Chapter 11 : New You
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“I’ll give this truce of yours a week,” Scarlet shook her head, a small smile playing at her lips. “I know you’ve eased up quite a bit, but let’s be honest. There’s no way you and James will be able to fool McGonagall into thinking you two actually get along.”
“Weren’t you the one begging me to be friendly with the Marauders?” I asked incredulously. “How about showing some support? He’s not actually too horrible to be around. And besides, he gets really frustrated when I don’t yell at him now. It’s pretty amusing.”
“I still think it’ll only last a week,” Scarlet laughed softly. “You know eventually he’ll say something or do something to set you off and it’ll be back to normal.”
“Give me some credit please,” I scoffed as we turned into the Charms classroom.
“So what, next time Potter asks you out you’re going to say yes?” Anna giggled along with Scarlet as we took our seats.
“Urgh, why do I even bother talking to you two?” I grumbled, pulling my enormous Charms book out of my bag.
“Because you luuuuurve us,” Anna cooed, making kissing noises with her lips as she and Scarlet sandwiched me between them in what was supposed to be a hug.
“Geroff me,” I muttered, but I couldn’t hold back a smile at my friends’ ridiculousness.
Scarlet and Anna reluctantly let me go, still laughing quietly, as Professor Flitwick bounded into the classroom and perched himself on top of a pile of books behind his desk.
“Hello, sixth years!” He squeaked, just the top of his head visible behind his desk. “Welcome to your N.E.W.T.S. Charms course.”
Professor Flitwick babbled on about the things we’d be learning this year and I let my mind wander a bit. I had already read the entire Charms book so I was well versed in what we’d be doing.
Across the room, I noticed the Marauders huddled in the back row, their heads bowing together as Flitwick turned his back to write the principles of a new charm on the board.
Plotting their next prank, probably. Filthy slackers.
“And who can tell me the proper incantation for the Imperturbable Charm?” Flitwick asked, his eyes peaking out from behind his desk.
My hand shot into the air instinctively (earning quiet giggles from Scarlet and Anna) and I opened my mouth to answer but another voice cut me off.
“The incantation is impertubatus,” A clear feminine voice rang out and I turned towards the source. A Ravenclaw girl, judging by the blue trim on her robes, with straight cinnamon colored hair had been the one to answer.
“Correct, Miss Carrington,” Flitwick squeaked. “And who can tell me the correct wand movement to perform the incantation?”
I opened my mouth to respond again, not even bothering to raise my hand this time, but once again I was interrupted.
“One should circle the target object once counter-clockwise starting from the lowest point,” the same Ravenclaw girl answered again and I scowled. What was going on here? No one ever answered Flitwick’s questions except me. Who did this Ravenclaw girl think she was?
“Correct again, Miss Carrington,” Flitwick smiled. “Now I’d like you all to divide into pairs of twos or threes to practice this charm. The person who casts the spell will want to create a barrier between themselves and another person. Once the charm is cast, the other person should not be able to hear or detect anything from the castor.”
Anna and Scarlet had me go first and I quickly flourished my wand, so used to using silent spells by now that I didn’t bother saying the words. Anna’s eyes grew wide as Scarlet and I disappeared behind the charm. If I had done the spell correctly, she wouldn’t be able to hear us either.
“Who was that girl?” I asked Scarlet irritably, glancing towards the Ravenclaw girl.
“Her name’s Celia,” Scarlet said, making faces at Anna who was trying to find a flaw in my magical barrier.
“Do you know her?” I asked, turning towards Scarlet.
“Not really,” she shrugged. “She was with Robert Young for a while last year. He’s quite a good kisser, apparently.”
“Scar, how on earth do you know these kinds of things?” I sighed, glancing back at Celia, who disappeared before my eyes as she cast her own Imperturbable charm.
“He and Anna fooled around after they broke up, remember?” Scarlet said carelessly.
“Have we had any classes with her before?” I asked, wondering why I had never noticed her.
“She was in our Defense Against the Dark Arts class last year. She was really quiet though, didn’t speak much,” Scarlet frowned, turning away from Anna and back towards me. “Looks like you’ve got some competition this year.”
“Hmm,” I agreed, lifting the charm with a flick of my wand.
“There you are,” Anna said grumpily. “Took you long enough.”
“Sorry,” I shrugged, watching as Scarlet and Anna disappeared behind her Imperturbable charm.
I glanced back at Celia who had reappeared and was watching as her friends performed the charm. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I could have sworn I saw her eyes flit to my face in a defiant glare before turning back to her friends.
So much for easing up on the studying this year. Looks like I had my work cut out for me if I wanted to stay on top…
* * * *
“Ouch! Annie you stood on my foot,” Scarlet hissed and I shushed them both.
“If you two don’t shut up, we’re going to get caught,” I hissed back at them.
