Chapter 11 : Hunting and Hallways
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“I had a really fun time today, James.” said Lucy, “We should do it again sometime.”
“Yeah, maybe,” James said hesitantly.
“Well, I guess I’ll be going then, unless...” she trailed off and batted her eyelashes. James cleared his throat.
“I better go back to the common rooms-” but was interrupted when her lips smashed against his.
“W-W-W-Wha-?” he spluttered as they broke apart.
“Sorry,” she blushed a deep shade of crimson, “I was just dying to do that all day, and couldn’t really help myself.”
“Oh, er, alright.” She tilted her head to the side, confused.
“You don’t like me?”
“No, I do, but-” she held up her hand.
“It’s Evans, isn’t it? You still like her?” James shrugged.
“Then why did you say yes to me?” she demanded.
“I really don’t know,” he said, but then saw the offended look on her face, “No! I didn’t mean it like that-you’re brilliant-but-”
“-just forget it, James,” Lucy said, coldly, “I don’t know why I even bothered. Everyone knows that she’s your number one. It’s just a bit frustrating, seeing that you could do so much better.”
“And what’s that suppose to mean?”
“Well, she’s not really that pretty, and she’s a bit of a smart alec, not to mention pudgy...honestly, I think she’s just friends with you out of sympathy; she used to be so mean to you.”
“I think you should leave.” James said curtly.
“With pleasure.” Lucy turned and walked away. Suddenly, she turned around, drew her wand, and yelled “Jellify!”
James fell to the floor.
“Why are boys such idiots?” sighed Alice. When Lily was about to respond, she added “It’s a rhetorical question, Lily!” and laughed.
“Actually, Marlene would probably know the answer.” They sighed sadly-they missed their friend.
Lily was lying in bed while Alice was finishing up her potions essay. They had both gone up to the dormitories after Alice and Sirius’s incident, to which many students had already heard about.
“Probably from Sirius’s fat mouth,” Alice concluded.
When Lily finally got the courage to ask how James and Lucy’s date went, Alice grinned and gushed that he didn’t seem like he was enjoying himself.
“It was like, his eyes-they were out of it. She didn’t notice because she was too busy flaunting that she was on a date with James Potter. When she wasn’t looking, someone threw a snowball at her-I’m guessing someone from his fan club-but missed. It was quite funny, actually, how oblivious she was...wait, so how many gurdyroots are you suppose to use again?”
“Six,” replied Lily, “But hold on, did they-”
“-snog?” Lily nodded, blushing and Alice giggled, “Not that I saw.”
“But did you see them a lot?”
“Well-not quite-hey, don’t work yourself up, he looked no where near-where are you going?” Lily had stood up and headed for the door.
“Hospital Wing, I need to visit Remus anyways.” Alice rolled her eyes.
“And to question him endlessly about James?”
“Well, if we get to that, then yes.” she blushed, and headed down the stairs.
“-then she took a bludger bat and started beating him on the head! I swear, you can still see the blood on the carpet!” cried a fifth year. Lily rolled her eyes at the dramatization.
“No!” gasped her friend, “He’d have to be in the Hospital Wing for that!”
“But he is, I just saw him going down there, with Pettigrew!”
Lily tuned out of their conversation and dashed towards the Hospital Wing, fuming. Sirius wouldn’t have gone to the Hospital Wing just because of one little slap, would he? She suddenly stopped dead in her tracks; she overheard hushed voices.
“-how’re you doing, Moony?” she recognized this as Peter’s voice.
“Fine,” croaked Remus, “Last night was horrid, and of course a full moon would be the day before Hogsmede...” he trailed off. There was a long silence, and Lily was debating whether to listen in more or not.
“Where’s James?” asked Sirius, “Did he check in?”
“No, I suspect he’s dropping off Lucy at her common room.” said Remus.
“Yeah, but that was ages ago...do you think something might’ve happened?” Lily’s jaw clenched, quickly jumping to conclusions to what his statement might have meant.
“I doubt it, it’s Lily he likes.”
“But why would he go out with Lucy?” asked Peter.
“It’s just a date, Wormtail,” sighed Remus, “Honestly, everyone’s just overreacting and jumping to conclusions.”
