Chapter 24 : Crying for Yesterday
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A/n: Guys, this is the last chapter before the epilogue.
**Crying for Yesterday**
The news of Adea’s illness had shaken Lily, Jane and Kayla. They spent their nights for the next week, discussing Adea’s childhood, learning more about her and how everything had felt those eleven years in which they hadn’t known her. They also talked about how she’d coped in the past seven years in more detail.
On top of everything, Lily’s situation with James hadn’t improved by much. Although he was more prolific in his answers after the “Adea” incident, he was still distant with everyone. What was worse was that, he still hadn’t told the Marauders.
Frustration was slowly replacing sympathy in Lily’s mind. She knew from experience that it would be easier for him and everyone if he just talked about it. The problem was, he just wouldn’t.
All James ever did was go to lessons, revise, eat a little, perform Head duties, and lock himself in his room and sleep. Lily still didn’t know how to react and whether it would be okay to do what was on her mind, and just shout at him or whether that would result in an unwelcome break up.
This continued for the next week and soon the Saturday before the exams had fallen upon them. People hardly spoke; they just stayed cooped up, revising. Page after page, book after book, spell after spell; in a seemingly endless cycle.
The cycle did end however, as the weekend fast drew to an end and the seventh years woke up to the morning on which their NEWTs began.
Their first exam was a written one, History of Magic. Lily knew she had revised well and that she knew the required information, yet when time was up and the paper flew away from her desk, she felt unsatisfied.
Of course, she still couldn’t talk to James about it. The break in between seemed like nothing as they went to the dungeons to perform their Potions practical.
The practical required them to brew Amortentia. It was stressful, especially under the critical eyes of the examiners but Lily knew she had done alright when the smoke from her cauldron rose in spirals.
Kayla however, was not as sure. Her smoke was doing zigzags. She stared at her potion, willing it to spiral but to no avail. No matter how much she silently pleaded with her cauldron, the smoke would not spiral and though the scents were almost all right, there was still the faint smell of mud among her desired ones.
After ten minutes of pleading with her cauldron, she fell down onto her stool resignedly and held her head in her hands, just wishing time would end.
Afterwards, lunch arrived. Nobody talked much. Their minds were plagued with exams. Even the Marauders didn’t seem particularly bothered about James not speaking, no one else was, why should he have to?
The delightful lunch hour did not last and soon the seventh years were up again and off to Charms theory, this was one exam in which all four girls were confident. They breezed through it and even managed small smiles when Professor Flitwick announced that time was up and summoned their papers.
The rest of the week inched by in a blur of stress and silence.
A few exams that stood out from the rest were Transfiguration practical in which a girl named Sally Winters fainted during saying the incantation to transfigure the given chair into a sheep, the result being that the chair, though still very much a chair, had now sprouted a coat of wool and bleated every so often.
Another memorable exam was one that though most people didn’t see, they heard about.
Apparently, Jane had been predicting the future of her examiner and in doing so had said that the examiner’s pregnant daughter (who, it seemed later on, was actually pregnant) would tumble down a staircase, at four o’clock that evening, sealing the fate of her unborn child.
The examiner had responded by shrieking, glancing at her watch, throwing down her clipboard and running out of the room.
Jane was later heard saying ‘It was just smoke swirling funnily, I just saw a funny shape in the crystal ball and thought it looked like a pregnant woman sort of flying downwards’ comparing her statement to the examiner’s response, just spooked people more.
Remus had reported to the others, after his Defence Against the Dark Arts practical that Lucius Malfoy had had a bit of a problem.
According to Remus, the examiner had asked Lucius Malfoy to use his wand to pour water into a glass, non-verbally. Malfoy then closed his eyes and next thing anyone knew, his examiner’s face began flashing different colours. Needless to say, Malfoy was not expecting an ‘O’
Before they knew it, the exams they had been pressurised about for the past seven years were over and done with. The seventh years were then faced with their last month or so in Hogwarts, their home away from home for seven years.
‘This can’t be right, can it?’ Lily asked one day, as she sat with her friends on the edge of the lake, her shoes and socks sat beside her and her feet were settled in the water.
‘What is it, seven weeks ‘til the end of term? No, we have more time, don’t we?’ she asked, looking round.
Kayla smiled sadly and looked back at the magnificent castle behind her. ‘ ‘Fraid not Lils. It’s all we’ve got left with Hogwarts’ the brunette said.
Jane looked behind as well and started to converse with the castle ‘oh Hogwarts, we’ll miss you. You won’t forget us, will you? It wouldn’t be fair, seven years we’ve had here, you couldn’t possibly forget us’ she reasoned, her friends smiled, quite used to her conversing with inanimate objects.
Although Hogwarts wasn’t a school or a building, it was a part of their life.
‘What did she say?’ Adea asked Jane, who smiled.
‘She won’t forget us, she expects our kids running inside her, in a decade or so’ Jane recounted from her imagination.
Lily laughed ‘can you imagine? Our kids?’
Adea joined in ‘yeah I can imagine Jane’s child’
The purple haired girl looked intrigued. ‘Oh?’ she said.
‘Yeah, I see a girl. Waist length hair, black with shocking pink streaks’ the other girls laughed at Adea’s description ‘same, haunting, beautiful, silver eyes, slightly larger though. High cheekbones, perfect nose. Same bizarre, glazed expression. Do you see her?’ Adea asked her friends, Jane smiled widely and nodded.
Lily spoke up ‘Oh I know! Kayla’s daughter. Gorgeous, golden skin complexion, hair like Alethea’s. An outspoken, intelligent child. Oh and Adea’s! Identical twin girls, twins run in families you know. Oh and a little boy as well, a miniature Waqar’ she voiced.
The girls laughed and continued to talk about their future children, who would roam the halls of Hogwarts not unlike they had a few moments ago.
The morning of the girls’ Hogsmeade trip had arrived. That Saturday, every female seventh year and prefect had risen early, to find an outfit, and contemplate what colour they wanted to wear to the Graduation Ball.
On stepping into the lounge, Lily saw James sitting on the sofa, as he did nowadays. Although, on closer observation, she saw something in his eyes. It wasn’t the normal glazed over, faraway look, his hazel eyes usually held.
Now, they were full of determination and something that seemed a lot like realisation. She didn’t know why, maybe because she cared for James or maybe out of habit, but she decided to tell James where she was headed off to, even though she didn’t particularly expect to him to respond.
‘James? I’m going off to Hogsmeade, with Jane, Kayla and Adea’ she announced, James looked at her.
The way he looked at her just then made Lily stare; his eyes were full of admiration, fondness and something else she couldn’t make out.
Slowly, he nodded. She looked downwards, turned and began to walk towards the door, when he called out to her.
‘Lily?’ surprised at hearing his voice call her name, she jumped and stared at him once more.
