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Chapter 6 : Questions
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Imagine my surprise as I walked out of the charms classroom and into the hallway, to see my best friend getting a little too close to a very attractive certain someone.
Amos Diggory and Miranda were snogging in the empty hallway.
"Merlin," I whispered, and immediately took a detour, only to run into the full Marauder gang.
Slowly, my mind began to piece things together.
I had to plan. And I had to plan quick.
So I did the only thing that came to mind.
I lunged at James, tackling him to the ground and effectively halting the Marauders in their gradual advancement toward The Corridor. Knocking over James seemed to have a domino effect; it in turn toppled over Sirius, who crashed into Remus, who then finally fell onto poor Peter, who hit his head hard on the stone floor.
"Have you gone mad, Evans?" Sirius hissed.
I was a little preoccupied, seeing as my entire self was lying on James. His hazel eyes were wide and surprised, but they soon started glittering at the close contact. Blushing furiously, I hastily attempted to get off of him, but his arm caught me around the waist and with a small oomph! I was once again lying on top of him.
"Let go," I grumbled, however halfheartedly. I could feel the low rumble of his laugh underneath me.
"Get a room, you two," Peter muttered.
Remus was looking at the pair of us amusedly, and finally asked a sensible question. "Other than the opportunity to lie on top of James, how come you attacked us in the middle of the hallway?"
I struggled to straighten up and James sensed my action. But instead of letting go of me, he just adjusted me so I was sitting on his lap. Giving up with a final annoyed grunt, I looked Remus in the eye.
"There's...a ghost in the corridor," I improvised.
"There are ghosts everywhere around the school," Sirius said skeptically.
"But...the ghosts are reenacting the beheading of Queen...Kyle!"
Queen Kyle. Way to go, Lily Evans.
Peter raised an eyebrow and said, "Even I know that there's no Queen called Kyle."
" 'Queen Kyle'," James smirked. "Queen of the worst liars on earth."
"And anyway, we've all seen Nearly Headless Nick before. A beheading is nothing much." Sirius finished his comment and proceeded to walk toward the corridor to see exactly what was going on.
I launched myself at him, too.
"NO!" I shouted, dragging him back toward the rest of his friends.
He looked at me sourly and said, "Don't make me jinx you, Evans."
"I don't care. You can't go there. Consider yourself a voyeur if you do."
"You should know, I have a weekly subscription of-"
"Don't finish that sentence!"
I finally deposited him right next to Remus, who passed me an odd glance. I stalked over to James and knelt down to whisper in his ear.
"Diggory and Miranda are in there, and they are very, very busy," I hissed. An expression of comprehension passed across James's face and was then taken over by a look of determination.
"Right. Guys, c'mon. We really don't want to go in that hallway." He got up from the ground, brushed himself off, and started walking in the opposite direction.
"Why? I think that Evans is up to something," Sirius argued.
"She is," James agreed, "but this time it's for the greater good. For our greater good, actually. Mental scarring will be in order if we step a foot down that corridor. Now c'mon, I don't want to miss dinner."
I waited until the Marauder's raucous voices had disappeared, and then carefully stepped into the "forbidden" corridor.
Amos and Miranda were gone, probably off to a more secluded spot. I sighed; however awry the plan had went, it had still been effective.
Then something dawned on me. Was I conspiring? With Potter?
I turned my head to a very suspicious looking Marlene.
"I heard that you jumped James in the middle of a corridor today."
"Word sure does get around quick, doesn't it?" I responded airily. The smirk on her face grew more pronounced.
"So it's true? Pray tell, dear Lils, exactly what poor James ever did to deserve a full on tackling from you?"
"He probably enjoyed it," Alice sneered as she slid into the seat across from me. I shrugged and was about to tell my tale when I spotted a very giddy-looking Miranda entering the Great Hall.
I shut my mouth and whispered, "I'll tell you later. And I'm not the only one with stuff to spill."
Distracted momentarily, I glanced over at the Marauders, where they were attempting to talk up several 5th year fan girls. Wishing immensely that it was proper table manners to snort into ones' pudding, I noticed something.
