Sometime I wonder what I did that was so bad that Merlin couldn’t just deal me a nice, normal hand. At the risk of sounding like a whiny teenager, I’m going to rant about the woe that is my life. I mean, you can’t blame me. Just look at this farce.
“Lillers!” Remus Lupin exclaimed. He was giving me crazy eyes.
I don’t like crazy eyes.
Not to mention the fact that he was dressed in a rather offensive spandex jumpsuit. As you know, spandex is tight. And Remus Lupin is a seventeen year old. A rather large seventeen year old. Oh dear Merlin, this is borderline sexual harassment.
“What are you wearing, Remus?” I asked, scrunching my nose up in distaste.
“Oh, do you like it?” he asked nervously, fidgeting with the sparkly pink material.
“Uh,” was my response.
“Lily!” he whined, stamping his feet.
“Ok ok,” I said quickly, trying to calm him. “It’s a bit… much?”
In a creepy ‘I’m-a-pedophile-and-collect-Chinese-dolls’ kinda way.
“You think,” he asked nervously, wringing his hands and sitting down on the funky lime green bean bag…
Wait… funky green bean bag??
I looked around the room, registering the plain white walls and minimal, colorful furniture. Huh… must be the Room of Requirement. Lave lamps, ceiling high were all around the room. Flashing neon light lit up the floor and people I didn’t recognize in high waisted skirts and colorful suits walked about. Their postured were odd, like something was broken. Then, out of nowhere, music started to play.
Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
What the hell?
I turned back to Remus and-
Remus was gone. In his place was McGonagall, glaring at me.
“What are you doing here, Miss Evans?” she asked sternly.
“Uh… I was just…” I trailed off.
What was I doing here?
“I don’t know,” I said truthfully.
I looked over McGonagall’s shoulder and my eyes widened.
Dumbledore was standing there.
Dumbledore in boxers.
Yellow ducky boxers.
What the fuck?
“I-I’m sorry Professor… I’ll just-“
“Minerva! Where the cornflakes at?” Dumbledore demanded.
Where the cornflakes at???
I didn’t stick around to listen to McGonagall and Dumbledore’s following argument. I turned around and walked away with surprising calm.
This was a joke, obviously. I bet the Marauders are behind it. I mean, who else would it be? It’s not like normal people sat around plotting against the sanity of nice, decent human beings. Well, the joke’s on them because I’m not falling for this.
By the time I made it out of the Room of Requirement, I was seething. How dare they?! They’re wasting my time. I have N.E.W.Ts to study for!
So, there I was stalking down the corridor, ready to give those bloody Marauders a piece of my mind when, out of nowhere someone pops up in front of me.
It’s a short stubby woman. Her back is to me and she’s dressed in a shiny black dress and her black hair was piled up on her head. On closer inspection it looked fishy… yup, definitely a wig.
The woman was turning dramatically. Her back still to me and her head tilted slightly, she looked at me with smoky painted eyes.
Holy mother of God, it was a man.
He turned fully. I don’t remember if I screamed. Maybe I did. Yeah, I probably did. Why? Because Peter Pettigrew, dressed in a gown, was giving me sultry looks and advancing on me.
“How ‘bout we go back to my place?” he said, giving me a smile that I assume was meant to me sexy.
Then, I did the only rational thing I could think of.
I reached out and knocked over his wig.
Peter squeaked and covered his head with his hands.
I took this moment to sidestep him and run as fast as I could.
“Lily! Wait!” Peter called behind me.
Wait? Wait?? Why? So you can chain me to the Whomping Willow and cackle while I slowly die of blood loss? Do I look like an imbecile?!
Wait, don’t answer that.
I bolted around the corner and ran as fast as I could towards the Gryffindor Common Room. I would surely find my best friend, Mary McDonald there. Mary was level headed, she’d have an explanation for all of this.
Oh Lord, not again.
Remus was running up to me, still in spandex, still with the crazy eyes.
