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Masquerade by BringLumosToLife
Chapter 1 : Promising the Irresistible
 
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     He gazed at her longingly, though he did so often, taking in the very beauty she radiated. She was sitting right beside him, the two of them working out the prefect schedules for the month. James was astonished at just how focused Lily was to have not noticed him staring at her, which was fine by James. He watched as her brow furrowed in concentration, tapping her pencil to her lip, trying to figure out a reasonable schedule. She was so close to him, he thought, and yet not close enough.

 
      This year, though, they had been on much better terms, considering the grave amount that the two fought in their previous years. When he found out that Lily had become Head Girl, he hadn't been surprised in the slightest, it was inevitable, her being the brilliant girl she is. But when he was informed that he would be Head Boy, he was slightly concerned about Dumbledore's judgement, but had later seen it as an opportunity to spend time with Lily, which, he hadn't really ever done before.
 
     Obviously, Lily was furious upon discovering who her Head partner would be. But in this year, his last year to win Lily's heart, he had taken a different approach; he deflated his ego, (though not completely) stopped pranking, (or at least, not in front of Lily) and instead of asking (and asking and asking) for a date, he instead, slowly but surely, gained her trust. They weren't the best of mates, exactly, but for no better translation, they were mates.
 
     But this  was a new torture for James. He always yearned to have her closer, to have her open up to him the smallest bit more, but although she didn't think of him horribly now, he could always still sense a slight hostility from Lily, and she never did seem to look straight into his eyes, and oh, how he longed to peer into her eyes of emerald green. But, that was all it would be for now, a longing. After all, he had promised himself not to push too far this time. He would not lose what little he had of her.
 
     "James? James," at the sound of Lily's voice saying his name, James looked up at her, she was, once again, not looking directly at him, but scrutinizing the schedule, waiting for a response.
     
     "Sorry! Er.. yes Lily?:
  
     "Does Geoffrey Manchester have Quidditch Practice on Wednesday or Thursday evenings?"
 
     "Wednes- er, Thursdays, Lily! He practices Thursdays."
 
     Her lip curled up into the slightest smile, "James Potter, are you so intimidated of Ravenclaw that you wish to sabatoge their star seeker?"
 
     He lifted his hand to his chest, mocking shame, "Absolutely not, Lily! It hurts me to see you have so little faith in me!"
 
     "Well, I would hope that our Gryffindor team would already be in such top shape, that they need not to be considering other, questionable tactics," she ended with a laugh which chimed within the room, filling James' heart with the same warmth he feels whenever he can hear Lily's laugh, and especially when he is the cause of such a beautiful sound.
 
     "Well, I think that's it," announced Lily, gathering up all the papers, along with the now completed prefect rounds schedule. She then stood and said, "I'll see you around, James," with a heartwarming smile, and turned to leave, when..
 
     "Wait!" blurted out James. What was it about her that made him so unhinged, why won't he just let her go? Upon hearing James' almost desperate call, Lily turned in place swiftly, a questioning look upon her face.
 
     "What is it, James?" she asked in the sincerest way.
 
     "I, er, that is, um.." THINK OF SOMETHING, YOU BLUBBERING IDIOT. "I just, I feel that, it being our last year and all, we should do something really special at Hogwarts. Something we've never done before," he said while trying to muster up a confident tone. Smashing idea, James. 'Let's do something special!' Lily's just going to think you're mad, you with your unspecific ideas-
 
     "That's a good idea!" she responded eagerly, "I was also thinking of trying something new for Hogwarts this year. Do you have any ideas?"
 
     Oh, bugger. Ideas... "Well, do you have any ideas, Lily?" Good thinking, blockhead, make her do all the work.
 
     "Well, actually, I was thinking of one possibility, but... it's silly, I'm not even sure if anyone would want to participate,"
 
     "Nonsense, if you came up with it, it must be smashing! What's your idea?"
 
     "Well, it's quite selfish, really. But," she gave the slightest pause, appearing to hesitate to spare her of supposed embarrassment.

     "Ever since I was little, I've always wanted to attend a Masquerade Ball. Where everyone wears formal outfits and beautiful masks... And as a girl, I always felt that with the whole mystery of the masks, you could become a completely different person and act a completely different way," Her eyes take on a dreamy appearance (much like how James would look gazing at Lily), and James waits patiently to allow her to drift off within her fantasies briefly.
 
      As she slowly returns to reality, she sighs,"But, like I said, it's silly. Not to mention a load of work," her cheeks hint at a blush, "So I guess maybe we should come up with something el-"
 
     "No," James interrupts, though he can't help it, "it's a marvelous idea. And I'm sure everyone would love to participate. You're brilliant, Lily." Lily's head looks to the floor, but James can still find her modest smile, and -though he couldn't possibly get his hopes up- a reddened face, which only makes James more motivated to make this happen.
 
     "And you won't have to worry about anything Lily, I can get it all set up: the ticket-selling, the decorating, the music-"
 
     "But James, you're even busier than I am! You have a Quidditch team to whip into shape, remember?"
 
     "Nonsense, Lily, I am more than capable of handling all of this; plus, I have the Marauders to help me," James replied with a wink, earning another faint blush from Lily.
 
     "Are you sure, James? It seems like loads of work for just one little event."
 
      He could've said, then and there, that it would  be a lot of work. He wasn't even sure if he could get this done well. But he saw how Lily's eyes twinkled with the prospect of such a dream coming true for her. And if he could make Lily happy, then it could never be too much work for him.
 
     "I'm sure, Lily. We are having a Masquerade Ball, and a damn great one at that," he stated, making Lily's lips curl into the smile of a giddy child, making James all the more sure of his decision.
 
     "Very well then. We are having - with Dumbledore's permission, of course - a Masquerade Ball!" she practically skipped out of the meeting room, leaving James to reflect on what he had just promised.

      A dance. I am going to be organizing a dance. No, not just a dance. A bloody MASQUERADE BALL. I didn't even know what 'masquerade' meant until now! Oh, Prongs, what have you gotten yourself into? This just isn't going to work out well. Maybe I should go tell Lily now before -
 
     It was at that moment when James was reconsidering his decision, that Lily ran back into the room, yelling just about as desperately as James had before she tried to leave the room the first time.
 
     "James! James?"
 
     Interrupted from his frantic state, he looked up, ready to snap, until he saw who it was, "Yes, Lily?"
 
     She looked up at him, with a grateful smile and flushed cheeks, " Just.. Thank you. You don't know how much this means to me."
 
    Taken aback, all James could reply was, "You're welcome."
 
    Lily nodded her head and once again rushed out of the room, leaving James with a new viewpoint on his decision. He knew now (though he probably already did, deep down) that he would do whatever it takes to make this ball a magical one for Lily, to see that look on her face again, to have her almost look straight into his eyes...
 
     Merlin, why did you have to create someone as irresistible as Lily Evans?
 
 
 


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