Chapter 8 : The One with the Ball
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They all laughed as they saw Lily’s door open. Each person got up, preparing themselves for who was coming out.
Gabi was the first to enter the room. When she came out, the guys allowed themselves to stare at her beauty as Remus approached her, and gave her a soft kiss.
“You look beautiful,” he whispered as he handed her some flowers. She just blushed and stepped aside for Lily to come out.
When Lily emerged, James’ jaw dropped to the floor. His became entranced as Lily shut her door and turned to the group.
Lily blushed before walking over to James and shutting his mouth. “Ready?” she asked.
James was stuck. He couldn’t help but stare at Lily. And Lily could tell that he was practically undressing her with his eyes. She gave a small shiver has he looked her up and down, openly.
She blushed deeper, still. “James,” she whispered. When he didn’t come out of his trance, she decided to have a little fun with him. She turned her head around to the others and whispered, “Watch this.”
She looked at James and licked her lips very slowly. James’ eyes darted to her mouth and he subconsciously licked his own lips. The rest of the group burst into laughter, which finally got James out of his trance.
After he realized what he did, James blushed crimson. “That wasn’t fair,” he muttered.
Between laughs, Lily managed to choke out, “I’m sorry James, I just couldn’t pass it up.”
“You just look so beautiful tonight... I couldn’t help myself,” he told her, staring into her eyes.
Lily’s smile slowly died as she looked into his intense hazel eyes. Lust and passion was openly shown in his eyes, but something that she saw just a glint of, was a defeated, sad look. Her eyes clouded in confusion just as Gabi coughed, signaling how long the awkward silence had gone on for.
“Right,” Lily said, blushing and turning away from James. “Let’s go.”
James sighed and followed everyone out of the common room, with Sirius still snickering.
The group walked to the Great Hall where Sirius and Peter would be meeting their dates. James would be escorting Lily there since they were both the Heads.
“Who are you going with again, Padfoot?” James asked as they neared their destination.
Sirius licked his lips. “That hot Hufflepuff 6th year. Um, what’s her name...” he snapped his fingers trying to remember. “Harriet... Helga... Helen... HELEN! Oh ya! Helen Greensbrough. That’s who I’m taking.” Sirius smiled, proud that he was able to think up his date’s name.
The rest of the gang were staring at Sirius with a mix of disgust, confusion, and revulsion on their faces.
“Anyways,” Remus said loudly, “Who are you going with Peter?”
“Nora Jean,” he mumbled. The rest of the group snickered at his answer.
Once they arrived in the Entrance Hall, Sirius and Peter went off to find their dates, and James found himself getting immediately fired up as he saw Lily rush over to Amos to say hi before going into the Great Hall with James. After shooting a dirty look at James, Amos smiled at Lily and kissed her. James noticed her tense up from the unsuspecting kiss. He felt his fists balled up, but the kiss ended before he could fully react. Lily gave a weak smile at Amos before going back over with a fuming James. He was swearing at Amos under his breath all the way to the front of the crowd.
Once they got to the doors leading to the Great Hall, the crowd erupted into cheers.
James managed to yell out, “Alright! And in we go!”
James and Lily opened the door and led the school into the Hall. There was a collective gasp as everyone looked around, and Lily and James couldn’t help but smile. The room looked even more gorgeous at night. Even through the chatter of everyone you could lightly hear the violins playing.
Everyone eventually found a seat, and as Dumbledore stood up at the staff table, everyone quieted down.
“Thank you, Professor,” Lily said nodding towards Dumbledore, who smiled. “Welcome, everyone, to this year’s Christmas Ball: A Night in Paris.”
The Hall cheered as James took over. “You will start your night with a pleasant dinner followed by some dancing with music being provided by—”
“Well, the band is a surprise,” Lily cut in, giving James a warning look. “But that’ll be your night. The Ball will be over at midnight.”
“So enjoy your Night in Paris,” they finished together. The Hall cheered as Lily went to sit with Amos. James suddenly realized that he didn’t have anyone to sit with, and began looking around for a table. When he spotted one near Lily, he quickly made his way over to it, ignoring all of the calls from different girls to sit with him.
“Thank you very much, Mr. Potter and Ms. Evans!” Dumbledore said as he stood up. “Now, let’s eat.”
More applause, before the couples went back to their conversations. James glanced over the menu that he already knew by heart, before looking at Lily. She seemed to be forcing a smile as she listened to Amos talk. James could just hear him say, “And then, well you saw it last Saturday, I hit the bludger right at a distracted James Potter,” he paused to laugh as James’ face reddened. “Just not fast enough I guess. Hitting him right in the elbow must of hurt.”