“I wanted to thank you, Lily!”
“He loved my new outfit!”
Ok, now I’m curious.
Then Remus did an odd thing.
He giggled. That’s right; giggled.
“Oh, you just want me to say it,” he said, blushing and waving his hands at me.
“Well, yes. That is the general idea…” I said awkwardly. We’d never been close, Remus and I. So to say that this was slightly awkward was an understatement. And by ‘this’, I mean the current, rather disturbing conversation I’m having with a grown man in a skin-tight spandex suit.
I bet you’ve never been in a conversation like that.
No? Thought not…
“Oh, you know who!” Remus exclaimed. He blinked at me for a moment. When he realized that he wasn’t going to get a reaction out of me, he rolled his eyes.
“Sirius, silly!” he exclaimed.
“Sirius?” I asked.
“Turns out he feels the same way about me! Isn’t that just wonderful?” he said, sighing giddily.
Feels the same? Wonderful? What??
Maybe I should just skip gradation and check into St. Mungo’s.
Or kill myself…
My head was spinning slightly and my vision was getting fuzzy.
Cellophane flowers of yellow and green,
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes,
And she's gone.
Where the hell was that music coming from??
“Her? You were in love with her??”
In my dizzy state, I spun around.
James Potter was standing behind me with the meanest smile, full of scorn and loathing. On his arm was Mary, her face unlike distorted in a mask of mockery.
“Yeah,” James said. “Can you believe it?”
“Well, you have me now,” Mary say, pulling him closer.
“No,” I whispered, shutting my eyes. I don’t know what I was shutting them against though; my dizziness or the betrayal of my best friend.
Yes, betrayal. James Potter may not have meant anything to me, but he was different this year. He was real. And this… all of this wasn’t. This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. With James and Mary practically shagging to my right and Remus in pink spandex on my left, this was like some sick porno. The only thing missing was-
“Remus!” Sirius was bounding down the corridor towards us.
You have got to be kidding me.
Daisies sprouted between Remus and Sirius as they ran towards each other. This is not happening.
That’s when I realized something. I could hear faint footsteps somewhere. I looked around me and no one was moving. Then it hit me.
I was dreaming. This is my subconscious’s fucked up idea of a joke.
It wasn’t real! James and Mary weren’t kissing!
And yes, dammit. I care. I’m in love with the boy even if my feelings are no longer reciprocated. And he has to know. He has to know now.
There was one problem.
I was stuck in some ultra flipped-out, Meta version of A Clockwork Orange. Not that it wasn’t flipped-out enough to begin with, but you can catch my drift
Lucy in the sky with diamond,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy in the sky with diamonds…
See? I could hear the music. Someone was playing music back in the real world and I just had to figure out how to get back there! There had to be some way to get out of here. C’mon Lily, think!
I looked around me at the walls of Hogwarts, past the two snogging couples, searching for something to wake me up. My eyes fell on the bay window at the other end of the corridor. Well, it was worth a shot…
Taking a deep breath, I began to run. The window was getting closer and closer. I could see my approaching reflection in it and I crashed hear first into the glass. I was flying for a moment. The feeling was wonderful. No wonder James liked Quidditch so much.
But it was only for a moment.
Then I began to fall and was instantly reminded of why I thought James was so bonkers for liking it. I could feel wind in my hair, so strong that I could barely breathe. I shut my eyes, wondering for a split second if all of it was actually a dream. Or had I just jumped out a window like the crazy loon that I am?
I wonder if James will miss me when I’m dead.
I force my eyes open and glare at the glass of the Hogwarts grounds. It was getting closer and closer. Come on, Lily. Wake up!
It was getting closer and closer. I could almost smell the dirt. Any time now. I shut my eyes and-
“Merlin, Lily! Are you alright?”
My eyes flew open. Mary was standing by my bed, looking at me in concern. I sat up and looked around me. I saw the familiar walls of my room in the Heads’ dorms.
