Chapter 5 : The Row.
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J.K.Rowling wrote Harry Potter, not me. The only things I own are the things you don't recognise.
A few uneventful weeks passed, with Lily and James tolerating each other. He still begged her to go out with him, but much less than before and they’d yet to have a fight that resulted in an overnight stay in the hospital wing. They could easily have been mistaken for friends. It was looking promising, until one day shouts were heard from dinner in the Hall.
“SIRIUS BLACK! PUT ME DOWN NOW!” Lily yelled, as she was ambushed and slung over his shoulder like a prize. Black started running out of the Great Hall laughing.
“SIRIUSSSS. Put. Me. Down.” She said punctuating each word by hitting his back with all the strength she could muster as he ran down the front steps and out into the grounds.
“Sorry, love. No can do. We’ve got a schedule to keep to.” He called back to her as he carried on.
She hit him once more before resigning herself to her position and propped her chin on her hand, resting on his back. Finally, he stopped at the edge of the Forbidden Forest and plonked her down on the grass.
“It’s lucky you aren’t fat.” He said, slightly out of breath.
“Tactful as ever, Sirius. I- What’s going on?” She replied, looking confused. The Marauders used to frequently kidnap her on the way to and from classes, but it was starting to get dark and she didn’t want to miss the rest of dinner before patrolling.
“I don’t know what you mean. Nothing’s going on. Stay here.” He said vaguely, looking around.
She laughed. “Yeah, right.” She said, getting up. He frowned, and took out his wand.
“Fine.” He muttered a spell and cords shot from the end of his wand, binding her to a nearby tree.
“Wh-what are you doing? Untie me!” She said, looking scared. He walked up to her and put a thumb on her chin. “Don’t worry, love. James’ll be here soon.” And with that, he walked off leaving her in the dimming light.
After about ten minutes of struggling against the ropes, and attempting to free herself without her wand (which she had left in her bag in the hall) Lily gave up and waited for Potter to arrive. Soon enough, she could make out the shadow of a figure walking across the lawns towards her and the tip of a lighted wand. She was cold, hungry and late for rounds. It was absolutely the last straw; she was going to kill him. If he untied her, obviously.
“POTTER. What the hell is this? I swear to Merlin when you untie me I will do my best to make sure that you can never reproduce.” She spat.
He grinned. “Well, love, that’s not much incentive for me to untie you, then. Is it?” She said nothing.
“Good. I thought we could spend some…quality time together.” He announced.
“Potter. We live in the same dorm. We are in the same classes. We spend almost every day together.” He voice was dangerously quiet. “I will ask you only once more. Why have you brought me here?”
He hesitated. “POTTER. Answer me!” She shouted.
“FINE.” He yelled back. “I know we see each other everyday. And this whole ‘not-fighting’ thing we’ve got going on is great. But it’s like I don’t even talk to you anymore. At least when you hated me we could yell at each other. I miss spending time with you.” He said, looking down.
“You know I still hate you, right?” She responded, spitefully.
“That’s ok. I know. Since you’re just…hanging around here…wanna have that chat I mentioned?” He said hopefully.
She narrowed her eyes. “Do I have a choice?”
“Nope.” James said, cheerfully.
“Well, that’s just dandy.”
There was silence before James spoke again.
“So…I hear you like that Ravenclaw guy? Whatshisname. With the hair.” He said, not looking at her. Lily got the feeling that talking about this was the actual purpose of the kidnapping. She let out an exasperated sigh. James had been interrogating her about her crushes since third year. It was routine now, in fact she came to expect it. If he hadn’t said anything she would have been worried.
“You mean Mark?” She said sweetly, knowing that this would make him jealous.
Mark Perry was a boy Lily knew from her Charms class. He’d helped her in the library last week and they’d ended up sitting together at lunch. He was nice. He made her laugh. And he wasn’t bad to look at either, which was a bonus.
“Th- Yeah. Him. W-what’s going on with you two?” He finally spluttered. News travelled fast, apparently.
“We just had lunch the other day.” Lily reasoned, as James relaxed a little. “But you know, he’s really attractive.” She added, just to spite him. It worked.
His eyes widened, and he looked hurt.
“He’s- he’s what now? Like, ‘he’s good looking but not my type’ right? Right?” He asked quickly.
She laughed and tipped her head to the side. “Don’t worry Potter. We aren’t getting married. Besides, the poor boy’s too scared to make any kind of move on me, thanks to you.” She added, bitterly.
James’s face brightened considerably at these words. “Good.”
“Now untie me.” She said.