‘Yes?’ she asked hopefully.
James held her gaze a little longer and shook his head ‘have a…good time, I guess’ he said quietly.
‘Oh, okay, yeah sure’ Lily replied, she turned to leave again.
‘Lily!’ he called again.
‘Uh….never mind’ he said, shaking his head once more.
She nodded and walked to the mahogany door. As her hand reached out for the doorknob, a bigger hand had taken hold of her wrist and before she could say a word, she was being turned around.
She looked at James, her eyes looked startled and were even more so when he leant in and kissed her.
When they broke away, Lily smiled brightly. ‘What was that for?’ she asked, James shrugged.
‘I haven’t kissed you in ages’ he said offhandedly.
Lily laughed and kissed him again.
James who now wore a broad grin said quietly to Lily ‘Thank you. I know it’s not been easy for you to put up with me these past few weeks. Not everyone would’ve done it’
‘I know but I…I mean I…um, you're welcome’ Lily finished, not quite able to say what she wanted.
As she thought about it, she didn’t know what it was she was having trouble saying to him. She kissed him on the cheek and finally left their chamber.
Once Lily had closed the door behind her, she began walking towards the entrance hall, still happy at how James’ demeanour had changed all of a sudden. She met her friends without saying a word, she merely smiled.
‘Okay ladies, we have five hours to find four sets of dress robes. We need to get shoes, we need to get accessories, possibly make up. It’s a big job, for five hours. We must concentrate’ Adea said.
Lily laughed ‘Dee, chill out. We have another Hogsmeade weekend, I arranged it for you’
Adea gave Lily a piercing stare. ‘Excuse me? Lily, do you not understand the importance of this. Who said anything about buying? This is the Graduation Ball. This trip is all about searching, next week is for buying. We can’t do them both in one trip!’ Adea cried.
Lily held her hands up in surrender. ‘Okay, okay. I’m sorry. I have seen the err of my ways, honestly what was I thinking?’ she quipped and grinned at Jane.
Adea and Kayla didn’t catch the sarcasm nor did they catch the grin as they led the way out of the entrance hall.
-Am I that out of touch, that people find it weird to talk to me? How would you know, it’s not like you’ve let anyone talk to you to be able to find out. Lily, she looked at me as if I was about to explode.
She looked so surprised when I said her name. Oh shit, what will the guys say? They’ll want to kill me. I’ll have to tell them now. Oh yeah, they’re really going to kill you when they realise how long you’ve gone without telling them. Shut up, I don’t need that-
James ran a hand through his hair and left for the Gryffindor common room. As he climbed staircases and walked through numerous corridors, he planned out what exactly he was going to say.
Once he finally reached the common room and went through the portrait hole, he found his friends huddled by the fire, not an entirely unusual sight. He joined them and all three of them looked up at him in confusion.
‘Hey’ James said and smiled apologetically, Remus and Peter smiled back and Sirius positively grinned.
He got up and clapped his friend on the back ‘welcome back mate’
James nodded ‘listen about how I’ve been acting’ but Remus held up a hand.
‘It’s okay James; you don’t have to tell us’ he said placidly.
James frowned ‘do you know why?’
‘No but we figure you had your reasons’ Sirius answered.
Peter nodded ‘tell us when you’re completely ready to come out with it’
‘Lily knows’ James said in a whisper.
Sirius and Remus shrugged ‘we don’t mind. She would know. I mean it’s you and her, you guys are like almost married’ the latter said sagely.
James looked confused. ‘What? But, we haven’t even said we love each other’ he reasoned.
‘It’s not needed though, is it?’ Sirius said ‘with you and Lily, it’s just sort of….implied. You two are different. Jane and I have had problems and Remus and Kayla have had problems too, doesn’t mean that we don’t love our girlfriends; it just means we have to work harder to keep the peace. But you and Lily, you….just fit, you know?’ he finished.
James didn’t say anything, he thought on what his best friend had just said –I guess we do. I don’t know what I’d do if we fought, I couldn’t live with myself. I can’t live without her by my side. Did I just say that? Yes I think you did. Are you sure? Yes, quite. I couldn’t have. And yet, you did. I think I know what I have to do. Fine, don’t tell me then. Okay, I don’t like you that much anyway
‘Lils wear white!’ whined Kayla.
‘I want to wear black!’ Lily said.
‘I just think you should stick with green’ Adea suggested.
‘Change doesn’t do one any harm’ Jane said absently.
Lily smiled ‘Thank you Jane! I’m glad someone’s on my side’ she said pointedly.
Jane looked confused for a second before realisation dawned ‘Oh! You're welcome’
Adea rolled her eyes as the Kayla and Lily resumed their juvenile argument over black and white. Being sensible, she grabbed three beautiful sets of dress robes, in Lily’s size in the colours in question.
She walked back to the quibbling pair (who hadn’t noticed her absence, it seemed). ‘That’s ENOUGH’ she whispered dangerously though it seemed as if she was shouting, Lily and Kayla fell quiet immediately, looking downwards.
‘You two are acting like children, you are eighteen, act it, the pair of you!’ Adea reprimanded, her friends looked ashamed while Jane sifted through some nearby racks.
‘Now, I’ve picked out some gorgeous robes for you, Lily in green, white and black, pick yourself’ she handed the robes to Lily and saw Kayla open her mouth to protest, out of the corner of her eye.
‘Kayla’ she warned, the girl closed her mouth, Adea continued ‘they’re Lily’s dress robes and she’s paying for it. If she chooses a black set, so be it’ Lily smiled smugly and entered the nearest changing room.
She tried on the first set and examined her self. –Nah, these make me look kind of fat- so those were out of the question and back on the hanger. Lily picked up the next pair –hhhhmmmm, slightly more promising- she twirled in front of the mirror –nah, they’re nothing special, this is the Graduation Ball- so those were back on the hanger.
She put on the next set and gasped at her reflection –perfect- she stepped out to display the result to her friends who clapped quietly. ‘Those are the ones, you need to get, Lils’ Adea said, Lily beamed and went back inside and put the robes back on their hanger, to pay for them and give back the other two.
Jane came back with a hanger in her hand. She held up a set of robes up to her friends. ‘What do you think?’ she asked, the girls smiled and said ‘definitely’ Jane and Lily were the last two who had needed robes.
Having paid for their purchases, the girls went onto the nearest shoe shop. ‘I feel like an ice-cream, come on Dee can we stop for ice-cream’ Lily said and looked round to find an ice cream cart.
Adea looked at her in an annoyed fashion. ‘Lily we have a mission to complete’ she said as if stating the obvious.
The red haired girl rolled her eyes and used a new tactic. ‘What? We can’t even stop for say….a double scoop of cherry and lemonade?’ she said slowly, knowing it was Adea’s favourite.