I could smell the familiar scent of my room, the color wasn’t blinding anymore and Mary’s face was sweet and familiar. No mocking smile or cold eyes.
This was real.
I don’t know where I got the sudden energy from, but I jumped to my feet and sprinted to the door.
“Lily! Wait!’ Mary called behind me. I just kept running. There was one thing on my mind; James.
The corridors were deserted. It must be dinner time. To the Great Hall it was then.
It surprised me that I didn’t re-think what I was about to do while I was running through the corridors. I was the sort of person who tended to over-analyze things. More often than not, that particular quality of mine had me micromanaging everything around me.
Not today. Not with James.
So, I busted into the Great Hall in the middle of dinner looking like the Loch Ness monster or something.
And guess what; everyone was staring.
I could almost hear them wondering if I’d finally snapped.
I couldn’t blame them.
I scanned the Gryffindor table, ignoring the curious looks I was receiving. At the very end of the table, my eyes fell on James and my heart leapt.
He was giving me curious looks just like the others, but the moment he caught my eye, he jumped up from the table and made his way towards me.
See? He knew me so well! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
So there I was smiling like a loon in the middle of the Great Hall whilst receiving ‘this-is-it-she’s-finally-gone-crazy-bint-on-us’ looks.
“Lily, are you ok?” James said in a low voice. I was very aware that he was close to me. I could see the flecks of color in his hazel eyes. I could smell his cologne. You know what that makes me want to so? It makes me want to-
James just looked amused now. Without a word, he grabbed my hand and let me out of the Great Hall.
Grabbed my hand.
I think I just died a bit.
“Lily?” his voice was soft. And so, so deep. Was it always this deep and smooth and sexy?
Really? You sure?
“Lily,” he said again, slowly this time. “Lily, what happened?”
Suddenly, I remembered the dream.
“Oh!” I said, everything rushing back all at once. “I’ve had an epiphany.”
“Really, now?” he asked, leaning back against the stone walls and crossing his arms across his chest with an amused expression.
I nodded eagerly.
“Well, I’m all ears,” he shrugged.
“Ok, so it started when Remus came up to me is a spandex suit and he thought he looked great. I didn’t really say anything because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but then McGonagall and Dumbledore started arguing about cornflakes so I had to get out of there. I was really pissed at you guys for playing such a stupid joke on me because obviously it was a prank. Anyway, I was going to find Mary but then I ran into a drag queen. Turns out it was Peter in a wig so I ran for it. But then I ran into Remus again and apparently Sirius felt the same way about him and- what?”
James was staring at me with his mouth open.
Well, this wasn’t the reception I was expecting.
Really! I’d just had an epiphany. He could be a little more enthusiastic about it!
“Are you… Lily, did you eat anything funny? Maybe someone gave you something. I need you to take deep breaths.” James had now assumed a cautious stance as thought I’m a dragon guarding its egg.
“James! I’m trying to tell you something!” I said indignantly. “And, no! I’m not drunk!”
James held up his hands.
“Ok ok! Don’t get angry! Go ahead. Calmly now…”
I rolled my eyes at him. As sexy as the boy was, he was still a part of the male species. Nut jobs, the load of them.
“Where was I? Oh, yeah. So turns out Sirius liked Remus back. But then you showed up and started snogging Mary and then Sirius and Remus were in a field of daisies and John Lennon was all ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’ and I-“
“I was snogging Mary?” James spluttered.
“Yup,” I nodded. A panicked look came across James’ face.
“Lily, I don’t know where you heard that, but you have to believe me. I never, ever snogged Mary. You have to believe me!”
Aww! He’s so adorable when he’s flustered.
“Of course I believe you,” I shrugged.
“You do?” he asked, his voice slightly hoarse.
“Well, yeah. I mean, it was my dream, wasn’t it?”
“Wait- what? D-dream?”
Now he looked thoroughly confused.
