Chapter 9 : Crushed
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Within the next few weeks, the Marauders received detentions for blowing up toilets (Lily and Professor McGonagall had a row at them), Sirius went through seven girls (each ended with the girl smacking him), the couples (Kara and Kyle, Lindsey and Tyler, Alice and Frank, not any of Sirius’) progressed well, the Head’s cornered and punished Slytherin bullies several times, Lily and James became more comfortable around each other (Step 3: Show her the real James), the Marauders pulled numerous pranks (Lily actually found a few funny), the group spent a few days at Hagrid’s hut (unfortunately, his cooking was as bad as ever), and the Gryffindor quidditch team recruited new members (they had a very good chance at the Quidditch cup). That brings the school to the first match of the year, Slytherin vs. Gryffindor. As always, each member of both teams was nearly killed, but they were all very much alive as they started the match of Madame Hooch’s whistle.
The match sure was a rough one. Lily, standing beside the unlucky Remus, surely bruised his forearm by digging her fingers into it every time any Slytherins looked menacing enough to hurt the Gryffindor players; that happened to be nearly the entire game. The score was always close, so it all depended on James catching the Snitch. Lily found herself shouting when one the Slytherins beaters sent a well-aimed bludger at his back.
James barely missed getting hit, and Sirius sent the bludger back at the attacker. A satisfying crunch was his reward. Just as everyone’s attention left Sirius’ bludger, James swiveled into a dive. Remus’ forearm hurt exceptionally painfully as James dove closer and closer to the ground. James managed to pull out of the dive, catching the Snitch easily in his left hand just as the broom was inches from the ground. An evident sigh of relief was heard from the stands before the fans erupted as James held the Snitch up in triumph.
“Lily, can I have my arm back?” Remus asked as politely as he could. Lily realized she was still clutching it rather painfully as she slowly relaxed from James’ dive.
“Sorry.” Lily mumbled as the Gryffindor stands poured out onto the field. James was looking around for his friends and quickly found the group grinning as Lily led the way to him.
“Excuse me, I’m Head Girl!” This cleared a path because the school knew of her random anger tantrums and didn’t want to fall victim to one of them. The congratulated his save as they followed the crowd off the pitch.
“Party at Gryffindor Tower!” Sirius shouted, and the Gryffindor cheered. Of course, Tyson, Kyle, Kara, and Lindsey were all invited. The common room was blasting with music by the time they arrived, and house elves had already dropped off the food. As always, Lily was a little hesitant about joining in, but her friends easily talked her into it.
“This place is pretty cool.” Kyle complimented, looking around the room. This was his first time there, along with Tyler. The Gryffindors swelled with pride, happy that their common room was liked by their Ravenclaw friends.
“Maybe sometime, we could visit the Ravenclaw common room.” Lily suggested. The others agreed that it was a good idea. The Marauders noticed there wasn’t much dancing, and decided to take matter into their own hands.
“Lily?” Remus held out his hand for a dance, and Lily obliged. Tyler took Lindsey; Kyle took Kara; Frank took Alice; James swept out Irene, a seventh year; and Sirius took his recent seventh year girlfriend Alyssa; and Peter managed to snag a fourth year, Stephanie.
“It seems that you and James are getting along well.” Remus stated as a question, hoping for her to elaborate. Lily didn’t answer right away, having been spun by her partner.
“Yes.” Lily answered truthfully, “After I looked past his arrogance, I realized he can make a very good friend.” Remus smirked; their plan was working well.
“What qualities could he possibly possess to make a good friend?” Rremus asked, feigning disgust. Lily looked offended, and readily defended James.
“James possessed many good qualities!” Lily stopped dancing, “He’s funny and easy to talk to. He knows just what to say to make me feel better. He’s also very fun to hang out with, and he’s trustworthy. Not once has he lied to me, and he’s always there for me. James also…” Lily stopped upon seeing the smirk on Remus’ face.
“You tricked me!” Lily blushed and hurried off the dance floor. James had heard the conversation, and followed her. All their friends had also witnessed it, and walked off the floor unnoticed to listen in.
“Did you really mean everything you said about me back there?” James asked Lily softly. Lily continued blushing, but turned to face him. She looked him the eye, and took a deep breath.
“I meant every word.” Lily confirmed truthfully. James smiled; he was thrilled to learn that Lily trusted him. He felt a warm fluttering in his heart as he remembered how quickly and willingly she defended him.
“Isn’t it strange how quickly we’ve become close friends?” James asked, laughing softly, “And, to think, you’ve hated me from day one!” Lily gave him a sharp look, inquiring whether he really thought that. She saw that he did and knew that she had to set him straight.
“I never hated you!” Lily objected, “We didn’t get along well, at all, and we fought a lot, but I never once said I hated you or actually did hate you!” James shook his head, clearly not believing her.
“Lily, you can admit it. We’re friends now and it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we tell each other the truth.” James felt his temper slightly flare at what he thought was a lie.
“James, I am telling the truth!” Lily insisted. Her temper was also flaring, why couldn’t he just believe her? James was getting angrier by the moment; whey was she lying to him over something he knew was true?
“Lily, stop lying to me! I know you’ve always hated me, so don’t stand there and tell me you haven’t!” James’ voice was attracting a crowd; no one had seen a good Lily and James’ fight for nearly a month.
“James Potter, I will tell you the truth right now, so listen closely.” Lily’s’ voice was shaking from anger and hurt, “I though you were and annoying self-absorbed, bullying, pratty jerk, but not once did I actually hate you! To say the truth, I actually looked forward to seeing you every day just to have you tell me how good I looked or how smart I was. I blew up at you because I didn’t know another way to handle the situation.” The music had stopped, so the entire parry heard that confession. It took Lily only a few seconds to realize this, before she fled.
