romantic, then, Evans?”

“Do we have to put these candles out, or does it not matter?”

“No, we do not, and please answer my question.”

“Ugh, fine. Romance is truth. Romance is not tacky comments about hearts and heartstrings. Romance is…”

“Yes?”

“Romance is…”

James stared at Lily, and she didn’t know what else to say. He was romantic, and the both of them knew it. She just didn’t want to tell him that. She never wanted to tell him. Lily supposed she wasn’t romantic, then, as she said romance was truth, and she could barely ever utter the truth to James about how she felt. James spoke for her.

“Maybe romance is what we have, Lily. Maybe we just need to push it along just a little more…” He explained, moving closer to her, the brooms far behind, the candlelight creating the perfect ambiance.

“Maybe, Potter, you’re a little too close…”

“Maybe, Evans,” James whispered, now brushing his hand through her hair, “you aren’t letting me get close enough.”

Lily felt as if her hair was indeed on fire. As if every fiber of her being was on fire. The spot where James was brushing his hand though her hair was tingling from every nerve being on fire. Everything was just on fire. Lily knew that if she let the fire spread any more, she would melt, melt into James. Without thinking, in a very swift movement, Lily leaned up and kissed James on the cheek, a kiss that meant more than friendship, more than a thank you. She pulled her head back and looked into James’ eyes. They were smiling. She gave him a foolish grin and practically ran out of the room.

She made her way back to the common room alone, and immediately headed up to the dormitory to sleep. She didn’t want anyone asking questions, and she didn’t want to have to see James tonight. So far, he had kissed her on the forehead, and she had kissed him on the cheek. At some point, each of them would aim for that location on the face that was meant for kisses. It wouldn’t be too long before each of them kissed the other in that one spot Lily was terrified of kissing James…it wouldn’t be too long before both sets of lips met the other’s match.








I'M JUST A FEEDBACK, STANDING IN FRONT OF A FEEDBACK, ASKING HIM TO LOVE HER.


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; October 6th, 2006 at 5:28 pm.
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  #18  
Old October 7th, 2006, 1:15 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 17- Snowy Surprises



It was now the next day, a Wednesday, and Lily and James, much to everyone else’s faces of insanity, were heading outdoors, into the blistery snow, together. They played it off as if Professor Dumbledore had asked them to do something outside for Head duties, but most of their friends could guess there was something going on. Lily blushed as Sirius teased James in the common room,

“You know, Prongs, if it starts snowing like mad and it just gets too cold out, you can always get naked together.”

“Excuse me, Padfoot?”

“Naked.”

“I got that part.”

“It’s body heat. You rip off your robes, rip the clothes off underneath, huddle together,” Sirius threw Lily a glance, grinning at her horrified face, “don’t worry, Lily, it’s all a strictly scientific, professional, and mandatory way of staying alive! Anyway, you huddle together, possibly under a large drift of snow, and stay that way…for hours and hours if need be.”

“Body heat, huh?” James asked in mocking tone.

“Body heat of the likes you and Lily couldn’t possibly imagine…yet.”

James laughed at his friend, but Lily was mortified. How many people had heard that conversation? She glanced around quickly, and knew that pretty much everyone, but especially Anna, Alice, Remus, and Peter had heard. She didn’t want everyone thinking she was a---

“Evans isn’t very likely to do that life saving technique unless, of course, there was no other way…right, Evans?”

Lily put her game face on in front of her friends as she had for years now.

“I would rather freeze to death then get naked and huddle under a snow drift with you.”

Sirius gave his best friend a sorry look.

“Alas, Prongs, I think you should probably admit defeat by now.”

Remus jumped in.

“Or, maybe Lily should.”

Lily turned on him.

“What’s that, Remus?”

“Just throwing in my own two cents.”

“Agreed!” Shouted Anna, nodding at Remus and giving Lily a very falsely sweet smile.

Alice and Peter both chose to stay out of it, Peter probably for his lack of any idea of what to say anyway, and Alice for the very intelligent ‘do not get involved and my life will be spared’ ploy. Lily could feel everyone’s eyes burrowing into her, waiting for a response. In retaliation, she could think of nothing else but to give all of her friends a very contemptuous look, and turn to stomp out of the common room. She saw James shrug to everyone, and follow her out.

“Gee, Evans, a little acknowledgement would have made me feel loads better.”

“Oh, you’re fine.”

“Am I? How do you know?”

“Because I’ve treated you that way for years now, and look at you, still going strong.”

“Well that was before you admitted you like me.”

“I’ve never admitted a thing.”

“Did too.”

“Did not!”

“So I suppose that kiss on the cheek was just in thanks for the flying lesson?”

“Exactly.”

“You’re a horrible liar.”

“You’re a horrible person.”

Lily knew she had gone a bit too far the moment she let that sentence slip from her mouth. James had stopped walking, and was now almost glaring at Lily. She had never seen him look at her that way. She felt a sinking feeling in her stomach. Oh no!

“Evans,” he began curtly, his tone very serious, “call me prat, call me idiot, call me git, call me impossible, but never call me a horrible person because---”

“Because it isn’t true! Oh, James! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean it, I really didn’t, it was just reflex…” she trailed off, her face expressing a very honest need for forgiveness.

James stood still, his jaw clenched. His glare didn’t change.

“Evans---”

“Call me, Lily, please call me Lily,” she pleaded, knowing that if he only called her Lily, what she had just said would be erased.

“Evans,” he continued, ignoring her request, “let’s get one thing straight before we move on. All my life I’ve had people call me names, out of fun, out of jealousy, out of annoyance, out of me being the kind of guy that I am. But I’m a good person. I am.”

