Remus sat in the Great Hall, not eating but merely pushing his bacon and eggs around on his plate as Peter, Sirius, Albus and Edward ate heartily. He couldn’t help but feel that they had gone too far in their prank against James and Lily. He had never seen Prongs as angry as he was when he entered the Head Boys chamber this morning. Hell, he thought, it wasn’t anger, it was unbridled fury and rather than apologize we magically bound him to the chair and Albus left a note attached to him for Lily to discover. He knew James would begrudgingly get over it eventually, but he knew Lily would be mortified and would never speak to them again.
“Did you see the look on James’ face when we strapped him to the chair?” laughed Sirius as he served himself more eggs.
Albus grinned almost nervously and replied, “I’m just a follower this time. If he asks I’m sure we will all point your way Sirius.”
“Fine by me,” he muttered. “I’m just sick of watching James pine away for Evans. He’s getting to be a bore. There is no missing the chemistry between them, she needs to get the stick out of her frigid backside and avail herself to his charms.”
He didn’t notice the looks of dread on his friend’s faces as he spoke but when he looked at Remus’ blue eyes that were staring at someone behind him. He slowly turned and looked into Lily’s troubled emerald eyes.
“Have a good night Evans?” he asked with an anxious, forced smile.
Glaring hatefully at the five of them she quietly replied, “Once we get home I promise I will never speak to any of you again, I don’t care if you are the head master. From the likes of them,” she said to Albus directly with tears in her eyes as she motioned to Remus, Peter and Sirius, “I would expect this, but from you I expected more. What you did was unforgivable and Potter is getting what he deserves for his part in this… fiasco. When we get back to … well … school I’m leaving. For the past six years I wondered whether after Hogwarts I would live in the muggle world or the wizarding world. Well, you’ve made the decision that much easier, living in the muggle world is much simpler and it means I won’t have to deal with the likes of the Marauders ever again.”
All of them paled as she shuddered and ran from the Great Hall. After a stunned moment it was Peter who spoke first, “She’s blaming James for our actions and we left him tied up, gagged and defenseless with a taunting note pinned to his shirt.”
“Bloody hell,” they all exclaimed as they ran as fast as they could from the Great Hall.
They raced into Albus’ quarters, hoping that nothing had happened to James. Quickly they searched the suite but there wasn’t a sign of James or the chair he was tied to anywhere.
“What do you think she did to him?” Remus asked nervously.
“I think the question we should be asking ourselves,” Peter told them, “is, if we were Lily, what would we have done under the circumstances?”
“She’s normally not the vindictive type,” Remus replied. “This is Lily we are talking about; she doesn’t have an evil bone in her body.”
“But there was something different about her Mooney,” Sirius replied as he paced the room. “Oh Merlin, we finally pushed her over the edge.”
“I’ll go find Lily,” Remus told them taking control of the situation. “You four split up and find out what happened to James.”
As the group headed through the portrait hole they were greeted by screams coming from the Head Girl’s quarters next door. They heard someone trying to open the portrait from within, then heard James swear aloud as the passageway swung open and he fell to the ground at their feet with half his clothes ripped away and a horrified expression on his young face.
They quickly dragged James back into Albus’ quarters and placed him carefully on the couch, then Albus ripped the note pinned to his shirt off him and the five stood reading it as James struggled as he breathlessly repeatedly muttered “biggest, ugliest girl, hideous … I feel dirty… oh Merlin … I feel violated.”
Edward couldn’t help but laugh, as the others struggled to contain their laughter. “This I have to see,” Sirius told them as he headed through the portrait hole. With the portrait hole open they could hear his footsteps heading towards the next portrait, and immediately heard him knock and a moment later he exclaimed, “Bloody hell! I’ve seen prettier trolls” followed by the sound of her fist mashing into his face before his body hit the ground. Sirius crawled back through the portrait hole, the bruise around his quickly swelling eye growing more pronounced as he muttered, “I’m blind! I’m blind!”
“Why did you do it Padfoot?” James muttered angrily.
“I had to see the ugliest girl in the world,” he replied sitting on the floor as he leaned against the couch that James was sitting on.
“I’M TALKING ABOUT LILY YOU DOLT!” he screamed as he looked at his best friend with contempt. Sirius sat there looking guilty but didn’t answer causing James to pounce on him and as he tried to choke the life out of his best friend screamed, “WHY DAMMIT! YOU HAD TO SEE HER, SOMETHING IN HER JUST SEEMED TO SNAP. I HAD BEEN SLOWLY MAKING PROGRESS WITH HER AND NOW SHE’LL NEVER COME AROUND. YOU … YOU,” he screamed unable to control his overwhelming anger, YOU RUINED THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME!”
“It was just a harmless prank gone too far James, I’m sorry,” he stammered his friend with regret. It took the other four boys to unwrench James’ hand from Sirius’ neck and force him to sit in the cushioned arm chair. It was then that James saw that they all knew something he didn’t.
“What is it you five aren’t telling me?” he asked desperately.
“When you get back to your time she is leaving school and returning to the muggle world,” Albus told him sadly, the normal sparkle missing from his blue eyes.
“Oh no,” muttered James dejectedly.
“It’s time for class,” Edward told them. “Hopefully she will attend classes this morning; it would make her easier to track down.”
James quickly changed his clothes and the six of them headed to potions class in silence. When they arrived in the dungeons they found Lily sitting alone with a troubled look on her face as she stared distantly at the empty cauldron before her. They watched as the Slytherin’s stared at her as if she were a piece of fresh meat. After a moment a tall boy bearing Slytherin robes took the seat next to her.
