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Against All Odds by nire
Chapter 2 : Head of Houses
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 20


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Beautiful ch. image by Michy @ TDA



Lily exited the train as unobtrusively as possible. She was expected to be herding the first years towards Hagrid, but she decided he probably had it covered. Anybody who couldn’t here his loud, booming voice over the crowd shouting ‘Firs’ years!’ obviously had other problems than finding their way to the castle. Looking around, she tried to catch sight of her friends amongst the steam from the engine and the large amounts of milling and rambunctious students, slowly making their way towards the horseless carriages; it was useless, she could see nothing in the darkness. 



"Lily! Lily!" a voice called to her from somewhere near. She spun on her heel, looking around the heads of her peers for the familiar sounding voice. Then, quite unexpectedly, she was thrown backwards as a body threw itself towards her, slender arms wrapping around her neck. Trying to make out who it was, she caught sight of the culprit’s long, black hair. Smiling, she hugged back fiercely.

"Lily, I’ve missed you! How was your summer? Where were you on the train? I was looking for you but I got distracted, and then Sirius came barrelling in, and of course he demands all attention. Oh, look at you with your Head badge on. I’m so excited for you!" She said this all very fast; as if she was so excited to see her friend she couldn't speak fast enough.

Lily smiled at her best friend. Aria Slater was the epitome of natural beauty. She had pale, creamy skin that contrasted perfectly with her silky dark hair that fell gracefully over her shoulders. Here eyes were clear and deep blue.

Lily hugged her once again and replied, "I’ve missed you too! My summer was dull. Petunia seems to be getting worse year by year, of course. But let’s not talk about that. I was up the front on the train, unfortunately, Head stuff for the trip; I’m sorry that I didn’t come find you."  

"That’s okay. So I’m guessing that you didn’t take the news about Potter being Head Boy too well? I couldn’t believe it when I heard."

Lily narrowed her eyes, feeling distinctly out-of-the-loop. "Oh so you knew, did you? You didn’t think to fill me in?"

"I know, I’m sorry, but James made me swear over the holidays not to tell you! I wanted to so badly Lils," Aria told her, her eyes wide and pleading for forgiveness.

Lily felt, not for the first or last time, she was sure, the many disadvantages of having her best friend living near Potters. Not only was he conveniently – and constantly – at Aria’s door when Lily herself was visiting, but now he was talking her friends into restraining valuable information from her. Oh, he had certainly crossed the line this time.  

"I could hex him right now…" murmured Lily, under her breath.

Aria didn’t seem to be listening; she was waving frantically at someone over Lily’s shoulder, a wide smile on her face. Looking around, Lily found herself engulfed in another hug. It was their other best friend, Ella Rodgers. Pulling back, she smiled and looked at the changes that had occurred over the summer. Ella looked different; her chestnut hair had been cut to her shoulders and neatened significantly from its normally bushy state. She was still just as short as Lily remembered, but her face did seem a lot thinner. But, as always, her chocolate eyes still radiated brightness and warmth from her smiling face.

"I was beginning to think you two weren’t coming back this year!" Ella grinned.  

Lily rolled her eyes with exasperation as Aria filled Ella in with the Potter debacle. They moved slowly towards the carriages together, Lily double checking that all the students had moved on to their appropriate places.

"I can’t believe he’s Head Boy, Lils!" Ella exclaimed.

Lily rolled her eyes again and turned her head towards the Marouders piling into a horseless carriage, "You’re telling me!"

~

The feast ended with few issues and the alarming, but informative and unerringly accurate, words of the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. His long silver beard glinted in the candlelight as he explained the worsening situation of the outside world; it seemed they were already being submerged in darker times. Dumbledore firmly expressed his belief that the time for quarrelling and pettiness was over, and that the time for setting aside differences and working together for the greater good was at hand. Lily felt another wave of guilt. It was almost as if Dumbledore was speaking to her directly.  Dumbledore ended with a warning to all students to stay in groups when outside the castle, and to notify a professor if anything seemed to be out of the ordinary.

"And as a final note, may I please see the Head Boy and Girl in my office after the conclusion of the feast," Professor Dumbledore announced loudly into the midst of teenage rumble.

Lily looked slowly over to James to catch his reaction. He remained passive, motionless, occasionally nodding to Sirius’ furious attempts to include him in the conversation he was having with Remus and Peter. Everyone knew that this year was going to be the biggest of them all for the Marauders, especially since it was the last year to wreak havoc amongst the students. Lily looked away, trying to decide whether she should try and catch Potter’s attention as a reminder of our duties, or just leave him to his own devices.

Lily was pulled out of my reverie by the low, velvet sound of my name being repeated nearby.