Lily nodded. James went on.

“All our years at Hogwarts, I have had a desperate need for you to see that. For Lily Evans to understand that I am not just a prankster, or a Quidditch player, or Sirius Black’s best friend. I am James Potter.”

“I know you are---”

“Don’t, Evans, let me finish! I am James Potter, and there are things about me you don’t know that would blow your mind. Things that I have done for people I despise. Why did I do them? Because I am not a horrible person. I thought you knew that by now.”

“I do! I’m telling you I didn’t mean to say it---”

“It doesn’t matter, Evans! You said it. If you truly cared about my feelings…you would have caught yourself before you said it. You would have known that it wasn’t true, that it would make me feel terrible.”

“I did, I did. I just…I have this problem whenever we talk. I don’t know what comes over me!”

“Years of conditioning, maybe?” James said, a small smirk on his lips.

“Yes! I told you it was reflex!”

“Then what about what you said in the common room? I just figured, at this point, you would at least treat me with a little more decency in front of our friends.”

“I know I should. I just can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know, James! I’m scared? I’m afraid of what they’ll say!”

“What can be worse than suggesting we huddle nakedly under a snow drift?”

Lily laughed. That was pretty funny.

“I’m not sure. I guess, nothing.”

“Then try it. Try being civil with me in front of our friends.”

“They’ll just throw us knowing looks and congratulate themselves for being right.”

“Being right?”

“About us liking one another.”

“So you do like me then?”

“I said our friends would think that.”

James smiled and shook his head.

“Lily, you are impossible.

“I have a feeling we are both just the most impossible people on the planet.”

“That could prove difficult once we start dating.”

“Ah! It’s murderously cold out here!”

“You always manage to interrupt me at the most convenient time,” James replied.

Lily’s remark had come as they had just stepped through the doors out into the courtyard, and the blast of swirling snow and wind had just met their faces. Their bodies were wrapped tightly in a nice layer of clothes, robes, and cloaks, scarves, gloves, and boots, but their faces were exposed. Lily squinted her eyes to shield them from the fast flying snow, and James put his hand up to shield his own eyes.

“You’re right, though, it’s ridiculous. I don’t know if we should do this.”

“No, Potter! I want to! At least for a moment.”

“Evans, I want you to like flying, not curse it to Hades because of the conditions.”

“I will like it, I know I will! Come on, the faster we go, the faster we’ll get it over with.”

They trudged out to the Quidditch pitch, James holding his arms out to protect Lily if she were to slip. When they arrived, both worn out, James shouted to Lily over the wind.

“Okay, Evans, mount the broom! Good! Now, here we go, steady, please be careful!”

They lifted off, slightly struggling against the wind.

“Alright, push forward, good job, lean in, turn right, nice!”

They moved on a little more, and despite the freezing environment, Lily was enjoying herself. A few minutes later, as she made her way farther away from James, she inched up even higher, flying at a speed she hadn’t flown before, well aware that she was taking a risk in that weather.

“Evans!”

She ignored him.

“Lily! Slow down! You’re flying too fast!“

She flew harder.

“LILY, LISTEN TO ME!”

She could hear James’ voice behind her, being carried away by the wind. She didn’t want to listen. She felt more liberated than she had ever felt in her entire life. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind came at her, with snow blinding her vision. She lost control of her broom, and with a feeling of mingled fear and anger at herself for not having listened to James, she turned sideways on her broom, hung there for a moment, and slipped, tumbling to the ground. She couldn’t see anything, she didn’t know what to do, or how to do it, or why she hadn’t listened to James. It all happened so fast, that when she felt strong, familiar arms grab hold of her falling body, she couldn’t even appreciate it. She passed out, and her body fell limp in James’ arms.








Lily awoke, out of her state of unconsciousness, and found herself wrapped in an extra cloak, being held in James’ arms, sitting in a pile of snow, in the middle of nowhere.

“Lily! Are you alright!?” He asked in alarm.

Her throat was dry, but she swallowed and answered,

“Yes, I’m okay,” she replied, “I am!” She added, noting the look on James’ face. “How long has it been since I…?”

“Only a couple of minutes. But nevertheless, that was a stupid thing to do, Lily. If I weren’t worried about you right now, I’d be chastising you even more, so you’re lucky.

“I know! That was stupid, James. I’m so sorry for doing that.”

“Damn right! I cannot have my future wife getting into flying accidents before we’ve even had our first kiss! Listen to me next time, will you? Just because you’re a genius in every other subject, doesn’t give you the right to overrule my flying instructions. I know what I’m talking about.”

“Yes, you do. You’re right, you do. I…I’m so tired of saying I’m sorry, but I am.” She lifted herself up a bit, giving him a look. “You must be freezing! Here, take your cloak back, I don’t need it, I’m fine!”

“You sure?”

“Yes, yes, take it, please.”

James unwrapped her body from the cloak and swung it over his shoulders, putting it back on himself.

“You really scared me there, for a minute, Lily.”

“I scared myself.”

“I could tell you were going too fast, I knew I should get up there quickly, just in case.”

“And you were right, you were there. Thank you for catching me.”

“No problem. You weren’t falling that fast yet. We were still far off the ground.”

“That could have been bad.”

“I would have been devastated.”

Lily suddenly felt a surge of gratefulness for James. Not only had he basically just saved her life, but he had also just said that he’d be devastated if she’d been hurt. She couldn’t hold it in any longer.

“Why do you have to be so wonderful?”

“You think I’m wonderful, Lily?”

“Yes, you wonderfully annoying wonderful wonder.”

“You’re wonderful too.”

“Let’s go back now.”

“Sounds good.”

