Chapter 4 : Head Duties
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Chapter Four: Head Duties
"I'm not trying to criticise you," Lily tried to tell James patiently, "I'm just trying to make sure you understand your badge comes with responsibilities."
"Then why are we even having this conversation, if not for you to criticise me?" James yelled.
"Please, can we not yell?" Lily snapped. "Can we not have a conversation without an angry word, for one bloody time?"
James crossed his arms, infuriated. He nodded, only willing to try this once.
After a moment of deep breathing, James asked in a forcedly polite tone, "What are you trying to say, Evans, if you are not criticising me?"
Lily forced a smile. "Potter, I'm simply saying that you patrol with me at night and are willing to have a meeting every week and we are capable of talking about the things we need to do, but during the day, you seem to forget you're supposed to enforce the rules, not break them yourself."
James raised his hand and opened his mouth in protest.
Lily cut him off fluidly with two head shakes. "I don't mean to say you aren't allowed to break a few rules here and there, because that would be hypocritical. But you should stop fights, not encourage them. You won't necessarily have to take points if you feel it inappropriate, but send them to their Head of House in order to have their punishment duly given instead of ignoring it all together."
Lily waited for James response, and James didn't realize right away she was done.
"You're criticising me," James announced after another moment for thought.
Lily flung her hands in the air in frustration. "Fine, whatever. I'm criticising you! Are you happy now?!"
"Can we not have a conversation without an angry word?" James mocked.
"Grow up!" Lily yelled. "I was hoping, since we have to work together all bloody year, we could express our opinions maturely without all of this nonsense!"
"Mr Potter!" McGonagall snapped. "Put your arm down this instant!"
James complied, clenching his fist as he did.
"Miss Evans, you wanted a non-angry environment, but you couldn't keep it calm yourself. This just is not going to work. One of you will have to be changed," McGonagall told the pair, quickly scribbling something on a piece of parchment. She handed it to Lily and said, "The two of you, go see Dumbledore right away. He'll want to help sort this out."
"This is all your fault!" Lily hissed.
"Mine!" James protested. "You wanted to talk with McGonagall about our inability to actually talk without getting angry two weeks into the term!"
"Because we were going to kill each other!" Lily protested.
"Now you're going to get my badge revoked!" James came back at her with.
"I am not. You will not loose your badge-- McGonagall's just angry at us for being unable to cooperate."
"That's only because you've had this freakish personality change all of a ruddy second!"
"Now you're making excuses," Lily replied. "You didn't even want to be Head Boy in the first place, so I don't know why you're upset. You can break all the rules you want now because there's no example for you to set anymore."
"You're making unfair, unjust assumptions," James retorted. "And you're talking like I'm going to be replaced."
"You said it first," Lily told him, raising her hands in defensive innocence.
"You don't have to repeat it!" he snapped. "Why are you suddenly so different?"
"There's nothing different," Lily replied, her brow furrowing in confusion.
"There's everything different!" James shouted. "You're eating right again, you look like you've been sleeping, you're arguing with me again, and you look like something is just eating you alive!"
"You know what happened," Lily said. "You read it in my diary!"
"But why have you suddenly switched from sullen and sad to active in your life?" James asked, pausing in the middle of the sentence to tell the gargoyle the password.
They walked up the stairs to Dumbledore's door. Pausing before knocking, Lily said, "I don't think that's any of your concern."
"Come in," Dumbledore called, halting James' response.
"Ah, Mr Potter, Miss Evans. What brings you here this fine afternoon when you could be outdoors?" Dumbledore asked, gesturing to the seats in front of his desk.
"Professor McGonagall sent us," Lily said, handing him the parchment.
"Sit down, sit down," Dumbledore said after a moment, looking up from McGonagall's notes. "I see that the two of you can't work together as well as I had hoped. Professor McGonagall has made her suggestions." He paused. "They are not in your favor, Mr Potter."
"I didn't expect so, sir," James said, ducking his head.
