Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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“Whoop! We're freeeeeeeee!” Jessi McGrath yelled as she ran out of the Great Hall after her last exam, her long black hair streaming out behind her. She stopped in the middle of the entrance hall to wait for the other two girls who had walked out behind her.
“Take it easy Jess” Lily Evans said walking up to her. “Some people aren't finished yet, and you know McGonagall will have no problem with giving you detention”
“Ah ol' Minnie wouldn't give me detention now Lily! 'Cos we're freeeeee!”
“Let’s just get her out of here before we all get detention!” Alex Jackson muttered. Between the two of them they managed to grab one of her arms each and haul her outside.
The three girls walked down towards the Black Lake arm in arm, Jessi in the middle, her black hair glinting in the sun, her chocolate brown eyes full of laughter as the girls giggled and gossiped. On one side of her was Alex, the smallest of the three, as fair as Jessi was dark, with bright turquoise eyes. Lily, the tallest of the group, flipped back her auburn hair which was matched with emerald green eyes. The grounds were full of people who had finished their exams. It was a beautiful summer’s day, the sky a perfect forget-me-not blue without a cloud in sight. The girls flopped down under their favourite willow tree next to the lake. They could see the front of the castle from here, where there was still a steady stream of people walking outside, some jumping and running as they celebrated the end of exams.
“So sixth year is over then” Alex sighed. “Was it just me or did this year fly by?” She looked between Lily and Jessi judging their reactions. Lily looked over and smiled sadly while Jessi just laughed.
“Didn't go fast enough if you ask me” Jessi said while stretching her arms before placing them behind her head and closing her eyes. “No more classes, no more listening to lectures from professors about homework, nothing left to do except relax.”
Lily rolled her eyes at Alex before saying “'Til next year anyway.”
“Ah don't be such a spoil sport Lils! I don't want to have to think about next year 'til, well, next year!”
Lily shook her head. “Well I thought it flew by as well. Seems like only last week we started the year. Imagine that next year is going to be our last here. This place feels more like home than anywhere else”.
The girls fell into a comfortable silence.
That silence was suddenly shattered by a scream.
“What the hell is going on?!” The three girls jumped to their feet, wands out and looked across the lake where there were several boys laughing.
“Sirius Black I'm going to kill you!” A girl was walking out of the lake dripping wet and went straight to one of the laughing boys and started hitting him.
“Oh it's just the Marauders, haha looks like they dumped Shirley in the lake” Jessi lay back down where she was and closed her eyes again.
Alex and Lily both sat back down as well, seeing as there was no need to be alarmed anymore. Just Sirius Black and his friends being their usual idiots selves.
“Think he did that as a way to break up with her?” Alex joked. “You know, 'Shirley I'm dumping you' and literally do it by dumping her in the water.”
“Well I've no idea why he was even going out with that whore any way, everyone knows she's done half the school.” Jessi muttered shooting daggers towards Shirley, who was now storming off to the castle.
“And you haven't?” Lily asked smirking.
“Hey! No I have not Lily Evans! I don't sleep around with every guy I'm with. I'm not like her” Jessi exclaimed looking hurt.
Alex laughed “We know you're not hunny, but admit it, the real reason you don't like her is because she's as popular as you and has tried to out do you in everything since second year.”
“Well, maybe” Jessi said grudgingly.
“Nice one, Padfoot! I never liked her anyway.” James Potter slapped his best friend on the back as the four boys sat down next to the lake.
“I didn't really either.”
“Then why did you go out with her?” asked Remus Lupin, a sandy haired boy, in amazement.
“Wouldn't you like to know Moony!” Sirius said wiggling his eyebrows at him.
“Eh, no I don't think I really do Padfoot” Remus muttered looking embarrassed. The other three boys laughed.
“So what're the plans for the summer?” asked Peter Pettigrew, a small boy with watery blue eyes.
“Well my parents have said you can all come to mine if you want” said James, “There'll be plenty to do what with all the people who camp down by the lake. Please say you're coming, I don't think I can handle Padfoot on my own for the summer!”
Remus and Peter laughed at James, who was giving them puppy dog eyes in attempt to get them to say yes, while Sirius looked affronted.
“Hey I'm not that bad Prongs!”
“Oh yes you are, James I'm bored, entertain me! James I'm hungry, feed me! James, James, James, Jam-ahhhh get off!”
James' rant was cut off by Sirius who had jumped on him and now the two boys were wrestling on the ground.
Remus shook his head and turned to Peter, “They're acting like 5 year olds!”