They found Lily’s broom, and began making their way back, when Lily got a fun idea in her mind. James was leading the way, when she pretended to slip and stumble, and landed in the snow, dropping her broom. James called out.

“Oi! You alright?”

“Yes, James, I’m okay!” She answered, hiding what she was doing from him. He ambled up to her as she tucked the snowball she had just made to the side, away from his eyes.

“Ready to go on?”

“Yes.”

James began leading the way again, back to the castle, and as soon as he turned away from her, Lily pelted him with a very hard-packed snowball, courtesy of her talents from home. Petunia had always hated the winter when they were young, before Lily had come to Hogwarts, and Lily always thought that her aptitude for snowball making (and throwing) had something to do with it. James lunged forward after he felt the snowball hit him in the back, and Lily roared with laughter. He turned around quickly, surprised.

“Evans! I just saved your life, and this is how you repay me?”

Lily shrugged, leaning down and swiftly making another snowball. She tossed it in the air giving James a ‘be prepared’ look, and chucked it at him, hitting him in the left shoulder. James pointed his arm and finger up in the air poignantly.

“This…is WAR!”

The two of them began assembling and throwing snowballs at each other faster than rabbits during mating season. BAM! Score one for James. OUCH! Score one for Lily. The icy air, wind, and snow weren’t a problem at all at the moment, for the both of them seemed to have forgotten completely about the cold.

OOMPH! Score one more for Lily. POTTER! Score one more for James. They went on like this for a few more minutes, until Lily finally decided to take matters into a woman’s hands. She packed the snow nice and tightly into her gloved palm, and ran toward James. She was hit with another snowball as she ran, but it didn’t deter her. She ran right into him, smashing the snowy mass into his face, glasses and all. He didn’t fall back as she had expected, but grabbed onto her, pulling her to the ground, even if he couldn’t see. They lay on the snowy ground together, with Lily laughing until her abdominal muscles hurt, and James rubbing the wet snow off of his glasses and face.

“Well, that went over well,” he said, grinning at her. His glasses were all smudged with melted snow, and his face was pink.

She grinned back at him. “Victory is mine,” she said slyly.

James nodded, giving her a look of defeat. He didn’t say anything else, but gazed at Lily in the way he always did. Lily couldn’t feel her fingers or toes, numb from the cold, and her hair and face were soaked, but she still felt that customary fire begin to blaze inside her. Not a word was spoken for about a minute, as the two of them just looked at each other. Lily swore Alice could walk up to them at this very moment, take out a butter knife, and cut through the tension. Then, she made the mistake of picturing Alice serving the tension to everyone on little dessert plates, and giggled.

“What’s so funny, Lily?” James asked quietly.

“Nothing, er…nothing pertaining to you.”

“I see.”

They sat silently for a few more seconds, until Lily knew this was the perfect time to truly apologize for calling him a horrible person earlier.

“James…”

He looked at her, like a lost boy, waiting for her direction.

“I am sorry. For what I said earlier today.”

He shrugged.

“You made up for it.”

“I did?”

“Mhmm. By calling me wonderful.”

Lily’s already pink cheeks turned a few shades more pink.

“Oh, that! Yes.”

James’ eyebrows shot up.

“You did mean that, didn’t you? It wasn’t just said because of your episode, from some trauma to the head, was it?”

Lily leaned over and stuck out her wet, gloved hands, placing them on James’ chest, in a meaningful manner. His face became intense as she spoke very seriously, slowly, and reassuringly, looking fixedly into his eyes,

“You. Are. Wonderful.” She stated, slowly nodding, as if she had to drill it into his head that she really felt that way.

James clasped his hands around hers, and replied,

“Love you, Evans,” in a very causal, but truthful tone.

Lily squeezed his hands and pulled hers away, but James grabbed her.

“Not so fast, m’lady! You’ve still got one more thing coming to you!”

Lily’s heart jumped. This was it…he was going to kiss her.

Lily closed her eyes, awaiting the inevitable. And then it came.

A big, wet, snowy mass was thrust upon her face, and she jumped back in shock.

“POTTER!”

She heard James laughing and running away from her in the snow, and she rubbed her eyes to get the snow out. She wiped her face quickly with her sleeve, and spotted James doubled over, having a hysterical fit of laughter. She glared at him, although she was smirking at the same time.

“Evans!” He paused, still laughing. “Oh my goodness, that was GREAT!”

Lily picked up her broom, didn’t say a word to James, and resolutely began making her way back to the castle. She realized, walking alone for just a few moments, that she was very, very cold, and that she was shivering, and that she needed a new set of clothes, and the fireplace, right now. She hastened her pace, and found James beside her in a matter of moments.

“Er…good flying today, Lily. Really well done.”

“Oh, shove it.”

“You know you love me, Evans.”

Lily didn’t argue. She didn’t say ‘No, I do not.’ She wasn’t sure why she didn’t say no, but she just didn’t say it. James stared at her as they walked, but Lily still didn’t say a word. James gave her an expectant look,

“Well?”

“Well what?”

“Go on!”

“With what?”

“Say ‘No, I do not love you, you idiot’.”

“I’m not going to say that.”

“Why not?”

“Because it would defeat my purpose of apologizing for saying something rude to you today.”

“No, it wouldn’t.”

“I’m not going to say it, Potter.”

“Well, then say the other thing.”

“What other thing?”

“You know, ‘Get over yourself, Potter, I do not love you and I never will’.”

“No,” Lily replied quietly, now feeling annoyed, and very pressured to say something she didn’t want to. She could feel herself blushing, and she must have looked uncomfortable.

They had arrived at the courtyard, and James stopped in his tracks. Lily faced him, unable to speak. James gaped at her in disbelief. He blinked a few times, but Lily didn’t know if it was from the snow or from his surprise.

