Chapter 2 : Losing The Surname
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“Potter, Evans,” Professor McGonagall addressed as she approached the two of them at dinner. Lily and James looked up at the Transfiguration teacher. “Professor Dumbledore and I discussed the upcoming dance this afternoon. We think it would be best if done on Halloween. So, this means that the planning will have to start immediately.”
“Sure thing, Professor,” James assured the teacher. He looked over at Lily. “When do you want to get started on it?”
The teacher saw that her two students were planning on meeting, so she headed back to the staff table.
“When are you free?” Lily asked him, knowing all too well about his strict Quidditch schedule.
“Tonight,” James offered. “And also Friday.”
“Sounds good to me,” Lily decided. “Tonight the two of us will make the basic outline. Friday we’ll think of jobs the Prefects can help us with. The following week we’ll go into detail.”
James nodded and they went back into eating their desert. Sirius eyed the scene skeptically, an odd feeling arising. He had never seen the two of them act so civil towards one another. He wondered if maybe he was imagining it. He knew he wasn’t when he saw Sydney Davis and Alice George looking bemused as well.
“Sorry I’m late,” James apologized as he approached the table Lily had sat at in the library. He placed his bag down and took out a piece of parchment. “Peter held me up. I was helping him with his Transfiguration homework.”
That’s thoughtful, Lily commented inside her head.
“That’s ok,” Lily said, although she had fully intended on lecturing him. Now, it seemed so petty. She had her own parchment and quill in front of her and was tapping it nervously. “So, what do you want to start with?”
“Well,” James began. “They want a Halloween dance. Obviously, Dumbledore is getting tired of the normal feast and festivities. I think he’s looking for something new. Something that the school has never seen before.”
“That’s great and all,” Lily agreed. “But what hasn’t Hogwarts seen? Hogwarts has been around nearly forever. What would be different in a school like this?”
“Well, dances are all about your date,” he told her.
“No they’re not,” Lily contradicted. “Dances are about unity. They’re a symbol of togetherness within the school.”
“Evans, be real here,” James replied. “Dances are all about the person you’re going with. You live in a dorm full of high maintenance girls. What are Hogsmeade weekends all about to them?”
“Dates,” Lily answered dully. “And how much makeup they can load onto their face.”
James snorted. “Precisely. Now, what if we shake things up a bit? What if your date remains as the most important factor, but you simply don’t know who your date is?”
“You mean, disguises? Costumes?” Lily asked, trying to imagine the frenzy this dance would create.
“I mean a masquerade. Masks,” James told her. “With masks, your date is important, but you don’t choose them for how good looking they are. You choose them for the person that lies behind the mask. It’s all about depth.”
Lily contemplated and then smiled. “I like it. The shallowness that usually accompanies these sort of events will no longer be allowed.”
“It could create inter house unity,” James pointed out. “Slytherins and Gryffindors have a well known rivalry. If a Slytherin boy and a Gryffindor girl get to know one another at the dance, who knows what could happen? The entire feud could be broken. The ideas and traditions of each house could combine and create a more equal atmosphere.”
“The entire blood hypocrisy could be diminished,” Lily finished, realizing just how much of an impact this dance could be. “Where did you come up with such a brilliant idea?”
Apparently, James had come up with it. He didn’t say this, but Lily could tell. Instead of bragging, his cheeks turned red and he tried to change the topic. The fact that they were carrying on so well was making both of them quite nervous. Lily felt flushed, unusually flushed, and decided that before things got too complicated, she better leave.
“Well, you had some good ideas today, Potter,” Lily complimented, gathering her things. “So Friday then? Same time and place?”
“Guess so,” James commented. “Want to walk back?”
She hadn’t realized he would be leaving with her. Now that she had thought about it, it made sense. He rarely spent time in the library.
The two of them walked quietly down the halls, the torches on the wall being the only light to guide their way. James strolled casually, his bag on his shoulder and his hand in his pockets. She was more preserved and uptight, clutching her books to her chest.
“So, what are your plans for this masquerade? Going to meet up with any masked men?” James asked her, smiling.
“Wouldn’t you like to know,” she teased. “Actually, I might not even go.”
He hadn’t thought about that. The entire time, the appeal of a dance was thrilling. It would be an opportunity to see Lily. He hadn’t taken into account that she may not even like dances.
“You have to go,” James protested. “You’re Head Girl.”
“You’ll be going,” Lily reminded him. “It’s not like you won’t be able to handle it.”
“It’ll be fun,” James insisted. “Please?”
