Chapter image by coco776@tda
The next few weeks passed without much interest. James had the Quidditch team practising for the upcoming match with Ravenclaw during every spare moment. They were up before dawn and were still practising well into the night.
Charlotte and I had given up waiting for Mollie in the common room and we now hardly saw her outside of lessons. But she was so tired during them that she rarely spoke, instead sat resting on the desk with her head buried in her arms. I could have sworn I heard her snoring once or twice, but I’m not going to tell her. Its not a good idea to irritate Mollie when she’s tired.
Trust me. I‘ve been there.
She tends to explode with anger at very small things, and making her self conscious about snoring at the back of Professor Byrne’s class would only result in being shouted out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few hexes were fired my way.
Last Thursday, a poor little second year girl ended up in the hospital wing with tea leaves sprouting out her ears and nostrils after she told Mollie, who had been leaving the girls bathroom, that she had some toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe.
Much to Charlotte’s interest however, my fourth tutoring lesson with Charlie had been scheduled for Sunday afternoon in the library. I had forgotten to mention to them that that’s were I had been going to for the past few Sundays, not thinking it of much importance.
He stopped me as I was leaving Charms with Charlotte, and Mollie who was looking bleary-eyed after her 45 minute power nap at the back for the classroom.
“Lily,” he said catching my eye and motioning me over towards him where he was leaning casually against the wall. He nodded at Charlotte and Mollie who were both eyeing him with curiosity.
“Hi,” I said.
“Are you free to tutor me again this weekend?” he asked when I had reached him.
“Yeah, I should be. What time do you want to start?”
“Afternoon would be best I think, I should be finished with Quidditch practice by then.” I smiled and nodded as he carried on, “We could get down to it in the library.”
Charlotte who was listening in on the conversation laughed. ‘For goodness sake Charlotte Mason, get your mind out the gutter!’ I thought, but I chose to ignore her giggles and turned back to Charlie. I agreed with him and waved good bye as he went to catch up with his friends.
“Since when are you friendly with Charlie?” asked Mollie watching him chatting to his friends down the corridor.
“And since when does he ask you to ‘get down to it’
with him in the library?” asked Charlotte still sniggering.
“Oh Charlotte grow up. And since a while ago when Slughorn asked me to tutor him in potions. I‘ve already had a few lessons with him- I just forgot to tell you guys.”
“Well, he’ll have a job surviving till Sunday” mused Mollie, then seeing my confused expression she added, “what with the death glare that Potter gave to him when he saw him talking to you. If looks could kill he would have died then and there.”
And indeed Mollie was quite right. That evening happened to be one of the rare evenings that the Gryffindor team weren’t out practising till all hours, and Potter, true to from, cornered me as I was leaving to go up to the girls dormitory.
“What were you doing with Payton earlier today?” he asked with narrowed eyes.
“I was fixing a time for our tutoring session.”
Oops. I probably shouldn’t have told him that. Its going to go around the school like wild fire. ‘Charlie Payton, one of the most eligible bachelors in the school, second only to the Marauders, has to have extra help.’ Not that it was particularly interesting gossip, but it doesn’t take a lot in this school to get people talking. “And is it any of your business?” I shot back at him.
“I just don’t want you mixing with the wrong crowd,” he said.
“Who are you
to tell me who I can and cannot hang out with? And what do you mean ‘the wrong crowd’?” Just because he was under some stupid delusion that we would one day end up together- which we won’t be the way- does not give him the right to be so over protective over me!
“I just don’t like the way he looks at you.”
Oh for goodness sake! He’s just making that up so he can have something to criticise him about. I mean he hardly knows the boy!
“Potter, that’s just bullshit.” And with that I stormed up the stairs and into the dormitory.
The only person there was Emma Willcock, lounging on her bed flipping idly through another one of her magazines. I sighed in frustration, I had no one to vent my frustrations to and I couldn’t be bothered to go and find Charlotte or Mollie as that would include going back down to the common room and having to face Potter again.
“James is right you know,” said Emma sitting up to face me and tossing her black hair out of her face.
“What do you
know Emma? Just because you fancy the pants off James even though he doesn’t give you the time of day doesn’t mean that everything he says is right,” I snapped.
As soon as the words were out of my mouth I instantly regretted them. I hadn’t meant to snap at her, I was just so irritated by James that all my anger seemed to concentrate on her.
