Chapter 1 : Becoming Attached
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Not that I’d really had one of those in the fullest sense of the term since I was eleven or so. Coming from a muggle family, it was hard to accept any day in the wizarding world as “normal." But still, it would’ve been nice to have an as-close-to-normal-as-possible-in-the-life-of-Lily-Evans day. It had been a long week full of Head duties, classes, homework, and keeping the Head Boy -- James Potter -- in line; I was more than ready for a relaxing, low-key, normal Friday.
Little did I know that I was not going to get that. Not even close. It would be the day that changed my life. More or less.
“Marlene, wake up. You’ll be late for class,” I called to my best friend, Marlene McKinnon, as part of my daily routine. The day that Marlene became a morning person was the day that the evil Lord Voldemort started telling people he loved them, and Severus Snape and James Potter became best friends.
Marlene just groaned and secured a pillow over her head. “Come on,” I urged. “It’s Friday. Last day.” An accepting grunt came from the mound of pillows and blankets that concealed Marlene. Satisfied, I left her alone and went to get breakfast.
I’d just entered the common room when I heard someone call out to me. “Good morning, oh Fairest Maiden Evans!”
I turned, already knowing whom it was. Sure enough, I turned to see none other than James Potter -- flanked by Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew -- grinning at me. I frowned a little. “Don’t you think it’s a little early in the day to be harassing me, Potter?” I inquired wearily.
“Nonsense!” he replied jovially. “It’s never too early for me to shower you with my praise and affection! You look lovely this morning, by the way.”
“Well, that’s absolutely spectacular, Potter, but I’m hungry and would like to go to breakfast. So if you’ll just excuse me,” I said, turning and exiting through the portrait hole.
“Hey! We can walk down with you,” Potter told me, suddenly beside me to the right. Looking around me, I found that I had a guard of Marauders two strong on each side. Potter had my right with Black beside him, and then to my left were Remus and then Pettigrew.
Even I had to admit that each member of the mischievous quartet was something to look at. Peter Pettigrew had yet to lose all of his baby fat and had a cute, boyish look to him. Remus Lupin was what some would call the strong, silent type, with his tall frame, light brown hair, and warm brown eyes. And then, of course, Sirius Black and James Potter were, by popular vote, the best-looking boys at Hogwarts ever. Sirius had his long, dark hair and deep, dark blue eyes, but much to the dismay of the female portion of the Hogwarts student body, he was a deliberate, determined bachelor. And then there was Potter with his hazel eyes shielded by his glasses and his messy, I-just-got-off-my-broom hairstyle.
I had to shake myself from my involuntary daydream and get them to leave me alone. “Actually, that won’t be necessary,” I told them.
“’Course it is, Evans. We want to go to breakfast, too,” Potter informed me with a grin.
“And since we just happen to feel the need to stuff our faces at the exact same time as you, we might as well accompany you,” Black added, smiling. “Besides, we can offer you ‘protection.'”
I snorted. Oh, how lady-like. “From what? The only things in this entire castle that I’d ever request protection from is the two of you,” I told them, pointing in turn at Potter and Black.
Black stuck his toungue out at me, and Potter just laughed. “Don’t worry, Evans. We won’t eat you or anything,” Potter assured me.
I raised my eyebrow. “Oh, no? You did say you were hungry. Who’s to say you won’t go cannibalistic and devour me?” I demanded.
“Have no fear, Lily,” said Remus. Out of all four Marauders, I liked Remus the best. “I won’t let them eat you.” As if to prove himself, Remus traded places with me, drew his wand, and trained it on two of his best friends.
Potter just pretended to pout, batted Remus’s wand away, and repositioned himself so that he was beside me once again. “Actually, Evans, I did want to ask you about something,” he said.
My eyes narrowed. “Potter, if you dare start this now, I swear that you will sustain such terrible injuries by my hand that you won’t even be able to think about Hogsmead without screaming in pain for the rest of your life,” I threatened, assuming that he was attempting to ask me out yet again.
All four boys chuckled at this. “Really? What were you planning on doing to him?” Pettigrew asked me.
“Well, I’m sure I don’t know, but I’d be able to come up with something,” I assured him grimly.
“I don’t doubt it,” said Potter, patting my shoulder. I moodily swatted his hand away. “However, my intentions actually weren’t to persuade you to date me…for once.”
“Oh?” I said, slightly surprised. “What do you want, then?” I inquired.
“First, I’d like to wish you a Happy Halloween…”
“That’s today?!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten Halloween, or any holiday for that matter.
The four boys burst into laughter around me once again. “Yes, Evans. Yes, today is Halloween,” Black spluttered with mirth. I rolled my eyes.
“And as Head Boy, I’d like to propose that we host a party tonight in the Gryffindor common room after the feast in celebration of this most frivolous holiday,” said Potter in a pompous manner, but seriously enough that I knew he meant it.
