Chapter 7 : Of Pesky Prefects, Night Sneaking and Enchanted Mirrors
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Previously (For Those Who Have Forgotten): After finding a vial of what should have been Felix Felicis (with the assistance of Lily Evans), Sirius gives his prize to James in an effort to achieve his goal of winning a date with Lily. After sorting out a problem with First Years and the Giant Squid (by showing them Hagrid’s Blast-Ended Skwerts) and helping Remus out with a problem (involving turning Peter into a block of cheese), James eventually finds Lily in Hogsmeade…but she’s changed. After a series of almost embarrassing displays of obscene affection, James sneaks away from what would be his dream girl. After a fight with Remus—who spent most of his time sucking face with Lola Turpin—James had noticed his luck was not quite working the way it should. James then runs into McGonagall, who shows him the First Years, who had been badly injured by the Blast-Ended Skwerts—in a resulting meeting with Dumbledore, James loses his Head Boy badge. Confronting Evans (and briefly Sirius) at dinner, James seems to have used up all his luck and more.
“…and then there were pink mice! Everywhere! I was surrounded—”
I’d heard this story a dozen times.
Do you know how irritating Peter Pettigrew’s voice is after a dozen times of hearing the same story?
No, I can’t imagine you do—I can’t imagine you would think it sounded like a cheese grater being scrapped mercilessly against a chalkboard over and over again. Needless to say, I was close to shoving a quill into my eye socket.
“—then Evans’ cat, the filthy thing, somehow got into the dormitory—”
Okay, enough was enough. I stood up, my head pounding uncomfortably. “I’m going to the kitchens,” I cut across quickly. Peter sent me a mild glare for interrupting his story but continued chatting to Remus, who was listening with rapt attention.
As began making my way out the door, I felt Sirius’ eyes follow me across the room. “Prongs, do you—?”
“No,” I spat shortly. Sirius had been vying for my attention—or perhaps more accurately, my forgiveness for the entire afternoon and quite frankly I was becoming rather fed up with him.
I snatched up my Invisibility Cloak from the hook behind the door, rummaged around in my trunk for a moment before I finally found the Marauder’s Map and quickly exited the room, slamming the door loudly behind me.
Okay, so I still wasn’t quite over the events of the day.
Despite having the Invisibility Cloak, the walk down to the Common Room was nerve wracking—I could see that sop of a Prefect, Marty Boot, obnoxiously twiddling his thumbs by the fire. Boot hated me with a burning passion for reasons not quite clear to me—so I pulled a few pranks, caused a bit of hassle for him?
I couldn’t resist—pulling my wand from my robes, I pointed it at the fire and whispered a quick spell, as quietly as I could. A burst of orange sparks erupted from the end of my wand, startling Boot; but, before he could so much get in a “Who’s there!?”, the fire had erupted into life, spitting bits of tinder as it began shouting insults in a deep voice.
“You tosser! You enormous waste of space! You soppy little twit! You—“
I chuckled lightly as Boot’s eyes widened and he scrambled back, mouth gapping like a fish. Though reluctant to miss Boot’s obvious terror, I moved quickly out of the common, opening and closing the portal as stealthily as I could, before he could figure it out—Boot was a clever twit despite his obvious incompetency when it came to picking enemies.
The castle was cold and dark, the only light provided by fires flickering in their brackets. I cast a quick muffling charm on my shoes, allowing me to move silently down the stone corridors. I quickly glanced at the Map, scanning for teachers in my path on the way to the kitchens, when I noticed something out of the ordinary—Lily Evans’ heart shaped (yes, heart shaped; I was young, alright?) dot was not in her dormitory as it should be. No, it was on the third floor, in an unused classroom.
I quickly weighed the pros and cons for going to find her—granted she would be a bit softer towards me, considering her nasty little prank from today. But I could let it fester for a while, let the guilt really eat her up so she would come to me.
I scoffed noiselessly. Who was I fooling? Quickly scanning the Map for the quickest route to the third floor, I began to make my way to Lily Evans.