"I, however, don't feel your badge need be revoked to change this. Miss Evans," Dumbledore continued, turning to her. She looked absolutely frightened for a moment. "Oh, no fear, Miss Evans. You are in not question of your badge, either. I think we can work something out and still manage to keep the two of you working together."
They nodded, not looking at each other.
"From now on, the Heads' meetings will be conducted with me and we will see what can be done. For now, enjoy your weekend. I expect both of you to be here with reports about what's going on in the castle at ten o'clock sharp Saturday morning," Dumbledore said, looking at James specifically. "Until then."
The two were dismissed and they left, not bothering to say a word. Lily headed toward Gryffindor Tower and James went to the grounds, in search of a desperate change of mood.
"Prongsie!" Sirius yelled as James approached the lake. Emily's head was in Remus' lap, but Clare was nowhere in sight.
"Where's Clare?" he asked.
"Who knows?" Emily replied, staring at the clouds.
"Isn't she one of your best friends?" James asked, confused.
"Only as of this year." Emily sat up. "James, Lily and I only became friends because I started dating Remus. They were friends and it was remarkably easier to be friends with her than enduring being constantly out of the loop with their conversations. Sometimes, their intellectual talk can get a little over my head, but it would anyone's." She yawned. "Clare came with the package. It's not as though I don't love her, because I do very much, but Lily and Clare obviously weren't my first-choice friends." Emily laid back down and closed her eyes, contemplating an afternoon nap.
James nodded. Sirius pouted.
"I call your name and you only pay attention to Moony's girlfriend. I am insulted!"
"Hello to you, Padfoot," James said, rolling his eyes. He sat down next to his best mate.
"So what's going on?" Sirius asked. "Anything exciting with Miss Evans?"
James shoved him. "Ugh, don't remind me of her. Today was awful."
"That's a first," Peter said, climbing down from the tree. "He doesn't want anyone to say Lily's name."
James pulled his knees up to his chest and buried his face in them. "She practically accused me of abusing my privileges! And to boot she tried to get my badge revoked!"
"I think you need to rethink your view on what happened," Remus said. "Lily simply thinks you need to be as serious about your responsibilities during the day as you are at night. She doesn't want you to not be Head Boy anymore."
"And I think I need a really good prank. Something on Snivellius would be fine for me," James grumbled malevolently from his legs.
"I think that would be a terrible idea," Peter said after a few moments silence. It was the first time in the history they had been friends Peter had defied a prank request.
After blinking in awe, Sirius nodded. "Yeah, mate, I agree with Wormtail. You don't want to do anything else to piss off Evans."
"For once, Sirius is speaking sense. You cannot risk getting into any trouble. Dumbledore would replace you if you disregarded everything that happened today," Remus added.
"Oh, sod off," James mumbled, standing up and stalking away.
"Didn't he do that backwards?" Peter asked.
"Yep," Sirius said. "He's just that angry. Or maybe he's just going mad."
James muttered profanities under his breath as he stomped to Gryffindor Tower. He barked the password to the Fat Lady, who was disgruntled and irritated with him now. He threw himself down onto a couch over the back without checking to see if it was occupied. Unluckily, on top of a sleeping person.
"Oh, good sweet Merlin," a voice gasped from under him. James rolled to the ground and sat up. Lily was glaring at him. "Can't I have any peace from you?"
"Why must you always be where I want to?" he growled in return.
"I was sleeping here, fine and dandy, no one bothering me. Do you think it's funny to just leap over the backs of sofas onto someone's stomach? Does that make your day better?" Lily replied bitterly.
"God, you're so grumpy when you wake up!" James said, throwing his hands in the air. "Ugh, if I were your father, I would've died just to get away from you when you're woken up!"
He covered his mouth after the words were out, aware of what he just said.
"Fuck you, James Potter," Lily said darkly, her green eyes clouding. "Fuck you."
James sat there, hazel eyes wide, jaw agape, surprised at her language, surprised at how angry she was. He didn't mean to say it, but he had. He didn't bother to make a sexual comment or retort. He just watched as she stormed away.
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