The addressed girl looked slightly more lenient while Kayla and Jane watched on in amusement.
‘In a sugared cone and vanilla sprinkles on top?’ Lily continued, her friend sighed and Lily knew she’d won.
The four girls took a small detour to buy some ice cream. On acquiring their desired flavours they continued on to the shoe shop.
After the ice creams, the four loosened up a little and even managed to laugh sometimes. They wandered the streets of Hogsmeade, momentarily forgetting that in a few weeks, they would no longer be able to walk together like this, carefree and sheltered.
‘Remus, do you think Jane and Sirius will last?’ Kayla asked one evening as they sat in the comon room together.
Kayla’s head rested on his shoulder, while his arm was draped around her shoulders.
The boy looked thoughtful ‘Truthfully, I don’t think they will’ he answered.
‘But they love each other, so much’ Kayla argued.
‘They do, can’t argue with that. But, you asked my opinion and I gave it to you’ he concluded.
‘What about Lily and James?’ she enquired after a moment’s silence. ‘I think they’re gonna last’ Remus said without much thought. And he felt Kayla nod against him.
She hesitated with her next question. ‘D’you- do you think… we will?’ Kayla asked quietly. Remus let the words float around in his head for a minute, as he mulled them over.
‘Do you want me to be honest?’ he asked.
‘No. I don’t think we’ll last’ Remus said solemnly.
Kayla stayed silent for a few seconds before she added ‘I think I agree’
Neither said anything else for a while.
‘When I was about six, I remember saying to my dad “daddy, will you always be around?” ’ Kayla started, out of the blue ‘he laughed and said “no, of course not” I was rather shocked but comforted considerably when he added “but I’ll be around as long as you’ll need me” ’
Kayla snorted derisively before continuing. ‘Well obviously, that didn’t work out. For some reason, I always connected his death to myself and that promise he made me. After that, I found it impossible to trust any…male, I suppose. Until, you came along.
'Spending the past year with you has helped me overcome so many insecurities, so many fears. Right now, you’re the one person who means most to me’ she finished contently and sighed.
The arm around her shoulders tightened its grip. ‘But, if nothing’s to become of it, why carry on?’ Remus asked, clearly intrigued.
Kayla smiled bittersweetly. ‘You’ll laugh but I’ve just remembered something my mum always says’ she mused.
‘I’ll put it in her exact words: “Kayla darling, there are three things you need to do, to ensure success in your life. No matter where you are or what you do. Three things, just three. Remember, to always be five steps ahead of the future, learn from your mistakes in the past, but always live in the present’ the girl paused and closed her eyes for a moment.
‘It’s odd but the last one is the one, people find most difficult. Most people while away their lives, planning the future and dwelling on the past, they forget about the present, I don’t want to do that’ she trailed off and sighed again.
‘So I love you right now but I can’t speak for next year or even next month. What’s to come, will come but-’
‘Let’s see to today first’ Remus filled in.
Kayla lifted her head and smiled at him ‘exactly’ she whispered and gave him a small kiss before putting her head back against his shoulder.
Lily was busy writing her speech for the Graduation day, every day seemed to pass with increasing speed and the night before the Ball was upon them. While the other seventh year girls were busy catching up on their beauty sleep, Lily had other problems to tend to.
She looked up from her writing desk and glanced at the clock. It read 7.00. She sprang up from her chair and rushed out into the lounge. James was lying on his favourite sofa, staring up into space.
Lily was surprised that even in the hectic times in which they were currently wrapped up, he still found time to sit around and do nothing.
‘James’ Lily said, snapping him out of his reverie and he offered her a small smile. ‘What are you doing?’ she asked.
‘Nothing’ he replied.
‘I can see that, why are you doing nothing?’
‘Because there’s nothing to do’ James said with a shrug of his shoulders.
Lily stared at him blankly. ‘You could pack’ she suggested.
‘Don’t want to’
‘What about your speech? Have you finished it?’
‘No’ he said offhandedly.
‘Okay, so how far have you gotten?’
‘Haven’t started it’
Lily stared at him again. ‘James, didn’t you say you had problems with speeches?’ she asked
‘I did... because I do’
‘So why aren’t you writing it beforehand?’
‘Well Lily, if you look at it my way, there isn’t much need for writing it beforehand. It’s not so much a speech as it is a farewell message to Hogwarts. And anything I need to say to Hogwarts has no need for rehearsing, I’ll just say what I need to say and be done with it’ he explained sagely.
Lily didn’t fall for his “wise” airs. ‘Yeah sure, whatever James. When you have a breakdown up on that stage, don’t look at me for help’ she remarked dryly, rolling her eyes at his languor.
Her eyes flitted to the clock again and she remembered why she had left her room. ‘Come on we have to go and help set up in the hall’
James got up and stretched. ‘Coming your highness’
Lily rolled her eyes yet again but decided to play along ‘we’re already late, lowly servant, let’s go!’ she said with a note of urgency, she grabbed her James’ hand and led him out of the chamber.
They briskly walked up to hall and found the prefects assembled in the centre, obviously in wait of the Heads.
Lily reached them and began her excuses ‘sorry we’re late. The Head Boy couldn’t be bothered to be on time’ the prefects nodded in response, they didn’t seem too bothered, a few smiled at the pair.
‘Okay Gryffindors, you have to begin setting up the decorations. For the memory wall, ask the seventh years or call either James or myself. Ravenclaws, your part in all of this is over so you can help the Gryffindors with the decorations.
'Slytherins, set up the area for the band and Hufflepuffs, run down the menu with us one last time, then take it down to the elves and come back to organise where the tables are going to appear, we’ll help with the last part.
'Okay, we have a long job in front of us, and we all want to get out of here quickly, so work fast’ Lily ordered and turned to James who grinned at her.
‘No I don’t have anything to add Lily, but thanks for asking’ he joked.
Lily laughed ‘oh sorry. I get so caught up in being the Head Girl. I’m going to miss it’ she said with a hint of sadness.
James looked sceptical. ‘What exactly are you going to miss? The sleep depriving rounds? The cheek of the younger students? The hours of detentions we have to supervise for idiots who can’t think before they act?’ he asked rhetorically while Lily shook her head despairingly.
‘No. The authority, the feeling of power, the satisfaction you get when you take off points and give out detentions’ she said mocking him.
James nodded ‘oh yeah, that. I guess that was pretty cool’
She smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek before setting off to help with the charm work of the decorations.
The prefects and the Head Boy and Girl worked steadily for the next couple of hours. Everything progressed smoothly and the only obstacle arrived in the form of the Memory wall, which was an excellent idea but, as the Gryffindors and Ravenclaws soon discovered, was an absolute nightmare to conjure.
It wasn’t long before every Ravenclaw and Gryffindor prefect possible, including the two Heads were huddled in front of the wall in question.
