Things had relaxed into a pleasant rhythm, classes, Hogsmeade and Quidditch, James had found to his delight that he had been nominated as Quidditch captain by their former captain Martin Dervish.
Something that undoubtedly called for a celebration.
“Oi, James!” Sirius called out from the banisters in the Gryffindor common room, “Are we having fun yet?”
James smiled up him, “I see you are,” he said, referring to the girl hanging from Sirius’ arm.
Sirius raised his Butterbeer at him and cackled madly.
James shook his head, smiling: What has he spiked his drink with? He wondered, chuckling to himself.
Remus was standing uneasily with James, uncomfortable with the rabble, the swelling crowds of well-wishers that had flocked to James’ side.
“We knew you’d get it James,” said Daniel Rodgers, Keeper for the Gryffindor team, he slapped him on the back and mock saluted him, “Oh Captain, my Captain,” falling into a low bow, he backed away humbly.
James smiled broadly, laughing at Rodgers with Remus, who was still retreating shyly from contact with everyone.
“Have some fun, Moony,” James whispered, seeing that Remus had now backed himself into a dark corner, “Come on, you’re big enough and ugly enough to step out on your own,” he chided teasingly.
Remus just smiled accommodatingly and replied, “I’m supposed to be keeping an eye on you, make sure you, ahem, don’t get out of control…”
James guffawed loudly, at the mere suggestion that anyone could control him. “Evans’ words?” he asked.
Remus nodded, “I think she’s waiting for Sirius to fall into her trap,” he said, eyes flickering to the place where Sirius was merrily singing the school song with a couple of guys.
“Should we tell him?” Remus asked bemusedly.
James shook his head, “I want to see Evan’s get all riled up,” he commented happily.
Lily, currently, was talking with Pollyanna Biggerstaff; James was eyeing her almost predatorily.
“Why won’t she go out with me?” James moaned dramatically.
“I’d say it’s because you’re a conceited prat, but that’s just me,” Remus suggested casually.
James glared at him, but then his face split into a wide grin.
“Go talk to her,” Remus urged, “civilly,” he added.
“I’m always civil!” James replied, shocked, to which Remus just raised his eyebrows, “Okay, okay, civil, right, I can be civil,” he said, prepping and preening himself, hands nervously raking through his hair.
He approached Lily, filled with forced confidence, and he tapped her on the shoulder, “Hello,” he cooed, wide grin still on his face.
For a moment it looked like she didn’t know whether to smile or glare, but this indecision was only brief and she smiled politely up at James, who was almost a foot and a half taller than her.
“Congratulations Potter,” she said kindly, but tightly.
James was so thunderstruck by this reaction, that he was momentarily speechless, finally he spluttered stupidly, “Ah, yeah, thanks I guess,”
“So, er, did you have a good summer?” she asked, he could see that she was growing uncomfortable.
And he was too, the way she had responded to him was alien, and they were both venturing into new territory, still unable to get out a single coherent thought, he rounded on her, eyes narrowing and stood in stance he was most used to when dealing with her, “What, no yelling about the party? About how I’m just an irresponsible prat with a superiority complex who gets by with favoritism and dumb luck?”
She smiled lightly at him, her green eyes flashing dangerously, “No, that will come later, but this is your party after all, didn’t want to be rude,” she explained, the tone of her voice clipped and proper.
“And I know how to have fun, Potter,” she said, and laughed airily, “I rather enjoy a good celebration,” she said, her eyes scanning the merriment that surrounded her.
James smiled curiously down at her, still feeling a little unsure as to how to go from here, he opened his mouth to speak when they heard a loud bang coming from somewhere above them.
Lily’s eyes snapped up to where the sound had come from and she smiled slightly, she then bolted up the stairs leading to the girl’s dorms.
They heard her laugh as she and another girl helped a slightly dazed looking Sirius down from upstairs and lay him down on the couch.
Lily had a broad grin on her face; her eyes were illuminated as she shook her head down at Sirius, who gaze was now refocusing, rather accusatorily at her.
“What did you do?” he demanded croakily.
She smiled sweetly down at him, “Well, I knew you’d figured out a way to by pass the charm on the stairs so, ye of little faith, I put another one on the door,” she said, mischief twinkling in her eyes, “I knew you wouldn’t bother checking, so I figured it would get you by surprise,”
Sirius scowled at her, but there was something like laughter brewing behind his eyes.
“Oh, ha ha,” he said testily, pushing himself back up, then he gave her his most charming smile, “I’ll get you back, you know,”
Lily shook her head, still smiling “You’re all talk Black,” she retorted, turning abruptly and walking back to her friends…the ones who weren’t cooing over the ‘injured’ Sirius Black.
James was still gaping disbelievingly at her retreating back, Remus came up behind him, slapped him on the back, “How’d it go?” he said laughingly.
James just sent him a scathing look and sat down heavily on a well-cushioned couch, legs stretched out in front of him, he was deep in thought when he was approached by Martina Coately.
“James,” she purred, kneeling in front of him, her eyes alight with lust.
“Oh, hey Martina,” he said distractedly.
She bit her lip enticingly, placing a hand on his knee, rubbing it slightly; “I thought you might want to…celebrate, with me…alone.”
James looked down at her, taking a few moments to absorb what she was saying, “Oh, ah, what? No, some other time maybe, I’m…” he desperately tried to think of an excuse for passing up the opportunity with the very delectable Martina, “I’m really tired,”
She looked crestfallen, “Oh, well, maybe some other time then,”
He got up from his seat, and made to go upstairs, “Ooo, James, I can’t believe that you actually just gave up the chance to spend some time with Martina Coately,” Peter squealed.
James chuckled and patted Peter on the shoulder, “I’m kind of tired, Peter, there’ll be plenty of chances to be alone with Martina Coately later, you should go have some fun, I’m off to bed,” he trudged up the stairs, casting one last glance at Lily, who had thrown her hair back as she laughed with her friends, he watched it shake and shimmer in the dying glow of the fire, admiring her quietly for just a moment before turning into his dorm, alone.