Chapter 20 : Chapter 20
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She didn’t bother glancing up when the portrait hole opened. The sound of heavy breathing reached her ears.
“Sorry, sorry. I know I’m a little late.”
“A little?” Lily ground out, before she reminded herself that getting into an argument with James right now wouldn’t help. “It’s fine. Let’s just get this done.”
“Eh, ok then.” James glanced at Lily warily, waiting for the explosion that would surely come. When she did nothing but glance up from the sheets of parchment in front of her and raise an eyebrow, he sat down on the couch next to her.
“Do you have the Quidditch times for each team?”
“Oh ya, they’re right here.” James pulled a crumpled piece of parchment out of his back pocket and handed it to Lily. Lily prevented herself from glaring at him and flattened out the parchment as much as she could. In an untidy scrawl six times were written. Only problem was there were no names next to the times.
“Do you know which is which?”
“Huh?” James looked clueless.
“All you have on here is random days and times James, do you know which day and time belongs to which House?”
“Oh, well Gryffindor is the Wednesday time and Saturday at half nine anyway.” James ran a hand through his hair feeling confident in answering Lily’s questions. Lily stifled the urge to strangle him.
“Well as great as that is James, you had told me that before. But what about the other three Houses?”
James’ confidence slipped a bit, “Eh…”
Lily rubbed a hand across her forehead where a tension headache was beginning to form. “You don’t know, do you?”
James, looking slightly panicked, took the sheet from Lily’s hand. “No, no, I do. I just need to remember!” He picked up a quill from the table and crossed out the Gryffindor times so he wouldn’t include those. That left Monday at seven, Tuesday at five, Thursday at half seven, Saturday at half three and Sunday at half ten and three. The Sunday morning was one of the Slytherins’ times anyway, as they always trained then. James stuck an ‘S’ next to that time. Wasn’t there Gobstones on a Monday? Didn’t the captain of the Ravenclaw team play Gobstones?
“Lily can I have the timetable for the Gobstone Club? Oh, and the Chess, Book and Duelling Clubs please?”
Lily passed them over without saying a word. She made herself more comfortable on the couch and watched James checking and cross checking times to figure out what team could play when. If he had just taken down the names with each time, there wouldn’t be a problem.
She had given him one simple job and he had fucked it up. She had thought that this would have been easy for him. He was, after all, Quidditch Captain. Wouldn’t he have to know the times the other teams were playing? So he would know when the pitch was booked…or when to send spies to the pitch to find out the opposing teams secrets or something else ridiculous like that?
“There! I’ve sorted it.” James turned his smiling face towards Lily, who threw a sarcastic smile back. James frowned and handed the pages back to Lily. Lily spread them out in front of her and started setting patrols for Prefects based on what nights they were free. James sat awkwardly next to her, shuffling his feet and trying to figure out what he should do with his hands. Eventually he coughed uncomfortably and Lily looked up.
“What is it James?”
“Can I…is there something I can help with?”
Lily sighed and handed over some pages. He may as well try and be helpful while he’s here. “I’ve Monday and Tuesday sorted and I’m just going through Wednesday. You can do Thursday and Friday if you want.”
James nodded and started reading through the names of the Prefects. “You’ll have to sit closer to me so you can see who I’ve put down already.” Lily said before explaining what she had planned. “There’s five days and eight pairs of Prefects not including the 7th years. Two pairs patrol every night. So one ‘quartet’, I suppose you might call them, will have to double up. To make it fair we’re going to have to do a monthly schedule. So each quartet will have two nights a week, every four weeks. That make sense?”
James nodded and moved along the couch. He took a look at Lily’s sheet. “So we’re sticking the Prefects from the same House together?”
Lily nodded, “I thought it was the best way to avoid trouble. And if possible try and avoid putting 5th year Gryffindors with 6th year Slytherins. Or the other way around.”
James smiled slightly at this. “So what do the 7th year Prefects do?”
“They patrol Saturday and Sunday nights only. Because they have N.E.W.T.’s this year, they are given priority. They’re out on the busiest nights, but they have weeknights off. We patrol with them. The teachers are out Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights as well.”
James grimaced but refrained from commenting. They had to patrol Saturday and Sunday nights? That was going to put a major dent in his pranking time.
Lily and James settled into the job quickly, the only thing breaking the silence was the occasional shuffle of papers and the scratching of their quills against the parchments. When Lily had the Monday to Wednesday of the first week done she moved onto the following Monday. James did the same, moving onto the next week when he had his Thursday and Friday done.