I sighed. A party. How classically, typically the Marauders. Still, I was strangely touched that they’d thought to run it by me first. Their traditional disregard for rules and authority figures generally led them to do whatever they wanted…with or without permission. “I don’t know,” I told them. “How would you pull it off? You only have today, and you’ll need refreshments and such.”
“Naturally, we have the means to acquire said ‘refreshments and such.' Trade secret. Completely non-negotiable,” Black explained.
“And what would these refreshments be?” I inquired, suspicious. Leave it to the Marauders to spike the punch with Firewhiskey.
“Don’t worry, Lily,” said Remus. “I’m always on food detail, so things won’t get out of hand.”
I considered the four of them. “What about the other three houses?” I asked them.
“Well, they can do whatever they want, can’t they? If they want to throw a party, let ‘em. If they want to go hunting giants with slingshots, then by all means, let ‘em…take it up with Dumbledore,” said Black, adding the last part when I shot him a disapproving look. “But the bottom line is, I’m not planning some extravagant bash for all our chums in Slytherin.”
“Oh, I suppose you could throw something together,” I conceded. They all cheered and gave each other high fives. “But keep it first year-friendly, alright?” The four of them nodded. “And don’t drag me into this,” I added.
Potter reached over to ruffle my hair, but I shot him a warning look that made his hand drop. “We’ll try to restrain ourselves,” he promised as we entered the Great Hall. “Pleasure doing business with you, ma’am. Catch you later, Evans,” he said, and with a wink, the Marauders left me in peace.
The morning and then lunch passed without much excitement. After lunch, I set off with Marlene to our second to last class of the day: Defense Against the Dark Arts with the Hufflepuffs. I sighed in relief, knowing that all I’d have to do afterward was attend Potions (my best class). After that, I could welcome the weekend with open arms.
Marlene and I were, as usual, among the first people in the classroom, and we quickly took our usual seats at the front.
“Settle down, class,” Professor Doyle ordered as he strode into the room. “Today, we’re having a practical review,” he announced to everyone’s delight. On days when Professor Doyle felt lazy and didn’t want to take the trouble to teach us anything new, he gave us “practical review” days. On such days, he’d partner us up and assign us a simple spell to practice on one another. “Today, I’d like you to practice Rictusempra. Now listen for your pairings. Pettigrew, Smith. Lupin, Whitmore. Diggory, McKinnon. Potter, Michaels. Evans, Black. Hop to it, now.”
I sighed in acceptance. I could live with Black. At least it wasn’t Potter. The one time Professor Doyle had been careless enough to pair me with Potter, I’d received my first-ever detention for intentionally hitting him with a bat-bogey hex instead of the assigned full-body bind curse.
I pulled my wand out and went to meet up with Black. We bowed to each other, and he winked at me. “You’ve met your match, Evans. You’re going down,” he told me with a grin.
“We’ll just see about that,” I said, smiling slightly. With that, we paced away from each other, and the duel began.
Now, the problem with seventh years dueling using only a deflective, defensive charm and a second year, giggle-inducing spell is that not much is accomplished. The battle goes back and forth with one person casting and the other blocking; there is hardly ever a victory.
Black took the initiative to start a steady stream of spells my way, and I proceeded to block every single one. Since it was such a simple spell, Black was able to use it nonverbally. “Is this the best you can do, Black?” I demanded.
“I’m just getting warmed up!” he informed me, grinning and waving his wand around like a maniac, sending a shower of spells my way. “And don’t think I’m gonna go easy on you just because you’re a girl!”
“I wouldn’t, but it’s too late! You already are going easy on me!” I exclaimed.
“I am not!” he insisted, increasing his pace.
“No? Then you’re just pathetic!” I leered.
That’s when someone bumped into me from behind. For one crucial second, I forgot to cast my shielding spell, and the next thing I knew, I fell to the ground, shaking with laughter as Black’s Rictusempra spell hit me full in the chest.
No one around us ceased their dueling as I cackled uncontrollably and rolled around on the floor. Finally, he lifted the curse, and I collapsed in a panting heap. “Well, look who’s victorious.”
I looked up to see Black holding out his hands to help me up, grinning wickedly. “You just got lucky,” I mumbled as I grabbed hold of his hands and allowed him to pull me to my feet.
“WATCH OUT!!!” someone screamed.
Black and I both whipped our heads around just in time to see a curse headed straight for us, but neither of us had time to even move. Before we could blink, the stray hex collided with our hands…which happened to still be joined.
The whole class was silent now, staring at the seemingly unaffected Black and me. I blushed and quickly dropped his left hand, but he wouldn’t let go of my left hand. “Black,” I hissed, “quit fooling around and let go of my hand.”
Black glared at me. “No, you let go,” he commanded, jerking his backwards. I yelped as I was helplessly jerked toward him by the stubborn contact between our hands. Black’s eyes widened in horror as he exclaimed, “I can’t let go!”