‘The charm for the memories is simple enough’ Lily mused.
‘Yeah, but how do we get it so that they reflect upon the whole wall?’ Remus asked.
‘And what about the illusion, that’s not easy magic’ James said.
They stared at the wall for a further fifteen minutes, contemplating different methods to achieve their goal, all of which had a defect of some sort in it. Some of the prefects had taken a seat on the cold stone floor of the Great Hall.
‘We could do everything one by one’ Estrella Fonseca suggested, Lily’s head turned sharply to stare at the sixth year girl.
She looked intrigued ‘Elaborate’ she said simply.
All the prefects were now looking Estrella; she cast an unsure glance at them all and described her thought in more detail.
‘Well instead of finding a way to do everything at once, we could split up. So say, a couple of us go and find some books on how to perform the illusion part, while the rest could stay here and take it on bit by bit, so say, insert the memories, first. Then, find a way to project it onto the whole wall.
'Then establish the parameters for the illusion, by that time we’ll be back with the books and we’ll find a spell and practise it and then perform it on the wall’ she finished.
The seventh years exchanged glances ‘that seemed simple enough, I wonder why no one else thought of it’ James said.
Little by little, the wall furthered its progress. The memories had been placed inside by Lily, and some other Ravenclaws. Hufflepuffs were asked to help with this too, in case they had any memories to share.
The Slytherins were deliberately excluded from that exercise. Waqar came up with an idea for the projection to reach the entire wall. James, Remus and the other prefects helped place the parameters for the illusion.
By the time, the parameters had been set up the six who had gone down to the library had returned with a couple of books. They then spent the next hour or so, flipping through the pages to find an adequate spell.
Eventually, after searching through numerous books, considering many spells, they hit upon one which seemed to fit their purpose. The next task was being able to actually perform the spell successfully.
The sixth years had handed the job over to the seventh years but remained in the hall to watch. The Slytherins had long since finished their job and had left the hall without a further enquiry.
The Hufflepuffs had insisted on staying to help. Lily thanked them but assured them that they had enough people working on it as it was, and told them to rest for the night.
Lily tried first by making an illusion of a goblet appear. She pictured the goblet in her mind and shouted ‘calumniorari!’ immediately a goblet appeared on the floor, she exchanged glances with James.
He reached out to the goblet and ran his hand through it. Nothing stopped him. He grinned and brought his hand back, again, his hand felt as if it was just moving around in the air, but looked as if it was penetrating through the goblet.
With a wave of her wand, the imaginary goblet disappeared. The prefects were smiling and looked hopeful but not for long.
‘Guys that was just a goblet we need to have to do this for a whole wall’ the prefects went back to looking dejected.
‘Lily, imagine something bigger. Imagine a trunk’ James suggested.
His girlfriend shrugged and closed her eyes. She said the incantation and a trunk appeared, well half of it did. Lily slowly opened her eyes and stared at the unusual image before her.
‘Oh dear’ she commented.
Estrella bit her lip but continued being hopeful. ‘Don’t worry about it Lily, it was your first go. Try again’ she encouraged, it took Lily three more attempts to make an illusion of a whole trunk appear.
She continued to make the targeted objects bigger and slowly she began gaining more confidence with the spell until almost two hours later, they finally reached the point of having to make the wall appear.
‘Okay Lily, concentrate’ James said, he too (along with Remus) had been practising the spell, but they had decided that Lily would be the best person for this job. Not only did she have to make a colossal wall appear but she had to manage it so that illusion would hold until a certain distance.
Lily inhaled deeply and imagined the wall, once she thought the picture clear enough she said ‘calumniorari!’ she opened her eyes to find nothing there. A fifth year Ravenclaw prefect ran further on to opposite end of the hall and called ‘you can see about an eighth of the wall from back here’
Lily frowned, James put his arms around her. ‘It is something right?’ he tried, but it was in vain for Lily’s perfectionist character was not satisfied.
Over the next hour she tried countless times to achieve perfect results and got closer every time, but she was getting tired.
‘James, help me!’ she cried helplessly.
‘How?’ he asked.
‘I don’t know, do something’ Lily whined.
‘I wish I could’
Waqar had been sat in a corner, thinking over the situation. He walked up to the Head Boy and Girl. ‘Why don’t you two try it together? Stand next to each other, imagine the wall and maybe your combined magic will help something that big appear’ he suggested quietly.
James and Lily looked at each other and he shrugged ‘no harm in trying, is there Lils?’ she smiled and shook their head.
‘I know you’re tired, but we have to do this. So focus!’ Remus said.
Lily and James shut their eyes and imagined the wall, Remus counted to three and both of them shouted ‘CALUMNIORARI!’
They reopened their eyes and saw a gigantic wall before them. Lily started laughing and hugged James who grinned back. Everyone looked relieved, it was getting late.
Waqar walked to the back of the hall and strode towards them. He stopped at where they were standing and looked impressed ‘you did it, works just as it was supposed to’
‘Thank god’ one of the other prefects cried.
Everything was ready for the following evening; the decorations were going to be disguised by the teachers for the following day until it was time for the ball. Finally, the prefects dispersed and trudged back to their dormitories to partake in some well earned sleep.
Lily and James made it back to the Head’s Lounge and sank down onto the three seater; James lay down and held Lily.
‘I am so tired’ he said.
‘Me too’ Lily replied but smiled feebly ‘but we did it, James’ she said proudly.
James nodded ‘yeah they better watch out for us, we’re too powerful for all their arses’ he joked.
They stayed quiet and remained where they were, and it wasn’t long until they fell asleep.
-Ugh! What time is it? - Lily opened her eyes just a little and found sunlight pouring into the room, streaming through the windows to which the curtains had forgotten to be drawn.
Lily groaned and with an effort, fully opened her eyes.
A quick look around told her that she’d fallen asleep in the Lounge. Another look told her she’d fallen asleep in the Lounge, with James. Lily sighed as she discovered how unwilling she really was to remove herself of her current position. It was comfortable and secure.
Lily turned to look at James. His hair was more unruly than usual, his glasses were askew and yet his face held an almost contradictory look to his appearance. He looked completely and utterly at peace.
Lily smiled at seeing his face. –It’s weird but this feels…right? Is that the word I want? Yes, I think it is. Oh, you again. Don’t worry, for the first time ever I’ll agree, it is rather nice-
James groaned and opened is eyes a little. Eyes. A pair of green eyes. The sight made him wake up a little more as he asked incredulously.
‘Lily?’ the girl in question smiled.
‘Good morning’ she whispered. James looked around and noticed that he wasn’t, as he had thought, in his room. He looked back at his girlfriend, questioningly ‘the lounge?’ he asked.
Lily nodded ‘that spell really drained us, I remember sitting down here but we must’ve fallen asleep’ she concluded.
