Chapter 1 : Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep
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Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to J.K. Rowling.
”Oh my god! OH MY GOD! How could I do something so stupid? I mean, I have a brain for a reason; why didn’t I use it? Oh dear lord, I’m going to die! RUBY, are you even listening to me?!”
There was a grumble from the bed Lily Evans was pacing around.
“Please, Ruby, you can sleep some other time, right now you need to help me!! I’ve done something incredibly stupid!” Lily pleaded.
“I know” Ruby answered from her pillow. “You slept with James Potter. “
Lily stopped dead in her tracks.
“You knew? How? Did you see us leave? Why didn’t you stop me??” she asked, her voice becoming shrill at her last question. “RUBY! You’re supposed to be my best friend!”
“I didn’t see you leave, if I had I totally would have stopped you.”
“Then how did you know?” Lily accused angrily, kicking Ruby’s bed with force.
“Well, I didn’t notice you leave, I was distracted by, hrm, someone and then we decided to have a drink and we ran into Black by the alcohol. And he asked us if we wanted to hear the best gossip of the year and we said sure. ‘Prongs and Evans just left for the Heads Dorm – together’ he revealed wriggling his eyebrows. I told him that there was no way that meant what he was suggesting it meant and he objected saying ‘I don’t’ know, Jones, they were pretty wasted.” So, after hitting Black for not stopping you I immediately rushed to the Heads Dorm.”
“And then what happened? Why didn’t you stop us? Did you not make it all the way there?”
“I made it there alright. It was just…”
“What?” Lily urged.
“It was just…I could hear you had already started.”
Lily gasped, horrified, cringing.
“Oh my god!”
“So then I thought – that was that virginity – and got the hell out of there” Ruby summed it up.
“Okay, okay. I can see why you did that.”
There was a silence.
“And to think that that wasn’t even what I was talking about.”
“That wasn’t even the stupid thing I was talking about.”
“WHAT? Sleeping with James Potter isn’t the stupidest thing you’ve done?” Ruby asked incredulously.
Lily clicked with her tongue.
“What could possibly be worse?”
“Something that is going to kill me - literally.”
Ruby finally peeked out from the covers and stared at her best friend, sensing that she was dead serious.
“Care to explain that horrid statement?”
Lily sighed and sat down on what had used to be her bed, leaning forward and putting her head in her hands.
“You see, a few years ago, when I was still friends with Severus , we one day came across a bottle of firewhiskey. Man, I should never drink again. Anyway, neither of us had had alcohol earlier, so we weren’t exactly able to handle it… “
“You slept with Snape!!?” Ruby exclaimed.
“NO!” Lily screamed in outrage, wrinkling her nose.
“Then what?” Ruby asked, propping herself up on her elbow.
“Suddenly we were discussing the Unbreakable Vow, and I don’t know which one of us that did, but one of us suggested that we should make one.”
“WHAT?” Ruby roared. “Oh my Merlin! What did you promise, Lily?”
She suddenly gasped.
“Oh my god, you swore you would never sleep with James Potter! “
Lily jerked her head irritably.
“If I’d sworn that I would already be dead, you dimwit!”
“… but I swore something similar.”
Ruby stared at her.
“We just wanted to try it, so we started discussing things what we could swear without having to die because of it.”
“We came to the conclusion that we should swear something we would never going to do anyway.”
“Good call. You are always so wise, Lily.”
Lily glared at her friend.
“Now is not the time to be sarcastic, Ru. Anyway, I decided to swear that I would never have a one night stand.”
“But you just did! Why aren’t you dead?” she yelled madly.
“I don’t know!!” Lily screamed back hysterically. “I could die any minute! That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all along!”
Ruby started screaming, panicking, and Lily soon joined in.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa” a voice suddenly said.
Lily and Ruby stopped screaming and spun around.
Sophie McKey’s head was peeking out from behind her hangings, looking disheveled.
“Sophie!” Ruby exclaimed.
“Yup” she answered. “And yes, I heard everything” she added when Ruby opened her mouth. “Don’t be terrified, I’m going to try to help you.”
Lily and Ruby had never been particularly close with Sophie. She wasn’t a bad person or anything, she just wasn’t very much like them, and she also hung out with the Marauders way too much for their liking.
“Help us?” Ruby asked. “Lily made an Unbreakable Vow that she would never have a one night stand and she just did! There’s no way around it, she’s going to die!!”
Sophie shook her head.
“If there wasn’t a loophole somewhere Lily would already be dead” she stated. “Now are you going to believe that and try to solve this or are you going to stand there screaming ‘til she drops down dead?”
Lily and Ruby gulped.
“Thought so” Sophie answered. “Now – how do we approach this problem?”
No one responded. Sophie stood up and started pacing around the room.
