Chapter 2 : Potter Have a Problem?
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. . .
“Pst, Evans.” A poke in the side was followed by the annoying whisper coming from the annoying boy sitting next to me. Why did Alice choose not to take Runes? And leave me with this bloody git? I ignored him and continued copying down the translations. The room was quiet save for the scribbling of quills on parchment.
“Evaaaans,” he whined silently and poked me again. I scowled, and stared determinedly at the rune I was drawing on my paper. A dramatic sigh issued from the boy. “I hate being ignored.” I bit my tongue to stop myself from the retort I was about to give. With this guy, it was best to just not say anything. A few minutes passed in blissful silence.
“Evans, will you go out with me?” I dotted an “i” with unnecessary force and stabbed a hole through my parchment. Ink from my quill bled out from the spot, making it look like I wounded it and now it was bleeding. I resisted the strong urge to cuss out loud and instead angrily dabbed at the spot, trying to soak up as much ink as I could before it ruined the whole translation.
“You spilt some ink on that one,” he stated simply.
“Oh really?” I hissed. “I didn’t even notice.”
“Geez,” he murmured, “no need to be so feisty.” I hissed and glared at the boy next to me.
“Me? Feisty? Oh please, Potter. You’re infuriating enough to get under anybody’s skin.” He raised his eyebrows, looking amused.
“This is just about my good looks, isn’t it?” I glared so intensely it’s a surprise he didn’t drop dead right there.
“Ugh! You’re such an egotistical prat!” I said, a little louder than necessary.
“Ms. Evans! No talking please!” Professor Linder called from the front of the class. My cheeks burned and I scribbled furiously on my parchment. A few more minutes of silence.
“So I’m taking that as a no? You won’t go out with me?” he questioned from beside me. I didn’t even grace him with an answer. Not like he didn’t already know it.
Of course the answer would be no. It would always be no. It had always been no, and now, in our final year at Hogwarts, I wasn’t about to change that. Potter had been dubbed Head Boy this year, and I, Head Girl. I honestly had no idea what Dumbledore had been thinking when he did this. It was true that Potter didn’t prank nearly as much as he did, say, two years ago. But in my eyes, he was still just an arrogant prat and had no right to the badge that now sat gleaming on the front of his robes. It would have been in much better hands if it had been given to Remus Lupin, my favorite of the Marauders.
Yes, that’s right. The Marauders was the ridiculous name the four had been cocky enough to give themselves. Incredibly stupid, if you ask me, which of course nobody ever did.
Finishing my translations I walked up to the Professor, smacked them down on his desk, picked up my bag, and then left without another word. I walked briskly down the hall, and checked my watch. I had finished early, there was still 15 minutes before class was officially out. I might as well take advantage of the nice September weather, and work on my Transfiguration essay out by the lake. It was about 5 minutes later that I was sitting cross-legged under a large beech tree, my books spread around me and my essay on my lap, my charms book underneath it for a hard surface. My eyebrows knitted together in concentration as I thought about a sentence I had just read, and how I should put it into the essay. I groaned in frustration, and I heard/felt somebody sit down next to me in the grass. Thinking it was Alice, I looked up as I began to address her.
“Hey Ali-“ The person sitting next to me stopped my sentence dead. I scowled and looked back down at my essay.
“So you like my tree?”
“Your tree? It’s on school property, Potter. Therefore it’s open to anybody,” I retorted, looking back up at him.
“Yes, well, I sit here all the time so it’s hereby mine,” he said. I rolled my eyes and looked back at my essay before it was snatched away from me.
“Hey!” I cried and reached for it, but he held it out of my reach and began scanning over it. I crawled over him and tried fruitlessly to snatch it out of his grip. I leaned across him, willing my arm to grow about 2 feet. I didn’t even notice my position until Potter mentioned it.
“Um, Evans? You’re in my lap.” I scowled as I realized I was sort of lying across him. But my essay was on the other side, and I was therefore not giving up.
“Yes, well, you have my essay, so I’m not stopping until I get it back.”
“Oh I wasn’t complaining. This is like a double win for me. So by all means, continue.” I scoffed at those words and pulled back. Slumping back to my previous position, I put my head in my hands and groaned.
“Don’t you have somebody else to stalk and be creepy with?”
“Hey! I am not creepy.”
“Oh so you admit to stalking?”
“I wasn’t stalking, just trying to help with your essay,” he stated. I looked up at him and raised my eyebrows.
“You, James I-never-do-my-homework Potter, help me with an essay?” He shrugged.