“Speaking of overreacting,” said Sirius, “How’s Evans holding up?”
“I dunno,” said Remus, “I haven’t seen her today.”
“Blimey, this must not be good, if she hasn’t even come to you for the inside scoop...”
“I wouldn’t draw to any conclusions-for all we know, she could just be seeing this as it is-only a date.”
“-hello, boys!” Lily said, brightly.
“Hey, Lily,” squeaked Peter, looking guilty, “Didn’t see you at Hogsmede.”
“Nah, I had too much work to do,” she waved her hand, “Head Girl Duties and such.”
“Bummer...well, it wasn’t that fun anyways, except the whole brawl.” Lily laughed.
“Speaking of which, Black, Alice is going to hex you into oblivion the next time she sees you, so watch your back.”
“It’s not my fault that her bloke’s a moron!” Sirius defended.
“It was just a date,” Lily said, cryptically, and watched their faces turn to horror,seeing the wonder in their eyes; had she heard their previous conversation?
“Speaking of dates-where’s James? I thought he’d be back with Lucy by now.”
“We haven’t seen him, actually,” said Remus, “You guys should go look for him, it’s getting late.” Lily nodded.
“You boys up for it?”
“Hunting for Prongs,” grinned Sirius, “sounds good to me.”
After twenty minutes of searching, Lily felt like giving up. However, as she reached the stairs, they unexpectedly changed and led her to a small corridor. She climbed them and peered down the hallway; sure enough, there was a figure on the ground.
“James?” called Lily, and the figure groaned. She laughed and ran down to help him up.
“Tripped on flat surface, did you?” she teased.
“Erg, that... Lucy hexed me...” he muttered, and put his arm around Lily to stand. Lily blushed and praised that it was dark.
“Date didn’t go so well?”
“It went alright, but she didn’t understand that it was just-”
“-one date?” James nodded.
“So, how did you find me?”
“We’ve been looking for a while, actually. You gave us a bit of a scare.” James raised his eyebrows.
“Oh, right, I bet Sirius was shaking.” he said sarcastically.
“With laughter, yes; seven years at the school and you still can’t use the stairs properly.”
“Har, har,” he said, but was smiling as he felt her long, silky hair in the darkness.
“Where does this lead to, anyways?” she asked, looking back at the long passageway.
“Let’s find out,” James said and tried to turn, but Lily stopped him.
“Oh no you don’t, you need rest.”
“Aw, where’s your sense of adventure?”
“I have plenty of that, thank you very much.” Lily sniffed.
“Well, if you did, you’d go.” James mumbled, but Lily heard and sighed.
“Fine,” she huffed and James grinned.
“Knew you couldn’t resist...you’re a Gryffindor, remember?”
Lily pondered for a moment, for that phrase sounded so familiar...
They were in a dark-looking place, yet familiar a paved road was beneath their feet. She felt upset, yet he was complimenting her.
“...you’re so different, so bold, and you truly stand up for what you believe in, no matter what other people say. That’s why you’re in Gryffindor-”
“Lily?” said James, quietly. She snapped back into reality by the sound of her name. They were wandering down the hall, in the dark.
“Can I be honest about something?” She felt her heart stop.
“Sure,” she said hesitantly and James took a breath.
“I....I...I have absolutely no idea where we’re going.” he laughed and Lily did, too, but not as heartedly.
“Should we go back?”
“No way! Seven years, and there’s still something undiscovered! We have to find it!” Lily rolled her eyes; he sounded like an excited child.
They wandered in the dark; the tunnels kept making sharp turns and the walls seemed to be caving in. It took her about ten minutes to realize that his hand had slid from her shoulders and, instead, was clutched in hers. Once again, she praised that there was no light-suddenly, realization hit her and she slapped her forehead.
“What?” asked James, hearing the slap.
“I’m a witch! How could I be so stupid?” she pulled out her wand and said, “Lumos maxima.” Immediately, there was light shining down throughout the pathway.
“Wow,” James laughed, “I’m an idiot! How could we have...aw, look, it’s a dead end.”
“Don’t be so quick to judge,” said Lily, “there’s a door.”
