Chapter 2 : Only Sixteen Once
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One Year Ago…
The common room was quiet. Too quiet…
Everyone was at the last Quidditch match of the year, screaming their lungs out for Gryffindor. So why wasn’t I there?
I’ll give you three guesses why. And here’s a hint: It begins with a “P” and ends with “otter”.
It wasn’t that I disliked Quidditch… I just wasn’t obsessed with it like some of the other students here. Plus, I couldn’t stand the way a certain Gryffindor chaser acted on the field. Blowing kisses to the stands, standing on his broom and pretending to surf just to get applause, and of course, victory laps around the field whenever he scored. Whoever he was snogging that day would undoubtedly be in hysterics in the stands, all the other girls would be screaming his name, and today I wanted to spare my poor delicate ears.
Also, the boy I’m secretly dating had asked me to ditch so we could spend some quality time in a broom closet together. Classy, I know.
But hey, I’m only sixteen once, right? I might as well make the most of it.
Plus, it would be good to get some studying in before the inevitable party in the Gryffindor common room after the match. O.W.L.’s were in just two weeks and I’d already fallen way behind on my study schedule.
I tried to concentrate on the open page of my Charms book but my mind kept drifting back to that broom closet… Damn hormones. Snap out of it, Lily!
I finally got myself to focus on the proper theory behind silencing spells when the portrait hole burst open. Two people toppled inside and I immediately recognized them as my best friends, Anna Doucette and Scarlet St. Clair.
Anna dropped down onto the couch next to me and let out an exhilarated sigh.
“You missed an amazing match, Lils,” Anna said, tossing her golden hair out of her face.
“Oh, how would you know,” Scarlet scoffed, dropping down on my other side with a smile on her face. “She spent the entire match flirting with Jacob Warren.”
I giggled as Anna shrugged unabashedly. She may look innocent with her blond hair, freckles and rosy cheeks, but she’s a right little devil when it comes to boys.
“It was a brilliant match though,” Scarlet amended.
“Well, I saw the end,” Anna rolled her hazel eyes at Scarlet. “James did this fake handoff to Davenport and then scored right under Diggory’s nose.”
“And then Sirius shot a bludger right at the Hufflepuff seeker at the perfect moment and Margaux caught the snitch. So brilliant,” Scarlet continued.
I looked from Anna to Scarlet and raised my eyebrows slightly. Did they forget who they were talking to? I had absolutely no interest in hearing what happened during the match…
“Right, you don’t care,” Anna smiled, catching my drift. “Moral of the story: there’s going to be a massive party in here pretty soon.”
“You’re going to come right?” Scarlet asked, turning towards me on the couch and peering down at my Charms book. “You’re not just going to shut yourself in the library all night?”
I sighed, glancing sideways at Scarlet, who batted her long eyelashes at me. Scarlet was one of those people who always managed to get her way. She didn’t consciously try to, she just had that kind of captivating presence that made it very easy to be around her, but also impossible to say no to her.
I didn’t actually have any desire to spend the evening watching the Marauders drink themselves silly. No doubt Potter would end up snogging some poor girl senseless while his mates cheered him on. I really had no desire to be yet another witness to that…
“Well, I didn’t exactly get as much studying done during the match as I hoped…” I explained, shutting my Charms book.
“Oooh,” Scarlet giggled. “So how was your snogfest with Alex?”
“Shhh,” I hissed at her as a group of fourth years wandered into the common room.
It had been my idea for Alex and I to keep our, erm, relationship a secret. I had never dated anyone at Hogwarts before and I didn’t want people to start talking now that I was… It had just been easier this way so far.
“Details later then?” Anna asked, as some first and second years scrambled through the portrait hole.
I blushed slightly and nodded. “Sure, whatever.”
Scarlet rolled her eyes at me. “Come on, let’s go get ready before the party.”
“I’ll meet you up there in a few,” I said, opening my Charms book back up. “I want to finish this section.”
Anna shook her head sadly at me and grabbed Scarlet’s hand, the two disappearing up the stairs to our dorm room.
I flipped the pages of my book to where I left off but was rudely interrupted by someone grabbing the book from my hands.
“Whatcha readin’, Red?” A smooth voice that made my skin crawl said from behind my Charms book.
“Don’t call me ‘Red’,” I said angrily, snatching my book back.