“Blimey, Lily…you love me!”

Lily furrowed her brows, crossed her arms, shivering, her teeth chattering, and looked away from James. She did not! She didn’t. She didn’t know how to love someone! But when she glanced back at James, she knew she couldn’t disagree with him. She couldn’t say it, but she couldn’t argue. He went on, his voice quiet but in such shock at the realization of the matter at hand, that Lily could tell he was having a hard time with it.

“You…love…me…”

Lily didn’t have a response, so she shook her head, shuddering, dropped her broom, and hurried into the castle. She was so cold, she couldn’t bear to stand outside any longer. Either that, or she was so overwhelmed by her feelings that she couldn’t bear to stand outside with James any longer. Thankfully, she didn’t run into anyone in the corridors, but she did have Anna and Alice to contend with when she got back into the common room.

“Lily! You’re soaking wet! What happened?” Alice freaked out, running toward her. Lily saw Sirius, Remus, and Peter look to her, and smile back at one another.

“I was outdoors, you knew that!”

“But, Lily! I didn’t think you’d be rolling around in the snow! Come on, let’s get you some warm clothes!” She led Lily to the stairs of the dormitories. “Anna! Make room in front of the fireplace, will you? Lily’s going to need all the heat she can get!”


After changing out of her wet clothes and into cozy, comfortable ones, Lily made her way back down to the common room with Alice. She was nervous, hoping James wasn’t in the common room, and to her relief, he wasn’t. Maybe he had gone up to the dormitories to change as well? Anna had cleared out space in front of the fireplace, and the three girls sat close to it, with Lily covered in a small blanket. Anna spoke first.

“Outside, for Head duties, in this kind of weather? I don’t believe you.”

Lily nodded, but she dropped her shoulders. She couldn’t do this anymore. She was going to take James’ request to heart and not lie to her friends about him anymore. Well, she wasn’t going to tell them everything, like the recent event in the courtyard, but she would tell them anything having to do with flying. She explained to them what had happened over the past couple of weeks, not mentioning that she had gone to Diagon Alley.

Alice gaped at her.

“This is mad! You’re taking flying lessons from James?”

Lily nodded. Anna laughed.

“I knew something was going on!”

Lily shrugged. “I wanted to learn how. And he’s the best flyer at Hogwarts, isn’t he?”

The girls agreed, giggling. Lily thought it hadn’t gone too badly. Neither of them had said anything about how she was madly in love with him, nor about how it was only a matter of time before they dated. Alice admired Lily,

“I think it’s great. Not only are you a good student, and Head Girl, now you’ll be the second best flyer at Hogwarts!” The girls laughed, and Lily felt relieved.

Maybe James was right, what’s the worst that could happen? After an hour of chatting by the fire, Lily felt better, warmer, and even though she and James had missed supper, she wasn’t that hungry. She wrote an essay later that evening, and she and James went on their nightly patrol. Most of their talk was spent on flying, and James gave her a few more pointers. There was one thing in particular that he had said that had made Lily want to get out and fly the very next day,

“You know, Evans, once you get really good, we’ll go flying over the entire grounds. It’s absolutely gorgeous at night.”

Lily went to sleep that evening, planning on practicing the next day, alone, without James. Even if it was a little snowy out, what harm could be done? Besides, she wanted to get better sooner so that James could take her out on a romantic…Lily hoped it would be romantic…broom ride, over the magnificent grounds of Hogwarts.





LUKE, I AM YOUR FEEDBACK


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."
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  #19  
Old October 7th, 2006, 7:38 pm
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 18- Lessons Learned



The next day, Thursday, the first day of December, Lily was making her way to the common room after classes. She was still reliving the day before in her mind. She and James hadn’t said a word about her ‘loving’ revelation, and she didn’t know if they ever would. She found James in the common room, and making a bold move, decided to say hello to him, politely and decently, in front of his friends.

“Hello, Potter.”

“Evans, hi! What’s er…what’s up?”

“I need to talk to you for a moment.”

“Oh, right now?”

“Yes, right now!”

“Fellas, I’ll be back. Moony, play for me, will you?”

Remus took James’ place in the seat opposite Sirius, as they were playing wizarding chess, and it must have been an intense moment. Peter was not to be seen. As James walked away with Lily, she heard Sirius say,

“He won’t be back for awhile, I reckon. Moony, it’s you and me now. I just hope James made some smart moves so far, moves that won’t prevent your progress in the game.”

Remus replied, chuckling,

“Padfoot, if I were you I’d look down to notice that I’ve already taken away one of your pawns.”

Lily led James to the opposite side of the common room and directly came out with her question, even though it came out like more of a demand.

“I need your broom.”

“My broom?”

“Or a spare broom.”

James eyes her. “What for, Evans?”

“I want to practice.”

“No.”

“Yes, I do.”

“It’s only slightly better weather out there, Lily, and I can’t give you permission, as your teacher and as the man who cares about you, to go out and attempt flying again.”

“Oh! Is that what you thought? I’m sorry, I failed to mention that McGonagall gave me permission to use one of the empty classrooms to practice basic stuff.”

“She did?”

“Yes, Potter!”

“That’s odd…she wouldn’t usually---”

“I’m Head Girl, she trusts me.”

James still looked skeptical, but he nodded.

“Okay. I’ll let you have mine. You’re indoors, it shouldn’t be a problem. Hang on, I’ll go get it.”

Lily waited until James came back, and handed her his Nimbus 500. She thanked him and was about to exit the common room, when James grabbed hold of the broom, stopping her.

“Be careful, Lily.”

