Chapter 1 : Chapter 1: Smitten at Seventeen
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Chapter 1: Smitten at Seventeen
Lily Evans leaned close into the mirror as she applied a thin layer of mascara to her eyelashes, her dazzling green eyes now more accentuated than usual. Today was her seventeenth birthday, and even though she was now legally of age to perform magic, she still preferred some things the old-fashioned Muggle way. She glanced at the clock casually and jumped. It was almost eight o'clock. Her best friend Alice would have no sympathy for her being late to her very own birthday dinner, especially since she had legally been able to use magic all day.
The calendar on the wall screamed at her, "Don't forget your birthday dinner with Alice and her 'great catch of a date, Frank Longbottom!" Lily laughed, having forgotten that Alice had managed to snag one of the most distinguished guys in their year right before school had ended. The calendar now read August 7th, 1977. In a mere few weeks Lily would be starting her 7th year of Hogwarts. It seemed like only yesterday she was just getting her first Hogwarts letter…
"You ought to quit daydreaming…or you'll irritate Alice…she's got about as much ability in that charm work as you do and you know it!" warned the clock on her wall. It always had a way of convincing her to get a move on.
Lily rushed downstairs. She was wearing a most becoming little black dress under her robes and stilettos that were making her mad dash to the front door far from easy. Her curls of dark red hair fell at her shoulders softly, much to the dismay of Petunia Evans who sat on the couch brooding in her sister's wake. She couldn't help but retort, "Are you leaving out the front door? Aren't you a fully fledged freak today? Freaks know how to appear and disappear out of thin air , don't they?"
Lily held her tongue, but instead she gave her sister a look that said , Do we really need to get into this now?
"Lily, you look quite becoming tonight! Hot date?" Lily's mother had just entered in from the kitchen. She smiled and gave Lily a hug and a kiss while running her hands through a few curls in a motherly and admiring sort of way. She continued, "Well it's really none of my business ; I understand you're a grown-up witch today—and the prettiest I've ever seen of course. At least you've managed to do something with your life." Petunia shifted uncomfortably on the couch behind her Mother, muttering something angrily under her breath.
"Thank you, Mum…really , though, I must be going. I'm already running late, and Alice won't be happy. She made reservations. Love you." She kissed her mom on the cheek, wiping away the lipstick smudge. "Sorry, Mum, I think I'll always like doing my makeup the old fashioned way, so I'll be wiping away lipstick for eternity. Bye now."
Petunia rolled her eyes as Lily walked out the front door, clearly exasperated that she wasn't flaunting her magic in every free minute she had.
Lily would have gladly Apparated from her room to Hogsmeade, but she didn't want to give her sister another reason to hate her. Lily hated being outcast by someone in her own family for being who she was. It was bad enough that everyone in the wizarding world was choosing sides…conflicts reported in the news everyday….people starting to get hurt…
She tried to block these sad and disturbing thoughts from her head as she Apparated to Hogsmeade, appearing in front of Madam Puddifoot's small café. She was glad it was warm outside, because her little black dress would hardly be weather appropriate if it were any colder out side (it showed quite the enticing amount of skin without being risqué). She was also glad she didn't walk into Madam Puddifoot's looking like a complete dog, because sitting there was James Potter and if she was going to be caught dead looking less than flawless, James Potter would be the last person to see her! She flushed instantly as she saw him, although she was not exactly sure where this need for a constant state of perfectionism around him came.
Frank, Alice, and James were all staring at heras she stood in the doorway, motionless. Numerous thoughts were running through her head, almost making it spin. Alice was rolling her eyes, knowing immediately what had kept her so long. No witch looked as stunning as Lily after putting hours of epic Muggle-effort into their appearance. James seemed to notice , too, because his gaze towards Lily was that of awe, and somewhat hungry. Lily was sure the last time she had seen a man look like that when the latest Nimbus model was on display at Quality Quidditch Supplies.
Frank sat smirking at James, the expression on his face far too priceless. He looked desperately as though he wished to tease him just a bit, but with the glances he was passing back and forth with Alice, it looked like they were having too much fun to disturb him.
Lily stepped forward from the door awkwardly, returning James' stare. There was something different about him; she couldn't quite put her finger on it. He didn't seem to have that immature and boyish look about him anymore; maybe it was just that he wasn't around his usual friends that brought out this side of him. His untidy had been combed down with what seemed to be great effort (perhaps even magical effort), and he wore a handsomely cut suit that even some Muggle men couldn't have pulled off so well.
As Lily approached closer to the table, James stood up. For whatever reason this seemed to startle Lily and she turned her heel and tumbled to the ground. The stiletto on her strappy sandal was broken clean off.
James hurried over, gently touching her shoulder. "Lily, are you okay?" James was only inches from her face, he smelled very masculine, and if possible, seemed to approve in image upon closer inspection.
"Y-Yes…I'm fine." Lily blinked a few times and tried to move her ankle as if to stand, but cringed. James didn't buy the face she made and backed up a few feet on his hands and knees to meet her ankle, not even caring that the whole restaurant was staring.
He gently moved his hand towards her ankle and looked up to her face with calm eyes . He asked, "Do you mind? I want to see if it's broken." Lily shook her head silently, her green eyes watching him intensely. His hands were gentle on her ankle as he worked it gingerly in his hand. He moved it carefully this way and that, looked up at her and proclaimed, “I'm pretty sure it's just sprained. If you trust me, I know a spell that will fix it in an instant."
Lily scarcely breathed, and watched him with her bright green eyes. She wanted to say something to him, to give him her blessing , but could only manage a weak nod. He pulled out his long mahogany wand and pointed it at her ankle, a glow emerging from the tip. He pulled his wand away and met her intense look. "Does it feel better?" Lily moved her ankle and did not feel the pain anymore. She nodded to him again and then peered at her broken stiletto. He hastily added, "Oh! Let me fix that real quick. Reparo."
"Th-Thanks, James." It was James' turn to look at her curiously. She had just called him by his first name. The last time he could remember, she had always been 'Evans' and he was always 'Potter'. He stood briskly and offered his hand to help her up. Lily hastily slipped on her repaired shoe and took his hand. He lightly pulled her to her feet, and still unsteady on her heels, she fell right into him, throwing her arms around his neck to prevent herself from toppling over once again. His hands instinctively went to grab her at the waist, as if catching a porcelain doll. Their faces were inches from each other once again, his apparent and distinctive masculine smell enchanting her in ways magic never could.
Alice and Frank smirked at each other at the nearby table, watching them. Lily straightened herself, hastily pulled on her black dress, and smiled meekly at James. "Thanks again." She let out a weak laugh, and James moved to pull out her chair for her.
As James moved to around to sit across from Lily, Alice leaned over to her and whispered, "I didn't know we were having dinner-theater for your birthday. I thought I was supposed to plan these things."
"You've brought James along; I think you've played your part well enough, Alice."
Author's Note: I would appreciate any reviews or feedback you're willing to give! Thanks for reading!
Also a big, big thanks to my Beta, Foundrinapenguin. It has taken me years (I’m not exaggerating…) to find a Beta so look for changes in the future!