Much to my displeasure, Potter sat down next to me on the couch.
“I didn’t see you at the match today,” he commented casually as he ruffled his dark hair. “Or were you so overwhelmed by my mad Quidditch skills that you fainted and had to be rushed to the hospital wing?”
“Ugh, you’re so full of it,” I drawled, staring at the pages of my book. I tried to make myself focus on the words but Potter kept talking.
“So why weren’t you there?” Potter pressed on.
“I was studying,” I shrugged. Well, it was true! I was studying… studying the inside of Alex Winchester’s mouth, that is.
“You’re coming to the party tonight, though,” Potter said, phrasing it more as a statement than a question.
“I haven’t decided yet,” I said, trying my best to just tune him out. He was like a mosquito, always buzzing around me, annoying me to death. I just wanted to swat him.
“Come on,” Potter rolled his hazel eyes at me. “Put off being a antisocial recluse for just one evening and have some fun, will you? Plus, I’ll be there, so that’s always a bonus.”
“Right, well now I’m definitely not coming,” I muttered, closing my book and tucking it under my arm. I pushed myself off the couch as Potter watched with an amused expression on his face.
“You’re sassy tonight,” he commented, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“And you’re an egotistical goon,” I replied daintily before skirting around the couch and heading towards the stairs. I heard Potter chuckle lightly behind me as I hopped up the stairs.
I took the stairs two at a time and pushed open the door to the dorm I shared with four other girls.
Anna and Scarlet were fighting over the mirror in the corner next to my bed and I tossed my Charms book on top of my trunk, making a loud thump! Anna and Scarlet jumped at the noise and whirled around towards me. I nearly laughed out loud when I saw Scarlet’s face and then the reason that my friends had been fighting over the mirror suddenly became abundantly clear.
Scarlet was holding a tube of mascara in one hand and there was a huge dark blotch just over her left eye.
“Look what she’s made me do,” Scarlet said angrily, elbowing Anna in the ribs and gesturing to her blackened eye with the tube of mascara.
“I didn’t do anything,” Anna said innocently, a wicked smile on her face. “She was in my way and I needed to fix my hair.”
“I look like I’ve been punched in the face!” Scarlet wailed, turning back to the mirror and trying desperately to wipe the mascara off which only made it smear even more.
I pulled my wand out of my pocket and grabbed Scarlet by the shoulders, turning her gently towards me. She gave me her best puppy dog face, pushing her bottom lip out, her dark blue eyes wide and helpless.
“Help me, Lily,” she whimpered pathetically and I bit my lip to stop myself from laughing. But honestly, if you could say “no” to that face then you obviously don’t have a soul.
“Just hold still, will you?” I sighed as I gently rested the tip of my wand against her eyelid. “Evanesco.”
The black inky makeup dissolved and Scarlet sighed in relief when she looked in the mirror.
“You’re a miracle worker,” Scarlet said, reapplying her mascara carefully. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You know, if either of you bothered to pay attention in class, you wouldn’t need me anymore,” I said, sitting on the end of my bed and watching my friends get ready.
“That’s not true,” Anna said, wrapping her blond hair around her wand and creating loose curls. “You’re the only one of us that Madam Pince trusts to check out library books. We still need you for that.”
“You guys are awesome friends,” I rolled my eyes, falling back onto my bed.
“Why aren’t you getting ready?” Anna asked catching a glimpse of me flopped on my bed in the mirror.
I lifted my head slightly to give her a skeptical look.
“Well you can’t wear your uniform,” Anna shrugged.
I sighed and laid my head back down, staring at the top of my four-poster bed. Maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to go downstairs for a bit.
“So how was your afternoon with Alex?” Scarlet asked, pulling her dark hair into a loose ponytail.
“It was good,” I said, sitting up and tucking my feet underneath me. “We just kind of… snogged for a bit. In a broom closet.”
“Lily Evans, I never would have taken you for a broom closet kind of girl,” Scarlet giggled.
“So are you two like, dating or what?” Anna asked, finishing with her hair and coming to sit down on my bed next to me. She nonchalantly dropped a pair of jeans and a black top in my lap to put on and I ignored it.
“I’m not sure,” I answered truthfully. “We haven’t really gotten a chance to talk much yet.”
Scarlet snorted and I glared at her.