Everyone knew that she would do anything to get noticed by James but he was just too big headed and obnoxious to recognise her. But no one told that to her face.
I’m such a bitch. I should just go die in a hole. And while I’m at it I might as well bring Potter down with me, then we could both die and the whole world would be a much nicer place.
Her eyes welled up with tears and she turned her back on me and headed towards the door, but just as she was about to leave she turned and faced me.
“Fuck you Lily! You know having him follow you around all day begging for you to go out with him is really giving you a big head.” And she slammed the door behind her.
I collapsed onto my bed and buried my head in my pillow.
I suppose having someone at your heals proclaiming their love for you, telling you how beautiful you were and how wonderful you were would boost your ego a bit.
Was Emma right then? Was I getting a big head from James’ incessant pestering? God, I hope not.
The door opened and Charlotte entered, sitting at the foot of my bed she said “What’s up with Emma, I just saw her running through the portrait hole all puffy eyed?” But then catching sight of my face she cried, “Lily! What’s the matter? Are you ok?”
I told her about what had happened with James, how I had taken my frustrations out on Emma and what she had said to me. “So… you don’t think I’m getting a big head do you?” I finished.
“Of course not,” Charlotte said soothingly, “what you said wasn’t nice, but she was probably just saying that as a retaliation, I’m sure it didn’t mean anything.”
I was glad for her comforting words, and I know that Charlotte never lies, but I was still careful to avoid James for the next few days. I know it was stupid and childish and that if I had gotten a big head, avoiding him would not help it to deflate at all, but I didn’t care. I held him responsible for my outburst at Emma and the now growing concern that I am getting to be just as obnoxious as he is and therefore I didn’t want to see him at all.
“Wait. Back track a bit, I’m confused. What do you put in Amortentia after three hours of brewing?” Charlie asked. We were seated at a small table in a far corner of the library surrounded by potions text books and pages of notes. At first I had rather underestimated Charlie’s incapability when it came to potions. I had thought that he was just being hard on himself when he said that he was no good. Unfortunately, I was gravely mistaken.
“Five grams of chopped worms,” I said patiently. We had been sitting there for over three hours trying to make him understand. “Look Charlie, do you want just to call it a day and we can meet at the same time next week?”
“No, please just ten more minutes! Seriously, I think I’ve almost got it!” He ran his hand through his blonde hair again so it flopped into his eyes, something he did, I had noticed, when he was self conscious or stressed. And he had been doing this throughout the whole lesson.
“Fine, ten more minutes, but are you sure that’s going to help?” As much as I enjoyed tutoring Charlie, he was sweet and funny, but I was beginning to wish that I was out of the confines of the library and out in the gusty winds of the grounds. Charlie followed my gaze out of the window.
“Do you maybe want to finish the lesson outside?” he asked.
“Yes please,” I sighed thankfully, “I just think that it’s getting a bit stuffy in here to be honest.” We hastily packed up the textbooks and loose sheets of paper, and fastening our cloaks around us, wandered out into the grounds and sat underneath a large birch tree near to the edge of the lake.
There was a cold, blustery wind which whipped my hair around my face, but I didn’t mind, it was nice to get out of the library for a while. There was a huddle of people grouped not far from us talking excitedly, and some second or third years were splashing their feet in the water trying to irritate the giant squid.
“Do you often come and sit out here?” Charlie asked after a while.
“What do you mean?” I said, taken aback by this sudden change of topic.
“Just that I often see you sitting out here in the summer with your friends when I’m at Quidditch practice.”
“Ohh, yes, I suppose I come out here quite a lot. I like it, it’s peaceful…Well we should probably finish this session then before dinner starts.” I said taking out quills and pieces of parchment from my bag.
But before I could begin to lecture him on the correct way to simmer Polyjuice potion, he changed topic again. “So what’s going on with you and Potter then?” he asked.
Frankly, I was starting to get slightly annoyed:
a) that was a rather personal question, and
b) he wasn’t letting me finish my lesson and I was getting hungry!
“Umm… well I would have thought it was obvious. He likes me; I don’t like him. That’s that.” I was determined, next time, that there would be no more interruptions. We would finish the lesson, and I could get some dinner.