Even though Lily had more days than James, she finished her ‘half’ of the timetable first. Her head was really beginning to throb so she curled her legs under her and rested her head against the back of the couch. After several minutes of gazing around the Common Room, her eyes fell on James. He was hunched slightly over the table that she had dragged in front of the couch so they could work from it. A small furrow had appeared on his brow as his eyes flew over the timetables in front of him. There was ink on his cheek and Lily had the urge to wipe it away. She had never seen James so concentrated on something school related though, and didn’t want to ruin it. She found herself watching his face, the way little emotions such as frustration, annoyance and satisfaction played across it. His hair was ridiculous from the amount of times he had run his hands through it. His tie was thrown over the back of the couch and the top few buttons of his shirt were undone. Lily felt her gaze being pulled there, remembering what was under there. A perfectly clear picture filled her head. James, running around the lake, topless. As loath she was to admit it, he was fit. Very fit. If he wasn’t James Potter, she might even stretch to gorgeous. Unfortunately he was James Potter so she would never admit that. Consciously anyway.
“Done!” James let the quill fall to the table and lay back on the couch. Lily snapped her gaze away from his chest quickly looked at the table. She took the two timetables they had made and tapped them with her wand. She then picked up a blank sheet of parchment and tapped that. The Prefect timetable copied itself perfectly onto the parchment. Glancing through it briefly, Lily didn’t think that they had made any clashes. Everyone should be fine to patrol in their given slot. She vanished all the scrap pieces of parchment, leaving the Prefect one on the table. Tapping her wand, Lily then made two copies, holding one out to James.
“We should probably keep a copy each. Just in case.”
“Good idea.” James took the offered timetable and folded it, before placing it into his back pocket. He then watched as Lily lay back on the couch and closed her eyes. He had an idea, but wasn’t sure what Lily would think of it. After opening his mouth several times to speak he changed his mind, and turned to stare into the fire.
“What is it?”
James looked back at Lily. Her eyes were still closed. She opened one and looked at James before re-closing it. “You were going to say something and then you changed your mind. Several times. If you have something to say, just say it.”
“Well, eh, I had an idea.”
Lily lifted her head and forced her eyes open. “Which would be…?”
“We could put a Protean charm on the timetable we give to Dumbledore. Then any changes he makes to the timetable will replicate on ours. We could get that back from Dumbledore, once he clears it, and keep it here so that any changes we needed to make would change on the Prefects timetables as well.”
Lily stared at him for a couple of seconds. What he said was taking time to get to her brain and even longer to be processed because she was so tired. James watched Lily, feeling the little confidence he had in the idea slipping. “Forget it, it was a stupid idea.”
Lily straightened, “No. No, it’s a good idea. I just…sorry, I’m really tired and my head is throbbing. Took me a few seconds to process that. I…I know the theory for that charm, it’s on the N.E.W.T. course, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. Do you know it?”
“Eh, well, no I don’t actually. I was hoping you did.” James smiled sheepishly at Lily. Lily sat up properly on the couch and picked up her wand. She held out her hand for James timetable. She duplicated it once more, to make herself a copy before putting all of the timetables on the table. Concentrating, she pointed her wand at the timetable destined for Dumbledore and, drawing a circle in the air around the parchment, said “Proteus”. A green light enveloped the parchment for a few seconds before fading. She then pointed her wand at the other two timetables and repeated the spell. Lily placed her wand back on the table. “I don’t know if that worked.”
James picked up the ‘main’ timetable. “Well let’s see.” He picked up a quill and dipped it into an ink-well before writing “Minnie is an amazing singer!!” and then “James Potter is a Sex God!!” across the top of the parchment. Smiling slightly to himself, he passed one of the other timetables to Lily. Her eyes widened slightly. “It worked.”
“Of course it worked! You’re Lily Evans, Charms extraordinaire!”
Lily smiled at James before pointing at the main timetable in his hand. “You gonna change that back, or would you prefer for Dumbledore to see that?”
“I think he’d agree with me personally.”
“Including the ‘James Potter is a Sex God’ part?” Lily raised her eyebrows. “Especially that part.” James said, winking at her.
Lily smiled and lay her head back on the couch again. She raised her hands to her temples and began to rub soothing circles into her temples. She head was pounding from lack of sleep, stress and from staring at parchments all night. Suddenly she felt someone’s hands over hers, pushing them down. “Wha…?”
