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Horrible People by Menier
Chapter 1: Dreadful Homo Sapiens
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The bitterly cold December air icily kissed Lily Luna Potter's cheek as she exited Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions with a freshly hemmed dress tucked safely in the bag swinging from her arm.
A giant snow storm had overcome Hogsmeade the previous night and fresh snow took over the ground. Lily was careful to step around the large piles that littered the cobblestone street. She walked quickly towards the Three Broomsticks, not wanting to spend any more time than she needed to outside. Besides, she had promised to meet her friends and she was late. As she walked, her mind drifted to the upcoming dance (the reason she had bought a new dress). The Winter Ball had been implemented after Hogwarts was rebuilt nearly 27 years prior and Lily, who had not been eligible to attend the dance until this year, was incredibly excited. The dance, which would take place the next weekend in the Great Hall, was exclusively 6th and 7th years. It was very formal, with inter -house assigned dates and table arrangements made by the Head Boy and Girl. The dance had been used as a way to promote inter-house unity after the war when it had become blatantly obvious that there was a great feeling of animosity between houses. The dance was made to help placate those feelings before students left Hogwarts for the real world.
Lily entered the famous tavern with a rush of cold air. The bar was lit with candles and a fire roared on the other side of the room. Her eyes wandered until they met the faces she was there to meet. Her three best friends, Amanda Parsons, Jackie Lars, and Meghan Hardly were huddled in the far booth in the corner. All three of their heads were close together, talking in earnest. When Lily arrived at the table, after squeezing through the crowded bar, all conversation stopped as the three girls stared up at her in unison.
"What's up?" Lily asked apprehensively.
"Sit down," commanded Jackie, in her most Slytherin like voice.
Lily did as she was told, squeezing into the empty seat next to Amanda, putting her dress on the bench between them. Lily raised her perfectly plucked red eyebrow in question, looking at each of her friends in turn. Finally, Meghan took a deep breath and exclaimed, "Lorcan Scamander is your date to the dance."
"How do you know that?" Lily was attempting to keep her voice calm but was failing miserably. Lorcan had a knack for driving Lily crazy, a fact that nearly all of the Hogwarts population knew.
"Brady told me," Amanda admitted, looking sheepishly down at the table. Amanda's boyfriend, Brady Corner, was Head Boy. Brady, like Amanda and Lorcan, was a Ravenclaw. He and Lorcan had been friends since first year.
Lily sighed dramatically and closed her eyes.
Meghan rolled her eyes. "Oh, it won't be so bad; at least he'll turn up good in pictures."
Lily's eyes sprang open and her face tinged pink.
"She knows he'll turn up good in pictures, she's in love with the boy for Merlin's sake," Jackie replied as Lily's entire face turned bright red.
"I am not in love with him! I tolerate him."
"If that's what you call staring at him constantly and spending all your time focused on him then sure," Jackie said, rolling her eyes.
"Fine he is cute, but I don't spend all my energy on him! He just always bugs me with stupid questions about Merlin knows what, making me pay attention to him. And even if I did like him, he doesn't like me and he's leaving in a few months anyways so that would never work out and he thinks of me a little sister or something and honestly that would be terrible if we were to date and then break up because our parents are friends and that would be weird. And my middle name is his mum's name," Lily stopped, took a deep breath and looked at her friends to see what they had to say about all of this. But instead of the sympathetic looks she was expecting after her reveal of her inner thoughts, she saw that their eyes were all focused about a foot above her head.
Lily head swiveled around to look at what they were all staring at. Her eyes met blue ones that she would recognize anywhere as they were attached to a very cute blond boy who was currently smirking at Lily.
"Who said anything about us dating?" Lorcan said.
"It was a hypothetical, you idiot," Lily said, without missing a beat. She felt her body tense and her mind become hyper aware of Lorcan's every move as it always did whenever she was in his presence.
"Didn't sound very hypothetical," Lorcan smiled as Lily rolled her eyes, "See you around Potter." And with a wink Lorcan slipped back into the crowd as quickly as he appeared.
SATURDAY NIGHT- THE DANCE
The 6th and 7th year girls waited around in the corridor outside of the Great Hall for their dates. Most of the girls had no idea who would be escorting them to the dance and would not find out until the boys came out of the Great Hall with a flower and a card with their dates name and picture on it.