He removed his arm from Lily’s waist and sat up. ‘It’s a Saturday right?’ he asked, Lily nodded.
‘Come on we have to go see to a few last minute things, I want you back here in ten minutes, okay?’ she ordered.
James grinned ‘yes ma’am’
Lily hit him playfully, before leaving for her room.
On entering, she glanced at her watch and found it was 10 o’clock. She quickly showered, brushed, dressed and tied up her hair and put on a minimal amount of make up.
After completing this flurry of activity she left to meet James in the Lounge. He was already there and the two set off for the hall immediately. They reached the hall to find the seventh year prefects assembled in the hall.
Lily and James met them and apologised for their unpunctuality. The Slytherins sneered but the others just shook their heads and the Gryffindors confessed that they’d only arrived five minutes ago themselves.
The Head Boy and Head Girl immediately began the last minute checklist.
Everything was vouched for in the positive until they came to… ‘Butterbeer order arrived?’
‘About that’ started Rosalie, a Hufflepuff seventh year.
Lily looked at her with a questioning glance.
‘It’s late; it was expected two hours ago. We asked Dumbledore if we could go see what the problem was and when we went Madam Rosmerta said she was short on staff and she’d get it over as soon as possible’ the girl explained quietly.
Lily looked panicked. ‘As soon as possible? How soon is “as soon as possible”?’ she asked.
Rosalie shrugged ‘I have no idea, but she promised to have it over at least before 6 o’clock’
Lily’s eyes widened. ‘6 o’clock? The ball’s due to start at half past seven!’
‘I know, I’m so sorry’ the Hufflepuff replied, looking guilty.
Lily took a deep breath ‘no, don’t be. It’s not your fault; it’s not even Madam Rosmerta’s. It’s her staff’s fault’ she muttered.
James took charge. ‘Okay, I presume you’ve instructed Madam Rosmerta to have it sent it over to the kitchens?’ the Hufflepuffs nodded.
‘Okay go and tell the elves to be expecting it anytime. If it hasn’t arrived by 5 o’clock, come find me in the Head’s Lounge and I’ll take care of it. Apart from that, if everything’s done, you can go’ he dismissed.
The prefects dispersed and only he and Lily were left.
‘Already things are going wrong’ Lily complained with a frown. The boy shook his head.
‘It’s just one thing, the butterbeer will get here, I’ll make sure of it’ he assured.
‘I wanted things to be perfect’ Lily said as he hugged her.
‘They never are but I promise to provide you with the nearest thing’ James soothed.
She looked up into his hazel eyes and found herself smiling. ‘Thank you for being so great about everything’ she whispered.
‘You’re welcome, now go. I know you’ll want to spend the day being all girly with your friends’ he said, Lily laughed and flounced out of the room after kissing James.
Jane walked into the seventh year boy’s dormitory to see Sirius. Upon entering it, she found her boyfriend sitting on his bed; he had a letter in his hand and a sour expression on his face.
Jane sat down nest to him. ‘What’s the matter?’ she asked.
Sirius hadn’t seen her come in and so was surprised to hear her voice. He turned and looked at her and attempted to smile. Jane held out her hand, Sirius stared at it for a moment and then stared into her eyes before handing over the letter.
We had a nice summer last year without you; don’t take the trouble of coming home again. I’ve heard your fool of an uncle has left some money for you, make some use of it. I
hope you realise now that you will have to go out into the world without help, how much you’ve ruined your life. You are, or were, rather, a Black. You could’ve had all the wealth you needed. Any post in the Ministry you desired, your name would be respected and known.
Now, you’re nothing. A disgrace to your family. We had such hopes for you and you broke my heart. You acted in the most ungrateful manner, associating with mudbloods and muggle lovers and half breeds.
I’ve heard from Regulus that you date a mudblood. I suppose no respectable pureblood girl would even think twice about you anymore. Furthermore, consider this the last letter you will ever receive from your mother, I do not much feel like taking pains to communicate with you.
Be grateful for this,
Jane dropped the letter as if it burned. She looked to Sirius whose eyes held a mixture of fury, hatred, and disgust and even pain.
Jane put a gentle hand on his shoulder. ‘Sirius?’ she whispered but was met with silence. The silence told her enough.
'Did you hope for it to be different?’ she asked. Sirius looked at her.
Once their eyes met, hesitation came to an end. ‘I knew something like this would happen but at the back of my mind, I think I sort of wished, it wouldn’t’ he paused a moment.
‘Why me? Why do I have to be born into a family so heinous?’ he asked.
‘Oh you’re not the only one. Almost every Slytherin is cursed with a family like yours. Unfortunately for them they don’t have someone like you to even suggest that the ideas they’re been fed since birth, are even a little wrong’ she argued.
She hugged and gave him a kiss. Jane then stared him in the eye and said rather defiantly ‘I love you and whether you like it or not, this mudblood’s going to be hanging around for a little longer’
Sirius couldn’t help but smile. He watched her lie down and look up at him. ‘I love you’ he said simply.
Jane smiled and sprung up again. ‘Excellent, now if you don’t mind, now I have a shower take so if you’ll excuse me’ she said.
Sirius grinned; Jane gave him another kiss before gliding out of the room.
It was three hours before the ball. For the female attendees, the preparation period had officially begun. They assembled in their dormitories and started the pre-ball arrangements while the boys mused over how it could possibly take anyone three hours to get ready for anything.
Lily had once again, decided to get ready with her friends. The “dressing up” part of an evening contributed so much to the overall enjoyment of the impending event, that really it was unimaginable that she should do it alone in the last week before they left.
Andjust as before, Adea was busy running around picking out makeup for her friends to wear with their dresses and formulated plans for Jane’s hair. Lily and Jane meanwhile were doing their nails, while Kayla was attacking her eyelashes with her wand.
Of course, the responsibilities and frantic enquiries were left to Adea for handling. ‘Dee, will you do my hair?’ Lily called.
‘Yes Lily, of course I will’
‘What about mine?’ Jane asked.
‘I’m thinking on it as we speak’
‘What shoes do you think I should wear, Adea?’ Kayla asked.
‘I’ll look at them in a minute but I’m thinking flats’
Two hours later, things had gotten a little more harried.
The girls (sans Jane) were running in different directions, tripping over and the occasional cry of ‘Shit!’ or ‘oh God help me!’ could be heard as they stepped on heels of varying sizes and rejected earrings which had carelessly been thrown on the floor by Jane or Kayla.
Adea was the first to finish, then Lily. Kayla was panicking. Jane was rather calmer. Adea and Lily tended to both of them and their requirements. Lily unfortunately was left with Kayla.
Kayla’s anxiety induced Lily and the two of them created quite an amusing scene for their other two friends, who bravely kept straight faces and only wished they had a camera handy.
