Please pay attention to any Author's Notes throughout the story, as per Validator response, this story has now been TRUNCATED to exclude certain scenes it used to contain (namely the more racy scenes). I will notify if the chapter has been abridged or shortened. I will warn if there is anything hinting in that way, but I'm going to say flat out that I'm not going to mention every tiny innuendo.
That being said, happy reading, and I do apologize in taking the time to get the story set up to be submitted for re-validation.
Lily Evans apparated to platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station promptly twenty minutes before the train was due to leave. It felt good to be going back to Hogwarts. Not only was it her last year, but she had been made Head Girl. The year was going to be perfect. The Marauders couldn’t bother her now as she would take points away and could give them detention. The Slytherins would have to give her some respect so there would be no more constant, condescending comments. The other seventh year Gryffindor girls wouldn’t give her such a hard time either, seeing as she now would be living in the Heads’ Dorm with the Head Boy instead of in their dormitory. They always were on her back because they were jealous that James Potter only had eyes for her. The other girls could have him for all she cared, if he ever decided to glance their way.
Potter. Like he even mattered to her. If anything, he had been a thorn in her side since third year— wait, make that first year. Third year was just when he started asking her out. He had annoyed her before that too. Just thinking about him at this moment annoyed her. Even she had to concede he was popular, good-looking, and amazing at quidditch, but seriously, he wasn’t worth it. His personality was enough to make any sensible woman run away screaming. He was arrogant, childish, rude, condescending, pompous, over-confident, cocky... Ok, she could add to this list all night.
She shook her head and made her way across the platform, down towards the front car where the Heads’ room and the prefects’ lounge were located. On the way, she passed the Marauders, minus Black oddly enough, and the three were all laughing merrily with one another, probably planning their next un-funny prank on some poor student. Hopefully, it wasn’t the first years. She also sort of felt bad for Severus, even though he had never been kind to her. He just always got pranked by the Marauders. Last year, she believed the count had been twenty-seven times. She ducked her head, hid behind some people as she passed, and was successful in avoiding being seen by the one and only James Potter. All he would do is call out to her and embarrass her publicly by asking her out in his arrogant way. She rolled her eyes. Like she would ever say yes if someone asked her out in such a fashion. Maybe if his head lost about ten sizes, maybe if he asked her politely, maybe if he didn’t only try and date her for a joke or a bet with Black, maybe if he didn’t want to date her so he could brag about getting some with his mates, maybe... You know what, it didn’t matter. She would never say yes.
She was pulled out of her thoughts when a pretty blonde, blue-eyed girl stopped in front of her. “Hey, hot stuff.”
Lily smirked. It was her only real friend left at Hogwarts, Christina Matthews. Her only other friend had graduated two years previously, Michelle (Shelley) Rosedale. Shelley was now one year away from being a licensed Healer. It sucks when all of the other girls in your class, more to the point, the whole house, are jealous of you and angry with you just because some hot guy likes you and you refuse to date him because he’s an imbecile. Her friend count had immediately diminished. Christina didn’t care for Potter or the Marauders much either, although not as vehemently as Lily. She had had a fling with Black once and, of course, was exchanged for another girl a month later during fifth year. “Hey Christina. What car are you going to be in?”
She waved her hand carelessly to the second or third car. “Not too far away, you should stop in and say hey if you get time. The others, minus Alice of course who is currently dating Frank, are avoiding me still because I willingly converse with you so I should be quite cozy by myself.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe the others are avoiding you now too. They need to grow up.”
“I know, but whatever. They still have to live with me and will get over it eventually. Anyway, I just wanted to catch up with you and say congrats for the Head Girl thing. It is so nice to finally see a muggleborn get that again, not that it matters truly. It’s just been a while is all. I bet you Bellatrix will be smitten with jealousy.”
Lily groaned. “Don’t say that. She is probably going to be a bitch all year long.”
Christina rolled her eyes. “Isn’t she always? Well, hopefully whoever is Head Boy will keep her in line. I bet it’s Remus.”
Lily shrugged, not too concerned. “Maybe, but I doubt that Professor Dumbledore would appoint a Marauder to be Head Boy. I mean, honestly, what would get done? I was thinking it would be Ben Hatcher from Ravenclaw. Nice bloke.”