“It just so happens that this essay is on Animagi, a subject at which I’m a pro at. Not that I’m not spectacular at everything else too.” I rolled my eyes.
“Whatever. Just hand it back so I can think.” With a sigh, he returned my essay to me.
“You looked pretty concentrated. Just tell me, I bet I can help,” he offered. I eyed him warily. What was up with him? Something was missing, but I couldn’t quite place it.
“Sure…” I replied hesitantly then sighed again, admitting defeat. Today just seemed like a big old sigh-fest or something. “Okay, there’s this one line that I’m not sure about. ‘An Animagus' physical condition as an animal reflects his or her physical condition in human shape.’ What kind of example can I give for this?” It felt weird asking Potter for help with an essay. Actually, it was weird asking Potter for anything period. He appeared thoughtful for a moment, and I let him think.
“Alright, say a person could transform into a lion. If their hair was longer, the mane would be longer when they transformed. So in that way, their physical characteristics in their Animagus form reflects that of when they’re a person,” he stated. I stared at him, shocked and didn’t say anything. He looked disappointed. “Okay, then nevermind. Maybe that wasn’t right…”
“No, no,” I rushed. “That was…actually really helpful. Thanks Potter.” Wow that felt weird to say. Nonetheless, I began scribbling it down onto my parchment, and he sat beside me quietly. I actually didn’t mind him that much when he was acting like a civil person. Whoa, Lily! Watch what you’re saying. You definitely need to sleep more. Yeah, that must be true. Because now you’re talking to yourself.
When I finished with my essay, I rolled it up and packed away my things. I felt Potter’s eyes on me and awkwardly looked around to see if Alice was on her way outside yet. When I spotted her walking down toward us with a confused look on her face, I realized what this must look like. Me and Potter, sitting together with no yelling or anything. I blushed and rose from my spot on the ground. Without saying anything I began walking over towards Alice to meet her at the halfway point.
“Hey Evans?” I stopped and turned.
“Go out with me?” My good mood towards Potter instantly vanished and I glared venomously at him. We were getting along! Then he had to go ruin it with that cursed question. That was the thing that was missing earlier, him and his stupid tendency to ask me out every minute of every day! Not that I cared that we were getting along or anything, but still. At least I was in a good mood.
Deciding that I had glared at him long enough, I spun on my heel and stalked away, fuming, headed towards a now less confused looking Alice. This was the Lily she was used to seeing when Potter was in the vicinity.
“Ugh, our next Hogsmeade trip seems so far away!” Alice moaned from beside me. It was Friday, two days after that whole getting along accident with Potter (yes, accident) and Alice and I were sitting together in the common room. She was lounging next to me, twirling her wand with a pout on her face. I was scribbling away at a Charms essay.
“I know what you mean,” I sighed and took a break from my writings. “But I suppose it won’t be as much fun this year. I mean, I’ll be all alone! Aren’t you going with a certain special someone?” I asked with a sly smile on my face. I raised my eyebrows knowingly as Alice blushed.
“If you’re talking about Frank…” I threw my hands up in the air, exasperatedly.
“Of course I’m talking about Frank! Merlin, Alice, I thought you were intelligent! The boy has obviously got a thing for you, and him not asking you is less likely than me suddenly dropping dead from an attack of vultures. In other words, he’s going to ask you,” I reasoned with her.
She mumbled something that sounded an awful lot like “here come the vultures” but I waved the comment aside and smiled at her. She hesitantly smiled back at me, though it was sort of worried. I rolled my eyes.
“He’s going to ask you. Stop being so pessimistic! But now who am I going to go with?” I whined, putting on a pathetic puppy-dog pout. I felt the couch jostle as somebody sat beside me and an arm was suddenly thrown around my shoulders. I inhaled a scent that smelled amazing- whoa! This is Potter, hold up! However, I couldn’t help but notice how warm he was, and I felt the muscles in his arm flex as he moved a little to get comfortable. I wonder if his abs were- LILY! What’s wrong with you? I came back down to earth as Potter began speaking.
“Me, of course!” he said with obvious joy. I shrugged his arm off, and felt sort of cold, even though I was perfectly fine before he decided to butt in.
“Keep telling yourself that, Potter,” I said, scowling.
“I actually think I will, if you don’t mind,” he said nonchalantly. I rolled my eyes and scooted over so I was actually rammed up against the armrest. That left about one inch between us. What a drastic improvement, I thought with sarcasm. I ducked my head down and scribbled some more on my parchment. He would not get in the way of my studies.