James’ jaw tightened as he waited for Lily’s reply. “You know, Amos. James and I are friends, and I don’t really appreciate you making fun of him.”
James grinned before telling the plate in front of him what he wanted to eat. He strained his ears to hear more, and was positively furious when he hear Amos brush her comment aside. “Come on, Lily. It was only a joke. I was simply reminiscing about the last Quidditch match.”
Lily mumbled a reply before eating her food. James was about ready to pulverize Amos for making her feel so bad. This was suppose to be a amazing night for her, and James would be damned if it went any other way.
Throughout the rest of the meal, James continued to listen to Amos brush off Lily and talk about himself. At one point in the night, James had broken the glass he was holding because Amos had said, “And don’t even get me started on Sirius Black and his dysfunctional family.”
Thankfully, Lily had cut in and forcefully said, “Please leave Sirius and his family out of tonight’s conversation, Amos.”
It was safe to say that when it came time to announce the band, James was ecstatic to get away from Amos.
Dumbledore quieted the Hall and motioned towards James and Lily.
“Now, before we bring out the band,” James paused for loud cheering. “Ya I know, we’re all excited. But we need to give thanks where thanks is due. Everyone, please give a round of applause to the Hufflepuff prefects who created the menus for your dinner tonight, and Gryffindor prefects for booking the band.”
Applause broke out as the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor prefects stood up and waved around the room. James raised a hand, mock serious, to gain silence, which was given to him. He chuckled before motioning towards Lily. “Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for... the band,” she paused for dramatic effect before shouting, “THE BLUDGER BROTHERS!!” The cheering was deafening and began before Lily could even finish announcing them. The Bludger Brothers were a very famous band in the magic world, and everyone loved them. James and Lily looked at each other before laughing their heads off and joining the crowd in welcoming the band.
Once the band was out, Dumbledore requested silence again. “What a nice surprise,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes. “First, though, we will have out two heads open the dance floor.”
James bowed and took Lily by the hand, leading her to the middle of the dance floor. The two began to dance gracefully. After a few moments, more couples came onto the floor and started to dance as well. When there was a substantial amount of chatter, James began to talk to Lily.
“Well, I think that everything has been going alright for now,” he stated looking around before settling his eyes on the beauty in front of him.
“I know! And everyone seems so pleased with the decorations,” Lily said excitedly, completely forgetting the jerk-wad that she came with (A/N: yaaa, I don’t really like Amos that much...).
“All of your doing of course,” he said inclining his head to her.
She laughed. “I could never take ownership for tonight,” she said.
“Ya, some people just work well together,” he said with a smile.
She smiled up at him, her first true smile of the night. James’ insides were on fire and he thought that if anyone had walked by them, they would be able to feel the chemistry radiating off of the two teens.
The moment was broken, however, by Amos tapping James on the shoulder and saying, “Do you mind if I have my date back?” in a strained voice.
James nodded, never taking his eyes away from Lily’s. He slowly stepped back, letting Lily’s hands slip through his.
As Amos took James’ spot, James walked away, knowing that he won’t take his eyes off of Lily.
James saw Sirius rushing towards him with only about 30 minutes left in the ball. James was currently dancing with a 4th year who was sitting on the side of the room, dateless. Trying to improve someone’s night, James asked her to dance, which proved to be a good idea.
Once Sirius was 3 yards away, he yelled, “James!” As if James couldn’t already see him running towards him.
“James,” Sirius said again once he was right in front of him. He took a deep breath before saying shortly, “I need you.”
James nodded his head before turning to his dance partner. “You’re a wonderful dancer, but I must go and tend to my friend’s needs.” He kissed her hand as she blushed. James smiled and walked away with his friend.
“What is it Padfoot?” he whispered.
“It’s Lily and Amos. I was watching them while you danced, like you told me to, and Amos started really clinging to her.”
“What do you mean?” James asked urgently. He had been observing the couple during the whole dance and saw Lily grow uncomfortable as Amos began to act more roughly with her.
“Well, he began to kiss her neck really roughly,” Sirius said with a disgusted face, “and Lily didn’t like that, but when she tried to pull away... he wouldn’t let her, and he pulled her out to the garden area. And I came to get you.”
James broke into a run after yelling a thanks to Sirius. He dashed outside looking wildly for Lily. He passed many couples, but couldn’t find her. Once deep within the garden, he heard a couple arguing.
“Just get off of me Amos!” He could hear Lily whisper urgently.
“I don’t think that will be happening.” James could tell that Amos was now advancing on her.