Laying out the scribbled on pieces of parchment in front of us, I started to point towards a diagram of a boiling potion and the correct way to stir it, but at his point even nature seemed adamant that I would go hungry tonight. The wind picked up and blew every piece of parchment that I had so carefully laid out in order, every which way and I was left to chase after them.
Charlie just sat under the tree and laughed at my pain. If he hadn’t been my student at the time I would have hexed him for being so irritating! “Can’t you at least help a bit?” I shouted over my shoulder as I ran to grab a fluttering set of notes that had just fallen out of my grasp as the wind picked up again.
“Accio notes,” he said lazily flicking his wand as all of them zoomed towards his outstretched hands. If only I had thought of that before, then I wouldn’t have wasted so much time scrabbling around after them!
“You could have come up with that one a little sooner,” I muttered sitting back down beside him.
“It was funny to watch. And besides, you’re the teacher here, you’re the one who’s supposed to have the brains.”
“I’m tutoring you in potions, not in being a smart-aleck!” I said sarcastically.
The lesson finished not long after and I bade goodbye to Charlie, who had spotted some of his friends lurking near the Quidditch stand so went off to chat to them rather than head towards the castle for dinner.
I bundled up the books and notes and stuffed them into my bag and turned and began to make my way up to the oak front doors. I didn‘t get very far before I reached the small group of people standing near to us that I had spotted earlier. They were talking loudly and excitedly and I realised with a wave of dread that it was the marauders. What ever made them excited surely could not be a good thing.
Not wanting them to notice me I walked behind the line of trees bordering the lake but their voices were still carried back to me on the wind.
“Come on Padfoot, this is our last year, lets have some fun!” Remus was saying.
That’s odd, I had always thought of Remus as the quiet and reserved one- or at least he had always appeared to be so when I was around. But, I suppose that being with his friends may have brought out a more reckless side in him.
“I’m not sure though…” said Sirius tentatively, “do you think she would agree, I mean we’re friends and all but… Prongs why don‘t you ask her?”
?” he asked incredulously. “There would even less chance that she would agree to it if I asked her- you know she much prefers you. Heck you two are practically dating! - sort of like me and Evans-” the rest of the group sighed exasperatedly but he ignored it, “I’ve seen the way you two look at each other.”
“Fine I’ll ask her, but we will have to get the logistics sorted out first, we don’t want another cock up like there was last time.”
They must have all looked pointedly at Peter because he said indignantly, “That was not my fault!” The rest of them didn’t say anything, but I could tell that they were still looking at him sceptically.
“Well then,” said Remus after a pause, “we will need to get everything in the next Hogsmeade trip, it’s the 1st October tomorrow so we have little over a month to get things sorted.” His voice faded away as he mused over the details of planning… whatever it was that they were planning.
As I moved further on their voices became less distinct and I could not clearly what make out what they were saying anymore. I hoped for their sake as well as mine that whatever they were planning would not involve doing anything stupid. It had been with a great effort on my part to restrain myself from giving them a detention for letting that crate of stink bombs off on the fourth floor on the second day back, and they would receive no such pity from me if anything like that happened again.
The week passed quickly and by Friday I found myself looking up to the ceiling of the Great Hall as Charlotte, Mollie and I walked in for breakfast. Thundery. Great, I have Care of Magical Creatures and
“Typical October weather, wouldn’t be surprised if its like this in the match.” I heard James mention to Sirius half way down the table. The match was now the only thing that I heard come out of James Potters mouth; apart from the occasional ‘will you go out with me’, but I was trying to ignore those under my new ‘try-and-ignore-Potter-more-than-you-were-originally-were scheme
‘. It’s not working too well.
“Do you reckon we’ll be allowed into Hogsmeade tomorrow if its still like this?” wondered Charlotte.
The Hogsmeade notice that had gone up in the common room last night had sparked a wave of excitement in the school. As much as I loved the castle, it was good to get out once in a while.
“I hope so! I’m running low on sugar quills and ice mice,” said Mollie tucking into some sausages, “and I could really do with some more…” but she was cut off by Sirius muttering mutinously to James.
“Oh lookie here,” I heard him say darkly. Remus and Peter who were sitting opposite him turned around to look at what he had seen. Into the Great Hall had just walked Regulus Black and Severus Snape.