“I’ll be right back, Lily,” Alice brought my attention back to hear. My eyes widened and I looked at her with panic. She was leaving me here alone with Potter? What was she thinking?
“What?” I gasped, and shook my head. “Alice!” She raised her eyebrows at me, obviously amused.
“Calm down Lily, I just have to use the loo,” she said with a shrug.
“Alice Anne Prewett, I swear to God,” I growled. I saw she was obviously struggling to hold in a laugh. I, on the other hand, did not think that this situation was funny in the least.
“Five minutes,” she said before flitting out of the room and up to the dormitories. I glared at her retreating figure before going back to my essay, determined to ignore the boy now sitting next to me.
“What’re you doing?” asked said boy. I ground my teeth together.
“Charms work,” I answered tersely. I heard an overdramatic gasp of horror and glanced up to see that he was holding both hands over his heart.
“Homework?” he cried. I nodded, wondering if he had lost his mind. “On a Friday night? Evans, you must be crazy!” I ignored that statement and wrote a little more. “Seriously Evans, you need a boyfriend.” I held up my hand, stopping whatever he was about to say.
“Don’t. Even.” He looked at me with an innocent look on his face.
“What?” he questioned. “I wasn’t going to say anything else.” I rolled my eyes and breathed a barely audible “uh-huh.” At that moment the rest of the Marauders decided to join us. I moaned and began putting away my homework, realizing it would be impossible to concentrate with this lot around.
“Have you yet, Prongs?” I looked up to see who it was that had spoken; Remus. He was looking intently at Potter, who looked sheepishly down.
“Well, not really,” he mumbled. Remus and Sirius both rolled their eyes while Peter just looked confused.
“Really mate, you need to work on that,” Black said with a smirk, eyes focused on James.
“What? What does he need to work on?” Peter asked, looking at Remus, Potter, and then Black.
“Hush, Peter,” Black said, as though talking to an incessant child. “We’ll fill you in later.” His eyes flickered to me and then to James. I narrowed my eyes suspiciously but stayed silent, and tried unsuccessfully to put a bit more space between me and Potter. He shifted, and his leg grazed against my own. My stomach flipped strangely, and I shifted uncomfortably. I must just be hungry. Dinner was, I checked my watch, oh. A, uh, half hour ago…
I sat silently, waiting for Alice to return as the boys continued their usual banter around me. I practically leaped up from the couch when she returned, and slung my book bag over my shoulder.
“Alice! Let’s go to the library,” I said, wanting any excuse to get away from the immature Marauders and the strange flip-flopping stomachs. “I need, um…books,” I finished lamely. She eyed me skeptically, but shrugged and began walking towards the portrait hole.
“Bye guys,” I said, not wanting to be impolite and leave without saying anything. A chorus of “Bye, Lily” and “Bye, Evans” sounded from behind me as I walked hurriedly out of the common room.
“I’ll be putting you into pairs so that you can work on your spells. These partners might be yours for a while. I worked a long time on these! Couldn’t have friends together, see, then you’d be chitchatting the whole time!” Professor Hussley said with a smile, waving the piece of parchment in front of him. Groans could be heard throughout the class. I even joined in. What if I was paired with Rory Sunterby? He always sneezed while performing spells, which usually resulted in his partner being led to the hospital wing.
“Alright, then!” the Professor cried out merrily. “Boy-girl pairs then! Weber, Cox! Greengrass, Yurkley! Sunterby, Ester!” Breaths were let out in relief, except for the moan that issued from Hannah Ester. Poor girl. “Longbottom, Prewett!” I smiled for Alice. I looked to my left where she was sitting and saw she was trying to hide her blush and smile by looking down. “Evans, Potter!” I froze and ignored the rest of the pairings the Professor was listing off. He had to be joking. Well if he was, he had a horrid sense of humor. I stared across the room, where Potter was smiling happily. Remus was sitting next to him and talking with a serious expression on his face. Potter nodded every once in a while. I vaguely wondered what they were discussing. My thought process was ruined however when Professor Hussley shouted, “Get to work then!” I turned my head to look at him as he went back to his desk. My eyes were wide in stunned disbelief. How long would I have to work with Potter? Benches were scraping back all around me, and I shook my head. I would just have to deal. I looked back to where Potter was sitting, sure to see him on his way. However, he’d disappeared. I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. He was just there!
“Howdy, partner,” the soft voice said from behind me. I shrieked and spun around so quickly I successfully fell off the end of the bench with a painful whack.