“Shhhh, relax. Just relax.” James had moved to stand behind the couch and had replaced her hands with his own. Lily tried to protest and get up but James moved his hands to her shoulders and prevented her. “You have a headache Lily, and my head massages are world renowned. Would you just lie still, please?”
Lily stayed where she was. She didn’t know what to do. She could get up, possibly hurt James’ feelings (ya right) and go to bed with a splitting headache. She didn’t have any headache potion, she would have to stock up from the nurse tomorrow. The other option was to stay where she was and let James massage her temples…which wasn’t weird at all.
Stifling a sigh, she decided to just stay. If it helped, great! If it didn’t, then there’d be no harm done. She let herself relax back into the cushions of the couch. James moved his hands back up to her temples. Placing the tips of his fingers against her skin, he applied a slight amount of pressure and began to move his fingers in circles. After a few minutes Lily had to admit that he was quite good at head massages. She felt the tension drain away from her shoulders and she truly began to relax. She could feel the pressure begin to ease at her temples, the pain going for a sharp stab with every heartbeat, to more of a dull ache. She sighed contently and closed her eyes again. She forgot that it was James standing behind her, she forgot that she had been annoyed at him earlier and she forgot that it was currently two a.m. Before she knew it, her headache was gone and she was sound asleep.
James noticed instantly when Lily fell asleep. Her head began to lean to one side and her breathing deepened slightly. He removed his hands slowly from her temples and walked around to the font of the couch. He stood there for several seconds, just watching her sleep. After a few minutes of this, he realised if anyone had seen him, he would have looked like a complete freak. He glanced at the clock on the wall and saw how late it was. Stretching, he considered what to do with Lily. He could leave her here, but she would probably wake up cold and with a crick in her neck. He could wake her. He discarded that idea almost immediately. She looked so peaceful when she was asleep and she had looked so tired tonight. He could try and lift her into her room. The only problem with that was that he wasn’t sure if he could go into her room. Walking quietly towards the stairs, he took them two at a time. Once he got to the top, instead of turning left like he normally would to go to his own room, he turned right and headed towards Lily’s. He hesitated slightly before the door, not knowing what would happen when he tried to enter. He then shook himself. He was a Marauder and Marauders were afraid of nothing. The worse that would happen was that he couldn’t get in.
He slowly placed his hand around the door handle. When he had stood there for a few minutes without anything happening he gained more confidence. He turned the handle and pushed open the door. His first glimpse of Lily’s room made him stare. It was beautiful. If he wasn’t mistaken those lilies on the wall were the same as the ones he had suggested his mother paint in the room she had stayed in during the summer, although in a different orientation. James held his breath and took a step into the room. When nothing happened, he continued into the room. It looked like the Head Boy and Girl were trusted enough to be able to enter each other’s rooms. He went over to Lily’s bed and turned down one side of it so that he could slip Lily into her bed without waking her.
James turned around and headed back down to Lily. She had shifted slightly and she was now in more of a lying down position. She had her hands tucked up under her chin, like she was hugging something. James smiled at the idea of Lily sleeping with a teddy. He moved in front of her and carefully slipped his arms under her knees and behind her back. He straightened up, taking her with him. Even though Lily was tall, she felt to James as if she weighed almost nothing. How could someone so light pack that much of a punch behind her spells??
Adjusting her slightly, James walked slowly upstairs to her room. He had left the door open so he walked straight into the room, now not worried that he would be prevented from entering. Walking towards Lily’s bed he gently placed her on it, tucking her legs under the blanket before pulling it over her and up to her chin. He then took a piece of hair which had fallen onto her face and tucked it gently behind her ear. Hesitating only slightly, he leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. “Goodnight Lily” he whispered before straightening to leave the room. He crossed to the curtains and pulled them together. James walked quietly towards the door, just making out Lily face in a sliver of moonlight that managed to get through the curtains. Closing the door with a soft click, the room was plunged into near darkness.
The moonlight from a nearly full moon was reflected by the handle of the bedside locker, a watch that was on top of the locker and a pair of bright green emerald eyes.
Kind of short, I know. But fast update! The next one probably won't be up until like the middle of April ish...and that's only a maybe! =/
Reviews would be appreciated. You don't realise until you start writing, but reviews really do make a difference!