Chapter 2 : The Ball
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The week before the ball seemed to race in and before she knew it, Lily was putting on her green dress and using a spell her Aunt Angelina had taught her to put her hair into loose curls. Her dress was cut in a scoop-neck and fell down to her knees. It was skin tight to her hips and then it loosened. It was a deep green, with a lacy section from the right shoulder down to her left hip in a floral design. The green of the dress made Lily’s red locks glow and enhanced her large, hazel eyes.
Lily had almost completely forgotten about the bathroom incident by the time she was walking arm in arm with her cousin in his lovely black dress robes into the now-transformed great hall. It was definitely following a winter theme, with the ceiling showing the snow from outside, and mistletoe hung at random intervals throughout the festive Great Hall. Everyone was done with classes and the majority of students would be going home for the holidays on Sunday, giving the older students time to recover from the hangovers they would have the next day.
The pair sat down at a table with one of Louis’ Ravenclaw friends and Lily listened to a Quidditch discussion she didn’t really care about. The boys were saying that they had a chance at the cup, which she disagreed with. Lily was on the Quidditch team, due to the fact that no daughter of the famous Ginny Potter could possibly not be. Lily was one of the chasers, alongside Smithy and James (who doubled as captain), with Roxy and Freddie playing the beaters, Antony Wood as the keeper and Effie as seeker. All in all, it was very much a family affair, but it could not be avoided with two professionals in the family. Ginny and Angelina couldn’t very well have children that were not brought up playing Quidditch.
Lily promptly excused herself from the Ravenclaw table when she saw her brother enter with a pretty brunette on his arm. Lily had tried to convince him to ask Effie, and he probably would have if Antony hadn’t gotten in the way. Antony and Effie had been together the previous year, for about four months, but were still friends and they did fit together nicely. He was in Effie’s year, and Lily had heard more than once how much James despised him. Although he would never admit it, this hatred had only occurred after he asked Effie out. Lily smiled up at James and the girl she now recognised as Sophie, a Hufflepuff in James’ year who had the reputation for being ‘easy’.
“James,” Lily began kindly. “You’re looking very handsome.” Lily nodded her head toward Sophie, to whom she had never actually spoken. The boy didn’t really need his ego boosted, but she could not deny that he was good-looking. He was wearing fitted black robes, with a white shirt and a black bowtie. He was tall and slim, but there was barely an ounce of fat on him (despite his immense appetite) just toned muscles. He was taller than Albus, who had the perfect figure for his Quidditch position: the seeker.
“I guess you look okay,” James said with a cheeky grin on his face. Lily would have let this comment pass, seeing as she was used to this kind of thing from both her brothers. James’ date, however, was apparently not used to anything other than compliments because she elbowed James’ ribs. Lily laughed aloud, and Sophie smiled at her.
“I think you look stunning,” Sophie said, taking Lily’s hand to show her sincerity. With the new closeness, Lily could perfectly understand why James had asked Sophie to the Ball; she had dark black curls framing her face, contrasting her pale skin, which emphasized her deep purple eyes. Lily was quite startled by her beauty, as before she had just assumed that the guys went for her because of her large chest and thin waist.
Gorgeous hair, wide eyes, and a perfect smile; fucking boys don’t appreciate anything. Lucky that her brothers don’t let any guys near her, she’d be a heartbreaker.
“I was only joking, Soph,” James protested as he pulled his sister into a hug, breaking the skin contact and mental connection between the two girls. “Give them hell, Lily.” This was practically James’ motto and had become a sort of mantra for the three Potter children, as well as a reassurance that they had each other’s backs. It didn’t literally mean that they were there for each other, but the phrase was like home for them. Lily kissed James’ cheek, and turned to walk away.
“Oh. Thanks Sophie,” Lily said with a genuine smile on her face. From what Sophie had said, Lily was feeling quite happy with her smile. “Keep him in line.”
Sophie smiled and rolled her eyes, taking James’ hand and leading him to a table where Freddie was sitting with his date but glaring at his sister. Roxy was blatantly flirting with a seventh year Slytherin, her hand on his forearm, as he leaned in to her every word. Lily almost laughed out loud as she sat back down next to Louis. He was sitting in silence now, and Lily took the opportunity to point out their cousin. Louis looked up as instructed and laughed, his eyes then going over to where Freddie was drinking the already-spiked punch.