“We have to think reasonably – what could be the reason that Lily is not dead yet?”
The others stood quiet.
“Come on, help me, please” Sophie said impatiently.
“Oh, alright” Ruby said, drawing her breath. “Let’s consider this reasonably. Lily promised that she wouldn’t have a one night stand…There has to be a condition or something that she hasn’t filled yet. For example, how do you define a ‘one-night-stand’? Maybe she hasn’t met all the criterias?”
“Good!” Sophie exclaimed. “Uhm, a one night stand is two people having sex just one night.”
“That’s exactly what I’ve just done!!” Lily yelled in panic, jumping impatiently. “This is not getting us anywhere!”
“Sure it is!” Sophie exclaimed. “Hold on, just wait, let me think, what in that statement does not fit with what has happened…”
All of them were silent for a minute.
“How does ‘the universe’ know that it was just for one night?” Sohpie asked. “How can it tell if it was just for a night or the beginning of a future relationship or a marriage? How does it decide?”
“Maybe ‘the universe’ can see into the future and knows what will happen” Ruby suggested.
“There’s no such thing as seeing into the future. There has to be something else. How do we know that this was a one night stand and not the beginning of a real relationship?”
“I think we base that on the way Lily ran out of that bedroom.”
She let out another giggle and Sophie’s eyes went wide.
“That’s it! Ruby, you’re a genius!”
“That’s how we can tell the difference! The way the persons act towards each other in the morning! And given the way Lily ran here, this is clearly a case of a one night stand…”
Sophie stopped talking when she realized what that meant.
“So really you should be dead” she stated.
But Lily gasped in realization.
“Oh my god, that’s why I’m not dead.”
“You said that the way the persons acted towards each other in the morning was what mattered. And, well, Potter is still asleep.”
Ruby and Sophie stared at her.
“Then there’s still time! Ruuuuuuun!!” Ruby roared.
“But what am I supposed to do there? How do I turn it out of a one night stand and into something else?” Lily asked, her voice filled with panic.
“Duh?” Ruby scoffed. “You ask him out of course! There’s a Hogsmeade trip today, it’s perfect! ”
“I have to ask him out? Isn’t there anything else I can do?” she asked desperately.
“Well, you could have sex with him tonight, making it a two-nights-stand” Sophie stated. “But chances are you would already be dead by then…”
“This is your chance, Lily!” Ruby called. “Run there now, get naked and pretend you never left!”
“Alright, alright” Lily responded unwillingly. “I’ll go. Will you go to the library in the meantime and do some research on this? I’ve never actually studied the Unbreakable Vow.”
“Sure. We’ll go if you run now, he could wake up any minute!”
Lily started walking towards the door.
“Do you want to die???” Ruby yelled madly behind her and finally made Lily start running.
Lily was panting heavily when she finally made it back to the Heads Dorm. She hesitated with her hand on the doorknob. She really, really didn’t want to do this. But then again, she really, really didn’t want to die either. Her head was pounding and she was feeling nauseous, but she tried to move past it. She slowly slipped inside the room, praying that he hadn’t woken up yet. She sighed of relief when she saw that he was still sleeping peacefully in the large bed.
So what should she do now? Ruby had told her to get naked, but she was clearly not going to do that. James Potter had seen enough of her naked. She decided to pretend that she’d just woken up and got dressed, that she had just never left the bedroom.
“Potter” she whispered.
She might as well get it over with.
James didn’t seem to have heard.
“Potter” she repeated a little bit louder.
Still no reaction.
She reached out and poked him awkwardly on his shoulder. He stirred and moved to the side.
“Come back to bed, honey” he muttered.
Lily looked sour.
“I don’t know what perverted sick land of dreams you are currently visiting, or who you are referring to” she said. “but I’m the only person here and I would like for you to wake up. I need to ask you something.”
“Lily?” James asked tentatively, without opening his eyes.
“Yes” Lily responded, and deciding it would make it easier that his eyes were still closed she continued. “I was wondering…James, if you would like to accompany me to Hogsmeade later today.”
James’ eyes flew open in shock.
“Huh?” he croaked.
“You heard what I said” Lily stated firmly. “Don’t make me ask again.”
She could practically see the images from last night flashing by in his eyes.
“That good, huh?” he winked at her.
Lily frowned and sat down at the edge of the bed.
“Don’t flatter yourself, just answer the damn question.”
If it had been any other guy he would have been turned off by her obvious contempt.
“Of course I’ll go out with you” he answered simply.
She looked relieved and it made his heart flutter; she had been worried that he would say ‘no’.
He sat up in his bed, the covers sliding down slightly, and put a hand on the back of her neck, pulling her closer and kissing her.
She stood up abruptly, looking scandalized.
“Asking you out did not mean that I would like to have sex with you again. Last night was a mistake, let me be perfectly clear about that, Potter.”