“Crap! Sorry Evans,” Potter said and held out his hand to help me up. I eyed it warily and slowly reached out to take it. It was warm, and his grasp was firm. He helped me up gently, and held my hand a little longer than necessary. Or maybe that was my imagination. He smiled at me, and I momentarily forgot how to breathe. For the first time, I noticed that his eyes were hazel. Wait, why was I noticing these things? Maybe my head hit the desk leg or something when I fell. My chest felt uncomfortable, and I finally took a deep breath through my nose before smiling timidly back. I just smiled at James Potter…well, there’s a first for everything I suppose.
“I guess we better get used to working with each other, huh?” I asked as we walked over to an empty part of the room. I took note that he hadn’t asked me out yet. It was going well then.
“I guess so,” he replied as we turned to face each other, wands out. “You want to go first?” I shrugged.
“Sure.” We were practicing the spell “Rennervate” which meant I would have to knock Potter out before I tried it. “Count of three?” He nodded. “One, two, three, stupefy!” I shouted and a moment later he lay unconscious on the floor. Seeing him lying there, almost like he was sleeping, I felt kind of guilty but shook the thought out of my mind and concentrated on waking him back up.
“Rennervate!” He blearily opened his eyes before he got up and smiled at me.
“Nice one! Ready?” I nodded, and braced myself. Getting hit with stupefy was never pleasant. “One, two three, stupefy!” I watched the jet of red light fly towards me and took a deep breath.
Opening my eyes I blinked rapidly to adjust to the light, and was aware of a slight throbbing. I got into a sitting position and touched the back of my head lightly before looking up and realizing a hand there, extended to help me up. I took it and once I was standing looked at James, who had a guilty expression on his face. I wondered how long I was out.
“How many tries?” I asked him nonchalantly, acting like I didn’t really care. Truthfully, it was a little embarrassing to know I had been lying unconscious and vulnerable on the floor for who knows how long.
“Only one,” he stated, and I looked up at him, surprised, before looking at my watch and realizing not even a minute had passed. Why had he looked so guilty then? As if reading my mind, he continued. “I didn’t really enjoy knocking you unconscious. Sorry about that.” I laughed in disbelief.
“Well, it has to be done. No worries. Want to try it nonverbally?” He nodded, and so class continued. I was surprised to say that the rest of class actually went smoothly. Even Sunterby did okay. Hannah only got a black eye and a bloody nose, so yes, definitely an improvement.
“Alright class! Great work! You’re assignment, a foot on the importance of reviving those who are unconscious! Dismissed!” Discussions broke at all over the room, and I picked up my bag to meet Alice by the door.
“Hey Evans?” I turned with a horrible sense of déjà vu.
“Yeah?” I asked hesitantly.
“Good work,” Potter said with a smile and made his way over to the rest of the Marauders. I stood stunned. He hadn’t asked me out all class. Recovering from the slight shock I smiled back way too late and walked to lunch with Alice, happily chatting about her lesson with Frank.
Wednesday came around again, and it was now September 22nd, exactly a week after, well, you know. Again, I finished my translations before the rest of class and found myself walking down the corridors with nothing to do. My feet continued walking, though my brain wasn’t really registering where I was going exactly. I was still mulling over Runes class, and I was pretty sure I got number five wrong. My feet stopped moving, and I looked up to see that I was in the entrance hall, and the giant hourglasses were right in front of me. I smiled as I saw a few more rubies fall into the one for Gryffindor, who was already in the lead. A few whispers broke out behind me, and I spun in time to see a set of robes whip around the door leading to the dungeons, and the scuffle of feet hurrying down the steps. My eyes narrowed, and I immediately was on high alert. Wand held aloft, I made my way down into the dungeons, and listened for the whisper of shoes on the floor. Every once in a while I heard it, and followed the noise deeper into the curving paths beneath Hogwarts. Now there were only cold walls around me, twisting into the depths of the school. A few doors leading to broom closets and the like were scattered here and there, but otherwise there was no sign of anybody ever being in this spooky labyrinth.
Suddenly a man shouted, not far from my position, quickly followed by a girl’s scream. Eyes wide, I broke into a steady jog, my shoes clicking on the stone floors.
A/N: Pretty long by my standards! Oh I was proud of the length. =) So, what do you guys think? Please leave reviews, I've got the story favorited by two people, and only one review. Pouty face. I love reviews, it gives me the incentive to keep going! Also, just had to give credit to a certain line. When Lily is asking James for help on her essay, the line that she quotes from the book is actually from the Harry Potter Lexicon. Yay them! Check out their site, it's really helpful actually. But anyways, please review and I hope you enjoyed!
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