“Ehhh, maybe. Professor Dumbledore is rather unpredictable though. You might as well go and see. The prefect meeting starts when the train leaves, which is in five minutes.”
“Yeah. I’ll see you later.”
Christina rushed off to get on the train, and Lily walked ahead to get on the first car. When she made it to the Heads’ room, she about died from shock. Well, that was an understatement. She immediately got extremely angry and opened the door with a loud slam. The boy inside jumped about a mile, as he had been sitting there quietly reading a quidditch magazine seemingly waiting for her. However, when he glanced up at her, he gave her a huge smile and his hazel eyes began to sparkle. “Evans, we finally meet. Would you like to go to the first Hogsmeade weekend with me too?”
Lily rolled her eyes and counted to ten so she wouldn’t castrate him. She ignored his request for a date…barely. “Potter, you are not supposed to be in the Heads’ room. Go find your friends. If you are waiting for Remus, we have duties to attend to and he’ll see you soon enough.”
If anything, Potter’s smile grew wider, and he reached into his pocket and pulled out a badge. “No, Evans. I believe I’m in the right place. Remus is waiting in the prefects’ lounge.”
Lily recoiled backwards absolutely horrified by the idea of Potter being Head Boy. She was going to have to live with him for NINE MONTHS. This was a bad joke and someone was going to jump out and say ‘Gotcha!’ any minute. “There is no way Dumbledore would be sane enough to make you Head Boy.”
James sighed and reached out the badge so she could read it. She noticed, much to her dismay, it clearly stated ‘James Potter, Head Boy.’ “You know, I asked him that question myself personally. But his words were, and I quote, ‘James, I picked you because you were best suited for the job. Please do not make me regret my decision.’ End quote.”
Lily just shook her head and something inside of her seemed to snap. “Potter, this cannot be happening! You
weren’t supposed to be Head Boy! This is not fair! Besides, when would Dumbledore speak personally to you anyway, in the middle of you and the Marauders causing mayhem? I, I, I—“
James cut off her rant by grabbing her shoulders and focusing her attention on him. He was hurt she didn’t seem to believe anything he was saying. He had never thought she considered him a liar until now. “Listen, Lily, I’m really not that bad, and I wouldn’t lie to you. Let’s go to the prefects’ lounge. You can yell at me all you want when we get back, ok?”
Lily just looked at him like he had gone crazy and hissed quietly, “Get your hands off of me, Potter.”
James let her go gently and for once, actually looked apologetic. “Sorry.”
Lily just rolled her eyes and walked out towards the prefects’ lounge. She knew that James was following her. This was going to be a long year.
When she opened the door and walked in, all of the talking ceased. She wasn’t sure if it was because she looked pissed off or because Potter had walked in behind her. Only Remus was smiling— actually, he was almost laughing at the two of them. Good on him. Bellatrix and Severus were sneering at her, although Bellatrix seemed to be looking at James with interest. Wait, did she really just see that? She shook her head and sat down up front. James sat off to her side a bit. “Great, is everyone here?”
Everyone looked around and seemed to nod. Lily nodded and let out a breath. “Obviously, Potter and I are Head Boy and Girl this year.” Anyone looking at her could tell she was not thrilled with this assignment. “This meeting is just to get you all to introduce yourselves to one another, for the older students to help the new fifth year prefects, and the like. All of you are to periodically patrol the corridors of the train and let either Potter or myself know of any escalated problem. Prefects can use the prefects’ lounge and prefects’ bathrooms on the fifth floor at Hogwarts. The password for these areas is ‘cauldron cakes.’ Potter and I will develop a sign-up sheet for you all in the prefects’ lounge so you can sign up to do patrol of the hallways two nights a week. That’s about it unless there is something you would like to add, Potter.”
Everyone in the room seemed to notice the biting tone she had used when addressing James, but he just nodded absently as though he couldn’t tell. “Dumbledore asked me to inform all of you that he would like for us all to practice some inter-house unity. He understands that everyone is sorted into houses, becomes friends with those in their houses, and plays or supports the quidditch teams of their houses, but he would like us all to make an effort to encourage studying with students from other houses or ultimately meeting up with students from other houses. This is something you all can do when signing up to do patrol.”