“No problem, Potter. See you later,” she responded, smiling cheerfully.

She made her way out, walked along the corridors and entered the secret passage through which she and James had once made a covert trip to get out onto the grounds. She had hidden warmer clothing, and her cloak, inside the passage earlier in the day, and she lit up the darkness with her wand.

She grabbed the warmer clothing, put it on, and proceeded through the passage to the trap door she had used with James. Once she arrived, she climbed up the ladder on the wall, lifted the door (finding it difficult as there was a mound of snow covering it), checked for people, and once she knew it was safe, she made her way up and out.

Lily knew it was cold and snowing but she didn’t care. As the snowflakes fell, gentle as they may be, yet still quite bothersome, she walked alone, trudging through the now thicker snow on the ground, dragging the broom behind her. She found herself at the Quidditch pitch about fifteen minutes later. She mounted James’ broom, pushed her feet on the ground to kick off, slipped, and fell into the snow. Adamantly, she rose up, brushed herself off, got back on, and tried to kick off again, this time, succeeding.

Lily began climbing higher into the air, turning this way and that, but not going too fast yet, as she had that bad experience only the day before. Once she felt more comfortable, she began ascending even higher into the air, trying not to look down. The wind was stronger up here, and it was considerably more demanding to steer and control the broom. A fierce blast of air caused her to sway dangerously. Lily started to panic.

She decided to make a landing and go back to the castle, and she was trying very hard to descend slowly and cautiously, but it was proving to be far too much for her lightweight body to handle. She was being blown about this way and that, and as she glanced down quickly to see how close she was to the ground, she thought she saw a dark object coming toward her, though far away, she knew it was coming toward her.

She focused back on the task at hand, and as she tried to turn to the right in order to stay on course, the gust of wind decided it would be better if she, in fact, didn’t stay on course, and fought her, knocking her sideways once again. She couldn’t manipulate the broom any longer, for now she was just flying forward, her eyes wide open, the icy snow cutting her face. She was going at a terrifying speed, and when she saw where she was headed, she desperately tried to regain the seated position she had only moments before, so that she could steer clear.

But it was too late! Lily couldn’t swing herself up and around enough to do so. The broom veered a little more. Not again! Except this time, there was no James to rescue her. She shut her eyes, for the last thing she saw was the wooden beams of the stands looking treacherously ominous, and the last thing she thought was,

“If I don’t die right now, Potter’s going to kill me.”

With a tremendous crash, Lily Evans flew straight into the framework of the Quidditch stands, instantly blacking out.


































































“Boy…go…can’t....here….all….night…”

Lily heard a woman’s muffled voice speaking to someone, but her mind couldn’t quite distinguish who it was. She had a dreadful headache, and she felt incredibly disoriented. She only knew that she was lying down, and that the pillow was very soft and comfortable, and that the blankets were very warm and cozy as well. She stirred a little, but her body ached. She gave a little grunt, and someone else spoke. Her mind was able to focus more now, and she knew it was James.

“Madam Pomfrey, I’ve told you, I’m going to stay here until she wakes up, maybe longer, and although you are a wonderfully talented healer, I’m still not going to budge, no matter what you say.”

“Mr. Potter, those are just the rules.”

“Well, she’s not just some girl. She’s the most important person in my life, Madam Pomfrey---”

“James?” Lily croaked, unsure of whether the name had actually been spoken out loud, or if she had imagined it.

“Lily! See, Madam Pomfrey, told you she’d wake up!”

“Yes, boy, but she needs some rest.”

“She needs me.”

“Potter, you get one more hour. Then, OUT!”

Lily squinted, trying to open her eyes, her eyelids fluttering. When they finally managed to come open enough for her to see normally, she spotted Madam Pomfrey walking away from her bed, and James directly on her left, his hand on her arm, looking relieved. He spoke.

“This may sound silly, but how are you feeling?”

“Miserable,” she replied, her voice cracking.

“You had a little accident today, I’m afraid.”

Lily’s mind flashed bits and pieces of the disaster, and she flinched. She must have hit those stands quite hard for all of the pain she was in. And James! What would he say about his broom?

“How is your broom?”

“What?”

“Your broom?”

“Lily, you’re lying in the hospital wing, with one pretty battered up body, and you’re worried about my broom?”

“Yes…” she replied, weakly, not in the mood to argue. James recognized her inability to bicker, and responded.

“It’s in rough shape, but fixable. Besides, a broom is replaceable. You, on the other hand, are not.”

“I did another stupid thing.”

“Yes, you did.”

Lily shut her eyes.

Why did I do that?”

“I have absolutely no idea.”

A thought dawned on her…how had she been found? She opened her eyes.

“How did anyone find me?”

James smiled. “I know you well enough to know that you were lying to me. I followed you out there. I saw the whole thing happen.”

“That must have been a sight to see. How humiliating.”

“Lily, I would never laugh at you. I was devastated.”

Lily remembered him saying, only the day before, that he would be devastated if she’d ever get hurt. She gave a small smile, but even her face was sore.

“How bad does my face look?”

“A little rough around the edges, but still beautiful.”

“I’m sorry for ruining your evening, Potter.”

“It would only have been ruined if you hadn’t come out of this in good condition.”

“And how is my condition?”

“Battered and bruised, but nothing broken.”

“How long have you been here?”

“Ever since it happened.”

“What time is it?”

“Ten-fifteen.”

“I’m tired.”

“You’ve got every right to be.”

Lily sighed, and all she could think about was why she had flown out there this afternoon. She was too drained to deny her feelings, too overcome with being alive and well that she just didn’t see the point in lying to herself and James anymore. She had flown out to practice because she wanted to get better quickly, in order to fly with James sooner. She decided she may as well tell him.