Potter was usually the one flirting the most. However, he only gave a few secretive smiles, and went back to his food without another word. He caught my eye and winked, and I turned back to my dinner, clearly flushed.
Alice was watching this whole thing with a raised eyebrow.
"Be expecting a surprise from us tomorrow morn," she said eerily.
"No idea what you're talking about. Besides, you can't get into the head dorms."
"You told us the password, remember? It's very odd, though- who makes the password for the most exclusive dorms in Hogwarts Polyurethane?"
"Sensible heads who don't want urchins sneaking into their rooms at night."
"I hope that wasn't an insult."
"Keep on dreaming, then. Keep on dreaming."
"Are you going to speak up, or what?" Marlene waved hand in front of Miranda's face. Her expression remained dreamy and unattached.
"She's had quite a day," I told Marlene and Alice, before turning to Miranda. She felt my narrowed eyes on her and looked at me innocently.
"What did I do wrong?" she asked, genuinely puzzled.
"I suppose it's my fault. But you have plenty of explaining to do tonight," I sighed.
"After your detention, I suppose?" Alice smirked.
Detention. Detention. Detention...
My fork clattered onto the plate and I felt the blood drain out of my face.
"She looks like a corpse," Marlene commented.
"What's this? Perfect little prissy Evans in detention?"
Oh, those horrible screeching voices! As unwelcome as nails against a blackboard. I looked up reluctantly and met the gaze of Eva Kimble.
"Never invited you to sit with us, did we?" Miranda said angrily.
"We don't need an invitation. Our presence is complimentary," Jane sneered back.
"Oh, just run off and play your flirting games," Alice grumbled. "I thought you had 'better things to do' than hang out with 'the likes of us'."
Jane shrugged and snatched a piece of roast beef off of Miranda's plate. She obviously hadn't learned; never, ever, ever, take away Miranda's beef, or you shall pay the consequences.
Before things could so elegantly blow up in our faces, I grabbed Miranda and pinned her against the bench. She snarled at Jane and looked quite deranged; I mouthed to Marlene, Help me.
She picked up the message and disarmed Miranda quickly. After a matter of seconds, Miranda had calmed down. I glanced nervously around the Gryffindor table to find the entire house staring at us.
Leave it up to the four of us to make such an appropriate scene.
"But you have detention too!" I cried.
"Not with you, I don't," Miranda said coldly. "Minerva put me with Otto Perkins, that odd ball from Ravenclaw. See if I can get through that without him attempting to talk me up with a chat about Remembralls or the latest from Zonko's."
Miranda had several rather annoying traits; one, the fact that she so casually used the teachers' first names, and second, the way she could be so judgmental. We all knew Miranda's level of intelligence, and how she commonly conversed with the teachers after class, discussing the latest in spell advancements, charms, jinxes and hexes. For all I knew, she might've even been spell engineering with them every so often. However, her judgment issues always detracted from her personality. It was one of the main characteristics of Miranda that made her seem so cold.
"Lighten up," I muttered. She raised an eyebrow at me.
"If there's anybody who needs to lighten up, it's you. There's nothing about detention that you have to worry about, besides the fact that you have it with James Potter."
"I bet, Potter's going to do something nasty, I know it-"
"You've been all friendly as of late. Who knows? Maybe things will-"
We whipped around to see a grinning James.
"Potter," I acknowledged. Miranda nodded right next to me, not losing an ounce of her cool. However, I just knew that my face was fire truck red.
"There's no reason for you to be worried, by the way," James informed me. "I informed my fellow Marauders that we would be needing a distraction for tonight."
"Yes, Evans, a distraction, to put it lightly. Something that will get us out of detention. They complied enthusiastically." He grinned. "However, I have absolutely no idea what they're going to do. But don't be surprised when it happens."
"You know that we're Heads, Potter," I said seriously.
"Yeah, I'm pretty aware of that."
"You shouldn't continue to issue out your pranks!"
He put up his hands defensively. "I told you, I've got nothing to do with it. The idea was actually all theirs. Sirius figures this might lighten his mood, also. It's a much-needed Marauder relief."
"Why would ickle little Siri need to lighten his mood?" Miranda chided.
