James Potter called out loudly after Lily, who was walking down towards her Charms class. She turned instantly, saw him running down the corridor with his messy hair waving in the wind and smiled. Lily and James were in their final year, and they were Head Girl and Head Boy, respectively.
Every person in their year thought that by now Lily and James would be snogging each other senseless after six years of him chasing her and her hating him. However, nothing of that sort had happened. Lily and James had become friends…just friends. It seemed that after their sixth year, James had finally given up on trying to get Lily, while Lily had given up hating James. Both had become good friends.
"What is it, Potter?" Lily said. "I’m already late for Charms."
"It doesn’t matter," James said casually. "You already know every bloody thing we’re going to learn."
Lily smiled at the compliment. "What do you want?"
James reached into his backpack and drew out two sets of robes. The first set was dark maroon, while the other was stark black. He held up both robes. "Which one do you think I should wear on my date with Rivers tonight?"
Lily’s smiled disappeared in a flash. "Rivers?" she repeated. "Megan Rivers?"
James nodded. "Pick one," he urged.
Lily shot him the nastiest look he’d ever gotten before she tightened her hold on her books. "You’ll look nasty in whatever you wear, so it won’t make a difference." She turned on her heel and marched down the hallway, leaving James standing alone with a confused look upon his face.
Lily sat down in her seat as a young Professor Flitwick entered, wearing emerald green robes with red accents. "Everyone! Settle down now!" he squeaked over the gossiping girls and the noisy boys. He waved his wand a few times and yellow sparks shot out, causing a silence in the large classroom.
"Today we’re going to be reviewing some of the spells we’ve learned in the past few weeks. So, everybody, grab a partner and begin practicing."
James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were sitting two rows away from Lily, allowing her to listen on their conversation. She looked out the corner of her eye at James, who was talking, rather closely, with a skinny, fair girl with silver hair. In fact, ‘close’ was an understatement; they were practically hugging each other.
"Prongs," Sirius said to James. "Partners?"
James winked and shook his head. "Sorry, Padfoot." He looked over at the girl. "I’m going to work with Megan today." He smiled at Sirius, who rolled his eyes.
Sirius then turned to Remus, who looked a bit overwhelmed with a short, stumpy Peter clinging to his robes. "Remus and I are partners!" Peter squeaked happily.
Sirius rolled his eyes again and sighed. He glanced around the room and stopped his gaze at Lily, who was sitting at her desk alone. He walked over to her and sat down in the desk beside her. "Got a partner, Evans?" he asked.
Lily shook her head and sighed. "I shouldn’t have taken Charms as a N.E.W.T course…None of my friends take it."
Sirius shrugged and ruffled his hair. "Well, at least you have a partner now."
Lily nodded casually and drew out her wand. Each pair got a frog on which they could practice their charms. Lily drew out her wand and turned to Sirius. "Which charm should we practice first?"
Sirius gave her a weird look. "Does it really matter?" he said. "All you seem to be interested in is James and his Veela."
Lily tried to imitate a surprised look but failed and resigned herself to slumping back in her seat like Sirius. "Is she actually a Veela?"
Sirius nodded. "Well, that’s what she’s telling everybody."
Lily looked disgusted. "And for your information, she’s not his Veela."
Sirius laughed. "You know, Evans; you might as well admit it. You have a teeny tiny crush on Prongs."
"I do not. I just happen to think that dating a senseless airhead with tight figure is an all time low…even for Potter."
"Well, it’s supposed to be a big deal," Sirius said casually. However, one could tell that he was awaiting a response from Lily.
"What’s a big deal?"
"Dating Megan. Apparently, she hasn’t ever kissed a boy, and Prongs is planning on changing that tonight."
"She’s never kissed a boy?" Lily said with surprise.
"It shocked the hell out of me too. I mean, she’s seventeen. Everyone’s snogged somebody by the time they’re seventeen. Come on, even you have."
Suddenly, Lily drew her gaze towards the floor. Then she moved it to the side and behind her, looking everywhere except at Sirius. "Oh bloody hell," Sirius said. "Evans, please tell me you’ve snogged somebody."