“The point, James, is that I’ve learnt something from all of this,” I announced. James surveyed me carefully deliberating something. Then he ran a hand over his face and sighed, shoulders slumped.
“I’m almost too afraid to ask,” he said wearily.
“Well, I’m telling you anyway,” I said. I paused for a moment not quite sure what to say. “I wanted to wake up.”
James blinked at me. Just blinked.
“I wanted to wake up so I could tell you what I realized.” I was panicking now.
“Which is…” James prompted. He looked worried. For my sanity, no doubt.
Nice of him. To worry, I mean.
“I was afraid that I’d be stuck in that world forever and I’d never be able to tell you thank you. Thank you for that time in third year when you pulled me out of the lake, for when you told Professor McGonagall you stole my essay when I forgot to write it. Thank you for everything.”
James’ expression had softened. He was looking at me with this odd look on his face. He probably thought I was an idiot. So I ploughed on before he could stop me. He had to know.
“I know I spent most of my life yelling at you, but the truth is that Hogwarts wouldn’t be Hogwarts to me without you. When I thought you were with someone else, I almost died. I can’t stand the thought of you with anyone else. The funny thing is that maybe I wouldn’t have minded living in the freak show world forever of you’d just been you.”
I chanced a look at him. His expression was unreadable. He was just staring at me, still as stone. Well, it was now or never, I guess.
“James, I may never see you again after we graduate. You have every right to not want to see me. So you need to know because this might be the last chance I ever get to tell you.”
His face still hadn’t changed.
“I love you, James. And I don’t expect you to still feel that same. But the thought of leaving Hogwarts with telling you was- mmm.”
Oh my dear, darling Merlin.
He kissed me.
James freakin’ Potter kissed me.
I think I turned to goo.
His hand softly cupped my cheek and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.
Now I was definitely a puddle of some gross slimy substance in the floor.
He pulled away and rested his forehead against mine.
“Lily,” he breathed. My eyes snapped open. He was smiling at me, familiar dimples forming on his cheeks.
“I’m sorry,” I said quietly, wrapping my arms around his neck. “For all the crap I pulled and-“
“I’d do it all over again, Lil. For you.”
If you’d shot me then, I’d have died happy. My epitaph could read ‘Here lies Lily, happiest bitch on the planet.’
“We are so bloody corny,” he laughed and I laughed with him. We stood there for a moment. I never wanted to let go.
“So,” James said finally, pulling away. “How about that date I always knew I’d finally get?”
“Sorry, I already have this thing going with the Giant Squid,” I said, letting him take my hand and intertwine our fingers.
“Damn that lucky son of a bitch!” James joked as we walked down the corridor. “I do have one, tiny question though.”
“Yeah?” I asked, grinning stupidly as I looked up at him.
“Remus in spandex? Really? That could qualify as a sex dream. I’ll have to ask Sirius,” James said, grinning evilly. My mouth fell open.
“You’ll say nothing to them. Not on word, James Potter!” I shrieked at him. He dodged my hand as I reached out to hit him upside the head.
“We Marauders never keep secrets from each other!” he said, before taking off down the corridor. I was right on his heel, laughing despite myself.
All this make me think that maybe I complain to Merlin too much. Sure, my life wasn’t what you’d call normal. To tell the truth, it was pretty darn mental. Just look at it; I like in a castle, I can do magic and one of my teachers can turn into a cat at will. But maybe, just maybe, that had been the plan all along. I realized that the universe hadn’t left me stranded; it was just trying to show me what had been there all this time.
Come to think of it, Merlin had dealt me a pretty good hand.
Remind me to thank him some time.
A/N: So, this was written for The Dreams Challenge by unlikely.angel at TGS. It turned out to be really fun to write! Please leave me a review and tell me what you think! :D
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles, A Clockwork Orange, a novel by Anthony Burgess and film adaptation by Stanley Kubrick... I'm not genius enough to have written either of them :P
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