It was hard to tell whom Sirius disliked more, but the sight of them together sparked something nasty within him that I could see in his eyes.
Regulus was almost just as handsome as Sirius, but there was something about his face… He looked down on everybody he met and you could see in his expression that he lacked the charm and likeability that Sirius possessed and what made him so popular throughout the school.
Next to him Snape looked, if possible, even more pale and greasy than usual. I turned away not wanting to look at Snape any more than I could help.
Sirius and Regulus locked eyes for a fraction of a moment, but it was just long enough for me to see the flicker of sadness pass across Sirius’ face. He had never forgiven his brother for joining the Death Eaters, but I could still tell that he missed him from time to time, despite the brave face that he wore around the rest of the school.
This glimmer of emotion within Sirius triggered the vague memory of the first day of the Easter Holidays in sixth year. Up until then, I hadn’t realised how much Sirius cared for his family, or despised the dark arts:
“Where is he? I’m going to kill him! I‘m going to fucking kill him!” Sirius shouted as he yanked our compartment door open. His eyes were burning and his hands were clenched into fists. He seemed to tower over us, even more so than he normally did.
I drew back into my seat in shock. I had never seen Sirius this angry before, sure he got mad occasionally- but so did everyone else. Yet his face was contorted with rage, and it didn’t suit him.
Remus followed him into the carriage, and walking meekly behind him, was Peter.
“What are you talking about Sirius? Who?” asked Remus, trying to force Sirius to sit down and take a few deep breaths; as the train rattled on, on its journey to King‘s Cross for the start of the Easter Holidays.
“Regulus” he spat, finally responding to Remus by taking a seat. But just as Remus breathed a sigh of relief at the thought that he was beginning to calm down, Sirius jumped back up again and started to pace around the compartment.
“Why?” exclaimed Peter.
Sirius carried on pacing and ignored this question. It looked as if Peter was going to ask again but Remus shushed him. Thank god one of them had the sense not it irritate Sirius further when he was in such an obvious rage.
I glanced over to where Charlotte and Mollie were sat both just as shocked and stunned into silence as I was, our conversation being so abruptly interrupted.
“Sirius?” James called as he ran down the isle of the train, sticking his head into various compartments to find his whereabouts.
“We’re in here,” replied Remus just as James opened the door.
“Sirius mate, where were you? I’ve been looking for you for…” he caught sight of Sirius’ expression.
Being such close friends for so long, he and James were practically telepathic. They could simply look at one another for the other to know what they were thinking. James nodded, and sat down next to Remus who had collapsed into the seat next to me. He said nothing and allowed Sirius to carry on pacing around the small carriage fpr a while.
“He joined the bloody…” Sirius eventually cried out in frustration, but his words got caught in his throat. “I… I can’t believe it…he joined the…”
“Death Eaters?” Peter asked, gazing out the window at the scenery passing by.
A silence fell upon the room and I could feel everyone around me tense.
Sirius let out one more angry breath and sunk into the seat next to James all of his anger exhausted. “Yes,” he said bitterly, “and now there’s no way in hell I’m going back to that Godforsaken hell hole of a home. Mother and father would be so proud,” there was a sneer of mockery in his voice “‘a real Death Eater in the family’.”
“You could always stay at mine if you want?” suggested James as Sirius looked at him hopefully.
I was brought back out of my revere by Charlotte prodding me sharply. “Lily, it’s time to go, we’re almost late for Herbology.” I stuffed the rest of my breakfast into my mouth and hurried out of the Great Hall after them.
“Well put your gloves on class, what are you waiting for?” Professor Sprout said cheerily to us, but her enthusiasm was met with stony faces. We only grudgingly put on our gloves, and began the arduous task of trimming the leaves off of the giant Tergum plant, which was thrashing about madly and splattering us all in soil.
“It’s bad enough that we have to spend this lesson and
the next outside in the rain, but James is making us have another Quidditch practice after school as well!” sighed Mollie. It was at times like these when I thanked my lucky stars that I was rubbish at Quidditch, but I gave her an understanding smile before turning back to the deranged plant.
“Well at least there’s still Hogsmeade tomorrow,” said Charlotte spitting leaves out of her mouth and wiping her forehead with a soil-covered hand.
“That’s the spirit!” cried Professor Sprout happily as Frank Longbottom a short, but sweet boy in Ravenclaw, prized off his first branch.