Lily was wearing a set of gorgeous off-white robes made of a wonderful floaty material. A silver band brought the sides of the robes tight to her waist before they billowed out again. Her hair had been left in their natural waves and she had only bothered with light makeup.
Adea wore full length robes of georgette in a shade of dusk pink. A wide belt of satin went around the middle which accentuated her tiny waist perfectly, the length was above average but not ridiculous and created a nice train.
Since neither she nor Waqar were fond of dancing, she could afford to wear heels of a much more painful height. She had chosen shoes which added a good 3 ½ inches to her tiny height of 5’3 and had opted for her trademark dark eyes.
Jane was wearing robes of midnight blue satin, neither loose nor form-fitting, and ballet falts. Her hair was jet black with cosmo blue streaks and had been forced into loose curls and a side fringe.
Kayla wore extravagant robes of dark lavender silk, a small (plum coloured) band tied around the waist before the robes billowed out, once again. Half of her natural chestnut brown curls had been pinned up and she had decided on very light make up.
Lily descended the staircase like she had at Halloween, attracting attention.
James grinned broadly at the sight of his girlfriend. She walked over and looked at him expectantly.
'Amazing' James managed and this seemed enough for Lily. James offered her his arm and the two exited the Gryffindor Common Room in high spirits.
As Jane made her way down, Sirius’ eyes became fixated to her. Once she had reached him, he attempted to speak ‘I-you…I mean’
Jane smiled absently and said ‘that’s just what I wanted to hear’ Sirius laughed and together they left the room.
Kayla now glided down the staircase. The sight of her made Remus smile. He’d always had a way with words, so when Kayla reached him he said ‘do you really need me to tell you that you look fantastic’
Kayla beamed and he led her out.
Adea’s turn arrived but no one knew. Waqar waited eagerly and smiled as he heard her familiar footsteps.
He waited for her and said ‘What do you want me to say?’
‘Silence would be perfect’
‘Then silence you shall have’ the two friends then left the Common Room, side by side.
Lily and James led the way into the Hall and smiled at hearing the gasps behind them.
They walked to the side of Professor Dumbledore, who waited until everyone was seated to begin speaking.
‘Welcome, to this year’s Graduation Ball. I admit, I don’t believe I have ever attended a Graduation Ball as spectacularly presented and for that we must thank the Head Boy and Girl and the prefects for their efforts’
The students applauded until Dumbledore began again ‘And now, I know you wish to hear me no longer and so I have the pleasure to introduce to you The Manic Manticores’ a huge roar of approval erupted as a slow tune started up.
‘And now if our Head Boy and Girl would lead us into the dancing. Lily, James, if you will…’ James led Lily onto the dance floor.
They positioned themselves right and began to dance gracefully to the music. James leaned in and whispered ‘So what d’you think?’
‘It’s perfect’ she whispered back.
Other couples had now joined them, but they didn’t notice. ‘Come on let’s go to the wall, I think you’ll like this memory’ James muttered and they danced towards the illusion.
As they approached the wall, Lily noticed that it was displaying a scene containing her first year self and James. It was the time James had first begun to like her and funnily enough it showed Lily screaming at him.
Lily laughed ‘oh god, I remember that’ she said.
‘Yeah, good times’ James said.
She looked up at him and said ‘who’d have thought…you and me, together’
James looked at her, a slight smile on his face 'I did'
Lily stared at him a little longer and then put her head against his shoulder. On a nearby table sat Adea and Waqar, quietly observing.
‘Seven years’ Waqar began.
‘Seven years of being invisible, how do you feel?’ he asked.
Adea thought about it ‘rather good. For seven years, I haven’t been hated or disliked or bullied or teased. It feels pretty good’ she answered; they shared a smile and began talking of other things.
Jane looked at the other couples and suddenly felt like dancing too. She turned to Sirius and said ‘would you like to dance?’
The boy looked amused ‘aren’t guys supposed to ask girls?’ he enquired.
‘Not in my book’ Jane replied.
‘well then, I'd love to' he said in a grandiose manner. Jane rolled her eyes and led the way to the dance floor.
Remus and Kayla were dancing close to the memory wall but hadn’t paid it much attention. They were too content with the company to want anything else. Kayla noticed some fairies flitting in the distance.
‘The decorations are amazing’ she commented.
‘I think I’m allowed to take some credit’ Remus said, making her smile.
Kayla, finally, turned to the wall and was surprised. It showed her in her third year, before her father’s death, just laughing. It was her genuine laughter, where her cheeks flushed and her eyes began to sparkle.
‘What’s that doing there?’ Kayla asked.
Remus looked too and grinned ‘It’s one of my favourite memories’ he said casually and held her closer.
The ball raced with time. Complaints were seldom. The Hufflepuffs had once again, produced a fantastic menu containing a variety of excellent food. The music was, of course, brilliant. And the butterbeer remained safe (Lily had charmed it to not admit foreign substances).
However, when time is being spent with pleasure, it likes to fly and so before they knew it, midnight had fallen and Lily and James had to call an end to the ball and request that everyone return to their dormitories. A request which was not met with eager ears.
After seeing everyone out, Lily and James proceeded to the Head’s Chamber. James had fallen unusually quiet and Lily was doing all the talking ‘it was great, wasn’t it?’ she asked, he nodded.
‘We did well, didn’t we?’ he looked at her and watched her eyes sparkle and glisten with contentment.
His mind became even more resolute in its goal. Upon reaching the Lounge, James finally spoke up. ‘I need to talk to you, before you go. About…some things’
Lily stared at him for a second and immediately took a seat in the nearest armchair, eager to listen and understand.
James sat down too and with and deep breath, began. ‘I know that, after the conversation we heard between Dumbledore and Bagnold, I haven’t been the most communicative person. I’ve thought a lot about…everything.
'For the first week, I just kept denying it all. But it dawned on me that it’s probably going to happen. I will be murdered. I’ve gotten quite used to it now’
Lily’s heart ached oddly at hearing him say that.
‘I know it’s going to happen. So I started concentrating on how I can make my life better. What should be my priorities, who should be my priority? Who is going to make me happiest before I die? And it always came down to one person’ he looked Lily square in the eye.
‘You. That was it. I knew if I had you with me, I’d the die the happiest of wizards. And I realised exactly how much I actually love you, it’s a feeling that’s become so much a part of me over the weeks that I sort of overlooked it, but it’s clear as ever. I love you’ he glanced at her expectantly.
She stared at him and found herself saying ‘I love you too’ When she thought back on it, Lily realised that she, like James, had sort of dismissed it, it had become so much a part of their relationship.
James smiled slightly and continued ‘I was hoping you’d say that. I thought more about it and came to a conclusion. To be happy is one thing, to be satisfied another. I want to be both when I die.