“Are you ever going to tell us where we’re going?” Anna asked quietly as we hurried across the entrance hall towards the front door.
“I’ll tell you when we get there,” I said hurriedly, pulling the front door open. “Now, be quiet! I’m supposed to be doing patrol right now so if we get caught, you two will have to hide.”
“I think I liked her better before she made us sneak out after curfew,” Anna muttered and Scarlet smacked her on the back of the head.
We slipped outside and stole across the grounds towards the owlery.
“What the—“ Anna was cut off as I pulled them off behind the tower instead of ascending the stairs.
“Lily, you’re not taking us into the forest to kill us, are you?” Scarlet asked, peering sideways at me as we traipsed towards the dim light of the Well. “Because, if this is about me stealing your toast at breakfast this morning, I’m sorry! I’ll give you mine tomorrow! I promise!”
I let out a quiet laugh, but kept walking. The Well was visible from where we were and I hurried towards it.
“She didn’t deny it…” Scarlet whispered anxiously to Anna and I turned towards them.
“For Merlin’s sake, Scar, I’m not going to kill you,” I grabbed their arms, pulling them towards the Well. “I found this the other night after my meeting with McGonagall.”
We paused at the edge of the Well and stared into the dark water.
“Lily… what is this?” Anna asked quietly, letting her fingers dangle in the water, the little golden fish swimming in circles around each other.
“I think it used to be a well,” I said. “But I honestly have no idea. Last time when I was here I dropped that note I’d written at dinner into the water and it just… disappeared.”
“Oh!” Anna jumped back from the well and Scarlet and I stared at her in surprise.
“What is it?” Scarlet asked her, her eyes flitting to the Well and back to Anna.
“I just had my hand in the water and the fish… well, look,” Anna kneeled down next to the well and submerged her hand in the water.
Scarlet and I watched as one of the fish swam towards her hand and instead of swimming around it, passed right through like it wasn’t there at all.
Anna glanced up at our stunned faces.
“Lily, what on earth is this thing?” Scarlet turned slowly towards me.
“I dunno,” I repeated as Anna pulled her hand back out of the water, wiping it dry on her robes.
“But I wish I knew how it worked,” I muttered, staring wistfully at the little shimmering trails that left behind by the fish.
I moved closer as something appeared beneath the surface of the water. It looked like a piece of parchment.
“What’s that,” I pointed towards the middle of the pool and Scarlet reached over the edge, her fingers slipping beneath the surface briefly as she grabbed the piece of paper.
“It’s got writing on it,” Scarlet brandished the perfectly dry piece of parchment at us and Anna and I huddled on either side of Scarlet to read.
Built with care of ancient stone
Forgotten now, I stand alone
I am no common wishing well
Beneath my surface, secrets dwell
When I was built, it was made clear
There would be magic working here
Long gone is my creator now
But ‘fore she left she made me vow
To listen close to those who came
And to my depths they did proclaim
Their secrets and their deep desires
Some were pure, yet most were liars
The selfless wishes I did grant,
The liar’s wish, I would recant
So selfish wishers, do beware
Of want and greed, I am aware
But say your wish, don’t be dismayed
Into my waters they will fade
Watch them drown, come have a look,
I’ll keep them in my secret book
So speak your wish, no need to wait
And let The Well decide your fate.
“Er… Is anyone else massively creeped out by this thing?” Anna said unsteadily, taking a step back from us.
“It’s a wishing well,” I breathed, staring over the parchment at the smooth water.
“What the fuck kind of wishing well has a mind of its own, though?” Scarlet set the parchment on the stone brim of the Well and looked up at me, her midnight blue eyes wide.
I remembered last night when my wish not to like Alex anymore had slipped from my fingers into the Well. I hadn’t been lying… I didn’t want to like him anymore. So why hadn’t my wish come true?
“I wonder if anyone else knows about this…” I said quietly, watching as a slight breeze sent the parchment falling back into the Well where it quickly sank beneath the surface.
A low rumble of thunder sounded above us and I glanced at the ominous sky.
“We should probably go back,” I suggested, stepping away from the Well.
Anna and Scarlet nodded in agreement, both shooting furtive glances back at the Well as we hurried out of the forest and back towards the castle.
I glanced up at the big clock in the entrance hall and made a face. My patrol was already over… oops.
Anna, Scarlet, and I made it to the seventh floor without seeing anyone but as soon as we got off the grand staircase, we heard footsteps approaching down the hall.
Anna and Scarlet shot me panicked looks and I quickly shoved them into a broom closet.
“I’ll distract whoever it is. Try and sneak out,” I whispered hastily at them as I closed the door.
“Oy! Evans!” I heard Potter call my name, striding down the hall quickly towards me.
I turned slowly towards the sound of his footsteps, a wary expression on my face. He probably knew I’d skived off patrols… perfect. Detention, here I come.
