Chapter 4 : Muggle Movies
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Lily retreated to the Potion room, even thought there was no need to keep an eye on the polyjuice potion, and the instructions had explicitly said ‘leave it alone’. She figured the potion was better company then James, as he had barely been able to contain his excitement about their upcoming ‘date’.
He had been bothering her nonstop about it, asking any question he could think of just as an excuse to talk to her. She thought he was probably more knowledgeable about films then she was now, and didn’t want him to start asking questions about other things now that the gates of conversation had been opened. She knew, from past experience, that anything she said really would be used against her and that Potter read way too much into any little comment.
He had even asked if he could hug her on the date to keep up the pretence that they were a couple. After all, he had said, they had hugged before, so it was no big deal. She really wished she hadn’t hugged him when Gryffindor had won the cup. He had just looked so happy, and she was so proud of him...
Realising she was actually thinking about Potter she went to the bookshelf and pulled out a random book. She had come to this room to get away from him. He had promised not to bother her while she was working, after all.
The old, crumbling textbook in her hands was an A-Z of magic. She went to the polyjuice potion section, and swept her eyes over it, but it was nothing she hadn’t read before.
She flicked backwards a few pages, before one title caught her eyes.
Everything else she had read on patronuses focused on the incantation, expecto patronum, and its ability to ward of dementors. This page however, seemed to be all about the actual form of a patronus. And Lily was quite intrigued.
A patronus takes the shape of a magical creature or non magical animal. No patronus on record has been in the shape of a human though several house elf shapes half been recorded.
Though research has been great in this field, it is still generally unknown why people have certain forms for their patronuses. Usually animagi forms (though electable) reflect patronus forms.
Three theories are generally accepted as possible explanations though it is possible that they are all monstrously incorrect.
1) Patronus shapes are a reflection of the persons’ soul or ‘inner animal spirit’ and reflects greatly on the persons characteristics.
2) The patronus form is subconsciously chosen by the witch or wizard due to their desire to have that animal or creature as their patronus.
3) The patronus is random and there are no reasons.
Cases have been reported of patronuses changing due to great emotional strain and couples having similar patronuses. Many believe, that if someone has mate to your patronus as their patronus, then he/she is your soul mate.
Lily thought she’d never read the word ‘patronus’ quite so many times. It was certainly interesting, but the thing about matching patronuses worried her. She knew the true reason she didn’t want to be with James Potter and her patronus telling her they were soul mates did nothing to change that.
Sirius entered the room and Lily hastily flipped back to the polyjuice potion page.
“Reading as always!”
Sirius laughed, moving past Lily to quickly jump backwards onto the desktop. Sitting casually beside the potion, he swung his legs back and forth.
“I suppose you want me to tell you what to do in a cinema?” Lily folded her arms, amused at his happy go lucky attitude.
“Lily, please,” he said sarcastically. “I know what to do on a date.”
“Oh, I bet you do,” Lily chuckled.
“Maybe you and James could learn a thing or two,” he nodded at her. “I’d teach him some of my moves... But then you wouldn’t stand a chance, and that’s not really fair.”
Lily shook her head and went to the bookshelf, looking for more research on where to find the strangest ingredients.
“What’s up with you two, anyway?” Sirius asked, standing up onto the table and reaching at the ceiling.
“Did James ask you to ask me that?” Lily quipped, instantly on her guard.
“Prongs never asks anyone for help,” Sirius said. “One of the first things you realise when you hang out with him for a while. You’ll notice, I’m sure. But I know he needs help...I want to get you two together, if only to stop his whining.”
“He’ll get over me eventually,” she breathed.
“You sure about that?” Sirius asked. Lily chose to ignore the question.
That night, the three students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ventured into the muggle world of dating. Mia met them at the door, and the four awkwardly bought tickets, popcorn and drinks, and then shuffled into the theatre. Lily and Sirius were on opposite ends of the group and he looked a bit worried but followed Mia’s lead when it came to sitting and waiting for something to happen. Mia was keen to get the conversation going as they waited for the lights to dim.
“So how long have you two been dating?” Mia asked, looking at James and Lily.“A few weeks,” James said. At the same time, Lily answered.
“This is our first date, too.”
They looked at each other.
“Well, we’ve been together a few weeks, but this is our first official date,” James improvised.
“Right, our first official date,” Lily smiled at Mia. She then whispered to James. “You know it’s not really, right?”
“Sorry, didn’t catch that,” James said cheekily as he put his arm along Lily’s shoulders.
“Potter!” She whispered angrily as the lights started to dim. Mia and Sirius both leaned forward and craned their necks to see what was going on. Mia looked confused, Sirius looked frantic.
“You, you caught some of my hair,” Lily said, smiling though gritting her teeth slightly. “Sweetheart.”
“Sorry, angel,” James said easily, sweeping her hair up and letting it fall over the back off the seat. He hugged her and kissed her softly on the cheek. “Better?”
“Much,” she said smiling sweetly, stomping hard on his foot, making him wince.
The film began. Sirius didn’t bother paying attention to it, he was too busy putting on his date moves which he had honed over time to perfection. He wrapped one arm around Mia, and then casually stroked one of her soft, bare arms with his thumb.
Mia didn’t acknowledge it, but she didn’t shake his hand off, either. Sirius knew he was half way there. Time for step two. Moving the hand down to her waist, casually slipping a few fingers under her shirt.