The girls waited restlessly. Some touched up their makeup or smoothed down their dresses. Lily passed quietly in front of the Great Hall doors, waiting for them to open. She was dreading the evening because she knew that it would not be that bad with Lorcan. As much as he pestered her, she was not immune to his charm. She obviously liked him and the idea that he knew that she liked him made her heart twist in embarrassment and made her want to run back up the stairs to the comfort of her four poster bed.
Sometimes she thought that Lorcan may like her back, or at least be somewhat attracted to her. She wasn't daft enough to believe that he bothered her just because he was bored. He, like most teenage boys, did not spend a lot of time around girls- that they were not related to- without ulterior motives.
Before Lily's mind could wander more about how Lorcan felt about her, the Great Hall doors opened to reveal a gaggle of nervous teenage boys.
Lorcan walked out of the Hall holding the yellow chrysanthemum. His hand shook slightly as he nervously looked around the entryway.
Brady had told Lorcan that Amanda had told Lily that Lorcan was Lily's date to the dance. However Lorcan was unaware of how Lily had reacted to the news and had avoided her for most of the week. He had attempted to make it look natural and would still say "Hello" to her or ask her a question about something stupid like what they were to talk about at the Prefect meeting. But he did not spend any more time than necessary with her in fear that she would figure out that he had bribed Brady with a very expensive chocolate bar from Honeydukes in order to become her date. He hoped that she wouldn't find out because that would be deathly embarrassing. He was more than aware of her infatuation with him, she was not very sly about it; but at the same time he was not sure of how she would react to him admitting he had feelings for her. Just because she thought he was cute did not mean she would want anything to do with him.
Eyes scanning once more, Lorcan spotted the pretty ginger who had invaded his thoughts standing not ten feet from him with Amanda and Brady. He sauntered over in what he hoped was a cool and impressive way.
Lorcan walked over to where Lily stood not listening to Brady and Amanda. She had been paying attention to him rather than their conversation. She had seen him searching the crowd for who she assumed was herself until he finally spotted her. Lorcan was visible in her peripheral vision as he walked with a slight limp toward her. Lily hoped she wasn't obviously staring as she tuned back into the conversation and laughed loudly at something Amanda had said. Lorcan was suddenly next to her with a beautiful yellow chrysanthemum in his hand.
Lorcan held the flower like a sword and said "For you."
Lily laughed and rolled her eyes as she took the flower.
"Thanks," she said, breathing deeply.
"I believe I am your date for the night," He said, extending his arm.
"I believe you are," She said, taking it.
The night had not been a total bust, as Lorcan had half expected it to be. They had been seated at a table alongside Amanda and Brady; Lily's friend Jackie and her date who was a sixth year Gryffindor; and a seventh year Slytherin Lorcan had shared classes with and her date, a sixth year Hufflepuff. Conversation at the table had flowed casually. They discussed what everyone planned on doing over the summer or (for the seventh years) what they planned for the rest of their lives.
Lorcan was discussing how he planned on working for Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes starting in July, when a song came on that made Lily squeal.
It was a Flying Sirens song Lorcan vaguely knew but was clearly a favorite of Lily's because she started singing loudly off key and begged Jackie to join her on the dance floor where a small crowd had gathered. Their bodies moved in hypnotic rhythm as the song blasted loudly from the stage. More students joined the throng and Jackie refused to be pulled from her chair.
"Oh come on!" Cried Lily, "You never dance."
"There's a reason for that," Jackie mumbled.
Lorcan smirked at Jackie, happy he was not the one being pulled from his chair by the determined ginger. This was not a good idea as Jackie smiled evilly and said, "Hey! Why don't you dance with your actual date?" A grin came across Jackie's face as Lily's cheeks burned. Nonetheless, she turned to Lorcan and extended her hand to him.
"Come on, we're dancing."
Before he could protest he was being dragged onto the dance floor. Lily pulled him into the center of the crowd and began dancing and singing along to the song. Lorcan looked at her and the people around them. He realized quickly that the situation would be much worse if he were to just stand still around the gyrating teens. So he decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
A song later, Lorcan was screaming along to the lyrics of a long-since-popular Weird Sisters song.
Two songs after that, he and Lily were dancing together, ignoring the other people around them.
Three more and Lily turned to Lorcan; her face was red from dancing and singing. Her hair was askew and some of her makeup had rubbed off. Lorcan thought she looked beautiful.