“Who said anything about sex?” James asked, throwing his hands into the air. “I just assumed that since you asked me out you might want to kiss me as well!”
“Yeah, well, I don’t, so for future reference, please refrain from doing so.”
James looked confused and Lily felt angry and embarrassed.
“I’m just going to go” she said and swept out of the room.
James ran after her, his covers loosely around him.
“Wait!” he called.
“What?” Lily asked impatiently, spinning around.
“Is the date still on or not?”
Lily sighed, looking pained.
“Yes, it’s still on.”
“Okay. See you later then!”
Lily waited until she had left the room and then banged her head against the wall.
Ruby and Sophie were sitting in the library, a few textbooks lying open but really chatting with each other. Lily grumbled angrily and sat down. She was feeling scared, annoyed and hung over, and spending twenty minutes crying in an empty classroom really hadn’t improved her mood.
“Decided chit-chat was more important than my petty little problem?”
Ruby and Sophie laughed.
“Yeah, well, you were taking care of it, weren’t you?” Ruby replied. “How’d it go?”
“I asked him out. It was awkward, it was horrible. I’m not even sure the universe thinks I was convincing enough. Is it just the date that counts or does it care that I’m not planning on having a relationship with him?”
“Well, you’re still alive, that’s what counts I guess” Ruby stated.
“Was he happy?” Sophie asked curiously.
“Just because you’re his friend too it doesn’t mean you can be happy with this arrangement” Lily said irritably.
Sophie rolled her eyes.
“I’m just wondering how he reacted.”
“Well, for starters he thought I was asking him out because he was really good in bed. I told him no, and he probably came to the conclusion that I have some sort of personality disorder, asking out a person who I wouldn’t even allow to kiss me.”
“Or he was too astonished to make any conclusions?”
“Let’s hope for that, or I’m going to have to answer a lot of difficult questions later. Now, what books have you found?”
“Hold on” Sophie interrupted. “Could you tell the story of how you made the vow from the beginning? I was barely awake in the dorm and everything was kind of rushed and panicked. Now that we think we’ve at least postponed your death maybe you could start again?”
“How can we be sure that we’ve postponed it though?” Lily asked. “What if the universe thinks it’s still a one night stand when I’m not planning to date him for very long?”
“But you’re still planning to go to the date so I think we’re safe at least until then. Now tell the story again!”
“Fine. Severus and I somehow got our hands on a bottle of Firewhiskey. We overindulged and our sense went out the window. We started talking about the Unbreakable Vow because Professor Flitwick had mentioned it in class earlier that day. We were curious, and wanted to try to do it. Severus said he knew how to and that two talented people like us wouldn’t have a problem with it. It would be a good experience.”
“To try a new, extremely dangerous, charm when drunk?”
“I’m not saying it was wise, just that this was what we were thinking that night. Anyway, I clearly remember swearing that I would never have a one night stand, but everything else is a bit hazy, to be honest.”
“Did Snape swear anything?” Sophie asked.
“I don’t remember actually” Lily confessed. “He probably did.”
“Where were you anyway, at a party?”
“No, it was just us. I think we were in the Astronomy Tower.”
“And afterwards” Sophie continued. “Did you think a lot about this?”
“No, I actually tried to forget it the best I could. I wasn’t pleased with what I’d done but I wasn’t particularly worried either, since I was sure I would never have a one night stand.”
“But you did.”
“Yes, I think we’ve established that. Now, let’s do some reading on this; I feel terribly uneducated on this charm.”
“But you have to do get ready!” Ruby exclaimed. “You can’t sit here reading!”
“Duh” Ruby rolled her eyes. “It’s already eleven thirty and your date with James is today! You have to go and get dressed!”
“Yes! Have you seen what you’re wearing?”
Lily looked down on the dirty, creased dress she had worn for the party.
“Perhaps I do need to change.”
“Yes” Sophie agreed. “You don’t want the universe to think that you aren’t making enough effort for this to be a real date.”
“You’re right. I’m going to go change.”
“Oho, can I choose what you’re going to wear?” Ruby said excitedly.
“No” Lily replied sternly. “First of all, this isn’t a real date and you can’t be excited about it. Second of all, you two are going to stay here and look up everything there is to know about this. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
She swept out of the room, her steps hurried.
“Has she forgotten that we’re going to Hogsmeade as well? I have a date too; I need to get changed just as much as she does.”
Sophie eyed her up and down.
“Perhaps not as much, at least you look decent. But if you hurry you can be back before she is. I’ll stay and do research in the meantime.”
Ruby’s face lit up.
“Thanks, Sophie! You’re the best friend ever!”
Ruby hugged her and then sprinted out of the room, leaving Sophie alone with a pleased smile on her lips.