“I mean, I think we’re dating,” I shrugged. “We’ve been seeing quite a lot of each other. I can only assume that’s where this is headed… right?”
“Probably,” Anna said, giving the clothes in my lap a little nudge. “Come on, get dressed.”
I sighed and pulled on the dark skinny jeans and plain black t-shirt, not even bothering to look in the mirror.
“Don’t you dare come near me with that mascara Scarlet St. Clair,” I warned as Scarlet took an innocent step towards me, holding the offending tube behind her back.
“Just a little, Lily,” Scarlet pleaded but I shook my head stubbornly at her.
"No way. Mascara is dangerous,” I backed away from her towards the door, carefully slipping my feet into some black flats. “Stay away! I saw what it did to you!”
“That was Anna’s fault!” Scarlet called after me as I scurried out the door after Anna before Scarlet could attack me with the mascara.
I bumped into Anna at the top of the stairs, nearly knocking us both off balance. Well, that would have been quite an entrance to the party.
“I’m only going to stay for five minutes, ten minutes tops,” I said as Anna looped her arm through mine.
Anna let out a musical laugh as we descended the stairs.
“Oh, Lily,” she sighed. “I love how socially stunted you are.”
“I’m not stunted,” I grumbled and Scarlet caught up to us just as we entered the common room.
It was like it was a whole different room than the one I had just been studying in. The lights had been dimmed and there was music blasting from somewhere. More noticeable was the Quidditch team in the middle of the room with an enormous trophy hoisted into the air for everyone to see.
“Come on,” Scarlet said over the noise, towing us towards a table in the corner. “Let’s get something to drink.”
I lingered back as Scarlet and Anna grabbed some bottles from the table.
“Erm, no thanks,” I wrinkled my nose as Scarlet offered me a bottle. She just shrugged and put it back on the table. I couldn’t afford to have a hangover tomorrow with O.W.L.s just a few weeks away.
“Oh Merlin, will you look at Anthony Davenport?” Anna said, pulling Scarlet and I around the room.
“What happened to Jacob Warren?” Scarlet giggled as Anna continued to stare at the 7th year Quidditch player.
“Who?” Anna asked absentmindedly.
Scarlet rolled her eyes at me as Anna took off across the room towards her next victim.
“Aaaand that’s the last we’ll see of her tonight,” I laughed and Scarlet and I leaned up against the wall, taking in our surroundings.
“Looks like James has found his next victim as well,” Scarlet nodded towards the center of the room where Potter was participating in a rather passionate embrace with a dark-haired sixth year.
I let out a disgusted sound at the sight and turned away.
“He could at least find a room, or a secluded corner or something,” I wrinkled my nose.
“I can’t wait to see his reaction when he finds out about you and Alex,” Scarlet sighed, shaking her head in his direction. “He’s gonna have a field day.”
I stared at her for a minute, then turned back to Potter.
“Um… Hello!” I waved my hands in front of her face and gestured back at the conjoined blob that was slowly making its way towards the couch. “I don’t think he’ll care too much.”
“Oh, please,” Scarlet scoffed, turning towards me. “You’re so naïve.”
“Excuse me?” I blinked at her.
“You know he’s only doing that to get under your skin,” Scarlet said carelessly, taking a drink from her bottle. “He wants you to be jealous, you know, regret all the times you’ve turned him down.”
“I really doubt that,” I scowled, watching as Potter and the brunette sink down onto the couch.
“Whatever, I’m going to go find Sirius,” Scarlet shrugged. “Think you’ll be ok on your own for a few?”
I elbowed her in the ribs and she smiled devilishly at me before disappearing into the crowd. Scarlet and Sirius had known each other since they were practically in diapers. They had grown up a few houses down from each other and even though Sirius and his fellow Marauders drove me to insanity daily, she had always somehow remained close to him.
I looked around the room, spotting Remus Lupin leaning against the opposite wall. He was the only Marauder that I could actually stand to be around. He, like me, was a prefect and after many late night patrols we had formed a kind of friendship. Although, those bonds dissolved instantly anytime James Potter was around.
“Enjoying the party?” I asked coming up next to Remus. He turned towards me with a goofy grin on his face, his light brown hair falling haphazardly into his pale blue eyes.
“Oh Merlin, you’re drunk already, aren’t you?” I muttered and Remus laughed.