“I’m going to tell you…why I did it.”

“There’s a plausible reason?”

“Yes. You see, I…you…told me, that as soon as I got really good at flying, you would take me flying around the grounds.”

“Uh oh…”

“I just…I had this silly notion that if I practiced alone and got better sooner, that we’d be able to do that sooner.”

“Please tell me you’re joking, Evans.”

“I’m not.”

“I don’t want to be the cause of this!”

“You’re not! It was my idea, my fault! I just wanted to be with you…”

“Sooner than later?”

“Yes.”

James continued holding her arm, moving down to her hand, squeezed it, and leaned over to brush her hair out of her eyes.

“Don’t ever worry that you need to hurry, Lily. I’ll always be here.”

She smiled, and settled back into the bed a little more.

“I guess I learned my lesson, huh?”

“Well, the flying lesson, you’ve still got a ways to go…but the lesson that Lily Evans shouldn’t make stupid decisions based on silly notions? That one you’ve learned.”

Lily gave a small giggle and yawned.

“Do you know how long I’ll be in here?” She asked, still yawning, and turning (with mild pain) onto her side so that she was facing James.

“Couple of days, and you should be good to go.”

“Will you be in to visit me?”

“Every minute I can.”

“Don’t forget our patrols!”

“I’ll be missing you the entire time.”

Lily shut her eyes, her head sinking into the pillow, as James stroked her hair and held her hand. She finally allowed herself to feel. It was so comforting, so safe, so perfect…

A few minutes later, when all was quiet, and the only thing Lily could hear was their breathing, she uttered, half-asleep,


“James…?”


“Hmm?”


“…stay with me?”


“Forever.”


And with that, a cheesy line from James that she would have usually laughed at, she instead drifted off to sleep, a tranquil smile on her lips, and James Potter at her side.





PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF THEIR FEEDBACK, FEEDBACK SHOULD BE AFRAID OF THEIR PEOPLE.


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."

Last edited by marianna58; October 7th, 2006 at 8:02 pm.
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  #20  
Old October 9th, 2006, 12:00 am
marianna58  Female.gif marianna58 is offline
Third Year
 
Joined: 5069 days
Posts: 412
Re: Auburn Pride and a Chaser's Persuasion

Ch. 19- Persuading Pastries



Lily reached her arms up high and felt that tingling, stress-relieving release one feels when being able to stretch their body, get up, and walk around after lying in a bed for days and days. It was now very early Sunday morning, and she had stayed in the hospital wing until last night, immediately coming back to the dormitory to sleep, once again. This was the first morning where she had woken up and been able to rise out of bed in a more lively manner.

Madam Pomfrey had slowly and patiently healed many of Lily’s aches and pains, but the visible remnants of the accident were still around, and she had a variety of different colors all over her body: purple, green, blue, black, yellow…the rainbow of the bruise. She also still had a few minor cuts on her face, but every time she thought poorly of them, she remembered that first of all, at least she was alive, and secondly, James had said that she was ‘a little rough around the edges, but still beautiful.’ Every time Lily thought of that (about every 7.5 seconds), her stomach did a little cartwheel.

James. He had visited her as much as possible while in the hospital wing, and Lily couldn’t wait to see him in their regular routine of everyday Hogwarts life. She had slept a lot, as the remedies she was taking for pain were most likely labeled ‘may cause drowsiness,’ and she couldn’t keep her head up for longer than an hour at a time. But during those one-hour-of-awareness periods, James never failed to be at her side, unless of course, he was in class, and even then, he skipped one of them on Friday to see her.

Lily sat up in her four post bed, the curtains drawn on it. She could tell it was clearly in the early hours of the morning, as no one had risen yet, and all she could hear was the tick-tock of Anna’s bedside clock, and another girl’s snoring. Lily rubbed her eyes, and then reached over to hold her legs, stretching her hamstrings in the process. It felt good to be able to move with no pain! She smiled, resting her chin on her shoulder, feeling giddy. 7.5 seconds later, she was thinking about him again.


James had even brought their lessons to her, from that Friday, and tutored her with what she had missed. He was a good teacher, and even though he sometimes lapsed into an admiring gaze at Lily during his tutoring, she knew she would have no problem catching up on Monday. Except for the class he had skipped: Charms. Thankfully, Lily was good in that class.


Either way, she was appreciative of James’ efforts. He was being incredibly kind and attentive, and even though Alice and Anna visited her, and even though she had received some nice cards and candies from other students she was acquainted with, no one had done for her what James had done.

He had saved her from being found too late after her accident, knocked out and frozen in the snow. Then, he had stayed with her until she awoke, sat with her until she fell asleep, and been there the next morning, before courses began. Immediately after classes were over, James had rushed to the hospital wing. Lily had fallen asleep a short while after he arrived, so he managed to eat some supper, and came back in time for her to wake up and enjoy a nice Defense Against the Dark Arts tutoring session. On Saturday, they did some more tutoring, and then James wound up reading to her from the Daily Prophet. With her permission, James had also read to her from his most favorite books about Quidditch, and shared some of his most favorite things about that very subject. Lily hadn’t minded…the way James talked about Quidditch, you’d think it was his child.

Spending so much time with James, with limited amounts of bickering, had led Lily to deem their relationship as a solid friendship. Of course, she wouldn’t mind considering the next step up…

Lily blinked her eyes for a second, for she was experiencing some fuzzy vision. She rubbed her eye again, managing to snag the culprit: eye-goop. Disgusted, Lily decided to rub it off on the sleeve of her cozy, oversized sweatshirt, and draw back one side of the curtained bed. When she tossed off her covers, and pulled back the curtain, she saw that it was just now sunrise, which caused the intricate frost-woven pattern on the window to glow orange.