Fifteen minutes later, Ruby had just made it back. Luckily enough she’d been able to find the right page and start pretending to read it when Lily returned a moment later. She sat down tiredly.
“What have you found? Wait – Ruby, did you wear those clothes before?”
Ruby swore under her breath.
“Yes, of course. How hung over are you, sweetie?”
“I might be hung over but I’m not stupid. You’ve changed instead of trying to help me with my problem! I can’t believe you!”
“What problem, Evans? Anything I can help you with?”
James was standing in the doorway, looking handsome in jeans and a grey shirt. He looked unusually happy and his eyes glinted with joy.
“No, Potter, there’s nothing you can do.”
“Well then, are you ready to go?” he asked.
“Already?” Lily replied. “But there’s something I need to do first.”
“But it’s almost twelve already! We have to go now if we’re going to have time for everything I’ve planned.”
“Everything you’ve planned?” Lily asked irritably. “You’ve known about this date for about half an hour, Potter.”
“Well, I’ve been dreaming about it for a much longer time. You know that, Lily.”
Ruby sighed dreamily and Lily bit her lip.
“Do you not want to go or what is all this weird behavior about? Was it just a dare or something?”
He looked hurt. Sophie shot a sharp look at Lily.
“Of course I want to go” she stated as enthusiastically as she could, smiling at him.
“Lily can deal with her problem later, right now she’s going to have fun” Sophie added.
“Good. Let’s go then” James said.
“Fine” Lily replied.
She stood up and James grabbed her arm, gently pulling her out of the room.
“Please do as I said!” Lily called over her shoulder.
“Of course!” Sophie called happily.
Sophie placed herself beside the window, waiting for them to come out of the door. Ruby started reading in one of the books, her face concentrated.
“Didn’t you have a date to go to?” Sophie asked.
“Not until twelve thirty. Might as well try to help Lily ‘till then.”
A minute passed. Sophie finally spotted the couple exiting the castle.
“Sophie?” Ruby asked tentatively behind her.
“Who was their bonder?”
Sophie watched Lily hit James angrily on the shoulder. Ruby frowned behind her.
“Sophie! I asked you a question! Why aren’t you trying to help!?”
Sophie sighed, turning around.
“Who was the third person there that night? I mean, it says here that you have to be three people, two people swearing something and the third one ‘officiating’ it? Who was their bonder?”
“There was no third person, Lily said so herself, didn’t she? She said it was just the two of them.”
“But it says here that you have to be three people!” Ruby exclaimed.
“Exactly” Sophie said, turning back to the window.
Ruby slammed the book shut and stood up angrily.
“Why aren’t you trying to help? Our friend is in danger!”
“No, she isn’t” Sophie replied, watching the couple again; they seemed to be talking to each other.
“What? She swore an Unbreakable Vow, don’t you get that!”
“No, she didn’t” Sophie replied impatiently. “Don’t you get it? There was no third person there that night, they didn’t really swear anything and this is the reason Lily is not dead yet and won’t die later today either.”
Ruby gaped at her.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes” Sophie responded. “The Unbreakable Vow leaves a scar on your hand. I checked, Lily had no such scar. I’m telling you, she didn’t swear it, she just thought she did in her drunken state of mind.”
Ruby looked shocked.
“How long have you known this!?”
“I started suspecting it when Lily said that it had only been her and Snape there that night, and I looked it all up when you two were away changing.”
“Well then, why didn’t you tell us!?”
“I couldn’t do it to James, to be honest. He would have been crushed if Lily had canceled the date. And I couldn’t tell you either because I suspected you would tell Lily.”
“Yeah, well, you were right. I have to tell Lily, it’s my duty as a friend! I have to go find her!”
“Don’t” Sophie pleaded. “James is a good guy, he deserves a chance with her.”
“It’s not as if he planned it. It’s just one date, Ru, if it doesn’t go well no harm is done. If it does go well, I think he could make her happy.”
Ruby sighed and sat down, surrendering.
“How can Lily not have realized?”
“Well, she said she had never studied it. And pretty much the only two days she has really thought about it, she has been hung over.”
“She’s going to realize it later, you know, and then we’ll be in huge trouble.”
“I take full responsibility for not telling her, don’t worry. And hopefully, James will be there to soothe her with kisses.”
Ruby laughed and both of them turned towards the window again. Lily and James were still walking beside each other across the grounds.
“I know that they are only dots now, but I could swear that they’re having fun together.”
Ruby turned sharply, a smile playing on her lips.
”Really? You could swear that?”
Sophie snorted of laughter.
“Never would though.”
A/N: I had fun writing this, hope you had fun reading it! By the way, I have no idea if the Unbreakable Vow leaves a scar, I just imagine that it does, so bear with me please! Reviews would be lovely :)