“That’s nothing, have you seen Al?” Louis asked. Lily shook her head, her eyes searching for him, without luck. Louis took her shoulders and pointed her so she was staring at one of the corners of the great hall. Albus was under the mistletoe with an unidentifiable auburn-haired girl. She was a lot shorter than him, but silly things like height, obviously, could not get in the way of their tonsil tennis.
Lily visible shivered, turning back to Louis. Her eyes narrowed as she spoke, her voice a whisper, “I really wish I hadn’t seen that. So thanks, Louis.” Lily said sarcastically, her eyes reverting back to Roxy and her Slytherin guy. His hand was now placed firmly on her waist and hers were pressed against his chest, pushing him against a wall. It was quite surprising that there were already hook-ups happening, considering that it was only ten o’clock. (The ball used to be a full dinner, but had turned into just a dance around ten years ago.) Lily and Louis had arrived around an hour late, but that suited them both just fine.
“Well now you know what it’s like having Dom as a sister,” Louis said with a wink. Lily could not argue, as she had seen Dominique in similarly compromising positions the last three years at different school gatherings. She was far from ‘easy’ but she could often be found locking lips with guys around Hogwarts. She did always say that girls should be allowed to have as much fun as the guys did, and practiced what she preached.
“May I have this dance, Dearest Cousin?” Louis said with his hand outstretched towards Lily. She pretended to think about it for a moment before taking Louis’ hand and leading him to the dance floor in the centre of the great hall where the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables usually are. Lily could hear Louis thoughts, and it didn’t take long for her to realise that there were only two things on her cousin’s mind. He was concentrating on the steps of the dance, and imagining dancing with his girlfriend.
“That girl’s got you under her spell,” Lily commented. It broke Louis out of his reverie and he sent a quizzical look towards Lily. He sighed and nodded his head sadly, as he spun her and then brought her back to his grasp. “It’s not a bad thing, Louis.”
“Not for a girl, but its different when you’re a guy, and fifteen and in love,” Louis said, his eyes widened at his confession. Lily, however; was unfazed, the love had been clear from his thoughts, so Lily just nodded and let Louis contemplate whether or not he was in love with his girlfriend of a year and a half. To Lily and everyone outside of their relationship this was obvious, but it kept Louis focus for the next three songs. That was when Lily took him back to their table and sat him down; Louis seemed to be on auto-pilot now, with his mind mulling over the newfound emotions.
“She loves you too,” Lily stated before walking over to the drinks table. She had never had firewhisky, which now made up the majority of what was once fruity punch.
“Don’t even think about it while I’m still at Hogwarts,” James said as he poured himself a glass of the punch. He handed Lily a glass of a muggle beverage called ‘Coca Cola’ which she took gladly. Lily joined James at his table with many of the members of the Quidditch team and they all smiled up at her. James pulled a chair from another table, sitting Lily in between himself and Freddie. Freddie was quite tipsy at this point and pulled Lily into an awkward hug, and allowing her to see into his inebriated mind. It was a mess of thoughts, but she could mostly decipher feelings of invulnerability, which was worrying.
“Lil-l-l-l-l-l-y,” Freddie slurred. “You’re too quiet. You should just l-l-l-l-l-let go-o-o-o-o.”
It was then that Sophie re-joined the table, seating herself on James’ other side. Her return caused a surge of mental clarity from Freddie, with his setting his sights on his best friend’s date. Lily patted Freddie’s hand and untangled herself from his grasp. She then leant forward and whispered quietly in his ear, “Never going to happen, Freddie.”
“So Roxy, who was that Slytherin boy?” Lily heard Sophie ask. She was also tipsy, but not the lightweight that Freddie was. James was not visibly affected by the alcohol, but he was louder than usual, so it was lucky that only the heads of house remained to chaperone. Neville would never give James into serious trouble, or any of the Weasley-Potter clan, for that matter. The teachers had all been drinking, too, so this was really a moot point.
“That was Michael,” Roxanne said, looking warily at her brother. Freddie was completely oblivious to this conversation, though; he was too busy looking at a girl across the room that looked like a fourth year. James followed her eye line and whispered something to Sophie who nodded in response and turned back to Roxanne asking for more details about this Michael. Roxanne was quite thrilled to be talking to a seventh year, two years her senior, so was happily giving out every detail about her last hook-up.