It was one of those days where the sun would shine in all its glory, but as soon as you stepped foot outdoors, the frigid air would only make the sun look like a big fat liar. She shuddered, pulling on the end of her sleeves to bring them down further over her hands. She hopped off of her bed, trying not to wake the others, and squinted, looking at Anna’s bedside clock. Six o’clock! Lily bit her lip in aggravation. She did not want to be up and out of bed at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning! But then, when she looked back at her warm, snug bed, she knew she couldn’t lie in it. She’d had enough lying around. Lily decided she would instead grab a good book and take a seat in front of the fireplace down in the common room, comfy and quiet, curled up on the couch.

Lily opened her nightstand drawer, and found the Muggle book she had read many times over, Pride and Prejudice. She shrugged to herself, this book would do. She pulled up her extra-large pajama pants, as they were sliding down, and pulled on some socks as well. She picked up the book, and proceeded into the common room.

It was profoundly silent, and Lily almost felt bad for ruining it with the pitter patter of her own socked feet. She stared at the fireplace, cold and barren, and she searched the vicinity for some wood. There, nestled next to the fireplace, were a few logs. Lily quietly grabbed them, and placed them in their spot. She pointed her wand and whispered, “Incendio!” The fire began to crackle, and gradually became more vigorous, quickly warming the area in front of it. Satisfied, Lily seated herself in the corner of the couch, curled her legs up underneath her body, and opened her book. This was going to be a nice relaxing time, and she knew she’d have at least two hours alone, as no one in their right mind would be awake and in the common room before 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning. Come to find out, only a half hour later, she was mistaken.




Around 6:30, Lily was startled by the sound of someone tripping, or what sounded to be someone tripping, closely behind her. She turned to see who would be awake at this hour, but saw no one. Lily wrinkled her brow…this was odd. She turned back to her book, only to hear a voice say,

“Mornin’ Evans! What are you doing up at this hour?”

His familiar voice came from the exact place she had just looked, and she turned again.

“Potter! What are you doing up at this hour?” She asked in shock, not only because he was just there about a second after not being just there, but also because everyone knew that James and his friends didn’t wake up until well past 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning.

“Er…I was feeling hungry.”

“Hungry?”

“Starved.”

“You want food?”

“I’m famished!”

“How does the common room help you with that problem?”

“It doesn’t, exactly.”

“Then what are you doing?”

“Heading to the kitchens.”

“The kitchens?”

“Yes.”

“But why the kitchens?”

“That’s where the food is, you see.”

“I know that’s where the food is…I meant why…HOW are you going to get into the kitchens?”

“There are ways to get into any room in this castle.”

Lily jumped off of the couch, confronting James.

“You can’t do that!”

“Yes I can!”

“How are you…? What…? Potter, you lost me at ‘I’m hungry,” Lily responded, flabbergasted.

“I’ve got my techniques, Lily.”

“I’ll bet you do.”

“You want to come?”

“No thank you.”

“It’ll be fun.”

“I’ll eat in the Great Hall, like the normal people.”

“Normal is so overrated.”

“Just because your personality falls under ‘crazed-person,’ doesn’t mean anyone else’s does. Well, except maybe Sirius’.”

“Your hair is looking extraordinary today,” James smirked, changing the subject.

Lily’s hand shot up to her hair, and she felt just exactly what he was talking about. Her hair was tangled, unbrushed, and sticking out in all sorts of directions. She hadn’t even taken notice of it this morning, for she hadn’t thought about anyone actually seeing her this early. She blushed. James continued.

“Come on Evans, you know you look adorable anyway, in your big sweatshirt, and those huge pants. They really don’t do you justice, you know.”

“They’re pajamas, James.”

“They still don’t do you justice.”

“You saw me at my worst, Potter, in the hospital wing, bruised up, cut up, and in very undesirable hospital pajamas, and you STILL complain that an oversized sweatshirt and pants don’t do me justice?”

“Are you coming with me or not?”

“No!”

“Suit yourself. I was about to make you invisible, so it’s not like anyone would have seen you anyway.”

“Come again?”

“Suit yourself.”

“Come off it! The other thing.”

“Invisible?”

“Yes.”

“What about it?”

“Have you gone completely mad?”

“No, I’m quite sane,” James answered, tossing the ground below him a glace.

Lily’s eyes followed, and there she saw, at his feet, a cloak. It was a swirl of colors, darker colors, and seemed velvety to the touch. It couldn’t be! Lily had read about cloaks like this, but she knew they were quite rare…she let her eyes grow wide and gave James a very curious look.

“That isn’t a---”

“It sure is,” he interjected, grinning. Lily’s eyes remained wide open, and she walked up to him.

“So, you did trip, didn’t you? Minutes ago? I heard…but I turned and didn’t see anyone…”

“Of course I tripped! You see, I came down here, covered in the cloak, and after walking halfway across the room, I realized the fireplace was lit, when it shouldn’t be at this hour. When I looked over, I noticed a little wisp of auburn sticking up over the couch.”

Lily smiled. James smiled back.

“I didn’t notice you before, you’re so small, hiding on the couch like that. You made me stumble,” he told her, giving her a look that made her sway a bit. She clutched the back of the couch for support.

“So you‘re telling me that more than one person can wear that at once?”

“We’ve tested it, and if we really try, all four of us can manage to get under it,” James replied, giving her a funny look, “but we’ve tried to stay away from that as it causes us to be in very close proximity.”

Lily giggled. Lily blushed. Lily smiled.

“How do you get to the kitchens, then?”