"Oi, Evans!" James was waving his hand in front of her face.  Lily blinked, trying to regain her composure.

"Oh, er, right. Sorry Potter. Erm . . . shall we go?"

As they headed up the marble staircase and along the darkened corridors, Lily heard the distant laughter and chatter of students making their way to their common rooms grow fader and fader. Lily took the opportunity to throw a few inconspicuous glances in James’ direction.

Now that she was closer to him, she noticed the discreet changes that had taken place over the summer: he seemed to hold himself more upright, confident as usual, but with a new sense of responsibility; with his elevated height, his jaw seemed more pronounced and less boyish; he still, however, had the old traits – stuffing his hands in his pockets and occasionally ruffling his hair to keep it looking ‘wind-blown’.

James sensed someone looking at him and threw a puzzled look at Lily. He was about to open his mouth when they reached the gargoyle that guarded Dumbledore’s office.

Lily hastily muttered the password, and thanked Merlin she did not have to explain to him why she looking at him. She was never good at coming up with something on the spot. Quite frankly, she had no idea why she was looking at him in the first place. She never noticed anything different about him before.

James pulled his hand out of his pocket and lifted his hand to knock on the door when a deep voice spoke, “Enter.”

James pushed open the door and they entered slowly, stopping to look tentatively around the beautiful, circular room. It was enormous, with a high ceiling and spacious floor.

This was the first time Lily had entered the magnificent quarters. The walls were covered with portraits of the numerous previous headmasters and headmistresses. The only blank wall left was immediately behind the Dumbledore’s desk, upon which a shelf was mounted. The Sorting Hat sat on top of the shelf, looking inconspicuous and especially ragged. Feeling slightly awed by her surroundings, Lily felt rooted to the spot. She was brought out of her daze when she felt James brush past her gently and stride into the room.

James, of course, had been here before. He sat down on one of the chairs facing the Headmaster totally unconcerned with the amazing surroundings. Smiling wryly to myself, Lily remembered that he was a Marauder through and through; his trips to this particular room were probably numerous and frequent. 

"Ah yes, Miss Evans, Mr Potter, thank you for coming. I know that you probably want to get some much-needed sleep after your long journey, but I felt this meeting was necessary. As you heard from my speech tonight, it is becoming more and more necessary that we take extra caution this year. The attacks and disappearances happening outside of our walls aren’t something to be taken lightly and as Head Boy and Girl, I find it necessary that you should strive to work together. Lord Voldemort would want us to feel disconnected and so it is vital that we create bonds, not only our friends, but also our enemies. Yes Mr Potter, the Slytherins as well. I know that this will be hard, but I think, in the long run, it will do us all the world of good.” Dumbledore gave a knowing glance to James.

"As you know, Heads are awarded certain privileges that go along with your responsibilities. You’ll find your Head rooms located just near your Gryffindor common room, behind the portrait of the man pulling on a rather large shoe. I expect you know where that is, Mr Potter?" Dumbledore continued.

James nodded. "Yes Sir.”

"Excellent. Besides the regular meetings, you will need to oversee the Prefects and their duties. Make sure that they do not abuse their power and are working together. I think that is all I need to tell you for tonight. Oh, of course. You will need to decide on a password that will get you into your common room," Dumbledore informed them both.

"I don’t think that will be too hard Sir." James looked bashful.

Confused by his flushed face, Lily threw a puzzled glance at him. "Excellent, excellent. Well, on that note, I suggest you both go get settled in. Your friends have been informed of where your new living quarters are, so they won’t be too worried about your whereabouts. Goodnight."

They left Dumbledore’s office quickly, and silently made their way in the direction of the Gryffindor common room. Lily had never heard of, or seen, this supposed portrait. They rounded a corner on the seventh flor and a huge portrait came into view.

"So, what is our new password? I’m thinking something we won’t forget, or anything that might be figured out. Do you have any ideas?" Lily asked forthrightly.

"Well, I hope you don’t mind Evans, but Sirius took the liberty of setting it up in advance. He thought that it might not go down so well if we had to decide on one together," James replied, his flushed cheeks merging slowly down into his jaw line.

Lily narrowed her eyes, expecting a condescending word, or nasty sentence, seeing as it was, Sirius Black. He was the epitome of crassness. What else could she expect? "Okay then, let’s hear it."

He turned to the portrait and spoke, "Lily Potter".

He disappeared through the portrait hole swiftly, most likely to avoid my reaction. Lily felt the anger rise from my very core. Of all the low, ridiculous tricks! How could Black do such a thing?! What are people going to say!? But more importantly, why the hell would he get that idea? It just wasn’t plausible! Lily clenched my fists at her side and felt her face heat up from anger. She marched through the portrait hole and felt her anger building and building with every step.