'I want to know I’ve done everything possible. I don’t want to miss anything. Most importantly, I don’t want to have to spend a day without you. Without knowing you’re beside me in everything I do and I’m beside you for everything too’
Lily inwardly gasped, James’ speech was taking a frightening turn and she wasn’t entirely sure she wanted to know what was around the corner.
‘Lily I don’t want you to think I’ve rushed into this decision. Because I haven’t, it’s all I’ve thought about, all I think about. I know we’ve only been going out for four months but if I feel like this, there’s nothing else to do’ with a another meaningful glance he got down on his knee and Lily gasped, out loud.
‘Will you marry me?’ As she looked at him say this, Lily noticed the underlying hope in his eyes. She looked at them for a moment but reached a decision of her own.
‘Get up James’ she whispered.
James obliged and sat down with a worried expression. ‘Why does that sound as if you’re planning to say no?’ he asked hesitantly.
Lily sighed and voice sounded as if she was on the verge of tears. ‘Because I am. James, you don’t expect me to go through with this? And it’s got nothing to do with weak feelings, don’t think that for a second. But, but I just can’t let you marry me.
'We’re eighteen! Eighteen, that’s too young. We haven’t even left school. James you may love me now, but I know you’ll meet a girl a thousand times better than me, somewhere out there.
'And when you do, I don’t want to be in the way of your happiness. I don’t want you to rue the day you met me. I don’t want to be an obstacle. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I was the source of your unhappiness. I don’t want you to ruin your life because you were scared of dying alone.
'James, you’re an idiot if you can’t see that that’s what this is all about. You’re afraid. Just like happiness and satisfaction, fear and unhappiness are two different things. I can’t let you suffer from them both.
'James, I love you, I really do. But because I love you, I can’t say yes, for your sake’ Lily got up abruptly and headed straight for her room.
James hadn’t moved. He couldn’t. He couldn’t argue and reason because he couldn’t find the words. His stomach had taken a nauseating plunge, his thought process had taken an icy pause and his heart beat slowly but loudly.
Lily reached out for the door handle and her eye caught on a piece of crumpled, scrap parchment at her feet. This immediately set her mind reeling. Thoughts and memories she’d buried suddenly resurfaced and she remembered the dream.
That dream she’d had back in December which she had deliberately forgotten. Her sister, the baby, that letter. It came back now. More clearly than before and one line seemed to echo throughout her restless mind.
“Killed both your sister and her husband James Potter”
Lily stood rooted to the spot for several minutes before she finally started thinking rationally.
–It never did seem like just a dream. This has already been planned. This is what I have to do. If I don’t now, I’ll have to later. It’s going to happen, I can’t help that-
Lily turned on her heel ‘yes’ she said firmly.
James looked up and stared. ‘Yes? You’ll marry me?’ he asked.
‘Yes, I think I will’ Lily answered.
Lily stared at her boyfriend and shook her head ‘No. I will. I will marry you’ she said mechanically.
She felt a headache coming on. ‘We’ll talk in the morning, I need to sleep’ she said abruptly, went into her room, changed and collapsed onto the bed.
Lily woke the following morning to another enchanting day.
The weather was identical to that of the day before. Light fought the white of her curtains. Birds could be heard in the distance, the trees were as alive as ever. Of course today, she was in her own room and there was no James.
‘Oh god’ Lily mumbled. The tired smile slid off her face and was replaced by an expression of dread.
The previous night’s events hit her like a ton of bricks. One sentence particularly struck her. “I will marry you” Lily groaned.
‘Oh god, I’m engaged’ she looked at her hand but found no ring. She rose and put on her dressing gown. After brushing as quickly as she could, Lily padded out into the lounge but saw no James.
A glance in his room told her he was still sleeping. ‘James’ Lily whispered. She moved closer ‘James’ she called and prodded him.
He made a slight sound and opened his eyes. ‘Lily?’ he asked.
She nodded. James sat up and Lily sat down too.
‘About last night’ she started but James held up a hand.
‘I was being stupid, we’ve only been going for four months and you were right, I was afraid of dying alone’ but Lily shook her head.
‘No. I said yes, willingly. And if, the offer still stands, then…’ she trailed off.
James looked ecstatic. ‘You mean you will?’ he asked.
Lily nodded ‘but you need to know something’ she proceeded to explain her dream to him, which had visited her again, last night.
‘So that’s why you said yes’ James said, she looked guilty.
‘I do love you, though’ she said, making him smile.
‘I don’t want you to do this if it’s just because of a dream’ he said but Lily shook her head again.
‘No, you see, it wasn’t just a dream, it was more than that. I just think if I don’t say yes now, I’ll say it later. So really, I’m just saving time’ she explained.
‘If you’re sure...’
‘You’re going to have to give me some time to get used to it and comfortable, that’s all’ Lily said.
‘Of course, Lily. Whatever you want. But you might want this’ he went to a drawer and took out a small black velvet box.
She gasped as she saw the ring inside. It was gorgeous. It was very elegantly styled, a white gold ring set with a cluster of princess cut diamonds. Lily stared in delight at the ring and made James grin.
‘You want it?’ he asked, she nodded mutely. James slipped the ring onto her finger and she flung her arms around him.
‘Oh this makes it so official’ she cried happily and kissed him.
She broke away ‘mind if I kept this to myself for a few days, so the whole thing can be just mine for a couple of days?’ Lily asked.
‘Of course. Again, whatever you want’ James said.
‘This doesn’t mean I’m completely okay with everything, it just sweetens the deal a little’ Lily stated with a grin.
‘I know’ he replied. Lily hugged him again and went back into her room to change.
The week passed in sadness and remorse. The seventh years spent most of their time outside and by the arrival of the last day, only the Slytherins seemed upbeat.
James and Lily had kept their engagement well hidden and managed to conceal it from their friends. Lily had spent the week contemplating her situation and was gradually coming to the conclusion that the dream must’ve been real and the engagement, she found, was not as restricting as she’d imagined.
Though, she wasn’t entirely comfortable with it, she couldn’t deny that the idea of being James’ fiancée wasn’t growing on her. They couldn’t delay the arrival of the last day and it had arrived, to their dismay, without fail.
The seventh years had been gathered in the hall for their own personal farewell before the whole school joined them to hear Dumbledore speak. Lily and James were of course required to make their parting speeches, and hopefully, bestow wisdom.
‘Throughout this past year, as you know, I’ve been your Head Girl. It’s been no picnic. I’ve shouted myself hoarse on several occasions, interrupted more rendezvous’ than I’d like to remember, broken up more fights over Quidditch than I’ve had nightmares and handed out an unimaginable number of detentions.
'In August, I was ecstatic at finding I had been awarded the position of Head Girl. An honour! I thought. By the first week back, I wanted to march into Professor Dumbledore’s office and throw the badge back in his face (no offence, Professor), it was a nightmare!