Since when was she letting James Potter convince her to go to things?
We’re Head Boy and Head Girl. It’s normal for them to be civil to one another. Normal. Completely normal. Why is it that he’s getting in my head all the time though?, Lily thought. So many thoughts were jumbling around in her brain. She hated him, she didn’t mind him, she hated him. She was going back and forth.
“Fine,” she said before she could stop herself. “I’ll give it a try.”
“You won’t regret it,” James called as he dashed down the hall to find his friends.
“You can’t guarantee that,” she whispered to herself.
A couple of weeks passed and soon, the start of October and the fall season began. Hogsmeade weekend had quickly approached and Lily, Sydney, and Alice were sipping hot mugs of Butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks.
“Ah, nothing’s better than a hot mug of Butterbeer,” Sydney expressed, caressing the mug as if it were her infant. Her black hair was in her eyes, but she quickly shoved it away by blowing it out of her face.
“I can’t keep it in any longer,” Alice squealed. “Those Hufflepuffs were right. Frank Longbottom fancies me. He asked me out for today, but I told him I wasn’t sure.”
“Scratch what I said before about the Butterbeer,” Sydney corrected herself. “Nothing’s better than a handsome Quidditch player that asks you out.”
Hm, handsome Quidditch player who likes me, Lily pondered. James.
Lily stopped sipping her Butterbeer when she realized that she had non-verbally called him James. If she was calling him James in her head, surely she would be calling him that out of her head. She couldn’t call Potter anything but Potter, it would give him signs that she liked him, which she clearly did NOT.
She started banging her head against the table.
“Lily,” Alice said in a weary, somewhat scared voice.
“Shh,” Sydney hushed. “Something’s going on in her head that she doesn’t like. This happens usually around exam time. Lily honey, it’s ok. O.W.L’s are over. You did well on them.”
“It’s not that,” Lily grumbled, raising her head from the table and allowing her red hair to fall to her shoulders. “I am just really frustrated about this dance.”
“I’m not,” Sydney assured her friends. “You told me it was a masquerade, right? Well, I may not be able to see their face, but I can see their body.”
“That is so shallow,” Lily scorned her friend.
“But oh so true,” Sydney reminded Lily. “Alice, tell me that’s not what you were thinking when Lily told us that?”
Alice giggled at Syd, blushed, and refused to answer.
“Well, cretins like Sirius Black are going to be thinking the same thing about the girls,” Lily groaned. “When James and I talked about it, the entire thing was supposed to steer the students away from shallowness.”
“Oh,” Sydney answered wisely. “What else have James and you been talking about?”
James, Lily thought to herself. I called him James. Damn, I knew this would happen.
With that, she started banging her head against the table again.
“Masquerade, huh?” Sirius asked when James told him the news. The four Marauders were sitting at the bar of the Three Broomsticks, drinking four hot mugs of Butterbeer.
“Yep, that’s the plan,” James said, in-between sips of his drink.
“So I won’t be able to see any birds’ faces at all the whole night?” Sirius asked, making sure he had the idea correct.
“Exactly,” Remus told Sirius. “The idea is for us to get past the outside appearance.”
“What do you mean?” Sirius asked. “This dance is practically screaming shallowness. Hear me out. We can’t look at the girls’ faces, but we can look at every other part of their body. Don’t you think that’s a bit shallow? I mean, trust me, I am the male equivalent of shallow. I know it when I hear it.”
James knew some guys would take it the wrong way. The dance was about getting to know people. It was his way of showing Lily he, himself, wasn’t completely shallow.
“I talked her into going,” James announced.
“Lily Evans is going?” Peter asked. “I heard she wasn’t.”
“Well, I told her it would be fun and she reluctantly agreed. It was odd. We have been carrying on fairly civilly for the past month,” James noted. “I am rather enjoying it.”
“Well, be sure to be careful around her. She’s pretty fragile,” Remus told his friend.
“You’re telling me,” Sirius said, looking over his shoulder. James turned to see Lily banging her head against the table. “Well, she had beauty and brains. Obviously, there was no room for sanity. Hey, you can’t have everything.”
You can’t have everything, James thought to himself. What if someone means everything to you? Does that count as everything? All I really want is Lily. But how do I get her?
He knew it would all lead back to that dance. It was his one chance to show her he wasn’t a complete screw up.
A/N: So, I know it’s feeling both fast and slow. Lily DOESN’T like James yet. I wouldn’t do that in the second chapter. She’s just noticing that he’s a different person than she thought and it’s confusing her. Next chapter should get a little more interesting. Please review.
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