"He's got a lot on his mind," James said through his teeth, not bothering to look at Miranda. She seemed slightly put out at the lack of attention and harrumphed before walking away.
"I'll be in the dungeons if you need me," she called out for no reason.
A couple of seconds passed in silence.
"I know she's your friend and all, but she can be a right bitch," James said.
"We've known that for years, now," I sighed unhappily. "You get used to it after a while, and learn to fend on your own. It's like she builds up defenses."
We quietly walked up to McGonagall's office, anticipation for my detention coursing through my veins. It was a small, common thing, and I knew I wasn't in danger.
At least, any physically harming danger.
However calming my methods of thought were, I still felt a rush flood through me as I heard McGonagall say, "Take a seat, Ms. Evans, Mr. Potter."
A chill raced down my back, my knees became weak, and I immediately felt a head rush. Fever signs; maybe I could get an excuse to the hospital wing.
"Lily? You alright?" Potter's hand prodded my arm lightly. I nodded, my gaze unfocused.
"You'll be working in the flooded hallway," McGonagall said crisply. "Using no magic, of course." She handed a bucket and two super-sized sponges to James. "Have fun." With a lopsided smile, she exited her office.
I stood there for a moment and let McGonagall's words sink in.
"We're just...mopping up the hallway?" I asked faintly.
"Sponging it, more like," James said, wrinkling his nose while picking up one of the gargantuan sponges.
A grin broke out on my face. "YES! YES, YES, YES, YES, yes!"
James laughed at my relief and said, "Told you so. It's just muggle labor."
I passed him a dark look. "You make it sound like slave labor."
"I'm lazy; so sue me."
The hallway, it turned out, was so flooded that it seemed nearly impossible to soak up even with our huge sponges. A grimace twisted on our faces before we set out to work.
But the moment my sponge touched the floor, the water began to flow. It started out as a trickling, and then a gushing, but all the water was being...dragged, for lack of a better explanation, as if it were being magnetized.
"Yes!," James whispered elatedly as the water slipped past our fingers. A smile broke out on his face. I couldn't help but hold back one of my own.
"Follow it," I told him on a whim. He looked at me questioningly, but did so; I followed him, too.
The water seemed to be very fickle. It would twist one way, then change direction suddenly, and I was getting dizzy in my attempt to keep up. However, James seemed to know where it was going. The smile on his face was just getting wider and wider; finally, he grabbed my arm and broke out in a sprint.
Before I knew it, we had burst through the front doors to meet a huge crowd, the pursuing the water stream all the way. James dragged me into the block of people. At the head of the crowd near the creek stood a smiling Remus, a laughing Sirius, and a happy Peter.
The water began to swirl around in a spiral shape, rising into the air and mildly resembling glassy, transparent DNA. It slowly became a glass orb and then finally transformed into a condensed, watery lion that roared loud enough to make the ground tremble. Finally, it burst into a million glittering water drops that showered the entire student body.
Enthusiastic clapping surrounded us as the water drops rearranged themselves to spell out in careful cursive, Courtesy of Yours Truly, the Marauders. I laughed giddily, all prospects of punishment gone now that the deed had been finished, along with a supply of entertainment.
"Well, that worked," I said matter-of-factly, turning to James, my hands on my hips.
"So? Did you like it?" He raised an amused eyebrow.
"It's not exactly Marauder-esque, for your pranks usually involve more humiliation and are on a much grander scale," I started off playfully. "...but I liked this one. Effective and productive. There's no longer a mess in that corridor, right?"
James grinned back at me and unexpectedly picked me up and spun me around. I collided into him from dizziness; laughing, I scrambled to straighten up again, but he wasn't having any of that nonsense. He held me in a close embrace and I couldn't help but feel more comfortable than I had ever in my entire life.
What was this feeling?
Why was I feeling it toward Potter?
I ignored the nausea-inducing questions and stared up at the glittering cursive letters, letting go in the moment. I could answer myself later.
A/N: hope you enjoyed that one. quite fluffy, isn't it? hey, if you're reading (thank you), then send in a review! you better. i'm watching you. just kidding. but still, review please :)
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