“Too true, Evans,” he pulled out his wand, “Alohomora!”
The door opened and what they saw they almost couldn’t comprehend.
“Bloody hell,” whispered James, “What is this place?”
The two were standing in the middle of a dimly lit room with a record player and flashing lights; the perfect party room.
“Did Hogwarts always have this?” asked Lily, “Because I honestly doubt that McGonagall-” she stopped mid sentence and looked at James. His eyes were lit up and a mischievous smile stretched upon his face. Lily then realized why and her eyes widened.
“OH, NO YOU DON’T!” she exclaimed, “No parties in here! We don’t even know where we are, if we’ll ever find it, it might be dangerous or-”
“-Don’t be such a spoilt sport, it’s brilliant! We could invite the whole year, here! Probably even sixth and fifth years, too!”
“You’re Head Boy!”
“Yeah, and I’m suppose to make everyone happy, right? This is beyond perfect! We could easily sneak in some...” he trailed off because Lily had pulled out her wand and was glaring at him.
“Don’t even finish that sentence,” she threatened. He held his hands up in defeat and she then lowered her wand.
“Now, do you even think how much trouble if we have a party, let alone with just seventh years, but underage students?!” James rolled his eyes.
“It’s not like anything bad will happen!”
“How do you know that, James? What if this room’s a trap set by some of You-Know-Who’s followers at Hogwarts or something? It’s too risky.”
“But we all need this! Everyone’s stressed about the War and it’ll take everyone’s mind off of things-”
“-but that’s what the Winter Ball is for!”
“Yeah, but the Winter Ball is going to be something more elegant and...and...well, not as fun as this,” he held out his arms, “could be.” Lily sighed and crossed her arms.
“I expected more from you, James,” she said coldly, “Think logically for once! We’ll all get in serious trouble!”
“So what? It’s our last year here, our last year of actually being able to get in trouble without paying the price!”
“Merlin, James, it’s like I need a bloody bullhorn for you to hear me! I-” she stopped, for suddenly a bullhorn appeared on a table in the corner. She gaped and pointed with a shaking finger, “T-that definitely wasn’t there before.” James eyes widened with glee.
“So, this room gives you what you want, eh?” he laughed, “That is absolutely fantastic! Could I have some pumpkin juice? I’m parched!” he called out, and pumpkin juice appeared.
“You see? We could just ask this room to not let any teachers or younger students come in! And for a passageway back to the common rooms! We couldn’t possibly get caught!”
Lily pondered this for a moment; it all seemed so perfect...almost too perfect to be true.
“Please, Lily?” James begged, “Just one night! And if we get caught, you could put all the blame on me! I don’t care!”
“Fine,” she huffed and he grinned, “but on one condition.”
“We all have to come, disguised.”
Lily and James found their way back to the common room using a passageway the room provided and told the other Marauders about the room. Remus had returned from the hospital, looking peaky, but smiled at the idea. Lily had asked Alice to also come down, but since Sirius was there, she merely told Lily she was sleeping.
“You’re not sleeping if you can talk!” yelled Sirius.
“Sod off, Black!” screamed Alice and she slammed the door.
“Would you two give it a rest?” mumbled Remus.
“Agreed,” said Sirius, “But back to this party idea, why do we have to come disguised?”
“Well, Lily has the idea that if we get caught, the teachers won’t be able to recognize us and by the time they try to, we’d already be running down the passageway to our common room.” said James.
“Plus,” added Lily, “Wouldn’t it be fun, to be someone totally different? And everyone invited would know, by then, how to change their appearance. It’s just minor transfiguration.”
“This is going to be brilliant!” Peter said, looking excited, “Probably the best party of the year!”
“Well, I’d love to stay and chat more about breaking the rules,” Lily said, “It’s three o’clock in the morning, so we better get to bed. Goodnight!” she waved and she went up the staircase.
“Night, Lily!” called Sirius. When she was gone, he turned to James.
“So, do you think this room would also have a passageway to Hogsmede?”
“But we already know one!” Remus cut in.
“Yeah, but think how much more we could get in...” Remus rolled his eyes, but couldn’t help but wonder how great it would be.
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