"Potter! You’d better have a good explanation for this! How the hell could you allow Black to do such a thing! You’d better change it before I do something I might regret, and something that might make Black’s face even less appealing to look at! And you know he will only whinge to you about it!”

Lily stomped into the room, forgetting to look at the new living arrangements due to the blind anger that was raging through her body. James was on one of the lounges, looking slightly abashed, but more relaxed at her consternation.  She stomped over in front of him and put her hands on her hips. James looked up momentarily to take the measure of the full extent of her anger. His eyes widened slightly as he saw how serious she was.

"Okay Evans, it was just a slight joke. I tried to make him stop, but you know what Sirius is like when he gets an idea in his head. Remus and I tried to change it afterwards, but it was stuck. We have to wait until the Christmas holidays to make the change now," he replied quickly, looking apologetic.

"Oh, and so if Sirius said 'go lasso a dragon' or ‘go give Severus a back rub’, would you just go ahead and follow along?" Lily retorted.

His eyes widened even further at the thought of touching Snape.

"Okay, so now that you put it that way, I can see your point. I apologise Evans. I’ll have a word with Sirius."

Lily’s anger abated as he apologised. At least he was repentant about the issue. It still didn’t make up for the fact that she would have to utter her first name and his last name every time she came into the common room, but it was a start.

"And there is no way that we can change it?" Lily asked in aggravation.

"I don’t think so. Apparently once it’s set, it’s set," he answered quietly, looking down at his feet.

Lily groaned. She rubbed her brow and felt her anger starting to fade. She had to accept that there was nothing she could do about it. No point in getting angry; after all, Dumbledore had told them to forget pettiness, and certainly a password was petty. She was just going to have to deal with the situation. As her blood cooled, she suddenly became aware of her surroundings.

Her first thought was that the room was large, warm and comforting. The fire was already lit and casting a flickering light over the furniture. The room was modelled after the Gryffindor common room; the squishy armchairs that were in the tower had been brought down here too, the only difference being that they looked a little less careworn. On one wall rows and rows of books were crammed into shelves that stretched to the ceiling; on another there was a sizeable store of Quidditch knick-knacks. Dumbledore was really trying to incorporate her and Potter into room to make them feel at home. She then noticed that there were two doors on either side of the room. The one on the right, the same side as the books, had a silver plaque with the curving word ‘Head Girl’ engraved on it; the other plaque was gold and was etched with the bolder name, ‘Head Boy’. She wandered idly to her door, curious to see my new room.

She pushed the door open and was in immediate awe. The room was bigger than the dormitory she had shared with her fellow Gryffindor girls. The bed was large and inviting, and off to the side was a wardrobe. Even though she wasn’t too interested in the wardrobe because it was a part of the whole ‘superficial’ lifestyle, she couldn’t help but think that Dumbledore certainly knew how to please a girl.  

There was an entry to a bathroom on the opposite wall. Wandering over to the door, she was unsurprised but joyful when she saw the magnitude of the room unfold. There was a spacious bath with multiple jets in the side as well as a large shower with many confusing-looking spigots. She looked at the vanity and saw two basins and a long mirror that stretched almost the entire length of the wall. Lily stopped dead. Looking up she saw an adjoining door, which must be from James’ room. Still dead in her tracks, her stomach sunk. They had to share a bathroom. This was going to be a nightmare. She breathed deeply for a minute or two, trying to contain myself, before knocking on his side of the door.

James opened the door and poked his head in. "Yeah? Oh wow. This is huge. Wait . . . Two basins. Oh, we’re sharing," he said, looking at Lily.

"Yes, so it seems, so let’s get this straight right now. We’re introducing the knock policy. Got it? Walk in on me in my knickers even once and that’ll be the end of you, Potter."

"Seems fine and dandy to me." He saluted and then walked out the way he came in. Lily stood staring at the space he had been standing in a minute before; he hadn’t even made some snarky comment. Had she become less intimidating over the summer?

Lily looked around again and then leaned against the vanity, closing her eyes. This was only the first night and she was already struggling to calm her rage. She could only imagine what the rest of the year was going to be like. Living in close contact with Potter! Never in a million years had she expected to find herself in this situation. She walked back into my room and closed and locked the door to the bathroom. She changed into my pyjamas and slid into bed. Worrying about the bathroom could wait tomorrow.








Another chapter down. Took the change of pov out. Didn't like it and wanted to keep it all streamlined. I'm looking forward to putting the next chapter up! 
Stay tuned, and write me a comment if you're keen!


 



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