Lily slowly looked back at Sirius and shook her head shyly. "I haven’t even been on a real date," she whispered.
"What?!" Sirius burst out, causing a few people around him to turn.
"Shhh!" Lily urged. "I mean, I’ve been on a few dates but none have really…you know…had any romance in them."
"You have no idea what you’re missing, Evans," Sirius said, still adjusting to the shock of finding out that there was actually somebody in his year who hadn’t been kissed before.
"I guess I’ll never find out," Lily replied sourly.
"Sure you will," Sirius said. "Okay, this is what I’ll do." He leaned in closer so that only Lily could hear him. "I’ll take you out on a date."
"Me?" Lily whispered. "On a date?"
"Well…it won’t be an actual date. It’ll sort of be like a tour of dating. You’ll get to see what it feels like to date."
"Are you serious about this?"
Sirius thought about it and nodded. "Why not? I’m not doing anything tonight anyways."
"Uh…okay. I’ll meet you tonight then. Should we meet outside or something?"
Sirius shook his head. "Dating rule number one: always make the guy pick you up from your dormitory. You seem less desperate and it’s sort of classy."
"Oh," Lily said. "Alright, then…When should we meet?"
"Dating rule number two: take some sort of an initiative; you know…do something that makes the guy feel that you actually want to go out with him. If you set the time and place, it’ll seem like you want to date him as much as he wants to date you."
"Alright," Lily replied, sounding more confident. "You can pick me up from my dormitory at eight tonight and we can go to the Three Broomsticks."
"Very good, Evans," Sirius said, smiling. "I’ll see you at eight."
Just then, Professor Flitwick turned to the class and assigned the homework. "I want you all to keep practicing, and there will be extra help tomorrow and Wednesday at 6:30. Have a good day."
The class began to pile out the doorway, eager to leave their last class of the day and return to their dormitories. Lily looked behind her and noticed that Sirius had gone back to James and Remus. She smiled to herself and walked back towards the Gryffindor common room.
"Looked like you were having fun with that Veela," Sirius said to James, who just smiled mischievously.
"Sorry to have stuck you with Evans," James said. "Next time, you and I are partners."
"Well it didn’t look like they were having a bad time, either," Remus remarked. Instantly, James turned and raised his eyebrow.
"What do you mean, Moony?"
"Well, I just saw Sirius and Lily smiling a lot…that’s all," Remus said innocently.
James turned back to Sirius. "Don’t tell me you actually enjoyed working with Evans."
Sirius shrugged. "It wasn’t that bad. I even got a date with her."
What happened in the next two seconds was a bit indistinguishable. James dropped two of his books on the floor, hitting Peter’s toe. Peter fell backwards in pain, causing the students behind him to fall as well.
"Are you bloody out of your mind?" James said loudly.
"Just relax, Prongs. It’s not even a real date," Sirius said casually.
"Real or fake…it doesn’t matter. It’s still a date," James said, sounding annoyed.
"Why are you so jealous anyways?"
"I’m not jealous," James said defensively. "I just think that she’s the worst possible person for you to go out with. I mean…you’re like a dating god. You can’t go out with a plain Jane like Evans."
"Trust me," Sirius said. "I’m fine and you should be too."
However, the look on James’ face revealed that he was anything but fine.
The large clock chimed eight as Lily finished dressing herself by spraying a bit of perfume on her clothes. She wasn’t wearing her school robes, but had instead chosen sleek dark, jeans with a bottle green t-shirt with golden accents. Though the outfit was simple, the ideal fit of the t-shirt seemed to emphasize Lily’s generally invisible curves perfectly. Her hair was clipped back with a few loose strands falling on her face, gently patting her cheek.
As the clock chimed for the eighth time, Lily heard a knock on her door and went to answer it. Sirius stood outside her door, looking handsome like he usually did. He just stared at her for a few seconds and then suddenly smiled quickly.
"Rule number four," he began, "always compliment your date. It breaks the ice and starts the night off nicely."
"What about rule number three?"
"Rule number three is to look nice, but I think you’ve accomplished that...very nicely. So I don’t think it needs further mention."