“Welcome to Hogwarts,” he told her. “I am Eldric Prince, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
Lily looked at the boy and quietly replied, “Lily Evans.”
“What school did you attend prior to Hogwarts?” he asked as Albus came over to them.
“Lily,” he told her with a nod. “You and I need to have a private chat.”
Lily glared at the young, auburn haired man and replied, “I thought I made it quite clear in the Great Hall Dumbledore, but in case I didn’t let me remove all doubt from your infantile mind: SOD OFF YOU STUPID IMMATURE TWIT AND TAKE YOUR IDIOTIC FRIENDS WITH YOU!”
When Lily returned her attention back to the empty cauldron Eldric looked at Dumbledore almost sympathetically and said, “I think it would be best if you left the lady alone Albus.”
James moved to stand next to Lily and quickly grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her from the classroom and didn’t stop moving until they found themselves standing before the Room of Requirements. She watched as he paced and a doorway appeared, and he quickly dragged her through it. Looking around the room, she realized it was set up like the Three Broomsticks and he sat her at a table and took a seat across from her.
“Lily,” he mumbled nervously, but all she could do is glare at her. “You have no right to be angry at me. I’m the one who should be livid at you. I had no part in the prank in the Astronomy Tower, I was as much a victim as you were and deep down you know that. Why are you trying to push me away?”
He could see some of the anger had left her green eyes but still she didn’t trust herself to say a word. “You can at least apologize to me and explain why you handed me over to that troll.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered unable to look into his hazel eyes. “I was wrong and it will not happen again.”
“Look at me Lily,” he told her gently.
“I have to go,” she whispered and he could hear the anguish in her voice as she got up and headed towards the door. He grabbed her arm and turned her around but still her eyes wouldn’t meet his. She looked at his hand on her arm and whispered, “Please let me go James. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“Why are you running away?” he asked quietly, as he kept his hand on her arm.
“I’m not running, I’m just leaving. I’ve had enough of the magical world. I don’t belong here,” she muttered.
“You can’t leave,” he told her desperately. “You do belong in this world Lily, just like I do.”
“No I don’t James,” she told him as she stared at a loose thread in his shirt. “I have spent the better part of the past six years wondering if I did the right thing coming. Being at Hogwarts has cost me more than I am willing to give up. It’s ripping my family apart and maybe it’s time for me to stop being selfish and going back home once and for all. I’m finally thinking clearly and I probably should thank Sirius and the others because without their stupid actions I probably would never have been able to figure out where I belong.”
“You’re running whether you admit that to yourself or not,” he replied firmly as he kept a firm grip on her arm with one hand, and with the other made her look up at him. He could see the guilt and pain in her eyes as he continued, “I think you are running from your feelings because they scare you.”
“What a load of bunk,” she told him but not as firmly as she should have as she looked into his hazel eyes. “I don’t have feelings for you Potter.”
James grinned broadly as he kissed her forehead and softly said, “Who said anything about those feelings being for me? That was a very interesting response Lily.”
“Please don’t do this James,” she pleaded quietly. “Just get me back to our time so I can go home.”
“Why do you hate me so?” he asked anxiously.
“I don’t hate you James,” she replied once again staring at the loose thread on his shirt once more.
“Then why fight the obvious chemistry between us. Why won’t you go out with me,” he asked and she could hear the hurt in his voice.
“I don’t date anyone,” she told him. “You should know that by now.”
“Why not?” he asked with his face just a few inches from hers.
“Two reasons, the first I wanted to make sure I finish my education which is something my mother didn’t have the opportunity to do before she settled down and got married. And secondly because up until today I wasn’t sure in which world I wanted to spend my life,” she replied sadly. “It wouldn’t have been fair to date someone, and then leave to return to the muggle world.”
“You know that you can have it all, education, family and relationships,” he told her tenderly, as he lightly stroked her cheek. “You have been pushing me away for the past year, when you know as well as I do that the air is ripe with energy when we are standing within a few feet of each other and that terrifies you because it threatens the self-control freak in you. I’ve watched you over the years Lily; outwardly friendly to everyone, but truly friend to none. People view you as friendly and popular, yet for the past few years when I look in your eyes I see loneliness. I dare you to look me in the eyes and tell me that I’m wrong.”
Reluctantly, she looked up into his hazel eyes, standing nose-to-nose with him, unable to find the words as he ran his fingers softly through her hair. He felt her shiver at his touch and finally she softly uttered, “How did you know?”
He couldn’t resist himself any longer, and brought his lips lightly against hers. He felt the tension melt away from her body as he deepened the kiss, and a moment later as she leaned into him, he realized that she was finally kissing him back.
She felt his hands softly touching each side of her face as he finally pulled his lips from hers and gazed down at her and huskily whispered, “Lily.”
Opening her eyes to look up at him and whispered his name in reply. Smiling down at her he kissed her lips lightly and said, “Please don’t run away from me Lily. You set the pace and we will take this slow, so we don’t somehow ruin it. Alright?”
She smiled up at him before pushing herself onto her tip toes and brushing her lips against his and nodded affirmatively. He hugged her tightly and grinned broadly when he felt her arms wrap around him in return.
“James” she whispered. “I have an idea.”
“Remember on the Astronomy Tower we spoke of getting revenge on the five dolts?” she asked.
He moved her to arms length, gazing into her mischievous emerald eyes and with a matching smirk asked, “Most definitely. What do you have in mind?”
Standing on her tip toes, she whispered in his ear and the longer she whispered, the broader his grin grew. When she finished all he shook his head in disbelief and replied, “And I thought you were all innocent.”
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