Shit, Lorcan thought, as Lily opened her mouth to say something. His heart skipped a beat as he looked down toward her face. I actually like her. Well dam it. Lorcan had known for a while about how he felt about Lily, or he thought he had. He wasn't dense enough to not admit to himself that he was attracted to her, but he always had assumed that it was more in a way that you thought a flower was pretty. Something you could admire from afar. But it suddenly accorded to him that he liked her more than that. Lily was not a flower (despite her name) but a real life girl who may or may not be somewhat attracted to Lorcan.
With this realization, he knew the night was about to get a lot more interesting. He only had a few more months left at this school and he was not going to waste a single more night feeling like he was missing out on something, on someone.
Lily turned around to look at Lorcan, her face a sweaty mess after all the dancing. She couldn't keep herself from smiling. She, Lily Luna Potter, had just danced with Lorcan Scamander. She squealed internally as she tried to keep too much emotion from showing on her face.
"Do you want to get something to drink?" She had to lean toward his ear and scream in order to be heard over the music.
"Sure!" He screamed back.
The pair made their way off the dance floor and toward a table that held refreshments. After taking their drinks, they stood side by side watching the dance. Their arms were barely touching, but Lily made sure not to make any sudden movements in case it made Lorcan move his warm arm. Some students danced along at the dance floor while others still sat at their tables talking to one and other.
"Do you want to go on a walk?" He asked suddenly.
Lily smiled and nodded her head.
They walked quietly through the relatively new hallowed halls of Hogwarts. Lorcan walked close beside Lily, his heart still pounding from the memory of their time on the dance floor. When their arms brushed for the second time as they walked, and Lily didn't pull her arm away in disgust, Lorcan smiled to himself.
Lily stopped in front of one of the windows that overlooked the grounds. They were currently on the third floor and had a view of the quidditch pitch and the Forbidden Forest that lay behind it.
"It is so scary to think that this place was once under attack," Lily said quietly, shivering slightly in the drafty hallway.
Lorcan draped his arm around her shoulder before saying, "Sometimes I don't believe my mum; that she fought here. It seems surreal that anything bad could happen here on a night as calm as this one."
It's true, Lily realized as she looked at the snow covered ground. How could something so terrible happen at a place so beautiful?
The snow glittered in the moonlight and Lorcan pulled Lily closer as he thought of all the horrors his mum must have seen, maybe in the very place he stood. She was always quiet when the topic of the Battle came up in conversation. He remembered when he was little that she would shut down completely whenever the topic came up. Over the years, he had heard some stories of some of the horrors that she had experienced during the war. And when he had found out that a boy in the year above him was the son of the man who had been there when his mother had been hurt, Lorcan had been enraged. But his mother and brother had calmed him down and Luna had explained that it was not Draco's, nor Scorpius', fault for what had happened to her. Draco had only been Lorcan's age when his mother had been kept in a cellar at Malfoy Manor.
"Come on," He said with one last glance through the window toward the white ground, "Let's try and find a warmer place."
They walked for a few more minutes before a bell somewhere in the castle ticked, warning the teens that they had half an hour until curfew.
"I really should head up to bed," Lily said quietly, not wanting to night to end yet.
"Yah," Lorcan sighed, not wanting to night to end yet, "It's nearly midnight and I don't think it will be too good if we are caught out after are already extended curfew. I'll walk you back to the Tower."
"Oh you don't-" Lily started.
"Don't be daft, Lily, of course I'm going to walk you back to your common room." Lorcan said as if he could not believe Lily would insist otherwise.
"Well thank you, that's very kind." Lily smiled the second she heard her name come from his lips, she had never thought it had sounded so sweet.
"We can take the long way back," Lorcan said, grabbing her hand and pulling her down a secret passage that led down a dusty path.
Lily squeaked as she was pulled after him, their fingers intertwined.
Lorcan laughed, "What was that?"
"Sorry I squeak," Her face reddened, "It's involuntary!"
"Whatever you say," Lorcan laughed again as Lily rolled her eyes.
"I found this path third year when I was running from Peeves," Lorcan mumbled as they made their way down the twists and turns of the passage.
"Well, I never knew you to be such a trouble maker," Lily whispered back.
"There's a lot you probably don't know about me," He turned to look back at her over his shoulder. Even in her heals, she was still a good head shorter than he was.
"Oh really? What's one thing I don't know? No! What is one thing that no one knows about you?" Lily asked.
"Something no one else knows?"
"Yes, not even Lysander."
