“Just breathe. She is not going to murder you, just torture you,” I told myself as I later that evening stood outside the Common-room Lily shared with James. I never understood why the Head Boy and Girl got their own Common-room as well as private dormitories, not to mention access to the Prefects’ bathroom which I too was allowed into this year. Ofcourse being friends with a prefect, in my case Lily, had its perks so I had used the infamous bathroom many times in the past, but this year I wasn’t going to sneak in.
I took a deep breath and knocked on the wooden door. When no one opened after 10 seconds had passed I turned around to leave, only to come face to face with James.
“Hi,” I said awkwardly.
“Visiting Lily?” James asked politely, though his face didn’t show the same kindness it had when I had met him as a kid.
“I thought I would just pop in,” I told him casually. He raised an eyebrow.
“It’s after curfew,”
You knew something was wrong with the world when James Potter started lecturing you on school rules, so I gave him a disbelieving stare.
“Are you going to let me in or give me detention?” I finally asked.
James let out a groan and gave the password to the sculpture next to the door.
The Head’s Common-room looked similar to the Gryffindor Common-room, with a big fireplace and several of couches and chairs surrounding, to my left was two staircases which I assumed led up to Lily and James’ rooms. The only significant difference between this room and the Gryffindor Common-room was the size; the Gryffindor Common-room was much larger.
“Lily! You have a visitor,” James shouted up one of the staircases before flinging himself into one the comfortable chairs. I had hoped that James would have went to his own room before Lily showed up but he seemed to have other plans – I assumed listening to our conversation was one of them.
Lily came down a few minutes later wearing a nightgown, and I felt guilty for coming this late. She immediately sensed that Matthew Cunningham was the reason for my visit and practically ran to my side.
“What did he say? Is he going to ask me?”
“Who is going to ask you?” James said peeking up from the chair.
“Come on, don’t let me hanging,” She ignored James completely.
“Well,” I started. I hadn’t actually thought the conversation through; I only knew I wanted to be the one telling her myself instead of her hearing it from others.
“Did he know who I was?”
“He met you before so ofcourse he knows who you are,” I said referring to the trial.
“But did he say if he wanted to ask me?” Lily looked at me optimistic. I took another deep breath.
“He asked me,” I blurted out, hoping she would understand.
“Asked you what?”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Shut up James. Effie, what did he ask?” I took yet another mouthful of air and closed my eyes.
“He asked me out,”
There was no immediate reaction and I kept my eyes closed for what seemed like a minute, prepared for a slap in the face. When I finally opened my eyes I wanted to be a mouse for the first time in my life so I could hide, because Lily looked ready to kill me.
“WHAT!” Lily screamed, her face as red as her hair.
“He misunderstood,” I said in a low voice not sure if Lily heard me.
“I asked you to mention me, not date him,”
“I’m not dating him,” I said defensive.
“You are going on a date with him, it is the same,” Lily crossed her arms, and I suddenly felt like a puppy who had peed on the floor.
“I didn’t want to. I started rambling about you,” I started, making sure she knew I did mention her. “But he thought I was nervous and asked me out because he thought I was going to ask him,”
“You are unbelievable, Effie,” She threw her hands up.
“Can someone tell me who asked Effie out,” James repeated, he sounded annoyed but both Lily and I ignored him.
“What happened to ‘I’m not going to date another Quidditch player’? What happened to Remus?” She raised her voice during the last part and I instantly wanted to drown myself.
“Remus? What has he got to do with this?” James asked.
“She wanted to ask him out,” Will someone please kill me now.
I hid my face in my hands as James started laughing; no doubt he would spill the beans to Remus and his other friends, if not the whole school. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone knew I had a crush on Remus Lupin by lunch tomorrow, and if this would be like any other Hogwarts rumour then I would be obsessed with Remus by the time for Hogsmeade.
“I can just tell him I have changed my mind,” I offered to Lily who still looked ready to kill me.
“Who? Remus?” James managed to get out through his laughter.
“Matthew Cunningham, you daft,” James’ expression changed as soon as the words left my mouth.
“You wanted to go out with that jerk,” James had stopped laughing and was looking at Lily, who looked at him with shock, as his face turned into a frown. I had known James since we were 6 and I had never seen him so serious before, not even when he was meddling with the Slytherins, and never had he actually hissed at Lily.
“He is not a jerk,” I said in defence as Lily seemed to have lost her tongue. James rolled his eyes at me.
“He is a bigger player than Sirius,” he said knowledgeable. I wondered how James would know anything about Matthew as I had never seen them together less alone talk. James seemed to guess my thoughts because he continued, “I lived in the same dorm as him for 6 years, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire population of girls have had their round,”
“As if Sirius hasn’t had them up there before,” I snorted.
“It is not Sirius you are going out with so I don’t care,”
“But doesn’t that make him a jerk too,” I said and smirked.
“They are two different guys,”
“And yet, you just compared them,”
I hadn’t noticed that James had stood up and was standing threateningly with inches away from me, looking murderous. For the third time this year, Lily had to interfere in an argument. She moved in between us with her face towards me.
“Do you mind leaving,” She said with a firm voice. I looked at her perplexed before nodding and turning around. Just as I reached the door I called out for her, she was standing at the bottom of one of the staircases with her back against me.
“I’ll call off the date,” I told her quietly. Both James and her spun around to look at me. “I can always blame it on Quidditch,”
I noticed Lily smiling before I closed the door, and felt a little more relaxed.
When I reached the Gryffindor Tower and told the password to the Fat Lady, I was surprised to see that the Common-room was still swarming with students. It was well past 10 in the evening and normally people went to bed early on school nights, but because the Hogsmeade trip was only two days away, people weren’t so interested in sleeping. I noticed a group of boys’ playing cards by a table in the back and walked towards them with great determination.
“Hi Effie, want to join,” A short haired 5th year asked when he noticed me. I shook my head and tried to get Matthew’s attention. He finally spotted my fanatic hand movements and headed over to the window where I was.
“About Saturday,” I said after he had asked what was wrong. “I’m not sure it is such a good idea,”
“I thought you wanted to go,” he looked confused at the sudden change of heart.
“I did,” I lied. “But after doing some thinking, I realized that with me being captain it wouldn’t be such a good idea,”
“Are you afraid of more tension on the team?” He smirked. I nodded and was glad he understood.
“But if you want another date, I have a cute friend,” I told him after he had excused himself to go back to his game.
“Is it the cute red haired girl?” Matthew asked hopeful.
“That would be the one. She is not taking anyone and I know she wouldn’t mind,” In fact, I thought to myself, she would die of happiness.
“I’ll ask her then. See you, captain,” He saluted and went back to the waiting boys. I headed in the direction of the girl’s staircase, catching a pair of honey-brown eyes on the way. I was suddenly reminded of the fact that James knew about Remus and speeded up my pace hoping to fall and break my neck in the process, but no such luck.
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