She smiled sincerely. "You look very nice, Sirius," she said.
He grinned and nodded. "Very good…and thank you."
With that, Sirius held out his hand and Lily gracefully took it. The two headed out to Hogsmeade with the spring breeze gently wafting around them, teasing them playfully.
"Rule number five," Sirius began as he and Lily sat down in the well-lit quarters, "never order anything big or expensive. It’ll make you look like a cow with a never ending appetite, and your date won’t appreciate emptying his pockets on the first date."
Lily nodded as she scanned the menu. "I think I’m going to have the vegetable sandwich with the lemon tea." Just as she said that, a plate with a sandwich and a cup of tea appeared in front of her.
"Very good," Sirius said gently. "Thankfully this is not a real date, so rule number five doesn’t apply to me." He looked at the menu. "I’ll have the four inch beef steak, well done, with potatoes and a fire whiskey. I’m starving."
Lily laughed as she glanced at her small sandwich which she began to eat. After five minutes of silence and just eating, Sirius looked at Lily. "Rule number six: talking during your date is a good thing," he said sarcastically.
"I don’t know what to talk about," she said. "Start a topic."
"I can’t think of one," Sirius said. "Let’s just play a game or something."
"What kind of game?" Lily said, raising her eyebrow.
Sirius pondered it for a moment before replying. "A word association game: I’ll say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a pretty old game. I’ll start."
Lily nodded as Sirius began. "Orange."
"Juice," Lily replied.
"Dumbledore," Lily said, equally swift as her other answers.
"Potter." Lily suddenly drew her hands over her mouth, as if she’d said a bad word and wanted nobody else to hear it.
Sirius smiled at Lily. "Rule number seven: never mention another guy when you’re on a date with someone else."
Lily opened her mouth to interject but Sirius continued. "If you mentioned someone else, then it means you’re thinking about them. If you’re thinking about them, then it means you really should be on a date with that person. So, rule number eight: go out with the person you actually like…not his best friend."
Sirius smiled at the expression on Lily's face as he continued. "Rule number nine: talk to the guy you like and ask him out even if he’s a total oblivious fool."
Lily was blushing furiously. "I’m really sorry, Sirius," she mumbled.
Sirius smirked with his usual expression. "I don’t think I need to mention what rule number ten is, do I?"
Lily shook her head with a smile and gave Sirius a kiss on his cheek before she left the Three Broomsticks.
James stormed into the dormitory at nine thirty…the earliest he’d ever returned from a date.
"Back so soon?" Remus asked, puzzled.
"Yeah," James mumbled as he searched the room for Sirius. "Has Padfoot returned?"
Remus shook his head. "Although he did say that he wouldn’t be out too late. He told me that he just wanted to show Lily something."
James rolled his eyes and began pacing the room. "You don’t think Evans would kiss him, do you?"
Remus shrugged. "If it bothers you so much, maybe you should’ve asked Lily out."
"I don’t like her," James snapped. Just then, someone knocked on the door. James practically fell over trying to open it to see who was standing there. It turned out to be Lily…not Evans…just Lily. He gave her a weird look and then said dejectedly, "How was your date with Sirius?"
Lily shrugged. "It was okay…it wasn’t supposed to be a real date…just practice."
"Oh," James said. "Well, what did you learn from him?"
Lily smiled to herself as she witnessed James eagerness to hear her answer. "I learned the ten rules of dating. They were very useful."
"Oh yeah?" James said, trying not to sound too interested. "What are they?"
"Always make the guy pick you up from your dormitory, take some sort of an initiative, look nice, compliment your date, never order anything big and expensive, talk during your date, never mention another guy, go out with a person you actually like and talk to that person."
James glanced at Lily and said, "That’s only nine rules. What’s the tenth rule?"
Lily smiled mischievously and placed her hands on James’ cheeks, drawing him in. Then without any warning, she kissed him. She kissed him so hard yet so gentle that by the time she let him go, he wasn’t sure what had happened.
Lily looked at his mischievous eyes and smiled. "Rule number ten: no matter how much of a fool he really is, kiss him."