“Fine. I’m glad we had this chat. You know, I feel as though we’re so close.” He chatted, untying the knots at the back of the tree. As the ropes loosened, Lily stepped forward and stretched before rounding on him looking menacing.
“Right, Potter. If you ever kidnap me and tie me to a tree again I swear I will make your life hell. Oh, and for the record, how I feel about Mark has nothing to do with you. I am not yours to be protective over. Got it? Good.” She spat before turning on her heel and marching back up to the castle, leaving James looking like he’d just been slapped.
“So it didn’t work then?” Sirius asked. They were sat in the Gryffindor common room, lounging about. The only other occupants of the room were a couple of first-years sat in the corner, playing Exploding Snap and James and Sirius’s fan club of giggling girls, who were currently looking over flirtatiously and batting their eyelashes.
“Not even slightly. She hates me more than before. And she likes that Perry guy.” James replied glumly.
“Oh well. Move on, mate. You tried, you failed. If she hasn’t changed her mind after nearly 7 years, she probably won’t ever. There are plenty of girls left.” Sirius gave one of the blondes in the fan club a wink, causing her to blush a deep shade of red, before turning back to his friend. “It’s not like you actually like her right? She’s just a…challenge.”
James didn’t say anything. He wanted to tell Sirius that Lily wasn’t just another conquest and that he actually felt something for her, but he felt like a bit of a pansy so he decided to keep quiet. After a minute or two of watching the shameless flirting across the room between Sirius and the blonde, James shifted uncomfortably in his seat and said, “Night, Padfoot.” He got up to leave.
Looking back before he climbed out of the portrait hole he saw Sirius saunter over to the girls and run a hand through his famous hair before the blonde stood up. He didn’t want to see anymore and so made his way to the Head’s room, hoping to patch things up with Lily before bed.
When he got to the common room Lily was sat in front of the fire with an enormous book balanced on her knees. She looked up as he walked in but didn’t say anything. He stood there uncomfortably for a moment, avoiding her eyes, before mumbling a quick “Goodnight” and speeding off towards his room. At the door, he looked around over the banister and saw her return to her reading, the light from the fire playing across the page. He cleared his throat to catch her attention. She turned in her seat and looked at him, still not saying anything. Usually, the absence of yelling would have been promising, but the look she was giving him at that moment said quite the opposite.
“I'm um, I’m sorry. About earlier.” James said, looking at his hands.
“Okay.” She said turning back to her book. This was worse. This wasn’t yelling, this wasn’t even a rejection of his apology, this was her being passive. Her not saying anything was worse than her yelling at him. He looked at her in surprise.
“That’s it? You’re not going to yell at me.” He asked suspiciously.
“No. I think I yelled enough earlier. Besides, my throat’s a little sore.” She answered without turning round. She was dismissing him!
“But…but what about the fact that I tied you to a tree? Interrogated you about some guy?” He pressed, hoping for some kind of reaction from her. Any reaction would do. Just not this. He walked slowly down the stairs, forgetting completely about wanting to patch things up.
“Mmhmm.” Was all he got.
“What about the fact that we were half an hour late for patrols?”
“And you missed dinner?”
“How about being kidnapped from your friends?”
“I’m sorry for completely destroying your evening.”
“I said, completely destroying your evening.”
“I know. I heard the first time.” She said absently.
“But Lily-” He began, but she’d already sighed, put the book aside and stood up to face him.
“Look, James. Do we really need to do this whole apology scene again? We both know how it ends. I doubt Madame Pomfrey would be too happy with us turning up now. I said everything I needed to say earlier, and I don’t want to repeat myself to you. I’m tired and I have three more chapters to read before tomorrow morning so could you please just go to bed?” She said calmly, although he could hear slight irritation building up in her voice. He decided to push a little further.
“Only if you come with me, Evans.” He said, grinning handsomely at her. It worked. Her eyes narrowed.
“Potter. For the last time! I am not going to be another notch on your bedpost! I’m just another conquest to you, aren’t I? You make me sick. And as for tonight, you can take your apology and shove it somewhere disgusting. Start acting your age.” She glared daggers at him. “There. Was that the reaction you were hoping for? Was it? Because it doesn’t sound very civil to me. So much for that agreement, but then I guess promises don’t mean much to you do they, Potter.” She spat, before grabbing her book and storming up the stairs to her room and slamming the door behind her.
“It’s always her who’s storming out on me”, James thought before realising that he got the reaction he had wanted, but it wasn’t nearly as sweet as he’d expected it to be.
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