Lily looked rather taken aback by the calm way Potter handled himself and was also a bit hurt that Dumbledore hadn’t mentioned any of that to her. She had no time to comment because Severus beat her to it, looking at James with utter dislike and disdain. “Potter, what if we think it best to partner up with those from our own house? Why should we HAVE to pair up with someone we don’t know or may not even like?”
Potter frowned and looked like he was trying extremely hard to keep his temper in check. “Because Dumbledore is telling you to do it and to give it a chance. I’m not saying that this will work out perfectly.”
Bellatrix jumped in before Severus could start an argument, “Awww, James, we’d be happy to give it a try for you
, wouldn’t we, Severus?”
Severus looked ready to spit fire with his eyes, but remained silent. Lily blinked. Did Bellatrix actually flirt with Potter? What in the world was going on? She watched him roll his eyes at her blatant attention like he had seen it millions of times before. His voice was sharper than normal as he forced himself to speak calmly, “Bella, this is not about me
at all. It is Dumbledore’s request of the Heads and the prefects to set an example for the other students.”
Lily interrupted before this odd conversation would go any further, “Ok, well, we’ll schedule a prefects’ meeting at some point to discuss this further. The sign-up sheet will be up later tonight so you all can begin to sign up and begin patrol starting tomorrow. Please go and patrol the train, and we’ll see you all later.”
Everyone had got up to go. Lily turned to see Potter scowling and Remus laughing at him. She cautiously approached them both and caught the end of what Remus was saying, “…can’t believe she would do that in front of everyone. I thought she was over you, Jamesie.”
James didn’t see Lily’s approach and was immediately defensive, “There never was any Bella and I, Remus. It was just the Black family acting all superior and— “ Remus cut him off and nodded to Lily.
James turned and noticed her looking at him oddly. He turned back to Remus with a ‘help me’ expression. “Umm, I gotta talk with Evans for a bit. Come by if you get the chance, ok?”
Remus just grinned at the two of them and nodded as he left. James got up and gestured for her to go on ahead of him. When they reached the Heads’ room, James plopped down on the left side and grabbed a book out of his things. Lily was just mad that he was still here in the Heads’ room at all. She pulled out two small pieces from her pocket and cast two enlargement charms. She levitated her trunk away and opened up her satchel to grab a quill and some parchment. If she was stuck with Potter for a year, she was going to make him work. She was not doing this alone and he appeared capable, no matter how much she hated admitting it. “So, Potter, we should organize the stuff for Hogsmeade weekends, etc. and make that sign-up sheet.”
Potter nodded grudgingly, but still argued, “We only need to make the sign-up sheet right now. Dumbledore wants to meet with us this Wednesday afternoon to discuss Hogsmeade weekends and whatever else we want to do this year. We can plan all that in the next couple of days before the meeting.”
Lily rolled her eyes impatiently and was also hurt again at seemingly being left out. Being hurt made her more angry than she really was. “How would you know what Dumbledore wants anyway? Since when do you even see him when you aren’t causing trouble?”
Potter leaned back, not sure what to say. He couldn’t tell her the real reason, but he had to say something. The real reason was a closely regarded secret that he dare not even think about so as to not allow a Leglimens to remove it from his mind. “Umm, Dumbledore is really good friends with my family, Evans. I saw him a lot this summer at my house. I wouldn’t lie about talking with Dumbledore or his requests.”
Lily leaned back herself. “Sorry. I forgot about who your family was for a second, Potter.”
Potter looked surprised to see her apologize, but he immediately got defensive at her tone when it seemed as if she was basically calling him a pure-blood. “Don’t worry about it. You know, just because I’m a pure-blood and all doesn’t mean I’m anything like the Slytherins. My family doesn’t uphold the pure-blood ideals and are considered blood traitors by most. My family has been in Gryffindor for generations. You shouldn’t be so quick to judge.”
Lily looked almost taken aback by his tone. If anything, James had only been arrogant with her or had showered her with compliments— he had never been short with her. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
James nodded as if to let it go. “So, this sign-up sheet thing is easy.” He waved his wand and the blank parchment in front of her was immediately made out for the prefects to sign up for specific days of the week, four prefects to each day. He thought for a moment and then waved his wand again. The parchment now also mentioned that the Heads would be doing the late rounds each night from 10-11pm to make sure all were properly in their dormitories, including the prefects. “There, that should satisfy things.”