Really, the castle looked all the same at night so there would be no point in describing this particular corridor to you. I hurried down the long passageway, eyes on the Map. I was far away and my mind was reeling with the possibilities this night could bring me.
A muffled sob broke the silence of the corridor, sounding distant. I paused, listening. There it was again—it was delicate, soft whimper muffled by the slightly ajar door a little ways ahead. Bracing myself, I approached the door with caution, gently pushing it open. As suspected, it was an old classroom, dusty with disuse, and the first thing I recognised was the splash of red crouched over in the middle of the room, in front of a gilded mirror.
I frowned—if I was expecting anything, it was not this. “Lily?” I asked incredulously, slipping the Cloak off my shoulders. What in Merlin’s name was she doing here?
More sobbing and no response. I moved closer, avoiding desks covered in dustsheets. It really was filthy and it didn’t quite make sense—what was the bloody point of house elves then? Lazy little blighters probably think they—
The mirror was a tall one, well surpassing my own height. The frame was golden and ornate, with words inscribed into it. Peering closer—which was slightly more difficult than one might think, given Lily was crouched in front so I had to come in from the side—I strained my eyes to read the inscription.
Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.
My jaw dropped and I took a step back in shock. The Mirror of Erised? I had heard of it—every pureblood child had; my parents told me stories about it when I was a kid—but I thought it was the thing of legend. I never once thought it to be real; and I had never would have considered Hogwarts to be it’s hiding place.
Though…now that I thought about it, it seemed obvious—Dumbledore was a genius; more loopy than the Whomping Willow, but a genius nonetheless.
Slowly recovering from my shock, I cautiously approached Evans, who was still sobbing silently on the floor. Her eyes were fixed on the image before her, though, even as the tears streamed down her face.
“Lily,” I said softly, “Lily, what do you see?”
She looked at me, eyes glassy and red-rimmed—I had never seen her this out of control. Hunched over on the stone flagstones, shaking with the force of her sobs, she’d never looked so beautiful. She shook her head, a sob escaping her throat.
Wait. Only one thing would make her this upset. My jaw dropped as it hit me like a hippogriff to the face. HOLY MERLIN’S PYJAMAS.
Lily was seeing me.
“Lily,” I said gravely, trying to mask my pure joy at the thought, “you see me, don’t you?”
This got a reaction. She stared at me in horror. It was then I knew for sure; Merlin’s beard. I was Lily Evans’ hearts desire!
It might have been the greatest moment of my life.
I crouched down beside her, placing an understanding arm around her shoulders. “I know it’s hard to accept, Lily, but you see, everyone has a weak spot for me; Merlin, I think if we got the entire female population in here, at least half—maybe more, who am I to judge!—would see what you are seeing right now—”
Suddenly, there was a stinging pain across my cheek as a hand lashed out to slap me across the cheek.
“Oi!” I yelped, clutching my face. “What was that for?! You’re not supposed to go around slapping your hearts desire, Lily, it really doesn’t work in your favor—”
“Shut up, Potter!” she hissed, towering over me. Her face was etched with pure rage; she looked quite terrifying actually, her red head mussed and her face all botchy. Kind of like a banshee. “You have no idea what you’re are talking about!”
“What!? Of course I do! I come in here, see you crying—you were obviously upset! What else could have you seen?”
She narrowed her eyes. “You don’t have a clue what I saw,” she spat, her voice venomous and growing louder which each word, “and if you took the time to pull her head out of your arse, you’d figure out the entire world does not revolve around your fat head!”
Before I could get a word in, she was gone in a swish of robes and flair that only Evans could produce.
I swore under my breath. Only I could have buggered that up.
A/N: So I totally lost it for this story for a while, but I am somewhat pleased with how this chapter turned out. Now thank yous; thank you so much to those who nominated this story in the Dobbys! I really can’t describe how it felt to see my story being nom’d. Also, thanks to those at the Golden Snitches who voted this for Best Marauder Era (which it won!!)—I almost died when I saw it won :D
Again, sorry for the wait and thanks for reading! If you have the chance, please leave a review and let me know what you thought :)
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by Eavan Shea