Chapter 4 : Oh Merlin
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. . .
The next week passed without incident. Well, besides the brilliant hand-shaped bruise that Sirius sported on his cheek. See I got a little huffy when I found out he was Padfoot, but what can I say? Nobody tells Lily Evans to wear her skirt shorter and go along on his merry way unscathed. Plus, Peter blabbed that Sirius had received quite a ranting from Potter later on for “hitting on his woman.” I think Peter later regretted telling me this.
Either way, things were going alright, despite the nasty looks the Slytherins had been giving me lately. So I could be found in a relatively happy mood as I walked down the corridors, rummaging through my bag for a spare quill. Hearing a noise, I glanced up in time to see a small form barreling towards me. I barely had time to register faint shock as the petite person smacked into me, wrapping its arms around me in a tight embrace.
“Oh, Lily, you’ll never guess what’s happened!” said form practically squealed. A small laugh bubbled out of me as I got over the surprising ambush and put my hands on the tiny shoulders, pushing the person back so I could get a good look at her face.
“No, you’re probably right. I’ll never guess,” I said with a smile. “What happened, Alice?” She was quivering, and her face was lit up with a bright grin. She laughed and spun out of my grip, practically doing a victory dance in the hall.
“Frank, Lily! He did it, he asked! You said he would, and I said here come the vultures, but they didn’t come and he did, he did, he did!” She stopped dancing and stared at me, waiting for my reaction with a smile on her face. I blinked at her.
Alice rolled her eyes, and gave me a look. “Frank! He asked me to Hogsmeade!” I gasped.
“He did? Why didn’t you tell me?” I laughed as she sighed in exasperation and gave her a huge hug. “I’m so happy for you, Alice!” She grinned back at me just as a very familiar voice came from behind.
“What’s the good news?”
I spun around with wide eyes to see Potter standing directly behind me with an amused look on his face. “Potter!” I managed to squeak out. He raised an eyebrow at me.
“Don’t get too excited to see me, Evans,” he said lazily. Recovering from his sneaking up on me, I managed to summon up a good glare.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Potter. I’m not.”
He laughed as if to say “sure you aren’t” and I felt an angry flush creep into my cheeks.
“For your informa-“ I started before he put a hand up and cut me off.
“Evans, really, I don’t want to argue. I just wanted to ask you for a favor. Head stuff,” he said with a shrug. I gaped at him, surprised again at having been cut off in what would have been a very impressive display of verbal attack.
“I—what? Oh!” I stuttered. Potter struggled to keep a straight face. I shot him another glare and spun around to see Alice still watching us with a thoughtful expression on her face.
“Alice I better see what he needs. It might be important, though I doubt it. Anyways, you’d better tell me all about Frank later!” I gave her a stern look and she shook out of her reverie, grinning hugely at me. She gave me a quick hug and looked straight into my eye, as if trying to convey a message.
“I’ll be sure to tell you all about it. Later. But don’t rush yourself. Take as much time as you need,” she said slyly with a wink before laughing and skipping off. I stared confusedly after her retreating form. What was she trying to say?
“Okay, Evans. I’ll get straight to the point,” Potter said and I turned to face him, placing my hands on my hips.
He took in my posture and sighed, running a hand through his messy hair. “Walk with me?” he asked wearily. I blinked in surprise.
“Er, okay,” I replied slowly. I began walking down the corridor and he easily kept pace beside me. I was painfully aware of how close we were, and cleared my throat awkwardly. “So…what sort of Head stuff did you want to ask about?”
He remained silent for a moment as we turned a corner. I glanced over at him and saw his eyebrows were furrowed, and he was gazing at the ground in deep concentration.
“Okay, like I said, straight to the point. I can’t do the rounds tonight. I really need you to do them for me,” he stated bluntly. I stopped walking abruptly, anger sweeping through me. So far as Heads, we had been sharing work pretty equally (a surprising feat). I should have known that it would only have taken him so long to mess something up in that twisted little mind of his. Potter warily turned to look at me.
“What?” I asked venomously. He sighed and looked straight into my eyes, again running his hand through his hair.
“I just…Evans, please,” he said desperately. My eyes narrowed in suspicion.
“What could you possibly be doing that’s more important than your Head duties? I did the rounds last night, Potter. Believe it or not, I also have essays to right, and I don’t want to get behind!” My voice had slowly climbed in volume until I was practically shouting. I didn’t know why this was making so angry but somehow it seemed like his missing rounds just had something to do with another silly prank.
“Surprisingly,” he replied calmly, “I don’t either. Though I probably will anyways. Evans, I need your help. I have to do…something tonight, and the halls can’t be left unsupervised.” I stared at him, breathing deeply and trying to calm myself. All he did was stare back, his hazel eyes pleading. We stood like that for another minute, until he finally looked away from my penetrating stare.
“And if I choose not to help?” I asked in a low, cold voice. I watched him lift his gaze to meet my own, and I shuddered involuntarily, breaking my cool demeanor, at the tortured expression in his eyes. It looked like a mask had been removed, and all that was James was shining through.
“Then…I guess that it would be possible for my badge to be removed.”
I blinked in surprise, and I could sense the shock on my face but I did nothing to hide it. “You’d sacrifice your badge for one stupid prank?” I asked incredulously. “But that’s ridiculous! Why would you do that?”
“It’s not a prank, Evans,” he said slowly. “But it’s important enough that yes, I would sacrifice my badge for it.”