"Well, I'm not sure there is anything. See I'm a pretty open person," Lorcan ignored Lily's eye roll. He continued to lead her down the path until they reached another hallway. He did not speak again until they were fully engulfed in a patch of darkness.
"When I was little, just a wee thing," He began, "I tried to run away from home. I had a whole plan where I would sneak out in the dead of night with a knapsack full of my quidditch cards that I planned on selling. I was going to live off of the earnings. But the night of my escape, the day before the start of Hogwarts, I fell asleep."
Lily let out a loud laugh as Lorcan ran his free hand through his hair. His other hand was still intertwined with Lily's.
"It's not funny!" Lorcan groaned and Lily smiled.
"It's a little funny," She smiled at him sweetly and nudged him with her shoulder. "Why did you try to run away?"
"I just couldn't take living in my house anymore. Obviously I didn't take into account that I would be leaving for a few months the next day and would be barely living at home anymore. But my parents were just completely embarrassing. I mean, they still are, but I love them because they aren't afraid to believe in what they believe in or act the way they want to. Sometimes I'm jealous of how carefree they all are."
Lily squeezed Lorcan's hand, "And what about you? Do you act like you want too?"
"I'd like to think I am the boy you see in front of you. I try to be to my true self. Now your turn, what's one of your secrets?"
"When I was nine, I snuck into the shed that holds all of the quidditch equipment at the Burrow, you know?" Lorcan nodded his head; he had been to Lily's grandparents' house a few times.
"So, it was Christmas Eve and everyone was asleep. There were all of these broomsticks and because James had made it onto the Gryffindor team as a second year, a new one was there. It was his Christmas gift."
"Oh Merlin, I think I know where this is going."
"Shush and let me finish," Lily said. "So, I took it out for a test spin, you know to make sure it wasn't faulty. And I lost control and crashed it into a tree. I was fine, just a couple of scrapes, but the broomstick wasn't so lucky. It was completely shattered. Albus took the fall too."
"It's not funny!"
"I know it's not. It's horrible!"
"Why are you laughing?"
"Because I never thought you would be capable of that kind of deceit." He laughed again.
"Sorry I'm a horrible person," Lily kept walking.
"You're not horrible, just sneaky. I just need to watch my back now I guess."
Lily stuck her tongue out at him as they arrived on the hallway where the Fat Lady sat in her portrait. The pair walked quietly down the hall before it felt like they had crashed into a brick wall.
"Ow!" Lily cried, rubbing her forehead.
"What in Merlin's pants?" Lorcan felt the barrier in front of him.
Lily's hand where circling around the two of them feeling for where the barrier might end.
"We're stuck!" She cried, coming to the conclusion that they were entrapped by an invisible wall. "It's probably a stupid Peeves trick and he's gonna dump something on us! I just bought this dress."
"No, not Peeves," Lorcan said pointing to the ceiling about them.
And there in the rafters sat a little bush of green surrounded by a bright red bow.
"Mistletoe," Lily mumbled.
"So does that mean…"
She looked at Lorcan sheepishly and he smiled slightly at her.
Suddenly he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close. He mumbled something that sounded oddly like "Not how I wanted our first kiss to be." But she couldn't register it because then he was kissing her. On the lips.
Lily had been kissed before, but never like this. There was a fire in the bottom of her belly and she never wanted the kiss to end. She moved her hands from her side to his shoulders as his attempted to pull her even closer to his body. Then he broke apart from her, both of them breathing heavily. They both stared into each other's eyes until a cough behind them warned them that they were not alone.
Professor Longbottom stood with his arms crossed over his chest and a badly concealed smirk on his face.
"Mr. Scamander there is ten minutes until curfew, so I suggest you and Ms. Potter say your goodnights and you get back to your common room."
"Yes Professor," Lorcan and Lily replied.
Neville nodded again before turning to the Head of House dorm he would be spending the night in.
Lorcan walked Lily to the portal entrance.
"Phoenix Feathers," Lily said to a yawning Fat Lady. The portrait swung open and Lily raised her hand in a goodnight wave before turning to enter the passage.
"Wait," Lorcan said, grabbing her wrist. "I had a really good time tonight." He said, looking her straight in the eyes.
"Me too," Lily said sincerely. Before she could overthink it, Lily stood on her tiptoes and kissed Lorcan on the cheek. He dropped her wrist and she entered the common room. He kept his hand to the warm place her lips had touched on his face all of the way back to his common room.
Neither one of their grins left their faces until they were long asleep.