“Lily!” James called after her, “Lily, wait!” James followed her, knowing she was heading for the Head’s Room, specifically, her room. He managed to catch her hand before she disappeared up the stairs.
“Let me go!” Lily demanded, close to tears. Publicly humiliating herself had that kind of effect. James slowly turned her around, not entirely forcing her to. He wiped away the lone tear that truckled down her cheek. He smiled, causing Lily’s eyes to well up more. Was he making fun of her? Of course not!
“Lils, I’m sorry I didn’t believe you. I pounded that fact into my brain, trying to get myself to stop caring about you. And you know what? It didn’t have the slightest impression on me!” James apologized, causing Lily to smile softly. Now, all the tears were gone as James’ words gave her all the comfort she needed.
“James, I’m sorry…” Lily began her own apology, but James mad a move to stop her. Lily held up her hand and continued, “Listen, I’m sorry for always giving you that impression. I’m sorry for all those times I called you rude names when you really didn’t deserve it. Most of all, I’m sorry for not getting to now you sooner.” James paused before saying anything.
“I forgive you, but only if you forgive me for always being a prat.” James joked. Lily pretended to think of whether or not she should forgive him.
“Give me a good reason to forgive you.” Lily demanded. James plopped on the couch, and ran his fingers through his messy black hair. He feigned deep thought as he pouted.
Lily’s breath caught and her heart galloped as she watched him. His pouting lips were begging to be kissed and she was eager to comply. His hazel eyes were mesmerizing below his cutely scrunched up eyebrows. The one thing the swept her away was his hair. As much as she had tried to deny it, she always had a soft spot for that windswept hair. The black locks were perfect on him, as messed up as it was. She was dying to run her hands through it.
James suddenly sat up, and mischievously smirked at her. Lily warily took a step back as she kept a suspicious gaze on him. He slowly reached behind him for, Lily noticed too late, one of the couch pillows. Lily squealed as he threw one at her, hitting her head right on target.
“Now you’re gonna get it!” Lily picked up the pillow and walked determinedly forward. James jumped off the couch and ran towards her. In no time the two were viciously attacking each other with their weapons of mass destruction. Of course, James easily out-fought her, being stronger and faster.
“Admit defeat!” James demanded the struggling girl beneath him. Unsurprisingly, he had easily pinned Lily on the ground.
“Never!” Lily snarled, nicely of course. James sighed, faking sadness in what he had to do; then, he smirked wickedly. He began to feverishly tickle any spot he could reach, and Lily shrieked with laughter.
“James…Stop…Can’t…Breath!” Lily begged for mercy, but James wasn’t willing to give it, just yet.
“Say you forgive me!” He demanded, but Lily shook her head in refusal. That’s when Tyler graced them with his presence. He saw the two on the floor and laughed. He was glad to see that they had worked out their problems.
“Tyler...Help....James…Not...Stopping!” Lily begged, but it just wasn’t her lucky day. He casually strode towards them, not sure of who to help.
“Why are you tickling her?” Tyler asked. Lily then knew it was all over for her.
“She won’t forgive me!” James whined. Tyler gave Lily a look that told her he was disappointed with her, before he began to pull off her shoes. Lily kicked her feet frantically, but Tyler held them down easily, by sitting on them. So, Lily had no way of getting free, and all her ticklish spots were under attack. James and Tyler were laughing as she begged them to stop, which they didn’t do. Lily’s sparkling eyes, that were now shedding tears, had James enchanted with their beauty. James grin, on the other hand, had Lily unable to peel her eyes away.
“Forgive him!” Tyler ordered, and Lily recognized defeat. She caught enough breath to speak.
“I forgive James!” Lily cried, but the boys didn’t stop tickling; actually they increased it.
“You must be punished for taking so long to forgive me!” James explained, and Lily was tickled relentlessly for another five mutes. Lily had random fits of giggles for a while after they finally stopped.
“Well, I’m off the bed.” James announced around eight, and Lily knew he really wasn’t. The full moon was out, and he was eager to play with his friends. Lily gave him a quick hug before he left, which he enjoyed. Well, there was always the possibility of never seeing him alive again. Tyler raised his eyebrows at this transaction, and Lily saw him.
“Here, so you don’t feel left out.” Lily gave him a hug as well, and disappeared into her room. She decided to turn in early for the much needed sleep. Tigerlily decided to join her, and curled up on Lily’s stomach. Luckily, Lily had all her homework finished, so she could relax the next day.
Of course, turning in early doesn’t actually mean falling asleep early. Again, she was very confused over James Potter. He always managed to do that to her. He was still his arrogant self, right...? No. He’d stopped inflating his head sometime last year. He was acting really nice, and mature this year. How he managed to pull that off with his pranks, she’ll never know.
Then again, he hadn’t pulled that many pranks this year. Also, why was getting funny feelings around him? Whey did she feel like kissing him and running her hands through his hair? He was becoming more attractive, especially his good physique, handsome features, and gorgeous eyes and hair. His grin was breathtaking, and her stomach did flips when he ran his hand through his hair.
OH NO! Lily sat up, making Tigerlily hiss and ran off. She had just realized, with both dread and immense happiness, that she, Lily Evans, was crushing on James Potter! Now, what was she supposed to do?
A/N: How was that for a fluffy one? I know it’s not really fluffy yet, but I’m working on getting them to that point. Please, just have patience with me; it’s hard enough for me to be patient with myself! PLEASE LEAVE A REVIEW!!! Thanks for reading!
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