I looked away, confused. He would sacrifice his badge for this…something. He could be bluffing…but could anybody lie like that? He was a Marauder. But not a liar. No, I didn’t believe that. Why didn’t I believe that? That confused me all the more, and as I grappled with myself internally, I could feel James’ eyes on me, just watching.
His Head Boy badge; he would give that up. For some reason, I believe he actually enjoyed it, despite the fact that he joked about it being better use in Remus’ hands. It might really upset him if it were taken away. And then who would get it? It could be a Slytherin. I shuddered. That was reason enough to help him keep it. Or is it? I sighed and then looked back to James.
“Fine, Potter,” I said and relief showed clear on his face. I held up a finger. “But, this will not go unpaid. You will do two rounds to make up for this one, because I still have to get two essays done by morning.”
“Of course,” he said, and waved a hand to dismiss my request. Then he stared at me with a calculating look. I squirmed under his examination and looked away again. I waited for a few seconds, and all I heard was the quiet sound of my own breathing. Suddenly I felt a warm finger under my chin, and my face was tilted up until I was looking into the eyes of James Potter.
I simply stared at him, eyes wide. My heartbeat quickened and I found myself unable to look away from the unique hazel that could only be found in James’ eyes. A few pounding heartbeats later, a wide grin spread over his face and I shook my head, breaking the spell and forcing James to pull his hand back.
“You’re welcome,” I stated tersely to the ground. With that I spun and stalked off down the hallway, but not before hearing a faint but happy “thank you” from behind me.
“Lily, over here!” I heard a familiar voice call as I stepped back into the common room, still mulling over what had happened earlier. I looked up to see Alice waving me over to the best chairs that were situated by the fireplace. I walked over to her and dropped my bag next to the empty chair before sinking into it and smiling at my still exuberant friend.
“So?” she asked expectantly.
My eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “So what?”
“What happened with James?”
I stared at her in disbelief. She simply looked back with her eyebrows raised.
“James?” I asked. “Since when is it James instead of Potter?” She simply shrugged noncommittally. “Well then, nothing happened. Same old stuff; him shirking off his duties and me having to take over for him.” I conveniently skipped the…other stuff.
She scrutinized me and I stared back with a blank expression on my face. Anything else and she’d know I was lying. Alice could always tell.
“Alright…” she said hesitantly and I could tell she still had different thoughts. I hurried to change the subject and allowed a smile to come over my features.
“So…you and Frank! Tell me what happened! Wait, first off, where is Frank anyways?”
She grinned, letting the previous discussion go. “Okay, well I’ll answer your second question first I guess. He’s helping Professor Sprout in the greenhouses. Apparently a venomous tantacula isn’t looking well…or something like that, plants never really interested me. But for the more exciting stuff! I had been in the library working on a transfiguration project when he came up and sat at the table with me. Oh you’d never guess how nervous I was. My heart was pounding. But eventually we both relaxed and just started talking until Madame Pince kicked us out. Said we had been sitting there for too long. Which I thought was ridiculous seeing as you’re allowed to sit in there practically all day. No offense,” she added hastily, noticing my glare. “Anyways, we were walking out and I said I was going to go find you when he asked me to wait for a second. That made my heart start right up again. He was very nervous looking, which only intensified my own nervousness. But then he asked me to Hogsmeade, after much stuttering mind you, and I said yes! So we are going to Hogsmeade, Lily! You were right after all!” She grinned and stared into the fire, looking like she was somewhere else entirely. I smiled. Alice had been waiting for this for a long time.
“I’m so happy for you, Alice,” I said and then looked around at the dwindling amounts of students. “What time is it anyways?” At that moment however, Frank walked into the common room and Alice was out of her chair before I could have said “Frank.” I smiled, and decided it was time to start rounds. With a sigh, I pulled myself out of the chair, delivered my bag to the girls’ dormitories, and walked out of the common room.
With a yawn, I stumbled into the common room. Glancing at the clock on the wall I groaned. It was 11:30 and there were classes in the morning. As a result, the common room was completely empty. But I still had to write two essays.
Quietly, I snuck up to the dormitories and grabbed my bag without waking any of the girls sleeping inside and slipped back down to the common room. I curled into a ball on one of the good armchairs and began writing. Halfway through the first one, I yawned and glanced at the clock again with a groan. 12:30 in the morning. I squirmed uncomfortably. The heat from the fire had burned its way through my sweater, and I was roasting inside of it. After slipping upstairs and changing into a tank-top and some short shorts, I made my way downstairs again to write endlessly on the parchment about goblin wars.
“Lily,” a voice said softly. A warm hand touched my shoulder and I stirred, frowning. Reluctantly I opened my eyes and blinked blearily at my surroundings, feeling incredibly cold. I was curled up in an armchair by the dead fire, and I could see through the windows that the sun was just barely rising. The black darkness was now only a slightly lighter shade.
Confused, I looked at the hand on my shoulder and my eyes trailed up the arm it was attached to, up to the shoulders, neck and then face. My eyes widened.
I had fallen asleep as I was finishing my last essay. I was wearing only a tank-top, and very short shorts. And I had just been woken by none other than James Potter.
“Oh Merlin,” I squeaked.
Here is yet another pitiful cliffie attempt. You do realize by now that I'm horrible at them? Yes. Yes, you most likely do. =P Well anyways, here's the next chappie, and I hope it's at least SEMI-enjoyable. XD I know I'm horrible at updating, and I take forever. =[ Especially with Misplaced Trust. I really need to get another chapter out for that puppy! Well if you've managed to read this far, I commend you, and I hope you continue to endure the wretched story, for my own sanity. x] Review=happy!
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