“I’ve only had a few shots of firewhiskey,” Remus slurred and I rolled my eyes.
“Aw, I was counting on you to be a source of decent conversation tonight,” I scowled playfully at him.
“I can still converse,” Remus huffed, pretending to be offended as he raised his drink pompously. “What would like to talk about? Philosophy? Politics? Fashion?”
I let out a snort of laughter.
“Oh? And what do you know about fashion?” I chuckled as Remus frowned slightly.
“Ok you’re right, I’m too drunk to have this conversation,” Remus agreed, taking a large swig from his bottle.
“Your mates seem to be having quite the time,” I commented, nodding towards Potter who was now horizontal on the couch.
“Oooh, don’t mind Prongs,” Remus shook his head, clapping a hand on my shoulder making my knees buckle slightly. “He’s just having a bit of fun.”
“He’s horizontal,” I frowned, ignoring the reference to their idiotic nicknames. Prongs? What was he, a fork?
“Does that bother you?” Remus asked, his mouth turning up in a sly smile.
“No,” I said forcefully. “But I never want to sit on that couch ever again.”
“Ah, that’s my boy,” Sirius Black sauntered up to his with his arm around Scarlet and a half-empty bottle of firewhiskey clutched in his other hand.
“I can’t believe you two,” I said crossing my arms. “You’re letting him make a complete arse of himself.”
“Well, if it makes you feel any better, we’re also letting Peter make a complete arse of himself, too,” Sirius said nodding towards the corner where Peter Pettigrew, the fourth Marauder, was doing a kind of jig on the table while people clapped and cheered him on.
“Jelly-legs jinx,” Sirius winked at me and I rolled my eyes.
“Oh come on, lighten up, Evans,” Sirius said, his grey eyes twinkling at me in the dim light. “You’re just jealous ‘cos no one here wants to have a snog with you.”
“Oh, please,” Scarlet interjected, shrugging Sirius’s arm off her shoulder. “Plenty of people want to snog Lily.”
“Oh yeah?” Remus raised his eyebrows at me. “Like who?”
I shot an angry look at Scarlet.
“Erm… just, plenty of people,” I stuttered, hoping they didn’t press the matter. Urgh, its times like these that I think Alex and I should take our relationship out of the shadows. If they knew I was snogging him maybe they’d lay off.
“Hate to burst your bubble, Red, but Severus Snape doesn’t count,” Sirius cocked his head to the side and I felt my face burn.
“Severus does not fancy me,” I huffed.
“Yes, he does,” Sirius and Remus said at the same time, nodding their heads in sync with each other.
“Ease up, will you?” Scarlet elbowed Sirius in the gut and he doubled over. “They’re just friends…. Though I don’t understand why…”
I ignored that last bit from Scarlet, but was grateful that she at least was coming to my defense. Anna and Scarlet had never really understood my friendship with Severus; I didn’t expect them to. It was… complicated with him. But that’s a whole other matter for another time.
“Slughorn doesn’t count either,” Sirius went on, and Remus choked on his firewhiskey.
“Ew, he’s a professor, Sirius,” Scarlet squealed and I shuddered at the thought of kissing the gigantic mustache of our Potions Professor.
“But those are the only two people I can think of who’d want to snog Lily,” Sirius shrugged and I gave him my best death glare.
“Well, as much fun as it is to stand here and listen to you two idiots talk about who does and doesn’t want to snog me, I think I’m going to go back upstairs,” I said, pushing myself away from the wall.
“But the party’s only just started!” Scarlet whined, and I could sense that she was about to unleash the full force of her puppy-dog eyes on me. I quickly turned away and made my way through the crowd.
“I said I’d stay five minutes, didn’t I? That was at least six…” I called at her over my shoulder.
I passed by the couch and Potter sat up briefly, the brunette rolling off him onto the ground with a thud!
“Evans! You came!” Potter exclaimed happily as his former snog partner huffed at him from the floor.
“And now I’m leaving,” I said turning away from him.
“’Night, Red!” Potter called after me and I winced at the nickname as I darted up the stairs to my dorm. So much for a nice relaxing night of studying for my O.W.L.s.
A/N: Hey everyone! So this was a very fluffy chapter... but everything that happens is important to the story, I swear!!! More will happen in the next one.
Thanks so much to everyone who's reviewed so far!
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