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Chapter 2: The Worst First Day In History
Perfect-amundo chapter image by Apocalypse @tda
I reached a portrait of an old, thin woman with floor-length black hair. Her eyes were shocking blue and her nose was long, thin and pointed. I cleared my throat and she looked round at me.
‘Password?’ she demanded.
‘Crumple-Horned Snorcack,’ I said confidently. She gave an approving nod and swung forwards to admit me. I scrambled through the portrait hole and was instantly awed. The Head Common Room was large, sqaure and spacious. The fire danced merrily in the fireplace and the lights shone bright around the room. There was a large scarlet sofa in front of the fire with two golden armchairs positioned around it. The hearth rug was fluffy and pure white, while the walls were blue decorated with silver swirls. There was a small wooden door leading off to the left, which I guessed was the kitchen, and two more wooden doors that lead to the staircases. There was a piece of parchment pinned to each door. Upon closer inspection, the one on the right said "Lily Evans" and the one on the left said "James Potter". Before I could make my way up the staircase to my dorm, the common room portrait suddenly burst open and the common room was filled with people. Or so I thought. They were making so much noise, I thought a whole crowd of people had forced their way past the thin, wrinkled woman, but it was just the Maurauders. Potter streched himself out onto the sofa. Black lay down on the hearth rug, taking in the fire like a dog and Remus and Peter sat in the two armchairs. I scowled at Potter and Black. Potter turned round.
‘Oh, hel-lo, Lilykins,’ he said teasingly. I drew my wand.
‘Would you like me to hex you? I think you’d look better as a slug. Well, you look like one anyway, so it wouldn’t make much of a difference.’ I snarled at him.
‘Ooooooooh, this one’s feisty!’ Black said, laughing his stupid head off.
‘I,’ I snapped, ‘am going to bed. Goodnight, Remus. Goodnight, Peter.’ And with that, I swept up the stairs.
The next morning, I nervously went down the stairs. Potter was already there. He was still in his pyjamas. Clearly he slept without a top on, because he was wearing a shirt and tie with his pyjama bottoms, which seemed to have been thrown on carelessly.
‘You’re looking a bit odd,’ I said, pausing on my way to the kitchen door.
‘Would you rather see me topless?’ Potter suggested, undoing the first couple of buttons on his shirt.
‘No, I’m fine,’ I said. As I left through the kitchen door, I looked back. Potter looked undoubtedly annoyed.
I came back into the common room with a bowl full of cornflakes. I didn’t need to use the Great Hall for breakfast anymore, but I thought I’d go down to see the girls. I left the common room after my cornflakes without saying a word to Potter, who looked absolutely furious.
Mary, Lisa, Ella and Courtney all looked delighted to see me.
‘Who’s the Head Boy?’ Mary asked eagerly as I squeezed in next to her and Ella.
‘James Potter,’ I sighed.
‘Ooh, lucky you!’ Courtney squealed. We all stared at her. ‘Sarcasm,’ she said quickly, but her cheeks burned red. Somehow, I didn’t think it was sarcasm. After the girls had their breakfast, we headed down to our first lesson: NEWT Potions. Professor Slughorn beamed at me as I sat down next to Lisa and unpacked my things. When the class had settled, he spoke, his large moustache puffing out when he breathed out.
‘Now, I have a surprise for you!’ he said, bouncing on his toes. ‘Today, as seventh-years, we are going to be brewing Amortentia!’ There were loud gasps of delight from the girls, and out the corner of my eye, I saw James Potter looking at me. ‘Now, of course, Amortentia is banned from Hogwarts, so your potions will be destroyed as soon as the lesson is over.’ Everyone groaned. Except me, of course. But I breathed a sigh of relief: James Potter would surely have used it on me. ‘Now, because Amortentia, as well as being dangerous, is also exceptionally tricky to make. So, I will be pairing you up. Now, let’s see here … Miss McDonald, you can pair up with Miss Chapman … Mulciber and Mcnair … err … Miss Allison and Miss Jones … Now, Lily, who shall we pair you up with …?’ I looked at Professor Slughorn pleadingly, trying to send a message to his brain: Not James Potter. Not Potter. Anyone but Potter! Then he said – ‘How about Mr Potter?’ I let out a groan. Potter, however, looked gleeful. He came and dumped his bag in the seat next to mine and looked at me.