Lily narrowed her eyes. “Potter, I am not
doing rounds with you every night.”
James rolled his eyes at how stubborn she was being. He had only asked her out once, and he didn’t think he was being arrogant, but he knew she would find a way for her to make it seem like he was. “Then, you and I can switch off every other night and do it solo if you can’t stand to be around me for a mere hour. That’s the best way to do it, and you know it. The Heads always do the late rounds anyway.”
Lily glared at him. “Back to being arrogant, I see. Why can’t you just admit that everything you do or suggest is not always ‘the best?’”
She was so stubborn. But then again, so was he. It took one to know one, he supposed. James sighed before just going along with her ridiculous argument, “Then, what changes would you like to make, Lily?”
Lily was staring at him angrily, slowly realizing he was sort of right and because he had used her first name. She just nodded sharply at him, still frowning. She grudgingly admitted, “It can stay that way for now, I guess.”
James just smirked and opened his book. It was an extremely ancient book on Transfiguration, and he had been dying to read it. It was on special loan from Dumbledore.
Lily tried to ignore him still sitting there in the Heads’ room, but his presence finally began to annoy her after a few minutes of her own reading and writing. “Don’t you have friends to bother, Potter?”
James sighed again. It had only been about ten minutes before she had started in on him again. He had been leaving her alone. “Evans, Remus is doing prefect work, Peter usually sleeps until one of us wakes him up, and if you haven’t noticed, let me inform you that Sirius is not aboard the train and will be arriving separately. I may be considered a popular bloke, but there are no other people I would rather sit with, other than you.”
Lily scowled. “Where is Sirius?”
James frowned at her question. “I’m afraid that’s a rather personal question for him, and I am going to decline to answer your question.”
Lily noticed James’ features had darkened. She knew Sirius was a Black, but she knew little else. Being a Black in itself and landing in Gryffindor would probably have caused problems in itself. “Uhh, right then.”
They sat in silence the rest of the way. Eventually, James left to let her get changed into robes and to get changed himself. It was rather odd comparing what she had always known to be James Potter to the James Potter in front of her. She had always seen him with the Marauders causing trouble and chaos or asking her out in the most ridiculous and embarrassing ways. To see him actually sit still and read a book about Transfiguration, not on the book list mind you, and actually look interested, was a thing unto itself. Not to mention that he had seemingly handled being Head Boy rather easily and stuck up for his friend without being arrogant at all. It was all rather alarming to her. Had she missed something?
When the train had stopped, she and Potter escorted all of the returning students to the carriages and helped Hagrid with the first years, before jumping into the last carriage together. She sighed. James still hadn’t said anything to her, and she wondered why it bothered her so much. Probably because she had to communicate with the Head Boy all year to make sure things got done properly perhaps? She was going to force herself to be nice. “Umm, Potter?”
James looked surprised to see her speaking to him. “Yes?”
“Where exactly is the Heads’ dormitory?”
James gave her a small smile. “I’ll show you where after the feast. It’s up on the sixth floor near the walls of armor. There’s a not-so-secret passageway and a sphinx gargoyle which moves in response to the password.”
Lily looked concerned. “Not-so-secret?”
James just chuckled. “The Marauders know a lot of things about the castle, Evans.”
When the carriages arrived, she and Potter again helped to organize everyone inside. When they walked into the Great Hall, she immediately noticed that Sirius was talking rather solemnly with Professor Dumbledore near the Professors’ table. James immediately left her and went up to talk with them both. Lily rolled her eyes and sat down in a huff. Christina eventually plopped down across from her. She had a mischievous look in her eyes. “So you and Potter? NO WAY. People were talking about it all over the train.”
Lily rolled her eyes. Great, she was gossip already. “Just what I need. Yes, it’s me and Potter, unfortunately. Although I have to admit, and I won’t say this to anyone else, he might just do an ok job.”
Christina’s eyes widened in disbelief. “No! Who are you, and what have you done with Lily Evans?”
Lily just laughed. “I’m serious. I don’t like it obviously, but he does have a way with being in authority and appears to be mates with Dumbledore.”
After seeing Lily nod to her right, Christina looked up towards the Professors’ table where Dumbledore, Sirius, and Potter were still talking as everyone continued to pour into the Great Hall. “Ick. That kind of sucks. It might work in your favor though, for stuff you want to do and all.”