“Neither can I!” I realized, beginning to panic.
“I’m sorry!” Pettigrew exclaimed, his own eyes wide with apologetic shock.
“What did you do, Wormy?” Sirius demanded, gesturing wildly with our joined appendages…just a little too high for my arm to reach.
“Ow!” I exclaimed.
“Sorry, Evans,” Sirius apologized, lowering our hands.
“I don’t know! I’m sorry!” Pettigrew squeaked.
“What is going on?” Professor Doyle demanded, having just woken up from an accidental nap.
“I don’t know!” Pettigrew cried, starting to hyperventilate.
“Calm down, Wormtail,” Remus ordered sharply.
“Pettigrew cast some sort of charm, and now Black and I are stuck holding hands,” I explained. Stuck holding hands…Oh, dear Merlin, I thought desperately.
“Everyone remain calm,” Professor Doyle instructed. “It’s probably just a simple sticking charm. Come here,” he ordered Black and me. We walked over to him and held out our clasped hands. “Finite Incantatum,” he muttered. “Try now.”
I desperately jerked my hand away…and Black lurched forward, slammed into me, and fell to the floor on top of me.
“YEEEP!” I shrieked pathetically. Black’s free arm was behind my head, preventing it from slamming against the hard floor, and I was altogether, very uncomfortable.
Black laughed. “Well, hello, Evans. I don’t think it worked, Professor,” Black informed him.
“Yes, I can see that, Mr. Black.”
“Get off of me, you oaf,” I ordered impatiently.
“Certainly, milady,” he said, rolling off of me and pulling me to my feet with him.
“Hm. The two of you had better go see Madame Bronski,” Professor Doyle told us. I wasted no time in turning on my heel, gathering my things, and exiting the classroom, dragging Black behind me all the while.
“Sweet Merlin, you can walk fast, Evans,” Black commented, catching up with me.
“Just shut up, Black. Not a word,” I ordered shortly.
“Easy now, Evans. It’s not my fault,” Black reminded me.
“Didn’t say it was, I just want you to keep quiet,” I told him. He obeyed my command all the way to the infirmary.
“Madame Bronski?” I called upon our arrival.
“I’m here. Can I…Ms. Evans? M-Mr. Black? Is there something I can d-do for you?” the nurse asked, eyeing our clasped hands in shock. I blushed.
“Yes. There was an accident in Defense, and now Evans and I are stuck together,” Sirius explained, showing her our inseparable hands.
“Oh,” she breathed, as though assuring herself that she was not losing her mind. “Yes, of course I can help. What do you think? A simple sticking charm?”
“That’s what Professor Doyle thought it might be, but the countercurse didn’t work,” I explained.
“Oh. Well, in that case, I think I have a potion that can help you,” she told us as she opened a cabinet filled with multiple potions. “It might work a little slowly, but the point is that it will eventually…Oh, dear.”
“What is it?” I inquired anxiously.
“Oh, nothing too dreadful, but I appear to be out of the necessary potion,” she informed us.
“Nothing too dreadful?!” Black demanded. “I’m stuck to Evans of all people, and having to remain so is NOTHING TOO DREADFUL?!?” It was the most frantic I’d seen him about the whole situation.
“Please, calm down, Mr. Black, and kindly lower your voice. I have…well, at least I had patients sleeping,” Madame Bronski scolded. “Now, though I have no more of the potion, it isn’t an extremely difficult one to brew. I shall simply have to begin to make more right away.”
“You see, Black? Nothing to worry about. We’ll be free of each other within the hour!” I said, pleased.
Madame Bronski chuckled. “I’m very sorry, Ms. Evans, but I’m afraid that’s not going to be possible,” she told me. The small smiles that had stretched across our faces at the prospect of being rid of each other instantly vanished. “You see, this particular potion takes six, nearly seven hours to make. I will send word when it is completed.”
Black mouthed “seven hours” silently to himself, a dumbfounded expression on his face.
“Thank you very much,” I said, turning and pulling Black with me out of the hospital wing.
Once the door was shut behind us, Black sighed. “Prongs is going to kill me,” he told me.
“Oh? And why is that?” I inquired.
“This is going to make him hideously jealous,” he replied, swinging our forcibly linked hands back and forth between us.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, this certainly didn’t happen by choice. I can promise you that,” I muttered.
“The feeling is mutual,” he assured me. Silence fell over us for a few moments…and then Black started cackling maniacally.
“Alright, I’m not particularly enjoying this, and I’m certainly not detecting any hilarity in this situation, so would you kindly explain what is so funny?” I demanded.
“I sincerely hope that you don’t even remotely need to use the restroom, Evans, because if you do, this will be a very uncomfortable six to seven hours,” he choked between his laughter.
I groaned in frustration. I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to enjoy the next six to seven hours, whether I needed to relieve myself or not.