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Chapter 14 : Lancelot and Guinevere
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It was Friday afternoon, mid-way through her Easter holidays, when Lily Evans realised something. It had been a week since she had spent time with anyone other than Sirius Black. Except from one letter, written to her mother while Sirius had been at work, Lily had spent all her free time with Sirius and had never craved any other company. The realisation left her feeling strange – it was as if they were going out.
“What are you thinking about?” Sirius asked her. They had just eaten lunch and were headed back up to the common room.
“Nothing.” replied Lily, unwilling to share her recent revelation. Sirius shrugged and didn’t press her. As they wandered along the second floor corridor, a group of three teachers exited the staff room in front of them. Lily lifted her eyes to smile briefly as they passed, but Slughorn stopped them, grinning widely at his favourite pupil.
“Miss Evans! Mr. Black! Enjoying your holidays?”
The students each made a polite reply, then Sirius added
“And you Proffessor? Enjoying some time off? I know you work really hard.”
Lily heard the sarcasm in his voice with some alarm, but luckily, Slughorn missed it. Proffessor Mcgonagal, who stood behind the potions master, was more observant.
“Indeed, Proffessor Slughorn does work incredibly hard, Mr. Black, which is more than I can say for you.” She said. “I hope you’ve been busy with my transfiguration essay, in between frittering your time away with Miss Evans.”
Sirius smiled winningly.
“I’ll believe it when I see it.” muttered Mcgonagal. Slughorn was still smiling warmly about him, not realizing the full relevance of the conversation between Sirius and Mcgonagal.
“Ah, let them have their fun, Minerva” Slughorn blustered. “You know Mr. Black here is a Brilliant student – when he gets down to that essay I’m sure it will be magnificent! I keep trying to persuade him to come to the slug club you know, but to no avail. Maybe you could persuade him Miss. Evans. You enjoy our meetings don’t you?”
“Yes Proffessor. When do they start up again? Will there be a summer party soon?”
Sirius shot Lily a sickened look.
“Of course there will be a summer party!” enthused Slughorn. “What can you think of me? And of course you’ll bring a plus one – maybe Mr. Black....? But then, well, it’s nothing to do with me. However I do think someone may be a little disappointed if you were to take this young man” (he gestured towards Sirius) instead of him.” His eyes fell on Lily rather knowingly, and she blushed, not knowing where to look.
“Horace...” Mcgonagal began, sternly.
“It’s alright Minerva, I won’t embarrass Miss Evans any longer. Don’t worry about that. In fact I think our little Lancelot and Guinevere, here, are very well suited...”
“Sorry, sorry – maybe I am a little tactless.” Slughorn apologized. “I hope to see you both at the next meeting of the Slug Club, anyway. Especially you, Miss. Evans.”
Sirius and Lily smiled and made polite goodbyes, as the teachers went their own way. Once they had disappeared around the corner, Sirius let out an angry sigh.
“Merlin!” he moaned. “How can you go to those slug meetings? If I had to go and make small-talk with that fat twat once a fortnight, I’d probably be in the closed ward at St. Mungo’s by now.”
“Don’t.” Lily said. “He’s okay really.”
“Why is it his business who you spend your time with?” Sirius continued. “He’s a nosy git. And it’s not like he’s even our head of house! He’s head of Sytherin – just proves he can’t be trusted...”
“Calm down.” Lily said, linking an arm through his as they walked. She could guess at his irritation – he was feeling guilty, because of James, but she knew better than to mention it. “You’re right, he is nosy – but harmless.”They walked in silence for a while, but just as they reached Gryffindor tower, Lily remembered something.
“Sirius...” She began, tentatively. “What do you think he meant when he said ‘our little Lancelot and Guinevere’?” She bit her lip as she waited for Sirius to answer.
“Dunno.” said Sirius. “Easter egg.” The fat lady’s portrait swung open, and for a change she had no comment to make. Lily followed Sirius through the portrait hole, contemplating the meaning of the phrase Slughorn had used.
“You don’t think...” she said.
“Maybe it’s because you’re ginger – wasn’t Guinevere ginger?”
“I think so – but I could be wrong.”
Sirius grimaced at her.
“I know what he meant. I think we both do.”
Lily ran a hand through her hair.
“What are we going to do?”