Lily had heard about a multitude of hook-ups from the ball, from people touching her bare skin while thinking about it, from seeing some of it and from being told about it conversationally. She had had her first kiss when she was just eleven, in her first year. It was quite a handy little gift that she had at the time, because she knew precisely when her first boyfriend had planned on leaning in, had planned on turning his head to the side and had planned on running his tongue along her bottom lip. He had thought it was the best kiss ever, which was high praise at the time. It did help that she knew exactly what was expected of her, especially since he was in second year and more ‘experienced’ – if you could call it that when you’re talking about a twelve year old.
James and Antony had taken Freddie up to his room, after excusing themselves from their dates. James returned around half an hour later without Antony, claiming that he had ‘decided to go to bed.’ Effie looked a bit upset that he had left without telling her, leaving her sitting alone at a table where everyone had dates. This excluding Lily as her date was still at the Ball, just at another table. This statement was untrue around five minutes after, though, as Louis came to apologise for leaving early, and thank Lily for accompanying him. After his, Effie sat herself next to Lily, and Sophie moved one seat in to be on Lily’s other side. James had then left the table to go and “mingle”, but could actually be found at the drinks table talking to a Ravenclaw girl in his year called Julia. Lily was not used to talking to people outside of her family, for the most part; as everyone thought she was a bit odd, always on the outside.
“Any boys catch your eye, Effie?” Lily asked, although she knew that James would always be the one catching her eye. Effie shrugged indifferently, and Lily turned her attention to Sophie. “And you? Or was this a date with James?”
Sophie actually laughed aloud before shaking her head. “There’s only one girl who isn’t James’ family who can keep him in check, I wouldn’t waste my time on a guy who’s already head over heels.” Effie’s brow furrowed and Lily allowed the familiar pressure to press against her head and Effie’s thoughts to sink into her mind.
Maybe it’s that seventh year Ravenclaw he’s friends with. What’s her name? Think, Effie think. Julia, that’s it. What a bitch, how could he be in love with her? Why didn’t he tell me? I suppose we do hook up a lot, maybe he thinks I’m in love with him and doesn’t want to hurt me. To be fair, he has a point. Wait, I thought that. Never mind. Stupid fucking James Potter, always screwing with my mind. And to think, I didn’t kiss Ant tonight because of him, even though he clearly wanted to, and do more probably. He is sweet, maybe I should go find him. He’d appreciate this gorgeous dress, unlike James fucking Potter. I look hot tonight, fuck him.
Lily grabbed Effie’s hand to get her out of her trance. In the meantime, Lily and Sophie had shared a look of understanding over Effie and James’ denial. They each knew that they liked the other, but not that the other liked them back. “Sorry, did you say something?” Effie asked while looking at the two other girls, waiting for them to repeat themselves.
“You’ve got James Sirius Potter wrapped around your finger and you don’t even realise it,” Sophie said. Lily was a bit taken aback by her bluntness, thinking that she was the only one truly privy to the inner working of both James and Effie’s minds. Somehow, though, Sophie had realised that Effie had been trying to work out who James loved. Effie turned, unsure, to Lily with a questioning look on her face. Lily validated Sophie’s information with a nod of her head and a small smile.
Effie seemed to be pondering this as James began walking back to the table. “Thank you,” was all she said as she walked straight across the Great hall and up to James. Lily smirked and both she and Sophie watched the pair. James had smiled when he saw Effie approaching but furrowed his brow when he saw the determined look on her usually soft features. Effie had not slowed her unreasonably quick pace as she crashed into James, wrapping her arms around his neck and placing her mouth on his. James’ arms snaked around her waist as he lifted her off the ground. James was a good six foot, whereas Effie stood at around 5’3”. James spun her around and an audible sigh could be heard from Sophie and Lily. As he put her down, Effie said something to him and James replied, but Lily would have to wait until later to find out what it was that they said to each other.
“May I have this dance, Miss Potter?” A tall blonde asked from Lily’s left. She smiled shyly up at her suitor but nodded her head. She took his hand just as she responded.
“Certainly, Mr Scamander,” she said, being lead onto the dance floor. Sophie winked at her, just as Lily placed one hand on Lorcan’s shoulder and he slid one of his around her waist. It was electrifying, sending tingles over her underneath his hand. Lily bit her lip to stop herself from smiling, but Lorcan openly smirked at her, implying that he knew what was happening. It turned out this was true, as Lily found out when he grabbed her hand.