As he moved his hand down, he felt a sharp pain in his elbow. Biting his lip to stop himself from crying out in pain, he looked down between Mia and himself and saw the stiff armrest he hadn’t known was there and had just whacked his funny bone on. Mia looked at him like he was crazy, as far as he could tell in the darkened theatre. She could have been looking at him as though he smelt bad, as far as he could tell.
“Are you okay?” She whispered.
“Fine,” he said back just a little too loudly.
The film passed, and the four filed out. Sirius shook his head at James, clearly worried the date wasn’t going well. James, for his part, was incredibly happy. He’d just had his arm around Lily for an hour and a half. He was also limping, but he didn’t care.
“Come on, Lily, lets visit the powder room,” Mia quipped, pulling Lily towards the ladies. Sirius and James glanced at each other.
“Well, we’ll just wait for you here then,” he called after them. Then he turned to James. “This girls too hot, Prongs. I’ve got no game tonight.”
As soon as they got to the ladies room, Mia immediately burst into tears.
“He’s too good looking for me,” she said, shaking her head.
“No, you’re beautiful,” Lily said, wiping the tears from Mia’s face with toilet paper. “He obviously likes you, he asked you out didn’t he?”
“He called the day after I gave him my number. I thought he must have been, I don’t know, desperate, or something. But he’s so gorgeous, he could have anyone. Why me?”
“Because he likes you!”
“I don’t know,” Mia said again. “I kind of want to get out of here.”
“What? No, don’t go, just...um...you haven’t even kissed him yet!” Lily improvised, for some reason she found herself the responsibility of Sirius’ happiness, and started to panic.
“Maybe I’ll catch up with him another time and take care of that,” Mia laughed. “But it’s like...if I look at him for too long, it hurts. He’s so beautiful, it hurts. Does that make any sense?”
“Yes, of course,” Lily answered. She wasn’t lying. She’d heard those exact words from at least five girls back at Hogwarts. She herself seemed to be the only one who didn’t find Sirius attractive at all. He was technically good looking of course, but she just didn’t get affected by him.
“Ok, well, I’m leaving,” Mia said, looking quite frantic.
“No, don’t,” Lily started to protest, but Mia was out the door, as if she’d disapparated. “I guess muggles can make themselves disappear. What will I tell Sirius?”
Lily glanced around the empty powder room.
“And now I’m talking to myself,” she said, nodding at her reflection in the mirror.
Meanwhile, James had just revealed something to Sirius.
“You brought your wand?” Sirius asked, his eyes widening. “We’re muggles, remember?”
“Of course I brought my wand, and I’m guessing you did too?” James argued.
“Why would you bring your wand?” Sirius said, almost sincerely.
“You know why. The thing that’s going on that all the marauders know about because of your family, that none of us ever talk about,” James whispered, looking around as if worried someone would hear. “But Lily’s innocent and doesn’t know about that stuff so let’s not mention it again, ok? I don’t want to scare her.”
“She probably didn’t bring her wand,” Sirius pointed out. “Her naivety could get her killed.”
James’ hand twitched to where his wand was concealed in his jacket pocket.
“No one would get close enough to curse her before I’d blown them to pieces,” he said darkly. “They’re coming back.”
“No...” Sirius said, looking confused. “Lily’s coming back.”
He held his hands out to either side and shook his head at the red haired witch.
“I don’t know,” Lily said quietly, looking a little scared of Sirius. “She just left.”
“Damn it, Lily, where is she?” Sirius asked, grapping Lily’s shoulders and shaking her a little.
“Hey!” James yelled, pulling Sirius’ hands off her. “She said she doesn’t know, alright? Take a breath, man.”
Sirius walked away.
“Rejection hurts,” Lily said, trying to justify what he’d done, not wanting to cause a fight between them.
“I don’t think he’s ever gotten rejected before,” James said in awe. “Maybe I should teach him how to handle it, I’m an expert.”
He looked at Lily, and for a moment, was completely serious.
“And you’re right, Evans, rejection does hurt. Especially when the girl won’t even give you a chance.”
“Potter, just don’t, okay? I had reasons to ignore you at first and even later when I didn’t I still ignored you because I...I don’t know. Just leave it.”
“Sorry,” James said immediately.
“Forget about it,” she smiled at him. For one horrifying second, she felt herself welling up. Taking a few deep breaths, she willed herself not to cry, and it worked. Gryffindors were brave, after all. Sometimes bravery meant showing your true feelings. Sometimes it meant hiding them. His comments about her not ever giving him a chance had brought up memories of a time which seemed so long ago, it was like a past life. A time when she had thought she might be happy forever.
It had been right before the time she learnt the very hard lesson that boys always let you down.
“So,” Sirius walked back over to them. “That was the cinema. Pretty cool, I suppose, although there could be a better arrangement for food.”
“Strange how your cup kept refilling itself,” Lily smirked at James, deliberately trying to get him a bit in trouble, just because it was a comfortable, normal thing to do.
“Prongs! We are supposed to be muggles!” Sirius whispered fiercely.
“Sorry, mate,” James said to Sirius as he glared at Lily, then immediately smiled. “Oh, I can’t stay angry at you, Evans.”
Lily rolled her eyes; she just wanted this evening to be over. She didn’t like the James had looked at her when he was talking about rejection, it made her feel like she had been the bad person, it made her feel incredibly guilty.
“Let’s just go home, okay?” Sirius asked, feeling dejected.
“Sirius!” A sweet voice called out, as Mia ran up to the trio. She quickly kissed him, then ducked away, embarrassed. “Call me!”
Sirius smiled as she ran away.
“Weird,” James said.
“Awesome,” Sirius corrected.
“Women,” Lily said, sarcastically rolling her eyes.
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