“Do?” said Sirius, raising an eyebrow. “Nothing. We’re not going to do anything just because Sluggy is making sly little comments.”
“Right. But what if he says anything to...”
“He won’t. It’s not like he has anything to tell.”
“No.” Lily sighed, feeling emotionally drained. To be honest she had no idea where the whole situation was leading, if anywhere, but she wasn’t sure she liked being compared to Guinevere. That would make James King Arthur.
“I need a sit down.” She decided, sounding middle aged.
“Me too.” Sirius agreed, heading for the comfy chair closest to the fire, the chair which Lily liked best, but somehow never managed to sit on. All of a sudden she was running towards it, dodging past Sirius to reach her destination.
“Hey!” Sirius bellowed indignantly, running forward and grabbing her by the waist, pulling her back. “That’s my chair!”
“I don’t see your name on it!” Lily was laughing now, as she wriggled out of Sirius’s grasp and dived for the chair. Sirius grabbed her arm, but the rest of her hit her target, landing splat- bang in the centre of the seat. Her shoulder banged against the chair back with such force that it rocked back slightly, and Sirius had to grab the arms to steady it. Lily giggled as she looked up at him from her sunken position amid the plush, red velvet. His hands rested one on either arm, and he was leaning forward slightly.
“Get out of my chair.” He told her gruffly, attempting to keep a straight face.
“I’ll count to three.” He said. “Three...two...one...”
Lily pulled her head back, grinning.
“Right - ” Sirius dived forward, and Lily squealed as he tickled her.
“Get off!” she gasped, inbetween bursts of choking laughter. Finally he listened, and drew back, still grinning. Lily took a breath. He was looking at her with a kind of fierce excitement, his eyes, like molten steel, riveted on her face.
“Lily..” He said. She had no breath to make a reply, but her lips parted slightly. Sirius, slowly yet confidently, leaned forward until his forehead almost touched hers. His eyes never leaving her face, he reached up one hand behind her head, twisting a strand of hair between his fingers. Lily could hear her own fractured breathing, as well as his. He made a move as if to kiss her. She giggled.
“What?” he asked, drawing back suddenly.
“Nothing.” She told him, and she closed the gap between them, kissing him once, gently. He returned the kiss, softly at first but with growing vigour. Yet as her lips moved against his, she was infused with a sense of guilt – James. She quickly stowed this thought away however. She was nothing to James, she owed him nothing. Sirius was obviously thinking along the same lines, as he whispered, barely audibly
“What James doesn’t know, can’t hurt him.”
Lily almost recoiled at the callousness of his words, yet she soon realised that Sirius’s thoughts were more rebellious than spiteful.
“James has so much,” Sirius murmured into Lily’s neck as he planted kisses along it. “Why shouldn’t I get something I want?”
Exhilerated by Sirius’s words, Lily gave herself over to the moment, kissing him back with renewed excitement. But it couldn’t last long. Eventually she broke away from Sirius, reminding him
“You’ve got work.”
He didn’t relent straight away, but eventually he agreed that he shouldn’t be late again.
“First,” he said, getting to his feet and pulling Lily up with him. “I need to ask you something.” Lily waited in anticipation. “Will you go out with me?”
Lily laughed and threw out her arm dramatically.
“I thought you’d never ask.”
“We’ll need to keep it secret.”
“I get it.”
“But it’s still official.”
Lily smiled at him affectionately.
“Official is great.” And with that, Sirius kissed her soundly on the lips.
Lily woke up on Easter Sunday, happily anticipating the new day. There was a pile of Easter Eggs at the foot of her bed (she loved chocolate), the sun was shining, and her secret boyfriend was just downstairs, waiting to take her to breakfast. Life was good. She threw back her duvet cover and bounded out of bed, stopping only to check her chocolate eggs, and who they were from, before she got dressed. There were three muggle made, Cadbury eggs from her parents and Petunia, and one each from Mary, Rachel, Beth, Alice and Louisa Castles. But there was one she was not prepared for. Packaged in a simple purple box and bought at Honeydukes, with the egg itself apparently holding pounds of toffee inside, and on the outside iced with an astonishingly well -drawn white flower. A lily. The card read:
Because I know you have a sweet tooth! Happy Easter!
- James x
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