Peter laughed “I was gonna give them 3.”
“Is it time for dinner yet?” asked Sirius eagerly as he got off James and stood up. “Is food all you ever think about?” asked James from the ground, rubbing his head gingerly where Sirius' elbow had connected particularly hard.
“No, I also think about girls and sleep” winked Sirius. “Come on! I'm starving.”
“When are you not?” grumbled James.
Sirius dragged James to his feet and the four friends headed back towards the castle. As they entered the entrance hall, three girls walked in behind them. James turned, and when he saw who it was, stopped and put on his most charming smile.
“I'm fine, Potter”
“I'm very good, thank you for asking!”
“I didn't Potter”
“Thought you might like to know though” said James smiling brightly. “May I escort you to dinner?”
“Well considering it is time for dinner and you sit at the same table as me it doesn't really matter if I say no does it?” Lily attempted to side step past James but he just fell into step with her. She ignored him and started talking to Remus who was on the other side of her.
“Hey Remus, how're you?” Lily asked, concern evident in her voice. Remus always looked a little worse for wear.
“I'm OK Lily, how are you?” Remus knew Lily wondered what was wrong with him, why he was so 'sick' all the time, but she could never find out. He valued her friendship too much. He had lost so many friends already when they found out about his...condition. He had been so lucky with the Marauders to have found three friends who had accepted him despite what was wrong with him. He didn't think he would get that lucky again so he refused to tell anyone else.
“Glad to be finished exams. A little sad that the year is ending though.”
The group of 8 headed to the Gryffindor table and sat together, Lily ensuring she was not sitting next to James.
The bane of her existence.
…well at Hogwarts anyway.
Nearly every girl in this school seemed to be in love with him. He was the Gryffindor Quidditch captain, and probably only second to his best friend Sirius in the rankings of 'Most Wanted Male'. None of this made sense to Lily. Black she understood. He was classically good looking, the 'tall, dark and handsome' stereotype that all girls are attracted to. Longish black hair that fell casually into his grey eyes, along with his 6'2” height, had girls swooning all over the school. He was an asshole though, with a different girl every couple of weeks, hexing people because he was bored, constantly in detention. Potter was the same, always hexing people for no reason. He also had girls knee's going weak at the sight of his smile, but it was more of a smirk if you asked Lily. His glasses were always lopsided and his hair was always all over the place, and he was constantly running his hands through it, especially when Lily was around.
He has nice eyes though.
I did not just think that! Lily thought to herself. He has brown eyes, what's so great about them?
They're this lovely shade of hazel.
Lily mentally shook herself. Potter does not have nice eyes! He is a prat that goes around thinking he is Merlin's gift and pulling pranks on everyone.
“Could you pass the butter please, Lily?”
Lily looked up at the person who had spoken and just stared at them.
“Eh, Lily? Are you OK?” James looked confused and a little fearful. He didn't like the look she was giving him, like he had suddenly grown three extra heads or something.
“What did you just call me?” asked Lily in a shocked voice.
“Em, L-Lily? I-It's your n-name isn't it?” stammered James. He was definitely scared now. What had he done wrong??
Lily noticed the terrified look on his face and the anxious ones on Jessi and Sirius' face who were either side of him. I'm not that bad am I? That they'd all be concerned that I'm going to hex him into next week or something for saying my name.
“Yes it is, but you never call me Lily. It's always Evans.” Lily passed him the butter had shook her hair down in front of her face to hide the blush that was creeping up her neck. Was she really that terrifying that Potter would look scared and stammer when she hadn't even yelled at him? It wasn't her fault she had to hex him so much. If he would stop asking her out and trying to kiss her all the time there wouldn't be a problem! Although he hadn't done that in a while....
“Hey! Earth to Lily!!”
“Hmmm, what?” Lily glanced up to see that Jessi and Alex were standing either side of her.
“Are you coming or what?” Jessi asked impatiently.
“Ya, sorry” mumbled Lily as she stood up from the bench and followed the other two girls out of the Great Hall. She was quiet on the way up to Gryffindor Tower, lost in her own thoughts. Alex kept shooting anxious glances at her friend but with Jessi gossiping away there was no chance to ask what was wrong.
The Fat Lady, the guardian of the Gryffindor tower, nodded and let them in. Alex and Jessi let Lily go through the portrait hole first with knowing smiles on their faces.