“Are you just getting back from patrols? I finished ages ago,” Potter asked, coming to a stop in front of me. I let out a breath, thanking Merlin that he just thought I had been out on patrols.
“Yeah, just getting back,” I said, trying to give my voice a breezy quality.
“Well, I’m going to swipe some firewhiskey, want to come with?” Potter asked, nudging me playfully in the side. I frowned at him as I thought about it.
Scarlet and Anna peeked out of the broom closet behind Potter’s back, making sure he was distracted.
“Where are you getting the firewhiskey?” I asked him, stalling for time as Anna and Scarlet tip-toed down the hall behind him.
“Kitchens,” Potter answered, staring at me as if he were waiting for me to tell him off.
“You and the Marauders having a party or something?” I asked, crossing my arms, hoping my face didn’t give me away. I let out a small sigh as Anna and Scarlet disappeared around the corner.
Potter nodded, his eyes positively daring me to turn him in.
“Well, we should probably get two bottles because I’m sure Scarlet and Anna will want to join us,” I said, shrugging. I turned on my heel and started walking back towards the grand staircase. I noticed Potter didn’t follow and I paused, turning back to glance at him over my shoulder. “Are you coming?”
Potter was staring at me with a mixture of disbelief and awe. He quickly gathered himself and set off towards me at a quick stride.
Scarlet and Anna had said they wanted to party with the Marauders and here was our chance… Wouldn’t this be a good opportunity to prove how laid back I could be? Besides, I’d only been back at school for a week and it already felt like a month …I needed to blow off some steam, and firewhiskey sounded like the perfect way.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this new side of you,” Potter mused, falling into step with me.
“It’s kind of surprising to me, too,” I admitted. “It’s weird… all these years I’ve been so strict about rules and then I guess… over the summer I just kind of decided that I don’t really care anymore.”
“You, Lily Evans, don’t care about school rules?” Potter asked skeptically.
“Well, it’s not that I don’t care about them,” I explained carefully, glancing sideways at him. “I’m just trying not to take everything so seriously. Plus, it’s sixth year, I think it’s about time I had some fun in this castle.”
“In the five years I’ve known you, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say the word ‘fun’,” Potter chuckled, steering me down a side corridor outside the Great Hall.
“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” I muttered darkly as we passed the Hufflepuff’s dorm entrance. My thoughts drifted briefly to Alex, but I forced myself to focus on Potter, who was looking at me with his eyebrows knitting together in confusion.
“Are you ever going to tell me what actually happened with you and him?” Potter grumbled, guessing where my thoughts were.
“Probably not,” I flashed a smile at him and he rolled his eyes. “There’s not much to tell. We broke up, end of story.”
“I doubt that,” Potter muttered, rolling his eyes. “I don’t understand why you won’t just tell me.”
“And I don’t understand why you need to know so badly,” I countered but Potter just shrugged like it didn’t mean anything at all to him. “We broke up. That’s all there is to it.”
“Whatever you say, Freckles,” Potter rolled his eyes.
I waited outside the portrait of the fruit bowl while Potter went into the kitchens for the firewhiskey. I was staring at the still life painting down the corridor that I knew was the entrance to Hufflepuff.
Stupid Alex with his stupid Hufflepuff friends and his stupid Hufflepuff dorm.
My bitter thoughts were interrupted by a scuffling sound behind me and I whirled around to see a dark figure ascending the staircase to the dungeons on my right.
“Who’s there?” I called, trying to insert a tone of authority into my voice. Bloody students out after curfew… I guess this was karma for me skiving off patrol tonight.
“Lily?” A low voice answered and the figure came into the light. I let out the breath I had been holding, seeing that it was only Severus.
“Oh Sev, thank Merlin it’s only you. What are you doing out so late?” I asked, lowering my wand.
“Er…detention,” Severus muttered, his dark eyes darting up and down the corridor.
“It’s the first week and you’ve already got detention?” I asked, trying to suppress a smile. “What did you do?”
“What are you doing out so late?” Severus asked, dodging my question.
I rolled my eyes, realizing that I was probably better off not knowing why he’d gotten detention.
“Erm… patrol,” I lied quickly, hoping that Potter stayed in the kitchens for a little bit longer until Severus was gone.
We stared at each other for a moment without saying anything. It was a weird kind of silence, not awkward, but full of a kind of tension I couldn’t quite identify.
“So er…Did you have a good first week?” Severus asked breaking the silence as he shoved his hands deep in his pockets.
“It was alright,” I shrugged. “There’s this Ravenclaw girl in my Charms class who’s like, trying to become the new me…. You know answering all the questions and stuff.”
“Impossible,” Severus shrugged, his dark eyes glancing up at me. “No one could ever be as clever as you.”