She’s blushing, and biting her lip. She must be nervous, it’s not like we don’t talk though. I wonder why she’s nervous. Maybe she’s not nervous, her breathing seems normal. Her chest just rising and falling to the beat of the music, fuck, don’t look at her chest, you fucktard.
Lily had stopped herself from laughing as she was spun about by Lorcan Scamander, who now had images of himself being beaten up by James Potter. It was an amusing image, but Lily knew that James had not seen the blushes that swept across Lorcan’s face as his eyes took in her figure and her face. Lorcan’s thoughts were true in that she should not be nervous with their proximity as he was an extension of the Weasley clan, and she had even been named after his mother: Luna (Lily Luna Potter).
The pair moved well together, mostly because they had danced together a few times before. There was only a year between Lily and the Scamander twins and all three were viewed as quite odd- even at family gatherings. They were not best friends, or even close, but all three were comfortable around each other. Lily was thinking about the last time they had all hung out, just them, which was at Teddy and Victoire’s wedding. This had been a year and a half before, before Lily had hit puberty and either of them had properly noticed the opposite sex (not that Lily had made this connection). Her thoughts were interrupted as Lorcan’s changed from images and back into understandable words.
Hand a little higher, buddy. Okay…now just think about something other than Lily? How about O.W.Ls, they’re only a year away? Wow, those eyes, and lips, if only I could get closer. STOP, clearly OWLs are not scary enough. Just listen to the song, Lorc. This sounds like something old, maybe Beethoven. Nah, it’ll be a wizard band or something. Why don’t they do something with lyrics so I can sing along? Maybe because that would only embarrass yourself. I could resist the urge and just sing it mentally. Pretty sure you couldn’t actually…
Lily’s giggle brought Lorcan’s eyes back to hers, but he did not falter in his dancing as they flowed with the masses in perfect synchronization. It was been far too difficult for Lily to resist the laughter bubbling within her. Lily could not help but remember the many times that she had had a mental argument with herself…maybe this was why she and the Scamander twins were thought of as strange? Interesting theory, there.
“Find something funny there, Kid?” Lorcan asked, his eyes narrowed but a smirk on his lips. Lily stopped laughing and released Lorcan from her grips, suddenly quite angry with her dancing partner. She had taken her arm from his shoulder, and turned around to leave, but his other had still held her and he was able to pull her back to him. “Sorry Lily. I remember how much you hate it when the older ones call you ‘Kid.’”
Lily tried again to move away from him, but his hand was back around her waist and had pulled her up against him, neither trying to dance. Lily’s eyes were narrowed, and she was offended that he thought of himself as one of the ‘older’ ones. He was just over a year older; she had never thought of him as too different to her, and hoped that it was a mutual feeling. He leaned down to her, kissing her cheek, his lips brushing the corner of her mouth. As he leaned further forward, he whispered into her ear, sending shivers up her spine.
“I missed,” was all that he said, and Lily couldn’t quite work out what he meant. Did it mean that he meant to kiss her properly? Did it mean he meant to kiss her cheek? She watched Lorcan’s retreating form and glared some more, wishing that she hadn’t been too caught up in her own thoughts to know what he had been thinking.
Sure, now I decide to get too carried away in my own thoughts. Couldn’t be when Teddy’s thinking about sex with Victoire? Nope, just had to be when I like a guy and wonder if he meant to kiss me. What? Do I like Lorcan?
Lily sat back down at the table next to Sophie with a ‘humph’. She was still wondering whether or not she liked Lorcan, especially since she had not properly spoken to him in over a year. Still, she couldn’t deny that he was getting more attractive. He was young, only fourteen, so he quite a gangly figure, but strong arms. He did not play Quidditch, but was the announcer and she knew for a fact that he did the practices with the Ravenclaw team. Perhaps he wasn’t good enough to play? Or, more likely, he got too distracted to keep his head in the game. It was hard enough for the teachers not to let him go off on a tangent when he was announcing that his captain would probably murder him during a game if he started thinking about one of the many creatures his mum had taught him about.
"I think little Lily has a crush," Sophie said with a smirk. Lily shrugged her shoulders and turned back to contemplate what Lorcan could have possibly meant.
A note from the author: thanks to anyone who is reading! I really appreciate it. Let me know what you think so far, good and bad: I can handle it. Anyway, hope whoever is reading is enjoying it and excited about the plot twists to come :)
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