'However, as the year moved on, so did I. I began to appreciate my duties a little more. Each round became a learning experience.
'I stopped many fights and though I was furious almost always, I still marvelled at how many people would risk black eyes and broken bones for their house. The rendezvous’ were annoying and yet I smiled inwardly at what I would call “young love” (I’m sure teachers have a different take on the term).
'Though, at times the love was presented to me in a more explicit manner than I would’ve liked’ and here she glanced at Kayla and Remus ‘it was still cute, most of the time’
'Aside from the “learning experience” there were the added benefits of a beautiful room and a bathroom of my own which, after six years of sharing with two other girls, was greatly appreciated. I also had a big lounge of my own. Okay I had to share occasionally but the company wasn’t awful.
'Which, brings me to the purpose of this speech. If, when I leave today, someone asked me “what was the one most important thing I learnt this year?” My answer wouldn’t be “the learning experience” of the rounds (though it has been great), nor would it be anything I learnt in a classroom (with all due respect, professors).
'To be honest with you, the most important thing I learnt this year, is how to accept the beauty of people. I’d be lying, if I said that in September I was a wonderful person. That I was all that is good, never judged a book by its cover, etcetera. The truth is, I was (for lack of better word) a cover-judge.
'First impressions meant everything. I was so wrapped up in what I saw on the surface of people, that I never stopped to think that there might be something behind. I didn’t know that you couldn’t really understand a person until you’d stripped them of their mask’ Lily smiled at James, who winked at her.
‘I’ve since discovered, that we all wear a mask, we might not realise it, though. Whether that mask hides a more or less beautiful person is a different matter.
'I’ve learnt that no matter how much you may love a person, you can never really know them until they’re ready to let you in and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do’ Lily smiled in Adea’s direction.
‘As of today, we’re all embarking on a new journey, in some respects, a new life. In a year’s time, you may not remember my name. I certainly won’t remember all of yours But to me, we’ll always be connected by the seven years we’ve braved together, in between these very walls.
'And so, as this chapter of our lives ends, I’d like to wish you all the best for the next one. Thank you’ Lily concluded and sat down with flushed cheeks as she heard the loud applause.
James squeezed her hand and got up to deliver his own speech. Once he stood up, Lily was surprised to see him pull out a piece of paper. ‘I’ll warn you all now, though I have an abundance of talent in other areas, speech-making is not one of them’
James cleared his throat before beginning. ‘One thing that strikes me most about my years here, and what I’d like to focus on for now, is the fact that I never really appreciated Hogwarts until this year. And, like Lily, I’ve learnt a lesson that I’ll never forget, though mine doesn’t sound nearly as impressive.
'I’ve learnt the skill of true observation. To take everything in, because otherwise you might just miss the object of most value. Coming back to Hogwarts, I’d never actually looked at it, until this year. The beauty of the castle, the icy grounds in winter, the numerous trees. Even the Whomping Willow.
'My eyes were opened by two people. One of their names, I’m sure you can guess. The other is someone, I’m sure we’ve all wondered about at some point in our Hogwarts days. I’d like to tell you a bit about Adea Qureshi.
'I’m not going to show you who she is, or tell you what she looks like. I just want to tell you about who she is. If I had to sum Adea up, I would recite a long list of adjectives that would apply to her: pretty, funny, intelligent, kind, caring and on and on it would go.
'I met Adea, purely by chance. I was bored one night at dinner, my friends were preoccupied. Out of desperation, I forced myself to look harder for someone interesting. One face intrigued me, I’d never seen it before, so I walked over and introduced myself and so began our friendship.
'She taught me to learn more about myself as a person. She helped me to polish my principles and views, she helped me discover the differences between the many emotions. The most important thing that she did for me relates to the first person.
'I’m sure you’re all aware of mine and Lily’s story and were just as astonished as I was, when we finally began going out. The reason for Lily accepting what must’ve been my 1000th attempt was the fact that I was a changed person. A change I’d made for the better and that I wholly attribute to Adea Qureshi.
'Lily and Adea’s friendship and the former’s affection opened my eyes to the essence of beauty. Not the kind you see in people, but the kind you see everywhere else. Prior to this year, I had been blind to it. I started to respect my teachers, my class mates and even the younger pupils.
'For the first time, I accepted responsibility and found that it wasn’t quite as repulsive as I had thought it to be. I began to notice how remarkable Hogwarts is, how genius, accommodating and brilliant it is. Hogwarts would mean very little to me if I hadn’t befriended Adea Qureshi.
'Even in the short time that I’ve really known it, Hogwarts has come to mean almost as much to me as my home. Hogwarts has a life, a character that no other building seems to possess and for that, only Hogwarts itself can be thanked.
'And so my advice to you, as Head Boy, is that when you walk into a room, for God’s sake, look carefully! Don’t be entranced by what seems to be the most interesting object. Because, sometimes it’s the least visible that are most prized. Thank you’
James finished to a large round of applause.
Lily beamed at him and said teasingly ‘what happened to not rehearsing it?’
James grinned back and said ‘I never said I wouldn’t plan it’ to which Lily only rolled her eyes. Soon the younger students entered the hall and Dumbledore’s assembly began.
Lily looked around at the familiar faces, some friends, some enemies. Some enemies who were now friends. She reminisced bout how many laughs she had shared with the castle, how many tears and how many memories. Tears didn’t surface now but inside, she was bawling.
Later on as Lily and James ordered the students to board for the last time and joined their friends in the Head’s Compartment, she found she couldn’t stop one tear from breaking through her barrier.
Just one tear. One tear for Hogwarts. One tear for seven years. One tear for the birth of magic in her life.
Lily sat on the velvet seats, discreetly fiddling with her ring. James had his arm around her and smiled at her, making her look up.
‘So when do you want to tell them?’ he asked.
‘Next week, after we’ve told our parents and had it okayed and everything’ she replied after some thought, James nodded in agreement.
‘That’s probably best’ he watched for a second ‘sad?’ he asked.
She thought longer on this. ‘Half and half. Any crying that needs to be done, is going to be done right here. When I leave that platform, I want to welcome the possibilities of tomorrow and leave yesterday a memory’
‘Well said’ James answered.
Lily’s thoughts began to swim around her. ‘I’m glad you’re here, or else I’d be bored’
James laughed ‘Glad that’s all I’m good for’ he joked, Lily smiled too.
‘God, I have no idea where I’m going’ she commented, more to herself than anyone else.
James ran a hand through her titian hair and said ‘But I’ll make sure you get there’
A/n: Sigh. So it’s over. Last one before the epilogue. But guys would you be extra nice and try and leave me a review so I can achieve the 200! Anyway don’t forget to come back for the epilogue. If you would like to see the ring that James gave to her, you may: http://www.ernestjones.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10051&storeId=10051&productId=4936809&categoryId=3009
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