James reached down, gathered up the invisibility cloak, and held it up in hope, his eyes asking for permission to throw it over her. Lily bit her lip. This would cause them to be in very close proximity…Lily’s stomach performed the usual cartwheel, this time throwing in two somersaults, a back flip, and an outstanding leap, and she nodded. James winked at her, lifted the cloak in the air, and tossed it over Lily and himself.

Lily could still see the room around her, it was just as if she had a sheer veil over her face, causing just a slight discrepancy in vision. She felt the need to whisper,

“So, no one can see us right now?”

“Right.”

“Now what?”

“We go!”

“Out there?”

“Of course, out there.”

“Someone will see!”

“Did I not just answer your question about being completely invisible?”

“Yes.”

“And what did I say?”

“Don’t talk to me the way you talked to that little 2nd year.”

“Sorry. Look, no one can see us. And besides, no one is up yet, it’s barely 7 AM!”

“I know, I know, let’s go.”

“You have to stay completely silent, Evans. No talking, no coughing, no sneezing, no breathing.”

“No breathing!?”

“Oh, sorry, got carried away. You can breathe.”

“Thanks.”

“No problem! Right. Here we go.”

James led the way under the cloak, and it took Lily a moment to understand how to work this. She had to stay right on James’ heels, while holding the cloak up with her hands so that it didn’t obscure her view.

They made their way out of the portrait hole, and Lily realized they were walking to the corridor where the Hufflepuff common room was located. Lily actually noticed that many of the paintings on the wall were of food, and it dawned on her that it made very good sense, as they were near the kitchens. She and James quietly came up to a large portrait of a bowl of fruit. James stuck his hand out from under the cloak, and touched the painting. Lily watched curiously. His hand was on a pear, and he was rubbing it…no, scratching it…no, tickling it. James was tickling the pear. It wiggled and giggled, when, suddenly, it turned into a door handle. James reached for it, opening the door, and Lily gaped: there was the Hogwarts kitchen.

The kitchen was just under the Great Hall and just as large. There were four long tables, which Lily assumed were paralleled with the tables in the Great Hall. The kitchen was a flurry of activity, no doubt preparing for Sunday morning breakfast. Lily saw loads of house-elves scurrying about, carrying pots and pans, carrying trays of breakfast foods, and completely ignoring one another, going about their own business. She had known for awhile now, that house-elves did much of the dirty work at Hogwarts, but she hadn’t realized just how many were employed. She almost slipped, by gasping out loud at the number of them, but James gripped her by the arm, stopping her from actually saying anything.

They stood in that spot for about a minute, until a house elf walked by, setting a tray full of hot pastries on the table right next to them. Lily could see James perk up a bit, and when the house elf had trotted away, and there were no others around that particular spot, James reached out from under the cloak again, grabbed two pastries off of the tray, and tucked them under quickly. Lily tried to imagine what that might have looked like, had anyone noticed: two pastries being lifted hastily into the air by a disembodied hand, and disappearing momentarily. She was concerned for a moment that James would burn his hand from the hot pastries, but she noticed he had cleverly folded part of the cloak onto his hand as a makeshift oven mitt, and that was exactly where the pastries were safely tucked. He motioned to Lily to turn around, and she this time, led them out of the kitchens and back out into the corridor.

It was still quiet, for only about five minutes had passed since they were last in the corridor, but Lily felt like it had been hours. She had never been in the kitchens before, she had never been under an invisibility cloak before, and she had certainly never before thought she would do anything like this. She smiled, hearing James already chewing on part of a pastry. It was all because of this prat, chomping on a pastry, following her under an invisibility cloak, and persuading her to do things she’d never dreamed.

The two of them made it back into the still, empty common room, and James threw the cloak off of them, grinning at Lily in a way that reminded her of a little boy who had just done something of which he was immensely proud.

“Well, Evans?”

“Well that was…fun.”

“Pastry?”

“No thanks.”

“Evans!”

“Which one haven’t you taken a bite out of yet?”

James looked at the pastries, and looked back up at Lily.

“I must have accidentally taken a bite out of yours as well. But just one little bite, look!”

He held it out for Lily to see and she laughed. She extended her hand, and James placed the pastry in it. Lily scrutinized the pastry, but lifted it up to her mouth and took a bite. James laughed at her.

“Lily! It’s almost like our first kiss!”

“Excuse me, Potter?” She asked, swallowing the bite.

“Well, my mouth was, at one point, upon that pastry, and your mouth was just upon it, so, it’s almost like sharing a kiss.”

“That’s the most ridiculous rationalization I have ever heard, James.”

“I know. I tried. Hey, look, your fire’s still going strong.”

Lily looked to the fireplace, and sure enough, the fire she had started over an hour ago was still burning. James looked to the couch, and grinned at her, reaching out his hand, pastry in the other. Lily hesitated, but with an accommodating smile, she grabbed hold of James’ hand, and he led her over to the couch.

They seated themselves very close to one another, and with about an hour and a half to go before anyone else came down into the common room, Lily and James sat together, in front of a blazing fire, with oversized pajamas and tousled hair, happily eating their pastries; talking of invisibility cloaks, Lily’s return from the hospital wing, and just how they were going to stay out of trouble now that Lily knew about the secret passages, maps, and the invisibility cloak; now that she was a part of that world.




BADA BOP BOP BA....FEEDBACKIN' IT


__________________
"When are you going to learn that insults don’t discourage me at all, Evans?”
“When you learn that flattery doesn’t encourage me at all, Potter."
"Well, then I guess you’ll never stop insulting me, for I will never be able to hold back the compliments. With you, I just can’t seem to stop them.”


"You're gorgeous."
"Oh, shut it."
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