‘What are you staring at?’ I snapped. But for some reason I didn’t mind that he was my partner. He helped me quite a lot while making the potion, offering to cut things so I didn’t chop my fingers off by accident.
‘I can manage fine!’ I said testily, but I was quite approving of the fact that he was being much more gentlemanly than I had ever seen him. By the time Professor Slughorn called, ‘That’s it, your time is up! Stop what you’re doing!’ Potter sank onto his stool looking quite relieved. His hair was a lot messier than usual, his glasses pushed up on his nose. I found myself staring at him dreamily. I quickly shook that feeling away. Professor Slughorn approached our cauldron, his massive belly wobbling.
‘Well!’ he boomed. ‘Very well done! Merlin’s beard, this is perfect! I daresay this would earn you “Outstanding” in a test! Thirty points apiece for Gryffindor!’
I beamed at James – I mean, Potter – though I hurriedly looked down at my shoes, blushing furiously, when he grinned back at me.
After dinner, I approached the wrinkly lady, whose name I learned to be Priscilla, and gave her the password. She swung forwards with a croaky ‘Goodnight!’ as I clambered through the portrait hole. I went straight up to my dormitory to change out of my uniform. I pulled on my pink pyjama bottoms and had just buttoned up the first few buttons on my nightshirt when the door opened. I screamed instinctively and threw a jacket across my chest. I looked to see who was at the door. Guess who. Potter.
‘Knock next time!’ I snarled at him. ‘Now turn around while I do up my shirt!’
I knew he was never going to turn without looking, so I turned, too. I did up the buttons, then turned back and let him in. He, too, was wearing his pyjamas, though he had a T-shirt on. ‘What do you want?’
‘I want to ask you a question,’ he said.
‘Look, Potter, for the last time, I’m not going to go out with you!’ I sighed, ignoring the painful wrench in my stomach as I said it.
‘Not that,’ Potter said quickly. ‘I just wanted to ask: why were you staring at me all day?’
‘W-well, I-I – you had something on your face,’ I said, thinking on the spot, ‘and I was staring at you because it was funny and I – I wanted to laugh. But I didn’t.’
‘Why?’ Potter gazed at me suspiciously. I tried hard not to stare into his hazel eyes.
‘Because – because I was trying to be nice.’ I said.
‘Right. Because that’s really true, isn’t it?’ he said, his tone dripping with sarcasm.
‘Yes, it is,’ I said.
‘Of course. Now, are you coming down or what?’ he said.
‘OK, OK, I’ll be down in a second. Now get lost.’ I pointed to the door. He didn’t move for a minute, except that he shuffled a bit closer to me. Instead of moving away, like I normally did when he did stuff like that, his face got even closer. His eyes were locked with mine. His glasses were askew, his hair neatly ruffled. He was even closer … then I snapped out of it and stepped back to find that his arms were round my waist. And – even worse – mine were round his neck. Ew. I nearly puked.
‘What are you doing?’ I demanded, whipping my arms to my sides.
He grinned at me. ‘Come on, Lilykins. You were enjoying that, weren’t you?’
‘No!’ I yelled. ‘Now get out before I hex you!’ I was actually pointing my wand at him. He still didn’t move. So then there was a flash of light and a loud bang and James Potter was sprawled on the floor, his glasses lying a foot away. Also, warts were sprouting forth from his forehead. He scrambled to his feet and ran out of the dorm. I grinned slyly to myself. My owl hooted mournfully in the corner of the room. My smile slid from my face and I felt miserable. I couldn’t possibly fancy James Potter! Could I?