I smiled weakly at him, and was overcome with the urge to hug him. At least he didn’t think I was an insufferable know-it-all. He seemed to be the only one…
“My god, I love those house elves,” Potter stumbled out from behind the portrait of the fruit with two bottles of firewhiskey clutched precariously in one hand and a platter of small cakes and pastries in the other. He stopped dead in his tracks when he spotted Severus.
“Snivellus,” Potter growled, his expression shifting quickly to annoyance. “What are you doing here?”
“Sev was just finishing a detention,” I said evenly, glancing between them.
“I hope you weren’t polishing in the trophy room,” Potter sneered. “I’d hate to get grease marks all over my Quidditch trophies.”
Severus growled and pulled out his wand. I quickly grabbed his arm, pulling him away from Potter.
“Sev,” I hissed urgently. “Stop!”
Severus paused, his eyes flitting to me, and seeing my distraught face, he relaxed his stance, letting his arm drop to his side.
“What’s he doing here?” Severus whispered angrily to me. “Why are you with him? I thought you were on patrol…”
“Yes, we were. He just wanted to stop and get something to eat. Please, Sev. Just go back to your dorm,” I whispered back urgently. The last thing I wanted was for him and Potter to get into a fight now, especially since Severus had promised me he wouldn’t hex any Gryffindors.
Severus glared angrily at me for a moment, his eyes still searching my face for the answers to his questions.
He turned swiftly on his heel and stormed off the corridor.
I turned back to Potter who was shoving a small cake in his mouth, chewing it lazily.
“Why do you have to bully him like that?” I scolded him, shoving him angrily into a suit of armor as I stomped past him back towards our dorm.
“Look who’s bullying,” Potter said thickly, choking on the cake stuffed in his mouth.
“What’s he ever done to you?” I burst angrily, my feet making a satisfying amount of noise as I stomped down the empty corridor.
“He’s a slimy git,” Potter shrugged, jogging to keep up with me. “Always poking his great filthy nose where it doesn’t belong. And why on earth are you defending him? Have you forgotten what he called you last June?”
I huffed furiously, stopping at the bottom of the grand staircase as I waited for the first flight to stop moving.
“I haven’t forgotten,” I said quietly, hurrying up the stairs when they came to a stop in front of us.
“I don’t get you, Evans,” Potter sighed, leaning against the banister as the staircase we were on started moving. “You let me hex that bloke back in Flourish and Blotts, take down an entire hall of students, and swipe firewhiskey from the kitchens without saying a word. Yet I make one remark about Snape—who called you a you-know-what by the way—and you get all defensive. D’you fancy him or something?”
“Hardly,” I scoffed. “We’re just friends.”
“Seems to me he’s got a bit more than friendship on his mind,” Potter commented casually as I hopped off the steps before they had stopped and continued down the seventh floor corridor to our dorm.
I paused at his words and turned towards him. “What makes you say that?”
“Come on, Evans. It’s pretty obvious,” Potter smirked, stopping beside me. “The way he looks at you, the fact that he followed you around the entire last week of school trying to apologize for calling you a –well, you know… the way he hates me because I’m always asking you out…”
“He’s not the only one who hates you for that,” I grumbled.
“Ah, you’ll come around one of these days,” Potter chuckled, reaching out a hand and ruffling my hair. I growled and twisted myself away from him, elbowing him sharply in the gut in the process.
Potter let out a punctured grunt and I stepped lightly away from him, standing in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady who was snoring loudly.
“Erm… excuse me?” I asked tentatively and she raised her head a fraction of an inch to glare at me.
“Flitterbloom?” I said tentatively and the Fat Lady scowled at me before swinging forward.
I turned back towards Potter who was doubled over with his arms wrapped his stomach.
“What’s the matter with you?” I asked, raising an eyebrow at him.
“You have really bony elbows,” Potter groaned hoarsely.
“Oh, man up,” I rolled my eyes and grabbed his arm, pulling him through the portrait hole. “We’ve got some firewhiskey to drink…”
“You know, I think I’m beginning to like this new you, Evans,” Potter chuckled weakly and followed me into the common room.
A/N: First of all, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who's reviewed so far! You guys are awesome and its all your reviews that keep me writing. I've gotten over a hundred so far! Can you believe that? It makes me all warm and fuzzy :)
Second, for those of you wondering, I've got a ton of this story already written (I just finished writing chapter 22) and I have the rest completely planned out!
Third, it might be a little bit before my next update (and by a while I mean a week or two). I'm moving to my summer job this coming weekend and I have no idea if i'm going to be able to get internet there or not :/ But never fear! I'll find a way :)
Finally, what did you think of this chapter? Sorry if the Well poem was cheesy, I've never been that great at poetry...
So what do you think is going to happen at this little party of theirs?
Will James and Lily's truce survive a night of firewhiskey?
Will Lily ever tell James why she and Alex REALLY broke up?
Leave a review :)
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