I turned to the other two, and with a look that said if-we-don’t-get-a-move-on-we’ll-be-given-extra-homework
, returned my attention to the plant. Charlotte and Mollie followed suit, with the later muttering how she would like to inflict painful deaths on James for his insane Quidditch mania, and Professor Sprout for giving us such a ridiculous plant to prune. “It’s worse than the bloody Whomping Willow!” I heard her mutter.
We all left Herbology sweating and with soil and branches knotted into our hair, only to be met with 45 minutes in the solid rain having to listen to Professor Kettle- Burn drone on about some apparently fascinating creature that looked as if it belonged on the bottom of the Black Lake.
“Now if you look very closely you can just see these faint markings on its back, these are used for camouflage,” Professor Kettle-Burn was pointing enthusiastically to the creatures back not noticing that about half the class was looking in the other direction.
Cynthia Perkins and Michelle O’Neil were watching the rain drops run down the covers of their sodden text books and betting on which one would reach the bottom first. While
Sirius and James were doing impressions of Professor Kettle-Burn whenever he turned his back on them, to wild applause and laughter from Peter and many of the others in the class. Yet they stood still and looked perfectly innocent whenever Professor Kettle-Burn, who must have been wondering what the class found so amusing about his lesson, turned to face them.
“Boy am I glad to get out of that lesson!” I said as we walked back up to the castle a while later dripping wet and laden down with essays to write.
“Do my ears deceive me?” cried Mollie dramatically flinging her arms up in mock horror, “Lily Evans
glad to be leaving a lesson?”
“Shut up! I’m not that much of a nerd.”
“Or so you think,” said Charlotte slyly. “But we love you really!” she said throwing her arms around my neck upon seeing the expression on my face.
She better not be lying.
Hogsmeade was alive with noise. Despite the almost freezing temperatures and the biting wind everyone seemed determined to enjoy the day out (and the fact that it wasn‘t raining either). Kitted up with hats and scarves and more than two pairs of socks, we wandered down the main street peering into shop windows.
“See anything you want?” asked Charlotte as we passed Zonkos.
“Definitely” replied a deep voice from behind us.
Just my luck.
“Piss off Potter,” I said exasperatedly really not in the mood to talk to him. But then again… when was I ever in the mood to talk to him?
I began to walk on, when he grabbed my shoulder and spun me around to face him. “Ah come on Evans. Live a little! Why don’t you try going out with me? You never know you might just even like it.” He flashed me what he thought must be a winning smile and run his hand through his hair ruffling it even more.
“Because Potter, surprise surprise, not everyone falls for just good looks,” I retorted. "You swan around the school acting as if you own the place, well news flash: you don’t
. I’m not just going to go out with you because you’re part of the ‘marauders’ or whatever you like to call yourselves. I would much prefer to go out with someone who actually appreciated me for who I was rather than for just being someone to have a quick snog in a broom closet with.” I finished defiantly crossing my arms over my chest and began to walk away.
“Lily I do
appreciate you. I think your smart and funny and beautiful what more do you want?” he said earnestly trying to keep up with me as I sped up down the street.
“Your just saying that so I’ll go out with you.”
“I’m not, I really do. I want to be with you… please.” I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable; James was looking at me so sincerely and with such depth in his gaze that for a moment I really believed in what he was saying.
‘Shut up Lily what are you thinking?!’ my brain almost screeched at me. ‘So what if he’s looking at you like that? You know he’s just putting it on to make you believe what he’s saying.’
“I’m not going out with you Potter and that’s final. Now if you ask me one more time I will hex you into next year and back.” I said ducking into the extremely crowded ‘Three Broomsticks’ in the hope that he would loose me there.
He didn’t. Typical.
But when I turned around to tell Mollie and Charlotte to try and distract Potter as I quietly slipped away, I found that they had gone and left me alone with the idiot as they went to the bar to order drinks.
I spun around to face Potter and was about to tell him to leave me alone or he would regret even getting up this morning, when he took my hand and led me to a near by table, a large grin spreading across his face at the thought that we were alone together.
I’m going to kill Charlotte and Mollie when I next see them.
Authors Note: Review! Pretty please with a cherry on top.
Now how could you not review after I've gived you a cherry? Hehe ;)