Lily's head shot up. The common room was full of people. There were banners everywhere saying Happy Birthday Lily. There were tables groaning under the weight of bowls and bowls of sweets and bottles of Butterbeer. She turned around to her two best friends with complete shock written all over her face. “Did you organise this??”
The two girls laughed and pushed Lily further into the room. “Well it's not every day you come of age is it Lils?” Alex said.
“How did you manage this? Where did all the food come from? There was no time!”
“Well we had a little help” Jessi grinned. “The Marauders got all the supplies, we were told not to ask where from or how! And Lucy Thomas, a fourth year, is really good at drawing, so she did the banners.”
“This is amazing, thank you guys!” Lily cried as she hugged them.
“Everyone here?” cried a voice from the far corner. Sirius was standing on top of one of the tables. “Looks like it, so let the party BEGIN!” With that he pointed his wand at a stereo which had appeared from somewhere and music started playing. This was greeted by a huge yell of appreciation.
“No you girls go to bed, really. I just want to tidy up a bit.”
It was half two that night and the party had finally come to a halt. Everyone was tired and was either gone to bed already or was going now. Lily stood in the middle of the common room picking up empty bottles while her two friends stood at the end of the stairs leading to the girls’ dormitories.
“Lily, just leave it. The house elves will do it later on.”
“I won’t be long, I promise.” Lily smiled at their retreating backs. Glancing around the common room she saw that she was the only one left down here. She placed the empty bottles on the table and sat down in her favourite chair, close enough to the fire to be warm but far enough away that most of the time it was left free.
Her thoughts turned to her family. How she would love to have celebrated her birthday with them. That was not possible though. Her sister hated her. Lily had no idea why. They used to be best friends when they were younger, but once she got her letter to go to Hogwarts Petunia had turned her back on her. She was just a freak to her sister now. And her parents...how she missed them. Tears started to fall unnoticed by Lily down her face. A noise behind her startled her out of her thoughts.
“Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. Lily are you OK?” James concerned voice washed over her.
Shit. So much for the common room being empty!
“I didn't think there was anyone else down here.” Lily hurriedly whipped the tears off her face.
“Lily what's wrong? Did something happen?”
“I'm fine, really. I think I'll just go to bed now.” Why did it have to be Potter! It would be around half the school by tomorrow morning: Lily Evans was crying for no apparent reason in the common room, by herself, on her birthday. Just great.
Lily went to brush past him but James caught her arm gently and turned her to face him. “You can talk to me you know, I won’t tell anyone”.
“Let go of me Potter”
“Not until you tell me what's wrong” James said, frowning in concern.
“I was just thinking about my family. No big deal.”
James had no idea what to say to this. He knew that Lily's parents had died a few months back in a car crash. It had devastated her. So he did the first thing he thought of. He pulled her close and wrapped his arms around her.
Lily froze. Is he hugging me? Lily's instinct was to run but James' arms felt strong and warm around her. She went to pull away from him but he just pulled her closer. The harder she tried not to cry the more inevitable it seemed that she was going to. So for the first time in months, Lily just let go.
James was so shocked when she started to cry that he almost let her go. She clung to the front of his shirt as sobs shook her body. He steered them both over to the couch, sat down and pulled her down into his lap. He pulled her closer to him and rubbed her back soothingly with one hand.
After what seemed like hours to her, but what was in fact minutes, Lily managed to get herself under control. It was then that she noticed where exactly she was sitting.
“I-I'm so sorry about that” she muttered as she jumped out of his lap. She stood and looked down at her feet, too embarrassed to look at him. James got up slowly from the couch and, using his hand, tipped her chin up so she was looking at him.
“Don't worry about it. I'm always here, anytime you want to talk Lily.”
He let his hand dropped and stepped away from her towards the boys’ staircase.
“Why have you started to call me Lily?” It was a random question she knew, especially in the circumstances, but it had been bugging her all night.
“You didn't really seem to like it when I called you Evans.”
“Oh, OK.” Lily began to move towards the girls’ staircase. James took this as his cue to leave so he turned around and walked away.
James stopped and turned around slowly. “Yes Lily?”
“Thanks. For tonight. And saying you won’t tell anyone.”
“Anytime.” He watched her disappear up the stairs and continue to watch the staircase long after she'd left.
She called me James. She called me James. She called me James.
Eventually he realised that he was still standing in the middle of the common room. Stifling a yawn he turned around and headed up the boys stairs, a huge smile on his face.
My first ever fanfic so be nice! =] Reviews would be really appreciated! What you liked/didn't like. Anything you want to say I want to hear!
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