“Oh no you don’t!” he screamed before jumping in front of them. Lily was up against the bushes with a scared look on her face, while Amos had his hands on her waist and his face nuzzled in her neck.
“GET OFF OF HER YOU BASTARD!” James yelled before tearing Amos off of Lily.
“Potter,” Amos spat, getting out of James’ grip. “This is none of your business.”
“I think it is Diggory,” James said in a low voice. “You will never hurt Lily with me around.”
No one in the garden had time to think before James’ fist collided with Amos’ jaw. Without thinking, James threw another punch into Amos’ stomach.
The boy doubled over with pain before falling to the ground. James whipped around to Lily who was still pressed against the bushes, breathing heavily.
“Come on Lily,” James said, taking her by the hand and gently leading her back into the school.
She numbly followed. They were barely at the doors when Lily threw her arms around James. She refused to cry, and instead buried her head in his robes and muffled out a, “Thank you.”
“What are friends for?” he asked in a pained voice. Friends. That’s all they were.
Lily smiled up at James before rushing into the Great Hall. James sighed and slowly followed Lily inside. When he reached the door he could hear Dumbledore addressing the crowd.
“Now, we’re going to have one final song before the night closes. But first, our Heads would like to make a small speech.”
James quickly ran to Lily’s side and whispered, “I can do this if you’re uncomfortable.”
“No thanks, James, I think I can hold my own,” she smiled at him. “We do make a great team.”
James beamed at her before giving her the spotlight.
“Thank you Professor. Well, I think this was an overall success. What about you guys?” she addressed the crowd.
Everyone cheered. “That’s what we thought,” Lily said. “So again, let’s thank all of the prefects. Gryffindor, for the band. Hufflepuff, for the menus. Ravenclaw, for the lovely decorations in the garden, and Slytherin who will be doing the cleanup for this ball.”
James now took over. “Now the whole reason for this ball was to strengthen inter house unity. I know that I made some new friends tonight.” At this he winked at the 4th year that he was dancing with earlier. “And now, for the last dance. Thanks for making this night great.”
A blast went off as the crowd roared an approval. Just as James was about to go and sit on the side, Lily grabbed his wrist.
“James,” Lily said softly, “Do you want to dance?”
James, mock serious, said, “Lily Evans is asking James Potter to dance? The Lily Evans who can’t keep the guys off of her, is asking feeble James Potter to dance? Out of her own free will?”
Lily sighed, though a smile was tugging at her lips, “You’re ruining it James.”
“Wait, wait, wait. I just want to take in this moment,” James said looking around the room, “This is pretty cool. Is this how you feel all the time? Well, except now, of course—”
“JAMES!” Lily yelled cutting him off, her smile now evident.
“Oh, alright,” he said rolling his eyes, with a grin on his face.
Lily laughed as James bowed and led her to the dance floor. She let out a giggle as she slipped her hand through the crook of his arm.
James’ heart was beating wildly as he took her hand in his and placed his other gently on her waist. As they began to gracefully dance, James became very self-conscious of how sweaty his hands were, and was hoping that he wasn’t grossing her out.
Lily, one the other hand was playing down the fact that she was incredibly nervous. Instead, she just observed James. God, those eyes, she thought. She let her mind drift over the night’s events and, slowly, she began to become more comfortable , and gradually closed the gap between them.
James’ eyes widened as Lily slipped her arms around his neck and laid her head on his shoulder. Instinctively, James moved his hands to her hips as they swayed to the music.
“I really appreciate you being there for me tonight James,” she said, surprised that her voice came out breathless. She paused. “As friends.”
James’ heart fell as he heard this. He removed his hands from her before saying, “Lily, unfortunately I can’t be ‘just friends’ with you.”
Lily, however, did not hear any of this, because right at that moment, the band stopped playing, and the Hall erupted into more cheers.
“What did you say, James?” Lily yelled over all the noise.
“It was nothing,” he yelled back, crestfallen, and as Lily walked away to find Gabi. He added in a hushed voice, “Only that I love you.”
“I LOVE YOU TOO MATE!” Sirius screamed hugging James. Unfortunately for James, Sirius had heard that last part and thought that it was directed at him.
“Um, Padfoot? I was talking about Lily, but I love you too?” James finished in a questioning tone.
Sirius grinned and slapped James on the back as the two best friends went to find the rest of the Marauders and go back to the head’s common room.
A/N: Well???? What did you think? An important chapter, I know. So did it come out ok? Please review!
ohhh and the next chapter is called "The One with the Flashback". So lets think... if this has some FRIENDS show qualities to it... and its sort of like a flashback... then that means....?
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