Lily nodded. After the sorting and the feast began, she noticed she had been watching Potter without meaning to. He seemed more relaxed now that Sirius had arrived. Curiosity pulled at her to know the reason Sirius had been late, but knew that it didn’t involve her and she should leave it alone. When the feast had ended, he got up, said his goodbyes, and headed over towards her. She noticed him stop briefly to whisper in a girl’s ear and pat her on the back gently. She watched the girl nod and wave him off. Lily was confused. She had never seen Potter do that before. Well, she technically had never watched him before. Who was the petite, dirty blonde-haired girl anyway? She was in Gryffindor, and for the life of her, Lily could not remember her name, but she did know that she wasn’t on the quidditch team. Her brow furrowed. Wait, why did this even matter?
“Hey, Evans, I told the prefects the passwords. For Gryffindor, it’s ‘courage and bravery,’ just so you know. Lame, I know. I told Dumbledore that too. He just laughed though. I’m sure we can change it eventually. Ours is whatever we tell it to be when we get there.”
Lily just nodded and walked along with him. She saw a few girls from Hufflepuff straggling to get a glimpse of him and were looking disdainfully at Lily. He didn’t even seem to notice. When they got out of sight and ear-shot, James continued, “So, what do you want the password to be, Evans?”
Lily looked surprised he would ask for her opinion. She figured he would make it some quidditch term or something. Now, she was suspicious. “I don’t know. Why are you letting me pick anyway?”
James rolled his eyes at the fact that she always had to argue with him. “I don’t know. I just figured you would want to pick is all.”
Lily glared at him. Now, he thought she was some ‘miss superior’ type and would probably just order him around? Why couldn’t he just be nice? “Whatever.”
“Fine. How about ‘Lily Evans hates James Potter?’”
Lily rolled her eyes. Although she was a little taken aback by James having a rather biting tone with her for the second time today, his comment just incensed her. “Anyone could guess that, Potter.”
James sighed in exasperation. “How about ‘McGonagall is secretly a kitty?’”
Lily fought the urge to smirk at how funny that sounded and give him that satisfaction. “Fine.”
She and Potter continued to walk in silence. Suddenly, James held up his hand and stopped them next to a blank wall just after the row of armor. “Watch,” he ordered.
Lily watched as he tapped his wand in three specific places. Nothing appeared to have happened, but then James walked right through the wall. Lily tentatively put her hand out and upon seeing it dematerialize, followed him through. James had already walked down the short hallway and had stopped at the sphinx. “The password is going to be ‘McGonagall is secretly a kitty.’ Also, do not let Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, or Peter Pettigrew come through, even with the password.”
The sphinx immediately sprung open. They both entered and were not surprised to see the Heads’ common room in Gryffindor colors. There was a couch, two plush armchairs, and a coffee table in front of a fireplace, which already had a fire blazing. Then, there was also a table with two chairs off to the far right, probably for studying. In the back of the room, there were stairs leading to two doors. The one on the left had her name written on it while the one on the right had James’ name on it. “Why don’t you want your friends to be able to enter?”
James frowned. “Trust me, that is for your protection as well as mine. I don’t like being woken up at 4am with buckets of ice water or being tarred and feathered just before breakfast. I doubt they would do that to you, but I’m sure you would like your privacy and I must say that Sirius, while my brother and best friend, is a bit of a snoop. If he does that to my stuff and La—, well, other people’s stuff, he might just do it to yours.”
Lily frowned when he paused mid-sentence. “Oh, yes. Then, I suppose that’s a good thing.” She eyed him warily. “That means you too, you know.”
James rolled his eyes at her even suggesting he would do such a thing. “I would never invade your privacy, Evans.”
“Whatever. Just leave me alone, and we’ll get along fine. Is that clear?”
James held up his hands in defeat, but then he smiled. “Crystal. Does this mean you won’t go out with me, Evans?”
Lily scowled loudly, and her eyes flared. “Arrrrggghhhh!! I hate
James watched her practically fly to her room and slam the door. He sighed. Maybe he’d have better luck another time. When he opened his own door to his dorm, he was surprised to see the room was identical to his bedroom at home. He smiled and plopped himself onto his full bed. It was going to be an interesting year.